Monday, July 28, 2008

I might have a good spot in Polish Hill, but the woman who owns it lives next door to it, and wants it subdivided so she can keep some of the building next door to her. We'll see what it's like. There are two store-fronts so if we can get them both fixed up maybe I can use one, and I can make the other available to be turned into a co-op grocery store (since there are people working on starting one, and it's something that is really needed in polish hill). It looks like my buddy Todd, who is sort of obsessed with cheap real estate is on the team (so to speak). He's going to help me find and assess the prospects of cheap spaces. There are just so many places in Pittsburgh were the property needs you as much as you need it. It almost seems a waist to get a spot that's already in ship-shape condition. Besides, so many places are getting torn down there are plenty of spare parts to fix up whatever you need to, it just takes time and work--like everything.

Every day the population of our city falls. People die, or move, and leave a pile of junk behind. Similarly those still living buy more tin cans and ceramic cats than they could ever really want. Yard sales, then trash bins, are flooded and flooded again. Trash may be our city's (and our nation's for that matter) greatest resource. But it takes creativity to harness that resource. You can't just pour it in your gas tank and go.

This is part of what the cyberpunk apocalypse is about. It's about realizing what kind of world we live in--not to criticize it, but to understand it, and to try and harness its potential. We live in a world where the creative thinking is key. Where there's enough raw material to last a lifetime. The question "how do we make it," has now gained its counterpart, "how do we use it," so that parts are not only built for a machine, but the machine is also built for the part.

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