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Feeding the minds of the masses

 
Michael Campbell
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Listening to Paul Wheatons podcasts over eco scale and such is making me fine tune what I would consider the "permaculture pitch"

So you have your eco scale 0-10 and those more than a couple ahead of you are crazy, those below are lazy.

Now applying this to most introduction conversations regarding permaculture I can get folks thinking I'm crazy pretty quick. So where your audience is sitting at on a permaculture scale matters a whole lot if your trying to pitch or sell permaculture. Even to help a person move forward a level on a permaculture scale you have to come from the angle of where are they at.

I'm now working on breaking down how to pitch permaculture so that I don't seem so damn crazy and turn people off when I should be converting them and their yards to permaculture. So I came up with a classification system on people permaculture state. Looking at the prime directive pointing out taking responsibility for self, and your children(posterity). So that gives me this

0.) People not taking responsibility for self or posterity
1.) People wanting to take responsibility for themselves.
2.) People wanting to take responsibility for themselves and posterity
3.) People taking responsibility for themselves
4.) People taking responsibility for themselves and posterity.

This seemed fine if your living out in a bubble (way rural). But I don't see everyone being able to operate in this way, not enough rural spaces for everyone to ignore each other like that so I place community into the mix. given that is you have to interact with other people ( your community) you having a voice in that community would be very beneficial in relationships, possibly business, possibly preventing people from passing laws to come make you sad. Community becoming increasinly more important in higher population areas.

So this gave me Self, Community, and their Posterity. (Posterity after community as you can hand off your permaculture habitat to your posterity only to have the then current community come by and ruin it)

0.) Not taking responsibility for self, community or posterity.
1.) Wanting to take responsibility.
1a. Wanting to take responsibility for self.
2b. Wanting to take responsibility for self and community.
3c. Wanting to take responsibility for self, community, and posterity.
2.) Taking responsibility already.
2a. Taking responsibility for self
2b. Taking responsibility for self and community.
3.)Taking responsibility for self community and posterity

Looking at these 7 possible permaculture states it becomes easier to tone down or up to an audience. Convincing a 0 to become a 1a would be a much easier task then trying to convince that same 0 to try and become a 3.

Please tell me what you think since information is only a resource if acted upon and making people think you're cooky is not helping.
 
Olivier Asselin
Posts: 62
Location: Ariege, France
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Personally I think that a large number of people who would seem to be at 0 on your scale are actually at 1 or 2, but feel powerless. I'm always amazed at how, when you start having REAL discussions with people around you, how pretty much everyone realizes that something is awfully wrong with where society is headed, yet they're doing nothing about it. I think it comes down to most people not knowing what to do, not understanding the power of individual and local actions.

I've been thinking a lot about ways to talk about permaculture without people thinking I'm crazy, or that I'm part of a strange cult! For me, one solution is to show people that others, "normal" people, people like them, are actually DOING something already. I'm researching stories right now for a documentary film project that I'll hopefully start putting together in the upcoming year. The film won't talk about climate change, peak oil, economic collapse or any of that scary stuff. It won't talk about permaculture in broader terms, or of any conceptual or philosophical approaches to creating a more sustainable world. The idea is to present a series of personal stories of people that are being successful at making real, practical changes in the way they live. Obviously a lot of it will be permaculture-related, but the real goal is to show that "real, normal" people are doing this, right now, and to get people who'll watch the film to identify to those stories, and be inspired.

I think one way to "pitch" permaculture in a conversation could also be to share those stories, to talk about this person who's built a 75$ rocket mass heater and now saves 90% wood, to tell the story of this guy who's now working part time instead of having a full time job, and who's actually having a richer life, producing more of his own food, etc.

I think most people, deep down, want to take responsibility, want to do something worthwhile, want to make the world a better place. I think that what's truly needed at this moment in time, is inspiration by example.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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i believe a lot has to do with whether people are thinking with a long term view or short term view.. food forest gardening gives you a bit longer term veiw than most types of gardening as you are looking toward a future tree crop..you add things like nuts and oaks and firewood you begin thinking a much longer view or as you said, posterity..

I believe in planting for future generations, even though my only son is not married and has no children..so I'm not even sure who that posterity is ..but I'm still planting out fruit, nut, and oak trees on a regular basis.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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I think even more persuasive than talking about the person over there who's doing great things with permaculture, we can strive to be our own best example in our own lives, so when we're talking to our neighbors, friends and coworkers, we can say "I'm doing this" not "some guy is doing this." Because one argument I've encountered is "if it's so great why aren't YOU doing it?"

 
Olivier Asselin
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Location: Ariege, France
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Tyler,

I guess I'm talking from the perspective of this documentary project I'm working on, where one of the objectives is to show that people all over are doing this, and that it's not just one or two "hippies" living off in the woods. This is a global thin, and the more we're able to demonstrate that, and show that it's a fast-growing movement, the most interested people will be, and the faster it will keep growing.

But I think you're entirely right, it's great being able to talk about all this, but one's gotta act accordingly - no matter how small, we all need to start something. There are millions of small things one can do that beat doing nothing.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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I think your documentary project sounds fantastic! The more examples people can see, the better. I guess what I was thinking about was, the importance for us to implement permaculture in our own lives so we can show it, as well as showing examples in videos and other media. I'm hugely indebted to people who have documented permaculture around the globe, I would not be trying to practice it myself if not for those examples.

