Monday, July 28, 2014

A New Kind of World

  • A world in which we experience, daily, our unity with the universe

  • A world which is made like nature – and in which we are daily making nature

  • A world in which the daily process of making, adapting, and deepening is a vital part of our lives

  • A world in which there is something to believe in – not a religious thing – but a believable vision of God as the unity behind all things which guides us and impels us to act in certain ways. God not conceived of as a construct of any organized religion, but as a fact of nature and its wholeness.

  • A social and political world which contains (and explicitly provides) the freedom for us to act in this way – something we rarely have today

  • A world in which we feel the cultural trace of human beings before us who made and loved every part

  • A world in which we value ourselves according to the beauty of the places we have carved out, and modified, and taken care of, and in which we have woven our lives together with that of other people, animals, and plants

  • A world in which buildings are shaped according to these principles, and laws governing the shaping of buildings in this way, are the laws most precious to us, and those to which we give most weight

  • A world in which we have an entirely new understanding of what it means for the world to be sustainable: not a technical matter, but a matter in which respect for the whole governs

  • Above all, there is a world in which meaning exists. The deadly and frightening state in which we do not know why we are here, is replaced by a world in which there is a natural and accurate and truthful picture — an answer to the question ‘why am I here’ – one that is not made up, but that stems from and accords with the true nature of things.

How Individual Health is Connected to Community Health

By Jay Walljasper from On the Commons. Published at P2P-Foundation here.

Public health and community health linked in three projects in the Twin Cities

There is growing recognition in the medical field that maintaining good health means more than taking care of yourself and getting regular medical check ups. Healthy living conditions and strong community cohesion foster healthy neighborhoods, while inequality, discrimination, crime, pollution, traffic, isolation, and a sense of powerlessness contribute to disease. It’s difficult to improve people’s overall health without addressing the social, economic and racial issues where they live.

The image is from Sørum Økogrend, Norway

Indeed, you can think of health as a commons in which we all have a stake in maintaining.

A book by Walljasper

In many low-income communities, for instance, residents make more visits to emergency rooms and participate less in preventive health programs. There is less access to health care and wellness services. Fewer people carry health insurance that pays for doctor visits, surgery and medication. Local stores stock less wholesome food and fewer exercise facilities are available. The stress from financial pressures and holding down two or three jobs can makes people more susceptible to disease, accidents and chemical dependency. The close social connections that have been shown to strengthen health are often missing because neighbors move frequently.

“Your zip code affects your health as much as your genetic code,” notes Mary Wheeler, program officer at the Twin Cities office of the Local Initiative Support Corporation, a national organization that helps communities working collaboratively on transformative solutions to their problems.
Indeed, you can think of health as a commons in which we all have a stake in maintaining.
“The social component of health is as important as the medical component,” Wheeler adds. “When you look at how much we are spending on health care in this country you can see that investing in community health can only help us.”

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Broderfolk i krig

Igjen er det krig mellom israelere og palestinere. Men når noen snakker om rasistiske overgrep fra jødenes side er de fullstendig på viddene. Jøder og palestinere er broderfolk, genetisk ligger de like nært hverandre som nordmenn og dansker. Utvilsomt flyter det mye jødisk blod i palestinernes årer, kanskje er palestinerne til og med mer rendyrkede jøder enn israelerne selv, genetisk sett?

Palestinsk kvinne og hennes datter. Kanskje er de bedre genetiske representanter for urjøden enn dagens israelere?

Så vi har her å gjøre med en kulturkrig og en kamp om begrensede ressurser på et lite landområde, som stort sett er ørken. Men tenk om disse to broderfolkene kunne funnet ut av det med hverandre, kanskje til og med i en felles stat.

Jøder og palestinere er av de genetisk mest like folkeslagene i hele Midtøsten, vi har å gjøre med to broderfolk. Illustrasjonen er fra boka Det biologiske mennesket, s. 234

Innlegget nedenfor er også publisert på VD:

Kommentar av Erling Rimehaug i Vårt Land lørdag 26. juli 2014, s. 2-3, som gir en fin oppsummering av bakteppet for dagens situasjon. Klikk i bildet for en forstørrelse.

Fortsettelse av artikkelen ovenfor

Så følger et utdrag fra John Michael Greer, hvor han ser på Israels muligheter for overlevelse i et historisk persepktiv. Teksten er hentet fra essayet "In the Twilight of Empires":
To explain that answer, I’d like to tell a story.  Once upon a time—isn’t that how stories are supposed to begin?—there was a group of people who believed that their god had promised them a particular corner of the Middle East, and decided to take him up on the offer. It so happened that conditions just then were propitious for their project.  The cultural politics of the major Western powers of the time favored it, and not merely in an abstract sense:  money and weapons could be had for the attempt, and a great deal more could be made available if the project succeeded in establishing a foothold.

