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heh! poole's land did NOT "work well", where the hell did you hear that?

not to jump all over one tiny little example you gave but I happen to know a bit about that place and this sort of when-viewed-from-afar effect is exactly how these things go in my experience.

I could tell you a bunch of the same old stories about naive hippy nonsense and takeover by petty gangsters who want to turn things in to a racket for themselves but we all know the stories already. It's just grim survival stories ... often with a wealthy benefactor who takes a very hands-off approach until things get pretty crazy.