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ethics, politics and censorship  RSS feed

 
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Burra Maluca wrote:Can I just remind everyone that all political and ethical discussion is confined to the cider press.



This entire topic and thread is rooted in food production ethics and waste remediation ethics. Much of every permaculture practice topic and issue is intertwined with ethics. I thought we were having a productive discussion on a forum where ideas are shared. If all ethical discussion is confined to the cider press, that confines a whole lot of useful stuff I read on here to the cider press. Disappointed by the subtle censorship in an otherwise productive and interesting discussion.
 
Mother Tree
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Permies.com is censored.

Please check out the links in the thread on how permies.com works
 
John Lewis Morgan
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Fun.

Not only have I been censored for the first time... but my comment was moved and a new topic stating me as the author... out of context...

I guess i'm gonna roll with it...

So I was having a very interesting discussion with some folks on here about using paper and carpet and other waste in the garden as means to remediate the waste as well as making a direct use of the waste stream. Some of the people felt that sending certain toxic things to the landfill is better, and we discussed our differences of opinions and the topic touched on ethics. then a message came through warning that ALL political and ethical discussion are CONFINED to the cider press.

It occurred to me that ethics and permaculture are inextricable, and doesn't that confine a large percentage of the information on permies to the cider press??? This is where I find censorship to be sad and gross. The logic is quite fuzzy... as there was no harm being done or anyone being excluded yet someone felt the need to "step in" and disrupt a nice discussion. I read some things about the permies policies and I have to say I am disappointed by the pro censorship vibe. I can understand blocking corporate trolls and shills and problematic people... but I find censoring a discussion on a neat topic because it might make a hypersensitive person uncomfortable, counterproductive and degenerative.

Any thoughts from anyone else on this?? I realize this is a private website and Paul can make his own rules... certainly respectful of that. I just kind-of stumbled on this and found it to be a major turn-off. Debate is very, very important and no one is being forced to participate.... Why censor?? why?? No harm, no foul?? Freedom of speech, anyone? Don't we need to talk about things even if it makes some people a little woozy??? Dumbfounded.
 
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree
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John Lewis Morgan wrote:Fun.

Not only have I been censored for the first time..



Um, I don't think you have been. It was a pre-emptive strike before things got out of hand and needed to be removed.

You're quite welcome to go back and continue the original discussion, and hopefully it will stay a nice discussion and not deteriorate into debate or politics or people telling each other what they should do.

 
John Lewis Morgan
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My response to your preemptive strike was removed and put somewhere else out of context. I would consider that censorship. It's kinda worse than censorship because I did not wish to start a new topic with my out-of-context words as the opener, so that was a bit rude. I would've loved to have spent more of my afternoon discussing carpet mulch with people whose opinions are different than my own, in an organic way, without "deteriorating". But the deterioration has already occurred by an inorganic disruption, and that time has been wasted.
 
Burra Maluca
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John Lewis Morgan wrote:My response to your preemptive strike was removed and put somewhere else out of context. I would consider that censorship.



Then don't post off-topic stuff about how the board works in other threads - they'll be moved somewhere more appropriate.

 
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Pardon me for interrupting, but since permies.com is run by Paul Wheaton, it may be useful to know his stance on permaculture and ethics:


Permies, like JavaRanch, is run on what Paul calls an independent/consensus/dictators hybrid, so resistance is futile. Like he has mentioned before, some people find the setup and him a dick, and others don't. "Censorship" and "being nice" are both subjective terms and their meaning is up to Paul's discretion. Pre(and post)- emptive Pruning, as some of us refer to it, is helpful in maintaining the nice community we have on permies- a safe place for gentle souls.
 
John Lewis Morgan
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Yeah I agree with Paul on ethics in that video... I like the idea of taking the "cult" out of permaculture... and building profitable permaculture models... and being accepting of differing permaculture approaches... all of which are compatible with being anti-censorship. One of the things I really like about Paul is that he's not afraid to take on the "asshole" label. "Assholes" get things done. I don't know exactly what his ideas of "being nice" are, though i have an idea from the podcasts...... but It seems inconsistent to me to prune our ideas and NOT prune apple trees; or to encourage polyculture in our gardens, but NOT in our discussions... to be ORGANIC in our approach to plants and livestock but inorganic in our approach to discussions and debate; to be friendly to weeds in our garden, but to be intolerant to weeds in our populace... to be passionate against gylphosate for "unpleasant" plants, but to be in favor of deleting "unpleasant" words. WHen you exclude weeds form your garden you exclude that chance of an unforseeable magic happening with the way that weed interacts with others, and the same is true in discussions... I don't think censorship is consistent with permaculture ethics... just my opinion.
 
