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What are we waiting for?

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, October 20th, 2018 - 66 comments
Categories: activism, Deep stuff - Tags: , , ,

We are faced with a plethora of big and scary issues. Issues that we, on a personal-individual level, cannot comprehend let alone solve. Thus, we look at our managers, bosses, or politicians for guidance, leadership, orders …

Do we wait for the next GFC, global disaster (incl. man-made global pollution and desecration of the environment) or atrocity-filled war with resulting waves of refugees and emigrants? When do we do something about neo-liberalism & capitalism, global corporatisation, inequality, the slow but steady erosion of individual but also collective freedom & rights and the apathy towards democracy? The only way to tackle these is collectively, e.g. on country and/or multi-nation (global) scale. But when? And how?

We ask, when is the Government going to act? When the carefully sanitised reports come in from the many working groups with their narrow terms of reference? Sure, the Government must make informed decisions, based on facts and science and the best available evidence. But change is constant; it does not wait for a working group to catch up with the facts. It is worse than Zeno’s paradox of Achilles and the tortoise because it cannot be mathematically refuted.

We ask, what is the Government going to do? What is more, we demand that the Government does something, anything. To try and come up with alternatives or solutions the process of elimination is flawed from the outset as it only looks to eliminate one option, the status quo. It is reflexive and focusses on the negative (dualism) rather than creating something better, new. The dualistic approach inevitably leads to decisions (choices) that swing like pendulum, e.g. from Left to Right and back; two sides of the same coin and no real change, no real progress, nothing we have not seen or tried before. It is boring and ultimately an exercise in futility; we need a different and new approach.

This requires imagination and courage, but does it require leadership? That is, do we need the conventional leadership-as-we-know-it? What if the new paradigm (system) is less predicated on the old leadership style, less of a top-down hierarchical structure with a ‘chain of command’? Maybe not quite like the Occupy Movement, which lost momentum after the initial impetus, but something along those lines?

We have become so ego-centric and selfish at the same time that we seem to have forgotten how to act collectively, to be a collective. To channel Hannah Arendt, each of us has been given (a) life to do something meaningful, which is to create something new and only through this full realisation we bestow faith and hope upon ourselves and our actions*. The seemingly enormous crevasse – often marked by contradiction and conflict – between the individual and the collective can be bridged by common action towards a shared or common goal. This is where individual and collective freedom of choice and action are integrated and united.

There are plenty of examples where we as individuals feel as one with another; we all know the feeling, we have experienced it. In fact, the urge to belong and unite is vital for survival at more than one level. Yet, we shun it on a socio-political level!?

So, if it is action that binds us together and if we are not short of common goals, what are we waiting for? A sign? A leader? A catalyst? A truly progressive party? Godot? Or something or someone else altogether? Let’s just wait a little longer and hope for the better, shall we?

PS I had wanted to post this sooner but Leaker-Gate broke its dams so I decided to wait 😉 However, it seems the torrent shows no signs of slowing and continues to monopolise discourse 🙁

*Action in this context has a much deeper meaning than just doing (or saying) something; it is all we are/do that makes us known to the world and vice versa and how we become known to ourselves through re-action. Here is a good explanation and here is a simplified shorter version.

66 comments on “What are we waiting for? ”

  1. Bill 1

    So how do you change paradigms?

    You keep pointing at the anomalies
    and failures in the old paradigm.

    You keep speaking and acting, loudly
    and with assurance from the new one.

    You insert people with the new paradigm
    in places of public visibility and power

    You don’t waste time with reactionaries: rather you
    work with progressive change agents and with the vast
    middle ground of people who are open minded.

    Donella Meadows – Thinking in Systems

    • greywarshark 1.1

      Does this come from armchair advocates, from fence sitters watching action in the arena nearby, or do we observe and think, talk with others, then begin on actions carried out by ourselves looking for like-minded others, to further visions aiding what is good in community, and further, for other people in general, which also includes ourselves? Action after thought, not just words; do something and make that something good for all, is the way to keep sane; to ‘keep walking while you chew gum’!

      Matthews 7-10 King James Version –
      Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
      8For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
      9Or what man is there of you, whom if his [neighbour] ask bread, will he give him a stone?
      10Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?

      I have inserted ‘neighbour’ for son, because our thoughts must extend beyond our own family, including ourselves, to the community in general and the culture that ensures the basics are available, and ensures that there is work and a living to be made, or useful input, for all.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        Does this come from…

        Why not simply cut and paste the name the quote is attributed to, do some exploring, and come to your own conclusions?

        And just to say, a bed bound paraplegic can embody a new paradigm just as much as any other person. It’s about the unthinkable becoming thinkable, old “truths” being abandoned – a shift or break in how the world is viewed.

        Think of the Copernican Revolution – the understanding of this planet as the stationary centre of an “everything” that only stretched only as far as the firmament was utterly transformed, so that this earth came to be understood as a small body orbiting another, that in turn had its own orbit in an intricate dance of orbits stretching into forever.

        That’s paradigm shift.

        • greywarshark

          Well I put up my own quote and gave the source. And mine talks about what can be and should be done for others, from a place of agency.

          A paraplegic would not be able to do the same, and would have to use the mind and vision approach to work out what way forward we should take. I don’t want to do research to explain that. I expect you to do so when you put up your comment that is part of your argument.

