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GSBN: Digest for 4/11/02

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-> What is the GSBN anymore? (was:Nomination)
     by Mark Piepkorn duckchow@...
-> Fw: [strawbale] straw-bale at the European Commission, Brussels
     by "Rene Dalmeijer" rened@...


Date: 11 Apr 2002 13:15:58 -0500
From: Mark Piepkorn duckchow@...
Subject: What is the GSBN anymore? (was:Nomination)

The crux of this post after much self-debate and balancing is in its final 
paragraph, which reads in part:

	Can the GSBN be both the GSBN and a TLS-Advisory
	list? Is there a happy medium? Maybe and maybe not.
	I propose that this list be renamed TLS-Advisory and
	given over to the direction of TLS c/o Joyce. We see
	how things shake out... and if TLS-Advisory doesn't
	satisfactorily encompass the requirements and desires
	of the GSBN, we'll make a new one. Heck, we can
	start now if people feel strongly about it. Email me,

The rest of my ramblings follow for anybody interested.

- - - - - -

At 11:47 PM 4/8/02, the revered old geezer wrote:
 >... what I think I remember to be the original, vaguely
 >described, purpose of the GSBN.  That is, a way for
 >a smallish number of people, representing the
 >straw-bale communities or associations in countries
 >(or regions of larger countries), to network... acting as
 >two-way hubs for the transfer of information...

	Yeah, I remember it like that.

	Also in the mix, as I recall, was that the GSBN would be an advisory panel 
for TLS - though that, too, was never defined in any clear way, and it's 
never been utilized as such.

	The GSBN in that capacity always figured as a rather prominent part of my 
personal grand scheme for TLS - virtually none of which I ever managed to 
implement, alas. Anyway, after a couple instances of passing the hat among 
GSBN the members to cover expenses, TLS offered to pony up the dough to 
keep things going - since TLS was benefiting in some way from the expertise 
of the GSBN members, or was going to.

	A bit farther along the continuum, back before I resigned from TLS, I 
posted here for a vote about running TLS-bound material by the list for 
voluntary peer/expert review. There were no dissenting voices, only 
assenting. And largely strongly assenting, at that.

	That's as far as that aspect of things ever got, though.

 >...the criteria being used to screen suggested additions
 >(which we must do unless we chose to welcome all
 >interested individuals), seems to have been gradually
 >changing... Is that because we have simply forgotten the
 >original intent, or because the criteria need to be
 >changed, or because the purpose of the GSBN has
 >gradually morphed into being mostly a way for "serious
 >strawbalers" to pick each others brains in a more private
 >way than the CREST listserve provides?

	I think that Joyce has been thinking about the GSBN very much the way that 
I always did - not only as a hub of "high-level" SB 
communications-for-the-commons, but also as an advisory / peer-review 
council for TLS. (Joyce may be more strongly focused on the latter than I 
was, which is OK since we're actually two different people.) And in her 
forthcoming capacity as publisher, managing editor, and overall boss honcho 
of TLS, she's working to involve people (as it happens, most if not all of 
the ones that I know about have so far been professional builders) that she 
feels will be beneficial to TLS, its readership, and SB at large. How many 
people will she want to involve, and using what criteria? Dunno. We'll see.

	That's all well and good, but the questions Matts suggested remain: What 
is the GSBN anymore, and what's it for?

 >If the original purpose still holds, and the criterium of
 >"organizational / key player / mover and shaker" activity
 >is still relevant, then I have no information about [name
 >unimportant for this discussion] that make it
 >appropriate for me to second his nomination.  If that
 >criterium is no longer relevant, then [he] and many other
 >fine individuals that build straw-bale homes for people
 >would seem to meet the remaining criterium of
 >"professional" activity.  But if we chose to screen
 >"nominated" individuals solely on the basis of this latter
 >criterium, our membership will surely expand greatly
 >and the role that the GSBN has played will surely shift
 >further toward a listserve for insider brain-picking.

	Beauty speech, dude. Most excellent. And furthermore, bully and huzzah.

	So what do I think? What do *I* think? What do I *think*? What *do* I 
think? I'll tell you what I think. I think that the GSBN is on its way to 
becoming a dedicated TLS-Review-Board-List. If utilized to its fullest 
extent, that could potentially mean a significant increase in traffic with 
a virtual guarantee that each thread, no matter how tremendously exciting 
it begins, will finally play itself down to fussiness over punctuation and 
word choices. For me, that sort of thing is usually interesting and 
invigorating - if it's happening within the scope of a clear goal and not 
just niggling about arbitrary preferences - but I think that for most 
people, however, it's probably dull and aggravating under all 
circumstances. But they will have certainly opted out of the thread by the 
time that happens; the Delete key is indeed our friend.

	In the wake of my recent post for peer-review and the subsequent responses 
(thanks, folks!), Chris and I exchanged an email apiece a couple days ago 
on the subject of GSBN-as-material-review-board and how that might work.

