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Overview of Christopher Alexander's Eishin Campus in Japan

Kommentar hos Kulturverk angående muligheten for "infiltrering" av samfunnet gjennom tilbaketrekning

Les artikkel her.

Min kommentar:

“Simpelthen nekte dette samfunnet fremfor å agere mot det.”

Nå kom jeg på hvorfor denne setningen gjorde slikt inntrykk på meg. Det var jo nettopp slik de første kristne gjorde, de trakk seg tilbake fra samfunnet og viet sine liv til bønn og askese. Dette var et vesentlig bidrag til at det romerske imperiet gikk opp i sømmene, da det var svært avhengig av at borgerne engasjerte seg i handel og styring for å holde imperiet sammen. Også mange velutdannede gikk over til kristendommen og viet sine liv til bønn og stille kontemplasjon, i motsetning til protestantene, som viet/vier sine liv til bønn og masseproduksjon (nødvendigvis fulgt av massekonsumpsjon).

Er noe lignende mulig i dag? Hvor man trekker seg ut av samfunnet og vier sine liv til bønn, meditasjon, filosofi, askese og permakultur. Forskjellen er dog at mens de første kristne hadde flere hundre år på seg til å “infiltrere” samfunnet innenfra, har vi kun noen årtier til disposisjon før økosystemen…

Snøhetta Architects Plan for a New Mountain Church

Min kommentar til artikkel om ny klimanøytral bydel i Trondheim

Les artikkelen på forskning.no:

Klimanøytral bydel – miljøvennlighet i praksis

Min kommentar til artikkelen:


19682010Dette er i utgangspunktet et godt forslag, men det er et stort MEN! Dette er at området er planlagt av forskere, planleggere og arkitekter, noe som gjør at området ALDRI kan bli genuint personlig.

"IF ONE THING, MORE THAN ANY OTHER, distinguishes a real neighborhood from the corporate machine-architecture of the 20th-century developer, it is the fact that real people have — together — conceived it, planned it, and built it. It is this human reality which makes it worth living in, pleasant to be there, and valuable." – Christopher Alexander

Alexander har nylig kommet med ei ny bok kalt The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth: A Struggle Between Two World-Systems, som tar utgangspunk i byggingen av Eishin Campus utenfor Tokyo, bilder her: http://eishin.ac/about/

Eishin ble til en viss grad vellykket, til tross for fiendtligheten og saboteringen av prosje…

A Rise of Planetary Consciousness is Just Another Version of the Old Religion of Progress

How many times have we all heard that economic growth was going to take care of resource depletion and environmental degradation, or that scientific and technical advances were going to take care of them, or that a great moral awakening—call it the rise of planetary consciousness, or any of the other popular buzzwords, if you wish—was going to take care of them.As it turned out, of course, none of those things took care of them at all, and since so many people placed their faith on one or the other kind of progress, nothing else took care of them, either. - John Michael Greer Another excellent article from John Michael Greer's ongoing series of essays about civil religion and the faith of progress:

The God with Three Heads

An excerpt:
Far more often than not these days, as a result, the mainstream American version of faith in progress fixates purely on the supposedly unstoppable feedback loop between scientific and technological progress, on the one hand, and economic growth on t…

Simpelthen nekte dette samfunnet fremfor å agere mot det

I den siste filmen fra Matrix-trilogien kjemper motstandsbevegelsen tappert mot maskinene ved bruk av egne maskiner, men nytteløst. Tilslutt innser Neo (kristussimuleringen i filmen) – gjennom å erkjenne seg selv og sin skjebne – at han må frigjøre seg totalt fra the Matrix, det hypervirkelige, for å frigjøre verden. Kanskje må hver og en av oss gjøre denne jobben for å fri oss fra hypervirkeligheten. Ikke anskaffe oss nye ord eller ting, men fri oss fra de vi allerede har. For begrepene sannhet og løgn er ikke nok når deres innhold betyr sannheten om sannheten og løgnen om løgnen – den simulerte. Så om konklusjonen ikke er at vi alle skal gå hen å bli taoister – et simulert begrep i seg selv i vår tid, så er det i det minste at vi bør tenke før vi snakker, sette oss når vi kan gå, og nekte fremfor å agere. Simpelthen nekte dette samfunnet fremfor å agere mot det. Og det er det motsatte av nihilisme. Det er med mot-stand, ikke ustand, kampen skal kjempes. En kamp som ikke kommer til …

Key Theses on P2P Politics

From the P2P-blogg:

1. Our current world system is marked by a profoundly counterproductive logic of social organization:

a) it is based on a false concept of abundance in the limited material world; it has created a system based on infinite growth, within the confines of finite resources

b) it is based on a false concept of scarcity in the infinite immaterial world; instead of allowing continuous experimental social innovation, it purposely erects legal and technical barriers to disallow free cooperation through copyright, patents, etc.

