Sometimes it doesn’t take a lot to make the world better. Sometimes it just takes some hardcore DIY:
The work Jakubowski is doing is really interesting. The trick to open-source technology is that it legitimately makes knowledge free. Whereas everyone who owns a farm arguably knows the concept of a tractor, that doesn’t mean they know how to make a good one. With an open-source blueprint, someone who wants a tractor can simply make one—and experts can improve the blueprint.
It’s reminiscent of a guy named William Kamkwamba, who built a windmill to save his family from starvation. The difference is that Kamkwamba is a success story of someone climbing out of the bottom rung. Jakubowski came from a pretty comfortable life, and is doing work to help those people. One could say that Jakubowski is the middle-man between the textbooks Kamkwamba read to design and build his first windmill, and Kamkwamba himself. That is, Jakubowski’s working to make adaptations of technology that are already easy to build, and already made from cheap parts.
Read what I read:
- University of Georgia news article about Kamkwamba
- The Open Source Ecology website. Wiki with some interesting pages, instructions, and projects going on.