Talk:Open Source Development

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Pathways From Collaborative Open Source Innovation to Commercialization for Low Carbon Development

a research paper on Open Source Ecology a research paper on how Open Source Ecology can address technology transfer conflict within post-Kyoto climate negotiations concerning "low carbon development" Liam.rattray 14:43, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

OSE Critique: 'Low Carbon' is just a mainstream buzzword. It does not represent a significant issue from the OSE perspective, because 'ecology' as proposed by OSE includes chemical balance and ecology by definition. Therefore, our discussion focuses on mechanisms of attaining balance between people and nature in general, not on buzzwords found in today's economy. We believe that mainstream discussion is preoccupied with certain keywords, without addressing root causes.

I agree that "low-carbon development" is simply a buzz word and that it needs parsed out. Even the UN doesn't know what low-carbon development means, only that the G-78 desperately needs its. That's where OSE and I come in. Liam.rattray 15:53, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Rough Outline

  1. need for right livelihoods to subvert nonprofit industrial complex and coordinator class habits
  2. localization to avoid outsourcing environmental reliance, Kuznets curve and leakage
  3. political economy of conflict concerning technology transfer
  4. argument for open source innovation revolution of intellectual property regime
  5. hurdles to collaborative open source innovation
  6. incentives and commercialization
  7.  ?current initiatives for low-carbon development?
  8. economic development theory on endogenous development and flexible production models

OSE Development Topics

Post-Scarcity Ownership of Productive Capital

two routes to commercialization: capitalist collusion or cooperative coalescence? CEB collectively owned by a farmers union and cooperatively managed or individually owned and rented out in a capitalist economy?

From the OSE perspective, these distinctions are moot if one enters the economy of post-scarcity.

What I'm really concerned with is what kind of agent should own productive capital in a post-scarcity economy. Let's take the CEB press for example, if a traditional brick-maker gets a microcredit loan to purchase the materials and build a mechanized CEB press then this person will be able to price and produce his fellow brick-makers out of their jobs. This is was a main problem with traditional capitalist industrialization. Whereas, if the brick-makers all get together and collectively purchase and own their means of production they can maintain their current employment and income while reducing their working hours thus opening up time for different work or leisure. This question is important for us to better understand how we should promote the diffusion of RSSC tech. For example, if we believe that collective ownership is important then we could package cooperative microcredit financing "soft-technology" or open sourced community trust bylaws/code with the distribution of RSSC tech. Liam.rattray 14:43, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Urban Open Source Ecology

What about the environmental economies of scale that comes from living in cities compared to rural communes?

OSE position: We don't believe that there are environmental economies of scale from living in cities. A resilient system should be designed in scalable units, where full ecological integration occurs all the way from household scale on up to all civilization. The concept of OSE embodies full ecological integration at all scales. For example, Factor e Farm is being designed so that it is fullly sustainable from its local resources. Yes, that is correct. That is a very tall order if one considers advanced civilization, and most people deny its feasibility. We're on our way to show the world's first example that this can be done.

In nations with a developed infrastructure base is the creation of autonomous infrastructure bases redundant and wasteful?

Absolutely not. You are invoking a false assumption that some nations have a 'developed infrastructure base.' No, the infrastructures are extremely inefficient. Please consult Vinay Gupta of Hexayurt for thought leadership on this topic.

I agree and believe that existing infrastructure, where possible, should be retrofitted to become ecologically integrated. Liam.rattray 15:13, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

How can OSE communities leverage existing infrastructure base?

We are merely opensourcing existing infrastructures, thus making them efficient.

These two questions are about the scalability of Open Source Ecology. Vinay Gupta had something to say about this when he wrote that he believed that in a post-scarcity economy perhaps 30% of the world's population would live in very dense urban "industrial districts" that would mass produce certain necessities like microchips for their associated region/bioregion of right livelihood communities. This form of infrastructure already exists even if it is not integrated into the landscape with an open source ecology design. Communities of workers and residents can organize to use this existing infrastructure to build their right livelihood enterprises from buildings, factories and other forms of physical capital already exist.

"retrofit existing infrastructure for a post-scarcity economy"

I spoke with a United Autoworkers (UAW) organizer, Dianne Feeley, from Detroit about her community. Obviously, Detroit is decimated and is one of the largest deindustrialized cities in the United States among Cleveland, Toledo, Pontiac and Flint. Although the latest census results aren't available it is projected that the population of Detroit has declined from 2.2 million to 900,000 residents. Vast tracts of housing are vacant and many corporations have literally abandoned plants. There is a strong need for the remaining residents, many of whom are unemployed, to engage in post-scarcity economic development. Some residents are rising to the challenge and are using those tracts of land that have been bulldozed to start urban farms. UAW workers and residents are interested in passing policy that would make abandoned plants revert to a public trust after a particular amount of time and these public trusts could be designed with open source ecology principles in mind. Bankrupt corporations have defaulted on 530 million dollars of environmental liability, encompassing over 14,000 polluted sites, passing this debt to the public. Plants and valuable real estate previously owned by these corporations should be put into public trust to address this debt. I don't deny the need and appropriateness of innovative open source ecology R&D rural enterprises like Factor e Farm but what about those 30% to remain in cities and what about urban open source ecology innovation? See Detroit Wildlife Short Film! Liam.rattray 14:43, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Trade and Borders in a Post-Scarcity Economy

“Right livelihood is predicated on autonomy in the provision of these basic needs. Otherwise, uncontrollable external forces such as employers, governments, or external providers of needs- produce misalignment with the most fundamental interests of the community.” from [Organizational Strategy]

Is trade not a necessary evil that produces misalignment?

