Feasibility of Abundance
Notes on the Feasibility of Abundance
What are the Requirements for a Massive Parallel, Economically Significant Volunteer Project?
On one side, there are standard features of an open source development project that are required to make it work for economic impact: repositories, documentation, wikis, cloud-editable docs, clarity on ways to get involved, crowdsourcing of design, crowd funding, a community, a forum, roadmaps, bug trackers, email list, development team. Maintainers, developers, development architecture. Development protocols. Forks. Financial feedback loops.
Significant resources are typically required, though these produce significantly larger contributions to humanity. Wikipedia, a lean project, has 300 servers ( http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/06/24/a-look-inside-wikipedias-infrastructure ), a $75M annual budget and a staff of 280. http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2008/06/24/a-look-inside-wikipedias-infrastructure The Linux Foundation, which generates $1B of annual code development, has about 50 employees, and $6M revenue to run the core Foundation.( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linux_Foundation#Members , https://www.paysa.com/salaries/the-linux-foundation ) The Linux Foundation is a likely model for OSE development - a relatively small standards body that helps to coordinate a much larger development effort.
The big question for OSE is how we would ever materialize the 100,000x acceleration of the development effort. If we assume that we can negotiate Brook’s law sucessfully via modular design, how do change the world to the open source economy? For the 100k-x to begin - what is required to train and onboard a large number of contributors?
We must start with the clarification of scope. In some way, the open source economy is The Singularity, where ever increasing wisdom has taken over human ignorance an we have solved all human-caused problems. While Linux is an operating system for computers, we must clarify that OSE is an operating system for earth - where open source leads to integration of humans and nature, where everyone attains prosperity as material resource constraints are eliminated, and nobody is left behind.
To accept this scenario as desirable, we must get very clear about the current system - where the choice of competition leaves many behind, where wars continue, where innovation is stifled with patents and protectionism. We accept that as the cost of progress- but it’s all a lame mental model left behind from a scarcity mindset of yesterday, with no basis in reality. The bottom line of reality is 10000 - the earth captures 10000 times more power from the sun than we use in today’s global economy. If there is no scarcity of energy, there is no scarcity of materials - as all of human wealth comes from rocks, plants, soil, and water - as processed by energy that came from the sun.
If we assume the possibility of abundance, it becomes clear that the only phenomenon standing in the way of prosperity is not natural or material - but human created. It is the psychology and mindset of humans that needs to change for a paradigm shift of abundance. The OSE model aims to address the material basis, so that ‘making a living’ is taken out of the equation. If everyone can make a living, then we are free from political or other control - as control revolves around indviduals making compromises based on what they do not have - material or nonmaterial. Empowering everyone to have physical things is possible through productive technology. Open source production addresses the physical, as a basis to human evolution as people - so people grow as humans in their capacity to be whole, loving, and happy.
If the promise is freedom and abundance, let’s compare what happened with software, and why the promise is even greater with hardware. The clarity to be had here is that software at the end of the day was much more than a hobby project for Linus and the Linux movement - it translated to jobs. The clarity we need to attain about software taking over the world is that software ended up providing jobs - $400B of them - and most of this being Linux-based. ( https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/3482917 ) That is about 4 million jobs. The point to make is that open hardware cannot be only a hobby - it must provide economic substance for it to take off.
The potential for hardware is much greater, in that hardware can address the larger cost of living issue for people. The single largest cost of living is housing, followed by cars and food - 64% of our total cost of living in these 3 items.( http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Cost_of_Living ) While Linux provided revenue in the market economy, the open hardware revolution has the potential to reduce our costs of living directly - by providing lower cost options. It has the potential to relocalize economies - making production local. The chance of getting society right through charter cities, city states, or autonomous republics is exciting as we move away from borders to bioregions as the new governance.
It doesn’t help to try to extend the current model of nation states and global suply chains to a new civilization - as the transition appears to be too far-fetched, admittedly. It helps to establish a clean-slate mindset. Imagine all design is open source, and we can produce everything locally. The whole geopolitical structure of the world collapses to city states with a high standard of living everywhere.
Say we want to start a civilization from scratch, what do we need to know?
First, we need all the mechanisms of machines so that we can bootsrap right back up to modern technology - but appropriately as we replace the for-profit, conflict of interest (operators vs stockholders) corporation with a for-benefit entity. We tailor the entity for benefit of everyone including nature, so the modern standard of living is attained, minus the environemental compromises - minus the political compromises of far-away rulers.
The GVCS - and the underlying key 100 mechanisms - provide the new infrastructure kernel. We use this kernel to build all machines in parallel - with 10,000 people. 100 modules (mechanisms), 100 steps for each mechanism - and these mechanisms can create the entire GVCS.
Remember that the 100 steps include enterprise development - because the intent is that people make livelihood happen from this development - and that’s how we can attract 10,000 people at a time. A visible release schedule must mark product releases that people then use to support themselves in a regenerative society.