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Showing posts from March, 2012

How the New Forms of Common Value Creation Challenge Both the Market State and State Capitalism

These evolving dynamics — the decommodification of common goods through co-governance and the deterritorialization of value through co-production — are shattering the liberal assumptions which underlie state capitalism. The emergence of this new kind of management and valuation for the preservation of natural and social assets is posing a momentous crisis for the Market State, imperiling the functional legitimacy of state sovereignty, national currencies, domestic fiscal policy, international trade and finance, and the global monetary system. James Quilligan
James Quilligan has written an extraordinary and must-read mini-essay, that has also been published for On the Commons: Beyond State Capitalism

1. The challenge of decommodification and deterritorialisation

“In considering the essential problem of how to produce and distribute material wealth, virtually all of the great economists in Western history have ignored the significance of the commons — the shared resources of nature an…

Michel Bauwens, a Frontier of the Commons, Speaks at the Winchester School of Arts

Michel Bauwens at WSA from WSA Global Futures on Vimeo.

Michel Bauwens is one of the most influential spokesmen of the Commons, the third way after capitalism and socialism (both modernist liberalism). Founder of p2p-foundation. Here's his own introduction to the lecture:

Sean Cubitt and Jussi Parikka, two academics at the very top of my list of people I respect, honoured me with an invitation to their school, the Winchester School of Arts.

Here’s a record of the talk, focusing on P2P Economics and the role of mutualist phyles …

The Commons, a big wave coming, ignored by a totally ignorant Norwegian media. Norway is simply a bobble of ignorance!

Christopher Alexander: A City is not a Tree

Read Christopher Alexander's famous essay from 1965; A City is not a Tree.

- Christopher Alexander: A City is not a Tree part 1
- Christopher Alexander: A City is not a Tree part 2

Home Alone: Depression Highest for Those Living Alone

The number of people living on their own has doubled, over the last three decades, to one in three in the UK and US. New research published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Public Health shows that the risk of depression, measured by people taking antidepressants, is almost 80% higher for those living alone compared to people living in any kind of social or family group. ScienceDaily (Mar. 23, 2012) This is the fault of Modernism and the followers of its ideology, planners, entrepreneurs, politicians, and most of all architects! Yesterday we published an essay at the PRI-blog explaining the connections:

Geospatial Analysis and Living Urban Geometry

The Most IMPORTANT Video You'll Ever See (part 1 of 8)

Intimacy Gradient and Other Lessons from Architecture

- Intimacy Gradient and Other Lessons from Architecture

Pattern #127 - Intimacy Gradient:

Conflict:  Unless the spaces in a building are arranged in a sequence which corresponds to their degrees of privateness, the visits made by strangers, friends, guests, clients, family, will always be a little awkward.

Resolution: Lay out the spaces of a building so that they create a sequence which begins with the entrance and the most public parts of the building, then leads into the slightly more private areas, and finally to the most private domains.

I Have No Brain!

It's a pity to learn that I have no brain, as I have no friends. Earlier I thought I had no friends because I'm so ugly, but worse, it's because I lack a brain. This make me even more depressed, as to be brainless, which mean I'm a completely idiot (IQ below 70), is the worst destiny I can think about. Wonder how my wife manage to stuck with me?
The study suggests that we need to employ a set of cognitive skills to maintain a number of friends (and the keyword is 'friends' as opposed to just the total number of people we know). These skills are described by social scientists as 'mentalising' or 'mind-reading'- a capacity to understand what another person is thinking, which is crucial to our ability to handle our complex social world, including the ability to hold conversations with one another. This study, for the first time, suggests that our competency in these skills is determined by the size of key regions of our brains (in particular, the f…

To Hell with Jerusalem?

If this is the New Jerusalem, then I prefer going to Hell! Frank Gehry, is it tolerant to expect us to tolerate this? Why to create Hell on Earth when we have the knowledge to make it a Paradise?

Filippinsk bambussykkel

Gleder meg til å vise denne sykkelen til min filippinske kone!

