Monday, December 30, 2013

A Publication by David Holmgren: Crash on Demand

Download pdf here.

Strå i motlys


Klikk i bildene for en forstørrelse

Rimfrosset kulturlandskap

Klikk i bildene for en forstørrelse

Barmarkstur i romjula

Klikk i bildet for en forstørrelse


Klikk i bildet for en forstørrelse

Vinduslamper uten blending

(Se også artikkelen Lysvett i vintermørket)

I mange tilfeller vil det være nok å velge en mørkere, noe større skjerm, slik at kontrastene minsker. Rødt er en mildere kontrastfarge mot en mørk bakgrunn.

Eksempler på blendingsfrie vinduslampetter:

Vinduslampe helt uten blending.
Tradition Flower Pot VP3
Fås i mange farger, trolig er rødt den mest behagelige fargen i vintermørket.

"Flowerpot bordlampe VP3 fra &Tradition, design Verner Panton. Lampeserien Flower pot hører til Verner Pantons mest velkjente kreasjoner og har oppnådd kultstatus for lenge siden. Serien ble utviklet allerede på sluttet av 1960-tallet og med sine elegante linjer og organiske geometri har Flowerpot gjort ett inntrykk i designverden. Flowerpot bordlampe VP3 er produsert i lakkert stål med transparent ledning i PVC og gir et behagelig blendingsfritt lys. Flowerpot finnes også som taklampe."

Tom Dixon Pipe

Eclisse Bordlampe Hvit - Artemide

Romantisk DIY Led Night Lamp


7 Things Everyone Knows about Energy that Just ain't So (2013 Edition)

Mark Twain once said, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." And, there are many, many things that the public and policymakers know for sure about energy that just ain't so.

That list is very long indeed and getting longer as the fossil fuel industry (which has little interest in intellectual honesty) continues its skillful manipulation of a gullible and sometimes careless media.

Pinocchio in a parade

Below I've listed seven whoppers that it would be charitable to call misleading. Longtime readers will recognize that I've addressed them before in various pieces. But I thought that it would be useful to review the worst of the worst of 2013 as the year ends.

Here are seven things everyone knows about energy that just ain't so:

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Shoe City: Cheap People, Cheap Nature

The Chinese firm Huajian, which makes shoes for Tommy Hilfiger, Guess, Naturalizer, Clarkes and other western brands, is building a ‘shoe city’ in Ethiopia.

This global hub for the shoe and accessory industry – ‘a one-stop shop for manufacturers similar to us’ – will house up to 200,000 guest workers on wages that, at US$35 a month, are ten times lower than those in China. Seven-year tax breaks, regulatory exemptions, cheap land, and ‘cost-sharing schemes for foreign experts’ are among additional attractions to global firms. Continue reading...

PatternDynamics: Following The Way Nature Organizes Itself to Deal with Complexity

by David MacLeod, originally published by Integral Permaculture

The natural world is staggeringly complex, and yet amazingly elegant in how it manages the multitude of interconnected parts into organized, unified wholes that thrive. What is the secret for harnessing this elegance for use in human systems? Tim Winton found that observation of the most common patterns found in the natural world led to the development of high level principles which can then be used to address the most complex challenges that human systems face.

After learning some of the common patterns found in all natural systems, we can then begin to recognize these patterns in human systems, and learn how to balance the ones that are skewed, and to integrate in the ones might add a greater level of enduring health. We can “make a deeper difference by changing the system!”
change the system
PatternDynamics is a systems thinking tool for creating systems level change that Winton has been developing over 20 years as he’s worked in diverse fields, including: environmental services contractor, organic farmer, sustainability educator, designer, project manager, consultant, executive leadership, and corporate governance.

What is unique about PatternDynamics is that it combines the patterns of nature with the power of language, to produce a sustainability pattern language.

In a recent paper by Barrett Brown, referring to a study he had done in 2012 of top performing organizational leaders, he observed that these top leaders “use three powerful thinking tools to design their initiatives and guide execution. They are (a) Integral theory, (b) Complexity theory, and (c) Systems theory. These models help them to step back from the project, get up on to the balcony, and take a broad view of the whole situation. They use these tools to make sense of complex, rapidly changing situations and navigate through them securely.”

And famed Permaculture teacher Toby Hemenway (author of Gaia’s Garden) recently posted on his blog the following recommendation: “To enrich our ability to use recipes and put them into context, without engaging in a full-blown design analysis from scratch, we can use pattern languages. The term was coined by architect Christopher Alexander to mean a structured grammar of good design examples and practices in a given field—architecture, software design, urban planning, and so forth— that allow people with only modest training to solve complex problems in design. … Like recipes, pattern languages are plug-and-play rather than original designs, but they allow plenty of improvisation and flexibility in implementation, and can result in rich, detailed solutions that fit. A handbook of pattern languages for the basic human needs and societal functions, structured along permaculture principles, would be a worthy project for a generation of designers.”[my emphasis]

Snow Crystals (Snøkrystaller)

Foto: Alexey Kljatov @ChaoticMind75/Flickr

Thursday, December 26, 2013

How Communitarian Culture Changes the World: the example of Co-Housing

In Norway we have the largest immigration numbers of Europe, so industry and the state tell we need to build thousands of new dwellings. At the same time we have the largest per person square metres of dwelling space in the world. The answer is therefore not more houses, but co-housing.

