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a paul wheaton community

 
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Hey Warren, can you get me some cooked wrist pins from something big like a 350 Cummins?  They make great very small anvils.
 
                                        
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6.

This number will increse once I get out of debt. And it will increase even further once I can get a concrete concept of what I will learn. I think it would be more enticing for people if they would know what they are going to learn from the community before they make the commitment.

 
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Love Montana and I like your style Paul. I have lived in an intentional community before and  prefer building or renting my own space as part of the community. As long as kids are okay, because I have an 11 year old girl, who is homeschooled, she would have to be welcome. Very interested in a permaculture community. I have a few acres now, but someone else can tend them. I even have a Montana nursing license so could probably find some work. I'd give you a  7.
 
steward
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Paul I am a 5-6,  I have spent my whole adult life working for others , some have been the kind of folks that would have made Hitler proud, seriously. Never really been happy because my work has been in all sorts of industrial settings. Just a way to make good money to enable my family to enjoy the things we enjoy. I have always loved gardening, building things, music, arts, camping , learning , and helping others. I have always wondered what it would be like to work at something that I actually loved to work at and I think permaculture might be my ticket out of the work I have grown so tired of doing. If you get er going and send out invites to check it out, I may have to take a vacation up your way.
 
                              
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First of all: Are you serious?   

I would love to temporarily stay at your compound, to learn, to gain confidence in my gardening/building skills, to gain new ideas and perspectives, and of course to help with any laborious tasks. My stay would preferably be anywhere between 1-4 weeks. I would love to help build a strawbale house for you! Did I mention that I'm a 24 year old male, in great shape, and can lift heavy things nearly all day?


Also, I think the main building depicted in your layout could use some castle walls made out of cob, and possibly a moat. 
 
pollinator
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paul wheaton wrote:
Here is a lame drawing of something in my head.



And he is an artist too.  I think I will frame the multi zone drawing.

Seriously though...  I am getting more and more interested in taking the PDC at some point in the future.  But, just like when I studied dressage in Germany, I don't want to take a course from just any Tom, Dick, or Harry.  If I am going to spend my time and money I want to take a course from someone that I trust and respect.

I am not planning to take a course with someone just because they live nearby - that means I will have to travel and take a course that will involve staying on location for the duration.  I would be very interested in any course that you would teach.

A community such as you describe might be a good base for a PDC with some members being permanent members - maintaining the village so to speak.  Then there could be space for transients who are there temporarily for PDC or day or weekend workshops.
 
master steward
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I like to think that once things are set up that there will be heaps of workshops and the like. 

I like the idea of a PDC being taught.  I'm not crazy about the idea of being the primary, although I am okay with teaching some of the segments. 


 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
pollinator
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That would still be cool because I have this sneaking suspicion that if it was your place the instructors would be people who only teach methods that you approve of.

For example, you have mentioned seeing 'permaculture gardens' filled with rows of sprinklers and hoses that you did not care for.  I would prefer to take a course with someone who teaches methods that are permanent and sustainable - hoses and sprinklers are not.
 
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6
This idea has drawn me out from just being a lurker on this forum to being a poster.
I happen to find your version of permaculture refreshing compared to some of the others I have seen (just because I respect a pig doesn’t mean I won’t eat bacon). Living in a community of like minded people would be a nice change of pace from the traditional row crop farm community I live in now. I would definitely be interested to see the conditions for residing in your community and where it would be located ( I would not move to a zone higher than 6 unless it was in the north west).
 
steward
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Interesting idea Paul and interesting responses. I would be tempted except I have a huge amount to already take care of (like 900 acres). I am more likely to be the host, instead of the guest if you know what I mean.

My take is on all our property is that we are the stewards of the land so that it continues. Our thoughts are similar to invite people down based on being of the same mind. We have a spare home, which makes it easy. The person would be required to help build where they would live - we would provide basic materials (hey, we are in the wood business!) As long as they don't violate the terms of the agreement, they can stay in that home, for life. I really don't care how productive they are, as long as they don't cost me anything.

I suspect as the economic situation continues to unravel, there will be even more people interested.
 