          You talk about a paradigm shift. How should we go about that, and how will it be incorporated into present society? I’m not interested in theories about space when I am being asked to do something concrete like find food and housing and hope for a future for someone. That’s giving a stone to someone who has asked for bread.

          • Bill

            You talk about a paradigm shift. How should we go about that…

            Go back up and read the Donella Meadows quote.

            But if you want a blue print, so that you can be absolutely secure in a belief about how your bread and whatever else will be provided, then join a cult.

            • greywarshark

              You have interesting theories Bill. So have cults. I don’t want to see people being forced into joining cults because they can’t see anything else definite to follow out in society.

              I am however, while I am alive, concerned about how everyone’s bread and butter will be earned rather than provided, as in charity that may be withdrawn at will. That requires determined caring people thinking on realistic lines that draw on relevant theories that promote qualities of practicality and kindness in people.

              (I read yesterday, can’t give source at present but was reading about Victor Gollancz on Wikipedia, that after WW2 Montgomery is supposed to have said that Jewish and other refugees saved and being looked after at various camps should be kept from starvation by being given diet of at least 1000 calories. I think it said that he considered, in those difficult times, that was the minimum level that should be considered because they had existed on 800 calories per day in the Nazi camps.) And that is the problem of being a person dependent on variably generous charity. So one thing in the future, with people being replaced in jobs by robots, technology 😛 is that people should be able to have a job and be a respected help in their community and not just a charity case.

              Do we need a paradigm shift for that? It seems that kindness and practicality are becoming rarer and sometimes are not seen together.
              So I think working on those two aspects and acting each day for oneself and others with those in mind would be a good start while reading and listening to others views as to our way forward.

              • Bill

                Lets try another approach.

                If we need a paradigm shift – eg because of AGW etc, then there is no way to imagine what it will look like from the perspective of this paradigm. That means there are no blue prints available at the current time.

                Finding fault with the current paradigm is a bit like the fish in a barrel scenario – easy enough.

                Identifying people who we might associate with a necessary shift is easy enough too. Politically, it’s the Corbyns of the world, even though their politics are pretty well wedded to the current paradigm.

                As for how we will organise ourselves (our societies) should we manage to navigate out of this cul-de-sac we’re in, well that’s going back to the top of the comment – from where we are, we can only see the cul-de-sac (whether that’s in terms of thoughts. ideas or possibilities). Recognising a need to get out of it is step one.

                Steps two through whatever are contingent on what we encounter on the way – environments and adaptation type blah.

                • greywarshark

                  You mention Corbyn and so looking to a political leader to become The Pied Piper of Hamelin, but I don’t know if we are the rats or the children. Perhaps that is part of the paradigm shift – to decide who is a rat and stay well clear of such a spoiler predator in our life-promoting sanctuary.

                  You say we can’t imagine what things will be like in future, but we can speculate. Things are already happening that give us the clues. Rachel Carson talked about the Silent Spring in the 1960s, and climate change was discussed long before then. We just don’t care to speculate, to make informed forecasts and scenarios – it is too depressing. i heard about a scientist weeping while giving evidence on their subject.

                  I think the paradigm shift needs to be to PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY not representative democracy. It seems that the p.democracy tends to be connected to budget decisions.

                  I see that Switzerland is a direct democracy.


                  A long philosophical explanation of participatory democracy –

                  Examples of participatory democracy (I see that Ireland had tried it).

                  This is for cities, but as our total country is smaller than many cities it may be applicable.

                  The International Observatory on Participatory Democracy (IOPD) is a space open to all cities in the world and all associations, organizations and research centers interested in learning about, exchanging impressions and applying experiences of participatory democracy on a local scale with the aim of deepening the roots of democracy in municipal government.

                  And as part of being a participant in our democracy, everybody would have input into supporting the country at some level, and draw in youngsters to the retired until they became debilitated. Even a paraplegic could teach someone te reo, or talk to a child who is learning to read, and someone with that sort of difficulty would be a more valuable citizen than some moribund speculator gone to seed.

                  Another paradigm shift – in education, there would be more practical stuff taught. There would be problem solving and methods of decision making.

                  Primary kids could have their own school meetings that teachers attended where kids could report on how they were managing their schoolwork and what was needed to improve the services and outcomes. I would like them to learn to use their maths and decision making criteria and research how to buy a house, what income would be needed, and what payments made each week.
                  Good practice, and they might decide it was madness to take on that sort of debt and come up with something innovative for their futures.
                  Their clever little minds would find it engrossing to work through a decision like that.

                  Problem solving –

  2. Ant 2

    A timely piece. “So, if it is action that binds us together and if we are not short of common goals, what are we waiting for?”

    Sadly it will be agreed that earning a living for most fails to honour individual creativity. We find ourselves imprisoned in profit-based corporations and governmental institutions demanding compliance within narrow bounds.

    However change is imminent. The demise of conventional employment following widespread automation will usher in a universal basic income or similar currency leaving millions of us free to give expression to what we sense as innovation lying at our deepest core. It is no co-incidence that rehabilitation/restoration programs for offenders and addicts are invariably bound to some form of creativity: cooking, art, surfing, music, environmental restoration.

