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Joshua Myrvaagnes

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since Mar 20, 2014
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Connected or reconnected. Fit with the right cycles and in the right season. Nourished and nurtured with natural energy. Aware of place and part.
Student of nature's intelligence and permaculture, want to live in community, teach human movement with my hands, in light of F. M. Alexander's discoveries.
Ask me about drL, the rotational-mob-grazing format for human interactions.
Massachusetts, 5a, flat 4 acres; 40" year-round fairly even
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Recent posts by Joshua Myrvaagnes

I just watched the videos of Paul's pebble style heaters, those are really pretty.  It might be nice to have one where you get to see it without the drying rack on it too, but it's good enough to look homey for now.  

What might make it go viral?  are cute cats the secret to internet contagion?  

A code-passing and pretty rocket mass heater would be another notch of progress for things.  I am really close, but have a technicality to finish up still.

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Another thought--a video of operation of one of the more aesthetic rocket mass heaters, with cute cats?


Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:==========================================================================================
                      You are cordially invited to


                       -- Wood Mass Heater Day --

[First Saturday in October]
at [host's address here]

Hello Neighbor,

Come visit a wood mass heater in your neighborhood.  You'll get to experience the warmth yourself, learn about codes, insurance, safety, and aesethic and cost considerations, and the impact you can have on your children and children's lives.  

Refreshments will be served.

=============================================================================================================================


This plus up-to-date info on codes and insurance policies and safety talking points, with demo of the RMH in operation.

--

I just discussed this idea on the phone with the folks at the Liberator company and they said they'll look into it, take a look at their market data/sale data I guess.  We'll see.


But people who have a code-approved masonry heater, RMH, or anything at all that is substantively more efficient than a wood stove would be welcome to participate.

If yours isn't code-approved and you're situated such that you don't have to meet codes, that is also fine.  (Actually, I can't stop anyone from holding a Wood Mass Heater Day event, it's not copyright).

I think this would go a long way toward the next leg of progress, and consolidate progress already made effectively.



1 week ago
Another thought--a video of operation of one of the more aesthetic rocket mass heaters, with cute cats?


Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:==========================================================================================
                      You are cordially invited to


                       -- Wood Mass Heater Day --

[First Saturday in October]
at [host's address here]

Hello Neighbor,

Come visit a wood mass heater in your neighborhood.  You'll get to experience the warmth yourself, learn about codes, insurance, safety, and aesethic and cost considerations, and the impact you can have on your children and children's lives.  

Refreshments will be served.

=============================================================================================================================


This plus up-to-date info on codes and insurance policies and safety talking points, with demo of the RMH in operation.

--

I just discussed this idea on the phone with the folks at the Liberator company and they said they'll look into it, take a look at their market data/sale data I guess.  We'll see.


But people who have a code-approved masonry heater, RMH, or anything at all that is substantively more efficient than a wood stove would be welcome to participate.

If yours isn't code-approved and you're situated such that you don't have to meet codes, that is also fine.  (Actually, I can't stop anyone from holding a Wood Mass Heater Day event, it's not copyright).

I think this would go a long way toward the next leg of progress, and consolidate progress already made effectively.



1 week ago
==========================================================================================
                      You are cordially invited to


                       -- Wood Mass Heater Day --

[First Saturday in October]
at [host's address here]

Hello Neighbor,

Come visit a wood mass heater in your neighborhood.  You'll get to experience the warmth yourself, learn about codes, insurance, safety, and aesethic and cost considerations, and the impact you can have on your children and children's lives.  

Refreshments will be served.

=============================================================================================================================


This plus up-to-date info on codes and insurance policies and safety talking points, with demo of the RMH in operation.

--

I just discussed this idea on the phone with the folks at the Liberator company and they said they'll look into it, take a look at their market data/sale data I guess.  We'll see.


But people who have a code-approved masonry heater, RMH, or anything at all that is substantively more efficient than a wood stove would be welcome to participate.

If yours isn't code-approved and you're situated such that you don't have to meet codes, that is also fine.  (Actually, I can't stop anyone from holding a Wood Mass Heater Day event, it's not copyright).

I think this would go a long way toward the next leg of progress, and consolidate progress already made effectively.



1 week ago
Definitely does not help convince one's wife to get a rocket mass heater.

But well executed.

I'm just gonna have one more look.

Jeremy VanGelder wrote:

Abe Coley wrote:Second idea: After watching a few episodes of the TV show "Nathan For You", my gut instinct tells me that you'd gain a lot of marketing mileage by hiring a busty actress in yoga pants and a skimpy top (or a ripped handsome shirtless dude with six-pack abs) to film a series of informational youtube videos on all the in and outs of RMHs. I've heard through previous discussions that the efficacy of this idea has been borne out by the view count on Paul's RMH video with the thumbnail of Erica Wisner's cleavage.


