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Re: NW Coast Model

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  • Brent Charnley
    ... family ... about the NW Coast model of ... My reference here is more analagous rather than literal, but as the villages of this region were: a grouping of
    Message 1 of 23 , Nov 2, 2003
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      --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Jim Linder <jimbo435@y...>
      wrote:
      >
      > --- Brent Charnley <winery@l...> wrote:
      >
      > I guess the NW Coast model (which is where I live) of extended
      family
      > dwellings is sort of what I am thinking at this point.
      >
      > Can you provide some resources or details where I can learn more
      about the NW Coast model of
      > extended family dwellings?
      >
      > Jim

      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
      art.

      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.

      Brent
    • Nancy Dennis
      ... 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.
      Message 2 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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        --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Greg Baka
        <g_baka2002@y...> wrote:
        > Recently three different members have expressed ideas
        > 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)
        >
        > Greg

        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:

        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!
        Nancy
      • Nancy Dennis
        ... 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 post. I think a tribal
        Message 3 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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          --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Jim Linder <jimbo435@y...>
          wrote:
          > Ideas? I got a million of them.

          A great ideas too! I'd sure love to have you in my tribe!!

          >
          > 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
          > overestimated.

          This is just the sort of difficulty I was referring to in my last
          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.


          >
          > 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.


          As I recall, you are in the Bay Area. What's the economic climate
          like there?

          A tribal dreamer,
          Nancy
        • Nancy Dennis
          ... Great post, SL. These books are now on my list. Thanks! Nancy
          Message 4 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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            --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, s logan
            <kiddhalgren2003@y...> wrote:
            > I think I may have mentioned this before, but two
            > 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.

            Great post, SL. These books are now on my list. Thanks!

            Nancy
          • Nancy Dennis
            ... thought ... lot ... life ... the ... I like the Four Agreements also as a good start. I agree with you that learning to work together and trust each other
            Message 5 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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              --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Brent Charnley"
              <winery@l...> wrote:
              >
              > As I don't know how to begin the tribal sharing I invision, I
              thought
              > I would begin a discussion on elements of tribe. I feel I have a
              lot
              > to learn, though I know that with the right commitment, the thing
              > 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
              life
              > from Riane Eisner's work, From "the Four Agreements" (forgetting
              the
              > 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),
              while
              > we talk and get to know each other and by giving it an on the
              ground
              > trial. (this works for an operating place like mine)
              >
              > Other thoughts on creating the commitment and interpersonal part of
              > tribal life?

              Finding a way to "get to know people" first is critical, I'm
              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
              and
              > get out of building those dang pyramids, we need to share
              resources.
              > My biggest expenses are: mortagage and interest, insurance (home
              and
              > health), food and automobile. Sharing some of these (I don't
              dirve
              > my car 24/7)would spread the cost around.
              >
              > 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.

              I like all these idea for sharing resources. Getting into such an
              arrangement comes AFTER the getting-to-know-you part discussed above.


              >
              > I am at a point of "taking applications", although in a very
              cautious
              > way. In a different posting I can describe what I am doing and what
              > kind of folks I am looking for, if there is interst.

              Even though I have expressed doubts that I am intern material, I
              would still like to hear what youare doing and what kind of folks you
              are looking for.

              Nancy
            • Nancy Dennis
              ... Hey, Brent and Greg, 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?
              Message 6 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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                --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "g_baka2002"
                <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.

                >
                > Checked out your vineyard website. Sounds like a wonderful place.

                Would you repost the link please so I don't have to hunt it down?
                Thanks.
                >
                > An important thing to consider (in my opinion...) is that the word
                > TRIBAL does not have to be taken literally. Quinn suggests looking
                at
                > the tribal way of life because it works for humans. The idea is to
                > find the elements that make it work for humans and build a new way
                of
                > 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
                Kat
                > Kincade, who was a founder of the Twin Oaks Community, that is full
                > of things that did and didn't work for them. And it is a fun read.

