Category Archives: Ways of Seeing

The Commodisation of Water and Life Itself


The commoditisation of life – humans as ‘work units’, as mere ‘things’, land as capital, produce as lifeless ‘pork units’ etc.  All the meaning reduced to the most basic measure; weight or volume or cost, at its worst undifferentiated by … Continue reading

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Reimagining Landscapes I: Rejecting the Machine


How do you separate the personal from the professional?  We are taught to deal in the ‘objective’, in measured things.  But the whole idea of reimagining how we look at landscapes – our so-called ‘working lands’ of farms and forests … Continue reading

Posted in Alternative Vision, Land Use, Land use strategy, Landscape function, Reimagining, Thought Pieces, Ways of Seeing | Leave a comment

Bizarre Economic Beliefs – Finding the Black Cat that Isn’t There


More evidence has come out that tax cuts don’t lead to economic growth, and let’s not go into how people ought to measure progress or growth.  But isn’t small government, and commensurately low tax rates, what the Neoliberal economists have … Continue reading

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The Systems View – But what else have you done?


Why don’t we teach our kids to think like this – in feedbacks and multiple effects, not simple lines of one thing’s effect on only one other thing?   It’s idiotic.  You never do one thing.  Especially not those things … Continue reading

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The Wisdom of Intimacy


Edward Abbey – he of Desert Solitaire, one of the classics questioning the values of our modern world – wrote a short and scathing essay of a laboratory scientist intent on studying dog behaviour because “no one had done it … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces, Ways of Seeing | 4 Comments

Twining the Spirals: Is Real Beauty Reciprocal?


I keep notes, in a black Moleskine notebook with its history and paper, Bruce Chatwin and all that.  They come in various sizes and lie in a drawer.  Some on a shelf.  I’ve been writing less in them since I … Continue reading

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Teaching Wisdom – To Know the World, you Have to Live in the World


“To know the world, you have to live in the world.” Carol Black has written a beautiful and insightful essay on connection between children and the outdoors, knowing, and what education ought to be.  It resonates with me.  I think … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Thought Pieces, Virtues, Ways of Seeing | 9 Comments

Ways of Seeing III: Looking for the Many Moving Things


 “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.“ F. Scott Fitzgerald I read that Fitzgerald quote in a book by Roger … Continue reading

Posted in Land use policy, Socio-ecological Systems, Ways of Seeing | 4 Comments

Ways of Seeing II: The Mechanical View and the Treadmill of Techno-Fixes


This is the second in a series.  I wanted to write about where we have come from in land use and conservation, what we are doing, and where we could be going: from Pre-modern (Pre-Industrial), To Modern (Industrial, or Productivist), to … Continue reading

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Ways of Seeing I: Paradigms of Progress – the Rise of the Machine


Preamble.   This is the beginning of a series.  I wanted to write about where we have come from in land use and conservation, what we are doing, and where we could be going: from Pre-modern (Pre-Industrial), To Modern (Industrial, or … Continue reading

Posted in Land Use, Resilience Thinking, Socio-ecological Systems, Ways of Seeing | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments