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should all permaculture stuff be for free?

 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:I think it is critically important to respect the wishes of the creator. If the creator wants it to be free, that's great. If the creator wants to sell it for a million dollars and you don't want to pay a million dollars, then move on with your life without it.

If the price is too high, simply don't buy it.
.



Sure. I think where people get hung up is that the ideas we're working with here don't have a creator, they are a synthesis of so many people's and cultures work across the ages. The way I see it, no one should or even can have a monopoly on the ideas behind permaculture.

If you sell some material or teaching that makes learning faster and easier or get's me further towards my goals quicker, I'm ok with that and I'll be happy to decide whether or not to spend my money on it.

If you were to try to monopolize the idea itself, to make it exclusive, to say I can't have access to it without graduating from the paul wheaton school of permaculture...well, i would resist that and just go around..but that's not what I'm seeing you doing.

ps had to laugh, when i first read your post i read 'wishes of the Creator' instead of 'creator' and thought you had finally lost it
 
gardener
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With reference to everyone's various comments on value, and what it constitutes, here's some food for thought.

I am making a limited time offer - I will sell you a PDF on how to build rocket mass heaters using ALL of my knowledge for only $7. Included in that price, I will also offer one whole hour of one-on-one consultation over the phone on rocket mass heaters, or any other topic that takes your fancy (I am equally adept at everything, you see)

If you're one of the first 30 callers, for only an extra $5, you can listen to a recording of MY political beliefs

Any takers? Come on - it's only a fifth as much as some of these greedy so-called experts want, so it must be five times as good value, right?




 
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I'm powerfully confused by this whole argument. Those who stand by the belief that all things permaculture should be given for free are seeming to miss the point that while it is knowledge that is being sold, it is an author's time which is being paid for. Writing takes an awful lot of time and dedication. It isn't just throwing a bunch of words onto the page and then a book magically appears in your hand. It takes time and money to take that knowledge from the mind and put it to a mass distributed book. Years of research and experience went into gaining the knowledge that is being imparted. Hell, Sepp has been observing and learning the complexities of nature since he was a young child, when most of the rest of us were struggling with tying our shoes. An entire life spent gathering experience and struggling with opposition, always being told "you can't do that" only to get to a point where his way is accepted and be told "give me all your knowledge for free you greedy bastard".

When you consider that Sepp has paid more fines than some of us have earned in our lifetimes because of his dedication to this path, doesn't it seem a bit silly to quibble over $30 for an organized and concise layout of his methodology and techniques? These forums are a great source of free info, and yet they simply cannot compete with the delivery of info you get from a book. It's all laid out for you, a massive time saver! You could probably glean all that same info from the forums but you're damn well going to have to invest a lot of time to do it!

If someone wants to copy and give away someone else's work, they should stop to consider how much time, money, effort and sacrifice they themselves put into the exchange of knowledge. When they realize they've done nothing then perhaps they should encourage others to buy the book or DVD, or sign them out from the library. After all, if the information is deemed worthy of mass exploitation, then the author should be encouraged to deliver more. That takes money. It's the reality that we live in.

As for ganging up on Paul and running him down for charging a couple dollars for hundreds of hours of podcasts, get a grip people. The amount of time and money invested by Paul and many others doesn't even come close to being compensated. It seems to me that anyone who spends their life devoted to spreading the word and bringing all of these people and ideas together deserves to be thrown a bone once in a while. I would have skipped over permaculture completely if it weren't for the fruit of Paul's labor. Many others would have too. That's something that seems to be forgotten all too often. We need Paul to stay committed to producing videos, articles, traveling to visit with people who are doing all the excellent things we all want to do, and then broadcasting it to the world, thus bringing permaculture into the collective consciousness. How is someone supposed to dedicate himself 100% if he's got to worry about paying the rent or putting food (pie) on the table?
 
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For the record, my concerns on this topic really have nothing to do with Paul or this site. I continue to believe that this site and the associated content are a tremendous boon to the spreading of permaculture information, and I am glad that they exist. I think I've watched every single video and I do very much appreciate the time Paul has put into getting all this together. Whether he decides to charge for his time is of course his business, and he will deal with whatever consequences follow.

That said: Paul, if you're going to repeatedly assert that the only people promoting the idea of free information are people who don't generate or contribute anything, then you can't get all upset when people state facts to the contrary. Nobody's trying to start a "who gives more away for free" pissing contest, but your sweeping generalized statements are simply incorrect. Even in my limited travels in the permaculture/progressive agriculture circles, I have met and learned of many people who believe in the importance of this information and are giving deeply of themselves (without return) to make it as widely available as possible. I have to imagine in your extensive travels that you have as well?

