Date   

Re: A way to get started

Lissa Bengtson
 

Fascinating and exciting.  Thanks for finding this.

Later I want to find out more from your brother that visits Mexico...

Lissa Bengtson
210-627-5940



On Sun, Oct 25, 2020 at 12:23 PM Sharon Villines via groups.io <sharon=sharonvillines.com@groups.io> wrote:
A way to get started and provide affordable housing:

Co-Living Meets Van Life at Kibbo
Kibbo gives your van a place to call home.

https://www.treehugger.com/co-living-meets-van-life-kibbo-5082665

A nice article in Treehugger this week on Kibbo, a co-living community. The focus of this article is van living but:

"Kibbo describes itself as "a co-living company that brings together vanlife, clubhouses in unique locations, and community for a new way to live, work, and explore the West Coast." They are set up as communities where people can share resources, and but theirs is designed to come and go without being tied down to expensive real estate. They rent a van and access to a base camp for washrooms, showers, living room, and more elaborate cooking for $1500 a month.

By building the base camp — this one is pretty primitive — people can bring their own vans and RVs.

My two brothers both live in RVs now for at least part of the year. One goes to Mexico a few months of the winter and the other travels around often staying with their children in Texas or running a food stand at the Iowa Fair in the summer.

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines, Washington DC

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.”   Nelson Mandela







A way to get started

Sharon Villines
 

A way to get started and provide affordable housing:

Co-Living Meets Van Life at Kibbo
Kibbo gives your van a place to call home.

https://www.treehugger.com/co-living-meets-van-life-kibbo-5082665

A nice article in Treehugger this week on Kibbo, a co-living community. The focus of this article is van living but:

"Kibbo describes itself as "a co-living company that brings together vanlife, clubhouses in unique locations, and community for a new way to live, work, and explore the West Coast." They are set up as communities where people can share resources, and but theirs is designed to come and go without being tied down to expensive real estate. They rent a van and access to a base camp for washrooms, showers, living room, and more elaborate cooking for $1500 a month.

By building the base camp — this one is pretty primitive — people can bring their own vans and RVs.

My two brothers both live in RVs now for at least part of the year. One goes to Mexico a few months of the winter and the other travels around often staying with their children in Texas or running a food stand at the Iowa Fair in the summer.

Sharon
———
Sharon Villines, Washington DC

“Overcoming poverty is not a gesture of charity. It is an act of justice.” Nelson Mandela


Re: Press Release: NSF Awards $256,000 to Startup Building Adobe Homes With Drones

Lissa Bengtson
 

So, like mechanical mud daubers?

Lissa

On Sat, Oct 24, 2020 at 3:09 PM maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:

This is great. Such a cute idea. Flying robot adobe builders.


On 10/24/20 10:23 AM, David Oesper via groups.io wrote:

Here's the NSF grant information in case anyone is interested:

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2016502

Dave


Re: Press Release: NSF Awards $256,000 to Startup Building Adobe Homes With Drones

maxeem
 

This is great. Such a cute idea. Flying robot adobe builders.


On 10/24/20 10:23 AM, David Oesper via groups.io wrote:

Here's the NSF grant information in case anyone is interested:

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2016502

Dave


Re: Press Release: NSF Awards $256,000 to Startup Building Adobe Homes With Drones

David Oesper
 

Here's the NSF grant information in case anyone is interested:

https://www.nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2016502

Dave


Press Release: NSF Awards $256,000 to Startup Building Adobe Homes With Drones

David Oesper
 

Wanted to share with you a press release (see attached) from a new company called Terran Robotics that is developing the capability to build adobe homes and other adobe structures at substantially lower cost than traditional construction.

They are looking towards the desert southwest for their first building projects, and Daniel Weddle and I have been discussing their interest in partnering with Mirador Astronomy Village.

Dave


Re: Mirador Astronomy Village Update 10-22-2020

Sharon Villines
 

One piece of advice from Paul Hawken in the classic growing a business is “If you don’t have a million dollars then you can’t make a million dollar mistake.”

