I invite the Sci-fi geeks who like to imagine how the future might look like check out Open Source Ecology.
It follows the premise I first heard about from Warhammer 40k. As humanity spread out into the stars, they used easily self-sustaining tech to quickly bring themselves at TL6-8 level and able to maintain that TL indefinitely because of Idiot proof ways to make the necessary tools and idiot proof way to keep everything running as efficiently as possible.
I personally want to contribute, particularly in the tractor project. Like any GM who had done their agricultural studies from Medieval Historical RPGs, I'm quite aware of the drawbacks and economies of how animal based labor works and how technology (from TL5 industrial age to present modern age TL8) compares and improves on it.
I think the Open source engineers can really make a case when you can make a "business plan" for the tractor. A plan of how the tractor (or microtractor) can quickly make its return-on-investment. Other than accomplishing the task of a Carabao/Waterbuffalo, a tractor can help create roads, remap the village, it can plow: new irrigation, ponds, rain catchers, water reservoirs, canals, create dykes, etc. It can possibly move building materials (to be combined with the brick maker to create many sturdier structures for storage and other uses), or small houses (like the Nipa Huts of farmers).
Each project for the tractor and the open source tech is insight to what goes on in a self sustaining community of the future and the same time exercising a mental puzzle of value generating work for a very basic community like the one these tools are meant for.
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