Sommerlektyre om tanker for en ny tid

Enlivenment_title

Vi går til en ny sommer og late sommerdager, muliggjort gjennom de rundt regnet 200 energislavene hver og en av oss har til disposisjon. Så mens vi nyter vårt optimum, for de mer opplyste muligens med en tanke dårlig samvittighet, da ingen form for slaveri er uten konsekvenser, kan vi nytte muligheten til litt sjelelig oppbyggelse.

Av Øyvind Holmstad,  redaktør av bloggen Naturkonservativ

«Unified Architectural Theory’ is not theory at all. It is evidence. It lets us see how until recently we have always designed and built. We’ve built buildings and spaces and towns that reflect the order in our genes, in the biological world we’re part of. We’ve felt at home in them because their order makes space for our body and our soul. Now we rediscover how to build a world that does not alienate us from who we are, a world that gives us joy, a world that brings us home.» – Dr. Ir. Jaap Dawson, Technical University Delft

Forhåpentligvis kan et påfyll av sårt tiltrengte nye tanker for en verden som sakte men sikkert kollapser for øynene våre, dessverre så sakte at de fleste knapt reagerer, med tiden spre seg og fylle oss med en ny bevissthet. For selv om vårt ubegrensede sinnelag grunnleggende sett stammer fra Riftdalen i Øst-Afrika, har vi også en tung ideologisk ballast å dra på.

Det var med stor glede jeg kom over det nyeste essayet av Dr. Andreas Weber, med tittelen “Enlivenment“, en videreføring av “Enlightenment”, eller opplysningstiden. Foreslå gjerne en norsk oversettelse for dette nye begrepet i kommentarfeltet. Her følger et utdrag fra David Bolliers utmerkede introduksjon til Webers viktige essay:

The “bioeconomic worldview” that conjoins Darwinism and free market economics claims that nature is all about individuals, competition, efficiency and growth. But Weber argues that these basic assumptions are flat-out wrong. As he notes: “The biosphere is not efficient. Warm-blooded animals consumer over 97 percent of their energy only to maintain their metabolism. Photosynthesis achieves a ridiculously low efficiency rate of 7 perent. Fish, amphibians and insects have to lay millions of eggs only to allow for the survival of very few offspring.”

Nor does the biosphere grow constantly; the quantity of biomass is fairly constant. Nor has competition been shown to spur the rise of new species, Weber writes: “Species are born by chance:  they develop through unexpected mutations and the isolation of a group from the remainder of the population through new symbioses and cooperation….” Scarcity of resources does not lead to a creative diversification of species, as bioeconomics holds, but to an impoverishment of diversity and freedom.

But if the standard Darwinian narrative is incomplete and skewed in misleading directions, how do we begin to explain evolution and life itself more accurately? Weber calls his alternative account “Enlivenment,” by which he means an “upgrade” of the deeply embedded metaphysics of the Enlightenment. We must augment the story of individual rationality and competition with a new story that he calls “life-as-meaning,” or “biopoetics.” In the emerging new picture of biology, as confirmed by a growing body of empirical research, “organisms are no longer viewed as genetic machines, but basically as materially embodied processes that bring forth themselves. Each single cell is ‘a process of creation of an identity.’ The simplest organism must be understood as a material system displaying the intention to maintain itself intact, to grow, to unfold, and to make a fuller scope of life for itself.” – David Bollier

Dr. Andreas Weber sitt essay “Enlivenment” kan kjøpes eller fritt lastes ned her.

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En annen essayserie som garantert vil virke forfriskende i sommervarmen, eller oppmuntrende i regnværet, er “The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market & State.” Dette er en samling av 73 essay som beskriver det enorme potensialet til allmenningen (en blodfattig oversettelse av det energiske engelske ordet “the commons”) for å konseptualisere og bygge en bedre framtid. Redigert av David Bollier og Silke Helfrich.

