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Open Sourced Blueprints for Civilization

Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).



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How about an open source Internet?

With a modification to the IPv6 protocol, IP addresses could be assigned either automatically or manually via GPS coordinates. Publish a hardware spec and you should be able to get an 8 port router to connect you and all your neighbors at ultra high speed. I've thought about this a lot as a way to guarantee private traffic, increase bandwidth, and true redundancy. You could send your data out through 4 or more peer routers so your data wouldn't always travel the same path. No one anywhere could decode your data since they wouldn't have access. The FCC would have no ISP to regulate. The wireline monopolies would go away and so might a lot of telephone poles. IP addresses could be traced geographically which could eliminate problems like spoofing, spam, and virus tracking.

I'd be happy to share my design ideas with anyone who writes router code in the open source movement.

needs more research! bro,

needs more research!

bro, look up how DNS works and Root hints etc.. the "internet" has to have dns.. though I can think of a few ways to turn that open source also, with a "wiki" like set of core DNS sites..

either way, you gotta deal with DNS, that's the core of the problem with open source internet

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato

You could trademark a domain and become a registrar yourself.

DNS software is already available open source. The problem is there is a central authority that runs the root servers and decides the top level domains. Why can't a top level domain be registered just like a second tier one? Why should I be limited to .com or .biz when .corp or .politics would work just as well? There could be thousands of top level domains too, just like there are area codes. And a top level domain like .com could serve both networks simultaneously too.

And for that matter, why does there have to be one root server? Point each top level DNS server to whoever runs the best root server or many of them. The root level and .com level servers could be organized by a free root server along the lines of Craigslist. Why do we need a central authority to decide top level domain names and root authority? That could even be handled at a community level, e.g., maybe a local chamber of commerce or the Girl Scouts, or the community college.

I guarantee you that if the network reached 10% of the people, the existing registrars would want to supply registration services to the free network and would make .com and other existing domains available. It also wouldn't be hard to create a gateway to connect the Internet to this new open network for full domain translation.

A universal interconnection contract can be used to further nail down some of these issues of cooperation, kind of like the open source contracts. By connecting to your neighbor, you become part of the agreement. This might include clauses that cover topics like DNS, coordinate spoofing, traffic sniffing, traffic throttling, etc.

The other thing this would accomplish, even better than the Internet does, is to futher decentralize routing. One of the goals in desiging the Internet in the first place was to create a distributed communications network that could survive a nuclear war. As it stands right now, taking out a few of the main interconnection points in cities like New York, Chicago, and San Francisco would bring the Internet to a crawl.

there are around 8 top level

there are around 8 top level "root" DNS servers..

remember, the root level domain is "."

for example www.dailypaul.com works, but in reality the FQDN is www.dailypaul.com. (with the trailing ".")

its a hierchial arangement that has to be that way for it to work as it currently does.

you touched on part of why its so hard, since DNS is so important you have to guarentee authoritative responces and protect those records so there's no DNS poisening.. its a security issue mixed with a functionality issue really.

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato


Sounds neat.

Joel Salatin made some

interesting observations on miniaturization and the use of lightweight, multiple use equipment and infrastructure. Here are a couple clips were he touches on this subject. It seems Salatin's ideas would benefit from the open sourced blueprint concept which Marcin Jakubowski is talking about.

Joel Salatin on Localization - Part 1
- He discusses it in the first four and a half minutes of part 1.

Sustainable Farming with Joel Salatin - Part 1
- Same topic starts at 36:20.

That is cool stuff

I've had many thought along exactly those same lines.
Guess I'll need that DVD.

Just one last kick in the nuts, then a final deathblow

Great stuff!

I'll be contributing to this project, guaranteed.

(Please note that my other comment below is related specifically to the idea of baby-making robots, not low-cost tractors.)

Aut Invenium Viam Aut Faciam.

Big Bump!

Great news, sharpsteve! I can't wait to share this one with my loved ones.

