[p2p-research] Remote Assembly, Economy, & Work For Its Own Sake

Nathan Cravens knuggy at gmail.com
Thu Aug 27 05:32:06 CEST 2009

Its a pleasure having conversation with you Sam.

I wrote:

> >> Yes, and so be it, but the problem is they are forced into rote tasks to
> > 'earn' a living. I'm for robotics networks that can perform these already
> > obsolete tasks to the point it overwhelms the classical economy to the
> point
> > it is obvious labor as market value is obsolete.

Sam Rose wrote:

> Actually, ironically the people who do the above mentioned activities
> as "hobbies" are often people who do not need to do them at all for a
> living. I know people who are well payed PhD students, that do
> proofreading because they enjoy doing it. My wife enjoys weaving,
> knitting, etc and she's not suffering in a sweatshop :-)

If we do not have to secure living standards via rote tasks, we can better
enjoy what we do, highly repetitive or otherwise, for the gift from the work
itself. In this way, what we do becomes rendered more meaningful and sincere
for more genuine personal and communal reasons (such in learning and keeping
the skill, so we or neighbors might admire, or so these skills can be taught
or shared with family and friends, ect)

To request a payment is a resource acquisition method for a society unable
to scale productive activities properly. The 'Remote Assembly' (paper
folding, ect) demonstration can show in one viewing how these productive
activities can scale to generate more wealth than before without waste,
including the waste in financial instrumentation you describe in a previous
message. I'm going to describe the assembly process further below.

> However, I still agree with your point that there are many rote tasks
> that millions of people are doing world wide to 'earn' a living. And,
> I am with you on the drive to create robotics that can eliminate some

It can be all of them; individuals can then choose what they want to do. If
that is 'nothing', so be it. Socialization will be pick up a majority of the
'slackers' and will likely reduce this occurrence as freedoms increase and
people begin to treat one another better as consequence.

> of these. Even more, I am interested in robotics that can give them
> the infrastructure they need to become self sufficient, which is
> related to what you are talking about.

Yes. Share the information, land use, materials, assembly steps and the
potential for DIY increases. In other words, expand the circle of sharing
and the personal circle of self sufficiency expands in kind.

> The suffering  people you are
> talking about actually require a full ecology of systems, which
> includes robots that can eliminate rote labor, but also includes
> localized food systems, sustainable shelter systems, waste-equals-food
> ecologies for the byproducts of their production, and money systems
> that are tied to natural forces, such as energy, for value.

Right. As we discussed directly, basic life support systems must be easily
transferable for rapid fabrication in times of rapid exchange trade decline
in a manner that requires less ration units than before in anticipation of
and development toward zero ration units for access to these basic needs
globally. And this must happen very quickly...

> ::Drift:: One of the reasons people have to struggle so much to earn a
> living, and are forced into taking on really taxing rote manual labor
> jobs can be traced back the way that the flow of money systems are
> controlled.

You're digressing into a financial approach here. I'm sorry to hear this
clogging up that cognitive capacity of yours. Maybe you're just attempting
to refine a theory of money mechanism.... So here's how I see it...

Money is only able to capture value by the way products are produced and the
rents received for labor to acquire them. Bankers are probably the best
predators of all; as they capture rents from the entire capitalist
enterprise itself. It will be a relief to see money used without bankers and
their institutions. I'm curious how efficient that would make resource flows
or at what prices products are reduced to in such a 'free money' market
economy. Those high rise buildings would make great indoor farms and fabs.

