So let’s talk a little about the future and what it could look like. What it WILL look like if our little project finds fertile soil and takes root (and yes – even though I do not know who you are, that you are reading these words, I’m including you in the project – it’s not mine, it’s OURS. If I wanted it only for myself, there would be no reason, and nothing to be gained by writing this blog until such time as I can transfer everything that matters over to the site proper…so again, OUR project!)
One of the earliest changes that members of the network will notice is the end of “planned obsolescence.” There simply won’t be any need for it. Planned obsolescence is an artifact of the current (dollar) economy.
In the system we have now, all production that occurs does so for the prospect of financial gain. This leads to the inevitable consequence of a consumerist society, which in turn, inevitably leads to planned obsolesce. How could it lead anywhere else, really? If you want to KEEP making money in the long term, then it doesn’t make any sense to build a product that lasts forever, because of course, that means you can’t sell as many of it, which is how we got where we are today.
But of course, that’s not the foundation upon which our project is built, and because our foundations are different, our endpoint will be different too.
Much of what we’ll be doing will be open source.
Fablabs will be groups inside Holons that members can choose to join, or not (these groups will likely have membership fees, because that closely mirrors the current model in the dollar economy, and it makes sense, given that the machines and the building that houses them are not free). So…if you want to become a maker…a producer…you join one of these groups. If you don’t, you can still order product from them, but remember – open source, and our model is built on a foundation of acts of service, not profit.
In such a model, it just doesn’t make sense to build cheaply made crap that will be useless in six months or a year. It makes a lot more sense (and is, in fact, a much better act of service) to build products as modularly and customizably as possible, so that the Fabbers and Makers can cater to individual tastes and preference, and build for durability and longevity, and I predict that’s exactly what will happen. We can go all out where artistry is concerned. Our designs can be exquisite, for no other reason than just because we can. Art for art’s sake.
Over time, because most of the designs will be open source, they’ll be improved, tweaked, optimized and perfected, and all this ON TOP of the individualization that the microfactories make possible. When you think about this – it’s really a game changer. A total paradigm shift. How much money does the average person waste, every year, re-buying the latest versions of products they already own, rendered useless after a very sort period of time, BY DESIGN!?
I shudder to even contemplate the number, and that goes away under our new system, which means that people will be able to build or buy true heirloom pieces on every front, and more of their personal resources can be devoted to improving their lives, rather than shoveling their resources to big corporations, just to keep all the plates spinning.
Something to think about, and something to look forward to. 🙂