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Showing posts from January, 2013

A City as an Expression of Human Nature

It is the structure of the city which impresses us by its visible vastness and complexity, but this structure has its basis, nevertheless, in human nature, of which it is an expression. On the other hand, this vast organization which has arisen in response to the needs of its inhabitants, once formed, impresses itself upon them, in turn, in accordance with the design and interests which it incorporates. - A 1915 quote from Robert E Park

That’s Not What Placemaking Is

So writes Jim Russell in a recent post over at Burgh Diaspora, in arguing that cities are wasting their money on Placemaking when they should be focusing more directly on talent development. In his view, widely held these days, Placemaking is about plunking down “cool urban amenities” and increasing token diversity to make a city seem edgy or superficially interesting. It’s a simple cut-and-paste process of taking some signifier of young, contemporary, urban hipness (a bike lane, public art, a funkily decorated coffee shop) and inserting it into a neighborhood in the hopes of re-framing that neighborhood as the Next Big Thing.

That’s not what Placemaking is. Or at least that’s not how many of us who use the word mean it. For every person who thinks that you can ‘placemake’ unilaterally by dropping in cool amenities, there is another who believes that Placemaking is as much about the discussion that participants have with each other as it is about whether a space contains public art o…

Essensen av system - A

Min kommentar til artikkelen Kommunane er vertskap for viktige samtaler, skrevet av Halvard Dahle Lægreid, publisert hos Levevei.no:
Den fundamentale feilen med dagens planlegging er at den arbeider under hva Alexander kaller for system B, hvor man forholder seg til virkeligheten ut fra et mekanistisk verdensbilde. Dvs. at planlegging ikke er en morfologisk prosess, morfogenese som utgangspunkt for arkitektur og stedsskaping er forøvrig tema for hans neste bok.

The Eishin Campus i Japan er et av veldig få eksempler på miljøer som er skapt ut fra system A i nyere tid, og tema for Alexanders siste bok. For å gi en pekepinn på hvordan en planleggingsprosess fungerer innen system A, eller et organisk verdensbilde, vil jeg gi et lite utdrag fra boka:
The essence of site layout in system-A, and in the way which it fundamentally differs from making a plan in a planning office, lies in the fact that one physically draws the site plan out from configurations that may be seen because they are …

The Dominant Religion of Nothing

The Democrats do: they have Nothing. To believe in Nothing in the present-day manner is to turn the denial of goods that transcend will and desire into a philosophy of life, and even into what amounts to a religion. At bottom there’s no good or bad, that nihilistic view tells us—there is just people doing stuff they feel like doing and trying to get stuff they want. That’s what life is about, so the point of law and morality is to help people do and get those things, as much and as equally as possible.

It is that view, the religion of Nothing, that is now established among us. All views to the contrary are considered hateful and divisive (that is, blasphemous and heretical), so if you have doubts you have to keep quiet about big issues, like what makes life good, and confine your comments to subordinate matters, like success considered purely as such.

The authority of that view entitles judges to rewrite the laws, and requires every Democratic politician to assert the supremacy of Wi…

Towards Integrative Ecosocial Design

On my PDC-Course in Sweden I learned about the therm Integrative Ecosocial Design, and I fell in love with it. Here follow the history and description for this therm, from Gaia University:
This descriptive name, Integrative Ecososial Design, arose from observations and understandings gleaned from years of work and action in the permaculture and ecovillage fields, and from around leading-edge developments appearing elsewhere. Through the work experience we understood that permaculture folk, for example, see most problems of human society stemming from destructive land use practices, such as industrial agriculture, and that switching to sustainable and regenerative horticulture, repairing ecosystems and living lifestyles based primarily on resources derived from biological processes would enable us to reconfigure human societies to function within the carrying capacity of Earth.

