Appropriate Technology

With out context technology is just technology. Given context technology is either appropriate or inappropriate, no technology is specifically appropriate whilst others are specifically inappropriate. All technology has to be reviewed for fitness-for-function, and suitability within a given context.

Mining & Extractive Industries, and Energy Industries
History studies typically take us from the stone age, through the bronze age, the iron age, to the age of steel, machines and steam which was to become the industrial revolution.Preceding the industrial revolution however was the agricultural revolution, its industrialisation and mechanisation.These various ages tend to relate to physical or mechanical properties of materials rather than the chemical properties. Just as important as the mechanical properties of materials are the chemical and biochemical properties of material substances, such as the production of soap, fertilisers and pharmaceuticals.

All of these substances need to be obtained from somewhere in the natural environment. For our hunter/gatherer and subsistent farmer ancestors the substances needed for survival were typically found on the earths surface. The roots of plants slowly extracting minerals from below the ground and transforming into more useful substances. With population growth, and the industrial revolution the demand for such substances has been steadily increasing. The industrial web of life is now so complex, that it is questionable about just how sensible large portions of the system are. The loaf of bread delivered to the table likely uses more energy resources than it provides to a human by eating.

Modern industrial cities are full of material resources, whether in the form of useful items or buried in landfill, so it is questionable as to whether need to extract more resources from the natural world to meet the needs of cities, or whether simply need to redistribute the available resources in the city into more useful and efficient forms. If redistribution is possible then the main resources to be mined and extracted are fuels to energise the transformation of a cities material wealth into more suitable forms. On the otherhand the industrial revolution got its first energy requirements from animal power, wind power and water power: all providing direct mechanical energy to machines. Transportation was via canal and natural waterways.

There is a certain need to map the geographical sources and destinations for the various mineral resources.

Heritage provides a foundation to build on, but also provides an obstacle to the future. Heritage allows us to ignore certain things, take them for granted and move forward into the future. Then a point arrives at which the heritage is old and decayed and we need to replace it to move foward. In effect cities, societies are born, grow, and then die. New people born into an old city are like new blood cells in an old body and likely to die with it. Unlike blood cells, however people can leave a dying city. Leaving subnational states and nations is more difficult for an entire population to do. Abandon a town not so difficult, abandon a nation vastly more complex.

There is a need for all to better understand the lifespans of towns and cities, along with the industrial facilities within.Population growth and city expansion tends to occur on an assumption that the resources which enable such growth are sustainable. Build a factory needing many people to produce goods required to saturate population, then shut factory down. Satisfy one need, then have to move onto others.

The more recent heritage that we have has turned us into plants, whilst our more ancient heritage provided us with mobility. Rather than the technology of the cities becoming an extension of ourselves, we have become an extension of the city: some may say slave to the city. For true independence and sustainability, we should remain mobile and with a relatively small personal footprint.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Manufacturing & Construction


Alternative Habitats
Ideas on alternative habitats, such as factory ships, hospital ships, residential ships, floating cities, ocean floor cities, moon bases and space colonies beyond Pluto.