Tuesday, September 27, 2005


A little bit off track here but bear with me I can see an idea forming...

Two items of interest jumped out at me today;

  1. Personal Fabrication or Fab Labs
  2. Micro Grids
Personal fabrication in the practice of everyday people solving everyday problems with low to high tech solutions. The idea of everyone on the planet being a creator and not merely a consumer is a great way of seeing the world. MIT are all over this at the moment and are sponsoring personal Fab Labs in many places. I love the idea of tracking your sheep via GPS :)

The second item, Micro Grids, also inspires me with future visions of small, self sufficient communities doing their thing and maybe even selling back to the national grid. This has been happening in a limited way for many years. A good example is Wood Green Animal Shelters, Godmanchester. They invested in a wind turbine and run their operation at a fraction of the cost, they have also been able to sell over supply back to Powergen.

The two concepts butt together very nicely, people maybe even fabricating their own Micro Grid components to power their ongoing fabrications.

So where does this tie in to the usual observations made here? Well community is the basis for both Micro Grid and Fab Lab. Fab Labs solve local problems locally sure, but do we think that they are the only people facing that issue. I'm sure that many remote sheep farmers have the same problems of lost sheep.

So take the idea inside a community that I am a member of, or can easily find. Syndication led me to the idea, why not lead someone who can get value from it.

The current trend of individualism that is running through society today is very exciting. Blogging was the leading edge, telling the world that you are there!! Now we evolve to using technology in clever ways, maybe not intended at design time (similar to the way people are using the Internet for commentary and photo sharing, not the original use)

Where will it lead us, certainly a lot more self autonomy, a far cry from the speaking houses of olde. But where is the ultimate destination? Micro Nations maybe.

1 comment:

Paul Jardine said...

I can see a time in the not very distant future where every mobile device has it's own http server, publishing information and/or creations of the owners.
The community comes into this, as the audience for publication is not 'the world' - this is why the internet needs so much search technology - but the community.
I see control being exercised by individuals and community, rather than states and regulators.
How relevant will a nation be in 20-30 years?? (there are obviously issues, such as land ownership)