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[Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?

Posted by dslc 
[Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 05, 2011 02:55AM
I remember how, when the Reprap project began, there was a slogan at the top-left of the homepage that read - "Wealth without money". This seems to have been somewhat de-emphasized since then, as I had to search the wiki to find it. I don't have any problem with this. After all, a project like this will naturally attract people of varying proclivities - and project leaders have to resort to the lowest common denominator unless they want to isolate people. Having said that ...

I think there probably are at least a few people in the community who are interested in this idea. And, if we could be afforded the opportunity to bounce a few ideas back and forth, I thought it might be worthwhile to do so.

I think that slogan invites at least two interpretations: 1. a sort of "gift economy" - based on sharing, mutual aid, and so on; and, 2. relative self-sufficiency, due to direct ownership of capital, etc.. The wiki page suggests to me that it is intentionally offered as a double-entendre. In any case, it's the former that I'm primarily interested in here. And what I'm wondering, partly, is the extent to which members of the community actually take this idea seriously.

So - the idea: Reprap as part of a larger mutual-aid/sharing network.

Anyone interested?
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 05, 2011 05:52AM
Yes,

I thought that was what we were already doing? With a project this open I'm sure it's only going to continue in this direction, maybe share some more about your idea of a mutual-aid/sharing network so we can see how big you are thinking with this.

One thing I have always been interested in is the pass-it-on concept, I'm still not sure this works even for this project if that thing you pass on is a physical object, but I would be interested in others views on this.
Sure, many give away free samples as a way to promote their thing to make sales and then money, but to give something physical away with the only stipulation that the person does the same is something that should work... especially for RepRap where a successful end result is replication or enhancement.

So if I'm not already off-track with your point, a question -
Does your "gift economy" interpretation define giving away physical objects / parts or are you talking about IP, knowledge, experience, sharing etc as the 'gift'.
From what I can see about the physical giving away of parts, that does not seem to work? But somehow we are still growing at an exponential rate due to knowledge sharing, not the lack of available parts for sale or trade.


[richrap.blogspot.com]
VDX
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 05, 2011 06:12AM
... the only defined value in a 'gift-economy' is the consumption of time (lifetime) and ressources for making the part.

So it's a sort of developing subjective lists of exchangeable values for time, parts, ressources or all sorts of things and services you actually need ...


Viktor
--------
Aufruf zum Projekt "Müll-freie Meere" - [reprap.org]
Call for the project "garbage-free seas" - [reprap.org]
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 05, 2011 08:17AM
Hi richrap.

Quote
richrap
I thought that was what we were already doing?

Don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to criticize the community, and it seems to me that - as you suggested - this sort of thing is happening on a small scale within the community already (e.g. things like the "loaner" program, and so on). I'm just thinking in a wider context - e.g. if people are willing to help people in their locality build repraps, maybe they're willing to help them in other ways also (whether by sharing access to a lathe, helping them to solder a PCB, or whatever else).

Quote
richrap
Does your "gift economy" interpretation define giving away physical objects / parts or are you talking about IP, knowledge, experience, sharing etc as the 'gift'.

Well, I think the open-source software movement is already "up and running" so to speak - and the open-source hardware movement to a certain extent also. So I'm talking of physical things primarily - tool-sharing, equipment-sharing etc.. (Not sure if that answers your question? ...)

Forgive me if I'm not explaining this very well. Maybe it would help if I provided a link to a site which is doing something similar already - albeit on a much smaller scale. Have a look at justfortheloveofit.org. It's essentially internet-mediated community-sharing (of tools, skills, or even spaces). I've been a member of that for a few years - and I could say many positive things about some of the people there. But in one sense it's frustrating - mainly because a lot of these people are wedded to an almost Amish lifestyle - this romantic idea of low-tech, local self-sufficiency - which is not really what I'm interested in personally. In summary, they don't realise - or won't acknowledge - that we need engineers - and that we don't just need to share screwdrivers, but a lot more sophisticated equipment also.

Then there is also neighborgoods.net, which I think is a very commendable effort. But, again, I think we set the bar a lot higher, ya know?

Quote
richrap
Sure, many give away free samples as a way to promote their thing to make sales and then money, but to give something physical away with the only stipulation that the person does the same is something that should work... especially for RepRap where a successful end result is replication or enhancement.

If it's feasible for people to effectively give stuff away, and if they are willing to do that, then by all means. But I don't know if it is realistic to give away once-off consumable goods - since we're not in a post-scarcity society yet. So (indulging briefly in the high-brow parlance of the economists), I suppose it's more realistic to concentrate on the sharing or giving of "production goods" - in the short term at least. And I suppose, as you suggested, that could include passing on repraps.

