Community-Based Health Care

HealthHesperian is a non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care. Our first book, Where There Is No Doctor, is considered to be one of the most accessible and widely used community health books in the world. Simply written and heavily illustrated, Hesperian books are designed so that people with little formal education can understand, apply and share health information. Developed collaboratively with health workers and community members from around the world, our books and newsletters address the underlying social, political, and economic causes of poor health and suggest ways groups can organize to improve health conditions in their communities. Hesperian publishes all of our books in English and Spanish and our open copyright policy facilitates adaptations and translations into many other languages. Our books are available for purchase or free download.” Via The Survivalist Blog.

Censors of Knowledge

JSTOR1 “This archive contains 18,592 scientific publications totaling 33GiB, all from Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society and which should be available to everyone at no cost, but most have previously only been made available at high prices through paywall gatekeepers like JSTOR. Limited access to the documents here is typically sold for $19 USD per article, though some of the older ones are available as cheaply as $8. Purchasing access to this collection one article at a time would cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

Whether or not you are interested in the publications, the accompanying manifest written by Greg Maxwell deserves to be read. Find a summary below. Original manifest + download here. Via Edwin Mijnsbergen.

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Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of Applied Mechanics: a Dictionary of Mechanical Engineering and the Mechanical Arts

Appletons’ Cyclopaedia of Applied Mechanics

“Appletons’ cyclopaedia of applied mechanics: a dictionary of mechanical engineering and the mechanical arts (1880): Volume IVolume II” is another great resource on 19th century technology. Via Tecob. Previously:

Appropriate Technology Sourcebook

appropriate technology sourcebook “Welcome to the online edition of the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook which reviews over 1,150 of the best books on appropriate technology.

This is the online version of the latest edition guide to practical books on village and small community technology. Over 50,000 print copies of the previous editions have been used in more than 130 countries to find a wide range of published technical information that can be used by individuals and small groups.

In the new edition, 1150 publications are reviewed, covering small water supply systems, renewable energy devices such as water mills and improved cook stoves, agricultural tools and implements, intensive gardening, nonformal education, small business management, transportation, small industries and other topics.”

All previous entries in ‘Books & Reference‘.

Innovation & Tradition: The Complete Works of Hassan Fathy Online

Hassan fathy 8 “Since antiquity, man has reacted to his environment, using his faculties to develop techniques and technologies, whether to bake bread or make brick, in such internal psychological balance with nature that humanity historically lived attuned to the environment. Man’s creations were natural when built of the materials offered by the landscape. Learning to manipulate clay, stone, marble, and wood, man penetrated their properties, and his techniques gave expression to his aspirations toward the divine. In architecture, environmental harmony was known to the Chinese, the Indians, the Greeks, and others. It produced the temples of Karnak, the great mosques of Islam, and the cathedral of Chartres in France.”

Hassan fathy 5 “With the advent of the industrial revolution, the inherited techniques and perfected knowledge of creating, using handmade tools, were lost and are now forgotten. Energy-intensive mechanized tools have diminished man’s personal, cellular contribution to the fabrication of objects, the building of structures, and the growing of food. The lesser the challenge for man to imprint his genius, the less artistic is the product. The resulting economic and political disturbances are visible today. Production of beauty, once the prerogative of millions, is replaced by industrialization, even of bread, under the control of a minority of owners. The negative consequences of the industrial revolution have disturbed the natural organization of the divine concept for humanity.”

Hassan fathy 2 “Sixty years of experience have shown me that industrialization and mechanization of the building trade have caused vast changes in building methods with varying applications in different parts of the world. Constant upheaval results when industrially developed societies weaken the craft-developed cultures through increased communications. As they interact, mutations create societal and ecological imbalance and economic inequities which are documented to be increasing in type and number. Profoundly affected is the mass of the population, which is pressured to consume industrially produced goods. The result is cultural, psychological, moral, and material havoc.”

Hassan fathy 7 “Yet it is this population that has an intimate knowledge of how to live in harmony with the local environment. Thousands of years of accumulated expertise has led to the development of economic building methods using locally available materials, climatization using energy derived from the local natural environment, and an arrangement of living and working spaces in consonance with their social requirements. This has been accomplished within the context of an architecture that has reached a very high degree of artistic expression.”

Hassan fathy 1 Quoted from: “Architecture and environment” by Hassan Fathy, a noted Egyptian architect who pioneered appropriate technology for building in Egypt, especially by working to re-establish the use of mud brick (or adobe) and traditional as opposed to western building designs and lay-outs.

Fathy demonstrated how elements from vernacular Arab urban architecture, such as the malkaf (wind catch), shukshaykha (lantern dome) and mashrabiya (wooden lattice screen), could be combined with the mud-brick construction traditionally practiced in Nubia in Upper Egypt to form a distinctive, environmentally and socially conscious building style that linked the use of appropriate technologies with co-operative construction techniques and the guiding thread of tradition (source).

All his wonderfully illustrated books can be found online, free to download (in English, French & Arabic). Via TECTONICAblog (Thank you, Zeltia).

Handy Farm Devices & How to Make Them (1912 Book)

handy farm devices and how to make them

Handy farm devices and how to make them“, Rolfe Cobleigh, 1912.