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Friday, February 27, 2015

Feeling Must be the Clue to Wholeness

Here is another example of the way feeling must be the clue to wholeness, when we seek to make something alive. I once had an interesting discussion with Sim Can der Ryn. He was arguing that feeling is not enough. In his view it was too vague, too emotional. For instance, he said: “In making a sustainable fishpond which works, you just have to concentrate on the facts about fish life, water, plants, and so on, ecological facts about a healthy pond.“

I told him: “It is true that these ecological facts are a necessary part of our knowledge, our understanding of how to make a pond. And it is true that many of us know too little about what it requires to make the world sustainable, harmonious in its biological and chemical detail, and so on. But suppose, indeed, that we are trying to build a fishpond. The facts about the ecology of the pond – no matter how detailed by themselves – will not tell us how to make that pond good. Even if we have theories and facts about sustainability, edge plants, fish, breeding, water temperature, types of weed, types of insect, and so on – even with all of this we will not succeed in making the pond have life unless we also have a clear inner feeling – a subliminal perception, and awareness, and anticipation – of what life in that pond will be like.” That means we must have a dim awareness within us, of what a pond with life is like, as a whole and in its feeling. 
Image: Rronenow
If we do have that feeling of life clear (for the fishpond), we can then use it to guide us. It will help us move towards a pond which does have life. But if we do not have such a feeling clear in us, no amount of knowledge about ecology and sustainability will get us to a pond that has life in the sense I am discussing.

We shall just be left scrambling mentally, churning about, marshaling our facts, making experiments perhaps – but still not clarified by an inner vision which tells us what to do. Building the pond, stocking it, putting weeds in it, placing bushes around it, we need to be guided by an inner vision of good life in this pond. We must have a feeling, in us, which will reliably tell us when we are going in the right direction, and when we are going in the wrong direction.

It is ultimately this inner feeling, this inner vision of feeling, which is our reliable (and necessary) guide. In short, we must be able to imagine the pond – not as a copy of another pond, or with detailed factual vision about dimension, depth, plants. We must be able to summon up, inside us, an inner sensation of the feeling of a healthy pond, which makes us remember or create the kind of feeling which a good fishpond has: the slow movement of the fish, the edge, the light on the water, the kind of things that may be present at the edge – all this, not in biological or architectural detail – but as a morphological feeling which allows me, in my inner eye, with my eyes closed, to remember, breathe, the kind of soft and subtle feeling of life which such a fishpond requires. It is that vision of feeling which, above all, must guide me. - The Process of Creating Life, by Christopher Alexander, page 375-376

Useless Waste is what Provides Jobs

This is one way of trying to address the issue of a whole lot of GDP being useless waste–for example, lots of marketing people flying around from meeting to meeting. The problem, of course, is that the useless waste is what provides jobs. Without the essentially wasteful jobs, we have an even larger number of people unemployed. It becomes even harder to repay debt with interest. The government tries to fix this, but in the end, it is the government/financial system that fails. - Gail Tverberg

To Share the Wealth of the Very Rich is Not Possible

The advantage of tipping most of the wealth toward the very rich is that they tend to spend very little of it. If it all were taxed away, and distributed to the poor, they would try to actually spend the wealth. The catch is that this wouldn’t actually result in the huge amount of goods needed to fill the needs of the less wealthy. There isn’t enough oil being extracted to build all of the cars and houses that the new-found wealth would buy (plus pay the wages of all of the people needed to build these things).

I am not a student of thermodynamics, but intuitively what you say this makes sense to me. These presentations are at this point are still in draft form, and the “Overview of the Networked Economy” in particular is short, so could be added to. The thermodynamics behind this change in wealth distribution would be an interesting addition. - Gail Tverberg
His wealth cannot be shared

Spend Your Savings Now, or Never!

I agree. The vast majority of the wealth of the billionaires will simply be lost. They can only eat a certain number of calories–about the same number as the rest of us. They can only sleep in one bed a night. The pixels in their bank account statements may say that they have a lot of money to spend in the future. When the time comes when they think they can spend it, it likely won’t be there. - Gail Tverberg
Now is a last window of opportunity to spend your savings. If you cannot spend them on something useful, waste them on bullshit. Tomorrow it may be to late to transform your savings into real money, as they are just pixels in computers, evaporating into thin air when not constantly sucked in oil flow.

