I would like to share today’s letter to our True Fans with the greater world. It provides the latest insights on the Factor e Farm experiment.
Dear True Fans and Supporters,
First of all, thank you all for your unwavering support. You have all demonstrated commitment to our work by putting your money and your time into moving us forward. Your support is essential to a baseline level of funding for our work at Factor e Farm.
I’d like to announce a conference call for this Friday, 11 AM GMT -6 (Chicago and Kansas City – USA time). If you’d like to participate, please refer to the conference call procedure and policy – http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Conference_Call_Policy . This will be a weekly call, and it is our second to date.
The topics are several, focusing around the exciting prospects of perhaps the most important day of Factor e Farm to date on Nov, 1, 2009 – product release of the modular, high performance, open source CEB Press – The Liberator. Here are the items for discussion.
Initial product release – a Beta Version 1.0 – will include a manual machine, with a large, tractor-loaded hopper and grate, that can produce between 5-7 bricks per minute. The power source is external and modular, and so it the Arduino-based controller for automatic control. Both are not included in the initial release, but will be offered as modules in further releases. Product Release means formulating the hardware license, and associated enterprise, PR, and marketing strategies. This also provides a chance to refine OSE Specifications – for branding our products in a groundbreaking way. We are prividing thought leadership and practice on the creation of post-scarcity economics.
Right now, we’re busy doing last minute testing and integration before product release. We are also testing the automatic controls. We are lagging badly on documentation video – simply because there is not the time.
The discussion in the conference call will center on development acceleration of the entire Global Village Construction Set. Personally, the more insight I gain into the technologies involved as the days go by – the more confident I become that it will work. The question is not whether it will work, but how fast we could get there.
It is likely that we will gain much publicity as a result of product release. It’s a chance to raise our True Fans base and level of support. This is not to mention that we will be offering a product for sale – such that we can finally start bootsrapping our efforts with real production. Basically, The Liberator costs $2500 in parts, so there is a significant value of $2000 or more that we can capture on labor per machine, if we’re selling finished product. Thiis allows us to produce a machine that is still 7 times less money than the closest proprietary competitor. We are developing our fabrication capacity right now, so we could produce between 1 and 4 machines per week if we have orders. The level of production depends on our priorities and available orders.
This leads to the needs for accelerated development. I’m open to ideas. My suggestions focus on 2 avenues: (1), enhance our nonprofit sector operation, and (2), invite investors who actually buy in to a lifetime lease of a half acre on the Factor e Farm post-scarcity village experiment. Plus, there’s a third item in terms of long-term planning, for which it is not too early to start. We intend for all land holdings of OSE operations to become part of a world heritage site. To this end, we intend to place all land holdings into a proper legal status (whether it will be a trust, NGO, private contract entity, statutory entity, formed by treaty, etc) that can uphold permanent preservation and improvement, according to the OSE mission of post-scarcity creation. For this to happen, we need qualified trustees that can uphold the vision. I won’t mention much more about this at this time – other than inviting potential trustees to contact me, if you are interested in filling the trustee role. At that point, we can start building a relationship, and discuss the program of action.
Here’s an explanation of the first 2 points of the above paragraph:
1. Utilize the nonprofit sector. Currently, a collaborator in Kansas City is in the process of setting up a 501(c)3 nonprofit branch of OSE Missouri. We’ve been told a number of times that there is low-hanging fruit there in terms of tax-deductible contributions, matching gifts, etc. This goes against our post-scarcity world pholosophy, as we don’t see much role for government welfare in future generations. However, I’m willing to do anything that it takes to take this potentially world-changing movement to fruition. This requires the time and effort to manage the nonprofit operations, solicit donations, and perform education duties. We also invite other branches in other States, both in the USA and abroad. We think that we could find a new level of support, and it could be a way to get the word out there. There are strings attached to being in the nonprofit sector, that’s why we need others to get involved. It simply takes time to organize properly. At the same time, setting up such operations is a perfect idea for remote collaboration with FeF.
2. For the investors, I propose the following. I think we’re just about ready to deploy a prototype village. The constraints are many – chief of which is the availability of technology. However, it can be said safely that we can offer a ‘buy-out at the bottom’ package of sustainable living, where we provide the land and access to tools and techniques, which also evolve as new components of the GVCS are opensourced. I propose inviting 12 investors at $10k for a lifetime lease of 1/2 acre here each. They are ‘guinea pigs’ for testing if our post-scarcity village works. We’ve got tractors, CEB presses, and will have pelletization, steam engine, sawmill (all open source) – just to name a few key technologies – so this covers food, energy, housing, transportantion, fuel. We’re claiming – “You invest, we provide you with a life support system that becomes usable as soon as each tech is developed. Your investment is funding the development via buy-in. Otherwise, no strings attached, but the land returns to a trust for all future generations.”
So there will be the investor team, and research team. The latter is aimed at creating a world-class research center for post scarcity economics via open source tech development. So we are a lab and test site in one. The research team would be responsible for providing all the infrastructure for the investors – such that food, fuel, energy, housing, and other needs are produced at post-scarcity levels. This would allow for all involved to benefit. The investors fund the development, they reap the reward of access to developments.
The research team includes those people who do action research. They are the implementers of the research being done.
There are significant challenges. Infrastructure and management are key. I’d like to remain as the vision integrator, doing hands-on research and development work. I need the following coworkers and support team:
1. A technical manager for keeping research on track
2. Technical writer/journallist/documentor – high level technical writing and video documentation
3. Buildder/general contractor/carpenter/equipment operator – for building infrastructure
4. Farm manager/food provider/agroecologist/animal husbandry/forester – for maintaining and developing useful genetic diversity for food, fuel, fiber, and other natural resources
5. Cook and food processor – for an integrated, 100% year round diet
I the above village ecology, technologist provide equipment from windmills, tractors, and honey extractors, to automation technologies for fabrication. Others in the community have access to them. The goal of the technical people is to design a human interface usable by a person with a high school education. The goal is a post scarcity economy. The interesting part is that we can do it now. We’ve already laid out some of the basic foundations for feasibility and implementation – at the same time as experts were busy publishing papers on why the above is impossible.
Right now, we have inadequate or nonexistent staffing on all of the above five items. The above would address moving FeF to accelerated development, and it would address shortcomings seen to date. That’s the basic design. It’s all up for discussion. The devil’s in the details.
Basically, we have a choice to create a world that we want to live in.
So that’s some of the latest issues. Regarding explaining our work to others, please consider the links after the signature as some basic material that may be offered, from our prior work.
1. OSE TV interview – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=988
2. Linz Counterculture Fair in Austria – presentation – http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Linz_Slides . Also, video of my presentation on the Global Village Construction Set from the Oekonux 4 Conference – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=611
3. Latest on technology built – and How to Build a Post-Scarcity Village – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=1071
4. High level discussion (forthcoming Free Society Conference in Sweden) on the creation of post-scarcity economics, with our first product release as a case in point – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=1162
5. Long term view of milestones – http://blog.opensourceecology.org/?p=1121