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Photo courtesy Ikaika Rogerson.
In this issue
We’re thinking globally by acting locally — and individually — in this issue of The Magazine. So many of the billions of people on this planet lack access to basics, like clean water and a reliable source of food. In Tanks for Everything, Lee van der Voo shows us one potential future of greater-than-sustenance farming that combines hydroponics (plants grown in water) with aquaculture (raising marine life for food).
In the right climate — especially ones that are now threatened by rising oceans, which take arable land and can increase the salinity of what remains close to the sea — aquaponics doesn’t require high tech to make it work. With basic, widely available building materials and very little energy input (such as from solar power or batteries), families and communities could produce enough produce and fish to live well and could sell the excess from a beneficial closed system.
With a bit of extra money and relieved of the need to toil endlessly to keep fed, people find time to build upon their lives, and the quality of life for everyone can ratchet up. As Bill Gates wrote in the Gates Foundation’s annual letter, “The belief that the world can’t solve extreme poverty and disease isn’t just mistaken. It is harmful.”
Technology often passes by those who need a leg up to understand it, and one man in Ireland, after finding his own path in life, set out to create a program that would help children learn to code. Ciara Byrne describes in Small Instruction Set how hundreds of local chapters of CoderDojo emphasize mentors helping kids find their own direction.
A Danish man has set out to visit every country in the world. He is Spinning Round and Round, although Kendra Pierre-Louis explains how he got stuck in country #40 on his itinerary, Greenland, for far longer than he had planned. He finds welcome wherever he goes, which buoys him on his trip.
Finally, although New York City had a rich tradition of guitar making, only one craftsman who produces classical guitars remains. Phillip Pantuso plucks at our Heart Strings as he describes the not-fussy work of Matt Rubendall.
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Glenn Fleishman is the editor and publisher of The Magazine, and contributes reguarly to the Economist, Boing Boing, TidBITS, and Macworld. The father of two, Glenn won two episodes of Jeopardy! in 2012, and he won't let you forget it.