Ecovillage-focused people often describe the primary problem as a lack of spiritual awareness, hierarchical …

Hans Rosling: Religions and Babies

Tarvasjõgi at Kõrvemaa Nature Park in Estonia

Eyvind Skeie om "Gud og Abraham"

I artikkelen unngår Skeie å nevne den fanatiske vitenskapsideologen Richard Dawkins uttalelse om at Abrahams handling var en forløper til Nürnbergprosessene, der mantraet lød: "Jeg fulgte kun ordre".

Mot Dawkins dårskap framstår Skeie i denne innsiktsfulle artikkelen som reineste profeten, utvilsomt en av de beste artikler som noensinne har vært presentert på Verdidebatt. Selv pleier jeg ikke å gå inn på denne sida grunnet alt det middelmådige pjattet den domineres av, men i dag var det som om en indre stemme fortalte meg at det var et viktig budskap som ventet der.

Les Skeies kommentar hos VD:

- Gud og Abraham

Blog: Ugly Modern Buildings

Four Things That Were Better in 1899

Great article by Erik Curren from Transition Voice. He also gave a very interesting link to different architectural styles of his hometown Staunton in Virginia. Below follow an excerpt from the article, read it in whole here.
Food. There’s a good reason why food guru Michael Pollan says not to eat anything your grandmother wouldn’t have recognized as food. Back in 1899, most food was whole and it was grown organically by local farmers. Today, it’s hard to avoid processed foods. And nearly all of them contain newfangled ingredients that, if they won’t kill you quickly, will certainly kill you slowly: high fructose corn syrup, MSG, soy. With hybrids and GMOs, even whole foods like corn and wheat are now suspect. It’s a scandal that the Bible’s staff of life and America’s amber waves of grain was degraded in the 1960s and 70s into “dwarf wheat,” a high-yield hybrid that cannot be properly digested by humans. Sadly, this pseudo-wheat is probably what’s in that loaf of peasant bread you jus…

Architectural Lessons From Environmental Psychology:The Case of Biophilic Architecture

Elinor Ostrom on Going Beyond the Tragedy of the Commons

In 2009, Elinor Ostrom won the Nobel Prize in economics “for her analysis of economic governance, especially the commons.” A few years earlier, Ostrom and Charlotte Hess edited a useful book titled Understanding Knowledge as a Commons: From Theory to Practice (MIT Press, 2007). Sarah Schultz

Some Search Results on the P2P-Wiki on "Tragedy of the Commons"

Some search results on the p2p-Wiki on "Tragedy of the Commons":

Tragedy of the Commons '''Main thesis = Freedom in a commons brings ruin to all.''' [http://www.osbr.ca/ojs/index.php/osbr/article/view/ Note the author's self-critique: 21 KB (3,384 words) - 05:57, 23 January 2011 Tragedy of the Anti-Commons '''= the excessive fragmentation of property rights preventing transactions from taking place''' ...rs when a resource is underused because it has been divided up by a number of owners who may not be willing to agree or cooperate with one another." 12 KB (1,881 words) - 06:50, 15 October 2011 Tragedy of the FOSS Commons ...ssay: Tragedyofthe FOSS commons? Investigating the institutional designs offree/libre and open source software projects by Charles M. Schweik and Robe ...llective action. This is markedly different from traditional environmentalcommons settings." 9 KB (1,434 words) - 05:52, 24 December 2011 Non-Tr…

The Downward Spiral of Un-Commoning

A huge obstacle is the shift toward greater privatization and commodification of physical and social assets. Many things that used to be shared—from open spaces for recreation to support systems to help a neighbor in need—have been privatized and commodified; they’ve been moved out of the community into the market place. This triggers a downward spiral. Once things become privatized, or un-commoned, we no longer have access to them without paying a fee. We then have to work longer hours to pay for all these things which used to be freely available—everything from safe afterschool recreation for kids to clean water to swim in to someone to talk to when you’re feeling blue. And since we’re working longer hours and spending more time alone, we have less time to contribute to the commons to rebuild these assets: less volunteer hours, less beach-clean-up days, less time for civic engagement to advocate for policies that protect the commons, less time to invite a neighbor over for tea. And…

Eineståande viktig intervju i Klassekampen med biletkunstnar Christopher Rådlund og sosiolog Alexander Ibsen

Les heile intervjuet i Klassekampen:

- Kvifor er den så stygg?

