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Apr. 24th, 2008


atumnnn

Education

Now, I don't really know how to approach this, but it is obviously an integral part to every society. The problem needs to be addressed of what kind of knowledge will be required and how we are going to structure the learning. Will we focus more on applied learning and learning usable techniques or go back to the old fall-back of testing? Personally, I think it depends largely on the topic. I think math is impossible to test "out in the field" but is still an essential subject to learn as it not only teaches you a new and linear way of thinking but it also opens the door to other important topics like physics, chemistry, biology, etc.

So, I think that the basic english, math, science, history are a given. I don't know how we are going to measure what is "enough," maybe we could invest in the What every blankth grader needs to know series or something and go from there. I don't think that high school standards as they stand are apt, but at the same time I don't know if we should require the students to go any further than they want to (past the bare knowledge for them to leap from). Plato had this concept where every person would study or do what they were meant to do in society, which I tend to agree with except that he had this decision made for the people by the time that they were twelve years old, which is... difficult. On the one hand, if you are going to use his method then you would have to know so that you could get on with their formal education, but at the same time you are not the person you are going to ultimately be when you are twelve, and I shudder to think that my future be determined by me twelve year old state. The basic concept is a lot like how we will be setting up our community I think though, in that we will all be contributing to the society by doing the things we are most suited to do for the good of the community, not for any sort of gain. Unlike Plato, though, I think that the shoe-maker should be able to question the law maker and vice versa, otherwise you never get beyond the nose on your face.

But what classes beyond the ones expected in high school will we be Required to take? I think obviously that learning should be encouraged if the child or teen or adult wishes to learn anything more on any subject then we should go out of our way to provide them with the means to do so, but it's difficult to decide just what is Essential to each person. I think maybe for the core requirements we could require that they have two years (or whatever) in history but then not specify which history unless they are indecisive about it and allow them to pick the field that they want to go into, trig over geometry, etc. Based upon their interests.. This could be risky at the same time though because they might get boxed in before they can explore all of their options.

We should all teach those subjects that are in our expertise, but how will we address the things that we don't know? I am inclined to just have whoever the child approaches go down to the library or whatever and find out, but it's not like we can Force anybody to do that, and who will it fall to if the person doesn't feel like or have the capacity to address it? Should we then relate it to the closest area of expertise and have them pursue it? Or should it just be a monthly switch type scenario, so kind of like jury duty where everybody has to serve their time on the bench (or in this case in the library halls).

Anyway, I'm just throwing that out there...

Apr. 19th, 2008


atumnnn

Politics and Philosophy

We learned about Socrates in class today, and it made me curious, what is your guy's idea of an ideal society, and who do you think should be some of our major philosophical influences? Also, do you think that we should require the kids at the commune to learn philosophy or should that just be something that is answered when asked about or brought up in casual conversation? I dunno, I just think that it would be something to definately sit down and discuss, because I'm not sure of my own idea of an ideal society let alone you guys and it would be nice I think to collaborate where we can and make each other aware of the minor disagreements early on rather than later.  

Apr. 6th, 2008


atumnnn

Possible interns, or just reading material

I just got done watching Garbage Warrior, and I am overcome by the fact that it took him three years just to get American congress to allow him to build on his own paid for ten acre plot new and potentially sustainable ideas. Michael Reynolds is kooky, and pretty certain that he's been on acid trips more than once, but he seems insanely intelligent, and has some really good ideas, that would cut out the need for heat in hotter areas (he works mainly in New Mexico, but it still works in the -30 degree winters so I think we should be able to use it) and how to get water without wells in places that get adequete rainfall (umbrella houses :D) as well as earthquake resistant (he worked with 8.9 calliber earthquake in mind) He works with almost completely recycled products, and uses solar and wind power to make up for the losses. So perhaps since he is already battling there, we should consider at least starting in New Mexico if we have trouble on the legislation front. If not, then it is Definately something to look into. 

http://www.earthship.net/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=17

So check it out. If I was going into architecture (excuse me, biotecture) I would do it in a heartbeat.   

I guess this is just an expansion on Jess's post, but seriously, this stuff is the shit

Mar. 24th, 2008


avatar_sitar

Seed Exchange and Sustainable Growing

 I know I was supposed to post about my forte, sustainable building and materials, but I ended up side tracked and decided since I know about this wonderful lady already, I should post about her.

