Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Free Your (Eco)Mind

Think like an ecosystem, and you just might save the world

Gradually it’s dawned on me: We humans are creatures of the mind. We perceive the world according to our core, often unacknowledged, assumptions. They determine, literally, what we can see and what we cannot. Nothing so wrong with that, perhaps — except that, in this crucial do-or-die moment, we’re stuck with a mental map that is life-destroying.

And the premise of this map is lack — not enough of anything, from energy to food to parking spots; not enough goods and not enough goodness. In such a world, we come to believe, it’s compete or die. The popular British writer Philip Pullman says, “we evolved to suit a way of life which is acquisitive, territorial, and combative” and that “we have to overcome millions of years of evolution” to make the changes we need to avoid global catastrophe.

Read the rest of the article (I simply loved it) at PRI-Australia here.

TEDxCanberra - Nick Ritar - A Challenge to Live Sustainably

David Hales on P2P Currencies

Very good explanation for the Max Keiser report, describing the difference between Bitgcoin (payment system), Ripple (credit system), and the need for different ‘commons ecologies’ that compete with each other:

How Barter Followed and Did Not Precede the Creation of Money

David Graeber lays bare one of the key myths of economists, i.e. that money followed and simplified barter, while the historical and anthropological evidence shows the opposite:
A newspaper illustration depicting a man engaging in barter, paying his yearly newspaper subscription to the "Podunk Weekly Bugle" with various farm produce

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Pocket Neighborhoods: Small-Scale Living in a Large-Scale World

I LOVE pocket neighborhoods! Most of all because they're created from the Alexandrine pattern 37, House Cluster, which you can download in the left marrow here.

Further this pattern is exactly at the right scale for creating an ideal in-group, according to the handicap principle. This way we can grow the bright side of the force!

If you are familiar with A Pattern Language, from the first video you can recognize several patterns. Wow! 

Article from Shareable, by Kelly McCartney:

From Whidbey Island, Washington, to Winnsboro, Texas, pocket neighborhoods are taking root in communities in search of a simpler, more shareable way of life. In a pocket neighborhood, houses with a smaller-than-normal footprint surround a shared green space. The more public areas of the homes -- living room, dining room, and kitchen -- face the commons, with the bedrooms situated away from public views. The design is both community-oriented and environmentally friendly.

At the forefront of the movement stands architect Ross Chapin. His Third Street Cottages project in Langley, Washington, features eight small cottages on two-thirds of an acre with the green commons as the hub. Chapin's tag line, "Creating Small-Scale Community in a Large-Scale World" touches on the heart of the matter. Many people would love to keep the comraderie of community without forsaking the sanctity of single-family housing.

Chapin notes, "The people who live in these most sought-after communities know they share something extraordinarily valuable: a model of community that provides a missing link. They have their cherished privacy, but with something more: they get to know each other in a meaningful way, and are able to offer one another the kind of support system that family members across town, across state or across country cannot."

It's an old idea come back around, as this model of living truly dates back to ancient settlements. Anyone not living under a rock for the past few years can easily understand why smaller-scale living is a good thing on multiple levels. Chapin spells it out this way: "People are re-imagining how they live in their homes and in their communities. The American Dream of owning a single-family home with a garage seems to be fading fast. Demographics and family structures have changed significantly and we are living in a larger scale world than our grandparents – a world with vastly more stresses and pressures."

One of the myriad beauties of pocket neighborhoods lies in its scalability. A huge chunk of land is not needed to develop a community. They are also somewhat modular, able to be tacked on to one another as space provides. Chapin's website offers a number of different site plans, from a single cluster of homes to an entire neighborhood comprised of about a dozen pockets.

If it truly does take a village to raise a child -- or do just about anything else -- then we really ought to start building more villages. Pocket neighborhoods might be just the thing to get us going.

Charles Eisenstein on Growing "the Bright Side of the Force"

Charles Eisenstein, the author of Sacred Economics, gave this inspiring talk to Occupy Wall Street, which is actually about growing “the bright side of the force”. This Star Wars inspired theme I couple with “the handicap principle“, which has a “bright” and a “dark” side; the selfish and the cooperative. Animals generally use just one of these forces in gathering acceptance and status, while humans are capable to use both or choose one. Or they don’t actually choose, they use the part of the force which is easiest to achieve within the current design of our societies. Unfortunately we have chosen to grow “the dark side of the force”, today growing these evil powers mainly through the ideologies of modernism and capitalism. As a result, community is almost gone.

To maintain eternal growth we need to turn more and more natural and human resources into products and services, rather than gifts. Ideally a mother making a meal of love to her children should have been turned into a transaction rather than a gift, to keep GNP growing. Sadly we are almost there, at the point where no more services can be transformed from community to money. We are at the end of growth. The sign is that community is gone — community has been torn to peaces by the beast of eternal growth.

Bonds between people cannot be created the same way within a transaction economy as it did in the gift economy. The gift economy is the tribal economy, growing the bright side of the force to its fulfillment, where invisible bonds are created between people through gifts, not services. How low have we as humanity gone in isolating things? The context, not the thing, is the key.

