building on soil is cooler
Definitely worth $800k. Power is more process, less outcome. ¿Por qué no los dos? Watch me hedge life.
30 October 2023 · 13 MIN READ
I want to build a team of heroes. I need, one, a seasoned permaculture designer. Two, someone familiar with creating community-based software, someone who can make and eventually open source what Nextdoor failed to become. Three, an ethnographer.
Below is an introduction to my plan to offer humanity a path parallel to the industrialized narrative, but divorced from it in the healthiest of ways. You can find the entire proposal here.
To support this endeavor, here are some of my addresses.
I am going to be wwoofing across the permaculture farms of europe, probably making my way south from the Netherlands, through the mediterranean and Iran, and eventually rest in Singapore. I'm deathly curious about the Fermi's jump technologies, those that truly increase our fitness. If you want to discover how permaculture design intersects with the spirt of network states, subscribe to be notified of future posts.
Empowering Indigenous Communities with Permaculture Design and Participatory Democracy: A Strategy for Resilient Local Systems
This proposal aims to provide practical solutions to the urgent challenges of our time, collectively referred to as the metacrisis. Declining oil reserves, a depleting materials economy, fragile food supply chains, the warming of the planet, soil degradation, and biodiversity loss are just a sample of the issues afflicting the industrialized world today. Individuals, households, and cultures all find recourse in a variety of solutions/perspectives: taking up activism, adopting a technological optimist stance or a nihilistic one. Since the 1970s, permaculture design has been employed by an ever-growing, decentralized network of global citizens concerned about such problems. Permaculture is a pattern-language that integrates agriculture, architecture, and ecology to build harmonious, sustainable, and resilient relationships between humans and nature; here, a pattern-language is a shared vocabulary of design elements/principles that can be combined to create uniquely tailored, yet universally effective, ecological systems. Permaculture offers a toolkit of ecological principles and techniques adaptable to various contexts/scales. Further, this proposal addresses a public health imperative by adopting a strategy rooted in the precautionary principle: the re-localization of essential goods and services as a safeguard against (fat-tailed) events that trigger societal collapse (chiefly wars/pandemics) – to which permaculture design is well-suited to address.
Power, for the purposes of this research endeavor, is both an expected outcome, though more importantly, a process. In the community context, power is the collective capacity to coordinate behaviors, mobilize resources, and make timely decisions to confront and solve (sufficiently) agreed-upon problems. It is often the case in the modern world that the set of decisions a given body of people can execute on is bounded by their financial resources. This proposal aims to investigate community power in two interrelated dimensions: (i) the collective capacity to make/execute on informed decisions via democratic processes; (ii) financial capital. Note that: (i) akin to social capital, not ignoring the wealth of human resources; (ii) will likely share language/methods of entrepreneurism.
The hypothesis underpinning this research posits that the synergistic implementation of (1) permaculture design principles and (2) participatory democracy tools, will not only enhance the economic autonomy of indigenous communities, but contribute to the preservation and enrichment of their culture . Inspired by the vTaiwan model, this research will employ a participatory democracy approach; it integrates virtual/online and in-person/offline methods to engage community members, public servants, and stakeholders in planned-behavior making. It operates alongside traditional governmental institutions but goes beyond mere consultation to foster whole-system collaboration. Methods will employ a variety of tools and platforms to facilitate collaborative thinking, transparency, and public engagement; the most primary of these tools is Polis.
Lastly, the following characteristics will be considered during community selection. The community should have a historical narrative that demonstrates a pressing need for socio-economic stability. This is either manifested as a history of marginalization, resource depletion, and/or environmental injustices; during the formative research phase, informed consent will be collected both from individual community members and from the community at large. Moreover, the CBPR approach, as well the participatory tools of vTaiwan, will ensure community ownership of this community-based initiative. It is important to note that this intervention is adaptable and can apply to other locally defined populations, which include student populations, network states, eco-villages, as well as rural/suburban populations. Examples of communities that could benefit from this research include the economically challenged suburbs of Argentina, the agrarian societies of Lesotho, and the neighborhoods of Elotepec, which have already experienced the positive impacts of permaculture interventions by Las Cañadas.