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Open Source University, Open Source Civilization

I propose the consolidation of all open source movements and organizations with the mandate to create the largest consortium of actionable knowledge that outlines a blue-print for becoming 100% sustainable, 100% recyclable, 100% independent, and capable of assuming 100% of all the needs of 100% of the population of the world with fewer resources, zero waste, and zero pollution, while systematically eliminating the need for human labor thus freeing every man, woman, and child from all economic and time constraints allowing us pursue higher purposes unabated. I propose the establishment of an accredited Open Source University, an Open Source Political party, and an Open Source Civilization by which all knowledge is a common heritage of our entire species.

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    Feb 16 2012: Joshua, your proposition is the next step for civilization. Can you propose tactical strategies that could get us there?
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      Feb 16 2012: I believe it will be up to all of us to determine such tactical strategies. The idea is great. Let's break down the numbers and factors and see if can be done.

      Only having recently been exposed to certain kinds of 'open source manufacturing', I'm curious as to how an open-source world relates to our electrical infrastructure. If there were no industrial manufacturing plants and the vast majority of production was personal, would this create a greater drain on our power plants? And at the heart of our power infrastructures are economic concerns, correct? So, how does this open-source world interact with this almost intrinsically (and almost necessarily?) capitalistic power-grid?
  • Feb 17 2012: I think it would be great if we could create local platforms like mini TED conferences/science fairs/community forums that dealt with solving local problems and building economic development initiatives which could invite/employ students, grand parents, and the unemployed to contribute and collaborate in creative projects. It would be great if there were weekly or monthly public meetings/events which would propose small competitions and projects, and it would be great if these events and groups were networked with other communities spurring a cohesive effort to deal with these issues. Small groups could form to research and develop presentations for these events to purpose them to the public. They could be discussed, debated, and practical solutions refined, pitched, and implemented. I think this would empower creativity and provide a means by which great ideas could be disseminated to the public, and it could serve as a means to encourage kids to think and create instead of spending time playing video games and looking for trouble. We need to create something to tap into the immense creativity and passion of our children and give everyone an actual platform by which they can truly affect change. I think this would allow people to take back control of our future and would be a great strategy to evolve civilization.
  • Feb 17 2012: Very nice idea.
    Lets suppose we have achieved that, a full open source university.
    But could a person with an open source degree still be able to find a respecteble job?
    Or what would he do with an open source degree?
    I really appreciate the hard work done in this field.
    But talking about open source or free online courses like Stanford courses and MITx with friends, there first reaction is, OK that's great but what do I do with it.
    These are great sources of knowledge, but in real life you live with bread not ideas.
    If these ideas are to gaine popularity or to spread they must have practicul uses specially in developing countries.
    Acquiring new knowledge is great having courses available for everyone is great but unless a practicul use is found I don't know??
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      Feb 18 2012: For one thing it would give people a way to learn the jargon of any prospective field. Much basic information using sites like Kahn academy could help people who are held back by illness or poverty. It could work if there were mentors helping people through.
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    Feb 17 2012: I like crowd-source challenges. We have one up right now at GrabCAD for the open source backhoe -

