So this is yet another word I have made up.
I hope that the word "permaculture" will collectively stand to mean what *I* think it means. But over and over progress is being impeded by the elements of permaculture that are either not my focus or not part of what I think is permaculture.
For example, consider people that wish to earn an income with permaculture. Once somebody expresses they want to do this, it seems there are others that say "that's not permaculture." I think the second person is wrong, but the fact that the conversation happens makes something which is already difficult even more difficult.
So I want permaculture to stand as what I think it means (which includes that it is okay to make a profit). But I wish to announce my word for a sort of "plan B": symbiculture.
Symbiculture is short for "symbiotic agriculture". It is, IMAAOO, a subset of permaculture. Symbiculture includes profit, ag, eco building, alternative energy, my philosophies on IC. Symbiculture does not include the three ethics, the 12/14 principles, or social justice.
This word is in its infancy. It is my word. I reserve the right to be the only person that defines what it means. And while I have a lot more to say about this word, and I could probably spend weeks or even years polishing what this word means, I just feel the powerful need to express myself about something that has been rolling around in my head for years.
I encourage everybody reading this to pop on out and make up their own words and start new threads.
A basic tenet of permaculture is to get a return. The return doesn't necessarily *have* to be money, but money is surely included in the definition of return.
Bill Mollison didn't make a living by advising backyard growers and hobby farmers, any more than Allan Savory or P A Yeomans. They advised professional *farmers*.
I still think that the stuff outside of symbiculture is important and good stuff, it's just that I think it is possible that the new word could help improve the acceptance velocity of some of the permaculture package - thus saving the world.
paul wheaton wrote:
Well, symbiculture is wholly within permaculture.
As we've discussed outside the forum, the work Permaculture is being distorted/diluted or transformed by natural evolution, depending on ones perspective.
So why not coin your own word and your own defintion that will evolve on its own path?
Great word btw...
well, why not!
My feelings in this space are multifaceted. For one thing, I am bonkers about permaculture. I am merely disappointed that adaptation of it is so slow. And I think part of that impedance is stuff from within the permaculture world.
I like the idea that if I use "symbiculture" it is as a faction of permaculture. Perhaps each word helps the other. More so than if it is separate word - or a competing word.
Ooo - there's a good point. I like the idea of not competing with permaculture.
Currently, I feel like there are millions of people that avoid permaculture stuff because of the word. But all of those people would be comfortable standing firmly behind something like symbiculture.
Profit? Absolutely! Without profit, it is not sustainable. For many years to come, most of that profit will be reinvested back into the system to make it more sustainable, and less reliant on external inputs. If inflation hits 10%, I should have at least 11% more in the bank at the end of the year, otherwise, I am losing money on the venture.
Social justice? Is there any justice in me working 3,000+ hours per year just to give my surplus to somebody who contributed nothing? If it took me an hour to harvest a bushel of apples, and you want a bushel of apples, you better be prepared to give me an hour of labor.
I want to improve the velocity toward a non-toxic world. I want to help my mission for world domination. This word could be part of my toolbox toward these ends.
I was going to post a Venn diagram of my thoughts about this stuff but it seemed too difficult, so I didn't.
I also like Ludi's idea of breaking thoughts down into more words for clarity.
So, if I might make a gentle suggestion...
"Profit Driven Natural Orchard Based Agriculture"
Yes, it is a mouthful, but easy to grasp.
"Profit! Did you say profit? So what is a Natural Orchard, and how soon can I plant one."
And if it needs to be shortened for quicker speech or writing, PD-NOBA.
But like I said, Symbiculture is cool.
"Profit Driven Natural Orchard Based Agriculture"
A coupla bumps with that:
1) no orchards in permaculture. we have food forests.
2) if you try to get all of the definition packed into the phrase, then you end up with folks that tell you what it means. But if I insist that I have a new word and say it is my word, then I can define what it means. Always.
I remember talking to Diana Leafe Christian about my alternate ideas on community and trying to come up with a name for them. For each name she came up with something that somebody would say that would be totally wrong. She would then play the role of a nitwit telling me what it really means. She had a good point. Once you have that sort of stuff, it is amazing how it impedes progress. For a while I thought "gulching" might be good - but Diana pointed out how a majority of people could piss away the rest of their lives just arguing over what it means: from the book, and from people that have already started using the word.
This is the problem: bickering and infighting reduces forward velocity.
I automatically reject confinement and rules.....in "Thelma Land" all Rules are meant to be broken .
I function better with lots of grey area and room for improvement....I like a constant state of moving forward and change.
That is why Permaculture makes so much sence to me. Everything about Permiculture depends on the land, the person, their goals and what works for them.
Although I do know a lot of people who feel much more comfortable with rules...I think Symbiculture might be for them....it might also be a factor on where a person is on the ecoscale
making a profit has been given a bad name by wall street.
obtaining a yield and converting some to money is necessary
many places will not accept a bussel of apples in lieu of cash.
utilitiy bills, gasoline, taxes, clothing, etc require $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
but reinvesting some of the yield back into the system, such as soil building, is part of the idea.
as opposed to the wall street way of sucking everything out of the system
if someone has an orchard and sells the fruit for more than expenses, he has made a profit
if someone has a food forest and sells the fruit for more than expenses, he has made a profit
on the aussie site is a article on food forests.
some of the discussion is on "should they be used for profit or to benefit the community?"
aside from "if the is no yield (profit), there is no benefit", it would depend upon who builds/maintains the food forest.
i seldom use the word permaculture when talking to people because it can seem like another " gimicky thing" someone is trying to sell. why else give it a name unless you selling something?
i think i can see where Paul is going with symbiculture, but i prefer less names not more
This word would be a tool. Something I can use to further my goals. If nobody else uses it, that's fine. If other people find that they want something similar, they can say "like symbiculture, but ....." or come up with their own word.
"should they be used for profit or to benefit the community?"
I think profit does benefit the community, as long as the profit is not exported.
If I am making a profit from the community, and spending it within the community, that helps keep the local economy vibrant. If I sell outside the community, and spend most of that profit within the community, I have increased the local economy.
Either way, the community benefits. On the other hand, if I profit from the community, and then spend that money on goods from afar, I am diminishing that economy.
The idea of sharing a surplus is rather open ... no where in the mainstream of permaculture thought does it say that people must give away all they produce, most permies would scoff at the idea that it is immoral to sell quality food at a fair price. For some, 'sharing the surplus' means loading up relatives and neighbors with surplus zuchinni (or the perennial equivalent). Some may deliver loads of food to a homeless shelter, church or charity. Others may sell what they produce to make an honest living, while others have so little space that their own family eats it all. None of these options are wrong, there is no one-size-fits-all mandate in permaculture. The general ideas of caring for the Earth and caring for humans are quite logical, but it is up to each person to decide how to implement them.
There are plenty of terms that might be used (and easily understood) to describe various subsets of permaculture - terms like ecological agriculture, agroforestry, sustainable land management, ecological design, green building, etc. etc. I don't see value in coining new words or phrases unless they essential for describing new ideas.
BTW, I love 'symbiculture' - mutually beneficial cooperation between two parties - the human mind and its encompassing physical reality.
I googled it and it dosen't seem to exist anywhere.I'll use some variant for my aquaponics business. This could replace words like organic which have lost some meaning.
Rob and Jaki's Symbioti co. market.
Big C. could indicate a corporate entity. Small c. would indicate a propriotership.
The word "homestead" has has been so watered down as to be meaningless. I'd hate to see the same thing happen to "permaculture," but coming up with new words for something so similar but not have it be a trademarked business term will not help much.
paul wheaton wrote:For example, consider people that wish to earn an income with permaculture. Once somebody expresses they want to do this, it seems there are others that say "that's not permaculture." I think the second person is wrong, but the fact that the conversation happens makes something which is already difficult even more difficult.
One cannot escape difficult conversations: the unconscious guilt "some" may have about gaining benefits from nature and be driven to excessive and vocal altruism is worth contemplating.
Paul often horses around about the permaculture counterpoint of "making nature your personal bitch" by control and exploitation, instead of observation and gentle influence. This sense—again, unconsciuos sense—of raping and robbing nature is often the source of multitudes of politicized and often militant stances and narratives that not only express strong views and inform existential choices but attempt to dictate by developing an ethics of how others, too, should live their lives.
Symbiculture might sail or sink. We shall see...
It is possible that the sentiment was "who the hell do you think you are to make up words" and my response is: I think anybody can make up words whenever the hell they want.
I made up "the wheaton eco scale" and encouraged others to make up their own scales. This scale has proved to be amazingly useful.
I made up "husp" which has been amazingly useful to me.
I made up "wofati" which has been amazingly useful to me.
Now, if I ever wish to discuss something and somebody is insistent that their interpretation of permaculture is the ONLY interpretation (and it is different from mine) then I have a tool in my toolbox to move my point(s) forward.
Those that don't have these struggles will surely see no need for a new word.
paul wheaton wrote:
I think anybody can make up words whenever the hell they want.
100% agree. Especially if you have a very specific concept for which you can't find an existing word, or if the closest existing word is laden with baggage, as is the case with the word "permaculture."
