Ben de Vries:
Also is email for Chris Watkins, who needs schedule of events and may be
able to help with space issues by forwarding to his network. You guys
wqould probably have quite a bit to talk about (OS Linux?) and I have
suggested that reinventing wheel when same goals appearant not efficient,
So send that to Chris.
Hi Ben, I'm glad you're staying in touch from the Carribean (I share some
of your letters below). Thank you to introducing me to Chris! I see that
Appropedia has a lot of momentum, judging by the Recent Changes. There
are "appropriate technology" projects including participants from the
developing world. There are new mailing lists, blog, twitter, Facebook
Chris, are you in London? It would be great to meet. We're organizing a
WorkNets meeting in late March
with travel money that we're getting as COMMUNIA participants
which is EU's policy forum for the Public Domain. We'll be organizing
"work walks" for all to walk and talk.
I note that Marcin Jakubowski and Factor E Farm are tackling related
issues regarding what online infrastructure to develop:
with some excellent ideas such as "Red pages" ("those outstanding
questions to be answered that keep us from moving forward on any given
technology.") and "Development Work Templates". And they are collecting
information about existing collaboration platforms:
I also lead a vibrant community. In 1998, I founded Minciu Sodas,
an online laboratory for independent thinkers around the
world. We have about 150 active and 1,500 supportive participants. Our
most amazing achievement was the Pyramid of Peace,
where for two months last year we organized
100 peacemakers on-the-ground and 100 online to avert genocide in Kenya.
We use primarily Yahoo groups, there is an RSS feed to overview them all
We also have a wiki http://www.worknets.org
and chat room. We've collected large lists of our deepest values,
investigatory questions, and endeavors:
I am visiting Franz Nahrada in Vienna, Austria for a few weeks. He leads
our Global Villages working group
with an influential vision
that Marcin's Global Village Construction Set refers to. I am in the
middle of expanding and customizing our websites. We're organizing
WorkNets, a culture of, by and for independent thinkers. Here are notes
for the WorkNets Charter that I'm writing, with input Franz (and all are
Today I made a concept map of the online interfaces I want to build:
You can see in green, orange and red the parts that are complete,
incomplete, or not there yet. I think that with 30 days of coding I can
build this system and it can serve 1,000 to 10,000 active participants,
which would be great. It's agile programming, with each step bringing
The concept map itself is a SVG diagram. I drew it with Dia, a diagram
editor for Linux, and then exported SVG and pasted it into the wiki page.
Helmut Leitner of ProWiki built that functionality. I also made such a
map to show 25 locations where our peacemakers worked in Kenya:
I expect that each community needs to have it's own online base and brand.
I am interested how we might share our activity so that it can move
freely across borders. This is why all of our lab's venues are "Public
Domain except as noted" to encourage such sharing of people and content.
RSS feeds are a technical means to share and reshare, too.
We have different missions, but some overlap, too. Some technical
projects that we're pursuing include in Africa:
* Graham Knight's DIY Solar for recharging mobile phone batteries
* Sneakernets, see: http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?Ricardo
* Includer, http://www.includer.org
a proposed offline device for reading
and writing emails on a USB flash drive
* as part of that, Kiyavilo is practicing with Gumstix
* solutions for malaria prevention
* there's interest in working on Marcin's technologies in Africa, such as
the solar turbine in Cameroon
* HTML tutoring
* our software interfaces
In Lithuania and Austria we're working with video bridge technology (and
streaming, archiving, see http://www.internettv.lt
In Serbia we're working on Public Domain Fashion.
How might we support each other? and share solutions, people, content?
Ben de Vries:
I have arrived in the Caribbean. I got a look at the site I will be
working on (very brief). Just wanted to let everyone know that I am safe,
in one piece, and no complications of any kind (other than bone weariness
from so much travel). I will have pictures soon, but will probably have
limited time and access, unlike recently BEFORE the journey began. I will
now be able to recieve email, unlike the last week.
No news, in this case, IS good news.
To set the tone and intent: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nuiIqMQ4sA
It is not easy for a person not wealthy to create their opportunities. I
cannot travel without serious thought, as it is a major investment. I also
have to think about how much work I am going to get done for the amount of
jet fuel I have burned to do so. It had better be justifiable in my mind.
So, unless you are in northeast ohio, washington dc, or ft lauderdale
florida, you will not see me here. Tyler's not here, Tyler's gone.
