User:Ryan Lutz

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My name is Ryan, I'm 26, and I'm from Southern California. I'm a world traveler (Australia, UK, Netherlands, India) since 2002 and so far my experiences have taught me so much more about the world than I ever could have hoped to learn at home. I am eager to continue my travels and help the world and the people around it that I have met. I see Open Source Ecology as a phenomenally innovative way to do this.

I want to help organize the project's documentation and infrastructure and improve the step. I think your idea is groundbreaking and as I type this I am watching a replay of Marcin's latest talk at Maker Faire with excitement and enthusiasm.

Anyway, on with the application!


1. Name, age, gender, location, contact info (phone, email, Skype). Please include a photo of yourself.

Ryan workshop.jpg

Ryan Lutz, 26, male

Orange, CA 92866

mobile 714-310-7984

Skype: ryanl84


2. Please list schools you have attended, degrees and/or major areas of study or training, and independent studies that you have done.

AA degree in Hospitality, Travel, and Tourism, currently pursuing a Bachelors' in Information Technology

Independent studies I have conducted include personal research into sustainability and self-sufficiency, horticulture, and alternative energy sources such as solar. The Solar Fire P32 really sparked my interest when it was listed on your blog.

3. Please attach a resume or provide a list of work experience, both paid and volunteer.

My Google Profile

5. How did you hear about the program? Why are you applying for a Dedicated Project Visit? Why are you interested in our work?

I watched Marcin's TED talk in March and have been watching the project and hoping to contribute. I've also been telling all of my friends in the hopes they will get on board, too. I am applying for a DPV because I want to contribute something because I intend to make full use of this technology when the project is complete. If I can help OSE accomplish the goal of finishing the GVCS by 2012, I will. I am interested in OSE's work because the potential for success is within grasp but you need help from others who are intelligent, hard-working, and willing to dedicate to the idea of open source over commercialization and mass product. The answer is a holistic approach where the system is affected at the roots.

6. Describe practical skills you may have - from agriculture, workshop, industry, organizing, hands-on, CAD, manufacturing, computer skills, etc.

- Agriculture: experience tending gardens both agriculturally (vegetables, fruit) and aesthetically (ornamental herbs, flowers) since birth. Green thumbs run in my family.

- Workshop: I have cut and installed tile, laid hardwood floor manually, installed roofing, spent excess amount of time on carpentry in Boy Scouts, helped rebuild homemade vehicles, DIY homebrewing (beer) making and dispensing system, water systems installation and maintenance, hydroponics, and probably more I have forgotten about... I am a "jack of all trades" and like that I have a broad horizon of interest.

- Industry: travel, foodservice, technology, corporate events/meeting planning, construction

- Organization: my room is neat and clean. I'm a Feng Shui wannabe.

- Hands-on: I love getting hands-on. I learn more quickly that way, plus I process concepts more efficiently.

- CAD: I'm very 3D minded. I have experience with Google Sketchup, Blender, FreeCAD, etc.

- Manufacturing: with the right tools, plans, skills, and materials, I can build anything. I have most of those, some I might need help with. In any case, I am very eager!

- Computer skills: working on A+ certification but have lifelong experience. Here's the first picture from my photo album: I have extensive experience with computers because of my father's work as a Tech Coordinator for private elementary schools. I helped him network and manage up to 200 computers and still provide secondary support. I have built, rebuilt, and troubleshooted my own computers since adulthood. This will be the focus of my involvement in OSE as well.

- Animals and husbandry: raised cats, turtle, parrots, geckos, ball python, dogs, experience with sugar gliders, chinchillas, other. I have a great love and respect for animals but I am definitely a carnivore.

7. Have you designed and built anything that you use?

Yes, I built my computer and still maintain it. I have 3 desktop monitors and a laptop, giving me 4 displays for easy multitasking. I also built my home brewing kit, installed and maintained sprinkler systems, installed numerous car audio systems in numerous cars (when I was a teenager), and I installed and run my own multi-component surround sound home theater system, complete with projection for about 100" screen. Probably more along the way I've forgotten about... I've helped a lot of people make projects over the years.

8. Which of your skills are particularly relevant towards creating the GVCS? Please view the San Francisco Presentation of 2010 and recent update for the latest on our approach and on-the-ground work.

My organization and computer skills are mainly what I have to offer. After seeing several instances where Marcin and other team members voiced concern over infrastructure, organization, and having a more reinforced online presence, I thought I could help direct in these areas.

