Ghandian Engineering

by Handsome Matt


“When you wish to achieve results that have not been achieved before, it is an unwise fancy to think that they can be achieved by using methods that have been used before”

Sir Francis Bacon.


There’s a move to restore Detroit. I have friends from Detroit, and I love the tenacity of much of the city’s denizens. However, we can not restore Detroit to it’s hey day. The golden years of the automobile have passed on. What we can and should do: is to rebuild Detroit. Remove what is no longer used, what no longer works, what is no longer relevant; and rebuild.

Compare Akron to Toledo. Toledo is stuck, trying to restore itself. Akron is seeking to rebuild itself.

What does this mean for the environment, for sustainability? Our current society and culture is no longer feasible. We have two paths to choose from. One will lead to the downfall of America, the other towards a new America.

We are the land of change. Every new generation has left its mark, for good or bad. But we’re at the crux of our society. And the decision before us is not “save the planet or not” it is “do we continue to exist or not.” Will we continue to be relevant, or will we slide like every other great nation, empire, city-state that has come before us?

What the sustainability movement is about, is a better way of doing things. Getting more, from less, for more people. Why aren’t we doing this?

Cost? Costs have risen every year. We might as well derive some benefit from higher costs.

Jobs? Jobs are cut and lost every year. Look at Detroit to see that.

Will it work? When US scientists set off the first atomic bomb, there was a real belief that it would trigger a chain reaction that would ignite the whole planet. Decisions are made, and put into effect without knowing the full consequences every day.

Is it entirely true? Nothing is entirely true, nor can anything be verified beyond all doubt. Define and measure gravity. We know it exists, we know it has to do with mass, but we can’t quite put all the pieces together. Try and prove evolution. Try and prove almost any scientific theory widely believed to be “true.” It’s almost impossible. We operate on partial information every day, and we’ve done incredibly well for ourselves over the thousands of years that humanity has been in existence.

It is time for us to clean house. To sweep out the old, and attempt the new. The old ways of doing things were wonderful, and marvelous, and should be retired with reverence and respect (mostly). However, it is time to implement the next phase in humanity.