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A summary of 6 methods for building traps in the wilderness for catching small game. This is the sort of skill and knowledge that needs practice and a guiding hand as one learns to master catching food this way. Good luck.
Today, the Turkish press opened with the news of the final clearing of Gezi park, after a night of pitched urban battles. The world comments while the mobilizations in Sao Paulo grow in intensity. This time, the press doesn’t insist on putting the focus on technology, distributed social communication, and how they have transformed social mobilizations. It seems that now, twelve years after their first warnings, that’s assumed. And the use of drones by the protesters in Istanbul played an major role, because, as we’ll see, it will surely be more symbolically important than it now seems.
- The starting point and point of conflict with power is in the closest urban policies. The political map of globalization is a map of cities, not territories.
- The demands are concrete and clear, and could, in fact, be satisfied by a local administration, but they summarize a much broader social situation — they describe a way of life and a relationship with work and training.
- When the debate is expanded by the very repercussions of the demonstrations, it turns toward the authoritarian development of the nation-state in broad terms (control systems, “moralizing” laws, etc.), and only in the framework of the inevitable street repression of the mobilizations, does it become significant and receive widespread disapproval.
→ Read the expanded version of this post
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Creative Commons, the organization behind Creative Commons (CC) licensing, is a nonprofit that promotes the sharing of creativity, knowledge, culture and more. CC licenses are common on photos, visual art and written works online and are also found in education, medicine, science, music, government and philanthropy.
Recently, the Creative Commons team stepped back to survey the big picture. Over 10 years in, and with a new CEO at the helm, they looked at what the movement has accomplished so far and refocused the organization’s vision for the future. The resulting publication, The Future of the Creative Commons, lays out that vision including the following strategic priorities:
1. Steward the Global Commons - As it’s been doing for over a decade, Creative Commons will continue to promote the sharing of knowledge and cultural resources in the shared global commons. The organization will introduce CC version 4.0 licensing, launch and promote the School of Open to educate prospective users about copyright law and open licensing, and document and demonstrate the value of sharing materials.
2. Develop Innovative Products - As new technologies emerge and the needs of Commoners change, Creative Commons will help steer the creation and promotion of new legal and technical products and tools. Forthcoming tools include a framework to show users how their creations are being used and platforms to better connect authors and creators with reusers and remixers of their creations.
3. Strengthen the Affiliate Network - The Creative Commons has an international reach and the potential to stretch even further. One of the priorities of the organization is to invest in expanding and supporting the network of affiliates around the world. It will do this by fostering a culture of mentorship and mutual support, providing training materials, and supporting the development of new affiliate organizations.
4. Increase Platform Use - With platforms including YouTube and Flickr, the Creative Commons already has a foothold in popular culture. The organization is looking to extend the CC reach further into popular web communities. This will happen through fostering relationships with existing platforms, encouraging content creation in communities that use CC licenses, enhancing public awareness of the Creative Commons and its mission, and more.
5. Ensure Sustainability - To scale up, accomplish its priorities and evolve along with technological advancements, Creative Commons needs to ensure long-term sustainability. There’s a focus on developing a strong organizational and financial base in order to do so. This will be done with a team of passionate, knowledgeable people with diverse skills and deep expertise; engaged board members; transparency measures to further engage the community; and technological developments that are open and well-documented, to encourage input and collaboration. Funds will be raised through partnerships, sponsorships, fundraising projects and donations.
In providing the vision for the future of the Creative Commons, the report shines a light on just how much the organization has done to facilitate and promote sharing in the digital realm. But, for all that CC has accomplished, the organization is, according to its co-founder Lawrence Lessig, just getting started.
“Over the past decade, Creative Commons has become the standard internationally for sharing creative works,” he said in a statement. “But that’s just the beginning. The next ten years will be all about tapping the potential of the global community of Commoners to build a more open Internet and a freer world.”
Of all the public entities that have fallen victim to the big bank-induced economic downturn, cities have the most compelling stories of being burned. If “all politics is local,” this is even more true for economics, at least where people’s ordinary lives are concerned. City budgets contain the life blood of communities. School districts, contracts with utility companies, waste services, and street repairs all filter locally. City social services are often the first line of response for people in need. City councils also fund soup kitchens, domestic violence shelters, and animal shelters.