                Twin Oaks Community is "communal", i.e. they have a "common purse."
                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
                together"
                > instead of "living together"? Looking a long way down the path, it
                > 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.

                I tend to agree with this. I am part of a fledging tribal venture
                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 only
                > 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
                physical
                > work maybe the other member could cook lunch and supper for all the
                > members who would eat communally on the farm. Then they would go
                back
                > to their own seperate homes. But think how much they would save on
                > their grocery bills and how much valuable time they would gain.
                > Childcare, errands, home repairs, bookkeeping all could fit this
                seem
                > 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
                could
                > 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.

                Cheers,
                Nancy
              • Nancy Dennis
                ... of ... talking about a residential or ... getting married. You all may be on ... to see the real people. Yes! I ve thought of this analogy many times.
                Message 7 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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                  --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, Jim Linder <jimbo435@y...>
                  wrote:
                  > > Other thoughts on creating the commitment and interpersonal part
                  of
                  > > tribal life?
                  >
                  > Like i think someone else said, it depends on whether you are
                  talking about a residential or
                  > occupational tribe. Creating a residential tribe is akin to
                  getting married. You all may be on
                  > your best behavior when forming, but after the honeymoon, you get
                  to 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.


                  >
                  > > I think that to reduce work load and get out of building those
                  dang pyramids, we need to share
                  > resources.
                  >
                  > It all depends on what members need. If folks need the latest
                  clothes, and new cars, and a big
                  > fancy house, then yes, it will be difficult to get out from under
                  the Taker pyramid. But if you
                  > decide what is important to you, and let the rest go, it actually
                  is 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 moter
                  pool. They are trying this in some
                  > areas here in northern California. You just walk up and take a car
                  that is available. You can
                  > book it ahead, or take your chances that one is available. I can
                  see one with trucks and SUVs,
                  > for those occasional needs as well. You also need a parking lot
                  where 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!

                  >
                  > I really like this idea. The "tribe" owns the land. The issue, is
                  with the members that want to
                  > leave. Will you buy them out? Or will they forfeit their
                  investment? I haven't quite worked out
                  > how this can work. i think the leaving member needs to get
                  something, or lawsuits could drain the
                  > tribe dry. On the other hand, if you pay them back, then the tribe
                  would 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 of
                  money.

                  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.

                  Nancy
                • Nancy Dennis
                  ... will ... I 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
                  Message 8 of 23 , Nov 5, 2003
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                    --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Brent Charnley"
                    <winery@l...> wrote:
                    >
                    > If you have resources Lisa, I for one would love to see them! I
                    will
                    > get the complete titles and authors names of the books I just
                    > mentioned.

                    I 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
                    > then
                    > > send me contributions and suggestions.
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Lisa
                    > >
                    >

                    Cheers,
                    Nancy
                  • Brent Charnley
                    ... Hey Nancy, 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
                    Message 9 of 23 , Nov 6, 2003
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                      --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Nancy Dennis"
                      <nancydancy@h...> wrote:
                      > --- In ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "g_baka2002"
                      > <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.
                      >

                      Hey Nancy,

                      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

                      Cheers,
                      Brent
                    • Jim Linder
                      ... Depend s who you ask. I think it is just about to improve greatly. The problem is that I now realize that no matter how good it gets, there are still
                      Message 10 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
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                        > As I recall, you are in the Bay Area. What's the economic climate
                        > like there?
                        >
                        > A tribal dreamer,
                        > Nancy

                        Depend's who you ask. I think it is just about to improve greatly. The problem is that I now
                        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
                        tightening up.

                        Jim
                      • Jim Linder
                        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
                        Message 11 of 23 , Nov 7, 2003
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                          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!

                          Jim
                        • g_baka2002
                          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
                          Message 12 of 23 , Nov 8, 2003
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                            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 ishmael_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "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
                            effort.
                            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!
                            > Nancy

                            Hang on those dreams and please keep sharing,

                            Greg
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