Also for the record, I am not advocating that dedicated authors should not be paid at all for their work or time. I absolutely would not want to stifle the creation of these works which are so important, and I am not naive as to how these things get made. I offer that I have purchased many of the major texts on the subject as proof of my thoughts here. But those are costs that I can afford.

There is a dangerous tendency to equate something that has no cost and something that has no value... but making something free does not make it worthless. Some things are so valuable that they must be free, because it is understood that everyone should have them. We already think in these terms when we think of things like clean water, clean air, and certain basic human rights. I am merely positing that permaculture could be added alongside those, because of it's value and vast potential for good.

Now obviously it takes money to make things happen. But selling information is far from the only way to spread it, or to finance it's spread.

What I am against, firmly and completely, is the tendency on the part of some to recognize a growing trend or movement and capitalize on it (to be very clear: Paul, I am not referring to you). I have watched this happen again and again with various recent social consciousness movements (Peak Oil, Occupy, etc.). Once enough people catch onto something, the marketing sharks smell the blood in the water and arrive en masse to make a buck. The end result is a blurring and dilution of the message and the movement, and a slowing of momentum as people just finding their way into it are no longer sure what it's about or for. People these days are very good at knowing when they're being sold to.

I am not saying that this sort of thing is rampant at this time, but I do see the beginnings of this sort of thing around the edges of permaculture, and I would hate to see it go that route.

And since I do not want to appear to be avoiding Paul's repeated valid question of "where is this happening?" I will try to be as tactful as possible and merely say that I think it is very hard to justify charging $40 for a DVD. I do not think that such DVD's ought to be free, but I don't think they ought to be $40, either. Not because I don't think that people who make films shouldn't get paid, but because I think it would be a shame for people to look up Permaculture for this first time and think that it's just the newest excuse to sell overpriced stuff.
 
Matt Smith
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paul wheaton wrote:I think it is critically important to respect the wishes of the creator. If the creator wants it to be free, that's great. If the creator wants to sell it for a million dollars and you don't want to pay a million dollars, then move on with your life without it.

If the price is too high, simply don't buy it.



Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote: Sure. I think where people get hung up is that the ideas we're working with here don't have a creator, they are a synthesis of so many people's and cultures work across the ages. The way I see it, no one should or even can have a monopoly on the ideas behind permaculture.



Kari hits it on the head.

That's dangerous logic Paul, and it's implications can be ugly when we're discussing something that has the potential to positively impact the future of human development. This information needs to be spread, period. To people that can afford to pay for it and people that can't.

There is a difference between the guy demanding top dollar for the last Paul Simon concert ticket and the guy selling $20 bottles of water to his desperate neighbors after a flood.

 
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:

Don't act like letters and certificates are essential, or make people feel like they need them in order to progress on their own paths.
And people, don't ever believe that you need an institution's blessing or certificate to start practicing and living permaculture.



At the risk of reigniting this discussion, may I suggest that for many, this may be key?

I was turned off from permaculture in general for a year or two because when you first start exploring/googling things like "starting permaculture" or "where to begin with permaculture," you often get a few tidbits of information on blogs (like herb spirals, a teaser about guilds), and then are told, "Do you think this is interesting? Then fly to Boulder, spend $2000 to take a PDC and we will teach you all we know!" I think maybe some of this may be the exploitative fringe that Matt references, although most PDC's are probably a great value for what you learn.

Not knocking PDC's, but when they are presented to beginners by so many people as the only path to permaculture knowledge, they can get in the way of encouraging independent learning.

I am NOT saying people with a fantastic product should not charge for it if they want to (to take the gospel music analogy a little farther, even pastors and evangelists expect to be compensated for their time).

But for Joe Shmoe on the street who hears about permaculture (maybe from Jack Spirco, like I did) and casually investigates it, there is a big gap between mild interest and genuine research. This gap is only broadened by the "PDC is the golden pathway" attitude. In contrast, I think sites like richsoil and the Permies forums are the absolute antithesis of this: they bridge the gap between mild interest and independent research and draw people in instead of lording over them. Then, once people are convinced that this stuff really is "the sh*t," they can decide whether they want to pay more money for convenient/consolidated information. But they need to know from the start that they have that choice.
 
master steward
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Paul, if you're going to repeatedly assert that the only people promoting the idea of free information are people who don't generate or contribute anything



I said that? Repeatedly?

