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I'm trying

 
author and steward
Posts: 50166
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I'm trying to figure out a way to solve global problems.  

People ask me what they can do and it seems to take a lot of time to give them some direction.  For every person that then follows my suggestion, I think there are a dozen that don't.  Oh well.  I tried.

I think a lot of people are not persuaded about a thing that makes a difference unless they can see proof.  So we need to create proof.   Not just a little but a lot.   And not just one bit - but everything all at once.  I'll see what I can do.

I build a lot of buildings to host the people that will make up the community that will build this thing that will be persuasive.  And other infrastructure.  And some designs on community that might last a long time.

I host the bootcamp at great expense.  People learn and do some building.  They start to become pretty productive after about four months.  Of course, they need to know that I will do this forever before they will try for a week.  So I am trying to create an environment where people can try.

I am trying the bootcamp after trying some other things that didn't work as well.  The bootcamp is still rough, but it is getting better with every passing month.  I think it is a keeper.  Keep trying.

I am trying to host events.   The work to set up the PTJ is about a hundred times more work than setting up the PDC.  I keep thinking that with every year the PTJ gets better and better.   In time, we will offer tickets to the PTJ and all the tickets will be sold out in a few hours.  I guess I need to tell more people, and flesh out the event even more.  Even if we sold all the tickets this year, the event would still run in the red.  I gotta just try.

I have two books printed and five more I am working on.  Trying to write a book is really hard.  Once a book is written you are about a quarter of the way to the finish line.  

I'm trying to make more movies.  There are hundreds of things to prevent a movie from existing, but all a person can do is try.

I have ideas for a few dozen more kickstarters.   I will try one soon - and I might even try for more than one this year.  

I meet lots of people that want to try to make a living doing permaculture stuff.  I give them a lot of direction and opportunity.  For each person that actually does a little something, there are a dozen people that did about nothing.  Oh well - still gotta try.

I'm trying to grow this on-line community.  There's a list of ideas for improvement.  Some to change the software, some in how we might do things with what we have.  

I have about a thousand pounds of bits and bobs to consider when i try to find a path to get all the things to work.   Several times a day an angry person with less than a pound says "you should ____" and when I explain why I can't do that, they get pissed, then publicly condemn me for not doing their thing.  My thought is "why didn't THEY try?"


Right now....

             I wish most of the tickets for the PTJ were sold

             I wish the better world books were selling about a thousand times more than they are

             I wish the bootcamp was full


I'll keep trying ....
 
pollinator
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Several times a day an angry person with less than a pound says "you should ____"



I have been down the same path, then I learned to say this," Show me how it could work! Thanks for the concept."

And see how it goes after than.
Perhaps less acronyms, what is the PJT?
regards
 
paul wheaton
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PTJ: https://wheaton-labs.com/permaculture-tech/

 
paul wheaton
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And now another person is boldly trying to support me trying:

    https://permies.com/t/178575/huge-gift-permaculture

    https://permies.com/t/160/135904/permaculture-writing/art/book-hands-million-people#1403366

 
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To support the need for more "proof" and evidence that permaculture ideas / principles / technologies / solutions work, here's my story:

Before the book Drawdown came out, I (for some unknown reason) received a bit of a heads-up about it. I was heartbroken to see that permaculture was not included in their list of solutions (despite Eric Toensmeier being part of their team).

I wrote to register my disappointment, and here's the response I got:

"Permaculture itself is not a solution on our list, as it is not currently viable on scale we can consider globally. Eric Toensmeier is a speaker, but more importantly is our Senior Fellow for Land Use. We also have Kevin Bayuk, an established permaculture expert, as our Senior Fellow for Financial Analysis. So interestingly enough, some permaculture is well represented on our team."

Another part of the response to me was this:

"There is room to add more solutions. We are not in the business of imagination, however. We are collecting and presenting data on already existing solutions that can be quantified. We do not push any solutions, but instead present data on solutions."

So even though Drawdown is based on a faulty premise (the one in their subtitle about reversing global warming -- we haven't even got our greenhouse gas emissions into decline yet), it has taken off. It would be great to get permaculture on their list of solutions. So this is another example of why permaculture needs to participate more in sciency things like research and data collecting and quantification. (I'm more of a qualitative research gal myself.)

 
Posts: 38
Location: Southwestern United States
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Paul,
I think your amount of try is amazing.

