Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Strange Places To Find Open Source

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the do-cookbooks-count dept.

Open Source 118

itwbennett writes "Open source is about more than code: It's also about tractors, prosthetics, Christmas lights, and the poor old U.S. Postal Service. If you don't believe that open source changes everything, take a gander at Marcin Jakubowski's Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), a set of 50 industrial machines that are required to build and maintain a small, sustainable civilization. The open source aspect covers designs, instructions, schematics, budgets — everything anyone needs to know to build their own machines, and it is all freely available and free to share."

cancel ×

118 comments

First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979528)

Powered by NON-FREE software! U mad?

It's like a dream land (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979720)

A world where everything is made by open sources machines. Every bit of written word is open source. And all of our cheese comes right from our feet.

Re:It's like a dream land (1)

lister king of smeg (2481612) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981234)

hello mr stallmen

watchout (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979554)

was just reading their forum of the building for their main building interesting perspectives towards the end. forum.opensourceecology.org/discussion/421/hab-lab-design-review-and-discussion

Re:watchout (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982684)

Knowing someone who was involved in that project I'm just sitting back and waiting for the place to crumble. Apparently they're trying to build it by simply stacking blocks on top of each other instead of following any known good practice of house construction.

Re:watchout (1)

gTsiros (205624) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982846)

you mean like, houses constructed from rock?

funny you should mention that, structures build from rocks are really really sturdy.

Re:watchout (1)

Calydor (739835) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982868)

Okay, my problem here is related to English not being my primary language.

Imagine Legos. What happens if you build a house out of 2x4s that are all stacked on top of each other, not alternating? Each little 'tower' of 2x4s has nothing to actually attach it to the other little towers on either side of it. Eventually you lean on it wrong and the wall crumbles.

They got rid of their only real construction worker when he pointed this out, since apparently the project leader (an astrophysicist? At least I think that's what I was told his real education was) knows a lot more about how to do this than someone who's built things for a living. So yeah, I'm just waiting for it to fall apart.

Africa Test Case (1)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979608)

Negroponte should be focusing his efforts more broadly than just a cheap computer. Why has he not filled those 'chuted in tablets with ideas like this. Self directed education is nothing without the seeds of ideas like this.

Unfortunately, the GVCS seems to be missing a core idea of defense, seeing as how it is far easier for people to destroy any good that could be realized.

Where is the Open Source Defense Kit: OSDK? THAT could be the missing piece from our lofty open source ideals.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979640)

You can convert most of those tools into weapons given the right mindset, otherwise just pick up a rock and throw it.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

chuckymonkey (1059244) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980462)

I'm guessing that you were never in a combat arms part of the military. Everything's a weapon. You at some point have to trust people to do the right thing.

Re:Africa Test Case (2)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979710)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Martial_arts [wikipedia.org] There you go. Pretty much all of those are open. User developed, user maintained, user taught.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

Taty'sEyes (2373326) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979830)

Funny, when I read the OS Defense Kit posting, I immediately thought of "defense against legal action" not "defending oneself from physical attack"... Guess I've been reading too much /.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980538)

The world might be a better place if we used martial arts more often against the worst offending lawyers.

Re:Africa Test Case (3, Interesting)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979866)

Ninjas vs Warlords. Hollywood has probably already stolen the idea.

Seriously though. GVCS takes an interesting approach of building a society. There needs to be some thought behind defending what is created. Take the situations in Mexico and Somalia for examples. Instead of captive populations or towns just hunkering down in scattered huts and praying the tiger comes for your neighbor instead, what designs for communities could successfully defend against warlords/gangs? Would fort designs from the Brits' and US history be updated and prove practical?

Clearly non violent movements won't and can't work in those environments while the populace is scattered and unorganized. Rocks and martial arts are individual defense ideas, not community defense. (I do have a cynic's humor though, so no whoosh here you bastards...)

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980022)

Community defense is more about defending against infiltration and sabotage than actual overt attack.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980178)

Agreed, which is why that should be part of any overall design. An OSDK would have to incorporate strategies/tactics as well as hardware.

How was the problem of infiltration handled in medieval castles and such? Can't believe that it wasn't an issue throughout history.

