Elders' Symposium / Growth

Michael Miller & Ute Bohnsack burrenag at iol.ie
Sun Jan 11 16:08:39 EST 1998

> From: Jack Rowe <jackrowe at compuserve.com>
> To: UNC Perm List <permaculture at listserv.unc.edu>; Envirolink Perm List
<permaculture at envirolink.org>
> Subject: Elders' Symposium
> Date: 11 January 1998 20:24
> And, referring to gratis work: "you need to be independently wealthy to
> work on the basis of koha, or the cruder 'sliding scale,'"... 

Without going into all the details of this debate I feel the time has come
to air something that has been niggling me for a long time.
In my student days a few years after starting to learn about pc I found
that even some people who *were* independently wealthy were unwilling to
share their knowledge for free or for expenses with people who were not.
The classic example was the teacher we (a group of students who were given
a small budget by the college to invite speakers on organic ag. /
horticulture etc.) wanted to invite for an evening. The person did not want
to talk to us on the basis of  expenses paid because "the college should
have long integrated pc into its course curriculum". (Wishful thinking -
even for a progressive college). The charges were prohibitive
and that lecture was never given. Years later somebody else who had emerged
from the movement spoke to the students for free. Lost years.

Of course, I think it is wonderful if some of us can actually make a living
teaching permaculture but obviously the definitions of what constitutes a
reasonable living vary quite a bit and that's where it gets tricky.

My own course participation was severely limited as the charges even for a
simple long weekend were equivalent to 1/3 to 1/2 my monthly income
(student!). An interesting thesis was sold for £40, about 4 times the
photocopying cost of the thing. Etc.

Mind you this is the only thing that ever
saddened me re the movement. Many's a time have I experienced what I
imagine to be the equivalent of "Vicky's state of wealthy bliss
while interacting with her worms" when I came across a great idea or
actually had one myself or something worked out well or Spring came around
again or.....


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