You've just highlighted a question that is already on my mind a lot actually - viz. that the term "gift economy" is possibly a misnomer. I have ongoing reservations about using the term, but I use it because it's possibly the only one that conveys clearly enough that I'm not referring to an exchange-based paradigm. I like the idea of a "systems theory" approach as proposed by The Zeitgeist Movement (even though I don't endorse their aims generally) - but it's not a term that people are familiar with.

To be honest, what I'd like to see, ultimately, is something like the Zeitgeist movement - but without the conspiracy theories, the cybernation, etc..

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/05/2011 12:45PM by dslc.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 05, 2011 11:41AM
The bad thing about those projects (Z******t) is that they most likely have a specific agenda, advocating a certain "solution", or lifestyle. Before I abolish all ownership, live in a centralized, automated city and sacrifice the few conveniences I have for the "greater good" I'd hit the streets and burn stuff... >grinning smiley<

As it is with these "lets change the world" topics, better use something that already works, improve it, combine it or adapt it for a wider audience.
for ex:
A service like Thingiverse with the possibility to share tools with people near you.
Wireless Community Network with bitcoin based (or derivate) economy.
Invent a more accessible bitcoin algorithm.
Improve current open modulated light technology (ronja)
Rewrite the Abundance data-entry language and start using it for its original purpose if you are really brave.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 06, 2011 05:30AM
Quote
ElectricMucus
As it is with these "lets change the world" topics, better use something that already works, improve it, combine it or adapt it for a wider audience.
for ex:
A service like Thingiverse with the possibility to share tools with people near you.
Wireless Community Network with bitcoin based (or derivate) economy.
Invent a more accessible bitcoin algorithm.
...

But how do these endeavours in any way preclude the possibility of doing what I discussed above?
Richard Stallman's work on the GNU compiler and so on didn't prevent him from spearheading the GNU project and the free software movement. And where would be today without those?
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 06, 2011 01:11PM
The thing is: Once you have the means for automated production you do not benefit from a gift.
Or how to you suppose that reprap fits into this concept?

Independently, yes I think highly of gift culture but what I know of this mainly is about used things, things you no longer need and most importantly things someone payed for initially.

What could work is a gift community around parts which cannot be replicated yet.
One might have a lathe and make hot ends, someone else a lasercutter for sheets & printbeds, a extruder for plastic, pcb production, etc...
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 06, 2011 05:46PM
Quote

The thing is: Once you have the means for automated production you do not benefit from a gift.
Or how to you suppose that reprap fits into this concept?

Well, in brief, I was thinking beyond just Reprap, or replicators - but of the open-source movement and its interaction with the world of engineering more generally (that's why I specified it as partly "off-topic").

And, partly for this reason, I have raised the issue on the Open Manufacturing list, here . (That list just doesn't get much traffic.)

Quote

Independently, yes I think highly of gift culture ...

One thing that has been impressed upon me more and more over the years is that ... This idea of sharing, mutual aid, and generally just helping people on something other than an explicit quid-pro-quo basis - I don't think it will ever work amongst any more than a limited number of people. Some people will just try to pillage and spoil and exploit as the course of human history demonstrates so clearly. So, some sort of discretion needs to be exercised at some level - whether this is done by the individual or the collective or whatever.

And it's very different from the open-source software movement in that sense. I mean, a software developer who decides to open-source his or her efforts - and perhaps distribute it at no monetary cost also - just places it on github or sourceforge or wherever - and it doesn't make any difference who or how many people profit from his or her creation. Coz it's a non-rival good, right? But when we're talking about things that are scarce - such as time, labour, vitamins for a Reprap, or thermoplastic filament - it's very different. I just think that's worth bearing in mind.

But I still think it's viable - and that the barriers are partly psychological.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 13, 2011 07:33AM
The current state of economy worldwide a messy crap spread all over the borders.
The comunism didnt worked because its flaws in ideeas. The capitalism barelly works either, and most of ppls dont realize its because the same basic reason. Ppls can tell me different things but i actually lived in both systems and i actually have few degrees in economics so i can judge for myself the tones of contradictions and wrong things out here. In the light of all that i know, Zeitgeist ideeas are actually right on all issues.

One of the problems is that states and even banks have the right to make money out of nothing. This cant exist, as it defeats the purpose of having money in the first place, as a reflection of value. Say that there is a mass of money on the market valor on the market, =X (say all yours), and a mass of money =Y is owned (lets say by your neighbour). Suddenly state or banks doubles the money in the market, but does that without any backup in products. When they do that, they own the money created. So on the market there is a value X and your neighbor has Y money and state/bank has another Y money. Which basically ends up in that the ones who made the money practically STOLEN half of buying power from your neighbour, or other way to put it, half of your value (goods, services, etc).

