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symbiculture

 
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And manure, unaged smells as bad.



I was on a farm on Monday to see a keyline demonstration.  There were pastured cattle and, of course, fresh manure.  As odd as it sounds, the moment that smell hit my nose I thought it smelled awesome. 

Back on topic:

I had another thought.  "Shibbies", "grasshopper" and similar stuff still doesn't sit right with me.  Yesterday I thought of "what I would call permaculture frosting".  The analogy would be a cake.  Some people like cake without frosting and some like cake with frosting. 

At the spokane conference, there was very little frosting, but it was there.  And I managed to avoid some of it. 

Somebody else pointed out an amazing aspect:  they said that if the words were garbled or in a language we didn't understand, then an observer would get the idea that what was going on was a church service.  And that got me thinking: 

1)  I guess some permaculture folks are not going to church and yet, have those church-ish needs and this is a format where they can get that. 

2)  Maybe my aversion to this stuff is because it is triggering the same thing in me that makes up my aversion to church. 

When we ate our meals, there was a LOT of talking shop at the table.  And that was excellent.  Sooooo good. 

And when we met for plenary sessions, Skeeter often wanted to sing songs or even dance.  This peer pressure thing to participate made me feel really awful.  And now that I'm thinking about it, it did seem like if I wanted to participate and not make a scene, I had to go through the motions of somebody else's spiritual thing.  I suppose Skeeter feels like it is getting people up and active and participating and having fun, but it doesn't feel that way to me.    It just feels .... wrong.  The same flavor of wrong that I feel at a church.  But I tolerate it out of respect for Skeeter and those that appear to enjoy it.

On the other hand, to have a conference go down the way I would want, i suppose I would have to make it happen and I don't think I can add any more to my plate.  So I go to the Skeeter conferences which will be done the Skeeter way.  To get the "shop talk" there will be a gauntlet of singing to go through (or to sneakily avoid (which I did and then felt bad - like I was not showing proper respect to skeeter)).

 
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Re: the forward velocity comment of FB...
Maybe I've missed it--Are you talking about your own forward velocity and establishing a community to do things the way you think they ought to be done? Or are you truly hoping to lead as many as possible (including those with other ideas about permaculture) toward a global permaculture movement?

Or is symbiculture a way of leading a subset away from the main group to try and lead by a different example? Or do I have this all wrong? (quite possible since I'm one of those creepy lurkers  )
 
paul wheaton
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jenny penny wrote:
Re: the forward velocity comment of FB...
Maybe I've missed it--Are you talking about your own forward velocity and establishing a community to do things the way you think they ought to be done? Or are you truly hoping to lead as many as possible (including those with other ideas about permaculture) toward a global permaculture movement?

Or is symbiculture a way of leading a subset away from the main group to try and lead by a different example? Or do I have this all wrong? (quite possible since I'm one of those creepy lurkers  )



I feel powerfully compelled to tell people about permaculture and ... well ... all the things I talk about in my videos and podcasts.  And, even more, I feel powerfully compelled to change the world.  I feel I am changing the world, and I feel compelled to make bigger changes faster.  I feel like there are lots of people that are willing to chip in on the same or very similar path, so then I try to think of things that are helpful so that we can all improve our forward velocity.

The word "symbiculture" would be a tool to help everything move forward.  I do not want to impede any progress in the space of what i feel is good stuff. 

 
paul wheaton
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I hate to delete something from a newbie but sometimes I gotta.

I would like to remind folks to not suggest that anybody on permies is anything less than perfect.  This includes groups of people on permies.  Please express your position without bashing others.

 
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Thanks Paul.
 
                                  
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paul wheaton wrote:
I hate to delete something from a newbie but sometimes I gotta.

I would like to remind folks to not suggest that anybody on permies is anything less than perfect.  This includes groups of people on permies.  Please express your position without bashing others.




Fine, but I thought I was agreeing with you and your podcast Paul.
 
paul wheaton
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Robert:  yup.  And, if the forums were on richsoil.com we could have a richer conversation.  But, here on permies.com I am trying to nurture a community so I have to require a respectful form of communication all the time.
 
                                  
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paul wheaton wrote:
Robert:  yup.  And, if the forums were on richsoil.com we could have a richer conversation.  But, here on permies.com I am trying to nurture a community so I have to require a respectful form of communication all the time.



