There is an excellent discussion taking place in the Architectures of Love topic with response and graphic provided by @Gehan and graphic that triggers a thought I have been wrestling with for some time about the relationship of the more chaotic DIY world and the structure and conservative nature of institutions, especially as it relates to care in general and health care specifically.
Because the two need each other. And this, as I see it, is one basis of Edgeryders itself. It could be that increasingly these two poles of human endeavor recognize this fact. At least I hope they do.
OpenCare is built on this premise and so is our MENA YP project. It seems that for years institutions did not recognize serious dependence on the fact that @Alberto describes as “the R&D of society happens at the edges.” But the world is so messed up now and in danger of cooking us all alive while religious militants bomb and shoot each other producing millions of refugees, that such august institutions as the EU and the World Bank admit that they don’t have all the answers and maybe the search for solutions has to include looking into and working with people and activities that they may have once disdained.
And on the other side, fringy people can go along quite merrily without interacting with big institutions. Until they need those resources and services.
This was my experience living in a large intentional community that was amazingly self-sufficient most all of the time, except when it wasn’t. And in the cases where it wasn’t, the need for institutional support was critical to survival itself.
This included everyday stuff like driving on paved roads and even driving at all. For example, cars are not DIY. But where this showed up most critically was in health care.
We at The Farm became famous for midwifery and home birth. Three of my own kids were born at home with Farm midwives - one at the Farm in rural Tennessee and two in big cities. And in each case all went fine. No outside help needed.
But others were not so lucky. Sometimes a child is born with a life-threatening defect. And indeed this happened more than a few times. In those cases one’s pride in going all-DIY went right out the window and the fastest trip possible to the best hospital around was the difference between life and death.
Another time, one of our men was harvesting crops with a thresher/combine and he stuck his long-haired head into the wrong space and the machine ripped his entire scalp off of his head in a matter of seconds. His life was saved only by spending a lot of time at the best intensive care unit in the region. Not long after, another guy was doing tree trimming and he fall out of a tree and would surely have died without the same amount of care. It must be noted that the bills for these and other incidents were so high that they contributed mightily to our overall debt load. We had no medical insurance and I doubt that a policy could have even been obtained for such a large group. (And this of course is in the USA where enough people think “freedom” is partly defined by making sure that there is no universal coverage. This debate of course rages on to this day.)
So whereas we did most everything for ourselves - we never needed tow trucks to get a vehicle unstuck from the mud because there were always enough people around to push it out - at times we relied on the institutions of the “straight world” to bail us out of the worst predicaments.
And I suspect that people in those institutions smugly thought that we hippies lived in some sort of dream world where we could make our alternative life without needing help from the other side.
Certainly in the computer world, large corporations like IBM and HP saw no need at all for a “personal” computer, as one example.
Anyone who thought that misunderstood us. We never set out to dismantle or abandon large institutions. Rather, we wanted them to be there to serve actual needs when they arise but not to waste resources on situations where people could do something for themselves. We saw a kind of harmony possible between the two.
But that harmony can’t happen unless those institutions recognize their need for creative thinking and doing from those parts of society that walk a different path than their own.
Here when we talk about Open Care, refugee care, new ways of providing care, open source medicine (like Open Insulin) and the rest, I see it as similar.
It isn’t one against the other. It is that each needs the other.