I was 100% in on the off-grid trying to make a better life and be a good example, then a bunch of unexpected life happened and had to trade 40 acres of permaculture experiments for a 400 sqft cube in the sky surrounded by asphalt and so much toxic gick in the air I could barely breathe.

I still read the forums sometimes. I try to come up with ways to make cube life better - something good enough to share with other city folk as an example of the kind of "not angry" progress you have so generously infected my brain with. I'm passing out 24 books this week... fingers crossed that a few will get into the right hands.

In addition to heaps of praise for your relentless trying, please accept my thanks for providing a plan B: Bootcamp is my favorite backup plan in a scenario where my own (new) acreage does not manifest.

Please keep at it. Your trying inspires more people than you can guess.
 
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Hi Paul, wow you are amazing. Can I please vote for you for the ruler of the universe?
Honestly... I am in NZ or I would be at your camps learning up a storm. But even so, I read these posts and various forum discussions most every single day and learn cool stuff which I apply in my small corner of the world.
Last week it was learning Here about king Stropharia  mushroom beds, and I now have one newly in inoclated and all set up in the garden for a nice moist winter, and for a dual pumpkin/Stropharia bed come summer.
I haveinspired another memberof our permaculturegroup in Northland, New Zealand to do the same. As we succeed, more will follow.
So. you ARE changing the world.
Blessings, blessings, blessings. We are DOING it. hugshugs, Janette
 
gardener
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You can't see all of us every day, but please always know we are here: the many, many people who have given up looking for solutions in the system that supposedly has it all figured out for us, but is constantly proving so false.  Wanting to find a better way, we see that you are there to show the way, build the way, and scatter seeds all along the way. I wish that you could see each one of us making changes and new choices and building better lives because of things you've written or done. And the invisible ripple effect will carry on through the next generation as we raise it up, too, to value and restore the truly valuable things you have helped us rediscover. Thank you--we are here.  
 
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I was part of the Kickstarter for the skip book. One copy to my local library, four to local people on my urban homesteading group. But what’s amazing is how inspired I am by the material in all the bonuses as well. It was inspiration I really needed, at s time when things were dark for me.  I’m changing how I do things in my backyard, because of the book and bonuses. Little changes, spreading out into the world. Thank you so much Paul, for keeping me looking to the future.
 
pollinator
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Keep going, Paul! Your message is reaching new people like me, everyday. I'm learning and teaching those in my circle. It's spreading. Because of what I learned at Wheaton Labs this year.

Plus.... while I might not reach thousands, 6 little human beings in my family will be better off because of permaculture.  That's contagious! The next generation of Harmons has hope because of your work.

I wish I could come to PTJ! Next year. When I'm not popping out a baby, lol.
 
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Are you familiar with open source ecology?

https://www.ted.com/speakers/marcin_jakubowski

This would be a great tool for your dream / our dream
Dawn
 
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Keep persevering, know  you do make a difference.  Off grid living and self-sufficiency is empowering and brings happiness to you and others.  Keep sharing and teaching.  Our children and other children will learn and see the beauty and simplicity of it all.  Mother Nature if we listen gives us all great abundance in substance and spirit.
 
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The Rocket stove is a great idea that was ‘
Shown’
Too many ideas die because they are not ‘shown ‘
I have an idea and I have the machine.
It is open source so it can be made locally.
Gardening is a lot of work. After a few years people give up.
This saves labor and more importantly builds soil structure and health.
Leave all crop residue on the soil surface except tomato vines.
It take 3 years for maximum results.
The coulter cuts through the residue and The cogs welded to both sides prepare a wonderful seed bed.
How do I attach the photo?
If you send me your email I will attach the photo
 
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Hi Paul...
I've been quietly stalking you for about a decade now, and I really appreciate what you are saying about TRYING. When we came up with the idea of Green Rainbow, we were 4 people and a giant dog living in one room in a squat with no toilet or shower, and almost never enough to eat. We said if we were lucky we could do it in ten years. But we had hope and we tried. And we tried. And we tried some more, and are still trying.
Now 3 years later, we're renting a small apartment, have built our team and plans, and have just launched fundraising for land for our first eco-village. Yes, first. We are starting with a small piece of land here in Greece, then we are going global! Our team is international, and all of us are immigrants and refugees. We are going to create places that provide free permaculture education, community bridge-building events, and art spaces, while also feeding our hungry neighbors.  
This crazy dream seemed impossible, but we had hope and we tried. If all goes well, we will buy the land this year. Then Green Rainbow 2.0 in Cameroon next year!
We're doing this, no matter what!
 