We are Now in the Prelude to Collapse

That is a good point–the “something different” that we are already into is very low oil prices. This is the prelude to collapse, because we cannot actually pull the oil out at these prices.

You are also right about existing man-made ecosystems needing oil–namely farms and farm substitutes, and the whole transportation system for getting the things distributed to us. There are many parts to it, including processing and distribution. Solar panels don’t fix this problem. - Gail Tverberg
Enjoy the prelude. Real collapse starts soon!

The Way Subsidies Work is they Tax the Poor to Make Solar Panels and Electric Cars Available to the Rich

Thanks! People don’t realize that these so-called renewables move forward coal and natural gas use (so more is extracted and burned), and take oil use that might be used for other purposes. EROEI calculation using standard EROEI factors don’t come anywhere close to showing how much energy really goes into making and transporting them and their backup devices. People think that there is “net energy,” when really there isn’t. The way subsidies work is they tax the poor to make solar panels and electric cars available to the rich. The system makes people think there is a solution, when there isn’t. - Gail Tverberg
A taxation of the poor

Humanizing Technology

Excerpted from a post by Charles Siegel.

This recent history of architecture and urbanism is important because it involves a key issue of our time: How should we use technology for human purposes?

Among mid-century modernists, the design centered on the technology. The dogma was that the design must be an “honest expression” of modern materials and functions—in other words, an expression of modern technology. The modernists’ designs were so striking visually that they helped spread technophilia through society.

Among the serious postmodernists and the New Urbanists, design centers on the human users. They are not against modern technology, but they are selective in their use of technology. They use modern technology when it helps to create good places for people.

For example, modernists designed cities around the automobile. They had faith that this new technology would improve our lives and, in any case, would inevitably dominate our lives, because you can’t stop progress. By the 1960s, it was becoming clear that the modernists’ theories had created an ugly, environmentally destructive suburban landscape of freeways, shopping malls, and auto-dependent subdivisions.

The New Urbanists take a more reasonable view of this technology, accommodating the automobile but not letting it dominate our lives. New Urbanist design centers on creating streets and public spaces that are attractive, comfortable places for people, and it accommodates the automobile ways that further this goal. They emphasize that their traditional urbanism can accommodate any style of architecture, and they mention Tel Aviv and Miami’s South Beach as examples of cities where good traditional urbanism is combined with modernist architecture, but their goal is to create good places rather than to design an “expression” of modern technology.

Modernists also designed individual buildings around new technology: the buildings were “honest expressions” of glass, steel, and concrete. By the 1970s, it was becoming clear that these buildings were cold, sterile and overwhelming. Serious postmodernists tried to design buildings that were attractive, comfortable places for people to be.

Yet today’s avant gardists have gone back to the sterile high-tech design of the modernists with added “artistic” touches. They often create very uncomfortable places for people to be.

The use of technology is a key issue of our time, because modern technology gives us more power and more freedom of choice than ever before.

We can use the power that technology gives us well or badly. Modern technology can be immensely beneficial; an obvious example is polio vaccination. And it can be immensely destructive; an obvious example is nuclear weapons. We need to use the beneficial technology and limit the destructive technology.

We can use the freedom of choice that technology gives us well or badly. For example, traditional agricultural societies had a limited variety of foods that they grew locally, they prepared these foods in a few conventional ways, and they lived with the constant threat of hunger. Modern societies have a greater abundance and variety of foods, which gives us much more choice about what we eat. Everywhere in the world, people can choose to eat the corn that was domesticated in the Americas, the rice that was domesticated in Asia, the wheat and barley that were domesticated in the Middle East, the spices that were domesticated in the Indies, and a vast number of other foods that originated in every corner of the world. We can use this abundance to eat a more varied and healthier diet than any society in the past, or we can use it to eat a diet that is heavy on processed food and high-fructose corn syrup, the diet that has made today’s American more obese than any society in the past.

It is easy to add similar examples. Modern technology lets us choose among a huge variety of drugs, which we can use to cure diseases or which we can abuse to feed addictions.

The same reasoning applies to architecture. Modern technology lets us choose among many different ways to build. Traditional societies were limited by the local materials and the relatively simple techniques available to them; their vernacular buildings were stylistically consistent because they did not have the choice of building in any other way. Today, we have a much greater choice of materials and of building methods. We can use this choice to design buildings and cities that are more livable than ever before, or to design buildings and cities that are more sterile and overwhelming than ever before.

