Thursday, December 30, 2010

Some amazing and cool Scandinavian style fabric designs can be found at this UK website, Fabric Rehab.  I love this owl print, and it reminds me of late 1960s early 1970s things I saw when I grew up (or maybe it was early 1960s and they were still in style in my part of Sweden?).

How about this dandelion fabric? OK the color is a bit mustardy, but otherwise?

Kristen Kimball, of The Dirty Life fame and hard work, has written an essay on the Oprah website - worth reading.  There is also a great interview with her here, which I don't think I have linked to before from this blog.  More about living off the land locally, on this blog.

And while you are reading all these great things, often building on shared resources and shared commitments and responsibilities, here is one woman who's research is famous for studying this, everyday life around the world and how we share things ethically and honestly: Elinor Ostrom. She got the Nobel prize in Economics for her research, which is pretty remarkable, when you realize that:

"Ostrom’s key idea is that neither the state nor the market is the best manager of our collective resources—it’s us, we the people. The commons concept is catching on in a big way as we look at how to lighten our impact on the earth, live within the means of our natural resources, and navigate the ownership issues of a new digital era."

Read more here, and there is an interview with Elinor here.  I met her last year through work, and the best quote from her that day was: "Shame can be a most useful feeling."  She was talking about shaming people into doing the right thing, like when they had mock trials along the Rhen River accusing big companies of destroying the water of the river with pollution.  It led to the clean-up of the river, quite voluntarily, by several companies who wanted to be known as the ones that do the right thing, not the wrong thing.  The same process can be used when a village manages a common forest, grazing land, etc., but it only works if you have democratic processes in place and if all people care about the outcome.  Her research is most fascinating, and have implications for how we don't manage common resources today like the air, oceans, water quality and quantity, and carbon dioxide pollution.

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