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Forum Post: Hey mods, why not say hi?

Posted 5 years ago on March 26, 2013, 3:16 a.m. EST by littlethingcalledOWSlove (-8)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Hey mods, why not say hi? We're in this together right? We want to learn more about you. We want to build a real community. What are your passions? What affinity group do you work for? What's your Occupy life like now? Has it changed a lot in the last two years?

My name is Johnathan. I'm canadian with a german heritage. I'm busy with computer programming work, but I attend all Occupy marches in my area.

I just started a big community project in my neighborhood. We are raising money to pay for paint and helping each other paint the exteriors of our houses. We did three houses so far. It only takes a few hours to paint the exterior of a house when 40 people are at it. We do it on Sundays. Our wives run a huge yard sale for the whole neighborhood while the boys paint a house then drink beer and socialize. It's a great way to come together as a community. I'm really enjoying our project.

What are your current projects?



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[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Good point. One other downer is that the local painters might run low on work. But then, I don't know too many painters that are keen on repaints.

[-] 2 points by littIethingcalledOWSlove (6) 5 years ago

We're painting each others houses. When we're done I'm sure we'll find something else to do. Some people have already started talking about sharing our plants by transplanting them. Another person talked about how we could fix the neighbor park together. We also have house repairs like gutter replacements, etc... There's tons of things to do. We'll keep doing stuff communally as long as it's fun, and a time saver. Imagine painting your whole house alone! It's boring, it's long. Much more pleasant with many people.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

I've painted several houses, over the years, including a monstrosity that took three months. You're right that it's much more pleasant with company. And as long as everyone in your group feels like they are getting a fair deal with the workload, then good luck with your plans. We have a barter system in place, where you can exchange your labour for points, and the points can be used to get someone else to work on your house.

[-] 1 points by littIethingcalledOWSlove (6) 5 years ago

Why use points instead of money? I don't get it.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Well, say you want some carpet cleaned, but the guy that does your carpet has no use for your services, he gets the points to pay someone else who he needs to do some work for him. As long as there's no cash changing hands, that's the whole point, isn't it?

[-] 2 points by littIethingcalledOWSlove (6) 5 years ago

That makes no sense to me at all. You're basically creating a new kind of money, only it's limited to within your group. Who would want to get paid this way? It's an artificial limit. Like arcades that use tokens. If you're going to use some form of abstraction to pay someone for his work, just use money. Why reinvent the wheel, especially since points are less powerful than money.

that's the whole point, isn't it?

Not at all. If we wanted to give each other odd jobs, we would simply pay with money. What you're doing limits who you can hire then pays them with a limited abstraction, i.e. points.

We don't keep track of how many hours people work. We just get together on Sunday mornings and paint someone's house. Sometimes, some people in the group can't make it because of whatever activity. So what? As long as we're a good bunch, the painting will go smoothly.

The point is to help each other out. To work as a community. It's volunteer work, not paid work.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

I applaud what you're doing.

And I understand the need to help out locals, and build the community spirit.

I'm just demonstrating a simple fact; cashless trade isn't just a local limiting thing. It's as widespread and as transferable as cash, without the possibility of monopolising trade, and no chance of mr. bigs making their fortune off the labour of other people.

Barter was here before cash economies, and it's being started again in places that really need it, like Greece now has the Tem, which is a trade note used in place of the troubled euro.

Continue helping your fellow neighbours, and I again salute your efforts.

Have a look at BarterCard, if you have time. http://bartercard.com.au/

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

I think wherever you go there is an underground economy that deals in either cash or bartering

It is almost a necessity for people of limited means, and kinda like a social safety net

One of my daughters in Vermont is a master of lining up some of her well-off gardening customers with poorer people

I remember after the flooding up there two years ago she was the intermediary between a guy who had lost all his furniture, and a customer who was combining households with another person, and hence had too much furniture

I can't say for sure, but i think that guy will be happy to help her if she is ever in need as he got some really beautiful stuff

In any event there is a lot of truth in the saying, "Vermont is what America was."


