growth of pc

Lawrence F. London, Jr. london at sunsite.unc.edu
Thu Jan 15 14:26:41 EST 1998


On Thu, 15 Jan 1998, Rene and Lorraine van Raders wrote:
> Jack, Lawrence and Dan seem to be antagonising each other.  I hate to see
> that happen.  Emails seem to lack a quality that face to face speech has...
> it seems very easy to say the wrong thing, especially as emails are often
> done in some haste.   I'm very sorry to see this niggling, as I greatly
> respect the views of  all of you (especially when you don't agree with each
> other).  How do we "argue" over the net without getting upset? ... it seems
> a whole new skill to learn.  Generally I agree with most of Dan's argument
> re teaching and charges, though I can see the words used could cause
> offense to some.

Clearly a misunderstanding. We definitely are not antagonizing each other.

> Jack re Free Tools  (and Lawrence)   (and Dan)   (and April)
> I certainly feel a need for an organised approach to collating the info
> "out there" to make it user friendly.  By the way, I don't see the

I agree. This is just the sort of effort I plan to contribute.

> or on Chilly Climates).   Your idea is for all of us to share our work. 
> I'm very keen to pass on my pc knowledge, but I baulked at the thought of

Please do.

> posting our correspondence course.  We are at present revising it to then

No need to do that.

> make it available to other teachers to use, who might want to reach those
> who want to learn more and/or can't make it to a two week course.  Of
> course any teacher could write their own course, but we're offering a
> package that took a few years to make (part-time).  We were planning to
> franchise it out... using the  profits to get a myriad of pc projects here
> off the ground.  How does posting it free on the internet positon us?  I'd
> like your views on this.  Basically as I feel now, I'd be happy to post the

Having the free online PC symposium (sans the drinking part for me)
give ample reference and promotional to everyone offering PC education for
a fee is a vital component of said free course; & competition and word
of mouth (& word of Web) should be really good for business. As was stated
earlier, a hands on, in person course and workshop is a far better way to
teach PC and motivate a following.

> course on the net for all to see (eg Dan and April.. already doing
> email/correspondence courses, might get some good ideas to make their
> courses even better, as I know we would from theirs)... but would still

This is absolutely true. Everyone should get some benefit for this 
free online course - teachers, consultants, designers, students,
armchair enthusiasts, web consultants & information managers,
not to mention civic, governmental & non-profit organizations and the
people who work for them.

> expect people who used it as a package to teach for profit to pay us for
> it.  As I've already stated in previous posts... to get maximum benefit
> from a course the mentor (teacher) is required.  Perhaps anyone who decided
> to proceed with the course on their own could pay a donation (a bit like
> shareware).  Anyway your comments would be most appreciated.

Agreed.
 
> Back to the symposium.... (a drinking party with intellectual discussion my
> dictionary says) ....  what I would love to see would be the one site that
> would be a bit like an encyclopaedia or the Designer's Manual.  It would be

The encyclo[edia concept is the one I like best.

> the first port of call for any enquiry and would lead you to all the right
> links to get the information in an orderly fashion.  At the moment
> information on the web is so chaotic that it is irritating looking for
> anything.  There is so much duplication, rubbish etc that to find what I

Efforts are being made to make it easier to find the resources you need.

> want takes for ever... and often the really useful bits aren't there. 
> Perhaps this is because I'm still new to the net.. not having a local
> server (toll call required) I don't have too much time/money to practise.  

> What I'd love to see is an interactive database..so that when a particular
> plant was written about I could add my comments and experience with it for
> future browsers.  Or a particular line in the manual which I had contrary
> or more evidence for could be linked to that part.  Is this easy to do? 

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
YES. This is easy to do. I could have this up and running in a week.

This is exactly what I can set up in my page at sunSITE. Interactive,
easy to access and use "forums" for this exact purpose.

1) I need to know proposed names for the key forums needed and names for
   little mini-mailing-lists for active participants to use to submit and
   review information prior mounting in the database/encyclopedia.

2) When do we start?

