Monday, February 29, 2016

Think Global, Print Local: Book Publishing as a Commons

As you may know, Guerrilla Translation is launching a groundbreaking new project, and we hope we can count on you for some help! Here’s all the information you need to join our team by supporting our crowdfund. Keep your eyes open for updates, and read on...we explain below all the ways that you can collaborate! Many thanks.
Bollier y los comunes
Hello friends of Guerrilla Translation!
We’re writing to tell you about our exciting news here at GT - we have a crowdfund campaign launching today, February 29th on Goteo, supporting our commons-oriented, sustainable publishing project: Think Global, Print Local. We’re embarking on a new adventure in collaboration, translation, and publishing.
We’re launching a new kind of publishing network, with a team of P2P/commons publishers in Europe and Latin America. The idea is to “think global” - create a book translation and release a free e-book - and “print local” - support small, local printers and publishers, and avoid environmentally destructive long-distance shipping.
Funds raised in this campaign will allow us to kick off this new network with a Spanish translation of a specially chosen book - David Bollier’s “Think Like a Commoner”. We’d love for you to join us in the adventure of growing our sustainable knowledge commons - online and on paper! How can you help Think Global, Print Local?
  1. Watch for updates. We’re launching today, but as the campaign progresses we may need some support in getting more attention. Keep track of the campaign on our Goteo page.
  2. Donate. If you want to support us with a monetary donation, would you please consider doing so in the first days of the campaign? With a strong base of immediate support, we stand a much better chance of realizing our dream.
  3. Group support. Have a look at our rewards page, your community group could help sponsor some books for another community in a Spanish-speaking country!
  4. Sponsorship. Your group could sponsor a live event, even an in-person appearance.
  5. Pass it on. When you get updates about the crowdfund, please share them forward to your friends and colleagues - be sure to tell them why you think it’s a good idea to support us.
  6. Share. Follow our crowdfund on Facebook and Twitter, share and please comment on what we post
  7. Collaborate. There are non-monetary contributions listed on our crowdfund page, have a look and see where you might lend a hand.
With this crowdfund, we want to create a sustainable way to share information cross-culturally with other communities through translations of books, and have those books available to communities in hard copy - not only digital. Our partners in this adventure are: La Libre/Cornucopia Editorial (Peru),Sursiendo (Mexico), Tinta Limón (Argentina) and Traficantes de Sueños (Spain). Help support our work in creating those translations, e-books and hard copies in multiple locations - #ThinkGlobalPrintLocal!

TLAC cover ES resized
Get the book for your Spanish speaking friends!


Mariaberget at Södermalm, Stockholm


Friday, February 26, 2016

Virkeligheten er "subjektivt føleri"!

Fantastisk viktig essay av David Bollier om økofilosofen og biologen Andreas Weber, som viser at det suburbane er en ukultur, at vårt konkurransesamfunn er en løgn, at teknokratiet dreper livet, at modernismen er falsk. Det er det dyptfølte som er ekte, og vi høysensitive er de som bør lede an i arbeidet for en levende verden.

Essayet vil bli publisert i sin helhet på PermaLiv, og jeg håper å kunne skrive en lengre kommentar til Bolliers tekst ved anledning.

Takk Weber!

"Future historians will look back on this book as a landmark that consolidates and explains paradigm-shifting theories and research in the biological sciences. Biology of Wonder explains how political thinkers like Locke, Hobbes and Adam Smith have provided a cultural framework that has affected biological inquiry, and how the standard Darwinian biological narrative, for its part, has projected its ideas about natural selection and organisms-as-machines on to our understanding of human societies.  Darwinism and "free markets" have grown up together." - David Bollier

"Biology, which has made so many efforts to chase emotions from nature since the 19th century, is rediscovering feeling as the foundation of life. Until now researchers, eager to discover the structure and behavior of organisms, had glossed over the problem of an organism’s interior reality. Today, however, biologists are learning innumerable new details about how an organism brings forth itself and its experiences, and are trying not only to dissect but to reimagine developmental pathways. They realize that the more technology allows us to study life on a micro-level, the stronger the evidence of life’s complexity and intelligence becomes.  Organisms are not clocks assembled from discrete, mechanical pieces; rather, they are unities held together by a mighty force: feeling what is good or bad for them." - Andreas Weber

"We have understood human beings as biological machines that somehow and rather inexplicably entail some subjective “x factor” variously known as mind, spirit or soul. But now biology is discovering subjectivity as a fundamental principle throughout nature. It finds that even the most simple living things — bacterial cells, fertilized eggs, nematodes in tidal flats — act according to values. Organisms value everything they encounter according to its meaning for the further coherence of their embodied self. Even the cell’s self-production, the continuous maintenance of a highly structured order, can only be understood if we perceive the cell as an actor that persistently follows a goal. I call this new viewpoint a “poetic ecology.” It is “poetic” because it regards feeling  and expression as necessary dimensions of the existential reality of organisms — not as epiphenomena, or as bias of the human observer, or as the ghost in the machine, but as aspects of the reality of living beings we cannot do without." - Andreas Weber

"In the ecological commons a multitude of different individuals and diverse species stand in various relations with one another — competition and cooperation, partnership and predation, productivity and destruction. All these relations, however, follow one higher law: over the long run only behavior that allows for productivity of the whole ecosystem and that does not interrupt its self-production is amplified. The individual can realize itself only if the whole can realize itself. Ecological freedom obeys this form of necessity. The deeper the connections in the system become, the more creative niches it will afford for its individual members." - Andreas Weber

The Suburban Culture

How the Norwegian wealth is wasted!