 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Olivier Asselin wrote:Personally I think that a large number of people who would seem to be at 0 on your scale are actually at 1 or 2, but feel powerless. I'm always amazed at how, when you start having REAL discussions with people around you, how pretty much everyone realizes that something is awfully wrong with where society is headed, yet they're doing nothing about it. I think it comes down to most people not knowing what to do, not understanding the power of individual and local actions.

I think most people, deep down, want to take responsibility, want to do something worthwhile, want to make the world a better place. I think that what's truly needed at this moment in time, is inspiration by example.


When I write something about -> TST (Transformational Social Therapy), then I read examples about it!! It is indeed a process for going out of this sense of powerlessness.

It is easier to have real discussions wit people you know or that share the same ideas, and then, we loose the opportunity with people that are not like us. The TST is about creating an atmosphere that enables people that are very different to feel safe enough to speak REAL.

I appreciate your point about feeling responsible for people understanding you or not, instead of blaming their stupidity (sure you thought about it once before looking for what YOU could do about them to understand you!). This is very important for making more people come into it. That is why I often speak about pedagogy, as conveying the message is the speaker/writer's responsibility.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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Michael Campbell wrote:I'm now working on breaking down how to pitch permaculture so that I don't seem so damn crazy and turn people off when I should be converting them and their yards to permaculture. So I came up with a classification system on people permaculture state. Looking at the prime directive pointing out taking responsibility for self, and your children(posterity).


My little coin for it...
If you want to convince and convert, then people feel it and close themselves.
Inform and be less tense about your goal might help.
The problem for doing this is that you cannot cheat, you cannot just hide you want to convert!
You must deeply drop the idea.
Which is quite difficult, because dropping it makes it happen, so you get the idea coming back, and then you are less efficient and so on!

What turn people off might not be so much the reason you think, but this tension you have.
The feeling people get when they are told to change is that they are despised about what they are at the moment.
And being depreciated is felt as a form of violence.
 
Mark Olinghouse
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My 2 Cents:
Generally speaking people believe and understand there is a problem. However, lacking information they do nothing. No ideas, just feelings and obscure thoughts. They don't even know where to start their education. So they complain to their spouses, friends or politicians until no one will listen any more. Then they decide it's much easier to plant their rear end in front of the TV than to plant a garden. They adopt the idea "you have to go along to get along" and give up.

Think about the things you need to know in order to become a self-sustaining person/family/community. Most people don't have a 10th of the knowledge required. The average person only knows "most" of what their job requires, learning just enough to pass so they can keep the job and most importantly the paycheck.

Then there is the media and its constant denigration of those trying to light the torch. There is but a remnant of people with the drive and desire to force change to occur. The rest are lookers who will wait to "see what happens" or who else is doing (it).

Passion! Inculcate Passion! No one has passion about anything except sports, money and the accumulation of more stuff than their neighbor.
 
duane hennon
gardener
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Location: western pennsylvania zone 5/a
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yes, you have to start where the people are at
I've been giving talks about pawpaws and other native plants at local fall events
most of the people (0, 1 or 2 on eco scale) are open to doing things to help the environment
but as mentioned above, don't know where to start

I give out samples of pawpaw fruit and when the people ask "these can grow here and can I grow them"
I say yes and hand them a bag of seed and instructions for something that looks like the start of a food forest!
because that's where pawpaws like to grow

no doom and gloom talk
I modified an old saying and have it on one of my signs
"A Society Grows Great When Old Men Plant Trees Whose Fruit They Know They Will Never Eat"

the original saying was about shade and sitting under it

getting people to dump leaves and sticks in a pile on an otherwise manicured lawn is a big first step
I've had people come back the next year and excitedly talk about what else they planted and plans to expand

I'll be here this weekend
http://www.zelienopleharmonyfallfestival.com/

 
Michael Campbell
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Olivier I hope your research goes well for your documentary film project. It would be pleasant to see more lifestyle results as opposed to the purely growing side.

Brenda, I even think of it as the future inhabitants of the property, critters people and all. Building up a stable ecosystem could benefit a lot more then yourself and your children's children. Though opening minds to long term views (beyond our own lifespans) is a challenge.

Tyler, Bah, once I get myself that slice of land I will shout from the hilltops. So I'm stuck being the guy with odd thoughts on how we could live and known as he just likes to garden.

Now Xisca, you are entirely right! Stomping on the war path to convert minds is exactly that, a violence. Even if your taking it down to their level saying "aye you should start a garden" is not going to be taken well most of the time. Linking that up more to the action side of things link Tyler was saying. Showing is just a whole lot more time consuming but a better approach as opposed to attempting to convert someone. Spreading this information should go more along the lines of...

Duane giving talks spreading samples of tastes and experience and resources. It doesn't seem like you would have to cram it down the audiences throats. Just have to give them the opportunity to bite. Kudos Duane and a nice saying you have there.

Alrighty, looking more like a field of dreams style, if you build it they will come. Over a cold call conversion pitch.

Thanks for the inputs
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Michael Campbell wrote:

Tyler, Bah, once I get myself that slice of land I will shout from the hilltops. So I'm stuck being the guy with odd thoughts on how we could live and known as he just likes to garden.


Or you could join up with some folks who are currently doing permaculture, and start shouting now. People don't need to wait until they get their own land, they can learn and make mistakes on other people's land if they want to.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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