Since the days of Sir Francis Bacon, whose writings served as the first draft of the modern mythology of progress, one of the central themes of that mythology has been the conquest of Nature by humanity—or rather, in the more revealing language of an earlier day, by Man. You aren’t Man, in case you were wondering, and neither am I; neither is Sir Francis Bacon, for that matter, nor is anyone else who’s ever lived or will ever live. This person called Man, rather, is a mythical hero who gives the civil religion of progress its central figure. Just as devout Christians participate vicariously in the life of Christ through the celebration of the sacraments and the seasons of the liturgical year, believers in progress are supposed to participate vicariously in Man’s heroic journey from the caves to the stars by purchasing hot new products, and oohing and aahing appreciatively whenever the latest shiny technological trinket is unveiled by Man’s lab-coated priesthood.
by Stuart Jeanne Bramhall, originally published by The Most Revolutionary Act | AUG 26, 2013 A Short History of Progress
by Ronald Wright (2004 Caroll and Graf) Book Review
The theme of A Short History of Progress is social collapse. In it, Canadian historical archeologist Ronald Wright summarizes humankind’s biological and cultural evolution, as well as tracing the role of ecological destruction in the collapse of the some of the most significant civilizations (Sumer, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Easter Island and the Mayan civilization). Exhaustively researched, the book advances the theory that many of colossal blunders made by modern leaders are very old mistakes made by earlier civilizations. Wright starts with the mystery of the agricultural revolution that occurred around 10,000 BC, when homo sapiensceased to rely on hunting and berry-picking and began growing their own food. Twelve thousand years ago, the global population was still small enough that there was more than ample wil…
"It's possible to rehabilitate large-scale damaged ecosystems with the use of permaculture design principles and techniques." Environmental film maker John D. Liu documents large-scale ecosystem restoration projects in China, Africa, South America and the Middle East, highlighting the enormous benefits to people and planet of undertaking these efforts globally. Geoff Lawton explains about permaculture and the projects he has develloped in Jordan.
A truly uplifting story how humanity can repair the damaged ecosystems worldwide by systematically applying permaculture design principles and techniques to restore these systems. Ecosystem repair will be the great story of the coming decades! A return of humanity respecting ecology and starting a cooperative bond again with nature.
Panoptism is how knowledge is distributed in hierarchical organisations. Only the top of the pyramid has a full view of what is going on in the organisation.
Peer groups are characterized by holoptism, i.e. the ability for any member to have horizontal knowledge of what the others are doing, but also the vertical knowledge related to the aims of the project."
Excerpts from a text by Alex Steffen :
“Optimism is a political act.
Entrenched interests use despair, confusion and apathy to prevent change. They encourage modes of thinking which lead us to believe that problems are insolvable, that nothing we do can matter, that the issue is too complex to present even the opportunity for change. It is a long-standing political art to sow the seeds of mistrust between those you would rule over: as Machiavelli said, tyrants do not care if they are hated, so long as those under them do not love one another. Cynicism is often seen as a rebellious attitude in Western popular culture, but, in reality, cynicism in average people is the attitude exactly most likely to conform to the desires of the powerful – cynicism is obedience.
Optimism, by contrast, especially optimism which is neither foolish nor silent, can be revolutionary. Where no one believes in a better future, despair is a logical choice, and people in despair almost never change anything. Wher…
Etter å ha lagt bakom oss eit hundreår med store ideologiske slag, stend vi att med ein symbiose mellom kapitalisme og modernisme. Symbiosen med modernismen var òg eit kjenneteikn til den største utfordraren, sosialismen, og vitnar om at dei båe har sams ideologiske røter, som eit mekanistisk verdsbilete og ei djup tru på framsteget.
Frankfurtskulen med sin ”kritiske teori” forma mykje av det ideologiske grunnlaget for modernismen på 1930-talet. Dei erklærte at tradisjonen er den største fienden til framsteget, dette inkluderte alle historiske og tradisjonelle arkitekturuttrykk. Desse folka knytte saman historisk arkitektur med klasseundertrykking. Etter den andre verdskrigen vart samanhengen mellom tradisjonar og undertrykking styrka, då nazisme og tradisjon vart sett i same båsen. Dette trass i at nazismen, på same vis som andre ideologiske rørsler, søkte å underleggja innbyggjarane ein sentralstyrt statsideologi. I kvass kontrast til tradisjonar, som gjev borgarane eit fundament i …
Richard Larson said...
