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stewards:
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gardeners:
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the many flavors of science

 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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In one of the recent bans, I saw no one single post that would warrant a banishment.
What I saw was a pattern of defiant antagonism.  The pieces of the puzzle were coming together in such a way, I think all of us could see what the final picture would be.
 
master steward
Posts: 28619
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Good point John.

Sometimes I feel like people demand that i justify my actions.  And I wish to point out that if I followed this path and held myself accountable to anybody that stood up and demanded that i hold myself accountable to them, we would have a flavor variation of consensus. 

I don't make myself accountable to anybody.  I pay the bills, I do a big heap of the work, I get to do whatever the hell I want.
 
Posts: 700
Location: rainier OR
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paul wheaton wrote:

In the end, I have to choose what is best for the community I am trying to build. 




careful here Paul if you don't say "try" in that sentence above you risk falling in a very dangerous trap
 
gardener
Posts: 1399
Location: Cascades of Oregon
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I own a store and occasionaly you have to weigh a customers worth. We have an account where the foreman would come in and consistently would say how my counter people were trying to Scr** him and were dumb sons-a-bi*****and didn't know what the heck we were doing, always in front of other customers and always loudly.
The final straw came one day when he made innapropriate comments to a female counter person. I approached him and told him that I'd be closing the account. We obviously couldn't make him happy and he could deal with the sons-a- bi***** across town. He was dumbfounded and his comment to me was "but your the best sons-a-bi***** in town."
  He came back a few months later and is now a pleasant guy to deal with, I reopened the account. It wasn't worth the trouble to always be on the defensive and be abused.
I guess what I'm trying to say is Paul your the best Sons-a-bi*** in town and I'll try to follow the rules.
 
Posts: 182
Location: Long Beach, CA
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Interesting discussion! It sounds a lot like the kind of discussions I have in my other life in religion/spirituality vs. science conversations. I agree with a lot of what was said here with a small part rubbing me the wrong way, but I have to marinade on it a bit before I  can decide I've experienced the full flavor I thought I was tasting.

Primarily, I just want to know, "Does it work?" and "What do you mean when you say that it works?"
 
Posts: 153
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since it hasn't been mentioned yet, I will mention that the Nazis were supporters of biodynamics and Rudolf Steiner.

some have taken this to mean that biodynamics is a "Nazi cult" which I do not think. On this evidence only one would have to also that vegetarianism is a Nazi cult and so is herbal medicine etc.

It's interesting tho, and was very surprising to me when I first learned it. On thinking about it - I guess the connection is to the Nazi - "love of the land" which is different than what I mean when I say I love the land, as I do not want the land to belong to just white foks or to just this group or that.

also fits in with the mystical aspects of Nazism.
 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 28619
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Earlier today I posted


I just deleted a whole bunch of posts all by one person. 

this is a good time to point out that I don't wanna publish somebody spewing "the truth", whereas I am comfy publishing folks presenting their position.

Stating "the truth" makes it so that if somebody has a different position, the only way they can present it is by entering into a conflict.  And I like hearing different positions.

If anybody has questions about my policies, please take it up in the tinkering forum.



And then I get an email that is generated from a PM that says:

Why did you have to delete my posts? I wasn't being impolite, rude or preachy. Couldn't the thread just have been moved to a different part of forum? It seemed like we had a healthy discussion going on...



Spend some time reading this thread and some of the other threads in this forum.

I encourage good, healthy discussion.  You might have thought what you were doing was great, but it doesn't fly here.  Which is why I was getting emails from people complaining about your posts.

 





 
pollinator
Posts: 784
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Thanks, Burra   loved the story, especially...

"But I guess you humans can't use it until you do understand it. So go, human. Study your science and work your magic."

Yes, does it work?  'Why' is not the critical question, I think. (Yes, it does lead to useful information on occasion, but I wonder sometimes if the main appeal is the pleasure of puzzle-solving.)

I knew a brilliant mathematician who tried a biodynamic method of putting a particular weed's ashes on a field full of them, and next season they were gone.  Homeopathy seems to work on animals.  Check out the effects of St. Hildegard of Bingen's 'Quenched Fire' recipe on incensed people, etc... it's all 'magic' until the priests of science have blessed it.  Isn't it the mystery that makes life fun?

'True Believers' (of all stripes) give me the willies.  And science, oddly enough, seems to have plenty of them - it CAN'T work (despite their lying eyes) if they don't know why.  Semmelweiss had to be wrong, despite the evidence, et al.

I say, bring on the magic.... let's test it out
 
nancy sutton
pollinator
Posts: 784
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
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Oh, and I think Paul is a magician of the highest order  
 
Posts: 53
Location: Cheyenne, WY
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I think one thing that was briefly mentioned but not elaborated on very extensively was the corporate contribution to research.

Who does a lot of publicized research? Universities. What kind of people do this research? Grad students and Doctorate candidates. So where do they get all the money to fund the projects? Corporations (and when you work with plants, it typically comes from places like DOW Agro, Monsanto and the like) What do these corporations sell? Chemicals. Do they like seeing research that shows that a non chemical solution works better than a chemical solution? No. Ok you can follow the bouncing ball from there.

