schmorpel

joined 1 year ago
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[–] schmorpel 1 points 1 day ago (1 children)

A web portuguesa e uma teia de horrores. Porque 1000 captchas em cada página login? Nenhuma das páginas do governo, ou qualquer outra, funciona? Quero ser offline outra vez, já não quero mais disso

[–] schmorpel 6 points 1 day ago (1 children)

Why should the homeless have no right to organize? It's funny that the only places with (rough but efficient) functioning self-organization I could find so far were among the homeless and the small folk. Those with stuff left to protect are too much up their own arse to want to play well with others.

Also, the plans to get off the street are real, most of the time. Every kindness you show is a seed that one day will point towards the right direction.

I've been hanging out with the homeless as a kid, and lived on the streets for a few months as a young adult, travelling and panhandling. I met many very kind, and often very damaged people. They are on the streets because it's for a variety of reasons the only option they can manage, not because they enjoy scamming you out of a few coins and do nothing all day.

If you are concerned about your money look at the suit wearing people, most of it ends up with them.

[–] schmorpel 5 points 1 day ago (2 children)

Improve your local community in other ways. Or give in other ways. Not sure what would apply in your local community - I live in rural Western Europe and that's very different from what you describe. People here set up donation boxes, swap shops, create food banks, organize markets, create safe spaces for minority groups, community gardens ... mostly volunteering time. Not sure you are in the position to do this? Sorry things are so heartbreaking. I hope we all figure this out soon.

[–] schmorpel 3 points 1 day ago (1 children)

How did you like Georgia? I keep beong obsessed by it (because music).

[–] schmorpel 2 points 1 day ago (1 children)

How did you address your trauma? What methods did you find worked?

[–] schmorpel 1 points 6 days ago

Yup, mine just died on me, RIP. And our centipedes are fairly small in comparison!

[–] schmorpel 21 points 2 weeks ago
[–] schmorpel 0 points 2 weeks ago

The farmers themselves have to come to their senses as well and support these government reforms or eventually the crime gangs might take the land and eat the owner. After that is done I hope we can return to a commons system of land use.

[–] schmorpel 1 points 2 weeks ago

They help with slowing down, degrowth, a meditative life. Although the speed depends a lot on the motivation of the donkey. Towards home and a bucket of food they might reach ludicrous speeds temporarily!

[–] schmorpel 6 points 2 weeks ago (3 children)

Hmm, the farmer interviewed in the article farms 570 ha - maybe consider a restoration of smaller-scale farms and restoration of the commons before complaining about criminals roaming lands the size of an entire village?

The concentration of ownership into fewer and fewer hand means that smaller farmers had to sell out to the big guys, a process that has been going on for very long. When there is nothing left but large swatches of land owned by single persons what is normal folk supposed to do? Turn into serfs again? It's not even possible anymore because most farmers will just import the cheapest farmhand from other countries because nobody can live a dignified life from the pittance they pay workers.

Not to forget, with large areas of land in a single hand comes monoculture and all the destruction associated with it.

Fuck it, distribute the land to the crime gangs and teach them how to garden.

 

Whatever happened to this market?

Thanks to some of you commenting about how you like reading my small chronicles of our local market economy I feel like I have to write something, but it's hard to put down. It's been a while and there have been so many twists and turns.

So just a few days before market 2 bf and I fell out, badly. The organizing activities we manage to brew up in our free times might paint us as enlightened, calm, peaceful and kind individuals. Which we are, until we're not. It started as a discussion about some shade to cover the market square. Before we knew it we were at bf jumping ship and me standing there with the market, having to decide whether to cancel it or continue.

It didn't take me that long to decide, it's a community market, there's been a few people who consistently helped - the right way to do things seemed to assemble them, tell them what happened and ask them if they want to continue supporting it. And so, suddenly, the market team was a small group, discussing together whether the market should happen, and how. But not just the market found support, also I found a temporary place to stay, people offering shoulders to cry on and breakfast and advice. Must I mention that the car broke down at the same time? It gave me an excellent opportunity to walk everywhere for a few days and ponder about the future.

The organizing itself didn't really need much more work, all we needed was to hang up signage, receive people and tell them where to put their stands, and let the market unfold. There was however some thunderstorm brewing at same time and we started following the forecast - orange warning, hailstorms, strong winds. There was a serious risk of damage to people and stuff. In the last hours the heavy storm turned away to elsewhere (some weather magic by the local witches might have been involved) and we decided to go ahead.

On the market day itself I was at same time numb and miserable, so pleased the market was still alive, and determined to enjoy and treat myself. On the first market I didn't even have time to sample all the goodness people brought in! You could get massages, eat vegan, vegetarian and local food, buy plants and crafts and second hand goods, leave your kids in the kid's area ... it was relatively quiet because of the bad weather forecast but there was enough life to make it worthwhile for all.

The friendly, not too hot but dry weather window lasted for exactly the market. It was me and my kid who made sure everything was back in place and clean, in a downpour of rain, after everybody else had gone home. And so endeth the second market, very film noir, very wet and dark.

All while I was left to handle things in the foreground, the bf did the right thing and forwarded all relevant emails and phone calls in the background. Most of the explosiveness of our falling out was ultimately old traumas colliding, and it didn't take us long after the market to carefully reapproach, find a helpful and qualified member of the community to moderate a first talk between us, and organize our life together in a slightly different way. Relationship dynamics, reemergence of old patterns and the struggle against the system in our heads is a long story for another day.

As the rotten parts fall away the market emerges in a new form: as a true community project. A meeting is planned to determine how this group project should work - and already, because nothing is properly defined yet, first frictions have appeared. The next challenge will be learning how to work in a group, and we will need all the good spirits who care to help this little market!

AI has gobbled up my work since the beginning of this year and there is no more funding for the market. We can pay for the next insurance, that's it. Some village politicians are keen to have a nice market like ours and seem to be much more willing to finance fun stuff like a bouncy castle and musicians, so we might have to move at some point, or even become nomadic. If you happen to know a friendly millionaire who would spend a few peanuts of 400€ per month to keep this thing happening, please send them our way.

And now go and organize some markets, even though it puts your relationships and cars at risk. It's worth it, trust me.

[–] schmorpel 5 points 3 weeks ago (2 children)

My dream is to use the donkeys as my main means of transport. I've had so many cars broken recently, I don't know why I bother anymore.

[–] schmorpel 4 points 1 month ago

trying to catch trains, trying to find the correct room at university ...

 

The crumbles

Out here where we are organizing our market, Southern Europe middle of nowhere, many of the original inhabitants have left decades ago and there are many empty houses and abandoned farms. There has been a steady influx of foreigners in the last decades, many of them seeking refuge from something, from unsafe conditions in their countries of origin, rigid school systems and overcontrolling state powers, poverty, high property prices in their home countries, war, disconnect from nature, pollution, persecution.

With the summer heat returns the fear of wildfires - every year some part or another of the landscape catches fire, houses and farms and sometimes animals and people burn. It would help if more people lived here and cared for the land, and if the local authorities didn't encourage the planting of pine and eucalyptus monocultures. There is an underlying feeling that everyone would rather be left alone by all the rules and regulations that stifle each and every activity, but some facade has to be kept up towards an increasingly absent central power, and lets face it, some rules and regulations keep the more desperate from wrecking the last bit of landscape that is left.

As for absent power, I'm still trying to create an association, but nobody of the places supposedly available seem to want to do it. The only powers always ready to become active are those authorized to collect fines! I've spent the last couple of days somewhat enraged about that, which isn't very healthy. The second edition of our market is coming along nicely however, with a collective spamming of posters on every surface in this and the neighbouring towns, and sharing it on social media. The old plus some new stallholders are eager to arrive, we are growing the number of stalls quite significantly ...

In the background, people are coming together and approach us about sharing costs and give advice around cutting costs. I'm not pushing any of it, it's still mainly our investment and it's worth it. People will be more comfortable to step in when we get a monthly event going, and we'll continue as long as we aren't going hungry - and there seems to be plenty of food everywhere we turn up, so it might be a while.

