Thursday, November 13, 2008

video roundup

brumadar 2019 Trailer

leppaludi1 superstruct journal

happychick94 Project ARK

FlamerockProductions Power Rationing Sucks Mauro, you wanted to know about my power issues? Well here ya go. Managed to catch a moment while it wasn't raining. Daveflamerock


ThanHumanMoreHuman Underground Railroad 2019 Our superstruct for Gen Exile: we have some refugees coming in by boat, so let's activate the network. Join us at

ninaksimon Look OutTwo lookouts in the 2019 underground railroad network check for signals from boats carrying refugees near the coast of Santa Cruz.

ninaksimon Year of Plenty Meeting - Oct 11, 2019 bay area members of the Year of Plenty underground railroad network meet

ninaksimonGetting Ready for Year of Plenty Meeting The refugees are on their way! ThanHumanMoreHuman and ninaksimon are ready to receive them.

reds and meds
laura2019 Video diary #1

laura2019 Video diary #2 Talkin' 'bout superstructures!

avantgame Do I have ReDS? (and will my family hate me?) Normally I'd be too vain to post a video of me looking sick as a dog but in superthreat times we all need to be hones with each other. So here goes. 5 days of ReDS-like symptoms and counting... RAVE this video at

jarrettwoldReDS SitRep 10/01/2019 A situation report on current US ReDS CentCom activities. ...

jarrettwoldDoD Investigative Field Report 10-06-2019 *Classified* TubeLeak by Anonymous Contains: Various videos found on US ReDS CentCom servers, attribution to Jarrett Wold.

jarrettwoldReDS SitRep 10/08/2019 A situation report on current US ReDS CentCom activities.

theineffabelleNo Meds Since ReDS Since the ReDS outbreak, I can't get the medications I need for my chronic illness

theineffabelleCamped Out For MedsJust got back from camping out for medications...

eek2019eek introfamily who has moved to the mountains in 2019 gets network connection setup. barely. ...


hexayurt Superstruct Report 1

hexayurt Superstruct Communications Intercept 1 - DCAR

hexayurt final transmission from DCAR The Gupta option2019

hexayurt What really went down in DCAR

lord8 Superstruct Video Mississippi Under Quarantine, Year 2019 - a video for the online forecasting game

lord8 House Arrest

lord8 State of the Zone: Mississippi, 2019

rtgardena question

Tbug1957 connection

bodhibadgerFleeing Riots in Pisa 2019Penny recounts her trauma fleeing student riots in Pisa, before finding refuge at Villa Crespina outside Panzano. Follow this story at


fleep513 Superstruct: Chilbo Community Garden sl machinama Screaming 3D Bootstrapper Fleep Tuque reports from the Chilbo Community Garden about efforts in the metaverse to address the Raveous Superthreat.

ekutnerlynchpin Superstruct - Energy Harvesting Clothing

infrarad2019 From the founder of Open Source Scientists infrarad speaks about your new role in open collaboration

martimcginnis The New PonyXpress! SEHIs involved in the new Superstruct movement are targeted for small parcel deliveries.

weather2019NML Quiz Warchalking is the drawing of symbols in public places to advertise an open Wi-Fi wireless network. Hobo signs were a series of symbols also drawn in public places to warn other hobos about the town they were entering-wheather the town would put up with hobos-feed them-Etc. In our world of 2019-there are many displaced people, many nomadic families and we should develop a similar pictographic language for them.

lord8 Doomsday's Coming (ReDS Blues)

thisisme2019 superstruct2019, stereotyping

thisisme2019 women's rights in americainformational video for The Secret Resource For All Superstructure ...

thisisme2019 dating in the age of ReDshow to on dating someone new when worried about ReDs ...

thisisme2019dating in America
advice for immigrant boys on how to date in America

rebangMilitary Airship Caught on Turtlcam the Turtlcam itself is noteworthy as one of the original "Frankenstein products" which emerged from Eastern Europe a few years ago. In particular, the Turtlcam is notorious for being built around a misplaced shipment of military-custom IC chips.

jarrettwoldInternet Threat Recently acquired by US ReDS CentCom. Footage demonstrating why we have security procedures in place.

jarrettwoldInternet Threat: An Escalation of Force Recently acquired by US ReDS CentCom. Footage demonstrating why we have security procedures in place.

The Well Head.

My genetics and chemistry teachers in school would ambush us with this combined lecture on selenium. I attended Humboldt State University as a pre-med student in the mid nineties for a stretch before I returned and finished my interdisciplinary degree. The selenium lecture started off in Organic chemistry where we were taken through the exact sort of dimerization that forms when selenium is absent from a key cellular process. In genetics we are taken further later that same day, and our teacher explained to us in great detail how the absence of selenium in the soil of a huge landmass of China is actually responsible for the emergence year after year of new flu strains which emerge from that same region of China.

We depend on our teachers to ambush us with new ideas.

Early on I was interested in the idea that the gene has motility, fluidity and some ability to sort things around. The immutable gene, as steady and intractable as a keypunch card sequence never set right with me. The early epigenetic research caught my eye especially because it was done by a woman ; Barbara McClintock. By the time the first decade of the 21st century was closing we knew that our own diversity was at stake when malnutrition strikes. This brings a new dimension to war, when you consider that even the grandchild of a woman who suffered malnutrition will still have epoigenetic issues because the genome has been partially stripped of a formerly unrecognized mechanism of expression. The good news is of course that by providing nutrition is may also be possible to repair this Damage.

All of this is on my mind today because of the news from DCAR. Guembe may be dead. DCAR is struggling to keep its moral center against a possible genocide. Its strange that the same parts of Africa that we originally got most of our drought resistant strains from is barely able to provide for itself. The inability for world leaders to establish peaceful progress in that part of the world is explosively coming to light again.

Famine affects us all in a very concrete physical way. There is no reason we should tolerate it because it is a danger to the genetic health and diversity of our species. This is not even considering the potential impact of th epigenome on other species.

The race to find a way to create feeding stations and sustainable solutions for refugees continues. In his broadcast Vinay makes a really good point about resources and survival. he points out that establishing enclaves with sufficient food is not enough. You need to be able to maintain and improve on heavy machinery, you need the involvement of higher institutions and agencies that can help to create real progress. You need to be able to put in a well head.

When my dad had the well dug on this piece of property it was an amazing sight. It looked like a small building or industrial structure had been raised on site. This metal tower was erected to drive down the drill shaft from. We were lucky and found four gallons per minute about two hundred feet down. This is the sort of thing that is possible when a society is working all together. Without connection, without our ability to raise each other up, we have nothing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

No Sleep.

Our tragedy here in 2019 is not so much the diseases that are untreatable, like ReDS; ou r tragedy is the loss of life continuously from perfectly treatable diseases. The World Health Map tells the story, cholera is almost always up very high on this list. Usually the problem is poor water quality. Political strife and famine underlay these issues nearly every time.

If you are keeping score of what is going on you know that we have made some progress. The ravenous update tells us people are finally tearing down fences. The techniques already in use in India and Africa are slowly filtering west. Of course the news from DCAR and India is grim these days. Already India has dealt with a massive human tragedy of epic proportions when the country was split in the last century. It has been difficult to struggle past the cultural and political differences most of all in the regions along the border with Pakistan.

After I spent a long day in video conference with the Director of the Federal Foresight Agency I just can't sleep. There were about four of us most of the conversation and the information saturation about the plight of the most vulnerable feeding stations was intense. Maybe its the moon, really its so intense and bright tonight that I thought the sun was coming up already. Of course the situation has been dire for children in these very vulnerable situations for awhile, of course in some ways things are no different tonight than they have ever been.

Still no sleep.

We need new myths. In the old myths when Sarasvati jumped its banks and dried up the people followed Shiva to the Ganges. With the help of the mystical plant they made their way to a new river. The key was surviving with an utterly new food source, and being willing to find a new way of creating a home and food and fiber and fuel for your family.

For a long time the seed work was enough. Ark saving and keeping diversity in some of the more useful plants is rewarding because you can see real physical results from your work. The strain work with the cyano and the algae and now fungus is even more rewarding because they cycle very quickly and because such a great number of people are working on the project now. I even heard that someone in Ventura California used one of my old cyano strains that liked brackish salty water was bred to not only produce quality cellulose, it was developed with a mild green bioluminescence which beyond being amazing to look at in the new clear acrylic tanks set with fiber optics. The bio luminescence serves as a useful marker for when the batch is nearing maturity. Its easy to see the extracting layer when you put it in the spinner too.

Every year we get faster, more collaborative, there are more bright green answers. Of course there is more noise injected into the system these days. The news is so amazingly bad, that we have learned to mostly ignore it and focus on our SEHI networks. It has been gratifying to have so many eyes and ears worldwide and the children have really enjoyed sending out seed packages.