Apologies for the thought exercise. Just always wondered why OS has always tended towards idealist exercises without pragmatically thinking about the part of human nature that wants to smash everything to bits.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980770)

Layers of trust. Most castles had maybe a hundred close residents. That's part of why trust and church and fealty were so important. In the middle ages a battle with 100 fighters was epic until the Crusades created massive armies.

The situation you describe is exactly like Europe from 800-1100 or so. That's exactly what made Vikings so terrible because the could field 40 guys that were practiced fighters on scattered villagers or maybe a city of a few hundred.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

hovelander (250785) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981242)

Thanks for pointing this out.

HEAP (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982374)

Hollywood has probably already stolen the idea.

Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon [wikipedia.org] beat them to it. One of the protagonists in the book is trying to set up a repository of information called the Holocaust Education and Avoidance Pod (HEAP), which is an open source guide "for instructing genocide-target populations on defensive warfare." The HEAP project includes instructions for a do-it-yourself assault-rifle that can be easily manufactured by a local population.

Re:Africa Test Case (2)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979724)

While the OSDK might not exist, the dynamic duo of AK-47-and-offspring and RPG-7-and-descendants are arguably the equivalent of the MP3 format: Originally proprietary, and not really all that fantastic compared to some of the competition; but cheap, ubiquitous, and widely cloned...

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979768)

The AK family of weapons are definitely analog.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979898)

Ah, but there's a threshold level where you've definitely been shot vs you definitely have not.

So, you could argue that they are binary.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

JRowe47 (2459214) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982632)

Their control mechanism is distinctly 'digital' - and the interface is point and click.

Re:Africa Test Case (3, Insightful)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979880)

I like how the GVCS has all these computer controlled tools.... and nowhere in the list is a computer.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

NewWorldDan (899800) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980038)

Is anyone actually manufacturing these things? Because that's the hard part. Tooling, quality control, even just the cost of the steel. Then put them to use and find out what doesn't work, what breaks easily. Caterpillar, Kubota, and other heavy equipment makers are in business because they've got a decades of experiance building things and they also have the manufacturing infrastructure. You could take a Cat bulldozer apart and clone it piece by piece. That's not very difficult. Reliably producing them cost effectivley on an industrial scale? Forget about.

Re:Africa Test Case (3, Insightful)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980864)

You can watch Marcin's TED speech to get an idea of his motivations and experience: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIsHKrP-66s [youtube.com]

But the short answer is, yes, he is building and testing some of them at least. And the point is that it doesn't need to be "industrial scale".

Re:Africa Test Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37981418)

They definitely didn't think very far.
The only resource that they can extract from the ground is aluminium. No other metals/materials, no glass, no plastics, and wood (which should not be used in any sustainable culture) has to be chopped by hand.
And there is no plan for how to construct that construction kit in the first place.
I also wonder how they will make their medicine, clothes, etc, etc. (Ok, one could survive without medicine, provided the food and reproduction rate is healthy. And one could live without clothes in warm weather. I even think the latter will help with the former. ;)

But sorry, I don't see a chance this will be successful, as that many huge lapses that even a 4-year-old can point out, can only be explained with severe stupidity. (They can still be smart, but dumb in some key aspects.)

One would probably be better served by playing a few weeks of Minecraft, Civilization, etc. ;)

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981750)

The Romans survived without medicine, but there were some real downsides to it. The primary ones were:

1. Average life expectancy about 20 because of horrific high infant / child mortality rates.

2. Women were married as soon as they hit puberty and were expected to be either pregnant or nursing until they died in childbirth in order to keep the population level up.

Re:Africa Test Case (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982954)

Roman life expectancy had little to do with their medicine. They had a cultural practice of infant exposure. They would kill unhealthy (born) children. Naturally this affected the statistics for life expectancy at birth. Roman life expectancy at age 5 was 48, [utexas.edu] higher than almost anywhere else at the time. It was deliberate. And it produced the most dominant military force the world has ever seen.

They also had a cultural practice of cutting unborn children from mothers who died in childbirth. This produced people with unnaturally large heads. Again, deliberate. And today known as Caesarian section. Roman surgeons were excellent, as a result of, again, warfare.

