No Tech Reader #37

  • These scientists lugged logs on their heads to resolve Chaco Canyon mystery. [Ars Tecnica] “Tumplines allow one to carry heavier weights over larger distances without getting fatigued.” Thanks to Matthew McNatt.
  • Barbed Wire Telephone Lines Brought Isolated Homesteaders Together. [Atlas Obscura] “In some cases, as many as 20 telephones were wired together—all of which would ring simultaneously with each call, regardless of who was making it and who they were trying to reach. Agreed-upon codes—three short rings for you, two long rings for me—helped people know if the call was for them.”
  • The vertical farming bubble is finally popping. [Fast Company] “In a typical cold climate, you would need about five acres of solar panels to grow one acre of lettuce”.
  • Seaweed as a resilient food solution after a nuclear war. [ResearchGate] “We find seaweed can be grown in tropical oceans, even after nuclear war. The simulated growth is high enough to allow a scale up to an equivalent of 70 % of the global human caloric demand (spread among food, animal feed, and biofuels) in around 7 to 16 months, while only using a small fraction of the global ocean area. The results also show that the growth of seaweed increases with the severity of the nuclear war, as more nutrients become available due to increased vertical mixing. This means that seaweed has the potential to be a viable resilient food source for abrupt sunlight reduction scenarios.”
  • Traditional Fishing Gears and Methods of the Bodo Tribes of Kokrajhar, Assam. [Fishery Technology] “The popularity and usage of some of the gears like Sahera, Baga, Borom Je and Dura Je were found declining, which may be attributed to increasing popularity of destructive fishing techniques like electric fishing, blast fishing and poisoning.”
  • Low-tech approaches for sustainability: key principles from the literature and practice. [Sustainability: Science, Practice and Policy] ” This article develops a seven-principle framework to categorize low-tech concepts based on an abductive approach which included a literature review and interviews with low-tech actors.”
  • Ministry of Truth: The secretive government units spying on your speech. [Big Brother Watch] “The internet contains masses of incorrect information – but this is a defining feature of an open forum, not a flaw.”
  • We’ve lost the plot. [The Atlantic] “Our constant need for entertainment has blurred the line between fiction and reality—on television, in American politics, and in our everyday lives.”

Some low-tech computing links: