[permaculture] Information monopoly

Wesley Roe and Santa Barbara Permaculture Network lakinroe at silcom.com
Mon Nov 16 05:13:11 EST 2009

just got back from the IPC9 in Malawi, high speed internet does not 
exist, the internet goes off and on any given day, electric power 
too,  the big need for many organizations that are working with 
farmers and schools is to have a laptop to do reports and 
communications. A group of us brought 3 laptops, one went to 
Zimbabwe, one to Liberia and one to South Africa. This was in 
response to the Africans request  IPC8 in Brasil in 2007;

as far as pc books, the school  teachers who where at the IPC9 had 
their way paid to the Conference by the Malawi government. and once 
they knew we have brought some pc books everyone asked us for copies 
for their schools. so there is a great need for PC books, we have 
seen partial photo copied copies of Brad Lancaster books on water 
harvesting. there is a big need.

Most of the books we brought went to the MOOF permaculture center in 
Kenya , we promised them a year ago, they have no PC books and are a 
training center for farmers

there is a story of a friend travelling in a desert in Mexico, who 
came across a property that was a lush food forest, he stopped by and 
asked about , the owner pulled out a partial photo  copy of the 
Designer manual that was worn with use, she said a friend in the US 
sent this copy years ago and she asked if when he came by could he 
bring her the pages that where missing, next time by he brought her a 
copy of the Manual.

For my part i like to support the authors of PC books, they are so 
generous sharing copies of their books, we have organized book tours 
for them for 9 years in California, to make sure their books get out 
there to a wider audience. Rosemary Morrow buys her book at wholesale 
cost from her publisher, and will be sending over to africa, so 
groups can get the book out at a lower cost. many solutions.

I will buy books over this next year and send them to the teachers i 
met in Malawi, one by one. this way copies of the book will slowly be 
shared out to so many

many folks will figure out ways to share these books , the need is so 
great and the hunger for knowledge is so great.

I talk to the School  Teachers at the IPC9, they told me that they 
are paid poverty wages, and that as a teacher they will be in poverty 
the rest of their life being teachers. yet they have put together PC 
gardens at their schools , because hungry minds cannot learn. and 
they do not have extra money to by PC books. Sharing is such a 
powerful way humans connect and those that have so little share so 
much for a better future

let's creatively figure out to look after all the needs in PC

my thoughts stepping back from the 2/3 world to the 1/3 world, it is 
such a hard adjustment

ps the IPC9 was totally financed by fees there where few donations 
and no grants , it was an amazing volunteer organized event, 
blessings to the Africans that put this together, 160,people from 50 
countries. mostly from Africa www.ipc9.org

>"Do you mean to say that the vast majority of the World?s population 
>that lives on less than 2 USD a day owns computers and high-speed 
>Internet connections to download PDF files?"
>"my experience from eastern India is that people who are fluent 
>enough to read english and have access to land are rare and people 
>generally have no access to internet, especially if living
>outside of monetary economy."
>Well we don't have ANY "high speed" connections here in Ethiopia, 
>especially not farmers, but have you never heard of a thing called 
>EXTENSION. What if I download the manual (even on my dial-up 
>at $0.007/minute) and print of 1 copy then photo copy it 100 times. 
>I can then distribute this to 100 different organisations that work 
>with  farmers around the country. None of them may have been 
>interested to buy the DM for $100, but one or two may actually leaf 
>through and get interested, then we may stand a chance of getting 
>some PC implemented on the ground, with illiterate peasant gladly 
>taking on the (new) Gospel of PC and cooperative design. Do you 
>think the missionaries that turned up in Konso 50 years  ago could 
>have been successful if they had to pay Jesus $100 for every copy of 
>the Bible they used!? (Could any of those peasants who now spend 
>their Sunday mornings screaming Allelujah at their empty fields 
>actually read the bible? Maybe they
>  will spend Monday doing cooperative design sessions so their fields 
>can be full, with a free DM) According to your philosophy, in order 
>to do this I should have to pay $10,000 to Tigari (assuming $100 per 
>copy would cover it) instead of $25 for photocopying. Not only that 
>I have to wait a month for the books to turn up from Tazmania. Now 
>Bill may live a good old frugal lifestyle, that's not the point, the 
>point is that it's Permaculture, not himself, which really matters. 
>I don't care about tigari, if I can get a village to feed itself. 
>For the same $10,000 we can give a full PDC to to 10 school teachers 
>and implement a follow up program in 5 schools with 64 days of 
>consultancy monitoring and feed-back in each school. In other-words 
>we can take a big step towards generating food security for 5 
>communities. I don't see why Tigari should take that money. Yes Bill 
>wrote the book, but what is the USE of the book if it's only there 
>for the white
>  upper-middles of the anglo-saxon empire.
>"Copyright infringement in the third World is not an issue.? As long 
>as people don?t try to amass a fortune that way it is by and large 
>That's great then put the link back up. Who's trying to amass a 
>fortune here? The guy just stuck up a link to a FREE online version 
>and was formally warned to take it down, or else...
>"How and when Tagari decides to distribute their property is their business.
>Ethics is the cornerstone of Permaculture and I support intellectual 
>property rights."
>SO DOES MONSANTO, that is their BUSINESS too. What about the patents 
>on Malaria and HIV drugs that mean Africans are the ones unable to 
>buy them, despite being the ones that need them the MOST?  BIZNISS 
>is what it's all about. If the DM belongs to 1 person or 1 company 
>then its USE to the WORLD is severely LIMITED, I would say that is 
>the most important ETHICAL issue here. Sure it may not be good news 
>for Tigari if the DM is available free to all people that have 
>access to an internet connection, but you can bet you boots that the 
>DM is gonna reach A LOT more people in A LOT more places than it was 
>under the former, NOW_OUT_DATED_MODE_OF_DISTRIBUTION.  Bill should 
>be HAPPY about the net gain for the Human race and this big step 
>forwards in the RE-greening of the DUNYA.
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