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[Cob] Re. Howard's Rant, Damon's Rant, My Rant

Marilyn Pratt marilyn.pratt at
Wed Dec 31 12:40:56 CST 2008

Damon, Howard -

This and pharmaceuticals share the same problem.

My natural "bent" is for government to stay out of my business and let me do what I want to do.  But one form of that ("small government") is letting private entities control research and development of things like materials for building, and medicines.

If corporations do the research as private enterprises, they must be compensated in some way - it does cost!  So they need to "invent" something that is unique, thus is patentable.  For medicines, this means altering the chemical structure of something that is inherently good and natural to be unnatural, thus patentable, plus trying to change the laws so "natural" medications are made illegal.  For building  materials, they may or  may not end up with something actually patentable but it will be something the common man cannot easily reproduce.

So, how to change things so that natural medications are understood and available to everyone, and natural land management techniques and natural building techniques are well-understood and available to everyone?

The only things I'm coming up with are what we are doing here - upswelling from the masses, via the web and personal/individual forays into the media, trying to each educate our neighbors as well as local and state governments, ... and/or working with our national and state governments to fund research in the universities.  Group funding of research, with the results freely available to all citizens of the world, so viable treatments are understood, and structures that can withstand the elements and truly shelter the occupants be reliably built.

Any other ideas?

marilyn p.

----- Original Message ----
From: Damon Howell <dhowell at>
To: coblist at
Sent: Wednesday, December 31, 2008 8:40:52 AM
Subject: [Cob] Re. Howard's Rant

    What a keen observation you've made about the press. ...  remember the earthquake  
test in Vancouver on a cob building recently? It did extremely well.  
The man doing the test said the chances of a quake of that magnitude  
hitting Vancouver was nearly none. SO WHY HASN'T THOSE TEST RESULTS  
cob? The test results must have been filed away never to be seen  
again. We cobbers want that "proof" in our hands but we can't get it!  
The fact that anyone who wants to build a cob home has to do it under  
the radar is absurd! The results are in, but they're scattered all  
over and need to be compiled and handed out.

Unfortunately in this case, as of now, I am one of those people wanting someone else (those  
with the authority) to the leg work for me. 

I have articles and specs  on other building materials similar to cob, but no cob because it  
can't be found. Yeah, sorry, now I'm ranting too! But it's for the  best I think.


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