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should all permaculture stuff be for free?

 
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paul wheaton wrote:

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?



I am fully aware that what I say really doesn't mean a whole lot but here is my opinion. I believe that you should give info, including podcasts, away for free while selling your books, dvds, and workshops. If this was about a different product, then I would say sell away but this is permaculture. The concept is that we are a community. The majority of people who are involved in the movement are drawn to the DIY concept which is based on affordability. Backlash should be expected when the open door is suddenly shut and a fee for entrance is requested. If you are burned out from helping, then step away and take a break.

 
master steward
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And we have newcomer Nick Simcheck. I understand Nick's stuff too.

So we have the five that baffle me:

Matt Smith
Rion Mather
John Ram
laura sharpe
Robert Meyer

Laura said something about how I am allowed to sell things as long as she finds the price to be reasonable. I'm not sure what the consequences are if she finds them to be unreasonable. I hope that just means that she won't buy it and will forever wish that the prices was "reasonable". I hope that it does not mean anything involving theft or somehow requiring the author to be subjected to her will.

Robert has stumbled over logic vs. idea. He has theories about alternatives to money. I am choosing to skip over Robert's stuff.

Rion seems to not approve of my selling permaculture information and, at the same time, advocating permaculture. A matter of spiritual/philosophical view that all permaculture information should be free. I think that the view is okay, as long as the view does not manifest into theft or enslavement.

Matt is the one that said "dangerous logic". He seems to advocate that all permaculture information should be free. I hope that what he means by this is that he will go out and create a lot of information and give it away. I hope that he has no intention to steal other people's stuff, or to shame somebody into a form of slavery.

John thinks that I should be excluded from this conversation because I am biased because I sell stuff. Also will grace us with his words of wisdom as long as I keep permies free (I didn't know I was thinking of anything else). Stuff about knowledge should be free. I hope that he has no intention to steal other people's stuff, or to shame somebody into a form of slavery.



So, I feel like I have put a huge amount of time into this today. As the Duke of Permaculture, and the largest permaculture voice in the world, I think it is really important that I consider this stuff and make sure the message I project is good and decent. I will continue to try to wrap my head around further information presented in this thread. At the moment, my position is unchaged:

Sharing permaculture knowledge for free is awesome.

Selling permaculture knowledge is also awesome.

Consuming/sharing permaculture information in a way that is contrary to comfort of the person that created that information is theft. I will continue to stand against that.

Attempting to shame people into giving their stuff away for free, or any other form of slavery is something I will also continue to stand against.




 
paul wheaton
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I believe that you should give info, including podcasts, away for free while selling your books, dvds, and workshops. If this was about a different product, then I would say sell away but this is permaculture. The concept is that we are a community. The majority of people who are involved in the movement are drawn to the DIY concept which is based on affordability. Backlash should be expected when the open door is suddenly shut and a fee for entrance is requested.



So, based on your spirituality/philosophy, podcasts should always be free, but it is okay to sell books, dvds and workshops. So your concern is really just about podcasts.

Further, you think that if the podcasts were about, say, surfing - then it would be okay to sell them. But since they podcasts are about permaculture, then it seems, to you, to be inappropriate to sell them.

Further, when I shift from giving them away to selling them, that I should expect a backlash.

Wheras if I never created podcasts then there would be no backlash.

Can you verify that I understand your position?

 
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paul wheaton wrote:I often hear people complain about information that is not free. They say it should be free. In every case I have heard this from people that currently offer nothing for free. Not even a lousy blog.



There's one.

paul wheaton wrote: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.



And that's two. Pretty clear, as I read them.

paul wheaton wrote:So, before we move on, could you please clarify these two points?



I feel I already answered this. I even repeated the question you asked and used your name at the beginning of the paragraph. Are you even reading what's being written in this thread?

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.



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.



I wanted to quote those last two up side by side so as to highlight the amazing dissonance between them. Who's putting words in who's mouth again?

So I guess I need to be really really specific to avoid "confusion" here. It's not the actual process of logic itself that is dangerous, it's how the logic is used and the conclusions that are drawn from it that can be dangerous, if those conclusions are not checked against a moral or ethical code. Lots of terrible things can be justified through logic alone. For the record, I do not actually think basic arithmetic is dangerous. Do I really have to spell all this out?

