Archive for SCOD

SCOD Design and Imagination

Posted in Cooperative collaboration, dreams, ecovillages, Ethics & Morals, Futurist, Organic Architecture, Psychology, relationships, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2020 by Drogo

SCOD Design and Imagination – Theory Essay [recording]

Why study SCOD design? Be prepared not only for possible problems by designing better now; but also if there are systemic collapses, having a core homestead village for redesigning a new way of life will be important. People who can afford independent homesteads will have them, but those without enough money need more affordable housing now and in the future.

Some willing and able to share space will be the heart of a scod village, others will be on the fringes as independent owners or temporary visitors; but having communal space for everyone is important for social life, public events, and council meetings. If everyone could afford their own property and everything they need like rich people, then most would do that; but the reality is that currently the way our economy works is that most people cannot earn enough to afford an independent life, and so most people need shared public property but rarely get enough from our federal, state, or local governments.

SCOD focuses more on philosophy and psychology than militant or religious preppers, because the hardest test of conventional friendship or survival during an emergency is living with people. Knowing how to get basic needs met is critical, including during the most likely emergency scenarios (natural disaster, pandemic, or war); so that comes first. Once you know where to get your food, water, and shelter; the scod design method of infinite combinations will be based on access flow diagrams (see ‘SCOD Thesis’ for examples). SCOD does not encourage everyone to collect guns or have the same religion, because freedom and peace are mainly to be encouraged without force. Diversity of martial and work training, with healing arts and cultural beliefs are the core of scod negotiations, and the spices for the flavor of life.

Working and planning with all kinds of people does not need to be permanent. Diverse experience does not need to be a risky investment, it can best be achieved with limited projects with cooperative practice. The purpose of tests and exercises are to determine what works, and what does not for those involved. Dedication and trust are earned over time, and we simply cannot be dedicated to trusting everything in every way. We learn what is reasonable to expect with wisdom by trial and error, and we learn our own limits for negotiations. If there is no reason to invest in an unstable situation, it is wise to move on.   

If the factors work well they will, but there are so many possible scenarios that those who enjoy the joy of design and writing can explore possible plans without the costs of construction. We make do with what we have, and when we need more we can get it with will-power. The factors of design are as important to scod life as the basic elements they are based on, because scod design theory is a religion of architecture in that it should remind us the purpose of possessing, sharing, and maintaining structures and spaces. Exploring scod design theory is possible even if we never find the best possible factors with serious partners, and this point is the power of imagination. We can dream and be creative even if we have serious mental disabilities, physical disabilities, or are in prison or under quarantine. Enjoy yourself, scod.

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SCOD as a Way of Life

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Interviews, SCOD Status Update Reports, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 7, 2019 by Drogo

Why SCOD works for me  – SCOD is not one specific place, it can be anywhere that fits it; more importantly SCOD is a way of life or thinking and being. I spent most of my life helping other people with their visions, mainly bosses, clients, or my parents where we had a property that combined our creations, but now that we sold our property im finally getting a chance to express my own thoughts with my work, so im content so long as i can do that. I like documenting the good work of others in communities for SCOD, and while i do it i see what fits with me. SCOD gives me a chance to investigate places without too much pressure to give up everything to join them, being a guest for a limited time seems sensible with low risk. My dedication is to my work, sometimes in cooperation with other partners in SCOD, or my own place again, if i find what fits me. SCOD villages of the future would be adaptable enough for all kinds of personalities and social situations, to allow places for permanent and transient flux sustainability. Until more potential for renewable energy with guaranteed basic living rights is realized in more places (in part thanks to more scod collabs); a safe bed-room, transport, and communication is all i need to live my adventure. – Drogo 2019

“Go out there and find the ones who have not given up on dreaming of a better tomorrow.” – Tomorrow Land

SCOD Fallout 2020: Shelter Survivors

Posted in Fictional Stories, SCOD Fallout Projects, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 7, 2018 by Drogo

Act III : Post-Apocalypse

Fallout Sheltered Survivors

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McGrail script – formerly part of Act 3; written by Joe McGrail, BJ, WP, and edited by Drogo

Dramatus Personae: Al (Adlai Stevenson Kennedy III), Maggie (Maria Magdelana), 3 alien “andies”, A.S. Kennedy I, ASK 1’s wife and 3 children (including ASK 2), Mr and Mrs Val Wagner, Wagner white trash niece “bitch 1”, and Wagner gay son “bitch 2”

Act 3.1

A new Narrator “Al” is revealed to be Adlai Stevenson Kennedy III, the politician survivor who is being questioned by Hooded Androgynous Aliens. Adlai is standing naked in the middle of a pinwheel floor with ethereal down-lighting. Surrounding the pinwheel is a circle of pieces of old cars, broken furniture, rusted metal, and junk. Room is dark, except for enough light to see Al’s bare legs and buttocks, arms, hands, and upper torso; we cannot see his face yet. A door opens from off-camera, with a blinding light shining through. We see his face briefly, as Al puts his hands up to block the light. 3 humanoid beings walk in wearing large hooded robes, concealing their age, gender, and skin. [pat, robin, terry]

Al: “This is my experience in teaching the Cold War as well as human sexuality and religious morals to a race of androgynous aliens. At first I thought I had been abducted by a cult, because they were all wearing hooded robes concealing their bodies.”

Al (ASK III) is naked, with 3 hooded alien questioners.

Androgen 1: Hello again, Mr Adlai Stevenson Kennedy the Third.