Under fylgjer eit utdråg frå teksta:
At menneske har fått det betre på grunn av det modernistiske prosjektet, er likevel ikkje ein påstand forfattarane går med på.

- Industrien jobba for folket med masseproduksjonen. Alle skulle få ein verdigare kvardag, eit verdigare liv. Men stilen har aldri jobba for folket. Den har lata som at den har gjort det, men folket har aldri bedt om udekorerte fasadar. Det var ei elite som gjorde det. Modernismen er jo eigentleg ein borgarleg hobby, seier Rådlund

Han trur slett ikkje modernistiske blokkhus er den einaste vegen til å løysa dagens bustadmangel i norske byar.

- Det fins ein idé om at det å byggja meir tradisjonelt eller vakrare er dyrt. Men det fins mange døme på at ein kan byggja tradisjonelt til same pris. Det handlar om kvalitetssikring, dyktige arkitektar som sikrar at det ikkje vert kitsch. Med tydeleg definerte og strenge kvalitetskriterium, kan ein få fin nyklassisisme, byg…

Avhengigheten av en velferdsstat har tatt bort ansvarfølelsen den enkelte hadde overfor det nære fellesskapet

"Avhengigheten av en velferdsstat har tatt bort ansvarfølelsen den enkelte hadde overfor det nære fellesskapet. Dette er ikke noe forsvar for liberalisme som kun erstatter velferdsstaten med avhengighet av private institusjoner som utfører de samme tjenester, men da er man i tillegg bundet til et rotterace. Ansvar og fellesskap må være organisk om det ikke skal utvikles til et passivt mekanistisk forhold mellom stat og borgere." - A. Viken
Godt skrevet, Øyvind.

Avhengigheten av en velferdsstat har tatt bort ansvarfølelsen den enkelte hadde overfor det nære fellesskapet. Dette er ikke noe forsvar for liberalisme som kun erstatter velferdsstaten med avhengighet av private institusjoner som utfører de samme tjenester, men da er man i tillegg bundet til et rotterace. Ansvar og fellesskap må være organisk om det ikke skal utvikles til et passivt mekanistisk forhold mellom stat og borgere.

Det handler om å rykke tilbake til start, utgangspunktet, som begynner med å ta ansvar for s…

More Responses to My Article “Beyond Separative Modern Urbanism: Looking for the Connective Design that’s Already ‘Out There’”

Two more responses to “Beyond separative modern urbanism: looking for the connective design that’s already ‘out there”. The original version of the essay is to be found here.

Patrick S Says:
December 19th, 2012 at 2:50 am Hi Oyvind,
thanks for the reply, and much to ponder here in both your original and extended comments. I realise your critique of the ‘welfare state’ is quite complex – it reminds me to some extend of the idea of a need for a more ‘Relational State’ that I think was posted here recently – bit.ly/UyjVjA . And in Scandinavia, I saw a talk by Dan Hill (@cityofsound) recently who’s now at SITRA in Finland arguing something a bit similar. Another Scandinavian example (which Michel wrote a chapter towards) is the co-p2p.mlog.taik.fi/ book. But on the energy example in particular, as a good example – contrast Norway’s approach of taking a big share of oil revenue for a sovereign wealth fund, with my home country of Australia’s approach – where the vast majority of our mineral …

Hunkjønn under press

Meget interressant artikkel: Oslofolk har tatt livet av hunkjønn.

I Oslo er hunkjønnet i språket dødt og begravet. Men også på Toten går det den gale veien med likestillinga. Å ta livet av hunkjønn fører tankene hen til Kina og India, land som vi ellers ikke liker å sammenligne oss med, hvor hunkjønnsdrap foregår i stor stil.

