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Tiberius Brastaviceanu - 2014-01-29-project-spotlight-beedome - 0 views

    "The BeeDome is a computerized system based on the Sitara-processor-powered BeagleBone Black computer as well as a specially designed "cape" plug-in board. BeagleBone Black is connected to the Internet, and stats are uploaded periodically to a website so that the company can closely monitor the nucs. The BeeDome also integrates GE Telaire T6613/T6615 and MG811 sensors to monitor the CO2 level; DS18B20 sensors to monitor temperature; DH22 sensors to monitor humidity and temperature; and Sharp COM-10636 SSR devices to control 120V devices.

    "Bee" sure to check out ForestDew Apiaries' website for more information on this "unbeelievable" project!"
Kurt Laitner - 0 views

Kurt Laitner

SynchroEdit - 0 views

    Tools, open source collaborative document editing
Kurt Laitner

Virtual Windows and Skylights - 0 views

    I expect the folks in sensorica could do this project
Francois Bergeron

modular self-assembling cube robots - MIT News Office - 0 views

    "self-assembling robots"
Kurt Laitner

UK Indymedia - WOS4: The Creative Anti-Commons and the Poverty of Networks - 0 views

  • Something with no reproduction costs can have no exchange-value in a context of free exchange.
  • Further, unless it can be converted into exchange-value, how can the peer producers be able to acquire the material needs for their own subsistence?
  • For Social Production to have any effect on general material wealth it has to operate within the context of a total system of goods and services, where the physical means of production and the virtual means of production are both available in the commons for peer production.
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  • "All texts published in Situationist International may be freely reproduced, translated and edited, even without crediting the original source."
  • The website of the creative commons makes the following statement about it's purpose: "Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright -- all rights reserved -- and the public domain -- no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work -- a 'some rights reserved' copyright."
  • The website of the creative commons makes the following statement about it's purpose: "Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright -- all rights reserved -- and the public domain -- no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work -- a 'some rights reserved' copyright."
  • Or more specifically, who is a position to convert the use-value available in the "commons" into the exchange-value needed to acquire essential subsistence or accumulate wealth?
  • All texts published in Situationist International may be freely reproduced, translated and edited, even without crediting the original source
  • The point of the above is clear, the Creative Commons, is to help "you" (the "Producer") to keep control of "your" work. The right of the "consumer" is not mentioned, neither is the division of "producer" and "consumer" disputed.
  • The website of the creative commons makes the following statement about it's purpose: "Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright -- all rights reserved -- and the public domain -- no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work -- a 'some rights reserved' copyright
  • specifically providing a framework then, for "producers" to deny "consumers" the right to either create use-value or material exchange-value of the "common" stock of value in the Creative "Commons" in their own cultural production
  • Thus, the very problem presented by Lawrence Lessig, the problem of Producer-control, is not in anyway solved by the presented solution, the Creative Commons, so long as the producer has the exclusive right to chose the level of freedom to grant the consumer, a right which Lessig has always maintained support for
  • The Free Software foundation, publishers of the GPL, take a very different approach in their definition of "free," insisting on the "four freedoms:" The Freedom to use, the freedom to study, the freedom to share, and the freedom to modify.
  • Creative "Commons" is thus really an Anti-Commons, serving to legitimise, rather than deny, Producer-control and serving to enforce, rather than do away with, the distinction between producer and consumer
  • the property in the commons is entirely non-rivalrous property
  • Moreover, proponents of free cultural must be firm in denying the right of Producer-control and denying the enforcement of distinction between producer and consumer
  • where a class-less community of workers ("peers") produce collaboratively within a property-less ("commons-based") society
  • Clearly, even Marx would agree that the ideal of Communism was commons-based peer production
  • In all these cases what is evident is that the freedom being insisted upon is the freedom of the consumer to use and produce, not the "freedom" of the producer to control.
  • The use-value of this information commons is fantastic
  • However, if commons-based peer-production is limited exclusively to a commons made of digital property with virtual no reproduction costs then how can the use-value produced be translated into exchange-value?