Actually, life is far more interesting learning to use less of these energy sources, than sitting around on one's fat rump in full use of this power. Just think how fat those rumps would get if there was free electricity!
Strikes me the believers of progress as being locked into a concept that will never be realized. And the harder the attempt to realize this concept (cheap abundant electricity forever) the quicker this pursuit will end.
Reminds me of a story I recently heard about the settlers working their way into the US interior back in the day. They cut down thousand year old trees that was already providing a multi-dimensional bounty of the perfect food source. Free for the picking, with little labor involved. Then replaced these trees with a single-plane food source that required huge effort to plant/grow/harvest. And used up the built-up fertile soil in less than a decade to boot!
But the concept of corn as the perfect food source was much stronger t…
To describe that habit as unhelpful is to understate the case considerably. Modern industrial civilization faces serious challenges in the years immediately before us, as the paired jaws of resource depletion and environmental disruption clamp down ever more tightly on it, and the consequences of decades of bad decisions come home to roost.
In order to deal with those challenges, hard questions need to be asked and realistic answers considered—and this isn’t furthered at all by the tendency on the part of so many people these days to lapse into cheerleading instead. It’s rather as though you were trying to have a serious discussion about educational policy with someone whose only response to anything you said was to shout, “Central High, Central High, rah, rah, rah!” - John Michael Greer
"Det er 2,5 ganger så mye tømmervolum i de norske skoger i dag som i 1925."
Dette kommer av at man i 1925 drev plukkhogst, noe som førte til et mye åpnere skogsbilde, hvor bl.a. tiuren hadde optimale kår. Men også menneskene trivdes bedre i denne åpne skogstypen, da vi ble utviklet på de afrikanske savanner. Det er et faktum at mennesker trives best i landskap med en fraktal metning på D=1,4, mens den tette skogen som dominerer i dag nok mange steder nærmer seg D=2.
Gammel, åpen skog er den skogtypen hvor mennesker trives best, avbrutt av skogstjern og åpne setervoller. Gammel skog gir en sterk visuell anti-gravitasjonskraft, på lik linje med klassiske søyler: http://www.resilience.org/stor...
For å gynne friluftslivet må vi derfor verne om gammel skog, åpen skog, tjern og setervoller. Den biofile effekten …
Istedenfor å angripe årsakene til at vi trenger økt luftutskifting, velger myndighetene å feie disse under teppet og heller satse på økte krav til ventilasjon (2,5 ggr./t), noe som i praksis betyr påtvungne balanserte ventilasjonsanlegg. Da ventilasjonsindustrien er en milliardindustri er det nærliggende å anta at de har en finger med i dette spillet.
Repent, though I don't share your fondness for Jones et al., I agree that the short term crises are the rough part of the Long Descent; knowing that industrial civilization is going to take a century or two to fall really isn't much consolation if it's your job that just got eliminated by a contracting economy, your house that got devastated by a climate change-driven storm, your civil rights that went away in a political breakdown, and so on. I'll sketch out some of what I think we can expect along these lines in future posts.
As for me, I do this because it's worth doing. I feel I've already made a significant impact on the peak oil discussion, and far more importantly, on the lives of people who are better prepared for the deindustrializing future now than they might otherwise have been. . As for my wife, thanks for asking -- we celebrated our 29th anniversary last month; she's just as much on board with this as I am, and has a notably larger range of p…
In a short, just-released collection of four Illich essays, Beyond Economics and Ecology (Marion Boyars Publishers) Governor Brown writes in the preface that Illich “questioned the very premises of modern life and traced its many institutional excesses to developments in the early and Medieval Church.” In the 12th century and after, the Church and later the nation-state began to appropriate for themselves Christ’s narratives about salvation and the sacred, and put them to decidedly more secular, worldly use.