In a system like this should be a valor unit. Money is supposed to reflect that valor that is created in a group, because it has to work as an exchange between valors like these it has to reflect. It fails to do that properly, and will always fail, as long as a single someone has the ability to create a valor unit out of nothing, because then obviously it cant be a proper valor unit. Demonstration is via reduction to absurd. E.g. ends up in contradicting the notion of value that was meant in first place.

Other issues are about law. Taken for granted, many of the social habits do work against society. For example, the rights to heritage of parents ownership. Most of ppls take it for granted and think that is correct. Mostly because our stone age families were close enough to the parents stone tools to be able to claim them. There is nothing right about that, never was. Around 150 years ago we said "liberte egalite fraternite", some twats even died for that but no1 cared enough to notice that our childrens cant be equal since birth, although most systems do claim that. A children born in africa is never equal with one born in europe. My child will never be equal with child of hilton, in fact, the differences are huge since the second they are born, or even before conception. If we would actually mean to make our children equal as a matter of fact, we would have to give up the rights to enherit our parents and etc, so each child will be forced to make something with his life, on his own account, and will get it as good as much as it works for it. But we didnt do that because we care more for ourselives, our own goods to get, than we care for the equality in the lives of our children. Sad...

Just two examples, but there are thousands out there that wait each of you to discover. Humanity is a messy crap which keeps lying about itself, so you need to see through vales. Good luck peeling the onion.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 13, 2011 04:38PM

Attachments:
open | download - Zeitgeist.jpg (234.8 KB)
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 14, 2011 03:01AM
Other issues are about law. Taken for granted, many of the social habits do work against society. For example, the rights to heritage of parents ownership. Most of ppls take it for granted and think that is correct. Mostly because our stone age families were close enough to the parents stone tools to be able to claim them. There is nothing right about that, never was. Around 150 years ago we said "liberte egalite fraternite", some twats even died for that but no1 cared enough to notice that our childrens cant be equal since birth, although most systems do claim that. A children born in africa is never equal with one born in europe. My child will never be equal with child of hilton, in fact, the differences are huge since the second they are born, or even before conception. If we would actually mean to make our children equal as a matter of fact, we would have to give up the rights to enherit our parents and etc, so each child will be forced to make something with his life, on his own account, and will get it as good as much as it works for it. But we didnt do that because we care more for ourselives, our own goods to get, than we care for the equality in the lives of our children. Sad...

If you wanted all children to start equal the you best raise them all uneducated, malnourished, penniless and homeless so they start with nothing in life. You can only be equal in terms of rights and law because they are just ideas we made up and so we can apply them however we wish. Everything outside of that is never equal due to that nature of life, the universe and reality.


Make your Mendel twice as accurate.
[www.thingiverse.com]
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 14, 2011 02:08PM
I have been looking into the whole life without money idea for years. As said the Zeitgiest kind of idea is the only thing so far that really adresses the flaws in society, but it throws up new problems like the idoits that like to smash and burn for the fun of it. Can you imagine them in a world where no one claims ownership and all the people are supposedly living in peace and harmony? Demolition man springs to mind. That kind of utopia wouldn't be equiped to deal with subversives.
Anyhoooo.

In a way I am almost living the dream. I took early retirement about a decade ago due to family circumstances and turned my attention to my hobbies. Which is everything from art, music, DIY, Self sufficiency to inventions and things like RepRap. I can honestly say I have never worked so bloody hard in the whole of my life! When you work only on the things you enjoy and ignore all aspects of making money from it, It becomes totally absorbing.
The problems is you still need to pay the bills and the powers that be seem to never run out of ways to screw you over for more Tax. So even if I had a machine to make anything I needed and was totally self sufficient there would still be some dick trying to 'take' from me. That is life. the world is full of 'Takers' that will happily do nothing and be parasites feeding on your hard work.

