Re: sweat equity
From: Stuart Staniford-Chen (
Date: Tue, 9 Aug 94 12:32 CDT
Pablo Halpern writes:

> people, many women, etc.) will get less done but will put in the same 
> effort as a stronger, more skilled person. How about trusting people to put 
> in their best effort and just counting hours. Do you really believe that 
> there will be wholesale advantage-taking by people such that counting hours 
> is not a good indication of effort?

I suppose this is probably the best that can be done.  However, in work days 
here at N Street it is noticeable that some folks break their backs trying to 
get the job done while others are more prominent as shovel ornaments.  There 
definitely is a lot of variation in effort put in as well as skill level.  
Similarly, some folks are much more reliable about doing committee work than 
others.  Here, we don't have any kind of formal sweat equity arrangement so it 
isn't a serious problem.  However, if sweat equity was a big feature of the 
community I could imagine it being a significant source of friction.  I don't 
see any way to compensate for it without in effect saying to somebody, "You 
make less effort, so your hours count for less", which is mighty close to "You 
are an inferior person."  That would cause far more friction.


Stuart Staniford-Chen
stanifor [at]
N Street Cohousing, Davis, CA

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