Making up personal definitions for existing words is less useful and mostly unhelpful toward communication, in my opinion. I would rather people make up brand new words than torture existing words to fit their own personal meaning.
"'There's glory for you!'
'I don't know what you mean by "glory",' Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. 'Of course you don't — till I tell you. I meant "there's a nice knock-down argument for you!"'
'But "glory" doesn't mean "a nice knock-down argument",' Alice objected.
'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'"
- "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll
it's too bad words like "permaculture" and "symbiculture" aren't immediately understandable to most people, whereas vague and general words like "gardening" and "farming" have a simplicity to them that is easy to grasp. my suggestion would be to get kids to observe activities that build permaculture systems and ask them make up words to describe what's happening. they might come up with just the right word or phrase.
here are two words i've invented, with basic definitions:
megalobamboozlementarianism - the system of corporate enslavement
prototransubstantiationarily - adverb for the quality of the beginnings of a transformation
If you find something that you are absolutely passionate about and there is a need or a demand for this particular thing then you go for it and thinkj nothing of it, why should it be any different in this field?
Hi by the way.
I keep hearing things along the line that permaculture is not getting there fast enough,but perhaps a point to take into consideration is that not everybody is going to realise that they are infact 'doing' permaculture and so they are not going to be talking about it as such.
One example I saw in a NZ magazine was on community gardens with a comment that they were doing mix and mingle- companion planting.
so there are 2 points -community gardens getting food growing where the people are, sharing resources and knowledge using organic methods on the reduce consumption, recycle, reuse etc...
Words used to mean things now they seem to mean very little.
Personally, I havent figured out how your new word has much to do with making a profit using permacultur, but its your word and as you say it can mean whatever you want it to mean.
I have decided to say simply that I am a gardener as opposed to an organic one and to call those who use artificial additives-petrolchemical gardener/farmer.
Perhaps its time to get back to basics and stop calling ourselves permies or organic gardeners, but calling it how it is- if you arent using organic methods then you are infact a petrochemical gardener.
Does anybody really mind if somebody makes a living doing something good?
If on the other hand it goes to the extreme where, say, a corporation makes an obscene amount of profit and to the detriment of others then of course thats not right.
But that is not likely to ever happen simply because you'd be sharing your surpluses.
I sort of like when people make up words, in an attempt to define, or redefine, what they are saying. Especially when a word has suffered "drift". I.e. doesn't really mean what it used to mean.
A pet peeve of mine is reforestation. To me, it isn't reforestation, if the end result is not a forest. Simple, clear, and it deals with the real issue. It isn't replanting a forest that is hard, it is keeping that replanted forest from being clear cut and turned back into pasture.
My view is pretty simple, take what you need, leave the rest. I over plant everything, and so I enjoy birds, animals and neighbors who are more than willing to share in my abundance, and contribute to it too. Birds drop seeds, neighbors give me plants, and even help round up lose livestock at times.
Perhaps my words is peace. At peace with nature, my neighbors and myself. Sorry Paul, I already claimed it. Having yammerschooners (another great word, Darwin came up with it during his trip on the Beagel) bothering me doesn't make me peaceful, but I love good neighbors. But, if a neighbor only takes and doesn't help, pretty soon, they aren't part of my "community". I get perturbed too when the birds aren't leaving any figs for me, like they are now. Oh well, I can net a few, or honestly, I am not all that fond of figs anyway...
Back in my early days of gardening, I would obsess about how much yield I got per plant, trying for optimum production. Well, the higher the number, the more work. Honestly, it is easier just to plant a few more tomatoes than try to get each one to do their level best...
I don't like filling my days with conflict. Not on forums, not in person, not in business and definitely, not in my food production. So, you can have symbiculture, and the fight between it and permaculture. I am going with "A peaceful life".
Ummmmm, Ummmmmm, Ummmmm, time to examine my navel or something...
Paul what about you teaming up with Jack Spirko and bring your idea of permaculture into the AgriTrue ideas. AgriTrue kinda says it all. Truth in Agriculture and thats my idea of what permaculture should be. http://www.agritrue.com
Yes, I've visited with Jack several times about AgriTrue. Not only have I interviewed Jack in one podcast about it, but I've mentioned it more than once. I think AgriTrue is excellent.
AgriTrue certainly solves an aspect of how the organic label is weak, and we need to educate the consumers and farmers of a spectrum.
AgriTrue covers the final product quality for food. Permaculture/Symbiculture covers how you get there.
I also think that Symbiculture includes community health. And the moment it takes that step, we are talking about the choreography between 20 buckets of psychology. Therefore, 95% of Symbiculture is how to get 20 people to live on the same piece of land without anybody suffering from stab wounds. That sort of thing is not covered in AgriTrue.