Re: How do we hold each other accountable?
From: Sharon Villines (
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2010 12:19:00 -0700 (PDT)

On Jul 23, 2010, at 11:58 AM, Jeanne Goodman wrote:

What do you think of the quote, "Fairness kills community"

How are you using fairness?

For some people, "fairness" means excusing everything in the name of understanding personal abilities and hardships. The Love will overcome kind of fairness.

I would suggest "Lack of accountability kills community."

Elinor Ostrom won a Nobel Prize for her work demonstrating that the long held notion that communal sharing doesn't work was wrong. It works _if_ there is transparency and consequences.

Eris is noting the difficulty cohousing has with consequences because cohousers immediately see consequences as a cops & robbers.

But expecting condo fees to be paid isn't viewed as cops and robbers. Why is workshare?

Ostrom says without consequences, communal sharing doesn't work -- and transparency necessary to apply consequences. Transparency, in my opinion, is the number one best way to ensure that people "pay up" because it is impersonal. The information is recorded and public.

We did not have good luck with it being recorded on the wall or being listed in email. I think it has to be more direct than that. People have to be sent bills or something. We also discovered that no one wants to track hours -- maybe one person who is an extreme (to me) list and detail person, we thank heaven for her. The better way is to set an amount of hours for a job with some oversight to be sure it is done, or to have workdays and take attendance. This doesn't have to be obnoxious and and can be done in an automatic way. Then people only have to report extra hours.

We don't have consequences, only asking that people who don't work 4 hours a month pay $20 an hour. BUT without a required payment, the people who were happy to pay, were begging to pay, stopped because no one else who didn't work paid.

Proving the point that there has to be both transparency and consequences.

Sharon Villines
In Washington DC where the heat index is 110. The choice is to walk fast to get out of the sun or walk slowly to avoid falling over and getting burned on the sidewalk.

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