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should all permaculture stuff be for free?

 
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Julie Anderson wrote:

Alternative economic methods of exchange other than money are nice to theorize about, but I think that the reality is unless there is a cataclysmic financial event, the status quo of using money for exchange is going to persist.



huh? While you were away..

"A recent report by the Government Accountability Office found that the 2008 financial crisis cost the U.S. economy more than $22 trillion.

The GAO said that the financial crisis’ impact on economic output could be as much as $13 trillion and that money lost by U.S. homeowners reached $9.1 billion. "

Millions losing their homes, millions out of work, dust blowing through the rust belt, and that's just USA, never mind the ongoing eurozone debt crisis or the perennial economic misery in much of the developing world...I'm certain things will get more cataclysmic, but I'd say we have ourselves a pretty good start.

I don't think anybody suggested getting rid of money, we wanted to talk about ways to re-invent money so it worked, for people and the planet. This can be started at a community scale. By any of us. I think reform of local economic systems is an essential part of the permaculture vision if it is to meet it's potential in developing viable, sustainable human life-ways....if it's to be more than some pleasant diversion, or just a backyard hobby for vegetable fetishists.

Yes this is only peripheral to this thread topic, maybe someday someone will start another, more relevant one. Sorry, I just neglected to 'unfollow' this thread...i'll do that now...
 
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:

Julie Anderson wrote:

Alternative economic methods of exchange other than money are nice to theorize about, but I think that the reality is unless there is a cataclysmic financial event, the status quo of using money for exchange is going to persist.



h
Millions losing their homes, millions out of work, dust blowing through the rust belt, and that's just USA, never mind the ongoing eurozone debt crisis or the perennial economic misery in much of the developing world...I'm certain things will get more cataclysmic, but I'd say we have ourselves a pretty good start.



I agree that this is a "good start". I've not been able to discern any change at the individual level. In order to get the goods and services I need, I must provide goods and services that someone will give me money for. I then use that to get what I want. Will there ever be a total collapse, who knows? I am trying to get as totally self reliant as I can.

Getting back to the main point, an individual who creates goods or services should be the one who sets the price (s)he wants to obtain for them. The subject matter is irrelevant. The market will determine whether the price asked is fair. People will either pay it, or they won't buy the thing that is offered.

Julie
 
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Dear Paul and kind earth dwellers.

I feel that if someone wants to be paid, so be it. Ask for the cash and do not be ashamed to ask. However. I also feel if we are to change the whole world that basic information needs to be provided if one wants to. IF you write a book, then sell it. IF you have some plans. make them safe and sell the plans. Make that mousetrap and protect it. Sell and retire. Ahhhh, the dream,....

Thats great! I will remember this when I send books to my friends in poverty stricken countries. Then who is the victim? One who can not get the knowledge because they are poor? Or is it the book seller who now wants a re home fee for the second hand book I just sent with a "volunteer group" to rescue dwellers in a depleted sub African region from starvation and ignorance. I do understand the importance of being credited for an idea. It is not lost upon me.

I watched ideas of mine be used and sold in industry. Revolutionizing a market and a very large American manufacturer. I got not one cent. I did not even get a lousy T Shirt out of it. For a long time I withheld my best ideas and works from the world because I had become very bitter about it. Then, one day I realized one very big thing. I improved the human condition. Saved millions in resources and changed an industry. My more creative ideas were stolen in mass media. Lots of money was made. Once again, I made not a cent.

I improved the human condition. This came to mind when we were homeless and digging out of dumpsters to eat.

Boys and girls. We all know the game. If you want to be paid, so be it and do not be afraid to sell your ideas. But where does it go from just making product x, to a company like Monsanto. Who will destroy us all if we are not careful. Who owns your food, your DNA and soul. Its easy to sit and complain. It is a lot harder to make change.

This is the way of the God/gods you all pontificate about. And you mostly do. What would your God or Lord say? I know what big agra bussiness will say. What will you do?