The point? .....erm you tell me because I havn't worked it out yet. All I know is I am one step closer to being able to make whatever I want for myself, friends and family. Also I am more than happy to help other do the same. Money doesn't come into it.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/14/2011 02:08PM by ablainey.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 15, 2011 06:35AM
I remember how, when the Reprap project began, there was a slogan at the top-left of the homepage that read - "Wealth without money". This seems to have been somewhat de-emphasized since then, as I had to search the wiki to find it.

smileys with beerhttp://reprap.org/wiki/Wealth_Without_Moneysmileys with beer
Hmmm. If I remember properly, we took it down from the front page after a massive de-rail/argument/philosophy/cat fight in ... reprap-dev? Don't remember, but basically it was making people think too much and thereby preventing us from achieving Wealth Without Money. eye rolling smiley

We should probably put it back up on the front page soonish, we've got a better sense of how to gently guide discussion in reprap-dev now. "RepRap-Dev is for development and documentation, it is meant to be technical-but-friendly and friendly-but-technical. Bickering/Philosophy/Theory/Policy goes in the reprap-dev-policy mailing list, the general forum, etc." -This is possibly an "official" "rule". Maybe.

You're all members of reprap-dev, right? smiling bouncing smiley
http://reprap.org/pipermail/reprap-dev/

From what I can see about the physical giving away of parts, that does not seem to work?
I think it does in the context of our local groups. People will give away sets of printed parts to other folk they meet face to face, especially in the context of established relationships. People will do up group builds of nozzles, etc, if they can all hang out around a lathe in a garage or similar community space.

People aren't going to mail lots of nozzles or mendel parts to folk far away. They'll get burned out pretty soon, get stung by a freeloader, or decide to participate in the marketplace by selling stuff.

What could work is a gift community around parts which cannot be replicated yet.
One might have a lathe and make hot ends, someone else a lasercutter for sheets & printbeds, a extruder for plastic, pcb production, etc...


I don't think this stuff scales larger than a local physical community, although individual communities can and will do an amazing job of it. Information may want to be free, but the ups guy, the lathe operator, and the folk selling brass stock to the lathe operator or the folk selling plastic filament generally want to pay their mortgage.sad smiley

However, as stuff gets easier and less expensive to make, they'll give away more of it. grinning smiley



10 years from now, sophisticated prosthetics will be cheaper to make and more available. That's part of what Wealth Without Money means.

All part of the fun, really.


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 15, 2011 07:25AM
This is probably not quite the same thing, but when I was reading through all the reprap source material, I'm sure that I read somewhere that, to grow the community, you should give away the first two sets of parts you make, in recompense to all the free help and advice from the community that guided your build. I'm still intending to do this as I built a repstrap, and have a set earmarked for my nephew and one for a friend - though I'm building a new Prusa for myself first! I will pass the same message on to them, and because I am more closely associated with them, I hope they will do the same.
While I'm sure this ethos was around early on in reprap, when everyone was building repstraps and feeding off each others' experience, I would be less inclined to do this if I had simply bought one of the commercial kits that are available now; you may not need to approach the community here at all, and indeed would expect support from the supplier, which you have in effect paid for.
I don't really have much to comment about the original project's goals, but I'm not surprised that it has slowly turned more commercial. At least the things people are building seem to be being freely shared on sites like thingiverse, which is perhaps an unforeseen and positive outcome.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 17, 2011 10:53AM
The first-world nations are already far on their way from the industrial to the post-industrial age, with three quarters or more of both workforce and GDP being in the services sector (i.e. not in the production of material goods). In the future that share is only going to increase. The real battleground is going to be in the intellectual property, not the Marxian physical "means of production". Copyright protections, software and hardware patents, trademarked designs... Personally, I see OpenSCAD-based open source hardware libraries as a more interesting area than the printers themselves. It really is like the free software movement, except this time in hardware, and we're here to see the beginning. There's the real wealth without money. Designing and adding something to the mass of open source designs isn't going to directly add even one cent to the world's GDP, but giving everyone access to something useful is going to increase everyone's wealth, and someone will take the design, improve it or use it in something more sophisticated and donate it back.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 17, 2011 08:47PM
While I'm sure this ethos was around early on in reprap...
Nah, it still happens all the time. It just doesn't get blogged or wikied, so in internet terms it doesn't exist.


-Sebastien, RepRap.org library gnome.

Remember, you're all RepRap developers (once you've joined the super-secret developer mailing list), and the wiki, RepRap.org, [reprap.org] is for everyone and everything! grinning smiley
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
August 18, 2011 02:48PM
ttsalo Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Personally, I see OpenSCAD-based open source
> hardware libraries as a more interesting area than
> the printers themselves.

In one sense, I agree with you. But the code and designs aren't enough by themselves - unless we have the means by which to build and use them.

E.g. the Verilog code for the OpenSparc processor might be released under a FLOSS license for anyone to study and examine and use, but this is of limited relevance to people who can't actually afford to build the hardware. (Not a great example, but hopefully you see what I'm getting at.)

> It really is like the
> free software movement, except this time in
> hardware, and we're here to see the beginning.
> There's the real wealth without money.

