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Permaculture, BIPOC, Climate ~ Cross Pollination of Movements with DWeb #27

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marylychee opened this issue Jun 18, 2019 · 26 comments

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@marylychee
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commented Jun 18, 2019

Idea

CROSS POLLINATION OF EVERYTHING.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_4ef8
The Revolution will not be Instagramed - from the book Farming Democracy - 2019 Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance

How can we be cross pollinating, and working with other movements around the world??
From BIPOC, permaculture groups, women, non-binary, and trans, and in helping fostering social justice, local community, and bio-regional stewardship are some of the examples and potentials of decentralised, local-first social platforms with peer to peer gossip technology like Secure Scuttle Butt (SSB). Related to Why community networks.

More importantly, can we see how there are repetitive patterns of extraction, commodification and capitalism in technology, agriculture, food systems, and health care.... and the learnings of healing and resilience that can and are crossing over?

You see, the problems and story-lines of technology, agriculture and social dynamics between everything are interwoven and interconnected. Applying intersectionality in understanding the both, you begin to see how class, sex, gender, race all are influenced by power dynamics in Big Ag and Big Tech, and in fact, community efforts and participatory action in both can cross pollinate and facilitate each other.

Among examples I'm exploring with many others include:

Permaculture, seed sovereignty, rematriation, community resilience, local food systems, and food sovereignty.

  • I've recently got in touch with Heather from Permaculture Women on this and she's excited explore together in "unplugging" from facebook groups and in holding digital spaces for her yearly free permaculture online course potentially with the used of SSB and other decentralised web tools. One of my favourite articles:
    On Seeds, Decolonization and the Feminine Side of Things  —  a Conversation with Rowen White
  • Australian Food Sovereignty Alliance - has been vocal many times, on how facebook is no longer a suitable platform for local food organizing, competing with algorithmic biases.
  • Crossfit recently also unplugged and suspended usage from Facebook & Instagram. '' Facebook’s news feeds are censored and crafted to reflect the political leanings of Facebook’s utopian socialists while remaining vulnerable to misinformation campaigns designed to stir up violence and prejudice...."

Facebook is acting in the service of food and beverage industry interests by deleting the accounts of communities that have identified the corrupted nutritional science responsible for unchecked global chronic disease. In this, it follows the practices of Wikipedia and other private platforms that host public content but retain the ability to remove or silence—without the opportunity for real debate or appeal—information and perspectives outside a narrow scope of belief or thought. In this case, the approved perspective has resulted in the deaths of millions through preventable diseases. Facebook is thus complicit in the global chronic disease crisis.

  • Retrosuburbia - how local based, community-connecting platforms like Scuttlebutt, can help in "retrofitting" city suburbs and communities to engage in local non-monetary food sharing, community work, solidarity and connection. Examples in fire safety and fire-resiliency.

...on food politics, and decentralization/centralization - what monopolies in companies means in monocultures and biodiversity, don't know if there's much on food systems and food politics specifically.... but everyone... eats

benhylai: the farm is quite an interesting space for this, it has a lot of energy and seed projects in house, the area has a microclimate where they can grow crops from the Andes and they are thinking to experiment with crops there. It has the advantage of excellent conditions for agricultural and energy (wind and solar) so it's a little of an unfair advantage ;) but they are interested in local production and want to show how we can live happily without killing the planet, or have all these dependencies on extractive corporations. Camp is to explore where DWeb tech fits in to help that mission of sustainable livelihoods. You're proposal feels very connected to that framing. matrix conversation reference

Healthcare

  • I think this one is probably a pretty big one to bring up
  • Most of health care is not 'broken' but a system 'intentionally designed' in a treatment and symptom-management first disease-industrial paradigm, rather than a prevention and proaction community based holistic care.