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Here’s what I’m trying:

I’m slowly learning about permaculture, and I’ve bought your book and PD course. I’d love to attend the PTJ course but that’s just not possible this year. But I will promote it on our social media channels.

In your newsletter today you wrote “Bringing a big group of people together to try is what leads to change.”

I absolutely agree, and I’m trying to bring people together on a community platform I’ve built. It’s for community resilience, emergency preparedness and self-sustainability, and it has a big focus on local food production. https://thrivespring.com/community-projects

 
pollinator
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Here's a few thought I believe are relevant.

First, there are some people in the "permaculture business" (Youtuber for instance) that sells a certain picture. A glamorous picture, of a tranquil, happy life, without any problem. Where nature is only a force for good. Maybe it gets some people into it, and they start acting. But there are a lot of issue with this. Those business men are just there to make more money. Not to help. Some people will try a few of the thing suggested by those people, for some reason it will not work, and they will just give up without questioning anything. Or, some other people have already been working in agriculture, and they have their own set of experience, they know that things are a lot of work, and so they will see the picture being sold as being a complete lie. But in the process, they will discard it all, without trying any of the idea that might works.

As you say, you try 100 things, only two will work, but you don't know which two.

I believe that being 100% honest and giving actual figures is very important. Some tend to sell permaculture, and so they will hide any problem they have, creating the illusion that it's all so easy. It's not. Nature is not good. Nature is not bad. Nature is nature. Nature move forward, in its own direction. If you happen to go against that direction, it's doing to be difficult for you. Very few people show what didn't work. A few people are actually giving out numbers about what they produce; one example I have in mind is Angelo, the author of the blog deep green permaculture. In the first few years, he would weight every single harvest (except the occasional berry eaten by a visitor). That gives a lot of data, and it's actual data, not some imaginary pipe dream. It's reality. Probably some will say it's fake, but whatever, there are data, and so it sets the basis for reproducing the "experiment" and seeing if it's indeed reproducible.

Some people sells it, for a lot of reason, as a perfect utopia. Some people will see through that. Some will think it's some fake science, when in fact it's a complex science as Edgar Morin would put it. You don't have A -> B. You have three billions letters, all interacting with each others and influencing each-others simultaneously. As in, it's a complex system, involving about every science possible: fluid physics, thermal physic, biology, microbiology, geology.

The biggest issue is, who you have who doesn't want your message to be heard. At some point, it is important to realize that most so-called "leaders", president, dictator, whatever are not interested in solving the problem. How do you control people who can live on their own ? How can you dominate people who have no need for your "solutions" ? You can't. People that are dying from hunger can't revolt. They can't think about anything else than feeding themselves.

There are those who benefits far too much from the current system to let other solutions become popular, let alone solutions that completely make them irrelevant.

It has been "proven" that you can't feed the world on organic. How ? Well, you take two soil destroyed by years of poisons. In one spot, you plant GMO seeds, with all the pesticides, fertilizers, etc. In the other, you only plant the GMO seeds. Surprise, the "organic" one doesn't work. Obviously, you can see that this is a malicious study. The purpose of science is to seek the truth, not manipulate it. And since few people actually read a study, and question the methods used, well, the current system keep its dominion in place. A real study to see which is better, organic or poison (I know that I am biased), is to apply the whole principle. Do the experiment correctly, over several years. Keep the chemicals for the poison agriculture, and use the whole range of organic principles: compost, growing soil, using heirloom seeds, mulching... you can get any result you want from a study, when you manipulate it. And Big Agriculture doesn't want people to know the extent of the destruction they create.

Another problem, is ignorance. Why not eat some McBurger ? It taste good, right ? Have those people tasted real food ? Without additives ? Food grown in the best soil ? The freshest possible, from the best variety ? How is that McBurger made ? What are all the implication of how it's made ? A lot of people won't know.

What's even worse, it's that too many people don't want to know. Imagine, you have your best life, comfortable, then one day, someone show you the truth: you are participating in the destruction of everything, your habits are contributing to slave labor, children labor, pollution and destruction... If you've ever seen the Matrix, you might understand what I mean. Some people will reject the truth. They do not want to know. For a whole range of psychological reason. It's one of the reason why the current system keep existing. And then, you also have the fact that the current system is pushing people against each other. Always having to compete. So, they are always tired and never have the time to think and stop.

That's a lot of things you, we, are fighting against. There's a lot of problem to solve. But how do you climb the Everest ? One step at a time. How do you eat an elephant ? One fork at a time. How do you eat a watermelon ? (that's the vegan alternative). It's reality. So, what we need is solution anchored in reality. I've written about a lot of things I believe are reason why it's difficult. But there are solutions, but it will take a lot of time and energy. How to solve each of those problems ? Show the ups and down. Be optimistically realistic. A food forest is wonderful. Lot of food, not a lot of work. But there will be wildlife. You won't control it all. It won't look as "neat" as some suburbia lawn. Studies can be falsified ? Well, debunking them, showing the conflicts in interest, making "real" studies (as in, honestly trying to figure out facts and truth, and solve the resulting truth: maybe a permie solution is nice but create some other problems, well, how to solve those problems ?). Another nice proverb. A hunter who run after two rabbits catch neither. I listed a lot of problems. Working on all of them at once is a perfect way to make sure nothing will get solved.


Some people, unfortunately a small percent of the population will actively seek out what you are proposing. I work in computer science, and somehow am posting here, learning and "teaching", practicing.

Some people will be interested, but won't go as deep as myself.

Some will not particularly be interested, or won't care if you don't show them how they can benefit.

Some will never be convinced, because it's far too comfortable to live how they live. They are stuck in their beliefs. Maybe they will change, but marginally. Others will never ever change.

Some will actively fight against you.

Some people will never join the cause. That sucks, but accept it, and focus on those that will, and those that might. This also imply a need to target those audience properly. If you tell me about how I can use my poop in the garden, I'm all ears. IF you tell the same thing to another "class" of people, they will look at you in disgust. But if you tell them about how they can grow food organically, help biodiversity, maybe they'll listen to that more. A very good vibe I get from what you are doing is that you focus on the positive. I honestly hate the current green movement, because they are hypocrites who hate humans. They want a punitive ecology. A good green movement makes you want to be a part of it. People should go green because it's amazing, not because they're told they are absolute assholes. I'm going all the way in mainly because food forests, nature, etc is wonderful. The collapse of biodiversity, society is another motivator, but not the strongest.


I have other things to do, and far too many things to say so I will have to stop this reply here. I covered a lots of different things I believe are relevant to the subject, but if there are things which are not clear, please ask and I'll elaborate.
 
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Paul, you, and what you have built, have been and continue to be, a great resource in my own journey towards resilient living.
Raised in a city in a privileged country, I knew very little practical skills. This forum and your free teaching are my 'go to' source to substantiate the information I need for projects in our off grid life.
However, in learning to live sustainably, the first thing I left behind was the means to purchase most things. I sometimes wonder if I should have taken a different path and played the capitalist game to broaden my audience reach (which is a pitiful reach really, limited to the family and friends who still remain interested). I constantly have people telling me to start a channel, write a book, monetize our homestead or go on TV. I just can't do it, so that leaves me with 'trying'.
I try to live with nature and devise increasingly informed ways to minimize my impact on nature, I inform myself and I contribute to discussions in person and online. I believe we need to try do what we have the capacity to do.
 
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Thank you Paul for all you do. I used to Google to find answers to homesteading/ permaculture questions but now I just come to permies. You do make a huge difference. I get excited about what I read on the site and I tell others and they get excited. It's a snowball effect. I tell 10 people and they tell 10 people who tell 10 people. Since most of the sharing with people outside the forums is not seen doesn't mean it's not happening. Just because a lot of us can't physically come to the boot camp and other events doesn't mean we don't want to be there. I would love to come. I hope that all the great stuff you do there is put up where the rest of us can learn from afar. Thank you again for all you do
 
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People ARE trying.  I’d write more but I’m in the middle of tending the fenced area of composting human waste at the moment.  
Out here, off grid. In the middle of the middle of Northern Canada nowhere with government land on all 4 sides, a 200 mile round trip to ‘civilization’ and a thermal mass greenhouse that doesn’t freeze even at -50.
 
paul wheaton
author and steward
Posts: 50166
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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Dawn Kennedy wrote:Are you familiar with open source ecology?

https://www.ted.com/speakers/marcin_jakubowski

This would be a great tool for your dream / our dream
Dawn



Yup,

Permies.com has supported a lot of their projects over the years.
 
pollinator
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Phineas I want your greenhouse!  If you would be so kind as to provide details of construction and any supplemental heat sources you use, it would be much appreciated!
 
Phineas Gulcher
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Donna Lynn wrote:Phineas I want your greenhouse!  If you would be so kind as to provide details of construction and any supplemental heat sources you use, it would be much appreciated!



