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I like Zenonas Anusauskas's way

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Hi Pamela and all, I ve been reading letters at Global Villages http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ by Ben de Vries, Franz Nahrada and Vinay Gupta
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 21, 2011
      Hi Pamela and all,

      I've been reading letters at Global Villages
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/globalvillages/ by Ben de Vries, Franz
      Nahrada and Vinay Gupta about Marcin Jakubowski's open source farm
      technology. I share them below. I meant to respond later, but Vinay
      wrote "we" and Franz wrote "everybody" so I thought I should clarify
      that I take Ben's side. I share an alternative, which is Zenonas
      Anusauskas's way.

      Here are links to Marcin's open source farm technology:
      I think my own recent letter (and critique of Marcin) encouraged Ben's
      recent letter.

      Ben got me thinking about the credibility of TED that they apparently
      awarded Marcin a Fellow without much investigation of what he's actually
      done or what his traits are as a person. It does make TED less
      impressive in my eyes.

      Ben lived and worked on-the-ground at Marcin's farm. He made a great
      commitment that put him in circumstances that were not casual or
      voluntary. When we make commitments, as he did to Marcin, we are very
      vulnerable and we place ourselves in our leaders' hands. Marcin failed
      to take responsibility as a leader of other people.

      Franz, Vinay and I all live in metropolitan areas and it's easy for us
      to be out of touch with the harshness of that reality. Ben's critique
      is very important to be heard and remembered and repeated until it sinks
      in and makes a difference, if not to Marcin, then to us. Forums like
      Global Villages play their most important role, I think, by creating a
      real community where these real changes can take place in us. That
      means, first of all, a real concern for real people, like Ben. We know
      of real people like Ben who Marcin has hurt. How many real people have
      benefited in real ways from him? I don't know of any yet. Perhaps some
      people are using his technology? Is it truly benefiting their lives?
      It would be great to learn about them?

      Ben's real life critique is more important than any kind of theory or
      speculation or vision that we might propose.

      Vinay wrote that Marcin's attacking the root problem, that "the real
      problem: our machines are so badly designed that they kill the planet in
      the process of delivering our essential services" and that we have a
      "common interest we all have in seeing some of these global problems
      addressed with new technologies".

      I've noticed that people have very different understandings of what is
      the "root problem" and that it seems to relate closely to whatever is
      our own deepest value. That's one reason why it is so helpful to know
      each other's deepest value and see what where each of us might best lead.

      Personally, my deepest value is "living by truth" and I think the "root
      problem" is that we don't live as brothers and sisters, intimate to each
      other in our honesty, willing to see our dishonesty. Conversations like
      these are very helpful. I don't believe, and I don't think that Jesus
      or Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. believed, that technology can solve
      a crisis in brotherhood. What can solve it is new behavior, a new
      culture, and people like Ben who live differently, and include us.

      What can we do constructive?

      We could cherish people who are alternatives to Marcin and appreciate
      what they are doing different and how it makes for different results, a
      different technology and different system than what Marcin is creating.

      One of the highlights of my life was living for almost a year with the
      Anusauskas family in the Lithuanian countryside. Zenonas Anusauskas and
      his wife Audrone purchased the buildings of a collective farm tractor
      repair center and transformed it into an open community where local
      businesses use building rent-free and contribute what they naturally
      can: the sawmill pays the electric bill and gives saw dust and other
      waste to burn; the dairy gives free milk; the tractor parts warehouse
      helps fix cars; Zenonas provides free use of computers and Internet
      access; Audrone organizes the youth, especially the church choirs, and
      writes proposals. The center is safe from thieves and trouble because
      there are always people around. It's basically an alcohol-free zone and
      full of children revolving around this "magnet family". It's a real
      life "global village", not a fantasy.