There is also the less safe for work picture of the RMH in Cooper Cabin.

1 week ago

paul wheaton wrote:I think the core of this is that if the general public wanted rocket mass heaters, then all the other stuff would follow.  

So the first step is to get the most basic information to the general public.


A guy once heated his home all winter with nothing but junk mail.


That was more than a decade ago.  I think the equivalent today would include amazon shipping boxes.

But is this the piece we need in order to get into millions of brains?



I'm not sure it is.  It's the thing that appeals to people who are early-adopter types.  

The thing that might be a bigger talking point is:

--safer than a wood stove
--cleaner air emissions than a wood stove (see the UK banning wood stoves in the city limits)
--don't have to feed it at 3 am
--can neutrally or positively affect the resale value of your house
--is legal to code in numerous places
--is insured by numerous insurance underwriters
--is UL-listed in one example (and other builds may be even safer)
--is basically the same as a masonry heater, which has a long safety and legal track record and aesthetic appeal, but can be much less expensive to build and more efficient than many masonry heaters

Then, for some point down the road, the junkmail story would be important, but no, I don't think it is the most important.

I wish it were the most important, I want it to be, but the reality is that it is not.  For the majority of people, it is not the deciding factor.  

I could be wrong.

Again, it would help to have some actual market research statistics.

What we have instead are a few anecdotes--"I want one but ___" plus some data on the number of people who've quietly built one under the radar, which data I haven't seen myself but I find it plausible, you know more on that than I do, plus logic (which, again, only does so much).  

What market research would be relevant in parallel success stories from the past?  Hard to say.  Things people have purchased for a few thousand dollars? things people have built themselves at home to improve the resell value of their house? things they have rigged up that have been risky but got them through a disaster scenario?  I'm not sure.  What are some early-adopter-late-adopter examples and what was the structure of the change?  It's not just a number, it also has information flows and patterns of movement and counter movement.  Knowing something more about this could crack the code.

Of course, I wouldn't say to limit the approach by what the market data says.

I'm hearing that your main desire here is to influence the public conversation around this issue, so that the pubic influences code people and insurance people, etc., but I'm not sure that is how things really change.  It might be, but it might be one-on-one conversations, directly sitting one's but on a warm bench, luck...

Influencing public conversation may still be worth it for some reasons, but who within the public specifically would you want to be influencing?  celebrities?  politicians? everyday folks going viral on social media? people desperate enough to try anything?  maybe paint a more specific picture of what you have in mind in your fantasy best-case version of events.
1 week ago
Back in the winter when I was trying to sell my landlord on a Liberator, he said “oh yeah, like in the 70’s when everyone got a wood stove”. The Liberators have been sold out for months in advance.  It is catching on, in a way, maybe with a mass or maybe without.  

With huge respect to the Liberator folks, it isn’t as strong a heater as a full-on traditional rocket mass heater.  But the change is happening and people are being proactive.  So maybe now Sky will be able to afford the time to upgrade the Liberator, maybe more people will put in a mass, etc.

I think the aesthetics of making a more beautiful, fair, clean world are a strong inspiration too.


Beau Davidson wrote:



And most people don't want to build their own nuclear reactor either - but that nuclear reactor stuff is taking up about a thousand times more brain space than rocket mass heaters.



Nuclear also has more than 1000x more money behind it than RMH.  marketing, lobbying, propaganda.  Yet most people don't sit around thinking about nuclear power - they sit around taking cheap heat for granted.  

But that is currently changing.  I think RMH has an emergent advantage in the midst of crisis. People are making space for alternatives where the status quo is failing.

So we've kinda arrive at a confluence of:
1) educate the commercial designers and builders to create supply and knowledge
and
2) educate the masses to create demand

But how do we do that more, better, or different than Paul has been for the last 13 years.

Write RMH into a blockboster film?  Write pop music about being toasty warm on the freaky cheap?  

1 week ago
Very apt.

Can you clarify what's in the "chasm"?  I see a shark...and not a tiny one.  But I'm assuming there's something that does get across that chasm, and some clarity about what's actually going on there?  

Henk Lenting wrote:Seems to me that you need to apply some "diffusion of innovation" theory, where each fase needs specific kinds of communication


(Not my picture)

Most information out there now is aimed at the very first and maybe the second fase of innovation. You'll never reach masses with only communications like that.

1 week ago
Also, a marketing survey would be a good tool, for the people who have actually built a RMH:

--how long have you had it?
--how much has it cost you per year?
--why did you go ahead and do it rather than merely thinking and reading/waiting for it to be more widely adopted first?
--how did you pay for it/scavenge parts/get materials you needed?
--how did you ensure it was safe?
--how did you get past any legal or insurance hurdles?
--(how many people have you managed to join to the hoard of RMH owners since building yours?)
--...

