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O Dialogue!

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  • Stephen Inniss
    I’ve finally had a few minutes to scan the recent posts, including some of the longer or less relevant looking bits that I skipped earlier. Such wonderful
    Message 1 of 6 , Jul 5, 2003
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      I’ve finally had a few minutes to scan the recent posts, including some
      of the longer or less relevant looking bits that I skipped earlier. Such
      wonderful diversity (including points that vary from profound to
      nonsensical!). Overall there is more of aether and less of earth than I
      like, but then obviously tastes do differ.

      It is refreshing to see that real dialogue seems to be springing up
      again. The reduced frequency of grandiose rants, insults and ad hominem
      arguments is wonderful. Thoughtful, considerate posts, full of reasoning
      and information, are a delight to see, especially when the writer is
      polite. I think this last is more than a mere personal preference of
      mine. People from every traditional culture I know of, “Eastern” or
      “Western”, “Civilized” or “Aboriginal”, valued courtesy more highly than
      most moderns do. I think they and all our ancestors were on to something
      important there. Everybody has tender toes when it comes to one or
      several subjects. Everybody can be induced to jump up on a soapbox and
      start shouting if the right (or wrong) topic is raised. Some of us do
      this occasionally. Some of us do it almost all the time. ;-) Good
      manners might be the only glue that can hold a diverse group like ours
      together.

      For a while I wondered if our tiny group of correspondents might be
      fooled, and break out into a little holy war, with various members
      quoting Holy Text at each other, or otherwise declaring themselves to be
      sole inheritors and apostles of the Faith Once Delivered. There was even
      what sounded suspiciously like a call for a crusade against heretics,
      revisionists, and unbelievers. Words wielded like swords, and chunks of
      text lobbed like the ammunition from siege engines (or was that search
      engines?). A severe flaming would, I suppose, have been equivalent to
      being burned at the stake. If behaviour like that became general it
      would be very funny, but more than a little sad.

      A couple of practical suggestions for the group to consider:
      1) When quoting large chunks of text, why not attach them to the files
      section of the website, and reserve the posts for comments? In the case
      of references to One Straw Revolution, what about merely referring to
      the existing text, since it is already there and available? Some people
      may still be getting clogged mailboxes.
      2) What about a common system of labeling? Theory and practice are two
      sides of the same indivisible coin, but perhaps some of the more
      practical minded members of the group would like to know ahead of time
      which of the posts they might like to skip. Members could preface a new
      topic with a “P” for practical and a “T” for theoretical. If these tags
      were at the beginning of the topic line, then a quick sort on the topics
      would allow readers to see which are the juiciest bits (depending on
      whether they are looking for gathering and gardening tips or whether
      they want to discuss politics, religion, and philosophy). If somebody
      objects to two-valued systems (on philosophical grounds, of course!), we
      could add another category or two. My suggestion would be "O", for
      "other" -- something the writer would like to say, but which has little
      or no connection to Fukuoka's work.


      Stephen


      P.S. I wonder what a tally of our recent posts would look like if the
      labels I'm suggesting were used?

      Between the idea and the reality
      Between the notion and the act
      Falls the shadow
    • Robin, Maya, or Napi
      Hi Stephen, A recent tally of posts would probably include many PTOQ, a combination of the useful categories you have suggested, & quotes. Sorry to read that
      Message 2 of 6 , Jul 5, 2003
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        Hi Stephen,

        A recent tally of posts would probably include many PTOQ, a combination of the useful categories you have suggested, & quotes.

        Sorry to read that quotes are clogging mailboxes. Guess we all need to know what is the courteous maximum physical size of fully loaded post.
        One screen's worth? One page down's worth? We would need to consider the length of the (usually exerpted) quote that is carried forward when we
        reply. Some of us have been (inadvertently selfishly) finding the quotes convenient with the limited time we have to check messages & follow links &
        go back & forth to comments on those links. When a quote resonates, it is easy to savor or to save. If not, as you have said, we can frequently use
        the delete button. Members who are on a tight paid minute meter of the time it takes to download or to research & follow links may already be finding
        this message more expensive than it is worth.