One has to differentiate between trade on essential and nonessential goods. OSE does not support trade on essentials - simply because all communities should be able to produce their own essentials. Otherwise, unacceptable compromise is a result. We do promote trade on nonessential goods (car stereos, toothpicks, etc), which do not, by design, lead to geopolitical compromise. We even favor trade on essential goods if, from an integrated systems perspective, 2 conditions are met: (1), import substitution can be readily implemented in case of potential compromise, and (2), trade is more efficient.

What I'm reading is that you believe in a kind of mixed non-commodity (non-essential goods) free market, where non-commodity free market trade is regulated by a scientific assessment of the ecological capacities of productive systems. Liam.rattray 15:13, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

“Overpopulation is addressed as only the number of people is invited into a particular community as can be supported by indigenous resources.”

Is a closed borders policy problematic?

There are no closed borders, because local resources are flexible. For instance, a community that is at its peak can: (1) optimize its life-support capacities to absorb more people; (2) acquire additional resources, including land, by trade. In the post-scarcity economy, sustainability is addressed a priori - because a resilient economy supports a resilient population - and eliminates uncontrolled population explosions, such as found in cities.

Again, this reads that population migration and emigration is dictated by a "scientific" governance system (technocracy?) that assesses the carrying capacities of "bordered" ecologies. Liam.rattray 15:13, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Innovation and OSE

“Our fundamental principle is that information is the critical, frequently absent component enabling the success of endeavors.”

read innovation economics

Learning from History

History of socialist/hippie communes? How is Factor E Farm different?

How is Factor e Farm operationally different than historical socialist/hippie communes?

We are not socialists, nor are we a commune. We are a private (meaning non-governmental), contractaully-based, enterprise community that proposes historically proven codes of conduct - if you want a technical description. The key is voluntary contract, which can be established to accommodate any population.

Most all American socialist communes of the 19th and 20th centuries were based on free association, or what you call a voluntary contract, and were not state-operated but private operations that endeavored to live in harmony with the earth and its people much like Factor e Farm. Whether Factor e Farm calls itself socialist or not it can learn a lot from the operations of socialist and hippie communes. Liam.rattray 15:13, 26 October 2009 (UTC)

Can we learn from the appropriate tech collaborations of the 60s and 70s like the New Alchemy Institute?

Learning from FLOSS & Hacking

"Hacking is the prism through which the book moves outwards to look at intellectual property law, computing, the Internet, and networked capitalism in general, It is the restructuring of capitalism and the possibilities of resisting it that is at the heart of our discussion... Hacking is emancipatory to the extent that...its politics consist in that decisions about technological development escape from being confined to either professions or/and subcultures. [Labor theoreticians] rightly insist that a serious challenge against capitalism can only be mounted from inside production. Our argument here is that interesting things start to happen when consumer goods are taken by users as the departing point of a new cycle of production. Crucially, this cycle of consumption-production is disjointed from capitalist circulation. User-centered production models stand a good chance of outdoing markets in the provision of social needs. the reason is simple; it was the failure of markets in satisfying those needs that motivated users to side-step market relations in the first place."[1]

It is this failure that allows us to retrofit capitalist economy into a post-scarcity ecological economy.

RLC Diffusion and Deployment

Overall Critique from Marcin

OSE Critique: We do not favor polarization of capitalists, socialists, etc. We're all in it together, and the discussion should focus on a better world for everybody, not which 'ism' is better. We favor discussion on making technology appropriate. Technology, like any powerful tool - should be treated carefully and with respect.

Online Resources


  • ecology and society
  • the land: “the mechanized neoluddites”

Survey Search Terms

  • innovation economics, intellectual property rights (IPR), public domain, free and open source



  • Söderberg, Johan. (2007) Hacking capitalism: the free and open source software movement Volume 9 of Routledge research in information technology and society.
    • "The Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) movement demonstrates how labour can self-organise production, and, as is shown by the free operating system GNU/Linux, even compete with some of the worlds largest firms. The book examines the hopes of such thinkers as Friedrich Schiller, Karl Marx, Herbert Marcuse and Antonio Negri, in the light of the recent achievements of the hacker movement. This book is the first to examine a different kind of political activism that consists in the development of technology from below."