Skal vi ha likestilling her til lands må dette også gjenspeiles i språket. Oslospråket har blitt direkte hunkjønnsundertrykkende, jeg fatter ikke at hunkjønnet finner seg i dette! Håper kravet om gjeninnførelsen av hunkjønn blir hovedparole under forestående kvinnedag.

What is the Uncertainty Principle?

Så bøyer vi oss i støvet for Barcode

Overskrift i dagens Aftenposten: "Barcode snart ferdig, kritikken stilner".

Ja, selvsagt, nå får vi alle se stjernearkitektenes genialitet senke seg over jorden, nesten som da englekoret steg ned over Betlehemsmarkene. Disse individualitetens engler, disse opphøyde genier, modernismens hellige tempelbyggere. Lovet være den hellige anti-natur!


Relatert: Bjørvika har dessverre blitt en kaksebydel

Social Capital

The medicine – which the citizenry itself seems to be administering to Greek society – is the sum of all the bonds of collaboration, trustworthiness, solidarity and mutual aid that are developed during collective (mainly voluntary) initiatives. These bonds enable people to work together, learn from each other and build what is known as social capital. According to Robert Putnam’s widely quoted description, social capital refers to ‘the connections among individuals – social networks and the norms of reciprocity and trustworthiness that arise from them’ and is the fundamental ingredient of a healthy civil society. Yannis Theocharis Unfortunately both capitalism and the current form of welfare state sucks the social capital out of people. Still, the worst threat to people's social capital is the current form of city planning and architecture.
Today, 2,400 years later, social research agrees that civic skills advance democratic values: the more knowledgeable citizens are about civ…

Characteristics of Degrowth

Yves-Marie Abraham:
This [degrowth] is not an economic depression, nor a recession, but a decline in the importance of the economy itself in our lives and our societies.This is not the decline of GDP, but the end of GDP and all other quantitative measures used as indicators of well being.This is not a decline in population size, but a questioning of humanity's self-destructive lifestyle.This is not a step backwards, but an invitation to step aside, out of the race in pursuit of excessiveness.This is not nostalgia for some golden age, but an unprecedented project to invent creative ways of living together.This is not degrowth imposed by the depletion of the biosphere's resources, but a voluntary degrowth, to live better here and now, preserving the conditions necessary for the long-term survival of humanity.This is not an end in itself, but a necessary step in the search for models depicting free societies, liberated from the dogma of growth.This is not a project of voluntary de…

The Really, Really Big Picture

The really big picture goes like this: Humans discovered about 400 million years worth of stored sunlight in the form of coal, oil, and natural gas, and have developed technologies that will essentially see all of that treasure burned up in just 300 to 400 years.

On the faulty assumption that fossil fuels will always be a resource we could draw upon, we fashioned economic, monetary, and other assorted belief systems based on permanent abundance, plus a species population on track to number around 9 billion souls by 2050.

There are two numbers to keep firmly in mind. The first is 22, and the other is 10. In the past 22 years, half of all of the oil ever burned has been burned. Such is the nature of exponentially increasing demand. And the oil burned in the last 22 years was the easy and cheap stuff discovered 30 to 40 years ago. Which brings us to the number 10.

In every calorie of food that comes to your table are hidden 10 calories of fossil fuels, making modern agriculture an…

Revolution is Not an Event, it's a Process

Revolution is not event, but a process. There is nothing inevitable about it, and our freedom is not historically determined. To win it, we have to build movements able to fight for it, movements that struggle over long periods of time to knock down the institutions of the status quo and replace them with the institutions of a free society. That means growing, practicing, learning, teaching, and winning things that put the movement in an increasingly better position to win more; it means fighting back to protect ourselves while pushing forward to create new possibilities. Yotam Marom

