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Hi Marcin & gang, my name is Chad Bays. I would like to come out and visit your farm for a day or so sometime this December. Would this be okay, & are there any days in particular that would not be conducive to allowing a visitor to get an informal tour of your project?

I've donated $200 total in the last couple days ($80 + $120), and plan to donate more, as it goes without saying that you all are laying the ground work for a huge movement. I plan to enact a similar ecological infrastructure in a location in the northwest. I currently live in northeast TN.

Anyways, please get back to me whenever convenient and let me know what works for you. I'm currently looking at either the 2nd or 3rd week of December. Thanks.

Hey, Marcin; thanks for your prompt reply. Any project that lends itself to self-sufficiency is one I'm enthused about, but if I had to choose specifics, I go into electronic controls & automation pretty heavily (see: smart systems). I believe that, using open-source and free software (usually Unix/Linux-based), all processes of goods production could be adapted to a smart system or systems, and controlled either remotely or autonomously (i.e. "unmanned"). Given that permaculture projects such as yours are totally redesigning the inputs, processes, and outputs of producing energy, food, machinery, etc., it's a ripe time to bring said processes up to speed with the current advances in electronic technology. Instead of designing a smart system around the orthodox, traditional ways of production, the ways and means of production are designed around the smart system. I know I'm being somewhat vague here, but for sake of time, I'm just outlining my primary interest and the philosophy behind it. However, if there is another, more time-critical project in-progress when I arrive, I'll be more than happy to help. I'd just like to meet with you and your companions to see the what's, how's, why's, and who's of your project and its successes & failures. A learning experience for me as I plan to develop a similar community in the northwest next year. Secondary interests to me would definitely be energy conversion/conservation, such as your CHP solar turbine, and "ag tech" (i.e. soil-based farming, as well as hydroponics and aquaponics). Of course, I see inroads for all of these sub-categories of OSE back into electronic controls/automation. I am working on drawing up a flowchart similar to the one you present on your homepage covering all aspects of the system, sorting through the pros, cons, connections, discontinuities, etc of each component in the system in relation to others, then connecting the dots in a streamlined fashion as they depend upon: 1) necessity to the system as a whole, 2) power consumption & output (and routing any waste energy or materials to another process where it can be used), 3) smart system controls (cost of controls & maintenance), 4) miscellaneous factors.

If any of the things I've alluded to are of interest to you and your companions, and you wish to collaborate, I'm all ears & eyes. Look forward to talking with you again. Take care. - Chad

> Is there any way that you could postpone your community building to > join ours? I think concentrating efforts is useful - until the whole > GVCS becomes self-replicating. There is so little practical effort in > that direction. There are so many pitfalls to avoid - that going to > spend some time at a place like ours (only 2 year history) - would > probably accelerate any progress you would have at a place that you > plan on creating.

Hmm, I don't see why not. I'm single with no kids or other dependents, and I plan to reduce the total volume of my material possessions to that of a 5x9x6 cargo trailer (plus room in my car), so I will be pretty flexible in mobility. Off the top of your head, how long of a stay do you have in mind? For some background of where I'm heading, there's a fellow named Rob Gray of the Liberty Dollar Bank of Dallas, TX who is starting to enact a gold & silver depository on the grounds of the Lakota Indian National Reservation, centered in South Dakota, which I'll be helping with. I'm headed to either western SD or eastern WY, probably WY, to join the (very loosely organized) Wyoming Free State Project. I'm not banking on that to amount to much...I'm moving there to collaborate on several other projects which I won't go into for sake of brevity. Taking a SWAG, I'd consider staying with your commune for 4-5 months. I'd bring plenty of basic necessities so as to keep my burden on the commune near zero during a "training" period. I also won't divulge personal wealth for now.

  To be honest, I haven't read your wiki and blog thoroughly enough to see where you stand in progress toward completion of the GVCS, and compared it to your designed flowchart system. I've read your weblog, and skimmed over the wiki...if only I could shun sleep ;)
  The pitfalls alluded to are precisely what I intended to deduce from my visit with you. But, I would certainly be willing in any way possible to brainstorm and design as comprehensive of a plan as possible.

> Furthermore, a reality check on what it means to live on land is > useful. Frankly speaking - it doesn't sound like you have had much > experience working the land. Is that correct? That's not bad, it's > just that - speaking from experience - the preconceptions of what it > means to be on land need to be tuned in with the realities.

I live in northeast TN at present. I've done some farming of potatoes, tomatoes, greens, corn, squash, some fruits...but never in a scenario where I had to derive all subsistence from the land. I, like most, have always had a grocer down the road. But, obviously, a change in philosophy is leading me toward the OSE movement. Real-world experience with folks like yourself who know some of the ropes would certainly benefit myself and others I work with thereafter.

> The open source fab lab involves at least points 1-3 that you mention > above. I'd like to see your propositions. Indeed, we'll be working on > the CNC xy torch table in December. Perhaps we can collaborate on the > torch table?

December sounds good. I currently work at a manufacturing facility, which is seeing a downturn from the economy and the election-season jitters, so I've got a sizeable window of time ahead to design, source, install, and run several pieces of machinery, a CNC plasma torch being one of them. I've got a bookmarked link to a from-scratch build somewhere...can't locate it right now...too many bookmarks. I frequent these sites though, and save lots of info: (aka Fab Lab; what you've got going)

Do you have a precise start date set for design & construction of the xy torch table? If so, I'll try to make some room in my schedule for collaborating with you. - Chad - Show quoted text -

On Thu, Nov 6, 2008 at 11:04 PM, Chad <> wrote:

       See attached for my completed application. Note that my proposal in the last question of the app (in the R&D path option) may not be as explicit as you'd like for a ready-to-use proposal - however, I know that the technology's there and it can be done, it just takes lots of time to develop...time that I frankly don't have right now. My preparations to transition out of my current existence (especially at work) and into one like yours is requiring lots of planning and execution in its own right.
       Shoot me an email once you've reviewed my app and, if you want to do a phone interview, give me a heads-up on what day and time window you plan to call, as I sometimes turn it off to get some quiet time.
   Lastly, with regard to R&D of the Torch Table: give me 2 weeks, and I'll try to clear out some time in my schedule to get started helping you. Do you want to make this an uniformly-propelled effort amongst all members of the design team, or are you going to steer the ship and delegate development of pieces of the project to members?

Personally, I'd like to make you Project Manager if you are up for that. That way, you lead the technical development, and then we can propose a budget, schedule, and submit a crowdsource funding basket based on that. That would make you our fourth project manager. We have CEB, sawmill, solar turbine now. Some flex fab would be in order.

   I state "amongst" in the event it will be more than you and I working on this.
   Look forward to hearing from you. As mentioned in the first question, let me know if 12/2-12/4 (or so) works for you and the group. Later.      - Chad

Sure does. By then, we will have a comfortable workshop.

I'll read your application.