So there is more types of research coming out of the Universities. This is in the field of actually plant physiology and biology. So if you are researching the photosynthetic properties of a pine tree in northern Alberta, can you directly correlate that to a pine tree in New Mexico? Probably not, are there principles in that research that may correlate? Yes. So what do you, take the research that is done. Play around with it in your local area see where it fails see where it holds true and then come to your own conclusions.

That is the great and awesome thing about nature. There is no one perfect answer. There are certain things that are undeniable (gravity, thermodynamics, etc.) But when it comes down to plants, everything is different with a few generalities along the way.

So the observations of one may disagree with the observations of another. But they both may be completely correct is the point I'm trying to get at, so take any suggestion as what it is, A Suggestion. Try it out. If it works...... great, if it doesn't work then find your own method and practice that.

So is that a live and let live kind of science? Yes.
 
Posts: 185
Location: Mineola, Texas
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Hey Montana,
This is quite true. For these same reasons, people question global warming science, since everyone that disagrees with it loses their job, and science (on both sides) is paid for by someone with an agenda. So in the end, we doubt it all, which is an unintended consequence of how "science" is all to often done.

Richard
 
Tate Smith
Posts: 53
Location: Cheyenne, WY
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Richard,

I think that fact of science being contributed to by personal agenda is sad. I mean, "permies" and other natural farmers recognize a lot of rules of systems in their own local area. Whether they know why it is occurring or not is not as important as why are the educational and research facilities not pursuing that type of land knowledge.

For example. There was a research study done on the differences between rotational grazing and set stocking grazing (if you don't know the difference PM and I'll be more than happy to share my knowledge on the subject). Now anybody who does rotational grazing knows that it does something different in the production of herbaceous material, whether good or bad pending on how you do it.

The study showed that there is no difference between the two and the tried to show with the data that rotational grazing is bad for the land. Well not but an hour north of the study site, in the same range conditions with the same type type of cattle there is a producer who is making it work and doing EXTREMELY well with it.

So, basically they did it wrong, they set up the experiment knowing it would fail and consequently proved a paradigm that they have held since the founding of the facility.

Personal agendas and paradigms should be taken completely out of any thinking that anybody does in my opinion.
 
R Hasting
Posts: 185
Location: Mineola, Texas
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Well, Montana, how do you take out the personal agenda?
Last I checked, I have a certain lens I see the world though. If I want an experiment to work (or fail) I may well jigger the numbers to make it do so. One could require funding on projects that you don't have a stake in. Monsanto should be funding studies on cancer rates from to omuch seafood, not whether Roundup is safe to consume... That said, I am hopeful that they test the stuff on somebody before they spray all my food with it. But I also want a study paid for by the anti-roundup. Is there such a thing?  I don't know...

Richard
 
master pollinator
Posts: 11364
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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pollinator
Posts: 1877
Location: La Palma (Canary island) Zone 11
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I love this topic...
At the moment I take a course about brain funcioning.
Briefly, science has a lot to do with the CORTEX brain.
And believes, feelings, traditions based on "it works" evidence, is about the autonomous nervous system or REPTILIAN.
The human art can be to make them work together!

What I love is that I come to realize that what is not scientific, IS scientific! Well, it begins to be so for me.
What this science is showing me is that ACCESS to this deep brain is not possible directly through the mental/cortex, and that we much cheat the cortex.

My big hobby at the moment is to find "non scientific texts" and sort of translate its reptilian content into something that the cortex can access. And I am astonished. Some of our possibilities cannot come out directly through the cortex, because they are automatic responses. So, if you want to CONSCIOUSLY do something that is consiously impossible... you must find a way.

I just give an example:
I cannot accelerate consciously my own pulse. My brain cannot. But I can decide to choose the right film to watch, and sure my heart will go mad! Then I can have the same result if I think about the film.

So now, I think that all spiritual, mysterious ways etc can be a very scientific way to make us do what we want
with less effort,
more instinctively,
in a more vital and involved way,
or even in a more pleasurable way
!

And if each person needs a different belief to reach this result ("fool/lure/cheat" his brain for a result), it's fine.
To reach this automatic part, we need to BELIEVE.
And now I can believe anything without proves.
I do not need proves, I need to know WHAT is the RESULT and if I want it.

Then I can believe whatever, because I believe (so I believe truly) in what I know about our brain's ways.
Whatever spiritual text I read, I find that it corresponds to what I learn about a "very scientific" knowledge.

The only concern for me now about a method such as biodynamics or any other is not if it is "true", it is not even if "it works", it is just if this helps me to reach more of my full humanity, more of my feeling of harmony with the place where I am, the people I am with.
Any unscientific method (if we mean not cortex admited) that helps me reach harmony and fuller access to my capacities, IS scientific.

Not only it is about not being "angry at bad guys", but also not afraid.
 
