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Re: [permaculture] Re: Permaculture: patterns and paradigms





Scott Pittman escreveu:

> Since paradigm is new speak for pattern I prefer to use the old word since
> it carrys the same meaning in a more familiar form.

I understand paradigms and patterns to be entirely different things, and I think it is
important  that we have a clear understanding of each, as both are fundamental to
understanding what we are doing in Permaculture, and I think there is a lot of fuzzy
thinking around the subject...

Paradigms are mental constructions around a central nuclear idea ( or symbol, as I will
point out below), which include ideas, attitudes, decisions, strategies, and,finally ,
actions. A good example of a nuclear idea and how it can generate a paradigm is
cooperation.  When we move from the basic idea of competition to cooperation, the way
we see the world changes: unknown people are not adversaries in potential, for example
( as  they would be if we worked out of the competition paradigm). When an insect
attacts our corn we will not see it as an Žnemy" competing for the same product and
with which we will want to make war.  If we are in the cooperation paradigm, we take
the whole context much more into  consideration. Much of destruction of Nature has come
from the competitive paradigm in agriculture.
    Another example of paradigms is in social stucture, where you could have a triangle
in the center of one, representing hierarchies, with a leader at the point, and the
public at the base, as contrasted to a circle, where there is no one higher than the
other.  The triangle is stable, can lead to crystallization, whereas the circle is
dynamic, leading to exchange of leadership according to situations.
    It has been a "hobby" of mine to get really into understanding what the basic
principles of Permaculture really are ( i.e. the central nucleating ideas from which
action is generated), and one of the principle ones is cooperation. I came up with  a
list of eight principles.  There are probably more. What are called "Permaculture
principles", by the way, I do not see to be central ideas, but rather strategies.
Principles are ideas which generate somthing akin to philosophies.  For example, I
would consider "diversity  promotes stability"to be a principle, but "each element
should have several functions" a strategy based on that principle.  I may be
hair-splitting here, but I think we need to be a bit clearer about these basic
underlying elements in our work. They are our building-blocks.

Patterns, on the other hand, I see to be universal laws , probably mathematic (maybe by
now modern mathematicas has already got there!), which  model and modulate the
formation and flow of matter. They are universal, and not relative.  We discover them
and understan them, and work with them, but we do not create them. Paradigms, on the
other hand are relative, and based on our ideas, thus they are created by us and can be
changed by us.
    So paradigms are in no way "new speak". They are fundamental to understanding the
nature of the transition that the whole world is going through at the moment...

Marsha


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