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#41 [url]

Aug 23 12 9:26 PM

So, out of curiosity--

If one were to engineer as small, progressive, secular community of say 200 people. . .what kind of rules would one draft and how would one go about it? As far as I can see, most attempts are terrible failures.

A wild guess. . .

My number one principle. 1) We are governed by principles, rather than rules. Principles may be subject to interpretation, but rules are subject to obfuscation and evasion, and cheating through legalization, and that's worse.

My number two principle: As we're governed by principles rather than rules-- our task is an ethical one rather than a moral one. Ethics assumes a rational path trusting ones native intellect to seek a higher good. Moral precepts assume, at least at some level, that there's authority to be trusted that informs the issues we face. While worth considering, I'm not sure of that. Hence: ethical.

My number three principle. The primary ethical responsibility of any human being is to develop the capacity to be ethical. This is no small thing. It requires the ability to discuss reasonably, accepting evidence where it is valid and arguments where they have integrity, both for and against, in the dispassionate interest to discover the greater good. If ya can't do that-- fuck you! And it's worth admitting-- most people can't do this: they are ethically retarded. And I use that last term in a very deliberate sense, 'cause, that's facts.

Aye, here's the rub. . .

Basically, I expect if you can handle these 3 the rest is pretty trivial.

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#42 [url]

Aug 23 12 10:43 PM

Before finalizing any rules, I'd have some questions. Assuming the community shared  enough common values to hang together:

1) What are those values?
2) What "value-added" is required for the greater good?
3) What are the consequences of a member NOT adding value...or worse, "stealing" value from the community?
4) How to resolve disputes when they arise? (ex: Logical discourse/dialectic? Social gatherings?Ho'oponopono? Majority rules? Duke it out around the bonfire?)

If this makes no sense, blame it on the glass of wine I just had.

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions - Confucius

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#43 [url]

Aug 24 12 9:04 AM

" If ya can't do that-- fuck you! And it's worth admitting-- most people can't do this: they are ethically retarded. And I use that last term in a very deliberate sense, 'cause, that's facts."

Gonna have to build a collective of one. lol.

In reality the only person your going to have total control of their principles and discipline to follow those principles will be you (my opinion is that most people, even if aware enough to have those principles will be weak enough to break them at least some of the time). If everyone is treated equally under the rule of law, and the punishment makes it not worth the benefit, for example steal $10 get fined $100, then people will stay within those rules (barring mental illness, deliberate evil etc). Currently we have neither of those, a commoner (Jon Cocherl ) gets a different set of rules vs the knighted nobility (Jon Corzine).

Using your formula Jay, I'm saying there are 3 people I know of that I feel I could set up a community based on principles that I feel would have the discipline to follow through. As they have discipline and the ability to plan ahead they are self sufficient enough in this society to not need a collective but I could see them grouping together in times of need (ie when the zombies attack because the EBT card doesn't work, these will be the people you'll be behind the barricades with on a large piece of property).

I think Punafish has the correct questions to ask for the details of how to structure such a community.

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#44 [url]

Aug 24 12 10:10 AM

I agree, but don't see the issue as insurmountable at all. Having written plenty of watch bills I find that a "crew"-- if you don't like the term "cooperative" -- still retains plenty of individualism and autonomy. Also I find many people enjoy the shared responsibilities of aiding a whole if the situation is fair and equitable. But it's very important to have clear cut duties, responsibilities, and goals-- and these need to be explicit as possible.

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#47 [url]

Aug 24 12 11:42 AM

I would think an "Intentional Community"  (or call it a neighborhood crew or co-op or commune) would do well with Traditional Neighborhood Design since you'd then have the infrastructure to enhance community.

Usually if folks have common goals or common interests - whether secular or religious - then they find common ground and are able to interact with each other better.  If there is a group of folks living near each other who are all enthusiasts of "X", then they will be much more likely to gather and interact than those who are not interested in "X".  You can fill in the "X" with just about anything, a sport, an activity, a core belief system, etc.  

And principles are much better than rules.  As Harry Kim says "Do what is right."  The Hongwanji is of the same opinion.  They don't even fill in the "what" part either, you should already know although, if you don't you can ask.  "What is Right" changes from situation to situation whereas rules don't always fit.

At one point about five years ago, we were setting up an intentional community.  It would have happened if we would have gotten a large acreage up the hill from here, but since we didn't get the land, the neighborhood didn't happen.  

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#50 [url]

Aug 25 12 3:07 PM

Interesting to read of Franklin's Junto posse. Also, a certain Robert Grace was a member by virtue of his gentleman stature -- which seems to translate to sugar daddy with a fat stash (bitchin' library too apparently) who was a good hang to boot. For now, not holding my breath on SugarD to sweetin' our simplicity, heh!

Another thought is like the unacknowledged elephant in the room: Our low-density spreadout is decidedly different and missing the component of shared physical place. We all know this of course, but it is a huge distinction that ought not be forgotten, I'd think. Btw, another thought had whilst on my morning 'block-walk' was that these folks all had completely robust full-body...well, that is to say, they all walked all the time (and rode, but undoubtedly showed up to club meetings...having couch surfed very little, heh). Whereas in our trip we seem to need so-called surrogate activities just to work up a sweat; another quality of our modern livelihood that needs to perhaps be figured in the mix. (By the way, on said block-walk, had meaningful communion with several neighbors. And I broke a sweat!)