    Mobilizing individual talent we set free what matters alongside our striving for the collective purpose you refer to. Executed in a spirit of wholeness creativity becomes re-creation as demonstrated by those liberated souls who love their work and seem never to tire.

    • greywarshark 2.1

      How do we feed and house ourselves, are we destined to become artists starving in garrets?

      • Ant 2.1.1

        No, creativity is not confined to artists.

        Creativity has many faces; for the politically inclined imaginative deployment of fresh ways of inclusive government; for educators new methods of nourishing emerging talent; for financiers equitable ways of restructuring currency (or what’s left of it); for artists and musicians novel expression of humanity’s changing orientation on earth; for scientists decisive methods of restoring the integrity of our ecosystems; for medics non-intrusive initiatives of restoring health; for idealists visions of our future course; for philosophers insightful ways of understanding the evolving human spirit – to name a few. Within these broad divisions lie countless sub-opportunities to cater for the full spectrum of human talent and ability all the way from abstract visionaries to those with exquisite physical dexterity.

        • greywarshark

          Sounds good Ant
          And all those thinkers and planners beavering away, perhaps they have to follow the lead of the Chinese communists who sent their scholars and thinkers into the country to do some physical work and so see the world from grassroots and not just high level sophisticated thinking.

          The Chinese were so brutal; just another revolution where absolute power corrupts absolutely. So we need to have an earth pledge that we will do this voluntarily, both think and work, to maintain the present. Not spend all our time thinking of the future possibilities. I heard about Stephen Hawking this morning, great brain and will, focussed on big ideas and expanding scientific fields, making new discoveries. His daughter Lucy said he had a good sense of humour.

          Essential, needed is attention to the old chores of being concerned about people and ordinary life. Doing the dishes and checking the middens, mending the broken systems, patching or rebuilding, that caters for what is needed now. Research for the future, grand designs must be woven into lives so we have a well-rounded society thinking and adjusting itself all the time. One might say less moon and space, more mooning around on earth.

  3. greywarshark 3

    I think the word for now has gone from simple discourse, but concourse.

    Definition of concourse. 1 : an act or process of coming together and merging. 2 : a meeting produced by voluntary or spontaneous coming together.
    (also contains pretty-kitty material!)

    What I’m doing is thinking of ideas that will aid trading for small business in my area.
    Also writing here is a chore and a lift in equal amounts, just writing about the reality I see, the likely future which is gloomily looming, and the things we need to hold from the past to arm and shield ourselves mentally, as we who want to face the future push into deep water.

    I am interested in hearing about the small and large successes that people are achieving or assisting with, and working towards. We need to encourage each other. I have decided that there is an absolute,when repeated accurately,
    “Power tends to corrupt; Absolute power tends to corrupt absolutely”.
    Extreme, excessive concourse of money coupled with extreme, excessive devotion to science and the technology involved in the internet and its hardware, are sure to end up in exponential disruption till its path finally breaks down, when there is nothing left.

    So it is essential for those who love life,to have a sense of self as worthwhile and also other humans, animals, our environment and the world that is out there and can be enjoyed if appreciated. And also it is essential to bond with others the same and see how that can be developed further into intentional communities for which we take responsibility and work to maintain and widen. We cannot leave it to politicians or even responsible leaders to mould a livable society, those two groups often have no vision, just conservative opinions, no vision for the future, and blinkers on to the present good and bad, and improvable, and they have a conventional judgement with a materialistic money and finance filter.

    So my recipe against apathy, depression and ultimately loss of our hopes for a decent society, is to get involved with something community building that helps people on lower incomes, and try to create ripples. What about passing on good actions, another one for someone else, for each received, within a week.

    • Ant 3.1

      Spot on, Grey. Emerging amongst many today is the perception that evolution has a subtler card to play – not in terms of mutated genetic forms but as altered consciousness. The principle of natural selection remains unchanged: survival and propagation of the new is dependent on its success – in this context the ability to out-shine the elements that keep alive separative tendencies and the unbridled greed that has led to the crippling of our planet. The wealth of ideas available to all via the media is escalating and creating a climate of visible change – the competitive attitude replaced by the cooperative one. Don’t look to MSM for evidence; steeped in the need to please their owners the journos are the epitome of the enslaved, as emphasized repeatedly by Pilger, Chomsky, Medialens et al.

      • cleangreen 3.1.1

        Yes Ant,

        We seem to be driven heavily nowadays by “self preservation” mostly to make our way.

        Pity the “pay it forward” did not get implanted more strongly then self preservation, and we do need to reverse the drive for only considering us over them ideology.

        Our forefathers left a strong public owned infrastructure for us and our National Government came and sold as much as it could before being rejected last year.

        Labour needs to implant a new belief into our drive forward now as their peers did 60 yrs ago.

        Take selfishness out of our lives and instil care for others.

        “Courtesy is contagious”

        • greywarshark

          Selfishness being replaced by selflessness? I think both are extremes. Being given a place in the community that enables a decent life would be welcome I think.

  4. JanM 4

    What are we waiting for? – a revolution, probably!

  5. RedLogix 5

    A fine thoughtful post Incognito.

