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How To Get There 11/8/19

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, August 11th, 2019 - 53 comments
Categories: Deep stuff - Tags:


This post is a place for positive discussion of the future.

An Open Mike for ideas, solutions and the discussion of the possible.

The Big Picture, rather than a snapshot of the day’s goings on. Topics rather than topical.

We’d like to think it’s success will be measured in the quality of comments rather than the quantity.

So have at it!

Let us know what you think …

53 comments on “How To Get There 11/8/19”

  1. Dennis Frank 1

    I've woven together quotes from The Knowledge Illusion (S. Sloman & P. Fernbach, 2017) to illuminate the primary dimension of resilience thinking:  communal context.

    “Everyone’s understanding – that of scientists and non-scientists alike – is dependent on what others know… Because most knowledge is not maintained inside their own heads, scientists operate on trust, as we all do.” There’s a tacit assumption that others will tell the truth. “Much of what scientists hold true is a matter of faith – not faith in a supreme being, but faith that others are telling the truth.”

    Fortunately, science incorporates a reality-check: “the power of verification. Scientific claims can be checked. If scientists are not telling the truth about a result, or if they make a mistake, eventually they are likely to be found out because, if the issue is important enough, someone will try and fail to replicate their result.”

    The praxis of science incorporates “the social life entailed by a community of knowledge”. A scientist “has to write papers that convince peer reviewers and editors to print them in high-profile outlets. In this way, scientists are constantly evaluating the quality of one another’s contributions, and like it or not, evaluation is a social process.” Progress is produced by collective endeavour: the individual effort is relevant only to the extent that the group chooses to incorporate it into the communal context.

    This social context connects science to the economy, and to law. “Resources come from other people, people in government agencies, foundations, and other institutions… So these people also need to be persuaded that funding a scientist will benefit the larger community… A scientist depends on the community.” “It’s also important for legal reasons.” Issues of negligence and harm done by scientific endeavour make the news sometimes (such as contamination and pollution). “In every domain of life, knowledge is interdependent. The knowledge I’m legally responsible for is not necessarily in my head.”

    This non-local community context is part of the fabric of our social reality. It is not yet seen to be the fundamental dimension of contemporary society. The cult of individualism still masks that deeper reality. The authors proceed to explain how collaboration and teamwork emerge from this non-local community context.

    “The interdependence of knowledge is truer today than it has ever been. Many scientific fields have become so interdisciplinary that the breadth of knowledge encompassed makes it impossible to master all the knowledge required to do scientific research. More than ever, scientists depend on one another to work. Our field of cognitive science offers a perfect illustration. Many of the recent innovations in the field have come from a variety of places. Computer science has always played a role”.

    “Many cognitive scientists are using methods developed in neuroscience. Physics has made important contributions to the machinery used to measure brain function and has also provided sophisticated mathematical models of learning and the flow of information. This book represents the assimilation by cognitive scientists of ideas from anthropology and cultural and social psychology.”

    “One indication of this trend toward larger and more diverse communities is that the average number of authors on published journal articles has not only grown but has increased at an astounding rate. MEDLINE is a database of millions of published papers in the biomedical sciences. The average number of authors per article has nearly quadrupled from about 1.5 in 1950 to almost 5.5 in 2014. This means that the average publication today requires the effort and expertise of almost six scientists. Like so many other disciplines, the community of science operates via teamwork.”

    The emergence of teams as praxis, from the context of communal collaboration, is the key point. Knowledge produces progress via achievement. The team is the format for achieving advances. The lesson for resilience thinking is obvious: working together has to happen for collective survival. The cult of individualism prevents everyone from thinking sensibly. Survivalism as ethos has to make the transition from `every man for himself’ to `collaborate in non-local communities and teams’.