"But this new wealth was spent on suburban houses, and on cars to get to them and appliances to put in them. It transformed American (and Norwegian) culture. The private world of home and family was everything; the public realm was out. When middle-class families took a vacation, it meant a trip by car to a national park, or perhaps to a second home by a mountain lake or beach. Most of all, it meant getting away from other people. Americans (and Norwegians) no longer wished to congregate in "playgrounds" like Atlantic City where most of the action took place in public places with crowds of strangers pressing in. Those still in the habit went to new playgrounds like Miami Beach, where the decor was not threadbare and the weather nicer. If you wanted the public realm in postwar America (and Norway), there was TV." — James Howard Kunstler, "The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape", page 229

"When middle-class families took a vacation, it meant a trip by car to a national park, or perhaps to a second home by a mountain lake or beach. Most of all, it meant getting away from other people."

The suburbs spreads across the Norwegian mountain landscape like an invasive species nobody knows how to get rid off!

The Norwegian culture is gone. All we have left is a suburban culture of individualism and consumerism.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Er ornament kriminelt i Hurdal økolandsby?

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”, 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”, 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 streamlined goods of industrial production — a hallmark of advancement and superiority. In effect, our “ornament” would be the simple minimalist buildings and other artifacts themselves, celebrating the spirit of a great new age. Indeed, the continued use of ornament was, for Loos, a “crime.” The “Papuan,” he argued, had not evolved to the moral and civilized circumstances of modern man. As part of his primitive practices, the Papuan tattooed himself. Likewise, Loos went on, “the modern man who tattoos himself is either a criminal or a degenerate.” Therefore, he reasoned, those who still used ornament were on the same low level as criminals, and Papuans. - Salingaros & Mehaffy
I Hurdals økolandsby er man definitivt ikke papuanere eller kriminelle! Nei, vi er en moderne økolandsby full av moderne mennesker. Alle med tatoveringer er uvelkomne her, kom heller i slips og dress.

Her er heller ingen vekslende repetisjon, ingen brede vindusomramminger, ingen skalering. De 15 transformasjonene for helhet er nøysomt stylet vekk!

Legg merke til hvordan balkongene bryter med det 167ende alexandrinske mønster: Six-Foot Balcony. Balkongene her har intet overbygg, dvs. ingen gradvis overgang, hvor ei rett linje bryter mellom inne- og uteverdenen.

"And recesses seem to have a similar effect. On a cantilevered balcony people must sit outside the mass of the building; the balcony lacks privacy and tends to feel unsafe. In an English study ("Private Balconies in Flats and Maisonettes," Architect's Journal, March 1957, pp. 372-76), two-thirds of the people that never used their balconies gave lack of privacy as their reason, and said that they preferred recessed balconies, because, in contrast to cantilevered balconies, the recesses seemed more secure."

I dette bauhauset er man i det minste ærlige om at ornament er kriminelt, reaksjonært og noe degenererte personer holder på med

Adolf Loos, det store idolet for Hurdals økolandsby?

How Modern Architecture Got Square!

Er Hurdal økolandsby ikke annet enn et uttrykk for liberal fascisme?
Ornament is a necessary component of any architecture that aims to connect to human beings. The suppression of ornament, on the other hand, results in alien forms that generate physiological and psychological distress. Early twentieth-century architects proposed major stylistic changes -- now universally adopted -- without having any idea of how the human eye/brain system works. - Nikos A. Salingaros
Det smerter mitt hjerte at Norges første økolandsby står så milelangt unna verdens første ekte økolandsby, David Holmgrens Crystal Waters Ecovillage i Australia, i sitt ideologiske fundament. Mens denne bygger på Alexanders "A Pattern Language", er det klart at Le Corbusier, Adolf Loos og Bauhaus-skolen til Walter Gropius er forbildene til Hurdal økolandsby. Dessverre er ikke dette bærekraftig arkitektur!
I am convinced that humanity's salvation lies in the correct application of scientific theory to architecture. Furthermore, I argue that the so-called "theory" used up until now is just cult doctrine and ideology, which is what has destroyed our culture. - Nikos A. Salingaros
Les mer om bærekraftig arkitektur:

Frodig i Gamla stan (Biophilia and Healing Environments)

Derfor må en økolandsby være alexandrinsk!


Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Only EROEI that Matters is Energy Return on Human Labor Invested

Published at Peak Oil News on February 24, 2016.
There still needs to be consumers who can afford the output. Even if there is massive consolidation, the basic problem of workers who could not afford the output would not be fixed, because it is related to the fact that the cheap energy sources have already been taken. Even if direct extraction costs are low, governments are still very dependent on high tax revenue.

What would happen in normal circumstances is collapse. Collapse happens when wages of non-elite workers fall too low, so that they cannot afford the output of the system. This happens when (goods and services produced)/population stops rising. More and more of the goods and services produced needs to go into overhead for the system (government, manager higher pay, debt service, cost of dividends and higher stock prices). There is too little output for the non-elite worker to get an adequate share.

There is a lot of talk about EROEI. In my view, the only EROEI that matters is Energy Return on Human Labor invested. When it falls too low, there is a big problem. It falls too low, when there is too little fossil fuels and other energy leveraging human labor, and too much of the system’s output pulled off the top for overhead. This is similar to a fish being forced to migrate for food, but not getting enough food energy from the process to cover its own energy costs. The result has to be die-off of the population. – Gail Tverberg
Very low energy return on human labor invested

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

We All Go Down With China

The first of the articles you link to says, “It is this slowdown in China’s debt creation that is the true reason behind the global growth slowdown experienced both in China and around the globe.” This hits the nail on the head, in my view. Unless debt can keep increasing by leaps and bounds, demand stagnates or falls, and commodity prices “tank.”

What is behind this is Beijing’s crackdown on the type of debt creation used by local governments. Previously, (as I understand the situation) these governments were given growth targets and freedom to reach these targets using as much debt as needed. In January, 2015, the central government withdrew guarantees for the Local Government Financing Vehicles, so local governments cut back on infrastructure projects like roads, subways, and reservoirs.

