This is a commentary on my work and progress, sharing some random thoughts and ideas about what I’m doing and why.
While working on my prototype and book, I came across an award winning group of people doing something quite remarkable, building the Global Village Construction Set. I noticed that a lot of their core ideas, ideals, and values coincided with my own. Their idea is to have an open set of blueprints to build the minimum needed to set up a self sustaining village with most modern comforts. A set of 50 machines, such as tractors, generators, and industrial machinery, and homes. The idea of boiling down our complex society and economy into a set of necessary machines is very interesting to me. Furthermore, they use cheap, standardized, durable design that’s free to everyone. This open source concept, where everyone has equal access to the fruits of civilization is both revolutionary, and very practical.
That led me to imagining what a “Type I Civilization Construction Set” would look like. What is this “Type 1”? It’s a number on the Kardashev Scale, listing the kinds of possible future civilizations that could exist, or possible alien civilizations that we might discover. A Type I Civilization is one that has completely mastered it’s own planet, ecology, industry and it’s own biology, and moved to colonize the rest of the solar system. Most big problems that exist now would be considered ancient history, such as ageing, poverty, fossil fuel use, scarcity of resources, ecological collapse and threat of war. Currently we’re a Type 0 Civilization, and some great thinkers guess that we may transition to Type I in a few hundred years, if we haven’t destroyed ourselves by then.
So how can I imagine a set of machines for a civilization that hasn’t even happened yet? I can’t just design my very own portable “Mr. Fusion” device, that takes household table scraps like bananna peels, and generates unlimited energy for my very own flying car, so I can vacation on the moons of Jupiter. I’m impatient, and I want to get my hands dirty, and I don’t want to live in a fantasy world. I want to build practical things right now, that will have major results very soon. Something like this is a very tall order, and by most people’s imagination, impossible.
Imagine my luck and astonishment when I stumbled upon such an idea that satisfies these very strict requirements. I spent the first few months in surprise at my own thoughts, and spent a great amount of time trying to poke holes in my idea, because I couldn’t imagine it being so simple. I couldn’t prove my idea wrong. For this reason, I welcome criticism, and I want people to use rational arguments to try to shoot down my plans. I hate the idea of going down the wrong path, so any commentary is very valuable to me.
I will soon be posting some very meaty chapter candidates on the details of my ideas, so keep checking back. I hope you enjoy them, comment on them, and share with the world.