[ExI] Fwd: [Open Manufacturing] Re: [Cosmic Engineers] Re: It is all free! The improbable dream?

Bryan Bishop kanzure at gmail.com
Tue Aug 4 22:48:29 UTC 2009

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Paul D. Fernhout <pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com>
Date: Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 5:40 PM
Subject: [Open Manufacturing] Re: [Cosmic Engineers] Re: It is all
free! The improbable dream?
To: openmanufacturing at googlegroups.com

Philippe Van Nedervelde wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 4, 2009 at 12:48 AM, Paul D. Fernhout <
> pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com> wrote:
>> Philippe Van Nedervelde wrote:
>>> Why would future-Apple and future-BMW still go to the trouble and expense
>> of
>>> designing products? How would they be appropriately (by their
>>> standards) rewarded for their efforts and investments?
>> Why would we need such companies anymore in such an abundant future?
> Why bring up *need*?  These companies create products millions of people
> *want*. There's a difference.
> Future people will only nanofacture objects they really *need*?

That misreads my intent. I asked why do we need the *companies*? Not why do
we need or want the products that companies often make?

It is like electricity in a blackout. When the power fails, you realize you
don't really need *electricity* so much as you need the things you use
electricity to help supply, like light, heat, water, sewage disposal,
cooling food, heating food, and so on.

So, why do we need companies to supply our electricity, :-) instead of just
printing out solar panels ourselves? Panes designed by Bryan and friends, or
panels designed by non-profits using government grants?

There are other ways to get things done besides companies. So, why focus on
keeping companies around? People can collaborate through the internet and/or
at local techshops.

OK, you'll suggest it takes a lot of money... Well, for what exactly? Where
does the money go to? Salaries so people have time to innovate? But what of
hobbyists? Big equipment like oil refineries? But what of nanotech or DIYBio
to do things on the tabletop that used to take gargantuan chemical
processing plants? Raw materials? But what about a nanotech or biotech
system that can take in seawater or dirt? And so on.

So, please be specific about what companies are supplying that is so
essential in an age of nanotech, biotech, networked computing, and hobbyists
with spare time?

>> What is really their primary purpose even now? What is their justification?
> Go ask their shareholders and their millions of apparently not all that
> dissatisfied customers.
> [...]

Might the customers be more satisfied in other ways? Look at all the people
now getting video from youtube instead of the major networks. Or people
listening to truly free indy music instead of major label music.

As for shareholders, "money is a sign of poverty". Why do people want to be
shareholders? Well, there is a whole bunch of economic assumptions there
becoming less and less valid. See for example my recent post on the p2p list
about why millionaires might want to support a basic income:
  "[p2p-research] Basic income from a millionaire's perspective?"

>> Why could not a future Bryan and friends, brainboosted, vastly networked,
>> and in a good mood, not just give us all a free design for any cool stuff?
>  You could'n find a bigger fan for generic meds, Project Gutenberg and a
> cornucopia of free designs for essential, useful and
> not-so-useful-but-still-fun-and-cool for future people to crank out with
> their Personal Nanofactory, but *any* cool stuff?
> Including an unauthorized copy of a design that took significant time,
> effort and other resources from a group of people who rightfully expect to
> be rewarded for their design efforts?

Authorized by whom? Why is authorization needed? What is the purpose?

What does significant mean in a US$60 trillion global economy? Or where tens
of trillions of dollars will be flowing into charities over the next few
decades? A billion dollars is about 0.001% of the global economy. You're
telling me we need to organize our whole economy a certain way so a few
people can get a return on a billion dollar investment? Why? Isn't this a
flea wagging a tail wagging a dog? Why organize a society that way, so it is
run by the fleas?

Why are these people not giving freely of their resources? Are they scared
of scarcity? But are they creating that very scarcity by their fear these days?

Why do people "rightfully expect to be rewarded" when reward is often no
motivator for creative work? See:

And by what "right"? Copyright? But that bargain has been broken. Patent
rights? But maybe those are too long for our current age.

How is it "their" design effort when they just added a little to the
commons, and others want to build on top of what was just added? Is any
value added worth it compared to the chilling effects of monopolies on ideas
and expressions?
  "Center for the Study of the Public Domain"

Lots of interwoven assumptions.

> I like Michael's CrunchPads and will likely pick onr or more up.
> Will he freely publish *all* (needed and requested) details re how he did
> this to the point of making it really kid-easy to go do the exact same thing
> and compete with his CrunchPads... and possibly beat him at it?

Don't know what he is publishing. But others might. It is just to show how
much one person can do these days as opposed to a "company".

--Paul Fernhout

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