It's a walk in Paul's view of permaculture, a quick stroll down his path.
Paul and Jocelyn start from a specific question on where Paul strays from mainstream permaculture and why. Paul starts explaining that he likes the idea that forums should be more for a community or discussion for general permaculture stuff, but that sometimes doesn't happen on permies.com because Paul does draw some lines in discussions or some threads just don't grow.
The second topic is on why, on the web you may get nice comments for what you do, but what really sticks are the hate comments, the icky ones. Paul explains how he had wished to put up a system based on plum and nickel, where the nickels were actual coins you could leave to people on the web every time you liked what they wrote. The actual idea just didn't build up, but Paul says now there is tiptheweb.org and he can actually do what he always wanted. It's better to collect a hundred nickels from a hundred people than from one person, because it means more people have read your stuff.
Paul underlines the difference between having ads on one's website like Amazon ads, where if you click on the ad, he who owns the website earns some money, but you are having to purchase something. The opposite is the tiptheweb.org reality, where you give someone money without purchasing anything.
Jocelyn gets back to questioning Paul's views on permaculture and starts from the point that some permaculture people don't like the fact that Paul is a capitalist and he likes to earn money. Paul says: "I don't really care what the capitalism word means, but I do like to earn money because I like the fact I can work hard being paid more so I can go two years without working, because I saved my money." Another idea Paul has is, why not accept that I can be paid more because what I do is worth it? There are people that work hard but they sell stuff that is useless for the masses. For many the point is that permaculture is not about money, because it's all about the third ethic, and that you should share your surplus. You can't earn money from it. Paul deviates from permaculture if this is the idea, because he thinks it would be great to earn six figures with permaculture. Because Paul thinks there are different ways of seeing what surplus is and how to share it.
Paul answers a question about using cardboard or paper in his horticulture stuff. He speaks about lasagne gardening, and the fact he doesn't like it. I'm not comfortable with that stuff in my food Paul says. Paul and Jocelyn get to ethics and principles in permaculture. Paul explains that what he sees is that a lot of permaculture people started singing the permaculture song based on the ethics and the principles, but for Paul the ethics are confusing in some ways and he says "I just can't remember all the principles that are twelve or even for some fourteen, and if you teach a PDC, you have to start from there." He says this is why I don't teach. But Paul does feel he is a powerful advocate of permaculture, only he is more interested in the thousand things that are each a cornerstone of permaculture, than just sticking to the ethics and principles.
Paul and Jocelyn agree there are different ways of sharing with people. What Paul would like, is to find food systems that can help cure diseases that make one's life miserable. Finding a food system where you can eat some sort of food for one week and you sort feel better. That is what Paul would like to do to help people, share this sort of knowledge. Paul puts it briefly: "when I do my day to day permaculture stuff I don't think about ethics and principles, I just do my stuff."
Social justice and trying to change the world. A lot of permaculture is that. Paul explains how he used to be more passionate about this twenty years ago, but more than trying to go out telling people to stop being bad I want to build a better world in reality, showing my community and the people I care of how things can be different.
Jocelyn explains how Paul deviates on one other thing in permaculture, he's not on drugs. Some part of the permaculture world is keen on pot, Paul actually didn't ever try anything like drugs, but there are a lot of people that do. Jocelyn says Paul actually doesn't even drink a lot, alcohol is not really on top of his list. Pot is a big deal in many permaculture circles. The industrial hemp idea maybe great and many people are excited with that, but it's not for Paul, he thinks they should legalize it, making it safer but that's it.
The last minutes of the podcast are great when Paul says: "most of the people in the permaculture world are lovely sweet people, I'm not like them." Paul touches on the topic of spirituality. A lot of people are into the holding hands, dancing and drumming and all that, but Paul says he really doesn't do a lot of that. The fact is that there's a very spiritual element in permaculture, and Paul respects spirituality, but he thinks his spirituality is private. Pauls explains he is more keen on passing his days being productive then meditative.
In the second part Paul will speak about veganism and permaculture among other things, another point on which people in permaculture are very religious and fervent.
Credit: Lorenzo Costa
podcast 411 – Foody bits – Part 2
podcast 410 – Foody bits – Part 1
podcast 408 – Listener questions – Part 1
podcast 402 – Bits and Bobs towards Critical Mass – part 1
podcast 397 – Review of Gracie’s Backyard – Part 1
podcast 392 – Joseph Lofthouse on plant breeding – part 1
151 – Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture Chapter 5 Part 1
podcast 398 – Review of Gracie’s Backyard – Part 2