                                
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A good dictatorship is the best and most efficient government... a bad dictatorship the worst.  Democracy is second worst.  Democracy, according to Mencken, is "the art and  science of running the circus from within the monkey cage."  And it's the idea that "the common man knows what he wants... and deserves to get it good and hard."

It's really about the personality of the Fearless Leader.  Can you run a tight ship without micromanagement and fostering resentment?  There are far fewer leaders than there are people in charge.

If I wasn't already in the planning stages of my own fiefdom, I'd pack my car and head your way.   
 
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How are you  counting the no votes? If I  can't vote no I usually spoil my ballot.....

but I'll give you 1 for honesty. Few potential dictators are this honest.

"Come and join our community" sometimes means "I want you to work for me for free believing that you will have a home for life, but I have ways of getting rid of suckers like you when you have served my purpose"

Been there. Been the sucker

But you're too honest for that right?
The Roman empire was replaced with feudalism, which is what you are proposing. History is not progress exactly, it cycles but I would like to  think it is an expanding spiral.

But feudal communities would be good, as would communist, fascist and theocratic etc.communities....giving feudalists, communists, fascists and theocrats somewhere to go where they wouldn't bother everyone else and could test their ideas in their own little social  experiment. The ones that functioned well could be copied by others.

I've stayed in consensus communities and there is nearly always  a dominant personality (usually a woman) . Hierarchy is a human tendency but I don't think it is hardwired in our brains  

Another option might be elected dictators. Annually someone elected to absolute power. Or rotating leadership between all members of the group
 
master pollinator
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Pignut wrote:
Hierarchy is a human tendency but I don't think it is hardwired in our brains



"Thesis #11: Hierarchy is an unnecessary evil."

http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Jason_Godesky__Thirty_Theses.html#toc18
 
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We'd put ourselves in the +1 + category; probably going up the scale depending on some of the details. 

Are you envisioning more towards each Wofati more self-sufficient (crop / animal / improvements ) or more personal strengths working toward community, for example?
 
steward
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I give it a solid 3.  Unfortunately my place is a 4 right now.
 
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Probably respond with a 4. Is there room for a full time herdsman? Bump that up to a 6. How about some sort of extension position to branch out to the surrounding area on the basis of selling and marketing and teaching permaculture principles, bump that up to an 8. Are the individual members in charge of their own personal system within the community growing their own fruit/vegetables, raising their own livestock, maintaining their own maintenance, while following general goals of the community as set forth by aforementioned "dictator". If that is the case bump it up to a 10. I'm totally for working a piece of free land while striving for a greater good, as long as I can go and teach awesome ag, and chase around some livestock .
 
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I lived in a situation like Pauls design with a main house with several people and others hidden in trees 2 shacks, a teepee and 3 motorhomes and 1 remodeled garage. I loved it there. We had good and plenty of water. Some people gardened. A lot of come and go but 5 people or so were there for many years.  We paid $375 rent.Worked hard to plant gopher screened gardens, lots of clean up,  The people that live there are beautiful and love it there, People move on, but owner staid , he paid the mortgage from peoples rents and utilities. He made the 3 acres look like a junkyard, but the orchard and the land he kept organic,forbid chemicals and killing pests,rats etc.
The owner  or dictator would also learn to be pleasant and fair as otherwise good people would leave. Maybe we really donot get away from growing  (in love)
 
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Paul, I know you've already got your survey results, but I'm seriously interested in whatever comes out from this, so I'm going to participate.

My answer is a 10. I want to do those things and I totally trust you. I'm willing to obey any order from you.

The thing is (in case this ends up happening and I qualify), I need some time until I can go (I want to finish my carreer, and after that get a PDC and help people locally, which will take me 1+1 years at most), and also, I can't stay forever (I want to help the sustainable community/ecovillage/transition town global movement, specially in a couple of places, so I'll have to leave after I've got enough experience and I consider I've been of enough use to you). Oh, and there's someone I need to bring with me, but that person would collaborate and behave as I would, so I don't think it'd be a problem.

Well, I'll keep on the lookout for whatever happens.

By the way, thank you for everything ^^
 
paul wheaton
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I need to stop by this thread more often.   

