Daily Archives: August 20, 2010

Which comes first? Problem or Solution.

In these modern times we tend to look at technology to solve many of our problems. After all, we have a gadget for almost everything these days. In the pre industrial development of the world most folks started with a problem and set about to find a way to solve it since by and large there was no machine available to solve it for them. That’s how invention was born.

As we look at the subject of ” ” let’s call it sustainable living we tend to focus on the gear, while giving credence to the need for proper training etc. For the most part though, we think if we have the tool, we’ve solved the problem. Actually the opposite is really the case. Even though I lived the all natural, off the grid [ not sure there was grid back then ] lifestyle as a child; I am acutely aware that my biggest deficiency is a lack of proficiency in those old ways.

Rather than look at that super, well designed, mil spec piece of gear I want to take a look at it the other way around. State the problem and then look at how it might be solved in several ways with differing reliance on technology.

The next series of articles will be from this viewpoint. A small case in point happened this morning which made me think about how we evaluate our needs and our gear. The map light that hangs on my key-ring came off because the plastic loop snapped. Mental note, plastic is cheap and lightweight but also can fail unexpectedly.