"Hence, naturally enough, my symbol for Hell is something like the bureaucracy of a police state or the office of a thoroughly nasty business concern." ~~C.S. Lewis
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

This is how we beat them. We

This is how we beat them. We need open projects for energy, housing, food and water, MONEY and everything else that people need.

Imagine if tomorrow we all just disconnected from their whole system.

"The United States can pay any debt it has because we can always print money to do that." — Alan Greenspan

Forwarded This Video to My Econ Professor


"The casualty of partisanship is objectivity."

Oh, I do

love this!! Really great.

I like the dream

but I question what level of value is delivered by some of these fabrications. I went to the Web site and watched several videos of their creations in action. The "excavator" with the fat guy on it looked pretty pitiful to me. One non-fat man with a simple shovel could have excavated more earth in the same amount of time, probably with less sweat than the fat guy lost just sitting there.

The claim of 1/8 the cost for these DIY implements probably didn't incorporate the actual work they could do compared with what's commercially available.

A more impressive claim would be, "our forklift that costs just $20,000 to build was able to load and unload pallets of bagged cement at the same rate as this [make and model] forklift that cost #160,000."

Maybe the compacted-earth brick machine worked like a charm but without a side-by-side comparison how do we know? Are the bricks as good? Is the production rate the same? C'mon guys, give us the Consumer Reports version.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Hand-made tools can be every bit as effective

I know it for a fact, because I've been doing it for years. I have a little metal lathe in my basement that I made a few years ago using scrap metal and a Bridgeport mill. While it does not have the productive capacity of a CNC turning center, it cost about 20 bucks in threaded hardware, and a good amount of time- but it is able to turn parts up to 4" in diameter and 12" long with a utilitarian level of precision. (Comparable to a Hardinge "chucker" that is in average condition) It doesn't get used much, though, as I acquired and restored a WWII era Foster #5 turret lathe soon after completing it.

I also have a propane fueled forced air forge that reaches 2400 F, just under the melting point of iron. It cost me $80 to build, and works the same as those sold to farriers for over a grand. The flame jets are made from plumbing fixtures, and the forced air for the unit is provided by a fan from an old water heater. It not only works great, it even looks pretty good, too.

To go along with the forge, I also hand-made a swedge block from 1/4" 1045 plate, welded in stages and finished with hard facing rod. It works *better* than the available cast-iron ones on the market.

I've got saws, tap arms, fixtures, you name it- and all of them work perfectly well. What you need to remember is that tools for personal use, for instance on a farm, don't have to be as perfectly efficient as those used in giant industrial concerns. Nor do they need to be pretty- they just have to get the job at hand done to an acceptable degree.

To be fair, my home shop took years to build, and probably cost $60-80K to outfit, when you consider the commercial tools, bits, abrasives, chemicals and raw materials involved- but in the words of the Man in Black, I did it one piece at a time, and it's more or less outfitted to the point where I can repair anything in it without leaving my home.

Aut Invenium Viam Aut Faciam.

THAT is inspiring!

I think the ability to make and repair your own tools is a vastly important survival asset that is bound to come in handy. You might make a gun or two while you're at it, just so you know you can do it in case...

One project I have on a back burner is an H-O torch for welding and cutting. I know it's considered energy inefficient to spend the energy to split water but in an economic collapse or other long-term grid-down disaster where acetylene is unavailable, solar electricity could be used to make torch gas. H-O supposedly is superior to oxyacetylene anyway, and as long as good flashback protection is installed in the line, the dangers of working with an explosive mixture are minimal.

If there is a massive meltdown (or EMP attack, plague, etc.), there will be a die-off period that should peter out in a few years and those left standing will have to begin building anew. Tool makers will be the key.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

I know I *can* make a gun

But I will not until the SHTF- It's not worth the risk of prosecution otherwise. As far as I am aware, it is currently legal to manufacture any component except for the frame, but that's kind of a big component.

