The Gift Economy in Action

I know the video below is “staged.” But the fact that someone decided to stage it and others wanted to “play” various parts — the bum, the old lady, the frail man, the young woman, the waiter, the hard hat guy, etc. — is (just like) real life!

Hmmm. I wonder if anybody “got paid” for their efforts making this 5 minute video? Wonder if anybody contaminated the freely felt kiss of the gift with the convenient fiction — for those who would rule us — that we are taught to call “money” and to value as “the bottom line” — and, thus, to seek it, above all, by, oddly enough, bottoming out, holding ourselves down, anchored in place, unable to move; just to maintain, accumulate, guard against the encroachment of  “the other.”

The gift, in contrast, is a current that moves freely, wandering, playing, caring, changing, letting go. Keep the energy moving. That’s the key. When we all do that, there’s plenty to go around.

The secret of abundance is flow:   to receive, and let go, over and over again. The more we give, the more we receive, and the greater the number and kind of exchanges between and among us, the more resilient the community, the more connected we feel, the less we need to hold on.

So here’s . . . my gift — to YOU!

Enjoy!

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Bruce Gagnon: “The militarization of everything around us is a spiritual sickness.”

Bruce Gagnon and David Swanson are, at least to me, the two most visible people on the planet to focus on transformation of the war economy as their central abiding passion — would that more people would stop to think about what’s really going on, the abiding evil that powers the U.S. economy, the way these two men do.

Bruce says he lives in Bath, Maine, which is dependent on the MIC (Military Industrial Complex). I live in Bloomington, Indiana, only 40 miles or so from Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, one of the main job creators in this part of the state. Do Hoosiers think about this much? No. Do they ask themselves how much grant money funnelled into various departments of Indiana University is military in source and/or application? I have no idea, but I bet this is a very loaded question. I have close relatives on the east coast who depend totally on the military for their livelihoods in IT, not obviously of course, since their work for ostensibly civilian corporations is compartmentalized to such an extent that they have no idea how their particular technical piece of the puzzle fits into the rest or what the puzzle looks like when done. Why would they want to know? Their jobs are more cushy than most, they pay the bills and then some, put their kids through college and squirrel plenty away for retirement. Then again, who of us doesn’t depend on the militarization of the U.S. economy in some fashion or other?

Think about it. This insane destructiveness that we have descended into as a nation. And why don’t we realize this? Because it would just be too painful! Because the scales would have to fall from our eyes. Besides, it’s other people that we kill and bomb, not us! Oh? When the police in this country get left-over military equipment, use militarized SWAT teams to serve warrants, steal money, shoot civilians’ dogs and even people on occasion; indeed, what in our lives is NOT militarized? When “Homeland Security” can feel up our privates at will and “smart” phones are equipped to spy on our private lives, what “freedom” remains? What happened to us as a people? Where did we go? Onto our screens and other addictions, staring, stumbling towards armaggedon? Entertraining ourselves with horror movies, oblivious under our Halloween zombie masks?

Meanwhile, the Earth changes, she changes. Are we prepared for whatever?

We must wake up, before it’s too late.

Satellites direct all war on the planet. Image: Global Network

Satellites direct all war on the planet. Image: Global Network

Space Technology’s Role in the Corporate Destruction of the Planet

October 28, 2014

by Bruce Gagnon

opednews.com

I live in Bath, Maine where Navy destroyers are built. These ships are outfitted with so-called “missile defense” systems that the Pentagon is today using to help surround Russia and China. Few people in my community, including activists, are interested in where these ships go or what their military mission is. It’s not popular to raise these questions — especially when Bath Iron Works is the largest industrial employer in our state.

In the US today 59% of every federal discretionary tax dollar goes to the Pentagon to fund the cancerous war machine. Our communities have become addicted to military spending as our physical and social infrastructure continues to deteriorate. There is virtually no money for anything else these days as we witness austerity cuts in social programs all around the globe.

The Pentagon says that America’s role under corporate globalization of the world economy will be “security export.” We won’t have conventional jobs making things useful to our communities; instead we will build weapons for endless war and send our kids overseas to die for the oil corporations.

In fact, today weapons are the number one industrial export of the US. And when weapons are your number one industrial export product, what is your global marketing strategy for that product line? What does it say about the soul of our nation that we have to keep selling weapons and killing people in order to provide jobs so workers can feed their families?

