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with 12 people, there are 66 relationships  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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With 2 people there is 1 relationship.

With 3 people there are 3 relationships.

With 4 people there are 6 relationships.

....

2 1
3 3
4 6
5 10
6 15
7 21
8 28
9 36
10 45
11 55
12 66
13 78
14 91
15 105
16 120
17 136
18 153
19 171
20 190

So with 12 people there are 66 relationships.  And with 20 people there are 190 relationships.

Consider relationships with just two people.  Some have said that living in community is a lot like living in a marriage with many people.  So let's add in to this mix that the current US divorce rate is over 50%.  And, further, let's work in that before getting married, most people have several intimate relationships with the potential to be "the one" before moving to the next relationship.  So maybe we can count those as relationships that didn't work out.  And then there are relationships that were never to be intimate, but always platonic.  And some of those last and most of those don't. 

A consensus based system depends on all relationships being healthy.  In other words, it is fragile.  I think that when pulling community together it is wise to come up with systems that are durable.

Just a line of thought ....

 
Tyler Ludens
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Humans are best adapted to egalitarian band life, at least apparently according to anthropology.  It may be that many (most?) modern industrial civilized humans, not having been raised up in a band, don't know how to function well in one.

See especially thesis #7 and thesis #11 : http://theanarchistlibrary.org/HTML/Jason_Godesky__Thirty_Theses.html#toc1


The band has been a durable system for a couple million years or so, depending on when you want to call people "humans."  

See also "Beyond Civilization" by Daniel Quinn
 
Lee Einer
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paul wheaton wrote:
With 2 people there is 1 relationship.

With 3 people there are 3 relationships.

With 4 people there are 6 relationships.

....

2 1
3 3
4 6
5 10
6 15
7 21
8 28
9 36
10 45
11 55
12 66
13 78
14 91
15 105
16 120
17 136
18 153
19 171
20 190

So with 12 people there are 66 relationships.  And with 20 people there are 190 relationships.

Consider relationships with just two people.  Some have said that living in community is a lot like living in a marriage with many people.  So let's add in to this mix that the current US divorce rate is over 50%.  And, further, let's work in that before getting married, most people have several intimate relationships with the potential to be "the one" before moving to the next relationship.  So maybe we can count those as relationships that didn't work out.  And then there are relationships that were never to be intimate, but always platonic.  And some of those last and most of those don't. 

A consensus based system depends on all relationships being healthy.  In other words, it is fragile.  I think that when pulling community together it is wise to come up with systems that are durable.

Just a line of thought ....




It is more complicated and more simple than that.

Because not all relationships are one-to-one. Some are one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many, having to do with family groups, cliques, ideologies, competing bases, etc.

That's the complicated part.

Here's the simple part. Some people get it, some people don't, but effective community organizers almost always get it. It's simply this; We don't have to personally like other people in order to work with them towards a common goal.

One of the things I like about basic permaculture ethics as a litmus test of who I can work with is that it casts a net which is both broad and strong, and the end result is that I sometimes find myself working with people who are totally unexpected.

So the math that mitigates the fragility is this; Our willingness to work with people whom we personally don't like is proportional to our commitment to shared goals.

That's what I think, anyway.
 
Fred Walter
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LasVegasLee wrote:
Our willingness to work with people whom we personally don't like is proportional to our commitment to shared goals.


The high divorce rate is an indicator how people are *not* able to commit and work-together, even when they have a major shared goal (for example, to raise happy healthy kids).
 
Tyler Ludens
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FredWalter wrote:
The high divorce rate is an indicator how people are *not* able to commit and work-together,


Or maybe it's an indicator that they don't feel like they need to commit, they can just leave and go somewhere else.  There's no mutual interdependence.

 
hannah johns
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FredWalter wrote:
The high divorce rate is an indicator how people are *not* able to commit and work-together, even when they have a major shared goal (for example, to raise happy healthy kids).