So we should take good care of our cities, right? We shouldn’t throw them to the wolves when it comes to funding essential services, right?
Matt Taibbi’s well-read Rolling Stone article, “The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia,” details the struggle of municipalities, schools, and other public entities after big private banks induced them to gamble their public funds on the direction of the market -- often resulting in debts that far exceeded their budgets and the original cost estimates for the projects they were seeking to fund. Taibbi’s article specifically described how “banksters,” as populists are wont to call them these days, conned Jefferson County, Alabama, to spend $5 billion for a sewer project estimated at $250 million.
School districts around the country face budget restraints and only bad solutions. Photo credit: Versageek. Used under Creative Commons license.
Trey Bundy and Shane Shifflett of California Watch recently detailed the story of American Canyon High School in Napa Valley. When Napa Valley’s school district needed a new high school, and taxpayers didn’t want to pay for it, the district took out a $22 million loan payable in 2049. The amount to be repaid 21 years in the future? $154 million. Bundy and Shifflett note that over 1,300 districts across the country are doing the same thing -- engaging in capital appreciation bond borrowing to finance their publicly necessary building projects. Some jurisdictions are banning this kind of borrowing, but no one is offering an alternative. Tax increases are unpopular and, apparently, politically unrealistic. Cutting budgets in other areas is impossible now -- there's virtually nothing left to cut.
Public school districts should not have to refinance their outstanding bonds in order to reduce the interest burdens on their debt. A school district should not be spending $2 million annually to pay interest on their debt. And a big part of the problem is that conventional thinking sees the only route for the financing of public projects as a trip to big, private banks to apply for a loan, the interest of which will go into the hands of private investors and entities with no connection to the community where the project is located. The case of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge retrofit illustrates this principle. Six billion dollars of interest and financial fees went to private investors. Had a public bank financed the project, the interest would have been paid to that bank, which would then have returned the vast majority of that money to the state’s treasury.
A different paradigm should frame the issue of access to credit for the public good than that which governs credit for private investment. Rather than a utopian dream, public banking is an option that actually works -- as evidenced by the most solvent bank in the country, the Bank of North Dakota (BND). During the 2008 economic crisis, North Dakota had its largest budget surplus in state history.
The problems of Wall Street and the big banks continue to trickle down into local economies. Photo credit: Othermore. Used under Creative Commons license.
The profits of public banks are returned to the public, whereas privately owned banks increase taxpayer costs through compound interest and are compelled to return profits to shareholders. Public banks issue credit at low-cost or no-cost to cities and states. Public banks can offer “bridges” to residential, agricultural, and public works financing, as the BND did during the Great Depression. BND also partners with the private sector, encouraging entrepreneurial startups and providing check-clearing, liquidity, and bond account safekeeping to private banks.
While it is true that cities’ budgets are bare, this is not because there’s “no money” available. What we need is to move away from the model perpetrated by the large, unaccountable entities like private banks and credit bureaus that got us into this mess in the first place. City governments should divest from big private banks. Cities and states should create public banks modeled after the BND, and demand transparency, accountability, and democracy from the institutions that have an outsized influence on the health of local economies. This is a better way for cities to meet their needs in the twenty first century. We already know that it works.
A great set of examples of simple coodwood construction and how you can use a natural resource to build a well insulated structure.
Do you remember that 'night before Christmas' feeling... the one you used to get as a kid?
The night before my Permablitz, an 'I don't know if I can wait until morning' impatience had me pacing, while a slightly buzzy feeling took hold. Yep, it was 'the night before Christmas' all over again -- even though it was mid-August, and I was 32 years old.
Why was I so excited? To make a long story short, I knew that before the sun had set on my (suburban) home the next day, my medium-size backyard would have been transformed into a mini-farm, an urban homestead to rival the best of them. And it would all happen in a day.
The plan was: my entire front yard lawn would be ripped out and a pretty but water-hungry gardenia bed would be demolished, along with quite a lot of decorative landscaping. In its place, a front yard orchard would be planted. A newly installed chicken run would weave through this, cementing our reputation as complete eccentrics within the neighborhood. Next to front-yard chickens, the raised garden bed (complete with wicking system) would look almost normal.
