Permaculture and online learning

After years of exposure to Permaculture and having spent several years a decade ago implementing a disparate set of its common patterns at our previous property in Northern NSW, I am now taking a much deeper dive into it after enrolling in Geoff Lawton's Online Permaculture Design Course. Its been running a few weeks now and my partner and I are both finding it a revelation. So many concepts and themes that we had previously read about but not really understood are suddenly making sense. Geoff's an excellent teacher and the online format works perfectly for a couple of introverted types. We can take our time and review material as we go.

There were elements of classic internet marketing1 wrapped around the promotion of the course that had me a little worried, those concerns have proven groundless and I can understand that using the marketing approaches that work makes sense when your goal is to get this material out to the widest audience and in a sustainable way.

As a taster, check out this video Absolute in Abundance, they will want your email address however if you are at all interested in this stuff you will get a steady stream of really good links and content as a result.

I would highly recommend that anyone who has been interested in doing a PDC but not found the time or the right teacher consider taking one of Geoff's courses.

Meanwhile, check out the many videos and resources that are freely available at the Permaculture Research Institute. The links to several excellent related documentaries can also be found here. The site is an aggregator of several of my favourite authors including George Monbiot who has a new book - Feral - A manifesto for rewilding the world.

Surfers interested in Permaculture should enjoy this chat with Geoff about the links between surfing and permaculture.

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The failure of international politics

Stirring writing “After Rio, we know. Governments have given up on the planet” by George Monbiot in reaction to the collapse of the Rio Summit. He still finds reasons to continue to make efforts towards preserving the biosphere. Its clear however that we cannot look to governments and international agreements to do anything significant.

Was it too much to have asked of the world’s governments, which performed such miracles in developing stealth bombers .. global markets and trillion-dollar bailouts, that they might spend a tenth of the energy and resources they devoted to these projects on defending our living planet? It seems, sadly, that it was.

Monbiot pledges to focus on “rewilding” which I am also keen to work on.
Another thinker in this area is Paul Kingsnorth who discusses in this article why he started the Dark Mountain project. Dark Mountain is in the last throws of raising money for its third anthology of writing, illustration and prose. I bought the first book and have ordered the third, its good reading and thought provoking. Check it out here

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The ongoing challenge of how to spend your time

There has been a continuous stream of media about finding your passion and reviewing your working life against higher goals. This post from workawesome is a nice summary, and once it referred to the Eightfold Path and Right Livelihood I had to link it.

Is it a Job, Career or Your True Calling?:

What is it that you love doing the most? What are you passionate about and what brings you alive? What work would you engage in if you had no other considerations? How could you use your talents to make a difference to society? Stepping back and deliberating on these thoughts can provide you the stimulus towards discovering your deeper purpose and true calling. (Via workawesome.com)

Still very much an ongoing challenge for me.

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Off the map

I noticed this post recommending the movie "Off The Map" recently.

We watched it last night and really enjoyed it. We have been talking about it on and off all day today which is the sign of a movie that has gotten under our skin. I particularly liked the understated direction that let the landscape and the story unfold without joining all the dots for the viewer. Fascinating also to see the homesteading life depicted. I was scanning each frame for those small details that give authenticity and was not disappointed. We already had the Taos region on our destination list as we love native american jewellery, so now we have another motive to visit.
(Via Cage Free Family)

Reviews
Tina Ferguson
Some notes from the director Campbell Scott

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Crisis of faith in the financial system

Thought provoking post by Adam Richardson at Harvard Business Review on the levels of abstraction implicit in the financial system and the trust that is required from all participants for it to continue to operate.

Crisis of Faith in the Financial System

From Bernie Madoff to derivatives to the housing bubble to dubious AAA credit ratings, we continue to find new ways to encourage people to make financial leaps of faith. Have we reached a breaking point where the abstraction has gone too far, and is too complicated for 99% of people to understand what they're signing up for, that we must backtrack to more conventional methods? And has the level of trust in private and state financial institutions sunk so low that most people now feel there is no accountability or responsibility for the promises made, or that sound decisions will be made to guarantee "circulation forever"? (Via HBR.org)

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