Communities are the Answer

[Paxus] So why communities? Isn't it easier for everyone just to have their own place, their own stuff, there own separate lives? And then they can come together when they want. Aren't we trying to build a life which is all about being "at choice"?

It is certainly more convenient to have your own car, bike, washer, drier, refrigerator full of your own food that you share with perhaps just your family or your partner. It is absolutely easier. And it turns out with approaching 7 billion people on the planet, if everyone continues to do this, we will leave a dead planet to our kids.

So assuming we dont want to be that selfish we have a couple of options. The first is we can dramatically reduce our consumption patterns by having less stuff. This seems like a stunningly hard sell to me. The other option is we can share things. It turns out that perhaps 95% of the things you own sit idle 95% of the time. If we can just share things better we can change these numbers dramatically.

Communities are a laboratory for sharing. We look at issues like hoarding and maintenance and level of service. At Twin Oaks we have dramatically reduced the number of cars we have by coordinating shopping everyday, by not commuting (we live and work in the same place) and of course we carpool (and have a system which helps with this. The average group of 100 US Americans have 67 cars, we have 17 and there is still slack in the system for people (like me) who sign up late.

But the real key is that the rich social interactions which are central to community life. What do i mean? Come to the communities conference and find out.