Hey, Paul. I'm sorry that I've upset you. It wasn't my intention at all. I'd like to clarify my point but, before I do I want to express some other opinions that might clear up where I'm coming from.
I think Paul Wheaton is great! I think the work Paul does to futher Permaculture is not only fantastic but absolutely necessary if we're going to make it out of this era of pollution and destruction intact. I think Paul Wheaton is a great teacher. His lectures are awesome and definitely worth attending or watching on YouTube. I live in North Carolina so I haven't been able to attend one in person but if he ever comes down my way I'll be one of the first to sign up. Geoff was right to name Paul the Duke of Permaculture. It's a title well earned. I was introduced to Paul Wheaton by listening to Jack Spirko's podcasts. The podcasts where Jack and Paul get to talk are hands down the best. Hands down. Even without the Permaculture info they shoot back and forth, it's worth it for entertainment value! Paul is a seriously funny guy, and listening to him joke with Jack is like listening to an awesome Permaculture stand-up routine.
I also desperately want Paul's farm to succeed. I'd be there to help myself, but again, North Carolina... I was a $100 supporter on the thermal mass heater DVD's and a $30 2-pack supporter on the playing cards. I know Paul's using the extra funds from these endeavors for the farm and I'm so happy I could help in that small way. I want this to work for many reasons. First, Paul deserves it. He's dedicated his life to this and he's definitely earned some reward. I want this to work because I would like to start something similar, abiet smaller, in my area for my friends, family, and like-minded folks. And more than anything else I want this to work because Permaculture is the only thing that will allow us to make it through this environmental crisis. Nothing else is more important than this.
Now to clarify some of the misunderstanding about my previous post. First I was not ranting, and I'm sorry that it was interpreted that way. I was trying to be honest with my opinions, and they are just that, the opinions of one person in a world of 7 billion who has never had the good fortune to even meet Mr. Wheaton. I think this misunderstanding was caused because I had a misunderstanding about Paul's post. Reading this thread Paul's posts have gone back and forth about how many podcasts potential new recruits should have listened to. He states:
They have listened to at least half the podcasts so they know what is going on and why.
I assumed that this mean the purpose of making the new recruit listen to the podcasts was to inform them of what's going on on the farm and educate them about Permaculture in general. But then Paul replied and said:
On the off chance that you want to make the point that this is on topic for this thread because if the podcasts were "better" then we would attract more people to the property, then I have to say that the podcasts are doing their job. They are turning away the people that would not like me. My life is better.
The latter comment makes it seem that the purpose of the podcasts are to make sure that the potential recruit knows Paul's personality. Now if that's the case, my previous suggestion is invalidated. The podcasts are a terrific way to learn more about Paul himself.
My point was that using podcasts as a filter for new recruits, on the basis that the podcasts are informative about Permaculture
should be rethought. There are tons of awesome resources that are used specifically to educate people on Permaculture. Toby Hemenway's book is probably one of my most favorite books ever. Plus the information is condensed down and outlined with accompanying graphs, charts, and pictures that make it easy to digest. People all learn differently, and visual learning is a part of that. And that's just one book. There are lots of other resources out there that are very effective, Paul's youtube videos being one of them. Geoff Lawtons videos are excellent too. It's funny how big Permaculture is, while being still too small.
It's my personal opinion that there is a world of awesome new permie-ready recruits who would love such an opportunity to work on a sustainable farm - but they currently have no idea what Permaculture is. Paul talked about wanting people of "many flavors" to join him. He also talked about how he set the bar very high and is reluctant to lower it for fear of suboptimal recruits. My suggestion was that by changing the requirements, not lowering them, more high quality recruits would become available.
To expand on that, I think hitting up highschools and colleges would yeild good results. Giving young, healthy, smart kids an option besides college is in demand right now. Colleges are getting more expensive and less educational every day. Even students who want to get a 4 year degree sometimes want to spend a year at an internship or volunteering before they start. These students, especially, understand that college, while valuable in it's own way, is not world experience. Also given the rural local of Missoula, students who plan to study agriculture and livestock might want to be given the chance to intern at an earth-friendly farm. Plenty of students spend a semester abroad learning the same things in similar classrooms...just in another country. What a wonderful opportunity it would be to spend a semester studying elsewhere and actually learning new things
as well as getting awesome new life experiences. That's just one of the groups of people that I think would be a valuable addition to Paul's farm, even though they have never heard of Paul or listened to any podcasts.
I'm not saying the podcasts are bad, I'm not saying they should be altered, I'm saying that using them as part of the filter for new people might not be a good idea. I hope I've clarified my position on that now.
If you think I need to change, you need to read this.
Never change, Paul. Stay awesome.