I would prefer not to play the role of the straw man in your argument, and I'd rather not waste everyone's time here sparring with you for points on semantics.

I've pretty much said what I have to say, and I stand by what I wrote. It seems a number of people have been able to find more than "exaggeration and spin" in there, which gladdens me.
 
Matt Smith
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paul wheaton wrote:So, I feel like I have put a huge amount of time into this today. As the Duke of Permaculture, and the largest permaculture voice in the world, I think it is really important that I consider this stuff and make sure the message I project is good and decent. I will continue to try to wrap my head around further information presented in this thread. At the moment, my position is unchaged:

Sharing permaculture knowledge for free is awesome.

Selling permaculture knowledge is also awesome.

Consuming/sharing permaculture information in a way that is contrary to comfort of the person that created that information is theft. I will continue to stand against that.

Attempting to shame people into giving their stuff away for free, or any other form of slavery is something I will also continue to stand against.



Wow. I really hope (for your sake) that I've missed a big inside joke and the first part of that is you being funny.

And yes, sharing permaculture knowledge for free is indeed awesome.
 
gardener
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I am a member of The Survival Podcast's "Member's Support Brigade". A Lifetime Member, in fact, and if you read the comments from that link, you'll also find some people getting pissed off at Jack for having the audacity to sell a product without asking their permission. Despite Jack having put a lot of work into that program to secure discounts and other goodies (which are not much use to me down here in Australia), I chose to give him $300 of my money purely to support what he's doing. I know that if people don't support him when the opportunity presents itself, then he would have to take a regular job, and that would mean less "free" information for me and everyone else.

Paul, if you ever do another $25 podcast episode called "The Dripping Tap, or, How The Fuck Paul Has Managed to Do All This For So Long Without Getting Paid For It", I'll be first in line to buy it.

I'm not going to inquire as to your personal finances Paul, but I'm going to take a guess that you lived inexpensively whilst you were a corporate whore, and did a good job of saving and investing yer dollars, and have been living inexpensively off them since. But maybe now you're looking at the increasing cost of running the empire, and your cash reserves, and your expected lifespan and thinking "Hmmm, I need me some money!" Now I'm going to guess that you had a chat to your good friend Jack Spirko, and he would have told you that if you charge people to listen to your podcast they will stop, and you will have a lot of trouble attracting new folks (since you are competing with lots of "free" information such as YouTube, and other podcasts), which is bad for business, and I suspect for your personal ethics, bad because it means that less brains are exposed to good ideas, and I believe that is your only motivation for doing this stuff. So you would have looked for ways to sell "productized" versions of your existing information, thus the podcast bundles that people can choose to buy for their convenience. Now I already have all of the podcast episodes, but I'll be looking for ways to throw Paul the occasional bone when he presents one (except the Political podcast - you made it clear that we were to spend our money elsewhere!)

I am not going to ask anyone else about their finances either, but I would further guess that most of those folks that think everyone else should be giving permaculture stuff away for free are financially supported in some other unsustainable way.
 
paul wheaton
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Matt Smith wrote: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



paul wheaton wrote: 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.



Matt Smith wrote:

paul wheaton wrote:I often hear people complain about information that is not free. They say it should be free. In every case I have heard this from people that currently offer nothing for free. Not even a lousy blog.



There's one.

paul wheaton wrote: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.



And that's two. Pretty clear, as I read them.



Me, Sepp, Toby and Geoff, all provide free stuff and all provide stuff for sale.

I will now make up somebody. Called Wally. Wally is a consumer of information and wants non-free stuff to be free, but offers no information of any kind.

I assert that my two statements are true in this scenario. Wally, and people like Wally, want non-free stuff to be free, but offer nothing for free. Wally starts the convesation of how non-free things should be free. Me, Sepp, Toby and Geoff are content with things the way are they are, until Wally(s) brings it up.

Then we get to your paraphrasing. "the only people promoting the idea of free information are people who don't generate or contribute anything" --- I've never said anything like that. For example, Sepp, Toby, Geoff and myself all promote the idea of free information. Wally also promotes the idea of free information.

And look - you mentioned the straw man. It would seem that is exactly what happened here.

your position is so weak, that you need to dress up what I am saying and knock that over instead of what I am actually saying.


Now, back to:

Matt Smith wrote: 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.



Where is that happening?



