I truly enjoy your sites and videos and this was an interesting review to listen to. I think there is a difference between and introduction to permaculture, where most subjects are touched upon but not necessarily deepened, and a "Permaculture for dummies" type of video, like the books, where all the words are defined and explained with lots of details on everything and tips. I think it's more about the target audience like one of your guest reviewer mentioned.
I also did a similar listening activity for this video with people of different knowledge levels and many of them did not understand the edge principle or some other bit of the video. That's perfect for me because it creates an opportunity to talk about it, all together. I explained how I understood it, others did the same and we gave examples. They then were able to find example in their own lifes and understand the concepts within their own reality. It's a wonderful process to not know and then understand how this knowledge fit in our life and try to apply it. A video, just like a book, has only a part of the information. We need to integrate it with our own sources and experiences.
I do think that patterns are interesting to understand natural systems since nature works in patterns. They exist because it's the most efficient way to do things, found trough nearly 4 billion years of research and development: evolution is awesome. If we want to go with the flow of nature, patterns are a good way to get down to it. It's not as much about putting patterns in your design as in understand the patterns you are dealing with on a specific site and patterning you elements in the most efficient and productive way. An herb spiral is a good idea, not because it's a spiral but because your are able to grow more in a small space and create specific habitats for precise plants in this same small space. It also facilitates harvest and is beautiful.
For me, if I listen to a video or a teacher and that everything is evident, I have no fun. They need to challenge my understanding of things and make me feel like I need to go deeper in the stuff they are talking about. I love to listen to it again and again to get every drops of the knowledge shared. I'm primarily french speaking and some words I did not understand in this DVD, I simply paused the video and looked it up, like with Biogeography: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biogeography
These were opportunities to me, not a problem.
There is also a difference between Holzer's Permaculture and Mollison's Permaculture. Sepp Holzer is a great and intelligent guy who has done a lot of observation and experimentation, and came up with much valuable knowledge on his site. I really enjoyed his books and videos and got a lot out of them. I tried many of his techniques but noticed a lot of things he did not work where I tried it... Building huglkultur beds in sandy soil versus clay soil did not give the same results. Clay stops the water from even getting to the wood and cracks when it's really dry. I'd love your knowledge on that specific situation.
Bill and Geoff are ruff ass mainframe designers as they say. They are about patterning knowledge. Once you understand it, you can apply it anywhere, in any climate and in any situation. A good example is swales. They work anywhere as long as you understand the design imperatives about the type of soil, the slope, the contour, ... That's what design is about to me and that's also why so many people are getting it and teaching Mollison's Permaculture. It's not about recipes, tough he has plenty of those to offer if you ask him, but about observing, understanding, connecting, analyzing and about conscious design adapted to the specification of the site. That's what the 50 hours of thinking for 1 hour of efficient work is about: design. And good design leads to 1 hour of thinking for 1 hour of work.
Like Toby Hemenway says, if you say your couples relationship is sustainable, you are in bad shape. What I aim for is regenerative design. Still working on all the ways to get there but the path is the goal and I enjoy it tremendously! The first thing I teach about permaculture is that it's not a gardening method, it's a design science. You can definitely do mulched raised bed without it being permaculture and this is fine. It's a good technique in certain situations, but not all. But to me, there is no permaculture without conscious system design.
A well designed site is like a comfortable overall, it fits the sites specifics with space to grow and evolve.
Keep up the great work, I really loved your huglkulture video!