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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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    In season zen cooking

    Nice post here at Mother Earth News Stop Putting Off Chickens

    In season down in Sydney at the moment (from the Slow Food Sydney newsletter)

    • Strawberries
    • Spinach and watercress
    • Valencia oranges
    • Asparagus

    Ethical Eating book reviewed in the Eco Pages of the Sydney Morning Herald

    We rented a great DVD - How to Cook Your Life should be very interesting to anyone who still has a yellowing copy of the Tassajara cookbook or bread book as it features Ed Brown who also wrote those books back in the 70's. Ed has been practising Zen and cooking for over 30 years and the video is full of insights.

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    Doing one thing at a time

    The Magic of Doing One Thing at a Time:

    Excellent reminder from HBR to focus on doing one thing well

    Tell the truth: Do you answer email during conference calls (and sometimes even during calls with one other person)? Do you bring your laptop to meetings and then pretend you're taking notes while you surf the net? Do you eat lunch at your desk? Do you make calls while you're driving, and even send the occasional text, even though you know you shouldn't?

    Well, sometimes… The post finishes with some suggestions for managers

    • Maintain meeting discipline
    • Stop demanding or expecting instant responsiveness at every moment of the day
    • Encourage renewal ….It's also up to individuals to set their own boundaries.
    • Do the most important thing first in the morning
    • Establish regular, scheduled times to think more long term, creatively, or strategically
    • Take real and regular vacations 

    (Via HBR.org)

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    Bookmarks for october 13th through december 8th

    These are my links for October 13th through December 8th:

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    A Vision of the Future

    Wolfram at SXSW

    The link above is to a transcript of Stephen Wolframs SXSW talk, a mind boggling run down of the incredible computational power that his firm of rolling out.

    The potential to harness these capabilities into new types of software is enormous.

    Worth reading right through for a glimpse of the future.

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    Resurgence slow sundays

    The latest issue of Resurgence has arrived and it looks a beauty. At quick skim reveals the usual combination of thoughtful articles and fabulous images.

    In the spirit of Ghandi's use of spinning as an act of defiance, Resurgence have chosen baking bread as the theme of their first Slow Sunday.
    In each issue of the magazine we will nominate one Sunday when we invite our members to take part in simple actions that symbolise a rejection of commercialism, a passion for the planet and a desire for change.

    We will take part here at Slowlane, I will have another go at the dutch oven technique that seems to have worked for many people whose previous bread making efforts produced worthy but not particularly appetising loaves. My two efforts have been ok, plenty of room for improvement though. Its not the fact that this is a no knead recipe that attracts me, rather that it promises to produce a loaf that is crusty yet chewy on the inside.

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    Alan Watts

    Book by Alan Watts

    Reading Alan Watts in my teens I experienced my first taste of eastern thinking which has led to a life long interest. In his essays on Zen and the Tao I could feel deep truths were lurking just beyond the words. A particular favourite is Cloud-hidden, Whereabouts Unknown: A Mountain Journal.

    This collection of essays and transcribed lectures was compiled in 1973 shortly before his death. Watts was an enigmatic character who during this latter period of his life lived on a houseboat moored near San Francisco. He was a hedonist who loved life and indulged in it, causing many to dismiss him as something of a charlatan. For myself and many others however his writings opened the door to eastern thinking. He attempts to convey something to the reader that points to reality and to evoke flashes of insight. I came across an animated cartoon with an excerpt from a talk of his today via a post at Post at Goodlife Zen, definitely worth checking out.

    Recordings of Alan Watts are available here and are very stimulating and entertaining.

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    Bookmarks for august 1st through august 5th

    These are my links for August 1st through August 5th:

    • Cover Crops Solutions Chart - Explains why an "untidy" looking garden is less work and will have healthier soil.

    • Resurrection Men - Usual great writing from Monbiot as he brings some common sense to the de-extinction conversation while also making a plea for the much more urgent cause of preserving and nurturing the environments of species that are endangered today.

    • Famous Writers' Small Writing Sheds and Off-the-Grid Huts - Its time I made some progress on building something like this.

    • You Call That a Roof? - I enjoy pictures of peoples home made houses. The Shelter books by Lloyd Kahn provide one of my favourite browsing experiences

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    More on chicken tractors

    Since my post about chickens which mentioned the Linda Woodrow inspired chook dome. I have noticed that people are searching in google for information about chicken tractors. This post provides a few more links to information on this subject.
    The Chicken Tractor gallery has over 140 pictures with many different types shown. As the construction skills required are very basic, a good picture will often be enough for you to build your own using materials to hand.

    DIY

    Commercial Chicken Tractors

    before Permaculture they were generally just known as moveable coops or arks)

    General Chook Matters

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