What prompted me to post this was Don's recent discussion about his plans
to try greenhouse vegetable gardening. I saw a blurb on THC during brunch
about Amory Lovins and the off-grid house he built. Part of the design of
the house is that, at the center, ther eis a large Solarium which not only
functions as a collector of light and heat (heated water), but also, is
used as a greenhouse for growing vegetables and fruits year-round.
Not too much of the house was shown, but my sense from what I saw is that
it's a courtyard-type desing, except that the courtyard was not paved and
was roofed with glazing (they didn't specify whether it was glass or
polycarbonate or what).
His family harvests tomatoes and so on year-round, even tho' they're in
COlorado and get blzzards in the WInter.
THere are two separate solar-electrical systems (I missed the reason fo
rthe redundancy), and banks of batteries ("Chinese NiFe batteries") for
Anyway, what's running through my head right now (well, along with a bunch
of other stuff of course...) is whether cluster-housing could be built in a
similar way. My thought would be to have separated "yard" space, because I
don't treust human nature, but if the people are cooperative, ti could all
be open, and people could harvest the vegetables, fruits, nuts, and so on.
No real point/conclusion, just though that the info/idea might be of some
"EDS" wrote in
[edited for bandwidth]
I've seen a few similar older neighborhoods during my "adventures in
moving". One of the nicest was an old neighborhood in the town of
Monrovia, CA - one of my personal all-time favorite places I've lived.
It only started to go downhill when Yuppies came in and started
"snootifying" it, which is about when we moved.
((Tangentially, what I call "snootifying" is when you get people coming
in who aren't interested in being in and/or part of the neighborhhod and
trying to make the neighborhhod better, but ratehr, move in becasu ethey
see nothing more than an "investment opportunity", and do things which
turn the houses "inward" so to speak, and end up ruining whatever it is
that make s a neighborhood a neighborhood, as opposed to a collection of
overpriced houses. THere is probably a more correct term for the
process, but I don't know what it is...))
ANyway, it often has seemed to me that the bigger (or at least mroe
expensive) the houses are in an area, th eless likely you are to ever see
people *outside*. As misanthropic, interoverted, and ns around peopel as
I am, I neverthelsee find it disturbing and depressing to be in an area
where the only people you ever seem to see outside are "hired help" (usu.
the people mowing the lawn).
It's bizarre to me, the extent to which people have "gone inside and shut
the doors". And, considering that I tend to be very bnervous around
poeple and am an introvert and often somewhat misanthropic, for me to say
it's bizarre, it has to be *exceedingly* bizarre.
I don't know whetehr it's just car-centrism, or computer-ficus, or what;
it just has seemed so weird to be in areas where you never say anyone
outside, even when the weather was great - no adults, no kids, nobody.
Gives me the creeps, to be honest.
That's one of the things that has been lost - soudn insulation. The
better it is, the better people can tolerate high-density living, for
One of the big problem with shoddy cluster-housing is that it does in
fact ddrive epole into detatched housing (as detatched as they can
afford), because that cuts down on the noise from the neighbors. But
doesn't necessarily eliminate it, if the detatched housing is shoddy.
IMO, what makes people crazy isn't so much high-denisity living, but the
noise, lacking a refuge.
THe problem is that North American builders/developers don't give a shit
about that because they only want to wring out as much profit as they
Yup, the secret of tolerable high density living is the existence of
choice. I include noise reduction in taht, because in a sense, if you
are constanyl subjected to noise, it's a form of forced interaction.
Oh, don't get me started on Yuppification. It's odd, because
*technically*, I was a "yuppie" in a sense, but I had/have very different
attitudes about most things. One of which is that I have a disliek of
monoculture. In agriculture, monocultures are always susceptable to
disease aqnd tend to be very high-maintenance, i.e. require a lot of
active work/input (of chemicals and so on) to maintain them, and any
"stray" plant is seen as a weed, i.e. as a threat to the entire field,
precisely becasue monocultures are less robust. From what I've seen,
sociological monoculture isn't all that different.