A debt based economy functions under the principle of competition, growing the evil side of “the handicap principle“. It cannot work another way. Watch the video above and you’ll hopefully be convinced. The ideology of economists tells us this is the only way to create prosperity. But the truth is that they have no idea how strong the bright side of the force is, the research gathered within the fields of psychology and human behavior ecology has proven this. We can beat the dark side using the massive amount of knowledge accrued on how to apply “the handicap principle” for creating a new gift economy!

See the video and get inspired! And then continue on to read Charles Eisenstein’s book — it’s posted for free on the internet here: Sacred Economics: Money, Gift, and Society in the Age of Transition.
They tell you we are dreamers. The true dreamers are those who think things can go on indefinitely the way they are. We are not dreamers. We are awakening from a dream which is turning into a nightmare. We are not destroying anything. We are only witnessing how the system is destroying itself. We all know the classic scenes from cartoons. The cat reaches a precipice. But it goes on walking. Ignoring the fact that there is nothing beneath. Only when it looks down and notices it, it falls down. This is what we are doing here. We are telling the guys there on Wall Street – Hey, look down! - Slavoj Žižek
This article is published at The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia on November 16, 2011. Posted at Energy Bulletin, USA, on November 18, 2011.

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    Bay Bucks -- Get Them & Use Them!

    This discussion turns to the theme of economics and the subject is Bay Bucks, the local currency circulating in the larger Traverse City region. Dave is joined by long time Bay Bucks advocate Sharon Flescher, discussing the reasoning behind the creation of a local currency, the seven year history of Bay Bucks and a look to future growth. Local currencies generate the full impact of their multiplier effect in the local economy. None of that economic value is exported to outside economic interests.  The key to that success is to get more and more of the local currency in use. Bay Bucks is set to push for another round of expansion. - Investigating Resilience

    Sunday, February 26, 2012

    Ledelse kontra selvorganisering

    Kanskje kan ledelse vise seg å være en illusjon på linje med synet av regnbuen eller vårt inntrykk av at jorda er flat, utfordrer han. Jan Ketil Arnulf
    Dette var meget godt sagt! Jeg kan anbefale boka The Leaderless Revolution av Carne Ross:

    All denne ledelsen har ført samfunnet helt galt av sted. Ikke minst gjelder dette innen organiseringen av våre omgivelser, hvor en rekke "ledere", jeg vil heller kalle dem villedere, nitidig planlegger våre gater og byer. Naturen er ikke slik, naturen skaper seg selv ut fra selvorganisering:

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    PERMACULTURE & PEAK OIL: Beyond 'Sustainability'

    Permaculture Ethics and Design Principles with David Holmgren

    Do-Gooders Get Voted Off Island First: People Don't Really Like Unselfish Colleagues, Psychologists Find

    A very odd article in Science Daily that seems at odd with the "handicap principle":
    Parks and Stone found that unselfish colleagues come to be resented because they "raise the bar" for what is expected of everyone. As a result, workers feel the new standard will make everyone else look bad. 
    It doesn't matter that the overall welfare of the group or the task at hand is better served by someone's unselfish behavior, Parks said. 
    "What is objectively good, you see as subjectively bad," he said.
    Strange, people really prefer selfish people, to feel better themselves. Now I understand better why the Polish men at work wanted me gone.

    Do-Gooders Get Voted Off Island First: People Don't Really Like Unselfish Colleagues, Psychologists Find

    Bollier and the New World

    Many of the familiar distinctions between “public” and “private,” and between “economic” and “social” just don’t make sense in this new world. The old categories imply a segmented, rational world driven by mechanical cause-and-effect relationships and a separation between humans and an objectified Nature (“the environment”). They imply that “the Economy” is something that exists apart from us, and that institutions and experts should govern our lives and confer social meanings. By contrast, commoners and Occupiers are an attempt to reclaim a bottom-up, decentralized autonomy and control. They realize that the world is an interconnected whole in which humans and nature are mysteriously interconnected in a world animated by complex forces that embody a different pattern – forces such as the unconscious, the spiritual and the ecological that will likely remain inscrutable to Enlightenment categories. - David Bollier
    Like the Occupy protests last year, this gathering did not focus on what government might do for the American people. That is considered a lost cause for now, or at least, a secondary focal point. It is clear that the market/state duopoly is so entrenched and collusive that “working within the system” will yield only piecemeal, marginal gains. As the fights on climate change, finance reform, food, energy and countless other issues have shown, the only way to really meet people’s needs and save the planet is to strive for systemic change: New types of governance and production. New opportunities for distributed activism and innovation. A sweeping aside of self-serving and reactionary institutional monopolies. David Bollier

    TEDxManhattan - Fred Kirschenmann - Soil: From Dirt to Lifeline

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    Oslo's New York Greenwich Village?

    Oslo's New York Greenwich Village?

    - Det er blitt minst like skrekkelig som vi forestilte oss (article in Aftenposten)

    Paul Lødøen, Managing Director of Oslo S Utvikling (development) (OSU), compares the new Barcode Wall of Bjørvika, Oslo, with New York's Greenwich Village and the Latin Quarter of Paris!?!

