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Re: %ANMeAPs9y

@luroc asked,

I guess what I don't understand is if the diy- and "self-sufficient small communities"-aspect of solarpunk is coming from "we have to start somewhere" or "that is a good overall principle for the society". Would be glad if you could point me in some direction there.

Speaking for my self, I think it's a bit of both.

There is certainly a big aspect for "we have to start somewhere", because we do. Even if we were the ones who decided how the world was organized, and could unilaterally order everyone, "hey we gotta live efficiently within the planet's resources" we'd still need to carefully roll things out one step at a time. Also, because we don't even know what will work well yet! So we need to experiment, and it's way easier to do a small scale experiment!

Secondly, I think there is an aspect of "good overall principle" at least, there is something in that sort of lifestyle that is intrinsically appealing. But, on the other hand, again, smallness gives the freedom to experiment. I also don't think you should take this too literally: instead take it metaphorically: it's about the social relations that hold society together, and that being explicitly village like, or something like that. So I think we are attracted to the idea of solarpunk because we want something different. But this too is a have-to-start-somewhere, really, because a community of radicals who want to do everything differently, will become very different when lots of people start to get on board.

But the idea that everyone on earth should live in a little village and grow their own food, (anarchoprimitivist model) I'd say: No. I'm pretty sure no one waving the "solarpunk" flag advocates that as the singular solution to the world's problems (especially since solarpunk is explicitly tech-positive), although that's not to say that there are not people who do want to live like that.

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Re: %ANMeAPs9y

I am a complete fanatic for cob, and natural building in general. "Hand sculpted house" was perhaps my gateway drug into a completely new lifestyle. The first project I was involved in was building a backyard garden shed/greenhouse structure over a summer. We bought a few yards of sand and ~6-8 bales of straw and roof panels. Everything else was salvaged waste like broken sidewalk (urbanite), wood from pallets, old doors. 0 power tools used, only electricity consumption was playing music while building.

Building is really fun. Mixing cob can be done by dancing/stomping the materials + water on a tarp. Building is grabbing chunks of mixed claylike material, and stacking it on top of the walls being built and working it in with your hands or sticks. Building is also accessible to anyone of any shape, age, size, or ability since there are no standard sizes of materials you have to be able to lift and maneuver, and the worksite is safe and fun the whole time. At the end there is no waste/packaging material to haul away and the only impact on the surroundings was a hole that all the clay was dug out of, which could be filled in with any leftover sand. The whole process felt so much sane to me than spending at least 10 times more money for manufactured material shipped from the other side of the world to act as walls.

However, I also sometimes feel conflicted because I'm also generally very interested in the ideas of Buckminster Fuller. His take on housing, the Dymaxion House, was to repurpose military and aerospace manufacturing capacity to build super high tech, efficient, mass produced housing. ANd even though it offends all of my natural building principles, I have to admit something high-tech like the Dymaxion House does seem pretty cool and probably appealing to some people.

While I of course dream of living in a natural building, my current path has me living in a doublewide manufactured home, and while it isn't high tech or as well thought out or dome shaped, it does have a certain cheapness and efficiency that's easy for a tasteless person like myself to appreciate. So in the immediate term I've decided to stick with the existing functional shelter, and start with a few other projects that I'm more excited about getting started with.

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Re: %ZdZO/ZD4a


it seems like we keep getting back to this bootstrapping problem. i wonder how we can reframe this question in terms of actionable goals?

Figuring out a working path with others that would free enough surplus attention, time, and resource to carry that over multiple years would also enable others to carry on on complementary topics. I think we should collaborate on that!

so much this! there is a lot of technology involved with building a walkaway community, but a lot of the stuff we want to use involves very advanced materials. in the sort term, i think the biggest priority is having a sustainable presence IRL that gives #solarpunk and #walkaway inclined folks a way to escape the default grind and work on solving these bigger tech problems. as we attempt to build a new kind of society, we should probably keep maslow's hierarchy of needs in mind:

the foremost priority in my mind is food, shelter, and energy. once we have these figured out, it opens the door to off-grid research labs, other forms of walkaway academia, and engineering projects like velomobiles and zeppelins. there are real costs involved here, but if we can drastically reduce the baseline cost of living we can do a lot more with relatively modest sums of money.

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