It’s easy to look around and see signs of social fragmentation, so today’s show takes a different approach and examines a few instances of people coming together: community. We explore an off-campus house that aimed to be an intentional community devoted to sustainability and find out where they failed and succeeded. We meet a community of Burning Man devotees who came together for a floating party on the Sacramento River Delta. Also we hear music made by a community of people who’d never met each other. Plus, the solution to the dirty dish dilemma.


Host: Charlie Mintz

Producers: Charlie Mintz, Rachel Hamburg, Matt Harnack

Featuring: Daniel Steinbock, Philip Narodick, Zuzanna Drozdz

Music: Noah Burbank

Links: Compostmodernist; inbflat

Release Date: 17 November 2009

image via wikimedia

Listen to the Full Show:


Story 1: Dirty Dish Dilemma Part 1

Community is essentially a group of people trying to live together. Daniel Steinbock has always viewed groups of people as complex systems. So what does he do with a complex system that’s stacking dirty dishes in his sink?

Producer: Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Daniel Steinbock

image via flickr


Dirty Dish Dilemma Part 2

The solution to the dirty dish dilemma might just be a simple formula called U + 1. This formula can even be proven with a computer simulation of a sink. Yes, somewhere out there is a computer simulation of a sink, filled with dirty dishes, and it might just solve the biggest problem facing communities.

Producer: Charlie Mintz

Featuring: Daniel Steinbock

image via flickr

Story 2: Lessons from a Community that Didn’t Happen

Matt Harnack lived in the same house as Daniel Steinbock, of U + 1 fame. He had high hopes for the house as a place of community spirit and abundance. But what happens when not everyone shares your vision of community? What do you do then?

Featuring: Zuzanna Drozdz, Philip Narodick

Producer: Matt Harnack


Story 3: At Ephermisle

Part Burning Man, part Waterworld, Ephemerisle is a yearly event that welcomes artists, architects, college kids, weirdos, geniuses and hundreds of other people who just want to hang out and be creative on the water.

Producer: Rachel Hamburg

image via flickr


Story 4: Community in the Key of B Flat

Most communities share a physical space. Our last community exists only on the internet. It’s a website where people submit videos of themselves playing some instrument delicately and slowly in the key of b flat. But does it sound good? How can a community function with only one rule?

URL: Inbflat

Producer: Charlie Mintz