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Lovely people within the 1%

 
gardener
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I am definitely a member of "the 1%." I think the 1% are terribly destructive force. I don't think I'm a destructive force. And I don't think any of those statements are contradictory.

I think the idea of power constructs (the 1% represent the power of capital) can be divorced from the individuals within those power constructs. I can benefit from the power of capital while also abhorring the idea of capital having power. Oddly enough, the most powerful tool I have in this fight is capital itself. So at least personally, I'll continue to campaign against the power of capital (the 1%) while also living a life benefiting from it.
 
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"It's not what you have, but what you do with what you have" works both ways :)  Rock on.
 
master pollinator
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I am an anomaly...as I am told a lot on many levels...in that Katie and I are millionaires, and yet by definition we are not 1%'ers.
 
pollinator
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Someone mentioned 'smaller units', i.e., village size, etc.  And an anthropologist determined the historically most 'successful' population for human groups... approximately 150, i.e., 'Dunbar's number'.  And an engineer put a lot of thought into how such a group could function... the book is "150-Strong: A Pathway to a Different Future"
by Rob O'Grady and Dmitry Orlov ... just fwiw.  (we have to start somewhere :)... we are social human creatures, and as appealing as rugged individualism is to introvert types (like me), we need each other.
 
Catherine Windrose
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That's interesting.  I sometimes use Dunbar's Number as well, although based on an explanation that 150 is the peak number of individuals in a group who can maintain a balanced community.  Supposedly at 151, all begins to break down.  Though I've used that example, it was only ever intended as a loosely formed concept in my mind, because it seems a peak optimal number might vary between cultures and within certain environments.

I just found this, which adds yet another spin.

https://qz.com/work/1351400/dunbars-number-doesnt-represent-the-average-number-of-social-connections/

Now I'm wondering if both theories are more akin to credential swinging competition ^.^  Maybe permie pioneer communities will evolve organically?  I am thinking, for the moment anyway, that theory experts driven by grants and special interest funding are more likely involved in social engineering than allowing natural growth.  I need to ponder this more.

An example might be when I used to book gigs for a former husband/musician.  Without any experience or knowledge of music, no graphics expertise, and no established connections to the music business, I put together a promo package with a few different set lists, a good song demo with 15-second sound clips of half a dozens songs, and photos.  I made 160 packages.  Called prior for basic info.  Hand delivered each promo with an attempt to speak to, or obtain a name of, whomever handled booking.  16 solid contacts developed into gigs.  Out of those 16, 11 long term arrangements continued for several years.

Part of the point here is also that  I did it on what I perceived to be a challenge by the husband's closest friend who said I should stay out of their business because I didn't know what I was talking about when it came to getting gigs.  But I had watched and listened for about a year.  And most of my background is administrative / secretarial / clerical / with a bit of office management I'd been pushed into at times.  Organizing was a piece of cake, though all credit for the demo goes to the husband (excellent voice and production skills).  This was all in the Clearwater / Tampa / New Port Richey areas of Florida, then again in Williamsburg / Virginia Beach / Hampton Roads / Richmond areas in Virginia.

Ok.  All that considered, when we moved to Chicago, none of that worked.  At all.  I worked it the same way and hand delivered 200+ (215 I think) promos with a better song demo than the first.  3 solid contacts developed.  After a time, I talked with those three club owners that did work out, and told them about my major numbers fail.  All they could say generally speaking, was Chicago is a hard gig *lol*  No chit!  One did suggest that Chicago musicians were mostly hired through unions so that was most likely the big wrench in the works.  Ahhhh...

Back to different cultures and environments.  After re-reading more about Dunbar's Number and the article above with yet another theory, now I am left thinking that using theoretical numbers is just as shaky as a non-expert winging it.  

Maybe permie pioneering communities don't need no stinkin community-related theoretical numbers? ^.^  At least not outside the realm of permaculture.
 
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based on my own observations I firmly believe the general concept of Dunbars # is correct.  

As for the actual #, well, I think there may well be some give and take there.  There is your core group, and your next out group, etc.  Age groups matter.  Children,etc are in your group, but kind of peripheral if you know what I mean.   For a teenager the cranky old fart at the end of the block may be peripheral also.  Because of these things, I think the optimal working size of a village could be well over 150, varying with the culture, various age groups, the degree of commonality, and the "chill out" factor.  Most traditional societies put a high value on 'good manners'.  There is a reason for that,  good manners let us live in close contact with fewer conflicts, so the better mannered and 'chiller' people are, you can go a little bigger on Dunbar #.  Kind of like driving a busy road with lots of others merging and exiting.  If everyone knows and obeys the rules, things move more smoothly.  When someone doesn't, it snarls things up.  

