SurveyIf a group you trust settled on a remote region in order to create an Utopian society free of the cultural dead weight our current civilization carries, would you join them?
      – BorgClown, 2009-01-28 at 03:22:14   (23 comments)

On 2009-01-28 at 03:22:47, BorgClown wrote...
I would. Someone has to keep an eye on those hippies.
On 2009-01-28 at 03:38:37, Baslisks wrote...
Yes.
On 2009-01-28 at 04:34:54, Baslisks wrote...
I was imagining it. It could take so many forms... I think it would be a micro hermitage. I would love to make my house underground kind of like hobbits. put a garden there and put some nice little sky lights. Put a practice room in the basement. Chest fridge and freezer. Nice soft floor and pillows instead of a couch. Nice big soft bed. Huge bandwidth pipe. good sound system. vegetarian food. Spicy. Warm but with a fall and winter. Good deep steady supply of water. What else?
On 2009-01-28 at 05:51:11, Thelevellers wrote...
A copy of the internet archive so when the rest of the world finally goes tits up you still have a healthy amount of web based entertainment! Personally I LOVE a good sofa, so I'd want one or two... That and some meat is all I'd change.
On 2009-01-28 at 14:47:17, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I think it's pretty difficult to change so drastically. Some people manage to go travelling and become relatively independent (like George, <http://journals.worldnomads.com/george>), but those of us with houses, cars and jobs are often tied to one spot. The biggest issues are (a) how to ensure a secure supply of food, which either requires a lot of reliable crops or some source of income (money) and (b) believing that you'd be able to get along with the group and continue to do so for years to come.
On 2009-01-28 at 17:13:05, Thelevellers wrote...
I think the key to something like that actually working is size - it's got to be a big enough group that, for some of the time at least, you can avoid certain people... Also it means that the load of food production is (or can be) spread, as growing for 100 isn't that much harder than for 10, as long as you have the land and tools...
On 2009-01-28 at 18:43:27, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Ah, but modern agriculture requires expensive machines that need to be maintained - with cash. You couldn't really be independent from the rest of the world with them, and you'd have to work hard without them. The moment you need money, you need to engage in trade, and then you're back to a fairly typical community - even if it's got its own set of rules and ideals.
On 2009-01-28 at 19:18:44, Thelevellers wrote...
You could go Victorian, motors are measured in horse power for a reason... ;) Also, who said anything about modern agriculture? My parents managed a fair degree of self sufficiency using organic and bio-dynamic methods...
On 2009-01-28 at 19:22:33, Thelevellers wrote...
Oh, and in Island the Islanders have a small amount of oil for the few things they didn't produce. Although being lucky enough to have oil is unlikely, there's other options depending on the particular geography of the particular region...
On 2009-01-28 at 20:57:11, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I meant to add that even with general self-sufficiency, you'd still need a backup plan when things go wrong. Perhaps you'd have a drought or flooding, or your crops would suffer from disease or pests. And hopefully you wouldn't be too far from a hospital if you needed one. There's no doubt that you could create a self-sufficient community, but there are also valid reasons why people move into urban centres and cities. It's better to delegate much of the work of your community and reap the benefits of the efficiency which comes from specialisation. As you say, you'd need a big group. Oh, and I'm not convinced that the Internet Archive is particularly useful by itself. A copy of Wikipedia is probably more sensible.
On 2009-01-28 at 21:46:34, Thelevellers wrote...
I was assuming Wiki would be included in the archive... Also, I was thinking of a project big enough for a (small) hospital! I suppose I'm kinda getting fixated on the Island dream and ignoring a certain amount of realism... :S
On 2009-01-28 at 23:15:45, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Well first of all the Internet Archive is hardly small. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_Archive#Wayback_Machine Wikipedia is tiny in comparison, and could be archived on a couple of DVDs. Also, Wikipedia articles should always be relevant and useful whereas the Wayback stuff is more of a curiousity. I guess you're thinking of it as a snapshot of the Internet, but I'd say it's a pretty useless thing by itself - without the real, up-to-date Internet to compare it to.