Dave Burton
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We do appreciate diversity in our discussion, and a brief browsing of the site demonstrates this. We have threads and discussions about topics ranging from women peeing outdoors to Torah prohibitions on mixing seeds to Free Speech to Infant Gender Assignment to Wool Insulation and so much more.

On that note, in the Free Speech thread, Ken Peavey made a good point on censorship and speech:

Ken Peavey wrote:The freedom to speak your mind is unalienable, at least in the US. With this freedom comes responsibility and accountability for what you say. If someone else chooses not to publish your words, that is up to them. The press has no requirement to spread your words.



With regards to this, it is up to Paul and the moderators to decide whether content that has been posted on permies meets our publishing standards.

Ideas, at least in my opinion, are not being pruned at permies, only the wording or speech. It is a fine difference, I know. We've even had discussions about "oh my, could it be?" stuff like Permaculture Heresy. People do have the audacity to question things at permies. That is part of permaculture, questioning and investigation, making observations.

Sorry for digressing a bit, but now back to the point:
We have discussed the shades of permaculture in the brown vs purple permaculture thread, and one of the important things noted in this is thread is and the clip I showed you of Paul's keynote is that permaculture does not have to be inextricably tied any ethics. The processes and concepts all work perfectly fine without the ethics or any ethics for that matter. We just try to be nice when discussing things.

If Burra or another moderator has deleted or probated some of the content you have brought to permies, then I will trust them that they are just doing their job and not trying to bash or unwarrantedly censor things. Their job is to make sure everyone is playing nicely. Evidently what was posted had wording issues or it would not have been deleted or put on probation. Maybe reading and browsing more threads will help you to understand how permies works and how we talk to each other on permies.

However, if you do not like any form of censorship, like Paul or Burra or probably any number of permies users might say, you can find another place on the Internet to share your thoughts in.

Another sidenote, but I felt this was important to mention, too. In permaculture, we work typically work through local solutions instead of top-down one-size fits all because it is part of being nice, it preserves local culture and ideas, and the grassroots method mimics natural ecosystem evolution. Similarly, in life and around the world and as it is on the Internet, it is useful and to one's advantage to learn the customs and behaviors of those you are traveling to. It is hard to learn things and make the most of experiences when one does not get along with the locals. The locals are very knowledgeable about where they live and can make a tourist's journey more enjoyable, more insight, and more interesting if treated the way their culture dictates.

Qatar, a few years ago, started a great campaign called Reflect Respect which demonstrates this idea very well. They were polite and kind when trying to inform tourists about their rules. In the campaign, on the streets, they were actually giving tourists chocolates and robes while handing out pamphlets like the ones below:



------------------------------------------------

Likewise, when you are at permies.com, you are one of us. Please reflect respect.
 
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@john lewis morgan

Many, many, many of the contributors at permies have had 'pauls iron curtain' pulled over their responses at some time or another. If you have spent time writing a message and engaging i know from experience it does not feel good to get a note back saying it is not going to fly or is headed into unapproved avenues. But there is a reason permies has about a zillion productive discussions and about zero hopeless pissing contests. Its directly related to the publishing standards and moderators.

There might be a topic that has exploded into fighting every time it came up on this forum or any forum, yet each fresh person that brings it up thinks they can have that discussion without it getting out of hand. The publishing standards are designed to eliminate 99 percent of the trouble caused by bringing up these types of issues. As we are all constantly reminded of here, if you want to talk about the things that aren't allowed to be talked about here than go use another forum, facebook, youtube comments, the other options are unlimited. But if you want to post pictures of a weird mushroom, or a hole you dug, or whatever strange permie related activity you are up to then there is a sounding board here.

 
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Welcome to permies, John. How may we serve you? I ask that because I imagine you did not join the forum to foment controversy. Let's step away from the track this conversation is headed right now. You may have expectations of how permies should be run (perhaps based on other forums you have participated in). Permies.com has expectations of its members. Neither is intrinsically right or wrong. The permies expectations are driven from the perceived needs of the whole, hard-won experience of promoting harmony, and Paul's preferences. It WOULD be wrong for either you or the permies to expect the other to change to fit one's needs, especially as you are just finding your way here.

