[iDC] (no subject)

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Thu Feb 8 05:32:02 EST 2007

One small comment. I think that merely seeing Gaia as alive is not enough.
Afterall, we see animals and fellow humans as alive, and still easily kill

What is needed is a participatory viewpoint, seeing the earth and its beings
as peers. Extending the peer to peer principles as applied to humans (and
recently well expressed by dignitarianism for example) to the whole of

As this indeed a practice, I personally like John Heron's approach, who
extends participatory practices to all living beings, including (if you can
accept its existence), to that of subtle beings. His book on Participatory
Spirituality, as well as his earlier work on cooperative inquiry (including
the book entitled Sacred Science), reviews such psychotechnologies and
methods to ground such insights in the bodymind.

I just returned from France, where the good news is that an extraordinary
turn has taken place in the awareness of the enviroronmental and climate
crisis (though action has yet to follow), and I've seen a lot of presence of
the 'decroissance' movement of Serge Latouche, including in the smaller
cities I visited.

The integral 'peer to peer' vision which I'm trying to develop at
p2pfoundation.net, along with a collective, is one that insists not only
that our communication and educational systems need to embrace this
distributred model, but that we also need a peer to peer energy grid.

One of the key aspects of peer production and governance, i.e.
equipotentiality, is very much related to Freire's earlier fomulation that
was cited here. Equipotentiality means judging people not as equals or
inferiors/superiors according to one benchmark, but accepting that everyone
has a different mixtures of competences, all of which can find a place in
the production of the common and all of which need to be equally valued.

