Hello I'm Joe.
A scary thought struck me. If, tomorrow, I woke up and found myself living without all the things I'm used to, I don't think I could survive.
In a sense that is obvious - I am who I am. But in another, I am totally sold-out in my thinking to a particular paradigm, and that paradigm is severely under threat. If it breaks, then I am stuffed.
I have recently been thinking and studying non-violence in general and Gandhi in particular. One thing I knew-before-but-didn't-fully-appreciate is the tremendous importance Gandhiji gave to the process of Constructive Programme - usually associated with homespun cotton. To the extent that all of the big events in the Satyagraha movement were overshadowed by the constant, slow, ongoing process of change. In fact, a more accurate understanding of the Indian movement would be years of village level change with occasional moments of high intensity drama.
Most of our protest movements do not have time for Constructive Programme. We want the change but we don't want to do the hard work for it.
I haven't quite worked out where Appropedia fits into that vision for me. I can't quite compute why collating information in this way is important. But somehow we have to behave as if this stuff is important rather than just fun.
My interests are in the environment, and particularly in understanding how it can be sustainably used to provide for humanity. To that end, I am (currently) fascinated to understand more about diet and how the variety of our food consumption has changed - to the extent that some things which are edible are not eaten. There are plenty of survivalist nuts out there, and the truth is that this knowledge is not entirely lost. On the whole it is unused more than unknown, and held by a very small number of slightly crazed enthusiasts. For me, the challenge is knowing how to get that information out of the hands of the few and at least in a place where it can be accessed the many, should they ever realise they need it.
In a sense, I think for me that Appropedia is a means to that end for me.