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sustainability

Biophilic: (of, or under the spell of biophilia); a love of living systems and natural forms. Generally cited as first used by German philosopher Eric Fromm as the “attraction to life, and all that is vital.” Later developed by evolutionary psychologist E.O Wilson to describe an in-built need across living systems to associate and surround oneself with other other forms of life. A beautiful reading of the above has inspired permaculturists, eco-architecture, and sustainable design (as opposed to functionalistic modernism).

(Another thanks to my wife and angel of my better brain for discovering this during her work on sustainable textiles!)

Mudlark: a term used to describe a profession of scavengers, predominantly in London during the Victorian era who would search the river mud at low tide for any items of value.

Grubber: a term for a different type of Victorian London-era scavenger; one who searched the (often open) drain systems for a living.

Tosher: a term from the same era as above, but for those who scavenged the sewers, collecting “tosh” (rubbish); also refers to thieves who dangerously stripped copper from ship’s hulls moored on the Thames.

nb. What I find fascinating about the above is the rediscovery of a scavenging, feral aspect to British society that must have been functionally similar to the slum-occupations of waste-pickers throughout the developing world today. Always a profession for the outcast; in India it is mostly the Dalit’s who occupy these roles, in Latin America these are more predominantly made up of indigenous peoples.

Interesting Others:

“Magsmen” & “Sharpers”: Victorian-era cheats and confidence-men (apparently London was notorious for them).

Cartoneros: A Latin American profession that salvages materials to sell to recycling plants. (Even more interestingly to this writer ~ this is a HUGE small-press publishing movement in Latin America called “Cartonera” which buys cardboard direct from the cartoneros and remakes them into indy books! How cool is that?)

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