I don’t know the size of the account but I’m not sure you need to spend money to either track or safeguard it. Oversight and transparency get a lot done.

I would talk to a money person — maybe a bank VP, CPA, Financial Planner, etc.

Sharon

On Oct 22, 2020, at 2:42 AM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Wanted to give you all an update on where we are currently with the Mirador Astronomy Village project.

#1 We are in the process of forming an LLC whose members/owners would be anyone who invests at least $1000.

We also will have non-member supporters who will have annual dues that are affordable for anyone who wants to support the project.

#2 We are in the process of replacing our “placeholder” website with a new website that will be professionally designed.

I have two “asks” from any of you who would be willing to help us.

#1 We would prefer to have a reputable brokerage firm (or something like that) handling all the investments for Mirador Astronomy Village. During the project phase before land is purchased, we want it to be easy for investors to add or withdraw their funds at any time with no penalty, the point being to increase the comfort level for potential investors. This need not be an interest-bearing account, but we want to make sure that these funds do not lose value, which means FDIC-insurance or something similar. Can you recommend anyone?

#2 We need help building the new website. Anyone have talent in website design? Maxeem and I have already volunteered to help build the new site, but we could use more help (even if just to review or suggest content or structure). Right now, I am working on writing the text for each of the pages, but I could use some help with this task.

Thanks much,

Dave


Mirador Astronomy Village Update 10-22-2020

David Oesper
 

Wanted to give you all an update on where we are currently with the Mirador Astronomy Village project.

#1 We are in the process of forming an LLC whose members/owners would be anyone who invests at least $1000.

We also will have non-member supporters who will have annual dues that are affordable for anyone who wants to support the project.

#2 We are in the process of replacing our “placeholder” website with a new website that will be professionally designed.

I have two “asks” from any of you who would be willing to help us.

#1 We would prefer to have a reputable brokerage firm (or something like that) handling all the investments for Mirador Astronomy Village. During the project phase before land is purchased, we want it to be easy for investors to add or withdraw their funds at any time with no penalty, the point being to increase the comfort level for potential investors. This need not be an interest-bearing account, but we want to make sure that these funds do not lose value, which means FDIC-insurance or something similar. Can you recommend anyone?

#2 We need help building the new website. Anyone have talent in website design? Maxeem and I have already volunteered to help build the new site, but we could use more help (even if just to review or suggest content or structure). Right now, I am working on writing the text for each of the pages, but I could use some help with this task.

Thanks much,

Dave


Re: West Texas Friends of the Night Sky

Lissa Bengtson
 

OK I "liked" the page.  Very nice.

Lissa

On Mon, Oct 19, 2020 at 11:19 PM David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

For any dark-sky communities (like Mirador) considering establishing in West Texas, there is an organization in the process of forming that will be a great ally: the West Texas Friends of the Night Sky.

They have a Facebook page but will soon have their own website and more.

https://www.facebook.com/West-Texas-Friends-of-the-Night-Sky-111757763974809/

This organization is a citizen's group that augments the already substantial efforts by McDonald Observatory and especially by their Dark Skies Initiative Coordinator, Bill Wren.

Exciting developments in the land that is further south than all of New Mexico and Arizona.

Dave


West Texas Friends of the Night Sky

David Oesper
 

For any dark-sky communities (like Mirador) considering establishing in West Texas, there is an organization in the process of forming that will be a great ally: the West Texas Friends of the Night Sky.

They have a Facebook page but will soon have their own website and more.

https://www.facebook.com/West-Texas-Friends-of-the-Night-Sky-111757763974809/

This organization is a citizen's group that augments the already substantial efforts by McDonald Observatory and especially by their Dark Skies Initiative Coordinator, Bill Wren.

Exciting developments in the land that is further south than all of New Mexico and Arizona.