Al: Uh, hello. Since you are getting to know me, you might as well call me Al. My friends call me Al.

Androgen 2: We want to know more about what you recall about your planet.

Al: Well, that is kind of a big question to ask so candidly.

Androgen 3: Afterwards you may have the fee-male [turns to other two and they nod their heads yes] … yes the female so you will not feel so lonely, she will make you feeeeeel better, yes?

Al: Oh, isn’t that kind of you.

Andro 2: So tell us about your Kennedy family, Mr. Adlai.

Al: Do I need to be naked for this? Well, huh, I think I saw something that would help explain it a little better. [sighs, walks over to a pile of clutter, and retrieves a picture of the Kennedy clan circa 1960 per Jack and Bobby, shows photo to Androgens]

Andro 3: My my, they all sssssmile so. Ssssoooo many children must make the gender-obvious feel proud.

Al: Yes, and especially our religion, Catholics encouraged procreation.

Andro 2 (to Andro 3): It is true. Stevenson Kennedy’s descendents believed that having as many births as possible pleased their god.

Andro 3: Indeed. A culture that not only definesss the gender itself, but also the rolesss of these gendersss as well as proclivity.

Al: You guys sure are clinical about love, tenderness, and how happy parenthood can be.

Andro 2: Did you say clinical or cynical? This, your diction is so phonetically arcane.

Andro 3: It fitssss with hisss arcane sssssexual tendencies.

Al: Look my friends, I meant clinical ok? And if this is going to be a long story, I would say start calling me Al now.

Androgens together: We agree, Al.

Al: So let’s see…. [fade]

Act 3.2 FLASH-BACK begins – Scene 1

Pre-Apocalypse family flashback of survivor politician

[exterior shot of ASK I’s house, cut to ASK I in house basement asleep on a cot]

Al (Voice Only): I can’t get those years straight, but it was the turn of the 21 century and my grandfather was worried about what was then the War on Terror.

Andro 2 (VO): What about your great grand-father and grand-uncles’ Cold War?

Al (VO): That ended several years before, only about a decade or so apart. According to my father, my grandfather had a travel alarm clock that he kept beside his bed….

[ASK I wakes up to a travel alarm clock buzzer, date shows on screen “2003-04” his wife is at the top of the stairs with a tray of breakfast]

Mrs. Kennedy I: [pregnant] Rise and shine, birthday boy!

ASK I: Thank you, my darling. (white briefs and t-shirt)

Mrs. Kennedy I: Did you manage to sleep well in the dungeon, Dr. Frankenstein?

ASK I: (shrugs) Yes, I guess. I don’t want to upset you, but you and the kids need to come down here with me once a week, so the real thing doesn’t scare ’em when it happens.

Mrs. Kennedy I: I know. [looks down, then puts her hand on her pregnant stomach] You know your father hasn’t said anything though?

ASK I: Senator Kennedy? No, he and good old Patrick – oh I need to call him later, its a twin thing – are still at it even with the Anthrax scare from Ft. Deterick.

Mrs. Kennedy I: Come on, your Belgian waffle is getting cold and there’s more coffee upstairs.

[ASK I takes the food tray upstairs with his wife]

Flash-back Scene 2

[Kennedy kitchen – 2 small children watching cartoons in a breakfast nook drinking juice, an Hispanic woman polishing silver]

ASK I: Hey guys, turn that off after breakfast. I don’t want you turning into zombies.

Child 1: [5 years old] what is a zombie, daddy?

ASK I: A zombie is someone who goes funny in the head from sitting in front of a TV for too long, and not enough time playing in the sandbox Santa gave him last Christmas.

Child 1: Yes Daddy.

Mrs. Kennedy I: [to maid] Gracias, Senorita Jimenes. [maid walks away from the silver so the Kennedys can be alone]

ASK I: Dad said he would be up on the weekend. Something about a 35th birthday present. I just dont let him push me into running for something. I am happy here in DC, but working for Uncle Joe trying to get money in for Citizen’s Oil. As soon as we can prove that those fuel cells…

[cartoon interrupted by news]

TV announcer: We interrupt this program to bring you the following news brief. The White House has just recalled the US Ambassador to the United Nations, after a shouting match with the Iranian foreign minister. This comes after Iran’s resistance to allow inspections of the nuclear facilities.

Mrs. Kennedy I: Your father must be ready to pounce on this.

ASK I: Jesus. What bastards. Two wrongs can’t make a right, ya know?

[Room starts shaking, TV reception fades, lights go out!]

Mrs. Kennedy I: Oh my God! Adlai!

ASK I: [in solemn deep tone] Its Kingdom come. Kids come on! We’ve got to get into the shelter! Where’s the dog?

Mrs. Kennedy I: [has both children by the hand] Hopefully Skip will have the sense to run toward the house.

ASK I: Mrs. Jimenez! Vamanos! [maid comes running out of the dining room]

Act 3.3

Interrogation continued. ASK III Questioned about Classicism, Racism, Sexism

[fade back to pinwheel room with Al and Androgens]

Al: According to my Dad that was how it felt. Especially when the TV went funny like that.

Andro 1: That is when they moved into their underground shelter?

Al: Yes. Our Kennedy family had been in Washington for over fifty years at that point. When my grand uncle Jack was president, he made sure there was a contingency plan for he and his family.

Andro 2: And that’s why they had a shelter?

Al: Yes, some called it a bunker.

Andro 3: The fffemale whose name was pronounced so differently… was sssshe inferior?

Al: No, certainly not. We always said all men were created equal, but that also included all women of course.

