True Roots #2


At first glance, the previous post about bioswitches and amplification may not seem all that relevant to local craft beer, film making, or a crowd source funding campaigns.  But I see similar patterns and mechanisms at almost every aspect of current expansion of the local/craft brewing sector.  Perhaps a few examples will help to clarify.

Most, if not all, of the brewers that I spoke with while making Crafted to Last started by brewing at home.  Prior to the reform of beer distribution laws, it was more difficult for a home brewer to grow their endeavor into a viable small business.  Changing the laws in ways that smoothed the paths from home brewing to commercial brewing amplified the number of breweries in Minnesota.  There are many ways to describe this expansion, but I see it as a form of bioswitching that works at the social, cultural level.

Reform of the distribution laws created a pathway, but to make it work – to flip the switch – requires fuel.  In a capitalist system, fuel is money.  At the cellular level, bioswitches are built from nutrient cycles that couple the energy released by breaking down fuel molecules to the building up of molecules and cellular structures.  One of the main aspects of the Surly Law was to allow a brewery to sell beer directly to their customers in a tap room. That is, it created an economic cycle where cash could more effectively flow from the community of beer drinkers to the local breweries.  So not only does the expansion of craft brewing look like an amplifying bioswitch, it is also built on feed-back loops and cycles – just like bioswitches.

Bioswitches were first described in relation to the cell cycle.  The simplest description of cell cycle is the switching of a cell between growth and maintenance.  In the context of the living being within which the cells exist, the balance between growth and sustaining requires connection to other cells and other organs.  When your liver grows, it will stimulate the expansion of the circulatory system to keep it fed and to carry away the waste products.  Same for the nervous system, its growth goes right along with the expansion of the liver.  Same for the growing craft brewing sector in Minnesota.  It has not grown in isolation and because local brewing has stimulated the growth of other local businesses it is a sustainable form of economic expansion.  These businesses help the brewery clear away waste – primarily spent grains – and supply the raw materials needed to make and sell beer.  Farmers, advertising agencies, musicians, and independent film makers have all been stimulated by the expansion of craft brewing in Minnesota. That is a healthy and sustainable way to grow and it is based on the cycling of cash and cultural switching mechanisms.

Considering the Campaign for Music from this perspective, it is clear that it is designed as a cash cycle that couples the growth of the craft brewing community to stimulation of the local music community.  At the root the Campaign for Music is a cultural amplifier because it couples my effort in making the film with the interest and money of the beer community to create public events and benefit local musicians.


I built the switch and made the documentary.  Its up to each of you to flip the switch by contributing a few bucks to the Campaign for Music. Please. Do it today.



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