Phil Hawkins wrote:I just re-listed to Paul's two parter on intentional communities yesterday, and (twice) heard the 270:1 nobility ratio story. It made me think of a few things.
It reminded me of something my company's major client once said to me once. We were saying we could get the results we were getting because we only hired the best people, and our client said that was a flawed model because the only thing you can ultimately rely on is that people are, on average, only average. It's true if you assume your company is going to grow ever larger, and thus the pool of available "best" people will shrink. If you keep the company small, then you only need to find additional people when existing people move on, and part of what defines "best" for me is that those people will want to stick around and see things through. Sometimes, despite careful recruitment and pretty great conditions, it doesn't work out, and then people have to leave. My company is not a concensus based model.
Now the closest thing I have ever got to "living in community" was living in a couple of different share houses with, at most, three other people. The difference there was every one of those people (including myself) were doing this because financial circumstances meant we had to. Whilst we split rent and utility bills, that was it - we were really just living individual lives under a common roof. I don't remember how cleaning of common areas got done - I think people just cleaned when it seemed like it needed it.
Anyway, it seems like the vast majority of people all over the world tend to fall in love and pair up (even gay folks, who clearly don't feel constrained by religious traditions). I know that my wife and I have all sorts of differences of opinion, and I cope with that because I want to stay with this person for the rest of my life. I have two kids, for whom I also have to compromise, and that number of relationships makes the house a very tense place at times. But I have love to keep me on track, and it's a powerful balancing force. In my experience, the people that don't go down that path (or don't want to) usually have some sort of personality trait that prevents it. For example, I know people who have said they would never get married, because they wouldn't want to have to compromise on how they live their lives. Is that the sort of guy or gal you would want to share a house with?
Of course there are some folks (a lot of them on here, I suspect) that would be driven to this lifestyle possibly even against their natural instincts, due to their (very noble) belief in the importance of reducing their ecological footprint. The problem there (as Paul often demonstrates) is that the more conviction people have, the less it takes to drive a wedge between them. "Normal people" would probably assume that all these eco folks would get along just great, seeing as how they all want to save the world, etc. What the normal people don't realise is that eco guy 1 hates eco girl 2 because she put fucking cardboard in the compost, and eco guy 3 can't believe what an ignorant fuck eco guy 4 is because he thinks that the house should use grey water on the garden instead of huglekultur.
By the way, here's the Monty Python skit that Paul referred to in the podcast
"You can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you!"
anndelise McCoy wrote:So basically, YOU came up with a food system that established YOU as filling the food niche, and without the input, discussions, ideas of the others? And then you complained because they left it to YOU to fill that food niche you had already claimed?
paul wheaton wrote:
We were peers. I did not own the property, nor was I anyone's boss (except the cook).
I did this after a huge amount of study of ICs, visiting ICs, living in ICs and visiting with people that were forming ICs. My opinions in this space were often rejected almost universally. So I felt the need to be prove my point. This is a lot like my video about washing dishes: people universally insisted that they were right and I was wrong and would not even let me speak because their point was so obviously correct.
alex Keenan wrote:In many villages the punishment for failure to follow rules and pull your own weight was banishment from the community.
paul wheaton wrote:Deb, you clearly have what it takes to make it work.
What would it have been like if you were not there to make it work?
The "premise" I started with was that all people are noble: that all people would naturally contribute. That, due to the humanity of each person, it would end up that I provided 540 plates of food and I would receive back about 540. People were so certain of the truth of this, that they would design their food systems around this.