The system noise has gotten so intense its hard to know how bad things really are. It took almost a week for us here to sort out the details of who really truly had a relative in dire straits and who was being griefed. Ten of our G team members rode out in the last week headed for the city, maybe for good. There is work in the world and some people care more about the survival of the human social colony than they do their own personal safety. There was a call out for black rock rangers to come fill civic duty slots at the refugee feeding centers outside Sacramento. These G team members have a lot of muscle and a lot of tech to bring with them. Mostly they are working on setting up aquaculture in the rice fields.

Annie May earned her first three fish yesterday. These are the clear acrylic skill markers that we use in our penguin game. Her face was flushed with excitement as she ran up to the house to show them to me, leaving Tarran trailing behind with his persistent loping gait. She had a bright pink one with a number one on it for numbers, a bright yellow one on it with an "A" for letters, and a clear one with an eye on it to show that she had learned to name all of her primary body parts. Tarran was smiling as I waded through the torrent of alphabet letters that immediately came pouring out of the little girl as she touched her necklace of colored dangling fish. His cheeks were still a little golden from the sun even though it was mostly rain this week, and his blonde and brown beard had a small touch of salt and pepper in it from a few Grey hairs. He was an amazing man to take on and care for our little volunteer orphan.

It was official as well. Before Jacob started working for the District Attourney's office in Eureka he used to work as a "child snatcher". He would go into the worst scenarios imaginable and literally get the kid out. That was another reason that our Annie Mae knew to go to him. The kids and the people in the Hobo squats knew who he was, he had a sort of dark angel reputation. Annie Mae was not the first kid he got our of a bad scene probably just in the nick of time.

It was funny to watch her sort of twirl around the center of the workshop reciting and reciting her recently learned tools. It was easy to see that she would be reading in short time. Her movements had started to change and her whole body had a new softer character. Some of that was the change in her diet and the amount of fat she was allowed to eat now. It was mostly brain building grease...there wasn't time to grow much else. She ate a lot of seed butter and toast. Some of it was that she had stopped moving and trying to act like a man. Or even more so like a Hobo, always exhibiting signs of distress, always fretting. She seemed more like a child now with the rapt open gaze of someone taking in the world for deep information.

As soon as she had made it through most of the colors in the room (her next fish she was chasing after) she calmed down. One of the experimental algae tanks had some guppies breeding in it in somewhat of a closed system that cycled with other tanks of cyano to see how much use the tech had for aquaclture. For a few moments Tarran and I watched her as her face was illuminated by the fiber optics bringing dim cloudy sunlight into the tank. Annie Mae mouthed the colors of the guppy tails to herself as she watched them in the tank.

"I guess we are going to move Martha and Stump and their two kids over to the Blue House" Tarran said by way of getting down to business. "I think Annie Mae is almost ready to start going up the hill with the other kids to school a couple of days a week."

We walked out towards the back door as I asked the next question. "What did the judge say?". I tried not to let the nervousness creep into my voice but the long day longbroading with the future fed guy had worn me down.

"He said that I was lucky there was really no where else for her to go" said Tarran. "her mom never showed up at all or filed a report and there is no trace of her... not even entirely sure who she is." Tarran lowered his voice to make certain that he was out of range of the child as we watched her sing to herself watching the aquarium fish. As we exchanged long glances that pretty much communicated that we feared that Annie Mae truly was an orphan she placed one of her little acrylic fish on the wall of the tank and made it swim.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

See the new me

This is a cheapID. With the appropriate type scanner you can see an image of me. Vinay says: "fix the villages first and we'll figure out the rest". When he says fix he means house or hexayurt and he is including the truly shattered villages, the unrecognized lava flow of people on the move.

This morning I had a deja-vu that rocked me to the core. An unexplainable phenomenon related to the dream cycles. The dream was one of the first ones I had about the internet after I first started blogging and journaling on livejournal as foolfaerie420. I would dream these complex dreams involving blogging on different sites and video and this rich overlaid panoply of communication seeping into everything we do. IN the dream I am keenly aware of the intensity of the purpose of the moment. The dire nature of the ReDS phenomenon we face, and the intensity of the isolation suggested by quarantine really makes all of the other problems harder to face. In the dream I had way back when we were all sort of nearly on the verge of figuring something out.

For years I have been prototyping algae, cyano and now fungus systems with a group of Open Source scientists, fabbers and bright green energy enthusiasts. Some of the larger systems we have made up at the laser cutters and I even have my guys do the basic construction. The new rage in the fermentation tanks is piping in fiber optics to the tanks. This gets the water off of rooftops and leaves outdoor areas clear for green plantings. Structurally it is easier to support the amount of liquid it takes to really produce crude and cellulose it is just ever so much easier to have them in units stacked on the ground. With an inexpensive parabolic collar on a somewhat decent plastic lens you can use a jacketed fiber optics system to bring decent sunlight to your tanks. If you pay a little extra at the start you can have sunlight daily illuminating your fuel and fiber source.

Jed is building me a workbench out of the new tanks that we have rigged in series. They are all pretty simple compared to the early biodigesters that we tried. There is a sort of waste slurry and greywater system that feeds directly into the tanks, and in the winter months the tanks go a long way to keeping the temperature decent out in the workshop. We pipe them extra light through the fiber optic harness's. Just before dawn I go in there all the time to start the fabbing orders that I have in the morning. Sometimes I need to load the 3D paper fabber with some recycled cellulose or even some of the cellulose from the cyano. Essentially there are endless small chores associated with the process. In the early hours of dawn most of the workshop glows a faint green.

The star occupant of the workshop is the new car. Its all electric except for the sterling engine which is in the trunk. The sterling engine runs the defroster and heater and takes the load of those activities off of the electrical car system. At this point I have no idea when or where I will take it. I know that living out here it is the first electric car that makes sense for me since I need to be able to re-charge on the spot if I run out of Volts out in the woods on some stupid road in the middle of nowhere.

It takes awhile to recharge the car, however as a side note I must say that while you are waiting it will turn you out a decent hot water for a cup of tea.

The main thing that I remember from the dream that I wanted to tell you...was not to give up. We are not done yet. In the dream today was the day that we were actually really starting to get the whole thing together. Out of the matrix of effort and real concern and deep human sympathy an actual movement is starting to emerge.

Keep on, keep heading on, reaching out, tinkering in the tech and making it happen.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Ten Percent Solution...the curtain pulls away

This is the part where I pull back the curtain a little bit, this is the part where I reveal myself in some small way. Before I left for the woods, before I became a donkey wizard and a horticulturist in earnest I used to be somebody. At the start of the virtual reality boom I had a consult office..."Conceptual Artist". We had Dutch clients and American clients and I even helped build an early wind power demonstration station.

Then something happened.

There was a shift in the way that I saw the world. Perhaps it was the first nascent attempts of the dynabook to be born in the form of the OLPC, our decades long held dream of making a book that was all books, a tablet that was also a connection to a real live teacher and available to all children. The dream was coming to life as the first leaping extreme scale collaborative efforts to reach children globally were undertaken. Within a year the entire industry shifted towards production of smaller more inexpensive laptops. Linux started to be a household word and systems like Ubuntu became part of the new currency of systemic social connection as the somewhat technically adept undertook the conversion of the older systems in their immediate tribal family or group and upgraded them to Ubuntu, adding in the great open source artists tools Open Office, GIMP, Inkscape and Blender 3D. Bringing people into the open source community one re-formatted hard drive at a time so that they could learn the language of the mesh.

Everyone can speak the language of the mesh now.

So I had this crisis and I fired all my bosses. This was back during the dark ages of the second generation Bush Administration. I mean I fired *all* of my bosses...I fired the entire industrial complex. As an artist I was tired of the circular draining logic of their demands. The worst parts of society in my eyes had become a giant droning commercial for itself.

I made the children my only clients.

Phones were the key. A talk I had with Scott McNeil the Linux standards guy (LSB) helped me understand what I was searching for; I wanted to bring educational materials and connectivity to the children trapped in the brothel system, and I wanted to do it with the cellphone. It was an inspiring conversation as part of a classic mash up orchestrated by my pal Danese the open source diva. I hoped that they could work from the top down while I gathered up steam from the bottom up with the great hue ansd cry of Open Source "ALL BOATS MUST RISE!".

My reasoning was that phones would be everywhere, including becoming quickly integrated into the lives and hands of children in the brothel system. Phones have a certain social cachet that laptops distributed by totalitarian government programs do not.

A phone doesn't have much, however it can deliver games and flash cards.