        Members must use dozens of ways to approach the mail of this group, as we use dozens of ways to garden within our commonality of admiration for
        natural farming. At the end of any work week, I have generally saved a hundred or more longer Fukuoka messages for a good reading time. Some do
        catch the eye to be read right away as they come in, either because of subject or author. Now & then it is helpful to go the site & backtrack to read
        a whole thread.

        I confess that I enjoy all the authors here. Some for their reliably informative posts, some for their tone, whether kooky, wry or warm to me,
        some for their unpredictable tangents that offer unexpectedly valid perspectives, some for their well-written philosophical depth.

        The memorable poem below is an excellent example. Several original poems have enriched the past months' posts. Guess poetry would often be
        posted with prefix P,T,O,Q, or any combination.

        At school here, we constantly play alphabetizing games. (Can we name a child of our extended family whose name starts with each letter, a flower
        that starts with each letter, a tree? It is the kind of game that is played while you are not even playing, in exercising that manner of cross
        referencing, in child or adult, it just pops out while anything else is going on.) Sounds annoying, I'm sure, but it is part of a good learning
        environment.

        At any rate, I am willing to limit posts by agreement to marks of P,T, & O, even though we could use 26 English letters to stand for more
        forewarning about the subjects already named in the subject box (A-Acacia, B-Berms, C-Cilantro, ... G-Guilds,...M-Microorganisms, P-Poetry...), or
        combinations (Philosophy of Eating Raw Potatoes or Zoology of Soil-Dwelling Creatures), or create another alphabet (~=Gardens in Spain), or
        disseminate the means to convert keyboard strokes & study Japanese. Of course I am joking (J).

        The point? Someone might have read this far & still rightly ask. We appreciate your suggestion from the courtesy & common sense with which it is
        offered, & hope that you are not too disappointed when some people do not follow suit (to use a phrase that may have meaning only to card players).
        It may take hold more consistently if it is posted as a part of the new members blurb, & somewhere visible on the message section of the website. The
        suggestion of categories, with maybe other names, like Off (Topic) has been offered here before. The question of what is on/off topic is much harder
        to determine than what is practical in the physical garden & what is theoretical in the lifestyle. (NOT to propose F-Farm (commercial scale),
        G-Garden (personal scale), W-Way of living, or a dichotomy of P-Physical/S-Spiritual, so that members can share membership with only those most like
        them.) However, self-management of many writers by code is limited to how closely they all read each other's key to codes.

        Peace, always perceptible somewhere,
        N

        Stephen Inniss wrote:

        > A couple of practical suggestions for the group to consider:
        > 1) When quoting large chunks of text, why not attach them to the files
        > section of the website, and reserve the posts for comments? In the case
        > of references to One Straw Revolution, what about merely referring to
        > the existing text, since it is already there and available? Some people
        > may still be getting clogged mailboxes.
        > 2) What about a common system of labeling? Theory and practice are two
        > sides of the same indivisible coin, but perhaps some of the more
        > practical minded members of the group would like to know ahead of time
        > which of the posts they might like to skip. Members could preface a new
        > topic with a ìPî for practical and a ìTî for theoretical. If these tags
        > were at the beginning of the topic line, then a quick sort on the topics
        > would allow readers to see which are the juiciest bits (depending on
        > whether they are looking for gathering and gardening tips or whether
        > they want to discuss politics, religion, and philosophy). If somebody
        > objects to two-valued systems (on philosophical grounds, of course!), we
        > could add another category or two. My suggestion would be "O", for
        > "other" -- something the writer would like to say, but which has little
        > or no connection to Fukuoka's work.
        >
        >
        > Stephen
        >
        >
        > P.S. I wonder what a tally of our recent posts would look like if the
        > labels I'm suggesting were used?
        >
        > Between the idea and the reality
        > Between the notion and the act
        > Falls the shadow
        >
        >
        >
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        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Tim Peters
        ....is this like asking a redwood to stand in your postage-stamp garden without shading your lettuce?
        Message 3 of 6 , Jul 5, 2003
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          ....is this like asking a redwood to stand in your postage-stamp garden
          without shading your lettuce?
        • Stephen Inniss
          ... Hello Tim, Could be. This is a little like Fukuoka s seed scatterings. Some things grow, some don t. With ideas, it s even more complicated, since if
          Message 4 of 6 , Jul 5, 2003
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            Tim Peters wrote:

            > ....is this like asking a redwood to stand in your postage-stamp
            > garden
            > without shading your lettuce?
            >

            Hello Tim,

            Could be. This is a little like Fukuoka's seed scatterings. Some things
            grow, some don't. With ideas, it's even more complicated, since if
            something does sprout up it isn't necessarily what you thought you
            planted.

