new mailing list - responses
>To: Community_Forestry <Tree-House@lists.umbc.edu>
>From: email@example.com (Rob Squires/Gill Ellison)
>Subject: new mailing list - responses
>22nd July I wrote :
>>>Dear friends, I have posted this message because I feel it is a subject
>>>which effects us all, and no matter what our specific interests, skills or
>>>activities, it always has a part to play. I am researching the possibility
>>>of a new internet mailing list, to discuss issues concerned with
>>visioning, or visualization. More specifically eco-visioning...
>SaaimanP@sabc.co.za (Petrus J. Saaiman):
>>Let's just do it!
>Petrus, I'm encouraged by your enthusiasm. The thing is, the list would
require maintainance; up to 7 hours (I am told) of valuable working hours
per week. This I why I considered it wise to discover peoples ideas on the
usefulness of such a project first...
>"FloraList (Richard)" <flora@Flora.Com>:
>> Rob, you got my vote ...
>> If I can include myself in your smart thinking Rob, I think
>> that we are really onto something here & Internet technologies
>> are the obvious venue for this to take place over. It has been
>> my strong conviction in recent years that complex projects
>> require the orchestration of folks from varying sensibilties,
>> with different skills etc. Such diverse groups are not accustomed
>> to working with each other. Thus a friendly middle, neutral
>> ground is probably crucial to the sustainability of complex
>> projects. It's interesting to think of oneself as a 'radical
>> sustainabilist' -- because the phrase is oxymoronic, just like
>> being an 'urban forester' is.
>"A friendly middle ground..." If I'm reading you right, then a vision could
be the friend, or friendly ground that you talk of. Such a vision could act
as a focus, or an axis around which a vortex rotates and grows (evolves).
Such a vision would have to be dynamic however, adapting with new ideas,
practices, occurances and positions. How do we evolve a vision, without
rendering past work as disposable ?
>>The paragraph -immediately above- is set in a -negative format-, was this
>>your intention ?
>>If it is your intent to -create a positive vision- of a sustainable, or
>>-permaculture future, than -I fully agree- with your questions an goal.
>Dean, when I was at university I got critisized for being too subjective.
By phrasing my ideas as questions, as such...
>>Is it ((not)) the case that people have a major input on, and that our
>>dreams and expectations are all designs for the future ? Also, is it ((not))
>>case that if the main body of the planet's population are to adopt
>>ecological lifestyles, then before any change takes place we must visualise
>>en masse how such a society would function ? Is ((not)) visioning the first
>>in the transformation from a 'destructoculture' to a permanent culture ? If
>>people ((can't)) envision a peacefull ecological society, then how can we
>>expect to achieve such a world ?
>... I intended opening up the ideas for debate, rather than stating them
as fact. I do feel, however, that life is too 'magical' to be left purely to
objective science, and that at some stage, we must abandon analytical
research, and make decisions based on our gut reactions. If not, how would
anything ever get done ?
>>I perceive you are -wanting to- broaden the focus, to a larger group, and
>>develop an effort which will ultimately impact the World, yes or no ?
>Yes. I envision, and am working towards ... a place where people come, and
learn, and experience; walking away with a feeling rather like they'd just
watched a good film, and hopefully converting that good feeling into good
work. The discussion group would act as a forum for people with similar
>>I will be glad to help where I can, since I have spent -ten years plus-
>>developing a -vision- of the structures and logistics necessary to live in a
>>world without fossil fuels, focussed in local sustainable communities, but
>>linked to regional resources, with a healthy concentration of reduce, reuse,
>>recycle - social / economic links.
>>A -New List- sounds OK.... (If it is -Open- for major changes)
>>Dean S. Robertson
>One of my main reasons for doing this research was so to refine the subject
area of the list. The ideas I proposed in my previous posting were just
that:- ideas. What would you suggest Dean ?