Dave


Re: Consensus Decision Making & a Consensus Community

maxeem
 

I was the animation director and the silly announcer voice when it pans over the audience. Our framerate was really limited at the time for some artificial reason, I think budget? So yeah it's pretty not smooth, but it worked for the time. :)


On 10/2/20 12:12 AM, David Oesper via groups.io wrote:

This video on ranked choice voting is really quite good, Maxeem! Thanks for sharing it. What role did you play in creating it?

Dave


Re: Consensus Decision Making & a Consensus Community

David Oesper
 

This video on ranked choice voting is really quite good, Maxeem! Thanks for sharing it. What role did you play in creating it?

Dave


Re: Consensus Decision Making & a Consensus Community

maxeem
 

Yes, I really like ranked choice! We could do it for lots of things! I actually worked on an animation for FairVote back around 2005-2006!!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Maefwl20Uh0

LOL, it's pretty silly!

On 10/1/20 7:36 AM, Sharon Villines via groups.io wrote:
Nice examples! Our community has a lot of new members and they are all in professional positions — management or making high level decisions. In DC we are in the middle of non-profit and government consulting heaven. BUT this brings with it people who are used to making decisions and getting things done. In trying to maintain inclusive, non-hierarchical decision-making, I’ve realized that more than the process, we need a consensus culture. Operating with a view toward inclusion of everyone’s druthers more than a formal process. People make consensus decisions all the time in everyday life — where to have lunch is a consensus decision.

I’m finding the culture not being shared rather than deciding this decision has to go through a formal meeting discussion and membership decision.

I also find that preferential voting is often faster and just as satisfying for decisions that aren’t policy decisions. There are several methods but one that is increasingly used in elections is instant run-off or ranked choice. Everyone ranks all of the alternatives according to their preference. If there are many options, they might rank their top 5 or whatever. Then ballots are counted for the #1 choice and the bottom option eliminated. The votes for that choice are then redistributed according to their #2 choice. And so on. This way all the votes count and it doesn’t make the election a yes/no exercise. Everyone can see one of their preferences “win”.

Once we spent almost 2 hours in a meeting discussing whether we wanted 2 gates in a newly fenced in corner lot. If we had made short arguments presenting the reasons for 1 and for 2, then done a preference vote, it would have been over in less than 30 minutes. Everyone (almost) wanted 2 gates but didn’t want to be the one who took responsibility for advocating for $750 added to the budget to pay for it. And the person presenting the question loved process. People were trying to respect his desire for full discussion.

Robert’s Rules of order now supports preferential voting as more representative of more member’s decisions than majority voting. It will be used in New York City’s primaries next year. Parliaments around the world also use it. In these huge bodies, consent is not feasible.

Index of the Wikipedia articles on different methods:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferential_voting

Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff voting
https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

Fair Vote is a non-profit that has been supporting Ranked Choice Voting since before anyone knew what it was. Their site includes lists of places in the US and around the world that use it.
https://www.fairvote.org

Sharon



On Oct 1, 2020, at 12:47 AM, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:

That's a lovely analysis!

In my brief experience living 3-4 years in community and studying it about 10 years, consensus takes time. And it can manifest as sociocracy style which is totally amazing and a good goal, or it can manifest as majority rule with additional expectations.

At the Students Coop we did majority rule on decisions and then reversed those decisions when they didn't suit us.

fictional example: So lets say we want more bicycle locks. We voted, 10 to 6 to buy more bicycle locks, and then we did it. Then, the next time a purchase came up, we cited this decision as an argument for or against that purchase. It was in recent memory so it was relevant. So then we voted on different soap. And even though the argument was not in favor of the soap, the minority was for it, we voted in favor of the minority because the minority basically argued that it's a minor experimentation and it won't change the whole policy and the bicycle locks was wise or unwise based on such-and-such events. So the soap showed up and did its thing in some of the bathrooms and then it went away. Next time we looked at the budget we were like "hmm, we spent a bit on frivolous stuff" so next time it was voting for soap or bicycle locks we might say "no, we are not going to do this because as the treasurer let me report how much we have spent on stuff that's only for SOME people, let's scale back on that" so then the next thing, no matter how much we wanted it, or how majority, we felt it was more responsible to not buy a frivolous thing. So that's how it worked. We'd go back and forth by maintaining a culture of open communication. Our approach to "consensus" was a process of majority-rule votes on minor things that gradually gave us enough information to nudge our culture in various directions that over all improved the place. This is a totally fictional representation of the process, and I could give some real world examples but it's just one way we thought about "consensus".

