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Old 01-30-2014, 12:11 PM   #1
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Benefits of helpful neighbors

DCFusor's post about helpful neighbors (below) reminded me of a recent event:
http://www.pmbug.com/forum/f6/solar-...050/#post27498

For anyone that hasn't seen the news recently, the southeastern part of the US got hit with a large snow storm. For anyone that has lived in places that regularly get snow, it is always funny to watch the south deal with these once in 10 or 20 year snow storms. I have recently moved out of a major city and into a rural area. I wake up the next day after this snow storm and see people in front my house. Upon going outside to see what is going on, I find half the people in this small 20-30 home neighboorhood are already out working on the neighborhood road. The guy with a landscaping business brings out a pile of shovels, old ladies are appearing out of no where with bags of salt/snow melt, and everyone is helping out. Within a few hours, we had the road in the neighborhood completely cleaned off and we had pulled out a bunch of car stuck at the bottom of a local hill. Amusingly, the local roads that the county is responsible for are still an icy slush 2 days later. I would have never seen this level of teamwork in an city setting.
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:30 PM   #2
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I think in a city, you try to be anonymous because in that high density there are scammers/parasites galore. It's not so safe to be friendly there.

In a non-dense area, there's more the feeling "we're all in this together". And if you do someone wrong, pretty soon the entire social unit knows about it. So, there's a strong disincentive to be a bad person in a rural setting (no one will help you anymore, you might as well move elsewhere), whereas in a city, the scammer can just move 100 feet and no one knows them - and try again.

Or, that's my theory, having lived in both kinds of places. I'll never willingly go back to even a "town" at this point.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:49 AM   #3
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At the moment I am mad at my neighbor Cindy. She better back off and stop trying to control me. Her boyfriend needs to bang her good- because she is awnery. I am 50 years old and do not want a lecture. She texted me 3x yesterday- demanding an explanation for my telling her to back off.

She doesnt experience the pain levels that I do- she has no business preaching to me.

I have seen her so high she could barely walk. So I dont want to hear it from her.

She pokes her nose into Shirley and gets Shirley all upset- she tells each one of us that the other one said ABC- when nothing was said. I conclude that she is a mental case. She enjoys intense drama.

She caused tension between Shirley and I and will do it again.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:48 AM   #4
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This reminded me of somethign that I observed while in college - that there is some threshold of population/uniqueness that causes us to find subgroups of comradery.

For instance, if I'm wearing a State U t-shirt while in the town of StateU or one of the major cities in the state, not a word is said about it. Go to the other side of the country with the same shirt and "Hey, you went to StateU? Me too! Woo wOO!"

Had we both in a place where StateU was prevailent we would not have met nor given each other the time of day, but being far away from StateU and being the only StateUers around, that same connection became something in common over which to bond.

It is partially likely due to our nature to seek out little bands of merry men to be our clans; if I remember correctly the common clan size before agriculter was 50-200 max. In cities of tens of millions, you have to find a way to tune some folks out and connect with others to form a clan that our caveman brains can manage.


***making AGE cave paintings***
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:53 PM   #5
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I wish I could say something good about my neighbors. Came home from work Tues and the meat wagon was in front of the yellow house down the street that gets the 4000 a month in food stamps. The cops wanted to know if we had heard any gunshots, but my wife said her friend the caseworker told her that the morbidly obese lady that lives there called her wanting to know if they would continue to get their foodstamps cause one of them had died of a drug overdose. Who knows what happened.
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Old 02-02-2014, 08:40 PM   #6
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I like your observation, ddB, but I think that while it's true (I see the same thing myself) it's a little peripheral to the thing I was talking about. Or, perhaps not. It will take some sorting out.

When I moved here, I knew almost no one at all - one family. Yet all of us in the touring band "got this feeling this was it". Since then, most of the people I originally met when I came here have moved along (or died of old age), to be replaced by other "furiners" and a few extra-hardy natives regenerating. Yet the community stays cohesive.
There seems to be something else going on - in addition to your observation.

Now it's true that some "bad people" have moved into the area, but they never last long here.
If you're a prick, no one helps you after a little while, and you may as well just leave for greener pastures (for you).

But also of interest - one of my better friends here is a guy who grew up within a mile of me in DC, and we never met - despite him being a paramedic who'd taken care of both my parents at one time or another - until he moved almost next door (your observation on another thread, more or less). We had this shared thing going on, knew the same places, people, habits/culture and so forth. But in the city, where everyone shuns everyone - even helping out at a car wreck, giving first aid might land you in court...we never met. Here, there were no such walls. Now, this place is so un-dense when I say almost next door, he's my next door neighbor but one - but it's a 1.5 mile drive to his house from mine.

