Readers of the hydroponics article in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 29 will recall Jim DeKorne's praise of a pamphlet entitled Hydroponics!, written by Steve Fox and printed in Albuquerque in 1971. Unfortunately, that booklet proved to be no longer available (as noted in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 31) and attempts to get in touch with its author were fruitless.
Well, we've finally tracked down the elusive Steve Fox (now based in Bel Air, California), and he's not only alive and well but up to his ears in any number of projects . . . all oriented toward the technology of the future. And if you think "technology" is a dirty word, please read on.
By now, some facts are fairly obvious to most of us: Yes, Virginia, there is an energy crisis, and yes, some critical materials are harder to come by than they used to be, and no, the gunk that gushes out of all those smokestacks and discharge pipes really isn't doing much to improve our air, water and overall environmental health. Fine . . . but the question is, how do you react?
For many of MOTHER's readers, the answer is to drop out of the whole filth-spewing, energy-gobbling mess and become a non-consumer as far as possible by returning to the lifestyle of a simpler age. Steve, though, has chosen another way: not withdrawal but involvement, in the hope of guiding today's industries toward a more sophisticated, less destructive technology of the future. In his words "We really have to dispense with all the counterculture rhetoric, as I see it, and integrate our approaches with those of the corporate matrix . . . not just through compensatory and environmental health legislation, but by actually running the corporations ourselves!"
Apparently, Steve means what he says . . . because he's recently entered the field of long-range corporate planning. His firm, 21st Century Technology, offers consultant services — guaranteed — on specific problems or goals (legal questions, multinational expansions, safety engineering, diversification possibilities, you name it). In addition, the new company carries out market research and provides instructional and promotional materials in a variety of media (including in-house short courses — cassette or instructor-taught — in many areas of high-level technology).
A second media service of 21st Century Technology is the preparation of documentary films . . . not surprisingly, since this is a long-term interest of Fox's. He's now distributing a film called The World of Buckminster Fuller and has several more in the works. One he finds especially exciting is a study of L. Ron Hubbard, founder of scientology, which presents Hubbard's teachings not as a religion but as a scientific and technological toolbox.
For companies or individuals whose purposes don't require anything as elaborate and expensive as a film, Steve can work up various alternatives: cassettes, books, graphics, advertising copy, and technical reports. These, too, are outgrowths of ongoing projects. "I've prepared several reports on all phases of alternative energy sources," Fox says, "and offer one — Protecting Domestic Oil Supplies Against Import Denial — that every engineer and oilman and alternative energy thinker in the U.S. should have and use daily." He also rents a series of cassettes in the field of human potential: Explorations in Self-Help.
Sounds like a busy schedule, but the versatile Mr. Fox still has time for a few other doings: computer programming and executive search, the development of a laser surveying device, work on musical scores (with Dan Wyman) and in videotape (with Robert Opel) . . . and on and on. If you're interested in any of Steve's services or projects, you're invited to contact him in Bel Air, California.