Re: NW Coast Model
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jim Linder <jimbo435@y...>
> --- Brent Charnley <winery@l...> wrote:
> I guess the NW Coast model (which is where I live) of extended
> dwellings is sort of what I am thinking at this point.about the NW Coast model of
> Can you provide some resources or details where I can learn more
> extended family dwellings?My reference here is more analagous rather than literal, but as the
villages of this region were: a grouping of large houses usually on a
sheltered beach (access to food and transportation), with as many as
15 houses in one village. Each house would be home to immediate
extended families, which would function as an economic unit; they
would have "rights" to certain river mouths (fishing), shellfish
beds, berry patches, etc.
There are many books about the Haida, Kwa'Kwa, Coast Salish... The
only one that comes to mind right now is "Haida Art" by Goerge
MacDonald (I will check this, it is off the top of my head)which
gives some good back ground to the old Haida interspersed with their
The way I see this as a model is the sharing of resources amoungst a
workable few, yet associated with a larger social and economic
whole. If a home shares child rearing, heating, food gathering and
prep, etc, it is easier work for each member. There is then in
the "village" a larger association for freindships,larger tasks and
shared infastructure, such as transportation, tools, laundry, etc.
I will look for more resources if you are interested.
- --- In email@example.com, Greg Baka
> Recently three different members have expressed ideasWow! I've been away for awhile, partly out of embarassment at having
> for tribal business ideas...
> - Mark and the Rennaisance Faire/Village
> - Nancy and the Permaculture Park
> - goingtribal2001 and the winery (first name?)
> Are you three taking applications yet?
> The question sounds a little goofy (intentionally),
> but is serious. A couple of things come to mind:
> 1) a list like this is probably a good place to find
> potential members who already have a feel for the big
> picture behind the unusual financial arrangements. And
> have "changed minds" to the point where they are
> willing to participate.
> 2) Ideas for actual tribal businesses have been few
> and far between on this list. Now they are popping up
> more often. That's hopeful and amazing.
> 3) Maybe we should start some discussions about how to
> attract members to a cooperative business and how to
> handle the "tribal" sharing of resources.
> So what sort of folks are you three looking for and
> where do we send our applications? :o)
posted what felt, after the fact, to be a wildly inappropriate (and
looooooog) post. So I'm enormously surprised to get any response at
all. I would like to respond to each of the three points you make:
1. While I agree that this list likely contains a large percentage of
people who are open to participating in the unusual financial
arrangement of a tribal business, I'm not so sure it's a good place
to "find potential members" for a specific local enterprise. I'm
just a dreamer here in Austin, TX who attends a fascinating Ishmael
discussion twice monthly. The 12 to 15 regular attendees have
developed a strong bond of affection and several attempts at starting
a tribal business have been made. The desire to "walk away" is
strong. The obstacles seem even stronger. Each individual seems
stuck in some ways in their own financial/employment/housing/family
situation. Designing a situation that meets the needs of all looks
nearly impossible. I haven't given up; I'm just saying it looks
difficult here with people I can talk with face to face. So trying
to create something through cyberspace feels even more difficult.
How do you see this list being useful for networking?
2. I am also pleased that more tribal ideas are appearing.
3. I think discussions about how to handle "tribal sharing of
resources" and all aspects of tribal business would be very useful
because they would be general discussions, rather than an attempt to
create an actual enterprise through the list.
So why did I post, you might ask? I actually haven't a clue!! I
think I was temporarily hypnotised by my dream.
Looking forward to more discussion of things tribal!
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jim Linder <jimbo435@y...>
> Ideas? I got a million of them.A great ideas too! I'd sure love to have you in my tribe!!
>This is just the sort of difficulty I was referring to in my last
> I've been racking my brain for years trying to find a
> way out of pyramid building. With a family though, it
> is hard to take any risks. So a good solid business
> plan is needed with some leeway for mistakes. Can't
> afford to lose the family house and be out on the
> streets because my market saturation was
post. I think a tribal business should begin as an enterprise that
people can participate in part-time while continuing whatever
economic activity they were already engaged in until the tribal
business builds up some economic steam.
>As I recall, you are in the Bay Area. What's the economic climate
> I am a 40 year old guy working in High-Tech
> Manufacturing Supply Chain, who is a fast learner, and
> has a unique gift for thinking out of the box to solve
> problems, or at least find the best possible solution.
> I am willing to start a business as long as we can
> put together a good business plan.
A tribal dreamer,
- --- In email@example.com, s logan
> I think I may have mentioned this before, but twoGreat post, SL. These books are now on my list. Thanks!