For example, you have mentioned seeing 'permaculture gardens' filled with rows of sprinklers and hoses that you did not care for.  I would prefer to take a course with someone who teaches methods that are permanent and sustainable - hoses and sprinklers are not.



I think irrigation is something that would be used to help establish systems.  but the overall plan should be to phase them out.

A good dictatorship is the best and most efficient government... a bad dictatorship the worst.



I like that.  It makes good sense.

How are you  counting the no votes?



The point is to not count them.  There can be a billion no votes and a dozen yes votes and the yes votes win.  The people that voted no live their lives outside of the fiefdom.  The dozen live inside.  All is well.

Are you envisioning more towards each Wofati more self-sufficient (crop / animal / improvements ) or more personal strengths working toward community, for example?



I'm not sure what the question is. 

I expect that there will be a lot of interesting experimental arrangements.

Is there room for a full time herdsman?



I expect paddock shift systems will be in use. 

Are the individual members in charge of their own personal system within the community growing their own fruit/vegetables, raising their own livestock, maintaining their own maintenance, while following general goals of the community as set forth by aforementioned "dictator".



I think I need clarity on the question.

I lived in a situation like Pauls design [...] The owner  or dictator would also learn to be pleasant and fair as otherwise good people would leave



There is the balance.

Paul, I know you've already got your survey results, but I'm seriously interested in whatever comes out from this, so I'm going to participate.



I'm working on getting it from theory and into reality.

Thanks for the excellent votes folks.  I think the answer is a resounding "yes, there are people willing to try this."


 
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Interested, yes. But Trust comes from experience with people directly, not on a forum. It's different when you live with folks, though I think having separate dwellings will go a long way to alleviate that.
For me it would depend on the rules, community, how approachable the supreme dictator was, and if individuals would get any authority to run with their own projects from said dictator.
I'd put it at a 3-4 for now since the ideas on this forum seem to jive pretty well.
 
paul wheaton
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I think this is part of the mission.  I've put 70+ podcasts out, written a gob of articles, shared thousands of comments in the forums.  I think I've put a lot out there so folks can figure out if they wanna sign up for the "peasant package" in my fiefdom.

 
Tate Smith
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Paul.

montanabound123 wrote:
Are the individual members in charge of their own personal system within the community growing their own fruit/vegetables, raising their own livestock, maintaining their own maintenance, while following general goals of the community as set forth by aforementioned "dictator".


Let me rephrase that. Would the community consist of one large communal labor system or would it be comprised of individual "farms" within the greater farm. So everybody would do their own small designs within their personal zone one and two then the zone three might be a Wheaton directed? Or would all the zones for each individual domicile be constructed as according with the Director's plans? Basically is it one big farm with a bunch of individuals living and working in the fields together or is it a cooperative with personal operations that contribute to the income of the community................or a bit of both?
 
Derek Brewer
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paul wheaton wrote:
I think this is part of the mission.  I've put 70+ podcasts out, written a gob of articles, shared thousands of comments in the forums.  I think I've put a lot out there so folks can figure out if they wanna sign up for the "peasant package" in my fiefdom.



True, and that conveys your ideology (and ideal self) pretty well, but we are not always our ideal self. That's what makes it a 4 for me. The ideology is solid and I like it a lot. However, that's only part of what it takes to be able to live with people well, or have a community. It's hard to convey who you actually are, and whether I would want to live with you or not through a podcast or article. There's the personal aspect that is missing to a large degree. Some things you just have to do face to face, you know?

To that end, I'd suggest doing something like a meet and greet, or series of such events. They could be based around a class or even a beer. Perhaps allow people to come out for a trial week or some such. Just give the opportunity for face time and actual personal interactions.

Also, how would you handle letting people go? In a situation where everything is at the permission of someone else, security in your own home is lacking. On a forum, you can just delete a person's post or account and move on. In real life, you're kicking someone out of their home. That lack of stability presents some serious drawbacks. Perhaps this is too detailed an item for a general discussion, but these are the details that folks need to know to make a definite yes or no decision.