Another co-op visited and said they really admired our meetings because we got them done in 1-2 hours, once every two weeks. Except for the big meetings scheduled thrice a year which could take 3+ hours but those were slightly fun and worth the extra time, for different reasons. They bemoaned their own traditional consensus model because they said the meetings always took longer than three hours and involved a lot of drinking to lubricate the emotional toll on the participants. It was actually harder on them to have the social expectation of perfection, and easier on us to have the social expectation of imperfect "good enough" reached in a continual process. We never called it consensus; we didn't dare conflate it with that meaning. But this style has worked more or less for decades. Luck? Possibly! On the other hand, it sounds close to the design wording:

"Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward."
So, I am in favor of sociocracy and its version of full consensus because it's a way to explain what works to people, it's tested, and I want to believe there will be enough time and patience between all participants. Although I loved working with the "wham bam getter done" model of the Students Coop because it was exciting, I think it will be healthier to use a model of consensus that is tested and used to train a wide variety of groups.

Using majority rule in very specific, very rare cases can even be like an "emergency protocol" where consensus has not worked and some "live testing" of a difficult decision feels better to the whole group. Because I think almost any model for people can work as long as it puts people first. But maintaining a vision of "yes, sociocracy works and we should try it" seems like the most wise decision for starting a new community. So I'm eager to get trained in consensus.
My three cents

Max



On 9/30/20 8:17 PM, Sharon Villines via groups.io wrote:
On Sep 28, 2020, at 5:50 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io>
wrote:

Thanks, Sharon. I ordered your book, “We the People” and have received it already!
Let me know what you think of it.


Yanna was very clear about the whole Approve/Stand Aside/Block thing being used in consensus decision-making, though I’m sure she was not extending this to sociocracy. So perhaps there is more than one approach to consensus.
There are various ways in which people label what they do as consensus. What they are often really doing is stepping back from consensus. They limit the basis on which you are allowed to object — your reason has to be based specifically on the mission statement. Or they say everyone consents but 1, or 10%.

Once you do this you are no longer doing consensus — it’s majority vote, or super majority vote. And bound by restrictions that don’t allow the decision-makers to fully evaluate the proposal.

So there are many applications but you have to question if they achieve the objective of fully involving everyone’s knowledge and of ensuring that the decision meets everyone’s needs/desires/goals. It’s an effort to be as inclusive as possible.

The stand asides are not allowed in sociocracy because everyone should take responsibility for the decision. They might consent to move forward because they trust the judgment of others but may not be sure themselves.

“Block” is a favorite word from full-group consensus developed in the 1970s. I think it is a weaponized version of objecting or not agreeing. By accusing someone of “blocking” everyone else is a pretty strong accusation. It’s intimidating. I think it is often meant to be so no one will disagree.

Sociocracy thinks it through a bit more. What is a decision? It’s a plan for moving forward. What do you need to move forward in a productive way? You need everyone on board and able to participate with full support. There are a variety of ways to modify a proposal to address concerns so you have a plan everyone can accept for testing. By implementing it, you get more information so you can modify it to make it better. It’s plan-do-measure results, and then start over again

The proposal should be argued — reasoned arguments given in favor and against. The group has to move forward together — or disband or do nothing. Is it still a group fulfilling a purpose then if it can’t agree how to move forward?