  • Further, unless it can be converted into exchange-value, how can the peer producers be able to acquire the material needs for their own subsistence
  • The root of the problem of poverty does not lay in a lack of culture or information
  • but of direct exploitation of the producing class by the property owning classes
  • The source of poverty is not reproduction costs, but rather extracted economic rents, forcing the producers to accept less than the full product of their labour as their wage by denying them independent access to the means of production
  • So long as commons-based peer-production is applied narrowly to only an information commons, while the capitalist mode of production still dominates the production of material wealth, owners of material property, namely land and capital, will continue to capture the marginal wealth created as a result of the productivity of the information commons.
  • Whatever exchange value is derived from the information commons will always be captured by owners of real property, which lays outside the commons.
  • For Social Production to have any effect on general material wealth it has to operate within the context of a total system of goods and services, where the physical means of production and the virtual means of production are both available in the commons for peer production
  • For free cultural to create a valuable common stock it must destroy the privilege of the producer to control the common stock, and for this common stock to increase the real material wealth of peer producers, the commons must include real property, not just information
    Strong grasp of the issues, not entirely in agreement on the thesis that the solution is the removal of producer control as this does not support the initiation of an economy, only its ongoing function once established, and the economy is continuously intiating itself, so it is not a one time problem. I do support the notion that producers are in fact none other than consumers of prior art but also that effort is required to remix as much as the magical creation out of nothing. In order to incent this behavior then (or even merely to allow it) the basic scarce needs of the individual must be taken care of. This may be done by ensuring beneficial ownership, but even that suffers from the initiation problem, which the requires us to have a pool of wealth to kickstart the thing by supporting every last person on earth with a basic income - that wealth is in fact available...
Kurt Laitner