Which brings me back, again and again, to the idea of value. In the case of people living here, more and especially younger people provide value. So the different refugees and especially their children are quite welcome. There's language courses to help people fit in, bureaucracy seems to have a somewhat loose interpretation to help people settle around here, and we have heard many times from locals how happy they are that some life returns to the region! The return of life means the necessary work gets done. In our case, we couldn't get our car repaired. In fact, we were forced to organize the whole first edition of the market with a tiny microcar which is falling in pieces. When it didn't pass the inspection we realized getting mad at the mechanic wasn't helping, so we just made a deal and sent our resident young person to go do something useful and help the man in his workshop (or: sacrifice my firstborn to get my car fixed, depends on your perspective). I find that everybody wins, for now. No money involved, but value created. A friend seems to have been helping out in the local cheese factory and I'm considering it as well, as a learning experience and to support the tiny local business.

These developments slot in nicely with some ideas another friend had about a 'school of volunteers' where youngsters would be getting to know different eco-projects and businesses of the region. It satisfies a need: the tiny family businesses we have around here can't always afford permanent staff but often might need some people who can jump in and help. And also, people don't want to do 8 hours of the same, every day. My coop ideas are very much also connected to these issues. So this working without the formal form of cooperative is maybe even better, more flexible. Make it part of the culture again.

This invites to re-inspect my perception of value and the many ways value does not have to relate to money. To let go, at least for a while, of the idea that money provides safety, and welcome the idea of community providing it instead, and find out together how we would shape this community to be comfortable for the many different people, cultures and ideas that it is made up of. And how to integrate this manifold human community into the larger landscape of non-humans and make this into an abundant circle of life. For this to happen we might have to treat our money in more unconventional ways, to not hold on to it too much and invest in community wherever we can. And invest in handmade stuff, because handmade craft slows down the stream of resources. So it's important that the market be for crafts and second hand things and locally grown and made food - these being things of real value compared to cheaper, mass-produced stuff.

Happening as well: Yesterday I got myself a mild sunstroke walking way too fast and far through this landscape I love, with a rather tougher-than-me group of elderly locals, but it was worth it because someone explained me how to make a brush from a local plant. The feverish hours spent in a dark room afterwards were invaded by ideas of how to foster the mushroom-growing capabilities of ants for easier mushroom cultivation. Yay for multicultural and interspecies community, and a liveable future for all!

 

Towards the second edition

After the first market being a success we felt we had to continue building on what we started. So we called a meeting with the townhall again to confirm a second date. They took their time to receive us (we should have been professional and book the market aftermath meeting beforehand) and confirmed our date. And then, after we immediately started distributing the information and receiving stallholder registrations, unconfirmed it again two days later because apparently we are too close to a voting booth, which the law doesn't permit.

We sent them a rather unkind email. Had a somewhat heated meeting, and changed date, and then scrambled to let everyone know. One of the townhall people was really quite offended and emotional about the fact that we questioned their commitment, and I'm still confused by the fact how much emotion we stirred up with that. It's like they are completely out of their depth and make things up as they go, and they look mostly overwhelmed - not that different from what we are doing. I guess we were actually lucky that whoever came to shove that law into their faces didn't decide to wait with it until a day before the market.

We are, so far, still losing money. I'll have time to come up with a collection of things to sell to support ourselves in this one, among ram pumps, trees and used goods. We also had a long discussion about the real worth of things, worth that has nothing to do with money. The seeds that are created even when you fail, the young people inspired to try and create something one day, the connections created with these events. It's all worth it.

This is the first time the townhall confirmed not only that creating an association would be useful, but also that (and how) we could ask for financial support, and that they will support us in doing so. I feel we are now in the category of 'annoying but useful' and we also meet a lot of people who we might tag in a similar way. We know they are ultimately aligned with what we want (create a resilient community in our region) but the way they do things doesn't align perfectly with our ideas. We'd rather limit our exposure to them if we can or don't really think their methods work, but they are welcome anyway. That's the heart of community, especially a multicultural one - the daily work of getting along also with those whose goals are close enough. It means people need to have space to get out of each other's way, and that one also has to maintain a fierce stance for tolerance and being non-judgemental while keeping one's own integrity intact.

We are learning a lot about different cultures. Someone invited themselves over for coffee in a rather abrupt way, and there I was confused, scrambling to produce some coffee in my unprepared kitchen! Just to find out it's more of a figure of speech somewhere else as a way to ask if the person is prepared for someone else to pop by - actual coffee not necessarily expected.

