Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Sci-Tech watch, 29: The Jakubowski GVCS -- moving to open source industrial and information technologies for digitally empowered, mechatronics oriented development transformation in the Caribbean

Marcin Jakubowski -- pronounced "March-in" -- holds a Fusion Energy Physics PhD, but in his 2011 TED talk, he said he felt useless and so went out to found Factor e Farm, and the Global Village Construction Set [GVCS] open source industrial and development transformation long-term initiative involving several dozen key machines.  (Cf. index of machines here.) Recently, he married Catarina Mota, and emphasis has shifted to include an Open Building Institute initiative with a six months immersive training component.

Now, I have long pondered digital productivity empowered  economic development transformation for the Caribbean. 

This includes when, as a Curriculum Facilitator/ Architect, I helped design an electrical engineering degree programme and then went on to help design an environmental management one  for a second regional university. That experience led me to see the centrality of information, communication and control technologies [ICCTs, not just IT or ICT] multiplied by the Mechatronics paradigm, and to further see how pivotal sustainability is for development transformation of our region. I have also been led to see that Cuba is the sole centre of real strength in Sci-Tech in our region and that we need to work with that regional mini super-power to be. Especially with its 40+ universities. (Yes, over forty, the first of which IIRC dates to 1519.)

I know, I know; three paragraphs in, we are already in fairly heavy conceptual territory, with a torrent of ideas.

Can't be helped.

These concepts are going to be pivotal for moving our region ahead in coming decades in an increasingly unstable and dangerous world, so do bear with taking some time to explore together. The issue is strategic vision and focus for our region, to transform development, trigger self-sustaining inclusive economic growth, and to give us the strength we are going to need in the years ahead.

So, please bear with the process.

Development transformation policy is far too important to be left to:
  •  short-sighted (and too often, bought-and-paid-for, compromised, blackmailed and corrupt) politicians, 
  • entrenched senior civil servants locked into a 1950's mindset, 
  • pundits playing at "in the land of the blind the one-eyed man can be king," and
  •  fly-in, fly-out consultants, not to mention 
  • media folks playing dirty spin games, reading off cue cards and/or blindly cribbing from Wikipedia, while 
  • relying on indoctrination by the cultural marxist profs who taught them in uni. 
It is time for a radical reboot.

Metanoia, in fact.

As a preview of where we are going, let us refresh our memories on the Hayek investment triangle in community context -- we are talking about a radical re-orientation of our economies to be fit for purpose for the twenty-first century:

Thus, we face the challenge of sustainable change made in good time on sound strategic judgement:

Bearing in mind, the issue of the commanding heights of the community:

As Jesus once warned the elites of his day, it is one thing to read the weather-signs of the sky, it is another thing, entirely, to so understand the times that one knows what one's community should do.

To start the main matter, it is worth pausing to watch Marcin lecture on the Global Village Construction Set (and the famous TED talk is embedded too):

If a 38-minute talk runs a bit long, try the Open Building Institute Kickstarter -- and Kickstarter is also a piece of our grand strategic puzzle -- promo video:

(interview, here, is helpful too.)

I suspect, the machines and technologies are an incomplete, work in progress set. For instance, we know that the invention of the printing press was transformational. So paper-making and open source printing machines are an obvious cluster of additions. For these, I would like to see something like a modern mimeograph machine that scans pages, burns stencils and prints at one level, and at the next, that does the same with metal foils.  Also, a book binding machine.

Now, if we look at the GVCS, we will observe an interesting cluster: power cubes that output power as hydraulic fluid under pressure, back-hoe arms, bulldozer arms, fluid power operated vehicles and industrial robots. These point straight to the Mechatronics paradigm, of manufacturing processes and products based on the synergy of mechanisms, control and electronics and computer supervision. Where, the robot arm is the capital example (and a backhoe arm is essentially a tele-operated hydraulically powered robot arm usually used for digging etc):

So, we see that a focus on mechatronics will bring together a critical cluster of the technologies for digital productivity. The wider GVCS and the open source paradigm will allow us to address a way for a small community (such as a Caribbean island . . . ) to capture in effect a reboot for industrial civilisation 2.0:

