Paleotechnics Radio Interview with Tamara Wilder

Blog posts will likely be sporadic and few, at least until the busy spring segues into summer.  In the meantime, here is an interview with Tamara on a local radio show, in which she talks about her work and paleotechnics philosophy type stuff

How long does it take?

manson bill

By Steven Edholm

Yay, winter solstice it here!  That means we can all work more as days get longer!  huh?  “That must be a lot of work”.  “How long does that take?”  These are questions we commonly encounter here at Paleotechnics.  They aren’t always irrelevant questions, but they generally hint at something pervasive, and often destructive, in our society.  The answer is never simple.  The truth is that we usually don’t know, and we usually don’t pay much attention.  The society we live in, and the way we do work, are all about quantifying.  If we work longer, we get paid more.  We walk around constantly judging activity and categorizing it.  There is work, and then there is life, and activity is either leisure, or profit motivated.  Working for acquisition of the symbol called money is particularly conducive to fracturing our lives into parts and assigning different types and amounts of value to them.*

But there are other ways to think about the things we do.  My friend and artist/craftsman/doer/maker Scott McGrath had a bumper sticker made once that said “I’D RATHER BE WORKING”.  Almost anyone who has tackled a big project requiring intense concentration, whether it’s a hobby or for money work, knows the feeling of losing perception of time for a while.  I experience that feeling quite a bit.  Whether I’m cracking walnuts, tying sage bundles, or paring artichokes to make canned artichoke hearts, I look up after a while and realize I was in a mode in which time didn’t matter.  As long as you don’t need that time for something else, why keep track at all?  And who cares how long it takes?  But we are conditioned to constantly judge activities and value some over others.  We have come to have a strange relationship with what we call “work” and are also constantly encouraged to relish and enjoy our leisure.  But, if you live passionately and work to get things which are important in your larger scheme done, those lines begin to blur.

There are plenty of jobs I don’t totally relish, but I find that if the things I do are generally in line with my overarching passions, interests and goals, and I’m feeling relatively healthy, then labor is a pleasure.  And that labor of some kind, big or small, is what I want to be doing with most of my time, and what makes me feel good.  Meaningful work is one of the cornerstones of a satisfying existence.

The social and media forces that influence us are very powerful.  I don’t want to minimize them, and I don’t want to ignore the fact that we do what we do largely because of who we are and how and where we find ourselves.  But in a very real way, no one forces you to take a job you don’t like, or live life in a certain way.  You don’t have to live the way other people do, hold their values, or possess the things they possess.  You don’t have to spend your leisure time like other people do.  You don’t have to “relax”, or “party”, or do “nothing” when you are not working.  And you don’t have to divide your life strictly into work and leisure activities.  “Work” is life, just like everything else.  Some of it is enjoyable and some of it isn’t.  But we don’t always necessarily have to judge it and categorize it ahead of our actual experience of it. (more…)

Welcome to the Paleotechnics blog!


Welcome to the Paleotechnics blog.  While this blog springs forth from various motivations, the one thing we would like to be sure of is that you learn something when you visit us here.  What will you learn?  The topics will vary quite a lot, but most will fall in the realm of natural living skills and getting to know the natural world and the articulations of life around us.  A few posts may venture more into theoretical realms and philosophy, but again within the same focus on human participation in nature at a basic level using the simple equation-  Learn stuff > gather stuff > make things > use the things you’ve made = personal empowerment and greater self reliance.  We have well over a hundred potential blog post topics already jotted down.  topics will cover tanning skin, stone working, the nature and potential uses of materials, processing of materials, common mistakes, cordage, fire topics, tips and techniques for various skills, plant profiles, wild foods, photo essays and more.  Our lives are built around gaining and sharing knowledge, so we’re excited to share in this format!

Paleotechnics has always been about de-mystifying and making accessible natural living skills and basic technology.  The business manifested as an outgrowth of this passion and continues to strive to empower people to become less domesticated and more self reliant.

buckskins on woven wall

Posts will likely be infrequent and short to medium in length.  The goal will be to hold subjects to an accessible degree of detail or break them up over more posts.  We plan to write much more extensively on some of these subjects in the future.  If those plans come to fruition, the books will be available as paper and/or ebook versions.

While this is a business, and we do need to make money, we would like to strike a balance between making a living and providing free information for people with the motivation to seek it out and assimilate it.  This blog provides a free service to expand and refine your skill sets.  If you want to know more about a subject consider buying one of our publications or taking a class.  In classes, we aim to be sure that you will not go away disappointed.  Paleotechnics classes are geared toward empowerment through knowledge, and we mean it.  Most of our income goes to purchasing Turkeysong, the experimental paleo/homesteading base camp in the Mountains of Northern California where we have access to space and materials to figure this stuff out.

Please visit us again, and consider subscribing to our blog in the side bar, to receive email notifications of new posts.

buffalo parfleche