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Open Source Philosophy

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Tangible problems. I always felt from as long as I can remember about the power of science, that it could be used to solve pressing issues, solve problems. When I studied Chemistry at Princeton it was so theoretical, unapplied. And I thought oh ok, maybe if I go into physics it will get better. So I did, and was grossly disappointed. We were studying wave propagation, and I couldn't understand this one problem, this one equation. So I went to the professor and I said whats this about, where does this exist? And he said well it actually doesn't exist, I just made it up. It's like, oh ok, so that's what we do here. That was one of those turning points where I said, wow what am I doing here? In an absolute abundance of resources, power, human development and culture and everything, still there's many issues. Mainly the resource conflicts. Poverty, war, depravation. Survival with the awesome technology that we do have today? Survival should not take a lot of time. When you really think about it, all the wealth that we enjoy today for a modern standard of living relies on rocks, soil, sunlight, plants, water. Those are all abundant. Yet the productive mechanism of society is what makes it scarce, artificially so. What if we could survive and thrive up to a modern standard of living, and not only that, at two hours a day of work, and from local resources. How would that be? The most important part of Open Source Ecology is this idea that with a small amount of resources and a small amount of money, anybody should be able to create a high standard of living for themselves, and do it in a way that doesn't require a whole lot of time, a whole lot of money. People can actually be empowered by the technology we're creating here, so rather than a big corporation deciding what machines can do for us, we can decide how we want machines to work for us. Instead of relying on other people to make things that we need, we can make everything that we need for ourselves. And we can do it better than Walmart can do it, we can do it better than slave labour in China can do it. We can make the productive capacity that we need to live the lives that we want in our own back yards, and we can do it in a sustainable way. We can make machines that we can use to create material abundance for ourselves, and then we can show other people how to do it. If you have two-hundred people get together and if they want to put together a self-sustaining community, they don't have many options as far as coming up with the equipment and machines for doing that. That's where Open Source Ecology really comes in. The costs of building these machines is about ten percent of what you would buy it for commercially. If you take a full blown John Deere tractor, it's almost impossible for anyone to go out and try to build one of those for themselves. I mean that's just a very custom machine. But if you're able to take off-the-shelf engines and go down to your hardware store and buy steel and build it yourself, like the Lifetrac, then that's much more realistic. The benefits of a localized economy are that the power stays within the community, the economic wealth. Instead of your money, the earnings, going all the way down the river, what if we can internalise that? Keep that wealth in, by having all that productive mechanism built in. You produce the same, the wealth stays in, you don't have to work so hard. Then you can have time for you family and kids, or whatever else is more important to you. So it's a lot easier productionwise to just have one super compatible module. The Powercube right now works with both the Lifetrac and the CEB Press, and a few other machines we have, like the Ironworker and the Coldsaw. So that provides a much simpler product ecology because one power unit serves multiple machines. There is one thing about just being able to look at machines that have been developed on site here, and another thing to understand how the development process went through and what kind of documentation there is for these machines, such that can be replicated and improved on. Fortunately we have that ability to have machine information in the digital format, and now we have telecom, the Internet, to relay that information and have anyone just copy over the files, and have access to the model on their computer. So Open Source Ecology tries to capture the open source nature of development and the fact that we're connected to Nature, to other people, to societal institutions. That all has to be considered if we're talking about a paradigm to make a better world. Open source was clearly the emerging trend that was so powerful. Demonstrated with open source software like the Linux platform. When a sufficient number of people come together on a project, that project simply becomes better than anything else. So we're transitioning that into the hardware space. What would happen if people actually collaborated on making open source hardware? We have lots of technology out there. But to organise the technology in such a way that it's accessible, without barriers to people, that is a very significant move forward. Now it's there for the individuals to organise themselves, and to really dig deeply, almost to what you would say a spiritual level. To really change their attitudes, and to take advantage of what is there, and to move our civilisation forward. I'm hopeful that human kind will arise to the occasion and seize the opportunity offered by this development. Open Source Ecology is really about creating the next economy: the open source economy. And what does that mean? It's an economy that optimises not only production, which the present economy is really good at, it's effective in production, but distribution is not so great. And how do you do that? And that is by opening... so called giving away trade secrets for free, or developing open source products for just about anything that we use. So imagine a scenario where instead of corporations all competing, reinventing the wheel and so forth, a lot of competitive waste, what if everyone were to join together to make the best products, the most robust products, that are open source, that anyone has access to producing them. And therefore we can run an economy in a collaborative way, as opposed to a competitive wasteful way. A film by Tristan Copley Smith

Video Details

Duration: 6 minutes and 58 seconds
Year: 2013
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: Tristan Copley Smith
Director: Tristan Copley Smith
Views: 39
Posted by: tzmgermany on Feb 8, 2013

Open Source Ecology founder Dr. Marcin Jakubowski and the OSE team explain the philosophy behind their work. Special thanks to our remote collaborators Tom Griffing, Zach Dwiel and William Neal. This is the working-location for translating. Finished translations will be moved to here: - [email protected]

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