9. Do you have any organizational skills and experience?

My first job was an office assistant for a construction company at age 16. I organized file systems, typed estimates, entered payroll, and performed many miscellaneous jobs. My boss was a real stickler for making sure your desk was clean and organized at the end of the day so I picked up some habits... as a result I am extremely organized at home and have everything in order so I know where to find everything!

10. Can you cook or grow food? Can you cover your food expenses?

I can grow and cook food and would be able to bring a limited amount of money for groceries. Perhaps I can trade more cooking responsibilities for food?...

11. Do you have resources to support yourself while volunteering with us?

I have been backpacking with my father since I was 6 in the Sierra Nevada mountain range and so have basic camping equipment. I could live for a month in a tent no problem at Factor E Farm as long as I had Internet and electricity.

12. Do you have any medical conditions or physical disabilities which may affect your ability to do physical work? Do you have any emotional, psychological, or mental issues which may affect your ability to act effectively and with good judgment?

No disabilities would inhibit my involvement with the project.

13. Are you easy to get along with and can you get along with other people?

I am very easy to get along with as long as everyone is respected. I don't take disrespect well.

14. Do you have strong ideological views (political, religious, feminist, etc.)?

I have political and religious views, but do not push my beliefs on others. You don't have to worry about my agenda. The excitement of OSE is enough for me!

15. Are you a team player - or someone who understands that the work we do at Factor e Farm is for a much greater purpose than for our own self-gratification, indulgence, or agenda? This implies a level of maturity in the participant which allows one to remain not only aligned with the long-term vision, but also to remain motivated in this work. Historically, this has been one of the key challenges for participants.

I understand that only through teamwork can truly great things be accomplished so not only am I a team player, I don't see how anyone can get along without a team of some kind. I know that I could never design a GVCS alone; I would rely on support of others the same as they rely on me. The result is a group that lifts itself to greater heights together than they ever could as individuals: synergy.

The level of maturity you are speaking of in this question I feel has been totally and completely lost in my society in Southern California (somehow I learned some manners, however). I yearn to once again communicate with others intelligently, respectfully, and with the intention of changing the world for the better.

16. Do you smoke? Do you have any dietary restrictions? Will you eat meat raised at our farm?

I do not smoke and have no dietary restrictions (unless you count a penicillin allergy, but most people don't quite "eat" that)

17. Do you have transportation? Will you be arriving by car and leaving the car on-site?

I live in Orange County, California and while I do have sufficient resources to travel by air to Missouri, I would need transportation to and from Kansas City Airport (MCI) (unless I can convince my cousin in St. Louis to drive out and pick me up or drop me off, but I wouldn't know if he even could until I knew when to be expected).

18. Documentation is key to moving our work forward. This includes video documentation. Can you produce a 1-3 minute video introduction to yourself and what you would like to accomplish in your Dedicated Project Visit? See sample video from WilliamCleaver from a former application. The video can be as simple as a clip uploaded to the web, or uploaded to a video viewer such as YouTube,, Vimeo, or others. If you are accepted, can you produce video updates on your work at least at 2 week intervals, starting with a video upon your arrival?

Since documentation is one of my goals for my work at OSE, I will explain this in depth. Each time I surf to the OSE website or Wiki, I have seen small edits here and there, but know you all must be doing quite a bit each day. I would like to have a series of cameras (which I have to bring) set up around the premises to not only capture day-to-day activities, but to enhance transparency for the project. If a live webcam will show True Fans what their hard-earned money is going toward, maybe they'd be inclined to get a little more involved. The idea is to open up the Farm with technology that already exists. I (and I think others do, too) want to have more visualization of what you guys do and I think improving the infrastructure is relatively easy in this department.

If I am accepted to OSE Factor E Farm for a DPV, I will strive to have daily video updates not only on my work, but for everyone on the Farm. I will use social media (Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, etc.) to communicate during my trip over, during my stay, and eventually, after I leave. Here are my proposed goals, mostly my input for OSE and a few personal goals:

Month-long goals:

- Standards for documentation / establish system for daily documentation and posts

- Receive visitors / coordinate

- Increase online community's view of the operations with videoblog/live broadcasts at pivotal events (firing up LifeTrac III prototype for the first time, etc.)

