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Is the Paleo diet just another fad diet? Is Crossfit just another fad fitness craze?
They are not - and you should not dismiss them.
They are in fact the early signs of a new revolution in human society, economy and culture. A revolution where we return to working with nature and where we accept that we too are part of nature.
Where we accept that trying to dominate nature and so each other is an idea that is taking us and much of life on the planet to doom.
For we can only abuse the rules of Nature so far and we can only abuse our own nature so far and Nature will push back. And when she does, we lose. The Natural world and our own Nature is not infinitely plastic.
Nature can take a lot of damage but a Tipping Point will arrive when we go too far. We can only take so many fish out of the sea, clog up the atmosphere with only so much CO2, lose only so much topsoil, use more water than we have.
The same is true for us as part of Nature. We can eat junk food, live in crazy circumstances and in crazy social and political systems - for a time. But when we do, nature will push back at us too.
For the planet is a closed natural system with key rules. And so are we. The closer the planet is to its interacting norms, the more it can support life. And the same is true for us.
Millions of years of evolution have set up an ideal set of environments, food, social, physical in which we are designed to be at peak health and happiness. The closer we live our lives to this set of ideal environments, the healthier and happier we will be, (Thesis #2). Conversely, the further away we live our lives from these ideals, the worse our health and our happiness.
We live today at a time when most of us live as far away from Nature and our Nature that is possible. She is pushing back harder and harder. As more of us get sick and as change to climate makes life hell for millions. we see her as the enemy but in fact, she has always rewarded those that work with her.
Our only chance as a species is to "Go Home". To go home to working with her.
The beauty of this impending revolution is that we know how to be in this new relationship with nature and each other - for we are hardwired to do this. We have just been distracted by 10,000 years of a phase of development. Maybe we have been like teens - all about me? Maybe this is our time to be young parents and be a true member of the community of life again?
Ideally we are designed for this new/old relationship with nature and our nature - the life of a Hunter Gatherer.
Does this mean we have to go home to the caves and wear skins? No - no more than at the time of the Renaissance, we went back to wearing Togas. No it's all about ideas and principles and mindset.
Men and women in the 15th century applied ideas that had been forgotten and even prohibited to how they lived their lives and so created the modern world. A world based on observation rather than dogma.
What I think could happen now is the same. We can and should use the PRINCIPLES of the Hunter Gatherer World to design the Post Industrial and Post Agricultural Society that will have to evolve to help us get though Peak Oil and Climate Change.
This series will explore how this is taking place - without any "Plan" or leader. The new world is naturally emerging as it should be! But what I think we can do is accelerate the process of transformation by seeing it more clearly.
For to "Get There" all we have to do is to accept that we are there - all Dorothy had to do to go home was to say "I want to go home".
For "Home" is deep inside us. It waits only for us to say yes. All we need to know to do well in this New/Old World is hard wired inside us. All it has to be is remembered.
You and I can immigrate to this New World today.
Today the New New World is a State of Mind. We don't have to get on a boat. We just have to see ourselves in a new light. The moment we do, we have arrived at the pier. Life will still be hard, it always is for immigrants. But few who got off at the pier ever wanted to go back to the old country.
So in this series I hope to paint you a picture of what this new country will be like. You might see that you are almost there. I doubt that many of you will be surprised. The ideas are not new they are older than us. But we have forgotten them.
So I offer you not a new book but a mirror. And at the heart of it all is the heart and love and the acceptance of our true place. We will, as Paul hoped for, have grown up.
"When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity."
Here then is the structure of the series:
1. In the next post "The Emergent New Hunter Gatherer Society": we will see how the new Unemployed, the Under Employed and the Freelancers are not failures or misfits but are New Immigrants who are in engaged in a massive new project - to redesign our economy and food system using these principles. We are creating this new world for ourselves and for our children because we don't fit the existing system and worse it works against our real needs.
2. "The Principles of HG Life as they are practised today": We will extract the principles from the emergent patterns and see how they can be used as our guide for making our own choices and how they put meaning on our lives. What can each of us do to disconnect us from the old system and connect us to the new?
