Monday, December 22, 2008

Some Lifestyle Characteristics of Homo Sapiens Sapiens

I read through some comments on the last post by Jim Kunstler. Someone, who said they had been to our website wondered what we are trying to promote. "After all," they said, "not everyone can live in the boonies." I agree with that observation, at least short term. For most of human history, all humans probably did in fact live in areas we might now call the "boonies".

David Holmgren, co-founder of Permaculture, observes that humans know how to live sustainably and have done so as indigenous tribes for most of human existence. From the perspective of deep time, civilization is a short term phenomenon. From one important perspective, it is accurate to observe the beginning of civilization as the beginning of ecological overshoot for humans. Civilization marks the initiation of mass scale conversion of diverse biomass to human biomass. And while many other species may also do the same intermittently, there is always the pulsing of ecosystems. Included in the cycle is not only the expansion, but the contraction and then, hopefully, stabilization. My sense is we humans are about to enter a contraction phase. Who knows where it stops. Based upon scientific study of the human genome, apparently we have suffered through at least one near extinction event previously.

It is only in the past few years of my fifth decade of life that I have begun to perceive the brevity of our lives and some of the multigeneration trends operating in the background. The next two or three human generations will see significant changes in the culture of humans. Will we have wars, disease, and mass famines? Will we develop eyes that can see, and understand the "Law of Life" (Daniel Quinn)? Might we undertake programs of voluntary simplicity and population reduction on a global scale? Might we relocalize our food production with organic methods? Some of the possible solutions we can label "enlightened" with the potential for leaving a reasonable Earth for future generations: others are a continuation of the record of human history and leave an Earth much compromised for the future. What kind of Earth would you like to leave to the children of the future?

So, what are we trying to promote at EntropyPawsed? I maintain the question is answerable from the information and links posted on the website. But I have also tried to provide a short answer here. We are trying to promote the development of lifestyles, the yield of which leaves a reasonable world for the children of future generations. We love the beauty and solitude of our West Virginian valley. We feel blessed to be able to live here, and think it is a great place for folks to visit and learn skills and ways of being they can bring back to their own communities so we can all do our own part, in our own ways, towards this work.

Visit EntropyPawsed at

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Making Swedish Potato Sausage

Our friends Cyla and Eric invited us over to help make Swedish Potato Sausage. Of all the people they know in our area, they thought we would be most likely to enjoy and appreciate the process:) We arrived at 2:40 PM and finished after 11 PM. The ginding and especially stuffing part of the sausage making process at the time seemed interminable.

One of our very pleasant surprises five plus years ago when we moved from southeastern Ohio to southeastern West Virginia has been the people. "Come heres" and locals alike have all been hospitable and open. Humans are social beings. For virtually all of human existance, we have lived in groups of 50 to 500. Except for the recent brief experiments with civilization, most humans would have known virtually all other humans around them during entire life spans. The arrival of a stranger would have been a rare event. We feel blessed to live in an area where most everyone seems to understand humans' basic need for community!

Friday, December 19, 2008

This is an impromptu creation to display our test YouTube video. Yesterday, we got our new Flip Ultra 30 minute digital camcorder. Today, we took it from the box, did the quick start guide, and then a four minute video of our cabin. It's a bit rough, but shows immense possibilities. We are excited by the idea of allowing folks to remotely tour our place and view learning modules at their own pace.

EntropyPawsed is our nature linked low energy living demonstration site. It is not THE way to sustainability; it is a product of our ideas and our learning. The important things for all of us to avoid are things we know that will not work, e.g. containing some kind of environmental toxin. Why do we accept such things? The notion that anything can be contained is really a violation of the Laws of Thermodynamics. The entropy law in particular drives many crazy. Scientists have invented something they call Maxwell's Demon to explore various mental experiments in hopes of finding an entropy work around. Many progressives are caught up in some Tesslan fantasy of extracting energy from the ethers. Those are the kinds of things that do not work. Thermophilic composting of human waste turns a possible source of pathogens into a valuable resource for replenishing tired, abused soils. This is an important skill to have when infrastructure fails and we can no longer flush the toilet.

We intend to post a series of videos here over the next few months that cover the basis of survival. Later we will exlore our connections with the natural world. Hope you'll check back and share your thoughts and experiences.