Excerpted from Allen Butcher:

“Developing a process for creating intentional community, whether from no pre-existing organization or by transforming an existing religious or any social organization, is the process called in this writing, “intentioneering.” People simply come up with ideas on how they would like to live, often based upon existing successful communitarian movements, then make agreements on processes that support and perpetuate their desired lifestyle.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013


Klikk i bildet for en forstørrelse.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

7 Environmental Problems That Are Worse Than We Thought

With as much attention as the environment has been getting lately, you’d think that we’d be further along in our fight to preserve the world’s species, resources and the beautiful diversity of nature. Unfortunately, things aren’t nearly that rosy. In fact, many of the environmental problems that have received the most public attention are even worse than we thought – from destruction in the rain forest to melting glaciers in the Arctic. We’ve got a lot of work to do.
7 Environmental Problems That Are Worse Than We Thought – The Environmental eZine

Winner of the ‘Co-operative Alternatives to Capitalism’ essay prize

Read the prize winning essay by Nic Wistreich:

Open Source Capitalism (pdf)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Hva du som hageeier kan gjøre for å gynne sommerfugler

Vanlige hageeiere kan også bidra, gjennom å dyrke sommerfuglvennlige planter som timian, bergmynte og kardeborrearter.
- Sommerfuglene trenger flere enger

Foto: Michael H. Lemmer

Bygg revet og ødelagt ved Agatunet

Foto: Egil Torheim / NRK

25 bygg er revet og flere degradert ved Agatunet i Ullensvang. Dette er forferdelig, da Agatunet representerer en av de få ikke-suburbane strukturer som er tilbake i Norge, og er et forbilde for framtidige bomønstre i et kommende inngruppesamfunn.

Les hele saken hos NRK her: 

Friday, December 20, 2013

Rules First

In principle, it is best to make the rules before taking the field, before startingthe meeting. When we decide how we are going to make decisions before we find ourselvesin the tension of making them, it lowers our chances of conflict. It is much easierto establish proposal-development steps and decision criteria in the hypotheticalrather then when actually confronted with a real proposal and with real personalities.

"We'll figure out the rules as we go," rarely turns out fair and often leads to conflict and resentment.

Establishing rules of engagement beforehand lets everyone know what to expect, giveseveryone equal opportunity to participate, and increases chances of creative, peacefuldecisions.

Practical Tip: Before you get to the hard decisions, first establish who gets tovote and who does not, how proposals get developed and discussed, and norms of behavior for meetings. For many groups, such rules are embodied in bylaws and meetingground rules. Imagine the tough situations before they arrive and decide in advancehow they will be handled.

Establishing and enforcing rules does not limit creativity, but rather encouragesit. Knowing what to expect gives us courage to fully participate. Craig Freshley

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Can Bytes Save the Future? The Money Value Delusion

King Midas got his highest wish granted: All he touched turned to gold. Here seen with his golden daughter . He starved to death shortly after.

On behalf of us all, investors make the same mistake as King Midas did. Human behavioural ecology knows why this paradox exists. Would it help if everybody knew?

Mate choice and sexual selection is the ultimate evolutionary force that has shaped the human mind. Cognitive mechanisms like consciousness, language ability and emotions are ultimate evolved strategies in the battle over mates. Status, showing off, beauty and the quest for value symbols are universal mate preferences. They are expressed in some form or another in all cultures, through all times.
Fortunately, attractive mate strategies also include the urge to display generosity and cooperation. Game theory reveals these human universals, and under which circumstances they appear and thrive. Human evolutionary past consisted of 'ingroups' in which all members knew each other. These ingroups favoured sexual selection through a well-known behavioral mechanism called the Handicap Principle. The peacock’s tail is only the tip of an iceberg compared to the human results of this attractivity selection: "Look at me, I can be generous and share my wealth, I can show-off and bear burdens of all kinds, and still be top among peers". In cities, extreme examples are observed.

"I’ll die before I’m 25, and when I die I will have lived the way  I wanted to. " Sid Vicious (1957–1979), Sex Pistols

The universal locations of cognitive mechanisms are now read with brain scanning techniques. Emotions are evolved as positive or negative drivers - rewards or punishments - to seek or respectively avoid, certain situations and actions. The environment we live in merely push the buttons. No button – no reaction: How did you learn the taste of sugar? The feeling of pain? The rewarding sensation of money, the locations seen in this picture? What about the urge to be visible? The need to be right in discussions…? The buttons are inherited from our ancestors, because those who had them, won. The others didn’t.

A model of the ultimate representative democracy, adjusted for Norway. Larger nations will need one more level of ingroups.

Cultures are in this way manifestations of the roots of sexual selection. This pattern is overwhelmingly clear, once seen. Unfortunately, the global community is now among 'outgroups', and the cooperation and generosity found among friends and small groups meet with the evolved human strategies of competition with "the unknown, the outsiders"; potentially uncertain competitors, out to seek the same resources, habitats and mates as ourselves. The global capitalism is a result of such outgroup strategies. From this, several important insights and suggestions to solutions emerge. Here are two examples to show the range of implications:

1. The Norwegian petroleum policy is following the logic of profit: Empty the reservoirs and convert it into value symbols as fast as possible: "Norway’s petroleum fund is now so big that we can subsist on it forever" (Torgeir Micaelsen, Chairman of the finance committee of the Norwegian parliament, speaking on national TV). Will it be a choice between the last meal on earth, and a data server containing 350 billion Euro…

2. Fish farming is using more resources than it produces. Because of the profit, this unsustainable industry is looked upon as successful. "The money feeling" is short-sighted, and evolved during a time of plenty where there was no need for planning for centuries.
Is it possible to design a democratic, solidary and sustainable society, stabilised by human ingroup drivers?
In our book The biological human being – individuals and societies in the light of evolution (preliminary only in Norwegian) we suggest a model for a national and global ultimate democratic economy, which can handle and execute ownership on five levels (see figure above). It is both about curbing the bad sides and letting the good sides thrive. There are several prerequisites in order to stabilise such an organisation, of which three are most important:

1. A political solution to sustainability must include democratic control over production and economy.

2. Production must be for the purpose of sustainability, not profit.

3. Civil salaries must include all and be decided democratically.

This can be achieved through ingroup control over the unwanted, selfish strategies of our human mind: When we are observed, among our closest, we hide egoism and are cooperative and generous. No-one is openly selfish when being watched. This democracy, once established, will be extremely stable. Justice and fairness will be decided through open democratic decisions, by elected peers, on each level. Freeriders are controlled within the groups. Surely, we CAN decide to keep on overexploitating, and send our children into an uncertain future, but we will at least decide it ourselves. For example, in the US, only a few extremely rich persons may win elections.