The architecture establishment says we should build in styles that are “of our time” and that anyone who learns from traditional architecture is “nostalgic.” They should learn from the more sensible attitude that we have toward food. The best restaurants use locally grown, fresh ingredients because they produce healthier, tastier food. Traditional societies also used locally grown, fresh ingredients, but no one says that these restaurants are “nostalgic” and that they should use canned or frozen ingredients produced for the world market because industrial agriculture is “of our time.”

No one cares about this sort of precious esthetic criticism of food because we have very clear criteria for deciding which food are good: taste and nutritional value. The best restaurants use some new technology, such as sous vide cooking, but they use them because the food tastes better—not because they are “of our time.”

These criteria are based on human nature. Our bodies evolved to need certain nutrients. Our tastes evolved to make us enjoy food that helped our ancestors survive during the period of evolutionary adaptation. Evolution has hard-wired these needs and preferences into human nature, and chefs work to accommodate them.

Has evolution also given us preferences about the buildings that we live in and use? Are there aspects of human nature that architects should work to accommodate? We will look at this question in the next chapter.

Since the 1970s, the environmental movement has shown us that we must make a deliberate choice of technologies—for example, by choosing solar and wind power rather than coal to generate our electricity—but this movement focuses on limiting the most destructive technologies that pose grave threats to health or to the natural environment, such as global warming. Architecture and urbanism could do much more. Because they design the built environment that we live in, they could help society learn how to use modern technology in ways that are in keeping with human nature.

Our avant gardists are designing the most dehumanized buildings ever built, but their approach is not inevitable. Just as mid-century-modernist architects helped spread faith in technology and progress, today’s architects could help spread the idea that we should use modern technology for human purposes.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Technological Progress in a Market Economy is Self-Terminating and Ends in Collapse

Read the whole essay by JMG here.

At this point it may be helpful to sum up the argument I’ve developed here:

a) Every increase in technological complexity tends also to increase the opportunities for externalizing the costs of economic activity;

b) Market forces make the externalization of costs mandatory rather than optional, since economic actors that fail to externalize costs will tend to be outcompeted by those that do;

c) In a market economy, as all economic actors attempt to externalize as many costs as possible, externalized costs will tend to be passed on preferentially and progressively to whole systems such as the economy, society, and the biosphere, which provide necessary support for economic activity but have no voice in economic decisions;

d) Given unlimited increases in technological complexity, there is no necessary limit to the loading of externalized costs onto whole systems short of systemic collapse;

e) Unlimited increases in technological complexity in a market economy thus necessarily lead to the progressive degradation of the whole systems that support economic activity;

f) Technological progress in a market economy is therefore self-terminating, and ends in collapse.

Gi Toten og Norge til allmenningheten!

Kjære lesere av Permaliv!

Siden i høst har jeg vært aktiv på p2p-bloggen, mine bidrag der kan leses her.

Det meste er repostinger, med tida kommer jeg forhåpentligvis med mer egenprodusert stoff.

Vil særlig anbefale de mange postene av Christopher Alexander. Dessverre lever våre styresmakter og byggenæringen i en massiv Alexander-fornektelse. Dette er like alvorlig for våre bomiljø, som klimafornektelse er for klimaet. I begge tilfeller dreier det seg om en fornektelse av eksternaliteter.

Hos Kulturverk skal min artikkel "Design for en levende planet" settes opp i nær framtid. Dette er en svært viktig artikkel, da vårt land er i ferd med å kveles i en modernistisk heslighet hinsides de mest grusomme forestillinger av Helvete. Samme hvor jeg beveger meg er det som om sjela krymper inn til en inntørket rosin som har ligget ti år under sofaen.

Vi må bare innse at stats/markeds-duopolet ikke er i stand til å skape den ringeste anelse av skjønnhet og levende, vibrerende nabolag. Dette er det kun allmenningheten som kan!

Det største som har skjedd den siste uka er friluftsgiganten og økosofen Nils Faarlund sin varme anbefaling av Kulturverk, denne kan leses her.

Som avdanket industriarbeider fra Toten er jeg meget stolt over å ha blitt tatt imot med åpne armer av internasjonale og nasjonale storheter som Michel Bauwens, Nikos Salingaros og Terje Bongard. Pluss en mengde andre kontakter av ikke ubetydelig kaliber, spredt utover verden.