 If anyone doesn't know about her already, she's Dr. Vandana Shiva who started the Navdanya or Seed Sovereignty project. 

Originally the man who pioneered the effort to make genetically modified crops immune from relative disease and produce more crops in less space had a very good idea in mind, he was putting his money and time into an effort so that essentially, no one would have a reason to go hungry in the world. One of the major countries of his focus was India, specifically the southern and arid central regions where crop fragility is a matter of life or death. 
 Unfortunately, when he presented his research and project to a larger ring of companies and science firms with private interests, these bioengineered crops became essentially the modern equivilent of 'seed sharecropping'. They still use his name whenever someone interviews about the projects, but unfortunately now many of those he set out to help are in an even worse state of affairs as they are binded to the seed companies, because these are not perrenials they are selling, but something you have to buy year after year. This is the major fall out and downside to a rather good idea, that has been corrupted by money interests along the way.

 Navdanya is a brilliant example of trying to preserve the plants and crops which have been a staple of people, specifically in India, and are not in the same state of fragile affairs as bioengineered super crops. Meaning, there is a preservation of the reliable biodiversity of crops for growers in need.

http://www.navdanya.org/earthdcracy/seed/index.htm

Check out the site, it is definately worth a look! They are also concerned about the sovereignty of water, land and food resources. 

I think in making our sustainable community, we should definately look into any local or even international groups that are part of either a seed bank or seed exchange, since I believe one of our ultimate goals is to protect the well fair of the plants that help us as humans out (and have been for thousands of years!). 

Also, as a daughter of a conscious and science-focused farm boy (grandparents joined up in the 'back to the land' movement of the 1970's, but farming freerange or 'old school style' has been a family heritage), with a bit of pointing and explanation at the pros and cons of bioengineering, I think it's safe to say we should all have a peek at what we'd be growing and ultimately putting into our bellies and the earth. 


I know, weird writing style, Autumn and Rachel, but I'm thinking ahead when it's just not the three of us ladies.

Mar. 19th, 2008


atumnnn

Dishes

Yay for clay! Depending on where we go, it should be fairly easy to locate an area with usable clay. http://www.goshen.edu/art/DeptPgs/rework.html shows you how to make the stuff once you get it, and even how to fire it without a kiln, yaaaaaay! So now all we need are wheels, and someone that can make things other than vases and plates (don't know why I can make a vase but not a coffee cup, but we'll cross that bridge when we get to it...)

Also, do you have any idea how much electricity a sewing machine takes? Would it be comparable to a tv, no I have no idea how you would know that, but I just thought I'd throw it out there. Also, we should figure out how to spin our own stuff.

On a completely unrelated note, and admittedly somehting that I probably should have put into my general journal, but decided that it fits here too. Watch these, the first one's short, but the second one is amazing. I want a bumper sticker that says "I'm here for Ashley" now. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6z-ZXiwDkkg and http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrp-v2tHaDo&feature=related

Mar. 18th, 2008


atumnnn

Green TV

Monday's from 8pm onward are green nights on I believe Home network, I don't know, that channel with trading spaces on it all the time ;)   

Mar. 16th, 2008

sadtrapofgravit

(no subject)

So... Atumnnn wanted us to post...... So posting am I.

-There was an article in the NY times the other day about young organic farmers that I read at work tonight. It wasn't super informative (it was found in the 'style' pages, so how much info can you expect). Basically, it talked about how a lot of urbanites are discovering farmers markets during their university years, and then starting farms/community gardens/etc after school.

-I want to find these people that ran the show at the Port Townsend farmers market last summer... I think they were called Frog Hill Farm. Not entirely sure, but they were on Whidbey Island somewhere...
Anyway.
I think (if I remember correctly) it was a couple, and they would purchase a farm and live there for a few years, fixing it up and getting it geared towards organic farming, and then they'd move on to do the same thing elsewhere.
I think..
((don't quote me on it, but something like that might be fun. at least for me... I know Autumn is a one-farm kind of lady, but.... :P ))

-We need to keep in mind that the likelihood of our farm/commune/thing becoming -entirely- self-sufficient within a few years is very slim. And getting out of the capitalist system is going to take a lifetime. At least... it looks that way.
Just to keep in mind (past the magical 2 years)

-I like the bread layout.

.......

Dunno what else to say.

