Hippies with Powertools

They’re still at it! Marcin sounded a little disappointed that he hadn’t finished his “Civilisation starter kit on a DVD” already, but that was always pie-in-the-sky idealism like mine!
I’m just excited that he now has funding, and such a huge team of very smart engineering people working with him. They currently have a 13 piece modular system that can build 30 of the Global Village Construction Set.
(That’s what he calls the most important tools to start a civilisation again, or get life functioning at the village level: brick makers, tractors, ploughs, drill press, etc).
Think about it: if you owned a village workshop in Africa, and got really good at building the 13 basic modular components (like the power cube, a basic motor), it is only a few more steps to learn how to build 30 of the most important, labour saving devices to make a really comfortable village life.
Or let me put it another way: how many times have you thrown out an important tool because they didn’t make a certain widget any more? Or it was just too much fuss and bother to try and find the widget, and so you gave up and bought a whole new lawnmower (or whatever)? In Africa they just don’t have the money to buy a whole new tractor because some part breaks. That African farm or village will just have to go without the tractor that season, and lose some crops and income and, if it’s really desperate, their lives.

What 13 basic modular pieces to build 30 powerful tools means is that when your tractor breaks a major widget, that widget might already be on your farm! It might be a part of another item you’re not using this season. You can go and salvage that widget and replace it on the tractor: possibly that day, possibly even that hour! Or, if you don’t have it, your neighbour might. Or you at least know how you built it last time. The main message is that you know your precious tractor can be saved. Indeed, with tractors being so modular, how long will these things last? With different bits being replaced at different times, isn’t this powerful little tractor going to at least appear ‘immortal’?

Open Source Ecology really have amazing goals and ideals. Think permaculture + basic local industry. Think hippies with powertools. Think poor African villages becoming profitable African villages. It really is heart-warming and exciting.
This entry was posted in Industrial Ecosystems, Open Source Hardware. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Hippies with Powertools

  1. eprocbell says:

    Widgets always break in my world. Great article. Keep up the good work!

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