Somehow, this withdrawal of government guarantee sound a whole lot like the link that Stepheun recently gave us, with respect to the Federal Reserve removing its backup funding for banks. All of the guarantees on banks, allow them to invest in risky operations. I suppose one reasons could be to try to rein in bank operations, by putting them more at risk. But the net effect for the economy can be bad, if we really need rising debt levels. - Gail Tverberg

- China Unleashes A Debt Tsunami: Creates $1 Trillion In Debt In First Two Months Of 2016
«The downside to the surge in lending is that while it could support economic growth as the government undertakes much-needed structural reforms, it is also increasing the country’s already high debt burden. Credit is still growing much faster than even nominal GDP, which means China is getting far less economic bang for every yuan of lending.

Finally, recall that according to a Rabobank analyst, China’s debt/GDP is already at 350%. At this rate, it will surpass Japan’s 400% debt/GDP within the year, making China the most indebted nation in the world.

Most importantly, however, is that while the threat of NPLs coming to the fore has been a major concern for many China watchers, the indiscriminate surge in Chinese debt issuance means that the trillions in bad loans will be promptly masked by all the new loan issuance. It also means that China’s day of reckoning has likley been pushed back by at least 1 or 2 quarters.»


What MEDOSS was Meant to Complement

Read about MEDOSS here.
First time poster, Hello everyone! This is a bit of a tangental rant and scrolling past is excused :)

I’ve been cogitating over Fast Eddy’s claims that collapse hasn’t come sooner because there are people in control who have done their darndest to prevent it. Players who determine central bank and economic policies, some kind of unelected inner sanctum banking clique, are seen as the saviours of our time (so far at least). It may seem a moot point to consider whether the course of our recent history is determined by design more than chance. It is a point worth considering though because but it does speak to sense of hope that often finds its way into the discourse here. If there are people who have been capable of stemming the effects of energy constraints is there a chance that they can do it for a longer term? Can collapse be avoided, or ameliorated if it does occur ? In this regard the benevolent communism that ArtLeads yearns for, the disappointed nihilism of Fast Eddy, and the microbial revolution of D.S. have something in common. All put the course of history in the hands of human agency.

Some would argue that we are capable of determining our lot through a reasoned modelling of the consequences arising from our actions. However our choices often are just a muddle through. We just do what seems right at the time. Our actions are usually determined by a narrow range of learned responses in answer to perceptions and models of the world that seldom escape ‘cultural velocity’ (to coin a term). If we are to expect any one in control to keep this sinking ship afloat we can’t expect them to act too much differently than what has come before. Where we go next is determined by past choices more than present ones. Believers in the power of human agency to achieve human goals also forget this; there is really no such thing as a true revolution, only a reconfiguring of the rankings of existing relationships and networks.
Humanity’s existence within the habitat of earth can be seen as a participation in a system that allows no agency and no revolution. We cannot change the constants needed for energy transfer within this system as it relates to maintaining human complexity. Such needs as a comfortable temperature range, regular food and water are baked in. The network of rules, technologies and habits we use to achieve the energy flows we need to achieve these needs we can label ‘the human economy’ (It is misleading to call this network of energy use ‘culture’ when money became our principle tool for control over the harnessing of energy. Take for example the difference between the agricultural revolution – enabled by a cultural shift to adapt to new methods of food production – and the industrial revolution – enabled by a change in money use which allowed the creation of capital intensive projects). Any change within the human economy subsystem must always bow to the demands of the larger system. This is why a set of economic rules only succeeds when it succeeds in feeding its society, or in other words, successfully achieves the required energy flows for maintaining entropy-defying higher order systems. It is this conclusion that reinforces Gail’s premise that it is the interplay of energy and economics that determines the fate of human society. Furthermore, it posits that we are members of a subsystem locked within the demands of a larger system thereby limiting our agency. - Contributor
What an excellent contribution from Contributor! He very well outlines why it's so difficult to come up with a new system replacing the old one. Of course a big challenge even for Terje Bongard, Norway's first and best human behavioural ecologist. But I'm sure he would have outlined the necessary solutions if he just was given the 42 millions N.Kr. he needed for MEDOSS!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Culture of Architecture was Lost to Modernism and its Dogmas

A further consequence is that two generations have grown up and matured in Norway without experiencing what it is to live in a human habitat of quality. We have lost so much culture in the sense of how to build things well. Bodies of knowledge and sets of skills that took centuries to develop were tossed into the garbage, and we will not get them back easily. The culture of architecture was lost to Modernism and its dogmas. The culture of town planning was handed over to lawyers and bureaucrats, with pockets of resistance mopped up by the automobile, highway, and real estate interests. — James Howard Kunstler, "The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape", page 245


"What's the Secret of Making a Happy City?"

Roddier’s Third Law of Thermodynamics Will End Technology

Actually, technology can disappear even sooner than when the net energy from fossil fuels becomes negative. The economy needs a growing (net) energy supply to continue to grow. Perhaps efficiency and technology changes can change this relationship slightly, but this is approximately the situation.

So instead of the Second Law of Thermodynamics being what brings about the end of technology, it may by Roddier’s Third Law of Thermodynamics that brings about collapse and the end of technology, even though some net energy might theoretically be available, if debt could rise endlessly. - Gail Tverberg

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Morgon på Brantingtorget

Skulpturen heter Morgon, og jeg var på stedet om morgonen 9. okt. 2015 kl. 08:12.

Egentlig er ikke dette en så aller verst erstatning for ødeleggelsen av det gamle Gamla stan, som fant sted her, selv om det blir litt sterilt.

Svenske wikipedia.

English Wikipedia.