Will post if I come up with anything else (unlikely).

Mar. 11th, 2008


atumnnn

Theme

Hey, which background does everyone want to use? I don't want to use any backgrounds that have already been taken by one of us, and I think that it should be nature/animal related 

Oh, and one of you has to post something, so that I don't look like a complete and total boggart... Just thought I'd throw that out there. How's the reading going? Any other thoughts, etc. ;)

Mar. 8th, 2008


atumnnn

Let's promise never to turn out like this...

It would seem that, at least in the instance of the people that made things what they were, everything falls apart without me.
I come back here and what do I find?
Nothing.

Not a god damn thing.

Not since Halloween of '06. Am I really the only thing that kept the loosely woven threads of the commune together? Am I really the only one that gives a shit about any of you?
Because you fuckers sure as hell don't seem to give a shit about each other.

Maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps there are massive messages and phone calls flying back and forth and I'm the odd one out 'cause I was/am/always will be such an ass.

But somehow...
and, again, I could be wrong about this,
I doubt it.

Fuck it.
I tried.

I gave you a playground.
But apparently playing with your respective selves was more fun to you all than playing with each other.
Man...
That probably speaks volumes about all of your social/love lives.

So,
In closing,
I've but one thing to say:
Fuck all of you.

sincerely yours,
jason 

Mar. 7th, 2008


atumnnn

As to Money...

I propose that for the first two years or so (and we will hold a conference on the matter at the end of the two years or whenever someone feels it is necessary to do so to determine if things are able to be changed yet) all of the earned funds from outside jobs gleaned from members must be contributed to a central pot. This central pot will be spent on only what the community deams to be essential items, and a conference will be held to determine how much money will be spent where. Someone should be in charge of keeping track of books and things to be presented in front of the community conference. I further propose that this money be placed in a multiple lock box, where everyone has a key and the box cannot be opened unless everyone unlocks their paticular lock with their paticular key. 

After that, a percentage of funds will be determined that is needed for a nest egg, seeds, further construction when needed, and emergency food supplies both of the human and animal variety; the rest of their funds can go towards whatever they choose for them to go towards, and/or they may choose to quit their jobs and devote all of their time to the farm

As to the issue of needing to leave the community for whatever reason, I feel that the person needs to have stayed there for at least a year and have given at least a month's warning to be entitled to any kind of monetary reimbursement. I propose 3,000 dollars to help get them started on their new life, but this would be fully dependent upon available funds (ie the community cannot be caused to fail because one person wants their 3,000 bucks) and a meeting will be held upon their notice discussing what the community can afford to give, and what the person needs depending on circumstances.

Rachel and I discussed the possibility of, after we are up and running (after the two years), allowing internships or possibly just students needing affordable housing while going to school to contribute labor towards free room and board. All violators of set expectations will be kicked out immediately. Let me just stress the importance of beginning a farm in a university community, since that will allow us to be in the boondocks for land, but not be completely disconnected from everybody. We would still have parks, activity centers, community centers, clubs, theater, etc. to go to, not to mention libraries for internet access and resources, and the agricultural department at the college for emergency questions. In fact, I would even go so far as encouraging contributing to local charities to foster good feelings towards the commune within the greater community. 

Chores are important. Everyone, obviously will be expected to contribute in the large chores (harvesting, feeding animals, caring for plants, caring for the house, building, etc.) but for the little ones such as taking out the trash where it is both impossible and ridiculous to expect five people to help carry it out, there should be chore chart/wheel that everyone agrees upon, so that nobody gets stuck one chore (cooking, dishes, bathrooms, etc.) ALL of the time. If everyone agrees on it, and it is a regular and fair rotation, there should be no problems with it. 

Education is the single-most important thing to our community. Everyone should have a general knowledge about everything that the community endeavors to do for both practical reasons (someone leaving the community, more hands to help) and to avoid any kind of resentment between members through both snobby feelings of superiority and/or feeling like you are being taken advantage of. That being said, there should be regent expert for everything. For example, I am going into livestock veterinary, and will have my degree and interning on farms before we start this up, and so I will be the "go-to-gal" for livestock in case anything comes up, at least when it comes to health issues, people with practical farm experience may be more informed than me on many aspects of it. Life experience is much more valuable than book experience. That just brings up the point that there can be multiple experts on one thing within the community. 

Any thoughts or additions?

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