I never really got into sociology, maybe that's a late-life learning thing for me. One could hope a lack of pre-conceived notions would help with learning.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:44 PM   #7
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I am always happy to help my neighbours yet would consider it a 'fail' on my part if I needed help from a neighbour .........

Ironically, they are generally reluctant to ask for my help ......

I think its because they all think I'm 'up to something' which, of course, I always am but as they can only speculate along the lines of what they might do if they were me, they are generally wide of the mark.

( they would likely struggle with my m.o. of - do no harm to others, tread lightly on the planet, go to the edge of the law but not beyond, stay below the radar, etc )

So I remain a somewhat enigmatic uncertainty for them and they generally leave me alone until the shared half mile long dirt access track needs maintenance. Then its all smiles and waves when Im on it with the digger and dumper loads of hardcore.
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Old 02-03-2014, 07:38 PM   #8
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Quote :
I am always happy to help my neighbours yet would consider it a 'fail' on my part if I needed help from a neighbour .........
That's more or less how it works around here. While no one is counting, everyone counts (all possible meanings intentional)...you don't want to be the one taking more than you give, People kind of try to keep it more or less "even". But it's unspoken, almost totally unless it gets way off-balance one way or another. We just know. And we don't value "favors" in bucks, but like the widow and pennies from the bible - in what it was worth to the giver. but the standard is, if you get a favor, you're on the hook to give one. The good thing is, the way it works (at least here), that's a positive divergent spiral - everyone wan'ts "top karma" so to speak.

Kind of the obverse of the saying "know the price of everything and the value of nothing".
If you broke a sweat and spent an hour with your digger helping me, I might spend a similar time with my own expertise helping you - we both have significant capex involved - doesn't count as a measure - it's all you own.

When I pay a poor person to come help me swing a hammer, so his kids can eat, well, his capex is his health and skills, some of which I may not have - same thing, really. To those who understand value vs price.

I think, with some insight/help from DDB, that I've figured out what I truly meant:

If you aren't bugging out now - quit your dumb fantasy, because you won't later, it WILL be harder later, and you'll be less able as well - it was quite the adventure for me when I was younger, and having a lot of money then (which I didn't) wouldn't have made a lot of it very much easier. I'd still have had to learn how to be self sufficient to the extent I am. I wouldn't have had to swing the hammer as much myself - I'd have hired that out - but I'd have "built stupid" based on what I've since learned, and had to do it over anyway. Realistically, money has its limits if you have any reasonable amount (not a .00001%er). It doesn't make you smart, or knowledgable, for starters, and those are high in value traits.

So, instead, it's probably better to just make where you are work better, be more sustainable despite a possible loss of a lot of what society normally makes easy, and so on.
If that seems impossible - well then, bug out, but don't wait. Do it or don't.
"There is no try".

Because (assuming you live in the US) - even in our currently degraded status, when the US catches cold, everyone else gets the flu. It likely will NOT be better someplace else, though the rural vs urban thing is very real, and suburbs aren't rural, they're appendages to urban - nearly worst-case.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:26 AM   #9
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Hey Fusor

You are possibly correct in pointing out that my neighbours reluctance to ask me for any help is because theyve done it too many times and not had opportunity to rebalance. Perhaps I might 'need some help' sometime ......

Youre also onto a topic that has exercised my thinking.

Ive spent time trying to figure out how a community might be created and spent time with groups ( mostly dreamy hippy types at festivals ) discussing possible rools and structures.

Just keep giving with a good heart and look for nothing in return is as far as I got
but the bug in my little dream was that it was always me cutting wood or unblocking the toilet system in the cold, dark and the rain while the community bard got up after lunch and entertained everyone sat round the fire .......

My current thinking is that we are all givers and takers but some are more taker than giver. Entry into my dream community would be based on you and anyone you bring, being more giver than taker.

And as you suggest this can be created anywhere, perhaps with cycling distances being the outer geographical limits of being part of a group

Bugging out is a mindset and does not require a fully kitted out bunker in the boonies. I would value a dentist over a sniper
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:08 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
That's more or less how it works around here. While no one is counting, everyone counts (all possible meanings intentional)...you don't want to be the one taking more than you give, People kind of try to keep it more or less "even". But it's unspoken, almost totally unless it gets way off-balance one way or another. We just know. And we don't value "favors" in bucks, but like the widow and pennies from the bible - in what it was worth to the giver. but the standard is, if you get a favor, you're on the hook to give one. The good thing is, the way it works (at least here), that's a positive divergent spiral - everyone wan'ts "top karma" so to speak.