2. Therefore, the number one priority for a sustainable civilization is overturning these principles into their opposite:

a) we need to base our physical economy on a recognition of the finitude of natural resources, and achieve a sustainable steady-state economy

b) we need to facilitate free and creative cooperation and lower the barriers to such exchange by reforming the copyright and other restrictive regimes

3. Hierarchy, markets, and even democra…

Biourbanism. Theory and Practice by Nikos A. Salingaros

Follebu kirke

Four-Dimensional Hypercube

Essay by David Bollier: "The Next Great Internet Disruption: Authority and Governance"

Very promising essay by David Bollier. Can government change like Wikimedia disturbed Encyclopedia Britannica, retailing in all sectors, the music industry, metropolitan daily newspapers and book publishing?

The Next Great Internet Disruption: Authority and Governance

An excerpt:

A Network Architecture for Group Forming Networks

"If we take Reed’s analysis of network dynamics seriously, and apply his logic to the contemporary scene, it becomes clear that the best way to unlock enormous stores of value on networks is to develop tools that can facilitate GFNs.  This will be the next great Internet disruption.  But to achieve this, we must develop a network architecture and software systems that can build trust and social capital in user-centric, scalable ways.

Necessarily, this means that we must begin to re-imagine the very nature of authority and governance.  We must invent new types of digital institutions that are capable of administering authority recognized as authentic and u…

A Talk about Human Overpopulation

The Spark: Documentary about P2P Resilience and Thrivability Experiments

THE SPARK is a documentary about a genius technologist and a rebel educator, two pioneers from opposite spectrums with one goal in common: Build a sustainable community.

Exclusive footage from the Open Source Ecology farm in Missouri and from an urban farming in disadvantaged Afro-American neighborhoods in the U.S.

Watch the trailer here:


The Spark | A Groundbreak Documentary [EXTENDED Trailer] from The Spark Doc on Vimeo.

Romedal kirke

Strandlykkja kapell

Ved Mjøsas bredd

Modernisme og rasehat

Noe jeg ikke var klar over er at moderne arkitektur har et dypt rasistisk opphav. Følgende sitat er hentet fra dette essayet:

Toward Resilient Architectures 3: How Modernism Got Square
In his famous essay of 1908, “Ornament and Crime,” the Austrian writer/architect Adolf Loos presented an argument for the minimalist industrial aesthetic that has shaped modernism and neo-modernism ever since. Surprisingly, he built this argument upon a foundation that is accepted today by almost no one; the cultural superiority of “modern man” [sic], by which he meant Northern European males.

Loos proclaimed that, in this new era of streamlined modern production, we had apparently become unable to produce “authentic ornamental detail.” But are we alone, he asked, unable to have our own style do what “any Negro” [sic], or any other race and period before us, could do? Of course not, he argued. We are more advanced, more “modern.” Our style must be the very aesthetic paucity that comes with the streamli…

I blått mellom vissne strå

Beautiful Images of the Eishin Campus (Higashino High School) in Cherry Blossoming, by Famous Architect Christopher Alexander

Eremozoikum – «ensomhetens tidsalder»

Det er her grunn til å minne om hva som står på spill. I den kjente amerikanske biologen Edward O. Wilsons bok The Diversity of Life (1994) har han skapt ordet eremozoikum – «ensomhetens tidsalder». Dette fordi økosystemene bryter sammen når tallrike planter og dyr forsvinner for alltid. Menneskene risikerer å bli igjen med sine milliarder på en nedbygget, forurenset, biologisk lutfattig klode. Sitatet er hentet fra denne sjeldent bra artikkelen:

- Vindindustriens ødeleggelser i internasjonalt perspektiv

Må leses!

