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I would like to bring to everybodies attention the incredible work that is being done at Factor e Farm in Missouri.  Found at: www.openfarmtech.org

"dedicated to the collaborative development of tools for replicable, open source, modern off-grid "resiliant communities"  By using PERMACULTURE and DIGITAL FABRICATION together to provide for basic needs and open source methodology to allow low cost replication of the entire operation, we hope to empower anyone who desires to move beyond the struggle for survival and 'evolve to freedom"

VERY IMPRESSIVE STUFF!
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I really like their open-source tractors & trattorini.
 
                          
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I had the pleasure of meeting with two folks who spent about 6-months at factor-E farms.

They thought the technology/ideas of the founder was impressive, but it is just one guy. He rotates people in and out, but I would not consider it a community in any material sense of the word.

Their seems to be a trend in males (forgive my presumptuousness, but I am male too) to focus on the glamorous technology that underlies community. But no amount of technology will create a "community". It may create a world similar to one we have now, where we are all very disconnected with one another; we all may survive, but at the expense of what?

The community of which I am a part is also doing research similar to Factor-E. We have learned much by way of his website. However, most of our research thus far has been in the social component of community. How to get a group of highly intelligent people with big visions together in one place long enough for the synergy of community to take place. Without killing each other, or the community self-destructing.

19 out of 20 intentional communities that came out of the 70's didn't make it past their first decade. We take to heart that technology has to be in service of community, not the other way around. We can survive and muddle through a lot without the technology as long as we have each other. But without a shared vision of community, and the social technology to mitigate disputes, the the people will simply walk away from the technology.

If you are interested in Factor E, you may also be interested in what we are doing in Washington state.

www.windward.org
 
Matt Ferrall
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Location: Western WA,usda zone 6/7,80inches of rain,250feet elevation
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Open source tractors?Now all we need is opensourse pitmines  and an opensourse army to ensure supply.Opensourse industrial civilization??what?
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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>open source pitmines

Hm...I guess you mean abandoned garbage dumps.

>an opensourse army

Jeff Vail has some interesting ideas in this regard. I'm not sure open-source military intelligence is entirely plausible, despite the valiant case he makes in its favor...

Seriously, though, I get what you're saying. They're building an electric incubator with a vision to have it as simple, as maintenance-free, as easy to replicate as possible, relying on widely-available raw materials. If they weren't so fond of electricity, their principles would lead them to the bantam fairly quickly.
 
                                  
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Mt.goat wrote:
Open source tractors?Now all we need is opensourse pitmines  and an opensourse army to ensure supply.Opensourse industrial civilization??what?


exactly.
 
travis laduke
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http://vimeo.com/14718706

They put tracks on their tractor now.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
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I'm curious how they'll deal with metal fatigue/corrosion on those tracks, but it looks like they're working great so far!
 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Joel Hollingsworth wrote:Seriously, though, I get what you're saying. They're building an electric incubator with a vision to have it as simple, as maintenance-free, as easy to replicate as possible, relying on widely-available raw materials. If they weren't so fond of electricity, their principles would lead them to the bantam fairly quickly.


LOL!  Personally, I would go for the bantam.  The more man-made mechanical stuff you have, the more chance there is for something to malfunction, break, need to be replaced, etc.

Kathleen
 
      
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Well, Buckminster Fuller said humanity has already mined all the metal we ever need to take from the ground.
I believe him. There is TREMENDOUS waste out there. How much metal has the US military blown up/destroyed/thrown overboard into the oceans over the years? the answer would make you pissed off!

This is what Factor E is on about. In theory, you should be able to take scrap and transform it into useful machines eventually. It's a "farm" that's a fab lab. Baby steps first and all that.

Why buy something costly from John Deere when you could build from plain dimensional steel?
It's about getting building blocks together so that people can create their own machines locally.
Modular, simple construction. No "special parts" that need to be ordered from a far away place.

There's a lot more to it. Our weird US culture can't handle the thought though.
If you are not careful, there will be laws making sure John Deere is the only one that can sell you a Chinese made tractor.



 
Matt Ferrall
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I hear what your saying about metal.Now all we need is an eco energy source and we can finish the job of destroying the rest of our topsoil using eco/opensourse industrial cultivation.Sweeeet!
 
      
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Well, we have been doing that full speed for a century now anyway. But it's all in the hands of big money.
Think of all the abandoned factories etc. Soon China will have lots of abandoned factories over there.

I'd rather see small scale development. Local development that benefits people directly.
This way there is no need for a huge John Deere plant that is acres in size. This locks money in the hands of a few owners.
I don't think people really need every industrial product. We still need a lot of it though. It's a tough balancing act.

The future is DIY. Local decisions are the best pretty much.
This top down/concentration of power shit will kill us all.


More on that:

http://www.n55.dk/MANUALS/DISCUSSIONS/N55_TEXTS/AB_ideologies.html

"Concentrations of power

Concentrations of power do not always respect the rights of persons. If one denies this fact one gets: concentrations of power always respect the rights of persons. This does not correspond with our experiences. Concentrations of power characterize our society. Concentrations of power force persons to concentrate on participating in competition and power games, in order to create a social position for themselves. Concurrently with the concentrations of power dominating our conscious mind and being decisive to our situations, the significance of our fellow humans diminishes. And our own significance becomes the significance we have for concentrations of power, the growth of concentrations of power, and the conflicts of concentrations of power.
It is clear that persons should be consciously aware of the rights of persons and therefore must seek to organize the smallest concentrations of power possible."