And your response to this appears to be

I feel I already answered this. I even repeated the question you asked and used your name at the beginning of the paragraph. Are you even reading what's being written in this thread?



I seem to be spending massive time on this thread. Would you be so kind as to give me a link to the post that answers this?
 
paul wheaton
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Matt Smith wrote:
Wow. I really hope (for your sake) that I've missed a big inside joke and the first part of that is you being funny.



So when there is something you don't understand you hope that it is a joke.

This makes a lot of things much clearer.
 
paul wheaton
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Phil,

Moving some (not all) of the older podcasts over to a paid model came from a lot of things. It sorta evolved to what it is now through many steps (see the "gummed" thread). Maybe the biggest contributor (and the most relevant to this thread) is when I calculated that I had spent $6000 on the podcasts and received about $600. So I was paying a little too dearly to get the information out there. And this was not sustainable.

 
pollinator
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Well I've just spent some pleasant hours communicating with horses, and I have to say I'm really disappointed to come back here to people miscommunicating.

Come on, it's not a winner-take-all Cage Match. We're sharing ideas. Maybe if we listen and try to understand each other we can combine them creatively and come up with some new and powerful ideas. Maybe we'll see the world in a slightly different way. Or understand more how other people approach life.

If we can't pull that off here in this place, how the hell are we going to be able to advocate for positive changes out in the real world?
We're all people who genuinely want to make the world a better place, if we have different opinions it doesn't mean we are attackers or opponents.... lets not waste our energy with pointless argument, outside there is the Real Work to do.



to Paul...you said..

paul wheaton wrote:
Robert has stumbled over logic vs. idea. He has theories about alternatives to money. I am choosing to skip over Robert's stuff.



Limiting the scope of debate is such an easy way to suppress important ideas. It's ubiquitous in the mainstream media. It seems like a place like this would be ideal to discuss alternate ideas and search for positive ways forward. Since we've started a thread on whether or not we should monetize aspects of permaculture why wouldn't we look at all the ways we might approach this?

I would challenge you to spend a bit of time some evening exploring some of those ideas just to see what they are about rather than rejecting them out of hand. Specifically, I don't think he's advocating alternatives to money...I think he's proposing ways of making money work for us, for society, for the planet, instead of carrying on with the current disfunction in financial systems.

to Robert...yes i like the LETS idea a lot...there are a lot of interesting local currency systems out there and i think they are a great way to build community. They seem like a natural fit for permaculture economics. They also allow people to begin to decouple their lives from the world of central banks and wall street, and I think they are a super strategy for building up resilience and regaining some local economic autonomy.

They even allow you to play a bit with ideas like negative interest, buy putting a time limit on the currency or having it devalue the longer you hold it....this could help keep things flowing, and prevent the stagnation and hoarding we are seeing that can tip things into recession. They did just that with a number of local municipal currencies that were issued during the Great Depression, and it was very successful.
 
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paul wheaton wrote: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.



I'm sorry Paul, but i did told you it was a pointless debate and that each of us would stand on our own ground. Are you feeling aggravated? Maybe.

I'm not trying to change your way of doing things, haven't even tried to shame you in any way. But if you do feel shamed by anything someone said, if those voices disturb you in any way, then maybe you might be on to something there. Maybe you would like to offer things for free, but have made one of those compromises and that is disturbing you. Maybe you are just annoyed by the dissonance of other peoples choices... or maybe because some people won't be persuaded by your logic.

Those are a lot of maybe's, but for sure you asked for opinions, and i gave mine, not to 'convert' you to mine, but to let you know of how i see things. It may be confusing at first for someone that is in fact trying to refute my view, but in time i think you will understand me. But even if you don't, that just means that we are in fact different in many ways and i can live with that, can't you? And again i state that this discussion was not about you.

Now that we are clear, as a sidenote, i'm going to inform you that in my country it is legal to download music and videos from the internet for personal use, it has been ruled so by the MP in courts last year. I think big media are trying to circumvent that, but as usual, all legal matters take forever... and people still buy despite all of those freely attainable material can be downloaded from the web at no cost.
As for slavery, it was abolished even before your country was forked from the british empire.
In all of EU we can't patent ideas, just tangible things, not even software.

This sidenote sentences are just facts, not my personal ethics or views, just to get you up to speed on my context here.

