Facts On The Ground – Building The First Holon

It is not enough to simply talk in theory. I, as the game’s Architect and first citizen, need to be sure these Quests work as advertised. That means testing, and testing means real world application. To that end, while I’m building the system architecture to support global implementation, I’m also going to be putting the various Quests I develop on my own, and the ones we develop together here by kicking ideas around, through their proverbial paces in the real world. That’s what the ten-acre land purchase is for. The building of real world prototypes and systems that will prove the concept, begin establishing Holon-level best practices that can be adopted by others, and find out which of our ideas are in need of refinement before being released into the PtP ecosystem.

Here’s a broad overview of what my initial plans look like.

The first necessary step will, of course, be to secure the land itself. I’m finding 10-12 acre plots in this area for around $15,000 on a regular basis, so that’s my target. I am currently retiring the last of my debts (expenses incurred to get here, and paying off my car), before I can get serious about saving money for that purpose, so that’s step one.

Step one also involves tying the new land into the system’s architecture. This will be accomplished with the Unity 3d development engine, and an add-on package called “Real World Terrains” (already purchased). I simply enter in my GPS coordinates, and the program pulls NASA and Bing maps data (no Google API yet, but I’m hoping that by the time I’m ready, there will be one) to generate a height map. From there, I can create a photo realistic rendering of the actual land, and upload it so that a site visitor can move around on the acreage from the website, just as you do when you navigate terrains on WoW.

As each new prototype gets built, it will be modeled in exacting details, and placed correctly IN the terrain, so virtual visitors can see the work in progress. There will also be info buttons and bubbles that explain where we are with the various projects in the works.

Once the land is in-hand, some advance prep-work will be needed. The property needs to be surveyed to select build sites, a well needs to be sunk, etc., so that’s step two.

As soon as that happens, I need to move from my current rental TO the site. Honestly, I don’t care if I import a shabby little trailer, build a tiny home, or live in a camper – doesn’t really matter, because it won’t be permanent. The main thing will be to GET there (step 3), so I can start saving for a permanent dwelling.

GETTING said permanent dwelling will be step four. Right now, the current, and most cost effective housing solution appears to be a house constructed along the lines of a pole-barn, so yes…I’m gonna be living in a barn. At least I’ll have a snappy comeback if someone asks me if I was raised in one. 😉

As soon as that’s done – storage (step 5). Probably, this will entail building a slab foundation and putting an 8’x40′ shipping container on it. Hard to beat the cost and durability, and it’ll give me plenty of room for the various supplies I’ll be bringing in.

Next up – solar panels. I’ve got a source where I can buy blemished solar panels for fifty cents on the dollar. No loss in capacity, but not “pretty enough” to sell to the general public. Perfect. I’m not pretty either, so we should get along well. Step 6 will be to buy a whole pallet’s worth.

Step 7 – Now, I’ll circle back to the beleaguered PtP core website, and spend some money to a) get it relocated off of Godaddy’s servers, b) get it up and running again, and c) start smoothing out its many rough edges. At the same time, I’ll be RFID tagging the well and each solar panel, so I can begin tracking outputs live, and in real time, on the site. Once this is a reality, I’ll expand that to include more and more subsystems of the house, and any future prototypes that come later.

Step 8 – purchase a complete set of needed tools (sawzal, nail gun, plasma cutter, etc) – going battery powered when possible, and buying extra batteries. Part of the shed’s shelving will be the recharging station. I’m thinking of tagging each battery, and having it upload its current charge to the site, and making that interactive so that visitors can ping me when a battery is on the charger but fully charged, so I’ll know to swap them out if I’m doing something at the time and don’t notice. Real world impacts from digital interactions. To at least that degree, my own actions will be directed by the players. 😉

Step 9 – The FabLab. This will actually be the centerpiece of the whole thing. I’ve created a more detailed post on everything it will include, but the bottom line is that the FabLab, once it is up and running in its first iteration, will be used to build all of the other prototypes, going forward.

Step 10 – Agro Lab 1 – I’ll need a foundation poured and will use the tools in the FabLab to create a greenhouse around the Shelter2.0 plans already here on the site (see the Library). Using my HYNA (High Yield, Natural Agronomy) methods developed earlier, I should be able to grow significant amounts of my own food. If a second greenhouse is needed, it’ll be added later, making improvements based on what I learned from building the first one. The goal here, is to grow most, if not all of my own food in structures that are mostly set and forget.

And that’s the current state of the plan.


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