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Winter read-along book club for Permaculture: A Design Manual by Bill Mollison

 
Mother Tree
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Kevin Murphy wrote:

When do we start reading ??



Now!

We're already discussing chapter one - click here for discussion of chapter one

and there's a thread for a discussion of one of the subsections - click here for discussion of section 1.2 Ethics

Here's the link to the Permaculture Design Manual sub-forum so you can keep track of all the threads as they are started.

And finally an index to the whole book, with links - to be updated as more threads are created.
 
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Yes, does this mean THIS month (January 2014)? I'd be in for reading that mammoth book.
 
Burra Maluca
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Cy Englert wrote:Yes, does this mean THIS month (January 2014)? I'd be in for reading that mammoth book.



Well it will almost certainly carry on for longer than just this month, but YES!

Click some of those links above and jump right in.
 
pollinator
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Kevin Murphy wrote:
When do we start reading ??



scroll up


edit... looks like that's been answered....
 
steward
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Psst Kevin. Look up. The reading has commenced! The link is above.
 
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I'm in! Great Idea. I also finished Geoff's on line course last summer. This is the first year I havent groaned about the seed catalogs here before Christmas. Having a plan is much more exciting.
 
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I too am in!

I just finished OSU's online PDC with Andrew Millison and Marisha Auerbach. It'll be interesting to work through the PDM with others.
 
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How much of this book is relevant to an 80' by 100' lot?
 
Cj Sloane
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Plenty. It's a mindset.
 
the navigator
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Wow, yes, may this mean that the book that for so long just have been quickly browsed before returning to it's dust catchement duties finally will get that thorough readthrough? I'm not anywhere near to be sure I will be able to follow through, but I thank you for the initiative, and I will say that I'll join, and we'll see what happens.

I'm also a Geoff Lawton PDC reunion'er.

Also I'd like to mention that yesterday I got to publish a text about permaculture in my homecountry's I think second or third biggest newspaper. For those of you interested, it's here: http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/01/03/kultur/meninger/debattinnlegg/kronikk/debatt/31095021/ Or here if you need google to translate it for you: http://translate.google.no/translate?hl=en&ie=UTF8&prev=_t&sl=no&tl=en&u=http://www.dagbladet.no/2014/01/03/kultur/meninger/debattinnlegg/kronikk/debatt/31095021/
 
Burra Maluca
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Well the first (short) week has gone well, and kept everyone on their toes!

I'll be starting the thread for Chapter Two early tomorrow (Sunday) morning, and then the plan is to start a new chapter every Sunday.

The thread for Chapter One will stay open and everyone is welcome to keep adding stuff to it.

There's currently one thread for subsection 1.2 Ethics. If anyone feels the need to open threads for the other subsections of Chapter One they are more than welcome.

Chapter Two has 15 subsections. I suspect that the main thread for Chapter Two might get pretty chaotic and overloaded, so feel free to create threads for any of the subsections if you have a particular interest in any of them.
 
Burra Maluca
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Here's the link for the next chapter - Chapter Two - CONCEPTS AND THEMES IN DESIGN

Enjoy!
 
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Am I too late? Can I catch up and where are the chapters being discussed?
 
steward
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Meghan: not at all!! Welcome and jump into the thread for Chapter One whenever you are ready.
 
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Wow, chapter 3 is heavy duty. This week I'm cramming!
 
Burra Maluca
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The thread for chapter 3 is now open!

Chapter 3 METHODS OF DESIGN

And there's a thread for 3.9 Zone and sector analysis: Design by the application of a master pattern
 
Burra Maluca
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I've put up a thread for chapter 4 here - Chapter 4 PATTERN UNDERSTANDING
 
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I'm late to the party but just ordered this book second hand via amazon. Will try and catch up quickly - I'm a pretty fast reader!
 
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Take your time, the threads will always be there so you can comment on any one of them at any time.
 
Burra Maluca
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I just want to announce that next week will be a 'catch up' week.

I think we're all struggling a bit, and there are new members wanting to join in so we don't want to get too spread out. So take it easy, catch up on any bits you've missed out on, and share your thoughts rather than worrying about keeping up with the reading.
 
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Burra Maluca wrote:I just want to announce that next week will be a 'catch up' week.

