[permaculture] Intellectual property

Steve Read steveread at free.fr
Fri Nov 13 14:38:20 EST 2009

Thank you Brodie for that .

"huge oversimplification" yet nature teaches us that complex systems are at their root simple, so thats good for people like me who don't have mighty intellects or echew the 'intellectual paradigm dominance'.

At the end of the day, in todays property paradigm dominated world, I suppose we'd have to ask Bill as the author what he wanted to do. For my own part I use the paradigms of buddhist Dana, yogic Kharma Yoga and the pmc principle as proposed by Bill of 'give away surplus' to inform my life and work. It does mean however that I don't have much money!

Practically in France we have decided to create our own work, specific to the Eu francophone bio-regions and culture, as I mentioned before the people I live/work with in Turkey have decided otherwise and are translating the Manual. 

Not being Christian I don't really understand 'permaculture cooperatives' remark that its "old testament", along with most of her/his other comments. I find the Manual at each read an astonishing work and respect Bill as a 'Master' in the Oriental-Turk interpretation of the term.

Once information, wisdom and knowledge such as are contained in the Manual would have been orally transmited, in my humble opinion a far better and egalitarian Way, now we have books, copyrights and property, I feel its a poorer world for that and hope for better in the future.

After all these years teaching permaculture and witnessing the impact it has on people, I fully comprehend its impact, far beyond the mere words and certainly far beyond the techniques we expound, The positivism and 'can do' of what we expound often creates action or reaction in people in a way that one only normally sees in those who fully undertake a Way. I find that interesting.

Perhaps in the name of those who have a modest income Bill and co. might ask themselves whether or not they have garnered enough surplus from the sales of the Manual to make it free to some? Perhaps this is already the case I don't know. I would think it probable.

I do know that  as Permaculture designers we are asked to think outside of our cultural 'boxes', to use language that isn't so totally class or culturally biased that it enervates, I am lucky that at the moment I live and design in many different cultures and what I receive far outweighs what I give, but I give that as far as possible as cheaply as I can and where possible freely. Behind that last, I work to set up systems that mean  I can give freely whilst living well myself, but thats just me.

In permaculture and life I find myself questioning everything about existing systems, from industrilised childbirth through diet and property rights, the latter being an issue I have already discussed here and been called, tangentially, an arsehole for. Following that debate I took a course in non-violent communication which was a big help and subsequentally was very pleased when that and "consensus" were adopted as the basis for the French PmC infrastructure.

I must say that "Permie" is imo un unfortunate term, would an architect call themselves an archie or an engineer an engie? Perhaps we do ourselves a dis-service?

Steve Read


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