In addition to coordinating the Global Network I am a member of Veterans For Peace, and just days ago we completed a low-tech 125-mile walk across parts of our state that we called Walk for Peace & a Sustainable Future. Increasingly, the only real job investment money coming into Maine (and across the nation) from the federal government is for military weapons production. Now, nearly 10% of Maine’s economy is reliant on weapons contracts.

We began the walk up in the beautiful mountain and lakes region called Rangeley where the Pentagon’s ‘Missile Defense Agency’ is considering putting up to 60 so-called ‘missile defense interceptors,’ which, in fact, are key elements in US first-strike attack planning and are aimed at Russia and China. Narrow, winding roads would have to be bulldozed and widened and huge holes would have to be blasted into the mountains in order to insert the missile silos. Toxic rocket fuel would be trucked in and stored — the same rocket fuel that is now contaminating water sources in 22 states across the nation. The whole plan would be an environmental disaster and would cost taxpayers more than $4 billion.

This program is an important illustration of how the nation increasingly puts blind faith in space technology to fight modern wars.

Come to find out the Pentagon didn’t want this expensive program, but pressure on Congress from the Boeing Corporation forced it to go forward with an environmental impact statement process and public hearings in four states (including Maine) to select an ‘east coast deployment’ site for the missile defense base.

Another major weapons program being built that the Pentagon did not actually want is also in Bath, Maine. General Dynamics Corporation owns Bath Iron Works where destroyers for the Navy are built. The standard destroyers cost $1.5 billion each and are outfitted with another version of these ‘missile defense’ interceptor missiles — which have had much success in their testing program. But after Obama became president he forced the Pentagon to build the new high-tech ‘stealth’ destroyer called the Zumwalt the job of which is to sneak up on China and blast it with electro-magnetic rail guns and other weapons systems. This is part of Obama’s ‘pivot’ of 60% of US military forces into the Asia-Pacific to provocatively confront and control China.

As it turns out the majority stockholders in General Dynamics are the Crown family in Chicago who helped Obama get elected to the presidency. So he owed them, and the new Zumwalt stealth destroyer, at a cost to taxpayers of between 4 and 6 billion dollars per copy, is their reward.

As part of the US pivot to China the Pentagon needs more airfields for warplanes, barracks for troops, and ports of call for the warships being re-deployed into the Asia-Pacific. So in places like Jeju Island, South Korea we see a 500-year-old farming and fishing culture being torn apart and UNESCO-recognized world- heritage soft coral reefs just offshore being destroyed as a naval base is being built for US nuclear subs, aircraft carriers and the destroyers made in my hometown of Bath.

Endangered coral reefs in the Philippines, Australia, Hawaii, Okinawa, and other places are similarly being severely impacted by US military expansion across the region. The Global Network is working hard to build international support for the local struggles against US military devastation of the environment and way of life of these communities.

The Pentagon has the largest carbon boot print on the planet” but sadly, there is little acknowledgement of that fact by most climate change groups, which well illustrates the “off limits” nature of the growing military domination of our society.

Some environmental leaders have told me over the years that they don’t want to negatively impact their ‘positive working relationship’ with Democrats in Congress by taking on the more controversial military issues, which most Democrats fully support because they bring jobs to their districts.

We have become an occupied nation. The corporate oligarchy that runs the show in Washington uses space-based technologies to spy on us and to direct all warfare on the planet. In a way, you could call today’s expensive military satellites the “triggers” that make the high-tech weapons like drones and missiles work. These satellites allow the military to see everything, hear everything, and to target virtually every place on the planet.

The military industrial complex has become the primary resource-extraction service for corporate capitalism and is preparing future generations for its dead end street of endless war.

In the US, approximately 40% of all scientists, engineers and technical professionals currently work in the military sector. This is a colossal waste of talent and intellectual resources as we face the coming reality of climate change.

Due to the fiscal crisis across the nation, engineering, computer science, mathematics, astronomy, and chemistry departments in colleges and universities have become increasingly dependent on Pentagon funding. We are sold the line that high-tech robotic war will save American lives and will be a cheaper way to fight.

One key reason for the militarization of space is resource extraction on the planetary bodies. The aerospace industry says they need nuclear power in space for mining the sky. International space law is now being re-written to allow corporate control of the planetary bodies. The plan is to scrap the United Nations Moon and Outer Space Treaties.

