Random Thoughts: A Mindful Miscellany

from Marcus Wynne

Archive for September 2012

The Farmer’s Market: Hub of a Resilient Community

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This is from a continuing series of dispatches on community resilience in my persona as the Resilient Nomad; some of these may appear in different format over on John Robb’s blog www.resilientcommunities.com.

“They kicked in his door, and put him and his whole family — even the kids — in handcuffs.  Sat ’em down outside, and then, get this — they went in and poured purple dye in *all* the milk vats…every single one.”

“You have *got* to be kidding.”

“Nope.  15 armed SWAT guys vs. an unarmed Amish farmer and his family.  Made me sick to hear about it.”

It wasn’t long ago, while I was on my weekly visit to the local Farmer’s Market, that I heard the story of a federal SWAT team in full battle rattle kicking in the door on an unarmed Amish family for the heinous offense of selling unpasteurized organic milk.  This incident — one of many around the country — provides an opportunity for a resilient community to form.

The Farmer’s Market in Urbana, IL sees 5000 customers come through it on an average summer day.  It’s open from 7-noon on Saturday each week.  Organic and whole food producers of vegetables, breads, and meats set up booths next to artisans and community groups.  The customer base is a cross-section of a community that supports local food and organic production.  This same customer demographic is involved in resilient activity on n individual, family, neighborhood and community level.

“This is the best place to meet like-minded people with their families and their friends,” says Professor Alfred Hubler, an internationally renowned physicists who researches chaos theory and the evolution of resilient networks.  “You meet both the growers and the consumers.”

The Farmer’s Market is a place to build resilient relationships.  Resilient relationships build resilient communities.  Those relationships can provide what you need in hard times as well as in the face of bureaucratic nonsense like SWAT teams raiding Amish dairy farmers.

How so?

Let’s take R (name changed for his privacy and to avoid SWAT teams kicking in his door).  R sells produce at the Farmer’s Market.  He has an extensive and loyal customer base built over many years.  When you buy from R, he chats with you and works at building a relationship.  He’ll remember your name and what you bought.  The next time he sees you, he’ll recommend something or give you something to try.  Once he knows you, he’ll invite you to join his list of best customers.  You give him your phone number, and R will call you once a week, and tell you what he has on special offer.  That may or may not include certain *regulated* products like organic and unpasteurized milk.  You tell him what you want.  He tells you where he will park his van for a certain window of time on a certain day and how much your order is.

So on Tuesday between 3-6pm (the time, day and location change weekly) you drive to the rendezvous where a plain van is parked.  R greets you and hands you a brown paper bag with your order sealed inside, and your name and the amount due on the outside.  Cash changes hands, you take your bag and go your merry way.

Sound familiar?

Should be to any observant urbanite.  It’s a sales procedure modeled on street drug dealing.  Just as in the world of drug-dealing, establishing relationship and trust is an integral part of operational security.  It’s a proven and robust model for providing and receiving product that might be “regulated” in a bureaucratic atmosphere — like the oppressive taxation and regulation targeting small organic food producers.

That’s one resilient networking opportunity that can grow out of your local Farmer’s Market.  And you better believe there’s a community/network that grows around those kind of reliable producers who are willing to meet peoples needs — and are savvy enough to duck around the bureaucrats.

Another opportunity is the Farmer’s Market is a great place to make new resilience-minded friends.  Got kids?  They love the Farmer’s Market.  Bring them.  They’re perfect ice-breakers with other parents.  Like to bike?  Chat up the other bicyclists.  Ask questions of the Market regulars.  Seek recommendations.  Start conversations.  Exercise the social skills that texting and FaceBook don’t reinforce.

