lugon - Category: Projects    
 howtos and a bet10 comments
category picture17 May 2005
Howtos are a good thing. Recipies, manuals, stories ...

I'm helping a small community. They want to grow a howto about recycling animal waste into biogas and compost and much more. Just imagine, where I live we (humans) are about 2 million people - all of us producing waste every day.

Now, how fast can changes go? Here's my bet: we'll have a working version of the howto by mid-august 2005, and there will be 100,000 hectares (about 200,000 acres) emerging from that before the end of 2005 (there are already other initiatives before the howto). It might be 10,000,000 hectares before the end of 2006. That's 100,000,000,000 square meters in all, or about 12 square meters per person for the whole Earth. Not a bad start.

And why? Because it pays.  More >

 go local, really2 comments
category picture7 Mar 2005
I've started a blog and a yahoogroup, both in Spanish, about sustainability in the Canaries.

Ok, I do read and I collaborate at Minciu Sodas and at SolaRoof, but I'm trying to focus on "going local".

Multiply by a zillion and we might have something going on.  More >

 SolaRoof warm up6 comments
category picture15 Jan 2005
You gotta go see SolaRoof and look at the Gallery (upper-right corner of the screen).

Between the two layers of the greenhouse roof, an artificial cloud of bubbles is created at will, letting the sun in only when you want it, and keeping the heat inside just as needed.

Being a closed environment, humidity from plants (even sea algae) can be collected as pure water, and algae can be fed all the nasty CO2 from our bad-bad factories and become fatty algae, which can in turn be converted into bio-diesel.

There's a wiki and a group at yahoo.

The design is "open" (as in free software) so you can be the best champion to implement it locally. Just share what you learn, like good scientists do.

 More >

 Going LOCAL on sustainability18 comments
category picture21 Dec 2004
If we want to make "sustainability efforts" sustainable, then maybe we need to look at people in three situations:
- full-time sustainability warriors (who work on sustainability as a pay job, or who are rich and can work full time for free)
- part-time sustainability champions (who can give, say, an afternoon each week)
- marginal-time sustainability ants (who can give 1% of their time)

Cultural Creatives say there are some 80+50 million CCs in Europe and USA. Most would be "marginal-time sustainability ants", I'd guess.

So the trick is how to provide an infrastructure for us/them to self-organise effectively. That infrastructure has to work locally, and can of course be designed globally. It may need internet elements, but also non-internet elements, and "conceptual" elements (how-tos).

Most of the conversations will be local, so there could be a way to signal that one is an "ant". Maybe a badge with an ant on it? Something even simpler?

If that works, then the infrastructure could be used for ideas and conversation. "Cake of the week" issues could be suggested for "ants" to pursue on their marginal time.

With infrastructure, content and ants, quite a few things might become possible. Add up some champions to take care of the infrastructure, and a few warriors too, and there you have it.

Connected ant colonies? Yes, sure, but each colony actually lives on its territory. It's not all about the internet!

The trick is to go LOCAL. That's what the badges would be for.

So what do ants do? They could:
- collect information and opinions
- privide ideas
- make questions
- do small physical tasks
- give information to others
- many other ant-like tasks

This may have something to do with "parallelizable tasks" in grid computing - I don't know.

Ideas?  More >

 Currency Design Tool9 comments
category picture26 Nov 2004
Here's a link to the current version of a Currency Design Tool.

Some complemetary currencies are not in any way tied to national or international currencies. So we're creating "protective walls" in case the bigger currencies are damaged in any way.

This tool looks like a Weapon of Mass Construction to me.

It needs to be developed further along the lines Andrius and others are envisioning, and there's need to translate, apply, spread ... and use.

I'm extremely happy to see this growing this way. What other things do we need?  More >

 solar engines at night3 comments
category picture15 Nov 2004
Via OneVillage fundation's newsletter.

Sterling engines are interesting. I don't understand the mechanics of it, but it is said to work well, and solar energy can be used at night. Most building material can be local.

Fabbers can be used in conjunction with all this.

Who should we be contacting regarding this?  More >

 wiki's weaknesses in content and community maintenance0 comments
category picture8 Nov 2004
I really don't know what's wrong with wikis. They provide a set of pages and both the content and the links can be edited by those with permision.

Yes, of course, they may be too open to vandals, wikispam, irrelevant content, and lack of one or more dedicated mantainers. But if there are enough users, and if those users have the necessary skills and use those skills, then they can keep the garden tidy and useful.

What do people want when they "grow a wiki"?

You may be very much centered around content, as in wikipedia. Of course, that content is written by many different people, and you want them all to contribute to the communal blackboard as easily as possible. It may be an encyclopedia (btw, cyclops had but one eye - shouldn't we have en-bi-cyclopedias?), or it may be information that has to be kept up to date. But in any case it's the content that matters.

You may be centered around creating new ideas and growing them. In that case, you probably want ways to explore the ideas, qualify them somehow, add comments to the ideas. You want to go from the problems in one specific idea to solutions to that problem. You want to have many solutions to one problem. You want to describe the problem diferently, and link to data to help people know what the problem is about, as exactly as possible. You need to be able to summarise, possibly having the wiki as one big page so that you can copy and paste relevant bits to the "new entry" window - or maybe you can just open many tabs in your browser.

In both cases, you may want the mantainer(s) to be able to edit the structure itself. That's a big thing to do. Relinking pages, joining and dividing content - things you do with good old outliners - but now with wikis.

You may also be centered around growing a community of people. In that case you may want to have two circles: an outer circle of people who contribute annonymously, and an inner circle of people who join in to lend both hands. The second group may be annonymous or not - it should be their choice. And they should have ways to engage in one-on-one conversations (instant messaging) that would, if they want to, in all o in part, be piped into the main discourse.

I guess I'll have to get into just one project and see how it works. But it would have to be a "content" project: one that is concerned with the information inside it. Rick Nelson and Franz Nahrada have one wiki each, I believe. I'll go and have a look ... Ok: Franz's and Rick's.