I know what I have done and will sleep very well tonight. Why? because today I improved the human condition this time one at a time. I hope tomorrow I will have a better opportunity to do the same.
 
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Julie Anderson wrote:Alternative economic methods of exchange other than money are nice to theorize about, but I think that the reality is unless there is a cataclysmic financial event, the status quo of using money for exchange is going to persist.

I have observed that there seems to be a spectrum of beliefs about Permaculture. At one end is the Permaculture as a religion camp. At the other end is the Permaculture as a practical skill camp. I fall more towards the skill end of the spectrum. I have no problem with paying for content. The people that put it together have created a value for me by gathering and presenting the material in an organized fashion. I don't believe that Permaculture content, and the creators of it should be held to different standards than the creator of any other type of content.

It appears to me that the people who are objecting to people being paid for Permaculture tend to fall on the Permaculture as a religion end of the spectrum. If these folks want to go out and proselytize the religion of Permaculture to the masses for free, more power to them. I don't think it's right for those folks to expect everyone to do the same.

Julie



Julie, two points. The first is that one could say exactly what you are saying about anything, regarding the status quo persisting unless there is a cataclysmic event. This is especially true about permaculture in general. Growing things in monoculture in far away places will be the status quo until there is a cataclysmic event. People will continue to use fossil fuels until there is a cataclysmic event. People will never grow food in their own backyard until there is a cataclysmic event. All of these statements, while arguably true given the current trends, come from a very pessimistic point of view. If instead, we turn it around and say that while all of these things are deeply ingrained trends of society, we as individuals and a group have the power to change these things if we work towards creating and advocating for them, then we can see that these things are in fact changeable if we strive towards changing them. In addition, just like any other permaculture technique, I would argue that alternative methods of exchange are totally critical to our resilience as a society. Having one currency created from a central location, created through debt, is a very poor way of doing money. On the one hand, it makes money scarce and constantly flowing out of the community, and on the other, it means that the US government is constantly owing money to banks, both of which are not the best of ideas. Alternative economics have found solutions to them, and in fact, there are lots of alternative currencies that you have probably used recently. For example, frequent flier miles are technically an alternative currency. As you fly more often, you get these alternative notes of value that you can turn in later. Same thing with coupons. We can, if we desire, design similar, and perhaps better systems into our own businesses and communities, leading to resilience, an increased sense of community, and more overall well being for our society. If instead, we say "this is the status quo, so this is the way it is", we will remain powerless to the whims of central bank and politicians.

The other point I wanted to talk about was the division of permaculture into religion and skill. I generally agree with this, and you can most certainly see this division in the permaculture literature, most notably with david holmgren on the religion side and bill mollison on the skill side. However, I don't think that you could characterize alternative currencies as part of the religion side. As I discussed above, it is a practical tool that we can use to build resilience in a community, just like any other permaculture technique. It is not some mystical pseudoscientifical notion, but a real thing that we can do, so I do somewhat take offense to that characterization.

Here's a great video if you're curious about learning more. A great quote, very pertinent to permaculture is "Because we use a monoculture of money, that is why it is unstable." These "catastrophes" are not unavoidable. Check it out:

http://youtu.be/T9EI2PrDpmw

Sorry to derail the thread, I'll start a new one!!
 
gardener
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Let's ask the question a different way, How could you spread the permaculture message for free? Should there be a cataclysmic event economic, environmental, whatever, that could certainly change it's current way of delivery.
A teacher has to get to those that need to learn, I'm talking globaly not personal community.
The teacher has to be fed, be clothed, housed.
The teacher has to have curriculum.
Some one has to create the curriculum.
The curriculum has to travel to the teachers, by web or by print or from another teacher.
Those that create or develop the methodology have to be fed clothed, housed.
Whatever the mechanism of currency/trade is there are costs associated with living. You don' t realize there is a hole in the bucket till you have to walk farther.
 