As the Open Source Ecology Wiki summarises the philosophy:
  • Open Source - we freely publish our 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, and product manuals on our open source wiki and we harness open collaboration with technical contributors.
  • Low-Cost - The cost of making or buying our machines is, on average, 8x cheaper than buying from an Industrial Manufacturer, including an average labor cost of hour for a GVCS fabricator.
  • Modular - Motors, parts, assemblies, and power units can interchange, where units can be grouped together to diversify the functionality that is achievable from a small set of units.
  • User-Serviceable - Design-for-disassembly allows the user to take apart, maintain, and fix tools readily without the need to rely on expensive repairmen.
  • DIY - (do-it-yourself) The user gains control of designing, producing, and modifying the GVCS tool set.
  • Closed Loop Manufacturing - Metal is an essential component of advanced civilization, and our platform allows for recycling metal into virgin feedstock for producing further GVCS technologies - thereby allowing for cradle-to-cradle manufacturing cycles
  • High Performance - Performance standards must match or exceed those of industrial counterparts for the GVCS to be viable.
  • Flexible Fabrication - It has been demonstrated that the flexible use of generalized machinery in appropriate-scale production is a viable alternative to centralized production.
  • Distributive Economics - We encourage the replication of enterprises that derive from the GVCS platform as a route to truly free enterprise - along the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy.
  • Industrial Efficiency - In order to provide a viable choice for a resilient lifestyle, the GVCS platform matches or exceeds productivity standards of industrial counterparts.
Multiply this by
  • open source software,
  •  a push for computer programming and linked technologies as well as 
  • sustainable energy initiatives and
  •  a push for agricultural transformation. Not to mention, 
  • open source building technologies for social housing, agricultural complexes, commercial and industrial spaces, etc.
Then, imagine what would happen if an alliance of. . .
  • universities, 
  • community colleges and technical schools 
  • regional research institutions, 
  • regional bodies such as Caricom or OECS
  • ministries of technology and of education,
  • schools and 
  • co-operative enterprises
. . . across our various Caribbean territories  -- including our regional sci-tech powerhouse, Cuba -- were to join together, evaluate and extend the GVCS appropriately and make a shift to the open source industrial base, sustainable development oriented paradigm Jakubowski has championed. 

Put in a major collaborative open source research and development effort. 

Look at commercialisation in terms of value added services that build on the open source base. (As often happens with open source software such as the Linux Operating System. For example the US$ 6 mn/yr Linux Foundation catalyses over US$ 1 billion of annual programming effort, for an operating system that runs much of the Internet and is the base for the Android OS used in Tablets and smart phones.)

Then, inject Kickstarter crowd source funding for projects that need that.

This sounds to me like pulling together a critical mass to capture the human, technical and financial capacity for development transformation and self-sustaining economic growth energised from within our region.

So, let us ponder, is this just possibly a key cluster of technologies that can come together to help our region trigger a generation-length cycle of development and transformation?

As in, a possible regional version of the Kondratiev long wave of economic transformation, growth and development:

Where, globally, we can trace such waves back to the 900's:

So, is this something we can at least ponder together as a thought-sparker for new thinking on regional development?

I think so. Why not now? Why not here? Why not us END

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Does the "Alt Right" have a point or two? (AKA, we should not err by tossing out babies with their bath water)

This past week, the "Alt Right" came in for tongue- lashing in the media, the charge being led by flawed US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton trying hard to taint flawed candidate Donald Trump -- I am impressed with neither US candidate (and see the trends in the US and our wider civilisation as sobering signs . . . ) -- with racist, extremist and fringe associations.

The first problem with such rhetoric of tainting and polarisation is, it invites us to toss babies out with their bath water.

So, we should be very cautious about it, especially when those who live in glass houses (but enjoy media shielding) are abusing their privileges to cast stones at others through ruthless polarising spin games. Games, that play straight into the hands of the radical IslamISTS with their Civilisational Jihad by settlement strategies. (And in a week where we learned that Mrs Clinton's key aide, Huma Abedin, for a decade, was listed on the editorial board of her mother's journal which supports this Muslim Brotherhood strategy. Apparently, the very same, Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, that published Sultana Afroz's arguably tendentious attempts to rewrite the Caribbean's past as Islamic. (Cf also Warner-Lewis' critique, here, and here. Cf. here for the persistence of the revisionism.)

What gives me pause and leads me to blog, is that I ran across one of the "Alt Right" spokesmen, who I find is making disturbingly good sense about the politics of polarised under-classes and immigration of incompatible minorities that drives down wages, destabilises community, and reinforces the politics of divide and rule.