And so edition two of the market is on the way, with a lot of friends from the last time getting ready to appear. This time the anxiety is way lower. There's so much less to organize, we'll have electricity and shade, according to the townhall.

Meanwhile our market activities are just one of many little things happening around here and bringing people together. The cultural bandwidth of events we've visited only in the last month is making us a little dizzy. And each of the places we visit brings another element to our mix. We went, pretty much in one row, to: a business-y and cautious kind of meeting with people from a large local eco-tourism project who would like to hold our event on their (beautiful but not public) terrain, the weekly clothes-farmers-food-everything market where I buy my sourdough bread, a rainbow gathering held by neighbours who will grace our next market with a vegetarian food stand, a quite surprising circus performance in the next town's market hall, a renaissance fair ... it's nice and diverse here already with a lot of inspiring stuff being created, and we're surfing through all of this inviting everyone to the market.

We have help from people distributing flyers now. We've convinced the right people to run food stands. Might be that on the next market we just can lean back and enjoy.

Fun fact: I was super pleased to hear that locals call our market the 'Come-ons market', 'Come-on' being a slightly derisive term for expats, and an excellent word-play with 'Commons'. Couldn't have come up with it myself. And I really like how the organization is playing out, with the right people already in place ready to advertise our event, and not just us this time - so it is turning into a multicultural Commons Market just as planned.

 

As composting enthusiasts who want to build a project around compost, we had been intrigued about the waste ever since the council had announced their new bio waste collection program and advertised everywhere for people in town to collect and deliver theirs. They handed out buckets, a few containers appeared in two neighbourhoods, and it had something to do with the sustainable development goals.

But no composting facility anywhere in the council, so we asked around and finally got hold of the right person. Found out the waste is carried a hundred kilometers away to a huge central facility, once a week.

Now we need to find out if they let us do better than that?

 

So I have this silly idea/longterm project of wanting to run a server on renewables on my farm. And I would like to reuse the heat generated by the server, for example to heat a grow room, or simply my house. How much heat does a server produce, and where would you consider it best applied? Has anyone built such a thing?

 

A day of plenty, and more to come

We even got a few hours of sleep before, and then the first half of the actual market day was us running to set up. I must have walked several kilometers and answered more incoming phone calls than I had time to get nervous about before noon. Just as we had hoped, there were enough people to give us a hand, plus we had hired a few young friends to help out and man our badly thrown together food stand (it didn't burn down at least, we learned how to do it next time).

The second half of the market we had some time to see the miracle unfold. Square full of colorful stands, plenty of smiles, so many happy people. People thanked us for the good organization (?). We weren't well organized and forgot so much stuff, we were making everything up as we went. It just happened that our supporters were incredibly good at finding out where they were most useful, and all stallholders patient and friendly, and everyone contributed to the magic.

We even created a questionnaire to find out what to improve next time and got useful feedback.

The result is, people want to do it again, they really loved it, with only few things to improve. And so we are, for now, accidental market organizers.

Now we have this incredible buzz and enthusiasm we can build on. Registrations for the next edition arrived the evening after the market. We didn't rest the day after, as we had hoped, but made sure to collect everyone's feedback and thank everyone involved and start planning improvements.

And the cooperative? And what about subverting people?

I spent the last night before the market printing out a presentation I had written and designed, with as little text and lots of images, to try and get make people consider their work situation, and how they would like to improve it. I don't think anybody saw it. I had a nice idea about how to present this in a sort of interactive labyrinth with a haunted house style but no time to set it up properly, so there it was, forgotten in an unvisited corner of the market. Communication and creative challenges ahead, and I'm curious how to take them on. Probably the right people will appear to help make this real.

The cultural exchange did happen, and needs time to deepen. Because of the language and culture difference locals and new inhabitants often don't interact much and some people can be very shy around each other. We managed to have a lot of locals with stands and as visitors, mixed in with the foreign crowd, and mixed visitors thanks to our careful promotion in both communities. I consider this point a very effective and very important step towards living together in peace and getting along between the different communities around here. I feel that the people in the local town hall are with us in this, and I'm glad it's that way. A whole lot of town hall folk appeared to have a look and buy trinkets. As for police, I didn't even notice them, but people reported they appeared once in the beginning, once at the end, stayed in the background and far out of the way, and left without bothering anyone during or after, as far as I'm aware.