> Central banks and governments artificially control money
> flows via fixing compound interest rates. So, when financial systems
> take a dive (usually after a false expansion that people start to
> realize cannot be sustained, which leads to the collapse), lending
> institutions dam up the flow of money, blocking people from accessing
> it, which has a domino effect, and those with the least amount of
> money are forced to struggle even harder to procure the basic amount
> of money for survival. I propose that we both give people the means of
> production, to eliminate the need for money, plus we all start using
> new money systems that are tied to natural forces. People have been
> calling for this for years. This makes money *self-regulating*. We
> could prove it with experiments with digital money online. (see this
> article http://www.energybulletin.net/49740 ).
> http://seekingalpha.com/article/129500-banking-on-energy-rather-than-currency-or-gold
>  Time banks are an example. I don't think that currency should *only*
> be based on petro, but any solar-derived energy, or even other energy.
> /::Drift::

Wrong. If we back money with anything, that will only work against us, as
interests will only work to secure that backing whether is it (energy, gold,
natural forces, ect) is scare or not. Therefore, money must be based on the
subjectivity of scarcity itself. In other words: only backed by trust that
an item is scarce and must have something of relative scarce value in
exchange. That's 'old world' and will soon be difficult to secure such lived
horrors, however.

> Plus, as Nathan continually advocates, it is extremely important in my
> opinion to diminish the need for money at all.


> Especially for basic
> survival needs. We already have enough space, and stored/potentially
> energy to meet basic survival needs for every person on this planet in
> totally self-sustaining ways. We're just currently misusing the
> resources, and I think that is obvious to many people.

So if a currency were backed by something abundant as you're describing, the
money would then be worthless...

On Wed, Aug 26, 2009 at 10:44 AM, Samuel Rose <samuel.rose at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 8:40 PM, Michel Bauwens<michelsub2004 at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> > Sam,
> >
> > where can I find a nice overview summary of the basic needs that need to
> be
> > covered by a p2p infrastructure,
> Well this is the topic of the book that Paul, Rick Adler and myself
> are writing at http://flowsbook.panarchy.com/  of course it is only
> about 1/4 of the way there so the concise view you need isn't there
> quite yet :-)


> Actually, the chapter outline we currently have gives the FLOWS model
> that we are saying is the basic model people require for all forms of
> basic survival.
> # Energy Commons
> # Food Commons
> # Thing Commons
> # Cultural Commons
> # Access Commons


> Creating an infrastructure commons around the above needs will create
> what we are calling a "wealth generating ecology".
> "Wealth generating ecology" is what I offer to people when they ask me
> to create an open source business model for them.

Heh. "Profit?" you might ask? "Well, sure, but here's a phrase you want to
better affiliate yourself with." ;p

> I tell them that
> they don't need a "business model" they need a "wealth generating
> ecology" that generates multiple types of wealth, defined by what the
> people and systems in the ecology decide is 'wealth'. (For instance,
> in Adam Arvidsson's "Ethical Economy", sound ethics and actual trust
> are one of the highest forms of "wealth" in the system. )

These works can add to a trust platform I call a cohension engine, a bag of
tricks that secure bonds when they are needed to complete protocols...

> Energy and Food commons are self explanatory (in fact if you really
> think about it, food is actually part of the energy commons, as food
> is transformed and stored energy for human physical systems) "Thing
> Commons" above is what some people call "means of production". Open
> license machines, designs, materials, etc. This is probably going to
> be Paul's offering to the group. But, we'd work on it with you ahead
> of time either way.

Thanks for the invitation. ;)

> "Access Commons" is our current place holder for access to data flows,
> designs, networks, resources, anything that is a building block
> towards basic survival. Plus, it addresses the encirclement of
> concepts and resources which were never meant to have access blocked
> off from (like atomics particles and compounds, genes, etc that
> otherwise naturally flow and evolve freely within systems).

Yes. without ration units, but certainly with other checks and balances...

> The FLOWS model as a model for the creation of a "wealth generating
> ecology" (not FLOWS internet specification, which is meant to be a
> real world example of the model) suggests that human activity should
> emulate the energy flow of natural systems. By blocking and damming
> the flow of energies, and access to deposits of built up resources, we
> are trying to defy the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Our systems ultimate
> collapse because the defiance of the law is a charade, and is used to
> help keep a small amount of people safe from the effects of this 2nd
> law of entropic dissipation.
> We are saying that anyone can apply our model right now, to human
> systems, and see results right away.

Do you have a page just loaded with various examples? That would be helpful.

> To apply, you need to align your inputs and consumptions with the
> outputs of others, and make your outputs available as inputs for
> others.