In short, Romans were the world's preeminent genetic engineers. They probably affected your life expectancy for the better, and may even be responsible for you being able to type on magic computing boxes to people halfway around the globe right now.

In fact, I would go so far as to say that your entire premise is complete nonsense, and that given adequate resources and moderately high standard of living, the vast majority of people would tend to live long and healthy lives even without modern medicine.

Re:Africa Test Case (1)

tehcyder (746570) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984018)

They also had a cultural practice of cutting unborn children from mothers who died in childbirth. This produced people with unnaturally large heads. Again, deliberate. And today known as Caesarian section.

I would love to see a link providing evidence that Caesarian births produce (long term) larger heads and thereby increased intelligence or martial prowess or whatever you are claiming.

Re:Africa Test Case (3, Informative)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981814)

No other metals/materials, no glass, no plastics,

They do have a machine for making plastics, and there is nothing wrong with using wood in a sustainable culture, if you do so at a replaceable rate.

And there is no plan for how to construct that construction kit in the first place.

There doesn't need to be. The goal isn't to bootstrap civilization after it has collapsed. It is to find the smallest set of machines needed to recreate themselves, and thus allow civilization at say 1930's level to be maintained in as small of economy as possible.

Re:Africa Test Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980508)

OSDK: http://www.lulu.com/product/ebook/class-war-a-citizens-guide-to-insurrectionary-warfare/17401579

Re:Africa Test Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980572)

Their thought process is that most conflicts that lead to violence stem from the scarcity the GVCS seeks to eliminate.

From the FAQ, "...humans burn quickly through their natural resource base, multiply rapidly, and then attack their neighbors once their own resources run out. This story has not stopped. Today, empires continue their acquisitive behavior – and leave behind mass destruction. Imagine that now we could transcend this game – by using modern technology to convert sunlight to sustainable energy (solar, wind, biomass, water, others) to process the abundant “dirt and twigs” under our feet into the substance of modern civilization. This will eliminate the need for conflicts over resources."

This still doesn't account for a lunatic breaking in to a "Fab Lab" and destroying a villages means of survival. However, this type of destruction would probably be a lot less common when there is no economic motivation for it (such as a neighboring tribe wanting to take over the village for its resources).

Re:Africa Test Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37982760)

You do realize, that we*, haven't fought a major war (and arguably just about any war) over natural resources for a very long time. It's been about two things: money and control. The control translates to economic control through enforced monopoly, control of trade routes, or taxes, any of which mean again: money. It's been a very long time since a tribe killed another tribe for their watering hole. That is not meant to be a thesis against the existence of money (you can't get rid of it even if you wanted to) its meant to explain that the nature of human warfare is profit seeking. And it seeks the biggest profits, generally that means controlling the entire economy which is producing the oil, not just stealing the oil, that's for little people. Point being, even if you made things like energy or oil ridiculously cheap, people would still invade each other because if they win, they control the other economy and get to extract profit.

To expand on my point if energy was really cheap and abundant, each person on the planet would be more productive, thereby creating more value and also creating bigger potential profits for any enterprising warmongers. In short cheap energy and abundant natural resources could in some cases lead to more war. Maybe not if the deterrents like nukes are strong enough. Depends.

I don't mean to denigrate, but you hippies might be well meaning but you're so incredibly naive to the point that most people don't bother conversing with you for a reason.

No the Iraqi war wasn't over oil, Afghanistan obviously wasn't (although what it is being fought over is a interesting argument). But those are chicken fry compared to: WWII & WWI, Europe's constant continental wars from the fall of Rome through the Industrial Revolution, the colonial wars European powers fought with each other, Persia invading Greece and so on...

*Americans, Europeans, Romans, China, Persia...

Rather a shame.. (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979714)

There wasn't a moratorium on software patents after the introduction of the personal computer, to allow good ideas to surface and everyone to share, before people started glomming onto things. Stand on the shoulders of giants sort of thing, rather than having your legs cut out from under you at every turn.

Open Source would be pretty much universal.