A safer future can be planned. Profit and economic growth can be replaced by sustainable production: Reusable, repairable and recyclable products. Research and efforts can be focused to meet these goals, without the need for capital growth and profit. Solidarity will be forced upon decision making, through the evolved ingroup strategies. We suggest an interdisciplinary research group on concrete solutions like this. Please contact us if you find this interesting.

Terje Bongard, Norwegian Institute for Nature Research phone +47 986 44 786
Editorial Notes: All of the materials on the original website are in Norwegian. -KS

Recommended at Syndax Vuzz.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

COMING HOME: E.F. Schumacher & the Reinvention of the Local Economy

This is one of the best documentaries about Community Supported Agriculture, Community Land Trusts and Community Currencies!

“COMING HOME: E.F. Schumacher and the Reinvention of the Local Economy, is a new 37 minute film that tells the story of a series of revolutionary innovations by the community of Great Barrington, MA to address, at the local level, some of the economic challenges of our nation’s current hard times.

In 1973, British economist E.F. Schumacher wrote “Small is Beautiful – Economics as if People Mattered”, – a book that offered a vision of an economy driven by a desire for harmony, not greed; a local economy based on community and ecological values, not global financial derivatives. In the 1970s, “Small is Beautiful” helped launch a back-to-the-land movement that is the ancestor to the Local Food Revolution of today.

For the last three decades, the E.F. Schumacher Society has transformed Schumacher’s ideas into a series of practical innovations – reinventing much of the local economy of Great Barrington, Massachusetts and southern Berkshire County in the process.

Chris Bedford’s new 37 minutes film, COMING HOME: E.F. Schumacher and the Reinvention of the Local Economy tells the story of the Society’s remarkable work that includes founding of the nation’s first CSA, economic development based on Community Land Trusts, and the creation of the nation’s most successful local currency – BerkShares.

“COMING HOME is a timely and profound documentary about an alternative kind of economy, the opposite of the ‘free-market’ capitalism that has led us into our current morass,” writes Professor Albert Nigrin, Director of the New Jersey International Film Festival.

“This film offers anyone thinking about relocalization of their community’s economy an inspirational model and a practical guide to that change,” said Denise O’Brien, candidate for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture. “Schumacher’s vision has never been more relevant.”

COMING HOME is available on DVD by contacting us at Chris Bedford has made over 100 films, winning three dozen awards for Creative Excellence in the process. His films “What Will We Eat?” and “The Organic Opportunity” are widely used to promote the Local Food Revolution."

Very Inspirational Podcast with Michel Bauwens. A Must Listen!

Ecuador, Open Knowledge, and ‘Buen Vivir’

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Speed? What Speed? Prisoners of Speed, by Ivan Illich (Part 3 of 3)

Ivan Illich
First let me thank the organisers of this conference for challenging us to prepare an intervention. My circle of friends in Bremen owe it to your programme that we have examined a neglected subject, the historicity of speed. Let me take you right to the core of the issue by expressing my thanks in old-fashioned English: Michiel, ‘God speed thee and thy close!’ Milton’s words would fit the occasion well. ‘To speed’ then meant ‘to prosper’ and not ‘to go fast’.

We come here as a trio to give you a sense of the conversation you have provoked among us. Like myself, Matthias Rieger the musicologist, and Sebastian Trapp the limnologist, owe you a debt. We began to focus — each in his domain — on speed as an age-specific phenomenon. The three of us, a historian, a musicologist and a biologist, are by no means alone. Just as speed played no role in the performance of music, falconry and fishery, so commerce, medicine, and architecture, until the seventeenth century, thrived without reference to it. While preparing for this event, each of us became aware of distortions people tend to project on past epochs when they look back with the prejudice that the idea of speed was relevant for Aristotle, Archimedes or Albert the Great.

From the programme of the conference, and from the tone of those lectures I have heard so far, it is obvious that I am addressing people imprisoned in the age of speed. Common sense tells them that some idea of ‘space over time’ and, more generally, ‘process correlated with time’, is part and parcel of all cultures. The task incumbent on the three of us, then, is that of shaking your common sense. We know that the idea of speed is assuredly historical. Starting with the late Middle Ages, concern with speed emerged and, step by step, decisively contributed to the era of machines and motors. By 1996, the historical Epoch of Speed lies behind us. During that time, homo technologicus had been harried by the experience of speed: from home to factory, through schools and jobs, from work to vacation, forever suffering time-scarcity on a tight schedule run by the clock. Rush shaped the mood. Continue reading...

High Speed Trains are Killing the European Railway Network

by Kris De Decker, originally published by Low-tech Magazine
High speed rail is marketed as a sustainable alternative to air traffic. According to the International Union of Railways, the high speed train "plays a key role in a stage of sustainable development and combating climate change". As a regular long-distance train traveler in Europe, I have to say that the opposite is true. High speed rail is destroying the most valuable alternative to the airplane; the "low speed" rail network that has been in service for decades.

The introduction of a high speed train connection invariably accompanies the elimination of a slightly slower, but much more affordable, alternative route, forcing passengers to use the new and more expensive product, or abandon the train altogether. As a result, business people switch from full-service planes to high speed trains, while the majority of Europeans are pushed into cars, coaches and low-cost airplanes. Continue reading...