Andro 2: What was your labor class like? Were your workers bred diminutive, or well endowed?

Al: She was an immigrant, but she had some inalienable human rights. Before the fallout we had distinguishable climate zones; she was from a warmer climate and hotter culture.

Andro 1: She was in your employ, was she not? Your family was in that old ruling caste?

Al: Oh yes, economically. Heh-heh yeah um… We made all the big financial decisions so that people like her could come work in urban factories or on rural farm plantations.

Andro 3: Was this what you call classsssism?

Al: Huh? Well I suppose these things just manifest. Mrs. Jimenez did not survive long after fallout, she was older. But there was another group too.

Andro 2: Please help us to understand this, Al.

Al: By all means, my new friends.

Thank You Letter to Loved Ones

Posted in Economics, relationships, SCOD Status Update Reports, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2018 by Drogo

by Drogo Empedocles

Thank you to my loved ones. I say ‘loved ones’ instead of supporters, because ‘support’ emphasizes an engineering role towards production of projects alone, but I want to make clear the importance of emotional support roles that do not need to be concerned with financing and the basics of survival, but can embrace many factors necessary to thrive (joy, contentment, excitement, encouragement, etc). Friends, family, and fans are all very important success elements in human lives. I feel love even for strangers that support my work, because by showing support and affection for my art, writing, music, and designs of any kind they are validating an extension of myself; much like having children or pets are expressions of existence. The Arts are about expressions of our lives (animus), as they take energy to create. Art may not be alive the same way as biological organisms, but art works have psychological presence which can validate our personal feelings, our entire lives, or even the ontological concept of Life itself.

My patrons financially supporting me include family and friends specifically on Patreon: Beamer, Chuckles, Aeyla, Wim. Thank you for helping validate my life. I was blacklisted and shut-out of the main-stream job market due to my anti-authoritarian rebellious attitude towards creativity, self-expression, and desire for freedom at a young age in grade school. Those that believe in competition may not have ended a decade of soccer playing as a senior on the losing team, and perhaps have not been embarrassed enough to destroy egotistical ambition, even when based on hard work and practice. Part of my reason for publishing my old school art and writing is not just to show progress, or even hopes at shared nostalgia (which I do value greatly); but more importantly for other people, I want to support the role of modern art movements to validate the worth of every individual life, no matter their skill, for the sake of sustainable co-existence in civilization. Everyone is worthy to be recognized as an artist, one who can express themselves using their own bodies and other mediums. What people do with their art is subject to public views of course, but a right to peaceful life once we are born should perhaps be more a priority in culture than it is. Many out-dated terms like ‘earning’ often do nothing towards civil rights in society, where one percent can ‘earn’ millions of dollars, and refuse to share with millions of people. In economic theory of a limited supply of currency, this makes no sense to extract national wealth and only allow the most selfish to have it.

Despite my own personal problems and failings, which are many, at this point in my adult life I have paid off all of my debts (college & car), and helped other people as well, in my own ways. My non-profit group SCOD may have no income to pay members, but it is made of all those every associated with it, inspired by it, and who inspire SCOD projects. There are so many important projects still possible, as SCOD School remains free; if we were to charge eventually it would solidify staff and pay using a business model with office secretaries for bursar, treasurer, and accountancy; and lawyers for all legal matters. Yet economic theory is still very hotly debated in our minds, even after years of many personal transactions among members, paying bills is a fundamental challenge to creativity and free-will. Our projects are not always financially successful, but we have redefined success itself in the Arts to allow for organic sustainability, regardless of monetary systems or politics. I would like to now list and describe some of my own projects, which often tie into SCOD and involve cooperation with others.

Book, Blog articles, poem communications, Designs, Art, Music, etc… [to be continued…]

Audio reading of letter, recorded by Drogo on Mixcloud

SCOD Moral Philosophy

Posted in Military, Psychology, Rhymes & Riddles, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2017 by Drogo

The ball or the sword, a tale of two opposites

when I was a boy, I had a very important moral decision to make, and I knew by the time I was an adult, I needed to make up my mind which political polarity side I was on (Left or Right). I remember trying to be either extreme Right or extreme Left. I first tried being as Right-wing as I could be as a teen, wearing military uniforms, school uniforms, business suits, racing fast cars, and glorifying violence and military might; and to this day I have very militant or strict law-abiding attitudes towards things, and severe punishments for the slightest offense. After trying to follow the best corporate pioneer and team role-models I had observed over the years, I decided that competition at all costs was not for me; but it took becoming abusive to others to understand that for me, that way of thinking was poison for which there was no immunity to. I chose the side that wanted to control through Peace and Love, over the side that was for an Abuse and Violence or Predator and Victim system. Happy lives use less poisons, and for some there may be psychological disorders that result from capitalism. The choice of the ball or the sword (Lone Wolf & Cub) falls to all of us, at various phases of life, and as different metaphors as obstacles to our intention to lead a good or happy life.

Beamer Interview

Posted in Interviews, POB Audio, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on June 20, 2017 by Drogo

1 – Name & Title  (ie Beamer the Scientist)

2 – How can we get from where we are, to a more Star Trek utopian future based on Exploration and Diplomacy? (politics-tech-power-economics)

3 – Why do you love magnets, robots, & renewable energy???

4 – Are alternative fuel vehicles important for transitioning to renewable energy?

5 – What are some of the basic specs on your home solar panels, and do you have any tips for others interested in investing in solar panels??