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Robert Ray wrote:Let's ask the question a different way, How could you spread the permaculture message for free? Should there be a cataclysmic event economic, environmental, whatever, that could certainly change it's current way of delivery.
A teacher has to get to those that need to learn, I'm talking globaly not personal community.
The teacher has to be fed, be clothed, housed.
The teacher has to have curriculum.
Some one has to create the curriculum.
The curriculum has to travel to the teachers, by web or by print or from another teacher.
Those that create or develop the methodology have to be fed clothed, housed.
Whatever the mechanism of currency/trade is there are costs associated with living. You don' t realize there is a hole in the bucket till you have to walk farther.


It is available, but it maybe isn't marketed? This is a question, not an answer. I say this as someone who is new to permaculture ideas, but I am a thorough researcher and student of my hobbies. I am looking and had an idea of what i was looking for-and I found it. But what about those who don't know what they are looking for? But they know they need something...
Marketing takes money for sure, and Costs are associated with living.

I am speaking into this as a total newbie, so my input may not be that valuable, but when talking about a globally spreading the message, it sure seems that some funds are needed and that is obvious to me from this limited vantage point,
 
Robert Ray
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In some areas they might not have access to the material that you have researched, how would the material get here without cost?
 
Nechda Chekanov
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Robert Ray wrote: In some areas they might not have access to the material that you have researched, how would the material get here without cost?



I predominantly use the interwebs and the library, which of course is not available to everyone. And of course, it is in my mother tongue English.

There are also the issues of translation. I know this after having lived most of my life overseas... even if it IS available in some form, is it in a language they can read? And even then we may assume too much, do they know how to read? (we are not assuming that the whole globe speak/read english are we?)
Translation costs money.

Much of the world - even 3rd world and remote areas are extremely connected with sophisticated phones that include internet connectivity. I know this because it was my husbands specialty is to create mobil accessible multi-language websites for areas in africa and the middle east. they won't have a car, and they might live in a tent, but they have internet and MTV through satelite (sad).
Building multi-language websites with accessible information for a broad variety of people costs money.

Assuming that materials were 1. available physically and in their language and 2. they knew exactly what they were looking for...
it would sill cost money to produce the materials as well as ship them.

And where should those funds come from...? Seems obvious to me...


 
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Robert Ray wrote: In some areas they might not have access to the material that you have researched, how would the material get here without cost?



This is a good point that Daniel Morse also hinted about.

In my opinion, this would work the same way as water filters, solar electric systems, medicines,etc.
IE, copies of a book could be donated by the author or charity groups that have purchased copies, in the same way other things are donated
or given in the spirit of human kindness or charity.

But then, also in my opinion, I don't think that there is really anything in permaculture that one person or group has a monopoly on.
For instance, if an African village has one hut with internet, or an internet café en a neighboring town, they could access permies.com and learn practically anything related to permaculture through the forums, they could get on google and do searches to related materials,etc. THEN they could share that information through print outs,
conversation, teaching one another.

Nechda Chekanov mentioned that even the most poor in many countries have access to the internet. I was in Tanzania some years back and EVERYONE had a cell phone, even if they lived in dirt huts. Internet cafés are very common in places without common household internet.







 
Robert Ray
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Nechda,
I agree with you. I guess I'm directing my question at those who have expressed the idea that spreading the word and that it should be free. I am of the opinion that it has to be supported and that support is translated to money/trade. I'd like to hear how they see that happening at no cost.
Until that local cadre knows how to teach or has access to the material there are costs associated with sharing the material.
 
Nechda Chekanov
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Robert Ray wrote: Nechda,
I agree with you. I guess I'm directing my question at those who have expressed the idea that spreading the word and that it should be free. I am of the opinion that it has to be supported and that support is translated to money/trade. I'd like to hear how they see that happening at no cost.
Until that local cadre knows how to teach or has access to the material there are costs associated with sharing the material.


Exactly.
I'd like to know as well...