Dessverre har jeg fremdeles altfor få kontakter på det lokale nivå. Er det mennesker fra Toten-regionen som deler mine visjoner om en ny arkitektur, IGD, permakultur, bygningsbiologi og allmenningene, er det hyggelig om dere tar kontakt.

Sammen kan vi endre vår region i allmenninghetens interesse. Hva som skal til er at vi splitter stats/markeds-duopolet og temmer dem til å bli underdanige tjenere av allmenningene.

Min venn Michel Bauwens kaller meg for en anti-intellektuell intellektuell. Det er den beste hedersbetegnelsen jeg noensinne har fått, og dette fra en av klodens viktigste visjonære personligheter.

Jeg ønsker i årene som kommer å ta aktivt del i Bauwens "COMMONS TRANSITION" - prosjekt. All støtte for å realisere disse visjonene på Toten og i Norges land, mottas med takk!

Til slutt en innstendig oppfordring til alle lesere av Permaliv om å sette seg inn i denne transformasjonen til et allmenninghetssentrert samfunn, hvor allmenningene er kjernen våre liv kretser rundt:

Skreia er av de stedene som er minst infisert av modernismens virus, jeg har derfor store visjoner for dette stedet. Både ifht. biofilia og organisk design, men også som et nav for nye allmenninger. Særlig viktig er det at den videre utbyggingen av Fossenfeltet bygges opp av lommenabolag og økolandsbyer!

Dessverre har kommuneadministrasjonen planer om en videre utbygging av Fossenfeltet som et suburbant helvete.

Vil oppfordre alle lokale lesere av Permaliv om å torpedere disse planene!

Ps! Fylkesveg 33 gjennom Skreia sentrum er altfor dominerende, som det framgår av bildet. Tidligere var jeg for å legge denne utenom Skreia sentrum. Dette standpunktet har jeg nå gått bort fra, da oljeøkonomien vil kollapse i løpet av et par tiår.

Å legge svartjorda på Toten under asfalt blir i dette perspektivet totalt uansvarlig!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Generating a Neighborhood that Works

The essence of successful unfolding is that form develops step by step, and that the building as a whole then emerges, coherent, organized. The success if this process depends, always, on sequence. A building design can unfold successfully only when its features “crystallize out” in a proper order.

Instead of using plans, design, and so on, I shall argue that we must instead use generative processes. Generative processes tell us what to do, what actions to take, step by step, to make buildings and building designs unfold beautifully, rather than detailed drawings which tell us what the end-result is supposed to be.

The step-by-step approach works. The all-or-nothing approach does not work. This is the secret of biological evolution. During the course of evolution, the adaptation of the thousands and millions of variables that must occur to make one successful organism happens step-by-step, essentially one gene at a time. That is what makes evolution possible. It would be impossible for nature to “design” a system as complex as any organism all at once.

What steps do you take, in what order? The most basic instruction I can give you as a guide for a living process, is that you move with certainty. That means, you take small steps, one at a time, deciding only what you know. You try never to take a step which is a guess or a “why don’t we try this?” Large scale trial-and-error, shots in the dark, simply do not work. Rather, you move by slow, small decisions, deciding one thing, getting sure about it, and then moving on.

The crux of every design process lies in finding the generative sequence for that design, and making sure that sequence is the right one for the job. - Christopher Alexander, The Process of Creating Life
The emergence of new structures in nature is brought about, always, by a sequence of transformations which act on the whole, and in which each step emerges as a discernible and continuous result from the immediately preceding whole. New form comes into being. Morphogenesis occurs. New form that is, in almost every case, unpredictable from the initial state, appears smoothly via a sequence of tiny continuous changes. The sequences are not merely smooth. We have a sequence in which new structure grows organically, holistically, from the structure which is there already. One whole gives rise to another. - Christopher Alexander, The Process of Creating Life
Essay by Vera Bradova:

