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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by dp
    You have to give people credit for some intelligence - nobody is going to put inappropriate technology where it will fail except as an experiment.

    10 minutes into this video will give you their target - achievable? TBD.
    Not interested in spending 10 minutes on that.... I looked at anough to get the general idea.

    The 40 mW was mentioned and repeated and rammed-home in prior posts, so I used that figure..........

    And as for your intelligence comment..... if so there are lots of dumb but well-meaning people around, because it has been done MANY times...... It doesn't take much to get out of reality on something....

    Many problems are due to what is "scrap"..... What WE think is 'scrap" is often a useful material to a 3rd world area..... so planning on using some types of "discarded scrap" is unrealistic, it is neither scrap nor discarded.

    Just one way the do-gooder rich folks mess up.

    (edited to fix quote w/o quote box)
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-14-2009, 10:58 PM.

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  • dp
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers
    DP, I didn't say it was universal, I said in many places, And that is true.
    You have to give people credit for some intelligence - nobody is going to put inappropriate technology where it will fail except as an experiment. Your concerns apply to all efforts to assist primitive cultures - and it is already the case that many viable technologies are not being suggested.

    Don't be transfixed by the 40mW figure - the team behind this is after the sub-100 Watt demographic. Certainlyh 40mW is in this category but they're really after more than that. 10 minutes into this video will give you their target - achievable? TBD.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mecU7S2xoJc

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  • Evan
    replied
    Evan's example is the WORST of all the ones so far......

    Band offices... BAND OFFICES? Oy... servicing equipment in offices? Double - Oy......

    What is an office? There is no office for 150 miles....... What is equipment? it runs on electricity? There is no electricity for 150 miles.
    Jerry, you don't get it at all. A Band Office wasn't some sort of air conditioned plush carpeted building with all the amenities. It might be a run down mobile home with a wood heater in the plywood shack added on to the entrance. The equipment I serviced most often was an electric typewriter run from a small genset. The "staff" might be the hereditary chief with his wife.

    I am talking about people with none of the training and skills that you think necessary to take advantage of small technology improvements. I think that you are greatly underestimating the capability of people to adapt, learn and understand regardless of circumstances.

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    DP, I didn't say it was universal, I said in many places, And that is true.

    40 mW at 1.2 V is going to charge a lot of batteries....... NOT...... at least not fast.

    It is perfectly possible to make things which will do well, and distribute them. or better, to have the locals make them. If locals make them, the supply chain is in place and things go smoother in every way.

    But a concept device from far away, no matter how simple, is just that,...... a "thing", not a process or a plan or a developable resource.

    There have been very successful applications of inexpensive induction motors as generators in places in South America which have water power. But they are systems, and located much closer to "technology centers" than some places in Asia or Africa. Locals are directly involved in first asking for them, and then assembling and running them. Locals had the need, the knowledge of a solution's existence, and thus looked for workable solutions, even though they didn't have the knowledge to design one.

    In other places, the solutions seem to come first, dropped in by western "seagull advocates", who fly in, basically drop magic devices that will "get the natives started on modern life" all over the place like crap, and fly away again.... leaving the locals to wonder just why this all happened. That ain't the way it really works, but the "ribbon generator" deal sounds like that sort of situation.

    it ain't the device, it is the plan.

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  • rotate
    replied
    In 1980's I was on a motorcycle journeying through India on a Royal Enfield when I got hopelessly lost in a remote part of Bihar (one of the more poorer state in India). I was getting desperate because I was low on fuel and I didn't know where I was. I came through on a small village and I proceed to ask where I was. I opened my map to ask where I was relative to the town that I wanted to go. Soon all the men from the village gathered and I'm sure I was the first foreigner that they had met in person. After spending frustrating few minutes, I realized that they had never seen a map before. They were holding it up as if it was a poster. The notion that you would draw a Cartesian coordinate map that showed hundreds of miles of road was completely foreign to them. In the end, I drew them a picture of a train and they pointed me in the right direction, although even then I had to draw a picture of myself and the motorcycle to indicate that "we are here".

    What I thought was intuitive and self-evident was obviously something that was dinged into my brain in my early years of education and not something that I was born with. I have encountered many situation in Africa where pointing out the obvious was met with puzzled looks.
    Last edited by rotate; 01-13-2009, 10:40 PM.