(I personally think the reason that stereotypical europeans get 'more demonstrative' as you go south is an example of social evolution.  If you get several 'fiery' personalities living in a small, snow bound hut for several months, many of them may not survive 'till spring.  With warmer weather, you can get away from each other more, if you need to.    (My wife's family would probably have a larger Dunbars # than mine.  They are quieter and, to be honest, probably have better manners.  My family is loud and boisterous with teasing and conflicts and quite a bit of noise just part of the daily routine.  There is always something going on, but I doubt 150 people like that would make an optimal village.
 
nancy sutton
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And I ditto Kyle - I think the phrase is not to incite a hatred of individuals (good guyes -  Tom Steyer, Nick Hanauer and others - many listed in 'Only the Super Rich Can Save Us' by Ralph Nader), it's just a very effective meme/soundbite that quickly communicates the idea that the current economic system facilitates the creation of billionaires, to the detriment of the vast majority of the population.  

BTW...the 'soundbite' (byte?) is 'killer' tool used by marketers... we might come up with a few to communicate 'permaculture' effectively, and work to get them into common parlance.
 
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Ann Torrence wrote:Or maybe both sides really represent the top .01% and we are being snookered.



Winner, winner, chicken dinner.
 
Andrew Mayflower
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Chadwick Holmes wrote:I agree that going after the 1% is the wrong attack, but I misunderstood, I assumed these people were mad at the system that creates 99/1 not the actual 1%?!?

Maybe I am just naive!



Just to note, that unless we go full on theoretical communism with everyone making the exact same income (so, not even the elites at the top of the political power chain are making any more money - I'll wait for the laughing to die down ...), there will ALWAYS be a 1%.  Any amount of variability in incomes will produce a group that is the "1%" by simple dint of the math of that variability.  

Where folks seem lately to be getting upset is at the size of the gap between the "1%" and the "99%" of the rest of us.  However, unless the high income earners are doing so by illegal, unethical, or immoral means (and yes, those are debatable terms, but if we restrict "unethical" and "immoral" to what most of society broadly agrees those terms mean we can have the conversation) why should I be mad that someone is making more than I am, even if it's 3+ orders of magnitude more?  Shouldn't I be inspired by the ability to make that kind of money to learn the skills, and apply the discipline necessary to earn that kind of income myself?  It's not a "Greed is Good" mentality, but a mentality of earning the income through focused study and hard work.  

I'm doing well, not "1%er" well, but certainly not poor.  I'd like to make more money, and am actively working on getting to that point.  I've gone back to school.  I've learned new skills on the job.  I've taken on additional responsibilities.  That has garnered me maybe an extra 5% on income than I'd be making otherwise, so I'm looking at making a change to unlock more of that potential income I know I can earn.  That I'm struggling to get there is not the fault of those already there.  
 
gardener
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Andrew Mayflower wrote:

Where folks seem lately to be getting upset is at the size of the gap between the "1%" and the "99%" of the rest of us.

Maybe it's my socialist upbringing, but I have difficulty believing that someone earning $2,400,000 compared to say $33,000 per year, truly has that much more going for them. That higher wage works out to $1,153/hour based on a 40 hour workweek. Even if they're just an incredible person and that they work more like an 80 hour work week, that would still be over $500/hour. I can't imagine myself genuinely working so effectively and consistently, that I could keep up that sort of value for 11 months of the year. As was pointed out earlier in this thread, it's actually not so much the 1% as the 0.01% who have enough money that they can influence government policy in their favour, not to mention, buy out competitors to maintain their position even if that position is unsustainable. A classic example was the the car company that bought up the Lithium battery technology when it was the only thing that made electric cars possible at the time. These are the same car companies that pushed trucks, vans and SUV's as "status symbols" rather than practical small cars. From the "business" perspective, this made total sense - more money for their stock-holders, but of course, more money for the top 0.01 percent of management, at a time when the minimum wage in some states was so low that employees had to apply for Medicare to take their kids to a doctor.

So I don't resent the top wage earners - I wouldn't want their jobs if they were offered to me. But I do resent that they push government policy in directions that support their own damage to the environment, while doing everything in their power to prevent anyone else challenging that power. I can remember the huge kerfuffle when California decided to unilaterally impose tougher car emission standards. Having visited LA briefly during one of their positively horrible air quality periods, I could see that this would help many local citizens. The car companies whined, complained and exerted as much pressure as the could to try to get California to back down, not because it wasn't a reasonable goal, but because they perceived it would hurt their bottom line, because *they* don't have to pay the medical expenses that result from poor air quality.  

Nancy Sutton wrote:

BTW...the 'soundbite' (byte?) is 'killer' tool used by marketers... we might come up with a few to communicate 'permaculture' effectively, and work to get them into common parlance.

Considering my comments above, this thought has a scary side. If permaculture were to "threaten" the current food conglomerates, like Cargill, Nestle or PepsiCo, would they decide to fight back? There are already rules in places against saving seeds and planting certain crops. Would those companies be able to convince the public through their huge advertising budgets that Pemaculture was a threat to the American way of life? Maybe the slow, but sure, underground approach to change is the route I'll take.  
 
gardener
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I agree that there will always be a difference.  In the US, the difference is so much more than it used to be here or is in healthier societies.  The point is not that someone has more money, but that the 1% has so much more power to change the culture to help themselves and their like.  They have changed facebook and social media, where most people get their news, to make sure that natural health goes to the bottom of the algorithm, to make sure people find out about corporate health solutions way before natural health solutions.  Great for the 1% who profit off it, terrible for the health of the rest of us.  And that is just one example.
John S
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