We still go back to the old neighborhood (our doctors and wife's hairdresser
are there and it's only 15 minutes from us). None of our old neighbors
Our old house, 3200 sf on 4 stories, with 11' ceilings on the main floor,
that we bought for 11G in 1965 with every thing old, but working, is now
assessed for over $850,000.
Now the local Yuppies are trying to keep mothers with kids and strollers out
of the coffee shops because they "get in the way". Who are these spoiled
snots? Even my wife's very gay hairdresser is upset. These people with their
fixed ideas about how a neighborhood should look and run are destroying all
that was right in neighborhoods so they can make a buck.
Saw it done just as you describe on a job in Vermont a while back. Also saw
it used to locate very old unmapped utility lines (including wood water
lines) in Boston at one time. I think they use ground radar or something now
as it doesn't upset the people that don't believe in water witching.
"Don" wrote in
Well of course you may! ;)
I made it up, but it just does seem to sum up a lot of a certain sort of
Suggestions are one thing, but one also has to be open to the idea that
what one thinks of as community imporvement, might actually be (and
probably is) just a matter of personal taste. What people call
"improvement" is usually nothing more than appearances.
IMO, community improvement focuses upon teh *community*, i.e. what is
good first and formost for kids (since miserable kids too often turn into
destructive teens), and what is beneficial to everyone. Crap like
whether your lawn constantly looks like it was edged with a razor is BS.
I don't even see it as being that deep - it's a matter of conformity
being given more value than creativity, more value than even mental
health. Ever read "Beaneath the Wheel" by Hermann Hesse?
A lot of teen rebellion IMO starts as an attempt to assert individuality,
but without guidance as to what does and does not constitute
individulaity, a lot fo teens get lost in the idea that being
"different" means being exactly like their friends/"peers" in dress,
deportment, deed, and worst of all, thought.
THat's where a ot of debt problems arise, tho' - gotta have that big ol'
gas-guzzling (i.e. expensive to run) SUV and a house big enough for 10,
and why?, well, because "everyone else does". Poeple want to be
respected, but have been indoctrinated to think that social desireability
is a matter of having what TV sez is bought by "successful" people and/or
"other people"/"everyone else".
ANd it ends up becomeing true, and people who don't have X, Y, and Z are
disregarded, because posessions, and conformity, become more hihgly
valued than are things like ethics, character, and other intangeables.
You mean Dowsing...? Yup...
I an certain it's either
(1) the subconscious recognition of places where water is likely to
(2) a high water table.
A lot of what gets called "paranormal" or "spooky" is actually jsut a
matter of subconscious expression - it's similar to how "intuition" can
be the subconscious accumulation, filtering, and analysis of data. Which
is why it"works better" for poele who have experience doing it. IOW, not
magic and not paranormal, but the often-amazing human subconscious;)
It *is* a hoot (hey, *any* reason for a party ) - but as above, I
think it's a human skill, not in itself an accurate technique.
The mind can be such an amazing thing, even (or maybe especially?) when
we're not aware of what it's doing :)
"EDS" wrote in
[edited for bandwidth]
That is just warped and IMO disgusting. Makes me want to spit =>:-(
What a stupid dumbassed attitude. Talk about people who have a
pathologically over-inflated sense of self-aimportance and self-
Remember the recent thread discussing greed...? Well, there ya go. YOu
had it right - "snots". It's a combination of immaturity, self-
aggrandizement, disconnect from Humanity, and a few other things that
sued to be considered "sociopathology" and/or "narcissism". IOW, a form
of mental illness.
I guess that's what happens when one begins to consider one far too above
other mere mortals to even fart, and all the gas backs up into the brain
- I call the syndrome IOTE: "Inflatus Of The Ego", which results in
conversation that consists primarily of oral flatulance.
What the dooflollies are incapable of comprehending is the simple fact
that the *appearance* of wealth is not the same thing as wealth,
especially when that appearance only exists because of ever-increasing
debt - ya ain't wealthy when the bank owns all yer stuff (and all yer
income for the next 78 years...).
