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There is no Permaculture principal more important and none that accentuate our greatest ability as human beings than the principal of observation. We learn all we know through our 6 senses: site, sound, smell, taste, touch and balance. You may find it strange that I include balance. Balance is a sense that if omitted would leave us stumbling around at best. Our culture does not neglect this sense; we speak of the scales of justice and the composition of art in terms of being in or out of balance. We use the term so often because it is so well understood and experienced constantly by everyone. I digress.
Observation is what we humans do and we constantly design and build equipment to allow us to peer deeper and further than our own senses would allow. Whether we are looking through a microscope or just out our own window we are capturing information, it is up to us what we do with it.