The hardest part is the barrel, but it's not an insurmountable issue. It's usually bored with a gun drill, and that's a pretty specialized piece of equipment. But, if a guy has some steel wire and borax, you can make a pattern-welded shotgun barrel by wrapping the wire around a mandrel and forging it by hand. Neither method is a DIY project, unless you have some specialized knowledge- you're more likely to maim yourself than get a good product.

All that aside, this is the US- I doubt very much that guns will be hard to come by anytime soon. They're easy to find now, and would be even easier when some of the more aggressive folks bring out their arsenals.

But the tools, absolutely. Good luck with the H-O torch- sounds like a fun one!

For any others that may be interested in this, but are nervous about it, be aware that your local tech schools offer courses in machine shop tooling. Don't know how much time is left, but any knowledge is better than no knowledge, and if everything irons out and you get the finish the degree, you always have a backup in an industry that has a perpetual labor shortage.

Aut Invenium Viam Aut Faciam.

Glad to get your input

on the legal aspects. I withdraw my suggestion. I had ASS-umed that you just couldn't make guns for sale w/o permission.

New Hampshire and Ecuador.

Thank you glad I am not alone

I just can't see these being all that practical. However, It isn't to say it isn't an interesting concept and may become very valuable someday as these designs evolve. The "tractor" does not look all that functional to me. What people don't understand is design is an evolution of ideas tested by trial and error over time. These tools in the modern error look the way the they look only because it is functional. Tools are unitarian no frills. Yes the GPS, Electronic controlled hydraulics, and EPA emissions are not necessary for a tractor, but the market in the states demands that. Maybe the market in India doesn't.

Also to do this you need Electricity, good supply of steal, cutting torch, A good welder, and a decent drill. Yea, I have all of this stuff, but how many people in the world really do.

To me this just proves one thing at the moment Physicists do not make good farmers. Yes farm equipment is expensive especially when you look at how simple it really is (from a Physicists stand point), but hey the .gov subsidizes it so why not? Until this project evolves I really don't see it being all that practical. It could turn out to be something amazing in the future.

"Prototype" should tell you

"Prototype" should tell you everything you need to know...

If you build something real, not just computer-based, then you can tweak and adjust what is needed to made the "prototype" a final version.

Not sure if you guys have caught the videos that actually explain the concept of building a final version of a fabricator and CNC machine, but it's genius is basically blue-printing mechanical machines that, once built, can "make babies"... to put it simply.

I think this project has a hell of a lot to do with the liberty movement to de-regulate and do with low cost production, what big money banks have destroyed by backing industries that inflate the cost of actually PRODUCING anything in this country...

With the self replicating ability through use of low-cost technology, the free markets should made production of "things" and "hardware" in this country rediculously cheap compared to the cost today...

This is a major free-market movement and in my estimation after reading/watching/researching most of the day today, has the power of an idea who's time has come, philosophically speaking.

You're not a machinist, are you?

While I don't disagree that the technology is plausible in the long run, it is still the situation today that you cannot simply make "machines" ... "that make babies."

I've spent fourteen years running CNC mills and lathes, and the past four years as a mechanical design engineer in a cutting-edge shop that makes surgical instruments and (to my regret) military aerospace hardware.

The reality of the situation is that even though CNC has made it relatively easy to produce repeatable parts, it is not yet at the point where it can reliably function without human intervention. It *has* increased productivity a lot, but it still requires that an operator be present to verify the results and check the condition of the tooling being used to make the part. Loading and unloading are well within the range of possibility, and even automating tool checks and in-process data collection are starting to enter the picture- but you need to understand that making a precision component requires rigidity in the machine, coolant to prolong tooling life, and a human overseer at the very least- and that is in a million-dollar state-of-the-art mill.

If you want to automate in any meaningful way, it requires at least one 6-axis pick and place robot with a complex end effector. The robots go for almost as much as the machines, and the end effectors need to be designed and manufactured in-house, as they are not part of the robot.

