This blog is to communicate my thoughts about what kinds of technological innovations may be achievable for the medium-distant future. As the peak of the oil age recedes behind us, the industrialized world has a huge library of resources and innovations. How many of those can be adapted for use in a resource-hungry future?
Who is going to do that work of adaption when most people are struggling just to keep their families fed in the midst of economic contraction? The politicians seem to think that pretending business-as-usual is still an option is sufficient, while conducting a perpetual global war over the remains of the oil. We are all in a difficult predicament, but still those of us who can accept the predicament and respond to it can study and communicate our findings. What might still be possible?
This is only going to appeal to a tiny minority of people, only those who already share a view of the human world as being shaped by energy limitations and the natural systems that provide for life on this planet.
I'm inspired by the innovations of the mediaeval guild system in England, in which the kinds of innovation possible were constrained by a communities of skilled practitioners, as described for example in John Michael Greer's book 'Wealth of nature: economics as if survival mattered'. Those who were accepted to learn the skilled trades were known as apprentices, and they worked for a number of years for their keep, living in the household and studying from a full member of the guild who was accepted by their peers as a competent caretaker of that knowledge. I haven't yet found the guild, but I am apprenticing myself to what of the world I can study.