How do you build resilient infrastructure in the 21st Century?
One good answer: make it opt-in. It's already happening.
Farmers are doing it with CSA programs. Businesses and artists are doing it with Kickstarter.
We're finding that once you cut out the middleman (Wall Street and Big Box Retail) and connect with customers directly, we end up with much more choice, innovation, quality, and success (the people doing the innovating/making actually get paid, an event that is actually quite rare in this economic system).
Here's a smart spin on this concept that may work.
This little fashion company called Gustin got its start on Kickstarter. Gustin is now using this customer/community supported approach to sell everything.
Here's how it works.
They design something.
They ask the community if they want to fund it.
If a sufficient number of people buy into it, they make it.
Here's some idle thinking for a sunny afternoon at the end of winter.
To access it, let's make a simple assumption that economics, politics, and warfare are all a function of the dominant technological substrate.
A technological substrate is the family of related technologies that we rely upon. In the 20th Century, we were clearly reliant on an industrial substrate.
The challenges posed by industrial age technologies dictated the development of two management forms: bureaucracy and markets. Bureaucracies and markets are both decision making systems. These management forms dominated economics, politics, and warfare for centuries.
Neither system of management is sufficient as a solution for industrial economics, politics, or warfare.
Couple Uses Massive Lottery Payout to Build Community Infrastructure
By John Robb
Here's a great story.
Mark and Cindy Hill, from Dearborn, Missouri, recently won a quarter billion dollar lottery payout. What makes them different from the typically lottery winner is that it doesn't look like they will spontaneously combust due to excessive consumption. Instead, from all accounts, they plan to continue to live modestly and will continue the small town routines that they currently enjoy. As smart as that is, what makes Mark and Cindy really different is that they plan to invest their money in community infrastructure. Here's what they are putting their money into the following:
A new fire station with better highway access.
A ball field for local kids.
A sewer treatment plant.
I liked this story a lot. It got me thinking about what I would community improvements I'd invest in if I had a boatload of extra cash to do so. I'd do things a bit differently than Mark and Cindy. My investments would be in productive, 21st century infrastructure. The type of infrastructure a community needs to have in order to prosper in the future.
What would that include? Here's some of suggestions I've covered recently:
I've got LOTs more. Lots of ways to enable people to do more locally while connecting to the world to find out how. Thing is, it doesn't take winning the lottery to build this infrastructure. Almost everything I've listed is something that can be done relatively inexpensively as a bootstrap. What would be on your list?
Cyber Deterrence against China? The only route left is an Open Source Approach
Is there a way to deter cyber attacks?
Yes. Two ways. One takes a moral high ground.
I won't waste any time discussing that option.
Why? After flame/stuxnet, and the unilateral escalation of the cyberweapons arms race by the US, that option is now closed.
The only option that's left is down and dirty open source warfare.
The key is understanding that large cybercrime networks (more) and significant government black ops programs (less) need government permission to operate at any meaningful scale.
Lots of governments (China, Russia, etc.) see permitting these activities as advantageous. They get economic benefit and they develop/perfect a level of expertise that is potentially useful in the future.