Feasta review of Bihouix : a comment

There is a valuable review of Philippe Bihouix; ‘The Age of Low Tech‘ by Mark Garavan https://www.feasta.org/2021/08/12/the-age-of-low-tech-by-philippe-bihouix-review-by-mark-garavan/

My comment posted at Feasta is below. I note the work of Ann Ryan. An introduction was re-posted at Resilience in 2019. https://www.resilience.org/stories/2019-11-04/enough-is-plenty/

Philip Harris

I very much appreciate your review of Professor of Engineering Design Chris McMahon’s translation of Philippe Bihouix. You have drawn my attention to aspects of Philippe’s thought that I had not fully appreciated, even though I have read the book. I particularly appreciate your flagging: “Bihouix favours ‘a scenario of involuntary adaptation, that will be socially painful and will have a profound impact on our societies, but which will be gradual all the same”.
Thanks also for your reference to Ann Ryan’s work.
Both Philippe and Chris continue to push their useful thought further. Chris has drawn attention to continuing assessment of available resources for industrial societies. The work of Julian Allwood is a case in point focussing on the UK https://ukfires.org/professor-julian-allwood/. Engineers it seems need a broad scan of the horizon when they take on major work, although ‘the miners’ have tended to see it as a matter of more mining.
Having said that, it is my experience – I am not an engineer – that especially young people engaged in all modern ‘technical’ jobs and education, are immersed in a world of innovative technological expansion and take for granted this is going to continue for their careers.
I was in a private discussion recently when people who had worked in China or had long had contacts with Chinese education, rather sombrely commented that young people there had been so immersed in the political and cultural environment that they took it for granted. Well … indeed.
A rather neglected and underused website at Ecosophic Isles is due a revamp but the private discussions continue actively enough. We originally got together because we had been following discussions developed round the essays and books of the American writer JM Greer. Although we are inevitably part of the Anglophone world, we guess there are differences this side of the Atlantic and that we have a different legacy and neighbourhood. Some of the work and Bihouix-related comment on industrial resources is available at the site https://ecosophic-isles.org/
best wishes
Phil Harris

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