... And to Cris Bessette... You are assuming they can all read English (or that online translation software is better than it is!!).
Also, as an aside...
People value free things less than things that you can purchase. There is something about human nature. If I list something onfreecycle someone will ask for it and not show up. If I list it on Craigslist, even for a cheap price, they pick it up! I know missionaries who realized that if they charged a minimal fee for bibles or religious materials that people valued them, otherwise they were used as scrap paper... Something that I don't like about human nature, but none the less it is a dominant feature right now. So donating and giving them away is a great idea, but it may not meet the needs it intends to meet.
 
Cris Bessette
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Nechda Chekanov wrote:[

... And to Cris Bessette... You are assuming they can all read English (or that online translation software is better than it is!!).



Sepp Holzer speaks German. Masanobou Fukuoka spoke Japanese, but good ideas tend to be translated so that others can understand.
I'm rather assuming that, given the example I posed, that some educated person with some knowledge of a global language (such as English)
would say,
"hey, this is some good stuff here on permies.com, I think the people back in my old village could use this, I will learn this, then teach it
to my friends and family back home."

LOL, I'm very aware of how screwy online translation is! I handle all Spanish communications for my company- sales, tech support, training, translations,etc.
Just this morning I got an email from a customer in "English" that looked like someone shook up a box of words and threw them on the page.

 
master pollinator
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There are permaculture teaching organizations springing up all over the world; to find permaculture information in various languages, people may be able to contact these groups in their own country: http://permacultureglobal.com/
 
Robert Ray
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Tyler,
How would the organization get to the area that needed information? If it's a teacher who will feed and transport the teacher? If it's material who will print the material?
 
Tyler Ludens
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More information is available here: http://www.permaculturenews.org/about-permaculture-and-the-pri/

 
Nechda Chekanov
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Cris Bessette wrote:

Nechda Chekanov wrote:[

... And to Cris Bessette... You are assuming they can all read English (or that online translation software is better than it is!!).



Sepp Holzer speaks German. Masanobou Fukuoka spoke Japanese, but good ideas tend to be translated so that others can understand.
I'm rather assuming that, given the example I posed, that some educated person with some knowledge of a global language (such as English)
would say,
"hey, this is some good stuff here on permies.com, I think the people back in my old village could use this, I will learn this, then teach it
to my friends and family back home."

LOL, I'm very aware of how screwy online translation is! I handle all Spanish communications for my company- sales, tech support, training, translations,etc.
Just this morning I got an email from a customer in "English" that looked like someone shook up a box of words and threw them on the page.


I was referring to the comment about them getting on THIS site. Best case scenario they would have a decent level of English.
I'd like to see someone take these ideas to a place like Algeria that barely produces any of its food... you would need French, Arabic and maybe an additional minority language as well. We have friends there and they are amazed at what they see, or rather dont see in the way of A self sustaining country.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Here's a project in Algeria: http://permacultureglobal.com/projects/848-huertos-solares-familiares

Looks like there are more in Morocco.

 
Tyler Ludens
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Free e-book: http://www.permaculturenews.org/files/Stories_From_Our_Food_Garden.pdf
 
Robert Ray
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Tyler,
If you look at the upper right hand corner of that link there is a tab to gift/pay/trade for support in sharing the knowledge. It is by no means free to maintain and spread the word yet.
 
Tyler Ludens
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It is being offered for free.


"Anyone can borrow freely from this publication, subject to acknowledgement of source." http://permaculturenews.org/2013/02/21/stories-from-our-food-gardens-e-book/#more-9336


I don't know what can be more "free" than someone saying "you can use this for free."

 
Robert Ray
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I guess what I mean is that there is a cost associated with the maintenance of this site and that site as well. They are providing access to the information but someone, donors the creator, is paying for a server, electricity, etc. The food's before us, but a farmer planted the seed and harvested the crop before it got to the kitchen and then someone prepared the food. It is not free.
 
Nechda Chekanov
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Tyler Ludens wrote:Here's a project in Algeria: http://permacultureglobal.com/projects/848-huertos-solares-familiares

Looks like there are more in Morocco.

interesting, although that was an article on solar energy for irrigation it didn't mention which projects it was a part of. Cool site.
 
