Hackerspaces.org hosts a map and a list to help people zero in on locations near them. By visiting the websites of existing spaces, one can get a feel of how easy it is to start one of their own. A “makerspace” or “hackerspace” can simply be a room with a table for people to meet, bring their own tools, and collaborate on projects of all kinds. Over time, a collection of tools and equipment can be kept on location and more advanced projects can be pursued.
DIYbio.org likewise lists community labs where basic skills in genetics are taught and projects can be pursued in a safe and well-equipped environment.
There is also a network of “Fabrication Laboratories,” or FabLab for short. These are similar to hackerspaces, open to the public, are generally associated with Dr. Neil Gershenfeld’s MIT Fab Lab project and are well equipped with somewhat more expensive and capable pieces of manufacturing equipment.
And while it may seem like an insignificant act to gather together and work on small projects, a well developed local “maker” infrastructure can yield big results. More established spaces, like NYC Resistor, have turned out small businesses, or have helped augment existing local businesses.
Regardless, it is essential that we start walking in the right direction, no matter how small the steps may be, regardless of how far in the wrong direction we’ve gone. Collectively it will make a difference when people begin putting their time, energy, and resources into developing local solutions and becoming independent, technically competent producers rather than needy, hopelessly dependent consumers running forever on the corporate-financiers’ “political treadmills.”
When we start turning off the “debate” and turning on our soldering irons, our tractor, our power tools, our lathes, mills, 3D printers, and welding torches, we can stop hoping for a better world to be delivered to us tomorrow, and start building one ourselves today.
Dangers – the DARPA Vacuum.
A conscious pragmatic movement, as well informed as it is technically competent, pursuing post-scarcity and the reduction of disparity, elitism, insidiously imposed social engineering, and economic interdependency has little to fear as it moves forward. However, as the paradigm stands now – there lacks any clear vision for the future, or situational awareness of the present.
Makerspaces, hackerspaces, community labs, and open source collaborations of all varieties run the risk of being subtly manipulated, compartmentalized, and tasked for diabolical endeavors the individual participants could hardly fathom. Such a scheme was in fact announced by DARPA in a Wired article titled, “Pentagon’s New Factory: Your DNA” which stated:
A recent call for research by the Pentagon’s mad science agency proposes a new program called “Living Foundries.” The idea is to use biology as a manufacturing platform to “enable on-demand production of new and high-value materials, devices and capabilities.”
In other words, let’s engineer life to make stuff we want.
To jumpstart the process, Darpa wants to open the playing field to people from outside the biological sciences, recruiting designers, engineers, manufacturers, computer scientists, academics and anyone else who has an idea. By democratizing the biological design and manufacturing process, they hope to speed up the development of a reliable factory for all sorts of kind-of-living things.
Wired, which has increasingly become a clearinghouse for Pentagon propaganda aimed at “geek” culture – and even hosts corporate-financier funded Brookings Institution “fellows” as contributors, attempts to make DARPA’s plans sound exciting and fun. In reality, DARPA is assembling an arsenal of biotechnology constructed of various individual parts contributed by participants who have no idea what they are involved in or the bigger picture they are helping to shape. These will be biotechnological implements only DARPA understands the true configuration and characteristics of, and implements DARPA and its affiliates alone can wield at will.
This DARPA vacuum has been assimilating the best and brightest the world has to offer in a similar manner across many disciplines, assembling a vast wealth of knowledge and technology to be mixed and matched behind the veil of secrecy. It is a good bet that all these technologies are being used for a handful of specific, unknown objectives, and that cover stories provided by publications like Wired are solely for public consumption. The atomic bomb was assembled in a similar compartmentalized fashion, but at a closed-off facility run top-to-bottom by the US Government. In this new model, entire segments of the population are compartmentalized to fulfill certain objectives, with the final product assembled behind closed doors by DARPA scientists.
Being aware of this potential danger is essential. And the sorts of implements DARPA may already either possess or be working on should give the masses added incentive to become actively involved in stripping the technological-intellectual monopolies being cultivated by the global elite. It is important to get involved locally, but be aware of things unfolding globally. We must remember that by getting organized, having an acute situational awareness, and working pragmatically has given the global elite the immense power they now possess. It will take the masses getting organized, having a collective, acute situational awareness, and working pragmatically to take that power back.