I very much need an exact quote of the two or more things I wrote, and I need to know where it appears.

The closest thing I can find is about 3/4 down on page 1:

I am concerned that John could be right: the issue of what should be free seems to be something most often brought up by those that want free things - not by those that generate useful content.



But this cannot be what you are talking about, because this statement is very different from "repeatedly assert that the only people promoting the idea of free information are people who don't generate or contribute anything"

Is this the statement that you are referring to? Because if it is, then I think this is strong evidence that your argument is so weak, that you feel the need to put words in my mouth that I never said.

Oh, and by the way, I took the time to read your earlier posts and then i took the time to quote a piece and ask you a question, but you still have not answered me.

You said:

Let's not degrade it into some cheap commodity and find a way to leverage it to make a few bucks, and in doing so insure that it is only capable of reaching .1% of the population.



And then I asked:

Where is that happening?



I have a very important reason that i am asking this. I started this thread looking for any rational argument that I may be overlooking. And I think that you are in the middle of proving my point: there is not a rational argument. The best argument that can be made is heavily dependent on exaggerations and spin. The fact that you avoided answering this question and then moved on to create more spin is further evidence that my position is extremely sound.

So, before we move on, could you please clarify these two points?
Staff note (paul wheaton):

It turns out that I didn't say that. Matt "enhanced" my words to make his point credible.

 
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Great topic here, something we definitely need to discuss much more of!!

I think that like all things, this issue should be examined as a whole picture. What is money? What does it do? Are it's effects good or bad? I would personally argue that by and large, money has detrimental effects on society. Everything from starvation to pollution to human rights violations to clear cutting of rain forests can all arguably be blamed on money. When that is the determining factor, the bottom line, all important things in life can be discarded, especially if they get in the way of that bottom line. I won't ramble any more on this, as there are already a number of good writings on this subject. Feel free to explore them on your own:

http://sacred-economics.com/
http://www.moneylessmanifesto.org/
http://www.lietaer.com/

That said, and as those authors point out, does that mean that we should do away with money? Should everyone starting giving away everything for free, right this second? No, of course not. That is not possible. However, I do think that this is a good goal to strive towards, at least in a practical sense. Whether we actually do away with currency is an entirely different matter. A good place to start on this is as Lietaer so elegantly discusses, with complementary currencies, especially the LET system. I'm really disappointed that I don't see more of this happening in the permaculture community, and while it is out there, when mentioned it usually is brushed off as unimportant. This is crazy!! We have at our fingertips a potential tool to make it easier for people to do work for each other, and gain easier access to the things in life that are important, and we are not using it! Why not? I'm not sure.

One thing is for certain though - business as usual is not working. Money in it's current form is at the root of this. I don't think that everyone should give everything away for free, and I do appreciate people that do give things away for free when they can, but to make a huge issue out of this, and to get somewhat childish about it, in saying "well you don't give stuff away for free, nyah", is not helpful to issue. This is a serious issue that we need to examine critically, and most importantly, with our permaculture goggles firmly on. If we claim to look to nature for all of our answers, let's really do that. What does nature offer on this subject? I think we can clearly say that in nature, there is absolutely no equivalent to money, in the context of intra-species relations. Many carnivores kill as a group, and eat as a group, with no exchange demanded. Honeybees collect honey and pollen as a collective, store it as a collective, and eat freely from it as a collective. Monkeys forage as a pack, and share their findings freely. No one claims ownership to the carcass or the honey or the fruits, and especially not to the forest or flower or prairie itself. There may be hierarchy, which I'm not arguing is necessarily a bad thing, since those who work hardest, and have the most innovative ideas deserve respect and deserve the fruits of their labor, but from an ecomimetric perspective, I know of no system of exchange that mimics money in nature, except perhaps barter, or random exchange such as a bee pollinating a flower. Given this fact, I think it's something that we as a movement should be critically examining and discussing and working on systems that make sense and do good for humanity.
 
master pollinator
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Dayna Williams wrote:

Not knocking PDC's, but when they are presented to beginners by so many people as the only path to permaculture knowledge



I've never actually seen this occur. I think because I first learned about permaculture through books, which led me to free websites.

 
paul wheaton
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That's dangerous logic Paul



Wow. So much in four words.