Cradle to cradle. Right. Zero waste.

> Designs need to apply a principle of plurality, many ways to employ
> and reuse the same resource. Plurality is not enough, the principle of
> diversity is also needed, many different ways to use many different
> resources.


> Paul just stated to me that Complex Adaptive systems optimize the flow
> of energy in emergent ways, they usually do not block, or hoard energy
> flows in systems when left to evolve and emerge on their own.
> So, if we take energy that is in the form of matter, shape it into a
> fast food container, use it once, and then throw it into a hole in the
> ground, we are blocking the potential for optimized dissipation of
> that energy. Complex systems theory contains many of the simple
> rules-based models that we need to start optimizing our energy flows
> in useful ways.

Have reading suggestions in this area?
I've kept notes on all the ones you've previously mentioned on


Now to describe an ultimate Robodemo in a few steps, beginning with the most
complex example, built from refining and adding to the foundation: the paper
folding bot.

3) A robot network is able to successfully fabricate its own parts and
assemble them remotely from the web. The presentation focus is on a general
fabrication robot (fabot) on stage to handle and assemble materials given to
him by distributor robots (distribots) from the other fabots off stage,
ideally located a few square miles away at most, all of which observed
remotely if wanted.

   - A general mobile fabrication robot is sent a revision of itself to
   fabricate. All materials are fabricated on demand in fabritories nearby in
   the town of the conference area or in the area itself. We can watch video of
   the materials accessed from one land area to another as a distribot
   transfers the packet to its storage unit for the fabrication network to
   construct until meeting the final assembly point.
   - The final result is a robot that constructs on stage a revised
   duplicate of itself.
   - They shake hands (in memory of the Open Manufacturing logo)
   - Then the newly built replica proceeds to give the parent bot the same
   revisions that were given to it.

2) A robot can assemble a replica of itself with parts already aquired
through the mass production and transit means we presently toil within.

1) A bot folds paper in a novel way with our p2p or collective intelligence.

   - We're at a conference taking place inside an auditorium.
   - Everyone can see projected how you are accessing a graphical interface.
   - You go to a search page and type the name of the event you are
   - A page for the event is accessed.
   - You find a 'dynamic' blueprint or map of the very room you are
   presenting from.
   - From this map you are able to see what objects you can access to
   manipulate in some way.
   - A mobile robotic arm in set upon a desk. A sheet of paper is nearby on
   the desk.
   - From the map you are able to locate the sheet of paper from your
   screen, select it, then use the cursor to fold it into a particular shape.
   This is a new design, never before virtually shaped in this way.
   - After confirming your entry, the robot arm, with that information,
   folds the paper to your specifications.
   - Demonstration complete.

So in regard to fabricating these near possibilities; some admixture of the
fab lab and hackerspace community can work collaboratively to create such
demonstrations in practice.

Phoebe recently made a strong connection with the fab lab community in
Manchester. That's one door to knock. I'm willing to play an advisory role
and that of a student to the extent my patience and interest allows of the
various code and mechanics it will take to develop and integrate these
curious varieties.


Further background:

