Posts tagged production

Posted 3 years ago

Open Source Ecology | Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last two years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set, an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, DIY fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farmingbuilding, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, in urban redevelopment, or in the developing world.

The ideas that guide the GVCS are:

Open Source - we freely publish our 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, and product manuals on our open source wiki and we harness open collaboration with technical contributors.

Low-Cost - The cost of making or buying our machines are, on average, 8x cheaper than buying from an Industrial Manufacturer, including an average labor cost of $15 hour for a GVCS fabricator.

Modular - Motors, parts, assemblies, and power units can interchange, where units can be grouped together to diversify the functionality that is achievable from a small set of units.

User-Serviceable - Design-for-disassembly allows the user to take apart, maintain, and fix tools readily without the need to rely on expensive repairmen.

DIY - (do-it-yourself) The user gains control of designing, producing, and modifying the GVCS tool set.

Closed Loop Manufacturing - Metal is an essential component of advanced civilization, and our platform allows for recycling metal into virgin feedstock for producing further GVCS technologies - thereby allowing for cradle-to-cradle manufacturing cycles

High Performance - Performance standards must match or exceed those of industrial counterparts for the GVCS to be viable.

Flexible Fabrication - It has been demonstrated that the flexible use of generalized machinery in appropriate-scale production is a viable alternative to centralized production.

Distributive Economics - We encourage the replication of enterprises that derive from the GVCS platform as a route to truly free enterprise - along the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy.

Industrial Efficiency - In order to provide a viable choice for a resilient lifestyle, the GVCS platform matches or exceeds productivity standards of industrial counterparts.

These are fantastic ideas.

Posted 3 years ago

Food Fight: Michael Pollan on the fractured "food movement"


One of the most interesting social movements to emerge in the past few years is the “food movement,” or perhaps I should say “movements,” … It’s a big, lumpy tent, and sometimes the various factions beneath it work at cross-purposes.

Posted 4 years ago
The very same technological developments that make it possible to free time and reduce everyone’s workload also allow the Right, through the weapon of unemployment, to reinforce the old ideology of hard work and productivity just when it no longer has any economic or technical basis. Nowhere is the ling separating Left and Right clearer than on the question of the social management of free time: on the politics of time.
André Gorz
Posted 4 years ago

Consumer Activism

The problem with activism at the level of consumption is that it’s inherently limited by the commodity form. You might plausibly change most or even all of the products you buy- but you’re still buying commodities. They remain disguised by outward appearances. Even if you limit your shopping to mom and pop establishments, many of their suppliers are still corporations- it’s pretty much impossible to do all the homework on the potential suppliers of all the establishments you patronize.

Additionally, most of the people who have the time and resources available to do that kind of research fall into the upper-middle class or higher, so it’s a very limited segment of the population that can even engage in this kind of activism. The problem is that the way we consume things is implied by the production- we build TVs to break so they may be replaced- so the point of production is how we should best tackle many of the myriad problems in our society (alienation, poverty, ecological degradation, etc).

Consumer activism also contributes in no small way to the commodification of politics. We see this in the horrible Product(RED) campaign, that implies that the only thing we need to do to improve the world around us is to buy the right products, and then turns right around and spends a huge portion of its money on advertising instead of donations. These slick marketing campaigns are a nice pat on the back for Product(RED) shoppers, thereby channeling their desire for an improved society into a regressive reinforcement of the status quo. 

Posted 4 years ago
It’s pretty funny that capitalist ideologues love to talk up “personal responsibility” and “self-sufficiency” when capitalism has done more to socialize the process of production than any other system in history.

It’s pretty funny that capitalist ideologues love to talk up “personal responsibility” and “self-sufficiency” when capitalism has done more to socialize the process of production than any other system in history.