Now bringing this down to your site, and your contents, you do as you see fit, i see no problem there and i haven't had the resolve to listen to your podcasts, but will get there eventually if they are free. And i'll tell you this: if you ask me to, i won't even listen to them at all, even if they are free.
All in all i'm sure you are passionate enough about what you do to measure the trends and cope with the results in a positive way.

But i do have a reasonable question for you about your site: what are the terms of the content placed by us(users) on the wiki?

I'm having this awkward feeling that this is just a bad time and place to place this question, but since you are centering the discussion on your site and contents, let's be thorough.
(just noticed that this thread exists under "tinkering with this site")

ps.: Started this reply hours ago, got around to finish it after making some cinnamon and butter cookies :p nice joke on the duke thing, lol.
Content minimized. Click to view
 
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Kari Gunnlaugsson wrote:


Limiting the scope of debate is such an easy way to suppress important ideas. It's ubiquitous in the mainstream media. It seems like a place like this would be ideal to discuss alternate ideas and search for positive ways forward. Since we've started a thread on whether or not we should monetize aspects of permaculture why wouldn't we look at all the ways we might approach this?



I don't see Paul limiting the scope of the debate or suppressing important ideas. I see him choosing not to discuss alternatives to the money system in the thread he started about "should all permaculture stuff be for free."

 
Rion Mather
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paul wheaton wrote:

I believe that you should give info, including podcasts, away for free while selling your books, dvds, and workshops. If this was about a different product, then I would say sell away but this is permaculture. The concept is that we are a community. The majority of people who are involved in the movement are drawn to the DIY concept which is based on affordability. Backlash should be expected when the open door is suddenly shut and a fee for entrance is requested.



So, based on your spirituality/philosophy, podcasts should always be free, but it is okay to sell books, dvds and workshops. So your concern is really just about podcasts.



I don't have an issue with selling books, dvds, workshops, etc. as long as you are also offering that information for free. I would hope that when people ask for help that you would be willing to give it. My philosophy may be a little out there but I believe that this type of knowledge is to be shared in order to improve our lives and create bonds.

paul wheaton wrote:

Further, you think that if the podcasts were about, say, surfing - then it would be okay to sell them. But since they podcasts are about permaculture, then it seems, to you, to be inappropriate to sell them.


Correct.

paul wheaton wrote:
Further, when I shift from giving them away to selling them, that I should expect a backlash.


Correct.

paul wheaton wrote:
Wheras if I never created podcasts then there would be no backlash.


It makes me sad that you are going down that road.
 
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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.



I dont know about anyone else but i felt attacked when I stated that the high price if a pdf turned me off. I was accused of calling wonderful people greedy. In fact, i think they would make just as much money if they were to sell cheaper and more of them.

Making money is a necessary thing in this society. I just expect the same pdf will pay for many years.
 
Tyler Ludens
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A bunch of the podcasts are free, so that would seem to fill the "also offering that information for free" criteria. Also, I bet if someone asks Paul about a podcast topic, he will be happy to talk about it.
 
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I never stated a criteria to be met, i was half asleep when posting and a bit overcome with everyone patting themselves on the back.

unlike many, i totally agree that we must make money no matter what. Hey even if yu manage to live on barter totally, the government does not take property taxes in chickens. All kinds of words were put in my mouth because I was getting a heavily emotional response from all rather than a logical one.

I would like to see as much encouragement as possible to go out and as much negative feelings to stay away. I am sorry but it is totally true when i ran into the 20 to 35 dollar pdfs i did think, oh lure and take. One can write a pdf and sell the same plans for years and years. If you want to charge what the traffic will bare then do it, your choice. I am saying that it is not necessarily true that less money is made for selling this at 5 dollars than at 35, perhaps so many more will be sold that it is the same. All i know is i was surprised that such a simple devise drawing had such a price...the book cost me much less and cost so much more to produce. At five, if i was not in too lazy of a mood to get my cc, i likely would have paid it...like they say for convenience but to me i found that price high enough to turn me off.



 
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laura sharpe wrote:I would like to see as much encouragement as possible to go out and as much negative feelings to stay away. I am sorry but it is totally true when i ran into the 20 to 35 dollar pdfs i did think, oh lure and take. One can write a pdf and sell the same plans for years and years. If you want to charge what the traffic will bare then do it, your choice. I am saying that it is not necessarily true that less money is made for selling this at 5 dollars than at 35, perhaps so many more will be sold that it is the same. All i know is i was surprised that such a simple devise drawing had such a price...the book cost me much less and cost so much more to produce. At five, if i was not in too lazy of a mood to get my cc, i likely would have paid it...like they say for convenience but to me i found that price high enough to turn me off.




