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my role at wheaton labs

 
steward
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Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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In 2001 I stopped working my day job, and I stopped doing much of anything online and just did my projects on my little farm-ish. I built an amazing workbench. I built a variety of different salatin-style pens for chickens. I experimented with holding moisture on the soil. I experimented with mulch and poor soil. I experimented with lots of different kinds of seeds. I bought cattle, hogs, chickens and goats. I experimented with breeding earthworms through the winter. And then I went back to my day job to pay the mortgage and pay for materials and tools for more projects.

In the spring of 2005 I realized that to do all the things I wanted to do within my lifetime I would need to be part of a larger group. Maybe a dozen people as bonkers about this stuff as I am.

Up until buying this property, I conducted a massive variety of research and experiments.

When I arrived here, I immediately went out and started doing all of the things I had been pining to do. Only to realize that I needed more money for tools and materials. So I went back to work.

In time, a path presented itself in my head: gardening gardeners. Planting permies. First you make the permie habitat, then you insert a gaggle of permies and then all of the things in my head start to exist.

At some point ... let's call it "the tipping point" .... everything here will continue to move forward and build acceleration without me constantly pushing. So, at that point I can go back to doing my own bit of puttering. Until then, it is all about pushing, pushing, pushing to get to the tipping point: I need to continuously come up with a huge amount of money every month to fund bounties - so the people that come here can have some funds to get started; and the infrastructure can be built to get to the tipping point.

So I work long hours to come up with the funds to get things started. There really isn't time for much else. I take the funds and delegate as much as I possibly can. This delegation makes it so the people that are here have some income and I can focus on the tasks that only I can do.

I feel like I can see a path to the big picture. I can see systems set up here so that people have their own income streams and there are a variety of income streams here. And things move forward. There is a slim chance that we will hit the tipping point in 2016. I hope we do! Until then, I uber focus on income and delegating what I can. And bask in the glow of the idea that soon we will have reached the tipping point and I can slow down and putter on my own projects.

 
gardener
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You are the inspiration for so much perspiration Paul.

I'd like to thank you for all that hard work you have done and for all the hard work you will do.

In my past life we had a saying "the only easy day was yesterday" It certainly applies here as well.

I am in awe of what you have accomplished in so little time.
 
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Paul, I don't know how many people are out here silently cheering you on, but I bet there are more of us than you or I know. Keep on doing what you're doing. You're moving forward, and you're right that a tipping point will come.
 
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Paul, with your knowledge and your reputation and your following, if someone loaned you $1M to buy and develop and operate land, what would you do with that land to pay back that loan and make a profit on top?
 
paul wheaton
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Steve Farmer wrote:Paul, with your knowledge and your reputation and your following, if someone loaned you $1M to buy and develop and operate land, what would you do with that land to pay back that loan and make a profit on top?



I would have to decline such a loan. That would fall under the space of "obligation is poison."

However, if I had a million dollars given to me right now, I would hire professional timber framers to finish out the existing wofati projects, the freezer wofati, and then work on the bathhouse and other projects that were scheduled to be worked on this year. I would farm out the round door project. I would find a headhunting outfit to find me the resort manager, permaculture educator and three natural builders. I would also hire a full time gardener to build and plant permaculture systems throughout. I have an idea for an event that I think would earn a lot.

That would spend about half of it. And I think within a year I would have most of those funds back.

The second half would have to wait a year as we wait for the results of the ATI test. Then begin the design and build of the wofati for "20 people under one roof without stabbing each other." That would consume the second half.

Then the land is divided into four sections.

With the permaculture educator, I think by the third year, we should be bringing in about $200,000 per year with the PEP1 program. With the resort manager, we should be bringing in about $200,000 per year with renting out the small shelters - plus $400,000 per year in events. With the natural builders, maybe $200,000 per year in deep roots packages, complete with wofatis.

And that's just the beginning.
 
pollinator
Posts: 172
Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, rental house dweller, going back to Wheaton Labs soon
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paul wheaton wrote:Then begin the design and build of the wofati for "20 people under one roof without stabbing each other."



Regarding the layout of spaces in the wofati, and I hope these thoughts might help in some way:

  • I figure that the 19 other people will have been heavily screened by the time they're getting into the big wofati, but certain space layouts can exacerbate or ameliorate the average stabbiness index for the group.
  • My understanding is that the underlying principle is allowing people to 'have separation from any one person' while still remaining in the common area. This gives another point on the spectrum between 'alone in my private room' and 'bumping into everyone all the time'
  • Separating the 'common spaces' into one wofati, and then the 'dwelling spaces' into another, or several long and skinny row-wofati (row-house, but a wofati). Now the space between them becomes an informal meeting area, potentially with some spatial definition, too
  • Creating several separated common spaces in the wofati (or the common space wofati), to allow for smaller clumps of people to gather. This separation would include visual, auditory and pathway separation from the other common spaces. Maybe the rolling-walls could accomplish that, maybe not. This also helps alleviate the breakfast-with-spiderman issue; assuming the other 19 people aren't also spiderpeople 24/7.
  • Creating Several entrances to the wofati


  • As you know, wofati(i) space planning won't solve everything, and the useful solutions will also greatly depend on what exactly is making people stabby. If someone's privacy/stuff is being messed with; no amount of space planning will fix that; other than a door to show someone to.


    Lead-in-goes-last: Just watched your 72 bricks san diego keynote video, and this thread was the closest I could find to being on-topic to brick 71. I only learned of you four days ago, but I've watched and read and listened to exhaustion each day since. Thank you, for your content and for your mission.

    Sorry if this is out of place, if my thoughts are off-target, or this is otherwise non-contributory.
     
    paul wheaton
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    Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
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    This also helps alleviate the breakfast-with-spiderman issue; assuming the other 19 people aren't also spiderpeople 24/7.



    A very good point that I had not considered!

    I think that there are people that are spiderpeople.  They wish to hear all this stuff at every meal.  It is their brain nourishment!  Rather that assuming that I should live the rest of my days, in my house, on my land, catering to the sensitivities of non-spiderpeople (and, therefore, I should shut the fuck up and keep my shit to myself), instead I should think about a future full of spider people that want to help carry these loads and also drive into the future in such a way that they also get covered in shit, and they bring their stories to the table also!

    Kirk "donkey" Mobert is here and he is definitely spiderpeople.  He has been sharing his natural building people stories.  Definitely spider stories.  Spider stories I very, very, very, very much relate to.  It has been delicious to hear a sort of "validation" if you will.   I feel like less of a whiner and more like a fucking superhero.  

    Your single sentence has done a lot for me.  Thanks!

     
    Lee Jenkins
    pollinator
    Posts: 172
    Location: Denver, 6a / BSk, rental house dweller, going back to Wheaton Labs soon
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    I am happy and humbled to have helped.

    I hope to sit at one of the spider-people tables when I can visit to see how much of a spider person I really am.
     
    Montana has cold dark nights. Perfect for the heat from incandescent light. Tiny ad:
    Wild Homesteading - Work with nature to grow food and start/build your homestead
    https://permies.com/t/96779/Wild-Homesteading-Work-nature-grow
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