[permaculture] Drag out your hip boots folks, it's getting deep

GlobalCirclenet webmaster at globalcircle.net
Thu Sep 16 15:42:59 EDT 2004


You write
>that I'm wasting my time replying to these absurd statements because there
>is no consistent logical basis behind them; they are arguing about 12
>different sides of the issue in mutual contradiction. Pc should be less
>formal; it should be more formal. It needs rules and tests; rules suck and
>anyone administering them is a jerk. The PDC is meaningless and the
>certificate nonsense, but those offering it are building a fence around
Pc;
>If you take a PDC you need to practice Pc, if not, the PDC system is to
>blame. My head is spinning.

Untrue. I never implied it should be more formal, or if you take a workshop
you have to practice it. Never said anything of the sort.  In fact PC is
not a formal, accepted body of knowledge like medicine or engineering, and
could not be subject to the kind of testing and qualification as those
disciplines. It's not a discipline, despite attempts to insist it is. It's
a set of principles and various practices that have evolved over time in
many places. Nobody owns it. 

And
>We've been showing in many posts now that you don't need money to get a
>certificate, 

Wow. Talk about contradictions. 

>Mollison and Holmgren coined the word "permaculture" with the stipulation
>that it embodies a particular set of ideas, and they hoped that it would
>not
>get watered down by those who had not bothered to understand what they
>intended the word to mean. 

Unfortunately, coining a word to describe it doesn't change the fact that
they simply applied known sustainability principles to a list of sensible
agricultural practices dating back to the end of the Ice Age.  Their
contribution is not at issue here. 

>There are no evil Pc police out there preventing anyone from learning Pc;
>those monsters lie only within the minds of those with authority-figure
>issues or other neuroses. 

Actually there are those who don't want anybody teaching these workshops
without being "certified" by paying for a workshop themselves. We know
that.

>different ways to try to pass on the body of knowledge that needs to be
>common to all who call themselves permaculturists for the word to mean
>anything.  Those who are trying to pass on that body of knowledge are
>pretty
>open to intelligent critiques of how Pc is transmitted; we'd love to see
it
>done better.

Unfortunately, this is the attitude at the root of the problem. They want
PC to mean a specific body of knowledge (not get 'watered down') so they
can be "certified" to teach it. They want to "pass on that body of
knowledge", blissfully unaware that many sustainable PC practices that work
have been in place one way or another for centuries among indigenous
peoples.  They have no clue about the techniques and plant knowledge of the
Amazon peoples or the people of "darkest Africa". They think its new. They
think they thought of it.  Reminds me of the Peace Corps, handing down our
knowledge to the ignorant slobs in "third world countries".

My partner often reminds me of her immigrant parents from an Italian
village who from childhood  knew hundreds of practical and necessary things
for everyday living, for growing, cooking, and health. Fossil fuel was
unknown to them. Recycling was assumed without ever hearing the word. The
Old Ways. We should shed our hubris and focus on learning more from those
who always knew.

paul at largocreekfarms.com

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR  ***********

On 9/16/2004 at 11:18 AM Toby Hemenway wrote:

>On 9/16/04 7:56 AM, "GlobalCirclenet" <webmaster at globalcircle.net> wrote:
> 
>> That's saying that people do not have a "right to call themselves
>> permaculturists" unless they pay whatever workshops are charging. That
>they
>> literally buy that "right" with money.
>
>We've been showing in many posts now that you don't need money to get a
>certificate, so please allow your opinions to be affected by the facts
that
>others present. Also, what's the gripe here? You can't call yourself an MD
>or LLD or LMT or whatever without paying for or otherwise earning the
>right.
>
>Mollison and Holmgren coined the word "permaculture" with the stipulation
>that it embodies a particular set of ideas, and they hoped that it would
>not
>get watered down by those who had not bothered to understand what they
>intended the word to mean. (I can't tell you how many times I've been
shown
>someone's "permaculture garden" only to see a nice, neat set of
row-crops.)
>They developed the PDC as one way to do that; other ways have evolved, as
>has been said here. Mollison set criteria for learning the material, but
he
>also had the hope that the standards could be maintained without setting
up
>the whole dismal bureaucratic apparatus common to our dysfunctional
>education system. 
>
>>Yet they don't have to qualify for
>> certification by mastering any body of knowledge, by passing any exam,
or
>> by successfully completing any internship
>
>(I realize that when I responded to this erroneous assumption, I did not
>mention the 2-year diploma program; there's your internship. There are
many
>other internships offered at many Pc sites as well).
>
>Why do I have the feeling that if Pc had a more formal bureaucracy for
>imposing these standards, this same person would be griping about how
>elitist and exclusive that system was? I realize now, somewhat belatedly,
>that I'm wasting my time replying to these absurd statements because there
>is no consistent logical basis behind them; they are arguing about 12
>different sides of the issue in mutual contradiction. Pc should be less
>formal; it should be more formal. It needs rules and tests; rules suck and
>anyone administering them is a jerk. The PDC is meaningless and the
>certificate nonsense, but those offering it are building a fence around
Pc;
>If you take a PDC you need to practice Pc, if not, the PDC system is to
>blame. My head is spinning.
>
>There are no evil Pc police out there preventing anyone from learning Pc;
>those monsters lie only within the minds of those with authority-figure
>issues or other neuroses. There are simply different ways to learn Pc, and
>different ways to try to pass on the body of knowledge that needs to be
>common to all who call themselves permaculturists for the word to mean
>anything.  Those who are trying to pass on that body of knowledge are
>pretty
>open to intelligent critiques of how Pc is transmitted; we'd love to see
it
>done better. But the critiques need to be based in fact and experience,
not
>just knee-jerk rejection of authority and spinning of negative scenarios
>that are based only on unhappy speculations.
>
>--Toby, who is trying to put off work on other things he doesn't want to
>tackle, but will now knuckle down.  
>
>_______________________________________________
>permaculture mailing list
>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org
>http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/permaculture






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