Even more crucial was the state of the Middle East at that time.  The history of that region has a regular rhythm of systole and diastole that can be traced back very nearly to the earliest clay-tablet records: periods of centralization, in which a single major Middle Eastern power dominates as large a fraction of the world as the current transport technology will allow, alternate with periods of disintegration, in which the region fragments and turns into a chessboard on which powers from outside the region play their own power games.  At the time we’re discussing, the Middle East was in one of its diastole phases, fractured into small quarrelling states, and the sudden seizure of a strategically important part of the region drew only a local and ineffective response.

So a new state came into being, surrounded by hostile neighbors, and a great deal of the shrill self-justifying rhetoric already described came from both sides of the new frontiers. Several of the major Western powers supported the new state with significant financial and military aid; of at least equal importance, members of the religious community responsible for creating the new state, who remained back in those same Western nations, engaged in vigorous fundraising efforts to support the new state, and equally vigorous political efforts to get existing governmental support maintained or increased. The resources thus made available to the new state gave it a substantial military edge against its hostile neighbors, and its existence became enough of a fait accompli that some of its neighbors backed away from a wholly confrontational stance.

Still, the state’s survival depended on three things. The first, and by far the most crucial, was the ongoing flow of support from the Western powers to pay for a military establishment far larger than the economic and natural resources of the territory in question would permit. The second was the continued fragmentation and relative weakness of the surrounding states. The third was the maintenance of internal peace within the state and of collective assent to a clear sense of priorities, so that it could respond with its full force to threats from outside instead of squandering its limited resources on civil strife or popular projects that contributed nothing to its survival.

In the long run, none of these three conditions could be met indefinitely. Shifts in cultural politics and, more importantly, in the economic stability of the Western powers of the time turned the large subsidies supporting the state into a political liability that eventually lost out in the struggle for available wealth. Meanwhile, in the Middle East, the power struggles between competing statelets began to give way to a new era of centralization. Finally, the internal cohesion of the state broke down in power struggles between different factions, and too many resources had been committed to politically necessary but practically useless projects such as the support of large religious communities that did nothing but pray and study the scriptures. The arrogant certainty that the state could always overcome its enemies and that the Western powers owed it the subsidies that paid for its survival put bitter icing on an already overbaked cake, and all but guaranteed the final disaster.

Are play spaces for kids being neglected in the urban lifestyle?

Most definitely yes! Modernist planners simply don’t put any care into designating space for children. Outdoor playgrounds designed by architects, on the other hand, tend to impose hard, inhuman forms and spaces. No child feels comfortable there. The sprawling suburban house was thought to provide space for play in the dismal basement “playroom” and in a fenced backyard. But that ignores the need for socialization, which can only occur among peers within a common public space. The wide suburban street doesn’t work: it turns potentially deadly whenever a pickup truck comes speeding by. The shopping mall’s over-regulated private environment offers an extremely poor substitute space for children’s play. Thus, wealthy societies lack what many slum dwellers possess: open space where children can run free, tangential to car traffic, with trees and bushes (not insipid front lawn) to play in and around, and where nobody tells them what to do. - Nikos A. Salingaros

Friday, July 25, 2014


Introduction in Norwegian:

Hva Alexander beskriver i dette vidunderlige lille tekststykket er forskjellen mellom ut- og inngruppa, hvor henholdsvis de gode eller de destruktive kreftene i handikapprinsippet kommer til overflaten. 

Handikapprinsippet og de to sidene av dette er i dag akseptert evolusjonsvitenskap, disse kreftene styrer all interaksjon mellom mennesker. Evolusjonsbiologen Terje Bongard forklarer dette i en episode hos Verdibørsen 29.06.2013: Vi er ikke snille i store samfunn!

Lever man i et inngruppenabolag vil utfoldelsen av helhet gjennom de 15 transformasjonene være den naturligste ting av verden, og man behandler sine medmennesker som seg selv, ja til og med bedre enn seg selv. Her kan de vidunderligste ting skje, og man kommer ikke kun nær hverandre, men også naturen og det store "Jeg-et", hva Alexander kaller "the I".

Lever man derimot i et utgruppenabolag kan intet skje, og hva som skulle vært kommer aldri til overflaten. Dette fordi den mørke siden av kraften har tatt overhånd.

Blir du definert som et utgruppe-menneske, ja kanskje til og med som et utgruppe-monster, er du derfor fortapt. Da kan du aldri komme nær dine medmennesker, naturen og i siste instans Gud eller "the I", der du bor. Og slik vil ditt liv bli tappet for mening, og din livskraft tørker ut.

Min erfaring er at introverte og stygge mennesker lettere blir definert som utgruppe-personer enn ekstroverte og vakre. Vårt samfunn dyrker ekstroverthet og skjønnhet ut i det perverse. Selv er jeg svært introvert og har et utseende godt under middels, noe jeg har fått lide mye for. 