Friday, February 19, 2016

The only "high tech trap" exists in the minds of those who can't see outside of the very narrow tunnel of progress

Øyvind, how come it's impossible to go from cars back to horses when it was perfectly possible to go from horses to cars, and there was a very elaborate and expensive infrastructure around horses and horse transport that somehow got replaced? The answer, of course, is that you're letting the myth of progress do your thinking for you. You don't make the transition all at once, any more than cars replaced horses all at once, and so the ordinary depreciation of the infrastructure that has to be replaced does much of the work for you. The only "high tech trap" exists in the minds of those who can't see outside of the very narrow tunnel of progress. - John Michael Greer
Follow the discussion between me and Eivind Berge to his post "Can industrial civilization be saved?". Is Gail Tverberg caught in "the very narrow tunnel of progress", in spite of that she foresees the rapid end of industrial civilization? Or is the "high tech trap" real? Can we go back as Greer proclaims? How far back will we fall? Is the InGroup-Democracy of Terje Bongard possible, or will it claim way too much resources? What with an anti-collapse army? These and many more subjects are put on the table. Please feel free to participate. Any perspective to illuminate these very relevant and important issues are welcome!

Can we go back?

Economic Growth Houses

From a conversation with Gail Tverberg.

I just looked at a documentary telling that in antique Antioch there lived 172 people per dekar (not sure if it was per dekar), while in today’s New York there are only some and forty people per dekar, and in Rome just eight. With mixed cities and New Urbanism we can live much denser still much better lives without cars! James Howard Kunstler wrote a brilliant essay about this back in 2011, called “Back to the Future”.

Kunstler has named the suburbs the worst waste of resources in the history of humankind. I think we have to realise the suburban “home” is not a home, but an economic growth house. General Motors put a lot of resources into destroying the American public transport, described in the documentary “How General Motors Destroyed a Nation”. Less known is General Motors role in promoting the new suburbs with isolated houses as Heaven on Earth, with the purpose of making people depended on the car industry:


But how did the modern system of development and consumption — our “technological-consumerist” system — come about? Was it not an inevitable part of the evolution of science and technology, and an inevitable response to the desires of consumers — in short, our destiny?

No it was not. In fact this system was invented — planned by industrialists and political leaders in the early years of the 20th Century, primarily in the USA. The story was documented well in the 2002 film by BBC documentarian Adam Curtis, “The Century of the Self”, and in particular the first episode titled Happiness Machines. Leaders of Wall Street joined with political leaders to solve a twin problem: how to keep the masses engaged in productive and wealth-generating activities, which would also quell potential political unrest.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


Kommentar her.
Nettopp! Dette er et hovedpoeng hos Tverberg, at lavstatusarbeidere må få et skikkelig lønnshopp for å berge prisene på forbruksvarer. Luksusvarer som yatcher og privatfly og champagne kan på ingen måte holde det økonomiske hjulet i gang innenfor kapitalismen. Husk den første store energirelaterte trusselen vi står overfor, lave priser på råvarer og forbruksvarer.
Illustrasjonen viser at kapitalismen nå braser rett inn i den første verdensveggen, «Affordability»-veggen. Hadde vi hatt vettet i behold ville vi stanset nå og funnet oss et nytt kjøretøy. Terje Bongard har tegningene klare!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Stemning fra Kaffekoppen

Kaffekoppen er en kafè ved Stortorget i Gamla stan i Stockholm. En hyggelig, slitt liten sak. Se også min stemningsrapport fra Stortorget:

Kaffekoppen & Chocladkoppen ved Stortorget i Gamla stan

(Images from Kaffekoppen Cafè at Gamla stan in Stockholm.)

Sedler fra hele verden er nyttet som tapet.

(Notes from all over the world used as wallpaper)


Herlig kaffebord.

(Wonderful coffe table.)


Det fineste er egentlig å sitte ute og ta inn atmosfæren fra torget.

(The nicest is to sit outside taking in the atmosphere of the wonderful plaza.)


Men mye å se på innendørs også.

(But much to look at inside as well.)


De serverer deilig bringebærpai.

(They serve a wonderful raspberry pie.)


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Affordability is the First Big Chock to Hit Humanity

Comment by Gail Tverberg:

One point that many people have missed is that there are really two different thermodynamic limits that we are approaching:

1. The limit of a depleting battery, if a person thinks of fossil fuels and uranium as being temporary resources that decline as we use them. This is what EROEI has been concerned about.

2. The continuous rise in energy consumption, required to keep the economy from collapsing. The economy is a dissipative structure. It is like plants and animals, and hurricanes, ecosystems, and stars. All of these temporarily grow in systems that are thermodynamically open. They cannot continue forever, however, because their energy supply is not infinite. They come to ends of different types, depending on how they are structured. We know that economies have collapsed in the past–I won’t go into the details, but it is not too different from what we are seeing today.

EROEI researchers grabbed on to the first limit described above, and have assumed it is the only one. If a person can assume it is the only limit, then a person can spin a story about how decline will be slow. All we need is to manage the transition to a lower-energy economy. A person can assume that we can move to a lower energy economy. Falling EROEI is sort of OK–we just gradually move to lower EROEI.

Our problem is indeed greater and greater overhead. But the greater and greater overhead is not simply the greater energy use in making energy (in other words, what EROEI measures). The story isn’t right. We cannot slide down to lower EROEIs. We really need an EROEI of over 50:1, or we need to keep adding more debt to temporarily cover up the problem.

By the way, I am using BP’s inflation adjustment. My point was that oil prices were less than $20, not that they were actually $20 per barrel.