Video, no 1 by Steven Molyneux :

Then, from that video, I found a link to a much longer one, on the history of the collapse of the Western Roman empire -- learning along the way that this is someone with an M.A. in History -- that seeks to draw out dynamics involved and from such, lessons and warnings that if heeded may help us avert collapse.

Video no 2:

So, I think we should pause and ponder, instead of dismiss and deride.

Then, it is time for a more responsible discussion of where we are taking our civilisation in our time. Maybe, just maybe, the issue of critical mass towards sound change is relevant:

Where, we should always bear in mind the seven mountains of influence, the fortified institutions at their summits and the way their gate keepers may be playing manipulative, dirty agenda games at our expense (as Ac 27 so strikingly exemplifies):

Food for sobering thought, in a very dangerous world:

So, let us take time to watch and ponder. END

Saturday, August 27, 2016

VIDEO: The Jakubowski Open Source, sustainable industrial civilization 2.0 dream in 5 minutes

To make big changes to economic systems, we need big dreams.

Here is Marcin, on the global village construction set:

Now, to make dreams come true we have to wake up first and map out a feasible strategic path. Think, an open source industrial civ 2.0 reboot kit on a DVD, that transforms the potential of a small town or an island community. Back that with collaborative research by universities feeding an industrial technology commons. One that people can reboot entrepreneurship as adding value and support. Further back that with a digital library spread out across the Caribbean, just to localise.

Blend in the educational tablet PC revolution:

Think, your textbooks, library, notebook, workbook and a cluster of high tech instruments ranging from a high end scientific calculator to an oscilloscope to a software development environment to mathematical analysis packages to office and multimedia productivity in a tablet affordable for all students.

I bought the RCA Cambio, a Windows 10 machine,  at US$ 119, it is now at US$ 100, a harbinger of things to come. (There is an Android version, the Viking, for US$ 80 or so.)

Then think of baking into education, programming, interfacing and digital productivity for all.

Think, of an alternative education system that runs up all the way to an Associate Degree that is not locked into the manipulations of all sorts of politically correct agendas now targetting our region and which are already warping the legal system, higher education, public policy, health and development:

 Think, of how two 40 ft containers butted together side-to-side on a slabs and rammed earth foundation and transformed with some clever sheet-rock work etc could be made into a multimedia educational centre:

Maybe, it is time for a radical reboot of how we think about development, economics and industry. As well as the education that drives it:

That leads to a macro-economic view of a more stable approach to economic transformation:

  Yes, dreams are hard to put on the ground successfully, but that does not mean they should just be scoffed at and dismissed. END

PS: And if you hear an echo of making us less geostrategically vulnerable in a very dangerous day, yes . . .  that is there, too:

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Matt 24 watch, 295: US Election 2016 -- spin vs reality, the Media-Clinton campaign and our spiritual challenge

According to contrarian views and given current developments, the ongoing US election is not a done deal, Clinton shoo- in, with a bungling incompetent, racist [etc etc] for the Republicans "as usual."

(Why don't we spot obvious stereotyping?)

Of course the "done deal" view is what the mainstream, dominant media houses have been portraying. That is a manifestation of the Media-Democrat campaign strategy since 2008: manipulate the Republican primary process to ease into place a candidate to be savaged in the main election. This worked with McCain and Romney, who were more- or- less "moderates." And when angry Republican voters went for an obviously flawed "outside" candidate this year, the Media-Democrat campaign was happy to oblige while sharpening their knives for the kill in the main campaign. (Cf here for a disturbing example.)

Abedin and Clinton
(Never mind the flaws in their own dominant candidate:
  •  the Clinton Foundation and its obvious influence peddling to the tune of dozens to hundreds of millions,
  •  the thirty-plus year backlog of Clinton scandals (often minimised, dismissed in the teeth of otherwise disconcerting evidence that would have brought down a similarly tainted Republican or church leader, or simply made light of through a biased media), 
  • the Benghazi fiasco and obvious lies told to parents of dead soldiers as well as the general public, 
  • the fostering of an Arab spring that predictably turned Islamist winter, 
  • playing fast and loose with Al Qaeda over Iraq, Libya and Syria leading to emergence of ISIS and failure to nip it in the bud, 
  • her email-security violations which may have already contributed to the hanging of an Iranian scientist, 
  • notice here, the FBI's strange refusal to go ahead on an obviously strong case for willful gross negligence regarding high security documents and procedures reflecting recklessness and placing of political agendas and influence games above duties of care as a Cabinet Officer,
  • evidently habitual lying (which the email issues are bringing out), 
  • the questionable influence of Huma Abedin who is deeply connected to radical Islam (starting with her parents and going on to muslim brotherhood front groups in the USA etc), 
  • persistent and decades deep hints about lesbian involvement that come from too many varied sources to be dismissed out of hand, 
  • questions about her health (especially after a fall and brain blood-clot that contributed to her resignation as Secretary of State), and most of all 
  • her connexions to a party leading a radical morally tainted agenda . . . start with sixty million unborn children slaughtered in the womb and go on to radical homosexualisation and transgenderism etc.)
In short, we are being presented with a sobering lesson on the destructive power of media spin games even as the USA falls under the Isaiah 3 & 5 - Romans 1 judgement of moral collapse and breakdown of leadership:

A key current event is the FBI's disclosure of fifteen thousand additional work related emails not surrendered to them:
Remember this?
"I provided all of my emails that could possibly be work related." -Hillary Clinton, March 10, 2016 . . . . 
We already know Clinton's claims about turning over all work related emails to the State Department are false and now, we're learning the FBI found an additional 15,000 work related emails on Clinton's private server that she failed to turn over to the State Department upon departure in 2013 . . . 
This is revealing, especially when we put it in parallel with the disclosure that Ms Abedin, who is:
Hillary Clinton’s top campaign aide, and the woman who might be the future White House chief of staff to the first female US president, for a decade edited a radical Muslim publication that opposed women’s rights and blamed the US for 9/11 . . .
Spell that, agent-of-influence

This reflects the radical Left/ Progressive/ Cultural Marxist de facto alliance with Islam-ISM against Western civilisation and its Judaeo-Christian heritage. This is a key contributor to the current global geostrategic picture:

Multiply this by the associated revelation that the lawyers who sorted through the emails submitted by Clinton to the FBI did not have proper security clearance (which involves serious background checks and vetting):
In July FBI director James Comey confirmed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stored and transmitted top secret, classified information on multiple private email servers. Last year during a press conference at the UN about her email server, Clinton said her attorneys went through all of her emails to separate work related information from her personal business. The problem? Clinton's attorneys don't have the security clearances required to handle the type of highly sensitive, classified information found on the former Secretary's server. 

"They did not," Comey said during Congressional testimony in July when asked whether Clinton's attorneys had the proper clearance to sift through classified information found on the server. "There’s a great deal of concern about an uncleared person, not subject to the requirements we talked about in the read-in documents, potentially having access."

Now, Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz is asking Comey to look into why unauthorized attorneys were combing through and separating Clinton's emails without proper security clearance. 

"Just as classified information may not be provided to anyone without an appropriate clearance, classified information must also not be stored on a computer system that is not authorized to store it.  The transfer of classified information from a computer system authorized to store it to one that is not is called spillage," a letter sent to Comey late Monday states. 

Clinton attorneys were not only handling classified information, they were doing so on unauthorized computer systems as well . . . 
This pattern lends force to a contrarian view by Wayne Allyn Root:

Hillary's Done... And She Knows It

Posted: Aug 20, 2016 12:01 AM
. . . .According to liberals…and Donald's critics…and the GOP establishment…and Ted Cruz’s “NeverTrump” crowd…and the mainstream media... Trump is ignorant...disorganized...offensive...his views are barbaric and simplistic . . . . 
It’s all gone bad for Donald Trump, hasn’t it? It can’t get any worse for a presidential candidate. Talk about your peaks and valleys…Trump is deep in the heart of the valley.

But here’s the thing…

After all of THAT...after Hillary and the media and liberals…and the GOP establishment threw everything they had at Donald…

He is tied with Hillary (within statistical margin of error) in every major credible national poll out in the past few days. Pick your poll: Zogby, Rasmussen, LA Times/USC, Bloomberg, they all say he’s down 1 or 2 points with likely voters- which is tied. In the latest LA times/USC poll he’s down less than one point.

And we all know 5% to 10% of voters won't admit they support Trump. Why would they after the three weeks of disaster I just described?

So that means he's actually AHEAD by 3 to 5 points . . . . 

If Hillary isn't ahead by 15 to 20 points right this absolute low point of Trump's campaign...the deep, deep valley…Hillary is the one in deep trouble. 

Her peak is actually the valley. Her fans and the mainstream media just don't understand that yet. This is the high water mark of her campaign. It will never get better than this. And she's tied, hanging on by her fingernails . . . . 

Even worse...