We are the Giraffes of Cooperation

Darwin knew better than today’s “Darwinians” that though we evolved like other species, we’re different. We are the giraffes of cooperation, having uniquely extended features for teamwork. Darwin’s moral sense, as Jefferson said, was “as much a part of a man as his arm or leg.” Ignoring our innate social-rule-processors is unnaturally selective. Jag Bhalla
We are the giraffes of cooperation. Photo: An-d

Related reating:

Monday, December 16, 2013

Wat Arun Temple, Bangkok, Thailand (Scaling Hierarchy)

Wat Arun Temple, Bangkok, Thailand. Photo: Diego Delso

Husqvarna kjøleskap en fiasko (Krav for nytt kjøleskap)

Husqvarna kjøleskap har en stylet finish, men er under fasaden like falskt og mislykket som Pamela Anderson

Min bror har alltid hevdet at for å være miljøbevisst må man kjøpe det dyreste og beste, da dette gir varige produkter slik at man skåner miljøet. Mitt Husqvarna kjøleskap var et såkalt dyrt skap med helautomatisk avising og det hele. I dag forstår jeg at avisingssystemet aldri har fungert, det er derfor det har duret og gått uavbrutt dag og natt siden det var nytt. Der vi bodde før var ikke dette noe problem, da kjøkkenet var for seg selv. I dag har vi en såkalt åpen kjøkkenløsning, en uting, noe jeg vil komme tilbake til i en seinere post.

Det siste året har jeg virkelig fått merke denne duringen, da jeg har sovet på rommet under kjøleskapet, noe som nærmest kan sammenlignes med å ha et pressluftsbor i hodet. Naturligvis, i profittens navn har Block Watne droppet å legge inn lydabsorbenter i etasjeskillene, slik at vibreringen fra kjøleskapet har avstedkommet adskillig verre støynivå i underetasjen enn i rommet der det er plassert.

Block Watne har heller ikke avsatt tilstrekkelig plass mellom vindu/kjøkkenbenk og vegg, slik at jeg må dra fram kjøleskapet for å få fram skuffer og hyller for rengjøring etc. Dette gjør det også vanskelig å bygge inn kjøleskapet.

Uansett, i går prøvde jeg å åpne inn mot vifta i frysedelen, da denne igjen hadde sluttet å gå. Det viste seg at nesten hele fryseelementet, vifta, rør etc. var innkapslet av tykk is, dette skal liksom være et selvavisende kjøleskap! Isen var så massiv at jeg måtte legge hårføneren over fryseelementet.

Hvor klønete kjøleskapet er laget viste seg i all sin gru når jeg skulle sette delene på plass igjen, dette gikk knapt og hovedskuff og frontdeksel i frysedelen ble det ikke plass til hvis man skal lukke døra, noe som jo er en fordel. Under arbeidet røk også føleren for døra sund, da denne var av simpel plastikk. Husqvarna kjøleskap er definitivt ikke laget for å repareres og vedlikeholdes, kun for å kasseres. Men dette er jo hemmeligheten med hele det kapitalistiske systemet.

Så nå er det ut igjen på kjøleskapjakt. Jeg hater å kjøpe ting, så dette var det siste jeg ønsket i julestria. Det viktigste er å sette opp ei skikkelig kravliste, håper denne også kan være til hjelp for lesere av bloggen. (I går hadde jeg 326 sidevisninger, forrige måned 5 315 sidevisninger).

Krav for nytt kjøleskap:

  1. Man må kunne få ut hyller og skuffer for rengjøring og tilpasning uten å måtte dra fram kjøleskapet, dette med en lysåpning på 66 cm. (Egentlig 68 cm, men ønsker å "kle inn" kjøleskapet med heltreplater på sidene. Døra må gå ordentlig opp.
  2. Det bør ha et støynivå på maksimalt 34 dB, helst lavere. Må ikke gå hele tida, kun i korte perioder avbrutt av lange perioder med stillhet. Gjelder også vifta.
  3. Det må ikke avgi noen form for vibrasjoner til gulvet, som kan spre seg til soverom i underetasjen. F.eks. at kompressor er montert på støtabsorbenter, gjerne noe opp fra gulvet, gjerne også at kjøleskapet har støtabsorbenter mot gulv.
  4. Det må være selvavisende.
  5. Det må finnes et skikkelig serviceverksted i nærområdet.
  6. Det bør være et håndtak under kjøleskapet slik at det blir enkelt å dra fram.
  7. Slagretning på døra må kunne endres. (Slår mot venstre i mitt kjøkken).
  8. Må ha frysedel.
  9. Evt. hevet fra gulv for rengjøring, evt. innebygd front.
  10. Skal det ikke bygges inn bør det ha svarte sider og metall front.
  11. Gjerne en "brekkløsning" på døra slik at det blir lettere å åpne når døra suger seg inntil.
  12. Ikke Husqvarna.
  13. Enkelt innstillingspanel for temperatur etc.
  14. Enkelt å reparere.
  15. Ikke for tungt. (Tungt å transportere, flytte, og tyngden overfører trolig i sterkere grad evt. vibrasjoner til gulvet).