I come from a health background too, with the current state of healthcare in Australia and America, (and where around the world - adopting a processed industrial food systems diet) there is great urgency to shift towards a food system that priortises community health, food sovereignty, and agro-ecology

Landscape regeneration, bioregional ecological restoration in the age of Climate Emergency

Decolonising & the Anthropocene

My recent research shows that we're pretty much cactus already in terms of climate and social volatility in the next coming few years. Yet also, there is some hope, in that I sense and see scientific knowledge and indigenous wisdom's beginning to converge (necessarily so) in the areas of food systems, climate science, health and well being, landscape and wetlands restoration, purpose, spirituality, community, and work and co-operatives.

From learning how the Aborigines were indeed managing an estate that, despite a focus on local action, covered the continent of Australia, across different languages and families.

Heck, their spiritual and cultural practice did and continues to advocate for and protect Country, our waters, and all people. The understanding of intersectionality is important for us to navigate climate change.

Why We Need Intersectionality to Understand Climate Change

I'm seeing how activism in BIPOC, Adani, Murray-Darling River intersects with social technologies, and how things could change with decentralised tech.

Some guiding research:

Sorry not sorry for this massive brain dump!! What I see potentially working out is topics broken up and workshop style groups to gather community input and experiences, and then regathering to share insights, suggestions and solutions.

Skillsets

  • Domain experts in areas of health care, food systems, climate/ecological science / (they could call in over the the day, contribute to a huge collective brain map / lightning talks)
  • Those engaging in support for Diversity and Inclusion, and sharing case studies, potentials, and cautions for inviting minorities/ not perpetuating extractive behaviours
  • Listening from those of the historical background of blockchain technologies/startups/decentralised web.

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Your chat handle on #dweb-camp-2019-projects:matrix.org - @ mnin:matrix.org

@mnin

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commented Jun 18, 2019

Hey, mnin is my handle, is this a typo?

@marylychee

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commented Jun 18, 2019

sorry! @mnin that's my matrix handle

@mnin

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commented Jun 18, 2019

@marylychee hmm, good to know, but why you are using my good old handle somewhere?

@marylychee

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commented Jun 18, 2019

@mnin I guess I also came up with the same handle name and use it in scuttle butt platform too. this is confusing i guess

@mnin

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commented Jun 18, 2019

sure, it would be nice, to change your handle on matrix.org

@tariq-eden

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commented Jun 18, 2019

Thanks for writing this up @marylychee! I really appreciate that your brain dump includes so many links - it pulls a bunch of threads together in a way that I want to come back to and explore in more depth.

@benhylau

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commented Jun 18, 2019

@mnin that seems quite an unreasonable ask for someone to change their handle on another platform, no?

@mnin

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commented Jun 18, 2019

@benhylau isn't it? But @marylychee starts to like some tweets from my @mnin account on Twitter ;-)

@noffle

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commented Jun 18, 2019

@mnin There is no "authoritative ownership" of names.

@marylychee This is so cool! Jazzed to see this represented in the dweb space.

@mnin

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commented Jun 18, 2019

@noffle true, but I can just ask ;-)

@marylychee

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commented Jun 19, 2019

cheers martin ( @mnin ) you can ask, but I can also say no thanks ;-P

I'm going to stick to my mnin handle on matrix, as I'm helping organising this event and things are getting quite confusing enough to change in the midst of things. Also I think we better get used to the concept of sharing is caring and acknowledging certain ingrained tendencies in tech to feel entitled/try retain ownership & control of identify on centralized platform & services - which enable and perpetuate a sense of scarcity and competition - which btw also is totally related to this discussion/project proposal actually, and what we're up to at dWeb ;-)

luckily on the scuttlebutt platform, we can have as many names as you want, subjective preferences for your friends.

@pospi

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commented Jun 19, 2019

It's really amazing to see someone weaving this complex web of topics together! Gratitude for surfacing these themes which all of us attending are inextricably a part of, whether we are conscious of it or not.