When you think it through certain things don’t make much sense if you want to use consensus as a method for creating a harmonious unified group. Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard Endenburg












Re: Consensus Decision Making & a Consensus Community

Sharon Villines
 

Nice examples! Our community has a lot of new members and they are all in professional positions — management or making high level decisions. In DC we are in the middle of non-profit and government consulting heaven. BUT this brings with it people who are used to making decisions and getting things done. In trying to maintain inclusive, non-hierarchical decision-making, I’ve realized that more than the process, we need a consensus culture. Operating with a view toward inclusion of everyone’s druthers more than a formal process. People make consensus decisions all the time in everyday life — where to have lunch is a consensus decision.

I’m finding the culture not being shared rather than deciding this decision has to go through a formal meeting discussion and membership decision.

I also find that preferential voting is often faster and just as satisfying for decisions that aren’t policy decisions. There are several methods but one that is increasingly used in elections is instant run-off or ranked choice. Everyone ranks all of the alternatives according to their preference. If there are many options, they might rank their top 5 or whatever. Then ballots are counted for the #1 choice and the bottom option eliminated. The votes for that choice are then redistributed according to their #2 choice. And so on. This way all the votes count and it doesn’t make the election a yes/no exercise. Everyone can see one of their preferences “win”.

Once we spent almost 2 hours in a meeting discussing whether we wanted 2 gates in a newly fenced in corner lot. If we had made short arguments presenting the reasons for 1 and for 2, then done a preference vote, it would have been over in less than 30 minutes. Everyone (almost) wanted 2 gates but didn’t want to be the one who took responsibility for advocating for $750 added to the budget to pay for it. And the person presenting the question loved process. People were trying to respect his desire for full discussion.

Robert’s Rules of order now supports preferential voting as more representative of more member’s decisions than majority voting. It will be used in New York City’s primaries next year. Parliaments around the world also use it. In these huge bodies, consent is not feasible.

Index of the Wikipedia articles on different methods:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Preferential_voting

Ranked Choice or Instant Runoff voting
https://ballotpedia.org/Ranked-choice_voting_(RCV)

Fair Vote is a non-profit that has been supporting Ranked Choice Voting since before anyone knew what it was. Their site includes lists of places in the US and around the world that use it.
https://www.fairvote.org

Sharon

On Oct 1, 2020, at 12:47 AM, maxeem <maxeem@...> wrote:

That's a lovely analysis!

In my brief experience living 3-4 years in community and studying it about 10 years, consensus takes time. And it can manifest as sociocracy style which is totally amazing and a good goal, or it can manifest as majority rule with additional expectations.

At the Students Coop we did majority rule on decisions and then reversed those decisions when they didn't suit us.

fictional example: So lets say we want more bicycle locks. We voted, 10 to 6 to buy more bicycle locks, and then we did it. Then, the next time a purchase came up, we cited this decision as an argument for or against that purchase. It was in recent memory so it was relevant. So then we voted on different soap. And even though the argument was not in favor of the soap, the minority was for it, we voted in favor of the minority because the minority basically argued that it's a minor experimentation and it won't change the whole policy and the bicycle locks was wise or unwise based on such-and-such events. So the soap showed up and did its thing in some of the bathrooms and then it went away. Next time we looked at the budget we were like "hmm, we spent a bit on frivolous stuff" so next time it was voting for soap or bicycle locks we might say "no, we are not going to do this because as the treasurer let me report how much we have spent on stuff that's only for SOME people, let's scale back on that" so then the next thing, no matter how much we wanted it, or how majority, we felt it was more responsible to not buy a frivolous thing. So that's how it worked. We'd go back and forth by maintaining a culture of open communication. Our approach to "consensus" was a process of majority-rule votes on minor things that gradually gave us enough information to nudge our culture in various directions that over all improved the place. This is a totally fictional representation of the process, and I could give some real world examples but it's just one way we thought about "consensus".

