Thursday, 31 May 2007


Ich entwickele eine Art Paperphobia. Faellt mir nur auf da ich ueber meine Wutausbrueche und Verzweiflung beim Anblick von 50 Artikeln einer Freundinn berichtete und sie sehr verwundert darueber schien. Das gibt mir den Eindruck das es eventuell nicht normal ist beim Anblick von 50 Artikeln ueber Landwirtschaft zusammenzubrechen. Welche Staerken oder welche Vitaminpillen die Leute die 50 Artikeln standhalten koennen einnehmen habe ich aber leider noch nicht herausgefunden.

November - plum orchard in Zajezka (Slovakia)

Tudo de feio e (f)útil.
Tudo de bom e (in)útil.

Wednesday, 30 May 2007

"Celui qui se bat peut perdre, celui qui ne se bat pas a déjà tout perdu."

Found in

Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Die freie Marktwirtschaft ist ein Witz. Ein schlechter.
The free market is a joke. A bad one.

Monday, 28 May 2007

"E não brada aos céus que assim seja?"
"Os céus estão-se marimbando."

Aquilino Ribeiro (1958). Quando os lobos uivam.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Hora absurda

Ohne Dich
Ich werde in die Tannen gehen
Dahin wo ich sie zuletzt gesehen
Doch der Abend wirft ein Tuch aufs Land
Und auf die Wege hinterm Waldesrand
Und der Wald er steht so schwarz und leer
Weh mir, oh weh
Und die Vögel singen nicht mehr
Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein
Ohne dich
Mit dir bin ich auch allein
Ohne dich
Ohne dich zähl ich die Stunden ohne dich
Mit dir stehen die Sekunden
Lohnen nicht
Auf den Ästen in den Gräben
Ist es nun still ohne Leben
Und das Atmen fällt mir och so schwer
Weh mir, oh weh
Und die Vögel singen nicht mehr
Ohne dich kann ich nicht sein
Ohne dich
Mit dir bin ich auch allein
Ohne dich
Ohne dich zähl ich die Stunden ohne dich
Mit dir stehen die Sekunden
Lohnen nicht ohne dich

"Ohne Dich" is a love song, however strange you might find this.

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


"Our age of mechanisation leads along a road ending with man himself as a machine; only the spirit of singing can save us from this fate". — Zoltán Kodály

Therefore join in with
Meg is házasodtam már, Feleségem sincsen.
A gyermek megszületett már, Pedig apja nincsen.
Komát kéne hivatni, Jó emberem nincsen.
Meg kellene keresztelni, Jaj, de itt pap nincsen.
Bort kellene hozatni, De pincémbe nincsen.
Kocsmáról kén hozatni, Jaj, de pénzem nincsen.
Hitelbe kéne kérni, De hitelem nincsen.
Jaj Istenem! mit csináljak, Mikor semmim nincsen?

Tuesday, 22 May 2007

Tun wir so als glaubte ich’s

Mal wieder, schon wieder, hiess es "Weisst du was ecosystem services sind?" Ich sage "ja". Und dann die Frage "Was hast du dagegen?".
Ich muesste mir fast was ausdenken, im Grunde habe ich nichts dagegen, und schon garnicht so ohne Kontext und Apropos. Jedenfalls bin ich der Bleierne der Gegend: wenn niemand etwas auszusetzen hat werde ich gerufen um doch noch was zu finden.

Heute sass ich in der Sonne und haette fast 2 Ranunculus Blueten erdrueckt, dabei las ich Terry Marsden und war schon leicht irritiert ueber die unkritische Art mit der erklaert wird das die die bisher vom Kapitalisumus profitiert haben auch von der Abseitsdraengung des Laendlichen Raumes profitieren.

Mit den Butterblumen ist es immer dasselbe, ich schmelze dahin wie Butter wenn ich sie sehe, und dabei vergesse ich ganz das sie giftig sind, nur weil sie zwischen Vergiss-mein-nichten wachsen. Nicht Vergiss-mein-neffen, nein, Nichten!

