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community - some folks are better suited than others

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15060
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
I first read this document about six years ago. There is a LOT in here that I thing is hugely important and not something that you will find ... well .... anywhere else that I know of.

http://www.windward.org/windward/fine.htm

I think the most important parts are:

- don't expect us to meet you halfway

- you're not as smart here as you are out there

- not all couples are co-dependent

- no illicit drugs

- we have to be better off with you than without you

- say what you mean and mean what you say


And out of all of those, the part about the couples is the one that has popped up in my head repeatedly over the years. Some people are sure that this is the style of life for them. Until they get there.

for those that might read this document and think "right on! maybe i'll move there!" I have to also say that I attempted to arrange a visit several times and was rejected because .... apparently I am too old. I have since visited with other folks that were also rejected or that lived there and left. Apparently they are a poly community and .... uh .... pretty young women have the best chance of being allowed to go there.

Back to the upside: lots of really amazing tech stuff and sustainability stuff going on there.



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Nemo Lhamo


Joined: Dec 17, 2011
Posts: 14
Places like this always seem to have a creepy predatory vibe once you scratch the superficial communal BS. I visited a few when I was a young athletic man and strangely enough was never asked to stay. Though my female traveling companions were often told how wonderful and spiritual they were. How they would be a great fit(fit for what exactly, yuck.) and that they should dump my ass and come visit. Luckily I don't date girls who are stupid, lol None ever wanted to even return.

Better off in a non poly environment with more independence, or even alone.

P.S. Hi Philoxians

paul wheaton
steward

Joined: Apr 01, 2005
Posts: 15060
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
    ∞
While that side is .... probably not a fit for most of us .... the thing that I think is really excellent is the points they made in the document.

////////////////

The "halfway" thing. I was once in a community (I've written about it in this forum before) where we split the food bill even steven. A woman moved in and on her second day she wasn't even willing to talk about "halfway", she told me to tell everyone else that the food bill would now be split a new way.

But back to the halfway thing: it does seem like there is often a lack of respect for history. A person will show up and feel like they immediately have equal say in damn near everything.

/////////////////

The thing about couples is brilliant. But you can even leave the part about the couples out. One person can be sure that the life of homesteading is for them. So they sell off all their city stuff and move to the farm. And hours into it realize that their dream of being a farmer should have been left in the dream world. In the meantime, somebody else that had the same dream totally grooves on being a farmer.

////////////////

"we have to be better off with you than without you": Too often people coming to a community or farm are focused on "what's in it for me" and give no regard to why the farm/community would want them. What skills do you bring? Do you bring cash flow?

///////////////

"say what you mean and mean what you say": So often people will argue to the death for something stupid and then change their mind. Or they will test the waters with some "humor" and then say "kidding". This kind of stuff really gums up the communication channels.




George Alchemy


Joined: Jun 05, 2011
Posts: 30
I agree. I think this is one of the best FAQ type disclosures I've ever seen - I've sent it to people in our group as well as posted it as an example in a couple of web discussions. It says many things which are true, but are rarely stated up front, or stated at all until you are asked to leave.

paul wheaton wrote:
<snip>
And out of all of those, the part about the couples is the one that has popped up in my head repeatedly over the years. Some people are sure that this is the style of life for them. Until they get there.
<snip>
for those that might read this document and think "right on! maybe i'll move there!" I have to also say that I attempted to arrange a visit several times and was rejected because .... apparently I am too old. I have since visited with other folks that were also rejected or that lived there and left. Apparently they are a poly community and .... uh .... pretty young women have the best chance of being allowed to go there.


I think they are smart not to say anything about polyamory on the web. Let's face it - in most parts of America it is already weird enough that you want to live in a group, and you want to be able to get along with your neighbors and go to the local hardware store, etc. with the minimum of fuss. But knowing they are probably poly makes some of the things they say less cryptic.

Kelly Rued


Joined: Aug 20, 2011
Posts: 40
Location: St. Paul, MN, USA
Ew. Why do people want to live in these fantasy communities?

This kind of thing reminds me strongly of how the main difference in quality of educational experience between public and private schools is that the private schools can be self-selecting. They can tell problem kids and families to hit the road, while offering them no solutions for whatever is wrong that hampers their participation in a productive school experience. Public school kids are expected to excel and learn in a truly inclusive community. There are kids who can't speak English well, or have speech impedements (or maybe they mumble because they have a piercing, lol), or are below average or disabled in some significant ways. Some kids (and their parents) just plain don't know how to act right. Everyone (and their teachers) must accommodate diversity. People are only expelled if they take the most extreme risks or cause serious harm. Nobody is expelled for stealing a can of pop.

I feel very turned off by "gated communities" of any kind. I definitely see the appeal of wanting to live in a private home where people are only welcome if the group is better with them than without them... and on a household level, I do think it is an ethical way to live... but for a greater community? I find it very icky and lacking in basic compassion. Plus, I seriously doubt any real diversity is possible when you have a like-minded group choosing who can come and who can stay, etc. They seem just as icky as the people who won't let you live in their neighborhood unless you can afford a $500k house and agree to paint it beige and keep your grass trimmed just so, etc.

I get what the FAQ is about, but put it another way: what if you went on a first date or just met an attractive person and they handed you a FAQ explaining what their expectations were and what yours should be if you two start any kind of relationship, you'd think that person was socially awkward at best.

Unless they have disabled people, families with kids of all ages, elderly people, people of all races and sexual preferences (including monogamy, certainly!), they are kind of just playing make-believe and turning their backs on the reality of American life today. I'd rather work to make the real world a better place than recede into fantasy and start excluding anyone who is inconvenient to my personal goals, etc. I mean, we are all connected. What happens to their little commune if SHTF all around them? I don't think what they are doing is sustainable because it's based on conveniently excluding people who don't fit their ideals. What do they do when one of their long-time residents becomes disabled or just too old to carry their weight? What if a couple has a baby and it is very below average in ability (maybe requiring expensive medical care)? Sounds like a fair-weather community and from all I'm hearing, we have hard times and rough weather ahead.

Good luck, self-selecting teeny tiny community! At least they can rest assured the regular-old everyday American community around them will accept them back with open arms if they fail to keep enjoying their little elitist group thing.
Chad Ellis


Joined: Aug 09, 2011
Posts: 67
Location: Oklahoma City, OK
    
  11
Wow! Lots of great stuff there. I never dreamed that when I saw the check your guns at the door stuff I could read it all and come away feeling good. They have a lot of stuff right. The co-dependence stuff was interesting. A set of guidelines like this is a good start. Thanks for the link to it.


www.ellisfamilyokc.com
OKC Climate
Amedean Messan
pollinator

Joined: Nov 11, 2010
Posts: 803
Location: Burlington, NC - Woodland, Clay - Zone 7
    
  26
This sounds to me more of a sex farm with an added bonus of the "green" feeling thing. Most of the people in the pictures are young women, the introduction statement is gravitated towards young immature people as well.


Those who hammer their swords into plows will plow for those who don't!
 
 
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