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Showing posts from July, 2012

(There ain’t no) green jobs

It is no wonder either that everybody’s political programs focus on how to create jobs. The communists want to create jobs by making everyone a civil servant of sort. The socialists want to create jobs by subsidizing them, but they presently can’t because they don’t have the money. The moderate right wants to give more money to those who already have a lot of it in the hope that it will somehow trickle down, not that it matters very much if it doesn’t. The National Front wants to hunker down behind barbed wires, which should somehow create jobs, Muslim people need not apply.

As for the Greens, they want to create green jobs, a lot of them, preferably through generous state subsidies. Make no mistake, those green jobs does not involve growing green things. The group the Greens represent, namely the enlightened upper middle class, wants reasonably well paid and prestigious jobs, and herding sheep in central Brittany definitely doesn’t qualify. - Damien PerrotinRead the whole article he…

Michael Huesemann on the Dangers of Technological Optimism


“Are you optimistic about technology? Let’s talk about why. Could the majority of our proposed technological solutions be doing little more than kicking the can down the road towards ecological collapse? Politicians and economists speak of the ability for technological innovation to boost and grow economies, yet where does their techno optimism come from? Do technologies hold intrinsic values or are they neutral tools that are misused by a species with the wrong intentions?

In Extraenvironmentalist #37 we discuss technological optimism with Dr. Michael Huesemann. Michael explains his fifteen year study into environmental science and philosophies of technology as outlined in his recent book Techno-Fix, co-written with his wife Joyce Huesemann. Is there an inherent reason that the United States is the most technologically optimistic culture in the world? We ask if he has advice for students who are thinking about careers in advanced science and about the val…

Duncan Davidson: Why do we Hate Seeing Photos of Ourselves?

Another Lonely House

Architecture is Viewed as Irrelevant

It is reasonable to conclude that architecture is viewed as irrelevant. A society in which people routinely do something different from that which creates life or beauty, cannot be said to care much about life or beauty. - Christopher Alexander, The Luminous Ground, page 27

Beautiful 1800 - Century Tourist Images from Norway

At my latest article in they illustrated it with a slideshow of 1800-century tourist images from Norway, please follow this link to see the show.

The images were all from Library of Congress, USA. Surely Norway was a beautiful country!

The sad thing is that this beauty doesn't exist anymore, only fractions of it.

Vårt entropiske samfunn

Mycket förenklat kan man säga att det finns två motsatta rörelser i världen. En mörk och en ljus. En som ödelägger och en som bygger upp. Den som förstör kallar jag här i boken för entropisk. Begreppet entropi kommer från fysiken, där det betecknar den förlust av energi som sker i stängda system till följd av varje form av rörelse. Överordnat skapar entropin en utvecklingsriktning i universum som med tiden kommer att utjämna alla skillnader till en jämn grå massa. De fysiska lagarna för termodynamik säger oss vidare att ju mer energi och därmed materia som omsätts, desto kraftigare är den samlade entropiska verkningen. Både metaforiskt och i praktiken utgör den industriella animaliska massproduktionen således ett våldsamt entropiskt kraftfält. Med centrum i djurens lidanden sprider den ut sig i världen som en självförstärkande spiral av förstörelse och avstympad känsloskuld. Det underminerar de ekologiska systemen och för oss längre och längre ut i standardiseringens och monotonins ö…

Raj Patel on Changing the Global Food System

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License and originally appeared at

By David Bollier

Raj Patel has been tracking the pathologies of the global food system for many years. An activist and academic who teaches at the UC Berkeley Center for African Studies, Patel has just published a second, updated edition of his 2008 book, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System.

The problem with the food system is not that we don't produce enough calories to eradicate hunger, Patel notes. It's that the food system has its own priorities of institutional consolidation and profit, which means that more than 1 billion people in the world are malnourished and 2 billion are overweight – which is worse than when the first edition of Patel's book came out.

Patel has also been a serious student of the commons. His 2010 book, The Value of Nothing: How to Reshape the Market Society and Redefine Democracy, is a lucid overv…

Infolenker til Filippinene

Her er noen fine infolenker for Filippinene:

Camouflaged Unnature

The same starchitect  that made the above building is now praised for making Norway's nicest mountain cabin, read the article here
This is of course camouflaged unnature using natural wood and stones. If the same cabin was made in concrete and steel most people would have revealed the trick.
Read my discussion on unnature and culture here.

Power to Which People?

Published Jul 12 2012 by Gaian Economics

by Molly Scott Cato
After years of claiming that resources were plentiful and that human ingenuity would find a way to replace those that were becoming exhausted, the capitalist elites have changed their tune. The McKinsey report Resource Revolution, which has already been discussed on this blog, was a clue to the shift in focus away from finance and towards resources, and today's ReSource conference in Oxford is part of the trend. The rich and powerful are lining up to ensure that they protect the unfair share of the earth's resources that they enjoy. Now that the finance scam has fallen apart they are adopting more direct strategies.