Ok, Paul would it be possible to turn on comments in the podcast area.  I have often listened to your podcasts and would like to comment about them and thats the reason I came here to the forum but this forum is too limited. I fully respect your wishes to be god and overlord here. LOL
 
paul wheaton
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When I turn the comments on, they instantly fill with spam.  I spent a bunch of time trying different things and ended up just routing folks to here.

I think it is easy for everybody to express their position without bashing others. 
 
jenny penny
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paul wheaton wrote:
I feel powerfully compelled to tell people about permaculture and ... well ... all the things I talk about in my videos and podcasts.  And, even more, I feel powerfully compelled to change the world.  I feel I am changing the world, and I feel compelled to make bigger changes faster. 



Wow, that's very cool. And really humbling. I'm still trying to convert my little 1/2 acre of the world...
 
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I hear you on the smell of manure, sometimes, it just smells like home. Just like the sound of a chainsaw brings back good memories for me.

I had a good conversation with someone today about something near to this. He was saying in the group he was in, there were really two groups. There were people who wanted to include others, unless they hand to reject them due to be trouble makers, etc. And then there was another group who wanted to exclude people, unless those people could prove they were "pure" enough.

My point is, I am not a judge of anyone. I sure hope everyone is trying to be helpful to others, and improve what they are doing each and every day, but I am not so naive as to think that everyone has the best intentions.

Any group, movement, or heck, even family, has those who want to somehow take advantage of the opportunity - not to make things better for all, but only better for them. And they think this is the American way, etc.

Basically, this is corruption, or at least this is how I think about it.
 
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The open-armed types sound like secure folks, and the purists seem pretty insecure. 

Isn't community defined by the fact that members do lots of stuff together... eating, working, learning, living, and, yes, playing and singing! 

 
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Oh the O  -  "O."   Bi means two... Bio means life - living --- did you want bi or BIO?

SO my words are:                             Symbioculture
                                                        Bioculture

and  my favorite                                Symbiology
 
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Paul

Sometimes you make me smile; you have deep ethics even though you refuse to allow their discussion here. This can be known because even though you seek to grow your 'empire' you will not stoop to practices that harm others. and I think you inherently know how limits to growth derive naturally out of caring for the planet.

And I think that those who choose to use the term will see a spirituality in your drive to spread non toxic practices you are a man of talent and drive who could be making more money with less work , but something makes you want another type of profit.

I'm not mocking you when I mention spirituality you see I have my own sort of spiritual scale the folks near the top of it don't need to sing and dance and have others remind them of the path they want to live on and I suspect doing so might begin to feel wrong just as a level 8 on the eco scale might like to mock folks who still buy some bread.

Might be the ethics scale works kinda the same way with some folks at the bottom trying to use ethical words to make them feel better about unethical doings while others near the top don't need the words anymore, and maybe some of those folks near the top will develop a dislike for the words because they encounter them being abused so much.
 
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It might be good to know there is something worse than permaculture being misused, and co-opted. That would be ignored. 

 
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dogma dogma dogma. What is the central dogma here Paul? Most systems of understanding require one or else we do get our collective nickers in a collective knot. I like your approach "it it dont fit in the existing container make a new one". It's just that I get anoyed when people comandere ideas and then try to bang them into the an existing container to suit themselves or their agendas. To me it would be nice if we keep things simple and also respect the history and development of ideas. Simply permaculture is a system of design for ethical living. The elements of that design are not the desing nor are they the system. Glyphosate, mineral fertilisers, bulldozers, orchards, industrial chickens, food forests, herb spirals comfrey are not the system, the design or permaculture. hmmm Tim's rant over.

is this in the wrong spot???  if so sorry.
 
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ronie wrote:
Oh the O  -  "O."   Bi means two... Bio means life - living --- did you want bi or BIO?



Sym means together, bi means two, symbi means two together...

Paul, I am amused that in the podcast you express concern about permaculture being monsantized (my made up word for the day  ) and then you introduce a concept, symbiculture, which to me looks like it would be more co-optable.  Permaculture with profit?  Permaculture without ethics?  Those sound like something Monsanto could really get behind.  Your concept is good but I think the definition needs tweaked.

As far as all the stuff that gets associated with permaculture that doesn't really have to do with growing plant and animals is concerned, I think it serves the very useful function of keeping Monsanto out.  Being on the fringe may slow the rate of adoption of permaculture, but it also keeps it more "pure".  Organic is now fairly mainstream, but in becoming so it lost a lot of its character.

