Existence: Chapter Sixteen
Workshop Outline – General Themes
Each workshop is focused around a specific project that needs to be developed for the harmonic community. This involves developing the means to build a model community network and filming the presentations and discussions to provide transcripts of project development for future use. This can be present as broadcasts through EQ-TV, You Tube or another net format. The idea that each community is materially self-sufficient in the absence of travel, yet still linked by Internet communication is an assumption, which may need to be verified by actual circumstance. If we take this as the initial scenario rather than the worst-case scenario of no Internet, it should be sufficient for planning a seminar series.
References will be collated and collected from each workshop. These will be a mixture of net sites and physical literature with at least one major text type book in the mix. The historical basis for development of the topic is a good area for the speakers to cover in the introduction to their presentation. The goal is to use research directed learning as the focus of the effort and have that research continue supporting the types of projects that each community provides. The development of a living harmonic community is the ultimate goal – the survival of the individual entities is enhanced by survivability of the. The basic principles of permaculture are in tune with this idea.
One of the features of the game at this stage is the scenario Ten Days from Now. From the beginning, the plan is to develop life-sustaining projects that can be done from scratch with preset PODs and a willing population. PODs supply the group of people with a means of building support structures. This involves educating people on the local biota available and making an assessment of the availability of the local resources.
Individual sovereigns are developing mechanisms for the production of food, fuels and clothing resources based on agriculture and mining – foundations of production for most other civilizations in our history. Much of this basis set has been lost to current generations due to the rapid growth of technological progress – which has become a highly limiting strait jacket of decreasing biodiversity and general ecologic perversion.
In past times, skills were passed personally from prior generations. Today, people have been living by the modern world assumption that these skills are unnecessary. Fresh air and clean water require better approaches to ecosystem management than current slash, burn and spray techniques used in the industrial chemical war on nature. Politically, reliance need be on we the people, rather than on corporate overlords that control the current collapsing supply system.
For the moment, key areas of focus are food, housing and energy. The order does not matter, but when we lose the oil-based fuel economy, these will be of primary concern. Mechanisms for clothing, transport and entertainment can be jury rigged until the survival aspects of the education system are functional. People who are the leaders within each community will ultimately decide the focus for their community – the Universal Sovereigns of the Living Earth provide support frameworks in advance of the economic collapse, such that we have the expertise and materials for survival at hand.
The training workshops are based on the game Existence using the Grid of 64. Hour cards are exchanged for places as the workshop with the hours being exchanged used to provide labor. Each training session will be a demonstration of a POD concept, where a single item will be constructed for use. Participants in their own home domains can duplicate the efforts. We have the tools on hand to construct structures; the hands-on experience of creating a working model will demonstrate individual ability. The results will include the manufacture of a new hour card detailing the participant’s specific application of interest. The idea is to build a diverse skill base that can develop mechanisms for continuing existence.
Presentations will initially feature PODs for composting toilets and solar kitchens. The learning devices will include hammers and nails, nuts and bolts in addition to some of the basic theory behind how it works and what it will accomplish. We have metrics that measure different facets of the action; data collection is a key feature toward acquiring new knowledge. Each application becomes part of the development of intentional communities, whereas self- direction of application becomes a part of identity. This will prevent us from chasing phantoms – every different community will have similar needs and similar skills. The variation of approach will provide diversity of thought. When a particular mechanism breaks down, there will be a natural redundancy to work the same function with a different approach.
The communications network developed through the workshop can allow for the exchange of hour cards between participants beyond the scope of the workshop itself. We expect people to ask questions, share insights and discuss the results of each process in action back in their own communities.
Each person should leave the workshop with the task of providing data to address a specific question generated in the workshop. The resident expert is the person that brings the workshop to his or her home community. That person contracts with local sovereigns to provide a field team to come in and facilitate the event. A guest expert gives the introduction and delivers the talk on project theory and practice, then the group heads into the field and makes it happen. The time frame, cost outlines for materials, logistics for action and place of work are the services to be paid for, either in cash, value exchange or time barter.
Research directed learning involves collecting data that can provide better information about the task at hand. Inquiry about the mechanisms of basic agricultural process was once a main staple of community life. People had roles pendant on their proclivity and ability, with community being reliant on the common goals. Current goals are based on the people who are here and their ability to function within the local ecosystem. The land supports the people as the people take care of their land. Every material thing we have was originally grown or mined in some form.
Learning to respect earth process has become too far removed from the existing system. Technology and gadgets are now provided to reduce our ability to develop thought; instead we are conditioned how to think. Deeper thought tends to require independent knowledge, yet individuals have lost the ability to discriminate between source materials. Process flows from beginning to end over time; when there is no time to develop deep thought, there is a waste of functional energy in the system. By taking the time to follow small-scale energy flow, we may be able to harness the waste energy of bioprocess while fostering our ability in related permaculture domains.