The Empathic Civilisation

Book: Why We Cooperate, by Michael Tomasello (Boston Review Books), 2009
Description "Tomasello, co-director of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, studied the cooperative behavior of one-year-old children—and compared it to that of apes. The results, which build on decades of similar studies, show that even preverbal children have a natural inclination to share and help others, much more so than nonhuman primates (this doesn’t contradict de Waal’s argument in The Age of Empathy; it just means our cooperative behavior is more evolved). Remarkably, Tomasello includes critiques of his argument by four other leading scientists, many of whom debate his interpretations of the facts—thereby embedding his cooperative values in the book itself. Why We Cooperate is a scientific treatise, and it might be a trifle dry for some tastes—but its data and arguments are critical to our understanding of ourselves as species. (Folks interested in the science of human empathy and …

Land and Resource Scarcity (Capitalism, Struggle and Well-being in a World without Fossil Fuels)

This book brings together geological, biological, radical economic, technological, historical and social perspectives on peak oil and other scarce resources. The contributors to this volume argue that these scarcities will put an end to the capitalist system as we know it and alternatives must be created. The book combines natural science with emancipatory thinking, focusing on bottom up alternatives and social struggles to change the world by taking action. The volume introduces original contributions to the debates on peak oil, land grabbing and social alternatives, thus creating a synthesis to gain an overview of the multiple crises of our times.

The book sets out to analyse how crises of energy, climate, metals, minerals and the soil relate to the global land grab which has accelerated greatly since 2008, as well as to examine the crisis of profit production and political legitimacy. Based on a theoretical understanding of the multiple crises and the effects of peak oil and other …

Min kommentar hos Kulturverk vedrørende dypøkologiens tredje lag

Min kommentar til artikkel på Kulturverg ang. dypøkologiens tredje lag. Les artikkelen her.

I min opprinnelige kommentar kom jeg til å skrive "intensifering" istedenfor intensivering, som en norsk avart av det engelske "intensifying". Dette er rettet opp her.

Min kommentar:

Jeg vil gi forfatteren rett i at av de få virkelig suksessfulle eksemplene vi har sett i Vesten i nyere tid, hvor man har lykkes i å forene arkitektur og struktur med mennesket, jorden og universet, dvs. en dypere forening av hva jeg vil kalle “the Pattern Language” og “the Form Language”, så har disse en nyreligiøs kontekst. Det kanskje beste eksemplet er økolandsbyen Damanhur i Nord-Italia: http://www.natursamfunn.no/index.php?damanhur

Den vestlige kristne kirke har så godt som blitt fullstendig oppslukt av moderniteten. Jeg øyner allikevel et lite håp iom. at Nikos A. Salingaros har blitt plassert som en høyt respektert rådgiver for den katolske kirke innen feltet arkitektur, et felt som har b…

Shared Values

In principle, values are those things most important to us, the things we value.
For most people, they are ideals, beliefs, rules to live by. We are generally drawn
to people who share our values. At the core of every defined group of people are
shared values.

Practical Tip: Discuss values as a group and make a written, short, agreed-to list
of the values you have in common. Simply having a discussion about values helps
us understand each other. Deciding which values we share defines our group and helps
people decide if they want to join the group and it also helps people decide to
leave. A written list of shared values also serves as a code of ethics, a place
to turn for guidance when the decision making gets tough.

Shared values are the steadfast ground on which we stand when things are in turmoil. Craig Freshley

The Religion of Progress

A really great essay by John Michael Greer!
My comment on the essay: Progress these days mean the same as Modernism. Modernism was a break with all traditional values, especially within the field of architecture. Modern architecture is the anti-architecture of all traditional architecture, and had to be so because they looked at the past as the opposite of progress: http://solidarityhall.org/modernism-as-a-cultural-discontinuity-an-architectural-comment-2/ I found this essay very illuminating! Read the original essay here, or on Resilience here.

The essay:
To suggest that faith in progress has become the most widely accepted civil religion of the modern industrial world, as I’ve done in these essays, is to say something at once subtler and more specific than a first glance might suggest. It’s important to keep in mind, as I pointed out in last week’s post, that “religion” isn’t a specific thing with a specific definition; rather, it’s a label for a category constructed by human minds—…

The properties of a True Collaborative Society

H Luce Says:
April 2nd, 2013 at 11:25 pm
Any enterprise which advertises itself as a “collaborative society” and yet is run as an entrepreneurial business with a small or one-man leadership group, accountable to no one within that “society”, should not be recognized as a “collaborative society” but rather as an attempt by an entrepreneur to amass enough intellectual and monetary capital and get a product with a market in place and the physical plant to produce it at the expense of his work force, in order to go into a “for-profit” business organization.

