By Paul Collier, Editor
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12:2
Welcome to this special installment of the Hope Exit series as we pause to take a high-altitude overview of our reality of power by looking at some key emerging technologies that can equip small-scale free associations to build their own stewarded versions of sustainable flourishing.
We are going to look at a few key emerging technologies that cover a number of our basic needs, including communications, food, and self-defense. We have yet to look at healthcare (that’s coming up next), but we’ll dip our toe in that need as well in this high-altitude overview.
We will begin our installment by looking at a high-level need that touches all other needs, research and development (R&D). It is a core need that is currently almost exclusively in the hands of the Egyptians (sticking with our Exodus-themed series), the powers that be that seek to keep us dependent on the products and services that come from that R&D.
Next, we will focus on a crucial element of effective, secured R&D: digital communication.
In order to get to the development part of our research, we need to be able to manufacture our ideas, so we will look at the emerging tech in 3D printing. Finally, we will take a peek at vertical farming, which could provide our medical, food, and even manufacturing resources.
In these times, the mind is being constantly bombarded with agit prop, shock and awe conditioning designed to cripple your renewing imagination. The first step to becoming an emerging tech steward is to not walk in the fear they want you to be governed by. The world as it is need not continue to be as it is, and the future need not be defined by the elite few who currently believe that future is inevitable. It is not. Technology is on your side if you can possess it for yourself. And the powers that be know this, which is why they are moving so aggressively to cripple our imaginations and our free associations.
A. R&D DEVELOPMENT
“The same day, Pharaoh commanded the taskmasters of the people and their foremen, ‘You shall no longer give the people straw to make bricks, as in the past; let them go and gather straw for themselves. But the number of bricks that they made in the past you shall impose on them, you shall by no means reduce it, for they are idle. Therefore they cry, “Let us go and offer sacrifice to our God.” Let heavier work be laid on the men that they may labor at it and pay no regard to lying words.’” – Exodus 5:6-9
Before the Israelites exited Egypt, the Egyptians appeared to do everything they could to incentivize them to want to leave. First, they made them slaves; then they sought to put technological impediments up to ensure that they would have reason to further “punish” them when they failed to meet the quota.
While we here in America cannot exactly say that we are slaves, certainly not in the sense that the Israelites were, we are becoming increasingly limited in our ability to live lives of our own choosing, which is moving us more and more toward the type of slavery the Israelites experienced.
Not only that, but our ability to meet our needs is being artificially hampered by the leaders on top preventing us from fully maximizing the technologies that exist today. They do this by limiting access to their platforms if we don’t tow the party line, making the use of technologies illegal (like making home gun manufacturing illegal), and through Intellectual Property laws that conceal technologies behind IP firewalls.
ED NOTE: Not all IP laws are oppressive, especially ones that stop forms of identity theft (such as claiming a celebrity endorsed your product when they didn’t or using another company’s logo as your own). In a future issue of FIA, we will probably have a report on the complex issues surrounding IP that oppresses versus IP that protects.
1. MY NOVUSNOW CONCEPT – Back in the early Ots, I was the publisher and editor of an online weekly journal called Freedom Through Autonomous Living (FTAL). I wrote about emerging technologies that could equip people to be “autonomous,” a word I wouldn’t wish to use now. Back then, I was much more comfortable with the idea of becoming a self-contained, sustainable island. Years later, my assumptions have changed; I now believe that in order for me to build a hope exit, I will need to build it with others. I will need a community, not a castle (though it would be great to have a castle inside a community).
I should have figured that out even back then, because at that same time I had another idea I called Novusnow (New Now). I shared that idea in my publication and even built up a sizeable Yahoo group of the same name. The idea behind Novusnow was to form a Research and Development test community funded by an association of “intentional communities,” communities that are purpose-created for people wishing to live out their beliefs with others who wish to do the same. I call them free association communities today.
What I realized back then is that many of the most advanced technologies that could be used to build autonomy (what I call sustainable flourishing today) cannot be used to build our own stuff because their IP belongs to a corporation. Today, it’s even worse. Not only could you be sued for using technology that is similar to ones behind IP firewalls; IP trolls, or patent trolls, are also likely to sue you, people who file all the lawsuits they can, banking on a small few settling just to get them off their back.
A blurb I recently wrote for freedomist.news highlights how IP can be abused and why it is a favorite tool for tyrants to exploit:
Chairman Mike Gallagher (R-WI) is raising a warning flag to the American people about the ongoing threat to our agricultural IP that the Chinese Communist Party represents. He is starting a hearing intended to expose the extent of the theft and ongoing threat.