> books that might help jump start anybody's brain in
> this area are "555 Ways to Earn Extra Income" and
> "Earning Money Without A Job", both by the business
> author Jay Conrad Levinson. Any number of the ideas
> in both books could be easily modified for a tribal
> group. Levinson suggests taking an inventory of what
> you have (skills, tools, credentials, etc) and
> thinking about ways you can leverage these, providing
> services for others.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Brent Charnley"
> As I don't know how to begin the tribal sharing I invision, I
> I would begin a discussion on elements of tribe. I feel I have alot
> to learn, though I know that with the right commitment, the thinglife
> would be constantly evolving.
> First Element: People
>> The Human element is going to be a learning curve that will be
> difficult. Interpersonal elements, trusting, sharing; not part of
> the Taker's Course on Life. So...one element to work on is how to
> work together. I know I have found a lot I can translate to my
> from Riane Eisner's work, From "the Four Agreements" (forgettingthe
> authurs name) and from Malidoma Soma's writings on tribal life.I like the Four Agreements also as a good start. I agree with you
that learning to work together and trust each other is critical and
difficult because we have no experience in our competitive culture.
But it isn't just a lack of positive skills, we also have a lot of
baggage from ways Taker culture damages us (see The Continuum
Concept, by Jean Liedloff). The best tool I've found for dealing
with that is Re-evaluation Co-counseling. http://www.rc.org/
> One way I have thought about how to get to know people who might be
> interested in a tribal lfe is to have an intern for two years to
> learn the farming, gardening, wine making etc. (example given),
> we talk and get to know each other and by giving it an on theground
> trial. (this works for an operating place like mine)Finding a way to "get to know people" first is critical, I'm
> Other thoughts on creating the commitment and interpersonal part of
> tribal life?
convinced. Your idea may work well for you. My problem with it is
that being an intern seems like something young people do. At age
57, I already know quite a bit about gardening--my particular area of
interest so interning doesn't seem like quite the right way for me to
get to know others.
The only other idea along these lines I've heard is that four to six
people who are considering forming a tribe together should rent a
house for a year and try living together. Or could be a duplex or
apartments--something in easy walking distance of each other.
> Second Element: Sharing Resources
> We are still in the Taker story, and ownership, security, liquidity
> are issues that come up for me. I think that to reduce work load
> get out of building those dang pyramids, we need to shareresources.
> My biggest expenses are: mortagage and interest, insurance (homeand
> health), food and automobile. Sharing some of these (I don'tdirve
> my car 24/7)would spread the cost around.reduce
> Sharing home or land would spread out mortgage costs and could
> them for future generations. One way of sharing ownership is tothe
> incorporate and have the tribal "businesses" own everything, and
> members own the shares. Corporations in this legal system we havego
> on "living" indefinitely. It provides liquidity for members to comeI like all these idea for sharing resources. Getting into such an
> or go.
arrangement comes AFTER the getting-to-know-you part discussed above.
> I am at a point of "taking applications", although in a very
> way. In a different posting I can describe what I am doing and whatEven though I have expressed doubts that I am intern material, I
> kind of folks I am looking for, if there is interst.
would still like to hear what youare doing and what kind of folks you
are looking for.
- --- In email@example.com, "g_baka2002"
> Hi Brent,Hey, Brent and Greg,
> Guess we will try to find a quiet corner to talk in while the
> population storm ("Re: Legitimacy") rages on.
Hope you don't mind if I join your discussion. Great ideas.
>Would you repost the link please so I don't have to hunt it down?
> Checked out your vineyard website. Sounds like a wonderful place.
> An important thing to consider (in my opinion...) is that the word
> TRIBAL does not have to be taken literally. Quinn suggests looking
> the tribal way of life because it works for humans. The idea is toof
> find the elements that make it work for humans and build a new way
> life (a new tribal revolution) around those elements.glad you said this because. . .
> This is an area where I think folks serious about cooperative
> arrangements can also learn a bit from the "Intentional Community"
> folks. Not by copying, but by considering the elements that have
> worked, and those that haven't, to see how they could help a new
> cooperative design. There is a book called "Is It Utopia Yet" by
> Kincade, who was a founder of the Twin Oaks Community, that is fullTwin Oaks Community is "communal", i.e. they have a "common purse."
> of things that did and didn't work for them. And it is a fun read.
My understanding of actual tribal life is that is was/is communal.
But my sense is that, for all the reasons you have been discussing,
jumping right from the Taker world into a communal tribe would be
very challenging. Many intentional communities are not communal but
function more like a traditional village. That's the model that I
feel more comfortable starting with anyway.
> Maybe the primary commitment should be to "earning a living
> instead of "living together"? Looking a long way down the path, itI tend to agree with this. I am part of a fledging tribal venture
> seems that combining the two would be the ultimate goal. But for
> those just starting to walk the path perhaps the load of
> just "earning a living together" is more than enough for now.
here in Austin in which we are just starting a little business
together, hoping it can grow to the point of providing a "living."
