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The Bad Boy of Permaculture

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Posts: 49142
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Today I learned that I am the Bad Boy of Permaculture.


The Kaimin is the newspaper for the University of Montana in Missoula. You would expect a college paper to be pretty weak - journalism students hoping to someday work for a big paper. But I think something odd has happened over the years. Actual newspapers have cut their funding so much, that the writing is done by interns. And the college papers are going to write more based on their convictions than about needing to fill the pages to support the advertising. Plus, in 2013, the young writer has grown up in an internet age of writing every day. And having their writing judged by the masses.

I guess I'm trying to say that the college papers compete well with the big time papers.

That said, there are a few things I would like to modify from the article:

- I didn't call myself the duke. That came from Geoff Lawton, the crown prince of permaculture.

- I discovered permaculture when a neighbor saw what I was doing and told me that was permaculture

- I was one of the primary architects for the ground systems of the spacecraft that takes pictures for google earth.

- The article says "Wheaton is a proponent of permaculture techniques, but doesn’t subscribe to the political and theological elements of the movement." There are political and theological elements to permaculture?

The important point is: I think the article is fun. And I am seriously enjoying my new Fonzie-Factor.

Posts: 72
Location: Central Oklahoma
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Well, as far as being a "bad boy" of permaculture --
I would say that you are more... a freedom-loving individualistic man.

As I have read these forums and listened to your podcasts, I've found
that I very much appreciate your individualistic bent. Being somewhat
individualistic myself... I have felt the pressure at times (not necessarily
meaning in permaculture) to "be" part of something that really doesn't
fit me. For that reason... I join no clubs... I attend no church...
I subscribe to no philosophy... and I consider that life evolves...
and as I learn, I, too, will evolve. "Belonging" to some "group" restricts
my ability to do that. I resent anyone attempting to compel me otherwise.
I don't need dance to associate with other people. I don't need therapy.

I'm only up to podcast #85 - "Greed" -- (starting from #41)
and am not sure how this subject evolved that inspired that podcast
(I'm not sure what date the podcast was posted) --
but I've seen this issue coming up ... the third ethic stuff.
I will dismiss for the moment that the possibility exists that "detractors" of
"your greed" might well be detractors of anything permaculture. It wouldn't
be the first time I heard of people trying to break up a group. YOU are
possibly the door through which the mainstream will discover permaculture.
I believe as you do, that you should be able to thrive through your own hard work.

So, I will keep it simple... the question being... what is a permaculture ethic?
Where will this holistic system of living... this permaculture... evolve?
Is it headed towards a type of communism or socialism? I hope not.
But capitalism?? where money is the be all and end all of life itself?
Permaculture can give us better answers... whatever the name of it might be.

Permaculture... includes us humans... finding a home.
I believe that the natural state of a human being is dignity. When people
act contrary to this... they are really an abberation... and are suffering.
There is disaster and destruction everywhere in the present system...
including among us humans. When you hear something wailing... you want
to resolve that wailing. You want to find answers for them.
We won't be finding answers in the system that has caused that suffering.

So... what to do?
The answer is not by causing ourselves suffering, loss, or degradation...
the answer is finding those solutions that resolve everyone's needs.
For instance... you need to find a reward in the work you do.
One solution might be to sell ad space... newspaper style... per ad...
rather than per click, etc. Rather than using the tracking ad system.
I think the internet went wrong with these per click systems.

That way... people pay for something they want, at a rate they can
afford, and know ahead of time what it will cost them. Each forum category
could have one or two columns of ads. At even $10. a month per spot--
the revenue would add up. When I designed my own website, I considered
how time-consuming this would be, and thought the only way to ease the work
load would be to sell ads in three month increments. And the advertiser would
be in charge of renewing the ad during the first week of the third month. Those
who pay for a year of an ad, get double space or two ads.
My point is... there are answers that can resolve multiple problems.

As for people who want to get into permaculture or want to start a farm...
who want to break out of the losing system and rebuild their lives...
we should all brainstorm a way to do that... without it costing YOU or
anyone else for them to do that. There are ways... the challenge is getting
the know-how and the where-for -- so that they can do that.

I happen to think... moving to a dying little farm town could be the answer.
If enough people did this, they would be able to set the municipal codes...
they could share a house without restrictions... and begin making their own
codes. It just takes people organizing... and doing it.

In the end... it's not the making of money that is the problem...
it is the rebuilding of social systems that people can survive in... and THRIVE.
It is the solving of people problems... as part of the holistic dream...
just like we would resolve a water problem or a wind problem.
There's room enough for everyone. We can all find our niche.
At least... that is MY hope.

Good luck to you.

Montana has cold dark nights. Perfect for the heat from incandescent light. Tiny ad:
133 hours of video: the Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course
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