Generating a future that works

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Three Evils of Capitalism

Excerpted from a longer piece by professor Eric Schechter. I strongly recommend reading the whole essay here.
“The old world is dying; we must move on to the new world being born. How will we make the great change? I don’t know the details of that. But it has already begun; you can see it in the peaceful demonstrators being beaten by police. Awareness and understanding are spreading, and our foremost tactic must be to spread them further. When enough people see what is really going on, we will unite, and we will find a way to change things, and the violence will end.
1st evil:   INEQUALITY (3:30 in video)
The data in Thomas Piketty’s recent book shows that increasing economic inequality is a normal trend in capitalism, not an aberration. The problem is deeper than debt-based currency or any other particular method of exploitation and theft. It is inherent in all market economies, even barter economies: Market transactions increase inequality, because they favor whichever participant is in the stronger bargaining position. The only way to not have a wealthy class is by not having a market — that is, by sharing.
Increasing inequality is simplified in the board game Monopoly, which always ends with all the players but one totally impoverished. That’s the outcome even if no one cheats, so the problem is in the principles, not in “corruption.”
The recent study by Gilens and Page shows quantitatively that the USA is a plutocracy, not a democracy. Just a few people now own our homes, workplaces, debts, government, mass communications media, everything. Privately owned workplaces are little dictatorships; that’s why we hate Mondays. Progress brings higher productivity, but its benefits are pocketed by the owners of the workplaces; for the rest of us, progress means layoffs, not leisure.
Psychopaths seek positions of power over others, and even people who are not already psychopaths become corrupted by power if they acquire it; strong evidence of that was given by the Stanford Prison Experiment. We see cruelty wherever the opportunity for it arises — in prison guards, police, soldiers, workplace managersbusiness tycoons, dictators, or even democratically elected politicians — though in that last case, they cover it up by conducting much of their work in secret and lying about the rest. All these bullies proclaim, and perhaps believe, that they are deserving and that their victims are not.
Clearly, we should reorganize our society so that there are no concentrations of power. That requires not only replacing markets with sharing, but also replacing authoritarian hierarchical government with peer-to-peer networking. This is why I’m an anarcho-commie, which means share and don’t hit, the first two things we all learned in kindergarten.
2nd evil:   EXTERNALITIES (6:17 in video)
Any market transaction is negotiated by a buyer and a seller, but it may affect other parties besides those two. Such effects are outside the considerations of the negotiations, and so they are called externalities. During the crash of 2008, Wall Street traders often reassured one another with the acronym “IBGYBG,” which stood for “I’ll be gone, you’ll be gone.”
Externalities are more due to indifference than outright malice, and so you might think their effects would be random — sometimes harmful and sometimes beneficial — but it doesn’t work that way. The proverbial “bull in a china shop” is not motivated by malice, but he is never beneficial.
Market prices are far from true costs, because they leave out the externalities. Thus the market is not at all the “wise and efficient” allocator of resources claimed by its worshipers. Conventional textbooks gloss over this topic, as though it were something minor, but in fact externalities are enormous: War, poverty, and ecocide are inevitable consequences of any market economy. And by the way, the ecocide is a lot worse than most people realize; feedback loops are about to send us over a climate cliff.
A living whale is an awesome creature, but it has no monetary value. The parts of a recently killed whale are worth a million dollars in quick profit to someone who doesn’t care about the consequences elsewhere. That’s why the whales are disappearing. And that’s why the ecosystem is disappearing too, though it’s larger, more abstract, and harder to see.
You might think that the few people in power would get together and conspire to save the planet that they have seized for their own. But that’s not how they’re behaving.
For instance, a few years ago, the Arctic began melting rapidly. That’s one of the climate feedback loops, and it should have been a wakeup call to stop using fossil fuels before they kill everyone. But instead the plutocrats said, “oh goody, now it will be so much easier to extract fossil fuels from the Arctic!”
The market compels its biggest players to compete against each other in offering quick profits to investors, without regard to consequences. Any big players who find scruples will fall behind in the competition, and will be replaced. We need to overthrow not just the big players, but the entire system.
3rd evil:   ALIENATION   (9:06 in video)
The problem is not just in our rulers. It’s in all of us, in our culture, in the so-called “American dream“: You keep your stuff in your house, I keep my stuff in my house, and God help the guy who doesn’t have a house, because no one else can help him, in our present socioeconomic system. We get the illusion that my well being doesn’t depend on yours, and I don’t need to care about you, and in fact I can’t afford to care about you. We blame the less fortunate for their bad luck, because that’s easier than facing up to the fact that we might be next, that the system is unjust, and that we don’t know how to fix it. We may try to be kind, because that’s human nature, but that’s swimming upstream against the current of separateness.
How blind are we to our own culture? Compare it with physics. An apple’s mass, volume, and color are objective and measurable traits, independent of any observer. The “owner” of the apple is merely a story that we agree upon, one that can be changed by whoever controls the courts. And yet it has become impossible for us to imagine an apple without an owner.
Our possessions separate us psychologically, and that in turn legitimizes our material separateness. Apathy and alienation seem inevitable and normal. We are forced to compete against each other for survival; friendships become commodities and strategic alliances. We’re distrustful, and our anxiety about lack of security is medically harmful. The wealthy are harmfully stressed too, by their desire to stay ahead, and by their lack of the things that money can’t buy. Lacking meaning, purpose, and direction in our lives, we turn to drugs and entertainments. We see ourselves alone and helpless, and few of us realize that everyone else is alone in much the same way.
No wonder random shootings have become commonplace in our shopping malls. The only thing that can make us safe is a change to a culture in which everyone cares about everyone else and no one gets left behind. But that kind of caring will require sharing. To shelter the homeless and to end the prevalence of sh*t jobs, we’ll have to restructure the entire economy, and we’ll have to change how we feel about one another.
We’ve been told — and some of us have believed it — that it’s human nature to be greedy, selfish, and lazy. We’ve been told that humans work only for private gain, and work well only in competition. We’ve been told that our culture and behavior can’t change. But none of that is true.”