Towards a Material Commons | Guerrilla Translation! - 0 views

  • the modes of communication we use are very tightly coupled with the modes of production that finance them
  • I’m focused on the policy formation around this transition to a new, open knowledge and commons-based economy, and that’s the research work I’m doing here
  • The problem is I can only make a living by still working for capital.
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  • We now have a technology which allows us to globally scale small group dynamics, and to create huge productive communities, self-organized around the collaborative production of knowledge, code, and design. But the key issue is that we are not able to live from that, right
  • A lot of co-ops have been neo-liberalizing, as it were, have become competitive enterprises competing against other companies but also against other co-ops, and they don’t share their knowledge
  • We cannot create our own livelihood within that sphere
  • instead of having a totally open commons, which allows multinationals to use our commons and reinforce the system of capital, the idea is to keep the accumulation within the sphere of the commons.
  • The result would be a type of open cooperative-ism, a kind of synthesis or convergence between peer production and cooperative modes of production
  • then the material work, the work of working for clients and making a livelihood, would be done through co-ops
  • But it hasn’t had much of a direct connection to this emerging commons movement, which shares so many of the values and  principles of the traditional cooperative movement.
  • There’s also a lot of peer-to-peer work going on, but it’s not very well versed around issues like cooperative organization, formal or legal forms of ownership, which are based on reciprocity and cooperation, and how to interpret the commons vision with a structure, an organizational structure and a legal structure that actually gives it economic power, market influence, and a means of connecting it to organizational forms that have durability over the long-term.
  • The young people, the developers in open source or free software, the people who are in co-working centers, hacker spaces, maker spaces. When they are thinking of making a living, they think startups
  • They have a kind of generic reaction, “oh, let’s do a startup”, and then they look for venture funds. But this is a very dangerous path to take
  • Typically, the venture capital will ask for a controlling stake, they have the right to close down your start up whenever they feel like it, when they feel that they’re not going to make enough money
  • Don’t forget that with venture capital, only 1 out of 10 companies will actually make it, and they may be very rich, but it’s a winner-take-all system
  • we don’t have what Marx used to call social reproduction
  • I would like John to talk about the solidarity co-ops, and how that integrates the notion of the commons or the common good in the very structure of the co-op
  • They don’t have a commons of design or code, they privatize and patent, just like private competitive enterprise, their knowledge
  • Cooperatives, which are basically a democratic and collective form of enterprise where members have control rights and democratically direct the operations of the co-op, have been the primary stakeholders in any given co-op – whether it’s a consumer co-op, or a credit union, or a worker co-op.
  • Primarily, the co-op is in the service of its immediate members
  • What was really fascinating about the social co-ops was that, although they had members, their mission was not only to serve the members but also to provide service to the broader community
  • In the city of Bologna, for example, over 87% of the social services provided in that city are provided through contract with social co-ops
  • democratically run
  • much more participatory, and a much more engaged model
  • The difference, however, is that the structure of social co-ops is still very much around control rights, in other words, members have rights of control and decision-making within how that organization operates
  • And it is an incorporated legal structure that has formal recognition by the legislation of government of the state, and it has the power, through this incorporated power, to negotiate with and contract with government for the provision of these public services
  • In Québec they’re called Solidarity co-ops
  • So, the social economy, meaning organizations that have a mutual aim in their purpose, based on the principles of reciprocity, collective benefit, social benefit, is emerging as an important player for the design and delivery of public services
  • This, too, is in reaction to the failure of the public market for provision of services like affordable housing or health care or education services
  • This is a crisis in the role of the state as a provider of public services. So the question has emerged: what happens when the state fails to provide or fulfill its mandate as a provider or steward of public goods and services, and what’s the role of civil society and the social economy in response?
  • we have commonses of knowledge, code and design. They’re more easily created, because as a knowledge worker, if you have access to the network and some means, however meager, of subsistence, through effort and connection you can actually create knowledge. However, this is not the case if you move to direct physical production, like the open hardware movement
  • I originally encountered Michel after seeing some talks by Benkler and Lessig at the Wizard of OS 4, in 2006, and I wrote an essay criticizing that from a materialist perspective, it was called “The creative anti-commons and the poverty of networks”, playing on the terms that both those people used.
  • In hardware, we don’t see that, because you need to buy material, machines, plastic, metal.
  • Some people have called the open hardware community a “candy” economy, because if you’re not part of these open hardware startups, you’re basically not getting anything for your efforts
  • democratic foundations like the Apache foundation
  • They conceive of peer production, especially Benkler, as being something inherently immaterial, a form of production that can only exist in the production of immaterial wealth
  • From my materialist point of view, that’s not a mode of production, because a mode of production must, in the first place, reproduce its productive inputs, its capital, its labor, and whatever natural wealth it consumes
  • From a materialist point of view, it becomes  obvious that the entire exchange value produced in these immaterial forms would be captured by the same old owners of materialist wealth
  • different definition of peer production
  • independent producers collectively sharing a commons of productive assets
  • I wanted to create something like a protocol for the formation and allocation of physical goods, the same way we have TCP/IP and so forth, as a way to allocate immaterial goods
  • share and distribute and collectively create immaterial wealth, and become independent producers based on this collective commons.
  • One was the Georgist idea of using rent, economic rent, as a fundamental mutualizing source of wealth
  • Mutualizing unearned income
  • So, the unearned income, the portion of income derived from ownership of productive assets is evenly distributed
  • This protocol would seek to normalize that, but in a way that doesn’t require administration
  • typical statist communist reaction to the cooperative movement is saying that cooperatives can exclude and exploit one another
  • But then, as we’ve seen in history, there’s something that develops called an administrative class,  which governs over the collective of cooperatives or the socialist state, and can become just as counterproductive and often exploitive as capitalist class
  • So, how do we create cooperation among cooperatives, and distribution of wealth among cooperatives, without creating this administrative class?
  • This is why I borrowed from the work of Henry George and Silvio Gesell in created this idea of rent sharing.
  • This is not done administratively, this is simply done as a protocol
  • The idea is that if a cooperative wants an asset, like, an example is if one of the communes would like to have a tractor, then essentially the central commune is like a bond market. They float a bond, they say I want a tractor, I am willing to pay $200 a month for this tractor in rent, and other members of the cooperative can say, hey, yeah, that’s a good idea,we think that’s a really good allocation of these productive assets, so we are going to buy these bonds. The bond sale clears, the person gets the tractor, the money from the rent of the tractor goes back to clear the bonds, and  after that, whatever further money is collected through the rent on this tractor – and I don’t only mean tractors, same would be applied to buildings, to land, to any other productive assets – all this rent that’s collected is then distributed equally among all of the workers.
  • The idea is that people earn income not only by producing things, but by owning the means of production, owning productive assets, and our society is unequal because the distribution of productive assets is unequal
  • This means that if you use your exact per capita share of property, no more no less than what you pay in rent and what you received in social dividend, will be equal
  • But if you’re not working at that time, because you’re old, or otherwise unemployed, then obviously the the productive assets that you will be using will be much less than the mean and the median, so what you’ll receive as dividend will be much more than what you pay in rent, essentially providing a basic income
  • venture communism doesn’t seek to control the product of the cooperatives
  • It doesn’t seek to limit, control, or even tell them how they should distribute it, or under what means; what they produce is entirely theirs, it’s only the collective management of the commons of productive assets
  • On paper this would seem to work, but the problem is that this assumes that we have capital to allocate in this way, and that is not the case for most of the world workers
  • how do we get to that stage?
  • other two being counter politics and insurrectionary finance
  • do we express our activism through the state, or do we try to achieve our goals by creating the alternative society outside
  • pre-figurative politics, versus statist politics
  • My materialist background tells me that when you sell your labor on the market, you have nothing more than your subsistence costs at the end of it, so where is this wealth meant to come from
  • I believe that the only reason that we have any extra wealth beyond subsistence is because of organized social political struggle; because we have organized in labor movements, in the co-op movement, and in other social forms
  • To create the space for prefiguring presupposes engagement with the state, and struggle within parliaments, and struggle within the public social forum
  • Instead, we should think that no, we must engage in the state in order to protect our ability to have alternative societies
  • We can only get rid of the state in these areas once we have alternative, distributed, cooperative means to provide those same functions
  • We can only eliminate the state from these areas once they actually exist, which means we actually have to build them
  • What I mean by insurrectionary finance is that we have to acknowledge that it’s not only forming capital and distributing capital, it’s also important how intensively we use capital
  • I’m not proposing that the cooperative movement needs to engage in the kind of derivative speculative madness that led to the financial crisis, but at the same time we can’t… it can’t be earn a dollar, spend a dollar
  • We have to find ways to create liquidity
  • to deal with economic cycles
  • they did things the organized left hasn’t been able to do, which is takeover industrial means of production
  • if they can take over these industrial facilities, just in order to shut them down and asset strip them, why can’t we take them over and mutualize them?
  • more ironic once you understand that the source of investment that Milken and his colleagues were working with were largely workers pension funds
  • idea of venture communism
  • pooling, based on the capture of unearned income
  • in Québec, there is a particular form of co-op that’s been developed that allows small or medium producers to pool their capital to purchase machinery and to use it jointly
  • The other idea I liked was trying to minimize a management class
  • much more lean and accountable because they are accountable to boards of directors that represent the interests of the members
  • I’ve run into this repeatedly among social change activists who immediately recoil at the notion of thinking about markets and capital, as part of their change agenda
  • I had thought previously, like so many, that economics is basically a bought discipline, and that it serves the interests of existing elites. I really had a kind of reaction against that
  • complete rethinking of economics
  • recapture the initiative around vocabulary, and vision, with respect to economics
  • reimagining and reinterpreting, for a popular and common good, the notion of market and capital
  • advocating for a vision of social change that isn’t just about politics, and isn’t just about protest, it has to be around how do we reimagine and reclaim economics
  • markets actually belong to communities and people
  • capital wasn’t just an accumulated wealth for the rich
  • I think what we’re potentially  talking about here is to make the social economy hyper-productive, hyper-competitive, hyper-cooperative
  • The paradox is that capital already knows this. Capital is investing in these peer production projects
  • Part of the proposal of the FLOK society project in Ecuador will be to get that strategic reorganization to make the social economy strategic
    A lot of really interesting points of discussion in here.
Kurt Laitner

