Sunday, May 25, 2003

For new readers
The full story starts back in the archives on the first blog. So off you go...

But here's a synopsis of events so far. I, Max Wahlter, picked up some good creativity techniques at a management seminar. (I'm a journalist covering technology and entrepreneurship.)

Looking to getting my career going in a better direction I decided to try the techniques out to invent sustainable technology and then market it.

The method involves you 'journeying' to a place where these problems have been solved and describing into a tape recorder.

These Blogs are my tapescript and notes.

But. I went to a community living in a sustainable way expecting to see a culture like mine with new ecological technology.
Instead I find a new ecological culture with technology I am familiar with.

And my job is looking even more in danger at the Journal.

I'm feeling a bit at the crossroads, but I'm carrying on trying to understand this community a little better.

Hang in there with me.

End For new readers

Monday, May 19, 2003


Porena Philosophy.
This is what I have gathered so far. Like my boss says, you have come at something from enough angles to be able to say you understand it. I am not sure I have covered enough angles. Anyway. My description of it, and it is mine I underline again, goes like this:
Porena Philosophy focuses on the organism (described earlier like the part of the human that evolved in the pre-historic times,) making up a community living in the biosphere. By reducing the risk of subjecting the organism to undue stress (that is, outside naturally occurring limits) risk of permanently damaging environmental pressure on the biosphere is minimized. That is to say reducing the risk that the ”footprint” exerted by the human community will not be sustainable.

To take an example in the ascendancy, the organism is so stressed by hunger that the community takes to fishing the seas to the extent that stocks of fish are reduced to a level of possible extinction.

I remember picking up, again not explicitly so I must tread carefully, that there were five main stresses. Let’s speculate.

1) Nutrition
2) Shelter
3) Mechanical
4) Societal, communal
5) Toxic

Which makes me think... how do they get this over to people. And what education system do they have. Must be the subject for one of the next journeys.

Reflections: Societal stress. They say they are going to cut back on staff even more at the journal. I am getting to experience this stress on my organism first hand. Although I know I am good at my job and intellectually know I can get another eventually, I am sure my body is taking the toll. I’m sleeping badly and get pains in my chest occasionally.

And not being able to pay my bills for food and my flat - I’d take a job that poisoned half the rivers.
reflections ends
Technology Notes journey 4

Flying saucersI see the ecological in these craft. Flying slow (need less fuel, need no road/ rail infrastructure, nature unspoiled)
Failsafe technology (no destruction from crashes)

Growing under glass on the southern wall. Warms up and insulates buildings while providing growing facilities near the house, as well as a nice extra room.

Cassettes. I have seen on sale at garden centers, small mini- greenhouses about the size of a lunch-box with ready-to-plant seeds and dried potting soil. These cassettes seem to be the same idea.

End of Technology Notes Journey 4

Wednesday, May 14, 2003

(If you are new to this blogg, I suggest you start in the archives at the first blogg - it will explain a good deal.)

Tapescript Journey Four part two
The urge to explore further takes me up the stairs, and it’s not a library I see but some kind of control room. Knobs and dials everywhere – I could swear I was on a flying saucer.

Slipping into the pilot’s chair in the middle of all these controls, I see “Porena” on the center of the screen.

You cannot just get into a flying saucer, which is also a library and fly it. Or can you? Looking at these controls it hits me. The most ecological machines are the ones that you cannot do any damage with. Ones that are failsafe. Completely. Like they are talking about controlling cars on the motorway, and letting the driver relax.
This one does the thinking for you. A guy come up behind me and, following his encouraging remarks, I push the lever to my right.
The doors close, and very slowly and gracefully we take off in the direction of Porena.

We’re flying low and slowly over fields of what looks like – is it bamboo or another fast-growing energy crop? I get the idea it’s for energy anyhow- Green oil.

I walk back down the stairs and start to engage passengers (is that what library visitors are?) in conversation.

Is there anybody who would like to show me how you grow food everywhere?

I get invited home. The houses, or maisonettes are built in wide circles, are cream coloured with tile roofing.
My host shows me the wheat grass on the balcony, the corn etc, all grown in hwt appears to be ordinary potting soil. Here’s what I got out of the interview.
They don’t have to grow food at home, because everybody grows food everywhere.
The cassettes I asked about contain cotton wool and start seedlings off, they can replant them on the balcony or in the area outside. This family has a skylight in the roof to let in natural light, and they put some plants under that.

Artificial light is not ecological and is not used.

I asked about composting and for that I need to go outside.

On the southern side of the maisonette the front doors open out onto a glazed in section, rather like a conservatory. Here, the heat from the sun warms the air,providing insulation and extra heating for the houses as well as a growing area.

This is communal and tended by everybody. The principle is permaculture. That is to say a plant and leave concept, bearing fruit and nuts annually requiring the minimum of tending.
I have to ask… how can you get along as neighbours, all helping out. Surely someone will slack!

The explanation comes back
“Everyone helps out as they understand it is in their own interest.”

In the glassed area they grow green peppers, corn, sweet potatoes and tobacco, for medicinal purposes. Tobacco is decorative too.

Outside, towards the center of the area, they have the composting machine.

It looks like a large black cauldron. They dry the organic matter first, using heat from the sun, before it crumbles into a kind of powder to be put back onto the soil.

Another thing, all buildings are designed with growing in mind. Horti-architecture. Cool name, huh?

I return to the craft, push a button labeled “Return”, the door closes and we hover off.
End of Tapescript Journey 4.

Add to Technorati Favorites