SCOD-cast Audio Shows

Posted in Education / Schools, POB Audio, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on December 27, 2016 by Drogo

SCOD Pod-cast Audio Radio Shows:

Philosophy Lecture Series:

600 BC – Thales, Anaximander, Anaximenes – World Prime Element
500 BC – Heraclitus, Pythagoras, and Parmenides. Change vs Non-Change with Math as religion.
400 BC – Empedocles, Anaxagoras, Democritus – Universal Powers
300 BC – Socrates, Plato, Aristotle – Sophists, Society, & Politics
200 BC – Epicureans, Aristarchus & Library of Alexandria – Happiness, Science, and Scrolls
100 BC – Caesar, Cicero, Anthony & Cleopatra – Politics & War vs. Love & Peace
0 BC-AD – Jesus, Augustus, Boudica – Roman Empire vs The World
100 AD – Marcus Aurelius & Stoics

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SCOD-cast Heraclitus, Pythagoras, Parmenides Lecture – 500 BC

SCOD-cast on Thales the Ionian 600 BC 

SCOD Radio Show on Philosophy

SCOD-cast Audio Show 1

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The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori

Posted in Education / Schools, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on November 4, 2016 by Drogo

Book report on The Secret of Childhood by Maria Montessori (1966 version)

Learning how to enjoy learning by asking questions, and liking what you do; not just doing what you want or are told to do.

Content Summary

Childhood: A Social Problem

Era of the Child; Psycho-analysis secret

Newborn Child – Alien Environment, Natural Instincts, Spirit Incarnation

Psychic Development – sensitive periods, observations

Order – Inner / Outer

Intelligence, Growth, Sleep, Walking, Rhythm, Movement, Comprehension, Love

Montessori Method Origins

Normalization

Deviation – pampering, fugues, barriers, cures, attachment, possessive, power, fear, truth

Conflict – adult vs child

Instinct to Work

Guiding, Teaching, Rights, Mission

Conventional ‘direct teaching’ impedes child learning, based on the erroneous assumption that teaching molds young minds. The will-power of the child to create their own skills (walking, talking, eating, etc), is how children learn. Children have the power to change their own behavior, and are more successful when it is self motivated. The key is to determine where teaching and self-motivation meet in each case.

Children will notice with frustration, that they are considered unreliable and weak compared to less fragile adults. This dissociative relationship between the helpless child and their environment causes children to think of themselves as hopelessly inferior, and combined with social competition makes them desperate for attention and constant continuing dissatisfaction as they grow. In many ways this conditions people to be fighters and survivalists, which are certainly strong roles; and is naturally similar to resistant forces that cause a tree to grow denser and shorter if there are high winds, or thin and tall with little wind. However there is a problem with children viewing themselves as less valuable than the objects they are forbidden to touch, as without self worth, they have nothing to lose by hurting themselves or others.

If a child is to develop their own interior life, they must be allowed to touch things, and work rationally; as this can help them early on to develop considerate habits of acting. They must develop ethics by their own free-will, although we can guide them. Establishing sustainable successions of working actions, based on rational play, is successful education.

On Living & Working Together

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Philosophy, Psychology, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2016 by Drogo

Living and working together are similar, and sometimes combined. When part of most days are spent doing things with each-other, we should realize it is a partner relationship, and it is very important to evaluate functionality and success whether the goal is happiness or a project. You cannot really understand who people are, unless you have serious lengthy interactions; and if you cannot spend hours with each-other, pushing, pulling, and in silence, then just realize you do not really know them well enough for major partnership decisions. Even when you have lived with another, which is even harder than long distance, there are things about them which will not make sense to you. It is only through meditation on the shared living experiences and communications, comparing and contrasting ideas and results, words and actions, good and bad feelings, can we have a real basis for knowing if who they are works with who you are sustainably enough to live happily together. This is not to say that anyone is perfectly good to themselves or others all the time, but we can only know relative to our own experiences and wisdom. Desire to do something with partners cannot be so selfish it excludes them; we succeed or fail together with group projects.

Facebook has made it clear to me, that text messages (no matter how personal), are not a true substitute for the kind of testing that must be done in person eventually. However, the less challenging your communication is, the less prepared you will be to handle each-other when the hardest tests come. The best indicator that you cannot work together, is if both people harbor more resentment than love consistently. The best indicator that you can live and work together successfully, is if the partners harbor more joy and love, than bitterness consistently. Some people have problems expressing certain emotions, so that should be taken into account, however it will impair communication. If you cannot tell how satisfied a person can be or is, it can cause confusion; same for bipolar mood shifts. This is why natural psychological medication, like moderate doses of organic cannabis, are so important for many people to find balance during stressful times or for severe personality disorders.

John Muir, Nature’s Visionary

Posted in Book Reports, Nature Studies, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 27, 2016 by Drogo

ON THE WILD SIDE for SEPT. 2016 by Christine Schoene Maccabee

 

Choked in the sediments of society, so tired of the world, here will your hard doubts disappear…and your soul breathe deep and free in God’s shoreless atmosphere of beauty and love.”

– John Muir, 1903

The above quote was part of John Muir’s impassioned invitation to President Roosevelt and Vice President Howard Taft to join him in Yosemite and camp out under the stars. Together they talked about protecting the giant redwoods from timbering, as well as preserving the ecological wonders only Muir, and the natives who had lived there, knew intimately. Upon returning East the Roosevelt Administration created 5 national parks, 23 national monuments, and added more than 148 million acres of woodland to the national forest system. Muir was also founder of the Sierra Club of which most of us are aware and some of us members.