After what I have been through, any offer to return had better be fat. I
mean government lamb fat. Roast mutton fat. Triple cream bleu cheese plate
fat. With truffle infused caviar.
In the meantime, I will do what I can remotely, expect pictures, if I
haven't sent an email by the 10th, it means I am dead (or maybe in a coma
or secret prison). But, best of luck to all, me included. I do hope we are
all successful in our missions as I don't see there is much time left for
those counting on government stability in times of economic crisis. Of
course, when I realised this would happen in 2004, and when, I made my
plans for just this day. I mean really, luck.
Of course I have little worry for my friends who have already taken
trans-love airways, or safely out in the open in the middle of nowhere, at
least having the sense to stay out of most major cities, maybe do a little
camping. West coasters shouldn't have much problem. Except for the
establishment of a new 'means of exchange'. And in norcal, I think we know
what will back the currency. More every fall! If I ever do come back, it
will be fortune in hand and probably kids in tow. I hope the aerialist
school is still open for their lessons if I am not mated to one... And I
will go to the only place I really feel at home here:
, so as to make sure the kids
get their aerialist lessons, and sufficient intellectual stimulation, and
I am sure some of the best food on earth, no matter what happens. I wonder
if I'll have any friends left alive.
I had the pleasure of spending this last week with my grandparents, which
grandpa knew when he saw me out, this isn't 'au revoire', this is
'goodbye'. It is the only time I have ever seen him cry. Without
sacrifice, progress is not possible. Like the first monkey shot into
When I get settled, I'll let you know if it is safe. Bring hardware
please. We can discuss specifics prior to your visit. I assume google will
be up and running again within hours even after an EMP, if there is any
way to attach... another good reason to live in the region.
I would most like to thank Slim for his assistance in helping me make it
through the last stretch. It would have been rough without him. Of course,
he has said the same of me at times. That is friendship. It is not a
casual thing when real need arises.
So goodbye, USA. It was a noble experiment. Too bad I feel as if I were
only watching. Furniture for you to make use of. Be here now, no regrets.
This is the invitation:
Tropical location, from Florida ~$300 round trip, passport required. If
enough people get on the same plane a group rate is possible.
We will be doing work on a permaculture site in the caribbean. Probable
work includes building dams, water management features, shade features,
and given time, garden expansions. The rainy season should just be over,
so there is a good possibility of crops to take in (and eat). Seafood is
readily available locally.
What's in it for me?:
1. a tropical work vacation in the caribbean (lose the winter blahs!)
2. food & accomodations (mostly vegetarian)
3. field experience
4. a letter of reference, if desired
5. your work becomes credit for future stays at an ecovillage site YOU
6. a community and workspace WE create
Many places actually CHARGE for this sort of experience, calling it a
'retreat' or some such. I don't feel this is fair, as I want to include
young people who don't have much money to spare. What concerns me is
motivation- if you have it, that's what I want to see. I am against
'exclusive' events, and want to include those with motivation but not huge
bank accounts. Work or money- but I don't feel comfortable asking for
both. I have been short-ended on occasion because I didn't have enough
money and I am not going to do that to anybody.
In all likelyhood, there will be very interesting people with much
knowledge to share with you. Some possibilities for future projects might
be encountered from other participants. I can't make promises- there is no
certainty, only opportunity.
The way I see it, with nearly 15 months to plan, save $100 a month in a
cookie jar and by next march you will have PLENTY to make sure you have a
good time.Locally it is also a good place to get SCUBA certification, and
some of the best reef diving in the western hemisphere I am told. I
understand it is also the location of the dolphin communication project
workshop in may, although we are not afilliated. If you save more, you can
extend your stay and explore the surrounding area, etc.
I certainly hope in a years time to see the best and brightest at my door.
There will be much to do, and much we can create together. We can
coordinate planning as we have plenty of time.
DO respond quickly if you are interested, as I want to gauge how much
accomodation space I will need to build. (at least by august 1 this year
If you are putting together a crew, please collect resumes or a short
essay from each participant for me.
I think people who have worked on previous projects with me have been
pretty happy about it. I am quite sure one or two will show up for this
Lonny is at appropedia
Andrius at Minciu Sodas (aka worknets)
Alex who made CD3WD (among other things)
It would seem that you three should work a little more closely, as your
primary goals are open source, and you are all programmers, content