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User:Ethan

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Hi, I'm an Appropedia admin. Sustainability matters are mostly an avocational interest for me at the present. My focus is on permaculture-related topics. There's so much great information out there that I want to make easily available.

If you need my help send me a message on my talk page or IRC.

What I do on Appropedia[edit]

  • Monitor new articles for spam
  • Port, write and organize content.

See: my tasks page for more detail.

My favorite news sources[edit]

Recommended reading[edit]

  • Earth User's Guide to Permaculture by Rosemary Morrow - possibly the best general introduction to permaculture
  • Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren - best introduction to the theory underlying permaculture design
  • Peak Everything by Richard Heinberg - global natural resource depletion, its consequences and possible responses
  • Debt: The First 5000 Years by David Graeber - a sweeping survey of the role of debt and money in human societies
  • Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets - fungi are amazing and under-appreciated

Recommended viewing[edit]

  • The Crisis of Civilization - a calm, but urgent, overview of the ecological and social realities confronting us
  • Inhabit: A Permaculture Perspective - best feature-length introduction to permaculture, surveying a diversity of landscapes and people in the USA
  • Global Gardener - mini-series in which Bill Mollison explores permaculture applications in arid, tropical, temperate and urban landscapes
  • First Earth: Uncompromising Ecological Architecture - the documentary on natural building

A permaculture wiki still makes sense[edit]

Over the last few months I have been building up the permaculture side of Appropedia. I haven't spent a lot of time thinking about why; it's intuitive to me. But now I'd like to briefly explain my motivations.

Wikis are a collaborative endeavor. Folks in the permaculture community often emphasize cooperative efforts, but ironically very few such efforts have really been utilized on the Internet. Wikis have been far less popular than email lists and web forums. In some ways these approaches to information sharing make sense. They are better suited to spreading time-sensitive and locally-specific information. They can also be a good place to ask very specific questions. But they have their weaknesses, too. I've started to grow frustrated by the endless repetition of the same basic questions that I encounter on certain web forums. I've decided to make better use of my time than by repeating my answers. Perhaps the users who ask these questions are somewhat to blame for being too lazy to do a quick search through the archives. But as a permaculture practitioner I have to understand that the bigger issue is design. Discussion-based tools are just not well suited to sharing the basic and broad information that many people are looking for. Wikis are.

The challenge now is that wikis seem to be a bit cliched. Or rather, they've become part of the background noise; taken for granted as part of the fabric of the Internet as much as search engines, or email. A decade ago wikis were a hot commodity. Wikipedia's sudden popularity created a rising tide of wikis. A decade later that tide has ebbed. Just here on Appropedia there is a noticeable decrease of timestamps from 2006 to 2015. So what this calls for is a change of strategy. We can no longer count on having an active userbase simply just because it's a substantially-sized wiki.

Ever since I first got into permaculture around 2009, I wished for an easy, open-access, one-stop-shop for permaculture information. Such a resource still doesn't exist. Appropedia is the best-situated to become it. To that end I have been porting content from other derelict permaculture wikis. Once this is finished there will be a good foundation from which to expand. With consistent building of quality content, Appropedia will attract more users. A greater number of overall users will increase the number of editing users. I believe Appropedia can become one of the major permaculture websites. Indeed, I think we should move from envisioning Appropedia as the sustainability wiki, to becoming the action-oriented, community-powered sustainability website. --Ethan (talk) 20:04, 10 October 2015 (PDT)