Re: A Glimps of Cohousing in 2060
From: Ken Winter (
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2014 10:40:40 -0800 (PST)
Check out Tim Hartnett's book "Consensus-Oriented Decision Making".  He
makes the important distinction between the decision *process* (his version
of which is intended to maximize the level of agreement that a group will
reach) and the decision *rule* (the way a decision is finally reached,
which can be any number of ways, ranging from a single decider to unanimity
with various voting schemes in between).  Tim's distinction helps us ask
this question:  Which decision rule actually maximizes consensus?

~ Ken, from Sunward Cohousing

On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 8:44 AM, R Philip Dowds <rpdowds [at]> 

> This is an interesting theoretical twist.  I would have guessed that
> consensus decision-making is about seeking and emphasizing the
> commonalities that unite us, rather than celebrating the divergences and
> idiosyncrasies that distinguish us.  (And make us interesting?)  The
> pursuit of unanimity (solidarity?) is not an obvious route to the end of
> (intellectual) oppression.
> Said another way … I agree that toleration of diversity and the end of
> oppression are much to be desired.  But I’m not convinced that consensus
> decision-making is the key to this challenge.
> > On Dec 23, 2014, at 8:23 AM, Tom Smyth <tom [at]> wrote:
> >
> > I sure hope and believe consensus decision making is not a fad. I think a
> > key part of our evolution as a species is to stop being so oppressive
> > toward everyone who isn't exactly like us. This is exactly what consensus
> > decision making is for, and it seems far more natural than its
> > alternatives.
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