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be nice

 
Posts: 65
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Using a shovel results in blisters.

Moving rocks results in sore muscles.

Raising livestock requires heartbreak.

Growth and improvement are inherently uncomfortable experiences.

While balance asks most certainly to add compassion and understanding,
shielding someone from a response to patently false claims, because it might "hurt their feelings" is at best short-sighted. I said "a bit confused" instead of "indefensibly negligent in an arrogant and baseless caution extending from a position of ignorance."

I was being nice.

"Nice" has never produced any growth - it perpetuates stagnation, it enforces mediocrity.

That does not equate to rough-shod be mean - but it does cast serious doubt on "don't hurt anyone's feelings..."

Since when has learning anything been a comfortable experience? Anyone who attempts to shield me from discomfort doesn't want me to improve.

Sometimes, the moderation moolelages that I get are quite frankly infantilizing.

Everything is offensive to someone. Protectionism is exponential and self-perpetuating.

I expect my equals to point out my short-comings, I show respect by offering the same.

Trying to protect people from that... is supremely disrespectful. It is a claim that I am too fragile to learn.

I like the site, I like some of the moderators.

Treating us like we're too fragile or juvenile to cope with the reality of seeing our own mistakes....

That ain't permaculture.
 
master steward
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It would seem that your philosophy is different from mine.  

It would seem that you will create a forum and your forum will do better than mine.  And then there will be two forums.  Diversity.  That is permaculture.

 
paul wheaton
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For now, this forum exists so I can talk with a few people about the things I want to talk about in the way I want to talk about them.   It is a mystery how it became so large.   I suppose it is large because the smarter people have not had the time to create a forum - the better way.   So this forum gets by until the better forum is created.
 
Spencer Miles
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Some thoughtful responses, I will consider the rebuttals to my position - seeing as that is what one does in a debate: consider rebuttals.

Even though I hardly find it to be "nice".
 
paul wheaton
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Spencer Miles wrote:Some thoughtful responses, I will consider the rebuttals to my position - seeing as that is what one does in a debate: consider rebuttals.

Even though I hardly find it to be "nice".



I suppose that on your new site, you get to choose what you think "nice" means.   On this site, I get to choose.  

I think that when I am failing to be nice by your standards, the subtext is that I am failing to obey your commands.  And that doesn't seem very nice to me.

One last thing:  I didn't make this site for debate.   I made this site for people to share things that I think are cool.

 
master pollinator
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Spencer Miles wrote:Some thoughtful responses, I will consider the rebuttals to my position - seeing as that is what one does in a debate: consider rebuttals.



There's no debating here at permies, just discussing, sharing ideas.
 
pioneer
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Spencer Miles wrote:Some thoughtful responses, I will consider the rebuttals to my position - seeing as that is what one does in a debate: consider rebuttals.

Even though I hardly find it to be "nice".



Spencer, this seems to me like going to someone's house and arguing the merits of putting your feet on the coffee table when they asked you not to.  You can consider your rebuttals, you can try to debate, you can lie on the floor drumming your arms and legs like a child having a temper tantrum if you like.  It makes no difference.  This is Paul's house and he gets to make the rules.  Disagreeing with them is irrelevant.  
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
One last thing:  I didn't make this site for debate.   I made this site for people to share things that I think are cool.



I think a lot of people, myself included, think a lot of the things discussed here are cool also. It's nice to have a place where open discussion of ideas beneficial to people and the planet can take place.
 
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I would love to make some comments on posts that are so inane as to be eligible for the compost heap simply because they have nothing of real value in them.
But then I wouldn't be following the policies of permies and I try my best to turn away before I do something I know I will regret.
 
master steward
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"Nice" has never produced any growth - it perpetuates stagnation, it enforces mediocrity.



The fact that you want to participate here means that the Be Nice rule is working.  This forum is filled with lots of good posts and has a friendly atmosphere.

You are welcome and encouraged to participate in these forums in a nice way.

However, there are also many other forums on the internet that don't have such strict rules.  If you find the rules too strict here, there are other forums that will welcome you.  Alternatively, you can start your own forum to talk about permaculture in the way that you want to talk about permaculture.

There are lots of choices here, but if you choose to post to permies, know that any posts that don't follow the publishing standard will be removed.  

 
gardener
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Trace Oswald wrote: This is Paul's house and he gets to make the rules.  Disagreeing with them is irrelevant.  