    How can an assumed intelligent and well educated person in an important official position, with power to decide the future of Oslo, be that stupid?

    With this man as managing director of the new Oslo Central Station Area, I don't see any hope for Oslo anymore. How I wish we could kick out this stupid idiot and replace him with someone like Nikos Salingaros. But if he was kicked out he would probably been replaced with an even worse idiot, as we have too many of them in important positions of this country.

    In the top picture of the article in Aftenposten you can press on the different buildings to see the architect firm behind them. One of them is designed by MAD-Arkitekter. With this they probably mean they are cool, something which of course is completely mad.

    Related reading:

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012

    The Case for Soft Money

    The case for soft money
    As the economists are telling us, the economy must grow. That means, the economy’s mortgage with the banks also must grow. That mortgage is our constant companion. There is no way to pay it back – ever – unless we want to shut down the economy, which clearly we don’t want to. So with every per cent of economic growth, we are digging a larger hole. We must now pay more for the privilege of using money, or face disaster. We must cut more trees, extract more oil, grow more food, produce more consumer goods, all in the name of keeping going. It is the end stage of growth, brought about by our continued ignorance of some important facts about economic affairs. Sepp Hasslberger

    Nye Ensjø, en modernistisk øy

    Faktisk en ganske bra artikkel i Aftenposten i dag om den nye bydelen Ensjø med 20.000 kommende innbyggere, men som dessverre ikke later til å bli annet enn nok en modernist-maskinistisk bomaskin. Mest kvalmende er tilsvaret på kritikken av byråd for byutvikling Bård Folke Fredriksen (H). Min kommentar til hans kommentar følger:

    "– Kritikerne vil ikke bygge by, men landsby, mener byråd for byutvikling Bård Folke Fredriksen (H)."

    Det finnes faktisk en mellomting mellom by og landsby, dette er Village Towns:

    Min venn Tracy Gayton har under utvikling et spennende Village Town-prosjekt i Maine, USA:

    Se en lysbildeframvisning av prosjektet her:

    Bård Folke Fredriksen er en modernist, og setter likhetstegn mellom byliv og modernisme, og mener at man ikke skal kunne leve et integrert liv i byen. I USA har heldigvis New Urbanist-bevegelsen fått et godt fotfeste, vi får håpe den snart slår røtter også i Norge. En av deres hjemmesider er Better! Cities & Towns:

    Håper for framtida Fredriksen kan la være med slik kunnskapsløs harselering!

    Ifølge byråd for byutvikling i Oslo, Bård Folke Fredriksen  (H), har vi intet å lære av historien. Hvordan våger en slik person å kalle seg "konservativ"?

    Sunday, February 19, 2012

    The Little Village of Sainte-Enimie

    The little village of Sainte-Enimie at the entrance of the Gorges du Tarn. Photo: Tobi 87

    The Machinery Hall

    The Machinery Hall at Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago, USA was designed by C. V. Kerr of Patten & Fisher and built in 1901. Photo: Joe Ravi

    Iguana Posing in the Oslo Reptile Park

    Iguana posing in the Oslo Reptile Park. Photo: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen


    Varanasi, India as seen from Ganga river. Photo: Marcin Białek

    A Sami Family in Norway Around 1900

    A Sami family in Norway around 1900

    The Fight of the Century

    Article by Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow-in-Residence of the Post Carbon Institute. Original article to be found at Post Carbon Institute here, and at Energy Bulletin here. First posted on February 16, 2012. Therms for republishing here.

    Download printable PDF version here (PDF, 143 KB)

    As economies contract, a global popular uprising confronts power elites over access to the essentials of human existence. What are the underlying dynamics of the conflict, and how is it likely to play out?

    1. Prologue
    As the world economy crashes against debt and resource limits, more and more countries are responding by attempting to salvage what are actually their most expendable features—corrupt, insolvent banks and bloated militaries—while leaving the majority of their people to languish in “austerity.” The result, predictably, is a global uprising. This current set of conditions and responses will lead, sooner or later, to social as well as economic upheaval—and a collapse of the support infrastructure on which billions depend for their very survival.

    Image Credit: Frayed Knot firemind/flickr

    Nations could, in principle, forestall social collapse by providing the basics of existence (food, water, housing, medical care, family planning, education, employment for those able to work, and public safety) universally and in a way that could be sustained for some time, while paying for this by deliberately shrinking other features of society—starting with military and financial sectors—and by taxing the wealthy. The cost of covering the basics for everyone is within the means of most nations. Providing human necessities would not remove all fundamental problems now converging (climate change, resource depletion, and the need for fundamental economic reforms), but it would provide a platform of social stability and equity to give the world time to grapple with deeper, existential challenges.

    Unfortunately, many governments are averse to this course of action. In fact, they will most likely continue to do what they are doing now—cannibalizing the resources of society at large in order to prop up megabanks and military establishments.

    Even if they do provide universal safety nets, ongoing economic contraction may still likely result in conflict, though in this instance it would arise from groups opposed to the perceived failures of “big government.”

    In either instance, it will increasingly be up to households and communities to provide the basics for themselves while reducing their dependence upon, and vulnerability to, centralized systems of financial and governmental power. This is a strategy that will require sustained effort and one that will in many cases be discouraged and even criminalized by national authorities.

    The decentralization of food, finance, education, and other basic societal support systems has been advocated for decades by theorists on the far left and far right of the political spectrum. Some efforts toward decentralization (such as the local food movement) have resulted in the development of niche markets. However, here we are describing not just the incremental growth of social movements or marginal industries, but what may become the signal economic and social trend for the remainder of the 21st century—a trend that is currently ignored and resisted by governmental, economic, and media elites who can’t imagine an alternative beyond the dichotomies of free enterprise versus planned economy, or Keynesian stimulus versus austerity.

    The decentralized provision of basic necessities is not likely to flow from a utopian vision of a perfect or even improved society (as have some social movements of the past). It will emerge instead from iterative human responses to a daunting and worsening set of environmental and economic problems, and it will in many instances be impeded and opposed by politicians, bankers, and industrialists. It is this contest between traditional power elites on one hand, and growing masses of disenfranchised poor and formerly middle-class people attempting to provide the necessities of life for themselves in the context of a shrinking economy, that is shaping up to be the fight of the century.

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    A Pattern Language and the New Urbanists

    Googeling I came upon this article : A Pattern Language and the New Urbanists

    Always nice to find other sharing your interests! Go to the homepage of House Design Caffee.

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    Nytt supersterkt gekkolim med unike kvaliteter

    Er det håp for innehavere av gipsvegger? Jeg kjøpte mitt nye hus fordi det kun hadde gipsplater på soverommene, ellers var det ekte granpanel. Som sagt er det umulig å henge opp noe på en gipsvegg uten store skader. Bare på soverommene har jeg hatt mye jobb med å reparere skader på gipsplatene, et håpløst konstruksjonsmateriale av en rekke grunner.

    Typisk hull etter oppheng i gipsvegg. Merk at plastsperra er perforert. Denne innfestingen er utført av byggentreprenøren, uten tanke på fuktinntrenging gjennom ei ødelagt fuktsperre. Jeg har benyttet adskillig silikon og fugelim for å tette hull og perforerte plastsperrer i mitt relativt nye hus.

    Med det nye gekkolimet kan denne deprimerende praksisen komme til en slutt, også for de ulykkelige eiere av gipsplatevegger. Ikke bare at det nye limet er supersterkt, det kan også lett fjernes uten spor! For godt til å være sant? Ikke i følge denne artikkelen i dagens utgave av Science Daily:

    The Fight of the Century - 2

    - The Fight of the Century
    The decentralization of food, finance, education, and other basic societal support systems has been advocated for decades by theorists on the far left and far right of the political spectrum. Some efforts toward decentralization (such as the local food movement) have resulted in the development of niche markets. However, here we are describing not just the incremental growth of social movements or marginal industries, but what may become the signal economic and social trend for the remainder of the 21st century—a trend that is currently ignored and resisted by governmental, economic, and media elites who can’t imagine an alternative beyond the dichotomies of free enterprise versus planned economy, or Keynesian stimulus versus austerity. - Richard Heinberg
    Another name of this fight is Integrative Ecosocial Design.


    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    Retten til røykfri leilighet

    Takk for mail med viktig spørsmål om retten til røykfri leilighet

    Dette er en viktig sak.
    Vi har redegjort for bolig-saken flere steder på våre nettsider
    - hovedsiden og sidene Tiltak, Aktuelt, Magasinet og Nyheter.

    Vi har det siste året tatt opp saken generelt og flere konkrete saker med Kommuner, Helsedirektoratet og Helse- og omsorgsdep (HOD).
    Dette har foreløpig ikke ført fram.
    Rettsvern mangler.
    Det synes heller ikke som Helsedirektoratet eller Helse- og omsorgsdep (HOD) "våger" å bedre rettsvernet - slik det framgår av deres nylig framlagte Høringsnotat - se nedenfor.

    De synes å påvirkes sterkt av at de fleste norske media synes å være negative til vernetiltak. De fleste norske media velger å framstille saken som forfølgelse av røykere.
    Vi kjemper for å få flere til å kreve røykfritt bomiljø.
    Vi vil gjerne samarbeide med deg.

    Med vennlig hilsen
    for Åslaug Kåsin

    Røykfritt Miljø Norge


    Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien

    En venn anbefalte nylig boka Ents, Elves, and Eriador: The Environmental Vision of J.R.R. Tolkien. En omtale av boka er å finne her (pdf).