Introverte har også en mye sterkere biofil natur enn ekstroverte, i den forstand at vi reagerer langt sterkere på alle former for sanseinntrykk. Selv tror jeg mye av det hatet til biofilia vi ser i samfunnet, skyldes nettopp denne koblingen mellom biofili eller naturvarhet og introverthet.

Original text here. Published at P2P-Foundation here.

A note from Christopher Alexander

Human relationship. There are two fundamentally different ways of understanding the word “relationship,” when it comes to human beings.

Image: Øyvind Holmstad / Wikimedia Commons
One of these ways is conventional: this can describe the relationships you have with a shopkeeper, or a policeman, or a banker, or, in very sad cases, with a parent, a spouse, a son or daughter. These relationships are instrumental relationships; they are typically defined by convention – by the rules of behavior as set out by custom or by society.

The other way is personal: the essence of the relationship is that you seek, and find, a connection; you treat the other person as nearly as possible to the way you treat yourself, and you strive constantly to treat the other person more as you treat yourself. You recognize, and slowly come to feel, that you are part of the other person, and that the other person is a part of you, so that the two of you are gradually experiencing each other as an indivisible self.
This is not only something that happens with a person who is very dear to you. You can have this quality of relationship even sitting next to a person on a park bench for only a few moments, when the exchange is something real.

* * *

Oddly enough, there is a connection between the process of unfolding, the use of generative codes, and the character of the human relationships you choose.
  • If you carefully build relationship, in the second, truer sense, one by one, step by step, with each person you encounter, then gradually the process and understanding of unfolding, will emerge, almost by itself.
  • I know this to be true, just from experience. Somehow the deep understanding of how things in the world unfold, emerges from each person in a group, naturally, when there relationships are real.
  • It is, I think, because when relationship is real, each person feels able to express what is going on without fear. There is no inhibition from mental constraint; the notion of what must happen in a process of development is not clutched, fearful or uptight, but rather what seems right and natural can flow from the situation.
  • That is, of course, what happens as things unfold.
  • It arises from acceptance of reality, without imposing mental structures.
In any case I do know from experience that when people are in this kind of relationship, understanding of unfolding then slowly pervades the situation, and the more beautiful and natural structures are allowed to appear in the land. On the other hand, if the relationships that are present are formal, or institutional, relationships then acceptance of what is real is not allowed to exist, and the resulting mesh of mental constraint is so rigid, sometimes even slightly nasty, the most ordinary things are not allowed to appear.

* * *

Unfolding of life then appears of its own accord, almost automatically. Generative codes, and the unfolding which proceeds from them, then appear of their own accord, almost automatically, simply as a direct result of the personal relationships which govern people’s minds.

This is a very beautiful result.

And, sadly, vice versa. In institutional settings, governmental settings, many business settings, the reverse is true. Since the setting guarantees that people cannot feel for each in a way that allows true things to be felt and said, then the result, so often – far, far too often – is a scrambled mess. Intellect cannot solve it. Living environments can hardly ever be born.

This is a very sad result, but true.

* * *

As I get older, what has astonished me, lately, is the dramatic speed of the effect. One beats one’s head against the wall, for years, within the institutional and business context, and never quite manages to loosen it sufficiently, in human terms, to get the desired results. But if you start, without worrying about the results so much, and focus attention only on the building of these true and personal relationships, one by one, then, as if a lever in a mountain stream had unleashed a cascade of water, the process of natural and harmonious unfolding is loosened and happens as if by a miracle.

This is so strong, it is worth taking very seriously indeed, and worth putting it first.

Thursday, July 24, 2014


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Limiting Noise

Excerpt from Charles Siegel's book Unplanning, chapter 7. I strongly recommend to visit Siegel's Preservation Institute for reading free e-books and other resources.

Noise is another telling example of the failure of growth. All through the nineteenth and twentieth century, the middle class tried to move to quieter neighborhoods by moving to lower density suburbs. Until World War I, they succeeded: from the walking city to the streetcar suburb, middle-class neighborhoods did become pleasanter and quieter. But during the twentieth century, so many new sources of noise appeared that modern suburbia is noisier than the much denser streetcar suburbs were one hundred years ago.

It should be obvious by now that the only way to reduce noise is by limiting its sources!

For example, cities and suburbs could cut their noise levels significantly by banning gasoline-powered gardening equipment. Electric edgers and electric chain saws work just as well, and there are always electrical outlets within reach on urban or suburban lots; there are also rechargeable battery-powered lawn mowers available. Some cities already have banned gasoline powered leaf blowers, because people refuse to put up with this new nuisance; the next step is to go back and get rid of the old nuisances that people accepted in the days when they thought less about the quality of life.