The question is whether we can be a good match right now for your needs. Dave pointed out an interesting sample of the kinds of discussions that we engage in. Certainly something like that attracted you in the first place. There exists a permies culture that has deeply adopted the "be nice" philosophy. I like that part of the culture, it's part of why I come back. There's a phrase from another part of my world, "take what you like and leave the rest." It's nice to think I can post a poorly-conceived scheme and not get blasted for it, which promotes a different kind of free exchange than I see on other forums. I hope you find enough of what you like here to be a long-time contributor, because I admire your articulation and energy in the posts you have made. Tell us (perhaps start a project thread?) about the epic shit you are doing and let us all get better acquainted before carrying on.
 
John Lewis Morgan
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Ann Torrence wrote:
The question is whether we can be a good match right now for your needs. Dave pointed out an interesting sample of the kinds of discussions that we engage in. Certainly something like that attracted you in the first place. There exists a permies culture that has deeply adopted the "be nice" philosophy. I like that part of the culture, it's part of why I come back. There's a phrase from another part of my world, "take what you like and leave the rest." It's nice to think I can post a poorly-conceived scheme and not get blasted for it, which promotes a different kind of free exchange than I see on other forums. I hope you find enough of what you like here to be a long-time contributor, because I admire your articulation and energy in the posts you have made. Tell us (perhaps start a project thread?) about the epic shit you are doing and let us all get better acquainted before carrying on.



Welp, Thanks Dave, Zach and Ann. You all took some time out of your day to give a thoughtful response and I appreciate that.

That's exactly it, Ann. That's the exact question I am trying to answer here. Is permies a good match for me? Do I want to share my epic shit with this crowd? Do i want to call what I do "permauculture". I appreciate Paul's work and all the info he has shared with me and I've learned a lot from the site... This little bump in the road hasn't hurt my ego at all, but it has made me, as a "gentle soul", reluctant to share my ideas and epic shit when I really have no way of knowing if those ideas are going to meet the publishing standards. Forgive me for being so ignorant and obtuse in understanding what "being nice" actually means. thanks for your time. I know how valuable a persons time is... That is why I may be AFRAID to share any more, because I am a high school kid living with my parents and i am just trying to plant acres and acres of food forest. I think of all the time folks spend moderating forums and I wonder, would that time be better spent practicing pemaculture? NOT make a "should" statement or anything... not stepping on a gentle soul.... just counting teh hours you folks must spend on this screen for the sake of permies. I hope that sacrifice is worthwhile and creates the most yield for the fewest inputs.

I love you.

jm
 
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I haven't read everything in this thread. I'm really in the habit of letting stuff go if Burra seems to be on top of it.

The important thing is that this is a heavily moderated site. "Heavily moderated" can also be expressed as "heavily censored".

I created these forums with the idea of talking about topics I like in a way that I like. As the years passed people wanted to talk about more things, and after some trial and error, the cider press was born. So far it seems to be working out really well.

Naturally, people that are new to my site want to talk about things that don't quite fit in a way that doesn't quite fit. Most people seem to roll with it pretty well.

There have been a few dozen people that expressed here that my choices were wrong. They either left on their own or I locked their account. The result has been, IMAAOO, glorious.


Debate is very, very important



This site isn't for debate. This site is for sharing.


Freedom of speech, anyone?



Please stand up and yell as loud as you like. That is freedom of speech.

This is freedom of the press. Freedom of the press belongs to those that own one. I own this one. And I have publishing standards.


I don't know exactly what his ideas of "being nice" are,



I tried to sum it up here: http://www.permies.com/t/17422/tnk/permies-publishing-standards


. . .

Now I see lots of good responses here - so it seems all is well.

Here is a great big gob of interesting threads on why we do things the way we do. And if you cruise through this forum, you will find a lot of examples of people with frustrations similar to yours when they first arrived. Some left, never to return, but most "got it" and stuck around. You can even find a lot of people that say something like "yeah, that's how I reacted when I first got here, but then I could kinda see what was suggested and now I really like it like this."

http://www.permies.com/t/34193/tnk/permies-works-links-threads



 
John Lewis Morgan
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I appreciate your response.
 
