What Makes OpenVillage Houses Different?

Different than, say, a live/work space with the addition of a kind of BnB timeshare.  Or different from a big house full of eco workers or hackers or any number of cohabitating cohorts.

Maybe nothing. Maybe everything.  It depends on what comes out of doing it.  And that’s the point.

What I see is opportunity.   Your own ideas or projects in pursuit of helping the common good might just find the synergies at the Reef that get it off the ground.  And from that might come more of the same.  All of it driven by the extra energy that comes from living well together.

But of course it is months away and still hardly even virtual, let alone actual.  It is still figuring out what it wants to be.  My friend Howard Rheingold used to have this signature tag file at the WELL that said “what it is is up to us.” That was his way of expressing the spirit that propelled The WELL to its breakthroughs in showing what online community could really mean to people.  And so it is here.  At least to me.

So I don’t see it as an “arrangement.”  I see it as a journey.  An adventure.  A great time in service of the common good.

Easy?  Nope.

Maybe a kind of invocation is apropos at this point.  Or at least the chance to offer a great quote.  Here is Joseph Campbell describing the Hero’s Adventure:

“Furthermore we have not even to risk the adventure alone, for the heroes of all time have gone before us.  The labyrinth is thoroughly known.  We have only to follow the thread of the hero path, and where we had thought to find an abomination, we find a god.  And where we had thought to slay another, we slay ourselves.  Where we had thought to travel outward, we will come to the center of of our own existence.  And where we had thought to be alone, we will be with all the world.”


An arrangement and a journey

I think it can be both… also think you might like this :slight_smile:

Retired women build their own co-housing community in north London, 26 of them!


I had seen that link somewhere, meant to get to it.

Very nicely Said @johncoate Ever since I have hoped of Opening Open Village House Kathmandu, there has been lots of ideas on how to make it distinct with all the co-working spaces and hostels here. Well, there is everything unique about Open Village House Kathmandu like having own roaster, sharing kitchen, people from different world coming together but to make it work is a big question, I am very focused on long term planning of it.

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Here is a longish quote from a New Yorker article called “How Civilization Started” that contains much food for thought in considering how a group of REEF-minded people might cohabitate successfully…

"The news here is that the lives of most of our progenitors were better than we think. We’re flattering ourselves by believing that their existence was so grim and that our modern, civilized one is, by comparison, so great. Still, we are where we are, and we live the way we live, and it’s possible to wonder whether any of this illuminating knowledge about our hunter-gatherer ancestors can be useful to us. Suzman wonders the same thing. He discusses John Maynard Keynes’s famous 1930 essay “The Economic Possibilities for Our Grandchildren.” Keynes speculated that if the world continued to get richer we would naturally end up enjoying a high standard of living while doing much less work. He thought that “the economic problem” of having enough to live on would be solved, and “the struggle for subsistence” would be over:

‘When the accumulation of wealth is no longer of high social importance, there will be great changes in the code of morals. We shall be able to rid ourselves of many of the pseudo-moral principles which have hag-ridden us for two hundred years, by which we have exalted some of the most distasteful of human qualities into the position of the highest virtues. We shall be able to afford to dare to assess the money-motive at its true value. The love of money as a possession—as distinguished from the love of money as a means to the enjoyments and realities of life—will be recognized for what it is, a somewhat disgusting morbidity, one of those semi-criminal, semi-pathological propensities which one hands over with a shudder to the specialists in mental disease.’

The world has indeed got richer, but any such shift in morals and values is hard to detect. Money and the value system around its acquisition are fully intact. Greed is still good.
The study of hunter-gatherers, who live for the day and do not accumulate surpluses, shows that humanity can live more or less as Keynes suggests. It’s just that we’re choosing not to. A key to that lost or forsworn ability, Suzman suggests, lies in the ferocious egalitarianism of hunter-gatherers. For example, the most valuable thing a hunter can do is come back with meat. Unlike gathered plants, whose proceeds are “not subject to any strict conventions on sharing,” hunted meat is very carefully distributed according to protocol, and the people who eat the meat that is given to them go to great trouble to be rude about it. This ritual is called “insulting the meat,” and it is designed to make sure the hunter doesn’t get above himself and start thinking that he’s better than anyone else. “When a young man kills much meat,” a Bushman told the anthropologist Richard B. Lee, “he comes to think of himself as a chief or a big man, and he thinks of the rest of us as his servants or inferiors. . . . We can’t accept this.” The insults are designed to “cool his heart and make him gentle.” For these hunter-gatherers, Suzman writes, “the sum of individual self-interest and the jealousy that policed it was a fiercely egalitarian society where profitable exchange, hierarchy, and significant material inequality were not tolerated.”

This egalitarian impulse, Suzman suggests, is central to the hunter-gatherer’s ability to live a life that is, on its own terms, affluent, but without abundance, without excess, and without competitive acquisition. The secret ingredient seems to be the positive harnessing of the general human impulse to envy. As he says, “If this kind of egalitarianism is a precondition for us to embrace a post-labor world, then I suspect it may prove a very hard nut to crack.” There’s a lot that we could learn from the oldest extant branch of humanity, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to put the knowledge into effect. A socially positive use of envy—now, that would be a technology almost as useful as fire."

A hard nut to crack. Yes it is. But to not try is to surrender before even beginning.