First, this is a statement of fact. Not "I think" or "I am concerned". If I attempt to present any alternative, i am, in effect calling you a fucking liar. Awkward.

Further, it tells a lot about the person that says this. It says that this person thinks logic can be dangerous. I always thought logic was a bit like math: true or false, complete or errant. Did somebody try the 2+2 thing and end up with something other than 4? Dangerous math? Can you take a math test and the grade comes back as "dangerous"?

Plus, this is in reponse to me suggesting that we respect the wishes of the creator of a work. So I guess the person that says "That's dangerous logic Paul" is suggesting that it is okay to disrespect the creators.



And now for my response.

I have been reading your posts in this thread Matt. Based on my analysis of what you have written, I fully expect that many things I say will appear crazy or illogical to you.



I stand by my position now more than ever: if the price is to high, don't buy it. If you want something to be free, you must create your own and make it free. I see no value in attempting to shame others to make their stuff free.




 
paul wheaton
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Excellent points Dayna (apple for you).



As I am reading your post a few things pop into my head that have not been brought up in this thread:

1) The things that cost money, like books or PDCs or workshops .... even if the people putting that information out got paid utterly zero, the cost would still, usually, be about the same. I have worked with a lot of PDCs going over their budgets. About half run in the red - so they make negative money. They are paying so that others can learn. So a PDC might cost $1200, and the people offering the course paid $1500 for you to learn this stuff. Similar sorts of things for books and videos.

2) There are people out there that are trying to spread information about permaculture and their mindset is "I'll have a workshop and teach 12 people" and there are others who are of the mindset "how do I teach this to a million people" or "how do I get this into mainstream media" or a hundred other large scale strategies. the large scale stuff often involves thousands of dollars to pull off. So when you don't have thousands of dollars, then you try to build a larger strategy to pull the whole thing off. I suspect that the people that have only taught workshops to 12 people are not aware of the complexities of these larger strategies.

3) When trying to get this information into millions of brains, there are thousands of avenues. Some are free. But a lot of the people to be reached spend a lot of time watching TV and going to malls - how do we reach them? There are hundreds of ways - some are free and some are through commercial products. I think it is good to have folks travel many paths.




 
Robert Meyer
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Paul, ideas can in fact be dangerous. Take a look at monsanto's approach. They actually follow the exact same idea that you are presenting here. Take a set of genetics, alter it slightly to be resistant to a disease or a herbicide, and patent it. You're saying that this is ok, because afterall, we must respect the creator's wishes.

I'm not saying that you don't create lots of great content here, and give it away for free, which is great, but you spent a decent amount of time bashing his argument, whereas it's actually pretty right on. On your last point that if the price is too high, don't buy it, I feel compelled to point out where this sort of thinking leads. Think of organic food. Think of fuel efficient vehicles. Think of efficient wood burning stoves. By your logic, because these things are priced too highly, we should just not buy them. That's the problem with the monetary system, as I mentioned above. It restricts us from doing what is really good for us. That's not to say that you can't get these things eventually by working hard or saving a lot. However, you flat out said that you should just not buy those things if you can't afford them. That is the danger in this sort of thinking. We need to critically examine the subject, rather than trying to prove who is wrong or right. No one is actually. We need to strategize on how to come up with an answer, and figure out what will make our society a better place. Unfortunately, I don't think your way of thinking (on this particular subject) will help.
 
paul wheaton
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I think that like all things, this issue should be examined as a whole picture. What is money? What does it do? Are it's effects good or bad? I would personally argue that by and large, money has detrimental effects on society. Everything from starvation to pollution to human rights violations to clear cutting of rain forests can all arguably be blamed on money.



My thinking is different from yours.

I think money is inert. Money is merely the thing we use to be able to barter better. Rather than spending a week trying to find somebody where I can trade some of my apples (which I have in excess) for beef (which I lack) with somebody that wants apples and has an excess of beef, I can simply trade apples for money with somebody that simply wants apples. And then trade money for beef with somebody that has lots of beef.

I think that wicked folk use money. And good folks use money. Wicked folks use phones too, but we don't think of the phone as wicked.
 
Kari Gunnlaugsson
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Robert Meyer wrote: We need to critically examine the subject, rather than trying to prove who is wrong or right. No one is actually. We need to strategize on how to come up with an answer, and figure out what will make our society a better place.



hurray! that's the kind of discussion i'd like to be a part of.


Regarding the monsanto analogy, i don't think that's a fair or accurate one. Monsanto is, in fact, patenting knowledge and controlling it for their gain.