And I have to add, most of us are here because we love it here.  And most of us love it here because we appreciate the rules that are responsible for making this place great.  If you want to discuss permaculture related content you can have great discussions while displaying the basic kindness to others that we all deserve.  Lack of being nice really shuts down a lot of discussions....being nice never does.  There's the old saying about "If you don't have something nice to say...."  Why have so many forgotten this?  I thank Paul for reminding us.  I've noticed that my behavior on other sites is improved due to the practices of this site.  I hope this spreads and spreads.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Greg Martin wrote: I've noticed that my behavior on other sites is improved due to the practices of this site.  I hope this spreads and spreads.



I think have greatly improved my ability to communicate thanks to permies.com.

 
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It is interesting the opportunity presented in posts/threads like these.

There was one a little while back where some seemingly antagonistic/provocative posts elicited debate about them potentially being from a ‘bot’, and gave folks here on the site ‘practice’ in responding in a different way. Thank you for giving us an opportunity to practice and reflect.

You gave Paul the opportunity to practice a softer response when he wrote (“It would seem . . . “)

“It would seem that your philosophy is different from mine.  

It would seem that you will create a forum and your forum will do better than mine.  And then there will be two forums.  Diversity.  That is permaculture.”


Understanding provides content and context for response. Please, enlighten (me, us) if my guesses fall short . . .

In the signature file “Just. Build. The. Damn. Thing!”  You like efficiency. You like expediency. The word ‘just’ says negate anything else but getting right down to it, whatever ‘it’ is. The (over) use of periods after each word, abruptness, impatience, a lack of flow?

“Nice" has never produced any growth - it perpetuates stagnation, it enforces mediocrity.”


I wonder if in your life you have experienced many harsh responses, which you have managed to take in and make changes. Hard, but you did it, and you believe you are the better for it.  You interpreted them to be truthful but harsh. Since your growth lessons were delivered in that way, from your perspective, that is the best way for everyone, yes?

You wrote “

While balance asks most certainly to add compassion and understanding,
shielding someone from a response to patently false claims, because it might "hurt their feelings" is at best short-sighted. I said "a bit confused" instead of "indefensibly negligent in an arrogant and baseless caution extending from a position of ignorance."



Do you think compassion and understanding (nice factors) and truth (the growth factor) are mutually exclusive?

In younger years I thought I saw things accurately and wanted to impart my ‘wisdom’ on those I thought would be benefited by it. Frequently the recipient’s response was not what I was hoping for. I came to think about what I wanted to offer from the end result I hoped to produce. Elements to consider like timing, tone, relationship came into view. There are best friend shortcuts with language that are taken for granted that cannot be applied to acquaintances.

I would guess you have not been on the receiving end of skilled feedback coming from a wise, compassionate and kind source. I have a grandmother who has transitioned out of form decades ago. She was the embodiment of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa, Confucius, Nelson Mandela, Lao Tzu and Rumi. Wise, well-chosen words, timed to land at the right time for the recipient, considering their circumstances, educational background and as many other factors as you would like to, can be life changing, in the best possible way, I know from my own experience, and from observation. It takes more time and energy going in, but can yield the greatest results.

Kindness and compassion are not always essential elements to include in conversations. Why potentially burn bridges, or NOT show and express care or nice? If the topic is “how to clear snow to accommodate where my dog poops’, care, kindness and nice are probably not factors. A loved one just passed away, you lost your job, and you totaled your car require more care in conversation, would you agree?

And R Ransom posted ‘

There are lots of choices here, but if you choose to post to permies, know that any posts that don't follow the publishing standard will be removed.”


A clear expression of firm boundaries.

And Greg Martin poignantly wrote

“have great discussions while displaying the basic kindness to others that we all deserve . . .”

deserving kindness – what a concept.

And Redhawk wrote

“I would love to make some comments on posts that are so inane as to be eligible for the compost heap simply because they have nothing of real value in them.
But then I wouldn't be following the policies of permies and I try my best to turn away before I do something I know I will regret. “  


He thinks about recycling what he considers the inane in a compost pile.     Sometimes I find posts in Meaningless Drivel that I think don’t belong there.  And knowing when to refrain from expression is very wise.

I am not attached. You have every right to continue expressing as you have. Or I invite you to consider diversity, flexibility and choice of thought and speech (and action). Experiment for yourself; see if you get different results.

PS – Earth care, PEOPLE CARE, Fair Share.


 
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I feel i would be better if the objective of this 'reminder' post was titled -

Polite & Positive posting PLEASE

When I read 'be nice' I feel like a child being admonished if not discounted. Isn't frustration and plain spoken honesty a reality of our human world? Do we really benefit from only choosing to see and live in a 'pleasant' world? Doesn't that lay one open to being blind sided by the nasties when those do target us?!?

For sure mutual respect, tolerance and old fashioned manners are much more 'honey' than 'vinegar'. But vinegar adds zest and provides preservation potential too (think pickles).