This reminds me of the stories Tom Brown Jr. tells in "The Tracker" of the wild dogs in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey.  They were dangerous, but even after he narrowly escaped from them, he risked going back to save them, because they played an important role in keeping the Pine Barrens relatively wild.
 
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Paul and the rest of you all

I'm new here and so far I have to say that this is a great site.

I can say from personal experience that the "green" movement as always had negative connotations for me due to the perceived overemphasis on the "morality" of it.  I personally don't prescribe to the three ethics or social justice (I don't condemn them either. To each his own.) but I see the intelligence and functionality of living close to nature, which has nothing to do with morality at its core. I myself am a person that tries to live responsibly and be a good steward of nature, because it makes sense.

IMO "religion" takes many forms for many people and for some eco/environmental/green is it.  This can inadvertently turn people off of the functional and largely beneficial aspects of Permaculture and in doing so harm an otherwise smart, safe and stable concept/movement. 

Cudos to you for trying to distinguish and separate the functionality of Permaculture from the spirituality aspect.

~Mike 
 
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I still like Perm(anent) a(gri) culture
full of meaning, easy to understand by everyone
talking about system intensive activity involving people, dirt, plants,
energy, light, water, minerals, habitation, sustenance, sustainability,
culture and on endlessly

I thought up ecolandtech a while back, as an alternative to permaculture:
Eco Land Tech
ecology-driven land use technology
- portal to an expanding global network of landtech pioneers -

Emelia Hazelip uses of the term synergistic agriculture which she (or
someone) has defined at length.
Index of /ecolandtech/souscayrous/EmiliaHazelip-SynergisticAgriculture
(mostly in French, lots of plans and annotated drawings)
http://www.ibiblio.org/ecolandtech/souscayrous/Emi...azelip-SynergisticAgriculture/
Buckminster Fuller referred often to synergy

all these words and terms can, if used in the context of permaculture as an umbrella discipline, be extremely useful

symbiculture
ecolandtech
synergistic, sustainable, regenerative, biological, ecological,
biointensive, biorganic, beyondorganic, restoration, preservation
agriculture

seems to me that people will want to think of an umbrella discipline as
an easy starting point, such as permaculture or one or more alternate or
companion terms :  synergistic and symbiotic terminology
synerbioculture
synecoculture

From a thread at permies:
"i seldom use the word permaculture when talking to people because it
can seem like another " gimicky thing" someone is trying to sell."

I use it all the time even to people I know have never heard of it. I
ignore negative reactions while hoping for curiosity and interest in
learning more leading to their becoming lifetime devotees and
practitioners.

Someone suggested the term gaiaculture as an alternate to permaculture:

Gaia Stable - utilizing EcoLandTech - ecology-driven land use technology
- portal to an expanding global network of landtech pioneers -

gaiaculture

Public awareness of The Gaia concept is becoming increasingly important, and in a big way. If they will just understand that the Earth functions as a single living organism and that humankind's survival on our planet requires that the concept remain in the forefront of our minds daily, affecting decisions we make toward ours and others' survival and well being.

 
Lf London
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paul wheaton wrote:
I was on a farm on Monday to see a keyline demonstration.  There were pastured cattle and, of course, fresh manure.  As odd as it sounds, the moment that smell hit my nose I thought it smelled awesome. 

Back on topic:

I had another thought.  "Shibbies", "grasshopper" and similar stuff still doesn't sit right with me.  Yesterday I thought of "what I would call permaculture frosting".  The analogy would be a cake.  Some people like cake without frosting and some like cake with frosting. 

<....>

And when we met for plenary sessions, Skeeter often wanted to sing songs or even dance.  This peer pressure thing to participate made me feel really awful.  And now that I'm thinking about it, it did seem like if I wanted to participate and not make a scene, I had to go through the motions of somebody else's spiritual thing.  I suppose Skeeter feels like it is getting people up and active and participating and having fun, but it doesn't feel that way to me.    It just feels .... wrong.  The same flavor of wrong that I feel at a church.  But I tolerate it out of respect for Skeeter and those that appear to enjoy it.