> >
> > I'd love to have this, and work on some illustrations to show what kind
> of
> > community-enterpreneurial-funding coalitions would be necessary to carry
> it
> > out. I feel this mapping and call for enterpreneurial coalitions may well
> be
> > the next focus of the p2p foundation,
> >
> > Michel
> >
> > On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 9:29 PM, Samuel Rose <samuel.rose at gmail.com>
> wrote:
> >>
> >> >
> >> > Right, we might say that the paper folding is stored so other folk or
> >> > bots
> >> > might fold the paper in that same configuration later on.
> >> > You may not have paper and want to make it yourself? Okay, there's
> your
> >> > representation, here's where the materials are located. No bots in the
> >> > area?
> >> > No problem, all of this is in walking distance, and other folk may be
> >> > interested in your project to help place those needed items closer to
> >> > your
> >> > location.
> >> >>
> >>
> >> Nathan, I am sorry to tell you that I personally have little interest
> >> in investing the amount of time that I know it will take to create and
> >> execute the paper folding bot in 3D room demonstration that you are
> >> suggesting here.
> >>
> >>
> >> I am personally much more interested in putting time like that into
> >> practical applications that can help people, like developing
> >> automation systems for aquaponics and hydropnics, creating protocols
> >> for open source software systems that people are currently using to
> >> talk to each other, creating mobile food processing units for use in
> >> local food systems, things like that.
> >>
> >> The idea is cool, but not something that I am interested in investing
> >> time into. In the end, we'd have a robot that can fold paper :-)
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> >
> >> > How 'bout EMC? Fenn forwarded this info to the OM list.
> >> > http://wiki.openkollab.com/wagn/Enhanced_Machine_Controller_EMC
> >> >
> >>
> >> I use EMC2 http://www.linuxcnc.org/content/view/2/4/lang,en/ I agree
> >> it is great!
> >>
> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> Although, it seems like it would be easier to just use telesurgery
> >> >> robots and cameras if you want to do remote folding! I guess it
> >> >> depends on what the real goal is here.
> >> >
> >> > The goal is to do anything remotely!
> >> >
> >>
> >> Our goal here is to first help people address the basic needs for
> >> energy, food, shelter, and general physiological and psychological
> >> survival using open source software and technology. Retorifitting
> >> existing urban infrastructure, putting vacant land and buildings to
> >> use, localizing food production, that sort of thing. I frankly way too
> >> busy with that work to rise the challenge of the remote paper folding
> >> robot.
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> A more practically immediately implementable example, IMO,  of what
> >> >> FLOWS and open standards can do with regard to flexible fabrication
> >> >> would be to allow people to store and serve multiple parts of a
> >> >> "package" of CAD files, bill of materials, parametrics data, and any
> >> >> other relative data about a technology, or the technologies needed to
> >> >> make that technology, in a distrbuted way (like on multiple servers).
> >> >
> >> > I hope Zach (cc'd) you might have something to say on this with his
> work
> >> > in
> >> > CAD repositories (Thingiverse) and distributed manufacturing. You're
> >> > coming
> >> > to the workshop, right? ;)
> >>
> >> Yes, coming to the workshop for sure.
> >>
> >>
> >> >
> >> >>
> >> >> These packages could still be maintained by a specific project or
> >> >> person. That project or person would really do the job of "vetting"
> >> >> the contents of that package so that other people reasonably know
> they
> >> >> can trust it.
> >> >
> >> > It would be best if this aspect were automated, via rates of
> selection,
> >> > 'do
> >> > you like?' input requests, or some other automated selection
> criteriori.
> >> >
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> Well, think of it this way, you could make a standard way to represent
> >> a package, and then you could make unlimited applications that add in
> >> functionality like question asking (just as there are multiple
> >> applications that work with debian package management system). I would
> >> not put this extra functionality into a package management system
> >> itself, though.
> >>
> >>
> >> >>
> >> >> But, the same files could live in many, many packages,
> >> >> each maintained by a specific maintainer. FLOWS gives a standard way
> >> >> of letting a system know that your files or data are part of a
> package
> >> >> (or to submit for inclusion in a package). Now, you can park your
> >> >> design files *anywhere*, yet they can still be part of a package.
> >> >
> >> > Yes. Redudancy where it counts, just in case a server or two
> >> > crashes--the
> >> > mesh gots you covered.
> >> >
> >> >>
> >> >> Another practical immediate example is that you could export certain
> >> >> contents of those files to be repackaged as a PDF, and even create a
> >> >> print on demand book from that collection of files. You could
> actually
> >> >> export a collection of files in any way that is possible through
> >> >> existing open source libraries. A FLOWS based component could also
> >> >> send out all kinds of meta data about the packages. Who is accessing
> >> >> them, multiple materials sources for what the package is made of, etc
> >> >
> >> > Sounds as if that would be a practical implement you can charge these
> >> > proprietarians for royally so as to put the reserve notes to better
> use:
> >> > meaning: less. ;)
> >> >
> >> > Nathan
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