    The Porte des Allemands

    The Porte des Allemands ("German gate"), a fortified medieval city gate in Metz, in northeastern France. Photo: Marc Ryckaert 

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Capitalism in a Nutshell

    By definition capitalism depends on capital accumulation, the production of an economic surplus that can be reinvested in new capital (property and machines) to expand production even further. In the beginning of Fleeing Vesuvius, the authors demonstrate how producing this surplus was only possible because of the vast amount of cheap (practically free) work performed by fossil fuel energy. Obviously there were rich people (landowners and merchants) prior to industrialization. However there weren’t any capitalists – production was far too limited to accumulate capital.  - Stuart Jeanne Bramhall

    Christopher's Lecture

    I don't know how to embed this lecture of Christopher Alexander, but here it is:

    Slow Food Movies 1 - 3

    Nærbutikken = Hjørnesteinsbutikken

    Matvarekjedene har rasert nærbutikken og butikken på hjørnet, og slik har de ødelagt nabolag og grender over hele landet. I tillegg til at folk nå må kjøre bil for å få kjøpt seg en liter melk, var nærbutikken en utrolig viktig møteplass, jeg vil si den var selve limet i lokalsamfunnet. Den økende ensomheten vi ser i dag, med psykiske problemer og selvmord i kjølvannet, er i stor grad matvarekjedenes skyld.

    I tillegg kommer at vi ikke har kjøpmenn lengre! Kjøpmennene har blitt franchisorer, som i praksis er å regne som husmenn, da det ikke er stor forskjell på franchisor-kontrakter og den mellom husmannen og storbonden. Dette er en umenneskelig praksis som må opphøre. La oss få tilbake de gode, gamle kjøpmennene!

    I et innlegg om nærbutikken nylig hos Better Cities & Towns, ble jeg fristet til å døpe om the corner grocery til CORNER-STONE GROCERY! Eller hjørnesteinsbutikken, for så viktig er butikken på hjørnet, den er hjørnesteinen i nabolaget.

    Jeg har selv også skrevet en artikkel om dette temaet, her.

    Ekte kjøpmann i en ekte dagligvare, begge utryddet av vårt moderne samfunn

    Våre døtre blir feite av innemiljøet

    Miljøgift øker risikoen for fedme
    • Døtrene til de kvinner som hadde de høyeste konsentrasjonene av PFOA i blodet under svangerskapet, hadde tre ganger så stor risiko for å være overvektige i en alder av omtrent 20 år, som døtrene av kvinnene med de laveste PFOA nivåene.
    • I beregningene har det blitt tatt hensyn til mange variabler, som mors vekt og ulike livsstilsfaktorer.
    • Det ble også funnet sammenheng mellom PFOA-eksponering før fødsel og forhøyede nivåer av insulin og leptin - to biologiske mål som har sammenheng med overvekt.
    Nivåene av insulin og leptin var økt også hos sønnene av kvinner med høy PFOA, men sammenhengen var svakere enn hos jentene. Det var ikke økt sannsynlighet for utvikling av overvekt hos sønnene.

    - Miljøgiften det er snakk om, PFOA, tilhører en gruppe miljøforurensinger som kalles per- og polyfluorerte stoffer (PFC). Dette er forbindelser som brukes eller er blitt brukt i en rekke forbruksprodukter og industrielle prosesser som for eksempel i impregnering, tekstiler, tepper og brannslukings skum, opplyser forsker Line Småstuen Haug ved Folkehelseinstituttet. Det er like mye av dette i Norge som i Danmark, understreker hun.

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    Design for Social Innovation and Sustainability

    Ezio Manzini-Keynote: In a small, densely populated, highly connected planet, people’s intelligence, sensitivity and creativity are the most abundant resources. These social resources are catalyzing, becoming powerful drivers for sustainable changes. This talk will focus on how design can effectively help the process.

    How I Wish We Had a Kunstler in Norway!

    Review: The KunstlerCast by Duncan Crary, by Frank Kaminski

    Three Major Journals Publish Articles on Limited World Oil Supply

    Read the full story here.

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Framtidas bakstreverske Oslo?

    Fikk morgenkaffen i vrangstrupen når jeg i dag så forslagene til framtidas Oslo, som du kan lese om her. Min kommentar til nettdebatten:
    Tydelig at vi her har å gjøre med oslomodernistene, alle disse forslagene er basert Le Corbusier's ide om "the tower in the park", en ekstremt inhuman ide. I tillegg kommer at ingen av disse forslagene har iboende biofiliske egenskaper. Jeg arbeider for tida med å få republisert arbeider av den kjente urbanisten Nikos A. Salingaros hos bloggen til the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia, her kan dere finne ideer til menneskevennlige løsninger. 
    Ikke store bidraget i kampen mot arven etter verdenshistoriens mest destruktive menneske, Le Corbusier, men man får gjøre hva man kan. Forresten, stjernearkitekten Winy Maas er en av nøkkelpersonene i arbeidet, en av Le corbusier's mange disipler.

    Ikke nok med at modernistene har ødelagt Bjørvika, de akter å underlegge seg hele hovedstaden. Framtidsutsiktene er i sannhet dystre.