Robert Ray
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Free to the end user but it has taken money to create that pathway. Look at it like television, it costs nothing to watch it because the advertisers are paying for you to see it for free. PBS uses supporters not all advertisers. Libraries are supporterd by taxes in my County so really there is a cost to have the books available and to have a building to house them.
Somewhere someone is supporting that website, library, organization with money.
PRI Australia also has a feature to donate to. Those that can pay subsidize, for those that can't, but just because it is free to some doesn't mean that there is not a cost of making available.
Just because water comes from the tap in a big city doesn't mean that things are happening to make it magically appear.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:Perhaps if we are going to discuss limiting the conversation, we should limit the conversation to only those people that are in the top 100 producers of free permaculture content.

I am concerned that John could be right: the issue of what should be free seems to be something most often brought up by those that want free things - not by those that generate useful content.

You're talking any and all Content of Value, not just Permaculture, right?
Beyond that, is person #111 less valued than person #11?

There is LOTS of Value and Knowledge and Wisdom all over the World that has little, if anything, to do with Permaculture, or Farming, or Rocket Mass Heaters, or Chicken Poop, or Amish Basket Weaving, or Solar Powered Hammers, etc etc etc. Should we all be relegated to THOUSANDS of small niches defined by interests or ability or content, and not allowed to talk outside those strict boundaries? If so, that seems quite counter-productive in terms of cross-pollinating ideas concerning Natural Growth and Spontaneity and Sustainability.

I think it's actually a matter of this .....
If you want to give something away, make sure there is good credible value in that something to the person who is receiving.
If you want to charge for something, make damn sure you are providing MASSIVE Value to those from whom you are asking for and accepting payment.

If you are asking for Free Stuff, make sure you are providing Value of some measure to the person Gifting you, or to the World around you, or both.
If you are expecting things to just be given to you, over and over and over again and again and again ..... expect those spigots to be turned off at some point. Perhaps unceremoniously.

If you are Grateful for the Free Stuff you receive in your Life, say "Mahalo" and share your good fortune with others who would also benefit.
 
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Robert Ray wrote:The food's before us, but a farmer planted the seed and harvested the crop before it got to the kitchen and then someone prepared the food. It is not free.



To me, this is as clearly defined as it gets. Nicely put Robert.
 
Robert Ray
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Philisophically, I would agree that this information should be free, and I think many other things should be free as well.
 
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Thoughts:

1) "Free". It sounds like this word has become some kind of trigger or game point or something. Like in ads the trumpet FREE not because it means anything but because that particular word triggers our attention. IOW. I don't see a lot of careful or precise understanding of what "free" is, means, represents, etc in the last 15 posts or so - I see the opposite or at best several possible meanings which with very little differentiating in the discussion. Nothing evil about that but those double/triple non-meanings are the road to confusion and no understanding.

2) (the biggee here:) He who PAYS the piper calls the tune. There are many forms of payment but... I have _never_ seen a counter example and I have repeatedly seen it demonstrated.

3) I agree with Laura about cataclysmic change but: Cataclysm happens on a personal individual level as well. How do you think anybody gets "enlightened" (assuming you believe there is such a thing)?

4) Medium of Exchange/Currency/Money/Whatever. I suspect that the outlawing and general condemning of prostitution in many cultures is an example of people trying to prevent money from becoming the medium of exchange used in sexual matters. Which kind of begs the question of what currency(s) _is_ used for those transactions... And: Who the payer and the payee actually is... But if there is any truth to this idea it highlights the seriousness and difficulty of maintaining "alternative currency".

Rufus

 
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The way I see it a book or a DVD is more of a convenience since the creator has put all the free information in a neat package saving you the time of having to search and read through the large amount of free information often found online. If you have time to browser and try things on your own then you will not see the value of paying money for the information. On the other hand if you work 50 hours a week and have a busy family life, time is money and paying for the "neat package" with well through it to you.