As an interdisciplinary student who studied quite a lot of science including Organic Chemistry (I was pre-med for some eight years) I can tell you that flash cards are probably the most powerful teaching aid I have ever used aside from actual physical models. In combination with real concentrated effort you can go far.

The first key is reaching the children who are natural teachers so they can in turn reach other children. Trusting the desire of children to help each other. The second is making the instructional materials and models available so they can actually participate in improving the quality of their own lives. Of all of our lives in turn. We need to increase the number of useful mesh models that are openly available to teach all sorts of subjects and that can be downloaded shared and fabbed at the local fabbers or using a reprap.

Of course it was the creation of these open source teaching models that we now easily fab that got me interested in learning 3D modeling in the first place. My first classes in Blender were in the 3D virtual Second Life setting. My interest in Blender 3D gathered most of my attention as I ascended the steep learning curve of the mesh world. At the other end I found csven in the game, and other fabbers and virtual students who are interested in Augmented Manipulatives and the idea of directly translating learning environments into physical learning aids.

Beyond all that is still the primary objective. And to that end I am asking you to join me, and to ask other people to join us as well. The ten percent solution is about people with privilege and their needs met looking after people struggling with the most basic issues in human existence like water, food, health care, shelter, education, and fellowship.

From a distance using the information at hand it is possible to help establish microeducation. You can organize a local town or church to adopt an orphanage, or gather resources to be brought along on projects already existing in your community. You can help create flash cards for handheld devices and organize cellphone and computer donations. Many communities have gifted individuals working within them to try and meet the needs of these same children right in your own neighborhoods. We have not spoken about it at all openly in the superstruct discussions but prostitution still exists and is one of the most dangerous environments that children find themselves helplessly born into.

We can all find a way to participate in this problem, even just by talking openly about it.

Give ten percent of your time to finding an answer.
The Ten Percent Solution.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Cellular play.

There is playing and there is playing. There are pyramids and there are pyramids. Because of my early history with systems theory I am leery of using such an abstract geometrical principle to describe the behavior of the purely organic socially complex and even colonized human being. Using pyramids to describe a hierarchy of needs as the Scottish Government so eloquently does, is probably more fundamentally useful than the gaming participation pyramids in terms of being a finished form. Systems theory teaches us that organic models describe organic systems more accurately. There is even the idea in emerging systems theory that you can build better machines and better digital systems if you use natural complex organic systems as the model. Usually it is the reverse. As in "your brain is a computer", which is meaningful in a sort of one dimensional sense. The intercession of DNA means that your brain is an order or more more complex than the system described by "computer". The internet was modeled after the brain, and so it becomes a more organic and compelling model. As we shifted in magnitudes and orders of complexity with the internet we began to be able to see understand and use natural systems more and more as models of the types of projects that we wanted to create.

Rather than placing such an emphasis on the low number of people who are creating the content or pushing forwards the interactive aspect of the small part of a system we are looking at, I prefer to see it in more fractal terms, more repeating self similar terms.

In the artists community in the city way back when there were vast tracts of unused industrial buildings to be repurposed as studios, we used the analogy of a cellular system. The eukaryote cell naturally, that great symbiotic structure of combined abilities. Like great wandering group of (hyperspecialized) superheroes the cell has many functioning and useful subsets of members. There was an understanding that in a large scene a smaller set of people were actually mostly responsible for setting the stage. This we saw as the nucleus, and it is easy to dismiss the rest as "lurkers" I suppose.

In reality the *rest* of everybody in a scene all have very unique and important participatory roles to play. It was something I caught a hint of in the 21'st century ideas report on EXTREME-SCALE COLLABORATION. The statement:

"Perhaps most important is working the participation pyramid: not everyone will participate equally but everyone has something to offer."

struck me very deeply.

We say "everyone has a place on the great hoop of life"... the doctors say that.

In a cell, different small sub components perform all sorts of functions. The endoplasmic reticulum creates special tubes and spaces in which proteins are synthesized and moved, the mitochondria produce atp and energy currency, chloroplasts photosynthesize and also create energy reserves in the cells own currencies of proton exchange. The golgi bodies move these bits around, lysomes help digest material and some extrusomes help repel other systems that are threatening.

It is an endless complexity of metaphor.

Ten years after we started repurposing the city we had to create a sort of unicellular being. We scrapped together parades and clowns and vaudeville acts and puppets and even a coffeehouse and brought in the era of the small scale collaboration between large scale collaborators. A combined purpose negotiated by the "nucleus" artists of several cellular scenes.

The reasoning was to build bridges between the cognitive constructs of urban and rural. Just like the Hog Farm had their rural Black Oak Ranch and their urban Berkeley pad there was need from the younger artists to be able to flow between the very social urban centers and the clear air, water, work and clean food of the countryside retreats.

Except we never owned anything. We were born after that boom...*the boom*. All the money evaporated as we came of age didn't matter...we made a scene anyway. We used the street, we used the public dancehalls, we used the woods and the desert and the old cow palace. What mattered the most was the sticky behavior, owning the place was nice however you could always just borrow it. We had no choice. Owning was a matter of attitude. So what if they throw us all out onto the streets of downtown LA in the middle of the night in full costume, walking on stilts and painted and nearly naked. So what if our parents were there, and the permits were valid. You still can not take the circus out of the mystic and you can nott take the mystic out of the circus.

The secret clown cell society continued. It matured beyond the loose conglomeration of cells that simply floats and wonders into a seemingly solid yet diversely independent Portuguese man of war. P. physalis, or the blue bottle as it is sometimes known, is a swarm of swarms and a conglomeration of cells that themselves conglomerate. It is called Siphonophorae, and it is a colony that appears similar to a jellyfish (which is an individual). A formed colony that forms colonies.

The zooids do this by being morphologically and functionally specialized. Unlike the highly specialized bunch of superheroes involved in the group production that is our cells, the siphonophorae are composed of mostly two types of form; medusoid and polyploid zooids that cannot really live apart. These two simple forms are diversely expressed so that specialized structures can be produced by the group organism, including creating a sail for floating and moving, stinging tentacles, Gonozoids for reproduction and even light emitting structures that produce rare red bioluminescence.

Small fish can even have a commensal symbiotic relationship and live among the tentacles. Several of the units can band together, strung together like a long feather boa and even hunt underwater. Colonies and large scale groupings of blue bottles moving in huge swarms are common.

These natural structures give me great inspiration for extreme scale collaboration, because they remind us that many of the answers we are seeking are written already in the book of nature. As long as we can stop burning libraries down long enough to learn to read the wonder written there.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Rain of Change.

Drops of water fell and made a sparkling sound softly in the background of everything. The rain was not falling hard enough to make the classic rhythmic rain sound. It was real rain and it made a steady sound that was easily recognizable to a local as the sound rain makes when it intends to rain for hours. Maybe even rain all day without much of a break. If you want to get anything done you had better resign yourself to getting wet. The woodpeckers stay in their holes. Even the little frogs are quiet for a little while.

And then it shifts. The little birds seem to know ahead of time. Drops get fatter and fall faster. Even though the sun is out and it is almost noon the sky darkens. Now it sounds like real rain. For a moment it makes sense and it sounds coherent and like rain does in many places all over the world. Drumming on everything with a steady tropical beat there is a certain sanity in it that is lost a moment later. The drops are so fat now that they look almost like hail or like snow. Each drop carries a small reflection of the Grey sky so that they are all quite visible these tiny worlds. They began to fly every which way these drops. The wind seemed to be set on scatter. Rather than a distinct downpour it became a real rain. Humboldt county style rain. Inch an hour rain that makes the river rise a foot an hour. It can just get going and fall like this for hours and hours in a row. Sometimes all night. The huge ridges that rise up to meet the onshore weather and winds from the great pacific ocean take the most water on these days. Sometimes they get over seventeen inches in a single night. Even if you step outside for a stick of firewood or to hop to your rig you just have to expect to get wet. Even with a good golf umbrella and stout shoes you can just plain expect to get wet.

When it rains like this it is good to try and stay dry, however if you want to really get anything done you can just expect to get wet.

Unless its raining this hard the locals don't even put on a jacket. Any amount of water that can dry off the first five minutes inside a grocery store is not worth bothering over or hardly worth mentioning. Once the ground is soaked and it can hold all that it can hold everyone notices when the real rain comes. That is when you find out about your roof and your driveway and the way your new shop sits on the land. The real rain is like a local news broadcast brought to you by your current conditions. You don't have to read the paper you just need to take a walk down to the end of your own driveway and figure out if you did your run-offs correctly. You just have to look at the river to see who has been doing "road work" with big machines; the telltale plume of silt tells all. If there has been logging and improper roads there is a sign of it when the rains come like this. When Wiley logged off that upper section and created his "meadow" you could see it in the river every year when it started to jump up and run like this. Greedy homesteaders using their "homesteads" as factories with employees driving in and out the frail old logging roads to get to "work". Greedy logging companies stealing trees from alongside the road, alongside the river. Sometimes it takes ten or more years for the huge redwood and fir stumps to break down. The natural newspaper comes ten years late in those circumstances. Even though its no mystery to the old timers and the loggers and the forest defenders it always seems to surprise everyone else when the rivers of mud start wandering through a town or a residential stretch. Regular as rain the results of these actions.