    As a species our entire known history can be thought of as progressive rounds of widening circles of social integration; from small family based bands of hunter-gatherers, agricultural villages, city states, the nation state and various incarnations of empire. Taken in a long view our capacity to act collectively has indeed expanded enormously, we shouldn’t discount how very far we’ve come already.

    But you ask what are we waiting for? It’s probably the most important question that can be asked at this moment.

    The answer is this; since the end of WW2 the age old boundaries around nations and cultures have become porous and fuzzy; we now live in an age where there is no space between the nations and empires. We’re all juxtaposed against each other in a manner never seen before in all our history. In purely pragmatic terms we live in a globalised world; but ethically and morally we don’t. This is what we’re waiting for.

    Another way to express this; the traditional religious experience pointed to the path of the sanctified individual, in this pregnant moment we’re waiting for the path toward the sanctified society to appear.

  6. Pat 6

    What are we waiting for?…Godot almost certainly

  7. Steve 7

    I think we are simply waiting for the moment that overpowers the inertia to do something about it. Most likely it will arrive when things , like Netflix and ‘click of a mouse’ consumerist satisfaction are no longer affordable or accessible due to one type of collapse or another. Then we shall see my favorite type of capitalism emerge among the 1 percent…I like to call it ‘de-capitalisation’ Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was quite an exponent.

    • Rosemary McDonald 7.1

      “… ‘de-capitalisation’ Joseph-Ignace Guillotin was quite an exponent.”


      Was chatting to a fellow fisher(hitherto a complete stranger btw) a wee while back and as almost always happens idle turned to more serious talk.

      Serious talk turned to more or less the subject of this post….how to effect change/what will it take???

      New friend agreed that capitalism and the associated Rich Pricks were the root of the world’s woes and either ‘money’ had to go or the coin better distributed.

      New friend had obviously given the subject prior thought as he immediately shared with us his Grand Plan for eliminating poverty from the top down.

      Take the current Rich List, and on day 1 shoot the person at the top and share his/her wealth evenly amoung the rest of us. On day 7, shoot the new number 1, unless of course the excess lucre had already been voluntarily redistributed.

      Sorted. (Of course the RPs will have been contained somewhere lest they flee, and their ill gotten gains secured.)

    • RedLogix 7.2

      Nice to see some people here reveal their inner motivation; mass murder.

      Of course globally 1% of around 7b people amounts to 70m dead bodies, so your ambitions are right up there with Stalin or Hitler. Well done, this is serious revolution we’re talking about.

      Or perhaps more spectacularly the top 1% have an income globaly of around U$34k pa: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/050615/are-you-top-one-percent-world.asp

      Not sure the numbers in this definition, but its gotta go past 100m. And wipes out much of NZ’s working families. (Do we include WFF in the calculation and/or take out the kiddies as well?) Lots of fun, there goes those bastard middle class bourgeois once and for all.

      Or is the real definition of this 1% we want to see slaughtered is simply “anyone richer than me”?

      • Rosemary McDonald 7.2.1

        “Nice to see some people here reveal their inner motivation; mass murder.”

        Nice to see that humour is infectious.

        We should all laugh more. Lots more.

        • RedLogix

          Yeah silly me; forgetting how side-splittingly delirious shooting rich people can be. When looked at in the right light of course.

          (There may be a slightly serious point in here somewhere. That redistribution from the putative 1% doesn’t actually do much for the other 99%. Not to mention that unless you get it perfectly even, your still left with another top 1% after all this bloody work is done … and on it goes. Man this revolution work is tough.)

          • Rosemary McDonald

            Tough, sure. And any thought deeper than superficial inevitably leads to hopelessness and despair. So we fish and engage with complete strangers who have us guiltily giggling at the thought of those after 1 on the Rich List frantically disposing of wealth because when faced with a choice, life (albeit with thinner heels) wins.

            Or would it? Hilarity ensues at the thought of some urban mythical scrooge ferreting away their squillions to defy the ‘you can’t take it with you’ edict.

            We live in a capitalist, consumerist and materialist society where one is expected to keep up and maintain standards and demonstrate your worth.
            Living lean, out of necessity or by design or a little of both, causes most to look sideways and make assumptions. Especially in the city. Where just speaking to a passerby is considered a little bit weird, nevermind engaging and trying to hatch a plan to effect change and derail the status quo.

            But this is what I do. And my partner, who is a tetraplegic (which is more foobarred than a paraplegic but neither are necessarily ‘bed bound’ 😉 1.1.1).

            We live lean. We mostly live in a bus. We try to be open to engaging with all comers. We read. We don’t watch telly. We talk about shit. With each other. With others. We try not to judge, or not too harshly. We try and be kind…way before Jacinda made it a thing. We are self contained and self reliant. We’ve had to be. We need to learn to let others help when they offer…it feels good to be able to help. We know that. We’re working on it.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    It wasn’t so very long ago, in human terms, that we awaited propitious moments with the assistance of sophisticated readings of chicken entrails.

    The idea that there might be tides in human affairs is born out by work like Gladwell’s, showing that early 20th century America was statistically a more promising place to grow wealthy than many others.

    I am waiting for the Green renaissance, in which our society reinvents itself on a soft tech and sustainable basis, to create a thriving forward-looking nation. I think I shall be waiting for that till I grow old and die however.

