Growth of Pc

Michael Yount yount at csf.Colorado.EDU
Sat Jan 10 15:07:50 EST 1998

I concur with Geoff.  A related question is how to share 
permacultural knowledge in a way that's accessible to anyone
who might be sympathetic, but who can't reasonably assimilate
the whole cultural attitude.

This group in Colorado with whom I work specializes in electronic
mailing lists on "progressive" subjects.  I maintain a WWW archive
of a list called frugal-ed, which includes discussions of garage
sales, "once a month cooking," and getting out of debt.  Occasionally,
some messages on sustainability or environmental politics appear,
to which a few people have responded, "we don't participate in these
discussions to have our lifestyles judged."  How could I (or those
of you more knowledgeable) address these folks' questions without
overwhelming them?

As an advocate of "free" software, I have to exercise the same 
caution in promoting a culture which has clear parallels with
what you all have taught me about permaculture.  Software
engineering folks have popularized "design patterns," based on
the work of architect Christopher Alexander.  The hundreds of
people who have contributed to the linux operating system
as volunteers is a marvel.  Some people like the design problems;
others like defying <Well-Known Software Company>.  All right,
now if I said to you, "you needn't ever pay another penny to <W-K S C>
or its competitors again.  Free alternatives exist.  You'll be
wiser and happier in the long run, and you'll have a chance to
contribute your ideas to the common pool of computer knowledge.
My more knowledgeable colleagues will walk you through the transition.
There's one hitch, will take months, maybe years
before you achieve even basic competence,"  would you jump?
Who except devotees would choose this path?


yount at

 :}	If growth of pc is a goal, why not put a pc course on the internet or
 :}web, so people located throughout the world, dealing with their own
 :}environments, markets, economies, strengths, and social situations,
 :}could learn and impliment the principles... isn't implimentation of pc
 :}more important than charging money, and setting up hierarchies for the
 :}transfer of such knowledge and principles?  I have been on this
 :}listserve, and am operating in a situation that surely could benefit
 :}from such principles, but cannot afford to travel, or pay to learn; yet
 :}what I learn and impliment, and share with others in the local
 :}community, could further the goals of pc, moreso than the positioning of
 :}titles or accredations next to my name, and the econmomic and
 :}environmental benefits of implimenting such knowledge should be my
 :}reward for pursuing and learning pc, not my expectation of financial
 :}gain by charging others for such wisdom.  Granted information and the
 :}dissemination of info has value, but with technologies available like
 :}this, and the imminent problems we as a global community face without
 :}implimentation of pc, isn't it a small upfront investment to be made by
 :}the pc community that presently exists?  Further,  isn't it reasonable
 :}to expect that the pc movement would see significant return to that
 :}investment as the feedback from new practitioners validates or refines
 :}certain practices or principles, so as to increase the underlying value
 :}of its theories and concepts?

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