Re:Rather a shame.. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981110)

Interestingly, the first years of the PC revolution effectively DID have a de-facto moratorium on patents AND copyright (it took several years for the courts to decide software could be copyrighted).

The industry hasn't grown nearly as fast since that party ended.

Re:Rather a shame.. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981712)

Re:Rather a shame.. (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981916)

Yeah, RIGHT! Any suits over that? Like I said, de-facto. Even Bill Gates chose to write a nastygram rather than sue back in the day.

The first signs of the oncoming legal storm was the suits over the Franklin Ace and the sabre rattling over the PC BIOS. Then the hell inspired look and feel suits hit.

Shoulders of Giants (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983250)

But some are standing on the shoulders of giants. To kick them in the face. Especially other giants. We call that "patent wars".

We've already had this article (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979772)

Seriously sometimes it's like slashdot's on a 365-day loop...

Re:We've already had this article (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980006)

Seriously sometimes it's like slashdot's on a 365-day loop...

Yea and the CD is scratched to shit...

not really sustainable. (1)

Truekaiser (724672) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979836)

... i suppose they think magic fairy's produce the parts for the machines the machines can't make. or the fossil fuel made lube and the quality Hydraulic oil that is needed for them to run.. that metal press doesn't look like it can make most of the parts of the other machines and you sure as heck can't print his strength steel with a 3d printer. i also would not want to work on that CNC Precision Multimachine for both the safety hazards of having high speed rotating belts uncovered as well as how weak they will be if they were made by that 3d printer..

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979890)

Yeah - I thought the same thing at first ... BUT ...
It looks like what he is trying to do is make it so that once you obtain the raw resources, you can "recycle" the materials into new stuff, what he calls a "closed loop" system. I think this makes sense - sure, you will need a "seed" of a lot of steel and such, but beyond that you can incrementally build. I think it's really about cost and maintainability, and making it possible to truly DYI a town from the ground up - a key concept being the ability to subsitute manpower from insurmountable upfront equipment costs.
In the end, I think if he follows through and makes all these designs, the ones who will benefit the most will be the poorer countries who have plenty of people but no engineering resources.

Re:not really sustainable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980240)

DYI = do yourself it? Is this meant as a joke targeting foreigners' poor English, or should I stop chuckling and be ashamed?

Re:not really sustainable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37981480)

DYI = Do Yourself In

Most of that equipment looks like it would get you killed.

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

ikkonoishi (674762) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982088)

You need far more energy to smelt steel than any amount of windmills will provide. Not to mention carbon.

Re:not really sustainable. (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982360)

Oh look, here's a 50 kW electric-arc furnace [doe.gov] capable of smelting steel. I imagine that would work well with a 50 kW windmill...

Re:not really sustainable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983438)

MELT steel. You can't SMELT steel because there is no motherfucking such thing as STEEL ORE.

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979912)

Not only that, but tyres seem to appear from nowhere as if from magic. Note to self: be sure to invest in rubber trees post-apocalypse.

Re:not really sustainable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980026)

Yeah that's right, their attempt at open source machines was not 100% perfect, so they should just throw the whole program away. Isn't it wonderfull when armchair engineers like you come along and critisize someone elses good intentions, without contributing to it's improvement?

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

liquidweaver (1988660) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982272)

No kidding. It's really easy to criticize when everyone is framing this like the guys' goals are to start with dirt and make tires and steel. His intention is clearly to make open source, practical designs for equipment with resources that are - frankly - easy to maintain. I really don't get all the criticism. He's working his ass off and giving all his designs away, and asking for donations. There's a lot of assholes out there, he really doesn't appear to be one of them. Maybe if he made really impressive sleek gadgets, closed all his designs, and ruthlessly stifled competition he would be venerated like Apple.

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983798)

I think the gripe is that their website says "The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is an open technological platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts."

Now, I'm all for open sourcing useful stuff like everything on the list. However, I'm under no illusions that it only takes 50 machines to run a society.

I also think the 3D printer is there more to please the hobbyist crowd than anything else. They're great for prototyping, but not really for manufacturing.

And does it strike anybody else as odd that they have about 15 different computer-controlled machines on the list and yet no computer? A CPU might be difficult to manufacture using their pelletizer.

