Open Source Ecology Paradigm
Jakubowski, Ph.D., 12.24.2011
of the OSE Christmas Gift to the World of 2011
The Open Source
Ecology Paradigm is an idea that the open source economy is a route
to human prosperity in harmony with natural life support systems.
Open Source Ecology (OSE) is a movement
to create the open source economy. The movement consists of hundreds
of entrepreneurs, producers, engineers, makers, and supporters around
the world – who believe in the power of open
– who share the open
ethic. The ‘Ecology’ in the name refers to the interaction of
natural and human ecosystems – the environmental, societal, and
technological systems – as they interact along open
principles. Read a further description of the OSE concept as it was
formulated initially in 2003 (see Appendix below). Since then, the concept
has evolved to a platform for creating distributive enterprise, as a
solid foundation for a sound economy – a third economic option beyond
capitalism or socialism. The distributive economy paradigm centers
around open access to efficient production as a means to transcend
artificial material scarcity. The paradigm uses open source tools and
techniques to produce advanced civilization – by unleashing the
power of the responsible
use of technology.
The main current
project of OSE is the Global Village Construction Set – a set of 50
Industrial Machines that allow for the creation of a small scale
civilization with modern comforts.
mission of Open Source Ecology is to create an open source economy –
an economy that optimizes both production and distribution, while
providing environmental regeneration and social justice.
of the OSE Paradigm
backbone of Open Source Ecology is open access to
economically-significant information – product designs, techniques,
and rapid learning materials for achieving this. Collaborative
development, 24/7 around the globe, leads to best practice designs –
accessible openly via the internet. When economic productivity is
unleashed as such, there is a direct effect on community prosperity.
As a result of lowered barriers to entry, each community can increase
the range of products and services that it can provide. Global
collaboration in open product and process design leads to best
practices being commonly available. This is opposed to the dominant
paradigm of today – where a few companies having the best products
or monopoly control, and by definition, the rest is mediocre. Open
economic development has the potential to raise the bar on the
quality of products in the productive economy – as opposed to the
enforcement of mediocrity through protectionism and monopoly.
wealth comes from nature – rocks, plants, sunlight, and water.
These are found ubiquitously. Yet the presence of strategic resources
results in conflicts over their appropriation. “Hey, that’s my oil
under your land.” Open source technology can address this problem –
via principles of substitutability. There are many routes to
producing any economically significant product or service. Resilience
of communities depends on having a diversity of options. As open
access to technology becomes commonplace, every community can
increase its level of productivity and appropriate technology – to
the point that it can substitute any strategic material with local
options – without any reduction in the standard of living – while
contributing positively to global peace.
of the connection between technology and nature means that people
begin to respect nature. This happens when people begin to respect
that their well-being comes from nature. This transparency is
facilitated when economically productive activities happen as close
to the community as possible – not out of sight, out of mind in
remote locations. This is true environmental accountability – as
one tends to not destroy their own environment. Thus, there is a
direct connection between transparency of production to natural
regeneration – as people begin to make more sound production
choices – by understanding the connection of production to the
land. This means that industry no longer needs to occur in the form
of toxic wastelands – but instead – eco-industry, on a human
scale – serving the needs of people, not centralized industries
competing for world domination.
technology and technological literacy are a way to reconnect to
nature – not to destroy it.
above depends on increasing the density of knowhow and technology in
every community – which comes from the open paradigm – open
information, open communication, open everything. The limit of
optimal density of productive knowhow is the point that any community
is capable of producing the full range of essential resources
necessary for it to exist, grow, and prosper. This is not to say that
trade should not happen – but for community stability – trade
should be avoided on essential products that the community needs. As
much as a community would want otherwise – when placed in a
scarcity condition – rationality goes out the window and people
start to kill each other.
the first time in history – we have a chance to do otherwise.
Unleashed access to information and technology – as availed by the
computer age – means that any conflicts related to material
scarcity can become a thing of the past. This includes resource
conflicts, poverty, overpopulation, and even bureaucracy – as
bureaucracy is not much more than a mechanism to manage scarce
resources. Further, regulatory costs are minimized via technological
transparency – as a technologically-literate populace of the open
source age becomes increasingly responsible for its own actions.
is not a case for conflict between the rich and poor, the city or the
country, the first or third worlds – it is a case where open
access to information helps everyone. As barriers to entry are
lowered, social upheaval is minimized. As production remains high –
and increases due to the elimination of competitive waste –
prosperity can only increase.
is a paradigm shift. That is the core of Open Source Ecology.
does not address evolving as humans – in cultural and scientific
advancement – or in wisdom that prevents us from reverting to
insanity. Open Source Ecology only lays a starting point and
foundation – from which evolution becomes possible.
support everything open.
See the notions of open
at the Shuttleworth Foundation –
Enterprise – The distinguishing feature of this paradigm is a
focus on distributive enterprise – open publishing of not only
product designs, but also of open enterprise models so that others
can replicate best practices. There is a direct relationship between
open design and lowering of barriers to entry. Productive enterprise
forms the backbone for communities’ infrastructures and their
prosperity. Open access to unprecedented high densities of productive
information means economic prosperity – and everybody wins.
open source economy is an economic system marked by open access to
best-practice designs and techniques for producing
economically-significant products and services. One feature of the
open source economy is Industry 2.0 – or distributed, flexible
production – where access to a down-loadable repository of open
source design feeds local, multipurpose digital fabrication
facilities. Such facilities – or powerful Microfactories – can
produce just about anything that a community will need – local food,
energy, housing, or cars. This is distinct from centralized
production facilities that exist today.
open source economy produces designs by global collaboration, with
development cycles 24/7 around the globe. When a sufficient number of
stakeholders join a development process, it is a matter of time
before the development cycle yields the best designs – and these
designs evolve continuously.
fosters rapid learning (open IP) and low capitalization (open source
products) – ie., lower barriers to entry. Lower barriers to entry
indicate that a single economic agent can have a broader range of
productivity, therefore more resilience from economic shocks. In the
limit of extreme diversity on the part of the producers, every
community can attain a complete economy. If product evolution
involves advanced techniques for material substitution, then every
community can attain a complete economy based
on local resources.
