This is a very personal story, and I share it only because this issue is so personal to me.
A few years ago, I found myself in India with the rare and beautiful opportunity to learn from the poorest of the poor. I was lost and confused in my life, and had no idea where I was going. India seemed like the best place to lose myself. With its complex and beautiful environment of competing landscapes, diets, cultures, castes, languages, colors, flora and fauna, India was a mini-world of sampling waiting to be tasted. Some NGOs saw me wandering around, took a chance (NGOs are desperate like that), and they put me to work immediately. I can't say I did much for anyone but my own self...not intentionally.
During my travels around that year, I was struck by how much of someone's quality of life could be improved by simple advances in technology - lighting, water purification, general health awareness, agriculture, etc. Or technologies that were available in one part of a country (or world) that never made it to other parts. There was a distinct gap in information that desperately needed to be filled.
Since then I've spent a great deal of time studying, developing and implementing different appropriate technologies. My own specialties are in water, sanitation, and energy. But my interests are far wider than that. EVERYTHING is connected. And better engineered and sustainable technologies have long-standing effects on other sectors of a person's life and ultimately society.
Some day, I'd like to start a CNET/digg.com of appropriate technologies from around the world, where people can submit, discuss and grade the different technologies. But until then, I'll do the blog.
I don't know much about a lot of things. But as I learn about things, I'll put them up. But keep me on my toes...kee your comments coming and I'll do my best to keep up.
Thanks for reading.