Scott Williams

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Team Culturing Information

WHO are you?

  • Name - Scott Lawrence Williams
  • Languages - English, Spanish
  • Location - Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
  • Contact Information - scottwil!at!nmsu!dot!edu
  • Resume/CV -

        Ph.D. (Candidate) Plant and Environmental Sciences (Agronomy with minor in Electrical Engineering)
        M.Sc. Mathematics (Numerical Analysis)
        B.Sc.  Agricultural Engineering (Power and Machinery)
        B.A.   Philosophy (Empiricism)
        B.A.   (Licenciatura)  Estudios Latinoamericanos (Antropología e Historia)

        30 years experience as either:
             - Systems analyst/engineer at national, private, and university research laboratories.
             - Entrepreneur/engineer small business owner developing applications for agricultural and semi-conductor sectors.

  Resume details: Agrineer

  • Hobbies and Pastimes - gardener, tinkerer; reading history/philosophy, motorcycle restoration and road trips (continental scale preferred)

WHY are you motivated to support/develop this work?

  • Do you endorse open source culture?

Open source is much more than about superior software and hardware.

Open source's availability to understand, and to improve, technology represents a significant step in society: anyone can potentially make the technology their "own", but not in the commonly used meaning of "ownership". This new sense of ownership allows individuals and communities control over the technology they use and not the other way around.

Depending on your point of view, this new ownership is either a blessing or a curse. For those who want to decentralize power and control, this is a blessing since open source provides an organic, robust, and peaceful way to achieve more control over their own lives. For those who want to centralize power and control, this is a curse, for the same reasons. Open source has a liberating effect on those who use it, and is recognized by both sides.

Most farmers may not understand open software, but they will understand open hardware. It is tangible and familiar. It comes with concepts they know all too well: robustness, flexibility, fix-ability, and independence. Farmers and small entrepreneurs could be the catalysts for this next phase of technology and its rendering.

For these and other reasons, I fully endorse and promote the open source culture.

  • Why are you interested in this work?

OSE is laying down a solid foundation for work that needs to be done.

The “closed” technology approach is unscientific and anti-social in many ways: from "app" authorization to privacy invasion to seed/chemical corporation domination over farmers. Our dependence on technology is fast becoming an instrument of control over us. This is due, in large part, to the lack of true popular access to the technology we use. So, the more dependent we are on closed technology, the more control we can expect from centralized entities. To paraphrase (this as) Stallman's Law:

         Freedom is proportional to the control of technology.

The amount of control, and by whom, determines the type of freedom. I believe the open hardware approach addresses Stallman's Law for the positive and that the OSE effort has the potential for reaching that goal. This is why I am interested in this work.

  • Are you interested in teaching about the GVCS?

Yes, educational reach is key in establishing a foothold and beyond. At a seminar level, I'm thinking of short presentations to local agricultural communities.

  • Are you interested in economic relocalization possibilities arising from the GVCS?

At first, I interpreted "economic relocatization" at the personal scale...Would I be willing to relocate if paid? Hmmm, rethinking the expression leads to "decentralized or distributive economies".

Yes, I believe this is a principal component and an example of what gives open source a deeper meaning.

  • Do you want to use the GVCS technologies yourself? Do you want to build them yourself?

Not just to use but to build and improve. I'm particular interested in the power (cube) aspects of GVCS.

  • Are you interested in starting up (an) enterprise using the GVCS technologies?

Business sense of enterprise:

    Yes, if the opportunity arose I would give it serious consideration. Mostly to better understand the business side of open farm technology. Realizing a positive cash-flow is necessary for any business and, if successful, adds a sense of practicality and credibility to the effort. Developing successful business models is a must have requirement for broad acceptance of GVCS technologies. I'd like to understand and propagate the process of a viable open farm tech business.

New Projects sense of enterprise:

    Yes, always open if well matched.

Star Trek sense of enterprise:

     If we do a good job now, maybe in the future a USS Enterprise can be built with GVCS technologies.

  • Are you interested in having the GVCS technologies fabricated by your local custom fabricator?

If I can't make it myself, of course.

  • Are you interested in applying the GVCS to third world development? To redevelopment of crisis areas? To development of derelict areas in the developed world?

Yes, if a well-matched opportunity came up. My efforts would be best served in applying GVCS to Latin American development due to background. I'd like to participate in the "Johnny Appleseed" effort.

  • Are you interested in starting up Industry 2.0 flexible fabrication enterprises for your local community, by drawing from a global repository of freely down-loadable designs and fabricating using open source fabrication equipment?

I'm interpreting "Industry 2.0" as the second industrial (digital) revolution. I see this potential and I think the OSE Incubator project is pertinent and would like to investigate it further.

Yes, I'd be interested for reasons stated above in the "enterprise" question.

  • Are you interested in the potential of the GVCS for developing local food systems?

Yes, I think that a major objective here is to maximize a self-sustainable food supply and independent means of production. Nothing upsets the centralist/corporatist more than self-sufficiency.