Vil tro at jeg slipper toll hvis jeg kjøper et eksemplar neste gang jeg er på Filippinene, og deretter sykler hjem. Som kjent gikk landet i grøfta etter Marcos, kanskje skal de nå få oppleve et aldri så lite industrieventyr? De har i alle fall grunn til å være stolte over denne!
Philippine Bamboo Bikes Hit the Trail

Vandana Shiva on the Insane War against Agriculture

From Walmart to Small-Mart!

Trapped Between the Markets and the State

We see now that we the people are trapped between the markets and the state that sees its only role in governance is to “manage the economy” and administration of its population of homo economicus. Saki Bailey We define the Commons as two part; it is both about reclaiming access to fundamental resources as well as the very democratic process that governs their distribution Resources that are fundamental to human life include both natural commons like water, food, energy and the atmosphere, as well as man made commons, like technology, medicine, the internet and culture. Reclaiming the commons also requires a reshaping of the democratic process as it stands today, offering an alternative to the model that has prevailed under state and market models. Governing the commons demands a shift of power from the centralized state and free market to local communities, placing the power to satisfy the long term needs of these communities as well as those of future generations, back into the h…

Hans Rosling and the Magic Washing Machine

I got this video recommended from my auntie Tante Bitt. My objection to the video is the claim that every woman should have a washing machine, as this goes to the very core of the consumer economy, and is a contradiction to the sharing economy. In a sharing economy, in the new realm of the commons, every man and woman will have access to a washing machine within their community. Either this be a pocket neighborhood, an ecovillage or whatever.

Further, in the future washing machines should be produced locally by the commons, like it now happens more and more, even for cars.

Related: My Post-Electric Washing Machine: The Deindustrial 2020Clothesline art, laundry activism, cash savingsHånddrevet Alfa vaskemaskinThe Sharing EconomyFun with Trends

Creating a Home Graywater System

How Strong Property Rights Promoted Slavery and Discouraged Manufacturing Progress

Strong enforcement of property rights is good for economic growth, says the conventional wisdom. The link may not be as clear cut, says Suresh Naidu. He and co-investigator Jeremiah Dittmar are digging through court records and newspaper ads on runaway slaves to come up with a measure of property rights enforcement. The hypothesis is that weak enforcement of property rights in people – slavery that is – discouraged investment in slaves and encouraged investment in manufacturing and infrastructure instead. A new angle on the link between property rights and economic growth – this is new economic thinking. - Suresh Naidu  Yes, slaves were property, and the slave states had a greater interest in the protection of property than the non-slave stakes. The narrative of the economics of property is much larger than slavery. In the legacy of Adam Smith’s The Wea…lth of Nations, labor, land, and capital are properties. This meant the privatization of the commons, the taking of land from the na…

What Kinds of Parents Will We be if, God Forbid, Our Children are Forced to Share Bedrooms?

From Better! Cities & Towns, by Scott Doyon.
As it turns out, pretty good ones. Because, when they do, a number of positive things can happen. Consider:
They learn to share and cooperate. The one certainty about your child’s life ahead is that it will be filled with interpersonal challenges. There will be no shortage of difficult people and circumstances and countless days filled with situations that require collaborative decision making. Learning the skills of negotiation, compromise and sacrifice now will serve them well in the long run.

They find ways to solve problems through the help of someone other than… you. That’s right. You’re not always going to be there. When you’re not, they need to know how to leverage other people and resources to navigate problems. An easily accessible sibling is like training wheels towards self-reliance.

They’re more inclined to entertain themselves, which plays a huge role in how they develop their interpersonal skills, broaden their creativity, an…

Norway, the Second Dumbest Country in the World

It is also dangerous to judge the resilience and success of our current living arrangements solely by our level of wealth or health. We are using up the natural capital upon which our very survival depends more rapidly than it can be regenerated. It's true that one can experience the illusion of great wealth by spending all one's savings in a week. But life after that would become quite precarious as a single large expense, say, a large medical bill, could send one to bankruptcy court. Kurt Cobb Norway is the second country in the world to tap its oil resources most rapidly, next to Great Britain, and we're now having a big party. We seem to be the second dumbest country in the world.