If a person chooses to live in a fantasy world, as long as they don't expect others to coddle and meet their needs, I say have a wonderful time! Yet I can't help thinking how much fun ol' Ma Nature is going to have with them as they give something so reality based as Permaculture a go.

Viva la SPICE (and variety) of life.
 
r ranson
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Jain Anderson wrote:I feel i would be better if the objective of this 'reminder' post was titled -

Polite & Positive posting PLEASE

When I read 'be nice' I feel like a child being admonished if not discounted. Isn't frustration and plain spoken honesty a reality of our human world? Do we really benefit from only choosing to see and live in a 'pleasant' world? Doesn't that lay one open to being blind sided by the nasties when those do target us?!?



Everyone who signs up for a permies.com account agrees to "Be Nice".  This thread explains what that expectation is.

I think the size of this community shows there are a lot of people who like this simple rule and find it easy to understand what being nice is.  Some people don't fit well with this rule, but the internet is a big place with lots of different communities where they can find a home.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Jain Anderson wrote:
If a person chooses to live in a fantasy world, as long as they don't expect others to coddle and meet their needs, I say have a wonderful time! Yet I can't help thinking how much fun ol' Ma Nature is going to have with them as they give something so reality based as Permaculture a go.



I live in a happy jolly fantasy world every day!  A big part of that fantasy is Permaculture.  My fantasy is of a creative, vital world where I can express my loving and nurturing nature, as well as my strength.  

fan·ta·sy
/ˈfan(t)əsē/
noun
1.
the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.
"his research had moved into the realm of fantasy"
synonyms: imagination, creativity, fancy, invention, originality, vision, speculation, make-believe, daydreaming, reverie

A Permaculture world is improbable and takes a lot of creativity to bring to reality.  I find this fantasy of a Permaculture world to be very inspiring.

I'm not sure how being "not nice" would aid me in my endeavors to create a good life for myself and my family.  I'm not sure how being "not nice" would make me better at coping with the inevitable difficulties of life.  Especially I'm not sure how it would help me obtain useful information here on permies!

 
pollinator
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Might I also add, it seems that as much as we use digital devices all day long, we have not really adjusted to the digital world much at all. We still deep down expect it to work by the same rules as the warm and squishy biological world. Specifically, online conversations and forums do not at all work like the face-to-face conversations we think they are similar to.

If I am face-to-face, live and in person, with family or friends, talking about anything, laughing, debating, getting angry, playing, giving advice, getting advice, cheering up, showing concern, etc., there is some critical magic going on. The magic is that we know each other, we have some history together, we know each other's personalities, likes, dislikes, areas where you can take a lot of liberties and areas where it's better not to tread. We have loads of information about each other. Not foolproof at all but we often know what the other person thinks or feels even before anyone has said anything. And sometimes we could finish each other's sentences. So we have loads of understanding going on that doesn't have to be reflected by words in the conversation.

Even if I'm speaking face-to-face with a total stranger, we still have loads of visual cues, body language and such to rely on, and we have things in common, even it's only being obviously human and being in the same place at the same time. So there are a lot of ways to get your correct intentions across, to see if someone else has misunderstood your message or your intentions, and to try to communicate again to clarify things if necessary. Tone of voice, shaking a hand, going red in the face, eye contact... These things all speak volumes.

The digital world and forums specifically are very poor in these visual and emotional cues that we rely on so much for "normal" successful communication. It is really, really easy to misunderstand other people's meaning and their intention when it's only words on a screen. People can feel outraged or self-righteous. And it's also really easy to react angrily and "really put someone in their place," because we don't really feel that warm squishy feeling that it is a real human being in front of us, a biological bag of emotions just like us. The person we're conversing with could seem like just some far-off entity that puts irritating words on a screen. Cold hands at a keyboard that we have no empathy with or responsibility towards.

So what happens in a lot of online forums? People misunderstand each other, get angry, fly off the handle, and say nasty things to each other. Maybe they're just short and cold but not any nastier than we often say in person. But unfortunately, we don't have any of those ways at our disposal to carry this off the way we might in the meat world: a wry smile, a hand gesture, a wink, an offer to buy them a beer, a slap on the back -- nor do we have the history with that person that we have with friends and family. So once things are messed up, things tend to stay messed up. Way more that in bio-land. And we biological bags of emotions only stick around a virtual place like a forum until our personal quota of allowable messed-up relationships in that place has been filled, then we're out of there. For some people, one argument will do it and for others, many are fine, but everyone has their number.

