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Showing posts from January, 2012

Beyond GDP: New Measures for a New Economy (report)

BeyondGDP.pdf-->Download

Article available here

Unprecedented, Human-Made Trends in Ocean's Acidity

"In some regions, the man-made rate of change in ocean acidity since the Industrial Revolution is hundred times greater than the natural rate of change between the Last Glacial Maximum and pre-industrial times," emphasizes Friedrich. "When Earth started to warm 17,000 years ago, terminating the last glacial period, atmospheric CO2 levels rose from 190 parts per million (ppm) to 280 ppm over 6,000 years. Marine ecosystems had ample time to adjust. Now, for a similar rise in CO2 concentration to the present level of 392 ppm, the adjustment time is reduced to only 100 -- 200 years."  On a global scale, coral reefs are currently found in places where open-ocean aragonite saturation reaches levels of 3.5 or higher. Such conditions exist today in about 50% of the ocean -- mostly in the tropics. By end of the 21st century this fraction is projected to be less than 5%. The Hawaiian Islands, which sit just on the northern edge of the tropics, will be one of the first to fe…

Douglas Rushkoff on Getting Past Free Through Radical Abundance

Douglas Rushkoff (Author, “Life Inc.”), “Radical Abundance: How We Get Past “Free” and Learn to Exchange Value Again” English and Dutch captions by Martien van Steenbergen:

Pattern Inspiration from Norwich

This week Transition Norwich has posted three articles on the Pattern Language, all written by Simeon Jackson. Thanks!

Changing the social logic through design (on Energy Bulletin here)Places are made of people (and bricks)The patterns of a low-carbon life

Hilltowns vs. Tract Home Developments

Recently during a drive along Interstate-90, just outside of Seattle, we passed by a large tract housing development on a hillside near Issaquah. The development immediately caught our attention for a reason that may seem a bit strange. At first glance it reminded us of some of the Italian hilltowns from our student days backpacking around Italy. We know, ridiculous right? Maybe our periphery vision failed us, maybe we had one too many martinis the night before, or maybe we’re just trying to hard. Whatever the case, we couldn’t get it out of our heads. There were inexplicable similarities in the overall composition, massing and patterns.

Read the rest of the article at blog.buildllc.com

Gaiateorien og eldgamle sosiale nettverk

To interessante artikler i dag hos Science Daily, den første underbygger den kontroversielle gaiateorien, den andre viser at sosiale nettverk har en dyp forankring i menneskenaturen.

Radical Theory Explains the Origin, Evolution, and Nature of Life, Challenges Conventional WisdomDawn of Social Networks: Ancestors May Have Formed Ties With Both Kin and Non-Kin Based On Shared Attributes

Hassan Fathy's New Gourna: Past, Present, Future

Hassan Fathy's New Gourna: Past, Present, Future from World Monuments Fund on Vimeo. In 1945, the Department of Antiquities commissioned the renowned architect Hassan Fathy to design and construct a new settlement to which the inhabitants of Old Gourna were to be relocated, in an effort to curtail suspected looting at the nearby Pharaonic sites and facilitate tourism development. New Gourna was at once his greatest achievement and most profound disappointment. Though Fathy's project was meant to shelter 20,000 inhabitants, only part of the plan was realized between 1946 and 1949, due to political and financial complications and opposition on the part of the residents to relocation. The constructed New Gourna included housing and many public facilities. Today, however, nearly 40 percent of the village has been lost due to lack of maintenance and demolitions. - World Monuments Fund

"Twelve Lectures on Architecture; Algorithmic Sustainable Design" av Nikos Salingaros, rangert som tredje viktigste bok i 2011

Takk og pris at jeg anmeldte Nikos bok for P2P-Foundation, slik at denne kunne komme på pallen blant de viktigste bøkene for 2011. Se hele lista: The P2P Foundation Books of the Year 2011: Our annual top ten list of P2P books.
With this new toolbox from Nikos we have the tools needed to truly reunite man with nature both through innate biophilic patterns and geometry. To respect and care for nature we have to create nature through infusing all we create with the geometry found in nature, and to obey the laws of nature. A reason why so many don’t care about nature today is that our cities and towns are anti-nature. - Øyvind Holmstad Les hele bokanmeldelsen min: A New Permatecture Toolbox! (From Nikos A. Salingaros)

Moderne byutvikling?

