Tradition deals with things that are greater than we can grasp, and we can only accept it as a gift from those who came before us. It orients all human action, the work of natural scientists as much as anything else, and it cannot be manipulated, reconstructed or made scientific. Habits, attitudes and symbols are concrete, so traditions differ and each must rely on his own. The differences are no argument against relying on any particular tradition. Reliance is unavoidable, because we can think, know and act only from a particular traditional standpoint; other sources of guidance, such as social science, philosophy and personal opinion, are far too conflicting and fragmentary to create a general point of view anyone could live by. - James Kalb
Wow! I recently came above Jim Kalb and his tremendous blog. It's quite revealing!
Moderate means can eventually reach ends that are not at all moderate. Liberalism in fact tends toward a sort of totalitarianism in the name of an absolutized pluralism. It starts with religious freedom but leads to enforced nihilism because publicly to express the view that one purpose is better than another is to create an environment that is oppressive for those who disagree. It starts by dividing power but in the end demands comprehensive state administration of everything to ensure the equal empowerment of all individuals. The bureaucratic welfare state and the world market are rational formal arrangements for promoting the mutual accommodation and satisfaction of individual preferences. In the end, they are the only principles of social order liberalism can allow. Other principles, like religion, sex roles and particular cultural norms, must be suppressed as irrationally unequal and oppressive.
Nihilism and the abstract purposes of atomic individuals do not seem to me a suffic…
Where does prejudice come from? Not from ideology, say the authors of a new paper. Instead, prejudice stems from a deeper psychological need, associated with a particular way of thinking. People who aren't comfortable with ambiguity and want to make quick and firm decisions are also prone to making generalizations about others. - Science Daily
The problem is that we are adapting to the wrong things — to images, or to short-term greed, or to the clutter of mechanics. These maladaptations are known as “antipatterns” — a term coined not by Alexander, but by software engineers. An antipattern is something that does things wrong, yet is attractive for some reason (profitable or easy in the short term, but dysfunctional, wasteful of resources, unsustainable, unhealthy in the long term). It also keeps re-appearing. Sounds like our economy and wasteful lifestyle?- Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros
The permaculture focus is on tracking patterns in nature and design, to create pleasure for ourselves and to find good examples for the world. Patterns work in a multitude of connections with their surroundings, and the more connections there are, the richer are the pattern languages the patterns are part of.
Unfortunately, although our pattern languages might have a deep poetry, not all people feel attracted to their harmony (meaning…
One definition of self-organization: “Self-organization is the spontaneous often seemingly purposeful formation of spatial, temporal, spatiotemporal structures or functions in systems composed of few or many components.” Self-organization is visible in many cases in nature. Self-organizing systems are adaptive and robust. They can reconfigure themselves to changing demands and thus keep on functioning in spite of perturbations.- P2P-blog
No doubt, self-organization is the future of mankind and the end of today's totalitarian democracies!
Read more: Frontiers of Design Science: Self-Organization
The great conceit of Industrial man imagined that his progress in agricultural yields was due to new know-how... A whole generation … thought that the carrying capacity of the earth was proportional to the amount of land under cultivation and that higher efficiencies in using the energy of the sun had arrived. This is a sad hoax, for industrial man no longer eats potatoes made from solar energy; now he eats potatoes partly made of oil. - Howard T. Odum
Read the article: Real wealth: Howard T. Odum’s energy economics
[Première publication sur Orbite.info: Un entretien avec Dmitry Orlov]
I came upon Dmitry Orlov's writings—as with most good things on the Internet—by letting chance and curiosity guide me from link to link. It was one of those moments of clarity when a large number of confusing questions find their answer along with their correct formulation. For example, the existence of fundamental similarities between the Soviet Union and the United States was for me a vague intuition, but I was unable to draw up a detailed list as Dmitry has done. One must have lived in two crumbling empires in order to be able to do that.
I must say that my enthusiasm was not shared by those around me, with whom I have shared my translations. It's only natural: who wants to hear how our world of material comfort, opportunity and unstoppable individual progress is about to collapse under the weight of its own expansion? Certainly not the post-war generation weaned on the exuberant growth of the postwar b…
Many people would agree that the central desirable end of economic activity is a high quality of life for this and future generations. Conventional economists argue that humans are insatiable, and therefore economics should focus on endless economic growth and ever-increasing consumption. Considerable evidence, however, suggests that humans are in fact satiable-there is a point beyond which increasing consumption does not make us better off.
