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Boris Rarden

Toolset to build a village

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http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Crash_course_on_OSE

"We are building the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) – a low-cost, high-performance, open source, DIY platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 industrial machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts."

What do you think of this project ? What about the fact that this is open-source, and not done as a business ?

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I'm glad youve posted a link because I've been wanting to go on some of the objectivist forums to talk about OSE.

I am actually a part of it (http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Brianna_Kufa). I had honestly not thought there could be an alternative method to "the john galt" method of fixing things, and now I'm convinced that this method could be even better. Not only does this encourage people to stop supporting our current system, but it gives them a toolset to do so with.

I've recently decided to drop out of school to do everything I can to see it succeed. At first I was skeptical, but after living at the farm for 6 weeks, I'm sure the goals of the project are the essential goals of John Galt. Many of the people that came in and out as volunteers were also big AS fans.

It is partially a business, and a big part of the project is encouraging business start ups. Anyone can take the designs and sell them, but its not necessarily authorized by OSE. In fact, I'll be manufacturing brick presses starting next spring. We plan on getting a lot of funding by selling the product and have already netted over 25k in selling them.

Bri

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As I understand the project it aims to "lower the barriers to entry" by inventing things that have already been invented, except that it will make its designs free. Is that the key aim?

So, for instance, it might come up with the design for a Compressed Earth Brick Press and then other people can go make such a press and use it without paying royalties. The open-source project itself does not intend to make stuff for people, but only make designs and prototypes. Is that correct?

The assumption seems to be that the cost of design is an important cost. Is this true? If so, this is the part that I don't understand.

Added:

For instance, take the brick-maker. I assume that someone has checked that such a device can actually add value to people's lives. Taking that as assumed, there are two objectives one may pursue:

  • A brickmaker that is far better than what's available today (in terms of quality, cost, etc.); or,
  • A brickmaker that is a similar ballpark as today's machines, but is open-source

Of course the project would like to achieve both objectives, but which one is primary? Is the open-source nature of any real significance to the outcomes? Would the project pursue a machine that is just slightly better, but open-source?

Edited by softwareNerd

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As I understand the project it aims to "lower the barriers to entry" by inventing things that have already been invented, except that it will make its designs free. Is that the key aim?

So, for instance, it might come up with the design for a Compressed Earth Brick Press and then other people can go make such a press and use it without paying royalties. The open-source project itself does not intend to make stuff for people, but only make designs and prototypes. Is that correct?

The assumption seems to be that the cost of design is an important cost. Is this true? If so, this is the part that I don't understand.

Added:

For instance, take the brick-maker. I assume that someone has checked that such a device can actually add value to people's lives. Taking that as assumed, there are two objectives one may pursue:

  • A brickmaker that is far better than what's available today (in terms of quality, cost, etc.); or,
  • A brickmaker that is a similar ballpark as today's machines, but is open-source

Of course the project would like to achieve both objectives, but which one is primary? Is the open-source nature of any real significance to the outcomes? Would the project pursue a machine that is just slightly better, but open-source?

Hello, I've forgotten how to put the fancy quote box around other peoples stuff, could someone remind me? Thanks.

"As I understand the project it aims to "lower the barriers to entry" by inventing things that have already been invented, except that it will make its designs free. Is that the key aim?"

-Sort of- we are re-inventing them to improve the designs so they are cheaper, easier to make, easier to maintain, will last a lifetime and are modular.

"So, for instance, it might come up with the design for a Compressed Earth Brick Press and then other people can go make such a press and use it without paying royalties. The open-source project itself does not intend to make stuff for people, but only make designs and prototypes. Is that correct?"

-Another sort-of. We came to realize that funding by donation is incredibly impractical, so we've begun to manufacture and sell some of our designs to fund the project. The money is not the goal though, the prototypes are. When I went out there, I made 4 brick presses, 2 of which we sold. The goal in earnings for next year is 250k.

"The assumption seems to be that the cost of design is an important cost. Is this true? If so, this is the part that I don't understand."

-Not sure what you're asking. Yes it is an important cost. Most of it has been volunteers, but for some of the harder prototypes like the steam engine, wind turbine, and aluminum extraction from clay, we'll probably need to pay experts.

" Added: For instance, take the brick-maker. I assume that someone has checked that such a device can actually add value to people's lives. Taking that as assumed, there are two objectives one may pursue:•A brickmaker that is far better than what's available today (in terms of quality, cost, etc.); or,•A brickmaker that is a similar ballpark as today's machines, but is open-source Of course the project would like to achieve both objectives, but which one is primary? Is the open-source nature of any real significance to the outcomes? Would the project pursue a machine that is just slightly better, but open-source?"

-I would say its the former, and all of the prototypes so far have been superior to other models, especially in terms of cost. The ease of maintenence is a big one too, our machines are far easier to fix than other ones because that was a key design feature. However, the fact that its open source is key to the project. But,its not like we accept just anybodys designs or anyones help. The founder is pretty selective about who works on what project because we don't want the quality affected by the masses. The end goal of this is to have the set of all 50 machines and start a small society with them to prove it can be done. A "Galts gulch" if you will.

Edited by softwareNerd
Edited for "readability"

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These tool

http://opensourceeco...h_course_on_OSE

"We are building the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) – a low-cost, high-performance, open source, DIY platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 industrial machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts."

What do you think of this project ? What about the fact that this is open-source, and not done as a business ?

I don't care whether it's open source or done as a business. Either is fine. The issue I have with is the goal, and whether this approach will achieve that goal.

1. I don't believe the goal "of building a small civilization with modern comforts" is explained.The civilization we have already fits that description, except for the part about the size. It's not small, it's big. It has an energy infrastructure, skyscrapers, highways, jets, spaceships, nuclear weapons, supercomputers, the Internet, 4G cell phones, schools and universities, modern hospitals, etc. I fail to see how working towards a small one just like it, but far less technologically advanced, would be worthwhile.

Or, if it's different, then where is it explained how it is different? Please link me to a description of how this new civilization is different and better than our current one?

2. This set of tools is not the means by which one builds a civilization. Even if you could use volunteers to build tools that are better than the tools our vibrant and competitive industries produce (and there is nothing to suggest you could, besides the unsubstantiated promise that you will), what does that have to do with building a civilization? A civilization is the product of the culture, politics and economic setup of a nation. It's not the product of technology alone, let alone of a small scale, less advanced snippet of modern human technology.

So, to sum it up, the notion that creating 50 open source blueprints for tools can lead to radical cultural and civilizational change is an arbitrary, astoundingly senseless claim. If you wish to build a new, free country, building these tools (which already exist, and can freely be purchased) is the last thing you should be doing. It makes no sense to me.

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These blue prints will enable hobbyist to get into this stuff, and stop programming computers for the sake of programming, but now, programming to run these external tools. Eventually, there will be enough of these hobbyist who will begin to form into startup companies, repeating the .com boom, and more recently, the bitcoin boom, but this time in hardware. It is true that technology exists today in big companies, which are opened by especially talented business men, not tech people. Here is an analogy from Atlas Shrugged: The emloyees in Galts Gulch all had a side startup business, doing something with hardware. Ore mining, or something like that. When a simplest machine costs today 100 times the cost of a computer-only startup, most smart people do projects on a side that are isolated to the computer field. (Or, affiliate marketing, still computers, the internet). The geeks want to expand their domain. When more people start to tinker, not only more startups will be greated, but more great inventions will come. Big companies are good at what they do, but they are slow to move and switch directions. In one word, I'd sum it up as having FUN!

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Hey everybody.

We love Open Source Ecology and have been inspired to attack a problem they don't address on their list of things to make.

Imagine having a garden the size of a fridge that automatically grows fruits, vegetables and herbs in your own home.

We are designing a 3D printable, hydroponic, rotating garden and a large Reprap 3D printer to make it.

This is an open source project and you can already download parts of the Kontinuum Garden from Thingiverse.com.

We are nearing the completion of the design phase but haven't started growing anything yet, so any input you might have would be greatly appreciated.

To fund the development of the prototype, we have started a campaign on Indiegogo.com.

Please follow the link and check it out.

www.indiegogo.com/kontinuumgarden

Best Regards

Kontinuum Prints

post-10801-0-30320100-1338026893_thumb.j

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These blue prints will enable hobbyist to get into this stuff, and stop programming computers for the sake of programming, but now, programming to run these external tools.

That's a blatant misrepresentation of what computer programmers do. Programming is always done for the sake of running peripherals. It is never done for the sake of programming.

Eventually, there will be enough of these hobbyist who will begin to form into startup companies, repeating the .com boom, and more recently, the bitcoin boom,.

There's no such thing as the bitcoin boom. And the .com boom was the result of two streams of innovative technology: microprocessors and the Internet. There's nothing innovative about this project, in terms of substance. It's a different approach to organizing a venture (it's not a for profit company, but a volunteer based organization), but that's not a technological innovation.

but this time in hardware

People already use computers to operate hardware. That's not an innovation either.

What's the innovation? What technological advancement is going to cause this .com boom style economic expansion?

It is true that technology exists today in big companies, which are opened by especially talented business men, not tech people.

No, that's not true.

most smart people do projects on a side that are isolated to the computer field. (Or, affiliate marketing, still computers, the internet). The geeks want to expand their domain.

Not true at all. I think the source of all these false statements is that you don't know what computers are actually used for, aside from gaming and the Internet. I don't think you ever watched a single episode of "How it's made?".

Everything you buy or use that isn't 100% hand made (which is very rare) is either operated by a computer, with specialized software, or manufactured by industrial robots operated by computers, with specialized software.

The geeks want to expand their domain.

Keeping in mind what I wrote above, about the areas computers are already used in, expand their domain to where specifically? What new use has this project come up with for computers?

That would be an innovation.

Edited by Nicky

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I know many developers who have day jobs, where they do really boring work, and when they come home they start a project on Git Hub, where they try to be creative. But even those projects on GitHub are just small improvements on something that already exists. For example, a CMS system, or some javascript library, or some game, or Arduino (programming little robots). Lets concentrate, for a moment, on Arduino. Why is it so popular ? Because hobbyist want to do with physical things what they have done with computers. Many of today startups are created by hobbyists that learned to program in their teens. Those teens learned it for fun, not for a job.

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