Den eneste grønne energi som finnes er den som ikke brukes

Den eneste grønne energi som finnes er den som ikke brukes. Mennesket må forbruke og forbrenne mindre, så enkelt er det i prinsippet. Mye av diskusjonene omkring klima og CO2 minner om røret om kosthold, hvor noen tror at man skal kunne spise seg slank, mens man fortsatt sitter på ræva. Det eneste som nytter er å legge bort vekstøkonomien og tankegangen om frihet uten ansvar. - Grønn Gerilja

It Takes a Village to Raise a Child

Breast-feeding infants, responsiveness to crying, almost constant touch and having multiple adult caregivers are some of the nurturing ancestral parenting practices that are shown to positively impact the developing brain, which not only shapes personality, but also helps physical health and moral development,” says Narvaez.  Read the whole article here.

Bongards kommentar til artikkelen "Er vi dømt til å gi opp velferdsstaten?"

Godt observert, Jens Andreas. Som du vet har vi i boken vår "Det biologiske mennesket" (Akademika 2010) laget en skisse over en mulig vei å gå for å få kontroll over disse problemene som oppstår i store samfunn, gjennom å benytte nettopp de egenskapene som dukker opp i nære relasjoner (raushet, samarbeid, kontroll over korrupsjon osv). Kaller det for Inngruppedemokratiet, det innebærer blant annet demokratisk styring av produksjon og fordeling. En kombinasjon av Høyres selveierdemokrati og det egentlige målet for miljøbevegelse og venstreside: Rettferdighet, fordeling, bærekraft og trygg framtid. - Terje Bongard

Insane Taxation

In today’s neo-rentier economy the bottom 99% (labor and consumers) owe the 1% (bondholders, stockholders and property owners). Corporate business and government bodies also are indebted to this 1%. The degree of financial polarization has sharply accelerated as the 1% are making their move to indebt the 99% – along with industry, state, local and federal government – to the point where the entire economic surplus is owed as debt service. The aim is to monopolize the economy, above all the money-creating privilege of supplying the credit that the economy needs to grow and transact business, enabling them to extract interest and other fees for this privilege. The top 1% have nearly succeeded in siphoning off the entire surplus for themselves, receiving 93% of U.S. income growth since September 2008.Michael Hudson

Isopor = maurbol (isolasjon mot grunn i bolighus)

I en artikkel i Ny Teknikk nr. 12, 2012, s. 92, omtales en ny rapport fra folkehelseinstituttet, som er bekymret for den økende bruken av giftbekjempning mot maur i grunnisolasjon, særlig i forhold til barn. Bruken av insektmidler til skadedyrbekjempelse i bygningsmasse har doblet seg de siste ti årene.

Folkehelseinstituttet konkluderer med at den eneste trygge isolasjonen mot maurinvasjon i grunnisolasjonen er Foamglas, mens Isopor er verstingen. Men alle typer skumplastisolasjonsprodukter er meget utsatt. Aller mest utsatt er rom som i tillegg har varmekabler, da kombinasjonen av Isopor og varmekabler skaper et paradis for stokkmaur og sukkermaur. I verste fall kan disse ødelegge bæringsevnen til isolasjonen. Dette er særlig ille der det er benyttet trykksterke skumplastplater under bærevegger.

Ny Teknikk skriver:
Stokkmaur kan også gnage seg gjennom trekonstruksjoner. I begge polystyrenproduktene (EPS/XPS), deriblant isopor, gnagde maurene raskt ganger, og de etablerte reir. Foamgl…