We cheated. The kitchen had a south facing 12’ wide projection to which we added a 12’ x 12’ lean to greenhouse. Concrete floor, 2x4 insulated walls where there aren’t scrounged windows (it’s mostly windows) and a 2x6 insulated roof except for the centred 10’x6’ roof glass part. We put a glass door on one wall close to the house and then added to the kitchen by going sideways and wrapping up around the door.  The kitchen addition has windows to support sunlight passing through to the glass door.
The original kitchen wall looking in to the greenhouse has a 5’ high by 9’ wide window so lots of heat migrated from the kitchen to the greenhouse and the glass door is closed during summer but open (with a screen door) in the winter so even more heat passes from the kitchen to the green house. We have a wood stove in the greenhouse but never use it.  
In the kitchen we cook on wood and propane so there is some heat there to move in to the greenhouse.  
It’s more of an orangery than a greenhouse I guess.  
Heat from the greenhouse does not heat the house during the growing season because the windows open.  
In the winter the kitchen is warm despite the parasitical greenhouse - I’m sure the kitchen wood burning cook stove helps during the coldest times.  
We have not noticed an increase in wood consumption.
We may remove the wood stove that is in the green house. Because it isn’t used. But we may not.  
Currently we start seed in the kitchen in the early spring but may one day want to do that in the greenhouse (we start seeds when it still drops to -20 outside). If we decide to start seed in the gh we may need to light a gh fire once a day to facilitate that as otherwise it might only be 5-10 Celsius above zero in there and seeds like it warmer.  
Overwintering without ever lighting the gh stove is no problem.  Even for flowers.  
Winter sun days add a lot of heat through the glass, which must figure in to why we don’t seem to burn more wood in general.  
We do have a regular 20’x16’ gh and are slowly turning the north wall into something thick made of rock for additional ‘passive’ thermal mass - but that’s a dif kettle of fish. The increasing thermal mass there has helped with early and surprise frosts.  We expect it will get better over time - as more mass is added.  
We like how both greenhouses worked out.  Neighbouring ranches are trying it now.
You are not the first to ask about this.  
- - -
Understandably, no one ever wants to talk about composting human waste.
We don’t use the end product in the greenhouse though, but when I was in China in the 1980s we sure used it in the fields.
I survived that experience, but I wouldn’t be part of it now.
We have plenty of product from ‘normal’ composting for our gh and garden purposes.
This seems to make everyone happy!
 
Donna Lynn
pollinator
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Thank you Phineas.  I was hoping it was a stand-alone design, but what you did makes sense.  I am looking at adding a lean-to greenhouse to the south side of our small home which would have an existing window opening from the house into the greenhouse.  I hate to do that because the size would be limited by setback regulations from the paved road to the south as well as shade from a large evergreen to the southwest, and the very close garage to the east.  I have so many potted tropical or semi-tropical fruiting plants that I now have to move outside in summer and then indoors in fall, and would love to give them permanent homes to save my back!  (and my dining room floor...) Not to mention grow celery and other things my zone 6 season just doesn't support outdoors.  Walipini style is out due to our high groundwater level, as is a heavy thermal mass north wall almost anywhere on the property.  If my neighbor would sell us a half acre on the higher elevation side of our lot, I could build more safely there, but they have their place up for sale and do not want to risk interrupting that process for us.    **** ANY PERMIES INTERESTED IN A HORSE FARM OF ALMOST 40 ACRES IN MICHIGAN PLEASE REPLY AND YOU COULD BE MY NEIGHBOR!  They only want about half a million bucks for it... ****

I have lovingly designed a few greenhouse options, but the free standing one would require some additional heat source to keep the tropicals happy  through our winter.  I figured a rocket mass heater with the barrel out of the immediate planting area, with ducting going around a water storage tank/hot tub near the north wall, then all along the north wall's thermal mass, with the cooler end being the Mediterranean portion and the warmer end the tropical section.  But the growing cost of materials will likely limit me to the smaller attached greenhouse anyway, and leave several pots to still move inside and outside.  Sigh.
 
Donna Lynn
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About the composting of human waste... I've read the Humanure book, and would not mind implementing something like that once my household is completely organically fed and drug-free.  But alas, that may not happen until I am the only one left!
 