by Nikos A. Salingaros & Kenneth G. Masden II

Download pdf directly here

Architectural theory as currently taught in modern universities throughout the world no longer provides a plausible basis for the discipline and practice of architecture. Students studying within this model are left to their own inventions if they hope to gain an architectural degree. Forced to formulate a body of work constrained by the paradigm of contemporary design, students learn to copy fashionable images without understanding their geometry; or simply invent forms that look as if they possess a contemporary sense of architecture. By their very nature, such forms are irrelevant to human needs and sensibilities. Contrary to what students are led to believe, this practice does not provide a broader base for creativity, but instead effectively restricts choices to a very narrow design vocabulary. Most architectural institutions continue to propagate a curricular model that has sustained their particular ideals and ideologies for decades. While many innovative didactic materials and ideas for revising the architectural curriculum are available today, they are often overlooked or ignored. If implemented, these new ideas could drastically improve the educational model, allowing students the world over to participate in a learning experience specific to their immediate and local context. By re-situating the education of an architect in more practical and contextual terms, we emphasize components of building design that relate directly to human existence, human perception, and the human values and beliefs that have for millennia served to establish culture and identity. A new model of learning is developed here for students wanting to make real architecture, and for educators and practitioners that seek the same. The following proposal is predicated on the knowledge of human interaction with the physical world and the necessity of corporeal engagement with the built environment. Furthermore, our model re-institutes values in the practice and education of architects, values that once sprang forth naturally from local cultures and traditions throughout the world, but which have in recent decades been usurped by the influence of global capital.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Physical Basis for Religious Awe

After a lecture of mine, I once heard an architecture student say, "I still don't see why all this has been discussed. Isn't it enough to understand the nature of living structure thoroughly, and try and make life in our buildings? Why do you insist so strongly on the fact that we also need to change our picture of the universe? I have a picture of the universe which is quite flexible enough to contain the idea of living structure".

I did not find myself in agreement with this comment. In my mind, what is most important about the picture painted in these four books is that indeed, our present picture of the universe can not contain the idea of living structure, because it contains no natural way of including the idea of value in the idea of space. What I have constructed, on the other hand, has the idea of value in an a natural way – first in the relevant intensity of different elementary centers as part of the definition of wholeness, and then with more and more depth, as centers are built from living centers, to give structure of real, deep, significant value by essential the same idea. In this picture, value resides in the structure and is part of the structure. Value is written in the same language as the rest of the structure of space-time, and the life of the centers arises from the fabric and structure of space itself.

In this conception, value is not something merely grafted onto space, as a passenger might be who carries no weight and does no work. It is part of the same nearly mechanical picture of space that we have come to believe in, and respect, and trust. Yet, at the same time, in a most subtle way, it is also not-mechanical. After all, what we observe is life emerging from space, as we might say "out of the very foam of space".

It is a structure, we can (tentatively) calculate with it, and it fits our structural understanding of space and matter. Yet it creates a bridge to life, feeling, and to our own experience of what it is to be a person: the self, which all of us contain, and are connected to.

That is the structural meaning of what I have described.

George Wald, in the paper quoted earlier, where he says that all matter is ultimately mindstuff, balks at making any particular connection between space and matter. He writes, in one place, "Consciousness is altogether impervious to scientific approach"(42). And later, "Though consciousness is the essential condition for all science, science cannot deal with it"(43). Thus, in spite of Wald's fervent belief in the existence of consciousnesses (or mind, or self), he insists that it is impenetrable, not connected to structure of space and time as we observe them as a structure.

Yet what I claim is precisely that it is connected to structure. I claim that the field of centers, or some version of it, is a recursive structure in space, which does precisely serve the function of being the bridge between matter and consciousnesses, between matter and mind; and that it is, indeed, when these extraordinary living structures arise in space, that mind awakens, that space and matter open a window to the mind, and that the great self behind all things actually comes within our experience and our reach.

I believe that one day it will be possible to demonstrate an experimental connection, where it will be shown exactly how the field of centers does open a door between space and self, and how, ultimately then, self and matter are permanently intertwined through the construction of the mechanism.

A traditional scientific view, held by many during the 20th century, has been that mechanical pictures of matter, can be consistent with any spiritual view of God or consciousness because the two (matter and consciousnesses) inhabit non-communicating intellectual domains. Such a dichotomy may have been a source of comfort to positivists. But, scientifically speaking, it allows us to get no mileage from the co-presence of the two.

Indeed, I believe continued insistence on the compatibility of the two ("because they do interact") is almost tantamount to denying any real and useful interaction, and thus inhibits intellectual progress. Polkinghorn, for example, said at one time that everything is OK as it is, and that it is easy enough to reconcile a materialist conception of matter with a spiritual conception of life(44). All this really said was that we have no understanding of the connection, and that – from an intellectual point of view – there is no interaction. But in view of the mechanist predisposition which is common in our time, and the fact that all practical understanding is mechanical in nature, this means, too, that we have no picture in which self and matter can be coupled: therefore no real way of believing that they are coupled.

Even though Polkinghorne and the student who was speaking to me may believe the present world-picture is adequate to contain both, I believe it is not so. This broad-minded, intellectually catholic opinion is mistaken. The two views, in their present form, cannot coexist successfully. Even today, we continue understanding the degree to which we are prisoners of the present mechanistic cosmology; we have a strong tendency to underestimate the effect that this interior mechanistic view can have on us.

Consider for example, three elementary facts: (1) in our immediate world, at normal temperature and pressure, nearly everything is made of atoms; (2) atoms are little whirling mechanisms which are spinning constantly; (3) people are largely made of atoms too.

Nearly every schoolchild learns these facts in school. We all learnt them. They are, by now, virtually a part of us. Probably we learned them when we were eight or nine years old. As a result, in the western world at least, there are few people alive who do not believe ("know") that they are mechanisms made up of millions of tiny whirling mechanisms.

In case this seems like an exaggeration, or that people do not really believe these things literally as as being the whole picture, consider the first paragraph of a recently published book, THE ASTONISHING HYPOTHESIS, by the eminent molecular biologist Francis Crick, co-discoverer of the helical structure of DNA: "The astonishing hypothesis is that you, your joys and your sorrows, your memories and ambitions, your sense of personal identity and free will, are in fact no more than the behavior of a vast assembly of nerve cells and their associated molecules..."(45)

At first one might find it surprising that such an eminent scientist should put forward such a crass-seeming reductionist view without flinching. But it simply underlines my point that all of us are susceptible to this oversimplification, so long as we have nothing to replace it with. It is a mark of Crick's honesty and intellectual rigor that he faces the real meaning of the present cosmological scheme and does not try to duck it with pious phrases. Without having access to another structure, so that the structure of matter itself leads to a different view, it seems to me that anyone honest must reach the same conclusions Crick has reached.