The plans for the backyard were even more ambitious. At the rear of the house, a series of raised garden beds (to be built from old railway sleepers) were to encircle our traditional Australian, 1950s style 'Hills Hoist' clothes line. Massive water tanks would be installed at the side of the house. These would catch the run-off from the roof of both the house and garage. With the right kind of irrigation system (our problem, to be solved later on), we would be able to direct all the water from the roof back into the garden onto our vegetable beds.
What made everything so exciting was the fact that everything was going to happen in 24 hours. I was about to become the 100th person in Melbourne, Australia, to host a Permablitz. I would not be paying builders and gardeners, because 50 volunteer gardeners were going to arrive in the morning and make it all happen free of charge. I was only paying around $500 for materials, because many of the materials that I needed had been scavenged or donated.
If I were to actually pay a tradesman or two to do all this work, the project would take months, and the cost of labour would run to many thousands of dollars. If I were to do all the work myself, it could take years, and I would (probably) lose my mind in the process. Luckily, I was part of a movement of volunteers who were determined to bring food production to the cities. It was Permablitzing, and it was a very, very good idea.
What is a Permablitz?
As a concept, a Permablitz is very similar to the barn raisings of 18th and 19th century rural America. Barn raisings were big events for country folk because, back then, a barn was an essential piece of infrastructure for a farming family. Barns were used to keep animals sheltered and safe from predators, and to store vital farm equipment and stock fodder. A barn was also far too big -- and far too expensive -- for an individual family to build by themselves.
A good old-fashioned barn raising. Photo credit: Wikipedia.org. Used under Creative Commons license.
In order to overcome these challenges, and to provide farming families with barns, a tradition called barn raising developed during which all the people within a rural area would come together to build a barn for a household within that community. Old-timers who had helped to build many barns over the years would lead the process, instructing younger and less-experienced individuals, who provided the raw manpower that was needed to get the job done.
Everyone helped out in whatever way they could -- by bringing pies or tools; donating nails; and giving, lending, and contributing what they had. People were not paid for their participation because, in those sorts of communities, everyone knew that ‘what goes around comes around.’ They knew that their neighbors would one day help them, if and when they needed a barn of their own. Food and fun were part of the barn-raising process; these were festive events with a big communal lunch and a celebratory atmosphere.
These days, many urbanites choose to grow food, keep bees or chickens, and harvest rainwater. They seek a degree of self-sufficiency which will allow them to reduce their eco footprint while connecting with the pleasures of the land. Unfortunately, a whole lot of lonely, back-breaking work is usually required in order to make that dream a reality. Because most people need a 'real' job to keep the cash rolling in, weekend and holiday time are often sacrificed in order to get large-scale projects finished. It’s not unusual for small-scale urban growers to spend weeks, months, and even years setting up composting systems, building poultry runs, and connecting water tanks.
That's why Permablitzing makes sense. During a Permablitz, an army of volunteers, friends, and neighbors descend on a home and transform the yard (back, front, or both) into a food-growing wonderland. Permablitzing is a way of turning lawn into micro-farm and suburban house into urban homestead. The term 'Permablitz' is, in fact, a portmanteau of the words 'Permaculture' and ‘Backyard Blitz.’ Permaculture is a design system for sustainable agriculture. Backyard Blitz was an extra-cheesy Australian reality TV show wherein a team of pro gardeners and landscapers would descend upon a backyard and give it a one-day makeover.
Before and after a Permablitz. Photo credit: Permablitz.net. Used under Creative Commons license.
Reflecting on the Permablitz concept, Asha Bee wrote: “Basically, a Permablitz is a permaculture-inspired backyard makeover where people come together to share knowledge and skills about organic food production in urban gardens while building community and having fun.
The basic idea is that by converting their lawns into organic food-producing gardens, people will be able to back away from a dependence on industrial agriculture and the shipping of food back and forth across the world. At the same time, it makes organic eating accessible to more than just the upper-middle class.
The whole Permablitz thing started with a group called Codemo (Community Development and Multicultural Organisation) a local community group composed primarily of South American immigrants and a permaculture geek named Dan Palmer. Dan started hanging out with the Codemo crew -- some of whom expressed an interest in growing food in their backyards. The first permaculture backyard makeover was held at the home of Vilma from El Salvador. And Permablitzes have been spreading all around Melbourne since.