Monday, February 23, 2015

Søndagstur etter Mjøspromenaden og til Gjøvik gård

Søndag 22. februar 2015.

Så fikk jeg rasket med meg kameraet igjen. Inntil jeg får ordnet fotobloggen min vil nok de fleste bilder postes her på Permaliv. Som noen sikkert husker gjorde jeg den fadesen å lenke bildene fra Facebook, hvoretter de var så hyggelige å bryte alle lenkene mine. Skikkelig dårlig gjort!

I dag gikk søndagsturen ned til Mjøspromenaden, og deretter hjem om perlen Gjøvik gård. Det lakker og lir til dagen vi skal forlate Gjøvik, da vi ikke fant et godt sted å slå oss til ro her i byen. Uansett hyggelig å ta med seg noen gode minner!

Neste søndag skal Sandra døpes!

Sandra satte stor pris på stokkendene ved Hunnselva

Over trebrua etter Mjøspromenaden

Under jernbaneovergangen. I bakgrunnen Haakonsgt. 2, det første stedet vi ble røyket ut fra på Gjøvik.

Vi ankommer perlen Gjøvik gård!

Inne i kafeen i Drengestua

Vi bestilte to rekesmørbrød med urtebrød. En himmelsk opplevelse!

Heldigvis klarte jeg å redde bildet ved å sette meg selv ute av fokus

Sandra trives veldig godt ute blant folk

Mange fine gamle bilder på veggene

Du kan glede deg til du får tenner...

...og til du kan gå selv

Strålende vinterstemning på Fastland. De som lurer, storesøster var på Grue og måkte snø.

Se forøvrig min forrige fotoreportasje fra Eiktunet, som fikk nesten 700 nedlastinger fra USA på knapt ei uke.

Mottok nettopp dette bildet fra storesøster på vinterferie i Hurdal, hvor hun tar seg ei velfortjent pause fra all snømåkingen.

Trolig har hun det ikke så verst.


Ved hjelp av instrumentell tenkemåte har vi i det
moderne utviklet en teknologi som har ført med
seg stadig nye, 'uante' konsekvenser. Vårt demo-
krati er avhengig av velgere som forstår sammen-
hengene i sammenkjedingen av disse konsekvensene,
slik at de er i stand til å fremme en demokratisk prak-
sis som med handlekraft setter i verk tiltak for en
naturvennlig fremtid. Til det formålet trenger vi
danningsinstitusjoner og folkeopplysning som
er virkelighetsorientert og som utløser verdi-
dannende læring for et liv i lage.

Så lenge samfunnskontrakten er basert på
'samfunnsøkonomisk lønnsomhet' etter ressurs-
økonomisk tenkemåte, taper menneskeverd og
naturverd i kost-nytte-analysene. Tidsskrift
som er kritiske til dagens situasjon, mangler
i Norge i dag. Publikasjoner i kultursfæren
såvel som i miljøbevegelsen' mangler redak-
sjonell innsikt til å avsløre de sterke
lobbyene som er driverne i vårt politiske
liv. Oljelobbyens innflytelse på norsk 
klimapolitikk er ett slående eksempel
på dette (våre to miljøstiftelser unnser seg
f eks ikke for å hente økonomisk støtte 
fra petroleumsindustrien). 