Market economies—in which the prices of goods and services are determined by the interplay of supply and demand in voluntary exchanges—play a critical role in the modern world. Market forces determine the quantity of oil pumped, minerals mined, forests cut, and fish caught. They determine the industries to which these resources are allocated, how much labor and capital are employed to convert them to market products, and who gets to consume those products.
In theory, competitive markets1 allocate factors of production—resources like ene…
Ornament is a necessary component of any architecture that aims to connect to human beings. The suppression of ornament, on the other hand, results in alien forms that generate physiological and psychological distress. Early twentieth-century architects proposed major stylistic changes -- now universally adopted -- without having any idea of how the human eye/brain system works. - Nikos A. SalingarosRead the article: The Sensory Necessity for Ornament
So, far from being simple thieves, pirates were perhaps the original anti-capitalist protesters. The reason they were hunted down and suffered such savage public executions was because the powers of the day were petrified of the consequences of the pirates’ ethos. - Kester BrewinRead the article: What we can learn from the pirates
Television, two-career families, suburban sprawl, generational changes in values–these and other changes in American society have meant that fewer and fewer of us find that the League of Women Voters, or the United Way, or the Shriners, or the monthly bridge club, or even a Sunday picnic with friends fits the way we have come to live. - Robert Putnam This is exactly my thoughts about what has become of the Norwegian "welfare-state" today! Read the article: Resiliency: It’s who ya know
Wisit the website of Dokkadeltaet National Wetland Centerhere. North of Oslo, west of Lillehammer and south of the highest mountains in Norway, Jotunheimen, water drains through mires, creeks and rivers into the ramsar site and nature reserve, Dokkadelta. The water from the alpine mountain region Synnfjell runs through the protected river Etna and through the river Dokka, passing several aqua power stations, into the fourth biggest lake of Norway, Randsfjord. Wetlands, creeks, rivers, forest and vast alpine mountains invite to experience the landscape of the municipalities Northern Land, Southern Land and Etnedal in the county of Oppland. Dokkadelta National Wetland Centre has got the task to develop this compact ecosystem for experiencing the strong bonds to nature in the culture of this region. But also protecting the biological diversity of this typical nordic wetland ecosystem for further generations. Nature, where the black throated diver calls on the foggy lake at dawn, and the c…
How does the Occupy Wall Street movement move from “the outrage phase” to the “hope phase,” and imagine a new economic model? In a Democracy Now! special broadcast, we bring you excerpts from a recent event that examined this question and much more. “Occupy Everywhere: On the New Politics and Possibilities of the Movement Against Corporate Power,” a panel discussion hosted by The Nation magazine and The New School in New York City, features Oscar-winning filmmaker and author Michael Moore; Naomi Klein, best-selling author of the “Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism”; Rinku Sen of the Applied Research Center and publisher of ColorLines; Occupy Wall Street organizer Patrick Bruner; and veteran journalist William Greider, author of “Come Home, America: The Rise and Fall (and Redeeming Promise) of Our Country. - Democracynow.org
Som vanlig fortsetter forskning.no å være en reklamekanal for komersielle interesser. Denne gangen har de falt til et nytt lavmål, ved å promotere norsk flaskevann. Det er på tide å hente fram igjen den fremragende animasjonen "The Story of Bottled Water":
We were delighted to read the review of our VillageTown work and would like to add some comments, but your comments section is closed.
Øyvind Holmstad wrote "Unfortunately they don’t seem have the same enthusiasm for the compost toilet, but hopefully they’ll take this advice from Lester Brown."