Restoration is truly possible. This rain is as useful as it can be destructive. At the mouth of the river lies the results of all of this greed combined. Chocking the river as it tried to clean its bed.

The mouth must be dredged. Its hard enough on the two rivers, the eel rivers, that the flow in the largest incoming portion is diverted in great part to the Russian river and the grape farmers. Lots of suburban developments drinking from that northern troubled wild river without realizing that they have bought in to unsustainable, untenable positions. Hubris is not a strong enough word for the arrogance of these engineers of a bygone era. Road paving right over the river, old totally borked railroad falling in the river and causing more harm, low flows and a hundred years of logging and resource extraction bringing silt that takes the river out of being a useful road. Just down the hill here in old Phillips Flat the river barge would come all the way up from Loleta. There is so much silt in the river now that it is hard to imagine. The channel has a hard time even staying clear and with enough water in it for a boat of any kind. Especially up here on the smaller fork. The Eel River is like the Nile river, in fact it is the only other large river in the world that flows north. Like the Nile it has two tributaries that flow together. Two headwaters arising from completely different watersheds. The South Fork of the eel, the little dragon, gets its waters from the coastal mountains of Mendocino. The home of the Furthest West gate of General Qwan Tai, the waters of this dragon come curling out of mountains that have sacred white and grey deer roaming on them. The deer roam the mountains that provide a natural barrier to regular life and trucking commerce in Humboldt County. Wild places like rattlesnake ridge and strange narrow passes like trees of mystery. Just hours from a major global city the deep strange wildness of these hills and the river flowing from them removed Humboldt from the flow of money and resources and transparency and freedoms.

The river mouth can be dredged.

Its exciting because with a restoration of flow to the larger more eastern section of the river we can still save our salmon. The Coho are even still running some. All of the restoration work done out here in the last thirty years has made a difference and even though the rest of the world is just waking up to the loss of species ark saving has been a past time here for quite a while. The sound of wild turkeys bleeping to their giant clutch of babies as they move through the early twilight of dawn is a reminder of the ingenuity and resourcefulness of these people. The ranchers who like to ride trails together got into the idea of restoring the game to the hills. Along with the larger program to bring the Elk back several of the guys decided to try their hand at. The secret is the silkies, the funny chickens with feathered feet and crazy looking white fluffy feathers all over. They are tremendous brooders and they will sit on any eggs. First they worked on raising up quail, since the eggs were pretty easy to get and it was easy to imagine the hens having some success. When that worked out they moved on and tried some wild turkeys. This was back in the mail order days, when the miracle of xerox meant that simple typed up catalogs could be sent round. In about five or six years you could actually see wild turkey groups every now and again in the communities where these guys lived. Ettersburg, McKinleyville, and out towards Alderpoint you could even see them by the side of the road.

Nature has tremendous powers of recovery which is why dredging the river is so important. With just one or two real rains the mouth would probably start to have to fill up all over again with silt from all of the logging, and all of the improper roads and buildings put in since. Once the river has been dredged at the mouth it will start to clean out silt from the tiny streams outwards. We just need to probably dredge it several times. We can begin to really repair and rebuild our estuaries and wild places radiating outwards from existing wild places.

Its really possible to fix the damage on the creeks and streams once the river is actually clearing itself out. Its hard to imagine but most of the river exists and runs underground. When that part of the river is not clotted with silt and debris then it can run in a way that really encourages the Salmon, the crabs and the eels. If we are careful and we re-plant trees over the water and stop trying to build roads right up on the river, stop having people squatting right on the edge, we can actually lower the temperature of the water. We can bring back the fish and the frogs and the salamanders and the bees.

We can change the ways the river is affected by these rains that come almost every year. We can use technology and careful basic forestry techniques to restore this Nile of the North of California. When it rains like this it is hard to think of anything else.

Monday, November 3, 2008

slicing open the pomegranate

Its a skill I learned years ago from my pal Brain. When he was a young hotshot musician he traveled the silk road with his rebab. Somehow the Usted Mohammed Omar found him and he was taken up among the friends. He became a star student on the rebab and he spent more time in that shadowy border land of Persia than he intended. Eating grapes in the shadow of the Bamiyan Buddahs he learned also how to properly eat a pomegranate.

You take just the tip of the knife, and you slice just through the rind in circles. First you go north to south, then again making quarters drive the tip of the knife through so you are breaking the skin but none of the seeds.

Now cut the pomegranate around its equator just through the skin again.

Now prepare a pretty good sized bowl of cold clean water. It depends of course on the size of the pomegranate however there is no reason to not be generous with size on this step.

You plunge the pomegranate under the water, and there with your hands you break it apart. You remove the tender seeds carefully from all of the white pith.

The seeds will sink. The pith will float. Pick out the big pieces of skin and float off the smaller ones. Drain the seeds in a wire mesh strainer or colander.

You now have bowl full of simply pomegranate seeds and clean hands.

Personally I love pomegranates with walnuts and persimmons, however the persimmons arent ready yet. The pomegranates this time of year are a newer variety that ripens in the very early fall. I forget the name.

While working on superstructing together about twenty groups using the bright green I stumbled on the Mobilizing Airillions page by PlaNetweaver and this incredible poem:

Original Airillions poem

The Rise of ‘Airillions’ came about when

World Economies tanked in 2010

Big Nose Dive spelled the demise of Big Brother

Then…One by one..we empowered..Each Other…:

By 2011 we’d dispelled the nightmares

That the future belonged to the billionaires

We’d exploded the myth that the Coin of these Lands

Was nothing to us as it Passed through our hands

We rose from our slumber to PassThePound

We wanted to send it around and around

We wanted to unleash its untapped potential

To draw on the element raw and essential

To see a great asset appreciated

Unbound and unbounded, Celebrated…Yes; feted

We wanted to plug into currency streaming

Flowing and growing towards our own dreaming

We wanted to lower the bridge on the moat

To make for Clear Passage, to float a lifeboat

To flow and to circulate as currents must do

If they are to generate energy thrust-through

We rose in the night to swing open the vault

Knowing something this rich is worth its own salt

Withdraw and deposit is all well and good

Yet stand and deliver in this neighbourhood

Means lettuce makes salad and PassThePound

Means slugs get unsluggish so wealth can abound…

And those that reside in the dollar domain

They Buck-ed the system by choosing to name

recipients reaping their one dollar giving

Land of the Free heralds Land Of The Living

Be it euro, dinar, sheqel or yen

Peso or ruble..; it multiplies when

We imbue with intention this note of exchange

Now we're turning the tide with our seeming 'small change'.

We rose from an age that had kept us all snoring

Seriously sleeping dulled-down and boring

We rose with the petals of paradise-found

Roused from our slumber to ''PassThePound "

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I am waking up

I am dreaming. the last few nights its always the same dream. I dream of myself asleep dreaming, pulsing with energy, streaming light and sound and thoughts. In the dream I can see everywhere at once. The whole world is my body. When the wind blows through the trees I feel it like the wind blowing through the finest hairs on my skin. I am huge like the earth and yet I am my small sleeping self. I see my small sleeping self and the streams of energy reeling out in nets and streams all over the world. There are almost no words in this dream, which has made it elusive to track and tricky to remember.

At once I am asleep and yet at once I am connected to these cathedrals of light that we have painted in a place we all can see and yet wee cannot see. Cathedrals painted in light, in hidden glowing places that we approach with our angelic selves. The parts of ourselves that have form in intelligence and mind and spirit. In those halls I see the shifting web of energy as we wander through them together. It is a kaleidoscope of human heart and understanding radiating kool-aid colors and hidden vibration. Underneath the images and pulsing vibration of this deep connection, of this wind in the trees is the wind on my skin world, is this golden pulsing music. It streams out in waves and rays of streaming golden energy bursting around the people and intelligences that are connecting to me in this deep sleep.

The first night I shifted from this dream to a dream where I am riding in a vehicle with Avantgame and my younger daughter Lucretia. It must have been a personal rapid transit pod because even though we were all moving forwards towards out destination there was no real driver or any danger. There is just an urgency and a sense that we are trying to get to some specific target moment in order to fulfill a task. We are high spirited and in a playful ludic mood. There is this mass of information swirling around and the last thing we say is something like "you have to get there in time to invent the next line". The next morning I create the bright green Pan Human Sustainability Projects.