If anyone is interested, I can send material on those different aspects,


On 2/8/07, mlahey at artic.edu <mlahey at artic.edu> wrote:
> Dear John,
> Thanks for your enthusiastic commentary.  Up an' at 'em!  Whew!
> I think that responding to some of the things you wrote could potentially
> be
> breaking points for communication barriers, so I'd like to respond to
> them...
> >
> > >One environmental activist has said; "if we consider the Earth as alive
> we
> > >wouldn't be able to hurt her so much just to make a big building".
> >
> > well, personification is problematic, but surely the simple principle
> > that if one makes a change in the space-time continuum, that change
> > is experienced by all points in that universal continuum
> > simultaneously...
> Well, to be honest, I'm not speaking about personification.  I'm literally
> taking the stance that the planet Earth lives.  Even according to the
> biology
> class definition, which would reqire that the earth reproduce, that's
> possible.
> It would simply require us to think differently about what it means to
> reproduce.  For example, all of the living things on the earth are made
> from
> the materials of the earth.
> Interestingly, your mention of quantum principles touches on that which
> "scientifically" allows us the freedom to potentially see the Earth as
> alive.
> It also jives with many major religions, for example Buddhism, with its
> principles of inherent emptiness.  In quantum theory, it is the viewer (in
> all
> of her complexity and with major amounts of history!) who determines what
> appears before her.  It is our perceptions that rule our reality.  For
> example,
> there is a professor at the University of Hawai'i who has seen a Tibetan
> monk
> levitate.  He saw it when he was a child.  His scientist father said it
> was a
> "trick"/"mass hallucination".  Quantum theory says that this monk was
> literally
> re-arranging atoms with his mind.  Yes, if you meditate intensively
> enough, you
> can achieve even that.
> SO, let me just clarify, if this sounds far-out to you, you ain't seen
> nothing
> yet.
> >
> > I think perhaps that Major Structural principles-of-action need to be
> > considered before the details can be hashed-out or even understood!
> > I am thinking this is the part of the discussion that is missing --
> > the assumptions around what education IS, what does success mean,
> > what is the price of social integration vs individual obligation...
> It is interesting to propose a mathematical formula to resolve this
> discussion.
> Let's propose it otherwise.  Let's say that in education, one can adjust
> culturally in order to distribute power among the participants in the
> classroom.  What would be your ideal distribution of power?  What
> distribution
> of power would prepare the students fully and yet not rob them of their
> autonomy?
> If one educates a person thoroughly, but that person is afterwards left
> without
> real commitment to their own originality (content to contribute to a canon
> that
> she has no say over, for example) or if they are subjugated to authority,
> has
> one somehow destroyed that person?
> Paolo Freire's model of our current educational system is called "the
> Bank".  In
> it, the teacher "pays" information into the "empty" knowledge bank
> accounts of
> the students.  His model for a liberatory educational system simply
> rebalances
> the Bank in order to reflect reality.  In it, all the participants are
> seen as
> having equal "amounts" of knowledge.  The life experience and
> understanding of
> the students is taken as much into account as what is taught by the
> instructor,
> and when those two sources are in conflict a discussion results.  This
> "Pedagogy
> of the Oppressed" is designed to simultaneously inform and empower, and it
> really works.  It's much more fun than a "normal" approach, perhaps
> because it
> doesn't require the student relinquishing their sovereignty and simply
> accepting what they are told.
> >
> > I see the primary weakness to the discussion (to over-simplify it to
> > a degree) is that it appears removed from being rooted in a praxis
> > other than the praxis of writing to fill pages with reflections on an
> > other's writings -- where those others are often monumental writers
> > with little or no connection to the daily lived lives of those who
> > are doing the reflecting.
> >
> > Critical Thinking?  That suggests we need to look at OUR daily lived
> > praxis, share those parameters and be open to change based on an
> > Other's expressed experience.
> >
> which implies sharing about oneself.  It implies that we have to be open
> about
> ourselves, that we have to dedicate time to realizing why we are like we
> are.
> > >If the global industrial infrastructure were dismantled, what would
> take
> > its
> > >place?
> >
> > unfortunately largely a theoretical question barring the case of
> > major globe-spanning catastrophe which may or may not ensue in our
> > lifetime...  hard to imagine a radically different form of social
> > relation without a RADICAL re-adjustment of human essences!
> Well, I have to admit, that's exactly what I'd like to see!
> >
> > >how would we ecologically, sustainably remain in communication with
> > >one another
> > >around the world?
> >
> > do we need to?  Isn't this a case where the local becomes the source
> > for living, rather than the remote?  Problem is, when the elites
> > still have a monopoly on the remote communications...  that has
> > always been a precondition for conducting warfare.
> >
> Yes, we need each other for protection.  We can't afford to be
> geographically
> isolated.  My proposal is limited to generalities: we need something
> ecological, we need something light and portable, we need something easy
> to
> make.
> While we're on imagining the world post-civilization...  I'm just going to
> lay
> it out here and say, there's way too many folks for us all to get what we
> need
> from the earth.  Your average vegetables are now around 30% less
> nutritious
> than they were 50 years ago (depending on what nutrient you are measuring/
> protein is 6%, Iron 15%, Vitamin C 20% and Riboflavin 38%(journal of the
> american college of nutrition)).  I'm not for mass dying, so my proposal
> is
> that we voluntarily have to stop reproducing so much.  It's sort of like
> going
> vegetarian in that you can't tell someone else to do it.  In any case, as
> the
> nutrients essential to make our bodies become scarcer in the earth because
> they
> are walking around on top of it, things are going to get pretty desperate,
> health-wise.  On top of all the other reasons.
> I know, everyone's saying, what's the frigging point of her bringing this
> up, we
> already know it.  Well, I guess I feel like we should start discussing it,
> even
> discussing our *feelings* like grief, about it (i know; more woo-woo new
> age
> crap) before we have no choices left and it's all just up (again, damn it,
> like
> everything else!) to survival of the fittest (which in our culture seems
> to be
> like survival of the most violent or most sociopathic).
> As for my current praxis, I sling beers right now...not noble at all, but
> I like
> talking to people...
> Malian
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The P2P Foundation researches, documents and promotes peer to peer

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http://blog.p2pfoundation.net; Newsletter, at

Basic essay at http://www.ctheory.net/articles.aspx?id=499; interview at
video interview, at

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