[permaculture] Re: It's free on the web

David Neeley dbneeley at gmail.com
Thu Sep 23 12:50:48 EDT 2004

Ordinarily, I lurk on this list--because I am a mere beginner to the
entire concept of permaculture and how to apply it in a real-life

When I can move to a place where I can begin to put it into practice,
or before then if I find the opportunity, I intend to find a capable
person and trade labor for instruction. It seems to me more effective
for everyone to practice what is taught, anyway.

However, I am quite disturbed by the eloquence stated here...such as
"...blow it out your ass."

There is no automatic coupling of permaculture with any particular
economic system. It is also a long-established principle that
different people learn in different ways...but those who do not invest
in their education (though certainly not always in money) rarely learn

To claim that "society should pay" is intellectually dishonest--or
downright foolish, I have no means of knowing which in this case. We
deal with the world as we find it, and try to make it better through
our example. To try to use profane bluster only alienates, so rarely
persuading that it is an insignificant factor in any examination of
"how to win friends and influence people."

Although I am new to permaculture, I have studied geopolitical
economics as a major interest for about thirty-five years now.
Throughout history, Utopian communities have never been sustainable
for a significant length of time. At most, within a generation or two,
they have changed radically or disappeared completely.

Therefore, for one who thinks "society should pay for our
education"--pray tell, what basis do you use for such an assertion?

I believe that most would agree that in the U.S. at least, the public
education system is largely a shambles. My friends in Europe say that
most universities there seem to be full of the largely indolent, a
true "slacker" generation.

In my personal view, the strongest method of educating is by being a
good example--and making that example shine throughout the community
so that others seek to emulate it. When you can demonstrate clear
advantages in all dimensions, you simply don't need to preach to
people--they will want to emulate your success, so long as they do not
feel intimidated or threatened by it.

When permaculture becomes more widely distributed, and discussed
elsewhere than on a few special interest lists--it will approach the
point at which it becomes more generally known. Many kinds of learning
become available, as some want to have the "concentrated experience"
of a course for which they are willing to pay. Others may take classes
in continuing education programs--provided some enterprising
permaculturists create a curriculum that will be accepted by an
institution to sponsor it. Still others may take on interested
neighbors for informal demonstrations, while others still will accept
a few who, like me, are willing to exchange labor for the learning.

In short, anyone who seeks to condemn others for their chosen method
of spreading the word about permaculture should, in my opinion, step
back and decide if they, themselves, can *show* a different and
potentially better way.

As always, there are those who shine a light and those that curse the
darkness. I have little patience nor much respect for those of you who
merely curse the darkness. Left to individuals like you, no advances
would be possible.

The good part of it is that those who may be among the most
embittered, who may speak out of envy or misunderstanding and
certainly with a lack of charity, may become sufficiently enlightened
to decide to change their attitude and their approach. We can only
hope that this attitude change is sooner rather than later.

Back to the invisibility cloak of lurkerdom!


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