Dreams slip away so quickly. Its easy for them to get lost. The beginning of all practice is the dream book for me. Mine says in a waking scrawl "went home to start the...".

The dream returns. In the dream we are all connected in the SEHI net. The residual structure of the machines and interfaces fall away and what remains intact and glowing is intention.

A magicians trick.
The alchemical fire creates the philosophers stone.

The third night of the dream I can see your faces clearly. I do not see your faces as you read this screen. Instead I see them when you remember to give yourself a meditative moment, when you are sipping on that cup of tea that you have made with perfect hot water and that sings in your mouth and brings your senses alive. At that moment when you take a deep breath and remember that you are in this world right this moment alive and that we are all connected and I can see your faces in this dream.

The rays of connection extend all over the globe to all sorts of people. They shift and turn and scintillate bringing different people into view from different parts of the world. Waking I have only this image. There are no words from the dream, no communication other than the sight of a hundred people flashing by very quickly in this bright connected web of intention and understanding that weves the globe of habitated places together. The rays of rainbow light and images shifting and interacting with the glowing golden streaming music.

I wake up and realize that it is all true. On Global Swadeshi we have our 100th member (our 100th monkey).

And I forgot to say that yesterday my oldest daughter clockworkapol joined superstruct SEHI ranks. I convinced her that we needed her "Top-down" skills, as well as her visual anthropology and film capabilities. She joined reconstruct earlier and thought that she had joined superstruct. She is now a member of the bright green and Pan Human Sustainability Projects groups. As well as an anthropologist who has been working with large scale social problems and agencies since she was a webmonkey protegee as a teen, she is also a 3rd generation back to the land person, who was raised among the early adapter digerati and learned to read using reader rabbit. She is a very adept artist who has chosen to turn her hand towards large scale social justice projects, especially those that involve the repair and reconstruction of her own fractured community here in Humboldt.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Pan Human Sustainability

First, I remind myself...There is time for tea...

Pan Human Sustainability is a bright green movement that intends to dispel the mythos of urban/suburban/rural and seeks to strive for a larger view of sustainability.

Right now csven and the "The Screaming 3D Bootstrappers (S3DBers)" are working out a virtual space and secure server for the Augmented University which seeks to use demonstration installations and augmented manipulatives to quickly teach sustainable habitat practices to all communities. Meanwhile I am asking joiners to use Vinay Gupta...the hexayurt guy's ning group Global Swadeshi as a gathering point for collaboration.

Education in virtual environments is familiar to me. That is my avatar at an anthropology lecture in 2007.

at a metaversed meetup in 2008. Virtual environments are especially good for learning in a circle, using multiple medias, and for establishing a sense of fellowship and shared studio space. They are a great starting point for approaching sustainability because other media like teaching videos, writings and resources can be made available, as well using special tools and interactive abilities in special situations where technology is being implemented.

Tools can be used to create custom fabrication for specific bioregional or population density demands. We can set up educational centers on secure servers hosted by major corporations and governments. Using Oceanarks, Cal earth architecture, and thinkcycle (seems to be griefed info on them here) open source applied development methods we can quickly reach the largest number of people.

These days our human society includes millions of people living in makeshift communities in poorly established human habitats. Using the power of open source thinking and group collaboration we can team up with the world leaders to quickly teach the greatest number of existing community leaders how to create sustainable human habitat in a diverse number of bioregional and human density situations. Together we can strive to meet the needs of refugee populations, ease the pain and isolation of our disabled and frail fellow citizens and create local community bright green centers based on models and training centers we establish internationally online. We can learn how to create a social human colony across human conditions.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


On the windowsill sits the teacup fabbed for Annie May. It is a soft and bright green on the outside. She managed to save this one cup through her savage week in the hobo squats of Etown. It represented to her the life she ran to. The possibility of play and of joy.

Next to it was a robo-ball that Tarran had emailed me to print for her. It was a ball inside a ball with small balls inside of it. It was 3D printed with a lattice so the internal colors and lattices shone through. In the very center of the littlest balls was a sort of bell. In the soft light of the deep set windowsill of the CBE brick Blue House it left a strange lacy pattern of shadows on the wooden sill and on her CheapID sitting next to it.

On one side of the room Annie May sat on her bed lost in thought peering at a laptop in her lap. She was playing a game which teaches nochalking symbols. The machine made soft beeping noises which blended in a scattered pleasing way with the sounds of Tarran playing scales of Maquuam on his Turkish Jimbush. He paused and listened to his Usted on the video of his own small unit plugged into a screen hanging on the wall. He was peering at his Usted's finger movements and making faces that looked a lot like Annie May. There was a certain way she set her brow when she was certain she could figure something out. We had all started to have the habit of making this face, sort of puckering and widening the eyes.

That is how it is with kids, you grow to be like them as much as they grow to be like you.

They were wrapped in this domestic study sort of moment when I passed by their small room. Walking down the outer hallway there were eight rooms and a dozen small worlds like this unto themselves to see. This time of year our rooms were always full of peoples things, and late at night people sleeping. This year was strange already because we were not in preparation for our usual sorghum festival. The new moon preparations were extremely laid back. Most of the beer was being capped off or put down into kegs. We had made some barley candy, and some wild cherry bark lozenges with some of the syrup rather than proof it all out with the champagne yeast. After the intense work of harvest and the G team coming down from the algae scrubbers and fisheries people were fine with spending some intense time practicing and studying mostly alone or in small groups. They understood we needed to be responsive to the GEAS.

At dinner tonight we would have the first taste of the first proof stuff. Everyone was festive and upbeat considering.

We were keeping the take out diner open. The indoor diner itself was closed indefinitely due to ReDS.Several people had insisted that we needed the inflow of credits from the riders and the reason for them to stop. Annie May's laptop showed this to be true. There was no way that she could have ever afforded it on her own, yet there was no way really for her to get by among us without it. Most of the twelve or so occupants of the blue house were in their rooms or "hootches" studying and practicing today.

Most of the people I knew who couldn't get really enmeshed in the internet could not bear to stay on the land after the end of cheap diesel. Way back in the seventies they had communes and hoedowns and lots of jams. When video tape players and cable came along the diesel generators meant that all sorts of impossible living situations became semi-possible, if not at least mildly entertaining. By the time the diesel movement was in full swing (with Humboldt nation bootstrapping solar steadily alongside all along) there was satellite and flat screen. It was just as connected to what was perceived as "the world" as any other disconnected first world.

Except that without every single little forty running a gennie big enough to power a small Mexican village there is not much to do besides chores and gadgets and internet stuff. Its an environment for the self amused. If you are part of that generation or cultural layer that had a hard time adapting to digital pursuits and time for tea... or a hard time finding the fun in all that self discipline... the woods became a pretty hard place to be. When it was no longer about driving around in your car all day running back and forth to town, it started to be about you. Your own mess, your own spread, your own library. Your true pals. Finding the threads where you left off in your own life before the consumer frenzy and the festival trail. Lots of people did okay following permaculture principles and getting their social cachet from new sources.

The really frugal Humboldt nation people used the sun and leapfrogging built tidy little spreads with as-close-to zero overhead and new tools. Those were the types most likely to get online and start talking. Those were the ones who made it this far. Our own second superpower NorCal was born from their curiosity. Technology has always been dancing with the environment here in a bright green dance. Even secretly. Sometimes it was because of the whimsy and iconoclasm of the flower children. They were wild enough dreamers to make solar panel companies and radio phones and drip irrigation mister kits. Off the grid pioneers. Another part was the good earth and salt of the local ranchers...putting in huge hydro projects to get buyback money from PG&E and buying town houses so they can walk to the store. The local Wylaki also managed to parlay their Indian taco money into some cell phone university credits. I used to teach philosophy by remote extension and they would really get into the round table discussions. More than one kind of PHD in these rough hills. We ended up adapting a system used in DCAR for remote education.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Bright Green and Proud

Most of the tools we use here were developed originally for the third world. Which makes for a good fit since Humboldt county never quite joined the other two worlds entirely. Other areas are working on developing personal rapid transit and we have been decades without a bus service to maternity care.

I mean even villages n the middle of India have a bus right?

During the mad rush of technological savagery called "privatization" we became an outpost, a place you could only reach by direct pilrimage. The laymidwives bear the brunt of the disconnection. No traditional maternity care means they have no local doctor to work under directly. You can read it in the tense drawn lines on their faces. It doesn't mean that there are no babies being born in the hills.

