daily ad

Monday, January 25, 2016

ratchet tech 1 of 2


RATCHET TECH

A ratchet is a bar or wheel with slanted teeth that allows a bolt to fall into in one direction only.  You are not allowed to fall backwards.  Ratchet Technology, according to Frank Landis of “Hot Earth Dreams” ( where I encountered the term.  I don’t know if this was original with him-and darn fine book, by the way.  I’m no fan of Gore Warming but his systems analysis made his $20 book a bargain ), is technology that is such an improvement that there is no need to use its predecessor, nor is it lost in a collapse.  His primary example is iron technology.  Bronze is superior to copper as the addition of tin makes it a better metal.  Tin is scattered in its locations.  To make bronze, vast trading networks needed to be maintained ( or in the case of the Romans, occupation and transport networks.  Britain was no easier than north of the Rhine to hold but the island had tin.  As India was to Britain, Britain was to Rome ).  Iron is superior to bronze, with the added bonus it is much more abundant, everywhere, and with the extra added bonus of doing away with that pesky tin problem ( with less strategic risk that trade brings ).  Who wouldn’t want iron over bronze, right?  Well, of course iron was a lot harder to work which was why it was never used instead of bronze in the first place.  It took quite some time before the technique was perfected, even with intense economic and strategic motivation ( kind of like how it took so long for our owners to discover the perfect President was a foreign Muslim homosexual-perfect malleable clay to be directed at will with little fear of that house negro getting uppity ).

*

But once iron working was figured out ( Frank speculates that once that happened it could have been a cause contributing to the collapse at the end of the Bronze Age as all those intricate trade networks were no longer needed ), it was the New Normal.  Iron was too superior to NOT have, a military necessity if nothing else.  In a energy shortage, far less iron might be smelted but it was still nonetheless iron rather than bronze that was utilized.  Iron is a ratchet technology.  Once perfected in technique,  you don’t go back to the old ways because they are plainly inferior.  You have no reason to go lower tech.  It is like a boat design.  Once one proves its usefulness,  you don’t go back to an earlier model that was clearly its inferior.  Material availability might force you to improvise, such as foregoing fiberglass and using wood instead, but the newer design is still used.  His whole point was that Cyclic Thinking is a trap.  A Ratchet is the best analogy. 

*

Another wonderful example given was that of a rocket stove.  Or even a solar oven.  Both are easier and cheaper to construct than their hundred year old predecessor, the pot bellied cast iron stove.  Who would go back to a potbelly, assuming you needed to construct one rather than if you already owned one, when, with a few clay bricks and some clay mixed with hay, you had a far more efficient stove?  The whole point of the rocket stove was to drastically reduce the amount of wood poor dudes were stripping from the rain soaked hillsides.  It sips wood rather than voraciously consuming it.  A rocket stove is everyone’s friend.  Cast iron is wonderful for heating, but no longer needed.  How much wood would you like to waste on an inefficient technology once your chainsaw is out of fuel ( the rocket stove was designed for cooking, originally.  You will find designs for a heating rocket stove, however.  I strongly suggest you avail yourself ).  More Next Article.

END

Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page.  IF YOU DON’T SEE THE AD, DISABLE AD BLOCK ( go to the Ad Blocker while on my page and scroll down the menu to “disable this site” ). You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  For those that can’t get the ads because they are blocked by your software, just PayPal me occasionally or buy me something from my Amazon Wish List once a year. Or, buy the monthly magazine.  Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for mere Book Money, so do your part.

*  My monthly newsletter: search at Amazon under Kindle “Malthusian Survivalist Newsletter”.  * 
*Contact Information*  Links To Other Blogs *  Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com
*Link To All My Published Books
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there

10 comments:

  1. Good reminder about the rocket stove.
    I bought some stuff through your amazon link. Hope it helps some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Of course it helps. Thank you! I'll be including a note soon on last years break down for my writing income. Give you an idea how helpful all those Amazon purchases are.

      Delete
  2. I agree that 'Ratchet' technology exists, however what exactly is ratchet technology remains to be seen, we have been on an upward tech trend for quite a while now. Perishable limited resources such as petroleum may go away but internal combustion engines may live on burning alcohol, vegetable oil, or wood gas.
    On the other hand it could be that certain technologies that seem simple actually rely on supplies of items that wont survive the collapse - example standard batteries require a whole complex industrial infrastructure behind them and have definite lifespan, possibly causing solar PV power to become near useless for most.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I imagine we will have one generation, perhaps two, where solar PV can be used during the day for something. Then, goodbye.

      Delete
    2. Storage medium and preservation/creation of the PV panels are the two bottle necks with solar PV. Glass (larger clearer) is the only real bottle neck for solar heating tech.
      Canning with glass or clay jars and waxed metal or clay lids will probably continue, but pressure canning is questionable (a pressure caner can become a bomb if not properly maintained it is simple but precise mechanisms involved in keeping it safe.).
      I think there are a number of things that were developed in the beginning of the industrial age that will survive the end of the petroleum age. Electricity will probably do so, but will be much rarer and far more expensive in every sense.
      But we are all just guessing, the exact black swans involved and scale of the die back will make a huge impact.
      I also expect that the development of the printing press will allow for a lot more raw knowledge to come through the collapse.

      Delete
    3. Printing press knowledge dissemination assumes the presence of trade. I fear not.

      Delete
  3. "Once one proves its usefulness,  you don’t go back to an earlier model that was clearly its inferior. "


    I think that in many instances James, the collapse will not allow for ratchet tech. As I read through your post, immediately a few examples sprang to mind. The post collapse boat would likely be no better than an over glorified raft. And it's far easier for those non-native Americans among us to produce a longbow over a recurve, but I do get the gist of what you're saying.


    Speaking of gore warming, isn't this the year that forest gore, supreme genius, and inventor of this wonderful medium that allows for such communication with our fair haired one, declared that there would be no more winter snow ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When I watched Gores movie in, what, about 2005, I was so livid with hate and discontent I missed a lot of details. Does it count as almost rain if it is a really wet snow? We've had a lot more of that than normal.

      Delete
    2. Yeah, I always suspected Forest Gore of missing a few chromosomes James, but during the 2000 presidential debates when he got up from his podium and walked over toward the other mental giant, the shrub, as if he were going to kick his ass, he simply became an over the top parody of himself from then on. No wonder Tipper (who was actually pretty hot for an older broad) left his stupid ass. I certainly couldn't see fit to spend one penny on his production as I pictured him spewing carbon about in his custom 747 in his travels to bang on about the perils of “man made” global warming, only to return to his million square foot mansion with a carbon footprint the size of Rosie O'Dumbbell's ass.

      Here in the PRK, we've had a ton of rain in the lowlands, and snow in the Sierra's this year. Can't say it will be enough to restore us back to normal or not?

      Delete
    3. Since politics is now just kabuki theatre, all we are asking for is better actors. Can't even get that now. Made In USA quality, again.

      Delete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.