3. "The Principles of Real Revolution": The full power of the old system is lined up and is already pushing back at the new. "THEY" know we have their number and they know we are death to them and they will fight tooth and nail to defeat us. So it is important for us to know how to deal with this and people like Gandhi and Havel show us the way.
4. "The Heart of the Matter - Food": There are several factors that shape human culture. Our primary energy source, climate, our primary communication tools. So Peak Oil, Climate Change and the Web will rock the old system and make the birth of the new essential. For the old system cannot cope with these changes. But the real deal is the food system. How we get our food is THE most powerful factor is shaping human society, culture and so power. What will it be about the new food model that is the Game CHanger? Why will it set you free? Why will it change everything - where and how you live and who has power and who does not.
You and I can go home - all we have to do is to change our mind about who we are and where we are.
Here is a piece that make me cry every time I read it out loud - it says it all for me.
There will come a time when humanity will choose to go against nature, to exploit her bounteous gifts, causing a sickness across the planet. People will forget the ecstasies of communion, and life will become drab and colorless.
In these coming dark ages, though, a deep sense of loss will cause the beginnings of a Great Return. They will look at the landscape and the old temples, built to withstand the cataclysms of millennia and understand once again the sacred laws of Existence.
When this day comes, humanity will have come of age. It will consciously acknowledge its role in the creative impulse that comes from the Sun, fertilizes the Earth, and calls forth the flame in the hearts of men and women to worship Life and the miraculous forces behind Creation.
Miller, Hamish & Broadhurst, Paul. The Sun and the Serpent: An Investigation into Earth Energie
Posted at 11:42 AM in 55 Theses, Community, Complexity, Cracks in the System, Design, diet, Econolypse, Emergence, Energy, Environment, Evolutionary Fit, Family, Food, Food and Drink, Food Systems, Freelancing, Great Disruption, Health, Local Resiliency, Messy World, Michael Rose, Mindset, Missing Human Manual, Natural Organization, Open Source, Open Space, Organizations and Culture, Paleo, Paradigms, Parenting, Peak Oil, PEI, Politics, Prince Edward Island, Resilient Communities, Social Economy, Technology, Trust, Trusted Space | Permalink | Comments (5)
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What might it be like if we chose to get ready for the end of the industrial system? Where oil would be expensive and we would have to relocalize how we lived.
Imagine you are reading this on the web in 2025. Front page and then the pdf.
Would you like to be part of such a great work?
Posted at 03:28 PM in Environment, Fab Lab, Family, Food, Food and Drink, Food Systems, Freelancing, Great Disruption, Health, Hope, Ideas - philosophy, Immigration, Local Resiliency, Messy World, Mindset, Natural Organization, Organizations and Culture, Paleo, Paradigms, Peak Oil, PEI, Politics, Prince Edward Island, Queen Street Commons, Resilient Communities, Social Economy, Story, Technology, Workplace | Permalink | Comments (0)
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12,000 years ago a crisis ended millions of years of Hunter Gatherer society. We did not happily chose a new way of life. A crisis forced it upon us and our brilliance at using our minds to solve problems lead to us inventing new technology that took us down a path that created the modern world as we know it.
I can see that such a crisis is upon us again and that once more we will have to use our ingenuity to find a new way. This series will be my sketch book as to what that might entail.
Let's start with what happened to us the last time and then I will go on to look at why we face a crisis of similar scale today and then what we might to to get us out of it.
The Crisis that Ended Hunter Gathering
Who better than James Burke to show us what happend
The crisis was a change in climate in the middle east that destroyed the wild habitat that the large population of Hunter Gatherers needed to sustain themselves.
The big new idea was domestication of plants and and animals. The core tool would be the plow. The core new food would be grain. A food that you could store. And so a food that you could control. A process of control that lead top the idea of property, of kings and their great tool for control - the written word.
It meant nothing that this food was a poor substitute for what we had eaten before. We lost a foot in mean height. We developed the diseases of modern civilization. It was eat this or starve.
This was a food that could also expand the population exponentially. Farmer/herder societies could field armies and then take over lands of Hunter Gatherers who had no defence. The grain produced the population, the king, the army and then the conquest.
