The book creates a new language, what the authors call a pattern language derived from timeless entities called patterns. As they write on page xxxv of the introduction, “All 253 patterns together form a language.” Patterns describe a problem and then offer a solution. In doing so the authors intend to give ordinary people, not only professionals, a way to work with their neighbors to improve a town or neighborhood, design a house for themselves or work with colleagues to design an office, workshop or public building such as a school. (Wikipedia)
Permaculture (permanent agriculture/culture) is the use of Ecology as the basis for designing integrated systems of food production, housing, technology, & community development. The objective is to produce an efficient, low-maintenance, productive integration of plants, structures & people, to obtain on-site stability & food self-sufficiency in the smallest practical area.
Bruce Charles ‘Bill’ Mollison (born 1928 in Tasmania, Australia) is a researcher, author, scientist, teacher and naturalist. He is considered to be the ‘father of permaculture‘, an integrated system of design, co-developed with David Holmgren, that encompasses not only agriculture, horticulture, architecture and ecology, but also economic systems, land access strategies and legal systems for businesses and communities.
Bill Mollison, father of Permaculture, gives insight into the techniques, practices and benefits of the most important interdisciplinary earth science of our age. Watch the following videos to learn about his concepts:
The following set of videos are based on Jared Diamond’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name, Guns, Germs and Steel which traces humanity’s journey over the last 13,000 years – from the dawn of farming at the end of the last Ice Age to the realities of life in the twenty-first century. Inspired by a question put to him on the island of Papua New Guinea more than thirty years ago, Diamond embarks on a world-wide quest to understand the roots of global inequality.
When you set out to write Guns, Germs and Steel what was it you actually wanted to prove?
JD: When I set out to write Guns, Germs and Steel I wasn’t trying to prove anything, but I was trying to answer a question; the biggest question of history – why history unfolded differently on the different continents over the last 13 thousand years and the usual answer to this question is the answer that racists come up with; they say its because some people are superior to other people. What we found is that the answer doesn’t have anything to do with people and it has everything to do with people’s environments.
Jared Diamond is one of America’s most celebrated scholars. A professor of Geography and Physiology at the University of California, he is equally renowned for his work in the fields of ecology and evolutionary biology, and for his ground-breaking studies of the birds of Papua New Guinea.
Author of eight books and numerous academic monographs, Diamond’s best-selling The Rise and Fall of the Third Chimpanzee won two science prizes in 1992. It was the 1997 publication of Guns, Germs and Steel, which sealed Diamond’s global reputation. The book has since won the Pulitzer Prize, been translated into 25 languages and sold millions of copies around the world. Here is a video based on the findings in his book, Guns, Germs and Steel.
Jared Diamond was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to a Bessarabian Jewish family. His father was the physician Louis K. Diamond, and his mother the teacher, musician, and linguist Flora Kaplan. He attended the Roxbury Latin School, earning his A.B. from Harvard College in 1958, and his Ph.D. in physiology and membrane biophysics from the University of Cambridge in 1961.
After graduating from Cambridge, he returned to Harvard as a Junior Fellow until 1965, and, in 1968, became Professor of Physiology at UCLA Medical School. While in his twenties, he also developed a second, parallel, career in the ornithology of New Guinea, and has since undertaken numerous research projects in New Guinea and nearby islands. In his fifties, Diamond gradually developed a third career in environmental history, and became Professor of Geography at UCLA, his current position. He was awarded an honorary doctorate by Westfield State University in 2009.
As well as scholarly books and articles in the fields of ecology and ornithology, Diamond is the author of a number of popular science books, which are known for combining sources from a variety of fields other than those he has formally studied.
The first of these, The Third Chimpanzee: The Evolution and Future of the Human Animal (1991), examined human evolution and its relevance to the modern world, incorporating insights from anthropology, evolutionary biology, genetics, ecology, and linguistics. It was well-received by critics, and won the 1992 Rhône-Poulenc Prize for Science Books and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. In 1997, he followed this up with Why is Sex Fun?, which focused in on the evolution of human sexuality, again borrowing from anthropology, ecology, and evolutionary biology.
His third and best known popular science book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, was published in 1997. In it, Diamond seeks to explain Eurasian hegemony throughout history. Using evidence from ecology, archaeology, genetics, linguistics, and various historical case studies, he argues that the gaps in power and technology between human societies do not reflect cultural or racial differences, but rather originate in environmental differences powerfully amplified by various positive feedback loops.
