[ExI] How water bottles create cheap lighting in Philippines

Dan dan_ust at yahoo.com
Thu Sep 22 15:11:11 UTC 2011

Kelly Anderson kellycoinguy at gmail.com wrote:
> 2011/9/21 Dennis May <dennislmay at yahoo.com>:
>> That is just sad.
> A meme that reproduces from 1 to 15,000 in a few months
> is anything but sad.
Depends on the meme, don't you think?
> I would guess that Dennis hasn't spent a lot of time in
> favellas or other shanty towns. Stuart Brand gives a 6
> minute introduction to why squatter cities are vital to the
> future.
> http://www.ted.com/talks/stewart_brand_on_squatter_cities.html
I happen to think many of these spontaneous communities are good examples to study -- as opposed to the kind of top-down organization of centralized urban planning. (Of course, almost all communities combine the two -- usually with the state or elites trying to impose their master plan and failing, and then a few years later a new elite trying to do the same, dictated by whatever's fashionable at the time.)
> I love these people. I have spent time with them, lots of time.
> They are more productive by far than the poor in the United
> States, who mainly sit around waiting for checks to be
> dropped from the magic government blimp...
I don't know if I'd generalize, but this might have to do with there being wealth transfers in the first place. And given some circulation of the poor out of poverty in the States, there are, I hope you'll admit, many exceptions.
> These people are upwardly mobile, and moving fast!!!
> For most of them, life in the squatter city is the very first
> experience with electricity, and perhaps surprisingly television.
> It opens up a whole new world of education and experience
> and opportunity.
I imagine some of the problem here is that few in the West would want to live in one of these places and they are probably making the comparison between life in one of these squatter cities with, say, life in an affluent suburb of, say, London or Boston rather than, say, where the people in the squatter cities came from.
> To be able to read inside during the day would be a great
> blessing to these folks. My only fear is that this will lead to
> more indoor use of charcoal and other cooking fuels,
> which is the biggest health problem faced in squatter
> cities around the world...
Well, sunlight can be used for cooking too, no? Just a matter of innovating around that problem.
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