On 2009-01-29 at 14:02:55, Thelevellers wrote...
I know the way back machine is big (sorry, stupidly huge), but I kinda added that idea from my 'Survive The Apocalypse Plan', so I guess it's not really required for this idea so much... And yes, an up-to-date snapshot is more what I was thinking, there's a LOT of content I have filed in my 'to look at later' folder, and I'm assuming lots more is as yet undiscovered by me, and if the internet was dead or accessible I would miss out on it...
On 2009-01-30 at 02:30:55, BorgClown wrote...
I'd definitely carry Wikipedia, Uncyclopedia, and a weird old thing called Everything2. But who will provide Internet access and computers? I'd like to join that way of life, but I'd miss modern technology a lot. I certainly am an urban person: sleeping under a tree gives me yuck because of the bugs in the dirt.
On 2009-01-30 at 12:24:49, Thelevellers wrote...
This is where my plan (see the apocalypse plan thread for more detail...) shows it's awesome... You basically go SteamPunk! Get windmills, solar, sod it get some training bikes attached to a generator and keep a lot of the mod cons! :) Like I say - with enough people you could do the lot really... The hard part is finding enough people with the 'right' morals and beliefs... :s
On 2009-02-01 at 01:57:48, BorgClown wrote...
There's been a virtual community of this sort in the Free Source Software movement. It's an interesting phenomena that even people which collaborate to reach a laudable goal can get overrun by internal disputes and egotistical issues. The same would happen in that little Utopia, people as we are now are implicitly conflictive.
On 2009-02-01 at 12:57:43, Thelevellers wrote...
Yeah. that's why I say it would have to be a big group. Although once you get to the size where you can somewhat ignore personal issues, you start getting the danger of splinter groups... Benevolent dictatorship FTW! ;)
On 2009-02-02 at 20:11:16, Baslisks wrote...
In reality, wouldn't it be much better to try and improve your own world around you then to try and create a whole separate one? I would feel as if I was wasting time that maybe I could help installing other things.
On 2009-02-02 at 20:22:55, Lee J Haywood wrote...
I'm sure that it'd be better to try to create a Utopia for your own family, rather than a large group. Some people have struck out by themselves (as a family) and gone from modern life to self-sustainability whilst still being able to trade and go to the shops, etc. If you can produce your own power and grow your own food, yet also have a surplus that you can sell, then you'd have it good.
On 2009-02-02 at 21:17:09, Baslisks wrote...
Wouldn't allowing yourself to become sustainable make it easier for everyone else to become sustainable?
On 2009-02-02 at 21:24:05, Lee J Haywood wrote...
Not everyone is cut out for true independence - it generally implies a lot of hard work, but in reality could be an easy life once you get the hang of it and don't have to work constantly. Land and reliability of things like the climate are also an issue. It can be a risky thing to do, in the wrong part of the world.
On 2009-02-02 at 22:34:48, Baslisks wrote...
Meh I wouldn't want to be truly independent anyways. I like my music. I wouldn't mind having a day job doing drafting at home or design consultation. Saxophones are expensive as hell.
On 2009-02-03 at 19:57:06, Thelevellers wrote...
I think my definition of independant differs here - I just mean it to say 'I don't NEED anyone else to survive', i.e. if there are other people around, I'll be trading and interacting with them... So yeah, part time work, or a side project to get some 'real' money in, so that you can enjoy modern life still would be part of my plan if doing it now... But that's (possibly) where the big group thing comes in, you might get someone useful like my dad involved, he is a musical instrument repairer, and can build a lot from scratch to if needs be. Sadly brass instruments aren't his thing, but they are SOMEONE'S thing! I think realistically you're right - staying and making your immediate surroundings is both more likely, and a 'better' thing to do. It just wouldn't be quite as cool...