We did read the links provided, but note that Lester Brown writes: "Collected urine can be trucked to nearby farms". That means we need trucks which means the VillageTown need to buy trucks, fuel them and use roads to transport the urine in those trucks. And where do we store the urine until it is collected? Do we need to include urine storage tanks in each house? That adds a few hundred dollars and then means we need to send trucks around to empty them. How long do we leave the urine in the tank before collecting it? And how do we vent the tanks if people have roof gardens up where the vent pipes need to go? The same problem holds…
"This essay outlines how to incorporate morphological rules within the exigencies of our technological age. We propose using the current evolution of GIS (Geographical Information Systems) technologies beyond their original representational domain, towards predictive and dynamic spatial models that help in constructing the new discipline of "urban seeding". We condemn the high-rise tower block as an unsuitable typology for a living city, and propose to re-establish human-scale urban fabric that resembles the traditional city. Pedestrian presence, density, and movement all reveal that open space between modernist buildings is not urban at all, but neither is the open space found in today's sprawling suburbs. True urban space contains and encourages pedestrian interactions, and has to be designed and built according to specific rules. The opposition between traditional self-organized versus modernist planned cities challenges the very core of the urban planning discip…
"Both in Europe and North America there is a growing concern about the development of urban form, especially deconcentration of urban land use in the form of urban sprawl. This has unintentional consequences such as city centre decline, increased reliance on the use of the private car, and the loss of open space. While governments try to regulate the development of urban form, there are no easy solutions. However, policies such as new urbanism and smart growth in North America, and compact city and multifunctional land use policies in Europe, though difficult to implement, have the potential to curb urban sprawl and the further growth in car use, as the cases of Portland, Oregon and Randstad Holland in The Netherlands illustrate." Read the essay by Nikos A. Salingaros: Compact City Replaces Sprawl
This new project at old Grefsen Station is advertised to become one of Oslo's largest and most exiting housing projects. Well, some still think Le Corbusier's old idea of "the tower in the park" is modern and exiting. A pity his ideas didn't follow him into the grave, but continue to multiply.
By the way, the main investor of this project is ROM Eiendom, the same company that is given the task to develop the new Oslo Central Station area. I guess you can see the same flawed typologies: From Stone Desert to Glass Desert.
(Typologies like just a hole in the wall for windows to empathize the machine age, the windows exactly wrong to make the building "exiting", vertical pull design etc.)
Poor urbanism continues to be practiced, enthusiastically supported by the universities, because both private developers and city governments refuse to accept the scientific basis of good urbanism. They continue to listen to academic experts who dismiss human-scale soluti…
“Does a sustainable economy mean an end to progress and change?
‘I don’t want to live in an economy where everything is the same, where progress is halted and human creativity is stifled’, is a common response to post-growth theories. I agree absolutely – I wouldn’t wish to live in that kind of economy either. The new economy doesn’t hit the pause button on progress, innovation, science, creativity, culture or change, and neither does it go backwards. It just sets some new parameters, and will therefore deliver a different kind of change. Instead of bigger, we’ll have to develop better; qualitative change rather than quantitative. We may not consume as much, but our lives may well improve in all kinds of other ways – more leisure time, greater involvement in the arts and in local democracy, better health, and a cleaner environment.
Whether a species can evolve to survive climate change may depend on the biodiversity of its ecological community, according to a new mathematical model that simulates the effect of climate change on plants and pollinators. - Science Daily
Gi meg en inviterende, nedskalert, menneskelig byorganisme, der det gode byliv kan utfolde seg. De høye egoistiske seg selv-nok bygningene burde vi være ferdige med. - Niels A. Torp
Translated: Give me an inviting, down scaled, human city organism, where the pleasures of city life can unfold. The high, egoistic, its self enough buildings we should be finished with.
Herlig! Til dags dato den beste artikkelen som er skrevet om den pågående raseringen av min kjære hovedstad!
Les kronikken til Niels A. Torp i Aftenposten: Vi har gjort nok ugagn nå
EXCERPT: Money and energy have always been linked. For example, a gold currency was essentially an energy currency because the amount of gold produced in a year was determined by the cost of the energy it took to extract it. If energy (perhaps in the form of slaves or horses rather than fossil fuel) was cheap and abundant, goldmining would prove profitable, and a lot of gold would go into circulation enabling more trading to be done. If the increased level of activity then drove the price of slaves or coal up, the flow of gold would decline, slowing the rate at which the economy grew. It was a neat,natural balancing mechanism which worked rather well. In fact, the only time it broke down seriously was when the Spanish conquistadors got gold for very little energy—by stealing it from the Aztecs and the Incas. That caused a massive inflation and damaged the Spanish economy for many years.