"EDS" wrote in
Ugh. Sorry about your window, that sux. In cities, it's idiotic to
claim ownership of the street. Especially for a paltry $200K, given what
most urban real estate goes for these days. THe guy sounds like a total
jerk - IOW, typical.
That the worst part of people being jerks is that they all seem to share
the delusion that the law, and even simple decency, are for everyone else
- every a-hole thinks he or she is "above" all of that (while, of course,
everyoen else is "supposed" to suck up to their supposed superiority).
That used to be considered a mental illness - now, it seems to me at
least, society tends to *reward* that sort of garbage...
Many might *think* they can find underground things, thanks to a
little confirmation bias and so on, but the actual effectiveness is no
better than a random method such as flipping a coin.
There's a nice example here:
of dowsers volunteered for this test (a real, scientific test;
not one you can fudge). They all believed they could find the water.
They all failed, and *then* they found excuses. Failure did not affect
There have been plenty of other tests. Dowsing is superstitious
Interesting, that. Lots of dowsers have anecdotes that it works.
However, it mysteriously stops working when skeptics look closely.
This happens over and over again.
Perhaps you could explain how dowsing works? Please don't spare any
complexities. I may only have a degree in physics, but I'm prepared to
learn how dowsers rewrite widely-accepted modern principles. I'm also
curious how dowsing magically works in your anecdotes, but suddenly
stops working when people look too closely.
Perhaps you could explain why the guy "making money with his skill"
hasn't gone for Randi's million dollar offer. If what you say is true,
he could easily become a millionaire - merely by a successful feat of
dowsing before a skeptical audience. I wonder why he hasn't done that?
Perhaps he's way too busy fleecing the credulous and gullible.
Physics doesn't enter into it. Again, from what I've seen of, and read
about, a variety of "psychic phenomena" over the decades, much of it is a
subconscious expression of "intuition" - and by "intuition", what I mean
is a subconscious/nonconscious analyses of events/environment, which mayb
be non-verbal, non-linear, and non-deliberate, yet which is nevertheless
a valid and common way of observing the world and acquiring knowledge.
Humans learn to walk "intuitively", not by consciously creating and
following a list of procedures; the same is true of learing to recognize
which poeple are family members and which are strangers, and a host of
other things. Learning doesn't have to be verbal/prodecural/conscious to
be learning, and the same is true of informal analysis, such as teh
infromal/subconscious analysis that allows a person to translate visual
data int o perception and, for example, allows one to walk up a flight of
stairs, as opposed to continually tripping and falling.
Similarly, the common "I had a feeling that so-and-so was trouble", for
example, is not "psychic", but more typically, a subconscious awareness
of things like body language and speech patterns, many of which can be
taught (as in the "learn how to tell whether someone is lying" bits that
were on TV/cable not too long ago).
Similarly, the "pendulum" method of divination, where one direction menas
"yes" and the perpendicular direction means "no", is the above phenomenon
translated very subtly to a physical medium. THat is well-documented.
I've read and heard that dowsing might be similar - a subconscious manner
of indicating what is not a psychic sensing, but intuition/subconscious
expression based upon a lot of experience with, and understanding of,
conditions that usually indicate the presence of underground water or
THe error is not in acknowledging the method, but rather, in ascribing
supernatuiral powers to that which is easily explainable via known
THe answer is obvious, using teh logical extension of the above-mentioned
psychological principles: "butterflies", a.k.a. "nerves". Similar to
hwo a significant number of poeple experience a blood pressure spike when
they go to the physician, because they experience anxiety when in a
medical (oftentimes meaning unfamiliar and poorly-understood) setting.
No big mystery, really.
ALso not mysterious is that, the more that superficial "science" rejects
a phenomenon that people have seen "work", the more people will ascribe
"magic" or "paranormal forces" to taht phenomenon. I deliberately put
"sceince" in qoutes there, because true science doesn't simply reject -