apocalyptic techno-optimism

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Alphaville
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 2:52 pm
@alphaville
Yes the third option is trying to create either a closer and more tightly knit community of highly prepared folks, or to try to get a localized existing community to become more prepared.
no, the idea im trying to advance here is that of intentional communities as @jacob would like to see, created and managed independently, but following common established practiced and principles, sort of like a franchise.

it’s not just about “preparation” really though, is it? i mean there are prepper communities you could join already. some require you bing your AR and know how to reload ammo.

ere is its own thing. i envision ere communities as something that from the outside might look something like mennonite colonies (minus the uniform & other accoutrements) and organized around philosophical rather than religious principles, and also spread out all over the planet (i think there are mennonites in 82 countries).

i put up that wikipedia list of intentional communities because there are many references to things that actually exist and can be learned from.

classical_Liberal
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by classical_Liberal »

@alphaville

I get what your selling. Bad word choice on my part, by "highly prepared", in the quote, I really mean ERE.

I still think @jacob has pointed out the problem with trying to form a culture around a bunch of very individualistic people. I doubt it's impossible, but it certainly requires someone with more experience in these matters than me to create.

Besides, successful franchises need a singularly successful model to begin with, and we don't really even have that for ERE as a group/tribe outside of this forum. It's hard enough to sell ERE as an individual solution, when there are already many successful "franchises".

I think, maybe, there is a problem with trying to convert what is inherently a individual solution into a group/tribe solution. First in the types of people it attracts, and secondly in the type of thinking it perpetuates. Hence it has some problems unique to it, vs other intentional communities.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:22 pm
I still think @jacob has pointed out the problem with trying to form a culture around a bunch of very individualistic people.
i thought the problem of individualistic people referred to the gathering of internet strangers on an anonymous forum?

in any case, not every ere person needs to be in it, just like not every catholic is a monk and not all mennonites live in colonies and not every israeli is a moshavnik (a moshav is an agricultural cooperative, not the same nor as “oooh, weird” as a kibbutz).

you need, what... 3 to 7 more households, maybe, for starters? i’m sure applicants can be found. could grow from there.

either way it’s never going to be you, and it’s never going to be me either. it would be jacob and his self-selected social experimenters, like the people who go live in the biosphere or the international space station for a year. those people exist even if they are not us.

eta: reepicheep lives in an intentional community i believe?
Last edited by Alphaville on Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

classical_Liberal
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by classical_Liberal »

@alphaville

Yeah, it's not that I'm against the experiment. Quite the opposite! Something akin to @AH version of an application process, but run more like a coop vs an intentional community. At least while there are still options.

My personal vision of something like this would be to build a community of people with varying interests and skills ERE-style. We could all live our lives, but when a wave of whatever s**t-storms arrive, we'd be stronger together than apart. At that point there'd be more incentive to give up some individualism to make the community more intentional to get through the storm. Then, if circumstances allow, move back to a more individualistic approach until the next wave hits. Or stick together if it never passes.

Anyway, that's my dream. Plus it has the benefit of having people to talk to about some of this stuff and potentially see others individualistic solutions in person.

Of course the potential problems are numerous.

Alphaville
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Sep 04, 2020 3:59 pm
@ Something akin to @AH version of an application process, but run more like a coop vs an intentional community.
yeah, that’s precisely a land or housing co-op: you choose who you live with

we’ve been here before...
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Housing_cooperative

oldbeyond
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by oldbeyond »

I can see a couple of patterns that perhaps would avoid some of the idealistic pitfalls that have already been discussed:

- Masters apprentices: This seems to be a thing already, where people who are highly skilled in some field (farming, gardening, traditional construction, woodworking et cetera) are approached or reach out to acolytes. Options range from paid courses to internships to partnerships. Is this community? I’d say that if you do this continually (or at least for some time) you’ll have connections with quite a few people that share your passion/skill and who are likely quite grateful to you. Look at Paul Wheaton or Richard Perkins for example. They certainly have something more than a rolodex of previous customers to reach out to. Quite a lot of impact, and i likely snowballs as their apprentices teach and inspire others in turn. Note that I’m not referring to selling someone a course on selling courses to other people, but in teaching actual wealth creating skills to people, who might then pay it forward. This community is likely to leverage the internet and cheap oil flights so might be quite widespread, but you could choose to focus on national/regional candidates. If you do on site instruction continually, you get a sort of rotating community. See Perkins’ Ridgedale Permaculture for example.