A true collaborative society should have the following properties:
1. The members of the society are partners and co-owners, each with an equal share in the business;
2. Each member owns the right to an equal share of the profits generated, and the right to decide whether to take his or her full share, to put part of the share back into the business for the acquisition of capital goods, and has the right to inspect the financial record…

Recovery of Earth and Humanity

Using the comprehensive paradigm of conceptual tools and stepwise actions, and taking the great care that has been described, it is within our power to recover the deeper aspects of human nature and work our way toward a compassionate and ethical civilization. It is possible to recover ourselves, our world, and a future for our children and their children -- one that is rooted in profound and lasting values.

Knowing that our devastated civilization cannot be repaired in a hurry, we may assume it can be rebuilt and reaffirmed only if we go very deep into the foundations of this new potential civilization. That requires, as underpinning, a renewed physical world, together with a new way of building and looking after land.

We can begin now. We can lay out a new way of thinking which is, perhaps, deep enough to give us the stepping stones we need to replace the disastrous errors we made during the last century.

If we have sufficient courage, we can make a difference in our lifetimes. In …

At Odds With the Very Nature of Any Good Building

The simplified, stark, attention-seeking forms of many modern buildings -- especially those that are considered notable -- are at odds with the very nature of any good building in which there are necessarily thousand-fold layers of subtle adaptations. - Christopher Alexander

Brilliant Essay by David Graeber

A brilliant essay by David Graeber, with a lot of original thoughts.

- A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse

Some excerpts:
It would explain a lot. In most of the world, the last thirty years has come to be known as the age of neoliberalism—one dominated by a revival of the long-since-abandoned nineteenth-century creed that held that free markets and human freedom in general were ultimately the same thing. Neoliberalism has always been wracked by a central paradox. It declares that economic imperatives are to take priority over all others. Politics itself is just a matter of creating the conditions for growing the economy by allowing the magic of the marketplace to do its work. All other hopes and dreams—of equality, of security—are to be sacrificed for the primary goal of economic productivity. But global economic performance over the last thirty years has been decidedly mediocre. With one or two spectacular exceptions (notably China, which significantly ignored most neol…

Energy Advice: Think Long Term and at the Local Level!

Interview of Nikos Salingaros by Mumtaz Soogund on Defimedia, Mauritius, 8 March 2013.

Dr. Salingaros recently joined the CT (Centrale Thermique) Power debate in Mauritius, and in this light graciously agreed to share his views on the matter with the readers of News on Sunday.



MS: A coal-powered plant proves to be a massive investment in the long run, and people are talking more and more about renewable sources of energy. Are they viable and would they be equally efficient in Mauritius?

NS: Of course, it is very easy to build a coal-powered plant today, because the techniques have already been developed for several years now, but we must think about the long term. Where does the coal come from? Does the equation include the cost of transporting the basic materials? Is the source of coal and its low price guaranteed for decades? No. Because once the decision is made, the nation is linked to this energy source and a particular distribution technology, and it would be too expensive to chan…

Blomsterdekorasjonen

"Self-Correcting" Capitalism

Ingen bit for stor

Without the 15 Transformations of Wholeness a New Permanent Culture Can Not Grow

Read the article on PCN on where this comment was made here.

I want to give you two quotes from Alexander's latest book, The Battle for the Life and Beauty of the Earth. As these quotas shows, the 15 properties are the basic transformations shaping the Earth. Ever since the Big Bang and throughout human history these properties have transformed every element of the universe into living structure, until industrial revolution and most essentially the rise of Modernism in the last century.

There might be other planets in the universe where this happened too, but probably it happened for the first time at Earth in the last century, this during a time span of soon 14 billion years that have now passed since the beginning of the universe.

As Alexander has shown in the "Nature of Order"-series, wholeness can only be achieved through these 15 transformations. Any system not achieving wholeness is doomed to collapse. This is why they are essential to a new permanent culture, and…

Min kommentar hos forskning.no vedrørende for lite dagslys i nye skolebygg

Les artikkelen her.

I the Eishin Campus utenfor Tokyo, utført av arkitekten Christopher Alexander, er alle klasserommene utført som enkeltbygg, bundet sammen av utvendige arkader. Slik får man dagslys inn i klasserommet fra begge sider. En utmerket bildeserie fra Eishin Campus finnes her.

En annen bekymring er de informasjonsfattige overflatene, etter modell av den østeriske arkitekten Adolf Loos, med sitt berømte utsagn om at ornamentering er en "kriminell handling" (sannsynligvis noe av årsaken til den fobien styresmaktene har mot grafitti). Det er en stor inkonsekvens at skolene, som skal fore elevene med informasjon, framstår som totalt informasjonsfattige i sitt ytre, med de konsekvenser dette har for den mentale helse og læringsevne.

