What technology is appropriate for freedom?

A contribution by Marcin Jakubowski explaining the logic underlying the Open Source Ecology project.

Marcin Jakubowski:

“we are striving for a much more evolved state of existence – the integral approach of becoming truly productive human beings – whom we call Integrated Humans . This requires both high skill and appropriate equipment – which enables the high-tech self-providing that Frithof Bergmann’s New Work movement has proposed. I’m not talking about industrial technology-based self providing – which is in itself a contradiction in terms – because industrial technology requires a central support apparatus. I am talking about post-industrial technology – which can be self-fabricated, and is open-source-wise transparent.

Then the question becomes – which technology is appropriate? Our response is – all technology should be open-sourced, optimized, and integrated into ecological wholes. If the technology does not show promise of such integration – it should be left alone. If technology is opensourced, then it becomes transparent enough that people can make choices about it – through their own discression, not that of ad-men. The key is to have choice – which we do not have today – because the only available industrial technology option does not really constitute a choice.

To back up – I keep talking about a technology base for evolving to freedom. This may sound offensive to the humanist. I clarify that our goal is entirely humanistic – and that an integral life (ie – Integrated Humans) of merging one’s true needs with their reality – is our primary goal. This is a game played on the spiritual and psychological field. Yet, from a pragmatic perspective – how can we become integrated humans if we’re involved in crap jobs and immersed in unhealthy environments? These issues must be addressed before widespread access to personal evolution can happen. This is why we focus on the hardware prerequisites – which promote enterprising high productivity that enables people to sever their reliance on unhealthy environments.

This is our present 2-year phase. We want to be be done with it, and move on. That’s why we keep telling everybody to drop what they are doing now – and participate in producing the option of a viable, highly productive, open source economic system – which helps those with higher aspirations than a 9 to 5 to pursue their dreams. This has be be done once – and then the tools become available. So subscibe to this work – and put your money where your mouth is on realizing these ideals. These are not just ideals – we have a program for action. We will publish a separate episode on the different ways that you can benefit directly by the infrastructures that we are creating right here at Factor e Farm.

To return to the discussion on which is more appropriate – a broadfork or a rototiller – my response is that a broadfork should be used for broadforking, and a rototiller should be used for rototilling. The discression is left up tot the user. As far ourselves, we may use the rototiller for now, until we develop the more advanced agricultural spader – to feed a village-in-the-making of 30 people. If it can be shown that one can produce a 100% complete diet with a broadfork, while allowing for much leisure time to pursue more global aspirations, then I am all for it.

I am saying that with an open mind. It would be really useful to perform the following experiment. Take the open source lifetrac tractor – with its agricultural implements. Show the most effective method for producing 100% food for 30 people while using LifeTrac assist. Next, take the same 30 people and arm them with hand tools and draft animals. Give them the same task of providing 100% diets for each of them, year-round. Then see who ends up having more free time, even if we include the time and energy it took to produce the LifeTrac infrastructure. We are talking about engaging in primarily perennial, integrated, open source agroecology food systems in both cases.

It may be possible that with good design, the manual route is just as effective. But, it is likely that if a lifetime-design power assist is available – it will probably result in more leisure time. Such an experiment is worth documenting – with technology maintenance requirements internalized.

I cannot help but add – if we have the mechanical power equivalent of 50 horses – or the equivalent of 100 slaves – and the techniques and skill to harness that power wisely – without human rights abuses of slave plantations – isn’t absolute prosperity the only possible outcome? That’s the experiment that we are engaging. Are we missing something in our experimental design?

Observation shows that most people with small tractors the size of the 55 hp LifeTrac do not live in mansions. This shows me that somewhere along the line – our technological system has failed – and this failure is what we’re trying to address at Factor e Farm.

I have not yet added fuel, fiber, small industry, and education functions that we’ll be engaging as part of an economic ecology. When we consider an integrated economy, I cannot see how our 30 person team will prosper – without some high performance tools. It’s time for civilization to befriend its machines – and show mutual respect.”

1 Comment What technology is appropriate for freedom?

  1. Pingback: The technology appropriate to freedom « Thinking About Technocracy

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