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Wombling

In the 1970's, there was created a tv programme about some creatures (the Wombles) who lived on Wimbledon Common, collecting the stuff that ordinary people had thrown away, and putting it to good use to improve their quality of life.

The way that they did this was to use an engineering standard for what needed to be used to create or fix an item, rather than using the narrower idea of what the proper thing is to repair it (as described so well in the book " Zen and the art of Motorcycle Maintenance").

Mages also have to be very good at this art, to ensure their prosperity, and sometimes their survival. It is the art of having a good enough engineering knowledge of your technology, and materials, that you can take things that most people would not even consider using, and put them together to get a functional piece of technology, that is good enough to do the job that it is required to do, for as long as it is required to do it.

In fiction, there are quite a few examples of individuals and groups of people who would qualify as "Wombles" in this sense, including MacGyver, Starfleet engineers in Star Trek, and the class of people qualified as "joat's (jack of all trades)" in Anne McCaffrey's Doona novels, and plenty of others.

Xyroth Enterprises are currently doing research into how to get a good grounding in the practical methodology and applications of wombling.