He stated, “Our country is filled with invisible factories and invisible farms – those that would have been built or planted here if we’d chosen to protect American technology and resources. Both the Trump and Biden administrations have oriented U.S. strategy around ‘competing’ with the Chinese Communist Party. But we’re not ‘competing’ if we’re letting the CCP steal hundreds of billions of dollars from Americans – we’re throwing the game from the outset.”
Seed engineering is one of the most significant IPs the CCP is stealing from American farmers.
What we who wish to live free-associative and sustainably flourishing lives need are our own technologies, our own IPs, that can be freely used by anyone who is part of our research and development association, which I called Novusnow. This was to be the name of the organization that would build a test community to develop sustainably flourishing technologies and test them in the real world.
The community would offer training to members who could then take that knowledge to their own communities, to be duplicated and customized according to the particular needs of that community. So much of the ability of the powers that be to continue to control the many with the few depends on their control of IP. This is, in part, why Open-Source technologies have developed, in recognition of not wishing to be dependent on a few mega-corporations for our technological development.
There’s a lot more behind the Novusnow idea, but I think I have covered the core basics that should help you understand the overall concept: to develop a team of researchers, manufacturers, and testers that is funded by communities that are then able to use these technologies freely themselves, a research and development department for a confederation of sustainably flourishing communities.
2. OPEN-SOURCE AI – The Open-Source movement is largely populated with leftists, for the right has failed to understand that “democratizing technology” should be a conservative value. Leftists only democratize until they control, then they close the door behind them. This writer has little doubt that the open-source leftists of today will be the corporate gatekeepers of tomorrow if those corporations are fully reflective of their leftist values.
AI is being used to race through potential technological patterning so corporations can patent as many potential new technologies as possible, so if we don’t use it to develop our own non-corporatized IPs, there won’t be any left. Thankfully, the open-source market offers us an opportunity to build some of the tools that can get our research and development venture off the ground.
Whatever you feel about AI, I am here to tell you that it is a technology you should embrace, so long as that technology isn’t behind an IP firewall owned by the metaphorical Egyptians. Fortunately, there are already options available.
AI is short for Artificial Intelligence, but when you think of it as augmented intelligence, as this writer does, then perhaps it won’t seem as intimidating as it is to some probably reading this right now. AI as a sustainably flourishing tool is not going to be the governor of our governing algorithms, but it will accelerate our ability to develop and test emerging technologies that can equip us to begin our Hope Exit.
Here is one open-source IP software tool as described by GoodFirms:
TensorFlow is an open-source artificial intelligence software that helps you develop and train Machine learning models. It presents the library for high-performance numerical computation. Across a variety of platforms (CPUs, GPUs, TPUs), this free AI software allows easy deployment of computation due to its flexible architecture.
With this software, you can accomplish the power of data in your business by building advanced predictive modeling applications. This software makes use of data flow graphs to build models. In perception, understanding, prediction, creation, and classification, you can make use of this software.
These tools can be our source of augmenting our intelligence, accelerating the development process exponentially. A core group of researchers who can master the AI tools within the context of their particular research field will get our venture started. Thankfully, we will have plenty of open-source alternatives to experiment with.
B. DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS
In order for us to be able to coordinate our efforts with one another, we will need to be able to digitally communicate with one another effectively and securely. It might be the first step taken by our Novusnow group (or whatever something along that line might be called).
1. THE AFRICA EXAMPLE – The Council on Foreign Relations of all places has a report called “Technologies of Freedom Enabling Democracy in America.” It details how the rise of authoritarianism in Africa is not succeeding in shutting down its citizens’ desires to freely digitally communicate:
In response to internet censorship by governments across the continent, Africans have resorted to using technologies of freedom, tools such as virtual private networks (VPNs) that allow them to access social media platforms, messenger apps, news websites, popular blogs, and other blocked content online. Oftentimes, users download these tools directly from websites and app stores…
… people have come up with creative methods for sharing VPNs, which, in addition to allowing users to access blocked content, also allow them to circumvent bandwidth throttling. For instance, in Cameroon, people that I interviewed used Bluetooth, USBs, and Xender, a mobile app that allows users to share files without using the internet, to share VPNs that they had downloaded prior to government efforts to slow down internet speeds. The spread of these VPNs in turn enabled access to content that would otherwise be inaccessible.
… even when censors blocked Facebook and WhatsApp in Northwest and Southwest Cameroon, or created an extensive list of over fifty prohibited communication platforms in Uganda, they invariably neglected to block platforms that they weren’t aware of.
2. DNS ENCRYPTION – An emerging technology called DNS encryption promises to “restore your privacy by making it impossible for anything other than the DNS resolver to read and respond to your queries. You still have to trust the resolver you send your requests to, but the eavesdroppers are out in the cold.”
This technology could be used on a limited network that is only accessible by certified and confirmed members, such as could be needed by our Novusnow group.
