Commune/Intentional Community

How to avoid signing your life over to a mortgage
prognastat
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by prognastat » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:33 am

I'm not going to lie, being a Dutch expat MMM's Dutch design principle city is tempting... I loved being able to walk to and from almost everything I needed in life and using quality public transport for much of the rest only needing a car very little.

vexed87
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:40 am

IlliniDave wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:51 am
I'm far too independent-minded to ever consider something like Twin Oaks. Truth-be-told, it's hard for me to imagine worse living arrangements for myself. Guess that makes me a bad man. :(
There may be room for renegades at the periphery. :lol:

Smashter
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Smashter » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:30 pm

Augustus wrote:
Sun Feb 24, 2019 1:52 pm
The Israeli ones started in 1909 and seem to be thriving, not just muddling through.
Thriving in some ways, but also moving away from their socialist ideals. They have a really hard time getting the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th generations to stay in the system. There was a really good econ talk podcast about this issue.

A key quote from the podcast:

"Starting in the 1990s, many kibbutzim for the first time in their history started to shift away from equal sharing. Some kibbutzim only had minor deviations from the equal sharing models, but many have moved to market forces and now earnings, income, is based on people's earnings. Only 20% of kibbutzim maintain the egalitarian model."

Riggerjack
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:39 pm

@ vexed87

If one cannot achieve one's goals using current methods, perhaps it's time to reevaluate both the goals and the methods.

I have been reading your posts on this subject for years. While I enjoy your thoughts, and could definitely see how you could contribute to the kind of community you want to be in, you vision of the future is dark and unappealing.

You seem to be working from a scarcity mentality, wherein since energy sources dry up, we need less energy intensive lifestyles. The easiest way to get that is to model 19th century lifestyles.

But having lived with no electricity or running water, and having lived in places run by Adult Hall Monitors, I would run anyone with those as goals off my land before any talk of choirs got started.

Perhaps you would be better served to look at what that 19th century lifestyle could be like, if it were set up with 21st century resources. The world is full of very rich people, people for whom scarcity is foriegn. People who could easily be able to fund a vision that is more appealing.

Look at what you want again, from the perspective of unlimited resources invested today, to meet the goal of a lifestyle with minimal outside inputs, going forward.

Now all you need is money and people; and currently, the world is full of money and people. With a far more appealing vision, they could be flowing in faster than you want.

jacob
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by jacob » Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:53 pm

@Riggerjack - The question of bootstrapping vs sustainability depends on the time horizon. The Transition Towns have a much longer horizon (generations) with the goal of sustaining [the people] beyond infusions/construction capital of early 21st century resources. I think the latter is a "nicer" strategy for those who are alive now.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earth_Abides is relevant. With TT the ambition level is set to be compatible with what's ultimately available in terms of resources, both human and material; not what's available now.

Augustus
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Augustus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:20 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:39 pm
Perhaps you would be better served to look at what that 19th century lifestyle could be like, if it were set up with 21st century resources. The world is full of very rich people, people for whom scarcity is foriegn. People who could easily be able to fund a vision that is more appealing.
+1

People seem to focus too much on "progress" and ignore the past. Our ancestors were very smart people, some people even theorize that average intelligence was higher back then because dumb people died a lot easier and more often. If we do ever have to stop living with modern power hungry technology, all we need to do is mimic the past for the most part. That said, I enjoy modern technology, and I don't think the future is all doom and gloom, there have been so many cassandras in all of history that one has to wonder if it is a part of our genetic makeup.

IlliniDave
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Feb 26, 2019 1:37 pm

vexed87 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 11:40 am
There may be room for renegades at the periphery. :lol:
Regardless, I would run away at full speed. :D

Riggerjack
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:16 pm

@ Jacob

I looked into TT a few years ago and thought the bar was set too low. Maybe you have better links?

I believe for the concept to work, in the modern day, it needs to be clearly better than other modern options. Nobody seems to be doing this. Selling "Move here, it won't suck as much when everything goes wrong!" Is great for attracting doomers worried about the end times (ie people like me) but is a foolish approach to the problem.

I believe in making something that is Really F'n Appealing, something that someone living in a Malibu beach house could see and think, "Yeah, I could see spending 7 figures to buy into that."

I've tried to describe it, but I suck at that. So my retirement plan is to demonstrate it. I'm 2-3 years from proof of concept, and 5-6 years from single unit prototype. I will post as I make progress. So we will know if I'm successful within a decade. :geek:

If not, I will have a world class firepit to prepare my dinner of eating crow. :oops:

vexed87
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:53 pm

There's a major downside to attracting a whole bunch of disagreeable doomers too. I hope I'm not speaking out of turn but we, generally speaking are lacking in important skills in the whole socialization department. IllinDave's response pretty much sums up the INTx crowd. For a community to be a success it needs a few stickler hall monitors and other roles, as much as we may hate them. I do wonder if over representation of certain personality types is a contributor to the failure of intentional communities, and perhaps the poor reaction to the TT movement. I suspect however that it's simply a case that their time has yet to come, despite their achievements.