She knows any day between now and November 8th...Julian Assange and Wikileaks will drop a bombshell that will destroy her presidential run, political career and legacy all in one. She knows what’s coming, because she knows what’s in those emails. If Wikileaks has what Hillary thinks they have, her future involves the “Big House," not the White House.
If this contrarian view is anywhere close to correct, the upcoming election may well be a wild ride, with the credibility of political polling, the media and the establishment in the stakes. And even if Mrs Clinton makes it through, her train of scandals, issues and concerns will follow her into the White House.

But perhaps the most sobering point is in the last bullet above.

The American Black community habitually votes Democrat 90 - 95%, in a context where that party for a generation has been deeply associated with an accelerating dechristianisation agenda, with the worst single point being the advancement of the single worst holocaust in global history under false colour of "reproductive rights," "choice" and twisted law. Abortion.

In the USA, some 60 millions since 1973 when the Supreme Court handed down the notorious Roe v. Wade decision. At the rate of about one 9-11 per day, about 3,000. Yes, the same numbers as marked a national tragedy.

Globally, we have to estimate.

BBC news recently indicated global abortions are 52 millions per year, down from 56 recently. This reflects figures Planned Parenthood's Allen Guttmacher Institute has issued. So, multiply 50 millions per year by 40 years then by 1/2 for growth. Shave off a fifth, and you have 800 millions. 

American Blacks are one of the most churched sectors of the US, and pastoral leaders have a duty of prophetic counsel.

The manifest failure here speaks, decisively and not to the credit of such pastoral leaders.

In the face of manifestly the worst holocaust of the innocents in history.

Worse than slavery.

Worse than racism. 

(Indeed, disproportionately many of the aborted in the USA are . . . black. Globally, all too many abortions, especially in Asia, are of unborn girls, leading to tellingly skewed population sex ratio statistics.)

And here in the Caribbean, we have blindly followed the lead of the US Blacks, the Democratic Party and the mass media.

Our pastoral leaders and educated Christians in general have duties of prophetic counsel too.

And now, our failures are coming home to roost as the dechristianising and Islamist agendas hit our region with repeated hammer-blows, like tidal waves:

Whichever way the US presidential election comes out, the dynamics of Isaiah 3 & 5 and Romans 1 will continue to be in play. The USA and the wider West are hollowed out at the core, having turned to apostate leadership in the church, the university, the media and the state alike. 

They are now an increasing source of moral and spiritual contagion that threatens our region. 

Even, as the global geostrategic situation spins utterly out of control, largely unheeded.

Hardly anyone seems to care or wants to put in the effort to truly understand.

The question is, what will we do, given this counsel of scripture:

Where also, the Apostle Paul provides an example:

So, will we here in the Caribbean rise to the challenge we face?

And, will we, onward, rise up to our potential as the third tidal wave?

The choice to be a new David generation is in our hands. 

So, it is back to the Mordecai challenge: why not now, why not here, why not us? END

Thursday, August 04, 2016

"Warzone London" -- a contrast between police on the ground and the tone of BBC news reports

This morning, BBC is reporting on a Somali man who used a knife to stab one woman to death and injured five others, suggesting that he is mentally ill and distancing him from Islamist terrorism. There is an advisory not to be overly concerned about armed police on the streets.

However, the Drudge headline and picture tell a different story:

A check shows what CTSFO on those shields means:
Scotland Yard has created an SAS-style unit of armed officers to counter the threat of a terrorist gun attack in Britain.

The 130 counter-terrorism specialist firearms officers (CTSFOs) who make up the elite unit have been equipped with new weapons and retrained in new tactics, such as fast-roping from helicopters and storming burning buildings to rescue hostages.
The unit has trained alongside the army’s special forces to respond to assaults such as the 2008 attacks in Mumbai and the 2013 Westgate shopping mall attack in Nairobi, which developed into a siege.
Sun has a report.

Their bullet-point summary:

What we know so far about the Russell Square stabbings:

  • A 19-year-old man attacked six people with a knife in central London's Russell Square at around 10.30pm last night
  • A woman in her 60s was killed and another five injured. Two remain in hospital.
  • The attacker has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held at a South London police station.
  • Police confirmed they were not ruling out the incident being terror-related and said they believed mental health was a key factor.
  • Witnesses described the man as having dark skin and appearing to be of African descent.

In short, regardless of calm- the- public announcements, there is significant concern about a heightened risk of terrorist attacks in London. END