Leser i OA (23. jan.) at Gjøvik skal få en "moderne" byutvikling langsetter Hunnselva og i Farverikvartalet. Jeg grøsser ved tanken. Dessverre er modernistisk arkitektur anti-biofilisk og kultbasert, og har ingenting å gjøre med naturvitenskap, fysikkens lover og våre nedarvede biofiliske instinkter.

Nikos A. Salingaros siste bok, Twelve Lectures on Architecture; Algorithmic Sustainable Design, ble valgt som en av de ti viktigste bøkene for 2011 hos P2P-Foundation. Min anmeldelse av boka kan søkes opp ved å skrive inn ordet permatecture hos Google.

Jeg arbeider også for å få publisert essay av Nikos Salingaros og andre forfattere i kretsen rundt Christopher Alexander, hos bloggen til The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, på permaculture.org.au. Vil særlig anbefale: Why Monotonous Repetition is Unsatisfying.

Michael Mehaffy og Nikos Salingaros har nylig skrevet en innsiktsfull serie om biofilisk design hos det New York-baserte arkitekturmagasinet Metropolis Magazi…

Piscataquis Village Project Update

"Is it possible for a gang of amateurs from the Maine woods to pull off the nation's first and most audacious Traditionally Designed Village project in the most sparsely populated county east of the Mississippi?"

"Is it possible that such a project can be funded not by major real estate developers, but crowdfunded from the bottom up by small investors or future residents?"

Hello to "contingent investors" and others that have an interest in the Piscataquis Village Project.


In the nine month period from when the Piscataquis Village Project Facebook site was first established, until our last update at the end of November, we had gone from zero to 400 fans. In the six week period since November that number has more than doubled to over 800. These "fans" come from all over, geographically (mostly Maine and New England), but the ones I find most gratifying are those originally from Piscataquis County, now living elsewhere, who see the Piscataquis …

Ionization and Air Quality - A Technological Study

Read the original study here (pdf).

Ionized air molecules make up more than a very small percentage of the atmosphere.
However, despite their small numbers, these molecules play a profound role in
maintaining the health of the atmosphere by removing particulate and chemical
pollutants. In the indoor environment, ionization provides an even wider spectrum of
benefits, including the destruction of bacteria and elimination of odors. However,
conventional construction and ventilation techniques tend to negate the benefits of
ionization. This problem can be mitigated by technology designed to augment the
ionization of indoor air.

Natural Sources of Atmospheric Ionization
A small number of natural processes contribute a constant supply of ionization to our
atmosphere. These natural sources of ionization include (1) the effects of radiation, (2)
effects of the earth's electric field, (3) the movements of wind, and (4) the splashing of
water (Lenard Effect).

The decay of natura…

The Origins of Banana Cultivation (Wahgi Valley, New Guinea)

Quite a fascinating piece on the origins of banana cultivation: Multidisciplinary perspectives on banana (Musa spp.) domestication (see also: Jordbruket er et globalt spleiselag)

Vi har energiblod på hendene

The fact is everything we do is shaped by energy - by electricity, by oil, by gas- and there is not one of these sources of power that doesn't somehow leave blood on our hands and present some kind of dilemma. - Charlotte Du Cann Tankevekkende innlegg av Charlotte Du Cann i dagens utgave av Energy Bulletin: Waking up in Forest Row

Det triste er at all denne forurensningen og forsimplingen av landskapet, med vannkraftutbygginger, vindmøller og kraftgater, kunne vært unngått hvis vi holdt oss til Bill Mollisons stadig mer aktuelle visdomsord: When the needs of a system cannot be met from within itself, we pay the price in energy and pollution. - Bill Mollison Jeg fikk et interressant tilsvar i kommentarfeltet: To increase or maintain order in an open system, the laws of thermodynamics dictate that entropy must be exported in the form of disorder, and energy is required to do this.  Mollison has simply paraphrased this unalterable aspect of the universe and its laws.  Importing ener…