Phineas Gulcher
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I hear you Donna, it’s too bad about material prices and the water table.  One day I’ll bring in a machine and put a green house in the top of a bank with not much more than the roof exposed.  That will be something! Our banks are eskers so drainage isn’t an issue and we have the material to make all the concrete we want so it’s kind of a ‘no brainer’ project.  
We go through our rocket mass heater book each spring and wonder if this is the summer for a test build. It might be just the thing for the stand alone gh you describe.  Your explanation seems well thought out and solid.  
It’s too bad about the set back but a small attached gh (sun room? Orangerie?) would still be plenty useful!
 
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I love permaculture and it offers a "solution" to a large part of our global problem but unfortunately, it doesn't seem scalable to me either.  Certainly, most people don't want to live in communes and many others have zero interest in growing food and practicing sustainability.  This is permaculture's fundamental problem as a global solution.

But we keep on brainstorming...so how can we appreciably affect a majority of the population globally and thus the quality of life on our planet?
That's the million dollar question.  So we have to organize our thoughts.

First, there are so many proposed ideas that we have to sift through them and put them into "large scale" and "small scale " buckets.  If we want to scale up, then we start by looking at the "large scale" ideas first.  To me, this would be things like setting up "hubs" that operate similar to Wheaton Labs but MUST be flexible to change based on local demands, infrastructure requirements, etc.  These hubs will be regional centers for instruction and demonstration.  They will need funding, at least initially unless an already established farm but will probably still need funding.
Those "hubs" will ideally facilitate more local growth of small, sustainable farms within specific eco regions.  If we can grow enough of these smaller farms (and hubs) that then supply large sections of the population with their food, I believe we will have reached a tipping point.  If we can collect data on this or somehow quantify what those results could look like (would there be greatly reduced CO2 emissions, decreased energy demand, for example?) then we'll have some numbers to back it up.
Perhaps this is the mission of Wheaton Labs and I am simply restating it.  If not, simply put the goal MUST be clearly defined, succinct, and backed by data and demonstration.  Therefore;
We need many more small scale producers, i.e. farmers.  This is much more feasible than expecting a majority of people to embrace permaculture design ethics for their individual homes.  BUT if we can get more young people to produce food sustainably, then in theory we need fewer people to commit and still have global impact, i.e. flood the market with locally sourced.  We HAVE to focus on the idea that has the most global impact at scale.  This is my best strategy for meeting that goal; show interested farmers how to build a sustainable, high efficiency farm with permaculture ethics and then go on to production for local markets.
 
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Keep pouring it out there Paul, your "try" is probably inspiring 100x or more the amount of people that even become members on this site. Hmm you might actually even know those numbers of clicks and unregistered visitors in the digi-god realm??

We all have to keep trying, and documenting progress and mistakes no matter what.

I feel like a lot of people hip to permaculture  have been led to this path through an already difficult, confusing struggle of some kind whether it physical mental emotional, or ALL combined! So, we have the tools within us to persevere!! So, anyone reading this has already reached "next-level"... time to refine!!
 
paul wheaton
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The core of this is I am perpetually focused on how to cause change at the level of billions of people.  And as I move into a new space to infect a few hundred new brains I am repeatedly confronted with ....   crazy.  Usually from people that appear to not be trying anything, but their love of permaculture seems to have them set up to perpetually hate all efforts of permaculture that do not fit their vision - which remains untried.  The observers of this exchange are confused and feel like they don't know what to think anymore.  There is clearly hostility.  Apparently permaculture is a rather hostile thing.  

About 3/4 of the time I don't encounter any of this awful.  For the times that i do I thought "how can I slip past this weirdness and get on with my mission?"  One idea was to make this thread and then link to this thread.  Not a really great idea, but not a really bad idea either.  The emphasis is that I am trying - is the other person trying?  Or are they simply impeding?

Causing massive change is hard.  As I try over and over, it seems wise to build up a collection of tools that will help me with my efforts.  Good tools for building good things.
 
Phineas Gulcher
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FWIW I’ve seen urban landscapers shift to a permaculture/wellness track and successfully monetize this by selling people on converting their lawn and ornamentals space into a food growing and edibles oasis that fits their “I’m no farmer but a productive yard with raspberries, herbs, a fruit tree, a nut tree and all done with natural beauty and a patio in mind’ thinking.
It’s expensive for them but it saves some trips to their local mega grocery store and ends the ‘tend my lawn’ cycle.  Small steps are better, perhaps, than ‘no steps’.
Not an endorsement but this:

www.earthlightpermaculture.com

Is it permaculture? They think so.
At any rate it’s better than a fertilized, gas mower clipped, non-riparian lawn - unless, by using services like this, the home owner thinks they have earned ‘social license’ to do other ‘earth-evil’ things.
 