    The JLR revelations are substantially that our governments have been some kind of Peyton Place, chasing sex and money and giving little or no thought to bettering the lives of citizens. In fact the buggers have made our lives much worse, with things like home ownership plummeting, now an aspirational goal instead of an ordinary expectation.

    I am waiting for things to improve, with no particular expectation of it happening.

  9. Dennis Frank 9

    Some people do stuff, others talk about doing stuff, but the most influential do both. Discussion usually attempts to reference common ground (normally in culture rather than politics). When it comes to common cause, the talking ought to clarify a common ground for consensus decision-making, as a basis for collective action.

    In an era of individualism, this is swimming upstream against the flow. But it’s the only way to make progress via politics, or the status quo persists. So good choice of topic!

    I’ve described it several times in the past year or two as political praxis – after realising the relevance of the old Greek concept – and Bill is right to link it to the paradigm-shifting which came into vogue in the ’80s. When I joined the GP after the 1990 election it was to attempt using that vehicle to bring about a political paradigm shift, achieving success with that project on several fronts. But not enough.

    Arendt differentiates three types of activity; labor, work, and action. Your homework for today is to write an essay explaining the key distinctions between labour and work without reading Arendt.

    Just kidding. 😎 “The third type of activity, action (which includes both speech and action), is the means by which humans disclose themselves to others, not that action is always consciously guiding such disclosure. Indeed, the self revealed in action is more than likely concealed from the person acting, revealed only in the story of her action. Action is the means by which we distinguish ourselves from others as unique and unexchangeable beings.”

    “With humans, unlike with other beings, there is not just a generic question of what we are, but of who each is individually. Action and speech are always between humans and directed toward them, and it generates human relationships. Diversity among the humans that see the action makes possible a sort of objectivity by letting an action be witnessed from different perspectives.”

    It is when various views of the action are interpreted and discussed that objectivity arises (seemingly in the group mind). Some people are better at mentally distinguishing between commonly-held views and their personal view than others!

    “Action has boundless consequences, often going far beyond what we could anticipate. The Greeks thought of the polis as a place where free people could live together so as to act.” And when those citizens acted collectively in agreement, their political praxis constituted the demos (the populace of a democracy as a political unit). Democracy was a consequence.

    • greywarshark 9.1

      Good stuff Dennis F, Good stuff to read, explains, think, act.
      Need to keep acting intelligently and helpfully. Keep the little grey cells operating.

      Marty – Time for inaction when we are dead!!
      The western model is action, anything just do something. It’s an absolute failure and the cause of most of the issues.

      I suggest intelligent action, thinking about some small useful extra thing that can be done. It might be an alternative source for goods when in need, so people can stay away from the dreaded nasties in Welfare and their surveillance. It may be to organise a once weekly transport for an isolated community to town, dentist, doctor, a healing cup of tea with a relative or friend. Or attend a meeting that is against something. Someone who has thought about the issue can stand up and explain the 5 important points as to why it should or should not go ahead or which should be attended to before it can be a suitable project with only partial implementation as that is all that is needed and can be afforded. Or funds for a short course in something useful, and then a follow-on project to use the info, then a get-together over tea and biscuits and cheese, and discuss possibility of another project, and another course that could be achieved. Make friends with City Council, look for retired people with gumption and a strong community involvement. Find mentors for young people, look at them at the supermarket checkouts into their eyes, and give them a compliment sincerely meant. Think of your own ideas for connection to those on the fringe of your world.

      One person can make a difference in so many useful ways. They may be forgotten in the mishmash of matters, they might’nt receive a medal, but little things can be the glue that holds the community together.

  10. We wait because the opposite caused the problems.
    We wait because we are scared.
    We wait because we’re going to die soon and most don’t want to be the guy in front of the tanks like Tiannamen Square and die earlier squashed.
    We wait because we require leadership.
    We wait because we don’t know what to do.
    We wait because it all seems too big.

    The western model is action, anything just do something. It’s an absolute failure and the cause of most of the issues.

    We wait but those in the know aren’t idle – far from it.

  11. greywarshark 11

    Perhaps before the day is over somebody can make a list of things that we should all attend to daily that will build our own resilience and that of the community against the scary future.

    We know we get excited by pollies stupidity and mendaciousness. I suggest local groups form of like-minded people who discuss the political situation and do something to move it in a better direction. But wait each council does have one or a few groups who coalesce. But are they only interested in business, housing opportunities for building firms? Or perhaps they try to prevent water being taken, bottled, perhaps they only manage to make sure there is some small royalty paid, perhaps they watch and monitor quanitity over a year and then check if it is correct according to the permit. But caring, looking out for NZ against the takers and
    speculators is a mighty task.

    There are myriad ways of doing something and how many adults in NZ? There is something that any adult could do if they could find the energy, get motivated.

  12. WeTheBleeple 12

    Maybe my pet project gets at the ‘helping the poor’ and planet… Insofar as things to be done.

    I’m working on species and symbionts, with methods to properly acquire both, of all NZ’s endemic N-fixers. Bear with me…

    So people can restore landscapes without fertiliser, and start learning to garden and grow fruits and nuts without fertiliser.

    It will also instruct businesses/organisations how to grow and inoculate these plants for conservation efforts (so plants/symbionts aren’t clones; and plants don’t need expensive pampering).