"Und er bekam seine Maulschelle, und war froh weder ertrunken noch totgeschlagen worden zu sein"

Wednesday, 16 May 2007

"Mid term review"

What have I been doing since 15th January 2007? It's now 4 months that I've started the PhD and I would do some things differently if I would have to start again.
Until mid February I tried to improve my research proposal, with little effect I would say. Since then I'm working on the literature review, which is due next week.
I need to say that I depart from certain assumptions which make my research question topic relevant. And I have not yet dared to search for the articles which could render my question insignificant. What would I do then? So I just read the papers and reports that further my impression that only mediocre things have been researched and nothing relevant really has been done in my area of inquiry. I proceeded like this for a long time, when I discovered that it is actually much more enjoyable to read articles with positive news. But my search for positive action reports has started so recently that it will be hard to be included in the literature review, and I will continue to keep the real impression of being an old chaotic "anti-tudo" / against everything reactionnaire.
But it is in fact impossible to read all the relevant literature when analysing such a complex topic as agricultural marginalization, and I would need to read 24h non-stop until the end of my PhD if I wanted to get a reasonable grasp. Yes, exagerations are also part of my literature review, they make reading it more amusing, but certainly scientifically less accurate.
I chose to work on the "reconstruction task" rather than the deconstruction task (e.g. on bringing the real dirt of industrial farming and agricultural politics to light), because my bad character instinctively drives me towards deconstructing everything (if someone would offer me red roses I would immediately mourn they come from hydroponic agiculture, yes!). Therefore I don't need to built deconstruction and critical thinking into my research. However, I think this tendency of mine is not very original, but rather too widespread.
I still find it hard to have my little agenda and to keep it for me. I want to say things straight forward and naively believe that rational argumentation may lead to the best outcomes...
Well, maybe you're interested in knowing what I'm actually planning to do. I want to do a hard data driven part to make sure my work doesn't become completely messy and unreliable and I also want to do a very action-oriented agroecological approach thing. Isn't that clear enough?

Theoretical distortion of reality

When you have a theory or rationale for how something works you become quite blind for what is actually happening, as you try to view things in a way that make them fit into your assumptions. You're attentive to what fits and ignore what doesn't fit into your theory. So the theory is futher approved and strengthened. Evidence that it is wrong can be pretty damaging after you've been working with a theory for a while. You have to redo all your thought experiments and may land with the nose on the floor. It makes you actually sad to recognize how wrongly you interpreted reality, because of your allure of knowing a theory in which things fitted so nicely. And if you acted upon your assumtpions you might have quite a lot of consequences to live with now.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007

Agroecology basics

"The hegemony of the ecotechnocratic discourse (...) in reference to the offcial response to the crisis of modernity is based on a reciprocal process of legitimization between elite groups and the scientific establishment: the echotechnocratic discourse of elite groups in modern society builds its claims and authority on its basis in science, while science is empowered by the economic and political patrons by whom research and extension are financed."

Sevilla-Guzman and Woodgate in Redclift and Woodgate (2000). The International handbook of Environmental Socology. Edward Elgar, Glos.

Growing your own and the crucial role of nutrition

"Learning to produce our own food is both essential if we are ever to truly take control of our own lives, and it is implicitly a threat to Capitalism as it makes a start towards breaking free of the cycle of supply and demand, liberating us from the role of passive consumers alienated from a real understanding of the nature of the world around us and the most important aspects of our day to day survival."

Burnett, G. in

“Nutrition as it is to-day does not supply the strength necessary for manifesting the spirit in physical life. A bridge can no longer be built from thinking to will and action. Food plants no longer contain the forces people need for this.”

Ehrenfried Pfeiffer in

Sunday, 6 May 2007

Argument against defining concepts until they mean nothing

Estou aqui aos pontapés ao paradigma positivsta que já está "mais que ultrapassado" nas ciências sociais... Talvez o desafio é de facto, aplicar uma aproximação de construção social por um pobre biologo!!! Por as mãos na massa e não estar, com as mãos no bolso, a resmungar por não concordar com algo que ninguêm quer que eu faça... Mas que é tanto mais fácil, do que arriscar meter-me no meio da confusão das aldeias serranas e perceber e descrever a realidade lá vivida, para que todos me digam no fim "mas isso já se sabia!"

