Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

Hi, my name is Marcin — farmer, technologist. I was born in Poland, now in the U.S. I started a group called Open Source Ecology. We’ve identified the 50 most important machines that we think it takes for modern life to exist — things from tractors, bread ovens, circuit makers. Then we set out to create an open source, DIY, do it yourself version that anyone can build and maintain at a fraction of the cost. We call this the Global Village Construction Set. So let me tell you a story. So I finished my 20s with a Ph.D. in fusion energy, and I discovered I was useless. I had no practical skills. The world presented me with options, and I took them. I guess you can call it the consumer lifestyle. So I started a farm in Missouri and learned about the economics of farming. I bought a tractor — then it broke. I paid to get it repaired — then it broke again. Then pretty soon, I was broke too. I realized that the truly appropriate, low-cost tools that I needed to start a sustainable farm and settlement just didn’t exist yet. I needed tools that were robust, modular, highly efficient and optimized, low-cost, made from local and recycled materials that would last a lifetime, not designed for obsolescence. I found that I would have to build them myself. So I did just that. And I tested them. And I found that industrial productivity can be achieved on a small scale. So then I published the 3D designs, schematics, instructional videos and budgets on a wiki. Then contributors from all over the world began showing up, prototyping new machines during dedicated project visits. So far, we have prototyped eight of the 50 machines. And now the project is beginning to grow on its own. We know that open source has succeeded with tools for managing knowledge and creativity. And the same is starting to happen with hardware too. We’re focusing on hardware because it is hardware that can change people’s lives in such tangible material ways. If we can lower the barriers to farming, building, manufacturing, then we can unleash just massive amounts of human potential. That’s not only in the developing world. Our tools are being made for the American farmer, builder, entrepreneur, maker. We’ve seen lots of excitement from these people, who can now start a construction business, parts manufacturing, organic CSA or just selling power back to the grid. Our goal is a repository of published designs so clear, so complete, that a single burned DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit. I’ve planted a hundred trees in a day. I’ve pressed 5,000 bricks in one day from the dirt beneath my feet and built a tractor in six days. From what I’ve seen, this is only the beginning. If this idea is truly sound, then the implications are significant. A greater distribution of the means of production, environmentally sound supply chains, and a newly relevant DIY maker culture can hope to transcend artificial scarcity. We’re exploring the limits of what we all can do to make a better world with open hardware technology. Thank you. (Applause)

72 thoughts on “Marcin Jakubowski: Open-sourced blueprints for civilization

  1. @jjrglobal:
    No, I don't believe any of the VP, ZM stuff, nor do I believe in the UN or other bullshit like that. I do, however, believe in innovation as a means to reduce barriers to participate in a market, lower costs and increase efficiency, which is precisely what this video talks about. This videos says nothing whatsoever about the Venus Project, thus whatever (valid) criticism one has of the VP it is irrelevant to the ideas presented in this video.

  2. @Neanderthalcouzin:
    If people want to buy Paris Hilton's perfume and are not forced to buy it under duress, who are YOU to say it's not a wise allocation of resources? I myself probably would have preferred them to be allocated to something else, but I certainly wouldn't use force to do that. Usually, when a person complains that resources aren't allocated properly in a market, he is preparing the ground for bringing out the guns of the state in attempt to allocate them according to his whims

  3. @Akatam0t0ma I dont quite know how to out this in soundbite form: Using water, chemicals, labor, metals and other minerals, hydrocarbons, etc, to produce Hilton perfume while a billion are on the brink of starvation is not a wise allocation of resources, at all. I wont be taking that point back, ever.

    Your closing comment is really just paranoid, and not true. I say this having been raised by a conservation scientist. No guns out back, no tyranny, no jackboots.

  4. @Neanderthalcouzin:
    Again, who decides how resources are to be wisely allocated? You? A bunch of enlightened centrally-planning state bureaucrats? You see, the thing is, when a single individual says "those resources aren't being allocated properly in the market", he thinks he knowns how to allocate them better. But the thing is, NOBODY, not a single person knows how resources should be properly allocated. The only way to properly allocate them is through the wisdom of the crowds, i.e markets.

  5. @Akatam0t0ma I dont agree. I think unbridled profit motive is backwards and inefficient in regulating and maintaining a cutting edge, sustainable economic system. It has pros and cons, and I wouldnt call it wise, more a runaway train.