3. PASSWORDLESS AUTHENTICATION – This technology replaces passwords that can be hacked with biometrics that cannot be hacked. I have passwordless authentication to access some of the apps I use. There are some caveats to using biometrics, and certainly where the state is in control, more caveats than benefits.
4. ONION NETWORKING – Some might already know that the version of the internet called Tor is short for “the onion router.” Onion routers are essentially routers that can create an anonymizing computer network. Tor has limited use today, but some believe the technology behind it could revolutionize “democratized” Internet
According to security evangelist Alec Muffett, we are overlooking a very important aspect of this technology, though. Muffett was previously a security engineer at Facebook, where he was responsible for putting the social network on Tor. Speaking to David Ruiz on a recent Malwarebytes Lock and Code podcast, he explained how he sees Tor as “a brand new networking stack for the Internet” that can “guarantee integrity, and privacy, and unblockability of communication.”
5. HOMOMORPHIC ENCRYPTION – The principles behind this emerging technology are far beyond my technological acumen, but in layman’s terms, Homomorphic encryption allows you to view an encrypted message without having to ever actually decrypt it. This means that even if you receive an encrypted message, you won’t have access to how that message is encrypted, so you can’t use that information to decrypt more information than the user wanted you to see.
Now that we have created our empire of Augmented Intelligence tools and developed our effective, secured digital network to communicate with one another, we need to turn our ideas into physical reality. We are only going to touch on a few examples of emerging 3D-Printing (or additive manufacturing), the primary technology that will enable us to be self-manufacturers.
1. 3D-PRINTED HOMES – I am a strong advocate for using compressed earth bricks to build homes, or even some form of rammed earth. With walls that are one-foot thick and made of compressed earth, extended family homes can have a high level of soundproofing that helps a larger number of people stay together in closed spaces. They also withstand natural disasters in general a lot better than traditional-built stick-frame homes. Finally, they eliminate or reduce the amount of energy needed to heat and cool the home.
But building these homes can be labor intensive. This is where 3D Printing comes in. Initially, 3D printed homes were limited in the materials that could be used, but already 3D printers that can build homes can use a wide variety of materials to do so, including earth. As a matter of fact, the trend is to develop 3D Home printers that are capable of exploiting the local resources, especially resources available right where you want to build your home. One such printer uses sawdust to build homes.
The Zebra lists some of the advantages of 3D home construction (as they call it):
Speed: Often, it doesn’t even take 24 hours to build a small 3D-printed home, although this build-out is typically done in waves rather than all at once.
Cost: 3D-printed homes are surprisingly cheap to create, running around $10,000 on average today. 3D-printed home leader ICON hopes these homes are even more affordable in the future, with a projected goal of reducing builds down to $4,000. Once plumbing, electrical, and other additional construction is added, the final housing cost is around $140,000 to $160,000 on average today.
Versatility: Rather than having to enlist the help of an architect, homebuyers can use 3D technology to customize their home shape and build in the blueprint phase without a hefty price tag.
Sustainability: 3D-home construction boasts a shorter supply chain and less waste due to over-engineering. This reduction in process and waste makes these homes more eco-friendly.
Let me add this one, for it relates to our imagined project, our Novusnow project. 3D home construction will enable us to build more test homes within rigid experimental parameters using fewer human hands.
2. SELF-DEFENSE – In our self-defense installment of the Hope Exit series, we covered 3D-printed guns. Here, we are looking at community-scale self-defense tools, with UAVs (unmanned autonomous vehicles) being at the top of that list; UAVs for land, sea, and air, for patrolling, and for defending.
If you’re following the war in Ukraine, you know how important drone warfare is becoming. It continues to be a rapidly developing element of the battlefield of the 21st century. 3D printing is a key part of sustaining the manufacturing of UAVs, especially for small-scale groups defending themselves against large-scale attackers.
Drones will, in this writer’s opinion, get smaller and smaller. The U.S. Department of Defense is hoping to get a leg up on this emerging technology. They have created a swarm of 3D-printed micro-UAVs. These drones are micro-jet-fighters. The drones had to be effective and 3D printable. Strategic Capabilities Office (SCO) created the first prototypes with a budget of $20 million. Called Perdix drones, they’re designed to be released from fighter jets.
The U.S. Army is working on creating 3D Printers that use as many local resources as possible to build drones on demand. Instead of shipping drones, you ship a few 3D printers that can use a lot of the indigenous resources to manufacture drones on-site, as needed.
From 3Dprint.com: … with the advent of some impressive and innovative unmanned aircraft systems, Army researchers are showing a new level of commitment in their exploration of 3D printing.
At the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiments (AEWE) in Fort Benning, GA, from December 1-3, engineers from the Army Research Laboratory were invited by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command to launch their new 3D-printed unmanned aircraft.
