So, what sort of machines do you need to create an industrial civilization—kind of like the ones we have now, but more sensibly sourced. I remember taking a sociology course years ago where we started out with a similar question, although we conceived the question more broadly—what does civilization as we know it rely on? The answer then (decades ago, before the impact of The Whole Earth Catalog had been felt) was something along the lines of “technology.” But this is a much better question. We rely on machines for all sorts of stuff, still. Yes, yes, we tell ourselves we’re in a post-industrial economy and all that. Right. These guys have thought about this question, and you know what? You need 50 machines—“The Global Village Construction Set.” A Meccano or Erector Set for grown-ups, with some further but important constraints: “Open Source – Low-Cost – Modular – User-Serviceable – DIY – Closed-Loop Manufacturing – High Performance – Heirloom Design – Flexible Fabrication.” No Tech Magazine has the scoop. Here’s who they are. And here’s their blog. Now get to work.
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