Re:not really sustainable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983698)

He needs to add a lathe to the list.
Hackaday recently had a link to a concrete lathe that might suit.
Grinders would be the next tool needed, both pedestal and a machinists surface grinder.
A general purpose pantograph would be a nice addition, increases accuracy through mechanical reduction.I'm also thinking along the lines of the pantograph attachment Moore Tool used to make for surface grinders. In a skilled diemakers hands you could make anything with a combination of the above tools, but was largely obsoleted by wire EDM
Since there’s a reprap in the list, might as well add conventional and wire EDM machines to it as well, pulsed DC works just fine should be easy to do the power-supply, keeping water pure enough to use as a dielectric is a little tougher.

Re:not really sustainable. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980746)

Oh noes! My book on how to build shit is completely useless because nobody thought to get a book on how to dig holes in the ground and get metal! We're all doomed!

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981026)

magic fairy's produce the... quality Hydraulic oil that is needed

http://www.soyclean.biz/household_products/biosoy-food-grade-hydraulic-fluid.html [soyclean.biz]

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981698)

Something tells me the machines to process the soy into oil weren't on that list.

Usually the process involves use of petroleum based hexane in a solvent extraction chain, or the use of a high pressure expeller press.

Good luck building that with your tractor.

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982070)

They have a pelletizer. Which could easily be a screw-type. And which could also be used as an expeller to press soy oil, with a few modifications.

Regardless, we're talking about a few tens of gallons of hydraulic oil. It's simply not a fundamental limiting factor of human civilization for an entire village of people to have to import a single barrel of oil in order to bootstrap it's existence.

Re:not really sustainable. (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37984024)

Yeah, but chemicals are so, ugh, non-appealing to the kinds of people who send money who fund initiatives like these. Ecology is nice and green. Antibiotics are tolerable even though they're made by evil profiteering pharmaceutical companies, but I suspect that every time somebody looked into them they kept finding these things called "solvents" used in their manufacture and decided that it wouldn't do for fundraising.

I'm not sure what the 3D printer would even be used for - just about everything in that list would probably use almost exclusively metal parts. Is there anything you can do with a 3D printer that you can't do with a CNC mill?

I have no issues with the work that they are doing, but again I think that making a list of "50" machines is more about fundraising (hey, we only need $4M to revolutionize the world). Otherwise, not have 51 or 52?

GVCS Bulldozer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979884)

a high-traction, heavy earth-moving machine indispensible for building ponds, berms, and other permacultural earthforms, as well as for other tasks such as building roads or clearing land.

I'm not an engineer, and I don't want to knock the project, but I don't have much confidence in that bulldozer. The blade is too big and the machine doesn't look like it has enough weight to get decent traction.

Re:GVCS Bulldozer (2)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979922)

It's a hippie version of a bulldozer. PS: I have a D6, a D7 a loader and a grader at my farm - my little "Tonka" toys :P

Vault 13 (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37979934)

G.E.C.K. anyone?

Re:Vault 13 (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980162)

Actually I've never played Fallout, but that reminds me that the Gasifier Experimenter's Kit [gekgasifier.com] is also Open Source.

Re:Vault 13 (1)

ajlitt (19055) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982038)

I've never seen the GEK before, but I'm not sure that their logo is open source.

Very Cool (1)

Froggels (1724218) | more than 2 years ago | (#37979988)

I really like the idea of the idea of Open Prosthetics Project (OPP)

Is it open source or patent expired? (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980032)

The things in the kit? Are they things truly envisioned, designed and developed via an open source process or are they heavily leveraging patents of previous eras that have expired. Would the kit be more accurately described as public domain?

Re:Is it open source or patent expired? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980564)

Open Source generally refers to copyright not patents. In terms of hardware (and other non-copyrightable things), I think they are more referring to the mindset and philosophy assorted with open source.

Ridiculous (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980174)

There are many major technology areas missing from this list. For example where the heck are you going to get the copper for the windmill and power supplies? There is no mining and refining chain. And I guess this civilization isn't going to be long on medical treatment or drugs. There is no chemistry for drugs, no way to make X-Rays, no cryo for MRI superconducting magnets, etc.