    My NZ template I hope to spread to citizen scientists all over the world so they can empower people in their areas with free nitrogen methods.

    It’s not just a farmers pasture trick. There are around 18 000 nitrogen fixing plants. Kowhai are some of them, who doesn’t want to see more Kowhai…

    The website will be free to all. The information will be direct, focused to local, and ultimately useful.

    It’s a new plan, but I think it’s a cracker.

    • Rosemary McDonald 12.1

      Why go it alone?

      Join a tribe!


      • greywarshark 12.1.1

        Not all tribes are equal even when they make high-sounding statements.

      • WeTheBleeple 12.1.2

        I’m getting my PDC next year Rosemary. I think it’s important I do the official thing as I read and teach permaculture stuff a lot. But then, it’s ecology, microbiology, botany, biogeography…

        Went to some Green functions (animal rights et al) with a partner once. Did my head in badly. 1 part science (yay!) 9 parts hyperbole (BOO!). I’ll meet the locals when I do the course.

        I’ll go all Aspie on their asses and lecture them haha. Going to do my best to shut up and listen. Read most the manuals etc already, been reading that stuff for decades.

        Facebook, no. Yuck.

        I don’t wear my Permie heart on my sleeve, but I do on my (disappearing) lawn.

        Yay you for advertising Permaculture. I’m not surprised at greywarsharks cynical comment though, flakes I can handle, fakes, not so much. I tend to ignore these groups as there’s inevitably nonsense being thrown around and I can’t help but engage. Can waste so much energy re-correcting regurgitated nonsense. A little wisdom is dangerous in an idiots head. I do really like permies, when they leave me be!

        Mollison was a freakin genius. He’s not the only one to quit society and go bush for a while though. I came out and went AWOL for a decades drinking and crap poetry, he founded Permaculture.

        So tell me, who’s the smarter man. 😀

        • RedLogix

          Yeah … getting your life together and acting on what’s in front of you. Getting your shit done … smart. Most people are too busy waiting for the revolution to fix up their own lives.

        • Dennis Frank

          I did my pdc in 2012 (approx 20 years after deciding to do one – got too busy) at Auckland Permaculture Workshop. I mainly use clover for nitrogen-fixing around borders of my various gardens here, plus around trees & bushes to shade the roots & conserve moisture in the soil.

          Went to the national permaculture hui earlier this year. Inspired me to keep working on an altpolitics design for participatory democracy (since representative democracy isn’t really fit for purpose). I’ve got a couple of clever young dudes restructuring my website to improve the group alchemy side of things and after that’s done will become a proactive recruiter. There were several discussions at the hui about applying permaculture to politics. Zeitgeist thinking.

    • greywarshark 12.2

      Keep us up to date WeThe Bleeple?
      It is exciting to hear on this blog something future looking that is a new idea and positive thinking of the future.

  13. gsays 13

    Thanks incognito, plenty of food for thought.

    A thought that has influenced my life for a while: it is easier to fall from the footpath to the gutter than fall from the penthouse.

    Trying to disconnect from the $ system as much as possible.
    Transition towns help with the shift from a high energy society to so energy society.
    Community building habits: time share, green dollar schemes, volunteering.
    Share, share share. Your time, your resources, your skills.

    It’s odd that when talking about climate change and trucks, inevitably supermarkets getting supplies comes up. Supermarkets, or more accurately their customers are a symptom of the issues we face.

    • greywarshark 13.1

      Using local product is good. Supermarkets though can drive the price down and
      not allow enough margin for the producers to prosper.

  14. CHCOff 14

    It would be a good idea to get our market value system back from speculation.


    A couple of fundamental expressions of that could be:

    1) A House is a Home

    2) Automatic share of parliamentary representation to distributed New Zealand demand and supply economy.


    • greywarshark 14.1

      I’ve been thinking of a sort of local currency. It seems that we could afford to have another form of currency available to residents that would help with living expenses, and not have investment possibilities because it would have no international exchange rate affect and presumably little inflationary affect as there would be no or little multiplier affect. It wouldn’t be black economy business as it would be counted for taxation purposes as a voucher used for
      discount purposes.

      In my possibility thinking it would involve the City Council producing ‘monopoly’ money to the value of $5 and each ratepayer would be given monthly $10 to spend locally. This money at the retail end would have to be accounted for as a discount on an item bought and probably in an accounting system be allocated to promotion.

      In Nelson we have a quiet period over winter, and bringing local people to town would help vitalise this down time and encourage people to come into the town centre and shop and stroll. (We also have competition from nearby newer Richmond.) The idea would be that participating shops or premises would offer discounts, or even written off product in exchange for this local currency. They might attract new custom, or just utilise the currency to increase custom and in addition sell some other item at full price. The currency would not be exchangeable at the end of the month. And there would be a different coloured currency for the next month on the same basis.

      I would like an interested volunteer group which would be called Friends of Nelson (there may already be one of that name), and they would manage the system and keep info as to how useful it was, figures of use, and also how much extra business ensued in ordinary dollars.

      It may be that we will have to encourage NZ enterprises with local money so they can compete with the imported stuff that is ruining our economy with wages and hours and opportunities going down to the extent that many people cannot afford the cheaper imports that were supposed to be affordable to all.