Kris
 
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I love free stuff. I am grateful for all the free info I have recieved here and on the net about permiculture. A benefit to the free material is like a free taste at the gelato shop. Helps you figure out what is good enough to buy. Recognizing expertise is becoming a lost art , that is why we have so many frauds and false prophets. I was introduced to movable chicken pens on the net , saw alot of videos , read alot of articles. I then bought Salatins "Pastured Poultry Profits" and it was worth every dime. I am glad he got paid too. One day I will buy Mollisons Big Book when I can afford an original. Mollison got paid once , I'll pay someone else a fee on top of that for keeping it in mint condition for nearly 40 years also. Because there is nothing like a book. I have seen all of Skeeters videos and if I was younger and not up to my neck in debt I would pay him to let me work for him for a few seasons. My hope is to connect all the local wierdos here into a Permie club and be able to pay Paul and other experts to give lectures and spread the knowledge.
 
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Something I wrote today in response to some stuff about rocket mass heaters ...

There has been some mention of open source. I think it is great if somebody builds a few hundred rocket mass heaters, comes up with some excellent innovations and shares that knowledge openly. That's great.

Of course, if that same person chooses to go into business and do open source for all of the knowledge, that's great too.

And if they decide to go into business and keep their tricks a bit private, that is also great.

Something that is not okay by me: is somebody attempting to shame the innovator into open source. If you want to see stuff go into open source, you have to do the work.




 
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I think the concept pf property and land ownership is something that permaculture supersedes. The notion that a single person or group can claim 'ownership' of sections of the planet and all the being inhabiting it is what got us in this mess in the first place. A society based on treating living beings as objects that can be bought, sold, or traded is the result of agriculture and the domestication of our gaian counterparts. This is why permaculture has so much potential in my book; humans immersed in established perennial systems are hunter-gatherers, not farmers. That kind of lifestyle not only reinforces equality with our non human community, but it also prevents "stock piling" of large harvests; and thus, hierarchy. The inception of "rich and poor" began with monoculture, and it is within those confines that it festers. Yes, within our current culture, permaculture practitioners planning on dedicating themselves full time need to be able to provide there energy and material needs (which almost always means money, these days). But the knowledge we have been blessed with is something that needs to be implemented worldwide to not only to sustain our human community, but also to reinstate the biogeochemical metabolism of the biosphere as a whole. With the average person armed with the knowledge and materials they need to heal their homelands, they will be able to return to a state of literally living INSIDE of the medium through which ALL of their basic essentials are provided. Thus the obligation of importing and exporting of resources dissolves, ceasing our reliance on the energy intensive technologies required to extract and transport them. Most of the mechanisms facilitating our present culture (dams, mines, farms, sewers, electronics, explosives, etc..) are completely unnecessary and ultimately detrimental. Ancient human cultures existed for millennia in harmony with Gaia without being obligated (or even inclined) to fabricate pit mines or palm oil plantations. These things were erected, and are currently maintained, not out of the intent to expand the akashic record; but rather for the concentration of matter and energy amongst a small handful of individuals, to be used as leverage for overpowering the mass population.
 
Robert Ray
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I have a different view Rory.
Permaculture is similar but not what I would call a true hunter gatherer system. I see it as a permanent location not the nomadic vision of previous hunter gatherer lifestyles.
With ownership I see where continuity of vision can keep a piece of property moving towards permaculture. That continuity could prohibit scarring that has taken place from those that are less than good stewards.
Food storage (stockpiling) preserves the harvest. Preserving the harvest for winter or poor seasons is prudent.
I often see fair share commented on and I would like to see fair burden explored, as unplesant as the conversation is there are people who take advantage of the hard work of others.
Personally I'm not concerned with rich and poor as much as I am with how power is used and power doesn't always mean money.
I appreciate what your vision is and hope that it comes to something similar to what you describe, However I feel that it is a long way off and there is a lot of work to get there.
 
pollinator
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I haven't read this whole thread, so my apologies if this has already been posted.