The windmill looks nice but for that to work you need something to baseload the grid. And how do you make concrete from that collection of equipment?

You've got a way to make printed circuit boards, but the components that go on them? Nope.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980482)

For example where the heck are you going to get the copper for the windmill and power supplies? There is no mining and refining chain.

Recycling? This is a pretty ludicrous basis for your criticism. Why would you be posting on Slashdot if you can't refine silicon yourself? You should stop.

I guess this civilization isn't going to be long on medical treatment or drugs.

Most aren't. With adequate diet and exercise, it's not a big hindrance.

The windmill looks nice but for that to work you need something to baseload the grid.

Like a resistance heating element? A lightbulb? Some nichrome wire?

And how do you make concrete from that collection of equipment?

Why do 4 billion people on the planet need concrete exactly?

Re:Ridiculous (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981638)

1. Recycling? If you are going to recycle you have to have a way of making it once the first time. This doesn't provide it.

2. Drugs are needed if you aren't willing to accept decrease in life expectancy to 35 that the lack of drugs would result in. And this did say MODERN civilization.

3. Baseload != resistance element. It's a way of providing power when the wind isn't blowing. Sort of important if you are going have a modern civilization.

4. Yes concrete. Please explain how you are going to build any foundations or bridges that can take significant loads, or any dams, viaducts and so on without the most fundamental building material of our civilization.

5. And where are you going to get epoxies and tantalum and doped epitaxial silicon wafers to build the electronics?

This thing is a total crock.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982692)

And this did say MODERN civilization.

It says modern comforts, not civilization. That generally includes things like fresh food, shelter and indoor plumbing, not pharmaceuticals, strip-mines and iPads. They only want to be able to support a village of a couple hundred people.

Is this whole tirade really just caused by your inability to comprehend what you read and perform the critical thinking necessary to realize that, no, in fact this group of a dozen or so people has not set out to replicate downtown New York or the interstate highway system?

a way of providing power when the wind isn't blowing.

Well in that case they have a steam engine which is mentioned right in the list of 50 tools which you, once again, have obviously not even read.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983832)

I don't think anybody is suggesting that they aren't doing useful work. However, claiming that it only takes 50 tools to create a civilization with modern comforts really isn't true. No doubt those tools are very useful in getting there, but it takes more. For starters, it takes more than those 50 tools to produce the materials necessary to maintain them.

Again, these are 50 nice useful tools, but the number 50 seems a bit arbitrary and I think that it was chosen so that sponsors can be pitched with "hey, just give us a few million dollars and you can turn a bunch of huts into Greenwich Village." Sure, they don't come out and say it, but I think that is the impression the intro gives.

You are of course welcome to disagree. And I don't think that money sent to them is poorly spent, just that this isn't the magical band-aid that will save the 3rd world.

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983818)

Uh, without drugs you can die from an infected stubbed toe. Believe it or not disease isn't exclusively God's punishment on people who eat too much. Also, you'll find that a good number of villages do have access to basic pharmaceuticals, and a little goes a long way.

Re:Ridiculous (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980836)

And I guess this civilization isn't going to be long on medical treatment or drugs. There is no chemistry for drugs

dude, if you're building a tractor from scratch you ain't got time for drugs

Re:Ridiculous (1)

Errol backfiring (1280012) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983270)

The windmill looks nice but for that to work you need something to baseload the grid.

No you don't. That is like saying that our industrial revolution (I'm dutch) with all our wooden windmills never happened. But even if you do want a grid and to baseload that grid, you can do so with stored (solar) heat and a stirling engine (like in Tamera). Or with water power.

No Fun (1)

mbstone (457308) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980304)

These third world peasants are supposed to drive tractors and get maimed on punch presses all day? While we first-worlders occupy Wall Street while sipping cappucino?

How about something to enrich their leisure time? An open-source microbrew machine? A ?? [redneckpoolheater.com]

Re:No Fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980772)

Let them drink beer?

www.ferrite-cores.net (1)

om47864535 (2489358) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980348)

I like how the GVCS has all these computer controlled tools too

Forgetting a few things? (1)

Anachragnome (1008495) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980422)

Forgetting a few things?