 
                      
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The only criticism I'd grant factor-E farms is the extraordinary complexity of the whole operation. In order to pull off a community using such technology would require a machining shop be built at every site and several engineers be on site, alongside with welders, saws, etc...It would not be very simple. It would take quite a bit of knowledge and machinery to begin with. Such knowledge, the knowledge necessary to create such machines, would require schooling in engineering. Perhaps this could be another focus of factor e farms...To explain what they are even talking about in their videos. It all looks impressive but if the technology is still alien, it's kind of a waste. And yes they have done videos on how to create these machines but the videos would need to be extremely detailed so that it is accessible to everyone, as it is we just keep these momentary glimpses. If such a community requires several engineers, it would be a tall order and make it semi-inaccessible to those out of engineering knowledge loop.

However, that being said, I think the criticism that males "focus on glamorous technology" and that technology would create a world similar to the one we already have is a flawed criticism. Many so-called "primitve" socieites incorporate technologies, they are just less complex. A fishing net is technology, a spear is technology, building a teepee is technology, weaving a basket is technology. Technology isn't what aliens us, it's competition that alienates us, technology is only a source of amplification of said competition. Technology is nothing but a method of making things less laborious and more productive and therefore more likely to produce success. So, if it takes someone without technology 10 hours to produce X, with technology it takes 5 hours. The result is 5 more hours to do something else, like perhaps double the production of x to give to your neighbor, practice a musical instrument, make a painting, read a book, get extra sleep, etc...Technology isn't the problem here dude.

Another thing is that technology would only make a female-community far more successful. Women's bodies are very capable but not as capable as a mans body is in terms of weathering harsh outdoors work, sure there are many exceptions, but a community of women with technology would be beneficial. Technology has been more beneficial to women than anything on the planet, when women were home makers the dishwasher and the laundry machine freed them from hours of laborious activities, the pill is also a technology which freed them from pregnancy, so women really owe technology a thank you. Technology can build a beautiful building, perhaps a school for children, it could manufacture pencils and notebooks as well as other books whereas a community with no technology would use a piece of charcoal on a wall or draw lines in the sand with a stick.

Honestly I think it's the other way around, I think people who reject technology are day dreaming about the glamours of primitive society. One other issue is that I don't think factor-E farms is even trying to tackle or purporting to try to tackle some of the social issues of a community at all. Factor-e farms is specifically about technology, the beauty of it is that it can be applied to anyones vision of a community. Factor-E farms seems to be saying "whatever works works, here are the tools to help your community succeed". And perhaps if 19 of these communities had the technology to successfully work the land many of them would have survived. There's a pretty good chance that communities collapse mostly due to the fact that people who initially want to free themselves from our society find themselves enslaved by the workings of nature but with the addition of less comforts.

Trying to forcefully attach a social program to technology is irrational. Different people have different views on how communities should be arranged. This is why creating a designed social program for these machines would be sort of a political interjection into a NON-POLITICAL idea. And I think that's what attracted me to factor-E farms in the first place. It was an idea which could be used across political lines in the service of people who are individualists or collectivists, which is great since not everyone has the same social issues.

I think factor-E farms is doing the right thing, I'm just critical of the inaccessibility element in regards to the engineering of the machines. I guess this could be solved simply by advising people who wish to start a community to get a degree in engineering but this is a pretty tall order and inconsistent with the "open source" attitude. Just my opinion.

- Sowwermilk

pipicus McCoy wrote:I had the pleasure of meeting with two folks who spent about 6-months at factor-E farms.

They thought the technology/ideas of the founder was impressive, but it is just one guy. He rotates people in and out, but I would not consider it a community in any material sense of the word.

Their seems to be a trend in males (forgive my presumptuousness, but I am male too) to focus on the glamorous technology that underlies community. But no amount of technology will create a "community". It may create a world similar to one we have now, where we are all very disconnected with one another; we all may survive, but at the expense of what?

The community of which I am a part is also doing research similar to Factor-E. We have learned much by way of his website. However, most of our research thus far has been in the social component of community. How to get a group of highly intelligent people with big visions together in one place long enough for the synergy of community to take place. Without killing each other, or the community self-destructing.

19 out of 20 intentional communities that came out of the 70's didn't make it past their first decade. We take to heart that technology has to be in service of community, not the other way around. We can survive and muddle through a lot without the technology as long as we have each other. But without a shared vision of community, and the social technology to mitigate disputes, the the people will simply walk away from the technology.

If you are interested in Factor E, you may also be interested in what we are doing in Washington state.

www.windward.org
 
Claire Lyrae
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Had to make a comment. "Technology has been more beneficial to women than anything on the planet ..... so women really owe technology a thank you"
Technology is why millions of women have got fibromyalgia ME CFS Electrosensitivity repetitive strain injury and they owe technology a thank you?

Honestly I think it's the other way around, I think people who rely on technology are day dreaming about the glamours of a futuristic society
Technology has retrained the brains of human beings so that they have short circuited the thinking process i.e. philosophical thinking , poetry
Technology is killing the environment (via microwave radiation)
Technology reduces humans to pushing buttons instead of great skills of weaving, creation etc.
Technology created the system which in turn only serves the machine, not human beings
Technology is not making a teepee
technology is the science with machines you can't fool us it is making a teepee(!)

However, that said I am not totally against technology, it has its uses but I think it should be around 30% of what we rely on and the other 70% of human endeavours
otherwise we might as well be robots and that technology should be safe. If as a human race we are going to boast about technology it should not at the same time be killing us all.
 
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