This TED Talk on the paradigm with which charity is viewed is very relevant to this discussion. Essentially in this context by declaring that permaculture information and services should be "free" the permaculture movement is in essence crippling itself.

Paul Wheaton, or some other "permaculture guru" could produce a reasonable resource on the cheap and give it away for free - we all win right? What if instead he went out on a massive fundraising spree, collected $1,000,000 of capital and invested it in a massive scale project to bring permaculture principals to the very poorest people in the world, where he can have the biggest impact? For the same time and investment of skills he could have a team working on a project on a transformative scale.

If charging for books, DVDs and courses means we get there faster then that is great.

I would suggest that the vast majority of us reading these forums:
  • live in affluent countries (although are not necessarily affluent compared to our fellow countrymen)
  • are comparatively well educated (many of the poorest countries the mean number of years spent in education is a meager 2)
  • Have access to the internet, and vastly more information than the poorest people in the world at our finger tips if we search for it.


  • Yes permaculture can benefit us individually, but the very poorest will not benefit from the ideas of permaculture even if they are free - their lives are simply too difficult to take risks that could mean their families starve. Yet these are the same people who could make the most immediate improvements to their environments and standards of living.

    Even with £1,000,000 you would struggle to convert them fully over to permaculture, but some simple principals could be introduced on a wider scale for massive impact. Perhaps not full permaculture, but a stepping stone on the way to food and environmental security.

    Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration - restoring trees, fuel crops and greater fertility to parts of Africa which have lost them due to poor management techniques.

    Vetiver Systems - Using vetiver grass, planted on the contour, acts as a dense trap drastically reducing soil erosion and increasing water infiltration. Root systems extend up to 15ft vertically stabilising soils which would otherwise be unusable. It's land stabilising effects are comparable, or better than, massive rigid concrete and stead pilings. Natural terraces build up behind vetiver hedges making the land easier to cultivate. Farmers report typical yield increases of 30%. Vetiver produces masses of top growth which can be cut multiple times per year and dropped as a mulch or used as a fuel, taking pressure off harvesting firewood. Vetiver hedging has a comparable effect on increasing water infiltration to digging expensive swales without the need for any heavy machinery and is being used to rehabilitate water catchments.

    Allan Savory - Holistic Planned Management - Lots of discussion about this recently. Sadly the poorest farmers in the world, struggling with the most degraded lands will likely never hear about better techniques to manage their livestock.

    These three techniques all have some aspects in common - they are "simple" in principle, they are cheap to implement (slips of vetiver grass vrs heavy machinery for days on end) and in the right context can be a massive force for good. To me they are some of the low hanging fruit which we as a global community should be trying to reach. But those bigger goals won't be reached with the mindset of "free" or "cheap as possible" in place. If you have big dreams you need to think big scale and big finance.

    The mindset of "doing good should be as cheap as possible" ultimately means less good happens overall.

    Mike
     
    steward
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    I have to agree with Robert Ray about the ownership of land.

    I believe that ownership of land is essential to permaculture.

    It takes a huge investment in time and labor to develop a piece of land into an abundant, perpetual production resource.
    It is a long term project that requires a continuous management plan in order to reach its goal.

    I have read of many "commons" projects (where the land is open to all for 'gathering'), and in each case, they failed.
    A combination of human greed, with mismanagement doomed each of the projects.

    With private ownership, 'fair share' is possible.
    Everybody contributing to the development can receive a fair share for their efforts.
    With 'commons', everybody takes what they feel is fair, until it is all gone, never to be replenished.
    Mother Nature seldom provides an overabundance without a management plan.

     
    Rory Turnbull
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    Robert Ray wrote:

    With ownership I see where continuity of vision can keep a piece of property moving towards permaculture.