I think we're all struggling a bit, and there are new members wanting to join in so we don't want to get too spread out. So take it easy, catch up on any bits you've missed out on, and share your thoughts rather than worrying about keeping up with the reading.



Fantastic. I've just stumbled across this and need to catch up.
 
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Came home to a brown box full of late winter reading material.

I hope to catch-up, both with the book reading and the discussion on here.
 
Michael Cox
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Ok, so I've caught up after starting 3 weeks late... now you need me to slow down

Am I allowed to peak ahead?

Also, my wife is objecting - says it is too heavy to read in bed because when I fall asleep and drop it it will knock her out. Any suggestions? Crash helmet for the other half?
 
Burra Maluca
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Here's the link for the thread on Chapter 5 - CLIMATIC FACTORS

Enjoy!
 
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Bill Mollison refers to certain permaculture design choices as a "type 1 error" (can't remember which chapter, possibly more than one, so I'm posting it here.)

If I recall right, Bill M was a science instructor for a while.
I wonder if he's using the scientific types of errors to classify design choices?
Or if he's developing a new, perhaps personal list of types of errors, and they just happen to be numbered?

If you spot more references to numbered "Types" of errors, I'd love it if you'd point it out in the chapter discussions.

For comparison: Wikipedia page about the scientific notion of "type 1 and type 2 errors."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Type_I_and_type_II_errors

Basically, type 1 is a false positive, or crying "wolf." Believing in something that is not verifiably true, or an experimental result that leads people to believe something is true when it's not.
The null hypothesis ("everything's normal") is actually true, yet we believe something else, a falsehood.

Type 2 is a false negative, or failing to notice the wolf. Believing that everything is "normal" when in fact the thing we are trying to test for is occurring. The null hypothesis in this case is false, yet we believe it is true.

Type 1 examples in permaculture:
- Changing the system without leaving a normal "control" for comparison makes it easy to believe that your changes are working; this is a common Type 1 error for both farmers and permies.
- In our line of work with rocket stoves, a type 1 error bias is that every person who puts in a new stove just LOOOVES their new stove, and believes it is way better than the alternatives, despite having no actual basis for comparing it to other people's new stoves.
- Believing in snake oil, miracle remedies, or other fakery (when they are not in fact effective) is type 1 error. Type 1 errors often mistake coincidences for results.

Type 2 examples in permaculture:
- If climate change is a fact, then climate-change denials are a type 2 error (or a deliberate deception, but that's political). Believing that the weather is normal, if in fact it is statistically changing from previous weather data, would be a type 2 error.
- Believing that soil-building efforts are not effective, when in fact the effect is measurable but not initially dramatic, would be a type 2 error.
- Type 2 errors often spring from expecting more dramatic results or faster results, or from failing to notice gradual declines in results.
- If a chicken flock needs more meat or insects in their diet, but the person feeding them a vegetarian diet believes they are normal and healthy, this could be a type 2 error. (It could also be considered a type 1 error if the "normal" control state would be an omnivorous outdoor chicken, and the "mistaken" belief is that vegetarian chickens are healthier. Is this a belief in falsehood (type 1), or a failure to notice a truth (type 2)?)

These are the logical alternatives: (1) believing a falsehood, or (2) failing to believe/notice a true result.
In both cases, they are contrasted with believing the null hypothesis ("this experiment has no effect").

Reality is messier.
A lot of statements (like "woody matter builds soil fertility") must be further qualified before they can be accurately evaluated.

(Woody matter is one of a large number of possible soil amendments, with specific functions. If the soil lacks these functions (water storage, fibrous structure, microbe habitat, shade, long-term or slow-release nutrient capacity) then woody matter could build fertility. If the soil is already super-abundant in woody matter (like barkdust over black plastic), or is limited by a different critical factor (available nitrogen, disease factors, slugs or pests) then more woody matter may be useless or even short-term harmful to productivity.
A more useful set of experiments might try to determine the limiting nutrients and situations where woody matter is useful; or to evaluate a specific type of woody matter's functions in terms of water storage function, decomposition rates, and subsequent release of nutrients from woody matter in various climates, or how to determine the limiting nutrients for a particular soil so that amendments can be targeted where they will actually help. Science is an endless process of "more study," deeper and deeper, more and more data, until a pattern emerges that can be put to use.)

