Rules of Thumb, 30x30, and the Laws of Nature

Spring Landscape (Rain), A. Krehbiel My mother had a commonplace book in which she recorded, by hand, in beautiful cursive, proverbs, sayings, and quotes that struck her as interesting, thought provoking, or wise. I also love sayings, and quotes, and mantras, but mostly I’ve collected rules of thumb, those short pithy statements that condense ways of dealing with life on earth in the same way that proverbs give advice on how to behave in prudent, trouble-avoiding ways.  Rules of thumb exist for every field of human endeavor. There are the general ones, such as the 80% rule, or Pareto Principle, that gets applied in sometimes surprising ways—"eighty percent of every thing is trash,” someone will say, or another will say that “80% of your output comes from 20% of your efforts,” for example. The 80/20 ratio is useful in all sorts of contexts. For example, in a perennial garden, the general rule (backed up by scientific evidence) is that about 75-80% of the plants should be native (lo Asked Me a Few Questions

Most of my posts are cross-posted at, a site that functions as a multifaceted, solutions-oriented resource for folks interested in resilience topics such as peak oil, permaculture, climate change, transition, limits to growth, and other matters of interest.

The site is a production of the
Post Carbon Institute, an organization dedicated to providing information and resources that will contribute to the transition to a more sustainable, just and equitable society.

They have started a new series called "Resilience Reflections," which are interviews with regular contributors about their work and motivations. My turn just came up; you can read my interview here.