On the other hand, to have a conference go down the way I would want, i suppose I would have to make it happen and I don't think I can add any more to my plate.  So I go to the Skeeter conferences which will be done the Skeeter way.  To get the "shop talk" there will be a gauntlet of singing to go through (or to sneakily avoid (which I did and then felt bad - like I was not showing proper respect to skeeter)).



(hilarious...)

Permaculture is science and technology. first and foremost. Inspiration on the part of practitioners and teachers for moving the discipline forward and increasing the depth of its knowledgebase and methodology set is common and may be derived in part from one's religious ideas about the Earth we live on but often comes from pure enthusiasm about permaculture itself and the immense possibilities it offers for Earth or GAIA stewardship. It is time to get on with business and pursue the goals for it that we all share, ones that matter substantially to each of us as we put into practice lessons we have learned in our daily lives and backyards. That's real frosting on the cake, gifts from those who have made the movement happen and shown us the possibilities.

LFLondon

what's a shibbie?

     
 
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LFLondon wrote:
what's a shibbie?



Stoned HIppie living in the Basement, as per this link... http://www.permies.com/bb/index.php?topic=3885.0
 
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LFLondon wrote:
(hilarious...)

Permaculture is science and technology. first and foremost.
     



In your opinion.  To Bill Mollison, it's a philosophy, apparently. 
 
Fred Morgan
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
In your opinion.  To Bill Mollison, it's a philosophy, apparently. 



I think it is philosophy more than a science as well. It is about attempting to understand and live in harmony with nature, etc instead of forcing everything into your will. Technology and science, without philosophy, is what has gotten us in such a fix.
 
paul wheaton
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Deleted some stuff.

I would like to remind people to not suggest that anyone on permies is anything less than perfect. 

I would also like to remind people to state their position and not "the truth" so that discussion can be inviting rather than conflict-ish.

 
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I think Permaculture is a design science to implement a philosophy / set of ethic / way of life that is just sketched in PDM,

if i want to think about ethics, i won't open a permaculture book (except Permaculture principles perhaps), but if i want a way to implement this vision, permaculture is for me.

Permaculture is praised by vegans as well as anarcho-primitivists, so beside a broad ethic canvas (not so broad, because only a few are bio-centered ans not human-centered), it is foremost design,

Citing Bill Mollison :

But, as many thousands of us have worked for up to 40 years in the field, we have perhaps thousands of self-perpetuating systems now developed. This I believe, is the very basis of self-sustaining design science, and design science is at the root of any definition of Permaculture or put simply, Permaculture is design science.



(but if one personally mixes permaculture and spirituality or religion, no problem for me)
 
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So Question?
Does Symbiculture exclude drum circles.......? I am thinking there will be no drum circles.

I too feel an awkwardness regarding the touchy/ feely. Isn't it enough that I enjoy living simply and growing my own food and taking care of my own. I actually would tend to not be involved with this forum, if it were not for the fact that permaculture was so amazing. Just the knowledge of permaculture makes me want to share it everyday with everyone I know.......it is truely inspiring.

Permaculture seems like a perfect fit for my "Hill Billy" sensabilities. although I don't feel Like I fit into some permaculture circles...especially the drum circles.   
 
Lf London
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Thelma McGowan wrote:
Isn't it enough that I enjoy living simply and growing my own food and taking care of my own. I actually would tend to not be involved with this forum, if it were not for the fact that permaculture was so amazing. Just the knowledge of permaculture makes me want to share it everyday with everyone I know.......it is truely inspiring.



That describes exactly what I feel about permaculture, Thelma, the enthusiasm, the drive to share it with others, to introduce to as many people as possible. That's what this and other permaculturee forums are for..and the word gets out from there to the mainstream media a little bit at a time. The global permaculture movement seems to have doubled or tripled in just the past few years and carried along with it natural farming and gardening, energy efficiency and all sorts of home projects leading to independence and self sufficiency.

Thanks for posting your thoughts.


LFLondon
 
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paul wheaton wrote:
I make up stuff all the time.  I really am that arrogant and obnoxious.  Plus, I have invented so many things over the years, I find that it is often helpful to wrap lots of big things up in much smaller words. 

This word would be a tool.  Something I can use to further my goals.  If nobody else uses it, that's fine.  If other people find that they want something similar, they can say "like symbiculture, but ....." or come up with their own word.



We need more straight talk like that in our politically correct society. 

