in post

20 September 2020

People are saying lately that the community's social life has improved a lot. There are many new families, some of whom are members, some renters. If it weren't for my son and daughter and their families moving back, I might be less aware of them.

Some of our second generation are less ideologically-minded than the village's founding generation. Many of them work for high tech companies, or have other well-paying jobs. Money and fine houses seem important, so, when they join the village's committees, their outlook is often determined by the capitalist perspective of the companies they work for. Recently they suggested that our staff ought to save office expenses by working from home. Now I work from home, that's true - and have been doing so for years - but not everyone can or ought to do that.

One interesting recent initiative has been the creation of a mobile bar, which a few of the young guys put together, converting a cart. It's not for profit, and a voucher or subscription card system is used instead of money. One day a week, they organize a social evening, moving the cart to one place or another, where people congregate. Yesterday they even moved it to a nearby hill top, and people walked there. At one point, they saw a jeep rolling up, and thought it was the police, who are enforcing coronavirus rules against congregating with stiff fines. (False alarm, it was just someone from the village.) So this experiment is lauded as one of the examples that community life has improved. My only personal involvement was and will be to babysit.

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Much of the improved social life in the village can probably be attributed to WhatsApp groups, which I completely boycott. There's no awareness of alternatives, and not even any consciousness that FOSS messaging apps might be better. I suppose, if people think about it at all, they consider the big companies who control our communications as a necessary evil. I'm not a very good evangelist, unfortunately, I've always been better at going my own way than convincing others to follow me. It's also true that I remain a deliberate outsider.