Myron Platte

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since Jan 28, 2020
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Recent posts by Myron Platte

leila hamaya wrote:

aurora sev wrote:

hmmmm. perhaps a straw layer, then gravel, then dirt? I figure I will end up just doing a dirt floor at first, maybe a layer of cement underneath. I definitely dont want a mud floor. It will depend on the land/budget, whim.

Perhaps having a decent overhang on the roof, and being on a hill, would keep it nice and dry?

Im not too concerned, life is short, have to have some fun with it.
thanks again.

i would put the straw in the earthen subfloor, on top of the gravel.

as to the earth being warmer than air, not quite. the earth is so massive it takes tons and tons of heat to even shift it a few degrees either way. and thats only the top layer of earth, in warm places with tons of sun heating the ground it may be some 10- 15 degrees warmer in that first foot down..... than in a cold place.

so its the first foot or so  down thats fluctuating, but it takes an extreme either way, extreme cold will shift it ten degrees colder or extreme hot day will maybe shift it ten degrees warmer. but its constantly consistent, does not change much. i would only be giving vague estimates....but the earth keeps a stable temperature of something like 50 degrees...some 3-4 feet down everywhere all the time. no matter how much the top 2 feet fluctuate some 5-15 degrees either way.
50 degrees is very cold on the toes. and because theres no thermal break it would be sucking up your heat source very very slowly rising to like 55 say....still cold on the toes!
again i am just using vague estimates. there are people and places online you can look up exact info location secifics and all sorts of math for annualized geo solar /thermal mass calculations.
it is great for cooling in a hot dry place. still useful in other climates but different factors involved.

The biggest caveat to this that I know of is that dry earth is significantly more insulative. So if you make sure to build on a well-drained spot, divert all surface water away, divert all roof water and pave or put roof extensions over the ground around the cabin, the warmth you add to the earth should stick around a lot more reliably.
3 weeks ago
I hear you about guiding the client to better decisions. This sounds like it might be a situation where you need to minimize the impact on the forest. It sounds like this is fairly high-quality regrowth. If that is the case I would try to steer this client away from clearing any more than the bare minimum. Definitely cultivating mushrooms is probably a good choice in this area. In order to maximize the amount of sunlight while minimizing clearing size, I would suggest using strategically placed windows or even mirrors to get sunlight under the canopy.

I understand your client might not go for it, but an oehler-inspired kind of house might be the ideal for this spot, in order to minimize loss of forest.

Solar pathfinder readings are certainly a way to determine which trees must be sacrificed. I like this website:
3 weeks ago

Sebastian Köln wrote:Going further in the book…

when I was trying to design a building, one of the major goals was a "long life". Durable materials, interior space, than can be modified later and simple construction, so that one can understand how it works.
But there is one problem… A building that is alive has to grow, mature, age and die. This is contrary to almost every modern approach of architecture!

The following is an idea that came to my mind:
What if we create our buildings with materials that decay?
Create buildings that are build by the people themselves that want to live at a certain location they love?
A building that is not passed to the next generation, but might be the grave of their inhabitants?
A building that is part of a garden and decays as as any plant does, creating fertile soil for the next generation?
Maybe a round building with outer walls out of living willow trees, woven into a vault. The inside hung with cloth that resists any water dripping through. Then any suitable organic material that creates an insulation (staw, wool, ...) followed by clay (for straw) or wood.

Regarding computers in architecture:

Interesting idea! Alternatively, you might consider that although a forest is alive, it doesn't have to die. So perhaps a living building is made up of parts that live and die and change, but the building itself only adapts over time as a result of this?
4 weeks ago

Bill Bradbury wrote:

Gilbert Fritz wrote:Bill, it has been a long time since I read Christopher Alexander's books, but I seem to recall that he used the Christian churches of medieval Europe as examples of his patterns, and a quick search on google books seems to confirm that.

Hi Gilbert,

Yes an architect and a builder have different viewpoints even if they share the same perspective. You are correct that I have inserted my own opinions into this book review, please feel free to ignore them.

I would like to return to the pattern of the spirals that were predominant in our Indo-European ancestors long before medieval Europe built their churches on patterns of the cross.