Laura has been pregnant before, her ten year old son holds her bag while she waits in the Blue House for the new Grameen signal. One of the reasons we recently constructed the CBE structure is because we get a better pointer in this spot, its flat,close to the road, and its easy to fence it off and just load in a bunch of keyhole gardens and water features.

The CBE houses are a mixture of high tech and low tech, shared spaces and dense private quarters. The model is based on the 8,000 year old Persian house, with two stories and slightly angled roofs accessible for food processing and water storage. They are gated and locked down compounds with heavy doors which once opened reveal a charming courtyard and a view to the gardens.

Downstairs there are small kitchens on the south side of the building, and across the courtyard is a reception area and comm station. The signal extended beyond the comfortable rooms into the garden area, and even at the other end there was the first bones of a partially open garden study arching up. All around the edge of the new garden there were small groups of people sitting quietly together in the shade of a few Alder trees we kept as a green border. The building is rough, and yet lived in comfortably by its new inhabitants. Personal items were mostly laptops and phones, a few rugs maybe and a lot of instruments everywhere... mostly in cases tucked under beds. The comm room was a recording studio in its other night life.

The fountain in the courtyard was subtly connected to the wind tunnels that were still being constructed on the roof. A small solar pump moved the water so it could either help to cool the rooms, or heat them as needed. The valve systems simply switched the system to run through a heat sink once the outside conditions were cooler allowing the floors to quickly heat up.

The walls are thick and most of the time we have the windows cracked open a little.

Right now it was allowing Laura too talk to a doctor in Eureka. Vital signs and blood chemistry can all be monitored easily in this somewhat primitive setting. It seems primitive until one of other women comes in bearing a tray with nettle tea, dried apricots, figs and almonds.

The room was bathed in a soft blue glow, mostly because of the thin film monitors on the wall showing us the real time activity in several of our fishery projects tanks. A large thin film screen worked in mid level light with the ambient texture of a movie screen and a regular size image that can show a full body. The quality of the image was better today with the new satellite provider. The signal was choppy but steady. It is strange to me that we had to resort to a Bangladeshi outfit however moments like this confirmed my decision. Really being able to talk to a doctor is important. The touchscreen table helps with conferencing also, Laura sat and looked at educational materials with her young son and her Douala, as well as one of the midwives.

Collaboration across disciplines has always been a passion of mine. Bright Green superstructing allows all sorts of innovative thinkers to work together to create a fast paced iterative process that creates environmentally sensitive sophisticated and inexpensive technology to face all five threats.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Super these Structs

How The Exchange Works explains how the Exchange can function using fiction. In his postSuperstruct,: We're doing it wrong., worldwithoutoil suggests that we take the structs and super them together more. Bring more people in and get it to gel better.

My recent project is to take the Seed ATM and connect it to several primary superstructs: Facilitators,The Exchange,Water filtration,Self-sustainable Interconnected Communities,Gypsy Farms,Urban Food Producers' Coop,Share your seeds,Appleseed,Rooftop to Kitchen,Food diversity,Mr Franklin's Folks,Nomadic Markup Language (Nochalking),Grow Community Gardens--Teach Children Sustainable Lifestyles,Superstruct Classifieds,Africa Community Gardens Project,The New Pony Express Mail Relay Experiment,Assembly12,Analog Superthreat Warning System,Outposts of One,and my microeducation think tank.

These are the starting structs that I feel have the greatest potential to reshape our collective vision. If we super them together we can get a better picture. Now that like some of you; I have laid out all of my pet projects and solutions that have been percolating for some time, I am ready to revisit the other players and start to make sense out of the unexpected treasures to be found there.

Awaken, Adapt, Accelerate A.'.A.'.A.'. is my favorite mysterious jewel. I think I have found my own few magnets to follow Kuan Yin has been in my head lately.

Its all about cross-promotion at this point. In some ways I have literally been building a list of who I want to superstruct with the most. The Mission Input Output idea has helped me to get moving again, reviewing all of those handy side links on my SEHI profile. As soon as I have effectively connected the dozen or so superstructs that I can see easily can work together from a visionary point of view I can immediately see new ones that I want to link in. especially the projects coming out of Africa like Africa Community Gardens Project,The Refugee State: Support the Democratic Central African Republic (DCAR) Abroad!, and from India the important Save Ganga and SEWA which is built on a model responsible for much repurposing and reforestation in India and Tamil. These forays led me to interesting new to me projects like the superstruct BRIC from my Brazilian pal jorgeguberte who also set up the the Seed ATM.

We definitely need more structs and superstructs to help with the issue of water. Water filtration is a start in adressing the connection between watersheds, foodsheds, and restoration of bio vitality.

Some important super superstructing groups are : StructNet, and Seeing the Forest, Not Just the Trees and the visionary The 2019-2042 Visualization ProjectUniting Superstruct Efforts Through Collaborative Visualization founded by ARK.

This made it pretty easy for me fulfill my questing assignment to join three superstructs this week. Actually I found the The Hexayurt Project - Free Shelter, Agriculture and Infrastructure Technologies from Hexayurt guy Vinay Gupta. Of course now I have to go back and knit that in too...

Its a lot like gardening. Once you get your hands dirty its easy to see where to go next.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Peas for Peace.

Everything is starting to require quite a lot of redundancy. "Freedom is constant vigilance" we used to say in the eighties.

What I dream of is an open system, where we can have "Seed Pals" in far far away places. Like casually I could just choose a womens self help group in Kenya say, and send off to them a small letter with several useful plants already matched to their bioregion.

That is to say when I start looking at women's self help groups or at Tamil farms I would like to only have to choose from those already in my bioregion. Of course I would even prefer to be sending these to refugee children who are being re-settled in appropriate regions for small scale subsistence farming.

Sometimes I get so frustrated at how much redundancy is needed to share out simple ideas anymore. To think we used to be able to offer for interns to come and learn with us by standing in a circle together. The luxury of that. The video conferencing we do in DCAR is the closest thing we can offer. One of the responsibilities of the older teens and some of the G Team is a steady set of course work for our international Dryfarming community. Sometimes we are actually sending seeds out however I get so frustrated and this work is so slow.

What we really need is a Black Bag type program for farming communities like the black bag program in the late nineties that taught midwives in Africa and beyond. The logic is that you can only reach so many people directly; the most effective way to reach people is to teach teachers. Of course my Mentor taught me to teach teachers who teach teachers however that is another story.

Th e idea is that you arrange for a sort of direct contact with the existing dynamic leaders of the small communities. Similar to the later emerging Womens Self Help Groups in India, and Grameen Bank Microcredit programs all over the world, the idea is to disseminate collective wisdom about diversity and Bright Green Tech quickly in other Third World countries.

From a global systems perspective Humboldt is a third world nation. Our only industry for most of our modern history has been a resource extraction based economy with very fragile connection to the outside world through roads and ports and rails and airports that are often closed or crumbling and sometimes both. These were the docks that the Pinkerton boys beat up so bad it broke the backs of the striking workers for Union rights a hundred years ago. Our railway slid sadly into our river long ago. Some light personal rapid transit exists on the old rail between Scotia and Mckinleyville however out here in the woods we are still on our own plenty of times.

Our broadband connection here is pretty good, of course we have a lot of tech on board. If the US west coast gets funky however that means us and recently we have had to figure out a way to try and jack a side signal from a whole new Indian satellite provider. Its all quite dubious however if we can continue our work through some of the interruptions its worthwhile. Also the drivers depend on us to have good signal when they come through the restaurant part of the station. Usually during our big harvests we are reduced to having the drivers carry food out and sit and hang out together in their own rigs. So far since we have slowed down on the work I haven't really wanted to switch back to having an eat in sit down space open to the traders even. We depended on them however they were not really all people that we knew well enough to want to have to share any contamination. We could trust for the most part that our fierce upriver teams would keep turning back the pilgrims that wander our way however we were also making adjustments here quickly to the threat.

The results in Eureka were startling. Parts of that town thrive like they always have, teetering on some slight brink of disaster. Other parts of the town show the recent scars of the conflicts around climate refugees. We have a pretty mild climate and there has always been strife with the hobo towns and pilgrims. Now they are afraid of who might be seeking compassion. When we drove by that end of town you could clearly see several people in huge yellow haz mat suits cleaning up the charred remains of the huge squats that periodically have raged out of control. It just reminded me of my own Protect system gear that I was wearing, albeit tied up fashionably in a scarf. One of the reasons societies often have their adherents cover their heads is that it is a simple way to minimize the amount of surface area that is exposed to contaminated air and mosquitoes. Its also somewhat anonymous to wear headscarves and hats and protect masks which is itself small comfort.