      Zenonas is a Renaissance man: he leads a credit union, and he founded
      Lithuania's most vibrant internet television website with a special
      emphasis on village culture http://www.internetinetv.lt He's also an
      inventor. I'm especially impressed by a furnace that he built, which
      can burn water drenched fuel, such as rotting wood or garbage or
      sawdust, which is abundant. You load the fuel from above, and air zig
      zags around to heat the side of the furnace so that the fuel dries and
      can be burned by the time it falls to the bottom. This is such a
      practical device because it means free fuel, but especially if you're at
      the center of a community, as he's organized.

      What's the difference between Zenonas's approach and Marcin's approach:
      * Zenonas meets a real need - a "weak link" (fuel costs) in a
      functioning community - rather than a "first step" (building a house
      from bricks) in a non-community (he can build all the houses he wants,
      but does anybody want to live with him?)
      * Zenonas fits his solution in an existing environment, he's using
      existing buildings, which are abundant, rather than creating from scratch
      * Zenonas fits his solution into his life, he's a well rounded person
      raising a family and leading a community
      * Zenonas fits his solution into an extended family, they add fuel to
      his furnace, help bring and chop tree branches several times a year,
      live in his house or visit him there
      * Zenonas fits his solution with his community center, they provide him
      with sawdust and other waste
      * Marcin gets attention because he's doing a "grand" project, because he
      communicates well in English, because he's in the US, because he's going
      to "save the world", and most of all, because that's what networks like
      ours want to hear
      * Zenonas can't get enough interest to have these furnaces built, even
      though he gladly shares the design. He doesn't speak English.

      The difference suggests that a genuine solution differs from what
      Marcin's doing in several ways. A real solution would:
      * arise from existing, functioning centers, organized around real
      people, not centers building and organizing from scratch by people who
      don't care about people
      * be incremental improvements to existing centers rather than starting
      completely fresh
      * be part of an exchange of solutions rather than part of a showcase
      site that is franchised

      Constructive steps forward include finding, linking and promoting people
      like Zenonas. Zenonas is not shy, but he has such a rich life, and so
      many real concerns, that he doesn't promote himself where he doesn't see
      results. So if we like what he's doing, as I do, then we should promote
      him, as I am and would certainly do more, if others might help.

      We can all help in the ways we most wish to. For example, I'm sharing
      "ways of figuring things out" and will be interviewing people who might
      share their own ways or simply talk about how they've figured various
      things out. Here's a list of my own ways:

      Ben, what are you up to? and how might we best support you, encourage
      you, participate with you? I'd be interested to interview you by video
      or audio Skype some time next week.

      Thank you, Ben, Franz, Vinay,


      Andrius Kulikauskas
      +1 (773) 306-3807


      Ben de Vries, My letter to TED re: jakubowski

      Concerning Marcin Jakubowski, it is clear you have never actually been to
      his project site.

      His nomination draws concerns over either the credibility of TED, or it's
      ethics, just wondering which.

      He is not building a new civilization. He is living in a junkyard stealing
      other peoples IP and calling it open source. He has applied labor
      exploitation to the point that his girlfriend left him because he tried to
      work her to death.

      His work is a paper man, and most importantly, NOT ONE BIT IS HIS ORIGINAL

      If you need verification of what I say, I would be happy to provide you with
      email addresses of others who have worked at that project site, and will
      relate similar stories of their own.

      Perhaps you would ask him for the video of his 'kangaroo trial' wherein he
      accuses Jeremy and myself of sabotage of the water system- one we were all
      dependent on. Why would we sabotage our own water supply? The fallout from
      that cost him half his subscribers.

      Subsequently he took painstaking measure to erase all evidence of his
      wrongdoing. Very 'open source'.

      I will say he is good at two things: attracting starry eyed kids into his
      project to exploit, and taking credit for the work of others.