In my 20’s I knew next to nothing about the person of John Muir until I read a book, Baptized into Wilderness, which is filled with many inspiring writings from his years spent as caretaker in Yosemite. How he managed to brilliantly overcome the trauma of living with his tyrannical father, a Scottish Calvinist Minister of the worst sort who beat him daily, is nothing short of a miracle. As Muir wrote in his autobiography,“by the time I was 11 years of age I had about three-fourths of the Old Testament and all of the New by heart and by sore flesh.”

Fortunate to be nurtured by the love of his mother and sisters, and due to his fascination with nature and inventing, he grew into a strong young man, fully determined to make his own way in life once the family moved from Scotland to Wisconsin. Helping to clear land and create their homestead was no easy life, but in his free time, Muir invented all sorts of crazy things made from scraps of iron and wood. At age 22 he decided to show his inventions at the state fair in Madison and was a smash hit with his “early rising machine” which tipped a person out of bed at an appointed hour. His father accused him of the sin of vanity.

He avoided the Civil War on the grounds of passivism while attending the University of Wisconsin, which he dropped out of after his sophomore year, little knowing that 34 years later he would receive an honorary degree, Dr. of Laws, from that same college. With a beard as bushy and long as any had seen, he headed to Canada on foot, “botanizing” along the way. The things of nature were always his first love.

After loosing his eyesight due to a freak accident at a machinery factory, Muir gasped, “My right eye is gone! Closed forever on all God’s beauty.” His left eye also failed, leaving him blind. However, after endless nightmares and despair while convalescing in a darkened room, his vision slowly returned. Muir proclaimed “Now I have risen from the grave” and he forever shunned the work of factories. Instead, he took to further journeys by foot, with his plant press on his back, heading south to “anywhere in the wilderness” which took him through the Appalachian Mountains and swamps of Georgia . He sketched and journaled and pressed plants along the way.

That first long walk of 1,000 miles took him to Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. However, his longest journey by foot, which he called “my grand sabbath day three years long” drew him West, climbing Mt.Ranier, exploring glaciers in Alaska, and ultimately settling in the California Sierras. It was there that he wrote his most inspiring words describing the beauty and wonder of the plant life, animals, boulders, sequoias, and experiencing ecstatic moments at the top of a tree during a hurricane. Muir proclaimed his reverence for all life forms, becoming a “voice for the voiceless”as he worked to convince others as to the need to preserve as much of the untouched purity of the natural world as possible.

Muir’s invitation to go out and become “steeped in the wonder of creation” was not only for people back then. It is still an invitation to us all today. My own life has been shaped by Muir and many other voices for the voiceless ; that is how I have come to write of my own passion to preserve and enhance wild places, allowing even more habitat on our properties and in our backyards .

Fortunately for us there is a monthly meeting of the Sierra Club at our library in Thurmont ! This month we will meet on Saturday, September 3 from 10-12. Do come join us as we work on a variety of projects to help preserve the goodness of our planet for generations to come.

With John Muir’s Vision as our inspiration we can make progress in spite of adversities. If he did it, so can we !

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Christine is a member of Thurmont’s Green Team and a Master Habitat Naturalist. She would be happy to help you with habitat, particularly plant ID, on your own property and can be reached at songbirdschant@gmail.com

 

 

 

 

Absorbent Mind, by Maria Montessori

Posted in Book Reports, Education / Schools, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 17, 2016 by Drogo

1949 Book – by the author and founder of Montessori Method

  • translation 1958, 1967 edition

Children play a part in World Reconstruction – humanity is still immature; it has a long way to go to become a peaceful utopia. Philosophers must take control, and begin teaching our youngest children early, so they may grow up and contribute to the greatness of humanity. Our human greatness begins at birth, new children are the makers of men.

Education is for Life. The psychic mind of each child, is simply their psychology of the soul. We learn by absorbing knowledge and experience. Gandhi said that education must be coextensive with life, and the central point of teaching must be to affirm and defend life. This good education feeds peaceful revolution.

Phases of growth can be considered as periods of time as the child grows older. Period 1: child ages 0-3, period 2: child ages 3-6, Period 3: child ages 6-12

Creation is a miracle. Modern biology is turning in a new direction towards children. Good parenting can produce better citizens, because good parenting makes the adult and the child more humane. Even in the wild, savage lions are tender with their cubs. Children are not just copies of their parents, they teach willing parents by bringing out their best sides. The instinct to defend our young, is often more powerful than our instinct to run away from danger; this is evidence of the intense power that children have over many parents. Cell division in the genesis of becoming being, is a natural miracle of microscopic multiplication. Babies evolve into adults, much like mammals have evolved from reptiles; and even between species, embryos look very similar.

Independence, Language, and Obstacles – discovering independence is naturally thrilling for children, our brains are set up to reward the work of learning. Environmental experience gives children language and obstacles to challenge and shape them. Eyes are camera obscuras that allow us to see objects, but it is our minds that process what we see. Without language, we would have no civilization.

Intelligence and the Hand – in the development of appendages, the legs are clearly more important for mobility; and our hands are for everything else, including cooking, feeding, craft, and social complexity. Our dexterous prehensile abilities give us tool making advantages over other animals. Our brains enable us to use our hands for communication, as well as our mouths.

Development and Imitation – practice of skills is vital for complex and successful imitation

Unconscious creators can become conscious workers, and vice versa.

Culture and Imagination – one person’s boring stagnation is another person’s enjoyable comfort zone; in between perpetual entropy and growth. We are like volcanoes, that erupt with changes naturally, through-out our lives.

