work

Sep 142014
 
Lech Wałȩsa and craft labor

His explanation of his strategic capacities is “I am an electrician.” This reminds me of Matthew Crawford’s painstaking work on the “cognitive riches” of trade labour. (Summary here.) Crawford’s point is that trade work is satisfying. Wałȩsa’s point is that it is also a form of analytic training.

Aug 112014
 
Mehl Stübchen Berlin

The Mehl Stübchen is a flour factory which creates flours for many specific uses. They sell to home bakers, rather than to businesses, providing advice and information to improve the quality of home baking. They also sell very good bread and pastries. They are located in the “Red Island” of Berlin at Leberstraße 28. The owner, Nicole, needed me to bring a translator for the interview, so thank you to Julie August for the assistance. […read the rest]

Aug 032014
 
Helmut Menzel porcelain at the Berlin Make Markt

I was going in a different direction, on an arbitrary itinerary when I saw a poster for the Berlin Make Mrkt and figured out that it was monthly and this afternoon, the first Sunday of the month in Prenzlaurberg. The market was quite small, and typical of Australian and US markets in mainly offering jewelery. There was a knifemaker, several furniture resurrecters, and some knitted lampshades. I engaged in my usual behavior of buying rings […read the rest]

Jun 152014
 
"To hell with the market" .... visit to my hero F.E. Trainer's sustainable world

“Composting and growing carrots is a nice start, but we need to get rid of the growth economy, make the global economic system work to meet needs, and replace capitalism with a different economic system that works for people. Most Green people are stuck at the level of compost heaps, which don’t have a chance of saving us. We don’t want to be a society full of compost heaps heading for disaster. Growing carrots locally is just the first step to changing the economy.”

Mar 302014
 
I want a Lab

LAB lab A Lab for Interventions, Innovations, Iterations to facilitate: Local Food, Objects, and Quality of Life – Artisan Economics and Meaningful Work – Biospheric ecological technologies and institutions. As Robert Pekins of Food Connect said to me “Academics need to get right out of the way. What they’re good at is asking questions. We need fora with practitioners in the audience practitioners doing the speaking, and academics asking the questions.”  

Jul 012013
 

I was a contractor. I bought a hobby lathe on sale. I burned out the motor in 6 months, so I knew I had found my calling. I call it “reclaiming the souls of trees”. In Los Angeles there are trees from all over the world planted in backyards and sidewalks. There are 400 year old oaks that were here before there were towns with Spanish names in California. If the trees get sick or […read the rest]

May 262013
 
Lessons of the Local Food Movement at Vivid Sydney

I was invited to speak at Design your Day Job, organized by &Company, part of Vivid Ideas 2013. 25 May 2013 Sydney Australia I’m new to Australia, and since I arrived, I’ve really hoped to become part of something like this event, so I’m absolutely thrilled to be here with you today. Although I imagined we’d all be around a long table and I’d be cooking for you. But this is cool too. My talk today […read the rest]

Oct 292012
 

Matthew B. Crawford, Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work. 2009: Penguin Books. If the regard that many people now have for the wider ramifications of their food choices could be brought to our relationships to our own automobiles, it could sustain pockets of mindful labor… [102] This is the book I wanted to write, to try to get at the fulfilments of artisanship, and what this suggests for how we […read the rest]

Oct 042012
 

I’ve been a great defender of the academy as “a living archive” of ideas, some of which were supposed to have gone away due to unpopularity…Ideas kept alive and lively by impassioned scholars who can impart detail and vividness to the next generation. But I’ve also always suspected, and now want to insist, that it is also a form of social control. Suck in “the best and brightest”, absorb whatever privilege has caused them to […read the rest]