Some sources of noise can be banned at the municipal level, but we also need strict Federal standards to limit noise from motorcycles, garbage trucks, construction equipment, trucks with refrigeration equipment, and the like. Federal noise standards were developed in the 1970s, but they were never implemented, because the Reagan administration said they would slow economic growth: no doubt Reagan believed that people needed faster growth so they could afford to move to suburbia and get away from the city's noise.

A Norwegian suburb. A paradise of Reagan.

Likewise, if we want any quiet in our parks, we need to restrict the use of jet skis, snowmobiles, off-road vehicles and other motorized recreational equipment. Americans already spend too much time pushing buttons and getting instant gratification, and we would be better off with outdoor recreation that requires more physical effort, such as canoeing, sailing, hiking, and bicycling. Environmentalists have had some success in banning off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and jet skis.

We would be better off with outdoor recreation that requires more physical effort, such as canoeing

Finally, if we want any quiet in either our cities or our countryside, we need quieter cars and trucks. Hybrid cars, such as the Toyota Prius, are much quieter than ordinary cars. Likewise, hybrid turbine buses reduce the noise and pollution from diesel buses dramatically, and we need similar technologies to replace conventional diesel trucks.

Vehicles are the single greatest source of noise in suburbs and cities. Noise is the number one reason that people give for wanting to live in lower density neighborhoods. Noise is also responsible for some of our worst suburban design - such as subdivisions surrounded by sound walls. There will be limits to the popularity of neotraditional neighborhoods until we do something to reduce traffic noise: many people will not want to live in denser neighborhoods if they have to listen to neighbors revving up their cars and motorcycles.

Many people will not want to live in denser neighborhoods if they have to listen to neighbors revving up their cars and motorcycles. Image: Basher Eyre

Noise is a clear example of the failure of growth. Through the nineteenth century, growth and new technology such as electric streetcars allowed people to escape from the cities to lower density neighborhoods that were quieter. During the twentieth century, new technology allowed people to escape to even lower density neighborhoods, but new technology also made these neighborhoods noisier. By now, it should be clear that political control of technology is needed to give us quiet neighborhoods or even a quiet countryside.

Even on the countryside cars have taken over

Friday, July 18, 2014


Kom over dette innlegget i hytteboka i dag, og bestemte meg for å legge det inn her. Det ble publisert i Oppland Arbeiderblad 7. august 2008. Dessverre har intet skjedd.

Oksbakken ligger på Totenåsen.


Vollene på Oksbakken ble etter sigende tilplantet med nåleskog fordi bekken mellom dem lå i nedslagsfeltet til Lensbygda Vannverk, og man slik ønsket å forhindre dyreansamlinger som kunne forurense bekken med tarmbakterier. Lensbygda Vannverk er forlengst nedlagt.

For vollen på østsiden av bekken er denne skogreisningen for så vidt grei, da skogen her vil skjule vegen og det ikke er hytter på denne siden. På den andre siden av bekken, mot hyttefeltet, bør vollen tilbakeføres før det er for sent.

Noen grunner til dette er:
  • Åpne kulturlandskap som bryter skoglandskapet er et særtrekk ved norsk natur, og skaper trivsel og variasjon for dyr, planter og mennesker.
  • Vollen vil være et minne om forgangne tider, da det bodde mennesker her langt ute på åsen.
  • Vollen ligger sentralt til i et hytteområde i vekst, og vil være et trivselsmoment.
  • De store dyreansamlingene som beiter på vollen er et hyggelig innslag, ikke minst for de yngste. Altfor mange barn har for lite kontakt med de tradisonelle husdyra våre.
  • Vinterstid er vollen en fin akebakke for barna.
  • Stedet har vært et samlingspunkt for å se til dyr på beite.
Deler av Oksbakksvollene. På andre sida av bekken har den tette planteskogen helt fått overtaket.

Det gamle gårdstunet på Oksbakken

Introvert Liberation, by Vera Bradova (Introvert frigjøring)

Let’s face it: extroverts have taken over. Highly represented among the egos who have pushed the excesses of modernity on the rest of us, they wage war on peace and quiet, war on silence, war on darkness. They push speed and razzle-dazzle, playing havoc with our senses. - Vera Bradova
Introduction in Norwegian:
Dette er en artikkel jeg første gang publiserte her på Permaliv i 2012, av Vera Bradova, en av mine gode alexandrinske venner og en av de kvinner jeg beundrer mest, med røtter i Ungarn. Det er nå tid for å hente den fram igjen, da Elin Ørjaseter nylig har publisert et flott bidrag om introversjon: Oppreising for de innadvendte (oppfølging herher og her)

Hennes artikkel har fått mye oppmerksomhet, og min kommentar til artikkelen ble godt mottatt. Forståelsen for introversjon må styrkes, og vi introverte må få en mye tydeligere stemme i samfunnsdebatten. I dag opplever vi dessverre både å bli latterliggjort og sykeliggjort over en lav sko, og et introvert adferdsmønster er ikke på noen måte godtatt. På mange måter er vi våre dagers spedalske, dette på tross av at vi er i flertall i samfunnet.

