7 kommentarer til “An Exercise: Patterns”

  1. “Yield is unlimited” – how does that reflect the third ethic of setting limits of population and consumption? In terms of thermodynamics it’s very unscientific. Does designing for unlimited yields project the image we want for permaculture?

    1. This is not about consumption this is about provision and it comes straight from Bil Mollison. In any system you can always stack in more yield, So yes that’s exactly what we want for Permaculture. We can always get more from designs than we have already. Because we also commit o share surplus. Come visit some time Leo and I’ll show you.

      1. Steve Hart says:

        hmmmm..don;t know where this came from or where it could lead…probably into confused air space. For, there are various viewpoints on all the issues here. I have seen them all debated a few times over through the history of Permaculture.

        One view is what did Mollison actually mean, or what was the intent in what he said ? Having spent many a journey, mission and long hours with Bill myself and chatted to others of similar experience, most of us agree that his rhetoric is often sent to either stimulate thought, move it, or exaggerate the issue in order again to promulgate a view. I have seen through the history of Permaculture far too many people taking what Mollison said or wrote as scientific doctrine. Most of it is far from that. Most of it is to stimulate…and that’s probably where “Limits to growth,or unlimited yield and input” can stop as an argument. The scientists amongst the PC fraternity will go on about all such issues until the sun goes down. I do not consider myself a scientist although I do enjoy the entire diverse subject immensely. I recognise myself being over the boundary into the artists paddock and being a designer. Even though I have had to heal myself into technical solutions quite firmly to evolve real design solutions.

        So when Mollison talks about their being no limit…he actually means…in the realm of ones capacity in thinking…rather than putting it into any scientific box.

        Having rubbed shoulders with a couple of close mates who are scientists and especially one in particular a Biodynamic Scientist who has re-written Steiners work, Glen Atkinson, http://www.bdmax.co.nz I certainly do see, that we have a long way to go in intellectual capacity to measure yields as well as input…science clearly tells us that our thinking capacities have not even reached many domains of evolutionary thinking and scientific capacity…so there ya go. From that view I go along with what Mollison says in whatever way he phrases it..yields and inputs are unlimited….because of our inability to even design to mass the guilds possible in any given context.

      2. If you don’t mind a friendly discussion, I’d like to take issue with this phrase and what lies behind it.

        I’m sure Bill Mollison said this. Doesn’t make it more scientific though 😉

        Perhaps if you define yield in a special way you can get away with it, but in common vernacular, let alone scientific language, unlimited yield is not possible in the real world.

        The idea that you can always gain more from a system by careful design is equally misleading. One of the implicit judgements of this phrase is that if your system doesn’t yield enough it must be designed badly. Right?

        There are clear limits to what a system can yield. Material resources are limited and the energy input from the sun (and any chemosynthesis or thermal energy) are given quantities. That is the budget you work with. To say that the yield is unlimited means you can break the physical laws of thermodynamics. That would put us firmly in pseudo science territory.

        True that most systems can be improved by careful design. But that is something very different, in my view anyway 😉

        Would you agree with me that permaculture should be firmly rooted in science?
        We have couple of design principles that could do with some scientific underpinning, perhaps rephrasing? Updates and upgrades? Design principles 1.1 or 2.0? “Yield is unlimited” looks like a prime candidate to me.

        warm regards,
        leo 🙂

        1. I’m sure Bill Mollison said this. Doesn’t make it more scientific though 😉

          Are you familiar with Edward de Bono? He say we lack a pronoun in English he calls it ‘pro’ a deliberate provocation. Bill is a master of this. What’s the obsession with ‘Scientific’. Science has got us where we are. Provocation may take us to a better place.

          Perhaps if you define yield in a special way you can get away with it, but in common vernacular, let alone scientific language, unlimited yield is not possible in the real world.

          Yield = outputs – inputs. The essence of permaculture is we can always do better than we have before. Increase outputs reduce inputs, or recycle outputs into inputs.

          The idea that you can always gain more from a system by careful design is equally misleading. One of the implicit judgements of this phrase is that if your system doesn’t yield enough it must be designed badly. Right?

          No it just suggests we can always find more from a system than we have already.

          There are clear limits to what a system can yield. Material resources are limited and the energy input from the sun (and any chemosynthesis or thermal energy) are given quantities. That is the budget you work with. To say that the yield is unlimited means you can break the physical laws of thermodynamics. That would put us firmly in pseudo science territory.

          No there aren’t any limits at all. There is always something you can do to make things better than they were before.

          True that most systems can be improved by careful design. But that is something very different, in my view anyway 😉

          The challenge is the point.

          Would you agree with me that permaculture should be firmly rooted in science?

          I’m not very interested in ‘the holy god’ of science. I’m interested in practical and achievable outcomes.

          We have couple of design principles that could do with some scientific underpinning, perhaps rephrasing? Updates and upgrades? Design principles 1.1 or 2.0? “Yield is unlimited” looks like a prime candidate to me.

          I’m interested in practical outcomes not theoretical paradises.

          Big Hug Graham

  2. OK Graham, so when we talk about “yield” in permaculture we are not talking about physical, practical output, but about “uses”, non-material outputs, benefits?

    How would students know which design principles to take at face value and which are meant to provoke – as Steve says? Do designers and teachers need an interpreter to read Bill’s mind, whispering what he really means when he says things like “energy cycles” or “yield is unlimited”?

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