Both types of errors will occur from time to time, regardless of the honesty or abilities of the scientist, because experimental results are statistical not logical.
Any test for a disease, or any condition, will produce incorrect results from time to time. One of the hallmark lessons in statistics is understanding the chances of a false positive or false negative. Even a very accurate test (95% or better) may still produce more false positives (people being told they may have a disease when they don't) than true positives (people who actually have the disease), if the disease itself is rare enough in the population.

That's a long exploration of the idea, but I thought it might be useful to help us figure out if this is the sense in which Bill is using the "type 1" classification.

Yours,
Erica W
 
Cj Sloane
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Erica Wisner wrote:
If you spot more references to numbered "Types" of errors, I'd love it if you'd point it out in the chapter discussions.
...
Basically, type 1 is a false positive, or crying "wolf."



I have never heard of the scientific notion of Type I & II errors before. BM is not using the term that way. He seems to be using it as short hand for an error that can't be fixed. Or, once the first error has been made it will lead us to more errors.

page 58

Type 1 Error
When we settle into wilderness, we are in conflict with so many life forms that we have to destroy them to exist. Keep out of the bush. It is already in good order.



 
Burra Maluca
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Here's the link for this week's thread - Chapter 6 TREES AND THEIR ENERGY TRANSACTIONS
 
Burra Maluca
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This week's chapter is up - Permaculture: A Designers' Manual - Chapter 7 WATER

 
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@ERICA -- thanks for that poke. I am familiar with error in statistics too, and always just assumed BM was coining a new term rather than connecting to the statistical use, but your description rings true to me. A type I error allows the investigator to believe some false truth. Putting your house in a bad position is usually based on some kind of belief (my access to a view epic from my kitchen table is more important than energy regulation). Perhaps "finding" a false truth, despite weak evidence, is potentially more dangerous than passing over truth and continuing the search because your evidence was inconclusive. Fertile ground. Opportunities for self deception abound.

For example:


Type 1 Error
When we settle into wilderness, we are in conflict with so many life forms that we have to destroy them to exist. Keep out of the bush. It is already in good order.



The false belief is that because we see that in a foreign and wild land, that our needs are distributed and difficult to concentrate, that natural systems in general, are in disarray and need to be fixed.
 
Burra Maluca
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The thread for the soil chapter is up - Permaculture: A Designers' Manual - Chapter 8 SOILS

How is everyone coping?

Do we need another catch-up week after this chapter?
 
Cj Sloane
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Still here.
The last chapter and maybe this one is a little dry and I could absorb it much easier when delivered verbally during my PDC (Geoff's online one last year).
 
Matu Collins
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I'm embarrassed to admit that I've misplaced my book.

I suspect one of the twin boys (3 and a half now) in particular, he had taken to carrying it around. Kept wrapping it up and giving it to me for Christmas


We've all commented on Bill Mollison's big strong hands in the photo on the back.

Where is my book?!
 
Burra Maluca
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The thread for Chapter 9 is up! Permaculture: A Designers' Manual - Chapter 9 EARTHWORKING AND EARTH RESOURCES

Next week will be a catch-up week!
 
Burra Maluca
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THIS WEEK IS CATCH UP WEEK!!

So relax everyone, take a deep breath.

And, if you feel up to it, post what you've been thinking about in one of the previous chapters but never got round to writing up....
 
Johnny Niamert
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I'm hoping to get through chapters 8 and 9 today.

But it is beautiful outside and spring fever is in full effect. Lot's of things are needing to be done and nagging my subconscious. Makes concentrating on reading a bit difficult at times. Lots of "what was that page I just read about?".
 
Burra Maluca
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The thread for chapter 10 is up - THE HUMID TROPICS
 
Burra Maluca
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Chapter 11 is up - DRYLAND STRATEGIES
 
Burra Maluca
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Chapter 12 is up - Chapter 12 HUMID COOL TO COLD CLIMATES
 
Burra Maluca
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Getting near the end now, folks - only two chapters to go!

Here's the link for this week's chapter Chapter 13 AQUACULTURE
 
Burra Maluca
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We've reached the final chapter!

Chapter 14 THE STRATEGIES OF AN ALTERNATIVE GLOBAL NATION
 
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