Thank you very much for this article! As Statoil, 67 % owned by the Norwegian state, is heavily engaged in tar sands in Alberta and also is into fracking and other stuff in North America, our energy minister Ola Borten Moe praises this engagement, as the future is here. So do the Norwegian media too, yesterday I read a long article in one of our newspapers (Dag&Tid) that the future of oil industry is in Northern America, having larger oil reservoirs than the rest of the world all together, and their production rapidly increasing. They wrote that the Hubert model and peak oil is just nonsense, and that oil sands and fracking is getting more and more clean and efficient as technology advances. So Norway has to engage in this stuff to be part of the future, it goes. Good to have Energy Bulletin to get a balance, but I guess nobody in Statoil or the Norwegian department of energy is reading your fantastic blog. A Shame! (My comment to the article in its comments thread) Read the articl…
Michael Mehaffy og Nikos Salingaros har for tida ein serie av essay gåande i Metropolis Magazine, dei vert samla her. Eg har inga aning om kor lenge han vil gå - vonleg for alltid. Men same det så er det på høg at denne serien vert introdusert for eit norsk publikum, og eg vil fokusera på dei fyrste fem essaya om teknologiane til Christopher Alexander.
What a fantastic article by Kevin Carson in today's p2p-blog! This build up under the statement of Nikos Salingaros that every stable system has fractal properties, where the smaller and smaller units outnumber the larger by far in numbers. We have no better way to organize ourselves if we want to become part of nature, something we cannot avoid if we want our societies to survive.
Charles Hugh Smith raises the question of how much of the U.S. economy consists of the actual output of goods and services, versus the friction entailed in producing them. As a small example, he cites a physicians’ group that includes ten doctors — and twelve billing clerks.
A growing body of work suggests plants recognize and respond to the presence and identity of their neighbours. But can plants cooperate with their relatives? While some studies have shown that siblings perform best -- suggesting altruism towards relatives -- other studies have shown that when less related plants grow together the group can actually outperform siblings. This implies the group benefits from its diversity by dividing precious resources effectively and competing less. - Science Daily
This small article in Science Daily held some interesting thoughts about the permaculture practise of guilds: Do Plants Perform Best With Family or Strangers? Researchers Consider Social Interactions
Michael Mehaffy and Nikos Salingaros are running a series of essays in Metropolis Magazine at the moment, they are all published here. I’ve no idea how long the series will run — hopefully forever. Anyway, it’s time to introduce this series to permaculture people, and I’ll be concentrating on the first five essays about the technologies of Christopher Alexander.
"What we learned is that when it comes to the brain and cooperation, the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts," said Fortune, of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. "We found that the brain of each individual participant prefers the combined activity over his or her own part." - Science Daily
This study fits very well to the last essay of Mehaffy and Salingaros about self organizing of cities. We are created for cooperation, for the creation of unfolding, living structure. It's just our governments and the corporations which restrict cooperation and unfolding to happen naturally, and thus destroy communities in the name of modernism.
Sjelden lekkerbisken av en interiørartikkel i Aftenposten, fra det livlige furu- og natursteinshuset til arkitekt Bjørn Eik og kona Grethe. Herlig å se en artikkel som avviker fra det sedvanlige boligporno-konseptet!