I think this is apples and oranges.  And, an over simplification of marriage/divorce and raising children.
 
Todd Chinnock
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Check out http://commongoodbank.com/democracy for some ideas on how to create a solid decision making process for any size of group.
 
hannah johns
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The establishing of a statement of purpose of any group is so important.  Many groups fail/fall apart because they are all looking at the reason for gathering/working together from differing viewpoints.  This includes defining what the group is NOT as much as what it IS.  Such as, the group may be to provide garden space for all members of the group, but not for friends of members who don't work.  or living space but not maid service (this goes back to sharing a home).

LasVegasLee wrote:
It is more complicated and more simple than that.

Because not all relationships are one-to-one. Some are one-to-many, many-to-one, or many-to-many, having to do with family groups, cliques, ideologies, competing bases, etc.

That's the complicated part.

Here's the simple part. Some people get it, some people don't, but effective community organizers almost always get it. It's simply this; We don't have to personally like other people in order to work with them towards a common goal.

One of the things I like about basic permaculture ethics as a litmus test of who I can work with is that it casts a net which is both broad and strong, and the end result is that I sometimes find myself working with people who are totally unexpected.

So the math that mitigates the fragility is this; Our willingness to work with people whom we personally don't like is proportional to our commitment to shared goals.

That's what I think, anyway.
 
                                                                    
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I like the way that you think strategically.  That is so much what we need now,   a way out of the mire and you are focused on that  and I greatly appreciate it!

Like I tell my kids the important thing is not to have the correct answers but to ask the right questions?

Being a former insurance actuary this is a fun problem in combinatorics.

But think of putting 12 chickens in a small pen.  They will undergo stress and kill each other off until the system is in balance.

So creating the right conditions for an IC is a more pertinent question.  People fight, squabble and neighbors feud.   That is the nature of the beast.

But I think an even more important point is to ask why your form of permaculture requires so many full time people?

Permaculture in my mind is working in harmony with the environment and thus uses very little equipment, physical work and money.

Each relationship has two perspectives or attitudes.   So there are 132 attitudes in 12 relationships.    12x12=144 less relationships with ones self (12) is 132.  If you divide by two is 66.  But people do have relations with themselves.  These are often the most important relationships!  So my final answer, perhaps grossly over complicated, is  144!  


 
hannah johns
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Todd Chinnock wrote:
Check out http://commongoodbank.com/democracy for some ideas on how to create a solid decision making process for any size of group.


I love consensus myself.  Have successfully facilitated groups dealing with hot issues, and find the process very solid. 
 
                                    
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Humans are best adapted to egalitarian band life, at least apparently according to anthropology.  It may be that many (most?) modern industrial civilized humans, not having been raised up in a band, don't know how to function well in one.


I agree totally and include myself in that group that doesn't know how to function in one.

Once upon a time, my partner at the time was friends with people from Mexico.  They functioned as a large family tribal group.  These people drove me nuts.  I felt like there was always someone up my butt.  

However, call a few of them in to help erect a building or move some brush or help with something and it's done!

So perhaps extended families are a model, albeit often a dysfunctional one (in some cases).

I agree with Las Vegas that there are people who truly know how to inspire people forward with a shared vision and a common goal.  I think we need more of this type of inspiration, the kind that unites instead of divides.

And the divorce thing, I think that's just an indicator that the model has outworn its utility.

So yeah, what would a sustainable farm look like in which every person was valued and a common vision was shared?  I think there is a way to make it work without relationship building taking up the majority of the time - but I just don't know what it is.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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The numbers are too complex for me but my belief is that human animals don’t fall into the neat package that we can ascribe to other animals; i.e. pack animals, monogamous pairs, loners, etc. 

I know many people who simply cannot thrive without daily (all day) human contact and interaction.  Then there are others who need their very private time and space.

Most of my close friends, all three of them, require solitude with occasional contact with like minded people.

My current husband and I are the solitude type, we both have our separate spaces in the house; his living room/my living room.  My closest friend is one that I can always count on for help but we both require lots of alone time.

I guess my point is that while each person having thier own private space and time might work for some - there are others that can't function alone.
 
Tyler Ludens
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wormilicious wrote:
I agree totally and include myself in that group that doesn't know how to function in one.

Once upon a time, my partner at the time was friends with people from Mexico.  They functioned as a large family tribal group.  These people drove me nuts.  I felt like there was always someone up my butt.  


Yeah, the "up your butt" thing is difficult to deal with when we're used to privacy.  It's hard to remember that privacy is a very modern invention!   Personally I'm one who is used to privacy, more of a loner than a people person.

I think something a lot of intentional communities lack is a mutual way of making a living.  People often have a mutual philosophical outlook on life, but they don't depend on each other for their living, and so they can just give up and leave.  Developing "tribal businesses" is described in Daniel Quinn's book "Beyond Civilization" in which he talks about how we might transition from our hierarchical society to ones which are more like band or what he calls tribal societies.  The common goal of making a living together can really bring people together on many levels.  My husband and I have a home business which we have worked together for 15 years.  Our making a living together is very much a part of our entire life together.
 
                                    
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:

Developing "tribal businesses" is described in Daniel Quinn's book "Beyond Civilization" in which he talks about how we might transition from our hierarchical society to ones which are more like band or what he calls tribal societies.  The common goal of making a living together can really bring people together on many levels.  My husband and I have a home business which we have worked together for 15 years.  Our making a living together is very much a part of our entire life together.


Yes, I very much like this idea of making a living together in small groups and overturning the present models.  That could actually solve a whole bunch of social justice and social issues that are in hot debate at the moment.

I'll definitely check out the book.

Kudos to you and your husband!
 
                        
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This society or culture  if you will, has been termed the "throw away " society with some justification. If something doesn't provide exactly what you want when you want, toss it and go look for something that will.  I think that unfortunately too often that is also the attitude of people towards relationships.

Maybe the trick is to find people who are willing to invest enough of themselves and who are ABLE to deal with frustration and delayed gratification so that when they share enough common goals and ways to reach those goals; they will feel they will lose more than they gain by leaving instead of working out the kinks. (golly, what a sentence  sorry!)

It would be hugely helpful if some methods for working out the kinks in personal relationships were taught in schools as I don't think they are taught in most homes today. Perhaps  because many kids are basically brought up by TV and there are VERY few if any shows which have any sort of healthy role models.

wormilicious wrote:
I agree with Las Vegas that there are people who truly know how to inspire people forward with a shared vision and a common goal.  I think we need more of this type of inspiration, the kind that unites instead of divides.


This sounds good but unfortunately many of these people seem to unite people in a group that has as one fairly important foundation point..US  vs THEM

The thing that scares me about charismatic people in groups is that often they don't have a very good track record; think Charles Manson or Jimmy Jones or for that matter, Hitler. Abdicating personal responsibility is a hugely tempting thing for many ..some suggest it's why some fundamentalist religious groups in almost every faith draw people, all they have to do is submerge their personalities into doing what they are told and the complexities of life go away. The problems arise when the leader begins to believe the mystique  which his/her followers bestow on them.

The other thing, which is associated I think,  is that there has been a direct and fast road AWAY from people taking responsibility for their actions.  Oh, he was spanked as a child so not his fault he is a murderer; oh she came from a home with an alcoholic parent so not her fault she's a junkie thief. Drunks aren't responsible for killing someone in a car crash, the waitress who served the drinks is. Someone who hasn't the brains to make sure the lid of a coffee cup is on tight before she drives away while drinking it isn't responsible for spilling it and scalding herself; the business who sold her the coffee is. Someone who kills his daughter because she is no longer  "pure" after she is raped by her uncle isn't responsible; it's part of his culture. Someone who smoked for years knowing the stats, isn't responsible for her/his lung cancer, it's the tobacco company who made the product available for him/her to buy. Etc.