We really have to solve the thermodynamic problem of not enough energy to keep the economy going. No amount of money printing will fix this.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Human Beings are “Agents of Disturbance”

Turns out ancient humans were bad for nature, too!
To understand what it means to change how species coexist, think of interspecies relationships as falling into three broad categories: aggregated, segregated, and random. Aggregated species are those that tend to live in the same habitat, indicating some kind of mutually beneficial interaction. Segregated species are those that actively don’t live in the same habitat, indicating maybe a competitive relationship or just a difference in habitat preference. And random species coexistence is exactly that — random. Now, for millions of years, life on Earth exhibited a strong tradition of species aggregation — a kind of love-filled hippie era, if you will (that’s a gross oversimplification, but you get the point). Then we came along, and suddenly, the world started to get a lot more segregated.
It's time to listen to the wisdom of Masanobu Fukuoka. And actually you can do so in a podcast at

Episode 122: Natural farming and the life and work of Masanobu Fukuoka
I point out that this way of thinking and seeing the world [natural farming] is probably highly provocative to a Western mindset. Larry agrees and explains how our values and thinking has been molded by modern society. Talking of modern, Larry is actually referring to the last 10 000 years, from the point in history when people for some reason decided that we were more important than other species. It was as if human beings no longer had any limits in regards to what they could do towards nature. Fukuoka’s thinking was very different and more in line with the mindset of the indigenous people of the world. - Larry Korn from Oregon, USA
"I guess “agents of disturbance” is a pretty apt nickname, then. It’s certainly not the most flattering, but then again, neither was Suzy Spit-up, and I’m willing to admit that I totally deserved it when I was a baby. So maybe we should just own it. Anyone wanna make t-shirts?"

Sunday, February 14, 2016

My Image of Mythical Princess Libuše Used in a New Book on Czech Legend and Folklore

I was happy to find my image of Libuše on page 64 in a new book!

The Esoteric Codex: Czech Legend and Folklore

October 5, 2015 by Nicolas Kraushaar (Author)

Buy the book on Amazon here.

It's really inspiring that they used my image to cover a whole page in the new book!


About Libuše in Wikipedia.

Suburbia Eliminates the Public Realm

I don't believe automobile suburbs are an adequate replacement for cities, since the motive force behind suburbia has been the exaltation of privacy and the elimination of the public realm. Where city life optimizes the possibility of contact between people, and especially different kinds of people, the suburb strives to eliminate precisely that kind of human contact. - James Howard Kunstler, "The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape", page 189
Traditional city life optimizes the possibility of contact between people, like here on Österlånggatan at Gamla stan in Stockholm.

See too:

"What's the Secret of Making a Happy City?"

Larger resolution here.

Spikern på hodet!

Les artikkelen kommentaren er knyttet til her.
Vidunderlig "spade for spade"-retorikk fra en MDGs representant. Endelig en artikkel i jungelen av luftslott og grunn økologi og tro på mennesket og markedets sameksistens i forbindelse med Paris-sammenkomsten, som treffer spikeren på hodet. Krydret med allegorier og historiske linjer. Den største nedturen for meg ble et intervju med Terje Bongard hos P2s Ytring 6. desember:

At de fikk med Bongard er utrolig, og man hører på stemmen hans hvor lei han er. I tillegg klarer programlederen å vippe ham av pinnen ved stadige avbrytelser, uten å la ham fullføre et eneste argument! På toppen av det hele får man inn grunnøkologen Frederic Hauge etter Bongard, som stempler Bongard som en "menneskepessimist"!

En stor ugjerning av programlederen å invitere Bongard for så å gjøre alt hun kan for å legge hindringer i veien for at han skal få fram sitt budskap. Programmet kalles Ytring, men Bongard fikk ikke mulighet til å ytre noe som helst, med en programleder som var en mester til å få ham til å falle i staver. Også utilgivelig arrogant og overfladisk av Hauge å stemple Bongard som en irrelevant pessimist, uten å låne ham et øre. Hallo! Vi har her å gjøre med Norges fremste menneskeekspert!

En jeg ikke kan få takket nok i denne situasjonen er James Alexander Arnfinsen hos Levevei! Takk for den dyptloddende og fantastiske samtalen du gjorde med Bongard mens han ennå var full av optimisme, og trodde på at folk ville lytte til hans budskap!

- Episode 66: Inngruppa som styrende prinsipp i et bærekraftig demokrati:

Kjære MDGs representant, jeg håper du kan arbeide for å innlede et samarbeid med Bongard hos MDG. Du har sett overfladiskheten i hele systemet, og at det hele er intet annet enn løgner. Det nytter ikke med flikking på noe som ikke fungerer, vi må ta et dypdykk i menneskenaturen og få til noe helt nytt som vi kan takle som MENNESKER.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What's the Secret of Making a Happy City?

...or a happy pocket neighborhood

By Ruth Wilson. Original text here.
"We might start by using potted plants, benches, and picnic tables to block cars from entering the streets at the heart of our cities.  We can then convert the space cars once dominated to make room for pedestrians and bicyclists, for people to gather, and for community to grow.  We can welcome the idea that we have a common duty to participate in civic life and, in that participation, discover what true happiness is all about."
“What are cities for?” and “Who owns them?” These are two of the questions addressed by award-winning journalist Charles Montgomery in his book, Happy City.  As the title of his book suggests, Montgomery ties these two questions to the issue of happiness.  If the pursuit of happiness is something important to us, he says, the way we build and live in our cities should reflect our idea of what happiness is.

Montgomery tells the story of two ancient cities – Athens and Rome -- to illustrate differing views of happiness as expressed in the design of each city.  Athens in ancient Greece was designed around the idea of “eudaimonia” – a term introduced by Socrates to mean a state of human flourishing or the state of having a good in-dwelling spirit.  For the people of Athens, the city was more than a place to live and work.  It was also a concept about how to live.