This has culminated in the profound alienation of modern times, in Illich’s view. As Governor Brown writes, Illich “saw in modern life and its pervasive dependence on commodities and services of professionals a threat to what it is to be human. He cut through the illusions and allurements to better ground us in what it means to be alive. He was joyful but he didn’t turn his gaze from human suffering.” - David BollierIntroduction to the book:
Illich’s theories on the effectiveness…
Ved en tilfeldighet fikk jeg vite om den nordiske permakulturfestivalen i Hurdal kun få dager før start, og da økolandsbyen ligger en liten svipptur over åsen ville det vært for dumt å ikke få med seg dette. Jeg hadde heller ikke truffet en eneste "permie" siden jeg tok mitt permakultur-design-kurs i Sverige to år tilbake. Heldigvis var det igjen ledige plasser selv om påmeldingsfristen var utløpt, tilsammen tror jeg vi ble ca 150 deltagere. Dette kan man ikke regne med neste år, da festivalen skal arrangeres i Danmark. Den startet her for tre år siden, og jeg fikk vite at den ble overboket på kort tid. Så skal man sikre seg en plass bør man være ute i god tid.
Dattera mi skulle være med meg da kona skulle jobbe, og jeg hadde også et håp om at noen gode "permiefrø" kunne bli sådd hos henne. Da jeg parkerte var jeg glad turen over åsen hadde gått bra, men da jeg skulle gå ut av bilen kom hele frokosten i fanget hennes. I tillegg regnet det, så det ble en dårlig sta…
Read the whole essay by David Bollier here.
I come here today as an ambassador of the commons movement – a growing international movement of activists, thinkers, project leaders and academics who are attempting to build a new world from the ground up. It’s not just about politics and policy. It’s about social practices and the design of societal institutions that help us live as caring, intelligent human beings in spiritually satisfying ways.
Many Americans have not heard of the commons except in connection with the word “tragedy.” We’ve all heard the famous tragedy of the commons parable. It holds that any shared resource invariably gets over-exploited and ruined. Since the “tragedy meme” appeared in a famous 1968 essay by Garrett Hardin, it has been drummed into the minds of undergraduates in economics, sociology and political science classes. It serves as a secular catechism to propagandize the virtues of private property and so-called free markets.
JMG said: As for Germany, that's fascinating, utterly plausible -- and potentially explosive. I'll have to do more reading on the phenomena of culture death and see how close the match might be.
This is one of the reasons why an Islamic takeover of Europe is such a likely and frightening scenario. In the long run, if Europe is to survive, it will need more than such weak reeds as secular liberalism, the Religion of Progress and a bunch of vaporous platitudes about “freedom”, “equality”, “diversity” and “tolerance” (all of which the Left routinely and hypocritically jettisons when faced with political and religious views it finds uncongenial) in the face of such a challenge. European civilization will either return to its roots (a la Spengler’s “Second Religiousness”) or it will die, pure and simple.
To be brutally honest, the peoples of Europe need to man up and stop acting like a bunch of deluded, politically c…
Extract from: - Pattern Language and Interactive Design
Most of the known architectural and urban anti-patterns were created by Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier). Characteristic of all viruses, there is no completeness in the sense that we have an organism that metabolizes and interacts with others in an ecosystem. What we have is a nonliving informational code, or meme, whose sole purpose is to reproduce itself. For this reason, a mind-virus is given as a simple image, and not as a formula or solution to a problem. I have noted below some of the most destructive urban anti-patterns. These have infected the minds of people alive today, and work to displace patterns from the collective subconscious. This is the reason why it is extremely difficult to reintroduce Alexandrine patterns back into today's society. ABSOLUTE RECTANGULAR GRIDSEGREGATION OF FUNCTIONSSHEER CONTINUOUS WALLS AT STREET LEVELBUILDING SETBACKSEMPHASIS ON THE LARGE SCALESEPARATED BUILDINGSVERTICAL STACKINGGE…
To learn more about the lies of the dominant world religion of progress, read John Michael Greer's essay:
- On the Far Side of Progress
From the essay:
The civil religion of Communism thus imploded when it became impossible for people on either side of the Iron Curtain to ignore the gap between prophecy and reality, and I’ve argued in an earlier series of posts that there’s good reason to think that the civil religion of Americanism may go the same way in the decades ahead of us. The civil religion of progress, though, is at least as vulnerable to that species of sudden collapse. So far, the suggestion that progress might be over for good is something you’ll encounter mostly in edgy humor magazines and the writings of intellectual heretics far enough out on the cultural fringes to be invisible to the arbiters of fashion; so far, “they’ll think of something” remains the soothing mantra du jour of the true believers in the great god Progress.
Another of the lessons repeatedly taught…