Christopher Alexander Talks on the Process of Creating Life

Although the quality of this recording is not the best, the authority of Alexander is so strong that you are hooked whats ewer!  The First Part of Chris's lecture to the Urban Design Group in London on the 23rd of November 2011. After being introduced by John Worthington, he proceeds to take off his jacket and gives one of the most memorable talks that I have ever listened to. His opinion that "Design" is one of the most fatuous activities of an architect was challenging to this group of Architects and Planners at the time but after a careful study of his talk it seems to me that that he may be absolutely right. As they say enjoy! - Islandshrine








It's a tragedy that a BBC team is not foot following this one of our times greatest men. Five hundred years is a long time, and I don't expect many of the people I interview will be known in the year 2500. Christopher Alexander may be an exception. David Creelman, author, Interviewer and Editor. Knowledge Manager, HR m…

LeCorbusier: the Pol Pot of Architecture

A great review of Theodor Dalrymple's classical essay The Architect as Totalitarian, in today's issue of Better Cities & Towns:

- LeCorbusier: the Pol Pot of architecture
Some people say we should stop blaming Le Corbusier, as he was a shild of his time. Unfortunately this is not true, in contrary our time is a child of Le Corbusier. - Øyvind Holmstad

Christopher Alexander Lecture at Berkeley, California

I 'm going to write an introduction to this amazing lecture by Christopher Alexander last year, a must see for everyone wanting to live in a livable world. Meanwhile, share this video with all your friends!

The Battle to Bring Life and Beauty to the Earth:
Alexander will then talk on themes related to the way these buildings were made and are used and what it would mean if these principles could be applied to creating environments everywhere and society in general. What would that take? First is the recognition of what is described in BATTLE as system B - the method of production that is now prevalent throughout the world, which is centered on the profit motive, and supported by institutions and governments. Then we need an understanding of system A, the system which built the Eishin campus, despite system B. It was a very rough road, with many painful, arduous, and sometimes seemingly hopeless battles. But along the way, Alexander and his colleagues learned that it could be possi…

Frø for et nytt fellesskap

Hvilket vidunderlig sitat:
In her studies Elinor Ostrom found, that “neither the state nor the market” is a successful means for commons management (1990). Based on traditional economics she analyzed the practices of natural commons and finally simply proved liberal dogmatics wrong. Markets are not a good way to allocate resources, and the State is not a good way to re-distribute wealth and manage the destructive results of markets. Best results occur if the people organize themselves according to their needs, experiences and creativity and treat resources and goods not as commodities, but as common pool resources. - P2P Blog Her er en video av en flokk flotte damer som har forstått dybden av dette sitatet:


Les mer her.

Rebuilding Norway Using A Pattern Language

A Slide Show Presentation to Some of Christopher Alexander's Buildings

Nikos Salingaros on Fractal Hierarchies

Christopher Alexander on Building for Love and Life

A very weak recording of the full speech is to be found here.

Conversations w/ Great Minds - Dr. David Graeber Debt: The 1st 5000 years P1 & P2

His book Debt: The First 5,000 Years, was ranked as the most important book of 2011 by the P2P Foundation.

The Current Media Situation

The present situation results in part from the enormous power that mass communications media put in the hands of a small elite that can flood the world with the opinions of chosen experts and swamp critical thought with trivia and soundbites. That power makes molders of opinion — media people, entertainers, experts, educators — integral to government; our rulers control opinion because those who control opinion are among them. - James Kalb

The Liberalist's and the Traditionalist's Opposite Goals

For most people, being in a position of power or influence means that you want to influence others and achieve your own goals. In North America, these goals tend to be self-defined and independent from the wider social context. As a result, thinking analytically -- focusing on one's own goal and how to achieve it without being distracted by the surrounding context -- can be advantageous. - Science Daily This is how liberalists think, to achieve your own goals is the purpose of life, the wider context doesn't matter. The opposite is the traditionalist, where tradition, community and God is the context within every goal is part of a larger whole.