>"Tamara Uchiek" <TSUCHIEK@msn.com> :
>>I would be interested in a mailing list such as that. I am having similar
>>problems reconciling my "career" with my "interests". We have a small farm
>>(5+) acres that I am trying to perma-culture but feel stymied by time,
>>attitudes and social restrictions. My wife and I operate a computer
>>consulting and service business from our farm.
>Hi Tamara, my feeling is, that if we could just get people to envision how
nice, as well as productive, a permacultured piece of land, or community, or
planet _could_ be, then who would want to say " No".
>>The process of changing a society eventually reaches individuals
>>with their needs and desires. This is where I see a large problem.
>>It is very hard to replace the current thinking (power, competition,
>>and consumption = happiness) with a believable model. We are immersed
>>in a culture which thinks you can buy happiness. The economics
>>of Permaculture make those who try to live it look like poverty to
>>the rest of society. It is a different set of values and does not
>>make all decisions based upon short term economics.
>>I found all of it very inspiring., especially after being
>>called a public nuisance by my neighbour for not
>>poisoning my moles.
>People, seemingly, have their own ideas, visions and concepts of what makes
up a good society. Unfortunately, these visions aren't compatible with the
rest of the species on Earth. Is visioning enough to create a "believable
model" which people can adopt, and instigate change, or, do we have to wait
for the 'crash' before people realize they must change?
>Finally, Michael Yount:
>>I think having a forum for people to discuss their visions
>>sounds like a good idea, especially since so many people are
>>drawn to using their imagination when they craft e-mail.
>>I have some rather stern opinions about the medium, however,
>>and would like to hear your response to them.
>>1. Discussing visions already takes place on many mailing lists,
>>sporadically, and with little or no tangible result. How
>>do we move from imagination and principle to practice?
>This relates to the question I asked before: how we integrate personnal
visions to form a mass of people working towards a common objective ? I feel
that a critical mass is important. They must share a vision however, or at
least, a close proximity. I'm curios to see how geographical possitioning
relates to this. How can a group of people, located in a multitude of places
around the planet, communicating via the internet, instigate physical
change? For that matter, psycological change ?
>>2. If a mailing list is popular, often some of the people
>>whose opinions and ideas we'd most like to hear are
>>driven away, lacking the time or desire to sift through
>>the volume for the substance.
>I think an answer to that, has to be the keeping of a very closely
moderated list. Visioning can basically be applied to any subject. Clear
definitions must be made to the purpose of the list, and close attention
paid to maintaining these objectives.
>>3. Text-based e-mail is a pretty limited means of expressing
>>oneself. A friend of mine, who works as a transliterator,
>>once said, "I am not a child of Logos." How do we expand
>>people's ability to communicate while including people
>>who have limited computer technology?
>Good question. Personally, I find Email a rather effective means of
communication. It depends largely how people think, I think. Personally, I
think verbally (ie. with words) and through feelings. Curiously, imagery
plays a lesser part in my thoughts, yet I am still able to visualise...
Although I can communicate through Email, I am not the best communicator in
real life. There is a lot of scope for improving peoples means of
communication. Does it fall within the scope of the proposed list ? You tell
>>Another method, which is being implemented by some of
>>my colleagues at CSF, is to host limited-duration lists
>>on one specific topic.
>This sounds like a good possibility. On one hand, does the topic hold
enough scope for ongoing discussion, or would it quickly exhaust itself? On
the other, could the task of confining discussion to appropriate subjects
realistically be achieved ? Like I said, theoretically visioning can be
applied to any subject. There is a lot of room for white noise ...
>Thanks also to Jim Delcarpio and Milo Clarke.
>It would seem from this limited research, that there is certainly enough
interest on the subject to merit the creation of a list.
>The important thing to me is to define the subject areas or objectives of a
list more concisely. I would welcome any views on this ...
>Many regards, Rob.
Rob Squires of CTCSystems | http://www.u-net.com/~yesyou
Communitarianist | E:mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
========================= + ===========================================
Gill Ellison | http://www.connect.org.uk/merseyworld/ACSH/
Age Concern - St.Helens | E:mail -email@example.com