But if you believe Crick's mechanized reduction is accurate, how can you take seriously the kinds of ideas which I have described about the life of buildings, and walls, and rooms, and streets? The answer is, you cannot. You cannot, because if you believe the three elementary-school facts, then mentally, you are still living in a universe in which nothing matters, and in which you do not matter. And then the life of the environment is not real either.

Ideas about the personal or spiritual nature or reality, no matter how desirable they seem, cannot affect you deeply, even if you think they do, until they can be embodied in some new picture which leaves the facts of physics intact, and also paves the way to a more spiritual understanding of the world by an extended structure which brings in these larger matters clearly and explicitly.

The whole point of the consept which I have described – of wholeness seen as calculable, recursive, bootstrap field of centers with the consequence that follow from this view – is that within the framework this concept creates, things really are different, and the differences are visible as new aspects of the structure of space and matter. This newly seen structure not only says that things are different. It shows, through the properties of the structure, exactly how things are different.

Within the new view of structure of matter-space provided by the field of centers, we can reconcile the fact of being a mechanism of whirling mechanisms, because we know that each atom is itself a field of centers, and that in the emergence of these fields, the self comes into view. thus instances of the field of centers or – if we like to see it more deeply – instances of the self-stuff of the universe, making its way, cumbersomely, from the trap of matter to the light of day.

Armed with this view, we can unite our personal intuition of religious awe with our sensible scientific understanding of the world. It becomes all one, it all makes sense together. Life and religion fall into place and fit together with physics as necessary consequences of the structure of the world – that is, of the way that matter-space is made.

And in this view, the work of building takes on entirely new meaning. It changes in a fundamental way, because we understand what we are doing differently, and realize that our work as builders – through the forms described in this book – place us in an entirely new relation to the universe.

In this universe, the human self, yours and mine, are indistinguishable, in their substance, from the space and matter where the play of forms occurs. When we make something, its selfness, its possible soul, is part and parcel of our own self.

There is, then, something very like a religious obligation to allow this self to reveal itself. It is our task, as architects, as artists, as builders, to make this stuff, this matter of the universe, reveal itself most fully. This metaphysical obligation will stem directly from our renewed understanding of the substance of the universe. It does not arise merely from our desire to be comfortable, from our desire to avoid alienation. It arises as a supreme spiritual obligation, which is our obligation to the matter/spirit we ourselves are made of.

This feeling, though modern in its form, is, in its essence, similar to the medieval mason's desire to make each stone as a gift to God.

But it arises, now, not as a religious or superstitious belief, but as a result of a new understanding of the structure of the universe. – Christopher Alexander, The Luminous Ground, page 332-334

Published at P2P-Foundation on September 2, 2012: The space of value, or the role of value in space: a physical basis for religious awe? Republished at Peter Earth.

Koseligheten tar hevn

Kjetil Rolness vrir øra rundt på hvem det måtte være. Sist ut er arkitekter som ikke tar folks ønske om kos og komfort på alvor. Les mer...

Koselig hus på Maihaugen

Hvorfor tregrening?

I et samfunn der det er religionen som bestemmer alt, blir åndslivet kneblet, og det økonomiske livet blir strengt underlagt statlige reguleringsmekanismer. I et samfunn hvor rettslivet bestemmer alt, utvikles stater som det sovjetkommunistiske, hvor staten får all makt, og det enkelte mennesket ikke har noen personlige rettigheter. I slike stater blir tenkningen også svært ensrettet, ikke bare det økonomiske livet. I samfunn der næringslivet bestemmer alt, bestemmer næringslivet også over åndslivet og samfunnets rettslige prinsipper. - Henning Næss

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Hunton Fiber AS bygger ny fabrikk for produksjon av trefiberisolasjon i Norge

Endelig norskprodusert trefiberisolasjon, både som løsfiber og matter. Takk Hunton!

Trehuslandet Norge har lenge vært en parodi, med kun en tynn garnitur av tre utenpå plast og andre syntetiske materialer. Trepanelet er gjerne også overmalt med plastmaling, dvs. akrylmaling. Alt dette byr en ekte bygningsbiolog i mot.

Hunton Fiber har lenge importert trefiberisolasjon fra Steico sine produksjonslokaler i Polen, men tar nå skrittet og etablerer egen fabrikk i Norge, både for matter og løsfyllsisolasjon.

Lokaler er aktuelt ved RingAlm Tre i Næroset ved Moelv, Gausdal Bruvoll, ved Follum i Hønefoss eller på egen Hunton-tomt i Gjøvik sentrum.

Bygges alt under ett er anslaget på investeringen fra 80-100 millioner kroner. Etter en byggetid på opptil to år er det klart for blåseisolasjon og isolasjonsmatter.

Trefiber blåseisolasjon av furu, fra Steico sine fabrikker i Polen

Apenes planet

Skal me bry oss om gårsdagens klimarapport må me først kvele vår indre Fred Flintstone, skriver Agnes Ravatn.

RÅDGIVERE?: Kor fornuftig er det eigentleg å bruke ein tre millionar år gammal apekatt som rådgivar? spør laurdagskommentator Agnes Ravatn.