The clue is really in the doublethink of the conference title: 'Food Energy Water (for all)', just as the clue to the failure of Rio was in the deceptive title 'The future we want' rather than 'The future we want you to have'. The breathless publicity tells us that 'great thinker…

Permaculture = Right-Wing Survivalism to Hardcore Socialists

My comment toDavid Harvey on the Fetishism of the Local and Horizontal:

"So, the solutions are going to have to be hierarchical to some extent and avoid the local fetishism I have been railing against before, whether it is called localism, local democracy or resilient communities (which looks often like right-wing survivalism to me)."

What this guy means is that permaculture = right-wing survivalism. I've come to learn lately that most classical socialists look upon permaculture this way.

Ironically I'm sure this guy will put A Pattern Language in the same category, in spite of its hierarchical structure. The hierarchy should be in the language, which is made up from the human hand of the people.

This guy also means, like Ross Wolf, that culture = unnature. Of course he then hates resilient communities, as in nature every part is resilient by itself, made up from a multitude of connections being part of a larger whole.

Capitalists and socialists are the same thing,…

Islamismen, en konsekvens av liberalismen

Min kommentar til artikkel hos

Islamismen er et svar på liberalismen. Liberalismen har verdensherredømme i dag, og har i likhet med islamismen utviklet seg til en tyrannisk ideologi av tvungen "frihet" hvor ekspertene utgjør det moderne "presteskapet".

Selv har jeg akkurat plassert "The Tyranny of Liberalism" av James Kalb på nattbordhylla:

Vi lever under en illusjon av frihet!


This is the best essay I've read by Monbiot so far. Original article available here.
Enclosure and dispossession have driven us, like John Clare, all a little mad.

by George Monbiot: journalist, author, academic and environmental and political activist, United Kingdom.

The land around Helpston, just to the north of Peterborough in Northamptonshire, now ranks among the most dismal and regularised tracts of countryside in Europe. But when the poet John Clare was born this coming Friday in 1793, it swarmed with life. Clare describes species whose presence there is almost unimaginable today. Corncrakes hid among the crops(1), ravens nested in a giant oak(2), nightjars circled the heath(3), the meadows sparkled with glow worms(4). Wrynecks still bred in old woodpecker holes(5). In the woods and brakes the last wildcats clung on(6).
The land was densely peopled. While life was hard and spare, it was also, he records, joyful and thrilling. The meadows resounded with children pranking and …

Two Growing Forces that are the Drivers of the Big Switch are the Commons and Occupy Movements

Two growing forces that are the drivers of the Big Switch are the Commons and Occupy movements. In this issue we celebrate their beautiful relationship. The concept of the Commons and the horizontal structure of the Occupy movement are two aspects of the same idea: as human beings, we share common resources (this planet, its air, water, soil and genetic diversity; our heritage of cultural creations—art, technology, ideas), and we share a common future. Put another way, focusing on the Commons is a way of articulating what the Occupy movement actually stands for: an open, horizontal, equitable, sharing of our social, economic, and ecological resources. -

A Nice Introduction to Alexander's Books and Theories

A very nice introduction to Alexander's books and theories from Project for Public Spaces (PPS):

Christopher Alexander (follow the link)

From the introduction:

Through these books and the website, Alexander and his colleagues at the Center for Environmental Structure have built a movement which, in their words, “lays the basis for an entirely new approach to architecture, building and planning, which will replace existing ideas and practices entirely.”

At the core of this movement is the idea that people should design houses, streets, and communities for themselves. This idea may imply a radical transformation of the architectural profession, but it emerges quite simply from the observation that most of the beautiful places of the world were not made by architects but by the people. In 2002-2003 Alexander has pursued his interest in the community development through two projects in particular: the revitalization (redevelopment) of downtown Duncanville, Texas, an…

It's the 'Wanting' that Drives our Behavior, Not the 'Having'

Also, when I talk about expectations I mean in a brain/behavior sense. Our society - Europe and US and increasingly China and elsewhere - is habituated to high stimulation and high consumption. The key point I've learned from studying neuroscience and evolutionary biology is that it's the 'wanting' that drives our behavior, not the 'having'. And in our fast paced, gadget saturated world, our neural high water marks keep getting reset higher and higher. Every day we wake up expecting/needing a certain amount of dopamine/neural stimulation - and our culture has set us up to get these brain chemicals by consuming and competing for status using resource intensive ways. On a world with finite resources this is a problem as everyday people who already have everything they need, strive to get 'more'. This 'more' ends up being taken from other people, other species, and other generations. We have to find ways to get our evolutionary derived brain '…

Open Source Everything - Robert Steele

Robert Steele author of the book The Open-Source Everything Manifesto: Transparency, Truth, and Trust joins us in an integrity inspired talk on his new book. "In the United States, where every form of organization from government to banks to labor unions has betrayed the public trust—is integrity. Also lacking is public intelligence in the sense of decision-support: knowing what one needs to know in order to make honest decisions for the good of all, rather than corrupt decisions for the good of the few.

The Open-Source Everything Manifesto is a distillation of author, strategist, analyst, and reformer Robert David Steele life's work: the transition from top-down secret command and control to a world of bottom-up, consensual, collective decision-making as a means to solve the major crises facing our world today. The book is intended to be a catalyst for citizen dialog and deliberation, and for inspiring the continued evolution of a nation in which all citizens realize our sh…

CRESC Annual Conference, Sept 2011, Manchester UK - Nikos Salingaros