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William James

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since Sep 22, 2010
Northern Italy
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Recent posts by William James

First, since Derrick's name is in the thread, I'll do the guy a favor and plug his recent book:

Which I invite every human to read, it has some really interesting insights that most definitely pertain to the discussion here (human brain size and capacity is discussed on many pages of that book).

Secondly, a quick thought about Paul's quandry:

It bugs me that interest in electric cars is huge while rocket mass heaters are getting less than 1% of the attention.   Don't get me wrong, I applaud the electric car.  I just think interest in stuff about our heat would be bigger.

Derrick is in the final stages of a new book "Bright Green Lies" that addresses this very thing. The basic premise is that big-E Environmentalism in the past was all about conserving natural habitat and species. Now environmentalism has  essentially become the lobbying arm of a specific subset of industrial capitalism, the renewable energy sector. I believe that to be true, based on the limited awareness of public discourse on environmentalism I've experienced in my lifetime.  It's less about inhabiting a planet in some sort of harmony with other beings and more about buying renewable energy (or a myriad of other fake-eco solutions).

I think you might find your answer in there, expect that probably spring of next year.

More on that:

The sensation I have watching this discussion is that
a) it's all about me.
b) it's all about humans.
c) we're totally fucked.

To blow all that up and get past that, I would also encourage everyone to acknowledge that humans have lived, on this earth, for thousands and thousands of years without messing it up. We've managed in about 200-500 years to gum up the works seriously. We as a species know what to do and we have done it. From our vantage point that might be a little hard to digest, but our imagined privilege as civilized human beings (but more importantly the energy and murder of the planet needed to sustain that privilege)  is exactly the problem.

If we could, for a moment, put ourselves in the position of other beings who are experiencing the haloscene in a much more dramatic way I think we would act and interact with each other differently.
If we could, for  a moment, imagine that this catastrophe was being forced upon us from alien beings, from the Talaban, from whatever imagined enemy, I think we would know how to act and we would behave much differently. The fact is that the main culprits for the destruction of the natural world are people with nice hair and expensive suits who drink champagne and attend social gatherings with important people and take expensive vacations on big yachts and who generally inhabit the Apex our our society. Oh yeah, and we generally live in a world where accountability is an anathema. Especially for quote "lesser" beings.

As for the idea that global warming is natural and we can't do anything about it, all I can really contribute to that is...whatever. Humans are adept at one thing: justifying unreasonable behavior. Believe what you want to believe, the gazillion beings who die and struggle because of what's currently happening paint a completely different picture -- and as Paul mentions, it's not just global warming.

And what's absolutely astonishing is that it could be exactly the opposite: hello permaculture! hello Loess plateau! hello greening the desert! hello 100 million new trees in India just the other day!

Probably I'm like most of you saying  "Hells yeah! where do I sign up!" And that's one of the problems, nowhere to sign your name, do some (or many) hours of work, and produce real tangible change in the real world.

Which brings us back, in some ways, to "Personal vs. Political change".

All the best to everyone. hope you are well.

11 months ago
I think loosestrife it is!

The pods were unopened flowers it seems. Here's another pic, not great but shows the flower.
Thanks everyone!
2 years ago
I may or may not have planted or transplanted from another place a hosta in this spot. My place is pretty messy and I'm not there a lot of the time, so I don't really keep tabs on what is planted where.
And what's the red stuff on top?
2 years ago
found this guy in the back part of the land we're managing. new to me.
it has the shape and stem of goldenrod, but it seems to grow in the shade better.
thanks for the help,
2 years ago
Thanks John for reminding me that there are certainly two sides to every coin.
2 years ago
Currently my biggest problem with this whole issue is being in a position where I'm surrounded by people who are very able to do jobs but aren't willing the turn any job into a business. They want a job, not a business. For me, it becomes problematic because I could actually help these people turn their passion into a business, but I'm unable (and pretty much unwilling) to turn that passion into a job for them.

I think there is a completely different mindset that one comes to the table with. One of the employee and one of the entrepreneur. One thing is that society has changed from the late 20th century and now favors entrepreneurs, but people (for a lot of good reasons) just want to be employees. Being responsible for one's situation in life, being responsible for a whole business, I can imagine that it's scary and a huge load of un-necessary.

On the other hand, personally only want to work with non-employee individuals. I think the idea of creating micro-businesses that support each other is pretty cool and can lead to some innovative stuff and general wellbeing of the participants. Although I can understand their motives, being surrounded by people who just want to plop themselves into a job, collect their wage, and go home is pretty horrifying to me.

A lot of times people are presented with a container, not a job. It becomes their life's mission to fill that container with awesomeness. Other people just see a container that doesn't hold a job for them and so they move on.

2 years ago

Walt Chase wrote:
Could you change your pot type/size/shape to match a commercially available one in order to be able to grow as mentioned in the above quote?

We've discussed that. It could be done, but we've sort of have everything based on this size. If we had a size that standardized seeding trays could work with, it'd be great. The problem is we would have to have to take it out of the tray and put it into something in order to sell it. Usually the seeding trays and the product containers aren't designed to match, so there's that.

But yeah, it's worth looking into further. It would definitely be a solution for 80 - 90% of our varieties.
2 years ago

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:

That looks exactly like a measuring cup to me... Just awkward and slow because there are a whole bunch of measuring cups hooked together.

True, but like I said, there doesn't seem to be a way to get a similar weight when pulling out potting soil with a cup. Every time it's different. In the above case, when the soil is compressed, the weights are the same, within a few grams of each other. The quality is a lot better than cup-into-container-one-at-a-time. The difference in time when doing 100 is not that much different.

Joseph Lofthouse wrote:
Doesn't  the weight per volume vary a lot depending on moisture content?

Not very much. The coco coir stays in bags and pretty much maintains its moisture content pretty regularly. If you leave it out for a day on the table, absolutely.
2 years ago

Cynthia Quilici wrote:Could you use cut-off versions of the plastic pots themselves as measures?  

One idea I had is similar to this: use seeding trays with the exact size of the containers, and flip the greens out when done. The problem is nobody makes seeding trays that are this size/shape. Would have to be custom made and cost a lot of money and have minimium orders in the range of 20000 trays.

2 years ago
Microgreens, exactly.

@Joseph Lofthouse
You would think that a measuring cup would do it, but aside from being extremely slow (like half speed compared to other methods) the fluffed up nature of potting soil makes it so you don't actually get the same amount in the cup each time. It can vary by 10 grams from my most or least acceptable grams (85 and 77 grams)

Here's a prototype of a wooden thing I made. If you compress the potting soil into these, they come out almost exactly right. It's just slow.

2 years ago