Publisert den 27. sep 2013, kl. 22:21 av
Gåte: kva er det som er stort og trugande, ikkje har påført oss synleg liding enno, skrir så langsamt fram at ingen legg merke til henne, rammar andre folk enn oss først, og ligg så langt inn i framtida at me har slutta å bry oss?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A Review by Margaret Magnus on Alexander's "The Phenomenon of Life"

Margaret Magnus (Francestown, NH USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Nature of Order: An Essay on the Art of Building and the Nature of the Universe, Book 1 - The Phenomenon of Life (Center for Environmental Structure, Vol. 9) (Hardcover)

After dropping my son off for his first karate lesson, I went in the neighboring book store, plopped myself into the only available comfortable chair and grabbed the nearest expensive book, which happened to be on architecture and happened to be this one. I managed about seven pages during that first hour, and left the store overjoyed at my little discovery. I then shamelessly returned Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:00 to 5:00 and read. When some nefarious person purchased MY book and the store didn't restock it, I had no option but to become an honest girl and order my own copy. I've read it three times now. It's one of the rare books that I needed to wholly internalize. I haven't yet graduated to any of the sequels, but it did get me to start tiling floors, and my floors make me happy.

I'm no architect, though I've thought since reading this of trying to become one. My biggest complaint about America is that ugliness is so thoroughly tolerated. Our foundation in the Enlightenment has gradually been perverted to a view that goodness and beauty are subjective, and we have for 3 generations had no effective theoretical basis with which to combat the billboard. I am grateful to Alexander for providing that basis. It gives me hope, both that someone has the will to do it, and that I'm not alone in this. The ugliness genuinely bothers me. It makes me lose heart. It even seems to me calculated to make me lose heart. And if I can lose heart, then a whole nation can. It seems to me deeply important that we take this on. The whole purpose of the book, you might say, is to counter the presumption that ugliness is in the eye of the beholder, and even if it isn't, who cares? I care, that's who. Pizza Hut and Midas have no more right to offend my senses with their ads than they have a right to spew out C-O or post enormous Playboy centerfolds by the side of the road. I can prove that now if you give me a chance. I would go so far as to argue that Alexander has provided us with a means to assess what concrete objects and places are Valuable.

The empirical means by which this presumption of subjective ugliness is countered is through pairs of images which appear throughout the book. Most of them differ only slightly, yet one is better than the other. Like one other reviewer here, I found only one pair for which my assessment differed from that of Alexander. (p. 66) The obvious counterargument is simply, "I don't agree with Alexander's assessment of these images." But that does beg the question why 13 of 15 reviewers agree with him more or less wholly. The probability would be that people would disagree randomly if beauty were subjective. Perhaps you would say that good architecture has nothing to do with beauty - or life, as he would say. If beauty, inner delight is not where it's at, then what does matter, I would ask? If Value were subjective, there would be no more reason to have a house designed by Saarinen or Wright than by the local used car dealer... if Value is subjective. If life/value/beauty is not subjective, and it makes sense to hire an architect for reasons other than to make sure the house won't fall down, then, well, it is not subjective. Then some things delight us more than others. Maybe we should figure out what those things are, so we can stop subjecting ourselves to avoidable pain. The pain runs deeper than we wish to acknowledge.

The theoretical foundation for the recognition that beauty is objective presupposes a Transcendent Truth. (Sorry, but there is a God, though he doesn't use the word.) The book takes on the materialist, reductionist, Cartesian world view. But it doesn't do so stupidly. It doesn't in the process throw out empirical science. We are freed from dogma, because he places feeling ahead of intellect as the ultimate arbiter, and appeals to the reader to set aside the brain momentarily and feel in honesty for herself. Another reviewer complains that he's just pushing his personal taste down the reader's throat, And his taste is old=good and new=bad. That's not fair, I feel. There is genuinely modern, innovative construction which is well-proportioned and alive. He offers examples. What he does claim, however, is that the Cartesianism which fully took hold just before WWII has done significant damage, that profusion of ugliness more or less tracks with faith in reductionism.

I love the guy, and if I had one wish for the world, it would be that it would hear him - give him a fair shake and hear him.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

St Volodymyrs katedral i Kiev, Ukraina

Denne filen er lisensiert under lisensen Creative Commons Navngivelse-Del på samme vilkår 3.0 Unported. Foto: Petar Milošević

Fotodokumentar over skjendingen av innlandets dronning en mørk og trist desemberdag 2013

Denne fotodokumentaren av ødeleggelsene på østsida av Mjøsa ved utbyggingen av ny E6 Kolomoen-Minnesund ble foretatt mandag 9. desember. Alle bildene ble tatt i fart mens jeg kjørte, utsnittene er derfor tilfeldige. Dette gir både uskarpe bilder og underlige motiv, men samtidig synes jeg det gir en ekstra realistisk dimensjon over dokumentasjonen av denne pågående dystopien.

I en kommentar nylig hos Pål Steigan skrev jeg følgende:
I disse dager skjer det også en nådeløs skjending av innlandets dronning, med utbyggingen av nye E6 nede i mjøsstranda, jernbanen legges delvis på fyllinger ute i Mjøsa:

Selv gleder jeg meg til dette landskapet en dag igjen vil bli oppfylt av beitedyr, men sårene trengs det en ny istid for å utbedre. Frykter også for all isolasjonen som benyttes her til lands, vil anta de fremdeles benytter polystyren.

Motorveien og skyskraperen er begge symboler for moderniteten, en arv fra Le Corbusier. Men de er også energisluk, derfor er deres tid snart forbi.

Motorveiene ble først og fremst bygget for å øke kapitalakkumulasjonen, ved å transportere varer raskere til utvidede markeder. Utvidelsen av E6 til Hafjell skyldes derimot hovedsaklig at elitene i Oslo skal kunne kjøre i 100 km/t til alpinanleggene og hytteparadisene sine. Hadde de brydd seg om industrien ville de satset på å utbedre infrastrukturen på vestsida av Mjøsa, hvor de tunge industrimiljøene ligger. Aksen Moelv-Gjøvik-Raufoss er et av de sterkeste industrielle tyngdepunktene i Norge.
The Thought of Ivan Illich Today:
Illich’s theories on the effectiveness of cars, air travel, and energy showed that industrial progress actually hampers the speed and effectiveness we have as people who were born capable of walking to our desired destinations. Roads, airports, stations, traffic jams, all take away the benefits of using complicated engineered methods of travel, and make our actual travel times longer. - David Bollier
Lysbildeserien forsvant, da dette var fra en tid hvor jeg lenket bildene til fb, en stor tabbe. Men alle fotografiene kan ses hos Wikimedia Commons her!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Mattilsynet oppfordrer til mindre bruk av kanel

Mattilsynet følger nå opp regelverket fra EU og anbefaler folk å begrense inntaket av kanel.

Foto: photo8


EU har fastsatt en grenseverdi på 15 milligram kumarin per kilo bakst. Kumarin er et stoff som finnes i kanel og som kan påføre skader på leveren ved høyt inntak.

Det er anslått at kroppen kan takle et daglig inntak av kanel på 1,4 gram, noe som tilsvarer en halv teskje, ifølge Mattilsynet.

- Det er ingen grunn til bekymring for folk med et variert kosthold. Det er i første rekke bakerne som må tenke litt ekstra på hvor mye kanel de strør på baksten, sier seksjonssjef Atle Wold i Mattilsynet.

Det er bakeren som i utgangspunktet må vurdere kanelinnholdet.

Her i landet brukes kanel blant annet i de bergenske skillingsbollene, og den norske risgrøten er fast innslag på mange familiers bord. Mattilsynet ber foreldre passe på kanelinntaket hos små barn.

- De spiser gjerne mer grøt enn andre, og siden kroppen er liten, tåler de også mindre enn voksne, sier Wold.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Commons Sense

Co-operative place making and the capturing of land value for 21st century Garden Cities

Edited by Pat Conaty, Co-operatives UK and Martin Large, Stroud Common Wealth

‘Men did not make the earth….Every proprietor owes the community a ground rent for the land which he holds.’

This quote is from Thomas Paine’s book Agrarian Justice (1797). Two centuries ago he proposed a Citizen’s Income as an equitable quid pro quo to tackle the inequality and poverty caused by an expanding private sector enclosure of land. Despite the structural nature of unaffordable housing costs, the land question and the scope for sensible and practical reforms of both ownership and governance are not on the policy agenda. Few people are aware of the intensive concentration of landownership in Britain with 36,000 people (0.6% of the population) owning about half the land. There are definite possibilities for positive change as the diverse contributors to this report make abundantly clear.

An introduction to the report by David Bollier:

Co-operative Place Making through Community Land Trusts

"Den stille våren" nærmer seg

Vi husker vel alle "Silent Spring" av  Rachel Carson? Dessverre er hennes profeti i ferd med å gå i oppfyllelse. Snart er vi bare en flokk skrålende mennesker tilbake her på vår klode.

Alle fugler få de er

Gråsisik, kortnytt, Foto: Wikipedia
Fugleartene i norske fjell går tilbake. Gråsisik er en av artene det blir færre av. (Foto: Arnstein Rønning/Wikipedia)

Ni av 14 fuglearter har gått betydelig tilbake i de skandinaviske fjellområdene i løpet av 2000-tallet. Det viser omfattende overvåking av fugl som hekker i fjellområder i Norge, Sverige og Finland, melder Miljødirektoratet.

Klimaendringer kan være årsaken.

Standfugler og arter som overvintrer i nærområdene våre har større tilbakegang enn trekkfugler som overvinter lenger sør.

Det har for eksempel blitt mindre gråsisik. Om det har blitt mer gjøk, er ikke opplyst. (

Les mer hos Miljødirektoratet

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sovebyen Skoglundfeltet ved Gjøvik

Det er nesten så man sovner bare ved synet. Klikk i bildet for en forstørrelse.
The practical result of government promotion of monoculture development is that for most of us there are two communities: a community in which we work and shop, and a bedroom community in which we are stored. – Kevin Carson
Når man ikke sover i sovebyen er man gjerne på CC og shopper
Here we can see the radical nature of Berry’s vision. Our entire economy, our very culture of work, leisure, and home is constructed around the idea of easy mobility and the disintegration of various aspects of our lives. We live in one place, work in another, shop in another, worship in another, and take our leisure somewhere else. According to Berry, an integrated life, a life of integrity, is one characterized by membership in a community in which one lives, works, worships, and conducts the vast majority of other human activities. The choice is stark: “If we do not live where we work, and when we work, we are wasting our lives, and our work too.” – Wendell Berry and the New Urbanism: Agrarian Remedies, Urban Prospects

Monday, December 2, 2013

Pat Conaty on the History and the Rediscovery of the Cooperative Commonwealth

Watch this interesting video presentation here:

Content details:

“Solidarity Co-operatives have been developed as a unique multi-stakeholder Co-operative system since the 1980s. They are unique because co-production members include paid workers, volunteers, service users and social investors. In Italy they provide social care, health services and educational services for local communities. There are now over 14,000 of these Co-ops across Italy providing services to 5 million. The Solidarity Co-op movement has spread in Europe to France, Spain, Portugal, Hungary and Poland. They have been developed in Quebec and in the UK there is early work underway to develop them in England and Wales.

This talk, given on November 25th 2013 at Schumacher College, was the tenth of 11 talks during the autumn of 2013 on Adventures in New Economics – a wide-ranging speaker series covering the key topics in new economic thinking today, presented by Transition Town Totnes, Totnes REconomy Project, and Schumacher College.”
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