    • Robert Guyton 1.1

      Today, I'm collaborating with the "heritage fruit team" in order to move 700 grafted fruit trees, apples mainly, but pears and plums too, out into Southland and into the orchards of people who want to be independent of the supermarkets for their fruit, at least. My job involves wrapping the roots of the trees to ensure they get to their new homes safely, and talking with everyone who comes to buy; from the two days I've already spent doing that I can report that they are delightful people and many have been coming to the fruit tree sale for many years, each time choosing something new for their expanding orchards; Peasegood Nonsuch, Claygate Pearmain, Keswick Codlin, Yellow Ingestra, Renette du Canada, Belle de Boston, Adam's Pearmain, Rall's Janet, Merton Russet, Norfolk Greening, London Pippin, Early Strawberry, Winter Banana, Kidd's Orange Red; to name but a few. Various people from around the rohe contribute other fruiting plants to the sale on their own initiative; this year we have 300 old-fashioned raspberry plants potted up by a young man living in the countryside who wants to contribute to the sharing of resources, as well as black currants from a woman who sees the opportunity to share her partner's mother's excellent old-school bush-fruits with anyone who comes to the sale; and there is a constant stream of customers, from start of day till its end; and yesterday was bitterly cold, with an easterly wind chilling us helpers to the bone, but we were cared-for by the two women who, unbidden, made soup and scones and delivered those to us during the morning. Volunteers to help wrap, carry, record and generally do useful things, have arrived now and then, and there has been a lot of talking; on and off topic. It's been a happy time. Today, two young women are organising a seed-swap for people who have and want open-pollinated seeds of all sorts and they'll be setting up soon in the hall beside the field we're selling our trees from. I'm contributing mashua tubers for that event and plan to call in and see what I can find; I'm always looking for novel seeds and I know of at least one person bringing in unusual seeds from her amazing city garden. 

      So my comments here might be few and far between smiley

      • Dennis Frank 1.1.1

        So you're exemplifying the type of resilience praxis I was advocating.  Community, teamwork, biodiversity & economy woven together in the doing of it.  Excellent.

        • greywarshark

          I have heard that Liberty? is a very good disease resistant hardy apple tree with small apples.   Is that one you have grown on down south Robert?

          • Robert Guyton

            Hi Grey – Liberty is a bit too modern for our purposes, though I have one growing in my forest garden. The fruit is very nice but it's going to make way for a recently-rediscovered Fall Pippin. Liberty's disease resistance is okay.

      • Glenn 1.1.2

        Got Reinette Du Canada, Merton Russet, Early Strawberry and Kidds Orange Red included in my apple hedge that I keep down with summer pruning. 23 apples in all. Couldn't imagine not having home grown apples. I cringe when I look at the cosmetic new apples in the supermarket. Give me the ones with flavour and history anytime.

        Keep up the good work Robert.

        • Dennis Frank

          What do you do about the worms that rot them on the tree?  I'm averse to spraying, and get enough to chop the rot out before cooking them up for my apple pies but wonder if there's an organic way to prevent the problem.

          • Glenn

            I use pyrethrum but not until apples have finished flowering. This site has good info. 


            • Dennis Frank

              Spray?  I've used it a little in the past but the effect seems random.  Perhaps one needs to acquire knowledge of timing, or frequency, of application.  I lack that expertise, but thanks, I'll check the website out.

          • gsays

            Soil health, soil health, soil health.

            Get a soil sample and Kiwi Fert can analyse it and get a balanced fert for your needs.

          • Robert Guyton

            Codling moth?

            There are traps you can set for the moths and caterpillars, and pheromones you can release during mating. Chickens will forage larvae under the trees.

            In Riverton, we are blessedly free of them, 100%.

        • Robert Guyton

          Summer pruning of an apple hedge – I get that, Glenn, though I've never heard of such a thing! Would you include a crab to have a show of fruit over winter for the birds?

      • francesca 1.1.3

        Where could I get those nasturtium tubers Robert?

        • Robert Guyton

          Monty's Surprise is a very vigorous grower; ours was so grunty I took it down in favour of a more delicate Southland heritage applesmiley We have a number of roadside apples that might be similarly healthful, so we're working on promoting those. Dipton Redburst and Red Rose are two of those.

          I know Mark Christiansen and admire his work; his Monty's was a great find. His bean and tomato work is very cool also.

    • weka 1.2

      that was an interesting read, thanks.

      I'd like to see science brought more into the community at the level of ethics and decision making. I think many people are disconnected from that, and this is not good for science either. So the community that exists within science makes sense and I think it would be beneficial for all of us if that was now more integrated into the wider communities.

      • Dennis Frank 1.2.1

        Yeah, via a return to a focus on our common interests.  Which embeds us in the discussion of the commons, which has been percolating along for a while now at an extremely low-key level.