    Thursday, February 9, 2012

    Liberalismens tyranner har ankommet Drammen

    Min kommentar til Roy Vegas megetsigende essay i dagens utgave av Drammen blir "verdinøytral" - kirker bygges om
    Plutselig kommer et sett av utspill fra høyere hold, i jordisk forstand - utenpå folkevalgte organer - om det å være inkluderende, viktigheten av "dialog", "interreligiøs dialog" og "toleranse". Hvem kan i utgangspunktet være mot slikt? - Roy Vega
    Drammen, kan du leve med skammen? Foto: Kjetil Lenes

    Vel, jeg tror man kan si at den kjente konservative amerikanske tenkeren James Kalb, er imot "slikt". Han arbeider for tida med ei bok om "inkludering" eller "inclusiveness", som under den liberale modernismens ideologi i sannhet har blitt et perversitert begrep. Foreløpige utkast til boka kan du lese her: Inclusiveness: A Book to Be.

    Du finner også mange andre nyttige artikler om temaet på James Kalbs hjemmeside Turnabout.

    Det du opplever i Drammen er den modernistiske liberalismens sanne ansikt, TYRANNIET!!!! Jeg har nylig mottatt James Kalbs bok The Tyranny of Liberalism, du kan bestille denne her.

    Liberalismen har i dag tatt diaboliske former, dens budskap er ren nihilisme, hedonisme og konsumerisme, derfor er det naturlig nok intet den frykter mer enn tradisjonelle religiøse mennesker. Dette er et paradoks, da det viser seg at den moderne liberalismen er en dogmatisk, rendyrket ideologi.

    Liberalisme i sin opprinnelige form derimot, den klassiske liberalismen, er et helt annet kapittel, som har sine røtter i protestantismen. Dette kan du lese mer om i Charles Siegels siste bok, Classical Liberalism (også som gratis e-bok!).

    Jeg vil ønske deg lykke til i kampen mot disse den modernistiske liberalismens servile lakeier!

    Aranya's Permaculture Design "Step-by-Step" - Guide is Soon Out!

    I just received this email from my astonishing PDC-teacher Aranya, trained as a physicist, but devoted his life to become a low income PDC-teacher rather than a highly paid scientist. A man that truly lives by his words!

    Hello my European friends! 

    Whe-hey! At last....

    After nearly two years, my Permaculture Design Step-by-Step Guide is almost here... 

    Due for publication at the beginning of March at the retail price of £14.95
    Pre-order it before 14th February for a lovely £10.95
     (plus £5.00 P+P)*

    * £2.00 to UK, £5.00 to Europe, £8.00 Rest of World.

    I'm including the option to add a CD with accompanying digital resources, such as flowcharts from the book, worksheets, high resolution versions of maps etc. These will be available as free downloads from a special page on my website following publication. I'm also offering these resources, plus a few extras, on a CD that can be ordered as part of a package with the book for just £2.00 extra.

    If you're interested in getting a copy, then visit the special page on my website: Permaculture Design Guide - Special Pre-publication Offer page

    Hope your life is feeling nicely permacultured...
    Many blessings,
    P.S. Apologies if you've already heard about this... word is spreading fast it seems!
    Aranya Gardens ~ Permaculture Solutions for a Sustainable Future
    Office: 00 44 (0)1297 20908
    "There are plenty of things to worry about, but permaculture helps you to focus on the things that you can do to make a difference." ~ Andy Goldring

    Gaiacraft Workbook: Global Release

    From The Permaculture Research Institute of Australia — by Delvin Solkinson February 3, 2012

    As an offering to the planetary permaculture movement we have created a workbook of permaculture worksheets. This educational tool kit will help support your learning and teaching practice.

    In the spirit of a genuine love for permaculture education and in gratitude to the world community, this new learning tool is intended to help heal and empower our relationship with ourselves, the Earth and each other. The Gaiacraft Permaculture Workbook shares a collection of universal handouts which string together a larger body of teachings from Bill Mollison, Rosemary Morrow, Geoff Lawton, David Holmgren and Toby Hemenway. It’s edited in collaboration by the Gaiacraft team; Delvin Solkinson, Lunaya Shekinah, Jacob Aman, Tamara Griffiths and Ali Ma. This is a unique and practical addition to your understanding and practice of permaculture.

    The first press is in English and currently we are working on editions in Spanish, Portuguese and Hebrew. We would love to have translations into other languages as well.

    Given freely, we encourage copying of these worksheets for your students and their copying them for their students. We recommend high quality color reproduction so that they can be successfully passed through many printings. In this way we see the worksheets travelling the world freely to support and inspire the evolution of the permaculture paradigm. The workbook is also available as a professionally bound edition direct from our print-on-demand printer. Purchasing a copy is a way to support Gaiacraft and the development of many more permaculture learning and teaching tools.

    It’s an honour to share this tool with you as a companion to your journey with permaculture.

    Free Download Link: very large file! 227mb.)

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    The Street Killers

    Mindful Maps Presents Collaborative Consumption

    A short animated film to introduce Rachel Botsman’s important insights on collaborative consumption:


    I've earlier tried to explore alternative names for permaculture, and it seems like wild-farming can be a good candidate!