The people of Athens loved the city for the way it supported a rich cultural and civic life.  For them, happiness meant so much more than good fortune and material wealth.  It embodied both thinking and acting, and necessarily included active civic engagement.  In their way of thinking, active participation in public life made an individual become whole.

The ancient city of Athens was designed to accommodate and encourage active participation.  The agora – or large plaza – was the heart of the city.  Here, people could stroll, shop, and gather for public discourse.  It was in the agora where democracy and civic engagement flourished.  It was also in the agora that Socrates and other orators of the time held discussions on such philosophical issues as the meaning of happiness.

Ancient, Rome, on the other hand, reflected different ideas about the meaning of happiness.  While initially designed to reflect more spiritual values, Rome shifted over time to focus more on power and individual glory than on the common good.  Huge monuments were constructed in honor of the Roman elite.  Public space and the well-being of the majority of the people suffered gross neglect.  The city became an unpleasant place to be; and many, who could afford it, retreated to the countryside.  City life had become too disgusting.

So what can we learn from this tale of two ancient cities in relation to the pursuit of happiness?  We can start by defining what we mean by happiness.  Do we think happiness is all about individual success and well-being or do we see individual happiness as being tied to the well-being of a larger society?  In other words, can we be happy in a miserable society?  Can we be happy if we aren’t involved in shaping the well-being of society?  It’s only when we’re clear about what happiness means to us will we be able to design our cities in a way that reflects and supports our idea of happiness.

More than half of the human population now lives in urban areas.  It’s incumbent upon us to ask, “Are these happy places?  Do our cities support our individual and collective well-being?  If not, how can we make them so?”  That’s where Montgomery’s questions come in to play: “What are cities for?” and “Who owns them?”  A close look at many cities suggests that their purpose is to house people, serve commerce, and move people and goods from one place to another.  Some cities also erect monuments to the glory of historical people and events.

The second question is about who owns the city.  Who owns the streets, the sidewalks, and the monuments?  Who gets to decide how cities will be used, what activities will take place in the city square, and where cars may and may not go?

The people of ancient Athens had no trouble answering these two questions.  They knew they owned the city and they went about making the city a place where happiness could flourish.  We, on the other hand, seem to be lost in a state of confusion.  We claim a right to the pursuit of happiness, but then allow our cities to become entities inconsistent with what we think we’re pursuing.

Look at a map or an aerial view of almost any city.  Is there any doubt that cars have taken over ownership of our cities?  Does this reflect our idea of happiness?   Most of us love our cars and the convenience they provide in getting us almost anywhere we might want to go.  Yet we see that city life built around the use of cars has actually diminished our enjoyment of the city.  We get stuck in traffic jams, use valuable city space to construct parking lots and parking garages, make walking and biking dangerous and unpleasant, and become increasingly isolated from the world of nature and from other people in our community.  Montgomery studied cities around the world and came to the conclusion that cities – especially the streets of cities – can be friendly to people or friendly to cars, but not to both.

So what are we to do?  Our cities are already built, the streets laid out in concrete.  But that doesn’t mean we’re stuck.  We might look to another tale of two cities for inspiration – this one, the story by Charles Dickens.  Most of us are familiar with the opening lines:  “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness . . . .”   While Dickens’ novel is set in the 1700’s, these dramatic lines might be applied to conditions of today, as well.  Dicken’s story in A Tale of Two Cities is about duality and revolution, but it’s also about resurrection.

The idea of resurrection might help us redefine and redesign our cities to make them more consistent with our view of happiness.  We don’t have to accept cities for the way they are.  We can resurrect the idea of the city as a place that nurtures our wholeness and that brings us together.  We can take back ownership of our cities by becoming more involved in civic life, and we can insist that our cities serve as a means to a desired way of life, not just a backdrop to life.  We might start by using potted plants, benches, and picnic tables to block cars from entering the streets at the heart of our cities.  We can then convert the space cars once dominated to make room for pedestrians and bicyclists, for people to gather, and for community to grow.  We can welcome the idea that we have a common duty to participate in civic life and, in that participation, discover what true happiness is all about.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Frodig i Gamla stan (Biophilia and Healing Environments)

Tenk å bo her, midt i Gamla stan med en egen liten park i bakgården. Uten en bil i gatene. Hadde det ikke vært fordi modernistisk liberalisme har gjort menneskelig sivilisasjon dummere enn en hvilken som helst gjærkultur, kunne vi alle levd slik.

Nå er det kun de som er villige til å bla opp fra 10 millioner SEK, som kan nyte denne formen for biofil luksus.

I dag angrer jeg meg bittert fordi jeg ikke slo til og kjøpte leilighet ved vårt forrige besøk i Gamla stan, dengang svenskekrona var nede på 80-tallet.

Gamla stan, Skandinavias eneste Village Town!


Biophilia and Healing Environments

Biophilia and Healing Environments, a 10-part series in Metropolis. Available together as a booklet both on paper, and online, published by Terrapin Bright Green LLC, New York.

Anbefalt lesning for alle som bryr seg om våre byer og tettsteder. Av min gode venn og støttespiller Nikos A. Salingaros.

Our biology should dictate the design of the physical settings we inhabit. As human beings, we need to connect with living structures in our environment. Designers thus face the task of better incorporating healing strategies into their work, using factors that contribute to the biophilic effect. 17th, 18th, 19th, and some 20th century architecture show the healing traits of biophilia. After that, architects ignored complex human responses to the built environment in their enthusiasm for the supposed mechanical efficiencies of the industrial approach to placemaking. Design that uses biophilia considers the inclusive, “bottom-up” processes needed to sustain our health. When ornament is coherent with the rest of a structure, it helps connect people to their environment, and creates a positive, healing atmosphere. Biophilia shows how our evolutionary heritage makes us experience buildings viscerally, and not as intellectualized abstractions. This thinking juxtaposes the focus on innovative form for its own sake with biophilic design.

