Friday, November 9, 2007

go to the dump*

A recent commentary on Marketplace by Mary Annette Pember made me think of that book I'd mentioned a short while back, The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton, and the one by Janisse Ray I mentioned just two shakes ago.

The first because of the differing views of technology. The current and predominant "innovation-centric" view that's heavily weighted toward *NEW*NEW*NEW* vs. a "use-centered" view that takes into account which technologies have had staying power and how and why they've stayed around. The first view would show that most developing countries sorely lack in technological prowess or contribution. The latter would recognize resourcefulness—the ability to take what we'd consider and outdated or out-of-fashion technology and maintain it and keep it relevant.

The second because Janisse Ray's father and his customers exemplified this ingenious ability.

All three recognize the value in technologies or items that get used again and again because they fill a need and do it well. They give due credit to the ingenuity of local populations that make these and other technologies work because there is no other accessible option.

Interesting that there's a movement that's striving for the same thing.

One person's trash is another's treasure. One person's choice is another's necessity.

[*This was a card game I played growing up and later learned that most other people call it "Go Fish":
"Do you have an Ace?"
"No. Go to the dump."]

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