Selv velger jeg å sammenligne oss introverte med laven på trærne, vi sykner hen og forsvinner når noe er galt i omgivelsene, likesom laven er det første som sykner og dør ved luftforurensning. Dette fordi vi har et mye sterkere utviklet sanseapparat enn de ekstroverte, en sanseopplevelse oppleves mangfoldige ganger sterkere av en introvert enn av en ekstrovert, på godt og ondt. I vår moderne verden dessverre stadig mer på ondt. Noe som reflekteres i psykiatrien.

Introverte er lik laven på trærne, vi sykner hen og forsvinner når noe er galt i omgivelsene. Foto: Mehmet Karatay

Bradova sin artikkel er personlig, opplysende og stimulerende, en inspirasjon til en introvert frigjøringskamp også i Norge.

Introduction in English:
I'm proud to re-post this excellent piece by Vera Bradova on my blog. It opened my eyes to why the earth is on the brink of collapse, the basic problem is extrovert people. Extroverts know no limits, and they feel no responsibility to fellow man and nature. These are the people who keep their neighbors awakened in night with loud music and parties, they fill up their gardens with disturbing lights, they drive fast and furious. They are the starchitects, our politicians and the leaders of the corporations. They know how to get all the attention, to outmaneuver the introverts, and worst of all, we are genetically programmed to vote for and hang around the extroverts. Only super-egos rule the world!

This in spite of that the extroverts are a minority. And as they have the definition power they try to label introversion as a sickness. We introverts should not tolerate this oppression anymore. It's time for the introverts to take over the world. We are the only hope for the future of humanity!

Originally published on Leaving Babylon.

Introvert Liberation
Introversion — along with its cousins sensitivity, seriousness, and shyness — is now a second class personality trait, somewhere between a disappointment and a pathology. – Susan Cain
Remember the heady days when we non-smokers finally stood up for ourselves and our way in the world? Once we linked together in awareness, once we began to empower one another and to affirm our boundaries toward smokers and their inconsiderate, stinky, illness-promoting behaviors, the world changed. I believe we are now at another such momentous juncture: introverts rising!

For too long have we been relegated to second class molluscs in the extroverts’ oyster-world. They are the ones catered to, celebrated and accommodated; we, on the other hand, are mostly invisible, sometimes ridiculed, and always expected to adapt, to assimilate, to come out of our shells, to get better at extroverting so we can blend in.

But our day has arrived. We are half! We now know that introverts comprise slightly more than 50% of the population. The stats may even edge upwards as more introverts come out of the closet. We are not some small, socially impaired minority of wallflowers and geeky recluses. The socially impaired ones are the extroverts, if you ask me in my high dudgeon, who can’t seem to get that fast talking without pauses is a royal pain, who are oblivious to the needs of half of their fellows, who not only talk too much but say too little, listen poorly, and ignore signs of distress in those who would like to have a word in edgewise. And that’s only the beginning of my shit list. Say… wasn’t it reckless extroverts who gave us the 2008 financial collapse?

Just the other day, I realized who stole my beloved fireworks. When I was growing up, the magic of the swoosh and pop then the sudden bloom of color in the night sky never failed to take my breath away. Fast forward to America: the colors and shapes are even more magnificent, the bloom morphs from one color to another… what a delight. Until I get close, get battered by the cannonade of rat-a-tat-tat boom-flash-flash-flash-boom that sends birds, dogs, cats and introverts fleeing, if not for their lives, then for their sanity. Another lovely bit of my world, trampled by the heavy hooves of the extrovert herd.

Let’s face it: extroverts have taken over. Highly represented among the egos who have pushed the excesses of modernity on the rest of us, they wage war on peace and quiet, war on silence, war on darkness. They push speed and razzle-dazzle, playing havoc with our senses. And how much of the assault on nature is really carried forward by the extroverts’ overly ambitious and aggressive ways of dealing with the obstacles they encounter? How many problems of industrial civilization are due to the extroverts’ tendency to act now and think about it later, if at all? How much has privileging extroversion along with the relentless promotion of rapturous gregariousness and compulsory optimism cost us all in health, authenticity, and integrity?

Extroverts’ hunger for more and more stimulation is depriving the rest of us of our accustomed ways of gathering energy amidst tranquility, amidst solitude. They’ve been killing “our world,” and we won’t put up with it any more!

The Atlantic published an article in 2003 that garnered its author, Jonathan Rauch, more letters from readers than anything else he’s ever published. It provided the first spark.

