[permaculture] Permaculture list serve invitation

Lawrence F. London, Jr. venaurafarm at bellsouth.net
Fri Dec 17 20:25:34 EST 2010

On 12/17/2010 6:48 PM, Kelly Simmons wrote:

> Lawrence - I take issue with this post. You are the moderator of this
> list serve and in my opinion this post demeans your efforts and your
> role. I completely understand and support your right to your opinion and

You do have a point but this has gone on so long I feel the need to weed 
out those who do not directly contribute useful content to this forum; 
lurkers excepted.

> your own emotional response to any and all events, but this post comes
> across - in public - as childish, immature and volatile and only serves
> your critics. Changing someone's email address to "another moron" is

That's what they always say when someone sticks up for small farmers and 
permaculture practitioners committed to a lifetime of perseverance and 
dedication in the face of corporate intrusion into our world, that of 
humanity for the past thousands of years. They see that we have a good 
thing going, but they don't own it, therefore they steal or coopt it and 
sell it back to us or keep it for their own exclusive use, one percent 
of the people who used to own it. Read this about the commons and you 
will understand better what I am driving at:

""What is Commons Thinking?
The Commons are life-sustaining or life-enhancing resources and services 
that have not been divided up and assigned a monetary value in the 
global economy but instead are shared freely among members of a 
community or group. They range from the air we breath, pollination
provided by bees, land that provides food for gathering and sharing 
rather than selling, to words of comfort given freely and willingly 
rather than at an hourly rate. Pitted against the Commons, however, are 
the forces of Enclosure, which attempt to appropriate, own and sell 
resources that were once freely accessible, often breaking up 
communities and displacing people in the process. Commons regimes are 
communities which resist these forces and meet people's needs primarily 
or significantly through the Commons rather than through monetary 
exchange, existing both in the forests of the Amazon and in the last 
remaining tight-knit local communities in cities around the world...
This chapter aims to describe one important skill for rebuilding 
political, community and personal resilience.""

> clearly expressing your opinion, but it is also insulting and immature.
> Casting the events at SSE in such a partisan, personal way, whatever the

Just stating facts.

> truth of the matter, detracts from your points, in my opinion. It just

The truth of the matter in this case is what is important and IS THE POINT.

> brands you as an emotional hot head and whatever message you are
> intending is lost.

Do you make a living farming or in permaculture?
- if not, in this case, you are probably not a stakeholder
SSE was very important to a lot of people - it got coopted by a bunch 
agribusiness surrogates and the founder got robbed of his life's work. 
You have to campaign for the things you believe in and the things that 
are important to your livelihood and that of your community's. I will 
not, in any list I own, tolerate a bunch of nasty trolls propagandizing 
on behalf of those corporate-world high rollers who "appropriated" SSE 
and against the person whose vision, skills, dedication and work gave us 
many important years of SSE.

> If you need to vent your spleen, please do so in other ways. I would

I don't need to vent my spleen, only to keep the list on track and 
useful, serving the purpose for which it was intended, support for pure 
natural grassroots agriculture and permaculture. I think I have 
stewarded a pretty good product since I started the list in 1992 (at 
that time the only permaculture forum in the English speaking world).

> certainly appreciate your thinking more clearly about your role as the
> moderator, and what "moderator" means. Joining one side of an issue and

My role, in addition to managing technical aspects, is to infuse the 
list with my accumulated vision, knowledge and insights, acquired within 
and without this forum and from my farm and permaculture site over the 

> preventing other points of view from being expressed isn't usually
> considered moderating by most people. Some might call it the bully pulpit.

Read what I said above. Would you allow Joe Stalin or Adolph Hitler into 
a forum you own and allow them to freely express their point of view, or 
representatives of monsanto....
Keeping that sort of thing out of an emerging, developing community is a 
matter of practicality, protecting your own, preserving your ability to 
survive, all worth the effort.

> Finally, generally keeping a member of the list serve from posting a
> contrary point of view from yours, is self serving and crass. It goes

Not just my point of view but that of all others in this list whose 
opinion and knowledge I value. If protecting yourself and your community 
from those who would coopt or steal what belongs to you and your 
community is crass then so be it. Goes with the territory and is the 
name of the game these days. You must pull yourself up by your 
bootstraps and help those around you who are in a similar struggle for
survival to individually and collectively thrive, not allowing your 
livelihood to be taken from you.

> against the agreements you have already made about when folks will be
> banned and about open discussion.

I am all for 99% of that. Its the rare 1% that degrades list dialog so 
severely and I just show those folks the exit before that can develop.

> I think you can do better and I am asking you to consider it.

I am genuinely interested in the commons concept as a way to move 
forward with the things that really matter to each of us in our daily 
lives, for those folks who create and work and maybe make waves. So how 
can we construct such a system in this list?

> Thanks for listening.

And thanks for posting your thoughts. I didn't plan on replying but
ended up doing so anyway, on a lark. Maybe we can put together some sort 
of plan for a list commons that will not only serve our needs but
forge new frontiers. The list homepage has the Commons document and the 
list usage and guidelines one, which needs refining, for reference and I 
will gladly work more on this.

The Commons document above is the one I see as the most important guide 
for communication in this forum and I would like to explore ways to 
apply it here and make it work for us.



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