Rovers on Mars are powered with plutonium-238. I organized campaigns to oppose nuclear launches in 1989, 1990, and 1997. Space entrepreneur Elon Musk says we must move our civilization to Mars. The Mars Society says the Earth “is a rotting, stinking, dieing planet” and that we have to move to Mars. Imagine how much money that would cost?

The militarization of everything around us is a spiritual sickness. Lakota holy man Lame Deer talked about the green frog skin — the dollar bill — and how the white man was blinded by his love for the paper money. His spiritual connection to Mother Earth was broken.

In 1877, the great Lakota warrior Crazy Horse was brought onto the reservation in South Dakota as the Indian wars came to an end. Along with the end of the Civil War just 12 years earlier the military industrial complex at the time saw an end to its massive war profits. It needed an enemy to keep the military production lines humming. So a strategy was developed: Journalists and artists were paid to fabricate stories about Crazy Horse breaking out of the reservation and going back on the warpath killing innocent white children, raping white women, and burning their houses to the ground. These stories were printed in major papers across the nation and the American people were afraid and outraged. Congress swung into action and appropriated more money for weapons production, while Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull sat inside their tepees on the reservation without a gun to their names.

Similarly in our times we’ve seen the military industrial complex fabricate stories about ‘weapons of mass destruction’ in Iraq, and today we see ISIS (which was trained, armed, funded and directed by the CIA and Saudi Arabia) as the justification for the US to get back into Iraq and bomb Syria.

Studies by the economics department at UMASS-Amherst show that military spending creates the fewest jobs — while spending on solar, rail, wind turbines, education, health care, or repairing sewer and water systems and our roads and bridges creates more jobs with the same amount of money.

Abolitionist Frederick Douglas reminded us that power concedes nothing without a demand. When it comes to our current evil economic system, called militarism, we should be talking about its conversion and the jobs that would result from that transformation.

Good jobs can be created byr home weatherization and building rail systems that get us out of our gas guzzling cars. Legions of unemployed workers can be hired to run town and city organic gardens. As we reject our military industrial base we lessen the impact of the war machine on our lives.

Without massive cuts in the Pentagon budget now we cannot kickstart our needed social redirection.

The integration of the economic conversion issue into the existing work of the peace, environmental, labor, and social justice movements could be a transformative strategy that would unify our disparate efforts and provide the despondent American people with a positive vision for the future. We don’t have any time to waste.

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This farmer reframed seed-saving as a commons

The article below inspires us to re-member ourselves by remembering a time before “privatization,” when we humans used to work, grow, live, and play together, on common ground. Sounds good, eh? Well, yes and no. This afternoon, within ten minutes of getting my rake and walking to the front yard with today’s task of harvesting leaves from the tulip tree and hard maple, I was greeted by the noxious, endless noise and fumes of the son of the old man across the street, who, apparently inspired by my work in the yard, decided to get rid of their leaves via the usual industrial solution: leaf blower. Grrrr. The commons of the air we breathe, and especially the sounds we must all hear together, was thus invaded for the duration of my leaf-raking hour. Even now, inside in my back bedroom, though I have closed all the windows, the intrusion remains. 

Needless to say, I had to spend a great deal of time while out there, just absorbing the contradiction between my idealistic desire for the Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage as a commons and the sometimes reality of what that commons can include. Both shadow and light. Both. And to speak to the old man — who limped across to say hello and pet my dog Shadow — about the intrusion is not appropriate, and maybe not even possible!. He long ago lost most of his hearing. Guess why? All summer long, every four or five days he’s on his extremely loud mowing machine, and in the autumn, his son has now taken over with the dratted leaf mower, making sure that large green chemicalized lawn is utterly pristine and never, ever, more than two inches high. 

And yet, and yet. . . . I know with every fiber in me that what the old man longs for is to be a farmer. And when I remember that, when I feel into his reality, I reach the place of compassion.