Sorry if what I wrote was upsetting, it was not my intention to attack.

I simply am of the opinion that for what is contained in the .PDF, that that asking price was fair. A complete encyclopedia on .PDF is still "worth" a lot, as are house blue prints on .PDF, etc.

You seem to have put out that if it was a 132 page book that you could justify the cost, which could very well be 131 of mindless drivel with 1 page of actual blueprints. Maybe I just picked up on what you were saying in the wrong way, this is the internet where everybody types their thoughts without much time spend on textual refinement... In other words, emotion isn't always conveyed accurately. (Hence you feeling attacked, with myself having no such desire)
 
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Here's my final opinion the subject, for who ever is interested in reading it. I should have said this right up front to make my position entirely clear.

I don't think there is a right or wrong answer to this question. This is basically like asking "should I grow chickens?". Some people may like having chickens, some people may not, some people may like the idea of it, but not actually have them. One thing is for certain in my mind. If you were to ask that question, and get answers in return, the most completely illogical reaction to that situation would be to say "I don't want chickens, stop commanding me to have them, you can't force me!!!"...

Similarly, some people may want to give everything they produce away, some people may want to put a price on all of it, and some people may want to make their stuff available partially free, by suggested donation, or via a complementary currency system. None of these approaches are right. There are as many answers to this question as there are unique people out there in the world. I definitely don't think it's moral (nor actually possible really) to force someone to sell or give away their stuff. Whatever they want to do with it is their business, and people may judge them negatively for it, but who cares? That's what's great about a generally free market system, we have the opportunity to experiment with various business approaches, and no one can force us otherwise (unless you misinterpret a civil debate as someone trying to force you).
 
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A church asks for tithe to maintain the local congregation and spread the word to others that are outside the congregation. It's not that the "Book" is not available to those outside and one does not need to buy the book to study the word. Hey Paul wears a funny hat sometimes and so do some religious figures. There is nothing preventing me from spreading the word of permaculture to others, and I do. I had over 200 visitors during our last local Greenhouse, Garden, Coop tour and had many that came back later to learn about things that I have done. I believe I have an extensive library on the subject but have never purchased anything directly from Paul. So that's the way I look at it, I'm not an organized religion kinda guy but I spread knowledge that I have freely. I see where information that I want spread needs support and wholeheartedly think that compensation for information from those in a position as Paul is or Sepp is or Toby is or Erica and Ernie are is required to spread the word giving credit to those people who have supplied the information.
 
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What a lot of emotions there are flying around about this subject! Personally I think if people decide to charge for their permaculture knowledge and experience it's their own affair. There's a place for everyone. Standing under the 'permaculture' umbrella doesn't mean we all have to behave the same way, or translate permaculture's principles into the same actions, or castigate each other for failing to live up to our own personal ideas about what 'permaculture' represents. At the end of the day, there's just people; and there'll always be people who'll seek and take personal advantage, and there'll always be people who give far more than their fair share, but we're all responsible for our own behaviour and actions and we're all free to take it or leave it. If we want something in return for what we're giving, even if that giving is ostensibly 'free', then perhaps we need to examine our motives and be more up front about what we want in return. If we're happy to give because we're happy to give, or we're happy to charge because we're happy to charge, then where's the problem? Other people's reactions to that aren't our problem: it's theirs. It only becomes our problem if we secretly want them to behave differently to how they are. But who are we to dictate how others should behave? Or to forget that the greater the diversity in any ecosystem, the greater its resilience and health ...

In my experience, those who complain loudest about resources costing too much money tend to be those who have some sense of entitlement that's out of proportion with their means and aren't making use of their own resources to educate themselves. There's always another way, and if we want it enough, we can find it. Complaining won't solve a thing, other than attempting to dump our own bad feelings onto someone else.