Read James Kalb's most important essay: Radical Traditionalism and the New World Order

(Hopefully this theme will someday be worked into an essay for the PRI-blog and Energy Bulletin)

Kooperativ fornybar energi

When the needs of a system cannot be met from within itself, we pay the price in energy and pollution. - Bill Mollison Kooperativ fornybar energi, en bærekraftig og uavhengig permakulturløsning! Hadde dette vært standard ville situasjonen min vært unngått, hvor teknokratiet trer en uønsket og anti-biofilisk design nedover hodene på folk, i konflikt med permakulturens design. Hvordan skal en fullblods permakulturell kunne leve under slikt overformynderi?

Les mer i Energy Bulletin: Co-operative renewable energy in the UK: a guide to this growing sector (report)

Adjø, slektsgård

Tekniske inngrep i natur og lokalsamfunn har også en bakside, og mon tro om det virkelig er all denne teknologien som påtvinges oss, som gjør våre liv verdt å leve? Ikke minst gjelder dette i forhold til det gode liv på landet. For ikke lenge siden ble alle tekniske inngrep hyllet som framskritt, i tida før biofilien (naturtilknytning) ble etablert som begrep av Edvard O. Wilson. I dag vet vi at tekniske inngrep som bryter med våre nedarvede biofiliske instinkter senker livskvaliteten.
Personlig har jeg måtte fly landsbygda som følge av storsamfunnets prioriteringer. For meg gjaldt det en høyspentledning utenfor småbruket Gryteengen på Toten. I forbindelse med oppgraderingen av denne traseen har jeg forsøkt å få denne fjernet fra de mest intensive designsonene rundt tunet, slik disse er definert av permakulturen, ved Bill Mollison (permaculture.org.au). Dessverre strandet disse forsøkene.

Min bønn for framtida må være at man unngår forstyrrende tekniske inngrep i de mest intensive de…

"A Theory of Power" Online

Charles Eisenstein: To Build Community, an Economy of Gifts

Nylig kom jeg over en tekst av Charles Eisenstein, som viser hvordan vårt velferds- og markedsfundamenterte samfunn undergraver fellesskapsverdier (og da tenker jeg på ekte fellesskapsverdier fundamentert i lokalsamfunnet). Essayet kan leses her: To Build Community, an Economy of Gifts.

For å pirre nysgjerrigheten velger jeg å gjengi et utdrag av Eisensteins tekst:

“Com­mu­nity is nearly im­pos­si­ble in a highly mon­e­tized so­ci­ety like our own. That is be­cause com­mu­nity is woven from gifts, which is ul­ti­mately why poor peo­ple often have stronger com­mu­ni­ties than rich peo­ple. If you are fi­nan­cially in­de­pen­dent, then you re­ally don’t de­pend on your neigh­bors—or in­deed on any spe­cific per­son—for any­thing. You can just pay some­one to do it, or pay some­one else to do it.

Local Autonomy

By suppressing local particularities and turning distinctions and differences into injustices inclusiveness suppresses self-organization, and therefore social spontaneity and voluntary initiatives of all kinds.  Ordinary people can’t act effectively unless local discretion is widely diffused and the informal good sense of the people is accepted as a generally sound basis for action. Inclusiveness rejects both. If there’s significant local discretion inequalities will result, and “the informal good sense of the people” is shot through with settled prejudgments—that is, with prejudices.  For that reason inclusiveness requires suppression of local initiative and self-rule. Those things are unjust from the standpoint of social justice in any event. If I do something that benefits brother Bob, that’s unfair because cousin Dick and uncle Harry get left out. More generally, informal arrangements like mutual assistance based on local networks and moral codes make the benefits of social life …

The Logic of Liberalism

The result of the attempt to make social relations scientific is contemporary liberalism, including inclusiveness, diversity, and all the rest. When scientism is applied to morality and politics it gives us both a highest good and a highest standard of justice. From those two principles it’s possible to generate a complete political and moral system, one that’s extremely simple and rigorous and therefore excludes all distinctions other than those it relies on.  The highest good scientism gives us is freedom, understood as satisfaction of desire. Preference and aversion are observable, and they’re available to us as guides. Since that’s so, scientism tells us, why not stick with them, and concentrate on setting up a system that gives us what we want and gets rid of what we don’t want? Why bring in other standards based on things that are harder to demonstrate, like God, natural functions, essential qualities, or the good, beautiful, and true? That, it is thought, would be unscientific…