- Wealthy benefactor: You could opt to be the well off guy who keeps a few cool broke people hanging around his mansion for company and social capital. Substitute skilled people for the starving artists, a farm/apartment building/small deserted village for the mansion (could be cheap in the right location) and make it clear that people are there on your terms but are welcome to stay as long as they behave and help to improve the places (let someone garden or graze the land and get the improved soil and perhaps a bit of hyperlocal food in return; have the woodworker beautify the space he gets to use for free). Without money changing hand there should be minimal interference from rent regulation or the tax man.

- Traveling prophet: travel around to meet your existing converts and stay with them while organizing events in their localities. Meet a lot of people face to face and shake hands (post-covid of course). Strive to connect people from different localities, and within one (by getting like-minded people together at the event).

Obviously they can also be combined/sequenced in various ways

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Jean
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Jean »

Aren't there villages in the us that are already self sufficient units without being intentional community? Like a non overspecialized agricultural community. Wouldn't it be simple to just move there and become a part of the local community? Just choose one whose location makes it hard to plunder and you should be fine.

Alphaville
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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

i didn’t think a danish dorm (jacob’s inspiration) was a feudal enclave or a hardened bunker or a site of worship or any of that

maybe the place to start something like this would be denmark itself, where (modern) cohousing was invented and is reportedly thriving?

eg see:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohousing

ready blueprint that needs only ere modifications.

we do have cohousing and housing co-ops in the united states however, and they are not mystical unicorns or jonestown or anything of that sort.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by AxelHeyst »

oldbeyond wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:15 am
- Wealthy benefactor: ...
Being the cool broke but skilled guy is one of my threads of emergent serendipitous half-planned future scenarios/life goal.

Something like this idea was also fleshed out a little in Kunstlers World Made by Hand trilogy.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by jennypenny »

I'm late to this thread so maybe I missed something, but why the requirement to live together and go all in? Why not use a guild structure or almost church-like organization like HR suggested?*

I guess I'm not sure why an ERE tribe would be based on learning either. Forming an association to share skills with a strong focus on learning seems to me to be something you would do if people then planned on going out and starting their own tribes ... it doesn't seem to fit if the point is for those people to stay together as a tribe. I'd join an ERE tribe if it meant that I *didn't* have to learn all of those skills. Sure, I like learning and any community would need redundancies, but the carrot for me when comparing going it alone with putting up with^H^H^H^H joining a community is that I don't have to know/do everything.


*getting together regularly to reaffirm tenets of the group and support each other, but mostly getting together in smaller groups to accomplish related-but-tangential goals and bond over communal activities

Being Catholic is mostly a screening process for people in the parish. People get together once a week (for less than an hour) to reaffirm their commitment to Catholicism, but mostly connect through other groups within the parish structure. It doesn't matter what for as long as it doesn't directly contradict the tenets of Catholicism. You get social points for service oriented projects or other things that promote the 'cause' of Catholicism, but lots of time is spent on parish picnics, sports, bingo, and other communal stuff.

Under that structure, ERE would only be a screening tool to see who might hold similar interests and values. Living near each other is good but living together seems unnecessary. Most Catholics don't live in convents or monasteries. They do, however, go to organized retreats, many with themes and often run by lay parishioners.