- Wiki reorganization to standardize input

- Increase renewable domestic food production (compost system, broaden range of homegrown food, basic cloning/propagation of plants, possible hydroponics)

- 3D model the Factor E Farm and maintain it to increase transparency... enabling virtual tours which would expand online fan base.

- Make friends and connect with cool people

Weekly goals:

- Week 1 - Exactly measured 3D model of Factor E Farm, daily video blogs being posted

- Week 2 - Strengthen video blogs, focus on documentation structure and standards

- Week 3 - Vegetable garden planted, further documentation work

- Week 4 - Finalization of documentation standards / daily video blogs

Daily goals:

- Prepare a meal for the group

- Video blog or broadcast (once a system is established)

- Make everyone laugh at least once

19. Can you work well as a pioneer under rough conditions, by taking the responsibility to create your own environment?

I can work well as a pioneer (backpacking experience teaches much about survival and making do) and I create my own environment and am generally quite content anywhere.

20. When would you be available for a Dedicated Project Visit?

I am available for a DPV as soon as possible. I could fly in Monday if I was invited.

21. If you are accepted and things don't work out, do you have other options to pursue after the month?

If things do not work out before a month's time is up, I always have home to go back to. I do only intend to spend a month, though.

22. List your goals and deliverables for your Dedicated Project Visit, breaking it up by each of the four weeks. Please write a one-page proposal brief summarizing what you would like to do, how you would accomplish it, and what resources you would need to do so.

See #18 and more later.

23. Are you willing to publish all the results of your work openly, and to make any of your contributions open source, consistent with our goal of creating Distributive Enterprise?

Any work I do for OSE is open source and I have no problem with that!

24. How does your proposed work contribute to the creation of the GVCS? How does your proposal contribute towards creating a world of post-scarcity economics?

My proposed work contributes to the creation and strengthening of the GVCS's support infrastructure, enabling a more streamlined and standardized process for documentation of building open source projects. I see step by step videos on a web page that is easy enough for a high school student to follow. The combination of this concept with the rest of OSE will make the knowledge universal and scarcity will not be an issue because plans for complex machines are made easy to follow.

25. What are the metrics by which you could assess the success of your work? (prototypes built, documentation produced, resources or funding raised, infrastructure built, food provided, contribution to the community provided, True Fans recruited, presentations given, speaking tours organized, etc.) Note that we are looking for tangible and explicit proposals and results as opposed to 'I will help with whatever is needed' or other generalizations - unless we agree otherwise.

My work could be measured by the INCREASED (1) number of video blogs posted, (2) the documentation produced, (3) number of domestically-grown food products, (4) number of prepared meals weekly, (5) number of True Fans due to increased web visibility and project transparency, (5) infrastructure systems designed and produced (looking at that 3D printer), and (6) labor morale (I think I'm pretty funny, but not intrusively so; basically I always try to help people be happy).

I know you're not looking to hear it, but 'I will help with whatever is needed' as well, because I'm a team player.  :-) Hopefully though, my work on video blogging and documentation will keep me busy enough.

26. What do you expect to get out of your Dedicated Project Visit?

I want to learn every detail about this project so I can teach others how to better their lives. From my DPV, I expect to apply my common sense, technological, and practical workshop skills to use while growing a great project idea. I intend to learn everything I can about building each and every piece of the GVCS because some concepts I am readily familiar with, and others I have little to no knowledge. If I master the knowledge behind each piece, I will be unstoppable! I or anyone else could build a modern day civilization. That idea is astonishing to me, and I want to be part of it!

27. Can you visit us prior to your Dedicated Project Visit?

I could only visit prior to my DPV over Skype.

28. Please share three interesting things about yourself.

I taught myself to juggle around age 12, by far the most influential visual arts media on me was the first 11 seasons of the Simpsons, and my favorite classical composer is a tie between J.S. Bach and Antonio Vivaldi.

29. Please share three things you think people should know about living with you.

I snore, I enjoy personal time after lights out, and I wait my turn.

30. Can you bring a digital camera or phone camera for documenting your work?

I can bring:

- one Panasonic DV camcorder

- 3 Microsoft LifeCam 6000-HDs webcams (which I could donate at the end of my month if they work properly for the project)

- a Zoom H2 microphone for recording audio

- my Sony VAIO laptop for editing and uploading work.

31. Any other concerns or considerations?


Thanks for reading, and I look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible and working on Factor E Farm. Have a great day!