So no concrete steps taken towards a cooperative as I have envisioned it, although we now consider forming one as a small family team for event organization, seems we've discovered a hidden talent. At same time the market as the most simple and unregulated of economical exchanges is clearly the way to go for now, without need to (immediately or ever) grow it into a factory sized project or a legal entity. I know myself to be a person to get hung up on formats, channels, ways of delivery, while missing the already there and the obvious. It must be an autism thing.

The immediate

So far it has been a great experience. It is funny how the initial project changed shape as needed. The market is hopefully to continue to happen every month, and other projects and ideas start growing out of this event as well. So picking a realistic scale can happen during the process, if you permit the process to remain flexible. In the moment the local community doesn't need or want a community center, but a spot to meet once a month to exchange news and goods in a relaxed festive atmosphere with good food and drink, and that's also the perfect place to mix and mingle among cultures and talk to and learn from each other. Seeds for further cooperation in the future are being planted like this in a fairly easy way.

 
 

Just a few days left before market

Another nailbiting weekend. We could do without these, but they remind us to return to the basics: garden, animals, each other, and not worry about too much.

The generator rental has clearly taken their business practices out of a bad dating manual: 'Don't make yourself too available. Keep things a little mysterious.' Friday they were suddenly not sure they could arrange the distribution board for our generator. (After at first claiming they didn't even have any distribution boards for rent, and then yes they did after all ... ) Monday we drove back to the generator rental, find another solution (several small generators?). To be told: 'after all, distribution board will arrive with generator on Friday'. Thanks, generator rental?

Which lead to practical problem 2: what do with generator after market? Not great to be out on the street, and worse, will be blocking the space of the usual bi-weekly farmer's market. Also, had to negotiate about some more infrastructure to use there. We met with more town hall people (this town is so small that everything is relatively uncomplicated and informal). One technical guy (of those who do actual work) quickly solved all our problems to our utmost satisfaction.

Throughout the organization I've lost most of my usual shyness. Just phone calls are still a bit of a struggle. I do answer most of them but still avoid making them and forget to note down people's names every time.

Few days missing, I've been out distributing flyers and posters. Should have printed more. We are counting with 40-50 stands, hope we fit everybody in, and sort out the last bits before market day.

Cooperative? Spent a lot of time talking with a small group of people wanting to create one, and also spoke to other community members to find out what are their needs, spent time trying to understand what is the difference between a cooperative and an association, and what would fit people's needs better, and found that by this slow way of inquiring informally I am getting a good picture. I feel that building a larger cooperative active in different sectors that could be truly democratic and benefit the larger community would take interested people quite a while to create. All would have to study how it functions, build a way of self-organizing, create a business plan together, define membership options based on that ...

For many people a coop is 'something like tool share, food and skill exchange and doing stuff together'. For what I see, creating a coop (a legal entity created for business activities) with this approach risks both self-exploitation ('we can totally run this coop shop based on voluntary work') and being accused of lack of transparency because the core group hasn't defined their setup well enough to communicate it well to others. For what I see if people want to create a legal entity for 'doing stuff together' an association might be the better option. Of course, I might be totally wrong.

I am back to considering a digital solution first because that will actually be a solution for many people - a database with frontend where people can connect and post their skills, stuff to give away, events .... but I will keep inquiring and talking about the coop. For example, I have not much from actual members of coops yet. At least one will be at the market and I'm excited to speak to them!

Happy with all the progress made so far and curious where my meanderings around people lead me next.

 

they raise you somewhere
between quiet complacency
and revolutionary rage
and hope you choose wisely one day

these shoes are very big
they might be clown shoes
my mouth sewn shut
between quiet rage and no agency

then disapprove of you
and your quiet despair
but you had everything
i had more than i could stomach

when you meet them again
even smaller than last time
their childish tearful eyes
asking you are we free yet?

15
Hydro Power Overview (www.builditsolar.com)
submitted 2 months ago by schmorpel to c/technology
 

A good overview and link collection around small scale hydro power technologies

8
suv (slrpnk.net)
submitted 2 months ago by schmorpel to c/inperson
 

Small reminders for stupidly big cars

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