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The Nexus

November 10, 2014

Most production happens in factories and workshops, either here or overseas. Some processes, such as smelting iron, just take facilities not practical to replicate in every AO. Division of labor happens here, and likely a few production cycles can be subverted.

This doesn’t change that a fair amount of delicate work, and skill building training will need a local location with the proper equipment. Restrictions on travel and trade could likely also prevent much besides some raw materials from being transported. A hackerspace/makerspace/fablab is a good place to work around these limitations and provide discrete customization. While some might nitpick on the meanings, the similarities prevent it from being effective. The labs and spaces are intended to bring together little people who might not otherwise be able to afford some of the equipment used, and sometimes expertise. Some are organized in networks, and will have standards that might prevent working on certain projects, others won’t. They will also work on a variety of topics, gardening and other seemingly esoteric subjects might be covered.

Almost everyone here is probably working on PT, and training with guns and hopefully medicine and radio. While radio can fall under electronics, most likely you’ll find your group lacking in some skills you want need. Your group doesn’t necessarily need to have members with those skills, but be allied with groups that do. A good source for this is the local hackerspace. A militia or other group can provide protection in times of trouble for the nerds at the hackerspace, in return getting skills and manufacturing capabilities otherwise unavailable. If you don’t have one in your area, starting one is a good idea, and sometimes a second one won’t hurt if it’s far enough away from the original.

Keep in mind part of the goal is to interact with non-prepper/patriot types. They’ll likely be excited by new people with new projects, but sanity, as they say, is in the eye of the beholder. Aside from the usual gentle stuff, “I’m gonna protect you from the zombies and you’re gonna work” can wait until after the collapse.

Some links:

http://hackerspaces.org/wiki/List_of_Hacker_Spaces

http://spaces.makerspace.com/

http://fab.cba.mit.edu/

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7 Comments
  1. Reblogged this on Starvin Larry and commented:
    More on shadow engineering…

  2. You might want to check out these guys — http://opensourceecology.org/wiki/Global_Village_Construction_Set There are synergies with some of your proposals.

    At some point the winning strategy is not how fast one can tear a place down but how fast one can build a place up.

    • It looks like they’ve done a lot more since last time I checked them out. As I recall, I decided that while they were doing good work, they weren’t interested in some of the technologies I was looking at. My eventual goal is to fill out the abilities of 3D printers, metal, electronics, microchips for the most part, and work on the ability to produce the feedstocks for those systems. Once all that is in play, people like them can take over and show the world what we can do when there are no more limits to what can be made. –Spaces are a key part of that, since large amounts of it are not going to be affordable by most people to just stick in their garage or attic.

  3. Boon Vickerson is out there permalink

    There was a time back in the 80’s up in Newengland when old factory building space was dirt cheap. A few people set up craft co-ops, the usual, pottery, leathersmiths, wood workers, etc. Most where artsy fartsy kind of gigs. Something like a machine shop, or electronics shop was looked upon with disdain as it wasn’t considered a “craft”.
    But the idea was sound I think if it was orientated towards making a living by providing practical goods and services people use in their daily lives. A building or complex with various trades and associated services could create its own industrial environment.
    Real estate, and taxes, is a big hurdle as it is terribly overvalued in regards being a productive member of society who produces something tangible. Especially in higher population areas.

    None the less, the idea has much merit and the potential of mutually beneficial concentration of like minded productive people and crafts may well be something that’s time has come. Local local local. Grass roots.

    • A concept I’ve had that I think has a lot of merit is a “microindustrial” space–just a few hundred feet, nothing fancy, but it’s wired for 220, solid concrete floors, maybe central compressed air instead of your own compressor, for less than a thousand a month. A small shop could set up without breaking the bank, or a hobbyist could set up outside of the garage. You might include some warehouse area you can rent for a bit more, but by the pallet, not by the square foot. Ideally you’d also have a small fab lab with a few larger or specialized machines to allow for more capability if needed on occasion. It’d be perfect for me right now, I have a couple of robots I want to flip, but I’m having trouble finding anything around here for less than 2500 a month. Don’t need that much space either, and probably only need it for a month or two right now anyway, doesn’t seem to be a huge market for used robots right now.

  4. Check out “TechShop”. http://www.techshop.ws/index.html They are a membership makerspace with several locations around the country, and more on the way. They are well equipped, and offer training and other support with whatever you need to complete your project.

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