    and we had another challenge on quick connect wheels for the tractor -
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    Feb 16 2012: The concept that we promote in the Global Village Construction set it not 'personal production' as much as it is the 'community-based solution of relocalized production.' Our experiment relies on determining the smallest scale which would allow for the creation of advanced civilization - minus the compromises of global geopolitics. Yes, the heart of such a proposiiton is access to clean, renewable energy. Distributed power production on the scale of communities is a possible solution. The best solution for this I've seen to date on decentralized power is the SolarFire solar concentrator system from India - - which the producer is offering for $12,000 FOB.
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      Feb 16 2012: Fascinating! I also read a little about your project (bravo, by the way; your ideas are amazing). Could you envision utilizing this technology in your construction set? I haven't read fully through the devices you plan to open-source. Could they be compatible with this energy source? Heck, could/would -you- build a Solar Fire machine in order to power the production of your own devices?
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        Feb 17 2012: Yes, we are planning on building the Solar Fire system, while making improvements with a modern steam engine, automatic solar tracking, hail protection, and mirror surface cleaning mechanism.
    • Feb 17 2012: The best tactical strategy I can come up with involves creating incentives to attract as many creative individuals to contribute to this Open Source model for civilization. I really like the concept of publishing trade secretes (I believe it was in one of the GVCS videos). If we could create a new type of corporation with a board of directors that were chosen by contributors in an open forum who would develop strategies to capitalize on Open Source technology to generate profits for new research and entrepreneurial incentives which would fund and build a state of the art R&D facility. But, from what I can see that's what the GVCS is starting with this DIY Village.
      So! Marcin, (you're my hero by the way) instead of trying to develop all 50 machines yourself which could take awhile, a fantastic strategy that has worked in the past is a competition model like the X-Prize. In short offering a prize for do-it-yourselfers who can create the heirloom machines that are needed and offering assistance in developing the documentation for publication, and the necessary testing of the machines could be done as part of the competition. Events can draw huge crowds and potentially sizable profits, but moreover they would allow average Joes the chance to be a part of something truly amazing. This, I believe, would provide incentives for developers to contribute in a focused and organized way.
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    Feb 8 2012: A worthy goal! An issue to resolve will be keeping the mountains of data manageable and accessible. When profit is no longer the motive, I believe people ultimately work for the common good. The open source movement is truly a triumph of humanity.

    The project i am involved in has parallel goals of offering open source blueprints for sustainability with the added element of social sustainability- as in how to go about meeting the needs of the humans beyond those of survival.
    • Feb 9 2012: Since posting this I found out about the Khan Academy which is very close to what I have proposed in an OpenSource University as well as wikibooks and wikiuniversity which could also evolve into something truly trans-formative. It's crazy the more I dig into TED the more I see ideas which I have dreamt about but thought were so very far away but are happening right now in several places all over the world. I think soon there will be an Open Source machine that can be built from off the shelf components from radio shack which could build an even more impressive machine that will be capable of 3D printing absolutely anything a person could imagine out of carbon alone.

      Thanks for your post Andres I'll defiantly check out the project you're working with.
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    Jan 22 2012: I agree with you absolutely. is an avenue to an opensource society and I am devoting my life to it. Please post any particulars you have thought of!


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      Feb 18 2012: Is there a way to add an ask a question place?
  • Jan 20 2012: As TED approaches the City 2.0, I see access to information and collaborative projects essential in the development of the ideas and infrastructure to make this a reality. Universal access is a difficult ideal to attain as the time required to manage and moderate the vast amount of information is quite extensive, which is why I feel that we need a platform of self regulation similar to Wiki to facilitate the development and dissemination of actionable knowledge. I would like to see the development of this platform go through professional academic review to the extent that the accreditation process requires, so that once developed the project could actually attract students seeking accredited degrees and publication. I would like to see this approach go beyond Copy Left in that information and curricula developed could evolve to such a degree as to set a higher standard for all accredited institutions, and all published materials developed have both universal access but also be sold to fund the Open Source platform/movement with the understanding that any time or financial contribution be the common heritage and for the benefit of all who choose to participate. Because of the financial aspect of this, the necessity for a bureaucracy would be formed, however, I feel that we could have a true democratic process to elect individuals up to the task who would be held accountable by the same democratic process: Civics 2.0 if you will. If we were able to take back the power of our own education away from traditional institutions we could create a higher standard of higher education through collaboration under a voluntary model of development and offer that education free to all people as a legacy to ourselves and our grandchildren. In addition we should develop a proclamation that all people should have the inalienable right to collaborate and innovate and share developments with all people and without prejudice, and that these efforts be free from political opposition.
  • Jan 20 2012: good