Gravsteinstradisjoner

"Ikke at symboler, riter, historier og merkedager ikke kan ha stor betydning, men fordi symbolene er som gravstener i samtiden. Symbolene er ikke tegn på det levende og aktive lenger, men det døde og glemte, suttekluter for en sivilisasjon som har fortapt seg selv i endeløse spekulasjoner." - A. Viken
Brune skrev:Jeg har også lest om dette sykliske historiesynet, Kali Yuga, jernalderen bla bla bla. For meg blir det kun tom retorikk, og ikke minst naivt, selv om jeg liker tanken, om at til tross for alt mørke og elendigheten så kommer det en ny gullalder, en ny vår eller hva en nå vil kalle det. For meg blir det kun tom retorikk og ja, det er jeg egentlig lei av. Jeg personlig, selv om jeg virkelig vil, klarer ikke å kjøpe argumentasjonen. Det blir som et luftslott. Jeg tror bare ikke at det etter kollapsen, dommedag eller what ever automatisk venter en ny vår eller en fremtid for nordmenn, europeere tibetanere etc. Sagt på en annen måte: jeg tror ikke at “vi” nødvendigvis ove…

Iskant

Mennesket + husdyr = 90 prosent av alle pattedyr

Da mennesket for cirka 10.000 år siden begynte å dyrke jorden, begynte det også å temme husdyr. Bare målt i antall må husdyrene sies å ha hatt suksess med å bytte ut en vill natur med menneskets fjøs og beiteområder. Dagens raser omfatter milliarder av individer og utgjør 60 prosent av alle landpattedyr. Nå er 90 prosent av alle pattedyrene mennesker og husdyr, mens vi for 10.000 år siden utgjorde under 0,2 prosent.

Kilde: Illustrert Vitenskap Nr. 2, 2013, s. 21.

Wise Greeks Return to the Land, Stupid Greeks Go to Norway

While Oslo is the most rapid growing city of Europe because of immigration, more and more people leave Athens and other Greek cities. And as the above video from Al Jazeera shows, many of these wisely return to the villages and the land of their forefathers.

Unfortunately some are stupid enough going to Norway, and the most stupid of stupid Greeks go to Oslo to compete about the jobs together with Spaniards, Portuguese and Swedes, among others. In the fishing industry of the north there is easier to get a job.

They come here because they believe Norway is a land of milk and honey, but the truth is that it is a land of oil and gas. Here you can see the speed of which the oil billions pushchairs into our GDP.

The sad truth is that Norway will go the same way as Greece, just a little later, but much harder. So stupid Greeks, coming to Norway getting children here is just passing of the suffering to your children and grandchildren. They would have come better of in the beautiful Greek vi…

Replacing Intellectual Property Rights by Idea Credit Rights

Excerpted from Heather Marsh:
Copyright and patent laws which are structured to ensure fame and profit for those that can afford the fees and are the quickest to file forms have created a society and a history filled with people celebrated for creations they did not originate and filled also with creative people who died in poverty and anonymity because they did not have the gift of self promotion. The user group has a key role to play in ensuring that credit is given where appropriate.

This may seem out of place in an argument against personality driven systems, but it is essential. While ideas need amplification from those with the power to do so, stealing credit for ideas creates resentment, discourages sharing and most of all, creates power where it should not exist. Unlike copying, which is not theft, taking credit deprives the rightful owner of it and is theft. The frustration felt by those who know they will never receive credit discourages sharing and open discussion and destro…

San Ildefonso Church, Porto, Portugal

Wat Arun Temple

The Story of Change

To Transform the Corporate Welfare State Into a Partner State

Interesting comments thread on P2P-Foundation:

Jes Says:
January 2nd, 2013 at 6:02 am I follow this series since they started (and like them!) but with this video I have a really big question mark. Maybe I do a misreading of the message but sometimes I think the intention is to encourage action to demand the State to do laws to protect us. Actually I do not believe that the structure of States that enables the legitimation of corporate laws can or want to do “other” laws. And by the way, are they really usefull? Having an idea, share it and take action are great premises and that’s why I think perhaps is better to concetrate our energies more on walk togheter building autonomous and “glocal” processes, networks and systems… Michel Bauwens Says:
January 2nd, 2013 at 8:39 am there is a long history of social progress through law; think of labor and environmental regulations that really made all the difference; abandoning the idea of the democratisation of the state means leaving the really …