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  • dp
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers
    Sorry, but you simply do NOT understand the complete lack of most anything that is village life in many places on earth.
    Why should we think you do understand? You have not stated your qualifications. Further, your description of the target population does not describe well the situation for many Pacific islanders, for example. Pitcairn Island has one generator and it is run for a short time each week. It is expensive because fuel is expensive. And it generates, or has capacity for, far more electricity than is needed and so is very inefficient. It is also centrally located where it is least convenient to the largest numbers. These simple wind generators that run 24/7/365 produce the right kind of energy where it is needed, affordably.

    For the cost of fuel to run that one generator for a year every islander (there are not that many) could have dozens of simple throw-away generators in their homes charging batteries day and night. They can sell the broken ones to tourons (morons who tour).

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    I am going to answer ONE last time, because I am covertly being called a RACIST.

    Originally posted by Evan
    I get it just fine Jerry.
    permit me to NOT believe you............. as you prove below.


    The people on the reserves were absolutely dirt poor. As poor as anyone in the third world. I know because I serviced equipment in the Band Offices on the reserves. This area was one of the very last to be settled by whites in North America and in the interior west of here it wasn't settled until the 1900s.

    Even so there were kids on the reserves that somehow managed to overcome the worst possible conditions and get an education, a degree and most often, come back here to teach.

    Pu....LEEEESE, try, at least, to understand that I am not impugning the intelligence of anyone...... Smart has no border nor colors, nor economic status.

    However.........

    EVERYONE is giving examples of people PULLED OUT of their environment, and immersed ELSEWHERE in an educational setting..... Gosh, I wonder why a smart person might do well there

    Evan's example is the WORST of all the ones so far......

    Band offices... BAND OFFICES? Oy... servicing equipment in offices? Double - Oy......

    What is an office? There is no office for 150 miles....... What is equipment? it runs on electricity? There is no electricity for 150 miles.

    We are talking about people 100 miles from nowhere, or they wouldn't NEED 25 cent 40 mW generators......... 100 miles from nowhere, and most everyone has never been farther than 5 miles from home.... ever

    They do not HAVE anything, there isn't anything to "have" for many days journey, except small coins, animals, and crops. There are no spare parts, and nobody would know where to get them anyway.

    it isn't just poor, it isn't just ignorance, it isn't just distance, it isn't just lack of education....

    it is ALL of them, with local customs, etc, tossed in.

    It is a totally fixable situation, but it takes time to fix. A few mysterious light-givers in the village isn't going to make that all not true.... they are un-maintainable....

    Possibly if you show the local people how to make them, you may get somewhere. You do need spare parts, because there are things in them that locals cannot get locally..

    But distributing them will not do very much... they will stop working when a chicken pecks or flies into one, etc, etc, etc, and then there won't be the knowledge to fix it, or maybe parts to fix it.

    Sorry, but you simply do NOT understand the complete lack of most anything you take for granted that is village life in many places on earth.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-13-2009, 10:01 PM.

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  • Evan
    replied
    I get it just fine Jerry. When we moved here the natives on the reserves were still driving wagons to town by horse power. Some had cars which were the $100 specials from the used car pot lot. They didn't have any clue except how to herd it down the road and maybe buy some gas. If the oil got low then the engine would seize. Every shack on the reserves would have 6 or 10 dead cars in front. Only the young spoke any english, all the elders were entirely illiterate and uneducated except in how to live off the land. Some of the reserves had power but most didn't and the main spare time activity was drinking. The people on the reserves were absolutely dirt poor. As poor as anyone in the third world. I know because I serviced equipment in the Band Offices on the reserves. This area was one of the very last to be settled by whites in North America and in the interior west of here it wasn't settled until the 1900s.

    Even so there were kids on the reserves that somehow managed to overcome the worst possible conditions and get an education, a degree and most often, come back here to teach.

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    It doesn't matter what a persons technological background or lack of it is.
    ....................................
    How many people do you know that understand what happens when they turn on a light?
    Westerners don't get it. Westerners CAN'T get it..... They just can't wrap their minds around it.

    YOU don't HAVE to know anything but how to turn on the light..... If it does not work, you can call someone.

    it's different other places. REALLY different.

    New stuff arrives, and works... after a while it stops working, and nobody can fix it, no parts, lack of understanding, whatever......... so what happens is that pieces of it get used for something else, and eventually it CAN'T work..... and it sits there unused and unusable.

    It's different even in the USA..... in backwoods places where the people are very poor, and there isn't much "stuff".

    I give up....... everyone is basically arguing about whether people elsewhere could possibly be hungry and thirsty, and asking why they don't just go to the store................. as they all sip their drinks and eat their dessert.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-13-2009, 07:50 PM.