      • greywarshark 14.1.1

        I’m interested in what others know about the use of local currencies. It is important to get the levers right. I have been in Green Dollars and learned a lot from that.

      • CHCOff 14.1.2

        For a ‘NZ Values’/’NZ Parliament’ solution, the best idea would perhaps be something like a complimentary credits & debits system (in the national currency), a third tax free for all individuals, small and medium sized business (10% large sized as they get enough relative kickback through economies of scale & media domination), along with a jubilee of the govt’s books to this, at the start of every elected govt cycle.

  15. greywarshark 15

    I was just looking up nitrogen fixing plants the other day WeT. (Seems good short form as being wet rather than dry may soon be a boon.)

    I was tossing round an idea using –
    Cytisus proliferus, tagasaste or tree lucerne, is a small spreading evergreen tree that grows 3-4m high. It is a well known fertilizer tree.

    I have to do more reading and think more on my idea. Please put up your link as soon as you can so that people can start absorbing some useful info and keep in touch. Are you also going to go on facebook, if you want citizen scientists to be involved. Sounds good. NZ are pretty conservative, actually often ugly!

    It is also good to discuss things like this with others. Have you got round to making a small video of your plans with diagrams, field shots etc?

    • WeTheBleeple 15.1

      In preliminary stages only but I have a decent understanding with the concept as there are patterns emerging that make things a lot easier.

      Cytisus is associated with Rhizobium, while NZ shrub and tree species are typically mesorhizobium.

      Get root nodules off other Cytisus or closest genera you can find, preferably a woody representative (dig at drip line, younger plants are typically better) and test them for fixation by slicing a nodule in two (purple – red color. Do not be fooled by brown-orangeish, this is not active, or is a parasite rhizobia not fixing N rather fraudulently obtaining carbon).

      Place nodulated root materials in freezer till you want to plant seed. Remove nodules, crush and smear into a paste, add to water that wets seed mixture.

      Plant 2 or 3 N fixers per productive tree. Thin them as they grow out. Always plant more if insect attack etc occurs you want the tough survivors, not prissy plants you have to spray things on. And you want spares to chop and drop to hasten soil building/succession.

      Not on facebook it’s a horrid place disguised as a family album.

      But I do appreciate the encouragement. It might take a few months. I am versed in the four key disciplines of botany, microbiology, ecology and biogeography, so really, bring it.

      I will geurilla market at first, I’m damn good at that I’ve never failed to get free press if I trot out a story. Fooled the lot of ya’s they were infomercials every one hehe.

      Lots of N fixers are very beautiful trees. I am really enjoying this work.

  16. R.P Mcmurphy 16

    mutate now.
    beat the rush.

  17. WeTheBleeple 17

    @ Greywarshark, gardeners et al.

    It’s just come to my attention re: Cytisus-and-symbiont: Cytisus is rather promiscuous….

    An alternate source of symbiont would be Acacias e.g. Black Wattle, and their Bradyrhizobium symbionts. These should work with Cytisus also; and possibly be a better match.

    Ideally, we’d have the origins of the organisms and hook them up with the original symbiont partner line. The microbes have bit’s they can switch around (transposable elements) so they might sidestep long term relationships and create new hookups. This is not so easy as it sounds random rhizobia-plant matches often fail, or success is due to wild types in soil, not the random efforts of amateurs.

    Sometimes random works, and then they become youtube experts. 😉

    For Kowhai, collect from Kowhai. You only need a few nodules to get high numbers of rhizobia – so collect moderately. There’s 8 endemic Kowhai from 2 – 25 M, most are hard as nails so can be part of shelter belt type arrangements too.

    Scuse me, writing helps me grasp stuff, recall stuff, anyone asks questions in the learning process gets a data dump.

    Back to it!

  18. Philj 18

    Good discussion. Thank you all. Now for action. A whimper or a bang?

    • Craig H 18.1

      Whimper, as we suddenly realise collectively how stuffed we are and blame the scientists for not saying anything earlier, and then just roll over and watch the human race die out.

      • greywarshark 18.1.1

        Let’s bang on. As the old song went, by Lonnie Donegan about a ninety year old man marrying a young thing – ‘It helps to pass the time’.

        And climate change has not popped up here except in passing I think. (I haven’t read all comments thoroughly twice which they deserve and I need to.)

        What should I be doing? Too much carbon dioxide locked into the seas, the biggest carbon sink, and acidifying it and killing off shellfish unable to grow and go through their proper life cycles. Octopi are climbing up nets to get away from the acidic water which affects their sensitive skins.

        Individual lifestyle choices matter
        Ever wondered how much difference your small actions really make? Back in 2008, WWF-New Zealand decided to find out. We worked with Landcare Research’s carboNZero Programme to investigate just how much change individual New Zealanders’ lifestyles mattered.

        We found that if every Kiwi made three simple changes –
        not driving one day a week,
        switching to LED or compact fluorescent lightbulbs,
        and turning un-needed appliances off at the wall –
        Aotearoa New Zealand could save 386,500 tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases per year. That’s equivalent to over 839,000 car journeys from Kataia to Invercargill….

