August Hurtel

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since Mar 18, 2015
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Recent posts by August Hurtel

If you can find a away to avoid voting altogether, you'd be doing yourself a huge favor. If the membership is small enough, it is better for the leader (or someone with some authority) to just have regular conversations with individuals. In larger situations, perhaps Dave Snowden's app could help. Here's a shorter video of him:

If you have time, I highly recommend listening to some of his lectures that will likely show up in the side bar. I was a little doubtful about the app itself (I don't have a way to trial it right now) but I watched all the lectures I could find on youtube at the time and I think he has very good information and advice. I certainly wish my place of work would hire him.

8 years ago
One possibility is to put the property into a limited liability partnership and have yourself be the general partner. Huge need for a good lawyer here but LLPs are used a lot for protecting assets, and the general partner tends to do the work while the other partners rely on it as a passive sort of investment.

I can't help but notice many large tracts of land just sit on Craigslist and other places. The older owners can't really take care of it, or sell it, because the price is too high. Renters & employees just don't have the incentive to make improvements.

8 years ago
In general use, the epithet appears to indicate some level of envy on the part of the speaker- i.e. someone is jealous of Paul's popularity, relative level of success, ability to rock overalls, height, etc...

The term seems most used in places where there are a lot of dateless young guys who cannot fathom why some particular sketchy character has managed to get with the hot girls. The douchebag usually appears to have some level of success that the insulter does not, and the suggestion is that the douchebag has employed some devious means to achieve this success.

I believe Larry Ellison (I presume he is still CEO of Oracle) is thought by many to be a douchebag, for example. Personally, I wish I could be successful enough to be called a douchebag. I would probably be quite annoying if someone did call me a douchebag, because I would thank him for the compliment.

8 years ago
I looked into the kibbutzim. Initially I liked them, but I found the levels of psychological conditioning they put the children through very uncool. Additionally, being surrounded by potential enemies tends to foster a level of cooperation by necessity. As initial conditions changed, the kibbutzim weakened.
8 years ago
It is rather funny that a consensus based community can seem so dictatorial, whereas a benevolent dictator can make everything seem organic- as Paul manages to do.

I have been noticing it seems more likely people are just going to rent, and that some folks are talking about everything as a service- somewhat opposite to the way I want things to go, but various business conditions being what they are, it seems like folks would almost prefer to rent and not deal with taxes, insurance, lawncare, and whatever else. Some portion of this growing demographic must be at least somewhat into permaculture.

I suspect a signal that a community is compromised is when something like a code of conduct is written. Suddenly, something other than whatever the goal was is now more important than the goal, and usually some person or group of persons are now under threat- because the conduct of conduct almost always presumes one particular sort of person is the oppressor and everyone else is likely oppressed. It often turns out that the former is a doer, and the latter are redistributors.

Indeed, I have become a bit antagonistic to even writing things down, since I realized that bureaucrats have been writing things down for years, and then hiring other bureaucrats to manage all the bits of paper that they've written things down on. Monetary inflation is not the only sort of inflation. I certainly enjoy reading many things, but I can safely say almost none of these things were written by a bureaucrat. I thought, for instance, that I would enjoy Hagakure, but it was actually written by a bureaucrat- probably from a samurai family, but not a real samurai.

8 years ago
If I remember correctly, the pattern language is that a room needs to let in natural light from two sides.
In normal construction, this tends to mean putting windows in all four sides of the structure.
In less normal construction, something similar could be achieved by having windows on two (or three) sides
and using windows inside to allow the light to pass through.

Your screed is very accurate.

When I think of building this way, I inevitably think about the inter-generational nature of this thing- people from this generation have to teach some tentative version of the pattern language to their children, then it would be the children and grand-children who began to take off with it. This would be similar to a couple going to France and raising their children up to speak French- the child should end up being far more fluent than the parents.

The myth of progress is often anti-child, and tends to encourage impatience- thus the tendency is to evangelize, and mimic an algae bloom, so that they can point to that brief flash of life. Sadly, this merely wastes resources and potentially damages environment, making it harder for anything more balanced to take hold.
8 years ago
For economic/product development, a discovery process for what the people's diet actually is makes a lot of sense. This way we can see whether or not the infrastructure for a dairy, distillery, etc- is justified. If you've got a bunch of people who just love soda, well, it might make sense to figure out how to make a local soda.

A community owned kitchen would help with the scenario you wrote about with Suzie. If the communtiy has the government approved sort of kitchen, then Suzie could rent it, make her preserves, and the community gets some value back from the whole process even if they don't get peaches. It is worth pointing out they do get the value of not having fruit rotting everywhere, as well, as we saw in that video Geoff Lawton put out about that neighborhood in California.

It would also be exciting if a currency of some sort could be introduced such that valuations could be made in a more sane manner than we currently have. When prices change in our current economy, I cannot tell if it is due to actual changes in demand or supply, or if it is merely some sort of manipulation of the currency. We need prices to function as signals reflective of reality.

8 years ago
It has been four months since Kevin has posted. Perhaps we should send out a search party.
9 years ago
My guess would be to find a low point where water would go if it was there, and then pile up a bunch of rocks for condensation. I can't remember the word for it- I am pretty sure you are the one who told me about it on one of your podcasts.

You may have to go get frogs. If you do, you ought to test them to make sure they are loud. It is no use doing all this stuff and ending up with mute frogs.

UPDATE: My brain finally kicked in- it is called an air well.
9 years ago