The niche I am particularly interested in exploring within in this "problem space of everything" is that of measurement, and from my time in the blockchain industry & Holochain ecosystem I expect I am far from alone in that. The ValueFlows project (which I plan to run a session on, see #26) feels to me to be our best chance at addressing some of these problems— but it really comes down to how we make use of that technology. ValueFlows and REA accounting was always designed to be ideology-agnostic, and you can just as easily represent the extractive & inhumane current-day economy in REA terms as you can new world-healing postcapitalist forms. A key goal of the project is to be inclusive and to bring those resistant to change around to new ways of thinking slowly; rather than demanding we all adopt completely new ways of being simultaneously. In my opinion, if we choose the latter path we will never get anywhere.

But I freely acknowledge that we are playing with fire here, and I think @quebo put it best in discussions we have had on this topic:

when something is made "visible" and the signal is amplified this way, I believe often the "left brain" (using the term loosely here) gets to seize it for the meaning-making, and starts optimizing in the linear/reductive/scarcity-economical ways a lot of us have been educated into. As opposed to perceiving a weaving of different subtle cues of trust etc., often pre-consciously.

@JeanMRussell, @samrose and myself have had some great conversations on this in regard to money. Sam cited a project he had previously been involved in where a system was created to make the inefficiencies in a logistics network visible. They found that simply tracking and showing the distances travelled reduced GHG emissions over time by 40%. But they also found that once they began to track the cost of transport in that system, people began to focus on the price of fuel instead of the fuel itself, and that figure dropped. (Incidentally: any reports or other material on this work would be much appreciated!). The 3 of us seemed to agree that there is a hopeful mechanism for fighting back against this by framing money as an inefficiency— if money is required as a unit of account in some ecosystem, then from a certain perspective it is really just a sign that the resources are not flowing as frictionlessly as they could be. As such, we may be able to build ecosystems that actually 'push money away' and create more regenerative outcomes in the process.

It is easy for people with ideologies similar to mine to see money as an evil and reductive metric in this way. But the same may well be true of other metrics and measurements that those with my political leanings view more warmly. The Regen Network team are doing amazing work (and also experimenting with the ValueFlows protocol), but it's yet to be seen what behaviours their measurements and metrics lead to. It's well known in Australia, for example, that subsidising land sales for carbon sinks leads to wealthy foreign investors eroding regional economies; and overgrown, unmanageable landscapes which indigenous Australians would view as 'sick country' out of balance with the natural ecosystem. The same unknowns are faced by efforts like the MetaIntegral impact assessment framework, which attempts to measure relational value and ecosystemic health indicators (and which the Holochain ecosystem looks set to adopt for measuring and directing its impact).

I'm absolutely not suggesting that projects like these are ill-considered or destined for bad outcomes; in fact I believe quite the opposite. But I believe these concerns are valid, and when people like Nora Bateson are tweeting red flags... we should be listening. We should at least have thought these things through in depth and have a solid and coherent counter-argument as to how our designs will not lead to reductionist outcomes. I'm not sure that I have such an argument for ValueFlows, aside from what is outlined in the presentation I linked above.

A general rule for me would seem to be that the more of reality we can make visible, the better we can optimise to make our world whole again. I wholeheartedly agree with Daniel Schmachtenberger's thoughts that our world's problems are largely issues of sensemaking. But there is a reductionism in the view that 'measuring everything will fix everything' which I am wary of, and hoping to be challenged on. It would be great to talk to people who fear such measurements and think they are a terrible idea :)

@pospi

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@mnin

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commented Jun 19, 2019

@marylychee exactly, have fun!

@pospi

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commented Jun 19, 2019

Even more relevant and super useful resource- http://worrydream.com/ClimateChange/

Relevance heightened by the fact that @worrydream's omega project Dynamicland is not all that far away, in the center of Oakland :D

@benhylau

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commented Jun 24, 2019

This is an awesome thread. I am trying to imagine how this can be facilitated and how many sessions this needs to be in order to allow enough time for people to explore the intersects, probably involving domains that are new to some of us. Myself for example, yea everyday my Twitter feed tells me the latest Big Tech but I have little knowledge about Big Ag or indigenous practices. How can we allow people new to intersectionality thinking to meaningfully engage?

It may be premature now as we haven't an idea of the format and space-time requirements yet, but at some I'd like this listed on the website and schedule to let people plan for this by submitting the form https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Iet2xk6qwZZWkDHTEMCUn5zlb80IwXNtb6epk4-9O-s/ when that happens please link back to this thread!

@marylychee

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commented Jun 26, 2019

Yeah I agree @benhylau In terms of structuring these thoughts I can suggest one format, for introducing this whole systems narrative perhaps poetry and performance might work well to introduce and frame this big picture.

Then we can branch off into sub-threads, discussions and other workshops.

Having also been totally moved by presentations at Emerging Writers Festival -which included watching two of Laniyuk's presentation this week, I'm eager to present and invite poetry and prose as a creative form. I want to invite thoughts, feels, and actions. Maybe some laughs, tears, or nods might happen. For example this event yesterday that I was at, was held in a circular tent, mirrows around the walls inviting reflections, hosted a range of diverse speakers around a the topic 'amazing babes'. I bawled my eyes, touched, grieving and also powered on by the voices shared.

It would be powerful - inviting diverse folks that are women, non-binary, queer, trans, bipoc, to share individual stories or poems in the Healing Dome. My suggestion of the topic: From Humans to Machines, and to Humans again

Happy to host this, and to write/present with others. (e.g. 5-10 people at around 5-10mins each)

Here's what I might present as a draft of ideas and structure.

From Humans to Machines, and to Humans again

Current Systems

Big Tech, Big Agriculture, Big Health

cogs in a wheel go round and round - the industrial machinery from mining coal, surveillance capitalism, monocultures of crops and monopoly control

Tools of Transition, People of Regeneration

Decentralised Tech, Decolonised Diets, Localised Action at the heart of Climate Restoration

Healing the People and the Land from retrofitting, permaculture, via campesina, regenerative concepts and climate restoration with water cycles and biodiversity

@pdaoust

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commented Jul 6, 2019

@pospi I totally get what you're trying to articulate. Measurement is tricky business; the more things are measured, the more likely it is that perverse incentives can spring up. For a permaculturist's perspective on this, check out the late Toby Hemenway's talk called Liberation Permaculture (apologies if I've linked to the wrong talk). tl;dr: if you can't measure it, you can't appropriate it.

That said, I recognise that the damage has already been done. People are already measuring and appropriating, and expect to continue doing so. I realise that REA is just a vocabulary for economic interaction, but the culture springing up around it gives me hope that we can Trojan-horse some beginnings of a shift to the valuation of actual things, and perhaps the valuation of intangibles like generosity and sacrifice. I can't exactly picture how yet, but I'm looking forward to listening to your lightning talk @pospi and chatting with all you other thoughtful people over tea.

I have to confess that part of the reason the DWeb excites me is that I'm a geek, but the other part is that I see it as a tool that can be used in good ways and is much more resistant to co-opting.

@khimaros

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commented Jul 13, 2019

I'm loving all of the perspective brought to this topic! I haven't spent much time thinking deeply about these topics in the past few months but wanted to share a brief anecdote (replicated from an SSB thread):

Thinking back on my permaculture design course, distribution was often discussed when critiquing the designs of filtration systems, dams, and power generation.

Dams in particular can wreak havoc on local ecosystems due to their massive scale. They disrupt sediment and nutrient deposition downstream which impacts fauna and, by extension, the entire ecosystem. The opposite happens upstream; nutrients become too concentrated and the area can become toxic to nearby wildlife without proper management.

Smaller dams distributed over a larger area can provide comparable flow management and power generation while being more resilient to failures. A single catastrophic dam loss won’t flood an entire valley and neighbouring homes/farms. They also provide direct value (jobs, electricity) to remote communities.

Of course, there are challenges: maintaining and monitoring a distributed network of dams is logistically harder than staffing engineers and labour at a single dam. It’s basically impossible to do with total central oversight. There is also a risk to the commons; communities upstream which don’t maintain their dams can put extra strain on those downstream. This can result in over-engineering and sometimes unnecessary levels of redundancy. Some of these issues can be mitigated with education, best practices, peer review, etc. Each adds overhead.