In the case of the rocket stove pdf, there is no element of control or restriction on the knowledge. It's out there and widely available in lots of formats. You could build one entirely off what is available free online. You could, in turn help friends build one or go to asia and teach people there to build one...no problem, no lawsuits... What the PDF does is offer people who don't feel confident or who need a sure-fire quick plan to follow a quick and convenient way to make a stove that's gong to work right off. Like it's september and winter's coming, and you don't want to be experimenting. Someone like that might Choose to buy a PDF plan to work from, because it's going to make their life easier and better and help them get on to doing other things. I don't see anything wrong with that, or with someone providing that as a service being compensated. No one's monopolizing the knowledege.
 
Robert Meyer
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Notice that I didn't say that we should do away with currency. However, the fact that money, in it's current form, is finite, and issued by the state, is a reason for concern. We never have enough of it, and when we do have it, it goes away very quickly. If instead, we were able, as you said, to increase the efficiency of barter by exchanging apples for a credit for those apples, but rather the credit being restricted based on what you have in you bank account, it is simply used as a method of tabulation, a record of who did what for whom, we would find ourselves in a much less restrictive situation. People could buy what they need when they need it, and do things for others to bring their negative credit back up. It would essentially be like a reputation system. You could see someone's reputation before you do business with them, and if they have really negative credit, you'll think twice, since they are being greedy and not contributing. So you're right, currency is a great way to make trade more efficient, but money in it's finite and government issued form is not so good.

The phone is not the reason wicked folk do things. Money is the reason. By it's restrictive nature, people will do anything for it. Because it's scarce, any aspect of the operation that competes with the accumulation of money is seen as an enemy, and so anything possible is done to eliminate that competition, even if it means destroying the environment or treating people poorly. Even the best intentioned people are forced to support things they don't want to support. If I could, I would buy a super efficient car, buy only organic food, and build a beautiful and energy efficient home. But I can't, because I don't have enough money. This similar phenomenon happens in businesses all the time. It's a huge motivator for many of the bad things in the world.
 
paul wheaton
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Robert Meyer wrote:Paul, ideas can in fact be dangerous.



I agree with that. your statement makes it sound like I have been advocating that ideas cannot be dangerous. If I have ever said that in my whole life, I hope you will do me the favor of directing me to that point so I can refute my own words!

I think that when people get the idea of killing me, I think that is dangerous.

So I'm baffled at why you feel you need to bring this up in this thread. And direct this statement toward me.

I'm not saying that you don't create lots of great content here, and give it away for free, which is great, but you spent a decent amount of time bashing his argument, whereas it's actually pretty right on.



First, you do realize that the word "but" kinda negates whatever comes before it, right? "You're a really nice guy, but ..."

Next up: "actually pretty right on." - I am going to offer my rebuttal in your phrasing "actually it is seriously fucked up." I cannot tell it if the argument advocates theft or slavery. I am passionately against both.


 
paul wheaton
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The phone is not the reason wicked folk do things. Money is the reason.



Like Scrooge McDuck?

i don't think so.

I think people want money because of what it can buy. not for just the sake of the money.

Bad guys want money, and good guys want money. People that are hungry want food. If they had a garden, they would have food. If they had money they could have food too. If they have friends that share food, they could have food. But wanting money so they can get food does not make them evil.

 
Robert Meyer
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paul wheaton wrote:

Robert Meyer wrote:Paul, ideas can in fact be dangerous.



I agree with that. your statement makes it sound like I have been advocating that ideas cannot be dangerous. If I have ever said that in my whole life, I hope you will do me the favor of directing me to that point so I can refute my own words!

I think that when people get the idea of killing me, I think that is dangerous.

So I'm baffled at why you feel you need to bring this up in this thread. And direct this statement toward me.



Here was your specific wording:

"It says that this person thinks logic can be dangerous. I always thought logic was a bit like math: true or false, complete or errant."

You are operating under the assumption that your particular logic is correct or right. Some one can logically say "I want to kill you", and they may understand what that means to it's fullest, but is that right? Of course not.

In any case, we're arguing the structure, and not the content of our arguments. Let's talk about the actual issue, and not how the issue is presented. See my posts above, which are awaiting a thorough analysis.
 
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paul wheaton wrote:

Rion Mather wrote:It does send mixed messages when you are promoting community and changing the world through a price.



Who is doing that?