It would have to be an anonymous survey, I believe.  And people would have to have a fairly good level of trust that it is anonymous.

This would give more real information than logic alone, though logic gets some way toward clarifying the way forward.
1 week ago
I think it's about focusing on the people who will learn about it and take action straight away, and then work backwards from there.  

This person is
--somewhat of a DIY-er, but maybe they'll hire some help for the building to make sure it gets made safely
   --(who can they hire? we don't yet have an army of clones of Uncle Mud, Erica and Ernie, Matt, Sky, or Peter.) (That I know of from this forum.  Maybe there's another forum where they do know how to make clones asking themselves how they can get the word out to more people, who knows).
--has the money to invest in the project, and the time, but not enough to pay for oil heat all winter long
--lives in a cold climate area (obvious one, but let's remember to spell out the obvious too)
--has minimal building code obstacles/insurance obstacles/or maybe it is a matter of being technically illegal on the books but the agreement in their area is that as long as it isn't harming anyone else, it's fine.
--is a proactive person; they will take action when they get good information, even if it's not a sure thing until they've experienced it and lived with it themselves.  So, not too risk-averse
--but also cautious enough they wouldn't just throw togethers something really flaming-heap-of-death, as unfortunately some people have done in my town here in the past, I am told
          --would take the time to read a bit
--open to learning about new-ish ideas, even if "everyone knows you can't build an airplane that can fly"
--open to taking _action_ on the new idea even if all their neighbors are going to say snide things about them maybe (I'm thinking of the farmer that Sepp Holzer met who was losing money each year, but wouldn't change what he did because all the other farmers did it that same way)

I'm not a typical example.  For me, it was a matter of ethics.  I couldn't live with myself if I didn't keep making forward progress on reducing my carbon emissions, which I have reasonable concern are an act of harm to humans and other life.

For other people, it could be the savings of money.

I have told people about my RMH in the neighborhood but so far people have not taken action.  They have started talking about heat pumps.  In Massachusetts the heat pump seems to be the most tempting solution.  And it has some advantages for insurance and code purposes and utility (thermostatically controlled, also cools in summer).  But, as the guy who was giving an estimate on it for us said, "Hold onto your fossil fuels. In the winter here you'll need them."  And he pointed out that it takes 3 weeks to get one repaired if it breaks, whereas everyone and their cousin can repair an oil burner that same day.

Again, start from the end result of "person actually built a RMH and uses it" and work backwards.  

Dare I say a targeted adword campaign that involves some of that data aggregation stuff that supposedly can tell more about people's personalities than they themselves know...?  

Or a more structured in form informational presentation (structured in the ways that direct sales marketing works, tupperware parties, etc.)

Lastly, it may  be helpful to normalize this by making it sound boring.  A professor at my school once said that professors could evade opposition by making their lecture titles sound boring, so the administration wouldn't hassle them.  But they could then be subversive and make change.  For example, instead of "heat your home with 1/10th the wood" you could say "a wood stove uses 10 times the wood of a modern, efficient woodburning appliance, as well as causing other environmental problems and costing the user more."
--
The other pain point Chris Mud had pointed out was that you have to refill your wood stove at 3 am.
--
One last point on "working backwards from the person who's going to take action"--it's a matter of who will do it, not who needs it the most.  It's tempting ot see a person complaining or suffering from the $1000-a-month oil bill and think, Logic! you NEED a rocket mass heater!  But logic does not make the world go round.  Emotion does.  Who is the person who will actually build a RMH?  Might not be the person whose economic self-interest is most served.  Might be the person who needs it the least, in fact, the person who already was keeping their thermostat at -40 degrees (or, as they call it in Winnipeg, room temperature), and already has a pretty efficient wood stove and already has large cauldrons of water sitting on top of the stove and around it.  Working backwards means starting from who's actually interested, not who should be interested.  
1 week ago

Edward Norton wrote:I’m in Mid Hudson, NY, close enough to NYC that land prices are crazy high. (When I look on Zillow the price for an acre without a house isn’t much different from an acre with a house.).

Is there land available that can’t be built on and therefore cheaper? If so, how do I find the listings? Searching just brings up Zillow etc or place called Forest VA or Woodlands CA etc.

Do people rent woodland? What I’d really like is a woodland I can manage, harvest lumber, grow mushrooms . . .etc. (This is a total pipe dream)


I would write a generic business plan, just half a page, and split profits with someone.  In my real estate search I found many people hold onto woods for decades, partly for privacy and quiet, partly for conservation, partly for investment, partly because they can’t agree as a family what to do with it.  

If you want to discuss on the phone I’m heading out for a chore and I’ll purple mooseage my number.
1 week ago