What could you do with a chainsaw?

From an amazing story about a woman who moved to a small island off the coast of Finland:

“I had to build a new jetty. I modelled it after others that I had seen. I cut down trees from the forest, and built a chest – a wooden frame – at the end of the jetty, which I filled with stones”, she says on the shore. “It isn’t hard to build a jetty. All you need is a chain saw and a brain.”

Which got me to thinking, what would I be able to reverse-engineer in my mind from memory? Anything? I’m going to try and give myself a quiz, and ask Foe to name 3 things which I then have to sketch the workings of from memory, and perhaps then how I would go about constructing them.

The island-living lady in the story works as a translator over the internet, but it’s not clear as to how much she relies on the net as a source of knowledge to be able to live alone in such a remote place.

I’ve thought before about the web, moblogs and stolen knowledge – collecting your memories of things, proceedures, recipes, constructions through your phone might result in not just a lifeblog, but a life-or-deathblog. Of course, in such situations, it might just be easier to use your mobile phone to give Ray Mears a call…

» Helsinki Sanomat: Living alone on a small island in the Turku archipelago

0 comments
  1. Zoe said:

    Hmmm. This is interesting.

    It makes me think of how we make distinctions between tools and practices. For example, if you look at things like blogs and e-mail as tools for expanding or maintaining social spheres, how can you distinguish between the tool and the practice?

    It doesn’t seem like such a complicated question when you phrase that question in terms of chainsaws – but this example makes me think that maybe it’s still the same – except that the practices chainsaws enable generally have a start and finish and once they’re built, like a jetty, seem to generally are structural and hence fade more into the background, unlike communication.

    But regardless of whether a practice is a finished jetty or a post in a blog – the tool still instantiates the practice, a particular mode of behaving… Just some thoughts.

    I do have a question though – how is stolen knowledge different from tacit knowledge. Is it somehow subversive?

    By the way – great blog! Thanks for posting ur thoughts!

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  3. Frank said:

    I like that story of the woman with the saw it makes you stop and think that all it takes is the right tools and a little willpower and you can do anything.

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