Another co-op visited and said they really admired our meetings because we got them done in 1-2 hours, once every two weeks. Except for the big meetings scheduled thrice a year which could take 3+ hours but those were slightly fun and worth the extra time, for different reasons. They bemoaned their own traditional consensus model because they said the meetings always took longer than three hours and involved a lot of drinking to lubricate the emotional toll on the participants. It was actually harder on them to have the social expectation of perfection, and easier on us to have the social expectation of imperfect "good enough" reached in a continual process. We never called it consensus; we didn't dare conflate it with that meaning. But this style has worked more or less for decades. Luck? Possibly! On the other hand, it sounds close to the design wording:

"Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward."
So, I am in favor of sociocracy and its version of full consensus because it's a way to explain what works to people, it's tested, and I want to believe there will be enough time and patience between all participants. Although I loved working with the "wham bam getter done" model of the Students Coop because it was exciting, I think it will be healthier to use a model of consensus that is tested and used to train a wide variety of groups.

Using majority rule in very specific, very rare cases can even be like an "emergency protocol" where consensus has not worked and some "live testing" of a difficult decision feels better to the whole group. Because I think almost any model for people can work as long as it puts people first. But maintaining a vision of "yes, sociocracy works and we should try it" seems like the most wise decision for starting a new community. So I'm eager to get trained in consensus.
My three cents

Max



On 9/30/20 8:17 PM, Sharon Villines via groups.io wrote:
On Sep 28, 2020, at 5:50 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io>
wrote:

Thanks, Sharon. I ordered your book, “We the People” and have received it already!
Let me know what you think of it.


Yanna was very clear about the whole Approve/Stand Aside/Block thing being used in consensus decision-making, though I’m sure she was not extending this to sociocracy. So perhaps there is more than one approach to consensus.
There are various ways in which people label what they do as consensus. What they are often really doing is stepping back from consensus. They limit the basis on which you are allowed to object — your reason has to be based specifically on the mission statement. Or they say everyone consents but 1, or 10%.

Once you do this you are no longer doing consensus — it’s majority vote, or super majority vote. And bound by restrictions that don’t allow the decision-makers to fully evaluate the proposal.

So there are many applications but you have to question if they achieve the objective of fully involving everyone’s knowledge and of ensuring that the decision meets everyone’s needs/desires/goals. It’s an effort to be as inclusive as possible.

The stand asides are not allowed in sociocracy because everyone should take responsibility for the decision. They might consent to move forward because they trust the judgment of others but may not be sure themselves.

“Block” is a favorite word from full-group consensus developed in the 1970s. I think it is a weaponized version of objecting or not agreeing. By accusing someone of “blocking” everyone else is a pretty strong accusation. It’s intimidating. I think it is often meant to be so no one will disagree.

Sociocracy thinks it through a bit more. What is a decision? It’s a plan for moving forward. What do you need to move forward in a productive way? You need everyone on board and able to participate with full support. There are a variety of ways to modify a proposal to address concerns so you have a plan everyone can accept for testing. By implementing it, you get more information so you can modify it to make it better. It’s plan-do-measure results, and then start over again

The proposal should be argued — reasoned arguments given in favor and against. The group has to move forward together — or disband or do nothing. Is it still a group fulfilling a purpose then if it can’t agree how to move forward?

When you think it through certain things don’t make much sense if you want to use consensus as a method for creating a harmonious unified group. Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard Endenburg










Re: Consensus Decision Making & a Consensus Community

maxeem
 

That's a lovely analysis!

In my brief experience living 3-4 years in community and studying it about 10 years, consensus takes time. And it can manifest as sociocracy style which is totally amazing and a good goal, or it can manifest as majority rule with additional expectations.