Pea Soup:
peas are shipped long distance by sail assisted cargo boats, or shipped by rail from local growers who improve their own soils producing the nitrogen fixing crop.

add 3 parts water to 1 part dried peas

cook without adding any spices or salt, this allows them to cook faster.
solar cookers cook peas easily.
peas cook fast.
add water if they get too thick.

when they start to get soupy
add salt and pepper to taste,
other veg or bullion after they are all soft.

If you blend them vigorously then you get whirled peas.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

open ended, procedural, collaborative.

We play together. Every day. Because the world only has two types of people in it my children: The players, and the player haters.

Be a player.

Remember learning to play catch before you really knew how to catch a ball? The game had very few rules except play that you can do it already.

Play that you can live by an inner authority of trust and integrity. Play that you can give everything and still get enough. Play that you know what you need and you can care for those needs by being interwoven with everyone and their needs too.

There is a story we tell in my family, it goes like this:

"Hell is a place where everyone is sitting at a banquet, and they have exactly what they want on their plate in front of them

Their arms are very long though, and they do not bend.

Heaven is a place where everyone is sitting at a banquet table across from each other. They have exactly what they want in front of them on their plate.

And they are feeding their neighbor across from them what is on their plate that they cannot reach.

And their neighbor across from them is lovingly and carefully feeding them what is on their own plate that they cannot reach".

Monday, October 20, 2008

No Answer.

Scale in the garden is not an imaginary principle. In one of our gardens we let the deer come in because there is almost no sign of them there is so much food on the ground there. Stored properly and cared for in groups of five to fifteen people, large amounts of food can be produced pretty easily from the land. Of course my lower back muscles are screaming at me this morning for using the word "easy" in that sentence.

In my case they hardly let me do anything around here because of my physical condition, and I feel like I have been beaten with a stick just from the little I have done. Its fall season and that is just typical. Its impossible to imagine what the people feel like this morning who have been working full tilt boogie. In the last few days a lot of work has been done as is the way of seasonal things. You hurry up and wait and then you work yourself sick. We brought in all of the fence roll for most of the gardens, stowing the tire and cement posts up by our cement base latrines above the flood line. Some of the crops we never entirely bring in proper like the quinoah and the amaranth. They make these impressive spires of flowers that give seeds regularly even past their prime. Every few days you just shake them over a sheet and the ripe seed falls out. No reason to stop this process or hinder its use by small wild birds and insects as fodder so the the golden and burgundy flower topped grain crop is left in the field after we pull the fence. We dried a lot of roma tomatoes out of this field which made the fence worthwhile. Early on when the amaranth is just under two feet tall we cut a lot of it for greens as we thin the row. Even the bigger tougher leaves are edible on the plant, though not as delicious as the more tender younger ones. At its fullest height it is about two feet taller than me and it often lays down on the field and keeps blooming.

Once you get amaranth and mustard growing in your kitchen gardens and your field it is pretty good about volunteering in the future. Start it in big pots at first to get it established. Flax is another one that reseeds itself very generously. Of course the birds adore these nutritious oily seeds, and sometimes the amaranth is a flutter with them feeding on the seeds making it seem like there are beige blossoms on the burgundy background.

Our sunflowers were brought in some time ago and processed mostly by the schoolchildren. They provide a lot of food and propolis for the bees when they are building their nests in the "honey moon". We have just gotten into the habit of having our seed packet activities get integrated into the classroom. Its useful busy work and when it comes to more skilled work like separating the seeds for food storage we involve a lot of the older teens. We have about seven in our group and another four who board in for school. They are already very involved in the kitchen team so that they provide a natural liaison to classroom activities like this. They also have a unique ability to take on rather stern tasks and follow up on the younger kids with an avid energy.

They were amazing yesterday putting in fruit trees and stacking "urban ore" for keyhole kitchen gardens up by the new blue house. So much energy and vivacious dance while they helped the G team create this new space for our permanent residents. Each of these seven new round gardens with waist high stone walls has a stick basket for composting in the center. Waste water and diluted wash water is also put on the keyhole garden as well as stray donkey droppings and kitchen scraps. Its tidy and the gardens do well in our dry summers and wet winters. We are working out a modified version that uses pallets. These gardens take very little care once they are established and they provide a prolific source of food right near the kitchens where it is needed. We grow a lot of sorrel, kale, chard, arugula, beets and snap peas right near the houses. There is a living mat of greenery around my house for instance that upon closer inspection reveals itself to be mostly mint, oregano, thyme, Fo-ti, and jasmine. The blackberries are being left out here because their presence on this side of the driveway is not sanctioned.

At the same time as it was a wonderful and productive day yesterday it was troubling. One of our past workers keeps trying to contact me to have him authorized to come up here and join us. He knows that it is not possible and that he has already run our his welcome here for many reasons. We have little leeway to tolerate people who are not really functional, productive and honest. Honestly I have no reason to trust him anymore, and I have no interest in taking it any farther than that. Yes what happened happened a long time ago. When someone reveals themselves to be fox stupid and somewhat self serving in a very basic way you need to just send them down the road these days. Its like back when the work shortages first started happening when the grapes and other crops were coming ripe out in the hills; a lot of thugs had to either pull it in themselves, watch it rot, or pull up stakes.

We were done with them.

All that do-gooder energy can get sucked down the drainhole of one of these vampires. We see the remains when we clean up the shell houses with diesel spills in the yard where the generators sat unprotected and often tended by children naturally causing small spills. The houses have no real walls or facilities inside of them sometimes, and piles of trash in the yard. Sometimes it is a state remediation. Those contracts are rare now and lately we just do it because the watershed and foodshed really needs cleaning up.

During the summer we are able to keep busy with all sorts of work trade projects also. The best way for a lot of the older people to get their own food in and out is to do work trade with our garden teams. Our own crops are dryfarmed so they need no irrigation and just some cultivation. Sometimes we just teach a small community like we did in Panther Gap, how to use the local dryfarming acreage to create food they can subsist on. Part of that process is teaching them over again how to eat.

We rely mostly on foods that a lot of people have never heard of or rarely eat. Its not just the sorghum and amaranth and millett in the low fields its also the root crops and cabbages that we farm in some places where the river usually stays out of it in the winter. Our soup is our way and miso is made just down the road at the ashram proper in Briceland. We also make a lot of smoked fish and smoked game from some of the work trades. You can get me to answer a cell phone call pretty quick by texting ahead the message "smoked fish".

Some cell phone calls I have learned to ignore.

It gets tiring dealing with some peoples crisis because underlying all the stress and all the effort is the clear message: "I want you to do this *for me*". Why do they just think that we will give them effort? Food? medicine? and care? Because all of their lives so far they have received these things by whining, bullying, passive aggressive tactics and most importantly bamboozling themselves that there is no other way.

Its just plain a get your own hands dirty world. Bob taught me to be proud of being able to wipe my own ass (which included all the arts and skills needed to be a "real Human being"), and that what we teach here too.

If you could have seen how many of these people suddenly wanted "Commonstead directors", and "New Tech" when we announced the program here. What they really wanted was someone else to all the physical work while their only visible job is to STRESS as if that helps. Oh it was easy for these people in the start because we had such a steady supply of fresh workforce on the streets and sleeping down by the river. You could piss off your neighbors and then just hire some kid and his family off the street to do all your work while you stomp around and yell and threaten to shoot yourself out in the barn if it all doesn't get done right "NOW".

Once the flow of (thousands!) street people was cut off, and just the long trail remained for the hobos in constant flight, the party was over for those who had abused their own neighbors and family. We live by word and bond around here. If you don't know how to do that it gets apparent pretty quickly. You might get a meal and a cot but then its down the road you go.

Its troubling to consider those who are left outside the gates.

However a lifeboat only holds so many.

Of course we are still an active trading station, and we have even joined forces with some other groups and locals to create a small pony express. We are hoping to make a seed drop box for the book store. That is my answer to the issue of the people who are not together enough to trade out with us directly: a charity seed box in town. We can collect them there, and people can receive them there in the same box. For now I am thinking of setting it up "River", "Ridge" and "Coastal" for basic sorting purposes.

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Class Apart

The "G" team came out of the hills yesterday. Its been really busy ever since. They brought bales of dried algae from the algae mats up at the bear creek diesel spill restoration project. They do a lot of tarp work and a lot and a lot of plain old work.

This is our restoration, repair and repurposing team. This is the select group of people who slowly track and exhort the return of the salmon. For the last five weeks they have been doing diesel spill repair on a shell house and building a timber construction fishery station. Once they started dredging the mouth of the river and concurrently they restored the flows on the main fork here in Humboldt County the whole thing really started cleaning out and the coho came back in a steady stream of guided ancient spirit salmon. We had the stories of the arrival of these salmon from the Hupa, Karuk and Yurok to the north on the bigger of the seven dragons to guide us in their care.

