Category: Society

Building Community Through Permaculture – an Interview with Mark Lakeman

Marcin Gerwin: You used to work as an architect for a large company. How did you come to be involved in permaculture? Mark Lakeman: I was working for a large firm in 1988 and I wasn’t exposed to permaculture while working in a corporate career, which was very typical. But fortunately for me there was a day in my firm when there was a huge toxic waste cover-up that I […]

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The High Price of Materialism (video)

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Further Reading: The Values of Everything The Sarvodaya Shramadana Movement, and the Ten Basic Needs Sucking Out Our Brains Through Our Eyes Commons Way of Life vs. Market Way of Life One Rolex Short of Contentment Growth is Obsolete

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Foreword to the Book, Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future

Below is the foreword to Simple Living in History: Pioneers of the Deep Future, edited by Samuel Alexander and Amanda McLeod. This book collects together 26 chapters discussing individuals, cultures, and movements that have embraced forms of ‘simple living’ throughout history. The ‘preface by the editors’ and table of contents are available here, and the book is available here. Foreword, by David Shi The simple life is almost as hard […]

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How To Keep From Losing Our Heads

It’s possible to drive a herd of buffalo right off a cliff. First Nations people did just that in a place in Alberta called, appropriately enough, “Heads-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump”. Whereas a single buffalo, when chased, will dodge about and quickly change direction, a herd instead runs together and acts as if a slower more primitive organism is in charge. Individuals take their cues from the individuals around them. If everyone […]

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Meet Mr. Glyphosate – a Case Study in Excess

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iyKk8WrDORc Thanks to a reader for sending this along to us. I don’t normally like to publish posts that reflect negatively about a particular person (I can think of only one other instance when I have, and that was about the results of a man’s work, as is largely the case here), but I feel that the video above is such an example of sickening excess that it shouldn’t go […]

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Scotland Can Show the World that Small is Beautiful

And challenge the preeminent power of corporations to defy governments elected by the people. by David Morris Scots rally for independence. (By Martainn MacDhomhnaill under a Creative Commons license) Since 1945 the number of nations has soared from about 60 to more than 180.  The first wave of new sovereign states came with the decolonization movement of the 1960s and 1970s; the second in the early 1990s with the break-up […]

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Call to Action: Reclaim the Climate Movement (Australia)

I’m sure you’ve heard that everyone – or, at least, everyone who cares – will be marching for the climate this weekend. If you’re not marching, then you’re not doing anything at all, or so we’re told. False dichotomies aside though, I won’t be marching this weekend. I’ll be taking action instead. I agree with Chris Hedges: the march is nothing more that street theatre. It won’t lead to any […]

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Seven Reasons Why World Peace is Possible

Introduction The 21st of September will be International Day of Peace. It may seem a little premature to declare that world peace is due to break out by the end this month. I do not deny that the amount of killing and death and war and torture and death and coercion and abuse and death all over everywhere can be overwhelming. Nor do I deny that considering this it is […]

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Omar Ahmad: Political Change With Pen and Paper (TED video)

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Politicians are strange creatures, says politician Omar Ahmad. And the best way to engage them on your pet issue is a monthly handwritten letter. Ahmad shows why old-fashioned correspondence is more effective than email, phone or even writing a check — and shares the four simple steps to writing a letter that works.

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Political Straightjacket

If the ozone hole had been discovered ten years later, governments are likely to have done nothing. In The Magnificent Seven Deadly Sins, a comedy made in 1971, Spike Milligan portrays Sloth as a tramp trying to get through a farm gate. This simple task is rendered almost impossible by the fact that he can’t be bothered to take his hands out of his pockets and open the latch. He […]

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Someone Else’s Story

Scots voting no to independence would be an astonishing act of self-harm. Imagine that the question was posed the other way round. An independent nation is asked to decide whether to surrender its sovereignty to a larger union. It would be allowed a measure of autonomy, but key aspects of its governance would be handed to another nation. It would be used as a military base by the dominant power […]

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Open Source Recipes to Make Social Innovations More Shareable

Inspired by the principles of open source software, the concept of Open Social Innovation aims to document social innovations so they can be more easily shared. How can we share and transfer sustainable social practices across communities? Increasingly, we see individuals and communities experimenting with innovative sustainable practices, pioneering new ways to communicate, think, work, live, and share together. In that context the question arises as to how best practices […]

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