Seed Saver Inspires Wide-Ranging Economic Renaissance in His Hometown

August 7, 2012

onthecommons via SueM

Here is a small town that thrives on a kind of agribusiness where scale matters, stakeholders collaborate, and, in most cases, ownership has more to do with stewardship than it does with possession. Local, land-­based investment opportunities abound. Community members know each other by name and value civic engagement. Young people who moved away for bigger and “better” opportunities now flock home in droves, seeking jobs and dedicating themselves to community improvement. This town, Hardwick, Vermont, embodies the spirit of the commons in so many ways—but it wouldn’t be that way without the vision and drive of Tom Stearns, an ardent commons advocate and the founder of “High Mowing Organic Seeds”:http://www.highmowingseeds.com/.

Stearns spent his childhood exploring woods adjacent to his family’s property that were conserved by a land trust. “They were my woods,” Stearns used to think, but deep down he knew they were “everybody’s woods.” He had learned that collective ownership meant that no one person had permission to trash the place. So he fell for the woods, confident that they would remain wild for years to come. This confidence led to a deep belief in the importance of land stewardship and the commons; a belief that has inspired and influenced his work for the past sixteen years at High Mowing Organic Seeds, a farm-based seed company located just northwest of Hardwick.

Over his years working in the seed business, Stearns has come to understand that, even more so than the land he works, the seeds themselves are a special kind of commons. The vegetable seeds we have now, he says, are vastly different than the seeds that existed one hundred years ago, and today’s seeds will assume new qualities in the future. That’s partly why privatization and commodification have become commonplace in the seed industry. Corporate giants have denied public access to information about our seed resource because “when you control seeds, you control a lot,” says Stearns.

But as Stearns says, “seeds are powerful,” and that power can be harnessed to advance the common good, too. “Right now we have seeds that were developed for high‐input chemical systems,” Stearns notes. “We do not have seeds for the type of food system we need to build, nationally or internationally.” But that could soon change. By defining and protecting seeds as a commons, Stearns encourages the kind of information sharing necessary for developing the seed varieties we need today and in the future.

Just so, the High Mowing team engages and interacts with everyone who uses seeds, including farmers and gardeners, plant breeders at universities, other seed companies, and soil scientists. They do this in an effort to bring the seed community’s collective wisdom to bear on how to develop new seed varieties, how to make seeds available to consumers, and how to promote them as a critical element in building healthy food systems. By encouraging this knowledge sharing, High Mowing empowers the whole community to engage in a ten thousand-­year­‐old practice of food provision that is vital for the future. They are framing seed saving as a commons‐based solution.

While this level of commoning may seem out of the ordinary, it is only the beginning. Stearns is also a co-­founder of the Center for an Agricultural Economy, a Hardwick‐based nonprofit that coordinates regional food system activity. Among many other contributions to the community, the nonprofit just purchased the old town common. Until recently, no one had hope that Hardwick, an aging granite-­mining center, would ever recover from the mining industry collapse. The town common had been neglected since the thirties, but members of the Center for an Agricultural Economy saw its potential and purchased the sixteen acres in the heart of Hardwick. Today, Stearns describes all kinds of activity planned for the property, including an educational farm and community garden.

The combined effect of these many assorted commons solutions is a small town renaissance no one could have expected in Hardwick. Stearns describes countless new economic opportunities growing up around healthy food, ecological awareness, and value‐added agriculture. There are new jobs—good jobs—at High Mowing and elsewhere. The rural “brain drain” is reversing in this area, as smart young people who moved away are coming home. People are once again running for town select boards and school boards. “People are actually competing [for those positions] because they want to have a voice,” Stearns says. “It’s really cool.”

A place like Hardwick, Vermont—where the community has “reached a tipping point, and it’s completely unstoppable”—certainly provides the narrative to inspire commons-­based solutions anywhere.

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Investigative journalist Eric Zuesse connects dots with one question: Why are gas prices lower?

lower_gas_prices_poster-r5cc95f93eb6f45ad90b6d158e0852371_7083_8byvr_512Hey! Notice that gas prices are lower? Makes you feel good, huh? But wait. What’s causing this downward spike?

This Eric Zuesse investigative report is intensely researched, detailed, and unfortunately, most likely true — at least as far as it goes. Remember: there’s always another, larger perspective, always a further, deeper context in which what looks so clear at one level turns out to smear into confusion at another.