Permablitzes involve a combination of learning, practicing, and socialising. I'd say the social community-building aspect is just as important, or even more so, than the garden makeover itself. In our socially atomised suburbs, with our tall fences separating our yards from our neighbours', its rare to get to know those living closest to us.”
And while Permablitzes do involve hard work, they are also an incredibly fun, deeply emotionally fulfilling way to spend a Saturday or Sunday. Gardening in the sunshine is a wonderful activity. Conversations are free-flowing and pleasant; it is easy to get to know new people as you work together building poultry runs, shoveling dirt, or hammering together together a henhouse. I have seen children have an absolute ball rolling around in piles of straw. When a watering system sprung a leak at the last Permablitz I attended, all the kids jumped under it for a bit of midsummer water play. In an era where both children and adults spend the majority of their lives indoors, Permablitzing gives people the opportunity to form a connection to the natural world.
The more skilled and experienced guide the process. Photo credit: mooimadeit.com. Used under Creative Commons license.
Permablitzing is also a great way to learn new skills. Volunteers get to see chicken coops built, water tanks connected, and raised garden beds wicked. If you have never used a power tool before, a Permablitz is the ideal place to practice wielding a cordless drill with the assistance of a friendly mentor. If you have wielded a cordless drill before, chances are, there will be someone at the Blitz with the kind of skill and knowledge that helps you move to the next level. Turning oneself into an apprentice for a day is a great way to swap sweat work for knowledge.
Planning a Blitz is, I admit, a huge undertaking. It is more than exhausting, it takes weeks of preparation, and it requires massive amounts of cooking. Blitz hosting is not for the faint-hearted. But, for me, hosting a Blitz was an amazing experience. It was Christmas and New Years' rolled into one. It was a party and a working bee rolled into one. Like a wedding, it was a commitment to the future. It's a great thing to see your child collecting snails with someone else’s child. It's fun to get covered in mud, to work up a sweat, to exhaust yourself planting trees and to watch the sun go down with a beer in your hand.
It beats watching television.
More than one hundred Permablitzes have been held in Melbourne, Australia, so far. See www.permablitz.net for more details. De Chantal can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
We are heading into a future that does not follow the rules and expectations that the past few generations have been raised to expect. Parents and caregivers, relatives, friends, mentors – it makes no difference; we are raising the current generation together. We are all newcomers to this changing landscape. How can we teach young people to thrive in a future we do not yet fully understand ourselves?
At the Rowe seminar in 2013, when we asked the participants what they hoped to get out of the event, we heard something very different from prior years. Where the first years of the seminar could be characterized by tactical requests such as I want to know how to store food and How and where do I buy gold?, this year we heard something very different.
One of the more pressing requests was I feel like I am living two lives; how do I manage this?
- McD's worker sues: Don't pay by debit card
- Philly Archdiocese grappling with pensions for clergy
- The Prism
- Liquid Fuel Consumption is Unlikely to Fall While it is Still Subsidized
- Syrian War Causes Oil Market Jitters
- An Arid Arizona City Manages Its Thirst
- Gagged By Big Ag
Bristol pound is just one example of what local currencies can achieve
Councils in the UK and around the world are starting to recognise how local currencies keep money in their areas, says John Rogers
In the wake of the recent news revealing the extent of the NSA's level of citizen surveillance through supernetworks like PRISM, Chris speaks this week with Mark Skousen, former-CIA-agent turned founder-of-FreedomFest, one of the countries largest "gatherings of free minds."
Mark argues that in this case, technology has advanced at a far faster pace than our culture's ability to understand how to use it effectively, responsibly, and how to regulate it:
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- FX Rates Said to Face Global Regulation in Libor Review
- Aetna Pulls Out Of California Individual Insurance Market In Response To Obamacare
- Suddenly, Retiree Nest Eggs Look More Fragile
- China’s Great Uprooting: Moving 250 Million Into Cities
- What Sweden Can Tell Us About Obamacare
- Nuclear Plants, Old and Uncompetitive, Are Closing Earlier Than Expected
- Elon Musk Conceives New 'Hyperloop' Transportation System: Neither Plane, Train, Boat Nor Car. Is it ET3?
In an unbelievably heavy handed move, the Government of Kenya last week arrested an American aid worker and five local micro-entrepreneurs for operating a complementary exchange system in a poor suburb of Mombasa.