  • Are you interested in doing academic studies/papers, publishing books, or doing other analysis of our efforts?

Yes. I enjoy analysis and writing about it if sufficiently motivated. If not, I'd rather be doing.

  • Are you interested in financial investment opportunities arising from our work?

I can see a moderate level of investment necessary for starting a small manufacturing site; capitalization, overhead, etc., and deriving an honest return. That would be required for any start-up, and I would be interested as mentioned above. I prefer "effort" investment for real wealth, like self-sufficiency.

  • Are you interested in the distributive economic aspects of our work, and if so, how do you see this playing out?

Early distributist attempts (late 19th-mid 20th century) suffered from not having the degree of technology that we enjoy today. (Peter Maurin would have appreciated open source.) As open hardware shifts the control of technology it will allow for local communities to manufacture products on an as needed basis (with small inventory), thereby removing the scourge of overproduction. A flexible fab could make refrigerator parts one moment, and a printed circuit card the next. We certainly are not there yet, but well-focused (specialized) fabs are developing and these will be the first step towards a more general, flexible manufacturing in the future.

Even the business magazine "The Economist" is taking notice with a June 2, 2012, article subtitled "Medical technology: Applying the “open source” model to the design of medical devices promises to increase safety and spur innovation."

  • Are you interested in building renewable energy production facilities based on open hardware (solar concentrator electric, wind, biomass power)? Are you interested in building resilient communities based on access to the GVCS?

Sterling engines are of interest to me. See above comments regarding manufacturing facilities.

  • How do you think that the GVCS can help alleviate the instabilities of global monetary systems?

Contrary to popular myths, modern global monetary systems tend to concentrate fonts of power: manufacturing, currency, and even government. This is a natural process since control is initially more manageable under a centralized system. However, centralization inevitably buckles under its own weight, so a decentralized and distributive approach to these fonts is preferred. Given the behavior of the current financial system it is entirely appropriate and necessary to look for alternative approaches. GVCS can help by demonstrating, through example, that decentralization provides a stable local environment for an economy based on tangibles rather than fractional fiat.

  • What should happen so that you become more involved with the project?

To finish my dissertation.

  • What is missing in the project?

I'm not familiar enough with the specifics of the project to comment in a meaningful way, just yet. Off-hand, university relations seem lacking and should be cultivated for more influential affect.

  • What are your suggestions for improvement of the project?

Following the previous question: Extending the compilation of educational resources concerning OSE will yield mid and long term benefits.

To this end, I'll be starting a small project regarding university programs and putting it on the wiki. This could include a fair amount of topics (student organizations and projects, independent study suggestions, etc.) but not right away. The initial focus will propose agricultural engineering programs for universities to adopt which are compatible with OSE. I know that my ag engineering program sorely lacked in welding and other hands-on applications.

WHAT have you already contributed to the OSE project?

(technical contributions, blogging about us, financial support, organizing events, translations, interviews, video editing, publications, publicity work, behind-the-scenes work, CAD work, wiki contributions, computer support, etc)

My contribution so far has been in educating others about OSE. In particular, I've shown the TED talks to top officials and to students in my university and these were met with favorable, even enthusiastic, responses from both. Perhaps some university level connection can be made for broader scale acceptance.

HOW can you help?

I don't think OSE is ready for HPC weather forecasting or remote sensing applications just yet, but if any projects along these lines are contemplated let me know.

I can make contributions in these areas:

   robotic/vision applications.
   software interfaces and flow for CNC machines.
   development of university programs and extensions.

  • How are you interested in contributing to the work of GVCS development?

Initially, by replicating.

  • Can you volunteer to work with us, and if so, how many hours per week?

Yes, after dissertation is finished, about 10 hours/week.

  • Are you interested in working with us for pay? If so, what services can you offer?

Yes, but at the externalization stage, like coordinating international efforts requiring travel, education program liason, etc. At the moment, I'm happy to volunteer engineering and wiki time for immediate, well-defined projects (see above). I would consider project development pay, but I think these are best served through community effort, especially when funding is scarce.

Probably. Need more information.

True Fan Paypal page not working for me. Will try later.

  • Would you like to see yourself working with us on a full-time basis?

Yes. I'm interested in the incubator and international aspects.

  • Are you interested in using the technologies that we are developing directly?


  • Are you interested in being part of the world's first, open source, resilient community? The GVCS is the preparatory step for the OSE Village Experiment – a 2 year, immersion experiment (2013-2014) for testing whether a real, thriving, modern-day prototype community of 200 people can be built on 200 acres using local resources and open access to information? We are looking for approximately 200 people to fill a diverse array of roles, according to the Social Contract that is being developed. This may be the boldest social experiment on earth - a pioneering community whose goal is to extend the index of possibilities regarding harmonious existence of humans, ecology, and technology – as a beacon of light to benefit of all people on Earth.

I am interested, but unlikely to participate.