This is the solution to resource conflicts. This is stability in the
face of global economic upheaval.
end of artificial material scarcity –
Artificial material scarcity may be defined as the condition where –
in the absolute abundance of resources – namely rocks, plants,
water, and sunlight – the distribution to humans is drastically
uneven. Lowering barriers to entry helps to distribute production
more widely. Product optimization from open development includes
optimization for lifetime of use. Lifetime design (ie, lower
maintenance costs), combined with high productivity and low barriers
to entry – indicates that material abundance can be the general human
condition. This is a solution to poverty.
of Resource Use and Feedback
– Rapid learning in the open source economy helps people gain
numeracy and technological literacy. Technological literacy promotes
the understanding of production – and specifically, the
relationship between natural resources and human population. Local
resource use fosters a high level of resource feedback loops – as
the state of the local environment is easily observable. Such
transparency of resource use is the solution to overpopulation in a
rational (materially abundant) society.
by eliminating competitive waste, the cost of buying or making open
source products is reduced significantly.
IP access barriers are eliminated in the open source economy, cost of
production is reduced to production capitalization and labor. The
cost of production capitalization, under the assumption of flexible
fabrication assisted by automation – goes to zero in the scenario of
community-supported manufacturing (think Open Source Fab Lab in every
community). In the open economy of DIY ethics and local capacity and
transparency – the cost of labor goes down – as the user can also
learn to be the producer. In the limit of DIY ethic, this cost,
defined as cost of external labor – goes to zero – and is replaced
by one’s time. Further, in the limit of lifetime-design products, the
required for production is minimized, as production has to happen
only once. Thus, competitiveness with globalization is achieved by
zero access barriers and local skill, and local social capital – a
the Nature-Technology Divide
– Truly sound technology is not at odds with nature. We have a
choice to produce technology in an environmentally sound way. For
just about every harmful and polluting industrial process, a clean
alternative may be found. Biomimicry shows us the way to do this in
many cases. Moreover, truly sound technology should bring us closer
to nature –
if we appreciate that nature provides all material wealth, we are
inclined to take care of nature. This is a case for educating
generalists – not technologists or environmentalists – people who
understand technology deeply to the point that they respect nature –
and people who understand the environment deeply to the point that
they they respect technology. Technological literacy is facilitated
by introduction of true technical education, as opposed to industry
standard marketing forces.
– In the mainstream, the designer is not the draftsman, the
draftsman is not the engineer, the engineer is not the fabricator,
the fabricator is not the user, and the user is not the repairman.
While is is touted as the pinnacle of specialization, this introduces
a lack of accountability between all these steps, and therefore,
inferior product design when considered from the human ergonomic
factors, product service, environmental issues, or wealth
distribution issues. Open source design addresses this, as it is
design by the people, for the people – and it is infinitely
Regeneration – There is a
direct link between open source technology and environmental
integrity. Open technology implies optimal technology – and one
part of optimization is optimization for environmental friendliness.
Thus, the trend of environmental degradation can be reversed to
Legacy Site for OSE
This is the
legacy site for Open Source Ecology from 2005.
February 10, 2005, see Mission at
What is Open Source?
Source refers to the model of providing goods and services which
includes the possibility of the end-user’s participation in the
production of these goods and services. This concept has already been
demonstrated in Linux, the open source computing system. With Linux,
a large number of software developers have contributed to creating a
viable alternative to the proprietary Windows computer operating
system. Many people can readily see the advantages- all Linux
software is free. Please read these articles on the concept of Open
Source software and
its implications for changing
II. What is
Open Source Economics?
mission is to extend the Open Source model to the provision any goods
and services- Open Source Economics. This means opening access to the
information and technology which enables a different economic system
to be realized, one based on the integration of natural
ecology, social ecology, and industrial ecology. This economic system
is based on open access- based on widely accessible information and
associated access to productive capital- distributed into the hands
of an increased number of people. Read about an inspiring
example of such an economic model being currently put into practice
with respect to manufacturing vehicles.
We believe that a
highly distributed, increasingly participatory model of production is
the core of a democratic society, where stability is established
naturally by the balance of human activity with sustainable
extraction of natural resources. This is the opposite of the current
mainstream of centralized economies, which have a structurally
built-in tendency towards of overproduction.
III. What is
Open Source Ecology?
We derive our
organization’s name from a concept which refers to the integration of
the natural, societal, and industrial ecologies- Open Source Ecology-
aiming at sustainable and regenerative economics. We are convinced
that a possibility of a quality life exists, where human needs are
guaranteed to the world’s entire population- as long as we ask
ourselves basic questions on what societal structures and productive
activities are truly appropriate to meeting human needs for all. At
the end of the day, the goal is to liberate our time to engage in
exactly that which each of us wants to be doing- instead of what we
need to do to survive. All have the potential to thrive. Today, an
increasingly smaller percentage of the world’s population is in this