Category Archives: Notes

Governing The Commons By Nobel Laureate Elinor Ostrom — Notes

Elinor Ostrom, the first woman to win the Nobel Prize in Economics, synthesized empirical research from multiple disciplines (e.g., rural sociology, anthropology, history, economics, political science, forestry, irrigation sociology, human ecology, African studies) to answer the question of what distinguishes those groups who succeed vs. fail at effectively and sustainably managing common resources. This article […]

Chapter 14: Strategies for an Alternative Nation, Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual — Notes

“No-one would deny that people are the most difficult factor in any design or assembly. It is not that people lack the will to cooperate; its is more often that they have not adapted those sensible legal and administrative, or social mechanisms which allow them to cooperate.” (p. 532) Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual — or […]

Snow Walking the Sylvania Wilderness (video)

On February 8, 2019, five Dads traveled from Madison, WI to the Sylvania Wilderness, braving winter temperatures 28 degrees below zero, to enjoy four days of silence, beauty, and adventure. It was awesome. This is our story.

From Branches To Spoons — Notes on the skills and art of spoon carving

Competency in basic skills is a key component of moving from our dysfunctional status quo to a future of thriving on one planet’s worth of resources (one planet thriving). Making anything with your hands can represent a way to build an overlapping set of competencies that may make other forms of making easier. Building relationships […]

Alternative Natural Mattresses – Notes

Mattresses can be made of a variety of materials, with two primary advantages over modern mattresses: (1) they can be non-toxic, and (2) less expensive (but some are more expensive). Permies has a discussion on alternative mattresses and most of these notes are digested from that discussion and related links. Making a straw mattress is […]

NOVA: Becoming Human (2009) – Notes

Episode 1: First Steps Paleoanthropologist Zeray Alemseged discovered fossil called “Selam,” also known as “Lucy’s Child.” Lucy and Selam are 3.3 M years old but humans and chimps split around 6 M years ago = first biped. But brains not necessarily bigger as a result. Small-brained bipedal apes were around for 4 million years, flourishing […]

The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology and Anthropology of Hunter-Gatherers (2014) – Notes

Introduction Hunter-gatherers: term defined by William Solas in 1911 in which he also recognizes for the first time this distinctive way of life. Leslie White (location 536), neo-evolutionary thinking: Organize humans on continuum of evolution based on how much control they had over energy flows. Early humans relied on muscle, later humans harnessed fossil fuels […]

The Energy of Stirling Engines – Notes

Stirling engines quietly generate electricity and mechanical energy pollution-free by using oxygen and a temperature differential.

Why We Work

Barry Schwartz has written a book and given a TED talk on this subject of “Why we work?” He asserts that a small group of people work for meaning and purpose and, perhaps, because the work is important, but that most people work in jobs that give them none of these things. For those people, […]

(Dis)Honesty, the Documentary Movie – Notes

Humans are liars. A great deal of scientific research demonstrates that most people lie, especially under the “right” circumstances. Do a search for Dan Ariely, a Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University, and you will find many mainstream press articles summarizing his work. This article is about the documentary, (Dis)Honesty: The Truth About […]