Examples of rural tech communes?
October 19, 2017 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Are there any contemporary examples of communes or intentional communities that are tech-centric -- that is, that sustain themselves economically through some clever use of computers?

I've been reading about utopian communities in 19th century America, and the various ways they supported themselves economically. It seems that some of the more successful examples (such as the Oneida community in upstate New York) relied more on industry than agriculture. Given the changing nature of production, it got me wondering what tech communes are out there. I'm not really looking for examples of techno-utopianism. More intentional communities, preferably outside urban areas, where people are sustaining themselves through computers.

I'd love to read about or even visit some modern examples! Thanks!
posted by Karmacane to Society & Culture (5 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
The "LaserMonks" did for more than a decade, selling printer ink and toner refills online from their monastery, but they dissolved (and allegedly went bust) in rather shady circumstances a few years back.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 11:11 PM on October 19, 2017 [3 favorites]

Your best tool here will be the ic.org advanced database search – you can search their 1200+ listed communities both by keyword (I'd try many different words people might use in their listing to describe the kinds of work you're interested in) and by whether income is fully shared (assuming you're interested more in shared-income ICs than in ICs with non-shared income where some individuals' way of making a living is computer work).

Also contact the FIC directly, because I'm sure whoever answers their email will have ideas about how you can research this and will probably know some examples off the top of their head.

Off the top of *my* head: indexing has been one of the core businesses at Twin Oaks for 30+ years.
posted by kalapierson at 11:37 PM on October 19, 2017 [1 favorite]

I don't know if this is quite what you're looking for, but Heaven's Gate was a highly technophilic organization, and the group supported itself by doing web design.
posted by palmcorder_yajna at 2:37 AM on October 20, 2017 [3 favorites]

You might check out ECOVILLAGES: Lessons For Sustainable Community some of the communities they talk about are sort of based on rural tech.

You might also look at Factor e Farm / Open Source Ecology
posted by gregr at 6:13 AM on October 20, 2017 [1 favorite]

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