    Read the article: Farmers Go Wild

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Jeremiah and Our Time

    Jeremiah lamenting over the destruction of Jerusalem. Photo: Rembrandt
    As in the time of Jeremiah a great calamity is coming upon us, and I believe it is coming upon us because we have turned away from the living God. We are idolatrous as a civilisation and society and we are unjust as a civilisation and society. So, for exactly the same reasons that Jeremiah criticises his community and foretells destruction, I believe that we too stand under the same judgement. Just as Jeremiah saw the armies surrounding Jerusalem, so too can we see the parameters of our own unavoidable crisis. 
    We in the West do not face a direct equivalent of a Babylonian army camped outside of our gates; nor do we enjoy the direct presence of the Lord in the temple of Jerusalem. Our idolatries are different – yet our predicament is equally grave. A great calamity is coming upon our civilisation, a calamity that has been foretold and warned against for at least two generations, and those warnings have been ignored. We too have enjoyed the comforts of an idolatrous society and allowed injustice to flourish unchecked. We have now left behind the time of decisions and have entered the time of consequences. 
    “Unavoidable” is a strong word. I do see calamity as unavoidable. As a man I am by temperament very optimistic and I believe in the grace and unearned mercy of God. Yet the more I explore the reasons why calamity is upon us, and the more I consider our current political arrangements, the state of the churches and what the church spends its time arguing about, the more I understand why people have not heard in time. There have been sufficient signs of what is coming for those who have eyes to see and ears to hear, but still most people, including most Christians, have not learned to read the writing on the wall. Sam Norton

    Two Brain-Dead Dogmas

    Read the whole article by Herman Daly: Growth and Free Trade: Brain-Dead Dogmas Still Kicking Hard

    The two dogmas reprinted below:

    (1) Growth in all micro-economic units (firms and households) is subject to the “when to stop rule” of optimization, namely stop when rising marginal cost equals declining marginal benefit. Why does this not also apply to growth of the matter-energy throughput that sustains the macro-economy, the aggregate of all firms and households? And since real GDP is the best statistical index we have of aggregate throughput, why does it not roughly hold for growth in GDP? It must be because economists see the economy as the whole system, growing into the void — not as a subsystem of the finite and non-growing ecosphere from which the economy draws resources (depletion) and to which it returns wastes (pollution). When the economy grows in terms of throughput, or real GDP, it gets bigger relative to the ecosystem and displaces ever more vital ecosystem functions. Why do economists assume that it can never be too big, that such aggregate growth can never at the margin result in more illth than wealth? Perhaps illth is invisible because it has no market price. Yet, as a joint product of wealth, illth is everywhere: nuclear wastes, the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, gyres of plastic trash in the oceans, the ozone hole, biodiversity loss, climate change from excess carbon in the atmosphere, depleted mines, eroded topsoil, dry wells, exhausting and dangerous labor, exploding debt, etc. Economists claim that the solution to poverty is more growth — without ever asking if growth still makes us richer, as it did back when the world was empty, or if it has begun to make us poorer in a world that is now too full of us and our stuff. This is a threatening question, because if growth has become uneconomic then the solution to poverty becomes sharing now, not growth in the future. Sharing is now called “class warfare.”

    (2) Countries whose growth has pushed their ecological footprint beyond their geographic boundaries into the ecosystems of other countries are urged by mainline economists to continue to do so under the flag of free trade and specialization according to comparative advantage. Let the rest of the world export resources to us, and we will pay with exports of capital, patented technology, copyrighted entertainment, and financial services. Comparative advantage guarantees that we will all be better off (and grow more) if everyone specializes in producing and exporting only what they are relatively better at, and importing everything else. The logic of comparative advantage is impeccable, given its premises. However, one of its premises is that capital, while mobile within nations, does not flow between nations. But in today’s world capital is even more mobile between countries than goods, so it is absolute, not comparative advantage that really governs specialization and trade. Absolute advantage still yields gains from specialization and trade, but they need not be mutual as under comparative advantage — i.e., one country can lose while the other gains. “Free trade” really means “deregulated international commerce” — similar to deregulated finance in justification and effect. Furthermore, specialization, if carried too far, means that trade becomes a necessity. If a country specializes in producing only a few things then it must trade for everything else. Trade is no longer voluntary. If trade is not voluntary then there is no reason to expect it to be mutually beneficial, and another premise of free trade falls. If economists want to keep the world safe for free trade and comparative advantage they must limit capital mobility internationally; if they want to keep international capital mobility they must back away from comparative advantage and free trade. Which do they do? Neither. They seem to believe that if free trade in goods is beneficial, then by extension free trade in capital (and other factors) must be even more beneficial. And if voluntary trade is mutually beneficial, then what is the harm in making it obligatory? How does one argue with people who use the conclusion of an argument to deny the argument’s premises? Their illogic is invincible!

    Orthodox Church

    Image: Edgar Andrei Olaru
    We don’t love the modern church designed by a “name” architect because it is not part of us; it is alien. Its geometry and surfaces contradict its claim of being sacred through an unmistakable visceral message that triggers a negative physiological response in our bodies. It has been sold to us by a corrupt media through indoctrination, in a political power game where a servile group is proud to execute the wishes of the dominant elite. - Nikos A. Salingaros


     Photo: Infrogmation

    Flott post i dagens utgave av Better-Cities&Towns, i forsvar av Alexanders "pattern" 89, CORNER GROCERY:

    It has lately been assumed that people no longer want to walk to local stores. This assumption is mistaken.