Don't get me wrong--I am fully supportive of open source ideals--but the people behind this whole GVCS thing, as it stands, are incredibly naive.

First and foremost, no single place on the planet can currently supply all the resources for maintaining all of that technology. Shit breaks, it wears down, it grinds itself into dust that is flushed away with precious lubricants, lubricants that also becomes prone to chemical degradation and must be replaced. There is no accommodation in the package for the recovery/renewal of these slowly lost materials and thus they would have to be acquired from outside sources periodically.

So many other aspects of life have been overlooked. No accommodations made for healthcare (let alone pharmaceuticals), automotive tooling (you aren't going to be making cars with a 3D printer), variety of foods (you can't grow everything in one climate/soil) and I don't think anyone on that team has done any serious math as far as energy requirements of something as simple as smelting aluminum. The Intalco Aluminum Smelter near where I live shuts down when they don't have direct, CHEAP access to Bonneville Electric's Hydro-generating projects up in the Cascades--they require insane amounts of electricity to even get the arc smelters heated up to operating temperatures (it also takes a couple weeks to do so). That plant was actually paid to shut down during the California energy crisis so power could be rerouted south.

The idea that plastics would be reused for everything is absurd--in the technologies they are discussing on their website, there are probably 100 different kinds of plastic alone, as well as various metal alloys. Where do they suggest they source all of this? Again, little thought is put into recycling everything--a generic "grinder" is not enough. Do you employee people to hand-disassemble everything into it's tiniest material components? What about all the chemicals used to process such components? Where is the chemical processing equipment? Is there some "box" they pour waste into and out comes the plethora of chemicals produced by all the Dow Chemical plants worldwide?

To be honest, after reading much of the website, I couldn't help but think that simply eschewing all of the technology and "going back to the earth" would be a lot easier. Maybe that is why "Farmville" was such a hit--the simple life on a farm appeals to many.

I once mused on the question of what stuff would be required on a planetary colonization ship to seed a civilization such as our own. I gave up when I came to the conclusion that provided that you had no assurance of all the required base resources being present on the planet to be colonized, you pretty much had to bring a planet Earth with you.

Re:Forgetting a few things? (2)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980710)

variety of foods (you can't grow everything in one climate/soil)

With a suitable greenhouse in a moderate climate you can come very very close. And soil is not as important as you might think. You're not going to be growing fine wines everywhere, of course, but that's not the goal.

I don't think anyone on that team has done any serious math as far as energy requirements of something as simple as smelting aluminum.

The energy requirements are high, true. But the power requirements are only a function of scale. The difference between retail feasibility and industrial profitability is close to an order of magnitude. So you can scale down a lot and have it still make sense. And aluminum is easy enough to source and transport and recycle once you have it so I don't think that's a huge issue.

Do you employ people to hand-disassemble everything into it's tiniest material components?

I don't see why not. There are billions of unemployed people on the planet. Goods that are designed for it can be very easy to recycle.

To be honest, after reading much of the website, I couldn't help but think that simply eschewing all of the technology and "going back to the earth" would be a lot easier.

Perhaps. But there is a lot of technology involved in that as well. On the website you see that there are plans for permaculture and aquaponics. It just takes longer to establish and is fairly labor and resource intensive to maintain so it's not going to happen overnight.

Given resource limits versus the Earth's current population, it may not happen ever. If industrial farming currently supports 2 people per acre, and permaculture requires 2 acres per person, then we must find middle ground.

Re:Forgetting a few things? (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 2 years ago | (#37983978)

I think the issue is that the list seems rather arbitrary. They have fancy single-purpose stuff like a machine to extract aluminum from clay, but just a generic induction furnace to handle every other metal that exists.

No society with ONLY these 50 machines and only token imports would be able to exist with what most people would call "modern comforts." Sure, you might be able to make a few of them, but your CNC mill isn't going to work too well when a transistor in your power supply dies. You couldn't even fashion a vacuum tube replacement with that equipment list. You might be able to fashion a crude aluminum electrolytic capacitor if you're willing to wrap it by hand, although you'd have no way to test it to see if it is a suitable replacement for one that dies short of plugging it in and crossing your fingers.

