The Other Stanford University

What comes to mind when you think “Stanford University”? Hewlett & Packard? Google & Yahoo? Chelsea Clinton? I think of my two blissful years waking to crowing roosters, cultivating a compost bin, and harvesting fresh vegetables from my own garden. Now when I’m feeling nostalgic, I can visit the virtual homestead of the folks at Dancing Rabbit, an ecovillage in rural Missouri. Many of the founders are alumni of Stanford and of the co-op where I lived, Synergy House.

I have given up the fantasy of living communally and off-the-grid myself. The idea still resonates with me aesthetically, but I think my calling is more nomadic and worldly. More Rachel Carson than Scott and Helen Nearing.

What I most admire in the Dancing Rabbits is their commitment to vision over convention, image-making, and stereotype. To advance the dream, the residents operate Web-based businesses and navigate the alphabet soup of corporate structures that can accomodate their infrastructure. They use 21st century communications methods. They write columns in mainstream newspapers. This enables them to keep the dream going day to day.

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One Response to “The Other Stanford University”

  1. Hey, I didn’t know you were a fan of the rabbits! I’ve been following them for a few years now, harboring a secret fantasy about loading all of my possessions in my car, driving to rural Missouri, and building a little solar powered strawbale home. If it weren’t for my fear of boredom and social isolation, I probably would have done it by now. Maybe we should both move there, and help them take their marketing and recruitment efforts to the next level….

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