Personally, I'd far rather invest what money I have in trees or invite some friends over to share a meal and brainstorm than I would attend a PDC. That doesn't mean I don't think PDCs have their place for those that want them, but for me, open source practical learning 'on the job' is the way to go. As far as I can see, it's hard to be real and genuine when you've got 'professional'/guru status to uphold and/or are conscious of pressure to give value for money - regardless of whether that's expected of you by others or self-imposed - and all the theory in the world is meaningless if it isn't relevant in practice and context. Open source is the quickest route to innovation, and taking money and perceived 'status' out of the equation removes a lot of other barriers between people too. Yes, we all have to live in a monetised culture to some extent at least, but there's many other ways of getting what you need to survive and resourcefulness is key. It's hard to learn resourcefulness while being spoon-fed information in a set-up where everything has been carefully thought out and selected for you, predigested and presented on a plate ...
 
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Here’s how I see it:
At a very basic level, Permaculture is like math. It’s a collection of ideas, theories, facts, and practices that provides a useful way of interacting with the world around us.

There is no cost for using math, but there are all sorts of costs for learning and/or teaching math. There are also all sorts of ways to go about learning math, and each has its own price point.

Newton discovered a lot of truths about math, but people didn’t pay him when they passed along those ideas to others. They *did* pay him for the book he wrote. Anyone can teach anything about math without paying royalties, etc.--as long as they write their own textbook or otherwise deliver the information themselves. They just can’t take someone else’s textbook, copy it, and give it away.

So what it comes down to is this: If I wanted to become an engineer, I’d very willingly pay for an excellent textbook/DVD/etc. about math. I’d also seek out sources of free information. And I’d also encourage someone who had great material and who wanted to distribute that material for free. They exist side-by-side.

For instance: MIT is now putting all of their courses online, for free. They are also still full to the brim with paying students.

Permaculture as a concept, like math, is already inherently free. Permaculture content, created by an individual or group, costs whatever that individual or group feels is fair--mediated of course by what consumers are willing to pay.

Again, that's just how I see it.
 
Robert Meyer
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I'd also like to mention that I don't think that talking about alternatives to traditional money is off topic here. To use yet another analogy, the reaction that I've received here would be like someone saying "Should we grow things organically?" and someone saying "But wait, you don't have to just grow things organic, you can grow them using permaculture!!", and the person who asked the question saying "Well that's not what I asked, so I'm going to ignore your answer.". Do you not see the foolishness in this? It's a very relevant topic to the discussion at hand, and to flat out ignore it is absurd in my opinion.
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Robert Ray
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The conversation is diluted when we bring in type of currency whether it is LETS, kronas, Euros or dollars. Should it be free or have a cost associated with it, is a seperate conversation as to what to purchase something with.
 
Robert Meyer
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Robert Ray wrote: The conversation is diluted when we bring in type of currency whether it is LETS, kronas, Euros or dollars. Should it be free or have a cost associated with it, is a seperate conversation as to what to purchase something with.



I think the conversation is diluted already because we're debating an opinion, as I mentioned above. There is no right or wrong answer, and no one can force anyone to do what they think is right, so it's a fruitless debate in general. However, when you start analyzing the structure of money as it is currently, we can start looking at ways that you could argue would make things technically free, or based on other measures of value besides dollars, which gives nuance to the topic, and leads us down interesting and complex paths of discussion, besides simply "things should be free" vs. "no they shouldn't, people need to make a living". When money itself is redefined, making a living takes on a different meaning.
 
Robert Meyer
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It certainly could, but so could many topics that are relevant to the overall subject matter, but not necessarily the original subject itself. For example, one could talk about building raised beds, and someone could suggest that the person do hugelkulture instead. Would it not seem somewhat suppressant of the idea of hugelkulture if someone said "there are dedicated threads to hugelkulture, talk about it there", especially since hugelkulture is essentially a revolutionization of how one thinks of a raised bed? I'm confused why the discussion of this subject is being discouraged here, as it is definitely relevant.
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Is our time not worth something? All of us....
Are there to costs associated with the work we do whether permaculture or not?
Does it use utilities, transportation or goods that you have purchased?
Are there not costs associated with materials and preparation for a workshop?

I say this as someone who cannot purchase a $200 book and so I will learn and and glean as much as I can. Nor can I pay $500 for a workshop right now, but I don't deny it's value.
I also say this as someone who plans to purchase the rocket mass heater plans in the fall (this is how we found permies.com on YouTube).
And I say this as someone who has taught baking and canning for free, but requires that they bring their own materials, contributions or $5 to cover costs. This helps them invest in what is being learned around our time and communal meal together.

