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podcast 380 - Dealing with community drama - part 4  RSS feed

 
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Summary

Paul and Jocelyn continue to address some intentional community 3.0 issues. They start off by addressing the claim that they were locking a “historically” public road, which was proven by local authorities not to be public. They talk about the issues with Allerton Abbey, which were fixed in the summer. They talk about the bounty payments, and feast nights. They speculate on what might have happened with the Ants. Paul and Jocelyn then talk about some other critisms of Wheaton Labs: the Fouch video and the Puddle people. Jocelyn mentions the stress and disappointment that the Ant issues and criticisms created over the last few months. Paul and Jocelyn finish the podcast on a positive note talking about the way forward. They mention the peasant PDC that will occur in May 2018 (more details to come).

Relevant Threads

379 - Dealing with community drama - part 3
378 - Dealing with community drama - part 2
377 - Dealing with community drama - part 1
feast and shower night
the first willow feeder (wheelie bin pooper) at paul's place - "chateau de poo"
fysh - farmstead yield standard hour
Agile work forum
avoid paul wheaton, avoid wheaton labs and avoid any event with paul
intentional community forum
gappers thread
being an introvert in community
Podcast 037 - Intentional community
Diana Leafe Christian
Podcast 309 - More Intentional Community with Diana Leafe Christian Part 1
ant village

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Hi Paul and Jocelyn. I listened all four parts of this podcast series. You dealt very well with all drama! It was hard of course to go through all of this, but you will come out of it stronger. I am looking forward to see a lot of new things (people, activities, structures, etc.) appear at your land and on Permies.
 
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I really love the idea that comes up at the end of the podcast. To come there and be able to buy a house that I can be OK during the cold winter nights. Pure love.

I really suck on building anything and I cannot believe I could learn enough during one spring and summer to build something I can survive thru winter. I understand this is only an idea now but can Paul try to guess (even a ball-park-guess) what kind of money would be involved with this kind of deal. Of course if there is also hugelbeds its even beter but that I know how to build and grow.

Just love the idea. Really.
 
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Juha Imberg wrote:I really love the idea that comes up at the end of the podcast. To come there and be able to buy a house that I can be OK during the cold winter nights. Pure love.

I really suck on building anything and I cannot believe I could learn enough during one spring and summer to build something I can survive thru winter. I understand this is only an idea now but can Paul try to guess (even a ball-park-guess) what kind of money would be involved with this kind of deal. Of course if there is also hugelbeds its even beter but that I know how to build and grow.

Just love the idea. Really.



I would like to see one of two different things:

A:  somebody with serious gumption comes and sets up an acre with a 200 square foot wofati, a fence, and about six hugelkultur beds.  Then sell it for, say, $10,000.

B:  an investor, X, pays a builder, Y, about $8000 to build that very thing and then the investor sells the improvements for $10,000


 
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The thing is, who wants to buy something for 10000 if an evil dictator can repossess it at a whim? They are unprotected
 
paul wheaton
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Matu Collins wrote:The thing is, who wants to buy something for 10000 if an evil dictator can repossess it at a whim? They are unprotected



The thing is ....

  - It turns out that there are some people that are totally fine with parting with coin for land from THIS evil dictator that can repossess it at a whim.

  - I think that I have demonstrated the my "whim" has a mountain of patient communication to try to resolve stuff.  

  - This "whim" makes it so that if your next door neighbor turns nasty, then the "whim" becomes a nasty-ectomy.

  - This "repossess at a whim" is pretty much the exact same scenario as most any other rental scenario.

  - It is rare to find a situation where you can listen to hundreds of podcasts, watch hundreds of videos and read hundred of essays from the "whim-er"

  - sure there is the "whim" thing, but at the same time there is the freaky cheap thing, thus making it worth it

  - for some folks they will come, try it on for size, after a few years decide to move on, so they sell their improvements and maybe even arrange the sale of their deep roots.  They might come out ahead on the whole thing.

  - for some folks, they like the idea of pushing this project forward.  So maybe they come for a while, build some things, sell their improvements, come out dollars ahead and the whole project has moved forward

I fully suspect that billions of people will find this arrangement utterly unacceptable.  But I am not looking for billions of people to come here.  I am looking for a few dozen.  

Further, I think that there are a lot of people out there that are bonkers about this exact flavor of permaculture and looking for their own land is too expensive, and other communities are not a fit for them.   It turns out this community is an excellent fit and damn cheap to boot!  This situation is for that rare person that fits all these bits and bobs.




 
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And while not chump change, $10,000 over two years works out to a bit less than $420 per month for rent.

Where I am living, when my son moved out, he was paying $500 for one of four rooms in a house, on less than a quarter acre.

So really not too horrible, when looked at that way.
 
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@Matu,

I think this is the average person's issue with this idea.
But, after listening to the podcasts on these issues and regarding those that had those issues, assuming Paul was being forthright, that he is incredibly patient and that those that had issues were not your average thinking individual.
Meaning, after listening to the podcasts that brought up these disagreements, I felt Paul was very reasonable in his actions.

