Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Posted by on Nov 27, 2007 in Thoughts | One Comment

This brief essay takes quotes from Permaculture Principles beyond Sustainability by David Holmgren
Specifically the chapter "Use edges and value the marginal"


New communications technology and media allow those at the fringes more equal access to information and ideas.

Page 236 – Ideas and science at the fringe.


I take this a step further and believe that these technologies have given fringe information a stable outlet (a website) and the means to connect that resource to others that relate. This organic network enables people interested in empowering themselves to find others. This fringe facility for collaboration has connected me with dozens of other like minded people – a webring. This can have some interesting side effects.


Recently Nick from Milkwood Permaculture came to the Permaforest trust neither of us recognized each other despite us both being quite intimate with each others work via the internet. This was due to the focus of our interaction being the work – not the personality.

On the internet ( my identity is quite separate and left deliberately ambiguous. My website is not a channel for my personal life – these aspects are expressed in more intimate spaces.

There is a freedom of content creation that institutional science does not currently experience. My observations are human and that humanity is accepted, acknowledged and embraced.



There is a show on the ABC tv network called The New inventors. This show highlights the acceptance of fringe (backyard) science, innovation and invention in the Australian cultural context.


This is balanced by a lot of this innovation only finding its feet in the international markets. However the international markets grow closer and the boundaries for penetration are thinning – especially in the areas of information and higher tech content. This is one area I've chosen to invest my time. By disseminating high quality content at low cost to myself and free by choice to the user I am feeling the edge of a new boundary.


Failure to deal with the intellectual limitations of reductionist thinking within the scientific disciplines, to develop a culture of wholistic integration, or to reward cross discipline endeavors.


This quote hits the nail on the head. It is the very reason I left university, the details manifested from this root. The failure of the curriculum and the institutions of education to facilitate the growth of my fringe, passionate experimentation – digital photography. I withdrew and as per the timeless myth of man went wandering to find my self and my place.


On this journey I found my teacher, at the very fringe of society, living in Australia as an illegal immigrant. I practiced six months of intense dynamic wholistically integrated meditation with him. This practice gave me a gift to take with me back out into the world.

My awakening, enlightenment and connection to the source of creativity.

I was just as ready for such a transformation in university, but the core limitations of that system held us both back from our full potential.

I did learn some valuable "techniques" – ironically that was the supposed strength of the TAFE system preached to me by the University.

I am now engaged in nationally recognized training in the wholistically integrated system of Permaculture.


1 Comment

  1. Ann
    November 29, 2007

    I think it is wonderful to recognise the true potential of yourself, to know the deep inner strength and intellect you possess and to have the confidence to use it to help and lead other people. I think, with your unique combination of wisdom, charisma, intelligence and humility you can have a great influence on people and to be able to achieve amazing things, maybe not immediately but little by little. In this way you can realize your dream of wholistic improvements for the local community and then the wider world.