@riggerjack, I suspect part of the reason you found the TT underwhelming was that it cannot compete with the ruthless efficiency of the market economy. I doubt it ever will be bested. Also, not gonna lie, I have been curious about this plan of yours! As ever, I eagerly await the detail.

Edit: Also, re: bootstrapping vs sustainability, I think once you have grokked the implications of collapse in its entirety, any response or preparations which doesn't help us (future generations) on a long term basis is essentially futile/wasted energy. I would like my legacy to be one of leaving my DD better equipped to deal with the future than I am. There's nothing I can do to help her inherit a better world. It's no use just pretending things won't be hard, because there is no getting away from it. Ultimately however I'm sure life will still be very much worth living. Some aspects may even be better than we have it now.
Last edited by vexed87 on Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Cats_and_tats
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Cats_and_tats » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:18 pm

I lived at a commune for awhile. There were some good parts and some bad parts.

I liked the comradery and the feeling that there was more freedom in my day. I also liked wearing (or not wearing) whatever I wanted. Because so few people wore traditional clothing, if you were going to go into town someone needed to check your outfit to make sure it was appropriate 'town clothes'.

I didn't like that the bathroom that I got to use was a board with two holes in it, and someone could come sit on the second hole while you were in there so you were shitting with someone else's thigh pushed against yours. I also didn't like sleeping in a tent and waking up with ice covered socks (you didn't get to live in a building until you were there many years).

You did have to give them all your possessions to stay long-term, but at the time I didn't have enough that that meant a whole lot.

Looking back I don't know what would happen if you needed medical care, especially of the significant kind. I was young and robust and didn't suffer injury while I was there. I'm not sure what is done if someone falls from a tree or something. Maybe take them out behind the shed and shoot them like they did to the dog that killed too many chickens.

Augustus
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Augustus » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:35 pm

Cats_and_tats wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:18 pm
I'm not sure what is done if someone falls from a tree or something. Maybe take them out behind the shed and shoot them like they did to the dog that killed too many chickens.
Man, you are a ray of sunshine aren't you?

vexed87
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by vexed87 » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:45 pm

https://youtu.be/Pk_er-tWfeM part 1 of 2 part discussion about what we should do next. Skip the initial 6.5 minutes or so.

Cats_and_tats
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Cats_and_tats » Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:30 pm

Augustus wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:35 pm
Man, you are a ray of sunshine aren't you?
For wondering about medical care in a commune / planned community? People need medical care, it's a valid concern.

IlliniDave
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by IlliniDave » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:23 pm

vexed87 wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 2:53 pm
... IllinDave's response pretty much sums up the INTx crowd. ...
INTJ is part of it, but having to hand over my entire pension, plus all my investment income, and then work at least 42 hours a week at some assigned manual labor task for a couple hots and a cot sounded way too much like Socialism for me. Maybe it would have had more appeal if I was 25 and broke.

Jason
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Jason » Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:25 pm

Some historians argue that Israeli Kibbutzim was the purest expression of socialism that ever materialized. That being said, they also had a stealth military purpose, to provide boundaries within the contested territories. But heir heyday is over. These societies never last, human nature proving time and again that capitalistic impulses cannot be thwarted as well as people's desire to create a basic family unit. And ultimately, they were never completely self-sufficient.

Creating a "new" system does not eliminate the problem - basic human nature. Marx kind of sailed over that one.

chenda
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by chenda » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:38 pm

Monasteries seem the most successful type of such communities, although they sometimes seem to see-saw over the centuries between purity and corruption. In some ways I'm surprised we've not seen a revival of them.

Kriegsspiel
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:57 pm

chenda, I believe a dude wrote a book recently abut that: The Benedict Option.

Riggerjack
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Riggerjack » Tue Feb 26, 2019 8:54 pm

I hope I'm not speaking out of turn but we, generally speaking are lacking in important skills in the whole socialization department. IllinDave's response pretty much sums up the INTx crowd.
Yeah. This was tough. Then I realized I don't have to solve this problem. I only need other, smarter people to solve it. This is the beauty of the internet, that smarter people are out there, and they will solve this on their own, if I can get them to start thinking about it, and provide a platform for experimentation.

That's why I have to demonstrate, rather than describe.

I don't have to make anything perfect, I need to create something to gather enough interest that others will follow, and show me up.

What humans do, we do competitively. Where humans compete, we improve. It's not just that this is a difficult problem, I believe. It's too big a problem for any brain to work out a significant fraction of the solution. So I need to start people competing on this line of thought, and the best way to do this is to show that it is profitable.