Our world view is shaped by this history. The normal of centralized control. Of power concentration and the use of the word to control us. Of cheap and easy food.
By 100 AD and the rise of Rome, the end of the Hunter Gatherer world was certain.
Our modern crisis
So what's the crisis? It had better be a big one for our current system is so well entrenched!
I think that these are the elements of the crisis that will force us to change as our Hunter Gatherer ancestors were forced to change.
Our food system today depends utterly on the availability of cheap oil. This is what has made available the expansion of world population from 2 billion in 1900 to 7 billion today. This expansion coincides with the oil age. Some time soon this will no longer be available.
Our focus on grains and the plow and inputs to feed and to defend a concentrated row crop ALWAYS destroys the land.
The clock is ticking for the prairies and California.
Making corn and sugar the centre of the modern diet and the agribusiness, we are also driving a health problem that is overwhelming us. Not just a health crisis but a financial crisis. The costs of dealing with this are too much for any of us to bear or any society.
We are starting to understand now that the very core crop, grains, that saved us all that time back will now destroy us.
We have reached the limits of what the agricultural revolution can offer.
In the middle east back in the day, you could not hunt harder either.
And, I nearly forgot. Nature is also doing her thing. Weather instability is making crop growing a very hard thing to do and it is getting worse. With 7 billion people to feed, we cannot miss a beat but we are.
So in my next post I want to explore how a new diet may drive a new food system. A new food system as radically different as the one that the plow created and with all the ramification for human society and power that a real revolution implies.
Posted at 10:31 AM in Aging, Econolypse, Energy, Environment, Food, Food and Drink, Food Systems, Great Disruption, Health, Ideas - philosophy, Local Resiliency, Media, Messy World, Mindset, Musings, Natural Organization, Organizations and Culture, Paleo, Peak Oil, PEI, Prince Edward Island, Resilient Communities, Science, Technology, Weather, YouTube | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Posted at 06:38 AM in Community, Immigration, Journalism, KETC, Leadership, Learning the Apple , Local Resiliency, Media, Organizations and Culture, Public Media, Public Radio, Public Service Media, Public TV, Resilient Communities, Social Economy, Social Media, Social Object, Technology, Television, Trust, Trusted Space, TV, YouTube | Permalink | Comments (0)
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NPR showed us that how you connect to content is key to audience growth - so far they and I have focused on the the connection as being web and social media based.
But there is an even more important "Connection". That is Trust.
Do we trust the source of the content? What is the Social Relationship between the News Source and the Public? What are the Power issues? What is the motivation of the new organization? Whom do they serve and why? All these relational issues affect Trust.
So what is the central connection between the news source and you?
Here is how Craig Newmark thinks that this issue will play out.
HT to John Bracken for the clip.
At KETC we have made this issue of the relationship with our members and the wider public in St Louis our central concern.
We keep asking ourselves the question of how can a local public TV station establish the Trust that we need to become vital to our community? While this is our own question - it is also the broder question that will affect all news sources.
We agree with Mr Newmark that we have a start based on our non-commercial model. But what do we have to do to make this more real?
No station on their own is smart enough to come up with the answers. For this demands a revolution in mindset.
Fortunately for us, 3 Wise Men turned up with gifts. Gifts of wisdom about this issue of Trust and Relationship. They showed up because they care deeply that the answers are found.
May 12, 2010 at 1:10 pm · Filed under Collaboration, Community, Culture, Innovation, KM, Network Effect, Relationships, Social Media, Social Networking, Social Objects, Trust, Trusted Space, User Revolution, Wikinomics, Wikipedia, Wisdom of Crowds
A really weird thought has been building in me for months. Have books been a bad thing?
Is this better?
If so – why?
If so – Is this the campfire of all campfires?
So what’s my argument?
Many people are convinced today that the birth of the web is making us stupid. That the web is only superficial. That only dense books can contain and spread real knowledge.
I am coming to the conclusion that the opposite is true. That books make us stupid and that the web, like the campfire and for the same reasons as for the campfire is what makes us clever.