Nevertheless, Zuesse points to what does seem to be a coherent rationale to apparently scattered U.S. policies abroad, no matter how much Obama is made to look like a fool who doesn’t know what he’s doing. Even if he doesn’t, those behind the scenes do. Here’s our shadow government/militaryindustrialcomplex at work around the world. And as ever, “the business of America is business” — for the .0001%. Never mind how much murder, destruction and desecration of the natural world attends profit-making. They’re just “externalities” in this accelerating trend of violently grabbing whatever still hasn’t been pulled out of the ground or from we the people’s pockets.

What’s Behind Lower Gas-Prices and the Bombings of Syria and of Southeastern Ukraine

Obama represents U.S. and Arabic Aristocracies, against those of Russia and Iran

 

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Alfred Webre: Putin, Bergoglio, in cahoots? — and way more

Image: harmonicresolution.com

Image: harmonicresolution.com

For those who just can’t help but get magnetized by rabbit holes, here’s one for you, a summarization of much that Alfred Webre has been working on.

BTW: I met Alfred at a UFO conference in Laramie, Wyoming. When was it? 2000? 2001?I do know it was the very one where he, then relatively unknown, introduced the word “exopolitics” to his audience — and to the world? The concept riveted me, and still does. To actually imagine a “politics” connecting earthings with other civilizations? Wow! It blew my mind wide open. Star Trek and Star Wars — not just “science fiction”!

In any case, that evening, he and my friend Joan Bird and I, and a number of others sat out in the Wyoming desert on a ranch under a starry sky near a military base where UFOs were regularly seen, talked for hours about our lives — and did not see any UFOs. As I recall, Alfred and I discovered that we were both first children in large Catholic families.

This whole subject that links various forms of ET to Satanism, the papacy, geopolitics etc. etc. is so dazzlingly weird that I tend to merely skirt its edges. But I did skim through this long compendium, and know that Alfred is doing his very best to not only  familiarize the world with the ET presence, but to expose lies and multilevel systematic abuse, and encourage justice.

It’s certainly the case that whoever gets a running start in disclosing the ET presence to the world may have the edge in interpreting that presence for those who are just then shocked awake. We need to be very aware that this subject will be — and in fact, is being — hyped in lots of ways, depending on who is seeking to gain advantage by disclosure. So the pope, of course, would want to to gobble up even ET for the empire of his “God.”

UPDATED – BREAKING – Alfred Webre: Satanic Jesuit Pope Francis Bergoglio’s statement on ET role in Universe creation is (1) scientifically correct and intended (2) to evade criminal court sentence in Ninth Circle infanticides, and (3) to claim Satanic dominance over Earth with ETs

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Possible new energy system runs on water: four gallons for three days

Might it be that we’re about to break out of one of the bottlenecks that has kept humanity enslaved to the greed, poison, corruption and destruction of the nonrenewable petrochemical industry? Whoever runs GDS Technologies, I presume they have good security. We want these folks, and others like them experimenting in garages and basements everywhere with goddess only knows how many types of free and/or renewable energy inventions that will ultimately power up our transformed regenerative planet in tiny little decentralized places everywhere to stay alive.

Let us surround them and all who are working on these important projects with light, please.

Directory: GDS Technologies’ Portable Water Generators

October 26, 2014

Sterling G. Allan

PESN

Note in this view the smaller motor turning a larger generator. Is it possible that this is actually a QMoGen and they don't realize it -- that the water power portion of it is extraneous?

Note in this view the smaller motor turning a larger generator. Is it possible that this is actually a QMoGen and they don’t realize it — that the water power portion of it is extraneous?
NOTICE: Oct. 27, 7:00 am MDT [GMT-6]
Greg told me he didn’t plan on releasing these until December 15, when he had inventory built up; and that the website wording was in preparation for that; and that someone found the site and blasted it on several forums, which inundated him with inquiries and orders, which he will be refunding. (Story)

Wow, it looks like the day has finally come that we get to make the big announcement that one of the exotic free energy generators has made it to market. Patrick Flanagan, who just purchased a 5kW system, brought this one to our attention.

GDS Technologies LTD, out of Ontario, Canada, has a water-powered, portable genset available for sale on their website, in output sizes of 5 kW, 10 kW and 15 kW, at a price of around $1000/kW. They say they can also custom build these in sizes up to 50 kW. It is controlled by a simple on/off switch.

