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Energy Reconfiguration for World Survival

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message William P. Homans     Permalink
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Ever since my first father-in-law, a Connecticut resident and member of the American Stock Exchange, insisted to me that there could and would be infinitely sustained growth, that new tech would always make bonanzas of new jobs, etc. (this was in 1982), I have known that there was no thought being given to what to do under the current situation of automated manufacturing and a steadily diminishing NEED for a growth in physical infrastructure (though that is only under an oil-and-other-fossil-fuel powered, non-durable-consumer-goods-manufacturing paradigm).

 

However, the figures in the Club of Rome Report of 1970-- The Limits to Growth-- were my first clue, along with the theory of technological determinism-- if a technology can be innovated, it will be used-- first fully elaborated by Jacques Ellul in The Technological Society (1960). As Ellul presciently argued, the reason for automation is to approach maximum efficiency, by virtually eliminating the possibility of human error.

 

To reduce this to its end, greatest efficiency is reached with minimum human participation. Everyone should read Kurt Vonnegut's Player Piano, and see what happens when there is no work, and then people are stigmatized for not being able to find work.

 

Of course, I also must come back and hammer on the "supply" side a moment. If people stop making babies willynilly, then there can hardly be as may people thrown out of work because no one needs what they're making any more.

 

The consumerist economy is driven-- prodded, titillated, blandished, misled, deceptively advertized, all in the behalf of behavioral manipulation to buy, buy, buy, more more more!-- by WANTS, not NEEDS. If you've got a few days, I will describe for you how to back down from centrally and automatically produced non-needs and begin to use locally/regionally produced NEEDS.

 

What needs to be done is for us to gradually-- but not very gradually!-- reconfigure the energy infrastructure of the US so as to move from non-renewable-energy dependence to renewable-energy independence and flexibility of distribution.

 

Now, there will have to be some aspects of communalism involved. The local municipality-- the village-- must become the paradigm for coping with human/social/energy needs. As some people who understand post-industrial technocracy might say, maybe early retirements are part of the solution.

 

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My name is William Perkins Homans the third, but probably more people know me as the bluesman (and artist) Watermelon Slim.

I've been in the fight against war, fascism, injustice and inhumanity for 40 years. I was at MayDay, and at the moratorium March the week before. I was one of the leaders of the Great New Jersey Turnpike Stall on my birthday, April 25, 1971.

I bear the scar on my left shin from a neoNazi jackboot, when I was one of the Vietnam Veterans Against the War who bounced the NSWPP from Flamingo Park at the Republican National Convention of 1972. My father fought the Nazis in the North Atlantic and Anzio, and I met their spawn in Miami.

My formal education has been first-rate. I wouldn't trade my degrees for Harvard ones. I was raised in the finest private Catholic and Episcopal high schools.

Elementary School: Gibbons Hall, Asheville, North Carolina

High Schools: Asheville School for Boys, Asheville Country Day, Lenox School for Boys. Graduated with honors 1968.

College: Middlebury College, 1968-DNG

1984-86: University of Oregon, B.A., Journalism and History, Departmental Honors in History, 1986.

I was also captain of the U of O bowling team, 1984-1986. High game 299.

1997-2000: Oklahoma State University. M.A., History, 2000, plus the school-teaching curriculum. Mentor: Dr. Ronald Petrin.

This was my second great self-reinvention attempt. In both, I got the degrees, but neither worked. After both, I went back to truckdriving and the blues. and now the latter makes my living. I just am not a button-down enough fellow ever to be a schoolteacher or general-purpose news reporter. But I think and analyze, and so I write...





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