Vi trenger KULTURVERK på papir. Om
det i første omgang ikke er realistisk å hamle
opp mot lobbyregimet, er det et tiltak som kan
bidra til å vekke norske medier, slik at de trap-
per ned sin medløper-rolle. Vi må handle for å
bidra til at det norske demokratiet fremstår som
en del av løsningen i en verden i krise, og ikke som
en del av problemet. Vi trenger KULTURVERK på 
papir for å fremme det frie ord for et liv i lage!

Med naturvennlig hilsen Nils Faarlund,
praktisernede øko-filosof på heltid siden 1966
med sivilingeniørkompetanse fra NTH 1961

Nils Faarlund på Totenåsen

Design for en levende planet

Artikkel for publisering hos

Jeg kjenner meg helt igjen i den eksistensielle angsten som du forteller om. Den kommer alltid krypende over meg når jeg ser 99,9 prosent av norsk arkitektur... hehe. Det er interessant at jeg ikke er den eneste som føler det slik. Det er egentlig en veldig intens følelse. Noen ganger tenker jeg at dersom folk kunne sett hvor mye fantastisk som er mulig å skape, så vil de slutte å bygge alt dette stygge og sjelløse... men som du sier må vi vel finne en mening med livet og en tilknytning til noe mer hellig, sjelfullt eller spirituelt... noe som gjør at vi strekker oss lenger enn kun det helt grunnleggende for å få livet til å så vidt gå rundt. - Naviana
Når jeg er rundt i Norges land blir jeg ofte utmattet av den sjelløsheten som brer seg utover, det være seg suburbane eneboliger, kraftgater som skjærer nådeløst gjennom skogene, vulgære hytter som har okkupert de fineste teltplassene ved et tjern, blokkleiligheter i en corbusiansk ånd, stjernearkitektur ved sjøkanten i vår hovedstad, eller kjøpesentre som har tappet bysentrum for liv.

All denne hesligheten er skapt ut fra teknokratiet, profittmotivet og menneskets begjær for å skinne. Som individ står man overfor to muligheter i møte med et slikt gjennomgripende overgrep, et slikt tap av nasjonal integritet og tilhørighet; man kan overgi sin sjel til det mekaniske verdensbildet, eller man kan bli en drømmer, en drømmer om en levende verden.

Vår industrielle sivilisasjon går mot sin solnedgang, vil vi da entre en global mørketid, eller kan vi fylle det post-industrielle samfunn med noe nytt? Tidligere har jeg skrevet om InnGruppe-Demokratiet (IGD) som et reelt alternativ for en bærekraftig framtid, her på Kulturverk. Med IGD kan vi overkomme de tre mekanismene nevnt ovenfor: teknokratiet eller staten oppløses i allmenningheten, profittmotivet opphører og menneskets ego tøyles av inngruppa. Slik ligger vegen åpen for en ny design, hvor vi designer oss inn i naturen.

Her er den nye boka av Nikos A. Salingaros og Michael W. Mehaffy, "Design for a Living Planet", av uvurderlig betydning. I denne boka er det samlet den nyeste vitenskapen om hva som skal til for å gjøre vår skakkjørte verden om til en levende planet. Et formidabelt oppdrag, da vår lille klode nå er så herjet at dette nærmest kan sidestilles med å etablere et økosystem på mars.

Allikevel, tar vi ikke denne oppgaven på alvor, vil Moder Jord snart tippe oss av lasset og gjøre jobben selv. Derfor må vi begynne å samarbeide med henne, istedenfor å slåss mot henne. Vi trenger riktignok en helt ny økonomi og et nytt demokrati, hvor økonomi og demokrati forenes i en enhet, for å lykkes. Dette kan Terje Bongard og IGD gi oss.

Men selv om oppgaven kan virke uoverkommelig, er boka lett tilgjengelig. Hvert kapittel tar for seg en vitenskap, en ny designkunnskap, presentert enkelt og forståelig. De er ment som en introduksjon, en inspirasjon for å gå videre inn i tematikken gjennom egne studier, samt en oversikt over hva som foregår innen organisk design i dag.