Also interesting, the Top Ten Myths about Introverts.

A quick free test for introversion/extroversion that also pegs your Myers-Briggs type.

There are several books out worth reading, none heavily recommended, but each imparting an important message. Psychologist Laurie Helgoe went to the trouble of digging up the results of the best, most recent, randomized, large group studies identifying introversion. The first group came in at 50.7%, the next at 57%. Her book, Introvert Power, is worth checking out just for that chapter alone.

Quiet by Susan Cain contains lots of research, and a scary chapter on the cult of extroversion promoted by the likes of Tony Robbins seminars, the Harvard Business School, and evangelical megachurches. Yup, dontcha know, extroverts are God’s and capitalists’ favorite people!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Vil kaptein Bongard forlate skuta?

Terje Bongard,
en dyktig kaptein.
Forlater han nå
det synkende skip
Jula 2013 var ei god tid, og jeg trodde det nye året ville bli en velsignelse. Dessverre har 2014 vært fulgt av katastrofe på katastrofe. Det begynte med at jeg et par dager ut i det nye året fikk en forferdelig knekk i ryggen, og ble liggende på teppet i stua i flere dager uten mulighet til å reise meg eller komme meg ned for å ta et bad. I løpet av året har det også blitt klart for meg at vi trolig vil måtte forlate "lommenabolaget" vårt. Tidlig på våren ble historiens viktigste forskningsprosjekt, MEDOSS, nøkkelen til vår sivilisasjons overlevelse, arrogant og respektløst avvist av Norges forskningsråd. I går mottok jeg en e-post fra Terje Bongard hvor han gir uttrykk for at han overveier å oppgi sitt prosjekt for å vie seg til familien. Jeg forstår ham så vel etter trøkken fra Norges forskningsråd og all den motbøren han ellers har møtt. Han har jo også blitt bestefar, og når jeg ser hvor mye bestefarkontakten betyr for mitt eget barn er det forståelig om han velger å prioritere denne rollen.

Kaptein Bongard forlater et synkende skip, Jorden. Fremskrittets tid er forbi og vi har begynt på den tunge vegen mot vår sivilisasjons endelikt. Som en flokk sauer uten hyrde kaster vi oss utfor stupet. Det var kun InnGruppe-Demokratiet (IGD) som kunne reddet oss. Ja visst, nye menneskelige sivilisasjoner vil reise seg om tusener av år, og etter menneskets tid vil vi bli etterfulgt av andre intelligente vesener på jorden. Men vår sivilisasjon vil svinne hen, og i følge John Michael Greer vil verdens befolkning flate ut på 200-300 millioner i løpet av de neste 200-300 år, gjennom store lidelser. Vi vil da igjen leve i primitive stammegrupper. Alternativet, som Terje Bongard tilbød oss, var et avansert og høyteknologisk stammesamfunn i samsvar med menneskets adferdsbiologi.

Dagens demokrati blir mer og mer likt et skuebrød, og det er kun de ureflekterte og/eller hjernevaskede som har troen på vårt nåværende liksomdemokrati. Det er også meningsløst med et demokrati som ikke inkluderer selveste eksistensgrunnlaget vårt!
Dessverre har ikke mennesket nedarvede adferdstrekk som gir oss evnen til å ta hensyn til eller ta inn over oss den globale miljøtrusselen, da det var de ubegrensede og grenseløse som ble våre forfedre.
Rett før jeg mottok den triste beskjeden fra Bongard hadde jeg postet en kommentar hos, som tilsvar til et brilliant svar av J.A. Arnfinsen til meg:
Takk for svar! Personlig tror jeg Terje Bongards InnGruppe-Demokrati (IGD) kan fange opp både det nære og det sentrale. Michel Bauwens snakker mye om å skape en partnerstat, men med IGD blir vi selv denne partnerstaten, det blir intet skille mellom oss og staten.

Nesten hver gang jeg presenterer IGD for noen reagerer de automatisk med å hevde at dette er en form for maoisme. Men det er det stikk motsatte, da fundamentet for IGD er små selvorganiserende inngrupper, hvor staten, demokratiet og beslutningsprosessene bygges nedenfra og opp.
The Commons is a regime for managing common-pool resources that eschews individual property rights and State control. It is a system of governance that relies on common property arrangements that tend to be Commonsself-organized and enforced in complex and sometimes idiosyncratic ways (which distinguish it from communism, a top-down, State-directed mode of governance whose historical record has been unimpressive). – David Bollier
Så jeg tror med deg at den raskeste veien til global bevissthet går gjennom det nære og personlige, med inngruppa som både personlig og politisk virkemiddel. Dessverre virker nok denne visjonen meget skremmende på mange i vårt individualiserte samfunn.

Inngruppa vil videre være et fremragende verktøy for å trene oss alle til å bli fremragende konfliktløsere istedenfor fremragende konkurrenter, slik vi blir det gjennom vårt markedsorienterte tankegods. Selv har jeg en lei tendens til å forverre en konflikt istedenfor å løse den, og kjenner meg komplett inkompetent.

Så gjenstår det store spørsmålet, hvordan skape entusiasme for IGD? Et spørsmål jeg grubler svært mye på.
Uten Bongard som kaptein vurderer jeg selv også å kaste inn årene. Jeg er ikke på noen måte skikket til å ta over føringen av skuta for Terje Bongard, jeg ønsket kun å gjøre mitt beste som mannskap. Er det noen der ute som kan ta på seg denne oppgaven? Den viktigste oppgaven i vår tid, en skjebnetid for vår sivilisasjons framtidige eksistens!

Er det noen der ute som kjenner seg kallet til å overta roret etter kaptein Bongard?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

My Answer to Michel Bauwens about Me

Michel Bauwens asked me some questions, I share my answer with my readers so you too can know a little more about me and my situation now.

Yes, my family were into wood working industry for five generations, and I've been exposed from dust since my teen ages. My father too, and he was even smoking for many years. Probably my genes were weaker, so I got a chronic inflammation and wanted to sell the factory when my father retired. Anyway, my brother runs it now, he doesn't like working but is good with data and marketing. I don't want to stay in an office, so I just drive some goods a couple of days a week now, so I'm not exposed to dust anymore. These are just fine trips, I bring my camera and make pictures for Wikimedia Commons, and have no stress.

I'm already 46 years old. But as I've no higher education I've no aspirations to make any new career, and I prefer to be with my family rather than attending any college. My only aspiration now is to do the little I can to give my daughters a safer world, ruled by the commons through IGD, where biophilia and permaculture is the norm.

As there are many in Norway longing for cooperative settlements I'm sure we someday can return to Norway if we leave. It's just that if I can't have peace of mind here I live now I don't want to settle in another suburban or corbusian setting again. I'm just so tired of it. And Steigan seems to be very happy with his life in Tolfa.

The only thing that worries me is the separation of my daughter and her grandfather, as she's extraordinary fond of her grandfather, and she asks every day about if we can visit him.

Kind regards,
Øyvind Holmstad
The only thing that holds me back is the strong relationship between my daughter and her grandfather. If we have to move to Tolfa I hope he will come to us rather than Spain, and we will of course visit them every summer.

It's really a pity that the whole of Norway is destroyed by modernist ideology, so that we are unable to live here. But there are so many young people here now dreaming of something better, so I've strong hopes I can bring my family back to Norway some day.

Also see my article Tolfa in Italy: A Future Hub for the Commons in Europe?

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Min kommentar til samtalen: Å kunne møtes i nærhet er menneskeverdets arnested

Lytt til den gripende samtalen med konfliktrådenes far Nils Christie hos Levevei:

Å kunne møtes i nærhet er menneskeverdets arnested

Jeg ble svært glad over Christies engasjement for småkommunene. Har selv hatt noe kontakt med Pål Steigan i det seinere, som har bosatt seg i Tolfa:

Han kan fortelle at i denne byen opplever han en unik nærhet, og å ta en uformell prat med ordføreren på plazaen over en kaffekopp er helt naturlig. Dette mener jeg har sammenheng med det tolvte alexandrinske mønster; COMMUNITY OF 7000:

Individuals have no effective voice in any community of more than 5000-10,000 persons.

Decentralize city governments in a way that gives local control to communities of 5,000 to 10,000 persons. As nearly as possible, use natural geographic and historical boundaries to mark these communities. Give each community the power to initiate, decide, and execute the affairs that concern it closely: land use, housing, maintenance, streets, parks, police, schooling, welfare, neighborhood services. – Christopher Alexander

Selv om det kanskje er noe sneversynt mener jeg personlig at de fleste konflikter har sitt opphav i det fysiske, i en mislykket arkitektur. Jeg mener at enten har formspråket og/eller mønsterspråket sviktet.

For ungdom som ikke fanges inn av nettverket er vegen kort til kriminalitet.

Arkitekturen har etter mitt syn tre hovedoppgaver:

A) Å bringe fred mellom mennesker.

B) Å bringe fred mellom mennesket og naturen.

C) Å bringe fred mellom mennesket og Gud.

Selv mener jeg alle disse tre punktene er interrelatert. Skaper ikke arkitekturen en emosjonell tilknytning til Gud, eller hva Alexander kaller "the I", finnes det heller ikke noe håp om nærhet til dine medmennesker, eller til naturen.

Den beste betegnelsen på alt dette lærte jeg nylig: nevro-ergometri.

Vårt samfunn ser mer og mer på mennesket som en maskin, og som del av et maskineri. Men mennesket er først og fremst biologiske og åndelige vesener.