So, what you are proposing building in garages and sheds requires a number of things I don't believe you've considered. First, the rigidity required to form and cut steel will necessitate the ability to melt, pour and cast large iron structural members. That is filthy, and extremely dangerous- and you *will* be burning coal to do it- the neighbors don't like that much in my experience. You will also need a sheet-metal shop full of tools to create coolant pans, machine bodies, and doors. That means shears and brakes that will fill said garages all by themselves. Next, you need to make circuit boards- not impossible, but again, this can be pretty dangerous in a home setting due to the vats of fairly aggressive chemicals required. All that is before you even start to make the actual machine- and that is a whole other can of worms. At the very least, you'll be needing at least $20,000 in measurement tools to get any kind of precision into the machine- and you will need that if you expect to get precision out. The rule of thumb is that the tools you use to make and measure parts must be ten times as precise as the result you expect- if you want thousandths (and you do) you will need to measure the first machine in tenths. If you want to produce machines routinely, expect to use millionths of an inch routinely.

And forget the idea of doing it on the cheap. Have you ever bought a carbide end-mill? They go for about $100 a pop, and last about 60 hours. You do require more than one size, along with thousands of dollars worth of drills, reams, and other tooling. I assure you, as someone inside of the industry, this is one area of the economy that is already running as lean and as close to the bone as it can- we are the ones who are actually going toe-to-toe with China every single day.

I do have some good news, though- the 3d modeling software has gotten simply awesome. You ideas about prototyping are rapidly becoming a thing of the past- I make fixtures and prototypes all the time, and using solidworks, I can model, mate and test virtually a machine of almost any complexity on my laptop. In the three years since I switched to that from AutoCAD, I haven't had a single physical prototype fail due to design- the computer has eliminated the need for making a physical prototype in almost every sense., and it gets better every year.

Don't get me wrong- we'll get there someday. But it won't be today or tomorrow, and it's unlikely to come out of an open-source movement. Some of the best mechanical design minds on the planet, with combined centuries of experience in design and machining are already working on this, and I assure you that it will be on the market as soon as it is available- it is not a case of technological repression or anything of the sort, it's just that it is a terribly complex task that is evolving in incremental steps. Every new addition to these systems adds a geometric increase in total complexity, and that isn't something that can be overcome in a weekend with a six-pack and a wrench.

All that aside, an open-source blueprint for society is a great idea. But set the sights a touch lower to start- a CNC mill is extraordinarily expensive and requires huge amounts of energy to operate- most I've seen use 440V power, and have a footprint larger than a car. But a decent used manual Bridgeport can be obtained for about $3000, and can perform all the same tasks in the hands of an experienced machinist. It requires more labor, but if there are no jobs, labor is a commodity that will be virtually limitless for a time- and you can run a manual mill or lathe with a steam engine, if push were to come to shove.

What I'd like to see are plans for things that an average Joe actually has a chance of producing- starting with the basics, like making a wheelbarrow out of salvaged sheet metal, or how to bore out an engine cylinder. Also desperately needed would be step-by-step instructions on electrical power generation and distribution, making wire, making electrical motors, making batteries, extracting chemicals from raw materials, and any other number of things- baby-making robots are sci-fi for now, and will not be high on the priority list if things get really bad. Stick with the basics first, and if we can keep society from collapsing for now, we can have everything we once had back, given a little time and a return to core values. We'll talk about building a new technocratic utopia later, if we don't all starve and shoot each other first.

Don't forget the first rule of engineering- KISS (Keep it simple, stupid!)

Gonna give you a bump anyway, though- it's a fine and noble idea, you just need to take a deep breath and focus on what really matters over what you would have if you could just have anything you want. Who knows, you start it slow, and you may be the guy who does make the self-replicating machines- it just isn't going to be as easy as you think, but that has never been a reason not to try. And, it's a very good skill set to have- even with the unemployment rate where it is, we have a shortage of qualified people to do these jobs.