Someone that puts a price tag on permaculture information. I have a spiritual view of permaculture and the interaction with nature. As someone said in another post, a dollar sign can be interpreted as wanting to limit the accessibility of a product for various reasons. A price tag seems to only benefit an individual rather than the whole. I thought the philosophy of permaculture is that every thing is interconnected. Maybe I was wrong.
 
Robert Meyer
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paul wheaton wrote:

The phone is not the reason wicked folk do things. Money is the reason.



Like Scrooge McDuck?

i don't think so.

I think people want money because of what it can buy. not for just the sake of the money.

Bad guys want money, and good guys want money. People that are hungry want food. If they had a garden, they would have food. If they had money they could have food too. If they have friends that share food, they could have food. But wanting money so they can get food does not make them evil.



There are no "bad guys" or "good guys". There are people operating under their best knowledge, usually doing what they think is right. However, because of the systems in which they find themselves, they are forced to do things they otherwise wouldn't. I'm not saying that wanting money is evil, I'm saying that money makes people do things they wouldn't otherwise do. It is restrictive. Besides that, there is a non-restrictive alternative. That's my main point here.
 
Tyler Ludens
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It seems to me it might be possible for differing views of permaculture to be right. That is, it seems possible to me for a spiritual view of permaculture to be right and a non-spiritual view of permaculture to be right.

 
paul wheaton
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There are no "bad guys" or "good guys".



So I am not a good guy?

And the people that do the monsanto thing and crush opposition, they are not bad guys?

Fact. Not even an "I think".

So if I disagree with you then I am, in effect, calling you a fucking liar.

So be it: I think there are "good guys" and "bad guys". I think there are people that will sacrifice others in order to get what they want. And I think that is bad. Therefore, I choose to label them as "bad guys."

 
paul wheaton
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Rion Mather wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:

Rion Mather wrote:It does send mixed messages when you are promoting community and changing the world through a price.



Who is doing that?



Someone that puts a price tag on permaculture information. I have a spiritual view of permaculture and the interaction with nature. As someone said in another post, a dollar sign can be interpreted as wanting to limit the accessibility of a product for various reasons. A price tag seems to only benefit an individual rather than the whole. I thought the philosophy of permaculture is that every thing is interconnected. Maybe I was wrong.



So you are saying that I am sending mixed messages?

You are saying that you do not approve of my selling of my podcasts? further, you do not approve if I were to create a DVD and sell that? Or write a book and sell the book?

 
Robert Meyer
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paul wheaton wrote:

There are no "bad guys" or "good guys".



So I am not a good guy?

And the people that do the monsanto thing and crush opposition, they are not bad guys?

Fact. Not even an "I think".

So if I disagree with you then I am, in effect, calling you a fucking liar.

So be it: I think there are "good guys" and "bad guys". I think there are people that will sacrifice others in order to get what they want. And I think that is bad. Therefore, I choose to label them as "bad guys."



You keep avoiding the primary points. Please re-examine my posts and try to get the main points I'm making, rather than taking the first sentence in the post as the overall point. Also, you keep bringing up these points that people are saying things without an "I think", and yet you previously defended your point as an inherent foundation of the universe, akin to mathematics. Do you not see the contradiction there?

Again though, we've found ourselves arguing structure, rather than content. Let's please try to stay in the realm of content, where the actual truth of the matter lies.
 
paul wheaton
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Robert Meyer wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:

Robert Meyer wrote:Paul, ideas can in fact be dangerous.



I agree with that. your statement makes it sound like I have been advocating that ideas cannot be dangerous. If I have ever said that in my whole life, I hope you will do me the favor of directing me to that point so I can refute my own words!

I think that when people get the idea of killing me, I think that is dangerous.

So I'm baffled at why you feel you need to bring this up in this thread. And direct this statement toward me.



Here was your specific wording:

"It says that this person thinks logic can be dangerous. I always thought logic was a bit like math: true or false, complete or errant."

You are operating under the assumption that your particular logic is correct or right. Some one can logically say "I want to kill you", and they may understand what that means to it's fullest, but is that right? Of course not.

In any case, we're arguing the structure, and not the content of our arguments. Let's talk about the actual issue, and not how the issue is presented. See my posts above, which are awaiting a thorough analysis.




You just told the word, in a public forum, that you don't know the difference between logic and an idea.

I think this explains a lot about your position.