It seems there may be similar challenges with decentralized and distributed networks. It would be interesting to explore these challenges and mitigation strategies to see if similar patterns and principles emerge!

I can't wait to evolve this conversation with ya'll in real-time next week!

@marylychee

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commented Jul 13, 2019

@khimaros ! Thanks for sharing that. Had a recent visit to Budj Bim - the Aboriginal Eel farm in West Victoria and there's much to share about!!

:) see u soon!

@noahcrowe

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commented Jul 26, 2019

Hi! Last weekend at DWeb Camp inspired me to see what's happening in the world of DWeb. Is this conversation here going to continue now after the event?

@khimaros have you seen the bring back the beaver movement? Is is a resurgence of understanding that beavers as a keystone species are natures water specialists, helping to retain water and nutrients in soil, mitigate drought, and allow natural fish migrations.

and to @pdaoust comment about trojan horsing this, my keen interest is where is the, (borrowing from mushroom propagation), unique but replicable process of inoculating dispossessed communities with tools to rebuild networks of decentralized value exchange such that we can kind of "permaculture" entire towns and cities without protest-petition-voting for such transitions, but stewarding them to their own emergence.

I'm new to this community, is there some kind of DWeb for dummies or resource list that can help me get up to speed?

Regarding trojan horses, or in this case more mycological inoculation: an invisible, underground resource sharing network that slowly, simply, begins as an electable option to centralized forms and as the network becomes more resilient, trustable and scaled, is a safety net of localized, peer based relationships that makes the centralized distribution networks obsolete or at least redundant?

This seems like what DWeb is doing. But is it more an emergent, improvisational process, or are there people trying to synchronize efforts into a plan for a global transition design?

(My apologies if I'm being totally redundant to what you all already are working on, I'm interested in how do we tell the story / show the story so this can be adopted by more people who, like me, are not tech savvy.)

@bhaugen

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commented Jul 26, 2019

@noahcrowe what's the best resources on the

bring back the beaver movement
?

We read Eager, the beaver book, and were inspired.

@noahcrowe

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commented Jul 27, 2019

@noahcrowe what's the best resources on the

bring back the beaver movement
?

We read Eager, the beaver book, and were inspired.

Hi Bob, it depends on what resources you have (do you own a ranch that has a watershed where they can do a restoration feasibility assessment so you can adopt your own relocated beaver family? Or are your resources more about community awareness and education? Either way, this is probably one of the best guidebooks for bringing back the beaver: https://oaec.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Beaver-in-California-2.0.pdf

@bhaugen

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commented Jul 27, 2019

@noahcrowe thanks for the tip on the guidebook.

This is not about property we own. This is about a watershed that has had several "100 year floods" in the last 10 years, where residents of at least 4 towns are meeting to figure out what to do about it.

So the question is more about whether beavers could help tame down the river and its many tributaries. We already have some in the area, but not very many.

The US Corps of Engineers planned a big dam once upon a time but after more study, decided it would silt up too fast to last very long.

@noahcrowe

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commented Jul 27, 2019

@bhaugen Right. This is where the oaec.org may be able to help you.
You may need to contact them for a reference for someone who can conduct a restoration feasibility assessment.
(for example, did you meet Bill? He was the one giving tours in the landrover at the mushroom farm. He was working on a river project where they found that due to the way the beavers would build, they would not be appropriate as they would impinge the native fish that also were under threat, so they did the assessment where the best place to relocate the beavers that were in that watershed could go. Bill is an expert in this domain. You might reach out to him if you don't hear back from OAEC.

@bhaugen

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commented Jul 27, 2019

@noahcrowe thanks again. We did not meet Bill, because we were not at dweb-camp. We are just shooting questions from the remote peanut gallery. We'll study the oaec.org materials and compare notes with some of our local ecologists and see what makes sense.

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