Documentary Work

We will be doing a 3 minute promotional video for the 1000 True Fans – 1000 Global Villages campaign this summer, and a 15 minute documentary on OSE this fall. Sean Church – a student at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, Film Program – will be taking this on as part of his studies. He visited us recently, began taking footage, and we copied all of our old footage for him. We are planning time lapse photography in the mix. This looks like a great opportunity to distribute our message in a more professional way.

You can see these photos on Flickr, and the wiki page on the documentary work is here.

Regarding the True Fans campaign, we started it a year ago aiming for a 1000 True Fans withing 6 months. A year later, we’re at 70 subscribers – slightly below our goal. This reality is different that what we expected, and I think it is fair to say that people don’t really want to be free or take on the full responsibility for the world around them.

As scarce as truth is, the supply has always been in excess of the demand. – J. Billings

I’m not saying this lightly – as my conclusion comes from hundreds if not thousands of conversations on the important topic of human progress and evolution to freedom. Thousands of years into recorded human civilization, the government plantation remains attractive. This is a longer philosophical discussion.

I still struggle with answering why people are so satisfied with mediocrity, when things could be so much better. A good question still remains – exactly how much of this condition stems from a natural course of events, versus strict economic planning on the global chessboard. It seems to me that there is an uneasy feeling in the air, and change to post-scarcity is waiting to happen. Subscribe.


  1. Karl

    Why did you assume that people want to take responsibility for their world? It seems fairly obvious to me, based upon what I observe of others as well as in myself, that they do not.

    It might be more useful to think of it in terms of people not being *able* to be fully responsible. It’s not just an issue of willingness. I think of humans as simply animals which have just barely passed the threshold of self-consciousness. Our ability to reason and focus our attention is terribly limited, and we are creatures of habit. We should accept our limitations (that this is just the nature of the human brain) and work with this problem in mind.

    That is why the concepts of open source and automation are so very important. If any one person makes observations about how the world works or constructs tools to automate labor or calculation, these need to be made available to everyone. That is the only way we will make significant progress as a species. Mental focus which is spent meeting basic needs cannot be used to explore new ideas. Each idea shared becomes the seed for the next new idea. We should endeavor to plant as many seeds as possible.

    It must be said that our culture is undoubtedly responsible for a great deal of our ‘stupidity’. If we were all given an education more focused on the foundations of life, we could engage our world in a more constructive manner. Every child should be taught how to grow food, husband animals, build homes, program computers, etc. Instead, we are taught how to worship imaginary beings, scam each other for the virtual resource of money, and idolize those who play meaningless, competitive games.

    1. Marcin

      Karl, very insightful regarding the distinction between wanting vs. being able to become fully responsible. However, I question this point deeply. Is it not true that being able to starts with wanting? Therefore, the real question is that people don’t really want to. I can speak about myself here. I wanted to dive right into ‘saving the world’ after finishing school. I don’t believe I was any more able to become fully responsible – outside of my profound desire and commitment to doing that. I think it is the desire that makes me able to do this.
      If we take this discussion into practical terms – the conclusion is that we must continue ‘to build the village and they will come.’ I think we all agree that our main role is lowering the entry barriers to ‘caring deeply about the world.’ We take the approach to this question from a very practical perspective – transcending the provision of basic needs – as a means to more evolved pursuits.

  2. Nick

    IMO you underestimate the socio-economic forces that are opposing the development of resilent communities at present.

    For starters you are talking about solar based communities, fueled either directly through the sun, or indirectly through biomass and wind. No one has yet demostrated the ability to “prosper” as you so often talk about on these energy sources, let alone compete economically versus fossil fueled industries (big ag, manufacturing ect). I suspect that this just isn’t as easy as we imagine nor as pleasant and unfortunately we may not make the shift until sheer neccesity.

    Less abstractly most everyone I know has bills, loans ect that they are obligated to. Its the very rare person who is ready willing, and able to invest there time and hard efforts for no garaunteed return.

    Yes we as a country and people need to invest in efforts such as OSE, desperately so, but it also is not suprising to me that we aren’t. I suspect that these investments won’t happen until conditions force us to reorganize our lives out of necessity.

  3. LucasG

    Nick and Marcin,

    We’re all different and in different circumstances. It’s good that some cover interesting ground, making it easier for the next wave of people.

    Also, the future is quite difficult to predict, at least in detail. So it’s best to have several options ready.

    I’d be glad to see even a fraction of OSE’s intentions come true, step by step, within the next couple of years. OSE can then be part of the future.

    Modularity is good as a key feature: just as one example, the CNC table torch may end up working with solar, gassified wood, algae, or whatever.

  4. Karl

    The desire to act is necessary, but in the environmental model of behavior I’m talking about (I’m sure there’s some formal term for this, but I’m no psychologist) you can think of desire as the fulcrum of creation, not the source of it. What sets the fulcrum in place? What creates the wants and desires? We are embedded in our world and our minds are fed with sensory input. We can only comprehend what we have experienced. Our wants are restricted to those experiences. Yes, we can run mental simulations, but the components being simulated can only come from our set of experiences, and when our well-being is on the line, we stick with what is known to work. That is why your plan of ‘building the village’ is the correct one. Most people won’t accept that this can be done until they can experience it. Those that accept that it can be done are still tied to the successful modes of behavior that are serving them in the current society.

    Your task is a thankless one, and the movement will grow slowly. Even after large corporations were making effective use of open source software for many years, the products of that movement were ridiculed. Changing culture, those patterns of behavior which get picked up from the environment and fixed in the brian, takes time and dedication.

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