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Tequila_Wolf OP wrote (edited )

Some speculative critical thoughts from someone who doesn't actually know the details beyond the little said here:

Why is this supposed to be a good thing?

The world bank headed this up. One thing they seem to try to do is to create markets. Like when they talk about how many people live beyond the poverty line but it's really code for how many people live outside of capitalism.

Like a mythical drug dealer, only the first hit will be free. Repairs and new systems will not.

These nomads who have lived a specific way for generations will now lose those as they become dependent on this way of living and their old ones start to fade from memory.

Where they were totally independent people, they will become dependent on electricity and be forced to participate in a system they did not need or desire before.

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ziq wrote (edited )

It's really no different than colonizers giving native peoples clothes to "cover your shame" or agricultural tools to get them to farm so they can monetize their labor. Once you have electricity and the distractions that come with it, nomadic life will likely slip away.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

I think it is great that people who otherwise would not have access to electric energy can now utilize the abundance that exists around us, ambient and inert, without resorting to fossil fuels of convenience. I am sure that this makes it easier for people to remain in communication with others digitally, cook food, and enjoy music, among other things that residents of colonizer countries have taken for granted for generations

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ziq wrote (edited )

I doubt they can use them to cook food, you'd need a lot more than 2 panels for that. If each panel is 100 watts you'd need 12 to use a small pressure cooker. Doesn't seem like they have expensive inverters and batteries. Refrigeration wouldn't work either because they'd only have power while the sun is shining.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

it actually seems that they do have batteries, because the article talks about refrigeration directly. As far as the issues with scaling (for food, etc), it seems very plausible to me that people could connect their panels together? But this article isn't the best source, so we're both kind of just guessing here i suppose

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ziq wrote

I think the article is making false assumptions. A battery needs to be hooked up to an inverter. A set up like that isn't very portable.

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ziq wrote

The batteries weight a ton btw, and you need a lot of them. 6 batteries for 4 panels minimum.

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celebratedrecluse wrote

Yeah, true, for cooking you would need a lot of fucking panels, and it would drain batteries really quickly. However, as far as inverters go, I think there are batteries you can buy online at Amazon or Walmart where the inverter is built in, so you just connect a DC solar panel to the battery, and there are AC ports to plug into. they are also pretty portable and small, although definitely heavy for their size.

I agree, this article is probably not very reliable, and I also agree with tequila & you that there is something critique-able about this technopositive narrative that the author is pushing. However, I also think there are some positive outcomes from this. If not helping people cook, I can see how having access to mobile phones, internet media, and stuff like that would be pretty nice if you're living a nomadic lifestyle. Surely the technology will change things, and there's a colonial lens you can look at this with, but I don't think the changes will be all bad. For example, it will allow people who otherwise would not be in touch with each other due to distance, to contact each other. Not just over random anonymous forums like us rn, but with their friends and family and people they love from real life too. Plus, in moderation, consuming digital media is rather fun in my opinion

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