Then, it gets cheaper and easier. Thanks, markets!

I believe I have worked out:

Home deterioration, no cleaning gutters, painting, residing, blah blah. I don't know how long the roof will last, but I'm hoping for a century. Exterior home maintenance, including washing windows and annual system maintenance should be less than 2 days a year.

Food production, with room to spare for CC. No, I don't think a standard garden cuts it, at all. I want to grow oranges at the 49th parallel. They suck at grocery stores. I want fresh veggies all winter. Existing greenhouse tech will handle this.

Electricity, for decades after the grid goes down, and ongoing on a more limited basis. This is merely a capital problem.

Waste disposal, a better septic system to completely close the sewage loop. Full processing on site. This will last as long as the pipes do. I haven't tried to push this past the health department, yet.

Earthquake. I am going to build it close to a fault, so we could get a good test relatively soon.

Wildfire, this is just capital and existing tech. Smoke filtration is still a challenge. Interior fires are a challenge, because it is hard to plan for what occupants will bring into a house. But I am hoping for a 90% structure survival rate for interior fires. Yes, a remodel will still be in order after a fire. I have options in mind if someone wants to put extra capital into interior fire prevention.

Wind and rain. I expect it to stand up to minor hurricanes and tornado forces (in closed up mode), but when wind picks up trees, that's hard to plan for. I still think I could do it, but it's not in the budget for the prototype.

At this point, I worry about little details like how long until oxidation causes compromise, and how to monitor that.

And because I am an INTJ, I have been trying to find failure points for the design for years. I'm currently in the 5th design.

The proof of concept of the new model is will be a shop I build. I want it to be unheated, yet not freeze here up near the 49th parallel. I will use a Web energy logger to measure the right amount of Geo HP to use when I build the prototype. Should be done around 2021-22.

The current plan is to Kickstarter the prototype for the publicity. Then gather up potential customers and partners from there. 2024-6

With enough money and brains, the market will solve the expense issue. I look forward to my prototype looking as simple and backwards as the earliest cars do today.

Then I will use those profits to open the platform for people to experiment with community design, as I have no talent there. But I think I have worked out how to work the experimentation.

I am personally just working out the easy technical details. I will leave the hard parts to smarter people.

EdithKeeler
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by EdithKeeler » Tue Feb 26, 2019 10:40 pm

I think there is something appealing about living in a community like this. Lots of people around, interesting things going on, maybe a place where people have more interesting conversations beyond "so what do you do?" That said, there would be significant downsides, too, and given the world being what it is right now, the whole idea of turning over all my assets to the group is just... well, not gonna happen. I certainly couldn't do it without a decent amount of personal space, and it would have to have adequate and efficient plumbing.

But I think about other types of successful communities--religious communities, for example (nuns, monks). Sort of benevolent dictatorships, not communes, but generally they work, probably because of the shared goals/faith, etc. and people signing up really KNOW what they're getting into.

Of course the risk is the community turning into a not-so-benevolent dictatorship (Warren Jeffs....)--you sign over all your assets, some guy declares himself God and doesn't like you or wants to control you or whatever, and you can't get out because you have no where to go and no money.

I dunno... I think I just have fond memories of living in the dorms and sorority house in college!

Jason
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Re: Commune/Intentional Community

Post by Jason » Wed Feb 27, 2019 5:22 am

The Kibbutzim also had a very significant advantage: population homogeneity. Not only from a religious standpoint (Judaism), but more significantly, an inflamed social/political zeal (Zionism). So it's regulating impulses could be discussed in practically theonomic terms.

When you look at the other example, the Pennsylvania Dutch i.e. Amish, they are too bound by a religious impulse. Also the monasteries in the past. That is why SLD devolved into depravity. It started with a corrupted religious influence. Or as just documented, these people:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wild_Wild_Country


The idea that MMM wants to start something of this nature is not surprising to me. Is it not the anticipated expression of a FIRE midlife crisis? Bringing his blog followers to the desert to sit at his feet. Couldn't keep his marriage together so let's just dream of something bigger. Plus what a stable of grad students he'll have. I just saw a brief news brief on him and the first thing I thought was just guy seems fucking depressed. But in any event, I'd bet my stache against such a social apparatus for the bike and jazz set will sustain itself. I personally do not believe that FIRE and all its tangential concerns could ever provide that moral and ethical purpose that which is required to keep people committed to such a venture. And that is why looking back to the 19th century is not valid in this regard. The moral landscape of this country is completely different now. Emerson's "atheism" looks puritanical at this point. And the religio/philosophical factor is essential when discussing such endeavors.

And let's not forget the ultimate goal of Marxism: capitalism.

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