Work is valuable and money or exchanged goods is our way of communicating that in our culture. Rarely can we get by for too long taking and taking without giving back and not feel totally taken advantage of... That's just normal life.

Would be hilarious if you charged $5 OR 3 dozen eggs, 1 chicken, 5 lbs of apples, a quart of goat milk... Etc
I made some killer banana jam today that I'd be happy to exchange for good information! Haha
 
Tyler Ludens
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What is the $200 book?

 
Nechda Chekanov
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Tyler Ludens wrote:What is the $200 book?


Is was a reference to a hypothetical book on one of the first few posts on the first page..... "so buying a $200 book is a tough decision, because it may mean putting off fixing that hole in the roof. "
 
laura sharpe
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please let us acknowledge that there is more gray between those who always take and those who always give; those who always pay and those who pay nothing.

I sometimes have money, sometimes I dont. I do have be be careful not to over spend as most other people. I have never bought a new car nor the large screen tv, these are not things i covet. I did spend several hundred dollars on book this last few months, so clearly i could have paid for the rmh plans and indeed I did, I bought the book

Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build [Paperback]
Ianto Evans (Author), Leslie Jackson (Author)

I think i paid around $13 per copy, i bought out all available that month at Amazon and handed them out to a prepper group (then i felt bad when someone on here said they could only find them at $30). I bought books on food preservation techniques, soil health, foxfire series (just some of them), urban homesteading, mushroom growing etc. Some months, i can buy nothing extra but i spent a few months picking out just the books i wanted and looking at prices.

I gladly take, I took seeds from my neighbors, i paid for seeds (getting all heritage seeds), I gave away hundreds of irises this year. I took care of my mother when she was dying, i will accept someone taking care of me when i am in ill health. This week I bought long underwear for a cold person, last week i gave $20 to someone who was hungry (i know them they needed food as they are ill).

I have had people make fun of me giving shit to those who can pay, but they are things I want them to have. I want everyone to have as much information as we can give them. I want paul to pay his bills and be able to buy new fruit trees.

Please do not think someone who thinks things should be given away think so because they simply want to take more. I am a giver, would make sense then that i think it is the right thing to do.
 
Nechda Chekanov
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laura sharpe wrote:please let us acknowledge that there is more gray between those who always take and those who always give; those who always pay and those who pay nothing.

I sometimes have money, sometimes I dont. I do have be be careful not to over spend as most other people. I have never bought a new car nor the large screen tv, these are not things i covet. I did spend several hundred dollars on book this last few months, so clearly i could have paid for the rmh plans and indeed I did, I bought the book

Rocket Mass Heaters: Superefficient Woodstoves YOU Can Build [Paperback]
Ianto Evans (Author), Leslie Jackson (Author)

I think i paid around $13 per copy, i bought out all available that month at Amazon and handed them out to a prepper group (then i felt bad when someone on here said they could only find them at $30). I bought books on food preservation techniques, soil health, foxfire series (just some of them), urban homesteading, mushroom growing etc. Some months, i can buy nothing extra but i spent a few months picking out just the books i wanted and looking at prices.

I gladly take, I took seeds from my neighbors, i paid for seeds (getting all heritage seeds), I gave away hundreds of irises this year. I took care of my mother when she was dying, i will accept someone taking care of me when i am in ill health. This week I bought long underwear for a cold person, last week i gave $20 to someone who was hungry (i know them they needed food as they are ill).

I have had people make fun of me giving shit to those who can pay, but they are things I want them to have. I want everyone to have as much information as we can give them. I want paul to pay his bills and be able to buy new fruit trees.

Please do not think someone who thinks things should be given away think so because they simply want to take more. I am a giver, would make sense then that i think it is the right thing to do.



Let us gladly receive and gladly share... But remember that each must do according to his needs and conscience, as forced sharing is tyranny.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Nechda Chekanov wrote:
Is was a reference to a hypothetical book on one of the first few posts on the first page..... "so buying a $200 book is a tough decision, because it may mean putting off fixing that hole in the roof. "



It seems like people are creating a hypothetical problem, that is, people are promoting the idea that permaculture books cost $200, when they don't. This perpetuates an impression of permaculture information being expensive, I think.