        New Zealand emits over 80 million tonnes of CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases every year. The only way to switch to a 100% renewable, zero net carbon future by 2050 is by engaging with government and businesses to transform our economy.
        Building a safe, just climate future all New Zealanders is about siezing the opportunities of the new, clean energy economy. It doesn’t need to be about self-sacrifice.

        Ordinary New Zealanders can make really huge changes by engaging with businesses and government.

        Just a brief look on google about trying to be ‘green’.
        Things for businesses to think about.

        An overseas academic bringing her extensive knowledge and objective response to water problems this morning on Radionz.

        8:38 The rights to water: Robin Kundis Craig
        Professor Robin Kundis Craig has made it her life’s mission to know about all things water – especially how water intersects with law, but also the relationship between climate change and water; water quality and water allocation law; and marine-protected areas.

        She is a professor of law at the University of Utah and an elected member of American Law Institute, with many books and more than 100 law or science articles to her name. She’s in New Zealand undertaking a University of Otago Research fellowship and was also a keynote speaker at at the recent RMLA conference.

        People are stirring and rising elsewhere in the world. Let’s adopt and follow the old NZ Edmonds baking powder slogan ‘Sure to Rise’!

        In UK, people trying to bring their pollies down to ground from the heights of their Berghof. Bloody muckers and strutting muddlers.

        [I removed that other comment to trash. The very long one that was full of cut and pastes of other comments and that also (I think) contained this comment] – Bill

        • greywarshark

          Thanks Bill that was a mistake in pasting. You removed it from your end and i worked at doing it from my end and one of us succeeded. I mucked up big with that one. You probably have the system that picks up the first strike of whatever is put up so saw my hashed effort. It took me a long time to get it changed, or so I thought. I usually manage well but tried to be quick – mistake.

  19. Jenny 19

    Professor Gluckman the top science adviser to the last government, said that because New Zealand’s total Greenhouse Gas emissions amounted to only 0.2 percent of the world’s total, New Zealand’s greatest contribution to combating climate change, will be by setting an example.

    Maybe that is what we are waiting for?

    • greywarshark 19.1

      Don’t think so. Did he say what sort of example? We are usually setting an example – a bad one. But UN it wasn’t our fault, the figures got rigged, we weren’t there at the time, we changed our statistical methods so you are comparing good apples with bad apples etc, we are too fine and too good to err in that way and it must have been an anomaly….

  20. greywarshark 20

    What are we waiting for? Applied minds to today’s important problems becoming tomorrow’s urgent ones. Note below with 99% correct stats.>>

    From start of this post yesterday – 58 comments in 27 hours.
    From Everything’s awesome post today, enabling commenters to express their wit, wisdom and withering scorn of Gnashional – 99 comments in 6 hours.

    Everyone is an armchair critic, but there will have to be more who switch to a workbench to make something better so we can make real change.

  21. WeTheBleeple 21

    Agreed we need a lot more workers than critics. I’ll do both.

    Those flouro lightbulbs are actually a bit of a scam. If you leave them and their non-flouro counterparts on indefinately, flouro wins.

    If you use them like normal people turning lights on and off as you enter/leave rooms they’re crap.

    • greywarshark 22.1

      I find the bulbs very satisfactory and think in the end we have benefited from this cartel.

      I remember a story – NZ Rail when government owned bought a large job lot of electric bulbs at a good price. Then they bought new carriages and guess what all those bulbs wouldn’t go in the fittings and had to be onsold.

      Standardisation has its benefits. Mine usually last 6 months. I write on the metal the date when I put them up. I have started to do so also with the long life ones. I note how the light level goes down over time as they age. This will not help older people as many of us have eye ageing problems.

      I know Karen Wardell who decided to learn all she could about the new lighting and found that hardly any of the big players have extensive facts about the wider affect of the bulbs they are now making and selling. There are three books listed in the Nelson City Council library but I don’t know if they are available around the country.

      By the way – fluoro. Flour-oh is what you say when you want to bake and the cupboard is bare.

  22. WeTheBleeple 23

    Here’s a rail story for ya.

    In order to push rail into the sidings the government bought rail rolling stock that was only certified to do half the speed the engines could. This so that steam looked like rubbish next to diesel (trucks).

    Then they told everyone rail was slow.

    Ah big oil. In our pockets since my whole life.

  23. greywarshark 24

    Paradigm shift.
    Following my thought that government is no longer willing to act to advance the citizens, meaning all of them, and introduce new measures that are efficacious and tailored to our needs. I think that there should be policy groups set up for all matters of interest who would be knowledgable about their area and they would broadcast their findings and encourage discussion on the problems. (Would the Auckland Transport group that we connect to here be an example?)

    Could we the people set up national funding through venture capital and operate as a legal co-operative and get things going that is under NZ control? If we wanted to start up a sea-borne transport system, could we turn around to those NZ who have made themselves wealthy obtaining government facilities which have been privatised and providing almost monopolistic services for profit? And say what about investing in our service delivery, so getting some of the money that they have peeled away from our core?

    Crowd-funding, enabling people to invest in their own country advancement, without too much ticket-clipping by financiers on the way?

    Grassroots private people arising to provide government services, and bypassing the politicians who seem to be part of the ticket clippers, rather than vital core workers for the NZ people. To their minds, workers is a redundant word, they have better titles for themselves, but lower expectations.

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