It just occurred to me that some on this list might be interested in polyethylene bag digesters developed for the Third World. Any takers? I just finished taking an “e-seminar” on the subject.

How many things that have been “developed in First World countries” with Third World countries in mind have actually made it into Third World countries at a profit? Has this ever happened? It would seem to me that making things solely for people who can not make them themselves is a losing proposition. It might be far better to put one’s efforts into making things that are profitable in First World countries first. If the thing is any good at all, then it will be profitable in a First World country. If it were made very cheaply in a First World country first, then it could be imported by the Third World country if they want it. We mustn’t assume that we can invent for the Third World country exactly what they want. And isn’t it rather arrogant to think that only WE can invent for THEM?

I would imagine that most in the Third World countries would view low tech devices flogged by First World countries in only their markets as degrading. They would be inclined not to buy them. And where did this Third World Country phrase come from anyway? That by itself is degrading. I’ve never liked it. And it looks especially bad if you try Second World Country on for size. It’s like a dress on a horse. Something is wrong. You study it for a while and let the horse walk by. It ain’t right. Yes, compassion is a good thing for those who are in less fortunate circumstances, but we can do better than to aim our cheap products at the less fortunate peoples of the world. If we make very good and very cheap ( simple ) products for the prosperous countries, then the less fortunate countries will benefit eventually because the product will be proven and cheap and simple. And there will already be a market behind the product which can support export to other countries with success.

There is little difference between the remote rancher of Montana and the person in the bush as concerns their need for getting mundane tasks done like pumping water off the grid. So design for the Montana rancher and sell to him first, then to the guy in the bush. You will serve humanity a lot better this way in my view.

That’s just the point – PBDs were developed for LOCAL manufacture, deliberately avoiding materials and techniques not available to those who would have to build them. They’ve really caught on in Vietnam, and I plan to push them here (Philippines) as soon as I can get a demo project going at my brother-in-law’s piggery

I’m not planning to sell anything, as there’s nothing really to be manufactured. The bag digester is just that – a long piece of polyethylene tubing (same as sheet stock only not slit on one side to open it up). The rest of the rig is stuff like garden hose, old pop bottles and such. Not too good for Iowa because there’s no provision for heating… Actually, the PBD was first created by (I think) a Dutch NGO in Fiji or some such place, then propagated by example to SEA, where as I mentioned it has really caught on in Vietnam. Several hundred now operating. Also South America.