  6. What I like about this sort of project is that it resurrects the ideals of the American pioneers. People helping each other and sharing ideas isnt communism; its the mighty force that built an amazing country.

    It was the loss of the sort of ideals now promoted by Marcin Jakubowski that caused the mess society is in today; not some artificial idea of right and left political movements.

  7. biodiverse systems are more productive than monocultures. permaculture(dot)org(dot)au/2008/09/23/biodiverse-systems-are-more-productive/ The best tool for harvesting them is your hands.

  8. @xjustamem0ryx No, nature is to kill off the weakest elements of a species. Usually in a painful and vicious way.

  9. All for it and am a true believr … watch yer back, tho … Inserting one's self directly into someone else's lurcrative revenue stream often has fatal consequences. Nothing new, there ,,, and not a reason to give up … just be sure your affairs are in order … 's all.

  10. Someone is going to make sure that young man has an 'accident'. No one is ever allowed to infringe on corporate monopoly. If it doesn't break down at the time the warranty expires then it's not making anyone any money. Sad to say but true.

  11. I was gonna say too, that Big Agro is gonna come gunning for him, but then, his ideas is already out there. Do we have those DVD's? Check. Do we have motivated people? Hmmm …. the part of Africathat is not in war, the majority, so …. Check. Do we have DVD reading machines? China …. Check.

  12. @SkeksisRule freedom controls the birth rate. all democratic countries have low birth rates. high birth rates are in backward countries ravaged by war and dictators. free the entire world (something america COULD have done after 1945) and the birth rate will drop 🙂

  13. @SkeksisRule – You must work for Caterpillar Farm Equipment! C'mon – EVERY change creates positive and negative implications. You don't STOP doing something good because somewhere down the line something negative might happen because of it – because those problems can meet solutions in the future as well. This man is breaking a MONOPOLY that robs people of options – a monopoly of machine making that is very expensive. He is giving options for the common man. G-d bless him!

  14. @SkeksisRule Not necesary, people with more education should control themselves. Very poor people with low education, can have up to 20 plus children, and no exageration.
    Have a look how many kids has the poor of the poor.
    Its a very bad technique make hunger to reduce population, doesnt work, not tosay about the ethics.

  15. This isn't true, Alex Jones has specifically talked about this and I cite him and his families knowledge of farming and ranching on this topic, about how they replaced all the American made frame equipment that didn't but rarely break down with Asian versions that regularly break down at huge expense. I'm not a farmer so I'm just repeating what I've heard, Let the farmers speak on it if I am wrong.

  16. planned obsolescence needs to be shelved…. Bernard London and Brooks Stevens rank pretty low on my accomplished scientist scale, whereas Marcin Jakubowski is a Tesla kind of guy.
    "the lightbulb conspiracy" movie goes into this topic pretty well.

  17. Just wait until the US Government imposes all of the safety regulations on his equipment that other manufacturers are required to obey. Either that or until he is sued out of sight by someone who is hurt either building or using his designs.

  18. Yes, this is the way to end top down pyramidal systems of control admimistered by the corporate gangsters. Thank you for your valiant efforts and hard work. We do not need the corporate world ruling our lives and controlling the ploitica manikins! We can all be really free if we can get rid of the corporation which have enslaved humanity for profits and control!

  19. This is what I imagine the world could have been if we weren't so preoccupied with what we are being told to do every day.

  20. Mam nadzieje, ze Marcin to przeczyta: Because he's a FCKIN GENIUS!!!!!! Thank you for your input into civilization. But beware! There will be REACTION from, not even (corporate owned) govt, but GREEDY CORPORATIONS !!!

  21. @khanimambobar

    You don't seem to understand. This isnt an 'idea' to be developed. It is basically public blueprints to build your own farm equipment. If you cannot follow what is essentially a lego block plan, then you don't deserve the tools that this creates.

    It is YOUR job to make this work, not theirs. They are simply giving you the ability to build your own equipment instead of relying on overpriced corporate products that are designed to milk wealth.

  22. @SkeksisRule So what do you suggest? That we make farming more and more expensive so that more people will starve? Why don't you do your part to reduce population by killing yourself?