Neste artikkel i the Metropolis Essays skal forresten dreie seg om nettopp Adolf Loos.

My Comment on PCN Regarding an Interview with Anarchist Stuart Christie

Read the article here.

I want to thanks for this article, as I've never really thought about that anarchy can be achieved using the technologies and discoveries of Alexander, as true anarchy not is chaos but self organization.

As I said in my other comment, the best way to achieve this, as I see it, is by using Alexander's pattern technology. But what we must not forget is that this is not alone enough to achieve a re-unification with nature. Personally I have by now read the first and the last book of Alexander's The Nature of Order, and these books are about form languages. As I interpret Alexander every true form language has its origins in The Fifteen Fundamental Properties of Wholeness.

These properties are like an alphabet that can form a myriad of different form languages, as they did throughout human history. Alexander has also done much work to document that these properties work through evolution and through every geological formation of the Earth, all the time …

Fascinating Series in Metropolis Magazine by Robert Lamb Hart: A New Humanism

In addition to a very interesting read, these new series about humanism in Metropolis are illustrated with beautiful sketches.
Contemporary knowledge of the biological foundations of “experience” is potentially as revolutionary in its own way as the re-discoveryof the arts and natural philosophy of Greece and Rome by the humanists of the European Renaissance. We now have effective ways to understand the exceptional skill of the artists and designers who, over millennia, have been creating the world’s great places. We can’t know what was in their minds, of course, but we can know why we respond to their work as we do.  Some very smart people are at work in this field, learning and writing about nature and human nature, and I have laid out a sketch that applies my understanding of their findings and ideas in an organized perspective—a way of thinking about design that I call “a new humanism.” - Robert Lamb Hart Read the whole series from Metropolis Magazine:

A New Humanism

Paa isa paa Mjøsa i april

Rocky Resources

Very useful article for the Norwegian topography, from PRI!

Land, Terraces — by Jonathan Davis April 4, 2013


Every geographic area has a resource waiting to be used. I want to talk about areas that have stone easily accessible. Rocks can seem to be a huge obstacle to design and productivity, but there are some valuable advantages that come with having usable stone. Some advantages to using stone in a design can be: freeing the soil of obstacles to plant growth, being able to use that removed stone for retaining walls or other structures, using land far beyond what common ideology says it is worth, using otherwise unused material and simple beauty. Rocky landscapes can be very advantageous to a permaculture designer.

In many soils there are non-soil components, many times being large stones. Anything over 2mm in diameter is not soil. The stones that are in the soil can inhibit, at least to some degree, the growth of plant life and the ease of planting. Good examples of removing the ston…

Påskekors

Plutselig, i løpet av påsken, fanget dette veggveveriet min oppmerksomhet, og jeg begynte å tenke på hvor enkelt det var, samtidig som det for meg synes å inneholde flere av Alexanders fundamentale verdier for helhet. Jeg vil nevne noen:
“In a surprisingly large number of cases, living structures contain some form of interlock: situations where centers are “hooked” into their surroundings. This has the effect of making it difficult to disentangle the center from its surroundings. It becomes more deeply unified with the world and with other centers near it.” - Christopher Alexander, p. 195, Book One, The Nature of Order

Thick boundary zones are old fashioned! Or so it would seem based on their utter scarcity in contemporary architecture where thin skins abound. So why would Christopher Alexander name ‘Boundaries’ as one of the 15 Fundamental Properties key to spatial coherence? Well, it seems that the natural world couldn’t really exist without them. Could the sun exist in the near vac…

Civil Religion

The word “religion” is a label for a category. That may seem like an excessively obvious statement, but it has implications that get missed surprisingly often. Categories are not, by and large, things that exist out there in the world. They’re abstractions—linguistically, culturally, and contextually specific abstractions—that human minds use to sort out the disorder and diversity of experience into some kind of meaningful order. To define a category is simply to draw a mental boundary around certain things, as a way of stressing their similarities to one another and their differences from other things. To make the same point in a slightly different way, categories are tools, and a tool, as a tool, can’t be true or false; it can only be more or less useful for a given job, and slight variations in a given tool can be useful to help it do that job more effectively.

A lack of attention to this detail has caused any number of squabbles, ranging from the absurd to the profound. Thus, fo…