Kind of the obverse of the saying "know the price of everything and the value of nothing".
If you broke a sweat and spent an hour with your digger helping me, I might spend a similar time with my own expertise helping you - we both have significant capex involved - doesn't count as a measure - it's all you own.

When I pay a poor person to come help me swing a hammer, so his kids can eat, well, his capex is his health and skills, some of which I may not have - same thing, really. To those who understand value vs price.

I think, with some insight/help from DDB, that I've figured out what I truly meant:

If you aren't bugging out now - quit your dumb fantasy, because you won't later, it WILL be harder later, and you'll be less able as well - it was quite the adventure for me when I was younger, and having a lot of money then (which I didn't) wouldn't have made a lot of it very much easier. I'd still have had to learn how to be self sufficient to the extent I am. I wouldn't have had to swing the hammer as much myself - I'd have hired that out - but I'd have "built stupid" based on what I've since learned, and had to do it over anyway. Realistically, money has its limits if you have any reasonable amount (not a .00001%er). It doesn't make you smart, or knowledgable, for starters, and those are high in value traits.

So, instead, it's probably better to just make where you are work better, be more sustainable despite a possible loss of a lot of what society normally makes easy, and so on.
If that seems impossible - well then, bug out, but don't wait. Do it or don't.
"There is no try".

Because (assuming you live in the US) - even in our currently degraded status, when the US catches cold, everyone else gets the flu. It likely will NOT be better someplace else, though the rural vs urban thing is very real, and suburbs aren't rural, they're appendages to urban - nearly worst-case.
same. We trucked in some dirt for some friends in the country cause they couldn't have a garden cause of the rock, and they feel "indebted" to us although we made it clear we expect nothing in return.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:33 AM   #11
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Looks as though we are in general agreement here. I was sort of speaking initially to the fantasy that someone would pick up pennies in front of the steamroller till the last instant, then "bug out" to a faraway and very different place, just in time.
I think we know what "a crowded exit ramp" implies in markets, which are not the only place the concept is valid. It's just not a trivial thing to do at the drop of a hat.

Makers, takers, fakers - human nature is the reason the 4 most dangerous words in the market are "it's different this time". The underlying details/backdrop might be, but human nature doesn't change, or changes very slowly and mostly only in great need - that's what never seems to be "different this time". Often, if the need goes away, the old bad parts of human nature return. I'd bet many of us have known people who are great till they get married, or reach some other goal, then turn back to s**theads.

The place has something to do with it. Here, a trip to the store takes a long time and is expensive - even if all you need is a buck's worth of cottage cheese, you'd spend 3-6x that on the transport costs alone (well, for people who don't have electric cars like me, and half a day is now toast regardless). This enforces people having a plan, living without one is just too expensive. I think that the forced responsibility in one area helps in others - it's habit-forming, and there are a lot of examples in farming that don't apply so much to the denser areas. It's kinda harder to dash off for a week if you've got livestock, for example. Most people who could take care of them for you have their hands full with their own, and you wouldn't want someone with no knowledge doing it.

Seems in the poorer areas, some sort of pride in not being in debt (to other locals or perhaps even the bank) makes things work differently. There's a higher percentage of "salt of the earth" types. Like I said, a lot more value is in intangibles - I do a lot for the people around here, and get props for "good karma". People here, and there is a wide spread of money-type wealth, want that prize more than money, and it affects one more day to day than (reasonable amounts) of money do.

To me, money could be divided into a few amounts of reasonableness or whatever word we want to use there:
1. Not enough to get by. Lots of possible reasons for that. If it's not your fault, people look at it one way, and help you. If it's perceived to be "your bad", you get a different treatment - and around here, that probably means you'll be moving to "greener pastures for a taker" before long - that's key to this area maintaining how nice it is, frankly. Not many will help you if your problem is that you blow money instantly on hedonism and are always coming back for more, neglecting your other responsibilities.
2. Enough to get by on some level, maybe not the lifestyle you'd like, but enough - reasonable.
3. So much you own everything and everybody - the servants take care of things.

#2 is more or less the norm here and that definition covers quite a span of physical resources. Most of the area falls into this category, including me.

Getting from one number to the next is often a large jump. Going up (by this measure, money != wealth) is hard work and probably involves at least some good luck. Going down, if it was due to obviously bad choices, it not well looked upon. If it wasn't that - then most will reach down a hand and lift you back up - for the karma. And to have you in a state of being able to help them when *they* need it. Not everything that looks like altruism isn't simply enlightened self-interest. The latter probably dominates. you could argue that enlightened self-interest is a lot more likely and a lot more reliable than altruism. Some people think the latter does not truly exist - and I'm friendly to that camp.

*in the mountains, if you limit it to cycling distance - it'll be about 4-5 in your group. The hills are such that it's even hard to get a horse to willingly go up them, sometimes. The few die-hard cyclists around here first use a truck to get their bikes to some flatter area, you never see one on my road, or within a few miles of my place. Go/golf karts, riding mowers, tractors are much more popular transport for visiting, and it's not from being out of shape. My own bit of land has several 160 ft changes in elevation.

**as a long range shooting competitor, which is more or less being a sniper, but on paper targets - I value a dentist more myself. Of course, the sniper thing is a fantasy even if one can really shoot well (I hold some all-time records at that) - there's more to it skills-wise (good at being patiently invisible?) and temperament than I have, probably a good thing.

The only living things we shoot in this game are insects - flies on the target, for laughs. The idea of shooting another human or even a deer kinda makes me feel ill, though I suppose I could manage if the circumstances were there for that. So far, that seems very unlikely. I'm glad it's not much of a worry at this point, and unlikely to become so here even if it does elsewhere. You need zombies for a zombie apocalypse. The supply of possibles is pretty low around here, compared to any city and most towns. I call that a feature.


//////

Of course, it could all be just boasting on my part, that I've found (and built and own) a place where if TSHTF hard, I'm probably among the better off - I didn't do this for that reason, but it came along with the rest. Daily, in normal times, some would argue other things matter more. There is for example, no plumbing in the building I spend 99.9% of my time in, no pushbutton heat anywhere - you have to go at least turn a knob on a propane heater, or feed a woodstove. Nothing much is automatic.

You need a plan to live efficiently - when I go out for errands - I've got a plan to hit as many stores as have things I need - or will soon, as if I might not get out again for weeks (which is sometimes the case). There are some days I don't have all the electricity I'd like without thinking about it or adapting to what the sun has given me (as well as the opposite, sometimes I'm scrambling to use as much as I can). In fact, I look abjectly poor by some standards - all my clothing would fit in a trash bag (there'd be one really heavy pair of socks in it, though - no boats here). I could rationalize it as character-building and not be totally off-base. I think the freedom, which is nearly total otherwise, is worth it. It's certainly rare in the U.S..
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Old 02-05-2014, 06:08 PM   #12
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I do the same thing for errands, saving them all up for one run. That came naturally since I have commuted by bicycle for most of the last decade+. If there is some reason that gets me in the car, then I try to do all the things that require a car in one shot (usually on a rainy day when the bike is not so much fun). I even do the same thing online, saving up a few items that I want and making one order; usually saves on shipping, and it is easier than having boxes flying at you contantly.

What really gets me are the people who leave work everyday to go grab something for lunch. So much wasted time and gas. I understand wanting a certain thing for lunch, whatever, but for some you'd think getting hungry in the middle of the day comes each time as a surprise.
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:49 AM   #13
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Talking can be a no win. I told the gal-- do not try to control me. First she acted like our call was dropped. Then she went into confrontation mode.

Why engage in any conversation if I am going to be nothing but wrong?

She just wants to trip me up. Thats her goal. Now she is mad that I do not take her calls.

HELLO? If I wanted to be controlled I would be married or have a room mate!
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:26 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Penn View Post:
Talking can be a no win. I told the gal-- do not try to control me. First she acted like our call was dropped. Then she went into confrontation mode.

Why engage in any conversation if I am going to be nothing but wrong?

She just wants to trip me up. Thats her goal. Now she is mad that I do not take her calls.

HELLO? If I wanted to be controlled I would be married or have a room mate!
Hey, Penn, I'm married and I do whatever I want. You would be hard pressed to say I'm "controlled" (at least by my spouse). YMMV
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Old 02-08-2014, 07:39 AM   #15
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I swear- woman want to castrate men.

Looks like the grudge is here to stay.
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Old 02-08-2014, 10:55 AM   #16
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Penn

If you put out hate, anger, bitterness, jealousy etc it just keeps coming back at you.

You are on balance a giver and a good hearted person so just keep sending out love in all directions.

Seriously, you demonstrate anger and frustration in many aspects of your life.
Let all the negative stuff go, it serves no purpose.
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Old 02-08-2014, 05:47 PM   #17
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Penn you end up with what you seek out. I surrounded myself with psycho-biker chicks half my life and couldn't figure our why I couldn't find a "good" woman. There are good woman everywhere. (or men). What RB said. Even my last motherinlaw said to me, "Jay, if you want to meet a good women, you look in church, not where you met your wife". 'course you couldn't tell me ANYTHING....
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