Using wikis and digital fabrication tools, TED Fellow Marcin Jakubowski is open-sourcing the blueprints for 50 farm machines, allowing anyone to build their own tractor or harvester from scratch. And that's only the first step in a project to write an instruction set for an entire self-sustaining village (starting cost: $10,000).
Tag Archives | DIY
Afraid that the world is collapsing and your hard-earned dollars will soon be worthless kindling? At heart, monetary systems are based upon a shared delusion, so you might as well get empowered and start you own — The Atlantic explains how.
And, lest you think the whole idea is tongue-in-cheek, there are tons of real-world examples of successful alternate currencies right now for inspiration: Ithaca HOURS (used in Ithaca, NY), World of Warcraft money, BitCoin, and Japan’s Fureai Kippu, or “friendship tickets”:
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Here’s a nightmare scenario shared by some mainstream investors, goldbugs and Ron Paul devotees: The year is 2013. Inflation has the U.S. economy in a stranglehold. International investors are fleeing to the far corners of the globe. The dollar is in a free fall, and Americans are scurrying to protect their wealth. What do you do?
Start your own currency. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. You can “back” it with gold, or mimic an I.O.U.
In the past few weeks, we’ve seen a number of national governments shut off internet access in attempts to quash dissent. PC World has a guide on how to access the web when the powers that be are blocking it, or post-apocalypse, when telecommunation networks are in shambles. Supposedly antiquated devices such as dial-up modems may someday be direly important amid the smoking ruins of post-America:
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These days, no popular movement goes without an Internet presence of some kind, whether it’s organizing on Facebook or spreading the word through Twitter. And as we’ve seen in Egypt, that means that your Internet connection can be the first to go. Whether you’re trying to check in with your family, contact your friends, or simply spread the word, here are a few ways to build some basic network connectivity when you can’t rely on your cellular or landline Internet connections.
Even if you’ve managed to find an Internet connection for yourself, it won’t be that helpful in reaching out to your fellow locals if they can’t get online to find you.
The R5800 is my latest and greatest solar creation. Made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1 cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 times normal daylight. This intensity of light is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
The expected ripostes have begun to trickle in from our inaugural post — especially from my favorite aggregation site, Disinfo.com. I anticipate quite a number of challenges to the self-evident notion that 1-1=0 from the Korporate Kabbalist crowd. So I thought I’d actually give a name to the series of posts I expect to file answering them, “The Fail Files” — reflecting the laughable durabilty of such a stupid notion as the Laffer Curve.
Okay, so here’s the first two questions I choose to answer*
1. Q: “But won’t our corporate masters simply pass their taxes on to us in the form of higher prices?”
A: Not statistically likely. There is an extremely weak correlation between increases in corporate income tax and inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index–less than 3%, in fact. Which is within the typical margin of error for a coin flip. See details here.… Read the rest
EsoZone Portland is back for another year! Once it again, the event is an unconference — an event in which the schedule is set by the participants on the fly at the event. Anything can happen, but some of the possible subjects include:
Outsider Art • Discordia • SubGenius
The Occult • Satanism • Conspiracy Analysis
Life Extension • Intelligence Enhancement
Space Migration • Psychedelic Futurism
Consciousness Expansion • R/evolutionary Living
Renegade Metaphysics • Radical Psychotherapy
Aliens • Neo-Shamanism • Temporary Autonomous Zones
Body Modification • Alternative Sexuality • Fringe Culture
Human-Dolphin Communication • DIY Media
Cybernetics and Systems Theory • Pranks
Atheism • Zen • Martial Arts • Recession Hacking
Usually I favor allowing hobbyists and amateurs more freedom for technological development but having more of these in the skies does creep me out. Like most things in life, these drones can be used for positive or more nefarous means. Sarah Ryley writes in the NY Post:
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In New York City, someone’s always looking down on you. Low-tech, miniature versions of battlefield drones have come to the boroughs. Only here, they are controlled mostly by hobbyists and photographers, not soldiers shooting insurgents from the sky.
There are only 282 official permits to fly drones nationwide, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. They range from $4.5 million jets that can fly for two days without landing, to hand-launched helicopters that fit in a book bag. The FAA would not say if any of these permits have been issued in New York City.
But the number of drones patrolling the nation’s skies is expected to “explode” if the agency, as expected in December, relaxes restrictions on law enforcement for aircraft weighing 4.4 pounds or less.
One of the positive things about the recession era is that it’s inspiring people to get creative — for instance, by performing their own minor surgeries, using how-to videos from YouTube. The Globe and Mail reports:
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Before, doctors worried about patients who self-diagnosed after doing Internet research on questionable medical websites. But the social Web has given birth to a new beast: users who document their DIY medical procedures on camera and share the videos on YouTube.
Doug Southern would have preferred to see a doctor, but bad timing meant he was without health insurance. He was laid off from his job a short while before a three-year-old baseball-sized cyst on his back became infected.
When his brother-in-law, a family practitioner, and his sister came to visit him in Tuscaloosa, Ala., he decided to put down a towel and pillow on his kitchen floor and turn it into a makeshift operating room so his cyst could be taken out “Alabama style.”
The graphic, seven-minute YouTube video is punctuated with squeals of delight and revulsion from Mr.