        As regards ethics, I've got a bunch of books on that topic, all acquired for a rainy day that never comes, so I haven't read any of them!  I think Hollywood does well in teaching ethics (surprisingly).  Binary good/evil banality shaded up into shapeshifter realms where participants struggle to identify goodies & baddies.  So younger generations are emerging more clued-up around right & wrong than I expected them to.  How you progress a discussion past such gnosis into public policy is where it gets tricky real fast!

      • cleangreen 1.2.2

        Good point Weka;

        But  we are always fearful of 'who will oversee the science.'?

        Will it be the usual Universty based 'experts' with industry financial contrabutions or simply industry based experts or better suited to our needs to use completely neutral 'environmental consultants' with no 'financial self interest'?

        If so who will fund these 'neutral environmental consultants?

        In our NGO group we are using science to measure and monitor the environment with our own laboratory equipment now for 19 years but although overseen by NIWA and Watrercare the Local Councils and NZTA never have any regard for our evidence, so we need to have MfE to take everyones evidence into their consideration not just some of the experts conclussions and evidence.

      • Incognito 1.2.3

        Great comment!

  2. given that 71% of agricultural land on the planet is given over to raising animals for humans to eat – or to grow the food to feed those animals –

    and that emissions from this make up 41% of global emissions…

    maybe stopping eating animals and their bye-products..?

    is getting kinda urgent..?

    • Robert Guyton 2.1

      Emissions aside, I'd prefer to see edible crops (edible for humans that is) rather than herbivores across that 71%. The potential for diversity is far, far greater with plants, although even there we need to fight industrialisation and monocultural practices. Localization's the answer for that; encourage locals to grow what's best in their location, along with other crops from elsewhere that fit well with local conditions; spread the load, don't put all your egg-plants in one basket. There is, I reckon, a profound difference between a vegetable processing plant and a slaughterhouse. Such issues are important and need to be addressed.

    • Stuart Munro. 2.2

      There's a step short of vegetarianism that might be useful, which is looking at which forms of culture are efficient. Traditionally, pastoral farming was conducted on land that could not be persuaded to yield much of a crop, and there was some efficiency in allowing animals to gather and concentrate what was to be gleaned from such land.

      Modern farming in NZ is relatively privileged by comparison – much of the land is reasonably fertile and in world terms well watered, in more a populous country it would historically be crop farmed intensively. But there are areas – Central Otago and Waiouru spring to mind, that are less fertile, and better suited to grazing than crops.

      Contemporary intensive dairy turns the efficiency on its head, bringing food or fertiliser to the animals and concentrating them on the best soils. When the global issues begin to bite us, (and the oil companies are expecting 5 degrees of warming), such practices may have to be abandoned, but pastoral farming on poorer soil is likely to continue.

      • New view 2.2.1

        Stuart It’s hard reading what you write when it’s so inaccurate. From NZ Stats 2016

        • Sheep and beef farming was the main agricultural use (31.9 percent of total land), followed by dairying (9.8 percent of total land).

        from that 32% the vast majority is too steep to harvest crops economically. You might be able to grow a feed crop but you won’t harvest any grain etc. your insinuation that in a more populous country it would be cropped more intensively is misleading rubbish. What would they be growing and where would they be selling it. I farmed in CHB on rolling sheep and beef country. Water is limited unless you crop on the flats and use vast amounts of water to do it. The first sign of a reasonable hill and there’s no harvesting because the required machinery can’t work there. Much of our hill country is fertile enough but just not practical to crop. If you’re going to spout your cool ideas of how we can improve our land use try using accurate facts and don’t fill in the gaps with sweeping statements you can’t prove  

        • Stuart Munro.

          You seem to be at odds with reality New View.

          "The first sign of a reasonable hill and there’s no harvesting because the required machinery can’t work there." 

          The use of machinery in farming is relatively recent, and people such as yourself appear to be so stuck in the mindset of that model that you cannot imagine any other way.  Other countries do it however, and we can if we choose to: https://www.mnn.com/lifestyle/arts-culture/blogs/9-examples-terrace-farming-around-world

          "Much of our hill country is fertile enough but just not practical to crop."

          If food pressure becomes significant, as it may, we'll find a way to crop that, and thank our lucky stars that we can.