The World of Social Objects - 0 views

    The concept of social objects has provided many insights for me since I stumbled over it years ago. Worth putting in your cognitive tool kit if it isn't there already.
Kurt Laitner

The Energy Efficiency of Trust & Vulnerability: A Conversation | Switch and Shift - 0 views

  • trusting people because of who they are personally vs. who they are professionally
  • also need to trust systems
  • our own resources
  • ...34 more annotations...
  • How much we need to trust others depends on the context,
  • how much we trust ourselves,
  • our ability to understand the context we are in
  • When we trust, we re-allocate that energy and time to getting things done and making an impact
  • the more information and/or experience we have, the better we can decide whether or not to trust
  • Trust is a tool to assess and manage (reduce and/or increase) risk, depending on the situation.
  • Trusting someone implies making oneself more vulnerable
  • When we don’t trust, we exert a lot of energy to keep up our guard, to continually assess and verify.  This uses a lot of energy and time.
  • If the alternative is worse, we might opt for no trust
  • As we let ourselves be vulnerable, we also leave ourselves more open to new ideas, new ways of thinking which leads to empathy and innovation.
  • the more we can focus on the scope and achievement of our goals
  • trusting is efficient….and effective
  • Being vulnerable is a way to preserve energy
  • It lets us reallocate our resources to what matters and utilize our skills and those around us to increase effectiveness…impact.
  • If we are working together, we need to agree on the meaning of ‘done’.  When are we done, what does that look like?
  • Strategic sloppiness is a way to preserve energy
  • Build on the same shared mental models
  • use the same language
  • As the ability to replicate something has become more of a commodity, we are increasingly seeing that complex interactions are the way to create ‘value from difference’ (as opposed to ‘value from sameness’).
  • allow for larger margins of error in our response and our acceptance of others
  • higher perfection slows down the tempo
  • We can’t minimize the need to be effective.
  • Efficient systems are great at dealing with complicated things – things that have many parts and sequences, but they fall flat dealing with complex systems, which is most of world today.
  • make sure we hear and see the same thing (reduce buffers around our response)
  • timing
  • intuition
  • judgment
  • experience
  • ability to look at things from many different perspective
  • to discover, uncover, understand and empathize is critical
  • focus on meaning and purpose for work (outcomes) instead of just money and profit (outputs)
  • When we have a common goal of WHY we want to do something, we are better able to trust
  • When we never do the same thing or have the same conversation twice, it becomes much more important to figure out why and what we do than how we do it (process, which is a given)
    spot on conversation on *trust, I see creating a trustful environment quickly among strangers as a key capability of an OVN, we need to quickly get past the need to protect and verify and move on to making purpose and goals happen
Yasir Siddiqui

TIMReview_January2014.pdf - 0 views

    An interesting article on different busines models based on open-source
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