The recently launched Bangla-Pesa voucher system is intended to provide additional liquidity that makes it possible for unmet needs of local residents to be satisfied out of their own excess productive capacity. In just two weeks of operation, the amount of goods and services traded among the members of the Bangla-Pesa network increased substantially. Now, the program is shut down and six people are facing seven years in prison. Why? Is this simply a case of ignorance on the part of government officials, or an attempt to keep poor people poor and dependent upon inadequate or even exploitative systems that are controlled by bankers and politicians ? The answer to that will become clear as this case develops. Your help is needed to get this matter resolved in favor of freedom, justice, and rationality. Here is the official appeal from American aid worker Will Ruddick.
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
End Africa’s dependence on Aid through Complementary Currencies. Eradicate poverty and keep six people from seven years in prison.
Click here to support this program and watch our videos.
Bangla-Pesa, a complementary currency program in one of Kenya’s poorest slums, needs your help. This innovative program gave participants the ability to create their own means of exchange so micro-business owners could trade what they have for what they need. In two weeks, the program already showed great success. But the Central Bank of Kenya has deemed the program illegal and is pursuing a legal battle against its organizers, despite enthusiastic community support.
These six people face charges that could put them in prison for as much as seven years:
· Alfred Sigo a youth activist.
· Emma Onyango a grandmother and community business owner.
· Rose Oloo a grandmother and community business owner.
· Paul Mwololo a grandfather and community business owner.
· Caroline Dama a mother and volunteer.
· Will Ruddick a new father and program founder.
We need help raising funds for legal fees and to bring this program back to life so it can help people throughout Africa in expanded form via mobile phones.
Our goal is to raise 47,000 Euros over the next 47 days.
Click here to read more and donate:
Spread the word!
Will Ruddick, Bangla-Pesa Program Founder
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End Africa’s dependence on Aid through Complementary Currencies. Eradicate poverty and keep six people from seven years in prison.
Have you ever wondered what happens at one of our Peak Prosperity weekend seminars? Every year, Chris and the Peak Prosperity team host two weekend-long retreats to explore topics related to the Crash Course, up close and personal. So what are these retreats like?
Shareable Salon Presents: Building Trust & Limiting Risk in the Sharing Economy
Maintaining trust and safety is critical for businesses built on peer-to-peer exchanges. As the sharing economy grows, so does the importance of systems to verify user identity, build community, and otherwise support trust and safety. What tools are businesses developing today, and what trade-offs do they face when balancing security, privacy, growth, and community?
Join us at Couchsurfing International for the first Shareable Salon panel discussion with leading experts on security in the sharing economy. Our panelists include:
- Jennifer Billock, Director of Community, Couchsurfing International
- Sonny Singh, VP of Sales & Business Development, Jumio
- Phillip Cardenas, Trust and Safey Manager, Airbnb
- Bogdan State, Ph.D candidate in Sociology at Stanford
7:00 - 7:30 (Pacific Time): Reception - light food and drink will be provided
7:30 - 8:30: Panel discussion
8:30 - 9:00: Audience Q & A and closing reception, after party location TBD
About the Panelists:
Sonny Singh is a seasoned sales and business development executive with 15 years experience helping grow technology companies. He currently manages the North American sales team at Jumio, the revolutionary new credit card and ID verification solution behind Airbnb's new "Verified ID" program. Sonny is also an angel investor in the peer-to-peer car sharing service Getaround.
Phillip Cardenas is the Trust and Safety Manager at Airbnb, where he focuses on proactively increasing safety throughout the community. Before Airbnb, Phillip was an intelligence officer for the US Army and Fraud Investigator for Zurich Insurance. Phillip holds a bachelor degree in criminology from Fresno State University.
Bogdan State is a computational social scientist with an interest in all things sharing. He is currently pursuing a PhD in a Sociology and a Master's in Computer Science at Stanford University. In addition to working on international migrations and social networks, he has written several papers on trust, status and engagement on the Couchsurfing.org platform, and has conducted experimental research on trust and social exchange.
About the Organizers:
About our Sponsor:
Extole's referral marketing software helps brands acquire new, high-value customers through digital word of mouth, creating a highly efficient and reliable marketing channel. Follow on Twitter @ExtoleInc or Facebook.
An innovative design to consider for setting up a small aquaponics system and getting things growing even if you are limited on space.