If growing up is difficult at the best of times, how much harder is it now for people growing up in a culture where they are not held responsible for the consequences of their behaviour? And..how does that translate into interpersonal relationships?  It's not my fault I had an affair; my wife/husband doesn't talk to me enough/show me enough affection/earn enough money or whatever. Many many people are growing up thinking that they deserve to have whatever they want without having to do much of anything to get it and that they aren't really responsible for whatever goes wrong in their quest to get it.  Which is to say many people are growing up in terms of years on earth but not in terms of becoming mature and fully developed adults.

I think IF you can find people who ARE, then the model you are looking at becomes largely irrelevant; mature people who share goals and the methods to achieve those goals find ways to work around problems with other equally mature people.(Maturity having little to do with age). If you are trying to work with immature people who are mostly after self gratification then you are doomed from the start,  I think, unless you can set up some sort of charismatic group with you as the leader where your word is law and your followers revel in it.

This is not at all to suggest that anyone who is mature would necessarilly WANT to belong to an IC, I am only referring to people who see that as part of their lifestyle choice.
 
                                    
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Pam wrote:

This sounds good but unfortunately many of these people seem to unite people in a group that has as one fairly important foundation point..US  vs THEM

The thing that scares me about charismatic people in groups is that often they don't have a very good track record; think Charles Manson or Jimmy Jones or for that matter, Hitler. Abdicating personal responsibility is a hugely tempting thing for many ..some suggest it's why some fundamentalist religious groups in almost every faith draw people, all they have to do is submerge their personalities into doing what they are told and the complexities of life go away. The problems arise when the leader begins to believe the mystique  which his/her followers bestow on them.



That's what I meant by unites instead of divides:  Obama style vs. Glenn Beck style.  Giving up the ability to think is purely optional.

We have had good inspirational leaders:  Obama, Martin Luther King Jr, Ghandi, Dali Lama, John Lennon (and the Beatles for that matter)....
 
Brice Moss
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I response to man  being bes suited for living in bands or tribes, There is a huge difference today in that we have a choice about it, Also there were always humans who did not fit the tribe well these often lived separate for long periods of time (like hermits in medieval times but different) weather they were welcome to rejoin the tribe or not and how valued they were by tribes living near them varied a lot. Also Young healthy folks could make i on heir own for some time whereas older folks often needed to be a part of the tribe. I wonder if thats why people seem to become more social with age?
 
Tyler Ludens
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Brice Moss wrote:
I response to man  being bes suited for living in bands or tribes, There is a huge difference today in that we have a choice about it, Also there were always humans who did not fit the tribe well these often lived separate for long periods of time (like hermits in medieval times but different) weather they were welcome to rejoin the tribe or not and how valued they were by tribes living near them varied a lot.




This  is true, and  we might also consider that there have never been populations of humans who lived in a solitary manner as do for instance orangutans (as a species).  Being solitary tends to be a rare choice, engaged in by a few folks, but not a way of life for humans as a species.  There's a thread about solitary self-sufficiency around here somewhere, in which I discuss more my feelings about this way of life.  It's easier to be "solitary" when one can depend on the enormous infrastructure of civilization than if one has to truly provide for oneself.
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Getting back to Paul’s math, the numbers kept reminding me of something so I had to go look it up.

It appears that historically the number 150 is significant where communities are concerned.  Paul’s number is 190 – very close.

According to a number of studies on primates and early clans as well as a number of studies on modern small and midsized family businesses, 150 people is about the maximum number that can be maintained cohesively.

Add to that the studies on aggressive and/or deviant behavior in response to crowding and it seems that smaller groups tend more successful.  I would have to qualify that by saying that I believe that 150 people in a permaculture setting is small – 150 people in an urban setting would occupy a much more crowded space.  So the 150 peeps in the country, if they all share a common goal, may have a shot at success.