And so we circle back to being nice, and allowing space for others' ideas, even when they're "totally wrong." It's not the only way to do things online, but hey, it sure addresses some of the big problems that make loads of online forums dysfunctional. And it creates a really open space for shy or assertive people to share about permaculture. I personally love hearing the voices of introverts and shy people. They don't get or take a lot of airtime in the bioworld, but when they do, I am frequently floored with how great and acute their observations are. These voices often go missing in a heated environment that's full of debate and being "right." But here, they share. And stick around. A lot of nice, interesting and useful stuff bubbles to the surface in this relaxed environment that no one would ever share otherwise. That's a lot of personal growth that we'd miss out on if no one ever said anything in the first place.

So, if someone makes a factual error, expresses ignorance of some area we know about, or holds an opinion that violates our values, to post at permies.com we need to be able to take a breath and let go a little bit. We are here to share what we know and to learn what we're ready to learn right now. This is not the place for us to "fix" each other. That other person really is free to keep thinking the way they do. It takes some mindset adjustment. But maybe just our example, our simply relating what we've observed or learned while leaving plenty of space for others to do the same, will inspire others to rethink if that's what they need to do. Or not. But here we can continue to hang out together and be nice to each other anyway. Once you get into the mindset, you really can get across any helpful, practical and useful idea you need to get across within this framework of being nice. We may need to change ourselves and re-think a bit, but the result is most often much better when we finally communicate the useful part of what we want to and manage to be nice about it.

Paul, whose house we're in, and many others, have fine-tuned these rules over the course of years and years, through loads of hard work, considering how to deal with a bijillion real situations where these rules needed to be applied. The result is a pretty amazing permaculture information and idea source and a lively online community, available to everyone. Being nice is actually turning out to work pretty well.
 
Greg Martin
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Jain Anderson wrote:
If a person chooses to live in a fantasy world, as long as they don't expect others to coddle and meet their needs, I say have a wonderful time! Yet I can't help thinking how much fun ol' Ma Nature is going to have with them as they give something so reality based as Permaculture a go.



I live in a happy jolly fantasy world every day!  A big part of that fantasy is Permaculture.  My fantasy is of a creative, vital world where I can express my loving and nurturing nature, as well as my strength.  

fan·ta·sy
/ˈfan(t)əsē/
noun
1.
the faculty or activity of imagining things, especially things that are impossible or improbable.
"his research had moved into the realm of fantasy"
synonyms: imagination, creativity, fancy, invention, originality, vision, speculation, make-believe, daydreaming, reverie

A Permaculture world is improbable and takes a lot of creativity to bring to reality.  I find this fantasy of a Permaculture world to be very inspiring.

I'm not sure how being "not nice" would aid me in my endeavors to create a good life for myself and my family.  I'm not sure how being "not nice" would make me better at coping with the inevitable difficulties of life.  Especially I'm not sure how it would help me obtain useful information here on permies!



I think everyone lives in a fantasy world since the way we view the world is based on the mental model our brains create for us.  Some people live in a fantasy world and are happy most of time, humming, singing, dancing, spreading loveliness.  Others live in a fantasy world were everything is tough and everyone is out to get them.  Both groups put in the work and make it through their days.  I'm trying my best to be in the first group and the more I do the better my experiences are.  It translates not just to relationships with people, but with my forest garden too.  Heck, my garden fantasies lead to successes that others don't believe are possible....but also in lots and lots of failures and they are fine too.  I learn from both and grow and experience no unhappiness or pain from it.  It's all a blessing and I think it's ultimately a choice we make as to how we respond to the world.  Maybe this is why I have lasted in my job as a product development engineer so long....more things don't work than do, I learn, and I love it all.  It's like solving a puzzle and enjoying the process while most attempts to fit a piece don't work out.  In the end it's a beautiful picture.  
 
pollinator
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Everything starts as a fantasy... So we better fantasize in the nicest way possible, because how we fantasize is how we build our world!

"All of the buildings, all of the cars, were once just a dream in somebody's head" Peter Gabriel, song: Mercy Street... Was just listening to it
 
Lee Gee
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Tantra is not really understood here in the West. We hear Tantra and we think of Sting and Trudy's sex life. Or maybe Kama Sutra positions. Or a prolonged (pre) orgasmic state.

Tantra - loosely translated means to weave, stretch and expand to the point of liberation. It is also the use of the mind, in fact all of the senses, to bring the end result desired into the present, whatever that may be.

Relating to permaculture; all the fantasies, daydreams, planning and plotting, and relishing, reveling, luxuriating in thoughts, feelings, smells, tastes, sounds etc. of your little piece of the world, or all of planet earth and its inhabitants, living a flourishing permaculture based life, are assisting to bring it into creation.

Form follows energy. Energy follows thought.



 
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