Therefore, the way Paul explains it and his "ways", it would appear that the "concern" for his system would not necessarily be a big concern.

JD
 
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Matu Collins wrote:The thing is, who wants to buy something for 10000 if an evil dictator can repossess it at a whim? They are unprotected



Luckily there is still this thing called free will. Or at least was when I last checked.

There are rules everywhere. If one can agree with rules they feel good. Luckily those persons dont need license from everyone not OK with rules.

Idea of doing almost everything imaginable regardind permaculture is also a plus. One can rent places elsewhere but arent allowed to fullfill permaculture dreams. Ther can even be neighbors pouring all kind of shit on ground and spraying everything alive.

Dont know why I even bother with this. If I want to do it, I dont need permission from others. So maybe Im willing to take the risk.
 
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Matu Collins wrote:The thing is, who wants to buy something for 10000 if an evil dictator can repossess it at a whim? They are unprotected



I would, because after listening to every single podcast, and being a reasonable person, I recognise that with Mr. Wheaton everything is upfront, and above board.

I would wager only those looking for a flop house would see Paul's rules as evil.

I hope 47 feels better now that he has aired his dirty laundry in public, I agree with Paul that this whole episode will be for the best in the end, having the sifting effect, those who are not yet ready to wake up from the synthetic matrix will steer clear, leaving space for those of us that have the "gumption" to do this most important work.
 
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I listen to these podcasts while I am working in my home bakery and the banter is an entertaining way to pass the time of my 14 hour days. I'm amazed at the inability of some people to just put in a little more effort. That said I feel like I need a part 5 to layout your ideas of what you want to change. I think you already had the benevolent dictator type of thing laid out well, but I missed what is changing other than reminding people in this series of stories that yes the dictator will occasionally, when provoked, act like a dictator. I haven't tried out a bunch of different models, but I live in a consensus-run cohousing community and while I think the results are often pretty good, it definitely weighs us down with a certain amount of decision-making overhead.

Sidebar: I used to be in an amateur dance group that had a sort of rotating dictator position that vastly simplified decision making and gave everyone who wanted a shot at leadership their turn. The whole group supported the model and it worked really well.  

--Abraham
 
paul wheaton
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Abraham,

I have a bunch of things I have written that need a bit more polish before I put them up.  But I did have something I wrote, threw away, wrote, threw away, then came up with an excellent way to present it, and added to it between meetings and other work in about 17 different attempts spread out over three or four days ...

https://permies.com/t/76639/squishy-math-building-community

I think this might very well be the biggest and most important piece.   Please post your thoughts about it in that thread.
 
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I listened to this set awhile ago, and have been mulling it over ever since, partially because I was frustrated while listening without quite knowing why.  I think I've put my finger on it.

This is supposed to be a permaculture way of building community.  Where is the permaculture?

A permaculture system is one where you have set up the system so that the elements in the system thrive and are happy, while producing what they need and making a surplus with minimum input from the permaculturalist.  All parts of the system get more than they give. It is the ultimate win/win situation.

The impression I got from this and the previous three podcasts was that a significant number of the "elements" - the ants - had left because they were not happy, not thriving, and felt like they had put in more than they got out - years of work, run through their savings, and had nothing to show.  For his part, Paul has often mentioned that Ant Village runs in the red, and certainly doesn't seem to feel like he has gotten back more than he has given.  So it was the ultimate lose/lose situation - the opposite of what permaculture is going for!

What I was hoping for at the end of the series, and was frustrated not to see happening, was a permaculture analysis of the things that went wrong, and how the system could be designed to head off problems in the future.  It is easy to say that 47 is just a jerk and an icky person - but when someone has been around and gotten along for several years, does not sound like someone who is inherently a trouble maker.  Most humans, under certain situations, can turn icky.  Just like, in an improperly designed permaculture system, the cows will eat the apple trees, poison ivy will overrun everything, and the hugel bed will get washed down the hill and cause lots of damage. The challenge of the designer is how to minimize the problems and bring out the best in people.

Just from listening to the podcast (have not tracked down 47's material), a couple of things occurred to me:

Complaint: The lock was always stuck, making some ant villagers feel like they were trapped.  Paul didn't even know it was happening and Fred can't be everywhere.
Root Problem: The villagers had fallen into the mindset of renters: if there is a problem with the common facilities, let the manager know.  Feel cheated because the manager is slow and the facilities are terrible.
Possible solution: Build an outdoor bulletin board (like they have in parks) in some common space at the village.  Have paper and pens.  Encourage people to write, sign and post problems they have come across, along with the fix they have devised.  So there would be a piece of paper saying Problem: the lock sticks.  Fix: oil it with the oil can in the cubby by the gate.  if the can is empty, go to the hardware store and buy a new on for $x  The idea here is to both give people the idea (without lectures) that they are the ones who can and should solve problems, while giving them a tool to do so and troubleshoot.