The narrowing window for a transition to a sustainable industrial society

A Holistic-Phenomenological Approach to Architecture

In this Video Architect Nili Portugali will present her particular interpretation of the holistic- phenomenological worldview in theory and in practice, a worldview which stands in recent years at the forefront of the scientific discourse and is tightly related to Buddhist philosophy, in projects she designed and built in Israel for more than 30 years.
She will demonstrate how this approach, as well as her unique planning process stemming from it were implemented in a selected public and private projects designed and built by her in relation to the physical, cultural and social reality of the place they were planned and built on, an Israeli reality which reflects a unique interface between the orient and the west, a cultural interface she personally represents.
Nili Portugali is a lecturer at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology Architecture department, Haifa (until 2006 at the Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Architectural Department, Jerusalem), and a practicing architec…

A Solar Cell Panel on Your Roof doesn't Necessarily Make Your Home Green

It was a bonanza for manufacturers of certain kinds of high tech panels to jump in, sell solar panels, selenium and so forth at high cost. That’s arguable: maybe the high cost was OK because that’s just the first stage in the development of a new idea. But the form these panels took were very rigid pre-fabricated panels which crucified the roofs of the buildings they were put on. First of all they are incredibly ugly, a significant issue in itself, which ought to be addressed within the boundaries of sustainability but isn’t. More important, they interfere grossly with adaptation. In other words, the more high tech the panels and materials are, the less possible it is to fine tune the shape, geometry, slope, modifications and extent of any given roof that they are put in. Suddenly you’ve got the very ugly and biologically dangerous phenomenon of the part driving the whole, rather than vice versa, wherever those roofs are built. However, it became a social statement –  if you were “wi…

The Center Missing Lifelessness of Suburbia

We have seen that living structure occurs when centers unfold from the whole and form complex binding schemes in which larger centers emerge from the whole, intensify the life of whole, and are built from smaller centers that are created (demonstrated). - Christopher Alexander My intention is to work this quota into an article, according to the working title.

Sacred Economics with Charles Eisenstein: a short film

Sacred Economics (2012) - short film by Ian MacKenzie, a teaser on the ideas of Charles Eisenstein and the return of the gift.  Sacred Economics traces the history of money from ancient gift economies to modern capitalism, revealing how the money system has contributed to alienation, competition, and scarcity, destroyed community, and necessitated endless growth.  Today, these trends have reached their extreme - but in the wake of their collapse, we may find great opportunity to transition to a more connected, ecological, and sustainable way of being. - Ian MacKenzieRelated reading:
The Sharing Economy – Solidarity Networks Transforming Globalisation

The Greek Experiment

Eating Wild: Foraging Safely in a Modern World

ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2012) — In an expanding "foodie" culture, people go to great lengths to get the best ingredients, seek out the most aesthetic desserts, and buy natural and organic. Less noted, though, is the movement of "foragers": people who "eat wild" on a regular basis, supplemented by naturally growing, edible plants for which they search in their local communities, whether urban or rural.

"Foraging as part of a lifestyle is not really new," says mycologist Karen Snetselaar, Ph.D., professor and chair of biology. "Guidebooks for food foragers have been around for years, as well as publications like Mother Earth News."

Still, more and more people are taking to the woods -- and streets and parks -- to find common plants and fungi such as dandelions, chanterelles and berries. Chefs at boutique restaurants have also picked up on the trend, as the push to use local, sustainable, seasonal ingredients grows. But, as Snetselaar point…

The Everything is a Remix Theory of Creativity

Kirby Ferguson, creator of the absolutely outstanding Everything is a Remix series, explains his theory of creative inspiration, remix, and cultural commons, citing some of history’s best-loved “individual” creators and explaining how what they did was a remix, an extension and a part of the work that came before them.
2011/08 Kirby Ferguson from CreativeMornings on Vimeo.

Interview: Bill Mitchell on Modern Monetary Theory

Bill Mitchell is the Research Professor in Economics and the Director of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity at the University of Newcastle, Australia. The following is an edited transcript of the interview, conducted August 15, 2011.