Character during childhood is a personal achievement, but can obstruct learning in school.

Social contributions, unit cohesion, and normalizing – knowing when to concentrate and when to move on to something new, could be considered in ‘normalcy levels’.

Correction and Obedience (3 levels)

Obedience is seen as something which develops in the child in much the same way as other aspects of his character. At first it is dictated purely by the vital impulses, then it rises to the level of consciousness, and thereafter it goes on developing, stage by stage, till it comes under the control of the conscious will. – The Absorbent Mind.

Montessori Three Obedience Levels:

1. Partial Obedience

2. Blind Obedience

3. Compassionate Obedience

The First Level of Obedience

“What we call the first level of obedience is that in which the child can obey, but not always. It is a period in which obedience and disobedience seem to be combined.” (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1964)

In order to obey one must not only to wish but also be able to obey. To carry out an order one must already possess some degree of maturity and a measure of the special skill that it many need.  Hence we first have to know whether the child’s obedience is practically possible at the level of development the child has reached…If the child is not yet master of his actions, if he cannot obey even his own will, so much the less can he obey the will of someone else. – The Absorbent Mind.

The Second Level of Obedience

A period when the child can always obey, when there are no obstacles deriving from his lack of control. His powers are now consolidated and can be directed not only by his own will, but by the will of another. The child can absorb another person’s wishes and express them in his own behaviour. – The Absorbent Mind.

 “The second level is when the child can always obey, or rather, when there are no longer any obstacles deriving from his lack of control. His powers are now consolidated and can be directed not only by his own will, but by the will of another.” (Montessori, The Absorbent Mind, 1964) This may appear to be the highest level of obedience; however, because it is dependent on outside variables (adults or authority figures), this is not true obedience. The child is merely satisfying someone else’s wishes, not his own.

The Third Level of Obedience

The third level of obedience is when the child gets joy and pleasure from unquestionably obeying someone superior, no matter the request, such as obeying a respected and much loved teacher without question.

The child “responds promptly and with enthusiasm and as he perfects himself in the exercise, he finds happiness in being able to obey.” (Montessori, The Discovery of the Child, 1967) This is the stage of true self-discipline.

*

Discipline and Love – “Work is love made visible.” – Gibran (The Prophet 1948)

END

Reference – Minding “On The Dot” by M.V O’Shea in Montessori Talks to Parents (Series One, Volume Two) The Road to Discipline NAMTA 1979. 

Music – AMM Trip-hop

Posted in Music Reviews, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on August 8, 2016 by Drogo

AMM = Appalachian Mountain Militia

Band:  J.B. C.O.D.I.A.K., A-Rob, and Mac Hatfield

Remixes by Drogo Empedocles

“Hey You Guys” aka “People Please Wakeup” (Eco Rap)

AMM Beat 150

“Real Talk” ft. CODIAK, Arob, & Mac

“Screwface”  ft. CODIAK, Arob, & Mac

just some favorites….

Hillhouse Digi 5.jpg

 

 

Commercial Corporate vs Local Community Income

Posted in Economics, Services, Sales or Trade, Sustainability, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2016 by Drogo

As I network locally, nationally, and globally; I feel a need to talk about jobs and how less and less of us have less and less jobs, and the more education we have, the less ethical jobs are available, and the less we are able to do simple common jobs if we try to pursue our highest level career applications for our intellectual and financial investments.

Corporate corruption runs both parties currently, and probably always has. I started to learn about it when I began studying politics in the 1990s, with big pharma making commercials for candidates, and coal companies running the college I taught at locally for the DNC, without actually offering any benefits for voters. Then I began looking into dark and campaign money. Republicans are more upfront about their business loyalties (oil, gas, factories, war), but Democrats tend to hide behind liberal slogans we want to hear, but the money they get they pay back to companies (big pharma, wall street bail outs, coal, real estate). They depend on people thinking like war and sports, that you have to pick a side because those are the only choices, except in recent years people like me have been supporting grass-roots candidates that do not get bribed by companies, and are more likely to do what they say. Bernie’s record as an independent has allowed him to challenge corruption on both sides. Republicans may support more pollution than Democrats, but only environmental progressives like Kucinich, Gore, Bernie, AOC, and Warren have proposed Green plans and they get attacked by the corporate DNC for it. Our neo-con “Democrats” in WV vote straight Republican on most issues because they support Coal Companies.

According to documents Biden and Democrats are involved with Russia and the Ukraine, about as much as Trump is with Saudi Arabia. Trump has just been more out in the open, but he does deals just like they have done, it just takes more investigation time. Part of the leaked DNC emails showed Hillary saying “let’s spread the Russia story against our opponents”, but the sad thing is we have more documents showing DNC members taking way more Russian money than Trump ever has, and the Green party never did. It is sad to say because I believe in liberal values more than conservative ones, but I cannot deny facts when there is enough evidence. That is why we are so lucky to have real candidates running that are not being bribed by companies, Bernie and Warren are only taking small dollar donations from voters.

I have never seen one Republican candidate better than any of the Democrats for sure on any issue worth voting for, which sometimes is not a high bar considering our wars and pollution. The lesser of two evils in a two party system is best, when we are forced to only vote for 2 rigged choices. Hillary won the popular election, we should have her as president, things would not be as bad. Business interests in the electoral college decided otherwise, and many Trump votes believed his lies he stole from real liberals, like wanting to drain the swamp and give health care and jobs back. Bernie meant those things because that is what he does, but Trump lied to get votes.

