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Low Tech tools

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Complexity

Through-out the ages innovation has helped man master nature to improve his chances of survival. Today high technology allows us to understand and manipulate almost everything around us but we are still only capable of dealing with a few issues at once, perhaps 5 +/- 2 say top scientists like Steward Brand of the LongNow Foundation. Dr Allan Savory challenges us to count bicycles, motorbikes and cars coming through a gate and most fail. We are very advanced in understanding the components of life but we shouldn't confuse that with our limited abilities to multi-task simultaneously and manage complexity. Here we're pretty hopeless!

The complexity and inter-dependence of nature is only just beginning to be appreciated, even the number of species of organisms that exist was seriously underestimated until biotechnology engineers like Craig Venter recently  began discovering countless more. Scientists may soon be able to create life which is truly amazing and could help us in all spheres of human endeavor but this doesn't alter the fact that nature is far too complicated for any one of us to hope to control.

Precautionary principle

 Whilst we will undoubtedly continue to develop technology to improve our chances of survival, perhaps even to get us to another planet some day, but in the meantime it is critical that we respect and maintain our life support system- earth. The precautionary principle learned by our ancestors over millenia holds that whilst we search for new technology to improve our chances and quality of life, we should always ensure that what we do is not effecting the complexity and diversity of nature. The safest way forward by all accounts is to reset as much of nature as possible using low tech tools such as the ones described in this area. 

Last Updated on Saturday, 23 July 2011 12:55  
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