Aut Invenium Viam Aut Faciam.

Oh no no, I'm not a

Oh no no, I'm not a machinist. The "making babies" comment was meant to simplify that if you can get a machine working properly that can cut metal like a torch table, you can effectively make the cuts to easily create a replicated 'torch table' with more precision than the first, effectively replicating itself, or in my dumb term... making babies :)

Interesting read on your post too!

Now that...

Is right on the money, and more-or-less sums up the progression of the metalworking trades.

The common wisdom is that if you have a mill, you can make the rest. (Except for the turning guys- they insist that only a lathe can make a machine shop.) Nobody does anymore because of the time and labor, but it has always been possible.

Aut Invenium Viam Aut Faciam.

sorry man I am too drunk and need sleep before easter service

But I appreciated your input here tremendously. I will respond with a coherent well thought out post when I have time.

I am one of those dumb ass engineers you have worked with over your career but have always known the guy making the parts I have designed has a vast amount of knowledge that is extremely beneficial to incorporate into designs. So while I didn't read everything you wrote in great detail...I pretty much get the gist of it and I thank you for spreading your great knowledge.

We will talk more in the future I am sure of it!

I have yet to meet a dumb-ass engineer...

But it is true that some have more hands-on experience than others. That was one of the worst things our educational system did to us in the last twenty years or so- instead of encouraging things like shop class and welding in high schools, every teacher I ever had basically said that anyone who didn't go to college to get a "good" job (translation: business-casual office setting) was basically an idiot.

I'm sure you've heard the line too- "What, do you want to dig ditches when you grow up?" If I knew then what I know now, I would have pointed out how much a heavy equipment operator gets paid compared to a file clerk, and you get to go outside and play in the dirt all day.

That hands-on tinkerer approach used to be part of the definition of an American- hopefully, it comes back around!

Aut Invenium Viam Aut Faciam.

Very well put

From a hands on engineer,All the books in the world cannot replace experience.I have yet to see a problem replicate it's self,Every project is new,no two are ever the same.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

reedr3v's picture

I agree, it's the vision, it's getting people to

realize they can act and think independently of the mega-corporations. It is a bit like our task in getting people to think of themselves as capable with a government-managed care matrix. All of the answers are not spelled out ahead; that's the brilliance of open-source. Millions of creative minds can innovate and test and improve on the ideas.

This Is What Has Always Made America Great...American Ingenuity

America Will Work Its Way Out Of The Mess We're In, As Long As Government Leaves Her Alone..

Open Source Hardware and Arduino

To learn more about open source systems, I recommend looking closer at the Arduino movement mentioned in the open source blueprints video.

Arduino is a open-source movement that I find very interesting. The Arduino platform is an open-source IDE for writing embedded programs using Atmel AT-mega micro-controllers with a language like C called Processing.

Embedded programming is a very challanging field of electronics, and I am excited about the open source hardware along with open source software.

This open source movement is bringing down cost and increasing productivity.

The Arduino environment uses ATMEL micro-controllers (hardware)with an open source Arduino bootloader inside the chip. This open source platform has made programming these controllers, and interfacing with other objects so much easier than it used to be. Especially getting started.

If anyone is into electronics and hobbling I highly recommend the Ardunino platform. If you want to learn more about how Arduino got started watch the video I have linked below, and then search the web for your favorite Arduino project.

The driving force behind commercial patent rights is really to get the information public, rather than keep trade secrets.

Open source hardware is a revolutionary concept, and in my opinion the Arduino makes getting started with embedded micro-controllers like the Atmel AT series more user friendly then ever before. The open source movement has already revolutionizes software, and the open source approach to hardware is allowing more people to get exposed to more advanced concepts like embedded micro-controllers.

Learn more about open source software and hardware by watching the Adruino Documentary




Man: Toolmaker

Software is a tool. Open source blueprints is an interesting concept.

Thanks sharpesteve

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