Commercial corporate, industrial factory, or other greed and pollution based jobs that I and most other workers have to pay minimum wage bills are not the answer anymore. Based on the economic market since the Great Recession, there will be less of those unethical jobs. Also more of us are becoming educated about the environment, pollution, history, economics, politics, and civil rights; so less of us will want to have those jobs as we know they will affect us adversely psychologically and combined with over-population will continue to destroy our environment. Scientists seem to be saying that humans have been rapidly destroying entire species of life, but civilized people have taken no substantial actions to stop or undo pollution and killing world-wide or at home; as it would mean going to war with greedy powers.

Local community economies must become more substantial. Meetings should be held to discuss which technologies are important to us, and which ones are destroying our ability to sustain ourselves. Income based living is a fairly new concept, in the history of human existence on this planet, and we now can clearly see the out-come of Capitalist based economies: Bernie ‘Made-off’, ‘Greedy’ Greenspan, Dan Ryan, and Donald Trump. Artists and humanitarians of all kinds have been made to suffer, and told we are not worth anything and should not be able to pay our bills doing what we love and do well, which is to be alive by the grace of Nature and allowed to express our talents in the service of ourselves and others. Instead we have been told by the dominant system that only corporate or government slave labor is practical service.

I believe we have been born into a corrupt system that is wrong. I have written, and will be writing more articles about these issues. I invite you to contact SCOD (Sustainable Cooperative for Organic Development), and please express yourself and tell the world that you have a right to live, helping the community as best you can where-ever you are located; whether you are the most energetic and able bodied person; or all you are best at is being able to write, draw, or speak. Human rights should begin with allowing life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and to me that means being allowed to live in a home even you cannot earn any money.

The answer as to what kind of economy we need, clearly will be based on what our needs are currently, while planning for the future. Few people think about how things will get worse, and how we can make them better. It begins with finding people locally that you like and have some ability to help you to live better; artists, gardeners, trades-workers, singers, farmers, bakers, or cooks etc… then paying them or trading with them. Next it will take changing our state or national economic system, and making the rich corporate politicians that rape the planet pay for their greedy deeds entirely. Allow the rest of us poor people (that cannot afford our own homes) to live our lives, with an ‘affordable’ living. All people should be given enough to live on by a government, rather than spending the same money on War and Plutocrats. This is sometimes called the ‘basic living wage’ concept; but it goes beyond wages and addresses the ‘right to life’.

If only we had yin-yang balance with ecology, instead of with a far-right corporate frame work being “centrist”. Harmony with natural life and death, instead of both sides sustaining pollution because poison sells and gives them both wealth. The balance of day is night, and night is not “evil”. We do what we can, our very existence is hope, despite limited power. In fact if we had as much power as rich people, we may get more corrupted by it and actually be more harmful than we are just living our lives now. We certainly would try to do more with more money, but simple lives are fine examples of how to be with low impact. Control over others is limited for better or worse, and trying to control or persuade sometimes back fires, so yeah life is a puzzle.

Thoughts on Collaboration

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Services, Sales or Trade, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 16, 2016 by Drogo

When cooperating with a friend on a project, if they say that they cannot do something a certain way, you can try to negotiate or take time to understand what they are talking about; or else just let them do it their way, and try to be less egotistical about it in the end. Usually most people hold resentment, as though their vision incarnate in an alternate reality would have been better than the real result.

Relations are like tests, the way they are written and graded is at least as important as the way they are taken. When taking the test we may feel we are doing well or failing, but the final grade may be the opposite of what you thought it would be. This risk does not mean the test is not worth taking. Retests may be available, but are often optional. As many times as we take a test, higher scores may not be possible.

In the dance of relations, whether business or friends, find out what will work to facilitate trade, then do it with confident trust. Those that break faith, substantially determine the length of the dance. Less will-power, less dance. Too much egotistic selfishness and the dance will end badly, it takes balance to sustain the dance and desire to dance well.

Work with people that honestly love you AND what you bring to the project. If you get the sense that you appreciate their stuff more than they appreciate yours, be very cautious as they can turn on you due to selfish egotism. Confidence is arrogance when it ultimately ignores friendship for selfish pride. If their selfishness trumps their concern and interest of you, stop working with them asap*. Despite the popular saying “do not mix business and pleasure (friendship)”, and advice that goes along with it due to bad experiences, friends (I mean the best kind of friends) are actually the best people to have partnerships with, provided things are fairly equal or at least good-will based and more pleasure is had by the exchanges, than regret. Some of us prefer to work with ones that love us, because they understand and respect our limitations and gifts; and still want to include us in their lives and projects.

On Living and Working Together – (see main article)

When part of most days are spent doing things with each-other, we should realize it is a partner relationship, and it is very important to evaluate functionality and success whether the goal is just happiness or a project. You cannot really understand who people are, unless you have serious lengthy interactions; and if you cannot spend hours with each-other, pushing, pulling, and in silence, then just realize you do not really know them well enough for major partnership decisions. Even when you have lived with another, which is even harder than long distance, there are things about them which will not make sense to you. It is only through meditation on the shared living experiences and communications, comparing and contrasting ideas and results, words and actions, good and bad feelings, can we have a real basis for knowing if who they are works with who you are sustainably enough to live happily together. This is not to say that anyone is perfectly good to themselves or others all the time, but we can only know relative to our own experiences and wisdom. Desire to do something with partners cannot be so selfish it excludes them; we succeed or fail together with group projects.