Weber har også her et essay, som kan være en god innledning til hans lengre essay omtalt ovenfor. Særlig interessant synes jeg det er når han viser hvordan Darwins syntese var direkte influert av samtidens ideologi:

In this context it is important to notice that a political economist, Thomas Robert Malthus, delivered the crucial cornerstone for the modern concept of biology as evolution. Malthus was obsessed by the idea of scarcity as explanation for social change – there would never be enough resources to feed a population which steadily multiplies. Charles Darwin, the biologist, adapted that piece of theory which had clearly derived from the observation of Victorian industrial society and applied it to a comprehensive theory of natural change and development. In its wake such concepts as “struggle for existence,” “competition,” “growth” and “optimization” tacitly became centerpieces of our self-understanding: biological, technological, and social progress is brought forth by the sum of individual egoisms. In perennial competition, fit species (powerful corporations) exploit niches (markets) and multiply their survival rate (return margins), whereas weaker (less efficient) ones go extinct (bankrupt). The resulting metaphysics of economy and nature, however, are less an objective picture of the world than society’s opinion about its own premises. – Dr. Andreas Weber

Som Alexandriner (disippel av Christopher Alexander, altså ikke en person fra Alexandria), startet jeg naturligvis lesingen med essayet The Commoning of Patterns and the Patterns of Commoning, av Franz Nahrada, grunnleggeren av GIVE (Globally Integrated Village Environments).

Håper flere vil få opp øynene for hvor revolusjonerende “pattern”-teknologien til Christopher Alexander er, og hvordan vi kan nytte denne til å optimalisere menneskelig trivsel fundamentert i allmenngyldige og tidløse mønstre eller “pattern”. Selv definerer jeg Amotz Zahavi sin oppdagelse av handikapprinsippet som et “metapattern”, som vi kan nyttiggjøre gjennom en mengde underliggende mønstre som bygger opp under dette. Vi har allerede flere Alexandrine mønstre som underbygger de gode kreftene som ligger latent i handikapprinsippet.

The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market & State“, kan kjøpes eller fritt lastes ned her.

Ei siste bok jeg må anbefale, selv om den ikke fritt kan lastes ned fra internettet, er Unified Architectural Theory: Form, Language, Complexity, av Nikos A. Salingaros. Denne har nettopp gått i trykken, og er å regne som ei støttebok til Christopher Alexanders The Phenomenon of Life – The Nature of Order, bok 1. Men den kan utmerket godt også leses for seg selv.

The Phenomenon of Life var den første boka jeg leste av Alexander, og har sammen med hans andre bøker fullstendig endret mitt perspektiv på verden. Derfor gleder jeg meg spesielt til å lese boka til Salingaros.

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‘Unified Architectural Theory’ is not theory at all. It is evidence. It lets us see how until recently we have always designed and built. We’ve built buildings and spaces and towns that reflect the order in our genes, in the biological world we’re part of. We’ve felt at home in them because their order makes space for our body and our soul. Now we rediscover how to build a world that does not alienate us from who we are, a world that gives us joy, a world that brings us home. – Dr. Ir. Jaap Dawson, Technical University Delft

Unified Architectural Theory: Form, Language, Complexity. A Companion to Christopher Alexander’s “The Phenomenon of Life — The Nature of Order, Book 1“, Sustasis Foundation, 2013, kan kjøpes her. En lengre introduksjon til boka (pdf) kan lastes ned her.

Etter å ha lest boka til Salingaros vil du forstå hvor tragisk det er for vår nasjon at Lambda nå ser ut til å skulle huse Munchs kunst. Her søker man å forene det beste av kunst med en kultisk kvasikultur, som modernistisk arkitektur jo er. For meg blir det å skulle nyte Munchs skatter i Lambda, som hva det ville vært for en israelitt å tilbe Jahve i et Baal-tempel. Selv vil jeg derfor prioritere å besøke Munch-museet på Tøyen denne sommeren, og oppfordrer Kulturverks lesere til å vurdere det samme.

I happen to be an architectural theorist as well as a scientist. My new book, “Unified Architectural Theory” (just being proofread), was written because I am convinced that humanity’s salvation lies in the correct application of scientific theory to architecture. Furthermore, I argue that the so-called “theory” used up until now is just cult doctrine and ideology, which is what has destroyed our culture. – Nikos A. Salingaros

Håper flest mulig vil ta til seg de tankene som presenteres i disse viktige bøkene og essayene, for så å spre dem videre som løvetannfrø for vinden. God sommer!