“We’ve created a process for converting Soldier mission needs into a 3D printed On-Demand Small Unmanned Aircraft System, or ODSUAS, as we’ve been calling it,” said Eric Spero, team leader and project manager.
3. ELECTRONICS – 3D-Printing is becoming increasingly more complex, able to print more complete products, including and especially electronic ones. Part of the increasing effectiveness of 3D-Printing UAVs is the ability of 3D electronic printing to create whole complex electronic products or major components that are easy to assemble together.
From sculpteo.com: Electronic components production can now be thought of in terms of 3D design and not only 2D, with new ways of stacking the circuits. It opens new possibilities to design for electronics, that are new to explore! Customization is becoming a big asset while using additive manufacturing for the creation of your products: you can create parts perfectly adapted to a circuit board or any electronic device. 3D printing can be used to create personalized electronic enclosures, USB stick cases, and keyboards, for example.
4. MEDICAL – In the next installment of the Hope Exit series, we will be going into more detail about 3D printing medicines on-demand. The technology is emerging, but is already being used by some hospitals.
From ucl.ac.uk: Medicines can be printed in seven seconds in a new 3D-printing technique that could enable rapid on-site production of medicines, reports a UCL-led research team… scientists have developed a new vat polymerisation technique that prints the entire object all at once, reducing the printing speed from multiple minutes to just seven to 17 seconds (depending on the resin composition selected). This works by shining multiple images of the object viewed at different angles, onto the resin. The amount of light shone gradually accumulates, until it reaches a point at which polymerisation occurs. By adjusting the intensity of light at different angles and overlaps, all points of the 3D object in the resin can reach this threshold at the same time, causing the entire 3D object to solidify simultaneously.
D. VERTICAL FARMING
This technology is one that can tie a lot of our other emerging technologies together. Back in those early Ots, my publication, Freedom Through Autonomous Living, extensively covered the development of vertical farming. This is indoor farming, usually hydroponics-based, that happens in multi-story structures.
My dream at the time was the creation of what I then called Farm Towers (a term I still like) that could be used for food, creating raw materials for printing products, and even for creating medicines. I envisioned a day when our medical institutions will have farm towers that can create a majority of the raw materials needed to 3D print medicines on demand. I also envisioned farm towers that would be used by manufacturing centers that were building the types of products that could be made with plant-based materials. What was fantasy then is increasingly becoming real already.
This technology right now is more promising than it is cost-effective, but it has already come a long way in a short period of time. Our Novusnow group can surely develop better versions of vertical farming that will make it the potential self-manufacturing game changer I long envisioned it could be.
The World Economic Forum is a strong advocate for vertical farming, but they want to patent their designs and limit our ability to create our own farm towers (they call them vertical farms; I’m sticking with farm towers).
One of the most cost-effective types of Farm Towers right now would be growing “pharmaceutical crops.” They are already being created.
There are two scenarios I see unfolding for our future. The first one is the one where we freedom-and-liberty-minded folks don’t find one another and start creating flourishing communities of our own. In that scenario, we own nothing, we rent everything, and everything we could possibly create or possess would be considered intellectual property.
Already, seeds are now patented, meaning the future of food production could be locked behind IP firewalls, limiting our ability (or ending it altogether) to grow our own food, something the powers that be do not wish us to do. IP is the removal of straw from our bricks to prevent us from meeting our quota so our slave masters can punish us all the more.
If the powers that be were ever freedom-and-liberty minded, they could have long ago empowered people across the globe to become locally sustainably flourishing. The technologies are already there to equip all of us to be able to design, develop, create, service, and repair our own products and services with little need to interact with the large-scale monoliths that currently dominate those need-fulfilments today.
If we can find one another and begin to build with one another, if we can develop the shared IP that we can freely use, there is little the powers that be can do to hold on to the monopolistic advantages they currently hold.
I am betting on the belief that at least 40 percent of humans fundamentally want to be self-stewarded individuals, and when the outside world continues to choke off our paths to self-stewardship, we will learn to hack the system and bypass it altogether. Myanmar was taken over by a military oligarchy, but without the will of the people to follow them, the oligarchy is failing to consolidate power in large part because the technology is on the side of the small-scale. Now more than ever before, authority cannot control lands by force that don’t want to be controlled.
The powers that be know this, and they have been working overtime to keep you in fear and confusion, afraid of the monsters they either invent or create. Renew your mind with the possibility that, as the opening of Six Million Dollar Man says, “we have the technology, we can rebuild (her),” with her being our American republic.
DNS Encryption Explained – Cloudflare
How to Access .onion Sites (Also Known as Tor Hidden Servies) – How-To-Geek
Liberation Technology – Larry Diamond
Vertical Farming – How To Start Vertical Farms At Home – diys.com