Den beste konfliktløseren er derfor etter mitt syn arkitekturen.

Alexander opplevde dette med Eishin Campus, hvor skoleledelsen kuttet ut reglementet som følge av en harmoniserende arkitektur.

Inntil vi som samfunn når dit håper jeg virkelig konfliktrådet kan spille en avgjørende rolle som et møtested mellom mennesker, og ikke som en forlengelse av den modernistiske liberalismen og eksperttyrraniet!

BBC Documentary: A Farm for the Future

Saturday, July 5, 2014

En ny generasjon av unge kvinnelige grønnbloggere

Er rosabloggerne på veg ut, og ser vi en ny generasjon av unge kvinnelige grønnbloggere ta deres plass?

Inntil nylig var jeg ikke klar over denne underskogen av vakre, unge, kvinnelige grønnbloggere. De er ikke fanatiske miljøvernere, men opptatt av klær og design lik rosabloggerne, men hvor de lager sine egne vidunderlige kjoler av naturtekstiler og gjenbruk. Og de drømmer ikke om stor barbie-villa i suburbia, men om et lite halmhus i et fellesskap, i et natursamfunn eller en økolandsby. Hvor de kan ha en urtehage og praktisere permakultur. Jeg simpelthen elsker disse jentene!

Her er et lite utvalg grønnbloggere:

Mitt håp er at min egen datter en dag skal bli en grønnblogger. Blir hun rosablogger vil dette kjennes som en skuffelse, og jeg vil ha sviktet som far. Enn så lenge får jeg forsøke å påvirke henne så godt jeg kan i positiv retning, ved å ta henne med på turer etc. Dessverre har vi ikke noe natursamfunn vi kan flytte inn i, hvor hun virkelig kunne fått utvikle seg til en grønnalv.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Trafikkstøy skader helsen

(Ill. Quieter Cities of the Future av Tor Kihlmann m.fl.)

Trafikkstøy er det nest største miljøproblemet i EU, ifølge Verdens Helseorganisasjon, WHO. Etter luftforurensning, påvirker støy helsen mest. Trafikkstøy er i dag knyttet til stressrelaterte helseskader som hjerneslag og hjertesykdom. I tillegg kan ergrelse, søvnforstyrrelser, diabetes og depresjon ha sammenheng med støy.

Biler produserer like mye utvendig støy som de gjorde for 40 år siden, selv om tunge kjøretøy blitt noe roligere. Antallet personer som utsettes for støy i byer er fortsatt høyt.

En ny rapport viser hvordan negative helseeffekter av støy kan reduseres. Flere virkemidler er lettest å iverksette i tette byer.

Mange av de nødvendige tiltakene er ofte i tråd med det som skal til for å takle klimaendringene: som anskaffelse av stillegående offentlig transport, redusert hastighet og bruk av bygninger som effektive støyskjermer, gjennom god byplanlegging.

- Men lovgivningen for å beskytte innbyggerne mot helseskadelig støy er helt utilstrekkelig. Dagens metoder for å måle og beskrive utslipp av støy er ikke sett fra de utsatte innbyggernes synspunkt, sier professor emeritus Tor Kihlman ved anvendt akustikk ved Chalmers teknologiske universitet i Gøteborg.

Det fins ingen enkel, teknisk løsning for å løse problemet med trafikkstøy, hverken opphavet til støyen eller for å hindre støy fra å nå ørene. For å oppnå forbedringer er samordnede tiltak fra alle involverte parter nødvendig, men slik koordinering mangler i dag. Ansvarsfordelingen er uklar, sier Tor Kihlman.

Sist høst tok han og Wolfgang Kropp initiativ til et møte mellom internasjonal bilindustrien, universiteter og offentlige instanser i Innsbruck for å diskutere hvordan man kan oppnå bedre bymiljø.

Original artikkel her.

Trafikkstøy er ikke kun et problem i byene, men også på landsbygda, som her ved Grue i Hurdal. På bygda er det også langt flere rånåre enn i byen, med bassanlegg og fri eksos. Trafikken i Hurdal er voldsom sett opp mot den lille befolkningen. Dette skyldes at nærbutikken og grendeskolen er en saga blott, samt at innbyggerne ikke lenger arbeider på hjemstedet. Vegen er også altfor stor og utrivelig, den oppfordrer til fart.

Jeg har et lite prosjekt, nemlig å oppføre gabioner rundt gården Grue i en slik høyde at støyen kastes over takmønet. Regner ikke med støtte for dette, men denne artikkelen hos kan muligens bringe større forståelse?
Miljøstasjonen ved COOP i Hurdal, hver gang et glass knuses skjærer det i sjela. Ved å løse et miljøproblem skaper man et nytt, her helseskadelig støy.