Xisca Nicolas
pollinator
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I was inspired by those quotes:

Matt Ferrall wrote:Many cultures have practiced very unscientific realities and created paridise/permi like landscapes.I might not groove on ritualized esoteric practices,but I have no doubt ,the intention put forth through such activites produces results.Reality is what you can get away with.I agree that we should be pushing the boundries of sustainability here regardless of its adherence to standard protocol.



I believe that so called esoteric is a way to transmit knowledge without school, and to group people, and to help young people practise something according to their culture UNTIL they fully understand it.
It is also a way to access the autonomous nervous system and discharge all its angers and fears instead of accumulating it.

paul wheaton wrote:I like the idea that there is a spiritual element to what they do. It could turn out to be that they are right.
Frankly, maybe the site could use a healthy dose of woo woo to help set a better pace ...



I believe is right what helps hehe....

Jocelyn Campbell wrote:I'm going to quote someone who used to be more active on these forums who wrote to me something I thought was brilliant about biodynamic methods and folklore versus science:

since you have a container packed with rich organic matter and soaked with a nutrient rich solution, you basically create a biological hyper accelerator that allows the soil microbes to flourish and go nuts in a semi-protected environment for 4 weeks. So it's not really hocus pocus, it's science... just no ones bothered to update the language.

Once I started realizing that and doing some basic translations, I started looking at the traditional storehouses of information in both the pacific northwest cultures as well as my own celtic heritage. There is a vast treasure trove out there, just waiting to be translated and it's information put back into use. That whole 3 million year history of pre-agricultural trial and error exists in legends, lore, and festivals/ceremonies. We just need to decypher them



When I update language and translate, I find out things that help us make our brains and body funtion better by an access to something more than what our cortex can. I do not reject cortex at all, this is the last of the evolution, so it cannot be useless nor bad, I just hope we can make our 3 brains work together, cortex, reptilian and limbic.
Cortex is great to make a lot of things, but we also need something more, so that our cortex do not prevent the use of the primarian fundamental older brain.

nancy sutton wrote:it CAN'T work (despite their lying eyes) if they don't know why; Semmelweiss had to be wrong, despite the evidence, et al.



I did a little study about paradigme change some years go, and thus I did look about semmelweiss, to understand better WHY people could not change despite the evidence. I found out that a big change means a lot of fear, and that people leading a paradigm change must be very careful, and I am not sure that Semmelweiss did it properly. i was not there hehe, so it is about what i understand about my readings... He was so sure of himself (and he was right...) that he was angry (we can understand....) and quite despising. So he generated a reaction. I found out the same with Galileo's story! Even if they were right, they wanted other people to change and believe like them. Hem, they were just like any scientific person who wants to be right!

When I feel right, I feel bad when I see all what is destroyed, so I can understand...

So, I agree with paul about not being angry at bad guys!
(actually I am, but I try to focus on something else!)
 
Posts: 299
Location: Oklahoma
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It's easy really. Biodynamic was started by Steiner and views any farm as a living organism to be loved, cherished, massaged, and fed like a pet dog or cat. It sets up rituals to care for that pet much in the same way we set up rituals to feed our dog when we come home from work and then take him for a walk. Take him to the vet once a year for rabies shots..etc....The rituals are for our benefit, so when we get into a routine we are less likely to forget an important part of that care. Organic also has a scientific meaning in the context of agriculture. That meaning goes back to the observable fact ecosystems on the planet being rooted in the carbon cycle, and for farmers that means carbon in the soil. Carbon compounds in agricultural science is called Organic matter. Howard was the scientist that started that use of the term "organic". Originally by removing all the "woo" from traditional methods and borrowing what could be confirmed by the scientific method.

But there is more. While biodynamic and Organic agriculture started from different meanings, once system science got a hold of the more scientific meaning of organic that Howard developed, it became apparent that these interactions and symbiosis between individual species and processes were linked much like a living organism. Science came up with concepts like mutualism, trophic cascades, ecosystem services etc... So both views, the biodynamic "spiritual" view and the scientific "organic" view began to merge. At this point years later, there is to all intents and purposes very little fundamental difference between organic and biodynamic. Just two POVs of the same thing.

It's an important lesson for permaculture and for anyone tinkering with this site. Eco-Agriculture, Organic Agriculture, Holistic managed and planned grazing, Biodynamic, Biointensive, Traditional Agriculture, Science based agriculture and Permaculture are all different paths to the same destination. Some paths might be a bit more meandering with tough spots on the trail to cross, but ultimately they must arrive at the same place. So I would suggest to take more of an inclusive rather than an exclusive approach.

"Organic systems and the practices that make them effective are being picked up more and more by conventional agriculture and will become the foundation for future farming systems. They won't be called organic, because they'll still use some chemicals and still use some fertilizers, but they'll function much more like today's organic systems than today's conventional systems."

Dr. Charles Benbrook
Executive director US House Agriculture Subcommittee
Director Agricultural Board - National Academy Sciences
(FMR)

And that's from the conventional establishment! Already they see it. They are not quite there 100%, but they are getting it. Give them time and you'll see more and more dare to dream of no commercial chemicals and ferts at all! Then they will be to all intents and purposes Permies!
 
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