Teknologi betyr i sin essens kunnskapen om å gjøre. På dette området er boka til en viss grad mangelfull. Man får god kjennskap til nye funn fra vitenskapen som kan revolusjonere arkitekturen, men noen bruksanvisning om hvordan å applisere denne kunnskapen i praksis, er ikke boka. Dette kan delvis skyldes at disse funnene er nye, og ikke enda har fått mulighet til å utvikles i det virkelige liv.

Boka har lite skarp polemikk, noe tidligere lesere av Salingaros kanskje vil savne? Formålet er først og fremst å vekke nysgjerrigheten, entusiasmen, ikke å provosere. Forhåpentligvis vil mange la seg inspirere av boka til å utvikle ny designteknologi i praksis.

Av temaer kan nevnes designmønstre, fraktaler, biofilia, smidig design og selvorganisering. Hele fem kapitler er viet designpioneren Christopher Alexander, den første som tok fatt i arkitektur som et vitenskapelig begrep.

Kapitlet om kompleksitet ble for meg en vekker. Kompleksitet vil si at noe aldri gjentar seg selv, den er steds- og tidsspesifikk. Naturen er kompleks, fordi den ikke gjentar seg selv. Det motsatte av kompleksitet er hva økosofen Sigmund K. Setreng kaller for komplikasjon. Vår sivilisasjon er derfor ikke kompleks, men komplisert, fordi den stadig gjentar seg selv.

Skal vi designe en levende planet må den derfor formes gjennom adaptiv morfogenese, en stegvis prosess hvor man har oppgitt en rigid hovedplan. Ved organisk design vet man ikke sluttresultatet, men er prosessen eller algoritmen riktig vil man allikevel nå målet, noe man ikke kan gjennom en mekanisk prosess.

Jeg håper mange vil lese denne lettleste boka av Salingaros og Mehaffy. Kanskje har våre etterkommere om 100 år ikke internett, kanskje kan de ikke reise verden rundt, kanskje har de ikke moderne medisin? Kanskje er havene forsuret og polisen smeltet? Kanskje kan de ikke lenger spise fisk for miljøgifter?

Men kanskje er de også i gang med å designe en levende planet!

Boka kan kjøpes fra Sustasis Press HER, fra Amazon HER; Internasjonal utgave (kommer) fra Vajra Books HER.

Les Salingaros & Mehaffy sin egen introduksjon til boka:

Ten New Findings From the Sciences that Will Revolutionize Architecture

Saturday, February 21, 2015

From Industrial to Artisan: Modernism’s Sleight-of-Hand

By Nikos A. Salingaros. Original article here.

I post this as a response to a former post about William Morris and 3D-printing, as I hope new technology combined with the scientific theory developed by Salingaros can help making Morris visions into reality.

Figure 1. On the left, mass-produced Art Nouveau silver jewelry box by P. A. Coon, 1908. On the right, hand-made Machine Aesthetic silver teapot by C. Dresser, 1879. Drawing by Nikos Salingaros.

This figure was published on April 2013 in the article “How Modernism Got Square” co-authored with Michael Mehaffy. It has been reproduced several times when reprinting the original article, and in essays by other authors who discuss our ideas.
And yet, the above figure subsequently re-appears with a new accompanying caption that completely reverses the facts and switches our original message. Well-meaning editors and authors chose the new caption “From Artisan to Industrial” (first here, and then again on ArchDaily), which conforms to the modernist orthodoxy on the evolution of historical design styles. They are in no way pushing modernism (being interested instead in my criticism of modernist design): it’s simply that the dogma is so pervasive in our civilization that the mislabeling becomes automatic, a conditioned response.

Figure 2. Extremely expensive hand-made welded sculpture from the Bauhaus entitled “Nickel-Construction”. László Moholy-Nagy, 1921. No known function. Drawing by Nikos Salingaros.

To see our little joke, please note that the “machine aesthetic” teapot on the right was hand-made in 1879, i.e. about 30 years before the ornamented jewelry box. The Art Nouveau jewelry box, on the other hand, was mass-produced after the teapot. Thus, the canonical progression from artisan to industrial would absurdly seem to have gone backwards in time, and, in addition, the artisan/industrial labels are opposite from what they seem. I conclude that the official story is nothing but sleight-of-hand. In fact, what happened historically is that a substantial and healthy industry of mass-producing ornamented artifacts and utilitarian objects was killed off by a marketing takeover, not by the necessity of industrialization.