All Blessings,

Well, why not? The spiral is a growth pattern, and it is defensible. It minimizes external edge and maximizes internal edge. On the other hand, the cross is an orientation pattern. It's for getting a clear, direct path to and from the center. Right angles are probably overused, but at least they're intuitive to navigate. All this depends on your goals.
4 weeks ago

Bill Bradbury wrote:

Gilbert Fritz wrote:

Though I completely agree with you Jen, I believe that the emergence of empires was the start of our cultural disintegration that has resulted in the IR and the homogenized mess that we have become. This goes back to the Mayan, Incan and Egyptian pyramids, all those monstrous castles and obscene churches, everywhere that the people gave their energy and creativity to another class of people who ruled over them through the obfuscation of the divine by locking up God(s) in buildings and ceremonies. I know this is not a popular view, but I believe that is where the trouble came from. When we as a people decided that an idea of God(s) could supplant actual firsthand knowledge of the divine in nature, the connection to all living things began to deteriorate.

I'm not sure if this is true; many religious buildings, and especially many European monastery complexes, seem to be harmonious and "timeless" buildings, to have worked for the people who inhabited them and to have withstood the test of time.

Hi Gilbert,

I am deeply sorry if I have offended you or any other religious folk out there, it was not my intent. I see that you are Catholic so this entire quote is probably offensive, but look into these things deeply before writing them off. Before empires and religions, there was just culture to connect the people to one another. This allowed people to express their spirituality in their own way without the judgement of "authority" to tell them that their path is wrong. The only wrong is to go against your internal compass, the little questioning voice that internally guides us all.
Basically, there are 2 kinds of buildings; the type where a team of people cooperatively build according to internal guidance and those built in a top down authoritative method utilizing force or coercion to obtain a symbol of status and the image of superiority.

All Blessings,

I think that the deepest question here is: do you believe in objective truth, or not? If you do, then in makes sense to have educational structures that spread that truth. If you believe that there is only subjective truth (I think both exist) then no-one is more right than anyone else. Christopher Alexander's building patterns and the timeless way seem to be predicated on the assumption that objective truth exists. If there is no objective truth, than anyone can build however their heart moves them without difficulty. But don't we see all kinds of modern buildings that are built wrong?

There is another whole discussion about power structures and such, but that is cider press material.
4 weeks ago
Now that I re-read the thread, I'm 99% sure that I know what the diet that Paul is on is. I'm on it too. It is probably the most likely diet/health program to start a war. People freak out when they hear it! The information is available for free "out there", but you have to know where to look. For instance, connecting the dots between studies about side effects of specific pharmaceuticals and looking at the phytochemicals that those drugs are related to. This leads to some pretty mind-blowing conclusions.

Roeland Peeters wrote:This is actually a very old idea.
I can't seem to add an image but it boils down to a cylinder with mesh, put rabbits inside and let them walk + and eat.
Google Rabbit Lawn Mower and you'll see what I mean
Meanwhile, here is a link

This is really cool. A good zone 1 lawn care method!
1 month ago
Just coming here to say: Paul, you're a champ! I'm praying for you. You are obviously on the right track if you are seeing such wide-ranging health improvement along with the tumor shrinking. Keep it up and stay strong!

jo dakini wrote:hello,
I follow Russian Orthodox tradition but I am British and live in the UK. I love the service and find it much more meaningful than the anglican church. I would love to find an Orthodox Intentional community to be part of that isn't Monastic.

Wishing you well,


Hi! That is a long-term goal I have. On some forest-field edge. Maybe in an old abandoned village. But I'm unlikely to leave Russia to do it. One site I am helping the land owner to develop may become that community. We have a bit of an Otis-Gert  relationship. We have agreed to build an Oehler-style house on the property for me to live in, and there is an abandoned church next door that we want  to restore. It is a quite large stone church for a village, because an ancient, wealthy aristocratic family used to live on the land pre-revolution, and they built it.
9 months ago
It would have to be the permaculture design manual encoded in nursery rhymes, poetry, song, games and folk tales. All the necessary bits of information would be in this folklore, and each song or rhyme would sound like nonsense, but have a constant or principle encoded in it. Like Jack and Jill going up the hill, which actually leads to the understanding that evaporation cools.

There would be rhymes about how your ancestors will curse you with drought in revenge if you cut down the sacred forest, yes THAT forest, the one at the top of the hill that is used only as a cemetery. There would be sayings about how the different patterns mean different things in the landscape, like the sailors’ sayings about cloud shapes. There would definitely be taboos installed against blocking off rivers. I don’t know how I would go about this project, but future generations would do well with such a wealth of wisdom committed to immortal oral tradition.
11 months ago