Thanks for joining us, Professor Mitchell. I wanted to talk with you today about Modern Monetary Theory (MMT)—the theoretical approach you’ve been integral in developing—and its relevance to current debates over public finances. I know you’ve been quite scathing of mainstream economic discourse. For example, you wrote in your blog recently that “the economics media is dominated with financial issues – too much public debt; debt ceilings; fiscal sustainability; sovereign risk; and all the rest of the non-issues that have taken center-stage.” Could you take a moment to explain why MMT renders these things non-issues?

The most important misperception is that MMT is in some way outlining an ideal or a new regime that could be introduced. The reality is th…

Splice Slug with Building

I saw the above slug-building headlined in Norwegian media this morning, and came to remember Nikos' illustration on splicing slug + house. The result is not much better than in Niko's illustration. Why are we humans so ashamed of being humans that we have to pretend we are snails? Splicing does of course not make us more part of nature than any other stupid modernist idea. If we want to be part of nature we have to act like nature, using Alexander's 15 properties of life to generate human houses for humans.

I'm sorry to see this stupid idea of splicing has become a part of the natural building and permaculture movements. I think I have to write an article for the PRI-Institute of Australia, explaining that to integrate nature in our homes doesn't go through splicing, but through Alexander's 15 properties of life.

Se more examples of splicing: Urban Computations and Genomics (page 33-37), Framing the City Conference, University of Manchester, 8 September 2011.

The Battle for Ordinary Human Existence in Our Time

Upon the completion of his four-volume work, The Nature of Order, Christopher Alexander talks with Traditional Building about his vision for our future architecture.

Christopher Alexander interviewed by Kim A. O’Connell.

In the 1970s, architect Christopher Alexander, along with his colleagues at the Center for
Environmental Structure in Berkeley, California, published a trilogy of books—The 
Timeless Way of Building, A Pattern Language, and The Oregon Experiment—centered
on the theory that people can and should take back the design and construction of their
towns and cities. By distilling natural patterns into an understandable grammar for the
built environment, Alexander advanced the belief that, in building something, one could
“also repair the world around it, and within it, so that the larger world at that one place
becomes more coherent, and more whole.”

Three decades later, Alexander has expanded on the concept of wholeness in The Nature of Order, a four-volume opus in which he pr…

The Tragedy of the Commons

The Commons (Video)

"The Commons" was produced by Christoph Knopp from Das Programm in Germany and the talented Berlin artist Burkhard Piller. There are also versions in Spanish, German and Italian, with a French one on the way. The animated line-drawings are wonderfully understated yet expressive. In five short minutes, the neophyte can get an amusing introduction to the commons and the many areas in which it applies -- nature, culture, community and beyond. - David bollier

The Unholy Trinity of Landlords, Developers and Politicians

I don't think there exist a more destructive unity in today's world than the unholy trinity of landlords, developers and politicians. This trinity is anti-God, anti-nature and anti-human, making our villages, towns and cities to simply instruments of the Market and State. This practice is degrading human life to its lowest possible esteem, the abstract human being.

We have to fight down and kill dead this three headed monster of landlords, developers and politicians, to replace it with a human scaled P2P Urbanism, for Peer to Peer Urbanism. We must reclaim the right to the city!  So how can the commons help make our cities more liveable, ecologically friendly places?  I argue that the very framing and language of the commons helps us assert our values. These values are:   --That cities must be human-scale, pedestrian-friendly, sociable, lively and fun.  --That planning and design of cities should be open and participatory.   --That our built landscape should be adaptable to c…

The Relationship Between Form Languages and Pattern Languages

A while ago I had a discussion about the relationships between form languages and pattern languages. Until now this relationship has been somewhat blur to me, but after watching the following slide show by Nikos A. Salingaros, I think I see the connection between them quite clear.

