BOTTOM LINE: We wouldn't be in this COVID-19 worldwide pandemic right now were it not for a global economy! So as you read this website, don't forget that indisputablle fact! I will be adding more information about SARS-CoV-2, but for now, let me emphasize that this coronavirus is not the first to be pathogenic (SARS in 2002 and MERS in 2012) and it won't be the last, given the high mutagenic potential of these single-stranded RNA viruses. (I've been researching the molecular biology of betacoronaviruses [I am a molecular biologist by training] and will write more about that later.)
The smart thing is to accept the principals of flexiculture.org voluntarily before the natural (or not so natural, perhaps) world forces it upon us. WE NEED TO DEVELOP A MINDSET OF LOCAL RESILIENCE!
Update on 5-4-2020.It appears that SARS-CoV-2 already has well over 400 mutations-- a finding that one should have predicted, given the rapid mutation rate of coronaviruses. Amino acid-chaning mutations in the spike protein are of concern, since that is an important target in vaccine development. Anyway, I am more focused these days on increasing my knowledge of bioinformatics than I am in acting on any hope of helping people via Flexiculture. It is an understatement to say that I am not to hopeful about any of this anymore. If anyone wishes to provide a word of encouragement, however, by all means drop me a line (email: chip2 at flexiculture dot org). In the meanwhile, you won't be seeing any further updates here.
The recent emergence of the Coronavirus pandemic presents an opportunity to demonstrate exactly what Flexiculture.org is meant to be: the development of locally resilient socioeconomic systems with judicious use of technology for the purposes of information flow.
The distinction is simple: your physical needs are met locally, whereas your informational needs may be obtained globally via the electronic informational networks, eg. internet, phone, etc. You grow/raise your food, collect your water, generate your energy, grow and maintain your soil (think regenerative agriculture), manage your waste, and otherwise develop and maintain your physical environment in local communities. In this way, you are not over-reliant on the worldwide travel of people, who ultimately are the conduit of infectious agents such as the Coronavirus. Maybe you work from home virtually on the internet, or maybe you work on the property, but no longer are you at the mercy of the current global economy that presents such a current hazard and disruption to our global society.
In contrast, you will go online for your informational purposes, such as education. Physical viruses aren’t transmitted via the internet, and internet viruses can’t infect your productive physical land that provide your essential life needs such as food, water, natural gas, etc.
The importance of all of these ideas really started to come into focus during the recent stock and bond market crash, food shortages in the stores, and closure of the schools.
It is time to start working together to take responsibility for implementing these ideas without blame shifting onto our political leaders, or local and regional governments. It is time for us to put our egos aside to seek a higher truth via the dialectic (look up definiton 5a in this link) process that can transcend political affiliations. The good news is that there are many ways to implement useful solutions, and we need to get going with it. I will briefly share one possible idea here:
Think of a home owners association. This association takes care of certain aspects of home and property maintenance. Now generalize that idea to implement a cooperative, community-based process that consists of a local economy of food, water, energy, and waste management, in addition to home maintenance that would also include a secure information infrastructure to afford a rich opportunity to take care of many other needs virtually over the Internet. Virtual offices, classrooms, chat rooms, etc. The community would remain vigilant about the containment of infectious disease, both physical (eg. Coronavirus) and informational (eg. hackers, as well as numerous other security concerns).
This system could be called a “community owners association” that would cooperate with local and regional authorities, and would be established on a solid legal foundation for the protection of its contributing and cooperative community members. It would also be designed for sensitivity towards varying socioeconomic backgrounds to make it feasible for the participation of a maximal number of people. Finally, it would aim for diversity in the way of demographic variables such as race, gender, and assortment of belief systems, so long as the individuals involved contribute to a peaceful, productive, and harmonious process that supports the objectives of the community. To the extent possible, the legal institution of the community owners association would provide the protections to maintain these objectives.
These ideas meet solid investment principles, most notably the one of diversification. You would be taking ownership of the essential elements of life that you can pass on to your children, grandchildren, etc. No longer would you have so much risk exposure to a global socioeconomic system that may fail your children, if not now, then in the long run. We can ALL afford to invest in this way if we work to build these sorts of systems. Maybe you would work virtually from your own computer or commute to your regular work location. Or maybe you would work for the community owners association.
But however it would work out, let's work together and stay flexible about it all, because there are many ways to meet the essential principles of preserving and maintaining the global ecosystem. Failure in the past doesn't necessarily mean we can't succeed in the future. We have aggregated plenty of knowledge, and now is a good time to create ways to organize that body of knowledge effectively in smart ways.
There is no such thing as a free lunch; you have to do the work. But there is one important exception to that idea: the global bioecosystem does give you a free lunch, literally! But it could stop doing that so easily if we abuse that system. So we have to be smart about it. And interestingly, regenerative farmers are starting to discover that it is more economical to do things the right way, because healthy soil preserves water and produces a more diverse yield of crops. Again, there is that idea of diversification. Regenerative agriculture makes sense! And regenerative farmers are starting to show that these modifications to their farming practices are actually reducing expenses (eg. water and fertilizer) and increasing crop yields and total sales. For an example, do an internet search on "Gabe Brown" in North Dakota.
******Click here for my BOOKMARKS to various Regenerate Agricutlure ("ReGenAg"), "Permaculture", and other relevant sources of information.******
If you want to get some background on my previous thinking on these ideas, click here to take a look at the original version of this website.For more information, email: chip2 at flexiculture dot org.