The challenges are substantial and enough to deal with for the
moment, although I do wish we lived closer together so that we didn't
have to get in our cars to work together.
> Earning a living cooperatively doesn't have to mean that the onlyphysical
> earnings are $cash$. If a couple joined your group and one of them
> was a great farmer but the other couldn't handle the intense
> work maybe the other member could cook lunch and supper for all theback
> members who would eat communally on the farm. Then they would go
> to their own seperate homes. But think how much they would save onseem
> their grocery bills and how much valuable time they would gain.
> Childcare, errands, home repairs, bookkeeping all could fit this
> model.I like this thinking. It takes account of the value of all human
activity, not just the ones that bring in cash from Taker culture.
> > Sharing home or land would spread out mortgage costs and could
> > reduce them for future generations. One way of sharing ownership
> > is to incorporate and have the tribal "businesses" own everything,
> > and the members own the shares. Corporations in this legal system
> > we have go on "living" indefinitely. It provides liquidity for
> > members to come or go.
> Although corporation has become a dirty word, the legal fiction
> be valuable to a cooperative arrangement. Use what works.I think a corporation is not only valuable but probably necessary.
Many intentional communities are organized this way. I'm just
beginning to learn about the LLC as a possible corporate format.
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, Jim Linder <jimbo435@y...>
> > Other thoughts on creating the commitment and interpersonal partof
> > tribal life?talking about a residential or
> Like i think someone else said, it depends on whether you are
> occupational tribe. Creating a residential tribe is akin togetting married. You all may be on
> your best behavior when forming, but after the honeymoon, you getto see the real people.
Yes! I've thought of this analogy many times. This idea can be
daunting for many because they haven't felt successful in their
primary relationship. But we have to learn the skills for connecting
with other humans if we are going to walk away. Needed is some
interim arrangement where you can get to know each other and practice
being honest and working on your own baggage.
>dang pyramids, we need to share
> > I think that to reduce work load and get out of building those
> resources.clothes, and new cars, and a big
> It all depends on what members need. If folks need the latest
> fancy house, then yes, it will be difficult to get out from underthe Taker pyramid. But if you
> decide what is important to you, and let the rest go, it actuallyis quite easy.
How true and sadly challenging for many to break their addiction to
material goods. We are so spoiled in the US. But, as SL points out
in his posts, declining energy IS our future. Best to get started.
> I always thought this was a great idea. A car coop. Or moterpool. They are trying this in some
> areas here in northern California. You just walk up and take a carthat is available. You can
> book it ahead, or take your chances that one is available. I cansee one with trucks and SUVs,
> for those occasional needs as well. You also need a parking lotwhere members can have access as
> well.I LOVE this idea. If there were a car co-op here in Austin, I would
join in a heartbeat. If my tribal business compatriots lived closer
together here, were could start our own car co-op. Being spread out
brings so many disadvantages!
>with the members that want to
> I really like this idea. The "tribe" owns the land. The issue, is
> leave. Will you buy them out? Or will they forfeit theirinvestment? I haven't quite worked out
> how this can work. i think the leaving member needs to getsomething, or lawsuits could drain the
> tribe dry. On the other hand, if you pay them back, then the tribewould need cash to cover the
> cost of the land. in essence twice the value "just in case"someone wants to leave. It could be
> replenished as new members join, but is still a daunting amount ofmoney.
This is a big issue for intentional communities. A great book on all
aspects of creating these arrangements is Creating a Life Together:
Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and Intentional Communities, by
Diana Leafe Christian.
- --- In email@example.com, "Brent Charnley"
> If you have resources Lisa, I for one would love to see them! I
> get the complete titles and authors names of the books I justI second this. It's very nice of you, Lisa, to offer to do this. I
think the book I mentioned in a recent post belongs on your list:
Creating a Life Together: Practical Tools to Grow Ecovillages and
Intentional Communities by Diana Leafe Christian. She is the editor
of Communities Magazine, another good resource.
> . If the list would like, I would be happy to compile a
> > database of resources---y'all gotta tell me you want me to, and
> > send me contributions and suggestions.
> > Lisa
- --- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Nancy Dennis"
> --- In email@example.com, "g_baka2002"Hey Nancy,
> <g_baka2002@y...> wrote:
> > Hi Brent,
> > Guess we will try to find a quiet corner to talk in while the
> > population storm ("Re: Legitimacy") rages on.
> Hey, Brent and Greg,
> Hope you don't mind if I join your discussion. Great ideas.
Love to have you joining in! Seems you probably have some meaningful
experiences to add in to this discussion.
The web sight for my company is www.lopezislandvineyards.com
> As I recall, you are in the Bay Area. What's the economic climateDepend's who you ask. I think it is just about to improve greatly. The problem is that I now
> like there?