Down a Stairway from Norra Benickebrinken

A man walking down a stairway from Norra Benickebrinken to Österlånggatan.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Organic Wholeness of the Small Town Street

The organic wholeness of the small town street was a result of common, everyday attention to details, of intimate care for things intimately used. The discipline of its physical order was based not on uniformity for its own sake, but on a consciousness of, and respect for, what was going on next door. Such awareness and respect were not viewed as a threat to individual identity but as necessary for the production of amenity, charm, and beauty. These concepts are now absent from our civilization. We have become accustomed to living in places where nothing relate to anything else, where disorder, unconsciousness, and the absence of respect reign unchecked. - James Howard Kunstler, "The Geography of Nowhere", page 185

Västerlånggatan Street seen from Järntorget Square in Gamla stan, Stockholm

Mystisk skikkelse i Baggensgatan

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Den suburbane kulturen anno 2016; dvs. den nye norske kulturen

Lesningen av James Howard Kunstlers bok "The Geography of Nowhere: The Rise and Decline of America's Man-Made Landscape", skrider sakte framover. Og jeg bøyer meg stadig dypere i støvet for denne klarsynte giganten og hvordan Kunstler med sitt uovertrufne språk, humor og sarkasme, beskriver den vitsen vi og vår kultur har blitt. Her er nok en liten lekkerisken for tenkende lesere:
Across the rural northeast, where I live, the countryside is littered with new houses. It was good farmland until recently. On every country road, every unpaved lane, every former cowpath, stand new houses, and each one is somebody's version of the American Dream. Most are simple raised ranches based on tried-and-true formulas – plans conceived originally in the 1950s, not rethought since then, and sold ten thousand times over.

These housing "products" represent a triumph of mass merchandising over regional building traditions, of salesmanship over civilization. You can be sure the same houses have been built along a highway strip outside Fresno, California, as at the edge of a swamp in Pahokee, Florida, and on the blizzard-blown fringes of St. Cloud, Minnesota. They might be anywhere. The places they stand are just different versions of nowhere, because these houses exist in no specific relation to anything except the road and the power cable. Electric lighting has reduced the windows to lame gestures. Tradition comes prepackaged as screw-on aluminium shutters, vinyl clapboards, perhaps a phony cupola on the roof ridge, or a plastic pediment over the door – tribute, in sad vestiges, to a lost past from which nearly all connections have been severed. There they sit on their one- or two- or half-acre parcels of land – the scruffy lawns littered with the jetsam of a consumerist religion (broken tricycles, junk cars, torn plastic wading pools) – these dwellings of a proud and sovereign people. If the ordinary house of our time seems like a joke, remember that it expresses the spirit of our age. The question, then, is: what kind of joke represents the spirit of our age? And the answer is: a joke on ourselves. - Kunstler, side 166
Denne amerikanske søppelkulturen er det at herr Fossemøllens øyensten, grenda mi, det totscansce landskapet, ja vår nasjon har gått tapt til!

Kunstler fortsetter:
The physical envelope of the house itself no longer connects their lives to the outside in any active way; rather, it seals them off from it. The outside world has become an abstraction filtered through television, just as the weather is an abstraction filtered through air conditioning.

The car, of course, is the other connection to the outside world, but to be precise it connects the inhabitants to the inside of their car, not to the outside world per se. The outside world is only an element for moving through, as submarines move through water. - Kunstler, side 167
Slik er altså den suburbane kulturen anno 2016, dvs. den nye norske kulturen. For med Sigmund Kvaløy Setrengs død har vi ikke lenger to kulturer på norsk jord!

Med Sigmund K. Setrengs bortgang døde den norske kulturen ut. Tilbake står vi med en reindyrket suburban kultur, med raserene suburbanitter. Ingenting annet!

Foto: Jens Petter Søraa

‘The Follies of Free Love’

Thanks for sharing Oyvind. Sorry to hear about the loss of the fish, but sounds like the small river still passes by which is a nice sound. I ghost wrote a book via an alias name, ‘The Follies of Free Love’. A woman that was born in Sweden in about 1880 hand wrote a book about her life and I just fixed the grammar and sentence structure so it could be easily read in English. She immigrates to Denmark, then later takes a steamer via a couple of stops in Norway. There she sees the Fram (a wooden ship that went up into the arctic) in a Norwegian fjord. The steamer then goes to NY, then she takes a train to Chicago, then is in SF just a couple months before the 1906 Earthquake, on to the Philippines, then back to SF to live in the SF bay area and her descendants are still here and friends of mine. The Fram is now on display in Oslo. Some day I want to go on a tour of the locations in the book in Sweden, Denmark and Oslo, Norway. It’s a fascinating life story in which she is most of the time single and very sought after. The book is cheap and available as an E-book from – not in paperback yet. - Stilgar Wilcox

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sick Suburban "Homes" are Increasing while Income is Decreasing

It's all about "keeping up with the Joneses!"
"Keeping up with the Joneses" is an idiom in many parts of the English-speaking world referring to the comparison to one's neighbor as a benchmark for social class or the accumulation of material goods. To fail to "keep up with the Joneses" is perceived as demonstrating socio-economic or cultural inferiority. - Wikipedia
The suburban home gets up the worst in human behaviour, growing the dark side of the force! (the handicap principle). It's all perfectly described in Terje Bongard's book "The Biological Human Being".

US homes have gotten huge — offsetting the gains from energy efficiency

Today’s new homes are 1,000 square feet larger than in 1973, and the living space per person has doubled over last 40 years

The alternative to this madness is of course building pocket neighborhoods, where the good side of the force can thrive in an in-group setting!

Better Together: Small House Living Thrives in a Community

An in-group growing the bright side of the force, with small houses forming a small house cluster gathered around common land. McMansions don't give status in an in-group setting!