Please note that I haven't had a chance to read the article you posted on communities yet. That's on my list right now as I've got quite an interest in that kind of thing. If you've addressed any of these thoughts/concerns in that, I'll get to it shortly! 
 
paul wheaton
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Would the community consist of one large communal labor system or would it be comprised of individual "farms" within the greater farm. So everybody would do their own small designs within their personal zone one and two then the zone three might be a Wheaton directed? Or would all the zones for each individual domicile be constructed as according with the Director's plans? Basically is it one big farm with a bunch of individuals living and working in the fields together or is it a cooperative with personal operations that contribute to the income of the community................or a bit of both?



I'm gonna not commit to any formal structure.

I think some people will be there as something rather short term - wwoofer-esque.  And other people will be sign up for something very long term. 

Some people will have an outside income and be residents.  Some people will have arranged work deals.  Some people might do a little of both. 

Some people might live in a central building.  Some people might live in another, very small building. 

Some people might want a plot of land to do their own thing and some people might want to be part of "the paul way". 

I have a big heap of ideas on how it will all happen.  And, at the same time, I know that what will really happen will depend on a thousand factors.


 
paul wheaton
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It's hard to convey who you actually are, and whether I would want to live with you or not through a podcast or article.



Or whether I would want you around. 

Or whether I want to even bother learning anything about you.

I think the first step is to get the land.  At this point, I think a half dozen people will show up in tents and start working even though I won't pay them or anything.  I suspect that I'll kick half of them off the land for one reason or another for the first year. 

Will the property be bare?  Or will there be a 20 room house on it ready to go?  Maybe a barn that can hold 30 more people. 

Then, later, yes, there will be stuff going on so people can come by for a bit.  And we go from there.

Also, how would you handle letting people go?



That is an excellent question.  And, again, it depends on a lot of things.  Is it a matter of there isn't enough room as winter sets in so a few have to be let go?  Or, is it a matter of somebody's stuff doesn't fit with my stuff.  Are they nasty?  If they are nasty:  are they a resident or a wwoofer?  Are they in the same building as me, sharing the same table as me?  Or are they on the other side of the property in a different shelter?

Again:  I have a collection of ideas in this space, but it is all going to depend on a thousand factors.



 
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were I not married and with other concerns, I'd be around an 8.  As it sits, with my current situation, I'm around a .999.  My wife would never ever go for it, and I won't go anywhere without her. 
 
Derek Brewer
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paul wheaton wrote:
Or whether I would want you around. 

Or whether I want to even bother learning anything about you.


Exactly. I meant I/you as relative terms there, not absolutes.

paul wheaton wrote:
That is an excellent question.  And, again, it depends on a lot of things.  Is it a matter of there isn't enough room as winter sets in so a few have to be let go?  Or, is it a matter of somebody's stuff doesn't fit with my stuff.  Are they nasty?  If they are nasty:  are they a resident or a wwoofer?  Are they in the same building as me, sharing the same table as me?  Or are they on the other side of the property in a different shelter?

Again:  I have a collection of ideas in this space, but it is all going to depend on a thousand factors.



I love the ideas, and would like to subscribe to your newsletter for updates in the future.
 
paul wheaton
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When I have land, I will let everyone know via my daily-ish email

|
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V
 
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While I don't think I could do it, I would follow this experiment with passion.  Good luck with this and please keep me posted as to developments regarding this venture.  I would like to live near such a community.  It would be nice to have good neighbors to barter with.
 
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Paul, I came to this thread from podcast 86, which, ignoring technical values, was the best podcast I've heard to date.

If some random guy proposed this, I think 0 would be too high.  Based on what you've put out in your videos, forums, and podcasts, coming in to this thread I was about a 1.5.  I think I would love to live in a wofati house in a permaculture landscape.

After reading your independent/consensus/dictator doc, I'm at about a 3.  Personally though the way I read it, you are more describing an arbitrator than a dictator.  The ability to walk away is an important check on the ruler's power.

I definitely would want to hear more details.  I think I could be up to a 7 or 8 if everything looked good.  Unless it were where I am at, moving away from friends and family will always knock off a point, and to get the last point I would need to have more say in how things are run.
 
paul wheaton
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jdwheeler42 wrote:
Paul, I came to this thread from podcast 86, which, ignoring technical values, was the best podcast I've heard to date.



Are you sure you have the number right?  086?  The one where I am ranting by myself in the car?  Best?