At the Students Coop we did majority rule on decisions and then reversed those decisions when they didn't suit us.

fictional example: So lets say we want more bicycle locks. We voted, 10 to 6 to buy more bicycle locks, and then we did it. Then, the next time a purchase came up, we cited this decision as an argument for or against that purchase. It was in recent memory so it was relevant. So then we voted on different soap. And even though the argument was not in favor of the soap, the minority was for it, we voted in favor of the minority because the minority basically argued that it's a minor experimentation and it won't change the whole policy and the bicycle locks was wise or unwise based on such-and-such events. So the soap showed up and did its thing in some of the bathrooms and then it went away. Next time we looked at the budget we were like "hmm, we spent a bit on frivolous stuff" so next time it was voting for soap or bicycle locks we might say "no, we are not going to do this because as the treasurer let me report how much we have spent on stuff that's only for SOME people, let's scale back on that" so then the next thing, no matter how much we wanted it, or how majority, we felt it was more responsible to not buy a frivolous thing. So that's how it worked. We'd go back and forth by maintaining a culture of open communication. Our approach to "consensus" was a process of majority-rule votes on minor things that gradually gave us enough information to nudge our culture in various directions that over all improved the place. This is a totally fictional representation of the process, and I could give some real world examples but it's just one way we thought about "consensus".

Another co-op visited and said they really admired our meetings because we got them done in 1-2 hours, once every two weeks. Except for the big meetings scheduled thrice a year which could take 3+ hours but those were slightly fun and worth the extra time, for different reasons. They bemoaned their own traditional consensus model because they said the meetings always took longer than three hours and involved a lot of drinking to lubricate the emotional toll on the participants. It was actually harder on them to have the social expectation of perfection, and easier on us to have the social expectation of imperfect "good enough" reached in a continual process. We never called it consensus; we didn't dare conflate it with that meaning. But this style has worked more or less for decades. Luck? Possibly! On the other hand, it sounds close to the design wording:

"Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward."

So, I am in favor of sociocracy and its version of full consensus because it's a way to explain what works to people, it's tested, and I want to believe there will be enough time and patience between all participants. Although I loved working with the "wham bam getter done" model of the Students Coop because it was exciting, I think it will be healthier to use a model of consensus that is tested and used to train a wide variety of groups.

Using majority rule in very specific, very rare cases can even be like an "emergency protocol" where consensus has not worked and some "live testing" of a difficult decision feels better to the whole group. Because I think almost any model for people can work as long as it puts people first. But maintaining a vision of "yes, sociocracy works and we should try it" seems like the most wise decision for starting a new community. So I'm eager to get trained in consensus.

My three cents

Max


On 9/30/20 8:17 PM, Sharon Villines via groups.io wrote:
On Sep 28, 2020, at 5:50 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper@...> wrote:

Thanks, Sharon. I ordered your book, “We the People” and have received it already!
Let me know what you think of it.

 Yanna was very clear about the whole Approve/Stand Aside/Block thing being used in consensus decision-making, though I’m sure she was not extending this to sociocracy. So perhaps there is more than one approach to consensus.
There are various ways in which people label what they do as consensus. What they are often really doing is stepping back from consensus. They limit the basis on which you are allowed to object — your reason has to be based specifically on the mission statement. Or they say everyone consents but 1, or 10%.

Once you do this you are no longer doing consensus — it’s majority vote, or super majority vote. And bound by restrictions that don’t allow the decision-makers to fully evaluate the proposal. 

So there are many applications but you have to question if they achieve the objective of fully involving everyone’s knowledge and of ensuring that the decision meets everyone’s needs/desires/goals. It’s an effort to be as inclusive as possible.

The stand asides are not allowed in sociocracy because everyone should take responsibility for the decision. They might consent to move forward because they trust the judgment of others but may not be sure themselves. 

“Block” is a favorite word from full-group consensus developed in the 1970s. I think it is a weaponized version of objecting or not agreeing. By accusing someone of “blocking” everyone else is a pretty strong accusation. It’s intimidating. I think it is often meant to be so no one will disagree.

Sociocracy thinks it through a bit more. What is a decision? It’s a plan for moving forward. What do you need to move forward in a productive way? You need everyone on board and able to participate with full support. There are a variety  of ways to modify a proposal to address concerns so you have a plan everyone can accept for testing. By implementing it, you get more information so you can modify it to make it better. It’s plan-do-measure results, and then start over again

The proposal should be argued — reasoned arguments given in favor and against. The group has to move forward together — or disband or do nothing. Is it still a group fulfilling a purpose then if it can’t agree how to move forward?