    Give every neighborhood at least one corner grocery, somewhere near its heart. Place these corner groceries every 200 to 800 yards, according to the density, so that each one serves about 1000 people. Place them on corners, where large numbers of people are going past. And combine them with houses, so that the people who run them can live over them or next to them.

    Les artikkelen: New Urbanism for All?

    Entropy Pawsed uses "A Pattern Language"

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Urbanism as Computation

    Image of Rome from the 15th century. Images of Vatican City, Rome above and here are all courtesy of Choate Rosemary Hall.

    Successful urban configurations are the result of a complex sequence of implicit computations that transform unorganized input into organized output. Although that is exactly what they do, few urbanists discuss their work in these terms. I propose a fundamental distinction between the principal methods of urban computation. One algorithmic process for urbanism leads to formal planning, which lacks the complex organizational structures that support essential adaptability. This closed computational method uses a set of fixed, or formal, rules to compute a configuration that does not adapt interactively during execution. Such algorithms perform each computation based upon predetermined rules, and those rules cannot be changed via any interaction. The other method of urban generation is achieved by means of interactive computing, which is the basis of human intelligence. An interactive computational method generates adaptive organic urban fabric, as seen in both traditional cities and squatter settlements. Adaptive computational systems necessarily rely upon interaction with their situational environment. In this interactive approach, the result of each step in the sequence of computations is fed back into the algorithm so as to influence the subsequent step. The algorithm itself changes by interacting with whatever it is computing. Interactive or intelligent computing, therefore, is not equivalent to computations that rely exclusively upon a fixed algorithm. These two diverse computational methods design two morphologically distinct types of urban fabric. Also included in this discussion are urban morphologies that have no computational basis, as well as those that are deliberately random.

    Read the essay by Nikos A. Salingaros: URBANISM AS COMPUTATION

    The Urban Food Revolution

    Book: The Urban Food Revolution. Peter Ladner. New Society Publishers, 2011.

    Our reliance on industrial agriculture has resulted in a food supply riddled with hidden environmental, economic and health care costs and beset by rising food prices. With only a handful of corporations responsible for the lion’s share of the food on our supermarket shelves, we are incredibly vulnerable to supply chain disruption.

    The Urban Food Revolution provides a recipe for community food security based on leading innovations across North America. The author draws on his political and business experience to show that we have all the necessary ingredients to ensure that local, fresh sustainable food is affordable and widely available.

    He describes how cities are bringing food production home by:
    • Growing community through neighborhood gardening, cooking and composting programs
    • Rebuilding local food processing, storage and distribution systems
    • Investing in farmers markets and community supported agriculture
    • Reducing obesity through local fresh food initiatives in schools, colleges and universities
    • Ending inner-city food deserts
    Producing food locally makes people healthier, alleviates poverty, creates jobs, and makes cities safer and more beautiful. The Urban Food Revolution is an essential resource for anyone who has lost confidence in the global industrial food system and wants practical advice on how to join the local food revolution.” (


    Sunday, February 5, 2012

    Min nye, skjønne, underbare kaffekopp

    Vi fant denne kaffekoppen blant masse gammelt skrot. Dessverre fant vi ikke flere eller andre deler av settet. Jeg ble umiddelbart forelsket i denne kaffekoppen, og underlig nok smaker også morgenkaffen bedre når jeg drikker den av en slik vakker kopp.

    Min nye, gamle kaffekopp. Tror den er hånddekorert?

    Er den ikke vakker! I sannhet gir skjønnhet livet innhold.

    Min tidligere kaffekopp til venstre, også den fin, men dog et typisk industriprodukt

    Snart tomt, men det fine med en slik liten kaffekopp er at man kan unne seg to kopper. Smart!

    The Leaderless Revolution

    The Leaderless Revolution explains why our government institutions are inadequate to the task of solving major problems and offers a set of steps we can take to create lasting and workable solutions ourselves. In taking these steps, we can not only reclaim the control we have lost, but also a sense of meaning and community so elusive in the current circumstance. In a day and age when things feel bleak and beyond our control, this powerful and personal book will revive one’s sense of hope that a better, more just and equitable order lies within our reach-if only we are willing to grasp it.

    Saturday, February 4, 2012

    How to Get What You Want Through Community Self-Government

    Today, it is our communities and natural systems that are treated as property under the law – just as slaves once were – because people living in communities can’t control their own futures, and what’s in our communities is routinely bought, sold, and traded without a whisker of local control,” says Linzey. “In many ways, this work is about walking in the footsteps of those prior movements to transform ourselves from being property under the law to becoming people who harness the power of government to defend and enforce our rights. - Truthout
    Read the book review: How Can Communities Defend Themselves From Corporate Interests?

    Related reading: 
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