Complaint: The ants wanted to be allowed to commute to work in Missoula to earn money. Paul does not want a commuter community and said no.  He thought there were ways they could have earned money at the lab if they were just willing to work for it, so it was their fault, and there was no reason he should compromise.
Root problem: Homesteading on raw land costs money, even when you have access to tools and equipment.  Ants need to buy food and supplies, and even if they came with savings, they faced the pressure of those savings running out, not earning more, and the uncertainty about future rents/expenses with no income.
Possible solutions: Require every ant to have a passive income before they live full time on the lab.  Maybe it doesn't have to be much - $50 a month?  $100?  Set some number that will cover their basic expenses.  If someone doesn't have that and really wants to get started, maybe do a starter package where they can live in town, live according to ERE principles, and save their pennies while they come and start building on the weekends.  The goal is to avoid the situation where someone comes with a savings account and then burns through it without getting their acre to where it needs to be.  Then they are stuck, forced to leave what they have built, and will feel cheated, etc.


There are probably many possible solutions, especially to someone who knows more of the situation.  The beauty of the dictatorship is that Paul can choose the ones he likes best.  But it is frustrating to me to hear the complains without any discussion of the real problems underlying them, and how to solve those.

Ok, break is over - gotta plant beets!
 
Matu Collins
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Lina Joana wrote:I listened to this set awhile ago, and have been mulling it over ever since, partially because I was frustrated while listening without quite knowing why.  I think I've put my finger on it.

This is supposed to be a permaculture way of building community.  Where is the permaculture?

A permaculture system is one where you have set up the system so that the elements in the system thrive and are happy, while producing what they need and making a surplus with minimum input from the permaculturalist.  All parts of the system get more than they give. It is the ultimate win/win situation.

The impression I got from this and the previous three podcasts was that a significant number of the "elements" - the ants - had left because they were not happy, not thriving, and felt like they had put in more than they got out - years of work, run through their savings, and had nothing to show.  For his part, Paul has often mentioned that Ant Village runs in the red, and certainly doesn't seem to feel like he has gotten back more than he has given.  So it was the ultimate lose/lose situation - the opposite of what permaculture is going for!

What I was hoping for at the end of the series, and was frustrated not to see happening, was a permaculture analysis of the things that went wrong, and how the system could be designed to head off problems in the future.  It is easy to say that 47 is just a jerk and an icky person - but when someone has been around and gotten along for several years, does not sound like someone who is inherently a trouble maker.  Most humans, under certain situations, can turn icky.  Just like, in an improperly designed permaculture system, the cows will eat the apple trees, poison ivy will overrun everything, and the hugel bed will get washed down the hill and cause lots of damage. The challenge of the designer is how to minimize the problems and bring out the best in people.

Just from listening to the podcast (have not tracked down 47's material), a couple of things occurred to me:

Complaint: The lock was always stuck, making some ant villagers feel like they were trapped.  Paul didn't even know it was happening and Fred can't be everywhere.
Root Problem: The villagers had fallen into the mindset of renters: if there is a problem with the common facilities, let the manager know.  Feel cheated because the manager is slow and the facilities are terrible.
Possible solution: Build an outdoor bulletin board (like they have in parks) in some common space at the village.  Have paper and pens.  Encourage people to write, sign and post problems they have come across, along with the fix they have devised.  So there would be a piece of paper saying Problem: the lock sticks.  Fix: oil it with the oil can in the cubby by the gate.  if the can is empty, go to the hardware store and buy a new on for $x  The idea here is to both give people the idea (without lectures) that they are the ones who can and should solve problems, while giving them a tool to do so and troubleshoot.


Complaint: The ants wanted to be allowed to commute to work in Missoula to earn money. Paul does not want a commuter community and said no.  He thought there were ways they could have earned money at the lab if they were just willing to work for it, so it was their fault, and there was no reason he should compromise.
Root problem: Homesteading on raw land costs money, even when you have access to tools and equipment.  Ants need to buy food and supplies, and even if they came with savings, they faced the pressure of those savings running out, not earning more, and the uncertainty about future rents/expenses with no income.
Possible solutions: Require every ant to have a passive income before they live full time on the lab.  Maybe it doesn't have to be much - $50 a month?  $100?  Set some number that will cover their basic expenses.  If someone doesn't have that and really wants to get started, maybe do a starter package where they can live in town, live according to ERE principles, and save their pennies while they come and start building on the weekends.  The goal is to avoid the situation where someone comes with a savings account and then burns through it without getting their acre to where it needs to be.  Then they are stuck, forced to leave what they have built, and will feel cheated, etc.


There are probably many possible solutions, especially to someone who knows more of the situation.  The beauty of the dictatorship is that Paul can choose the ones he likes best.  But it is frustrating to me to hear the complains without any discussion of the real problems underlying them, and how to solve those.

Ok, break is over - gotta plant beets!



I think these are useful observations.  A permaculture system will accept feedback and make adjustments.

There have been adjustments to the community systems on the lab but there seems to be a consistent human resources drain. Who can identify the problem?
 
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https://permies.com/t/95939/Sufficiency-MO-acres-Eden-renter
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