Before reading this post, we invite everyone to write a message about what you feel Open Source Ecology means to you, and your ideas on how this can be communicated effectively to others. How do you feel about Open Source Ecology?
Open Source Ecology’s latest core message is “Building the world’s first replicable, open source, modern off-grid global village – to transcend survival and evolve to freedom.” But what does that mean? Here are some explanations of what we think the message of Open Source Ecology means:
Replicable means that the entire operation can be copied and ‘replicated’ at another location at low cost.
Open source means that the knowledge of how it works and how to make it is documented to the point that others can “make it from scratch.” It can also be changed and added to as needed.
“Technology for ecology.” Technology and permaculture working together. Machines to help with tasks that are integrated with all other processes.
Restoring ecosystems: As the wilderness survivalists such as Tom Brown and others can demonstrate, with enough planning survival is trivial – with 2 hours a day in labor to survive in an abundant living ecosystem. Most of the world’s ecosystems are being destroyed, though, and their ability to sustain life is degrading. Since before any of us were born the world has been in an era of cheap hydrocarbon fuels to make survival trivial for many people by using the brute force of cheap hydrocarbon energy to do work and grow food while not worrying about sustaining ecosystems, and forgetting about the future. As this era comes to a close those who have benefit from the era of oil will be entering a world they can barely imagine: a world of wasted ecosystems and declining energy where survival is tough, with almost no preparation for such a situation. For us to make survival trivial again we must restore living ecosystems using the knowledge and technology invented by the large mass of people that the oil era allowed to flourish.
Off-grid basically means not connected to an electrical grid, but could mean just living without electricity. Modern off-grid can connotate living off grid with some industrial grid-produced temporarily useful electric energy system like solar/wind/hydro/fuel powered generator. In our context it means more: not connected to a larger hierarchical grid, either for water, food, power (fuel, electricity), or production. Maybe we could have a more descriptive term to show the production aspect, permafacture, in the core message.
Permafacture: A car is a temporarily useful consumer product – eventually it breaks down and is no longer useful as a car. The same is true for almost any consumer product – they are temporary, and when they break down they are no longer useful for their intended purpose. They come from factories that use resources from trashing ecosystems and using lots of oil. Even the “green” ones. Most consumer food is grown on factory farms using similar processes, and resulting in similar effects. When the resources or financing for those factories and factory farms dries up they stop producing, and all the products and food they made stop flowing into the consumer world. Consumers are dependent on these products and food for their very survival, and every product and food they buy from these factories contributes to the systems that are destroying the ecosystems that they will need to survive when finances or resources are interrupted. The more the consumers buy, the more dependent they are on the factories consuming and destroying the last of the resources left in order to maintain their current easy and dependent survival. These factories are distributed all over the world, and need large amounts of cheap fuel to move the products to market through the global supply and production chain, trashing ecosystems all along the way. The consumption of the products and food is completely disconnected from their production and so consumers do not actually see any of these connections or their interruptions as the factories and supply chains try hard to keep things flowing smoothly, until things reach their breaking point and the supply of products to consumers is suddenly interrupted. Open Source Ecology aims to create the means of production and reuse on a small local scale, so that we can produce the machines and resources that make survival trivial without being dependent on global supply and production chains, trashing ecosystems, and cheap oil. And we will be able to do this “permanently” because we will be accountable to ourselves to not overuse our local resources and destroy our local ecosystems as the effects should be immediately visible. This is a step towards transcending survival, making it trivial for everyone so that people can focus on other things, like evolving to freedom.
“Global Village” – An interconnected network which brings people all over the world together, into a village. This is different from other forms of organization:
Hier-archy – few nodes at the top connected to successive branching layers of nodes below them, with information flowing up a chain of nodes to the top, and decisions typically made from the top down to direct the actions of all nodes.
Chaos – every node is independent but isolated – information, decisions, and actions are handled independently and work in the same direction only incidentally.
Independent and Interconnected, Peer-to-Peer network, “Global Village” – Each node is independent but also connected to all other nodes to communicate information so that decisions and actions can be coordinated through the network for all to work together.
Our means of achieving all these things is through the “Global Village Construction Set“. For more information, the entire theory of Open Source Ecology can be read in the OSE Proposal document. We think that supporting this project is the most important thing that anyone could be doing right now, but apparently most people don’t feel that way. Why?