Re: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?

Subject: Re: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?
From: Kathleen MacDowell <kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com>
To: Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2009 12:43:14 -0500

My local PBS station has run an interesting series about a man who spent
some time in the wilderness (AK?). I use to catch brief glimpses of the
program, which usually involved him carving something or digging up his

But to jump to the point, any particular area might not have raw materials
available to make some basic items. Cities might be a great place for all
the items that could be reused. But in other locations, per Al's comment,
where are you going to find a "soft white rock"? Copper, coal, iron, etc.?
It think it would be a tricky situation. Best location might be near a large
waterway so you could trade.

I can't do it all, but I'm proud to be able to help others understand what
to do when they need the info :-)


On Thu, Aug 20, 2009 at 11:06 AM, Al Geist <al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com>wrote:

> Leonard C. Porrello wrote:
> Ahhh, but would you know how to make the lumber (studs, plywood, and
> pressboard) you need to build a house? How about drywall? Could you make
> your own plaster?
> If so, where would you get the materials? How about
> mining the ore for the nails and making the nails? Could you mine your
> own copper for the wire, drill for the oil required to make its plastic
> insulation, make the plastic insulation, and then apply it to the wire?
> What about windows? How good are you at making window panes? And we
> mustn't forget plumbing. Mine any ore and make any pipes from it lately?
> Could you cast an iron sink and bathtub? How about weaving carpets
> and/or rugs?
> The dimensional lumber can be made with a really big tree or two (hopefully
> fallen by a storm) using a chainsaw and a really big straightedge. Plywood
> is a bid more difficult. If I had to make it myself, I'd use
> plaster-and-lathe like they did before sheetrock. To make plaster, all you
> need is a nearby talc mine. That should be easy to find...just look for a
> big hunk of soft white rock.
> Wooden pegs could be used instead of nails (timber frame construction), but
> you've got me on the copper wire. While spray foam insulation is petroleum
> based, most of it is spun glass. I'd have to think ups something else
> besides plastic for the vapor barrier (there would be no thermal envelope).
> I could whittle a sink and use the chainsaw to carve out a bathtub from yet
> another big tree.
> The plumbing and wiring seem to be the big blocks and after enduring a 60
> below Alaskan winter, outdoor facilities are not an option.
> So, if you come to my owner-built home, you'd have to be careful where you
> sit and don't ever walk around the place without least until
> the splinters are all gone. Don't expect to see huge windows with a grand
> view, and don't lean to hard on the walls...they're made of paste because I
> couldn't find that mountain of talc.
> Oh...and bring a flashlight or at least a dozen or so batteries.
> Al Geist
> Technical Communicator, Help, Web Design, Video, Photography
> Office/Msg: 802-872-9190
> Cell: 802-578-3964
> E-mail: al -dot- geist -at- geistassociates -dot- com
> Website:
> See Also:
> Fine Art Photography
> Website:
> "...I walked to work, quit my job, and kept walking. Better to be a pilgrim
> without a destination, I figured, than to cross the wrong threshold each
> day." (Sy Safransky)
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

Kathleen MacDowell
kathleen -at- writefortheuser -dot- com
kathleen -dot- eamd -at- gmail -dot- com

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Re: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: john rosberg
RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Al Geist
RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Leonard C. Porrello
RE: Have We Entered a Post-Literate Technological Age?: From: Al Geist

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