OSE Experiment

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From early on we talked about the possibility of normalizing Integrated Humans - recorded first in 2009 [1]. At first the question was - can we create sustainable, thriving communities by leveraging the power of modern science and technology? This soon changed to Regenerative Development rather than Sustainable Development, keeping in mind seminal writing such as The Green History of the World - noting that environmental annihilation is, historically, not new. In the early days, up to 2012, lots of drama happened at Factor E Farm as we learned that most collaborators are in general not willing to take the responsibility to see that we are all in it together - that the solution must be inclusive and collaborative as opposed to isolationist (collapsitarian, continuation of scarcity-based economics, survivalist, libertarian, me first). Currently we recognize that the solution is We, not Me. The only rational conclusion possible from such a mindset is Mutually Assured Abundance, with techniques for getting there - such as Distributive Enterprise. Thus, distributive enterprise - part of the broader human enterprise - becomes an underlying theme in our work. The price ticket for a transition to the collaborative economy is, by one rough esitimate [2], $50B - less than the price of the proverbial as well as real cup of coffee. This is still roughly 1000x higher than the development cost of the Global Village Construction Set - our proposed product ecosystem or technology kernel for a basic economy, requiring about $50M in development cost.

Factor e Farm started as a positive response to the negative trend of global democracy of 2006 - see Democratic Decline. From 2006-2012 we focused on machine prototypes, discussed in the 2011 GVCS TED Talk. From 2013, we started to think much more about organizational development, so that the movement can actually grow. Because unlike the claim in the 2011 TED Talk - the movement began to grow on its own, but stalled. We attempted to run productive, hands-on workshops in the hopes of a sustainable funding model. We already knew from our early days in Madison in 2003 that for sustainability to grow, it must revolve around real products - the things we use every day. OSE was formulated as an attempt at the mass creation of Right Livelihood a la Gandhi - see Organizational Strategy from 2013 and 2023. Around 2020, carrying the theme of mass creation of right livelihood, it became clear to us that most people cannot choose right livelihood because the financial pressure upon them is great - just making a living is a full time job. We also began to realize fully that we cannot do much by catering to those who are already progressive and concerned global citizens - as most of the population does not have this privilege. So the idea must be, just like promised in 2011 - to change peoples' lives - in such tangible, material ways. However, this could not be done, bluntly speaking, by catering to highly educated, eco hippies and trust funders. The vast majority of the population does not live in this world.

In 2023, the clarity became simply: the way to change the world is through the products we use every day, and thus the approach must be to the mass market. Otherwise we act on the margin, a miniscule droplet in the ocean of the $100T global economy. This does not mean that we lose any of our radical approach. We simply have to apply the principles of Good to Great to an enterprise whose core mission is to change the world - from proprietary to collaborative. Thus, for example, we apply our techniques, such as radical productive efficiency of open, modular design and swarm builds to common products, such as the Seed Eco-Home.

Someone from the outside, without looking more deeply, may not notice that a product such as the Seed Eco-Home 4, is designed for Distributed Market Substitution via Distributive Enterprise via The Edge of Knowledge which attempts Mass Creation of Genius. These are radical goals worth pursuing. This is far from selling advanced housing at low cost like normal developers sell cookie cutter housing.


The OSE experiment is a decades-long experiment to determine whether a civilization with sound governance can be created on a micro-scale using abundant, natural, local resources. Or is it impossible because you need the resources of the entire world? If so, what is the minimum scale at which a functional civilization can be created, that allows the population to be educated regarding all the current mental models that work - without starting to build in defective practices and institutions? Ie, can we keep free of poor distribution of wealth, provide freedom, and happiness? Can such an experiment become a viable, highly replicable model for human development? The goal of the experiment is to determine the critical parameters for creating such enterprises. Among some experimental questions are:

  1. Who is the likely population - what age, intelligence level, skill level - that can bootstrap this? After a working model is demostrated, how can we iron out the kinks and make it a desirable place to live - without destroying the planet?
  2. How much land is required in the end state for a single enterprise - for it to become a viable and growing entity?
  3. Is a single enterprise as such sufficient to produce a cascade of global change to completely regenerate the rest of the planet?
  4. How does an enterprise like this develop a financial system of exchange? What does the financial institution that allows for global exchange look like?
  5. How much land area is sufficient to produce 100% of a society's needs? Our premise is that this scale is 1000 acres for a complete civilization, including various technology-enabled means of import substitution for a regenerative, circular economy.
  6. How much open design is required to enable the startup of a facility like this? It is our assumption that proprietary information would not suffice due to its gaps in efficiency.
  7. What mechanisms do we need to create to allow for low cost replication of facilities like this?
  8. In terms of starting an enterprise like this - what is a likely operational model and rollout plan until the first viable enterprise community that lasts, thrives, and grows?
  9. What time scale is required for startup, and how can this time scale be compressed?
  10. In terms of building alignment to build a community - what are critical skill sets and mindsets that the members must have?
  11. How is security and conflict resolution addressed internally and in case of invasion? What institutions are required? Easy solution is existence inside a secure jurisdiction.
  12. How does such a community play a role in terms of transformation of the world to a peacetime, prosperous economy - where war, poverty, and corruption are a thing of the past? What institutions are required to address these issues?
  13. What institutions are required for continuous learning and growth, such that bureaucracy, organizational inertia, and resistance to change become a thing of the past? Ie, how do we reinvent education and lifelong learning.
  14. What is the minimum-overhead technological infrastructure required to provide all technology needs, spanning all the way up to modern semiconductors? Can a structure as small as the Tower of Wisdom provide all the material and technological needs?
  15. Can a viable economy be created without Artificial Scarcity, and is such an economy sufficient to solve the centuries-long conflict between the classes?
  • Is 1000 acres sufficient in size and resources to handle the import substitution of 100% of comfort, security, and progress that is otherwise found in civilization? What stockpiles, if any, would need for any rare substances that are indispensible to human prosperity - or could we substitute these completely as well?

Proposed Rollout

  • About $1B across key tech areas is allocated to open source civilization development, with detailed, proven blueprints for products and enterprises as the output.
  • Definition of governance, finance, and operations of such an entity.
  • Proposed $10k buy-in for a year from 2400 people provides $24M seed capital. Less than a college tuition. After the first one is done, we offer 50/50 work-study for people to pay their way for free. It's not free, as it requires learning.
  • Different Mobile Equipment bases defined in Solving Pressing World Issues Forum of OSE are available as part of the open sector infrastructure for such a community - about $10M of equipment
  • Prosperity and world peace at the cost of a commitment to learn.
  • The community is the solution. After people practice its practices, they are actually contributing to regenerative development.
  • We envision that a leadership will arise that works on solving pressing world issues.
  • The base of the community is education, which is 50/50 work-study which produces open sector infrastructures.
  • In the BOAB package, the customers do have to learn significant skill, but they are normal people and not movement entrepreneuers. They pay their dues through seed money for a regenerative infrastructure, including their maintenance of prosperity through a sound production contract. They work 20% time (1 of 5 days) while achieving absolute abundance (space faring, semiconductors level of technology). We can think of this as 80% of the people are the lazy bums, enjoying the fruits of modern civilization in terms of GBA (guaranteed basic assets) level. They can work more, as they have access to all education for free, and can choose to work more than 20%, so they can hang out at the beach all day, be artists and philosophers, or can continue to societal progress by engaging in lifelong learning.
  • Contractual violation results in simple banishment (6 months), with chance to reform.