Well, yes and no. To actually build all this hardware, people are going to need a lot more than just a computer and an internet connection. They are going to need expensive and complex tools, rare minerals, and an inventory of items that the average citizen simply won't have the wherewithal to acquire. The realization of the ideas and designs that the FLOSS community develop will inevitably be contingent on the availability of these very things. So the wealth is physical as well as platonic. Unless we develop new and creative ways of making this wealth available to people (e.g. by sharing), the reality is that most people are never going to reap the fruits that the FLOSS community has to offer - not in the best sense possible anyway.

So, in one sense, maybe the sort of wealth you referred to (information, designs, etc.) is more valuable - but it's not enough by itself.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
November 08, 2011 12:57PM
I have started a mailing-list for discussion of precisely these sort of ideas. It's at http://groups.google.com/group/insync-discuss.

The synopsis can be read here. It's very brief because Google crop it at 300 characters. So, to elaborate ...

It's about engineering (or - in a broader sense - about meeting life needs more generally) outside a commercial context. "Engineering without the commerce" might be a suitable slogan.

I have provisionally used the term "gift economy" - coz it's one of the few terms that conveys a rejection of direct exchange (barter) as well as currency - but I'm conscious that it could be ambiguous or confusing.
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
September 20, 2013 08:19AM
First of all: Apologies - I realize this discussion is very old and of interest to probably the minority (If moderators choose to move it I won't protest) ...
To cut to the point ...

I am still intrigued by this idea of 'wealth without money' (in the sense discussed above) - so I thought it might be worth trying to revive the discussion.

I am still interested in the idea of an engineering organisation which is focused on designing and building for use rather than profit. I hope to work with people on this locally (cf. [www.sharingireland.net] ), but don't think we should be limited to collaborating at this scale. E.g., maybe some sort of distributed organisation is possible? Or we could at least collaborate with similar groups elsewhere / abroad?

I might write up a formal / specific proposal or invitation at some stage.



Semi-commercial engineering | Reprap diary
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
September 20, 2013 09:15AM
Quote

I am still interested in the idea of an engineering organisation which is focused on designing and building for use rather than profit.

RepRap is such an organisation, isn't it? Just don't get distracted by all the designers with profit in mind (isn't that bad, because we all have to pay our bills), and add more DIY-able stuff. There's plenty already. And I just added a dead easy way to drill nozzles DIY: [reprap.org]


Generation 7 Electronics Teacup Firmware RepRap DIY
     
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
September 21, 2013 05:34AM
Haha, glad you spotted my video Traumflug, I uploaded it 2 or 3 months ago to Utube - I didn't know how to stick it in the Wiki..
For sure, I will never be short of a nozzle or 3 - and I still have never broken a drill!


_______________________________________
Waitaki 3D Printer
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
September 21, 2013 12:47PM
HI Markus.

Traumflug Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
>
Quote

I am still interested in the idea of an
> engineering organisation which is focused on
> designing and building for use rather than
> profit.
>
> RepRap is such an organisation, isn't it?

In a limited sense yes, but in another sense no. It's not just about open-sourcing designs.

Anyway, the community is defined as much by the people who partake in it as anything else. As far as I can see, some of those people might embrace this idea - others almost certainly wouldn't.

(I'll try to have a look at that tutorial when I have time.)



Semi-commercial engineering | Reprap diary
Re: [Slightly off-topic:] Wealth without money?
October 21, 2013 09:20AM
I suggest we make this thread about the more futuristic future, and this one about more specific things that actually fit now.

> The real battleground is going to be in the intellectual property, not the Marxian physical "means of production". Copyright protections, software and hardware patents, trademarked designs...

But thats the same thing by other means. I still dont quite know the nature of the 'services sector', but it sounds like potentially the hallmark of society organized to *employ* people, work as the goal, not as a means to an end. However, medicine isnt 'means of production' but people dont like being sick, there are quite a lot of valid non-production activities.

> And I just added a dead easy way to drill nozzles DIY

Thanks for that, didnt realize it was so recent smiling smiley

Anyway some of the comments seem to talk about it as if it is 'wealth without law', it isnt plain vandalism would still not be tolerated.. Also, the discussion here seems to kind-of ignore how we might try to use computers to make networks that might be able to organize more complex logistics, if needed. (Thanks to public key cryptography, no centralization is needed) However, not sure on specifics..

Physically logistics needs machines too.. Are there machines where you throw in different parts in different bins(screws, nuts), and then you specify how much of each kind you need and it throws those in a single bin? Well, sure there are, but are there open source versions of those machines?
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