It’s been and still is a journey trying to get to the root of what plagues my mind and my heart when my mind and heart are being plagued. The process has been a cat and mouse game between the surface and the core: I imagine layers of velvet curtains, rich reds, maroons, so great to touch that they become what I think I am looking for, rather than what is behind them.
First, I was enchanted by digital media and the promise it holds. Next, I was caught up in the answer being in restructuring education from the bottom up (that might still be the curtain I like best). Now, I am digging through tools and technology.
Maybe what you want to know is my question? Still working that out, too. Nonetheless, I think it is a series something like this:
- In a specific small deindustrialized community (like any number of them in southern West Virginia), what traditional and advanced technology capabilities do community members need (and to control) for that community to survive and to thrive?
- What would be proposed potential changes in the understanding, acquisition, and use of previously established traditional and advanced technologies in a specific small deindustrialized community toward more control over their own and their communities’ destinies? What is a ranked battery of potential technological innovations that would meet the needs in a specific small deindustrialized community (like any number of them in southern West Virginia) to survive and to thrive? How could the most optimal be created and piloted?
- What are the changes in technology and society policy from grassroots to local to federal needed for small deindustrialized communities to survive and to thrive?
The Barefoot Colleges have taken on the above questions and produced results and answers in the developing world. What hybrid of this model would work in the context of our society? Here are the tenets, from their website, of their approach, which also defines what they do (belief and practice come together):
Gandhi’s central belief was that the knowledge, skills and wisdom found in villages should be used for its development before getting skills from outside.
Gandhi believed that sophisticated technology should be used in rural India, but it should be in the hands and in control of the poor communities so that they are not dependent or exploited.
Gandhi once said that there is a difference between Literacy and Education.
Gandhi believed in the equality of women.
What would be applicable to life in a deindustrialized American “village” today? What collective technical and survival knowledge do people still have? Who possesses it and what could they teach the rest of us? How do you get advanced technologies for surviving and thriving into the control of people in a small deindustrialized American “village”? How should the knowledge be imparted? Who are the people that need the knowledge most and are most willing to impart it to others? How could people be trained to innovate amongst themselves, in technology, but also in sharing knowledge and skills?