 
Nechda Chekanov
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Tyler Ludens wrote:

Nechda Chekanov wrote:
Is was a reference to a hypothetical book on one of the first few posts on the first page..... "so buying a $200 book is a tough decision, because it may mean putting off fixing that hole in the roof. "



It seems like people are creating a hypothetical problem, that is, people are promoting the idea that permaculture books cost $200, when they don't. This perpetuates an impression of permaculture information being expensive, I think.


I think it was just a way of expressing that to some a certain amount of cash is more significant than to others. It's been established that we can go to the library and check books so it for free, borrow, buy new or used.
 
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I bought the book Gaia's Garden By Toby Hemenway not because he has a monopoly on the information that book contains, but because he put it together in a convenient and entertaining form.

If I wanted to spend months, years digging and scrapping bits of info together, then I am quite certain I could learn anything in that book.
Being that I DON"T want to do all that work (I'd rather be working in the garden) , I am happy to pay Toby Hemenway for doing the research and compilation of information for me.



So the subject question "should all permaculture stuff be free", doesn't even make sense to me, it already IS free, just as long as you want to work just as hard as Toby Hemenway, Paul Wheaton, Masanobu Fukuoka, etc. to ferret out all the information and put it together in a form that is easy to access.









 
Nick Sims
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Cris Bessette wrote: I bought the book Gaia's Garden By Toby Hemenway not because he has a monopoly on the information that book contains, but because he put it together in a convenient and entertaining form.

If I wanted to spend months, years digging and scrapping bits of info together, then I am quite certain I could learn anything in that book.
Being that I DON"T want to do all that work (I'd rather be working in the garden) , I am happy to pay Toby Hemenway for doing the research and compilation of information for me.



So the subject question "should all permaculture stuff be free", doesn't even make sense to me, it already IS free, just as long as you want to work just as hard as Toby Hemenway, Paul Wheaton, Masanobu Fukuoka, etc. to ferret out all the information and put it together in a form that is easy to access.




I agree, and that goes for a lot of textbooks and other informational products... You are paying for the time spent compiling, sorting, and categorizing information, not necessarily the actual information itself.
 
Chad Hadsell
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Cris Bessette wrote:So the subject question "should all permaculture stuff be free", doesn't even make sense to me, it already IS free, just as long as you want to work just as hard as Toby Hemenway, Paul Wheaton, Masanobu Fukuoka, etc. to ferret out all the information and put it together in a form that is easy to access.



Exactly.

Sometimes I hear the argument that permaculture information is too important not to be freely available in an easily accessible form. That doesn't change the fact that it costs money and/or time to make that happen.

A friend of mine subscribes to that argument, especially when it comes to permaculture as a wider design concept applied to realms outside of gardening. However, when he decided that an easy to access permaculture training should be free, he didn't complain about other people's (often well-deserved) fees. Instead, he raised money through crowd-funding (He's at somewhere around $15,000 raised right now, I think) and will be releasing a free online permaculture course very soon.

Of course, he also still runs paid in-person courses. These things exist quite happily side-by-side.

 
Rion Mather
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After seeing someone I thought was one of the most knowledgeable individuals concerning rocket heaters repeatedly give answers such as I don't know and experiment until it's right regarding his projects and plans, I have done an 180 on selling the instructional videos. I'm all for it.
 
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Robert Meyer wrote:.
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. <snip>

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.



Alternative economic methods of exchange other than money are nice to theorize about, but I think that the reality is unless there is a cataclysmic financial event, the status quo of using money for exchange is going to persist.

I have observed that there seems to be a spectrum of beliefs about Permaculture. At one end is the Permaculture as a religion camp. At the other end is the Permaculture as a practical skill camp. I fall more towards the skill end of the spectrum. I have no problem with paying for content. The people that put it together have created a value for me by gathering and presenting the material in an organized fashion. I don't believe that Permaculture content, and the creators of it should be held to different standards than the creator of any other type of content.

It appears to me that the people who are objecting to people being paid for Permaculture tend to fall on the Permaculture as a religion end of the spectrum. If these folks want to go out and proselytize the religion of Permaculture to the masses for free, more power to them. I don't think it's right for those folks to expect everyone to do the same.

Julie
 
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Food Forest Card Game - Game Forum
https://permies.com/t/61704/Food-Forest-Card-Game-Game
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