 
Apolonia Paulusse
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I would like to start a small( Buddhist principle) healing center with permaculture in Southern California,I have got land 2.5 acres 1 hour from San Luis Obispo . Any permie interested? I am designing now. Are you interested in joining?
 
John Wheeler
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paul wheaton wrote:
Are you sure you have the number right?  086?  The one where I am ranting by myself in the car?  Best?



That's not a mistake.  Granted, I am relatively new to permies.com, I have only heard a couple dozen podcasts so far.  I am not new to Permaculture, however; I took my PDC almost 14 years ago.  So while I enjoy your podcasts, most are refining concepts I'm already familiar with.  When I hear something radically new (to me, like your ideas for an IC), I get excited.
 
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I would vote ten, if I wasn't try to do something similar in Southern Virginia. I appriciate what you do with this site. I also understand wanting to keep control. I will watch this thread to see how it works.
 
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I am very interested in this and would rank myself as an 8+.

Feeling has been growing more and more about living off the land. Would like to have internet access (if possible) to continue working as a programmer (not java) either on the property or close by. Really enjoy computers but living is better!

Have been following permies off and on for awhile, coming here initially to find a natural solution to flea problems for my two cats during the summer and just can't stay away. Currently in the Seattle area.
 
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Having watched many of your vidoes and read many of your posts, I would rate myself at about a 9 except for two things.. 1) Montana is way too cold and far from the ocean for this Puget Sound island dweller. 2) I like snow, I like to visit it in the mountains where it belongs. Perhaps I can help with this project of yours from the shadows which is where an INTJ usually lurks. I have ideas, solutions, questions, answers, observations, and am willing to share because I believe that if humans don't get back in balance with the planet we are outa here. I'm very glad to have come across this site, I'm already learning quite a lot.
 
pollinator
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Paul and Jocelyn give listener feedback in this podcast. podcast

They talk about Paul's community he hopes for.
 
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I would be about a 7, if I wasn't already going into a benevolent dictatorship with my mom as the BD. Being offspring of the BD provides a little more security than being an unrelated member/participant/peasant.
That said, I'm impressed with your ideas, drive, and vision. After living in a community ruled by a board, and one ruled by consensus, I think the BD model is probably the most efficient/functional model, provided the BD is somewhat tolerant, intelligent, charismatic, and understands important factors of leadership (listening to input, empowering people, not micromanaging, etc.)
Lots of people would like to think the egalitarian model is ideal, but in practice people are not equal. Some are harder workers, or more intelligent, or stronger, or whatever than others. Consensus meetings (in my experience) usually involve listening to people state their ego attachments over and over in slightly different iterations. It's mostly a waste of time.
I believe the hierarchy model with a BD and appointed (hired) managers of different areas is the most effective and painless way of actually accomplishing anything (other than just doing it yourself).
So I'm a 1 in practice and a 7 in theory.
 
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Just reading the things you post, Paul, and watching the podcasts certainly make me want to pack immediately (including my goats), and move to Missoula. How I long to be part of a community of like minded people who can actually help one another. Too often I'm on the giving end, helping put on roofs, build barns, tend stock and such for everyone else but when I need a bit of help with my own barn, everyone else is "too busy". But I always manage anyway. It is what it is. I LOVE helping others so everyone's life is easier. I LOVE seeing other people successful at what they do and the soil greening up in the spring, and the goats kidding and so forth and so on. Put me down for at least a 6. Very interested.
 
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rabbit purity woodworking
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I would be extremely interested as long as I could bring my family. I can't leave the wife and kids in the toxic environment I want to escape from. I would need time though since the millitary works in 4-6the year contracts. If this land were far enough out where surrounding land owners would be willing to sell adjacent parcels for the expansion of lifers it would be near perfect. If I can't participate in this I sure would like to know what works so I could someday start my own.

With a few years to plan, I'd be there as a 10, too bad these opportunities don't just wait around.

Where is good land at a moderate price without sky high property tax? I know PA is way too high in taxes making unusable especiallly since Gov. Pat Toomey just gave the marcellus shale company tax free status to destry our ground water. In my search for food producing forest land I can't seem to find a good economically friendly destination.
 
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