Paul Wheaton and Kelly Ware talk about being noble. Kelly shares about growing grapes in Montana, and making elderberry jam and fruit leather. Someone made a political cartoon of Paul on reddit, and someone else made a comic strip of Paul and cast iron. He reminds people to sign up for his daily-ish email list. Paul will be firing up book promotions, but just for the mailing list. Paul thanks all of the people at permies.com who genuinely communicate peacefully. Kelly talks about the importance of paying attention to whether we are being destructive or creative. Paul asks that everybody use their first and last name in the forums, and if they don't feel comfortable, to use a pseudonym that is realistic. Paul thinks it breeds more integrity and decency, rather than having something to hide behind. Paul talks about using the eco flag as a weapon, mentioning a woman who got death threats for her column speaking against CFLs. Paul shares a quote from the Dalai Lama that reflects this. Paul shares about a friend's story. He uses something similar to the Wheaton Eco Scale to assess the situation. They talk about Christian and Buddhist self-reflective growth, and not bashing whole packages (religions, beliefs, ways of living), but just the people that make them suck. Kelly quotes Thich Naht Hanh on choosing which seeds (thoughts, emotions) you water, which carries over to the idea of changing what you look at in people. Paul says to use permaculture to build the new and good rather than to stop the bad. Paul only wants to use symbols, like the peace sign, if the symbols are not abused by hostile people touting what they stand for. Paul and Kelly finish by mentioning the spring PDC with Michael Pilarski and Sepp Holzer, as well as the Inland Northwest Permaculture Conference this November.
So I know this is an old thread but Paul recently linked to it in his daily'ish email and I had a few "Ah Ha" moments I thought were worth posting...
Towards the end, as they are discussing how to deal with the negativity and ick, Kelly mentioned something I thought quite profound in comparing these trollish people to weeds we didn't necessarily invite into our permaculture garden.
I've always found important lessons in nature and part of my philosophy/outlook on life is finding how to draw meaning from observations in the natural world. (no wonder I resonate so well with permaculture!)
Seeing as weeds are often a symptom of underlying causes, be they mineral deficiencies, bare soil, invasive rhizomatic spreaders etc., remediating soil conditions and improving fertility goes a long ways towards building a better situation.
So while laying down a mulch barrier helps, there's a reason we have zones of decreasing activity and interaction...and if everyone walled themselves off in secluded ecovillages, at least in the present state of affairs, the planet might not have enough biodiversity to recuperate for eons. Most people, at least most permies, don't do that....we have permaculture business, permaculture conferences, permaculture design courses etc. We are all interdependent and we do interact with the outside world.
This makes a cute metaphor but...so what? How does this inform us about actually building a better world?
Well, besides carefully considering the invisible structures (essential in this context), in fact I would argue that, in many ways, the metaphor is the answer. By that I mean, by using permaculture as a design methodology, we are creating a better world.
So, carefully observing how people new to permaculture interact, learning how to meet them where they're at in understanding, and encouraging future participation...we spread more than just the food we grow (or whatever tangible thing you might be selling/trading/giving)...we are spreading even nurturing ideas, inspiration, meaningfulness.
The weeds, eventually, just won't have a cultural context to germinate and invade....they'll still crop up every now and then but our systems, with thoughtful interaction, will keep things in check and balance them out....in the mean time guys....we have SO much work to do!
With perennial seeds of love and abundance....onward we grow!
I've been thinking about this a lot since I listened to it a week or two ago, and it does shock me how many people are not involved in any acts of creation. Just for example, when I am knitting in public, I do receive plenty of compliments for what I do, but I also hear so much about how people just can't do something "creative".