 

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  • Jonatan Håbu

    Opplivning synes jeg er et bra norsk ord for enlivenment. To enliven betyr jo å animere noen eller styrke deres ånd (den medisinske behandlingen opplivning går som kjent ut på å få i gang åndedrettet i organismen; ånden), og burde også kunne brukes når der er snakk om treenigheten som er kultur, menneske og natur. Følgende tolker jeg som en ‘oppvurdering’ av livet i seg selv og livskraften i alle ting – en opplivning av livet, om du vil: “We must augment the story of individual rationality and competition with a new story that he calls “life-as-meaning,” or “biopoetics.” In the emerging new picture of biology, as confirmed by a growing body of empirical research, “organisms are no longer viewed as genetic machines, but basically as materially embodied processes that bring forth themselves. Each single cell is ‘a process of creation of an identity.’ The simplest organism must be understood as a material system displaying the intention to maintain itself intact, to grow, to unfold, and to make a fuller scope of life for itself.”
    Det er sent og jeg er trett, men opplivning er fortsatt et ord jeg mener (utilstrekkelig (som oftest blir ord utilstrekkelige når livet selv skal beskrives)) beskriver innholdet i begrepet enlivenment.

  • Tusen takk Håbu for et brilliant forslag! Er det noe vi trenger i dag må det være en gjenoppliving eller en ny opplivingstid. Opplysning har vi mer enn nok av, men uten oppliving hjelper det så lite.

    Skriver nå fordi jeg nettopp har lest nok et brilliant essay av David Bollier, vil anbefale Kulturverks lesere å følge hans blogg: http://bollier.org/

    I dag tok Bollier nesten pusten fra meg med sitt essay “The Quiet Realization of Ivan Illich’s Ideas in the Contemporary Commons Movement”: http://bollier.org/blog/quiet-realization-ivan-illichs-ideas-contemporary-commons-movement

    Her er et lite utdrag jeg håper kan inspirere til å lese hele essayet:

    “Unfortunately, the great, unacknowledged scandal of our times is the enclosure of such spaces. Modern capitalism and its bureaucracies are determined to deconstruct commons and convert them into (putatively) rational, efficient markets. Enclosure is the means by which to convert the collective into the private; the subjective into the objective; and the local and particular into the global and universal. This process represents a profound dispossession of our humanity and of vernacular culture.”

    Heldigvis finnes det enda store tenkere som inngir håp i en mørk tid!

  • Med stor glede kan jeg opplyse at også Salingaros bok “Unified Architectural Theory” vil bli lagt ut for fri nedlasting på internettet, i samarbeid med Arch Daily. Og den vil ikke kun bli publisert i engelsk språkdrakt, men også på Spansk og Portugisisk.

    Arch Daily skriver:

    “In the following months, we at ArchDaily will be publishing Nikos Salingaros’ book, Unified Architectural Theory, in a series of installments, making it digitally, freely available for students and architects around the world. In the following paragraphs, Salingaros explains why we’ve decided to impart on this initiative, and also introduces what his book is all about: answering “the old and very disturbing question as to why architects and common people have diametrically opposed preferences for buildings.”

    ArchDaily and I are initiating a new idea in publishing, one which reflects the revolutionary trends awaiting book publishing’s future. At this moment, my book, Unified Architectural Theory, 2013, is available only in the USA. With the cooperation of ArchDaily and its sister sites in Portuguese and Spanish, it will soon be available, in a variety of languages, to anyone with internet access. Being published one chapter at a time, students and practitioners will be able to digest the material at their leisure, to print out the pages and assemble them as a “do-it-yourself” book for reference, or for use in a course. For the first time, students will have access to this material, in their own time, in their own language, and for free!”

    Les hele introduksjonen her: http://www.archdaily.com/419892/unified-architectural-theory-an-introduction/