          • Robert Guyton

            That's right, Stuart; the narrow window that present-day farming looks through excludes much of what is possible, exciting, innovative and interesting. The uber-confidence shown by farmers today is  barrier to change; change that must occur in order to have anything at all to be proud about. Can they see it? Can they change? Is there time?

            Is the Pope a Protestant?

            • Stuart Munro.

              And farmers are positively open compared to fishing companies – they never saw a different idea they liked, and every nation seems to be convinced they're the most professional. The Japanese generally come closest, then maybe Iceland/Norway & Korea. But all of them could profitably borrow some of the others' techniques.

              • Robert Guyton

                Fishing – out of sight, out of mind. Little wonder they don't feel the need to change.

                • Stuart Munro.

                  The other part is that it's almost entirely corporatized. The individual fishermen prior to the QMS that dispossessed them included many resourceful and creative individuals who tried a lot of things out for themselves, much like our traditional farmers. Now the management layer is marketers and accountants – folk simply not equipped to innovate in what is a sophisticated enterprise subject to significant local variation.

                  • just thought i wd mention how fish have a central nervous system very similar to humans..

                    (and better memories – according to recent reports..so..y'know..!..)

                    so..if you could imagine a hook thru the mouth..then being hauled out of the ocean to suffocate to death from oxygen…

                    finding that out made me stop eating them..

                    • Stuart Munro.

                      I like them myself, both as creatures and food. I'm not quite ready to make that change in diet, but I always knew the assertions you sometimes hear, that fish don't feel pain, were rubbish.

    • A 3.1

      Good article.

      " Let’s look at the bigger picture: If we keep on doing what we are doing, if all our present trends continue, things are going to get gnarly. "

  3. cleangreen 4

    The bible said it all,

    "We shall reap what we sow"

    We have been poisoning our land for many years from DDT onward to that “brave new world” the blooody fools.

    Now we find the seven biggest agricultural seed herbicide/pesticide and feriliser companies have now combined to be four now as the Chinese government buys into them all..

    German Green Party. evidence of Chinese takeovers and corporate control of all chemical companies.


    Monsanto and Co: From seven to four – growing by shrinking
    Mergers galore: Bayer wants to buy Monsanto and become the world’s largest producer of seeds and agrochemicals. All top rivaling companies are pairing up.

  4. Dennis Frank 5

    I've expressed my disappointment in Corbyn & Sanders several times – waving socialism as if it were a meaningful flag, to excite people.  Better to explain how it could be regenerated to suit the new millennium.

    I was reminded of this lack again while perusing the Archdruid's ever-thoughtful readers comments.  This:  "I have been saying this to certain of my friends for several years now. I point out that in the 1950s my father, a non-graduate, on his sole income, supported a wife and two children and took us all on a 2-week holiday to the coast every year. At the same time, during the 1950s and 1960s he paid off a 20-year mortgage on a house in the London suburbs. I ask them how their family was supported when they were young. They “don’t remember”." https://www.ecosophia.net/the-twilight-of-the-monofuture/

    So there you have it in a nutshell.  Socialism worked perfectly back then, but subsequent generations haven't a clue how.  Not just memory failure:  I bet the parents failed to pass on their comprehension – if they ever had any!

    If you want a future in which socialism plays a part, you will have to help make it happen.  Best way to do that is to explain how it worked last time.  Simply waving the flag will never work.  People just wonder why you think waving a meaningless flag is a good idea.

  5. greywarshark 6

    I think reading Alexander McCall Smith would be good way to see ethical matters dealt with in a novel.  His characters run up against ethical problems in their lives.   In the series about The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency Mma Precious Ramotswe stretches ethics at times.   What is right for her to do she ponders, in a difficult situation that just obeying law doesn't assist?

    McCall Smith was until 2005 (when he devoted his time to writing):   
    He was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and is now Emeritus Professor at its School of Law. He retains a further involvement with the University in relation to the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

    He is the former chairman of the Ethics Committee of the British Medical Journal (until 2002), the former vice-chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the United Kingdom, and a former member of the International Bioethics Committee of UNESCO.

    Interestingly and perhaps timely:  'He is the author of a testimonial in The Future of the NHS (2006)'


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeSllEZjcnE 27 mins
    He talks about Mma Ramotswe bringing kindness to her world.

    We might feel we want to know more about Botswana, which he says is a very well-run country, a good country, after this talk.