And one last thought; I read a book called Think No Evil by Jonas Beiler w/ Shawn Smucker.  Very horrific true story but gave a great example of how people who share a common goal can overcome and even thrive in the face of just about any situation – therefore making their community stronger. 
 
Jeanine Gurley Jacildone
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Ooops!  See, I told you I was no good at math - Paul ended up with 20 people - not 190.  Well, Anyhoo....
 
Tyler Ludens
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That number (150) is called "unbar's Number" and here's a good discussion of it, I think

http://www.cracked.com/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html
 
Brice Moss
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Thank you so much for sharing that article Ludi. I need to make all my socialist friends read it.

I bring up the need for hermits because I think I am one of those who would have lived a bit away from the tribe and hunted mostly alone, but still been a part of the tribe when they needed me or I needed them
 
Tyler Ludens
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My life plan was to be a hermit or die trying.  Thankfully, someone came along who changed my plans (my husband) 
 
Rex Nichols
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Like others, I think it is a bit more complicated.  Although, the math was correct for the number of 2 person combinations in a group of 12, there are also three way relationships and 4, 5, etc.  When I added up all of the different combinations in a group of 12 I get 4,083 different relationship combinations.

That's just pure math though.  I don't think group dynamics can be fully described with an equation.  I read about Brook Farm and would have loved to visit with Emerson and Thoreau, but I don't think I would have liked to live there.

I've never heard of a successful intentional community, Maybe the early Mormon pioneers settling in Salt lake valley?   Amish?  I am very interested in Paul's ideas.  In my experience with groups in general, I think there would have to be a way to vote people off the island though, there's always a joker in the deck.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Brian Nichols wrote:

I've never heard of a successful intentional community,


Does Earthhaven not qualify as successful? 
 
Rex Nichols
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Does Earthhaven not qualify as successful? 



Sorry, I haven't heard of Earthhaven.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Ok.

http://www.earthaven.org/index.php
 
Rex Nichols
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Just spent some time on the Earthhaven website.  Very Cool.
 
Ken Peavey
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While the math may be accurate, the view needs tweaking.  If you are one of the 12 people, there are 11 relationships with which you are involved.  The other 55 will have to take care of themselves.

In a world dominated by computerized data manipulation, it is all too easy to get smothered by unneeded information which has little or no meaning.  Statistically, the average human has almost half a benis, over half a bagina, and almost 2 legs.  Statistics tells you nothing useful about a guy who drowned in a lake with an average depth of 2 feet. 

I work with a bunch of guys, real roughneck types, and not one of them is an equation.  The rules for handling them is not written in stone.  Sometimes I give them a break, sometimes I work the dogcrap out of them.  I'm not always fair, but I try to be consistent, and that's really the best I can hope for, after all, I'm just a man.

Relationships are amorphous things, bending and stretching, sometimes bouncing back, sometimes breaking.  To keep them going takes effort from everyone involved.  Stop offering effort, the relationship will fade.  Keep up the effort, it might make for a stronger relationship, but there is no guarantee.  Wisdom, kindness, generosity (to a point), and respect (where it is due) are the tools of the trade here.  There are times to employ the right tool, and there are times to step back and let things run their course. 
 
Dave Bennett
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Your numbers are seemingly correct Paul but the semantics of the definition of "shared vision" regularly get in the way.  I had a epiphany this morning while speaking with a friend about her farming "adventure."  She had offered me a place to "live out my days" for advising her on how to get her farm up and running.  I suggested livestock that would be best to choose as a starting point et al but the "shared vision" seems to have become divergent.  I am almost decided to not take her up on the offer to build a mini-home on her farm simply because she is so intent on "forcing" her property yo conform to her impractical goals.  I have been gently coaxing her towards a permaculture environment for close to 4 years and she just doesn't "get it."  I much prefer sharing ideas here with like minded people than argue with her about why deep plowing her entire farm is not good for her soil.  It almost seems as if she has "Gardeners OCD."  Discovering this site has been truly an enlightening experience.
 