- Form Languages and Classical Mouldings, lecture at the ICAA, New York City, 25 May 2011 

Debt: The First 5000 Years: Review

Debt: The First 5000 Years covers a vast sweep of history, anthropology, and political economy, arguing not so much for a single thesis as for a braid of complementary ideas. Among them are:
That money originated as “social currencies” used to rearrange relationships among human beings (marriage, funerals, blood money, and other social functions), and was not used to buy and sell things. Indeed, this kind of money is to be found even in societies without a significant division of labor.That the first money used for commerce took the form of credit: tallies of transactions and loans denominated in a common unit of account and periodically settled by delivery of various commodities.That the conflation of these two different kinds of money led to debt peonage, slavery, the demotion of women's status, and other iniquities that one might expect to happen when human relationships are mediated by the same currency as commercial transactions.That much of the psychology and morality around …

Er avkristning i toleransens navn usunt?

Nedenfor gjengir jeg et meget klartenkt innlegg på, av Benthe Haukås:

En engelsk muslim mener at det som har hjulpet henne til å bli en god muslim, er at landet hennes, England, har hatt en kristen identitet. Hun tror at vi kan lære å leve sammen i ekte toleranse kun dersom vi ikke, i toleransens navn, vanner ut landets hovedreligion.

En utvannet historisk hjemmehørende religion i et land, ofret på det sekulære alter derimot, gir i følge den kvinnelige muslimen, Sayeeda Warsi, usikker identitet fordi man i de forskjellige religøse grupperinger, både innen hovedreligionen og innen de andre religioner som har etablert seg i et land, trakker rundt i et miljø hvor man ikke kan være seg selv (min tolkning av henne):

"What truly enabled me to learn about my faith and to practice it was that my country – the bed over which the river of my faith flowed – had a strong Christian identity. This defined, shaped and gave me confidence in my own faith which, combined with the conf…

The Architecture Student that LOVE Arches

In Norway we have something so rare as an architecture student that love arches. Well, I guess most architecture students loved arches when they were children and even when they started their education. The problem is the finished indoctrinated architect, into who the modernist meme has been implanted. Once this meme is encapsulated the student has become a puppet of the dark force behind today's architectural establishment, a lackey with nothing than the pseudo-will of the cult.

But there are a few exceptions, remarkable students with a strong will, resisting the indoctrination. Kristian Hoff-Andersen is definitely one of these. Therefor, read his great new post on ARCHES!

Related: Arcade FireWhy Monotonous Repetition is Unsatisfying

Interview with Nikos A. Salingaros at Manner of Man Magazine

A fantastic sad interview with a glimpse of hope, with one of our times greatest architectural theorists, professor  Nikos A. Salingaros. PLEASE; PLEASE; PLEASE read it, and wake up your family and friends from the massively architectural indoctrination by the modernists cult. LET'S TAKE OUR WORLD BACK!!!!

- M/M Interview with Dr. Nikos Salingaros

Some examples of living architecture from the world as we left, a world full of nature, devoid of the modernists ego and wow!-effect:

The Greatest Speech Ever Made

The God of Christopher Alexander

Let everything you make become as if it were a gift to God (formulated by me) - Christopher Alexander  A world in which there is something to believe in – not a religious thing – but a believable vision of God as the unity behind all things which guides us and impels us to act in certain ways. God not conceived of as a construct of any organized religion, but as a fact of nature and its wholeness. - Christopher Alexander In early times the city itself was intended as an image of the universe – its form guarantee of the connection between the heavens and the earth, a picture of a whole and coherent way of life. - Christopher Alexander

The end of the Machine that Produces Fear?

There is very good reason to believe that, in a generation or so, capitalism itself will no longer exist – most obviously, as ecologists keep reminding us, because it’s impossible to maintain an engine of perpetual growth forever on a finite planet, and the current form of capitalism doesn’t seem to be capable of generating the kind of vast technological breakthroughs and mobilizations that would be required for us to start finding and colonizing any other planets. Yet faced with the prospect of capitalism actually ending, the most common reaction – even from those who call themselves “progressives” – is simply fear. We cling to what exists because we can no longer imagine an alternative that wouldn’t be even worse.  How did we get here? My own suspicion is that we are looking at the final effects of the militarization of American capitalism itself. In fact, it could well be said that the last 30 years have seen the construction of a vast bureaucratic apparatus for the creation and m…