Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 08/14/2009 - 17:19.


Jack Ricchiuto is one of the cognoscenti in NEO.   I always soaked up his presentations at REI.
So when I saw that George Nemeth on Brewed Fresh Daily had appreciatively linked out to Mr. Ricchiuto’s Zenext blog on “how many lawn mowers does a neighborhood need” I went over to learn.
And I posted a response (copied at bottom way down below) on the Zen server.
Then I started to think about the bigger picture, as we all do as we drive, take a shower, or suffer from insomnia.
Jack has a very pristine web site.  Everything in place. Neat and Nice.  I like it. ZEN minimalism.  (I believe at one point George N revamped BFD with Zen philosophy in mind.)
And I thought about Realneo - I thought about the contrast between Realneo and Zenext.
Realneo =
 Mayhem.   Stuff from left field, flamewars, space,  or beyond.  Realneo. Where all the crazies post.
Realneo has had users writing in to say they were leaving (FOREVER!) because their coffee wasn’t served at the right temperature. Many respectable Clevelander’s (I sensed) were mortified to put their real names on the site.  How would I really know thought?, they used aliases.
And then  it dawned on me. 
Jack’s web site is exactly like the neighborhood which doesn’t share lawnmowers or toilet plungers.  
No Rhizoming action.
Realneo, on the other hand, suffers from the (mild) abuse often encountered in  lending and loaning out  tools- because Realneo is a (somewhat dull, perhaps) tool, one which anyone in the community can use.  And some of those who choose to use Realneo may not be able, or willing, or cognizant enough, or socially adept enought,  to return Realneo in the same condition in which they borrowed Realneo.
Nonetheless, for five years Realneo has been offering itself to the community (props to Norm Roulet for the genius to establish Realneo, and thanks to all the many,  many dedicated people who have helped Realneo survive) – to anyone – to mow their lawn, learn about ways to mow your lawn,  or to mow  your councilman down to size.  Realneo is here to plunge any public toilet.   Day or Night.  247365
So Jack:
Your lawnmower/neighborhood analogy has helped me realize that Realneo is the ZEN neighborhood lawnmower/plunger
Realneo gets a lot of abuse. The blades aren’t as sharp as they would be if Realneo were just cared for by one mechanic – cuz the Realneo mower chops a lot of rocks as it mows.
And when some in our community borrow Realneo, it is returned, perhaps, a little worse for wear. 
Realneo is searching for an ideal.  Exposing itself to the rough and tumble of the marketplace and the library/equipment rental-loaning business. Looking for   Feng Sui  Testing itself.
Thanks for helping me see this!
Best, jeffb

Following is a copy of my response to Jack on Zenext:


Hello Jack,
On loaning/sharing tools, etc…
Just last week-end at a wedding I saw Charlie, the guy who I loaned (2) 25 ton Simplex house jacks to about 15 years ago. We laughed. Charlie said he still had the jacks and would get them back to me. I laughed.
Then there is the lawnmower. I did loan that to a neighbor a few times last month. The neighbor’s mower was broken and in the shop. The neighbor only lived a few houses away – so when they were using the mower I could hear the mower cutting rocks – or was it striking the concrete street curb? - in their yard. They brought the borrowed mower right back after they used it. Out of gas with the cutting height adjustment changed. Did they check the crankcase oil level? What do you think, Jack, if their’s was in the shop already?
It seems it should be simple to share common implements/tools with the neighbor’s around the block, but it isn’t easy without everyone having a healthy sense of responsibility to the tools and the others in the group.
I loaned my skill saw out, and how many of the 18 carbide tips were still on the blade when it came back? Easy to cut nails with carbide teeth. For a while anyway.
Something as simple as a wheelbarrow, with only one moving part (the wheel) is easy to screw up. That happened to me. The borrower was doing an interior house demo. Tearing down the lathe and plaster. The wheelbarrow was used to run the plaster out a big window and into a dumpster. But they ran the pneumatic tire over the lathe nails too.
They kept filling the tire (I imagine) because after they brought it right back the next week the tire was totally flat the next day.
Thank you very much.
One moving part and they still screwed up the tool.
I have dozens more war stories about tools.
I keep trying but I think rhizomic connections via tools are difficult.
best, jeffb


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