I love this man’s can-do, DIY spirit. HIs energy. His drive and determination, no matter what. We need more like him. Unfortunately, so few people today grow up in conditions that allow and encourage them to “do what it takes” — to work, HARD, and imaginatively, building skill-sets in all sorts of unpromising situations, with often, little to show for it, except a lot of experience in what can, and does, go wrong. I’m reminded of the movie “All Is Lost,” which I admired extravagently — until the Hollywood ending.
But even if we don’t grow up knowing how to work hard, we can learn. No excuses. For example, I myself, who realized about six years ago that I needed to learn how to both grow food and start an urban farmstead — and over and over again have had to freshly realize that I am skating a huge learning curve, not mention sometimes exhausting work.
BTW: I’ve now come to the (most likely provisional understanding) that the most important relationships in permaculture are human to human. That unless we have shared values, good communication skills, and sensitivity to each other’s needs, the lack of such will skew even the best of our intentions to cultivate either our soil, or our forming ecovillage.
This New Yorker essay fascinates, all the way through, even though the author, me thinks, doesn’t quite grok what Jakubowsky is up to. How his world-view (which is NOT crazy, even though the author denigrates it as “sci-fi”) informs his relentless drive.
From the author’s description of those who’ve tried to collaborate with him, I doubt I’d like to be around him, or his projects, for very long. Too chaotic an energy field for my taste. He needs taming, gentling, says the female in me. On the other hand, geez, if we could spawn millions more like this one Herculean man — millions more with a big idea, true grit, and an indomitable drive to push through “failure” — it would be way easier to envision ourselves successfully making the Herculean transition from the crumbling post-industrial age to one that energizes self -and-community sufficiency, decentralized everywhere, world-wide.
The author says Jakubowski sometimes includes this great quote from Robert Heinlein as an appendage to his emails:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, coöperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
Here’s a video on his big idea: open-sourced, essential DIY technology for everybody.
Here’s his Ted talk, from 2011.