Otherwise, as for shared ethic and such, I always seem to reckon that 'local community enabling' rather than bolstering gnarly centralized forces is a good thing. (Catch my sorry ass in the Walmart buying my toothpaste and I'll probably just pretend I'm visiting as a golf tournament participant, not really Darren, or some such shit...) And then the other thing is that a sense for the damage that has occurred, say in the past 30-40 years comes to mind. I mean besides the outward things, the inward sociological stuff that has been stitched into us: the fear, the stupidity, the hole-suck approach of homo-economicus. Anyway, speaking as an asshole buying toothpaste at Walmart, who listens to NPR sponsored by the Natural Gas Alliance (and Walmart), I can't help but think that a high degree of compassion is a necessary part of going forward. Of course that is a balance that I'm reminded of when some douchey neighbor is behaving poorly -- I stay compassionate...until I wish them to hell...heh.

It's weird though. At the lofty age of 48, I feel less and less able to point my finger and assess blame in any kind of way that feels ...astute. (Ryerro -- bumper sticker idea (for your bicycle until you break down and shamelessly buy a purchase toothpaste with:
Don't Blame Me, Blame my God Damned Robot!

I digress. But dang, I'm awash with new ideas for Robot bumperstickers! ...Okay, I'll go first:

My Robot is Newer Than Your Robot
Ask Me About My Robot
Got Robot?
My Robot has Roots
F**k Robots!

Okay, I got grass to cut...

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#51 [url]

Aug 25 12 5:37 PM

Physical distance is a big part of the equation. Peripherally related is that as a group the members here lack of a clear, concrete "common" focus, unlike a crew on a ship with close quarters and clear roles.

The personal encounters that have resulted through connections made on this forum were all based (I can only deduce) more on business or common interests than a sense of urgency about "surviving as a collective." Truth is it would be darn impractical and inconvenient for folks in this group to "need" each other because of the geographic distance. You can only take what the technology offers.

So what to do about the geographic spread? My first choice is for friends and kindred spirits to move to my neighborhood.

Darren, you can add this to your bumper sticker product list:

Praise robot!
Robot loves you!
What would robot do?
Robot on board
My robot is an honor student at UHH
My robot can kick your honor-student robot's ass

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions - Confucius

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#56 [url]

Aug 26 12 11:04 AM

"The single observation I would offer for your consideration is that some things are beyond your control. You can lose your health to illness or accident. You can lose your wealth to all manner of unpredictable sources. What are not easily stolen from you without your cooperation are your principles and your values. They are your most important possessions and, if carefully selected and nurtured, will well serve you and your fellow man. Society’s future will depend on a continuous improvement program for the human character. And what will that future bring? I do not know, but it will be exciting."

- Neil Armstrong

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#58 [url]

Aug 26 12 12:32 PM

Enjoyed reading Neil's quote. It's right up there with his other quote:
"Holy f**k, I'm on the moon!"
But seriously, he's right about the survivability of values and principles.
Particularly, I've been struck by the transcendent quality of humor of late. Beyond the quality of levity in the face of irrefutable mortality -- no small thing in itself -- there is a component of the appreciation for irony that is nothing short of educational in epistemic inquiry.
Gonna be here all week.

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#59 [url]

Aug 27 12 9:39 AM

I don't see the geographic distance issue as a big deal at all, and compared to the big country I grew up in as a kid this is very nearly urban. Facts are, all of us live within cycling distance of a few hours for a a healthy adult, and many less than that. If you could get the maniacs off the road so it would be a death-wish errand to try to make the trip. . .but as well 50mph/mpg transportation on small scooter bikes will become increasingly the norm before then.

But sure, the bigger issue that all cooperative projects do face is indeed a lack of a clearly defined "goal."The cohesiveness of a group project will only be as tight as its vision-- and if you're going to compete the the cultural status quo-- lie cheat and steal to get as much as possible-- it will take a very tight vision indeed. In creating this forum, that vision was "to demonstrate sustainable living" but it was tough to get any traction on that, and in fact there's always been a lot of pressure to step away from the more practical issues and real solutions to a more comfortable "gardening club" sort of vision.  Numbers alienate people, unfortunately. For me, the softer vision doesn't do much for me personally, and being a busy guy I feel less interested in sacrificing time and effort towards ends I see relatively trivial. No matter, with any vision you advocate you'll attract some and alienate others, and there's no snark in this comment at all. But a much more robust and practical--and ethical-- focus would be useful, as far as I can see. The whole issue is an ethical one, after all.

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#60 [url]

Aug 27 12 10:06 AM

Surprise, surprise, we don't all agree. I personally see geographic distance as a big deal in terms of developing community (not necessarily making friends though).  Does it have to be a big deal? I suppose not. But the fact is, I spend more time with folks who live nearby and have tighter relationships as a result. Sharing a geographic area provides at least one common focus we otherwise wouldn't have. 

Now, if we all worked in the same place with a common purpose and met there everyday, then perhaps we'd have a better shot at bridging those distances.

The fact that it's impractical/dangerous to cycle and scoot to cover these distances (let's see, Pahoa to Hamakua on a scooter would take how long?) makes the geographic distance even more of a barrier, certainly to me.

So if geographical distance is not a big deal, and we do indeed have a common focus as a group, then what's preventing the "pirates" from becoming a bonafide community? Or...does anyone believe we've become a bonafide community?

A superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions - Confucius

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