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  • Evan
    replied
    It doesn't matter what a persons technological background or lack of it is. Some people are naturally equipped to understand how things work and will figure out simple mechanical systems without reference to previous knowledge. Electricity is a mystery to everyone and is just a matter of learning some basic rules on how to deal with it without making things smoke or killing yourself. A good friend of mine from days past is an engineer in Germany who has been posted to various third world countries to install and train locals on the use and maintenance of solar electric powered well pumps. This allows the use of deep wells instead of dugouts or stream water that is most often contaminated with cholera. The pumps are very low volume and the solar panels are ruggedized so there isn't a lot to go wrong. Water is continuously pumped to a holding tank whenever power is available. The bottom line is clean water for drinking and washing which improves health.

    These type of solutions go a long way and don't require much of the locals. They are not the same as giving a starving man a fish and it isn't necessary that the people who use it know how it works. How many people do you know that understand what happens when they turn on a light?

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  • J Tiers
    replied
    Originally posted by barts
    People are amazing... the same baby can be a medieval peasant, a brain surgeon or a truck driver, depending on environment and experiences when growing up... while I was in graduate school, one of our house mates was from Sierra Leone, where he'd grown up in a tiny village, gardening and hunting for food in the forest. Peace Corps volunteers had come to the village and started a school... they recognized this guy as bright, and he ended up a/ a high school education and got accepted somehow to UC Davis, where he was a graduate student by the time I met him. Very nice guy...

    Given a bright individual, they really can learn anything they put their minds to... if they're behind when they start out, they'll catch up.
    Your examples are only more proof for what I said. I am quite in agreement that people can learn, catch up fast, etc...... BUT ENVIRONMENT IS KEY.

    Your student did not STAY in the village...... he came HERE, and was immersed in "our world"..... Same with people in the army.... they were immersed in what they learned.

    That is so totally unlike the situation in reality as to be meaningless, really.

    You have to grasp the concept that most people are not going to leave the village.... they live there. The environment is most often totally agrarian, with no "technology" past what is needed for subsistence farming.

    The nearest place that has any spare parts for anything not made in the village may be a hundred miles away..... may as well be on the moon.

    The villagers are immersed in an environment that is totally devoid of "technology" as far as daily life is concerned. Sure, a vehicle may drive through sometimes.... but day-to-day life has nothing to do with that. It's weaving, herding, crops, and sleep.

    Now introduce a device that while simple in concept TO US, uses forces that cannot be seen or felt, makes a form of power that cannot be seen or felt, and has no "obvious moving parts" to produce the power.

    YOU can NOT understand how utterly foreign that can be in an environment of subsistence farming among people many or most of whom may have no meaningful education whatsoever in any "science" subject...... it is just something you are so used to that you never think about it.
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-13-2009, 08:37 AM.

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  • Evan
    replied
    For a different take on a similar solution have a look here:

    http://www.aidg.org/component/option...mid,34/p,1048/

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  • barts
    replied
    Originally posted by J Tiers
    It is NOT easy to teach a hick who only knows how to just barely USE a radio, how to FIX one.
    People are amazing... the same baby can be a medieval peasant, a brain surgeon or a truck driver, depending on environment and experiences when growing up... while I was in graduate school, one of our house mates was from Sierra Leone, where he'd grown up in a tiny village, gardening and hunting for food in the forest. Peace Corps volunteers had come to the village and started a school... they recognized this guy as bright, and he ended up a/ a high school education and got accepted somehow to UC Davis, where he was a graduate student by the time I met him. Very nice guy...

    Given a bright individual, they really can learn anything they put their minds to... if they're behind when they start out, they'll catch up. The US Army showed this during WWII, taking young men from all over the country and training them to use, diagnose, and repair machinery they'd never seen before, and in just a few short months. The industrial revolution didn't come w/ training manuals, either, until later on...

    I will agree that training people w/ no interest, poor attention spans and/or below average intelligence is frustrating, and can be a task best left to the porcine choirmasters amongst us....

    - Bart

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  • Paul Alciatore
    replied
    Originally posted by davidh
    how many of those little suckers would it take to boil up a cup of coffee ?

    neat idea to try here in the frozen, windy northland on the shores of lake superior.

    sorry, couldn't resist.
    Well, lets see. 40 milliWatts X 1000 = 40 Watts. That should heat a cup of water in fairly short order.

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  • barts
    replied
    Originally posted by Evan
    Not everyone. Put a half twist in the strap and it will not flap.
    That works pretty well, although w/ really long straps (longer than you get on 8' width trucks) they still flap...

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