The key to a truly resilient community is a functioning network of individuals that provide skills and resources to each other.  That community and network may very well *already* exist right under your nose — at your local Farmer’s Market.  Get out and find it.

cheers, m The Resilient Nomad

Written by marcuswynne

September 19, 2012 at 3:08 pm

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Just Saying…

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While doing research for a project recently, I came across these three different graphics.  The first graphic is a snapshot of the recent (last six months) earthquakes in the Midwest, especially around the New Madrid Seismic Zone.  The second graphic appeared in the Wall Street Journal two days ago, and illustrates the various basins that are being tapped for shale oil via fracking.  The third graphic is a map that was produced by military remote viewers (psychic spies) to show how the geography of the North American continent will change after a major seismic event centered in the Midwest (like the New Madrid cutting loose).

Interesting, yes?  I found it so.

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Written by marcuswynne

September 9, 2012 at 9:05 pm

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Secret Stash of Hardback First Editions of NO OTHER OPTION, WARRIOR IN THE SHADOWS, and BROTHERS IN ARMS — LIMITED QUANTITIES

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Today while organizing a long-locked storage locker (ala STORAGE WARS) I discovered several boxes of hardback first edition copies of NO OTHER OPTION, BROTHERS IN ARMS, and WARRIORS IN THE SHADOWS.

I have a case or two of NO OTHER OPTION, only about 3-4 copies of WARRIOR IN THE SHADOWS, and a case of BROTHERS IN ARMS.

I also found several dozen of the Advanced Readers Copies of NO OTHER OPTION and WARRIOR IN THE SHADOWS; these are trade paperback sized bound copies distributed early to reviewers etc.

These have all been out of print since 2003 or so, and are all the copies I have left.

If you’d like a hardback signed copy, please send me a message or an e-mail at marcus@marcuswynne.com with the title of the book you want, whether you want a hardback or an ARC, how you would like me to sign it and who (if anyone) you’d like me to sign the book to. When I get your e-mail, I’ll contact you back about payment arrangements. I’ll do PayPal, money order, or cash; $25 per hardback, and $15 per ARC, this price includes shipping via Priority Post.

This is totally first come, first served, so let me know as soon as you decide.

cheers, m

Written by marcuswynne

September 5, 2012 at 1:03 am

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Neural Based Training, Situational Awareness, and Personal Resilience

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Three of my favorite topics in one sentence! I’m working on several things simultaneously, as I often do, and a question came up from some friends about how to integrate all their learning to solve certain problems in their lives.

One of the basic principles of neural-based training is the brain likes to answer questions. We are hard-wired to seek answers and solutions. The brain is a hunter-gatherer of information (one of the reasons we’re all addicted to the internet and electronic communication — never before have so many had access to so much information at the touch of a finger). So one technique in neural-based training is formulating questions that stimulate the brain to solve specific problems.

In no particular order, here are some questions I like to ask in certain training situations. The people I facilitate have found it useful to mind-map their answers while exploring the process.

  • If you were a street mugger sizing you up, what would you observe about yourself that would indicate you’re a good target? Or a bad target?
  • Do you know what an attacker would look for, or are you looking for what you would look for?
  • If you were a burglar looking at your house, what would you see that would make you a nice juicy target? Or not?
  • If you were a stalker following a loved one, what would make that loved one (of yours) a vulnerable target?
  • If you needed to borrow $100 in cash, right now, how many people within a day’s walk of where you’re standing would a) have it and b) be willing to lend it?
  • If you were sick and you needed someone to take you to the hospital or to come to your home and care for you, how many people within a day’s walk of where you’re standing would a) be willing to do so and b) have the time or the willingness to take the time to care for you? And for how long?
  • If you have children or pets, how many people within a day’s walk of where you’re standing would you turn to if you needed someone to take care of those children or pets at 2 a.m.? How many would you a) trust to care for them and b) be able to care for them and c) for how long?
  • How far can you walk in one day?
  • How far can you walk carrying 25 pounds, in one day?
  • Could you carry an adult or child up or down a flight of stairs?
  • How far can you drag 150 pounds before you have to stop to catch your breath?

Those are enough questions. Feel free to share your answers below (or not) and perhaps we’ll discuss the implications of these particular questions.

Written by marcuswynne

September 1, 2012 at 4:40 pm

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