LL
london at sunsite.unc.edu
llondon at bellsouth.net

> Thanks LAWRENCE for the work you've done compiling the list of pc sites..
> it's fantastic (and I'm going to play around in there when I have time),
> but it's not what my mind conceives as the perfect user friendly tool
> (although a huge improvement on surfing for info).  I'm not sure I have the

Its only a beginning.

> time to write a paper for a symposium (except incidentally); what I'd like
> to do is add a line or two of info to a database of info on a regular
> basis.  Well over to you... that's my dream.. I know I certainly don't have

Amen to that. This will help us all immensely.

> the skills or time at present to make it a reality.  Does anyone?

Yes. Several of us do. Michael, Jack, me. We can do this as a distributed
site or a single one.

> Lawrence are there really that many people who have computers but not
> enough money to pay for a course, that also have the self motivation to
> complete an online course?   I'm interested in helping but still not

Probably.

> convinced that giving away free helps anyone.   Freeloaders can destoy a

Just contribute a little every now and then. Lots of little pieces of
quality information eventuall make up a big database or encyclopedia.

> community... of course helping those less welloff to become useful and
> wealthy is a different thing... they would contribute to the community
> later?

Probably very much so. Many more people that we all realize are aware of
and/or knowledgeable about PC in these times of change and enlightenment.

> Jack re Talmud wisdom... when three people tell you you're drunk it is
> probably best to lie down, but I hope we don't lie down when three people
> tell us we have a bad idea!
> 
> Jack re lots of people with the principles absorbed but not having the
> details to proceed.   This is certainly something I see alot.   Somehow I
> can't help thinking that it isn't really want of details but fear of
> starting that is the problem.  The best way I've found to get the details
> is to start.   Start making mistakes as quickly as possible so that you can
> learn from them.   I know that the Ag Dept in Australia gives new farmers a
> package... do this and spray this every second day and you will earn so
> many dollars every second week.  I hope this isn't what people are looking
> for.   Permaculture design is individual... each design varies with the
> site and people, so detailed prescriptions aren't available and may never
> be.  That's not to say there isn't a lot of useful knowledge available.
> 
> UteB wrote about an experience again relating to charging for pc
> work/teaching.  I can sympathise.  I remember my first letter to the editor
> was when I was twelve... complaining that I was charged 20cents to see a
> space rocket module, then pushed in a queue hurriedly past it.  I still
> fluctuate between wanting to do everything for free and wanting to value my
> services highly.  I have attained excellent skills that shouldn't be
> undervalued.  Do I charge nothing, what a little old lady can afford, a
> middle amount or top of the range?   This is not an easy question to answer
> and I hope you will all have some sympathy for myself and others like Dan. 
>  Comments are most appreciated as this is still a very live issue.  I'm
> achieving a balance I believe, by charging highly for some activities and
> doing others for free.  Still I think
> some fees could be much higher to represent their true value.   Our
> permaculture courses are life changing/enhancing experiences.  How much is
> that worth?   Or should we give them free and beg for alms?  Who would pay
> for the library of books, etc?   Should we do other work to support the
> courses, but then where is the time to run lots of courses?   Shit I could
> have a great life on next to nothing, but running courses well costs money.
>   Suggestions are welcome, but please don't be too quick to criticise.  
> What do you permies say to funding us so that we can run our courses for
> free?   Or perhaps we can get funding elsewhere?   I'm sure there are
> solutions.
> 
> Frank... FYI  we do offer a personalised correspondence course (about two
> years part time) for $1600 (Australian).  It can be paid in installments,
> or perhaps we can come to some other arrangement. 
> 
> Well now that I've that off my chest... a good night to you all from
> Australia
> Rene
> 
> Rene and Lorraine van Raders
> The Green Piece Permaculture Garden
> PO Box 389
> Malanda, Beautiful Far North Queensland
> 4885 Australia
> Int.  61 740 965138
> Australia 07 40 965138
> email  rvraders at tpgi.com.au
> If enough people knock there heads against a brick wall it will fall down
> Ashleigh Brilliant
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