    I should have specified that I believe the human community as a whole need to collectively turn the ENTIRE PLANET back into the lush, abundant being it used to be. That the planets microclimates and nutrient cycles conglomerate into one giant metabolic system that is elementary to our existence. That our design/fabrication of these systems needs to not only sustain us, but all walks of life within the atmosphere. Once the systems are (back) up and running, we could undoubtedly live as hunter-gatherers (as we did for most of our existence).

    I also feel a major issue with us shepherding and/or farming (imposing our will) other beings is (and i know im gonna lose some of you here) that it prevents them from cultivating their spiritual being to its fullest capacity. This is where a draw much influence from steiner and biodynamics in the sense that it is not only the PHYSICAL aspect of plants and animals that we aim to nourish, but also their souls. Which is funny because i find biodynamics to be the most contradicting of that, in that it is founded in intensive human labor and maintenance.

    To me, broad acre permaculture is a promising lead on the possibility of healing the earth so deeply, that the manifestation of 'wild' animals and plants could and should occur.

    There is no disconnect between the social aspects of our species and permaculture. To me a healthy functioning community would not allow people to destroy the land they live on, regardless of their concept of ownership. And again, i cant help but feel like the ability to usurp that much power stems directly from the concept the earth, fire, water, and air can righteously/justifiably be bought, sold, or traded.
     
    Robert Ray
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    We've wandered off topic a bit I guess. Humans desire things and degrees of desire that can easily become greed, maybe being sentient is the problem.
     
    pollinator
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    fortunately the book of nature is always free, you have to listen for it though.
    =)

    i want to suggest that a person could learn this stuff from another context, in fact most of the information about permaculture, at least when it comes to the specifics,techniques and practical knowledge of it, should come to someone who spends a few years applying themselves to a place for a while and grows food.

    not to knock permaculture at all, just to say i think most of it in common sense and makes itself obvious, if you get on the right wave
     
    leila hamaya
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    Rory Turnbull wrote:I think the concept pf property and land ownership is something that permaculture supersedes. The notion that a single person or group can claim 'ownership' of sections of the planet and all the being inhabiting it is what got us in this mess in the first place. A society based on treating living beings as objects that can be bought, sold, or traded is the result of agriculture and the domestication of our gaian counterparts. This is why permaculture has so much potential in my book; humans immersed in established perennial systems are hunter-gatherers, not farmers. That kind of lifestyle not only reinforces equality with our non human community, but it also prevents "stock piling" of large harvests; and thus, hierarchy. The inception of "rich and poor" began with monoculture, and it is within those confines that it festers. Yes, within our current culture, permaculture practitioners planning on dedicating themselves full time need to be able to provide there energy and material needs (which almost always means money, these days). But the knowledge we have been blessed with is something that needs to be implemented worldwide to not only to sustain our human community, but also to reinstate the biogeochemical metabolism of the biosphere as a whole. With the average person armed with the knowledge and materials they need to heal their homelands, they will be able to return to a state of literally living INSIDE of the medium through which ALL of their basic essentials are provided. Thus the obligation of importing and exporting of resources dissolves, ceasing our reliance on the energy intensive technologies required to extract and transport them. Most of the mechanisms facilitating our present culture (dams, mines, farms, sewers, electronics, explosives, etc..) are completely unnecessary and ultimately detrimental. Ancient human cultures existed for millennia in harmony with Gaia without being obligated (or even inclined) to fabricate pit mines or palm oil plantations. These things were erected, and are currently maintained, not out of the intent to expand the akashic record; but rather for the concentration of matter and energy amongst a small handful of individuals, to be used as leverage for overpowering the mass population.



    i agree, well said. i also see private property, or the distorted form of private property that exist in modern dominator culture, as being one of the root causes of many of our social ills, and has negatively affected food production and peoples relationship with their food sources. and the social inequities in regards to access to land is also a very negative thing.


    and i agree
    it all could be much easier than we make it.

    it could, IT SHOULD, be as easy as breathing

    =)
     
    No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad:
    Taylor&Zach’s Bootcamp Journey
    https://permies.com/t/115886/permaculture-projects/Taylor-Zach-Bootcamp-Journey
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