Like I said, maybe I'm missing the point of the discussion. If so, ignore this.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

@jennypenny — but that’s precisely what’s not happening, as i understand it? i mean there are some ere people in some areas, they might occasionally go to meetups or whatever, but they’re not engaged in any kind of active mutualism or synergy.

space is real though, not mere abstraction, and has real effects. if you have to drive 50 miles to borrow a shovel you’re not going to do it—you’ll just go buy one. when your neighborhood has a tool library with standards of tool care (i hate to lend tools to people who mistreat them) you will use it more.

me if i were to live around other people it would be some sort of artist housing. in fact we applied to a couple of them, which a) one didn’t pan out due to legal issues (it was a form of public housing not a co-op, and could not select residents by profession), and b) the new york co-op took too long to reply due to enormous waitlist, which they converted into a lottery, but we couldn’t go live in new york anymore, so that didn’t happen. but we’re interested in that sort of people and we can use the stimulation of such an environment.

i also have lived in “the older cool guy’s property” and it wasn’t that cool for my taste. i like, to paraphrase seinfeld, being master of my domain :lol: (i mean it literally here though), which is why a co-op with clear by-laws and agreements can establish a situation with clear boundaries and responsibilities and ownership to which one can then say yes/no or engage in governance rather than wait around for a symbolic dad’s decision about one’s pleadings (feudal).

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by jennypenny »

Alphaville wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 9:29 am
@jennypenny — but that’s precisely what’s not happening, as i understand it?
Here's what I don't get ...

There are concurrent threads on an ERE village (implying we all live together in a structured environment) and an escape plan should things continue to deteriorate, not to mention all the journals with everyone's personal assessment of what's 'best'.

Apparently, either we think it's best to hunker down together somewhere and figure out a structure that works (co-op, etc), OR we all keep ourselves as mobile as possible in case [fill in the blank from your worst fears] happens and you need to make a fast getaway.

My point is that neither works because 'all in' doesn't work. What I love about ERE is that we're all making it work our own way -- in our own space with our particular family structure, interests, and work life goals. What we should be figuring out is how to enhance (wd?) our virtual interactions to make them stronger and give them enough structure so we get the full benefits of a tribe without having to go full-on cult village. I don't know how to make it work exactly and it will definitely take a lot more work, but it would still be easier than dislocating families (and trying to convince them to go) and severing existing tribal connections in the process.

This is where I think tech really has something to offer. If entire companies can run virtually, we can make ERE work with limited/targeted in-person interaction. EREs can work towards that same cohesion without the rigid structure and financial ties, something like ... contribute >> find community acceptance >> form the bonds >> find your niche >> contribute content >> reach out/host >> commit to a gathering and/or offer support for those passing your way when needed.


It's not that I don't idealize about finding my village the same way I found my tribe with ERE. But I also don't think it's a good idea to remove myself from the loose bonds/tribes I've already formed since you never know what kind of bond will hold up in what kind of weather (speaking metaphorically). I want my family tribe, my ERE tribe, and my local tribe ... and I'm willing to put the work in the make sure I earn my place in all of them. I don't want to limit myself to one for simplicity's sake.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

jennypenny wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 10:15 am
Here's what I don't get ...

There are concurrent threads on an ERE village (implying we all live together in a structured environment) and an escape plan should things continue to deteriorate
i don’t see the ERE village at least the way @jacob describes it as some sort of “fort ” or “for everyone,” but rather as a community of practitioners of a certain lifestyle—just like a nudist colony? :lol:

also i don’t think that he wants everyone doing the same thing? i mean joining. it’s just that it would be nice to have an option for those who would want it. the nuclear family isolated at the end of their cul-de-sac sort of sucks, and that is the setup (because space is real and has real effects) that feeds our current climate (literally).

now a caveat: no offense to anyone here, but i don’t wanna live with you :lol: also, i’m not paranoid about the zombie alpacas and i’m not willing to survive under any and all circumstances. if things get atrocious i’ll gladly check out, you go ahead and breathe plutonium. but anyway that was just my way to say i don’t want in on any village. also i love cities.

the reason i support the idea is not “for me”: it’s simply that it’s a nice idea.

plus having had some experience with these sorts of setups i can totally see an ere co-op happening for those who would want it. which again doesn’t have to be *everyone* just those who want it.

again i’m not at a stage that i would live in it, and i’d rather hang out with dysfunctional creatives anyway, but i like the idea of the project, and i see it as a positive one for “the world” (whatever that is) so i’m willing to contribute to it somehow.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by jacob »

Just wanted to weigh in so you guys can stop second-guessing me :)

I'm not interested in the drama associated with running a co-living house or in being the mayor of a small village fort or a bunch of cohousing units. This forum has enough drama for me already.