      Ben de Vries
      Certified Permaculture Designer


      (Moderators note: This is a very controversial subject, and one that
      requires an introduction on opening. Indeed we have learned first hand
      from Inga who went to live at FactorE farm, that there is a big
      difference between the marketing and the reality of this Global Village
      Construction endavour. I think the information about the many weaknesses
      of the Missouri experiment should be open, but at the same time there
      are some things to consider:

      * Marcin subsequently moved to base any visit to FEF on a clear contract
      avoiding false expectations. Its not a village neither a community, its
      a workshop with a self-appointed technical director, with hard living
      conditions and a limited giving and taking (some might call it
      exploitation for the greater good).
      * He sparks the imagination of a lot of people that eventually will not
      depend on him personally. The idea will take a life of its own and
      people are free to work on whatever they choose meaningful. More sites
      will spring up that will manage to be true communities. They will test
      the validity of the technology and if there are flaws, they will fork.
      * Marcin is the first person to be widely credited for globalvillages
      ideas. In this respect, even with a very intimate knowing of some of his
      dictatorial traits and in open controversy with him about the degree of
      autonomy and autarky we need to achieve, I still feel good about that
      * and I feel Marcin will be wise enough to not repeat the blunders that
      have happened and that you mention. He will also have to settle the farm
      issue with Britanny, there is a court order and he offered to buy her
      out in the coming days. I feel its necessary and OK to talk about this
      to the people who have contributed to FEF financially and otherwise and
      the people that are supportive and have a moral stake.

      Hegel said: There is no great man for his butler (and I am afraid that
      holds for women, too). If you look closer, you will find ugly personal
      traits in many people that moved and shaked the world. We need to accept
      these things with some coolness and try top avoid being victimised by a
      dictatorial personality. Thanks god we have the freedom to walk away and
      to let the world know. But then again we must accept that there are
      still factors that have to be taken into consideration: like who besides
      Marcin had the energy to carry through the foundation of such a vast or
      comparable plan. Maybe you need to be strongly biased to do something of
      that dimension...

      So far, no one has been physically or otherwise seriously harmed and
      those who put their money in it should know what they are doing. Marcin
      might have the custom of not recognizing publically who really
      contributed. Why dont you seek to give credits to them instead of waging
      a private war against him? Its also very daring to say "not one bit is
      his original work". I think you will have to explain this.

      A personal remark: If we are talking about IP or Intellectual Property,
      we are talking about a contradiction. The nature of a thought and a
      concept or design is that it can be duplicated or withhold by secrecy or
      privilege, and the more general the truth is that thought holds, the
      more weird the privilege and withholding becomes. There is a moral
      obligation to recognize and reward orignality that I fully subscribe to,
      and we should not talk about IP as the mainstream does, because the
      language is the way we produce and maintain reality. In a reality deeply
      influenced by the vision of Global Villages , there will be no
      intellectual property as far as my imagination goes. Its absolutely
      against our values to withhold essential information.

      Thanks for considering. Franz)


      This is clearly an attempt to damage Marcin's ability to deliver the
      vital technologies that he's dedicated his life to developing and

      In fact, it's clearly an attempt to sabotage Marcin's ability to get the
      financial and technical resources to deliver the technologies he's
      working on by making good connections at TED.

      So you *have* attempted to sabotage the project, Ben. It may not have
      happened in the past, but it has happened now.

      I'd like to suggest you consider the seriousness of our global
      situation, the forty or fifty years of failure of values-centered and
      community-centered approaches to make a meaningful reduction in our
      global environmental impact, and ask yourself whether - in fact - those
      value systems simply serve to distract people from the real problem: our
      machines are so badly designed that they kill the planet in the process
      of delivering our essential services.

      Marcin's attacking the root problem. Try not to get in his way.



      Franz, Vinay,

      All these technologies already exist, and are not his.

      *So it is OK to use people up and throw them away for these goals? *

      (I really do want your answer to this question- and if the answer is
      'no' then what would YOU do?)

      * "Marcin is the first person to be widely credited for globalvillages
      ideas." - Quite... when it should probably be going to mondragon,
      songhai, or Joy Tang. It is not.

      I cannot "damage marcin's ability to deliver the vital technologies"...
      he doesn't even have a lathe.

      I have already been found guilty of sabotage when I had not done it...
      just living up to expectations.

      I tell you what: Like my opener, go to MO, work FOR him (there is no
      other option) and get back to me on this.