            I'm assuming you're referring to the proposals, not the commentary. Do
            you mean asking people to post articles to the website instead of
            quoting them entire, or do you mean the idea of labeling posts by type,
            or both?

            Stephen
          • Tim Peters
            ... Hi Stephen, I was thinking of everything amoung us,.... including the tremendous variation in web skills, program powers, and the very giant wholistic
            Message 5 of 6 , Jul 5, 2003
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              > I'm assuming you're referring to the proposals, not the commentary. Do
              > you mean asking people to post articles to the website instead of
              > quoting them entire, or do you mean the idea of labeling posts by type,
              > or both?
              >
              > Stephen



              Hi Stephen,

              I was thinking of everything amoung us,.... including the tremendous
              variation in web skills, program powers, and the very giant wholistic nature
              of this 'agriculture'.

              I for one was forced to learn this computer stuff about one year ago... and
              it has been a slow process from zero to what I know now.... I am still
              ignorant of how to do some of what you folk say ...for instance, posting to
              the website. What is simple for you computer Hercules is hard for us
              computer Charlie Brown's.

              if you could do up a simple 'how-to' for every procedure for all the basic
              computer scenerio's out there ....or someone to help a person do it the
              preffered way, that might help.

              It sounds though like some are to busy to even check their email often.
              ...if you think this group is bad, MAN !!! ...you should have tried some of
              the other groups I joined for a bit in my learning process! ...Talk about
              having a land-slide off of Mt Everest!!! ...

              For those who are having trouble getting more in their box than they can
              handle perhaps the best thing for them is to just go to the website and go
              thru the latest postings, bookmarking or otherwise keeping what they want,
              leaving the rest, ...and not have the postings come in the mail to them.

              Tim ...
            • Stephen Inniss
              Thank you Tim and Napi for your kind words on this thread. I had to chuckle when I read Tim s second post, which reminded me that the same diversity that makes
              Message 6 of 6 , Jul 8, 2003
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                Thank you Tim and Napi for your kind words on this thread. I had to
                chuckle when I read Tim's second post, which reminded me that the same
                diversity that makes this little group resilient and interestng also
                inhibits any attempts to 'tidy up'.

                For anyone who is interested, posting files is fairly straightforward
                once you get to the starting point. I just finished adding a file and
                then removing it again as an experiment. You go to the group's website:

                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fukuoka_farming/

                Click on the "files" link at the left, click on the "add a file" option
                that appears on the following page, and follow the instructions.
                Naturally, you need to give your password to add a file. There is a
                "files help" option that explains what to do as well or better than I
                could.

                I noticed when I tried this that we have used about 10% of our available
                space. I also found that I can delete my own contributions, but not
                (naturally enough) other peoples'. Since there is no moderator, that
                means we will have to use some restraint and consideration and delete
                files once they have served their purpose. In the long run, even with
                the best will in the world, the files section will fill up, since
                sometimes people will enter the group, post files, and then lose
                interest and leave the group without remembering to "clean up".

                As for labeling posts, I'm going to try that idea myself over the next
                little while to see if it fits. It might or might not be a good idea,
                and it might or might not catch on (by my count, that leaves at least
                four possible results).

                Stephen


                Tim Peters wrote: [in part]

                >
                > I was thinking of everything amoung us,.... including the tremendous
                > variation in web skills, program powers, and the very giant wholistic
                > nature of this 'agriculture'.
                >
                > if you could do up a simple 'how-to' for every procedure for all the
                > basic computer scenerio's out there ....or someone to help a person do
                > it the preffered way, that might help.
                >
                > It sounds though like some are to busy to even check their email
                > often.
                > ...if you think this group is bad, MAN !!! ...you should have tried
                > some of the other groups I joined for a bit in my learning process!
                > ...Talk about having a land-slide off of Mt Everest!!! ...
                >
                >
                > Tim ...
                >
                >
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