  6. greywarshark 7

    A great vid of the song Vincent against a backdrop of his paintings.

    • Jum 7.1

      Now you're talkin' G.  A beautiful song by McLean,  Did you also read the contemporary info that suggests/proves/proposes that Vincent did not shoot himself, that two local boys were responsible and the townsfolk, and Vincent, incidentally, decided to let that info, die with him.

      Van Gogh; The Life by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith.

      Also, mooted in the latest film: At Eternity's Gate.

      • greywarshark 7.1.1

        Van Gogh was not appreciated much while he was alive was he.     Sort of a Jesus Christ figure come again to show the way, and got scorned.    That was an interesting story that I hadn't caught up with about the shooting.    Theo his brother bought the only picture he sold, and supplied his art needs.   And Theo didn't last long after him.

        Glad you liked the video.  I thought it is an outstanding collection of his paintings and very restful.

  7. greywarshark 8

    This looks fun and the new farmers set to work on their soil on a property that had been bankrupt before.   Fighters and dreamers!


    The Biggest Little Farm

    NZ International Film Festival = drop down for venues and times.

    A city slicker couple turned progressive eco-farmers transform a barren orchard into a thriving landscape in this inspirational sustainability documentary.

    Who hasn’t fantasised about ditching their city day job for a simpler life on the land? For John and Molly Chester, this journey begins with a barking dog, but you’ll soon wonder if they’re the ones who are barking mad. 

     Faced with eviction from their Los Angeles apartment block because of their rescue dog’s incessant yapping, filmmaker John and his foodie wife Molly head for California’s Ventura County, where they acquire an 80-hectare orchard with a history of bank foreclosures. Undeterred by the barren landscape, these wannabe farmers set out to regenerate the depleted soil using traditional farming methods. What follows is a fairy tale, of sorts, complete with a fairy godfather in self-proclaimed soil guru Alan York, a man who is either a biodynamic gardening genius or an idealistic crackpot with an evangelical belief in the powers of worm poo. 
    A feel-good tale of the triumph of eco-philosophy over agri-practicality, The Biggest Little Farm’s gentle pace, captivating cinematography and impossibly cute supporting cast remind us all that nature needs our nurture. A restorative pleasure, and one of the most delightful biggest little documentaries you'll see this year.

  8. Jenny - How to Get there? 9

    We all do what we can as individuals but in the end that is not what will cut it.

    Professor James Renwick tells it like it is

    "It's really wrong to try and pin it on individual behaviours, because it's not individual choices that got us here," he said.

    "We latched onto this fuel source a couple of hundred years ago … but that was brought about by businesses and governments, and it's at that level that we need change."


  9. A 10

    This is preety interesting.  Building half a house allows people to buy, pay it down, then build the rest later on.  It's social housing built after the 2010 earthquake in Chile

  10. greywarshark 11


    Nelson Environment Centre getting some publicity to push the ideas forward.

    Manager Anton Drazevic is applauding a new report on farming's impact on climate change….

    However, Mr Drazevic said everyone had a part to play.

    "It begins at home, and quite often I get asked, 'why should we make the effort here when you look at countries like China and Indonesia with their huge populations'.

    "I say all you need to do is look out the window – we're privileged to live in this amazing country which is beautiful, clean and prosperous," he said….

    He said history proved that humans could effect change.

    "I appreciate the pressure that farmers are under and what we need to do is support and provide a framework to help them transfer to more sustainable practises."

    Farmers were under increased pressure, said a member of the Rural Support Trust…

    Its top of the South Island coordinator Barbara Stuart, who is also a farmer, worried the report would now add to the stigma farmers faced.

    "Twenty-five years ago the world got together and formed a response to deal with the ozone layer depletion with the reduction in chlorofluorocarbon use…

    • Robert Guyton 11.1

      What if… farming livestock was a bad idea resulting in calamitous species and habitat destruction…should we ease the pain for farmers at the point when that becomes obvious? If so, why?

  11. Robert Guyton 12

    "Right now farmers are under a huge amount of pressure and there's a lot of stigma around being a farmer, but this is not just a farmer problem – it's a whole New Zealand problem.""

    Is it?

  12. greywarshark 13

    A link from RadioNZ that seem to have lots of info about foraging:


    Everything?  including onion weed and elderflower.

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  • Speech to Labour Party Congress 2020
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