It was the music that brought them. In this case I mean the G team rather than the salmon however I wouldn't rule out the influence of music on the salmon either. Our musicians had developed a combination of songs from the ancient silk road woven in with the Californios fiesta style, heavily supported by a New Balkan movement that created a place at the traditional music table for all of the band geeks to sit with the dumbek and tabla players, and watch the commanding tribal dancers do their American Tribal Style improv together, their soul dance.

Asha and I walked down the hill in the bright moonlight leading the way for a small company of musicians who will join the G team at the new Blue house for a special morning of singing. We are getting ready to put in a new set of kitchen type gardens today at the blue house and we like to start that activity with lots of deep melodious singing. The G team really enjoyed the music also, they were mostly fire dancers and musicians themselves who had created a sort of structure of two or three bands in their own company over the decades. They are lean, and tanned, and dressed in somewhat whimsical and expressive clothing considering they spend so much time out in the bush shoveling gravel.

Restoration became part of the steampunk thing when it began to provide seasonal jobs during the employment stimulation act. All of my musician friends already knew that they could use my house as a jumping off point for local seasonal employment. It was a simple step away to have them come here right from the summer circuit of festivals and concerts to do their winter recording. The enticement was the ready company of so many other fun musicians who play the same tunes.

That was back when we had lots of large scale festivals that everyone drove many miles to attend. It was easier when the festivals became smaller and more locally driven. It took years of council and walking and talking the golden trail from festival to festival to convince them to all become sustainability and repurposing festivals. Really it was just a couple of years of begging like mad right after the millennial turn. Once we created the urban free festivals (mostly through "pirate" and "steampunk" events) the system became a viable one for the artists again as long as there was decent right livelihood work at the other end to get them through winter. I mean they couldn't all live in the hinterlands of India and Bali every winter forever. After a certain point they had to decide where they wanted to live because of the cost, the time, the potential for conscription or quarantine by force, and the availability of travel slots.

So our corridor became the little India of the north. All of the same musicians had spent so much time abroad studying with the masters when it was possible; that it was a convergence of the music scenes of Istanbul, Seville, Samarkand, Hollywood, Bollywood and Kabul here just above Garberville.

Outside of the garden area this morning we are going to create from the formerly somewhat scrubby ground, looms a structure that we can see as we approach the blue house. Its tall and conical and obviously mud and cob because of its organic roundness. All summer long we have been throwing pots at the glass shop and firing them off when we run the forge ovens for the glass. We are making an ancient style dovecote. The pots do not have bottoms on them, we slice them off when we take them from our foot driven pottery wheels. The pots are instead stacked o n their side like bricks with cob as mortar in a large circle, with about six feet or eight feet diameter empty space in the center after you build up the tower about two stories tall. Its around a thousand or so pots (which is great practice by the way). Mostly the whole structure is built around a wooden frame and a doorway set in a wattle and daub circle at the base to protect from predators(the doorway faces north so you can maximize the birds use of the south west exposure). It works like this: when the doves all nest in the pots they mostly kick their manure to the inside on the structure. Once they start nesting they provide a very passive source of meat in that occasionally nestlings get kicked out and are collected in the daily collection of bird droppings. Its a soup ecology here in norcal.

We established one over at the yellow house about three years ago and it works really well. Somehow we even have some big fat city pigeons living in there now. Its funny because people always thing of the country as quiet, however when it is alive it provides a constant stream of sound. Especially at the yellow house with the donkeys and the dovetower.

There is a small circle of people awake and greeting the dawn together with tea in hand as we walk into the yard further. Annie May is excitedly winding her way around the laps and legs of the firedancers standing around the small burner and samovar. She is wearing a leather cap with a brim that Tarran had sewn for her this last week. After spending so much time in the male company of the donkey wizards she was shy at first when these stunning and vivacious women came off of the mountain together with their feathered and tatooed consorts. Of course she was unsure how the politics of her situation would change since she had lived a hard life on the juke joint trail where often the partying and hobo camps meant she would be left to the side alone and abandoned. One thing you could depend on with Annie May already was that she was a quick study and a fast learner. It was a crime that she was kept in a stroller and forced to "play baby" until she was almost six. By then you could see she was not so immature and the game was up. Here she was learning fast to skip and jump, dance clap snap and whistle.

"She wants to learn poi" said Simone, following my glance to the bobbing head of our last refugee. I made the classic face of "yes thats very interesting and good", putting my finger to the side of my cheek as if to say "Hmmmmm...Yes!". Simone flashed her bright blue eyes at me and tossed her red and blond streaked hair to the side. She was wearing a long vest with fake fur trim in bright red that matched her hair...she was always impeccable decked out like this. The G team rolled out of their beds in the morning pretty much looking this good. The look was mostly developed long ago at Burningman at the Black Rock City gatherings. A sort of repurposed chic. One of the things that they liked about our details in the woods is that it seemed to be more a continuation of that lifestyle. Our way is the heart and those that come to it find our path a precious thing. Inside the lights were on and the music was already forming up in that lovely chaotic stretching of tuning and picking at the instrument. Part of the trick when it is cold and misty like this is to just sit with your instrument in your lap for a while so that it can warm up from the latent heat of your body. Otherwise everyone has to tune twice, once tuning a cold stick and again once it warms up.

Tea sounds good.

Inside there are some low cushions and futons to sit on as well as several simple wooden stools and a small table. With a warm cup in hand I reclined as is our custom. Waiting to catch her eye, I gestured to little Annie May to come sit next to me. She was shy of me, yet not fearful. We listened to Calvin warm up and play his snaky little violin. It was an Indonesian snake skin fiddle that looked like a small banjo or jimbush. It was played standing up with a bow sort of like cello. The sound was alive with emotion and the interior world of Calvin.

In the softly breaking dawn, in the pause before the work starts in genuine, Annie May and I sat and listened as the little snaky song grew sad and full of longing. Every now and again I could see she was passing glances with Simone, they had the start of a heart bond of friendship. Obviously Annie May had survived by being resilient and finding surrogates everywhere. In our case clearly she had found her home and we had found another jewel. It seemed like she had grown already, or maybe just gotten more sure of herself physically in the space she was inhabiting.

Already it had come up with one of the neighbors, this question of her joining the class in our little cozy warm schoolroom up the hill at the honeycombed greenhouse. There were other children who walked up or were brought up in Donkey carts from the yellow house."OH" so I said, "You really want Annie May schooling all the other children in how much wild pussy and booze she has seen out on the juke joint trail?".

It was a direct reference to a conversation we had had about how useful Annie May had become to Tarran. She was spinning around the donkey barn saying "Useful...useful...usefully" wildly and ecstatically like it was a long song. We motioned for her stop, reminding her of the presence of the animals. She seemed to be able to respond fastest to sign language and we used that commonly around the animals. It was more like a game to her.

"Kurt said that all he had use for was booze and pussy and that I was no good for either". Annie May said by way of explanation after she had gathered herself together. Probably I winced even though I tried not to.

This morning in the gathering company in the Blue house she was wildly excited yet entirely physically composed. Already she was starting to mimic the physical attitude and spark of the G team Wymmn. There was no "A" team or "B" or so forth. There was just the "G" team and everyone else who either worked the field teams or worked in the kitchen or was a musician or tech or trader. We used to have trade workers who could use our wireless access, and eat and sleep in trade for usually almost five hours a day of work. Eventually there was a group of these workers who stayed on more permanent sometimes doing work trade in the hills and we moved them up into the green house to prepare the food and live a more hygenically removed life. It was possible for them to send home credits online or build them up for whatever purpose and reason. Even if it was a ridiculously expensive ice cream cone for himself and Annie May like it was for Tarran when he rode into town the other day. He still got credits trickled into his account from recordings he had made years and years ago. Firebreathing pirate punk on the accordion even then.

For Tarran the choice was simple, he wanted Annie May to have her very own first ice cream cone. Of course he also brought back packages and mail from the post office on his heavy loader Worldbike.

This morning Annie May crawled up to my shoulder while the music began to play for the dawn. She whispered in my ear "someday I am going to BE in the G team". Her eyes were sparkling at the discovery of this secret in herself. Her face was getting tan and you could see little freckles dusting her cheeks now. I nodded and winced my eyes at her making a serious smile, as if to size her up for her potential and possibilities, "Oh Yes" I mouthed at her. Acknowledging at once that she was right to not interrupt the music and that she will assuredly master herself enough to be one of these brave and strong young lions bringing repair and health to the forests and streams of our beloved little dragons.