 
Kari Gunnlaugsson
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To be fair, I don't think that Robert is advocating theft or slavery. I think he's asking us to re-consider the idea that our money-system is value neutral. There are a lot of hidden assumptions and values built into the structure of the current economic system that lead to various inequities and a damaging way of relating to the earth. That's not the same as saying that making a living from your own initiative is bad or that any form of money is evil.

Maybe it should have it's own thread? If the goal of permaculture is in fact to create a permanent culture, or way of being human that is in alignment with the natural constraints of the planet, then a healthy economic system is going to need to be a part of that vision. For one thing the idea of growth needs to be replaced with a steady-state economy...something at odds with the current system where all money is created as debt, like a giant planetary ponzi scheme.

That discussion is really different from asking 'should all permie stuff be for free'...In a more ideal economy we would still all need to make our livings, and furthering permaculture should be a valued contribution to society that people can be compensated for.
 
paul wheaton
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Robert Meyer wrote:
You keep avoiding the primary points.



I keep trying to wrap my head around the things you say and getting hung up on them.

And then you made it clear that you do not know the difference between logic and an idea.

I am going to spend my time focusing on the other comments.



 
Kari Gunnlaugsson
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I really think Charles Eisenstein has some great ideas on this that the permaculture world should be exploring and talking about.
'sacred economics' film clip

This short video is a great introduction and primer to some of them.
 
Robert Meyer
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paul wheaton wrote:

Robert Meyer wrote:
You keep avoiding the primary points.



I keep trying to wrap my head around the things you say and getting hung up on them.

And then you made it clear that you do not know the difference between logic and an idea.

I am going to spend my time focusing on the other comments.





Paul, I'm seriously and honestly curious. Please explain to an apparently stupid, but nonetheless inquisitive mind, what exactly is the difference between logic and an idea. Educate me please.
 
paul wheaton
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Robert Meyer wrote:
Paul, I'm seriously and honestly curious. Please explain to an apparently stupid, but nonetheless inquisitive mind, what exactly is the difference between logic and an idea. Educate me please.



Logic is drawing conclusions based on logical reasoning. One branch of logic is boolean logic: if X and Y then Z; if X or Y then ZZ. Logic is used as the basis for mathematical proof.

An idea can be many things. An idea can even be some random bizarre thought: i think the sky is green!

 
Tyler Ludens
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:In a more ideal economy we would still all need to make our livings, and furthering permaculture should be a valued contribution to society that people can be compensated for.



This touches on the part of this discussion that bugs me. "furthering permaculture should be a valued contribution to society that people can be compensated for" is a statement I agree with. Some people in this thread seem to be saying people should not be compensated for furthering permaculture, or they should not be compensated in money. What bugs me, is what to me looks like people singling out people who are trying to be compensated for furthering permaculture, and saying those people should not be compensated. All the rest of us doing whatever it is should be compensated, maybe. But not those who are furthering permaculture. I guess I wonder what people who are furthering permaculture should be doing for money (nothing?) and what the people criticizing them for trying to be compensated are doing for money (nothing?). I love the idea of being able to live without money. I love the sharing and gifting economies. I even sort of like the barter and trade economies. But I am not personally able to make a living in those economies and I don't see how people trying to further permaculture can make a living in those economies either at this point in history.
 
paul wheaton
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The players:

I am comprehending the posts of:

Tyler Ludens
Robert Ray
Fred Morgan
Renate Haeckler
Julia Winter
Phil Hawkins
Judith Browning
Kari Gunnlaugsson
Rick LaJambe
Dayna Williams

I am confused by stuff by:

Matt Smith
Rion Mather
John Ram
laura sharpe
Robert Meyer

I have attempted to contemplate the positions offered by these latter five people, and have found their arguments to be less than persuasive. And I am even worried that some of the arguments presented are in strong violation of my personal ethics. While not saying it directly, I am concerned that they hint toward theft or slavery.

I would very much like to hear reassurance that these five people do not advocate stealing somebody else's material. This would include the use of any material in a way that is contrary to the wishes of the person that created that material.





 
Kari Gunnlaugsson
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I'm done...off to go work the horses.

Logic and Ideas are entirely different, though.

Logic is a method, a system of thought, a means of developing proof or inference. It's independent of the content, it's a set of thought rules.

Ideas are content. Logic can be used to manipulate and work with ideas. Logic doesn't generate ideas, they come from the human spirit.

 
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Sigh. You asked for opinions. We are not good for agreeing nor bad for disagreeing. Delete the thread if you do not want opinions.
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Kari Gunnlaugsson
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Please, somebody watch the video I linked to.

