Key concepts: time stress, design for disassembly,
Viridian aesthetics, sunlight
Attention Conservation Notice: You don't have time to read this. I don't have to time to write it.
Links: I don't have time to find any arty links
(((bruces remarks: since I have no time to write a Viridian Note today, this note is very apt.)))
From: email@example.com^^^^^^^^^^^** (Ted Byfield)
An excellent Viridian design/engineering project would be safe lighting. A "safe" light should meet the following Viridian criteria:
Infinitesimal energy consumption. No toxic ingredients whatsoever. It should never burn out, or, if it must, then separating its structure into easily reusable/recyclable components should be as simple as opening a bottle == just pop the top.
Since complex/compound products are notoriously difficult to recycle, then that last criterion should be a general goal of Viridian design. It should be a trivial, even satisfying exercise to break down a complex object into simple component materials: glass, metal, plastic A, plastic B, rubber, etc. == which can then be reused or recycled.
Any excessively complex object, whether 'necessarily' complex (circuitboards) or 'gratuitously'complex (decorated surfaces) should be discouraged. Simplicity, organization, segregation of materials, and minimalism should be encouraged.
In a Viridian world, we should never see a big piece of industrial junk sitting on the curb waiting to be carted off. Instead, we should see a series of bins (mostly empty, of course) with various materials neatly and correctly sorted into types. Color-coding materials by type might be helpful. Would a house whose interior looked like a gaudily painted San Francisco Victorian be Viridian? I'd say yes.
It's easy to fall into the trap of assuming that the "most Viridian" light is a problem for engineering and design. In fact, the most Viridian light is sunlight (and the second most Viridian light is moonlight).
My own submission for 'the most Viridian light' isn't a light, it's a clock. Rather, it's an anticlock, a way of thinking about time that encourages people to content themselves with available light.
The 24/7 mania that's encircling the globe is not sustainable. It takes too high a toll on people and the world. Living, working, and playing by available light is sustainable: that means that work will be less productive in winter and more productive in summer.
That's a truth for farmers, and there's no reason it can't be a truth for everyone else == manufacturers, teachers, financiers... Stock exchanges will go up in the summer and down in the winter. Capital will flow from the northern to the southern hemisphere and back again on a cyclical basis, in harmony with the seasons and the fact that earth is a sphere. Cycles of investment and divestment will return to a proper function of supporting real-world activity.
Bruce had it right in the fundamental insight that the rise of frenetic, addle-brained acceleration is an end-of-the-century phenomenon.
Consider the buzz one feels five minutes before one has to walk out the door to, say, a dentist's appointment. It's too much time to do nothing, but not enough time to do anything productive.
When the millennium turns, the future will vanish. We'll be left only with the present. The difference between the present and the future will collapse into the difference between the present-as-it-is and the present- as-it-should-be. This will be a very unstable, very disorienting sensibility, and it will be crucial to actively promulgate fruitful ideas about how to think about time. Time isn't money, time is light. Working with available resources is a way that 'globally' reduces power consumption. It also promotes a sustainable and creative aesthetic sense of the world we're making.
(((bruces remarks: I like this very much, but would like to put in a word for sustainable gratuitous complexity. Devices designed-for-disassembly should probably be more complicated than "simple" devices of "simple" components. The closer a device lives to Moore's Law, the more design intelligence should be invested in having it auto-explode into Viridian "planned evanescence."
(((The notion of living in an entire home color-coded for spontaneous disassembly sounds a tad scary. The past and future really would disappear in that environment, and the home-owners would probably find themselves contemplating the children as a marketable collection of valuable medical spare parts.
(((As a futurist, I find myself increasingly confronting the phenomenon of the future vanishing into the present. Wild speculations of mine are constantly popping up as actual physical objects. But it can be a useful sensibility, not at all "destabilizing." I can live with this quite happily, once I fully realize that the future is already here == it just isn't well distributed yet. As a futurist, I don't have to deal with any absolute, Cartesian future == I merely need to be somewhat ahead of my own audience.
(((At the moment, with a mad travel schedule, solar panels sprouting on my roof, and a French TV crew in the house, in the wise words of the proverb, "I have so much to do that I am going to bed." Viridian Inactivism definitely has its merits. While we're renouncing everything harried and frenetic, how about a soothing glass of Fetzer wine? California, here I come!)))
CALIFORNIA WINERY TO BUY ALL-GREEN ENERGY One of the largest wine makers in the United States has decided to run all its operations from electricity that is generated by renewable energy. Fetzer Vineyards in Hopland is the first wine producer in the world to purchase 100% of its power from green energy. It will purchase five million kWh a year under a long-term contract with PG&E Energy Services, the retail unit of the utility PG&E. Fetzer is the sixth largest wine maker in the U.S. and its Hopland winery is the largest wine production facility in Mendocino County. It bottles 3.5 million cases of wine a year.