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Friday, October 20, 2017

Eco units provide Naoki Shiomi’s Half Farmer/Half X lifestyle

Posted by steve on May 11, 2009

The concept of the Half-Farmer/Half-X lifestyle was first proposed in the mid-1990s by the Japanese Naoki Shiomi, who now lives in the city of Ayabe in the north part of Kyoto Prefecture. The basic idea is that people pursue farming, not so much as a business but to grow food for their own family, while being constructively involved in society by realizing their own personal passion — something he called their “X” factor.

The “X” represents the questions each person must answer to find out what they really prefer to do, what they really want to do, and what they can do for others, while discovering their personal mission, their life’s work, or their “true” calling in life.

Mr. Naoki Shiomi

Mr. Naoki Shiomi

Shiomi himself began pursuing this lifestyle years ago, and now helps many people find their own “X.” He said that through these practices, he keenly sensed that this type of lifestyle is a way of making the most of each person’s talent and abandoning the twentieth-century style of mass production, mass consumption, mass and long-distance transportation, and mass disposal, while pointing the way to making happier lives and a sustainable Earth more possible.

Shaomi’s ideas work very well with the concept of the Eco-Unit. The entrepreneur’s centre situated on site allows people to work close to home. Having agriculture surrounding the eco-unit means residents are involved in food production on a daily basis, even if the overall management of food production is under the control of a professional permaculture market gardener.

His ideas also speak well to our ongoing thinking about harmonising who we are/what we do in our lives. Many people find themselves at odds with both aspects in the way they live their lives and are searching for alternative. If you live ecologically then who you are – a responsible citizen of Earth – can manifest with with what you are good at,  meaning what you do and who you are come closer to harmony.

Read more about the Half-Farmer/Half-X lifestyle.

Components of an Eco-UnitComponents of an Eco-Unit

Why don’t they get it?

Posted by steve on April 24, 2009

At the last meeting of our Oil Awareness group, one concern seemed to be shared by everyone present: ”why don’t they get it?”. What members are referring to is the feeling that colleagues, government, officers of authorities just don’t seem to ”get” the significance of
1) the vast amounts of energy we are using to sustain daily life
2) the sources of this energy are rapidly depleting
3) our current economic system is dependant on them

I know why they don’t get it. If you are interested in knowing bear with me. I need to tell you a few stories first.

When Christopher Columbus arrived in what is now America, natives standing on the shore did not see the ships approaching. The explanation is that they had never encountered anything like it in their life before, and their brain simply did not register it. A priest noticed strange wave patterns (the wake of the boats) and stared at them trying to make sense of them. Eventually he saw the ships, called others to him, and they stated to see the ships too.

The other story is of research I have read into perception. Researchers showed rather upper class middle aged women a series of pictures and words rapidly, and asked them to remember them. Interspersed with “ordinary” words were foul language expressions of the sort these ladies would never use. Interestingly when asked, these subjects remembered all the ordinary words but were certain they never saw the foul ones.

Obviously they “saw” the words, but in terms of perception, like the natives on the shores of America, they did not “register” them.

Countless other experiments and stories illustrate the same thing: that people do not always perceive what they are seeing. Sometimes because it is outside their experience, sometimes because to see it would change them in some way.

This is a powerful mechanism. People often do not perceive things in situations where their position in society, for example their job, would be threatened.

So why do our neighbours, politicians, not “get” the significance of the peaking of oil production and the consequences for life on Earth?

One reason is because it is not in their life experience to even contemplate a serious, long term global energy shortage. Another is that their jobs, position in society etc depend on it. You have to remember that we are flock animals. In our DNA, our wiring, is that exclusion means death.

For sustainable development fanatics this can have drastic consequences. Say, as a friend of the environment, you start to think how the bus lane over a narrow bridge into town could be used to promote lift –sharing. Say every car with three or more passengers would be allowed the fast route past the queues.

Good for the environment… so you think of proposing it. But, the unseen forces of flock pressure will work against you. Think about it…. That could be a third of the cars used, a third of the petrol, a third of the gas sales, a reduction in staff needed, a reduction in tax income.. and so on. What you are suggesting will impact economic growth, something the flock is committed to. That will make you an outsider. You will find many reasons why this suggestion should not go further. For example “ no one will listen to me anyway”.

So any good ideas that could come up get squashed by your internal monitoring machine that is wired to keep you OK with the flock.

There ARE ways around this machine. Something for my next post……

Today is the first day

Posted by steve on

This is the 0.05 version of the new AVBP website. We will be updating it as we go along over the next few day. Be sure to come back, It’s going to be Awesome!