paul wheaton
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While there are lots of people shooting for "permaculture farm" stuff, the direction i advocate, instead, is more like dozens of permaculture gardens.

https://permies.com/t/129983/permaculture-farm-oxymoron
https://permies.com/wiki/169302/Podcast-Gardening-Farming

And then the gert thing:

https://permies.com/t/gert

I think that if the model I advocate of a community sharing a 200 acre plot of land is compared to a thousand acres of subsidized farmland - there are ways to compare that are a win for permaculture and ways to compare that are a win for the farmland.   But I think that 20 years later, there will be no comparison.

 
Ryan Boyd
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Personally, I have no hostility about permaculture ideals--even when people have differing thoughts about how to achieve the goal.  Discussion is always necessary.  I think the foundation is great and should be a component of the overall goal but what is the clearly defined vision here?  To convert as many folks as possible to live within a permaculture designed homestead?  I think that is admirable but may not have as big an influence as a slightly tweaked vision.  Consider this; it seems much more feasible to get millions of people to buy local, organic food versus getting millions of people to adopt a different way of living all together.  That isn't a knock on permaculture at all--many people may adopt that way of homesteading but what about the millions of people who live in apartments, work full-time or even up to and over 60 hours a week, have no land, have no interest in buying land, have no money, have no time, or simply can't for a million other reasons get into a permaculture lifestyle?  Those millions of folks CAN purchase goods and services from and support other permaculture practitioners who sell those goods and services like food, education, skills workshops, etc.  Which is why I think a vision with more actual influence would focus on how to garner support from non-permaculture people (in ADDITION to promoting permaculture), by primarily offering food/services to local communities--from permaculture-style farm "hubs".  At the core, I  believe farmers/producers have the ability to affect more change than simply asking "everyone" to adopt a permaculture life style because of the nebulous web of community connections they can make with non-producers.
 
paul wheaton
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Knowledge.




I wish for people to know about permaculture.  To know about laundry lines, rocket mass heaters, hugelkultur ...    to hear about some ideas about getting community living to work with less drama ....  




Knowledge.




People understand the basics of how a nuclear reactor works, but they don't have one in their home.  Nor have they built one.  Yet they have never heard of rocket mass heaters or hugelkultur.

People can understand about a few dozen little permaculture thing-a-ma-bobs and implement one or two.  And, in time, they might get the opportunity to move their city apartment to a tiny home on a permaculture community.  





Knowledge.





Knowledge solves global problems.





https://permies.com/t/174825/live-apartment-good-rocket-mass
 
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"Let early education be a sort of amusement; you will then be better able to find out the natural bent"
Plato

I thought about this quoat from Plato, it made alot of sense after reading your pondering.  It seems to me that when one is passionate about seeing positive change for the masses, you have to start with the kids.  Never mind about the ones that have so much ill contrived baggage that they will never take up the good desire to build back better.

-another quoat from another smart guy: ............ Proverbs 22:6- Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he turns not away from it.
                                                                                            King Solomon

Lance Ritter
Edgewood BC, CANADA
 
Ryan Boyd
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paul wheaton wrote:Knowledge.




I wish for people to know about permaculture.  To know about laundry lines, rocket mass heaters, hugelkultur ...    to hear about some ideas about getting community living to work with less drama ....  




Knowledge.




People understand the basics of how a nuclear reactor works, but they don't have one in their home.  Nor have they built one.  Yet they have never heard of rocket mass heaters or hugelkultur.

People can understand about a few dozen little permaculture thing-a-ma-bobs and implement one or two.  And, in time, they might get the opportunity to move their city apartment to a tiny home on a permaculture community.  





Knowledge.





Knowledge solves global problems.





https://permies.com/t/174825/live-apartment-good-rocket-mass







Kudos to you for sticking to your vision and for the effort you put in.  I do my small part and keep working on it.  I think many people are interested in a more traditional and simpler way of life.  A less argumentative and a more nurturing one as well.  However, vasts number of them will sit in a cubicle until they are emotionally drained.  Yet others simply prefer a face-paced, technology driven, city apartment existence and nothing will change that.  I don't think its a bad thing, just a challenge.  The more flexible we are, with our thoughts, ideas, goals and efforts, the more resilient and creative we can become.
 
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Try try try, go Paul go!  

