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David Livingston
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Location: Anjou ,France
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Should we name and shame those who are using Permiculture as a trojan horse to promote some sort of metaphisics/woo/ purple dreamtime ?
I dont know I am in two minds but would be interested in what others think .

David
 
wayne stephen
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I think using shame as a tool to make a point is worse than woo woo . At least woo is a faux opiate . Perfectly appropriate though would be to debate the validity of woo woo claims in a respectful manner .
 
Craig Dobbson
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I've found that when I meet somebody who has their permie wire crossed with their purple wire, the best thing to do is stick to the science and don't acknowledge the woo. If there is too much woo mixed in, there's usually not enough permaculture to keep me interested anyway. At that point I politely find somewhere else to be.
That being said, I think people who claim to be teaching permaculture and are adding all of their woo in to it, are doing a disservice to their students as well as the whole permaculture community. Somehow it waters it all down to magic. I don't think shame is the way to go but perhaps we could find a place to do "reviews" of anyone who's put them self in the public sphere as a permaculture teacher. Like a permaculture Angie's list sort of thing maybe.

There are a lot of courses popping up and a way to easily review them in an independent way would be nice.
 
Michael Cox
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I'm not into the idea of naming and shaming, but a place to review permaculture courses and practitioners would be great. Here in the UK we a have a website "trustatrader" where members of the public can review local tradesmen, give them star based grades for various categories and comments.

At least in that format everything is in the open - great teachers will end up shining over less good ones, "purple" teachers will get reviewed as such and will attract clients who are after that type of course.
 
R Scott
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No one is Vulcan, no one can have 100% pure science. We all have our world views that color our opinions and conclusions whether we acknowledge them or not. The best we can do is recognize they may be the reasons we do permaculture, not the magic behind it. Don't cross the streams.



 
Michael Cox
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R Scott - I disagree with this, especially when talking about teaching. One of the primary aims of a professional teacher should be to teach the material without introducing your own personal prejudices, at least to the limits of your ability. We should strive to keep the teaching "pure".

I myself am a maths teacher, so it is pretty cut and dried for my subject. However, my wife teaches philosophy and religious studies (that is, study of religions NOT christian indoctrination) and one of the requirements of how they teach is that they have to leave their personal prejudices at the door when they enter the classroom. In her case this means she teaches in an unbiased a way as possible and doesn't get drawn in to discussions about her personal faith. Because of the nature of her course she deals with many sensitive and difficult issues (death, abortion, sexuality, faith, religious conflicts) and has to be able to teach in as neutral a way as possible.

The flip side of her subject is that many people are drawn to precisely because of their personal positions of faith, and abuse the position of a teacher to push their own point of view. There may be a case for this in some faith schools, but it isn't really appropriate in mainstream education when signing up for a rigorous study of ethics and world religions.

If I sign up to a course on permaculture I expect to learn about "permanent-agriculture" and I wouldn't expect a teacher to bring in any form of mysticism/woo woo/spirituality. But at the same time I wouldn't expect a teacher to bring other political, religious etc... baggage to the course either. At best I would see that as a waste of valuable time that could be spent on the core material, at worst it can devalue the whole process of study.
 
R Scott
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Michael, I think we do agree (at least I agree with you). I just didn't say it clearly.

I could become an evolutionary biologist because I wanted to prove my position as an Atheist or a Christian--but either shouldn't change how I run an experiment. It might change what experiment choose I run.

 
wayne stephen
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Don't forget the Golden Rule of permies.com . That is to not suggest anyone on permies is less than perfect . I would add that includes any person who might want to become a member on permies . If you search a permaculture topic online most likely you will find a link to a discussion on this forum . I just typed in sepp holzer on google and the first and fifth links were to this forum . I would hate to think that someone would find themselves being named and shamed who would want to join us or to find someone they respect being called out in such a way . There is also something called pseudoskepticism . That is when you express doubt about anothers claim without having the evidence to support your counter claim . Shame seems to fall into that category .
 
Judith Browning
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David Livingston wrote:Should we name and shame those who are using Permiculture as a trojan horse to promote some sort of metaphisics/woo/ purple dreamtime ?
I dont know I am in two minds but would be interested in what others think .

David


I would say no...In most cases, I think, folks eventually show their true nature for themselves and I am not sure 'woowoo' is such a bad connection to make with permaculture.
In college...1970...We started an underground newspaper to "out' some narcs, it worked and seemed necessary at the time.....
 
R Scott
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If the science is bad, call them on it!

If their worldview woowoo is different than yours (everyone has one), be respectful and don't get offended. You do not have a "right to not be offended," that is a choice in action you make.
 
Michael Cox
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R Scott wrote:If their worldview woowoo is different than yours (everyone has one), be respectful and don't get offended.


Yes, but teaching a subject (any subject!) shouldn't be a vehicle for promoting a personal spiritual position. I don't teach maths with a liberal dollop of christianity along side, and I would quite rightly expect complaints from my students if I did.
 
Ken Peavey
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If someone is doing something shameful they don't need our help in furthering their misery.
 
Dale Hodgins
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Here is a personal experience with pointing out something negative for all to see.--- When I first started in building recycling, there was another guy in town who was in the business who had started a few years earlier. I caught him stealing from two of my jobs. I got on the phone and informed everyone in town who owned an excavator, a dump truck or demolition bin that there were two choices for demolition services. "I'm the one who isn't a liar and a thief who is on coke". Two months later he was done. It totally worked and was the right move to make.

When one thing is better than another, I want to know about it. I've found that most decision makers want that information.
 
Robert Ray
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I unfortunately can't control my eyes when the talk gets too purple, the same thing happens when the talk gets too religious. They seem to roll back on their own accord one of my own shortcomings but I don't think shaming is the answer. Sometimes there is a good idea in the conversation if I can get through it.
 
Peter Ellis
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Location: Central New Jersey
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David Livingston wrote:Should we name and shame those who are using Permiculture as a trojan horse to promote some sort of metaphisics/woo/ purple dreamtime ?
I dont know I am in two minds but would be interested in what others think .

David


Simple question. Who draws the line beyond which a position gets "named and shamed"?

My answer to your initial question, no. I have witnessed a rather broad range of perceptions within these forums. There is a forum for "biodynamic", here on permies. It appears to me that some place biodynamics firmly in the woo woo camp, while others do not. This inconsistency of perception makes the idea a non-starter for me.
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