[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

That sounds great, Odin.

So Vermont is still quite rural, rather than lots of malls? I get a picture of rolling green fields when I hear the name. Sounds like your daughter picked up a lot of your good character traits, my friend.

The cash economy is usually factored into the GDP estimates, simply because it plays such a large part in the trade of any nation, whether developed or third-world.

Not sure, but I think your prohibition era ended because the cash was heading into the wrong hands. I do know that characters like Al Capone only came unstuck because the IRS started looking closely at his assetts.

[-] 0 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Yes Vermont has under a half million people, and it is one of the most beautiful states in the East and maybe pound for pound in the entire country. And summers are glorious up there as is autumn. What the hell winter too! ;-)

There are "rolling hills" and farmland especially along beautiful Lake Champlain, but there are also the Green Mountains (some about 4,000 ft high) which are part of the Appalchians so the Trail from Maine to Georgia goes right through it

Many of the hikers would go off the trail to resupply and sometimes stay over-night at the local church, and very often I would pick them up in my yute (pick-up truck, right?;-) sometimes having 4-5 people back there with all their gear. In NJ, I would have probably been arrested for that, but not in Vermont. That's called being a 'good guy' up there. ;-)

They are also now working out the kinks in setting up a universal health-care plan which they talk about in the Strike Debt news item here

If they can succeed in implementing that, it could pave the way for the rest of the country. They are gathering up there in support on May Day

I don't know that much about the temperance movement other than a woman named Pauline Sabin was instrumental in getting Prohibition or some referred to it as 'national insanity'....repealed after originally supporting it

I do know a bit about the early 20th century labor movement though, and will probably put up a thread on that soon


[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Trout fishing somewhere in there too, I hear? I remember a doco from a couple of Aussie comedians that make their own fishing series.

Sounds like the place to be in America. Thanks for the inside info. Makes all the difference.

Oh, and the "yute" is phonetic. It's "ute", as in utility vehicle. But I like your description better. Will pass that along.

[-] 1 points by frovikleka (2563) from Island Heights, NJ 5 years ago

Yes the Battenkill River is one of the best for trout

Orvis which is a high-end fly-fishing gear place is up there too, but it is very expensive

So "Yute" it is then. Aren't they animals that are found in Tibet, no that's yak, and BTW you see lamas in Vermont more and more

The other thing i don't know if you know Ben Cohen, founder of VT's Ben & Jerry's is a big supporter of Occupy

I'm starting to stray, time for bed, Good Night


[-] 0 points by littIethingcalledOWSlove (6) 5 years ago

We get together to paint our houses communally. There's no agent provocateur, men in black, evil government, or anything of the sort trying to sabotage our plans. It's just a bunch of neighbors helping each other out, not a Hollywood movie.


[-] 0 points by littIethingcalledOWSlove (6) 5 years ago

Neighbors who don't want to participate simply don't. It's very simple. Are you so far removed from communal work in US that a such a small community activity would cause all kinds of problems?


[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 5 years ago

I'm a teacher at an English school in China, and am trying to organize other teachers to do our own marketing campaign to bring in more students.

Want to base it around the idea of "personal diplomacy", and encouraging our students to "establish diplomatic relationships" with citizens from other countries, particularly the US, using online technologies like Skype.

There is much that China and the US could do now to end the financial crisis, if more of us would think in terms of working together. Much could be done in terms of big infrastructure projects and enhanced trade.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 5 years ago

a community that is invested in itself is a great concept.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 5 years ago

Now that is a great idea.

Well done, Johnathon.

[-] 0 points by littlethingcalledOWSlove (-8) 5 years ago


[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 5 years ago

This is a charity I got involved in a few years back. Good project, would be better if it involved the homeowners as well... Could possibly be used for some pointers.