Dave Pollard lister i denne interressante analysen opp tre veier for en endring av nåværende verdensorden. Han faller ned på den tredje vei som den beste, å utsulte det nåværende systemet. The third way to bring about major global change is incapacitation — rendering the old order unable to function by sapping what it needs to survive. This is the method that disease uses to prey on fragile and vulnerable organs, that parasites and venomous creatures use to weaken and sometimes kill their (much larger) hosts, that terrorists use to paralyze their enemies, and that innovative businesses use to undermine, render obsolete and supplant bigger, less flexible businesses. For those of us with neither the patience or religious fanaticism to wait for a global natural catastrophe, nor the naivety to believe in a successful ‘popular’ revolution, this third way is the only way to change, and save, our belea…
Barry Schwartz makes a passionate call for practical wisdom as an antidote to a society gone mad with bureaucracy. He argues powerfully that rules often fail us, incentives often backfire, and practical, everyday wisdom will help rebuild our world. - TED-Talk
"I find the ideas in the fractals, both as a body of knowledge and as a metaphor, an incredibly important way of looking at the world." - Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, New York Times, Wednesday, June 21, 2000, discussing some of the "big think" questions that intrigue himFurther reading:Fractal Geometry
I Øst–Europa er grenseverdien satt til en 10 000-ende del av den vi har i Vesten. Denne forsiktighet er blitt latterliggjort og forskningsmessig «motbevist» av Strålevernet. Men i mai ga Europarådet anbefaling om å «redusere grenseverdien for innendørs mikrobølgestråling med en faktor på 10 000 i første omgang». I tillegg anbefales å «forby trådløst nett og bruk av mobiltelefon og trådløse fasttelefoner i klasserom og barnehager». Det økende antall barn med hjernesvulster har antagelig bidratt til ny forsiktighet. Her har selv motstand mot babycall blir oversett. Som engasjert i trafikksikring, helseskader ved røyking og bruk av amalgam har jeg, i begynnelsen av slikt helsearbeid, fått høre hvor hysteriske krav om endringer har vært. Som «konspirasjonsteoretiker» gjelder det nå også etter syv års engasjement for de EL–sensitive. - Berit ÅsFor meg er det revnende likegyldig om det er farlig med ikke-ioniserende stråling eller ei, selv om jeg er engstelig for min datter og eksponerer he…
This could be the most important film ever made. It tackles the three lethal taboos that threaten our civilization, those against discussing overpopulation, overconsumption, and the nonsensical idea that economic growth itself is a net benefit even in rich countries and can and must continue forever. - Stanford biologist Paul Ehrlich, author of The Population Bomb (and many other very insightful books)
In a Freudian sense, we are witnessing the return of the repressed. If you tell people for two decades that there is no alternative to the world in which they live, and if in the meantime you take away their income, their rights, their public services, and their last-remaining shreds of dignity, you can expect that psychological repression of revolutionary potential to come out in some other form sooner or later. If you repress the coherent emancipatory ideology of the masses, as the End of History was meant to do, you literally end up with the incoherent and a-political London riots. In this respect, the most important thing the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions could have done was to help remind humanity that there actually is an alternative to the status quo — that there does exist some “outside” to unfettered global capitalism. - Jerome RoosPlease read the whole article: Jérôme E. Roos: The year 2011 marks the end of the End of History".
"The Imperial Woodpecker", dette kan vel oversettes med noe slikt som imperiehakkespetten på norsk, holdt til i Mexicos gamle skoger. I dag er både den og skogene forsvunnet, og verden har blitt et fattigere sted. Lenge trodde man heller ikke at det fantes bilder eller film av denne fascinerende fuglen, inntil man oppsporet et 16 mm 1968-opptak av en tannlege fra Pennsylvania.
Michel Bauwens asked Marvin Brown, author of the P2P Foundation Book of the Year in 2010, i.e. of “Civilizing the Economy“, to give us an idea how we can get :from here to there...”
“How do we get from here to there—from where we are to where we want to be? One can imagine a civic economy where economic trends are moving toward making provisions for everyone and ensuring that future generations have the capacities to meet their needs. But how do we get there?
Perhaps we cannot make it. The here is protected by powerful interests. It works quite well for a few. At the same time, there are many, perhaps 5 to 6 billion who would move to “there” at a moments notice if they could. Still, as long as the ownership of property gives legitimacy to rule, it is doubtful if we will see the change that justice and sustainability require. The Egyptian uprising, for example, was a sign of hope. They affirmed their human dignity and demanded recognition of their human rights. Western nations joined the…
Noen vil hevde at Le Corbusier var et barn av sin tid. Tvert imot! VÅR TID ER ET BARN AV LE CORBUSIER!!!
Les Theodore Dalrymple's essay i City Journal: Do Sties Make Pigs? Until quite recently, I had assumed that the extreme ugliness of the city in which I live was attributable to the Luftwaffe. I imagined that the cheap and charmless high rise buildings which so disfigure the city-scape had been erected of necessity in great gaping holes left by Heinkel bombers. I had spent much of my childhood playing in deserted bomb shelters in public parks: and although I was born some years after the end of the war, that great conflagration still exerted a powerful hold on the imagination of Bri…