  23. @DougsPianoMusic Doug, you do realize that all of the Patents used in the production of his materials and goods are expired, yes? He's not stealing anything. Avoiding the discussion of whether or not patents are a legitimate use of force by the government, they usually expire 20 years from the filing date by design.

  24. actually trademarks and copyrights are a main reason why our technology hasn't evolved further yet. Without the bulk of restrictive copyright in place today it would be much easier to adapt or improve existing technologies to make them better and help them advance. We'd probably have flying cars by now if it wasn't for copyrights. In conclusion: Restrictive copyrights are the reason we can't have nice things!

  25. The designs arent owned by Marcin. The technologies were designed by many contributors. These are not patented or for sale. It is open licensing of the tools that allows anyone to build themselves a decentralized livelihood. If someone sues Marcin, thousands if not millions will have the plans and know how to keep building and sharing developments. This is a distributed movement. It does rely on Marcin as the leader for now, but the idea is there, and it has a life of its own now.

  26. I am pretty sure that if you use copyrighted parts or technology to build something new, someone somewhere will sue you over it.

  27. it seems I didn't really wrote what I meant here…I don't necessarily mean only copyrights but mostly patents. Now you can't deny that it is in fact illegal to make a 'fork' of a patented product that uses some basic idea or technology described in the patent. Thus making it almost impossible for independent developers or engineers or whatever, to take an existing thing say (just for the sake of the argument) the technology of the iPhone and improve on it

  28. I might disagree with that, if I understand you correctly. This isn't about any "American ideals". Marcin Jakubowski's home country is not the USA, it is Poland. So is the case of many "American" pioneers, they migrated to America.

  29. I know he is Polish.

    What I meant is that he is rekindling the pragmatism and social cohesion practised by pioneers. While America seems largely torn between the values of their political parties, Marcin Jakubowski brings an external perspective.

    That desire for egalitarian and sustainable society is much more recent here in Canada. My mom is a first generation Canadian. The people of her parents generation started our universal healthcare system. They cared about humanity not ideology.


  30. love the open source movement, in everything. khan academy, wikipedia, open source ecology, makerbot, firefox, google. numerous examples of people helping everyone else on the planet. really awesome, id love to be apart of that some day as an electrical engineering student

  31. I'm not American.

    The point of my comment was that many Americans TODAY see the ideas of "invent it and give it away" and "help each other for free" as being evil, socialist and contrary to their values.

    Rather, I said, their ancestors acted in this spirit. They should re-embrace those ideals.

    To put it to a point, I was suggesting that their society needs some improvement.

    Now, angry one, why don't you consider some improvement of your own? You sound a bit obsessed.

  32. Does anyone know what those two images at the bottom of the screen are at 2.27 ?

    The images are kind of spider-web like.


  33. I'm a part of a open courseware initiative. We have developed a Free Educational CMS "World Mentoring Academy" is offering FREE Open Courseware. Setup a free user account & select courses with video lectures, Syllabus, Free textbooks when avail., assignments/homework, testing from MIT, Harvard, UC Berkeley, Stanford, U of Mich, Yale along with many of the World's finest University's (1,000+ courses/24-48+ Lectures).

  34. I can't believe even this turns into a nationalistic p*ssing match. Marcin came to the U.S. when he was 10 years old. He went to Princeton and the University of Wisconsin. He can claim dual citizenship like a lot of other people, including me. Like all other great ideas, this builds on the work of others that came before. Even 30 years ago there was the idea of open source software, and I had a college professor who was obsessed with ideas involving the control of energy for the masses.

  35. they are network visualization graphics — a google image search for "network visual" will return something similar

    Looking at this video below, you will understand why if you want to change anything in the current functioning of our society, you must make your claim only this message: application will result in all the rest. To understand concretely the force of this message take now a few minutes to read.
    The cause of causes (subtitled in English -click on red cc).
    Etienne Chouard – Chercher la cause des causes

    They are no closer to the goal, they are still working on the same machines without significant progress. Look it up, this guy went way ahead of himself without a realistic plan.

  38. We in Russia have long done with their own hands the tools and tractors and automobiles and other equipment including greenhouses of the window frames and the tractor from the planters generally not surprised

  39. У нас таких изобретателей через одного и никто из них не лезет скакать на сцену.

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