See Nate Hagens talk about human behavior ecology and the "Joneses" from 37 minutes here

Pål Steigan som Norges James Kalb

Norge er et underlig land. I USA er en av de argeste polemikerne mot den liberale fascismen den konservative katolske advokaten James Kalb, som har skrevet den glimrende boka «The Tyranny of Liberalism».

Her i nisseland er derimot den konservative kommunisten Pål Steigan den uovertruffent beste kritikeren av det liberalistiske tyranniet!

På samme vis som det innen litteraturen foregår en utrenskning av reaksjonære ideer, renskes alt av tradisjonell/menneskevennlig arkitektur vekk i byggingen av Norge.

Hele Bjørvika-prosjektet er en manifestasjon av den liberalistiske fascismens seier, og møter alle med sin glisende, seierssikre tanngard når de ankommer Norge sjøveien. Norge er en sjøfartsnasjon, og ved å kle sjøsiden av vår hovedstad med modernisme viser de for all verden at her er den liberale ideologien enerådende. Nazistene kunne ikke ha gjort det bedre!
Bjørvika-prosjektet er en manifestasjon av den liberalistiske fascismens seier.


Sunday, February 7, 2016

Utgruppekultur er ukultur

Grunnleggende finnes det kun to typer kultur: Utgruppekultur og inngruppekultur. To opplagte eksempler er den suburbane eneboligen kontra lommenabolaget. Terje Bongard foreslår at vi beveger oss vekk fra utgruppe-kulturene og inn mot inngruppe-kulturene. Ja, faktisk presenterer han en inngruppe-kultur som eneste løsning for at den menneskelige sivilisasjon skal overleve! Lytt til samtalen med Bongard hos J.A. Arnfinsen på Levevei:

- Episode 66: Inngruppa som styrende prinsipp i et bærekraftig demokrati

Se også hvordan boligstørrelsen jevnt og trutt har økt i USA som en følge av de negative suburbane utgruppe-handikappkreftene (Bongard bruker atlaskgartneren som eksempel i sin bok, en jålefugl fra Australia):

- Sick Suburban "Homes" are Increasing while Income is Decreasing.

Syke suburbane "hjem"

Det snakkes så mye om å bygge et klimanøytralt samfunn. For en som har lest "Det biologiske mennesket – individer og samfunn i lys av evolusjon" og samtidig studert vossingen Gail Tverberg hos, framstår det som åpenbart at dette er umulig innenfor en utgruppe-kultur som den vi har.

Uten en inngruppe-kultur i bunn vil alle våre forsøk på å skape bærekraft være som å kave i kvikksand, dess mer vi forsøker, dess verre blir vår situasjon. En inngruppekultur, hvor økonomien, demokratiet og boligen underlegges inngruppa, vil kunne gi oss fast grunn under føttene igjen.

Bongards bok burde være ei hovedbok for arkitekter, ikke kun for legestudenter. Slik det er i dag ser det ikke ut til at arkitekter kan noe som helst om human atferdsøkologi, som burde vært arkitektenes hovedfokus. Det ligger et stort ansvar hos arkitektstanden for at det gikk som det gikk med Hurdal økolandsby. Tross alt er det arkitekter som har hatt hovedansvaret for designet. Bongard er hard i sin dom:
Mønsteret det dreier seg om er det alexandrinske mønster 37; House Cluster.

Et hederlig unntak er selvsagt Ross Chapin, som har utført en fenomenal case-study over dette mønsteret, som han har popularisert i sin bok "Pocket Neighborhoods: Creating Small Scale Community in a Large Scale World".

Bongard og Chapin, de to store ledestjerner for vår veg mot inngruppekulturen! La oss dyrke inngruppekulturen! La oss underkaste oss denne i pur livsglede!

Verdens første egentlige økolandsby, dvs. som ikke har et spirituelt fundament men et reint permakulturellt utgangspunkt, er David Holmgrens "Crystal Waters Ecovillage" i Australia.

Denne ble etablert samtidig som "A Pattern Language" ble lansert, og gjorde et sterkt inntrykk på Holmgren, som er en av permakulturens grunnleggere. Det var forresten på en av hans nettsider jeg kom over Christopher Alexanders arbeider første gang, og som vekket min nysgjerrighet.

I Crystal Waters Ecovillage spilte mønster 37 en sentral rolle, og husene ble gruppert etter dette mønsteret. At Norges første økolandsby ikke har tatt lærdom av verdens første økolandsby, er for meg ei stor gåte? Har de ikke fått med seg "A Pattern Language" sin rolle for mønstertenkningen som står så sentralt i permakulturen, og at nettopp denne boka var inspirasjonskilde for verdens første økolandsby?

Med utgivelsen av Ross Chapins bok framstår det hele som enda mer uforståelig. Vil gjenta hva Sarah Susanka, som skrev bestselgeren "The Not So Big House" og hvor Chapins lommenabolag illustrerer flere kapitler, skriver om hans bok:
Every few years a book comes along that profoundly shifts the way we think about a subject, and when we look back a decade or so after its publication, we see a dramatic shift brought about by the thoughts that book contains. I believe that the book you have in your hands right now is such a game changer. The model of community it describes provides a missing link in our longing for home, and a better place to live. My fervent hope is that it will provide people around the country with the vision and the inspiration to shape thriving pocket neighborhoods of their own. In my opinion this is the way to a vastly more livable and more sustainable future for our cities, for our towns, and most important, for ourselves. - Sarah Susanka, Raleigh, North Carolina, January, 2011.
Måtte utgruppe-kultur bli ut og inngruppe-kultur inn!

Den store lommenabolagsboka! Kjøp den her.

Dette innlegget bygger på en kommentar hos Kulturverk.

Les mine KV-artikler:

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