Space is indeed the limiter on social behavior. ERE people live too far apart to gather spontaneously, so meetups have to be arranged well in advance and time-slotted so people can drive/travel the required 1-5 hours it takes to get here. Space prevents "members" from interacting spontaneously and so connections remain shallow. Even Chicago has this problem as it can easily take an hour to get from one end of the city to the other. Even with the luxury of time (that salaried people lack) two+ hours is a big barrier to overcome.

Cohousing corresponds to an IRL version of a chatroom. (asynchronous)
A ERE meetup corresponds to a zoom meetup. (synchronous)
People living within spontaneous walkable distance of each other corresponds to this forum.

Others have made the "within walkable distance" work by picking a location and moving there. Presume that presenting such an idea to 10,000 people might get 10 or so people who are interested and 1-2 who are more than interested. However, for ERE there are simply not enough of us to get this started unless the percentages are higher for ERE than others... and I don't think they are.

The "Learning Tribe" was intended as a regular ERE meetup with repeat visitors that went beyond the "introduction, dreams, and progress so far" with first-time visitors that usually dominate ERE meetups. Covering some project was meant to be the carrot that made people come back.

In particular, given the numbers and given my lack of interest in being the trailblazer of social organizing, it would be more effective/practical for me to seek out other communities I might fit into than to seek out individuals that might fit into my/ERE community.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by Alphaville »

jacob wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:31 am
In particular, given the numbers and given my lack of interest in being the trailblazer of social organizing, it would be more effective/practical for me to seek out other communities I might fit into than to seek out individuals that might fit into my/ERE community.
haha social organizing is a pain. then again you don’t have to be an organizer if you partner up with one. but it can be a tall order (and yet: challenges are fun).

as for finding other communities, i’ve been curious about this: would you go live in denmark? on paper at at least: universal healthcare, bicycle friendly, high scores for well-being, etc? me, i’d go if i could, seems like a paradise. perhaps i idealize the place? (i blame hannah grant, lol)

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by jennypenny »

The line between online and IRL blurs more every day, and COVID has accelerated that. It seems really limiting to me to keep framing the choices through those two lenses. Maybe if you don't use text, zoom, steam group games, etc, all the time, you don't see how blurry the lines are? (note: I'm *not* talking about social media)

The concept of a lifeboat gets taken way too literally by the transition/adaptation crowd IMO. I'd never limit myself that way and risk becoming obsolete. Joining one of those groups would be a step backwards in my planning/prepping. I admire the skills and work to acquire them myself, but I don't like the rigidity that comes with any 'planned community'.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by classical_Liberal »

jennypenny wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:35 pm
I don't like the rigidity that comes with any 'planned community'.
I totally agree with this personally. I also think, those attracted to ERE, by its nature, will mostly agree with this. The idea of intentional community or commune style living is not going to sit well with a bunch of individualist action takers. As @jacob pointed out, the other end of this coin are people who simply want to influence others via committee. Hence the conundrum.
jacob wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 11:31 am
People living within spontaneous walkable distance of each other corresponds to this forum
jennypenny wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 12:35 pm
The line between online and IRL blurs more every day
I disagree with this. The nature of the interweb lends towards people being different in their online personas than they are IRL. Now, if I know someone IRL, and then have contact with them through these new mediums, I think that's different than only knowing them from a forum, message board, or online gaming. Because there's an underlying IRL relationship, I think these mediums can be used to overcome geographic distance to maintain social interactions. In a similar way to encountering your neighbor down the street when you're out for a bike ride. But without at least some IRL component, I think it's pretty tough to consider the people I know here friends. Even if we seem to have similar ways of thinking.

I think it's the real life component that makes zoom businesses and the like work. These people have met and collaborated IRL, then the virtual world serves as an extension of that initial bond. Maybe I'm wrong? Maybe these are only my feelings on the subject? I can't really back up this opinion with data.