And seriously...America is not the America it used to be, far too many people are NOT inventing anything anymore...including new words.  Kudos to you Paul-go change the world with your new word!  You have inspired me today...now I feel the need to invent something. 
 
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jdwheeler42 McCoy wrote:

ronie wrote:
Oh the O  -  "O."   Bi means two... Bio means life - living --- did you want bi or BIO?



Sym means together, bi means two, symbi means two together...



just to clarify: the roots from Greek
syn - with
bios- life
[bis - twice]

As words are created the roots undergo transformations (the 'n' morphs into 'm' and the 's' from bios omitted.)
 
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I'm a noob to all this, and I keep looking at the evolution of permaculture and it's subsets like Symbiculture, Holtzerian Permaculture, Holmgrenian-Keyline Permaculture, "pure" (whatever that means) Mollisonian Permaculture, yatta, yatta... and I keep being reminded of the similarity to the history of another field of study I spent a lot of time at, which is asian martial arts. (Bear with me a minute, this only seems like a complete non-sequiter.)

The similarity is that all variants of these arts were, and continue to be, the creation of individual pioneers and the people who surround them, and both coexist or compete with each other in myriad forms. The frontiers they push forward are by individual artists in all instances, even though many individuals work together at times to spread the practices, theories, philosophies and schools of thought and deed. They are most easily lumped together only from the outside by folks who have no working knowledge of the differences, only seeing the arts in simplistic terms of bashing other people or whatnot, because of a lack of education about the vast array of those arts' impacts on entire cultures and psyches, as well as a familiarity with the huge portion of the activities that have nothing to do with the most visible applications.

The point of all this sideways glance at the permies world is that there is value at times for all such arts to be included in discussion and cooperative activities in a term like "arts martial", and there is value in new terms describing new fields of endeavor that may fall under a general label but need precise clarification to communicate the goals, methods, values, etc. At advanced levels it's actually not enough to say I'm a Kenpo practicioner. To communicate clearly to folks educated in this space I'd need to either say I'm a practicioner of "Joe Smith Kenpo" or I'd have to build a body of accomplishments that a wide group of people in the huge, multifaceted community would readily recognize as "Kit's Kenpo" (neither of which exist, by the way). Otherwise we can't talk apples to apples about the pros and cons, or successes and challenges of a particular approach, to enable us to further our own progress down our unique path... and isn't that why we discuss this permies stuff at all?

In the same way we need terms like "aquamarine" instead of just "blue" we require new terms to differentiate the shades of color of this new system of design methodology we call Permaculture. Having those terms like symbiculture isn't only valuable in splitting disciplines apart, though it can accomplish that. It's also requisite for being able to include approaches together by their commonalities, in the way that artists as disparate as Rembrandt and Picasso can both be learned from, since they both applied paint to canvas.

Just my two cents. =]

Besides, inventing new words is an old art form that lets our minds grow unrestrained.

"'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves. Did gyre and gimble in the wabe: All mimsy were the borogoves, And the mome raths outgrabe." -Lewis Carroll
 
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I was kinda under the impression that permaculture was supposed to be like Jeet Kun Do in the first place, although if not then maybe we really do need some new words . Unfortunately any word I can think of in english tends to have connotations that miss the point by about a mile. Maybe something like Ungoverned-nature-food-garden-way.
 
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I received a 'dailyish' today, telling me about this podcast. Then I listened (most of) the podcast. Interesting subject! I'd like to give my opinion on it ... where to do that? So I came in this thread. It is all '5 years ago', but it's about that subject: the word 'permaculture', is it losing its meaning?

My opinion is: in this world of today every good word is often mis-used (abused?). The word 'permaculture' too. But that doesn't really change the meaning of it! The word is invented by Bill Mollison, who wrote a book about it. The meaning of the word 'permaculture' is described in that book. Everything else some people think about permaculture, or do and call it 'permaculture', which is not as defined in that book ... is NOT permaculture!

Paul, you invented the word 'symbiculture', but in fact that is 'permaculture Paul Wheaton's way'. It is still permaculture, it doesn't go against the definition Bill Mollison gave. So, IMHO, the new word, 'symbiculture' is not needed.

We have to show the real meaning of permaculture, by doing real permaculture and showing it, without being afraid to use the word 'permaculture'. Only in that way we can show this is the meaning of permaculture. It isn't a 'bunch of hippies dancing around'!
 
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