The bright side: in terms of people who have played a role in learning others genuinely creative action, I'd bet you are way up there near the top on the list of currently alive humans, despite the lack of that mainstream billions-level notoriety. For every property or project directly or indirectly impacted by your work you do hear about, there's probably 100 to 1000 that you don't.   Not enough?  

Say you include other people doing similar things in your tally for "success in the empire."  Do you see your work as part of a global effort, with yourself being an individual in a bigger picture where your name notoriety is basically unnecessary?  If it is necessary to the wish, careful with the fame thing.  It will probably never be enough.

And continuing down the darkside...

'unfulfilled wish' can be another term for the root cause of addiction.  Yes sir, they can be toxic.  Ambition; tread carefully.  Emphasize most desires are not part of some immutable core of a human, most individuals who haven't become completely habitual reevaluate their goals, desires, wishes, and ambitions occasionally.

So the "perpetual goal is to cause change at the level of billions of people."  In 1 lifetime I assume? (haha.)  I see a shot in the dark where you can't evaluate the probability of hitting the target, not something to get disappointed about given the wish may be physically impossible due to the billions of humans that aren't going to change unless they must in order to survive.  But that doesn't mean don't try.

Mike Lafay pointed out a lot of what this solution is up against.  I'd emphasize that Gert, as far as moneyed civilization is concerned, is bad for business.  Say we are aware of paid corporate social engineering trolls, there's also a series of youtube videos "Dead Internet Theory" (1, 2 and 3) put together by "All Time" channel that recently updated my perception of "the internet."   Despite the title, it's not a theory, and the pro-established-business bot generating algorithms will not be promoting Gert.  I'd bet, that if these channels of communication don't change, Gert is not going far in them.

Back to the bright side, if not already, a near critical mass of smartphone carrying humans are aware that all major corporate outlets, social or otherwise, are only saying what will generate sales, even if it's a lie.  So there's a decent chance for a mainstream alternative in which Gert can flourish in the nearish future.   To me, the great channel you created here is already so much!

But don't mind my milder ambitions.  Carry on
 
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I think too many people think they have to go big.
But it's like go fund me, or similar, if a million people put in one dollar, you'd have a million dollars, if one person put in 10,000 dollars you'd only have  1% of a million.  a lot of people doing little things is a big deal.
You are doing a great job Paul.
And so is pretty much everyone on premies. Keep up the good work.
Don't overlook any sphere of influence. There are some great ideas on this thread, and on all the threads.
 
Ryan Boyd
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Melissa Ferrin wrote:I think too many people think they have to go big.
But it's like go fund me, or similar, if a million people put in one dollar, you'd have a million dollars, if one person put in 10,000 dollars you'd only have  1% of a million.  a lot of people doing little things is a big deal.
You are doing a great job Paul.
And so is pretty much everyone on premies. Keep up the good work.
Don't overlook any sphere of influence. There are some great ideas on this thread, and on all the threads.




That's a good point.  Unless your goal is to go big, of course, which I think most of us here would like.  Plus, for world wide change you pretty much have to go big.  I'd also argue that getting one million people to do even a small thing is still going big.  Lots of little change adds up to big change

But I think this is a moot point because human beings tend to oversimplify solutions to complex problems.  We crave answers.  It isn't going to be one concept that properly addresses the infinite complexity of the global issues we face.  And you're right, not worrying about going big is important and spheres of influence shouldn't be overlooked.  The way I see it, permaculture is one piece of the puzzle in our solution to global issues--least of which is climate related.  It has it's sphere of influence, as does renewable energy, or nuclear power, or sustainable living, or recycling/upcycling, or tiny home living, etc. but permaculture does encompass multiple issues at once, which is part of its appeal.  However elegant a solution it is, the "one size fits all" model tends to be an oversimplification as history has taught.

I think multiple solutions will have to come about, in part, organically.  An external force like resource scarcity, climate degradation, disease or famine will probably act on the population but that would still be an organic rather than a 'designed system' type of movement towards a solution.  Although I do believe design will play its role, i.e. permaculture--it's just a part of the solution rather than the be-all and end-all.  That has been my mistake when thinking about permaculture.  It's awesome to have many communities of people working to spread the knowledge within it and expand its sphere of influence, just like there are experts in renewables for example helping to spread its sphere of influence.  All of these things are coalescing toward a solution.
 
You know it is dark times when the trees riot. I think this tiny ad is their leader:
Building a Mycoinsulated Roof: Practical, Homestead-Scale Mycelium Insulation R&D *webinar recording
https://permies.com/w/myco-roof
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