Zach Muller
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John Lewis Morgan wrote:
. I think of all the time folks spend moderating forums and I wonder, would that time be better spent practicing pemaculture? NOT make a "should" statement or anything... not stepping on a gentle soul.... just counting teh hours you folks must spend on this screen for the sake of permies. I hope that sacrifice is worthwhile and creates the most yield for the fewest inputs.

I love you.

jm



The discussions on permies have yeilded inspiration and insight. They have contributed to the evolving of many permaculture systems, rmh systems, animal systems and ideas. The value of these discussions can be seen in the threads, but there is an unseen component of massive inspiration and information dissemination that can go unnoticed on first glance. Each contributor whether they are a moderator, poster, or programmer behind the scenes is the only one able to say if there time contribution is worthwhile.

Part of permaculture is working smarter. If there were no discussions or info being made available then everyone would have to start at square one. Maybe your first impulse is to plant as much food forest as possible, but if you research the information available perhaps you will find a better, smarter way to get to your end goal? There are a boatload of folks out there who popped 20-200 trees in the ground only to have them all die, if they dont take the time to share that, they might never find out what happened, and in turn others will go about making the exact same mistakes. In short, part of my practicing permaculture is never arriving at a point where I have it all figured out, and always improving on the systems I do have. I personally choose to do 8 hours of research and 1 hour of work to get the results i am after rather than spending 1 hour researching and 16 hours working only to get inferior results. Being open to discussions is part of being open in general, if permies aint worth it to you than i hope you find somewhere to share your trials and successes with your acres of food forestry.
 
John Lewis Morgan
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Zach Muller wrote:

The discussions on permies have yeilded inspiration and insight. They have contributed to the evolving of many permaculture systems, rmh systems, animal systems and ideas. The value of these discussions can be seen in the threads, but there is an unseen component of massive inspiration and information dissemination that can go unnoticed on first glance. Each contributor whether they are a moderator, poster, or programmer behind the scenes is the only one able to say if there time contribution is worthwhile.

Part of permaculture is working smarter. If there were no discussions or info being made available then everyone would have to start at square one. Maybe your first impulse is to plant as much food forest as possible, but if you research the information available perhaps you will find a better, smarter way to get to your end goal? There are a boatload of folks out there who popped 20-200 trees in the ground only to have them all die, if they dont take the time to share that, they might never find out what happened, and in turn others will go about making the exact same mistakes. In short, part of my practicing permaculture is never arriving at a point where I have it all figured out, and always improving on the systems I do have. I personally choose to do 8 hours of research and 1 hour of work to get the results i am after rather than spending 1 hour researching and 16 hours working only to get inferior results. Being open to discussions is part of being open in general, if permies aint worth it to you than i hope you find somewhere to share your trials and successes with your acres of food forestry.



I agree with this. at no point did i intend to bash permies, if anything i have praised it and have turned many, many other people on to it. For some reason, I keep getting talked to like I don't understand how it works, or that I am unfamiliar with the site. Or that I am unaware of the vast amount of useful info here etc. I don't have a lot of cred as a member because I have been following this site as a non-member for a long time. There is a reason for that. I was reluctant to join and share because something felt a little off... now that I've felt it out a bit I feel more comfortable as a passive voyeur than as a contributor. Nothing wrong with that I hope.

"being open to discussion is part of being open in general"

um yes. that's what I've been saying. Permies, for all of it's great qualities is NOT open to discussion per se, as it is a heavily moderated site. That is Paul's right. It works for Ya'll? GREAT! I know how reality works.

My food forest and other projects embrace a 90% failure rate (though I do a lot of research, too)... Failure is good. that is how innovation occurs. I'm putting my experiences in a book that I am working on. I don't think I can share it on this site, though. I appreciate your thoughts, Zach

"the cheapest thing on the planet is a good intention" -jm

 
Dave Burton
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John, even though we may or may not hear more from you, I would like to share a few good threads with you, to give you some parting (if it comes to that) gifts. Please check out these threads:
Guide to Getting Help on Permies <--- several great resources for education and help making designs are listed there
Travel Ideas <--- lists some ways of travel and finding communities
Air Wells <-- just an amazing discussion about harvesting water from the air
jokes <--- joy and giggles

I wish you the best wherever you may go and where your journeys may take you. Please be happier than you were before, and live long and prosper!

P.S. There are also tons of great podcasts and articles at richsoil.com, the sister site to permies. All lovely stuff made by Paul Wheaton!
 
John Lewis Morgan
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