It is much less than half as loud as a gasoline or diesel genset of the same power output. One tank of water (e.g. 4 gallons for the 5 kW) will run the device for three days; or you can hook a hose up to it (there is a check valve), and not worry about refilling the tank. It emits no pollution, no fumes, so it can be run indoors.

They will ship globally. The 15-day money-back guarantee doesn’t include duties and shipping fees. “Please allow up to 14 business days,” for shipping probably refers to Canadian orders. International probably takes more.

Let them know PES referred you, for a likely discount and commission for PES. (We’ve requested this relationship and are waiting to hear back. Wouldn’t hurt to mention it.)

Their Alibaba listing for their GDS 3000 system says they are capable for producing 400/month.

Actually, I’m surprised we’ve not heard of them before now. Their YouTube video has been up since September 7, with over 2000 visits, and their Facebook page was first populated with news about this on August 24.

They list their devices as suitable for applications such as emergency back-up power, camping, motor homes, construction sites; so I presume they haven’t gone through UL or CE hoops yet to allow home power generation without jeopardizing home warranties, etc. In one of our Facebook comments, Kenneth Segovia says: “Can you imagine putting something like this in the Tesla car?”

It seems they’ve been very conscientious in their design, putting in safety features (circuit breakers and emergency stop button), redundancy (e.g. 2 batteries instead of one, to start it up).

Maintenance involves draining the water tank and spraying it with a garden hose every 3 months. The water needs to be clean that it runs on, and not salt water.

As for running it, they say: “When you receive your new portable water generator just add 4 gallons of normal water in the tank and turn the red toggle switch to on position (emergency safety) that will start the battery and pump and turbine all at once. That easy. All units have been tested before leaving our facility. Instruction and warranty manuals will be supplied with every unit sold.”

If you are thinking of powering your house with one of these, you need to realize that it is not yet UL / CE certified, so you could be voiding your home warranty. For emergency back-up, you’ll want to make sure that you have a toggle switch to shut off from the grid completely when running the power from the genset into your service panel. If you’re doing only small loads, you could plug your genset into a wall plug, through a male-male connector, which will power up one of the two legs of the service panel; then run an extension cord to another wall power plug from the other leg of the service panel, and the entire panel will be powered. Again, make sure you’re disconnected from the grid if you do this so you don’t jeopardize any linemen. Bear in mind that the wires going to that wall plug are 12 or 14 gauge, and limited to maybe 15 amps, so you’ll not want to surpass that in the load you draw elsewhere in the house, or you’ll trip the circuit breaker. You could double this limit by plugging into two separate circuits through the wall plugs, such as from two different rooms — ditto for the other leg of the service panel.

After we get some kind of validation that this is for real, we’ll be bumping it to #1 in our Top 5 listing.

Contents

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How to Grow Old while Increasing Liveliness

Huh? Does that title sound like a contradiction? Read on.

Reader Cynthia and a friend visited a few weeks ago, and were inspired, not just by the GANG garden, but by how we are working together in these two homes that border the garden and that constitute what I call “the founding pod” in the Green Acres Neighborhood Ecovillage.

BTW: I’ve decided that the growing borders of any ecopod can be perceived as any house within shouting distance, or a stone’s throw, from at least one of the houses in that pod.

I  ticked off for them some of the benefits of living with other people, especially as we grow older: first, of course, is economic, it simply costs less to live. Another way of looking at this same benefit is to call it resource sharing (by taking in two housemates, I automatically dropped my energy footprint by 2/3!). Then there’s the benefit of both companionship and its shadow-side, which forces me to become more flexible by adjusting life-long habits to housemates’ needs (especially difficult for us older folks!) Plus, in general, I’d say, we experience an increased liveliness in the atmosphere, especially when our household is multigenerational, as here: two older women, Rebecca and myself, in adjacent homes, each living with two young people in their 20s — all of whom are conscious of the ecovillage lifestyle that we are beginning to inhabit, who want that, too, and whose attitudes not only compliment ours, but who often take the lead! Rebecca and I benefit from their energy and inspiration; the young ones benefit from our long experience and patience, our knowing that whatever is worth doing takes a long time.

So, you might say that our multiperson ecopod vision goes way beyond what this New York Times article talks about. On the other hand, at least this MSM article that Cynthia sent me today broaches the idea of older ones no longer wanting to live alone.

Looking for a Housemate, Not a Mate in Later Life

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