The founders were down in Claremont, CA for the weekend, to attend the wedding of Stony Lohr and Janelle Jarboe. As we live in NoCal, and a number of interested parties either live in SoCal or were there for the wedding, it seemed an excellent occasion to hold a meeting. Rob Prestegard, Anna Harzog, Patri Friedman, and Mark Nelson represented the Bay Area, Carl Coryell-Martin drove up from San Diego, Treasa Sweek & Dave Whedon attended from Irvine, Elizabeth Cheeseman from Boston, and lots of Claremont Colleges students attended as well, making a total of around 20 people.
Patri began with a brief introduction to what the IC is and why we are starting it, and then fielded questions. Some of the discussed topics were particularly memorable. In a clear demonstration of the IC as a microcosm of society, the discussion quickly moved to guns, children, and freedom. Can you have a community that is safe for children where people own guns? While some of us believe strongly in the right to bear arms, we all care about our kids surviving to reach the age of majority. It seemed that a reasonable compromise (guns must be locked in safes, or kept in a central facility) would satisfy all concerned.
Another concern was the IC as an investment. Since people would be using it as an alternative to houses, not just apartments, people don't want their money to disappear. The consensus was that some of the dues, the proportion which are going towards land, infrastructure, and capital improvements, should be treated like buying a share, and can be cashed out if the person chooses to leave.
Another important societal issue that was brought up was the demographic homogeneity of our community. Most of us are white male geeks in our early twenties. It was pointed out that if we began like that, we would grow like that, and while some diversity will come, without making a special effort, we are going to remain mostly homogenous. It was agreed that this is unfortunate, but that this is a community of our friends, and that is who we happen to be. The idea of allocating some housing for low-income visitors was discussed, as was the creation of "scholarship" type systems for bringing diversity into the community. There were mixed feelings on these methods.
The meeting lasted for a couple of hours, and then we all went off and had fun.