Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies






The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States. Please give as you are able, and help support our work for a brighter future.


Search the IEET
Subscribe and Contribute to:


Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
Quick overview of biopolitical points of view




whats new at ieet

Debunking the 5 Most Common Meditation Myths

Condoms are So Hundred Years Ago: Why Better Birth Control for Men Would Be Better for Everyone

US Congress Wants Religious Experts to Weigh in on Three-Parent IVF

Stoicism in the Post-Singularity Future

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation - Creating Mystical States in the Temporal Lobe

B. J. Murphy - New IEET Affiliate Scholar


ieet books

The Future of Business
Author
Ed. Rohit Talwar


comments

StevenUmbrello on 'Existential Risks – my shortlist ranging from conventional to bizarre' (Jul 2, 2015)

Alexey Turchin on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 2, 2015)

spud100 on 'Existential Risks – my shortlist ranging from conventional to bizarre' (Jul 2, 2015)

spud100 on 'How to Survive the End of the Universe' (Jul 2, 2015)

spud100 on 'Technological Unemployment and Personal Well-being: Does Work Make Us Happy?' (Jul 2, 2015)

Rick Searle on 'Is Pope Francis the World’s Most Powerful Transhumanist?' (Jul 2, 2015)

John Danaher on 'Technological Unemployment and Personal Well-being: Does Work Make Us Happy?' (Jul 2, 2015)







Subscribe to IEET News Lists

Daily News Feed

Longevity Dividend List

Catastrophic Risks List

Biopolitics of Popular Culture List

Technoprogressive List

Trans-Spirit List



JET

Enframing the Flesh: Heidegger, Transhumanism, and the Body as “Standing Reserve”

Moral Enhancement and Political Realism

Intelligent Technologies and Lost Life

Hottest Articles of the Last Month


Universal Basic Income—The Foundation of a Technically Advanced Society
Jun 15, 2015
(46296) Hits
(6) Comments

Should Politicians be Replaced by Artificial Intelligence? Interview with Mark Waser
Jun 12, 2015
(18846) Hits
(3) Comments

Will Artificial Intelligence be a Buddha? Is Fear of AI just a symptom of Human Self-Loathing?
Jun 17, 2015
(11057) Hits
(5) Comments

Atheism in Zambia - skeptical, rational thought in a very superstitious country
Jun 23, 2015
(10027) Hits
(0) Comments



IEET > Security > Eco-gov > Rights > Economic > Vision > Technoprogressivism > Interns > Edward Miller

Print Email permalink (0) Comments (4271) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


Applied Social Ecology


Edward Miller
By Edward Miller
Embrace Unity

Posted: Feb 3, 2009

Social Ecology is a philosophy which states that environmental, social, and economic problems all have the same root: namely, the way people treat each other. By this same logic, if we can establish new structures and norms by which to operate, we can alleviate many of these problems.

There are a few different ways to apply this in the real world. One way is to build communities which seek harmonious relationships between people and the environment. Based on similar thinking, thousands of “intentional communities” have sprung up. These include everything from eco-villages to religious communes to survivalist enclaves. There are even some more tech-based communities such as CyborgSociety.
Ecology of Freedom

Now, each of these communities believes that their mode of interacting with one another is the most sustainable and desirable, and perhaps there is room for all of these communities. Live and let live. Decentralized communities have a distinct advantage when it comes to resiliency. Much less information is needed to govern a small community than a large one, and having multiple models functioning simultaneously ensures all of our eggs aren’t in one basket. Nevertheless, it would be instructive to examine what a truly sustainable community would look like.

In the name of resiliency, clearly there must be some attention to self-sufficiency. Now, insular autarkies are notoriously unstable, but so are economies that are completely dependent upon foreign trade for basic necessities. The ideal situation is clearly somewhere in the middle between those extremes. What we need is largely self-sufficient communities which are at harmony with nature and engage in voluntary trade with neighbors.

This same way of living could be applied by individuals or families operating within the community, to further decentralize production. If individuals, including urbanites, were given the tools for automated growing of food and simple manufacturing, imagine the potential for automatic wealth generation. Not to mention the environmental benefits of local production.

RepRap is dedicated to building open source desktop fabrication machines which can make the majority of its own parts using local materials such as fermented organic matter. Their version 1.0, codenamed “Darwin,” is a working proof-of-concept, and version 2.0 is already in the works. As such machines become more mature and more efficient at self-replication, it could soon eliminate the necessity of wage labor for survival.

Using such techniques, communities are already forming. Factor e Farm is dedicated to building such communities for all sorts of productive purposes. They have already set up one self-sufficient community using alternative energy and processed rainwater, and they are interested in building many more decentralized communities with a high quality of life. On their website, they claim, “This quality of life is based on efficient operation, plus 100% voluntary lifestyle, based on transcendence of material constraints. When resource constraints become a non-issue through wise choice of technology, skill, and open source knowledge-enabled flexible production systems for self-sufficiency - then freedom and human creativity are unleashed.”

What is especially inspiring is the potential this has for eliminating poverty. As they say, give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he can eat for the rest of his life. As the tools for local production continue to drop in price, we can likely enter into a post-scarcity world. As we speak, there is already more than enough food being produced to feed everyone on the planet. The problem is the logistics of distributing it to everyone. Capitalism as it is currently practiced distributes in an unequal fashion, and no matter how much philanthropy we do, it is not feasible to ship resources to remote regions. What we can do is provide the tools for people to produce locally.

We are just now witnessing the beginning of what is surely going to be a huge wave of self-sufficient communities, enabled by the new modes of production made possible by the Internet and communications technologies. The prospects for this are enormous for everyone, but especially those in poorest and most dependent places on Earth.


Edward Miller, a former intern of the IEET, is the Chief Information Officer of the Network for Open Scientific Innovation. He is a passionate advocate of Open Source development models. His blog, EmbraceUnity, deals with democracy, humanism, and sustainable development.
Print Email permalink (0) Comments (4272) Hits •  subscribe Share on facebook Stumble This submit to reddit submit to digg


COMMENTS


YOUR COMMENT (IEET's comment policy)

Login or Register to post a comment.

Next entry: Review of The Medicalization of Cyberspace

Previous entry: Welcome to New Intern Parijata Mackey

HOME | ABOUT | FELLOWS | STAFF | EVENTS | SUPPORT  | CONTACT US
SECURING THE FUTURE | LONGER HEALTHIER LIFE | RIGHTS OF THE PERSON | ENVISIONING THE FUTURE
CYBORG BUDDHA PROJECT | AFRICAN FUTURES PROJECT | JOURNAL OF EVOLUTION AND TECHNOLOGY

RSSIEET Blog | email list | newsletter |
The IEET is a 501(c)3 non-profit, tax-exempt organization registered in the State of Connecticut in the United States.

Contact: Executive Director, Dr. James J. Hughes,
56 Daleville School Rd., Willington CT 06279 USA 
Email: director @ ieet.org     phone: 860-297-2376