I do not enjoy reading my 1000 articles now. The perspectives are so contrary to mine or, when they are similar I mourn: they should rather act! than write that much about it in these highly artificial and unnecessarily complex scientific language that does no good to anyone.

Again, an article from my supervisor, Jules Pretty, has the answer to some of my internal upheavals/ implosions. Well, he says it is no good to try to define contested terms. They are socially constructed and what they are used for depends on the aims and values of who uses them. It is rather important in scientific approaches to state clearly what the aims and values behind the use of the concepts are!

This is such a solution! And allows me hopefully to throw all the articles whose aim is to come up with a single, universal definition for marginalization, land abandonment, post-productivism, sustainability, development, etc into the dustbin, without reading them!

Saturday, 5 May 2007

Lavradores & Sonhadores

A comunidade Old Hall é uma associação de partilha de habitação (acho que não convêm dizer co-habitação em Português) em East Bergholt.

Nos anos 70 um grupo de pessoas comprou um velho mosteiro com mais de 30ha de terra para viver aí em comunidade. De momento existem ca. de 40 famílias a viver em "apartamentos" ou quartos do grande edifício. A maioria deles tem um rendimento de fora da quinta, alguns são artesãos. Um senhor faz negócios com madeira para aquecimento. Outro é apicultor e já perdeu 3 colmeias com este CCD (Colony Collapse Disease) que não se sabe se é causado pelas radiações das antenas de telemóveis ou não.
Todos os habitantes têm que prestar 15h de trabalho semanais à comunidade. Os principais trabalhos são a produção de alimentos biológicos na quinta e a sua preparação na cozinha colectiva, em estilo de cantina, para as refeicções comuns.

Thursday, 3 May 2007

A agulha magnética

Estou decidida de comer o Curso Agrícola de Rudolf Steiner. Muitas peripecias me despertaram interesse na agricultura biodinâmica. Entre outras um sumo de tomate de Demeter, absolutamente delicioso, que fui absorvendo, bebendo e pensando, no caminho para "casa" ao longo das margens do lago de Starnberg.

Já na introdução o querido Rudi surpreende com a sua perspicácia não linear. Como se explica que uma agulha magnética toma sempre a mesma posição? Se fossemos procurar a explicação na agulha ou na própria bússola limitariamos a nossa capacidade de compreensão. A explicação tem de ser procurada em toda a envolvente, em todo o planeta. A agulha magnética aponta para os pólos magnéticos da Terra, por isso, para compreender o seu comportamento peculiar temos que nos socorrer de todo o planeta.
Assim acontece em muitos campos do saber, nomeadamente em grande parte das ciências naturais, que procuramos explicações num sistema artificialmente reduzido e fechado e excluimos da análise a envolvente e as múltiplas influências exteriores fulcrais para a compreensão de dado fenómeno. Esta forma de saber pode ser suficiente para o desenvolvimento tecnológico, mas não o á para a compreensão profunda da vida e do universo e, nem se quer cede luz suficiente para permitir uma aplicação tecnológica segura, i.e. que não ponha em causa o funcionamento da vida e do universo.

Steiner estava bem lúcido quando classificou os livros de economia social da sua época como "Unsinn" (absurdos, alheios de significância). Certamente teria as mesmas palavras para os livros de economia actuais, e outros mais. Baseia-se no facto de que nada de sentido pode surgir alienado da realidade concreta. Como é que economistas podem dizer algo de útil sobre o preço da manteiga se nunca estiveram no mercado e o negociaram? Se nunca sentiram as consequências na economia doméstica? O que de útil para a vida prática pode ser dito de um nivel afastado das vicissitudes e necessidades da vida concreta?

Sim, a carapuça serve-me. Pois quero falar e até dar conselhos sobre marginalização agrícola, sem conhecer a realidade concreta dos agricultores. Por que altura semeiam e colhem o milho? Como está isso relacionado à lua e às geadas? Como lidam com o míldeo da vinha? Como se sentem em cima do escadote ao colher cerejas para vender?

Rod said today "Only dead fish go with the flow".