Facebook has made it clear to me, that text messages (no matter how personal), are not a true substitute for the kind of testing that must be done in person eventually. However, less challenging communication you have, the less prepared you will be to handle each-other when the hardest tests come. The best indicator that you cannot work together, is if both people harbor more resentment than love consistently.

* ps – get at least one second opinion about what you think they are being selfish about, and if you can have a long personal conversation about it with your partner… DO IT!!! If it is clear that they really do not care about your feelings or they don’t care about your well-being, then take steps as soon as possible to end the relations and cease working on anything related to them. 

Swallows Are Back!

Posted in Nature Studies, Poems, Uncategorized with tags , , , , on June 29, 2016 by Drogo

ON THE WILD SIDE for June, 2016 by Christine Schoene Maccabee

The Swallows Are Back !

“Birds, the free tenants of land, air, and ocean,

their forms all symmetry, their motions grace…”

James Montgomery, British Poet

I often wonder how many other people feel a thrill when the swallows return to our area in early May. In late April this year I began to watch for them with high expectation. Every year the swallows are drawn back to my home like a magnet, much to my amazement and joy. Their nest of mud and grasses, lined with soft feathers, is perched in a corner of the eaves of my A-frame house. Due to the strength of this nest, and how well it is “glued” to the wood, it has lasted through many a fierce storm. It is the second nest the swallows created there in more than 20 years, the first one falling down just a few years ago. That particular spring, upon their return, they built another strong nest in the very same place, and I expect it to last just as long as the other one.

The first sign of the return of my feathered tenants is their excited chirping, and my day is immediately happier upon hearing them. They sound like they are having a lively conversation, which I guess they are, and my loneliness is displaced by their cheerful company. Since arriving here several days ago, the mated pair has been zooming all day through the skies eating whatever they can find. Every spring and summer they keep my atmosphere completely free of mosquitoes, so no Zika Virus here ! However, due to all the rain and cool weather this spring, the flying bug population is not so great yet. Hopefully the birds had plenty of food while traveling north after wintering somewhere in Mexico or some country in South America. Some swallows winter as far away as Argentina !

I wish I knew my swallows’ entire story, but at least I do know part of their story here in northern Frederick county. I have seen mothers, and fathers, sitting on their nest until the babies hatch. Thereafter the wonderful partnership of the parents continues, taking turns feeding the nestlings, and themselves. It takes a lot of energy zooming around all day. It is a true joy to watch them fly far out over the fields, gathering what they can at lightening speed, and then bringing the food back to their eager nestlings. Usually there are four young ones, and once these fledgelings leave the nest the mother and father occasionally settle down to raising 4 more.

Birds, as we all know, are amazing creatures. We humans are fascinated with both their flight, and their songs, not to forget their amazingly artistic colorations. Many a poet has written eloquently about them and artists such as Audubon have painted detailed representations of them (more than 1,000 to be nearly exact!). Songs like “The Little Red Lark”, an Irish ballad, portray their amazing flights and songs, and airplanes were invented as we grounded humans decided we too had to fly. This idea may or may not have been a good one. After all, birds are following their natural inclinations, whereas humans do not, and we are definitely polluting our planet with all our unnatural contraptions, are we not ?

So, perhaps that is why I am so mesmerized by birds, particularly the swallows. They are so small, seemingly so vulnerable, and yet they can fly such long distances with the greatest of ease. In fact, once here, it is estimated they can fly the equivalent of 600 miles a day in quest of food for their young, according to the Audubon Field Guide to North American Birds. So how is that possible ? you ask.

In my research I have learned, as many of you likely already know, that birds are very light (as light as a feather in fact) due to the fact that their bones are hollow and filled with air. Also, according to a book on Natural History by Bertha Parker, connected with a bird’s lungs are tiny air sacs scattered throughout its body. These air sacs act like tiny hot-air balloons ! Therefore a typical swallow weighs far less than a mouse, lizard or frog of the same size. A birds streamlined body is another help in flying. Humans have tried to mimic these qualities, the closest coming to gliders of various types, and hot-air balloons. I will not say anything about all the other larger, costly, heavy planes, especially of war, which have completely digressed from Nature’s perfect plan.

So, back to feathers. Feathers also serve the purpose of protecting birds from rain and cold. They shed rain because they are a little oily and the intricate parts of the feathers are cleverly put together in lovely, serviceable patterns. Feathers also keep the birds body warm, trapping the heat ; think of your down sleeping bag. This winter I remember telling my chickens to huddle close and keep warm, as I closed them up for the night in their unheated coup. I even worried a bit, but they weathered the cold winter beautifully as they are fully and thickly feathered.

I am in total admiration of birds in general, and sometimes I wish I were as free as they are, unfettered by coats and boots and layers of clothing, and independent of automobile expenses. I envy them for their ability to fly and feed themselves without growing their own food or going into a grocery store.

However, as Popeye so wisely said, “I yam what I yam, and tha’s all what I yam”, and there is no escaping that fact ! I do rather like having two strong legs, and arms I can reach to the sky with, giving praise for all the wonders of life. I am also thrilled to have my swallows back here for another season. I will miss them when they gather to go south in August, and I can usually tell when the time is coming by all their excitement as they zoom around my house with their happy, chirping fledgelings, full grown by then, and fully independent. Sigh.

I wish I could fly free as a bird, and be light as a feather !

Christine is a Master Wildlife Habitat Naturalist and can be reached at songbirdschant@gmail.com with any questions or stories of your own.