When you think it through certain things don’t make much sense if you want to use consensus as a method for creating a harmonious unified group. Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward.

Sharon
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Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard Endenburg










Re: Consensus Decision Making & a Consensus Community

Sharon Villines
 

On Sep 28, 2020, at 5:50 PM, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Thanks, Sharon. I ordered your book, “We the People” and have received it already!
Let me know what you think of it.

Yanna was very clear about the whole Approve/Stand Aside/Block thing being used in consensus decision-making, though I’m sure she was not extending this to sociocracy. So perhaps there is more than one approach to consensus.
There are various ways in which people label what they do as consensus. What they are often really doing is stepping back from consensus. They limit the basis on which you are allowed to object — your reason has to be based specifically on the mission statement. Or they say everyone consents but 1, or 10%.

Once you do this you are no longer doing consensus — it’s majority vote, or super majority vote. And bound by restrictions that don’t allow the decision-makers to fully evaluate the proposal.

So there are many applications but you have to question if they achieve the objective of fully involving everyone’s knowledge and of ensuring that the decision meets everyone’s needs/desires/goals. It’s an effort to be as inclusive as possible.

The stand asides are not allowed in sociocracy because everyone should take responsibility for the decision. They might consent to move forward because they trust the judgment of others but may not be sure themselves.

“Block” is a favorite word from full-group consensus developed in the 1970s. I think it is a weaponized version of objecting or not agreeing. By accusing someone of “blocking” everyone else is a pretty strong accusation. It’s intimidating. I think it is often meant to be so no one will disagree.

Sociocracy thinks it through a bit more. What is a decision? It’s a plan for moving forward. What do you need to move forward in a productive way? You need everyone on board and able to participate with full support. There are a variety of ways to modify a proposal to address concerns so you have a plan everyone can accept for testing. By implementing it, you get more information so you can modify it to make it better. It’s plan-do-measure results, and then start over again

The proposal should be argued — reasoned arguments given in favor and against. The group has to move forward together — or disband or do nothing. Is it still a group fulfilling a purpose then if it can’t agree how to move forward?

When you think it through certain things don’t make much sense if you want to use consensus as a method for creating a harmonious unified group. Not a unanimous group, just happy with a way of moving forward.

Sharon
----
Sharon Villines, Washington DC
"Behavior is determined by the prevailing form of decision making." Gerard Endenburg


Re: Rainwater Harvesting in the Desert

Steve Taylor
 

One of the problems is a lot of water can arrive in a short time, and then that's it for a long period.
You can have a settling tank, with a sort of network of weirs in it, so that sediment falls out before entering the main tank

On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 at 18:59, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Yes, but you then need to periodically clean the holding tank, which I guess can be a pain.

Dave



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Re: Rainwater Harvesting in the Desert

David Oesper
 

Yes, but you then need to periodically clean the holding tank, which I guess can be a pain.

Dave


Re: Rainwater Harvesting in the Desert

Steve Taylor
 

Will it settle out ?

On Wed, 30 Sep 2020 at 18:55, David Oesper via groups.io <oesper=mac.com@groups.io> wrote:

Dust is an ever-present concern in a desert environment, and there can be many days between rain events. Many rain events will be spotty in addition to the occasional gully-washers.

There will be a significant amount of dust buildup on the rainwater harvesting system between rain events. How best to filter out that dust from getting into the water that runs into the holding tank? It would be nice to not have to divert the first water from each rain event for "cleaning" the system.

Dave



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Rainwater Harvesting in the Desert

David Oesper
 

Dust is an ever-present concern in a desert environment, and there can be many days between rain events. Many rain events will be spotty in addition to the occasional gully-washers.

There will be a significant amount of dust buildup on the rainwater harvesting system between rain events. How best to filter out that dust from getting into the water that runs into the holding tank? It would be nice to not have to divert the first water from each rain event for "cleaning" the system.

Dave