Brenda Groth
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Living near several American Indian tribes I can see that they seem to work well in some situations and not so well in others, but they seem to be the basis for IC's..but there is another group of IC's that wasn't mentioned above (or that I didn't see) and that would be the religious communities such as the amish..we have a lot of amish communities around here and they seem to work well together in relationships and they even give their youth the decision to leave or stay when they reach a certain age so as not to cause conflicts.

The amish comminuties live close to each other but not all on the same land, but they do have ways to provide for each other coming together to do things, raising different types of animals or doing different types of jobs, but still being a commuinty albeit spread farther abroad than most tribes or IC's
 
                            
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H Ludi Tyler wrote:
Or maybe it's an indicator that they don't feel like they need to commit, they can just leave and go somewhere else.  There's no mutual interdependence.




A couple of points.

First, I think Ludi and others are right on with the lack of mutual interdependence being a factor that makes ICs difficult in modern times. 

Second, I think an IC could work despite Paul's relationship math if the community was designed and established by a very small group, not working by consensus. The framework and physical design of the situation seems like it would be the most difficult and frustrating part to do by consensus. People trying to make a decision on a design are working on an abstraction. Compare that with a decision in an already formed IC about whether to hold dinners 3 nights a week or 4 nights a week, or the decision to raise new kinds of animals on site. Those decisions are less impactful and easier to agree on because people will be more likely to agree despite an objection in order to get things done.

Third, I think it is much more difficult to do an IC with people who have lived their lives by modern conventions and have not had to compromise with others on personal matters. Perhaps kids raised in an IC would do better than others. I think there are a ton of people living today that would never be able to live in an IC whether there were 14 relationships to keep going or 144.
 
                            
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Drawing a picture always helps me with the math. Here's a picture of the relationships 12 people have with each other. The good thing about the 66 relationships is that if there is one or two that might be stressed, you have all the rest to hold the group together. It's built in resiliance through polyculture!

I have studied and thought about this topic for a while. I think the way to accomplish it is to think of it as a company. You have an amazing example of how some organizations thrive and how some fail depending on how the organization was run. I think there needs to be company bylaws and checks and balances to prevent corruption and avoid the tragedy of the commons. There needs to be good screening and hiring strategies to make sure that new people believe in the organization's mission and will be a good fit. There needs to be leadership and a system of reporting progress (accountability) and an exit strategy to allow for those who want a 'divorce', as it were, from the community.

There will be some turnover, sadly, but there will also be energetic, enthusiastic, hard-working, optimistic, smart, easy-to-get-along-with, pleasant people who know that building an abundant, resilient system is not only possible, but is what they truely want to be a part of.

There are examples of cooperatives lasting several decades in some of the early Mormon communities in Utah--Brigham City, Orderville, and several others. I don't think that sharing a common religion is a prerequisite, but loyalty to the company/community and its constitution should be.
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magicdave wrote:
Your numbers are seemingly correct Paul but the semantics of the definition of "shared vision" regularly get in the way.  I had a epiphany this morning while speaking with a friend about her farming "adventure."  She had offered me a place to "live out my days" for advising her on how to get her farm up and running.  I suggested livestock that would be best to choose as a starting point et al but the "shared vision" seems to have become divergent.  I am almost decided to not take her up on the offer to build a mini-home on her farm simply because she is so intent on "forcing" her property yo conform to her impractical goals.  I have been gently coaxing her towards a permaculture environment for close to 4 years and she just doesn't "get it."  I much prefer sharing ideas here with like minded people than argue with her about why deep plowing her entire farm is not good for her soil.  It almost seems as if she has "Gardeners OCD."  Discovering this site has been truly an enlightening experience.