So here goes. All our foundational knowledge was discovered around the campfire. Imagine you a hominid sitting around the fire at night. You are awake. You are looking at each other. I would imagine that at first, before we could speak, we sang or made music together. The fire elicited a social dance of interaction and community.
I think we can surmise that the campfire helped us speak and so it helped us become conscious. Something like this happened about 100,000 – 60,000 years ago. For suddenly our tool development, art and technology took off. All the foundations of our world today were discovered in a 10,000 year period. Tools had been the same for a million years. Within a 1,000 years they were completely different. We invented pottery. We invented metallurgy. The wheel. Everything we depend on was discovered then. Not only discovered but widely disseminated in a short period of time.
How did this occur?
My bet is that it happened because of the social process created by the campfire and by our hunter gatherer culture of equality. Such an environment extracts order from chaos. Design from intuition. It is ideal for the exploration of implicit knowledge. It is ideal for discovering things that we don’t know exist. It is ideal for taking half baked ideas and refining them. Let’s use a thought experiment.
How did pottery get invented? Surely no one said “Let’s have a project to invent Pottery!” How can you invent something that had never existed? No it must have happened like this – The People stopped for the night after a rainfall. The next morning, as they prepared to leave, the fire keeper noticed that beneath the coals that she was harvesting, the ground had baked to a crust. Maybe she could carry the fire in this thing – this bowl. That night as they shared the food around the fire, she told the people what had happened and showed them the “bowl” that she had lifted out of the earth the day before. And the conversation began – how had that been? Did it hold the fire well? What else could it hold? What if we put it back in the fire? Would it hold water? And on and on. Experiments were made. Some earth worked better than others. At the seasonal meeting with the Cousin Peoples, the People shared their story with the others and gave up a “bowl” as a gift their elder. At the next season meeting, the two tribes spent days sharing the stories of the experiments that they had been making…….
There was no peer review. There was no authorized way of doing it. No one was telling anyone. They were sharing and asking and arguing. They were having conversations!
But with the book comes authority. With the advent of the book, much of knowledge development stopped. Only the in group was allowed to play. What mattered was not observation. Not trial and error. Not experiment. Not sharing. But authority. Most of the accepted authority were texts that had no basis in observation or trial and error. Ptolemy, St Augustine and Galen ruled.
Worse because of the “Book” people who did observe or test were killed or persecuted. The Book stood for the ONE WAY. It spoke not you.
For a while, with the advent of the press, knowledge opened up.
But where did the great advances then come from? Did they come from the Universities? No they came from amateurs – from Natural Philosophers. Who met in clubs over dinner to talk about their work. Gradually, the “BOOK” came back. Only papers written and approved inside the authority system counted as being right. People outside the authority system were discounted.
Knowledge was seen as an explicit thing – an object. The Book was its metaphor.
But now with the web, we have a global campfire. Once again, we can play with ideas, with observations and experiments. Once again we can share with equals who will not knock us down. Even better, this time the group around the fire is not 35 people but all of us.
What new things will come from such a process? Surely amazing things. Things that could never have come from the use of books.
As a person who loves books, whose life is reading, I now wonder……
Posted at 02:13 PM in Community, Complexity, Design, Education, Emergence, Fast Forward, Ideas - philosophy, Media, Mindset, Musings, Natural Organization, Open Space, Organizations and Culture, Social Object, Technology, Trusted Space, Web 2.0, Web/Tech, Wiki's | Permalink | Comments (13)
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A goat that produces spider's web protein is about to revolutionise the materials industry.
Stronger and more flexible than steel, spider silk offers a lightweight alternative to carbon fibre.
Up to now it has been impossible to produce "spider fibre" on a commercial scale. Unlike silk worms, spiders are too anti-social to farm successfully.
Now a Canadian company claims to be on the verge of producing unlimited quantities of spider silk - in goat's milk.
Using techniques similar to those used
to produce Dolly the sheep, scientists at Nexia Biotechnologies in
Quebec have bred goats with spider genes. (BBC)
Todd Mundt kindly interviewed me on Iowa Public TV for this program. The focus of the interview was how I saw social software changing the very essence of who are are and how we live.
You can find the link to a Real File that has the interview here - it is 33 minutes. Here is how the interview and my responses are structured: