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distracting vitriol

 
steward
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the permaculture forum on here seems to be crowded with a lot of electronic hollering lately.  one recent example is the Gardening without animal manure or products thread.  in that thread, there is very little room being allowed for discussion of its nominal topic.  instead, it's just a bunch of back and forth about whether animals are angelic providers of manna or demonic wasters of soil.  that could be an interesting thread in and of itself, and has been elsewhere on the site, but I don't think it belongs in a thread where folks want to discuss a particular practice.

I don't know what the answer is.  a lot of new names are posting more frequently lately.  the site's growing.  things change.  just thought I would put this out there.
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I am reading that thread, too.  At first it looked like it was going to get ugly but it did start to turn around.  You're right about the animal use portion being it's own topic.  Fortunately, it looks like it is starting to get back onto topic on page 2. 
 
pollinator
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Yes, I think there's definitely been a change in tone over the last few weeks.

More people getting interested in permaculture, and being more used to a different style of - I won't call it discussion, let's call it social interchange.

I was reading Homesteading Today for a while, but realized I was reading and taking part in way too many useless exchanges. Conspiracy theories, who's the real xtian, partisan bashing - blech.

Anyway, I don't know how to best deal with this. It's like bad money driving out good, or accommodating the lowest common denominator. I'd rather show people that there's another way to react to life than spending hours talking about what's wrong with (subject x), but people who are into that sort of thing are *really* into it.

Anyone have any good hints for derailing determined trains?


 
master pollinator
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I think it would be nice if people could entertain different ideas without picking at them so much.  Nobody is saying we all have to grow everything the same way.  It would be nice if people could present ideas of different systems without either implying that everyone else is doing it wrong or by being responded to as if one is doing it wrong or it is a stupid idea.

It gets discouraging sometimes. 
 
gardener
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Agreed,
The wandering off topic drives me crazy.  Just because I don't agree doesn't mean I can't see merit in another view. But stay on topic.
  I'm not vegan but it's ok if you are. I don't like brussel sprouts but it's ok if you do. 
 
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This is a difficult one for me also. I do like hearing all the different solutions to the same problems. I also enjoy reading about different peoples ideas of the merits of each solutions. Often even what appear to be bad ideas to me have some nugget of information I find useful.

However in the case of the Gardening without manure or other products thread I am torn; I do agree with not wanting to bring in waste products from other sources often of unknown quality. However cutting nature completely out of the deal by essentially removing all animals makes no sense either. Actually it really disturbs me deeply, but I have a deep connection to nature.

Beyond that gardening without animal manure appears to me to go against everything I understand Permaculture to be.  So I am left feeling like this thread on this forum is unacceptable, sort of troll like behavior if you ask me. Now I am not calling out JMY for being a troll I do not think that was the intent at all! I do however wonder if JMY and others with ideas that appear to me to run contrary to Permaculture had a better understanding of the  principles of Permaculture if they would have chosen this forum to post such things. In my mind it is like going to a hot rod forum to discuss the merits of the new electric vehicles being produced. Or going to a gun forum trying to convince people there that guns are bad.

I could even see a topic like this is what we do and why lets compare notes etc., but in the case of the Gardening without manure or other products thread I am honestly left wondering what was the intention of posting to begin with? Because it feels like a pissing match to me, a polite pissing match but still....

I wonder what Sepp or Fukuoka would have to say about this topic?

 
Tyler Ludens
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That's why I suggested the topic be moved from the permaculture forum to the organic practices forum, because animals seem to be part of permaculture (as I understand permaculture).

Of course nobody is making us garden without animals!  Even if we would never do it in a million years, other people might want to, and might want to discuss it.  Is it congruent with the ideas and practices of permaculture specifically?  I'm not sure!  I would say no, but maybe other people would say sure, it's permie.

 
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Often there are bits of info in a post that might seem not connected to the thread but they are in the authors mind and thus, might be in the readers mind.As for domestic animals in the landscape being permier than thou:I guess than means all the indigenous cultures in NA arnt permi.Judging permi??Is there a quicker way we could  turn permi into a stale ideology than to lay down official technique and appeal to the figureheads of the movement for edicts on proper permi style.I would agree though that staying on topic is generaly good and like yourselves will try hard.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Good point, mt goat! 
 
Robert Ray
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That's where I see part of the problem... the book says so and therefore that is how it is to be.

  I think any permaculture book or the doctrine itself is a living document and can bulge this way or that a bit accepting differing views, diets, climate, etc. etc etc.

North American indeginous didn't have domesticated animals but South Americans did. Not bad, either one, just different.
 
Tyler Ludens
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But, however, didn't north american natives use fish heads in their corn plantings? Or is that just a story? 
 
tel jetson
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that thread is only the most recent thread that's gotten bogged down.  looks to be on the mend at the moment, though, which is encouraging.

seems like an awful lot of the annoying back-and-forth concerns particular diets and animals.  why that has become such an issue lately is mysterious to me.  we've previously had great threads specifically dealing with that stuff without it invading other discussions.  what changed?

maybe diet stuff should all be in the "cooking and food preservation" forum.  and the discussion of animals' merits should be in the critter care forum.

regarding the continuation of the critter conversation that has appeared in this thread: I just don't think it matters.  permaculture is largely about finding elegant solutions, not about following rules.  if somebody has put together a productive garden or food forest without including domestic animal inputs, that somebody has not failed to meet the criteria for the permaculture club.  instead, that somebody has added one more tool to our collective toolbox.  many folks have successfully included domestic animals in responsible and productive systems.  I'm very interested in learning about that.  I'm also very interested in learning about the folks who have had successes without those animals.  for that matter, I'm interested in hearing about the failures of both those camps as well.

I'm not in favor of the word "permaculture" including so much territory that it loses it's meaning, but I don't think we're anywhere near that point when we include arrangements that don't require domestic animals.
 
Robert Ray
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And I see nothing wrong with using fish for fertilizer.
I'm not sure if alpaca/lama manure or turkey manure was used in South America gardening,
maybe someone else does....now our thread has morphed, but the dialogue is non confrontational.
 
Tyler Ludens
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I'm not convinced domestic animals are required at all even "by the manual" (Bible  )  I mean "Permaculture: a designers manual" in which Bill Mollison talks about the greater productivity of wild animal systems versus domestic.  I could look up a citation but I won't unless someone asks. 

 
Matt Ferrall
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It can be an entertaining challenge to get a thread back on topic.The conversational manner of a thread allows it to easily be drawn into nick picky debates about technicalities(I`m guilty as well).Not an easy problem to fix though!Thats why I often just preach rather than feel obliged to adress the conversation(although I will use it too,if it will help get my ideas out there in a more understandable form).It takes skill to not get sucked into it too and as someone who loves attention(good or bad)I will attest to the power of silence in squelching a conversation going off topic.
 
steward
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I wish to delete all of the electronic hollering.  Please click on "report to moderator" when you see even a tiny bit of it. 

I just made a quick pass through the thread and deleted about six posts. 

I think it would be nice if people could entertain different ideas without picking at them so much.



I agree.  I will delete the picking.  Just click on "report to moderator" - of course, sometimes a person is making a good, healthy response - bit by bit.  I think that is okay. 

To clarify:  I think it is okay to say "on that point, my position is", but it is not okay to say "on that point, you are wrong" or "on that point, that is not true".

Of course, if a person stands up and says "the sky is green" I think you are asking for trouble.  And if a person says "I think the sky is green" then you are safe.  A person could reply "I think it is black with white spots".  If a person were to say "Not true" then the second person is wrong because the second person is not able to read the mind of the first person.

It gets discouraging sometimes.



I promise to find the time to do a full and complete discouraging-ectomy. 

Beyond that gardening without animal manure appears to me to go against everything I understand Permaculture to be.  So I am left feeling like this thread on this forum is unacceptable, sort of troll like behavior if you ask me.



I find that there are all sorts of folks doing all sorts of goofy things in the name of permaculture.  The more I learn about what is going on, the more I see the boundaries of "goofy" pushed.    I feel the thing to do is to simply express "well, I go about it a really different way, and here is why I choose this path."

That's why I suggested the topic be moved from the permaculture forum to the organic practices forum, because animals seem to be part of permaculture



I think anybody that says they have a permaculture system without animals, they are probably referring to no cows, chickens, goats, etc.  Leaving out the coons, snakes, worms, etc.  I think it is fair to try.  After all - mollison says you can do permaculture on an apartment balcony.  No livestock there. 

Plus, this is a place to learn about permaculture - so I think it is fair space to explore and understand.





 
Tyler Ludens
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You're doing a fine job, Paul. If I get discouraged some times, it's not your responsibility to try and fix it.    Could be I'm just having a bad day.
 
                                    
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there is so much interesting stuff here - i felt i would get more out of it if i participated. 

however the culture at this forum is unlike any i've come across.  i think i will stop posting.

i like jeff's post above.  if permaculture is going to be a superword here ("a word that causes controversies, that gets fought over, that sometimes runs on ahead of its embodiments; a word that seems to jettison adherents" & "a word for names whose contested nature is their very point and essence") then i don't have the energy to talk about it.

of course it can be difficult to restrain yourself when you perceive others as rejecting your ideals without understanding them and thats my issue.

one problem i see with deleting posts is once they are gone it totally changes the flow of the thread and allows you to forget what was deemed objectionable!

tel jetson wrote:
the permaculture forum on here seems to be crowded with a lot of electronic hollering lately.  one recent example is the Gardening without animal manure or products thread.  in that thread, there is very little room being allowed for discussion of its nominal topic.  instead, it's just a bunch of back and forth about whether animals are angelic providers of manna or demonic wasters of soil.



see i didn't really get that impression from reading the thread at all. maybe i would have to go and reread it or maybe i'm just coming from somewhere totally different from most people here.  to me when i see a thread called "Gardening without animal manure" i figure all of these issues will naturally come up!

*logging out*
 
Tyler Ludens
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Well darn, I wish chris had not given up.    It takes a little getting used to being extra nice here compared to other places, but it is quite possible to have spirited conversations.  Personally I enjoy the challenge of learning how to communicate a different way. 
 
paul wheaton
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Ludi,

Maybe you can find two or three threads where people had rich, excellent discussions without barbs, and then post them to this thread. 
 
Tyler Ludens
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Personally I like this thread:  http://www.permies.com/permaculture-forums/5982_0/permaculture/hello-desert-permaculture ; in which people have expressed strong opinions without (I believe) anyone being a meanie. 

 
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