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Paul finishes up his call with Alan booker, but not before remembering that they’re supposed to be discussing section 2.4 of Permaculture a Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison, AKA the Big Black Book, and actually managed to get and stay on topic, though still keeping Biophilia in mind.

The one sentence Paul has highlighted is “An ideal technology should at the very least fuel itself.”  This isn’t necessarily as extreme a bar as it sounds, so long as you employ a slightly loose definition of technology.  A car isn’t about to mine its own oil, but an electric car with solar panels built into it just might be able to keep up.  Alan points out that if a system has the ability to harvest its own energy, resources, and information from the environment, then it matches at least part of the criteria for life under the Autopoiesis definition of it.  

Mollison defines “resources” in 5 ways.  Paul goes over them and through one of each example.
1: Those which increase by modest use.  Green browse – animals that browse in the area cause more greenery to grow back, so think stuff like paddock shift systems.
2: Those unaffected by use.  A diversion in a river to power a micro-hydro generator doesn’t change anything about the river by being in use.
3: Those that disappear or degrade if not used.  If left unharvested, an annual crop is simply going to be ruined.  Alan adds that silvopasture systems can success forward into a forest (or backwards into a prairie or meadow) if the browsers and grazers are removed.
4: Those reduced by use.  Most easily displayed by mineral, oil, or clay deposits.  
5: Those which pollute or destroy other resources if used.  Sewers that carry toxins or don’t get treated properly definitely count.  Not like a willow feeder.  Paint washed out of brushes is one such toxin, but that can be disposed of by washing them in a bucket and leaving that to dry in the sun.

Relevant Threads

Bill Mollison's Permaculture: A Designer's Manual forum
Bill Mollison's Permacutlure: A Designer's Manual - Summary and where to buy

Biophilia by Edward O. Wilson on amazon.
Biophilic Design: The Theory, Science and Practice of Bringing Buildings to Life by  Stephen R. Kellert Et Al. on amazon.

Toilet alternatives forum

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Two corrections to this summary:

1. I indicated that autopoiesis is one of the criteria laid out in the systems definition of life. There are several other criteria that also must be met to be classified as living according to the systems definition.

2. I used a silvopasture system (not a pasture system) as the example in resource type #3. If a silvopasture system is not inhabited by a functional mix of browsers, grazers (and their predators), it will either success forward towards a more closed-canopy forest or possibly regress back towards a prairie/meadow if there is an over-abundance of browsers.
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Implemented Alan's amendments.
Every plan is a little cooler if you have a blimp. And a tiny ad.
the permaculture bootcamp in winter (plus half-assed holidays)
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