As a result, the geography of the Eurasian landmass gave its human inhabitants an inherent advantage over the societies on other continents, which they were able to dominate or conquer. Although certain examples in the book, and its alleged environmental determinism, have been criticized, it became a best-seller, and received numerous awards, including a Pulitzer Prize, an Aventis Prize for Science Books (Diamond’s second), and the 1997 Phi Beta Kappa Award in Science. A television documentary based on the book was produced by the National Geographic Society in 2005.
Diamond’s next book, Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (2005), examined a range of past civilizations in an attempt to identify why they either collapsed or succeeded, and considers what contemporary societies can learn from these historical examples. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, he argues against traditional historical explanations for the failure of past societies, and instead focuses on ecological factors. Among the societies he considers are the Norse and Inuit of Greenland, the Maya, the Anasazi, the indigenous people of Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Japan, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and modern Montana.
While not as successful as Guns, Germs and Steel, Collapse was again both critically acclaimed and subject to accusations of environmental determinism and specific inaccuracies. “Collapse” was the third book written by Diamond that was nominated for Royal Society Prize for Science Books (previously known as the Rhône-Poulenc and Aventis Prize) but this time he did not win the prize, losing out to David Bodanis’s Electric Universe.
Most recently Diamond co-edited Natural Experiments of History, a collection of essays illustrating the multidisciplinary and comparative approach to the study of history that he advocates.
I’m in the process of learning more about social media marketing and came across this Social Media Marketing Report based on a survey which was recommended by a company in LA that we are working with: ThinkLA (we are very impressed with this company). I found it on their Twitter site.
Major Report Findings
Here’s a quick summary of the primary findings:
Top three questions marketers want answered: (1) How do I measure social media return on investment? (2) What are the social media best practices? and (3) How do I best manage my time with social media?
Marketers are mostly new to social media: A significant 65% of marketers surveyed have only been involved with social media marketing for a few months or less.
How much time does this take? The majority of marketers (56%) are using social media for 6 hours or more each week, and nearly one in three invest 11 or more hours weekly.
The top benefits of social media marketing: The number-one advantage of social media marketing (by a long shot) is generating exposure for the business, indicated by 85% of all marketers, followed by increasing traffic (63%) and building new business partnerships (56%).
The top social media tools: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and blogs were the top four social media tools used by marketers, in order.
Blogging on the rise and MySpace shrinking: A significant 81% of marketers plan on increasing their use of blogs, while 72% have no plans to use MySpace and 9% will actually decrease their use of MySpace.
Social media tools marketers most want to learn about: Social bookmarking, Twitter and Facebook were the networks and tools marketers most want to learn more about.
Social media outsourcing underemployed: Only 14% of businesses are outsourcing any aspect of their social media marketing.
The night before last, Joe and I attended a “Dynamic Dialogue” evening with 6 other people where we discussed the topic of leadership from our own respective perspectives (wasn’t that a fun choice of words!). We had been asked by the host to think about the following:
Think of a leader (alive or not) who has truly inspired you. What is the most significant quality they embody that you love the most and have brought into your life?
Each one of us has unique talents/qualities as it applies to leadership. What are some of those talents? Write a few down. Pick your favorite one.
Now marry together your favorite talent/quality with the quality you love the most from an inspiring leader. This is one of your many gifts you bring to the world as a leader wherever it shows up (at work, play, worship, relationships, in the community, etc.).
So, the question is: When has this combination shown up in your work and what difference has it made for you and for others?
I started the conversation by talking about my parents who were my initial role models for leadership. My mother’s main leadership quality was helping the poor, the underserved, those struggling to make a better life for themselves. My father’s main leadership quality was serving his spiritual community as well as partaking in daily spiritual practice and spreading love wherever he went. If I look below the surface of life’s stressful impact, I witnessed a consistent giving of self in the service of others, not just their children (7 of us) but also those in the community.
The others who I have admired have been Winston Churchill, The Kennedy’s, and Ghandi. All of them lead their lives in service to others, for such values as peace, freedom, compassion and commitment.
I remember taking a spiritual gifts test once and I came out as an “exhorter” – one who inspires, motivates, “prods” others. I do that so people will achieve their potential, their dreams. Why do I care? I don’t know why, exactly. Perhaps a combination of reasons. But my life has had this as a theme since I was a little girl. If I were to take a leadership role right now, I am sure that my “exhorter self” would be a major theme in how I lead people.
After listening to everyone’s thoughts on leadership, my final assessment was that the definition of leadership had as many faces as there were people that night. Each person’s take on leadership was based on who they are, i.e. their main leadership qualities which are a unique set to them.
What personal quality do you exhibit as a theme in your life? What is your take on leadership? How are you a leader in the world right now, even if just by example?
Let’s all lead on! May you find your own unique set of leadership qualities and bring them forth in whatever way works best for you and all.