Anyway, if I'm right, more meetups could actually serve the purpose of further strengthening the forum. Making people more likely to reach out to each other for things like skill building, or whatever. I also think it would further @jacobs agenda of making this place more "friendly". Because people are much less likely to pick fights and act in douchebaggery fashion to someone they've actually met and had a coffee or beer with IRL. It seems like a natural progression towards tribe and community.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by jennypenny »

classical_Liberal wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 3:44 pm
I think it's the real life component that makes zoom businesses and the like work. These people have met and collaborated IRL, then the virtual world serves as an extension of that initial bond. Maybe I'm wrong?
I've never met most of the authors and reporters I've worked with IRL, and DH's job (based in DC) is global in nature and he rarely meets anyone in person. He's worked with people daily for years that he's never actually met. I guess our personal experience is why I think IRL isn't always a requirement.

Regardless, there aren't any established groups innovative enough to make it through to the next level. New ideas are needed as well as people willing to try them. It's interesting (and slightly disappointing) to me that EREs are willing to try novel approaches on an individual level but not in a group. There's also a negative bias in that people seem more focused on eliminating the things they don't like instead of acquiring the things (skills/trends/tech) that might work in a new social system and figuring out how to incorporate them.

I dunno, I guess I don't like ideas that seem like retreating.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by mooretrees »

oldbeyond wrote:
Sat Sep 05, 2020 2:15 am

- Masters apprentices: This seems to be a thing already, where people who are highly skilled in some field (farming, gardening, traditional construction, woodworking et cetera) are approached or reach out to acolytes. Options range from paid courses to internships to partnerships. Is this community? I’d say that if you do this continually (or at least for some time) you’ll have connections with quite a few people that share your passion/skill and who are likely quite grateful to you. Look at Paul Wheaton or Richard Perkins for example. They certainly have something more than a rolodex of previous customers to reach out to. Quite a lot of impact, and i likely snowballs as their apprentices teach and inspire others in turn. Note that I’m not referring to selling someone a course on selling courses to other people, but in teaching actual wealth creating skills to people, who might then pay it forward. This community is likely to leverage the internet and cheap oil flights so might be quite widespread, but you could choose to focus on national/regional candidates. If you do on site instruction continually, you get a sort of rotating community. See Perkins’ Ridgedale Permaculture for example.
I have been considering this approach as a way to gain farming/canning/livestock skills. I approached a local farmer I've been occasionally volunteering with to consider taking me on as an apprentice. It's early stages in the conversation and wouldn't really happen until next year. I think this approach is a good idea, but possibly difficult on a widespread level. This farmer is interested in teaching but the 'master' has to be willing to share their time/knowledge. Also, maybe easier for an extrovert? Not really sure about that.

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Re: apocalyptic techno-optimism

Post by classical_Liberal »

jennypenny wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:51 am
There's also a negative bias in that people seem more focused on eliminating the things they don't like instead of acquiring the things (skills/trends/tech) that might work in a new social system and figuring out how to incorporate them.
Speaking for myself here. I think some of the elimination mindset comes from not having enough time and energy to begin with. It's kind-of part of the Wheaton Level progression. Like, getting rid of things/activities that are counterproductive to my goals has the double benefit of freeing up time/energy and saving money. Which is really, really effective up to a certain level. However, since I've won my time and energy back with very little structured for-pay work in the past year, my mindset has shifted into acquiring again. This time though with a broader scope of how the acquisition will benefit overall circumstances.

IOW, maybe there just aren't enough people who have reached WL>5, and/or who have actually right sized their income generating activities time/energy to feel like adding things back in can be beneficial? The exhaustion is real.
jennypenny wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 6:51 am
I dunno, I guess I don't like ideas that seem like retreating.
I'm not sure I understand why you mean by retreating in this context? I'd love to know though.
mooretrees wrote:
Sun Sep 06, 2020 7:47 am
This farmer is interested in teaching but the 'master' has to be willing to share their time/knowledge
I think teaching is really the final part of mastery. It makes one go back and view things with a beginners eyes and helps make the final connections that may not have been there before. So, I think people near mastery tend to want to teach. Also, if there's genuine enthusiasm from the student, I think most people who enjoy what they are doing really enjoy talking about and participating in the activities with another person, but that may have an intro/extraversion quality to it as you suggested.

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