	He worried about the editorial workload exploding. If the material was 
funneled back and forth through a TLS editorial staffer - as I'd envisioned 
doing it in my day - unless the point person has the opportunity to be 
exceedingly diligent, things will bottleneck. Guaranteed. I wasn't able to 
overturn that entrenched process while I was at TLS, and in the end that 
process was part of what overturned me. For it to work, the point person 
will have to be able to be very dedicated and very focused. If things 
continue at TLS the way they have been, and TLS tries to begin using the 
GSBN as a review council, then it's inevitable that this list is going to 
get swamped with material once every three months at production time. That 
would not only suck, but also not be nearly as effective since people would 
get overwhelmed and not want to participate. BUT - if material can be 
trickled in at a consistent rate of one or two pieces a week, I tend to 
think that would be something that most of the membership might actually 
appreciate. They could participate, if they chose, in snack-sized bits that 
fit comfortably into their busy schedules.

	Chris also asked my opinion about giving the GSBN address to writers and 
letting them have their material reviewed at their own discretion, making 
any revisions themselves before submitting it to TLS. I think that's an 
excellent idea - but not for the GSBN. Seems to me that the GSBN membership 
on the whole appreciates the fact that it's a little-trafficked forum where 
people aren't relentlessly wanting pieces of them. An eager author might 
want to have endless conversations about their article onlist. That quickly 
becomes a wearisome drag for most people, and that kind of thing is 
probably the single biggest reason behind the sad fact that most of the 
GSBN people aren't on the CREST list. One potential solution is to make it 
de rigueur to respond *only* to the original party (as those of you who 
responded to my recent call for review did). Then they can post a rewrite 
for further review a week or so later.

	Chris expressed a reasonable concern about the "too many cooks" syndrome, 
as well. I agree that's a possibility. However, I also feel that sometimes 
two people is too many cooks, while other times a dozen are not enough. 
Like all of life, it's a situationally-specific thing. The GSBN is growing 
- - and in principle I really have no quarrel with it growing. What concerns 
me isn't that the list is becoming more populated with people who are 
knowledgeable and experienced, but that they're increasingly not here based 
on their selfless and active pursuit of the work of the commons. For all I 
know, things may get to the point where most of the GSBN members are here 
principally because they have reputations to further and egos to feed and 
careers to enhance. And *that* is one thing for sure that the GSBN is not 
supposed to be about, whether it's a quiet garden of SB delights or an 
ear-splitting dragstrip of TLS concerns. (It's probably not the best place 
for a crude nonprofessional malcontent loose cannon like me, either, 
though, is it?)

	Can the GSBN be both the GSBN and a TLS-Advisory list? Is there a happy 
medium? Maybe and maybe not. I propose that this list be renamed 
TLS-Advisory and given over to the direction of TLS c/o Joyce. We see how 
things shake out... and if TLS-Advisory doesn't satisfactorily encompass 
the requirements and desires of the GSBN, we'll make a new one. Heck, we 
can start now if people feel strongly about it. Email me, 



Date: 11 Apr 2002 16:05:36 -0500
From: "Rene Dalmeijer" rened@...
Subject: Fw: [strawbale] straw-bale at the European Commission, Brussels

- -----Original Message-----
From: Agnieszka Komoch agni@...
To: strawbale-l@...strawbale-l@...
Date: Thursday, April 11, 2002 11:57 AM
Subject: [strawbale] straw-bale at the European Commission, Brussels

>GEN-Europe at the Green Week, 15-19.04.02
>The Global Ecovillage Network - GEN - Europe will take part in the
>Green Week, an event organised by the European Commission Directorate
>of Environment. The general theme of Green Week 2002 is Our future,
>Our Choice - Changing our ways.
>During the event GEN-Europe, in association with Mr. Harald Wedig,
>natural builder and permaculture teacher, will build a straw-bale
>house in the heart of Brussels, beside the European Parliament and
>the EC.
>With this action we hope to facilitate better support for ecovillages
>and natural building methods among the EC politicians and
>participants in the event, encourage experiments in this field and
>demonstrate that natural building can be inexpensive and fun to do.
>At the same time GEN-Europe will place ecologically responsible
>building techniques within the context of ecovillages and sustainable
>On Thursday the 18th of April at 18.30 hrs the straw bale house will
>be officially inaugurated by Mr. Perera from the EC Environment. In
>addition, cocktails will be served and there will be an opportunity
>to chat informally with the EC officials.
>You are welcome to join us!!
>Place: Parc du Maelbeek, beside the Charlemagne Building, Rue de la Loi 170
>The demo-house will be dismantled on the 20-21 of April and put up at
>another location in Belgium for permanent use.
>With regards
>Ms. Agnieszka Komoch
>President of GEN-Europe
>for more information about the Green Week


End of Digest

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