While there are many open source licenses available, we feel that none of them address a practical and tactical approach towards creating a post-scarcity civilization – in mindset and in practice. Therefore, we are publishing v1.0 of the OSE License for Post Scarcity Economics. The license is intended to define the general intent behind our work, and it is intended to make our logic transparent – especially to those new to open source culture. We also feel that the possibility of the open source economy is greatly under-appreciated and therefore, its impact is still in its infancy. While open source culture is well-understood in the software community, most people are not aware of the possibilities with respect to physical products and infrastructures. This may soon change, with progressive writings such as those of Juliet Schor’s Plenitude. Our license is intended to promote the transition towards an open source civilization, with the open business models that we are beginning to demonstrate as the substance behind such a transition. Comments and discussion on the license are welcome.
Introduction, Philosophy, and the OSE License for Post Scarcity Economics
Completion of The Liberator Beta v2.0 marks the first Full Product Release of Open Source Ecology (OSE). Herein we clarify our intentions and strategic issues behind this product, and future releases, such that any user or beneficiary of OSE’s work, as well as any third parties, may understand our work and intent more completely.
OSE is a non-governmental organization formed for the purpose of active development of resilient communities and economies. We are best described as an open source product development or an open source economic development entity, working for the interest of all of humanity. Our particular approach is addressing the issue of effective production, as a foundation for creating post-scarcity economies. This implies thorough evolution of macro-social psychology towards the acceptance of a post-scarcity mindset – namely, that we can all get along, and that ‘there’s enough for everybody’. To date, civilization has failed in addressing these fundamental points. While addressing these points requires the maturing or evolution of people on psychological and spiritual fields, we believe that addressing the physical needs of humans effectively can be a direct route to promoting such evolution. This belief constitutes a motivation for our approach of developing effective tools of production. We believe further that if material constraints or physical needs were removed as the fundamental struggle of humans, then humanity would begin to have a chance to evolve – to freedom.
With the above philosophy in mind, OSE has set out to open-source key tools for producing the infrastructures for living and working. Our open source work starts with open-sourcing designs for the tools of interest, and it continues to the open sourcing of the actual business models for their production. Our aim is replication – or productive enterprise being replicated by a diversity of producers. This is the essence of free enterprise, defined as non-monopolistic production by a large number of stakeholders. We aim to encourage competition, and not to suppress it. Our aim is the distribution of economic power to many people, along the lines of Jeffersonian democracy. We believe that scarce resources are not necessary to fuel advanced civilization, as human needs and societal advancement can be fueled by widespread, local resources – under the assumption of human wisdom in their life and in their technology choices.
We set forth these principles as our underlying motivations. We can only encourage adopters of our work – and those who replicate open enterprise – to contribute their improvements, and especially their business models, back to the commons. We do not require it, however, as we do not believe in coercion – defined as acting against one’s own will, even if it is done contractually. We have produced our designs by standing on the shoulders of giants before us, and we do not claim any of our work to be original. We also feel that to claim originality as such is arrogance of ego, and that those pursuing patents to protect ‘their’ inventions are lacking in human spirit.
We believe that ‘sharing’ is accomplished most directly by sharing not the ‘fish’, but by sharing the ‘fishing pole.’ In particular, that ‘fishing pole’ is the open product design – the tool that allows one to reproduce the item of interest by using that tool. Even beyond the ‘fishing pole’ are ‘instructions’ on how to produce the ‘fishing pole’. The analogue of these ‘instructions,’ in the economic sense, is the open source business model. If we were to apply ancient wisdom of ‘sharing’ to the digital age – then we would share open source business models.
That sums up our beliefs on a tactical approach for bringing about post-scarcity economics. We are using this work to bootstrap-fund further product developments, and all of our energy goes to such development. Our goal is to produce significant contributions to open source economic development. We are positioning our marketing strategy to underscore this point. If you support our work, you are contributing directly to the above stated goals. Our leadership prides itself in its integrity, honor, and commitment to effective development of post-scarcity economics by developing open source versions of key, economically-significant tools for the advancement of civilization without geopolitical compromise.
If you like our work, consider buying our products. If you are not interested in our products but want to see more open source product designs becoming available for addressing pressing world issues, then consider subscribing to the True Fans by going to Support OSE at http://opensourceecology.org. We also need help with documentation (CAD, fabrication drawings, technical writing), Product Release CDs, branding, marketing, publicity, general resource development, and many other tasks outlined at the Remote Collaboration wiki page. If you have these skills and if you are interested in moving our work forward in alignment with our values, please contact us.
We also believe that achieving post-scarcity economics is not a far-fetched goal. The number of goods and services that humans need is well-bounded, and likewise, the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is well-bounded – with only 40 key technologies. These technologies are sufficient to build further technologies and infrastructures. Since these are generative in nature, we believe that open-sourcing them is sufficient to create advanced, post-scarcity civilization. It will take about US$2M total to develop all the tools within a 5 year period as of the present date. Once that is done, our work is done, and we can move on to more interesting pursuits as well, knowing that the world is in good hands on the material front.
We are interested in helping you directly with enterprise replication, under the condition that you also contribute to open source product development of enabling technologies for post-scarcity, resilient communities.
We believe that giving our business models away helps us, as opposed to hurting our efforts. On the practical side, we know that we can always produce and capture the high value of effective production – and we have competitive edge because of primacy. We do not intend to compete with remote efforts, simply because it is wasteful to transport things over long distance. We are not threatened by monopolies, first because we are not for sale, and second, for practical reasons of transportation costs, quality of service, ethics, and primacy.
We provide our products under the OSE Label. This is branding intended to verify the desirable features promoted by OSE, or OSE Specifications. The OSE Label shall provide transparent documentation and a score, provided on the label, with a respective logo for each product release. The qualities documented on the label include: localization of production; availability of documentation (plans, fabrication procedure, open business model, user manual, product release CD, etc); lifetime design (design for disassembly, modularity, interchangeability of parts); systems design; ecological soundness; etc.). We are open to others producing under this label as well, if the producer is able to meet OSE Specifications to a degree equivalent or greater than our own product. The OSE Label certification will be administered by OSE or a collaborating organization.
We also hereby declare that all hacker spaces are authorized resellers of our products. This is a means for other allied efforts to earn from our efforts as well. The details will be negotiated on a case by case basis, so please contact us if you are interested in helping this work.
We believe that ‘saving the world’ is a tangible concept which requires that we simply become responsible for production – as a prerequisite to other forms of responsibility – to the point that we generate widespread access to post-scarcity means of production. This is a heavy task for a world indoctrinated with dependence, illiteracy, alienation, and impotence – but we also believe that this can turn around completely within a generation. We believe that getting to the point of developing the entire infrastructure for post-scarcity, resilient communities is a 5 year task requiring a budget under US$5M, and that new economies and means of exchange are around the corner for our taking if we choose to do so.
This license is written with the intent of good faith, integrity, and commitment – towards transparency within the process of creating post-scarcity economies. By accepting these terms, supporting OSE work, or by getting involved with the work of OSE, you are accepting to return the same intent.