      As far as I am concerned, I am stopping a narcissistic user who uses a
      website of techno goodies as bait. The fish sees the bait, but not the hook.

      If my work ever got any support I would probably have less time to
      pursue this issue.

      When I was in Nica during the war, I got a taco in Matagalpa late at night.

      The meat was rotten, so I gave it to a passing dog. The dog was so
      hungry it nearly took my hand off. It might have been a good dog...

      Much like that dog, 'good behavior' is of little concern to me now.

      What I find interesting is how THOROUGHLY evidence of his wrongdoing has
      been removed.

      Marcin is a necrophile who expects people and living things to work like
      machines, and what he can get out of them. Anyone can fantasize about
      this, fine.

      But you start using people and taking the credit for THEIR successes,
      while treating them as disposable, and I am involved in any way, I will
      try to stop you.

      The stars in my eyes may have been amputated, but NOT my spine.

      Ben de Vries

      Ben, let me summarize this: I do not consider your emotional state to be
      Marcin's responsibility. If you did not enjoy working with him, you were
      free to stop at any time. Volunteer comes from the root word
      *voluntary*. If you did not like it, you were free cease association at
      whatever time suited you.

      I've worked *with* Marcin quite extensively. I set up the first wiki for
      the Open Source Ecology project, registered the domain Open Farm Tech
      and helped a fair bit with the strategy behind making a lot of short
      videos, documenting the basic outlines on wikis and encouraging public
      participation through trying to make the plan easy to understand.

      During that time I found him to be focused, direct and professional. He
      took what he thought was useful from my advise and direction, and
      ignored suggestions that did not seem useful to him. I considered that
      to be pretty typical of communications between people working on a
      project. I did not take on any complex commitments, and made it very
      clear that I was helping Marcin get web stuff started, but was already
      at capacity with my own projects.

      Now that we're clear that your objective is to damage Marcin's ability
      to deliver his projects to the world ("As far as I am concerned, I am
      stopping a narcissistic user", "I have already been found guilty of
      sabotage when I had not done it... just living up to expectations") I
      think that it is absolutely appropriate for people to classify you as a
      dangerous wingnut who had a bad experience working on a project and has
      decided to turn it into a vendetta.

      As such, I think that this community would be better off without you,
      and you should leave. If you choose not to do so, remain in the
      knowledge that we know exactly what you are by and because of your own
      words and admissions, and the apparent pride that you take in
      interfering with the ability of a talented human being to deliver their
      gifts to the world.

      Engineering solutions to the planet's problems is not a personality or
      popularity contest. You're clearly putting your emotional state ahead of
      the common interest we all have in seeing some of these global problems
      addressed with new technologies. You are part of the problem, and not
      part of the solution.

      Now kindly begone!



      I see I have already been removed. Thank you all for making your
      position clear.

      I'd tried to address these concerns in quieter fashion... you weren't
      interested then.

      No mention of Marcin's interference of my delivery...

      ONE WORD: reciprocation.

      Ben de Vries



      you have not been removed from here. You had the opportunity to speak out,
      What really worries me, and I think Vinay is right, is that you mix the
      necessary critique with a personal attack.

      Of course Marcin wants to remove that chapter from OSE history.
      Its nothing that brings any energy to him and he has not learned that
      sometimes you must spend a lot of time on "unneccesary" things -
      to respect truth and be courageous to admit mistakes.

      Thats not his way, sadly.

      I think nobody hinders you to open a site where you try to
      turn your experiences into positive lessons for the movement.

      But you ruin your own reputation when everybody smells your
      ultimate motive is revenge.



      I am not the one who made it personal.

      My goal is to prevent him from doing FURTHER damage to those who seek to
      help him based on his sham show.

      I will never forget the conversation where:

      G: So all these people are paying your bills with the money you said you
      would deliver projects with.
      M: Works for me! hahaha.

      Well, if you give him money, you are the one he is laughing AT.


      1> unsubstantiated conversation reported as fact.

      2> as far as I can see he's working himself into the ground to deliver

      3> the output is there - not perfect, but improving

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