> A tribal dreamer,
realize that no matter how good it gets, there are still some who don't benefit. The good thing
now, is that there is a lot of buildings that have been empty for a few years, so if I started
somethign that needed some space, it is a very good time. Another six months, and I can see it
- Anyone see Wednesday's Ed episode? He was going to move out of town. He owned a bowling alley.
He tried to sell it, but decided instead, to give it to his 3 employees. He tells them that
instead of a steady paycheck, they would simply split the profits 3 ways. Sounds like a Tribal
Venture to me!
- Hi Nancy, Brent, Jim, and everybody,
Great to see that this conversation is still rolling. It's a tough
one for folks to wrap their perspectives around. But a subject that
fits well with internet discussion (mainly because it gives time to
think over the ideas folks come up with).
I've typed some feedback to Nancy's message below...
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Nancy Dennis" wrote:
> Wow! I've been away for awhile, partly out of embarassment at
> having posted what felt, after the fact, to be a wildly
> inappropriate (and looooooog) post. So I'm enormously surprised
> to get any response at all. I would like to respond to each of
> the three points you make:
Please don't be embarassed by an idea you were excited about. New and
different is what we need and is most valuable. My previous career
was designing innovative new products, and I do remember that some
folks do look at you a bit strange when you pull something truly
different and original out of your hat. But the more important
feedback is from the other creative people who recognize the magic
that goes into a creation, and from the grateful folks who wanted and
needed just what you created, but never could have described it to
you. Keep thinking - keep dreaming - keep doing!
> 1. While I agree that this list likely contains a large percentage
> of people who are open to participating in the unusual financial
> arrangement of a tribal business, I'm not so sure it's a good place
> to "find potential members" for a specific local enterprise.
You're right about the "local" part. But some folks are willing to
relocate to have a better shot at living the way they dream about.
> I'm just a dreamer here in Austin, TX who attends a Ishmael
> discussion twice monthly. The 12 to 15 regular attendees have
> developed a bond of affection and several attempts at starting
> a tribal business have been made. The desire to "walk away" is
> strong. The obstacles seem even stronger. Each individual seems
> stuck in some ways in their own financial/employment/housing/family
> situation. Designing a situation that meets the needs of all looks
> nearly impossible.
You make two important points here.
1) The part about being "stuck in a situation" is really important.
Often times it is a very real constraint that folks will not be able
to untangle themselves from, and it will limit their choices. But
some can get "un-stuck" from debt and poor decisions and bad habits -
and being unstuck will allow them the freedom to try new things and
take chances. My family used the "Your Money or Your Life" program to
get us unstuck enough that we can be adventurous. It took us four
years of practicing and building new habits, but it was worth every
2) You said, "Designing a situation that meets the needs of all looks
nearly impossible.". Very insightful and very true. It's a fact well
known to designers. But not being able to create perfection should
not be a roadblock. Each new tribal situation created should meet
whatever needs are feasible based on the desires and the constraints,
and then bring an arrangement to life and let it grow and see what
happens. (This is called prototyping in the design world, and often
results in discovering that the prototype isn't workable and a return
to the drawing board. Unfortunate but useful.)
But what about the folks who just could not be included in the
first arrangement? They would then work on creating an arrangement
that fits their own set of desires and constraints, possibly but not
necessarily pulling new potential members into the mix first.
> I haven't given up; I'm just saying it looks difficult here
> with people I can talk with face to face. So trying to create
> something through cyberspace feels even more difficult.
> How do you see this list being useful for networking?
It's like a pond with special fish - people who have a "changed mind"
and are aware of the potential advantages of a tribal or cooperative
way of making a living. By swimming around in this pond occasionally
we have the potential (however slim) of making connections that could
develop into a tribal combination, whether business or life or both.
Probably best to swim in as many ponds as possible since we are
looking for fish that are currently kind of rare ;o) I look in my
local pond, and the "Your Money or Your Life" / Voluntary Simplicity
ponds, and unschooling and green and intentional community and other
out-of-the-way type ponds. Everybody will have their own collection.
> 3. I think discussions about how to handle "tribal sharing of
> resources" and all aspects of tribal business would be very useful
> because they would be general discussions, rather than an attempt
> to create an actual enterprise through the list.
Yep! I see my "swimming" here as great exercise and education as well
as a chance to find that rare situation. There lots of folks here
with interesting experiences, perspectives and knowledge. And it's
fascinating to see what happens to ideas dropped into this pond -
some cause a feeding frenzy while just sink to the bottom and get
covered by the mud.
Hopefully this discussion of "How to organize a tribal/cooperative
way of making a living" is appetizing to the list. :->
> So why did I post, you might ask? I actually haven't a clue!! I
> think I was temporarily hypnotised by my dream.
> Looking forward to more discussion of things tribal!
Hang on those dreams and please keep sharing,