They are important ideas. Lets talk about the big picture. It's not a choice between the status quo of our current economic system and theft or slavery. That's a false choice. And our current system of economics is full of theft and slavery.

There are other options out there we need to explore and develop.
 
Robert Meyer
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I admit my error on that point, and beg your utmost humble forgiveness. I will step away from defending that point, in the hope that we can continue the discussion.

I am not in any way advocating for theft or slavery. What I am advocating is an examination of the monetary system, and a striving towards alternatives. Does that mean we shouldn't be able to make money doing permaculture, especially in the short term? Definitely not! I consider myself an entrepreneur, and am very interested in business planning, and figuring out ways to make money in a permacultural way. However, when I do finally get that business up and running (perhaps beforehand), I would love to be able to take part in a system that makes the flow of goods much easier. One good example was mentioned above, in the form of LETS. This system does not advocate or involve theft or slavery in any way. That's why I was getting so frustrated, because I mentioned this really great set of ideas that one could argue would essentially make things "free" by all practicality (you could get whatever you need whenever you need it, not being restricted by finite money), and yet it was mostly ignored by you Paul. That was my main frustration here. What is your opinion of LETS? It's technically currency, but as I said, non-restrictive, and for all practical purposes, allows things to be based on reputation rather than finite money.

As a final reinforcement, I'm definitely NOT saying you should be prevented from selling anything having to do with permaculture, and that I myself am planning to do so in the near future.
 
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I skimmed through the thread, so pardon me if I digress from the current subject.



I'm not sure that we're even going to have an answer to the subject question; "Should all permaculture stuff be free?" There are simply too many facets to come up with a yes or no answer.

If the subject was "Should this or that be free" then yeah we could all come to some conclusion.




Historically when records came out, everybody thought that was the end of live music, and when the radio started playing music everybody thought that was the end for record sales... This fear surfaced again with downloads and streaming music. Now we know that the real difference has been the ease and availability of discovering new material, which has increased the popularity in music overall.

The point is - I believe permaculture is in an age where more people need to discover and practice it. This aspect shouldn't be forgotten.


So like popular songs on the radio, popular permaculture practices (PPP acronym?) tend to be spread far and wide with relatively little direct finical gain... This could be considered normal.


Consolidated text books (e.g. Bill Mollison's Permaculture Design Manual) are of value when considered the knowledge, effort, time and expense involved in the making. In keeping with my musical theme, this could be related to an artists discography. Never intended to be given away for free, and usually not expected by the public. This again, is considered the norm.


Design courses and work shops are the the equivalent to a "live concert" or even "music lessons", you're going for the real life experience of it all. Well established artists charge a high admission, and others might perform for free. Nobody in their right mind balks at the way this is done.



Those examples are accepted widely without much dispute, and I believe that when we're talking about permaculture "stuff" we're talking about what people have created, performed, and shared... Just like music.


Now where's my apple, dammit?




The one comment I noticed, and totally disagree with was from Kari Gunnlaugsson I believe... It was about the price for a .PDF of a rocket mass heater design, that because it wasn't something tangible or weighty that it was therefore overpriced. I hope I summarized it correctly?


Anyrate, I am of the opinion that the delivery method is almost completely irrelevant. I mean sure if it was printed on 24k gold leaf then I understand paying $1200 for it, but outside of absurdity - it simply doesn't matter if it was a book or a .PDF.

In fact, I'd rather the author earn the difference in cost as profit.

My point is that you are paying for the information contained, not the container. That is how value should be determined.


Edited Sorry Kari, you replied to the original post which was form laura sharpe and your name stuck in my head.

 
paul wheaton
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laura sharpe wrote:Sigh. You asked for opinions. We are not good for agreeing nor bad for disagreeing. Delete the thread if you do not want opinions.



I think there is a difference between people offering opinions, and people commanding me to think their thoughts. Or presenting false information as fact.




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Robert Meyer
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paul wheaton wrote:

laura sharpe wrote:Sigh. You asked for opinions. We are not good for agreeing nor bad for disagreeing. Delete the thread if you do not want opinions.



I think there is a difference between people offering opinions, and people commanding me to think their thoughts. Or presenting false information as fact.






Paul, no one is commanding you to do anything, please stop victimizing yourself. Furthermore, me and kari have presented information that you seem to be incredibly opposed to, but have yet to provide a comprehensive analysis of. We patiently await your analysis. Until then, you're just arguing semantics.
 
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