Hungry Samurai

 I'm preparing for a tough war.
 It will bring us neither money nor fame.
 Want to join?
 ‒ from Seven samurai

Kurosawa's 1954 film Seven Samurai tells the story of an isolated village that is being repeatedly robbed by bandits. If this continues, the village will wither and die as the farmers either starve or have to abandon their land. Knowing that the bandits will return as soon as the next crop is harvested, the farmers are desperate.

The village elder advises them to journey to the city and find samurai who will fight to defend them from the bandits. Since the village lacks money to hire skilled fighters, they ask the old man: "How can we find samurai we can pay with only rice?"

He counsels them to "Find hungry samurai."

Rural villages today find themselves in a similar situation as the cost of non-renewable energy sources drains them of the capital they need to keep their community alive. Year by year, they have to sell off more resources to pay their energy bills, and watch as their young people leave to seek work and income elsewhere. Without some way to reverse this process, rural villages will shutter their windows and die.

  Who must do the hard thing?
    ‒  Those who can.
‒ Sicilian proverb

Lots of people understand that a social order founded on the increasing consumption of non-renewable resources will inevitably crash as those cheap resources become scarce, and an endless series of resource wars squander what is left. Before long the only resources that rural people will be able to depend on is what they can create themselves using sunshine, rain, and air.

There is another way, one that involves the wise stewardship of life and the living, but it will not be easy to find our way there from where we are now. Study and practice are needed since those who want to work effectively with nature have to be able to read the language that nature's stories are written in. They have to prepare themselves in order to see, understand, and work with what is truly there. These are not skills that are learned in a day.

Most college grads aspire to find jobs that will reward them for their educational investment; fair enough. But there are also a precious few who understand that they are stepping onto the world stage at a time when humanity will either change its relationship to nature, or die out.

We're looking for people who are determined to help humanity return to ways that create life instead of seeing their skills used to further a system that's grinding the earth into dust.

We're looking for people who are hungry to fight for life and the living.

This is not an easy undertaking. Untangling the skein of life and then knitting together a new and durable fabric requires patience, focus, and commitment. There's an element of risk and no certainty of success‒only the opportunity to test ourselves against a challenge that is worthy of our best effort.

Open-source research isn't for those who are looking to become rich or powerful; it's for people who feel called to do meaningful work for the common good. In short, we're looking for heroes‒people whose names may not stand out, but who are heroes just the same.

If you want to be such a person, or if you know someone who is, please get in touch with us; our email is

                b2m (at) gorge (dot) net