I had someone  express interest in sharing my land in much the same way but the situation was reversed..I had the land and the ideas, he wanted, it turned out, to have a place he could do his thing and have the winters off.  It started out great but gradually became clear that he thought ALL of my ideas and plans were either unnecessary (a dug well was a pain, why not haul water to a tank) impractical (why build out of recycled materials or try to go off grid) or undesirable (stock, even chickens,  are a nuisance).

. Anyway, I cut him loose.when the above combined with a persistent push to get me to commit to something on paper about sharing the land before we had even met, much less had a chance to work together. I have had some twinges of regret thinking well MAYBE  we could have worked it out but that's just because trying to do this stuff alone just doesn't work, it doesn't get done. (I have arthritis and cannot move like I used to).

Most of the time, though, I am grateful I didnt put the energy and effort into trying to weave two such widely divergent points of view into something cohesive; I think you have to share the same goals, at least, to have a chance of things working out.
 
Dave Bennett
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Pam, I really put a lot of effort into guiding her over the last three years.  I knew that gently nudging her away from destructive farming techniques would be a long process and when she offered me some space to live rent free I was at first taken aback by her generosity.  This year suring a long cold wet Spring at her farm helping her get her seedlings ready for transplanting, helping tend all of her livestock and walking her farm assessing the possibilities.  It is truly a beautiful piece of land with tremendous potential but I am afraid it will not stay that way.  Not understanding the "need for weeds" is a problem.  She sees weeds and wants to plow them under, all of them.  I was saddened to see a very nice patch of nettle disappear before I even had a chance to harvest any of it.  There is some wild amaranth there and it chose a spot where I had intend to plant some of the golden variety.  The weedy version makes black seeds and isn't very tasty.  It may be best if I just pack it in and go out there and get my rabbits and bring them home.  Then it will be back to being a "guerrilla farmer."  I am not supposed to have animals here where I live but they are easy to keep hidden.   All three of them are my "buddies" that have gotten used to having access to a fairly large individual exercise area that is protected from predators.  I have health issues that I do my best to "ignore" so I can remain as self sufficient as possible.  I will get back to foraging my "rabbit greens" sources but I have to leave behind my alfalfa, timothy, barley, oats and rye.  I will just chalk it up to a learning experience.  The first time I went out there and saw the area I said wow this looks like home.  I grew up in a mountainous area of upstate NY and that farm reminded me of that old saying,  "You can't ever go home."  I visit my home town at least once a year and that saying is true although it is still rural and economically depressed it is just not the same small farming community it once was.
 
Suzy Bean
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Paul discusses this math in his podcast on intentional community: http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/310-podcast-037-intentional-community/
 
George Lafayette
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IMHO the hard part about living in an IC  is getting along with people.  I see lots of discussions on the net where people focus on some key technology - solar photovoltaics - or farming system (sheet composting) but most discussions I see focus on technology or real estate or financing- but they don't look at the people end of the equation. Or, they figure if they provide enough space between people - everybody has their own house - then somehow they'll get along.

Just sayin ....


paul wheaton wrote:

Consider relationships with just two people.  Some have said that living in community is a lot like living in a marriage with many people.  So let's add in to this mix that the current US divorce rate is over 50%.  And, further, let's work in that before getting married, most people have several intimate relationships with the potential to be "the one" before moving to the next relationship.  So maybe we can count those as relationships that didn't work out.  And then there are relationships that were never to be intimate, but always platonic.  And some of those last and most of those don't. 

A consensus based system depends on all relationships being healthy.  In other words, it is fragile.  I think that when pulling community together it is wise to come up with systems that are durable.

Just a line of thought ....

 
Dave Bennett
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That is a distinct possibility but there will be those that would make every attempt to literally force their "beliefs" on their neighbors.  I am pretty militant about some aspects of agriculture but have been learning lately to keep it to myself.  Paul only made one rule for this site and I suspect that rule would apply in any IC he might chose to start.  There will always be those that try to use a rope to push a wagon.
 
                        
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If more of the world lived by the rule "be nice" there would be a lot less grief.  It's sad  that people too often equate being nice with being weak.
 
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