And your tribal elder who manages your machine shop will be 30 years old, since anytime somebody cuts their finger on a piece of metal they face a real risk of death without antibiotics.

That isn't to say that these guys aren't doing useful work, but there will be plenty left to do after 50 machines are done.

Re:Forgetting a few things? (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980892)

But in our society a lot of this stuff could be cannibalized from other stuff either in junk yards, or built up front. Figure you would eithr plan for this, or be survivor of some "depopulating event" with lots of broken stuff available.

I find this intreguing because there's a long way from playing in the SCA to actually building a society. I think what they are looking for are "things to build things".. Even the Amish have a pretty impressive array of "technology" to get by every day.

Sid Meier is gonna be hacked off (1)

slowLearner (2498468) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980494)

that these new units for Civ VI have been leaked, although I can't see how useful they will be against Panzers.

When the GVCS manages to change ANYTHING (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980568)

I'll start believing that maybe Open Source can change anything. These are gimmicks, they haven't even been tested.

Re:When the GVCS manages to change ANYTHING (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980952)

What's really missing is the catalog of "ingredients" you'd need for this stuff. A more interesting project would be to develop a "cookbook" for technology, and use the most basic pieces possible. This is a start to built non-agrarian technology moving past what the Amish are doing to live at bare minimum.

GVCS is ridiculous (0)

Sepultura (150245) | more than 2 years ago | (#37980750)

Besides the fact that many of the machines listed are not feasible and/or are next to useless (a mill, lathe, drill, and cold saw in one machine?!? Did they even ask themselves why such a machine isn't in use today?) it's preposterous to suggest that all these machines are "required to build and maintain a small, sustainable civilization". Civilization managed just fine for millennia before most, if not all, of these items even existed.

GVCS sounds like something from the mind of an overly eager 1st year engineering student.

Re:GVCS is ridiculous (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37980814)

Hey, I realize it isn't fashionable to appreciate things around here, but at least use complete quotes.

"The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is an open technological platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts." Emphasis mine.

They're not claiming civilization isn't possible.

But you keep on with your fashionably cynical self.

you don't actually use machine shop tools, right? (2)

alizard (107678) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981856)

Re:you don't actually use machine shop tools, righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37982034)

and they are poor mills, and poor lathes

Re:you don't actually use machine shop tools, righ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37982576)

and you can use them to build better ones

if I had a hammer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37981228)

Ideas and comments clearly written by people who sit at computers al day long.

any real operator of these Big Machines will tell you the most vital ingredient in sustainability is a Bot Tool Box with lots of Tools

not open source, but free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37981276)

and it is all freely available and free to share."and it is all freely available and free to share."

The word you were looking for wasn't "open source" it was "free".

Nothing is in metric... (1)

cheesybagel (670288) | more than 2 years ago | (#37981568)

Everything is in the "US Imperial" measurement system i.e. inches and stuff. Blech.

Bullshit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37981858)

All the things I looked at (e.g. welder, induction furnace) were in "research phase". So there isn't anything there but fantasy. Which is sad because there's a huge amount of information available. So this is really more PR than reality.

Living in a shrink wrapped world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37982028)

It's all been done. They're boasting about reinventing the CINVA ram for making cemented earth bricks. The rest is all pipe dream. Only "true believers" allowed to comment.

"Build your own lathe", etc. (5, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982452)

There's a classic "Build a Complete Metalworking Shop from Scrap" [lindsaybks.com] set of books. This set of books really does describe how to build machine tools starting from scrap and hand tools. The author was originally thinking of recovery after a nuclear war, when there would be plenty of scrap around.

Re:"Build your own lathe", etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37984166)

But there might not be too many books available...or ways to find them.

Strangest place to find OS? (1)

houghi (78078) | more than 2 years ago | (#37982652)

In the back of a Volkswagen?

No bicycle (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983860)

There's an open-source car but no bicycle. Not well thought out.

GECK anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37983882)

I can't believe no one mentioned Garden of Eden Creation Kit - and here, on Slashdot!

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...