Lifestyle is equivalent with personal culture, which is one instance of a culture. People with lifestyles that deviate from the surrounding culture of any known group in a large degree can be said to have a “unique culture”: just as unique as the culture of an ethnic group, for example.

Now the problem with having a unique personal culture is interoperability with other people: you will be a foreigner to them though you share their origin. However, if you have been intelligent enough to develop your own culture, you can also develop a social “compatibility mode”, which means talking and behaving with automated translation between their culture and yours. However, you will still not get rid of the impression that this is quite a lonely way of being, except if you find people who developed their own off-center personal culture in a direction that has sufficient overlap with yours, so that you can know each other without compatibility mode …

I know what I’m talking about. My personal culture differs quite widely from that of others in these areas: personal accomodation; my job; nutrition; theology; knowledge management; software environment; personal equipment; language use. And also music, poetry, gaming and movies, if you count my total non-interest in these topics as a cultural attribute of its own.

Browsing the Internet, I had an idea.

There are currently prototypes of “3D printers for printing houses“. As an extension to this, and especially interesting for the developing world: how about a robot that can autonomously dig a house underground, consuming just water and electricity and needing nothing in addition to build the full house? It would be able to create no-cost housing anywhere.

Here is how:

The digbot / underground 3D mill will use a water jet cutter for cutting the soil, maybe photovoltaics for electric energy, and be totally autonomous, controlled by a CAD drawing. It will harvest stones from the cutting area, cut them with the water jet also, and use them to build the walls and ceiling (employing a vault for stability). It should be a self-moving tracked vehicle. It should also be able to carry the cut-off material to the outside itself, or this should be delegated to another self-moving tracked robot.

The underground facilities produced that way can be living space in developmnet countries; in many parts of Africa, no inner anti-groundwater equipment is necessary, as the groundwater level is below 30m; else, a waterproof full inner plastic sealing, insulation and pump is the simplest form. The bot also should be able to create its own abrasive for water jet cutting from hard stones it finds, and to create sand etc. from the stones for mixing concrete, and to apply the concrete for connecting stones (only if necessary) and for creating some. It is no problem if the bots operate quite slow, as it is an unattended, unmanned build process.

The first step to realize this invention would be a tunnel-cutting robot, which can be a shield-shaped one using sprayed concrete and transporting the cut-off stuff on a band conveyor, and receiving concrete, abrasive, electricity etc. likewise in tubes.

Oh, by the way: here are some prices for used water jet cutters.

It is a problem that humanity knows only very few facts about God for sure. Some things from natural theology, like that there must be a God. But even if we accept historical knowledge about Christianity as reliable enough to accept it as facts, there are not so many facts. Because one needs to keep away from non-sober, speculative interpretations of the Bible that are employed in most sermons; see also my post on that: “Get sober, Christian fellows“.

This situation is far away from both knowing something factually in detail (as in natural science) and from knowing somebody personally in detail (as in relationships). Not quite satisfying, huh?

The Internet contains a subculture for everything imaginable. Here is the Fabber subculture. This is especially cool that such a thing exists, as I envisioned something in that direction, esp. also for EarthOS. Here it is: the culture of creating your products yourself.

They have, so far:

  • the public inventory list for the “official” MIT fab lab specification
  • the FabCentral tools list for fab labs
  • the Makerbot, a fully open source plastic 3D printer to build yourself, backed by a company
  • the Bits from Bytes RepMan V3.1, an affordable, high-quality 3D printer for building yourself (based on RepRap Darwin principles)
  • the Bits from Bytes BFB 3000, the first fully assembled 3D printer for under  GBP 2000 (based on RepRap Darwin principles, but improved, and seemingly not that “open” as Makerbot / RepRap Mendel etc.)
  • the RepRap project, aiming at creating a self-replicating 3D printer machine, can also be built at home
  • the Fab@Home project, also an open source 3D printing (and also robocasting) project; currently, mainly printing with silicone, either direct objects from that or molds for filling in Epoxy
  • the Machines that Make project from the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms; I especially like the “fab in a box” project, which is close to the fab lab concept I have in mind
  • upcoming lower-cost commerical 3D printers, like the HP Designjet 3D printer for 13,000 EUR
  • the Thingiverse, which is like the Fabber’s SourceForge, containing downloadable data for products to mill, lathe or 3D print, tool descriptions, supplier registration for products etc.; one can already find hundreds of geometry files to download to make ones own products. Nice examples:
  • open source 3D modeling software like Art of Illusion
  • the Mobile fab lab, kind of what I want for my A-2 equipment
  • a first fab lab in Germany, open to everybody
  • FabAcademy, something like the online university for digital fabrication (as of 2010-04, they offer self-accredited certificates and diplomas, but no officially accredited Bachelor or Master yet)
  • YouTube videos on the fab lab
  • MIT index of more material on the fab lab

Some background knowledge from Wikipedia:

Ok, and what do I want to do with this stuff when I have my own fab lab? Research, how to use it. What to do with it. Make my own things. Design my Equipment System so that many things of it can be made in the fab lab. And: check if development countries can profit from fab labs. There, transportation and logistics is a big problem, so making all the parts instantly in place when demanded would be a solution. I imagine a hackerspace in Africa where people help themselves to build everything up. Inspirations:

The printed plastic parts can even be re-used to make new ones. This would be about adding the intelligence of a fab lab to local materials, to create wealth out of nothing, in an autarchic community. It would include working with stone in a 3 axis CNC mill, or even on a CNC angle grinder for cutting stone. I currently have a draft for such a machine in my TEQ4 Equipment System notes, which can create CNC-cut, LEGO brick style stones to build houses and many other structures from. Very durable stuff, made from cost-free material that just lies around!

Something happened today that has not happened for a long, long time since I know the Internet. I was seriously bedazzled. Totally speechless. I read through complex scientific texts for hours, understanding less than half, and still wondered if all this is just a big fat joke.

Fact is, I found a blog of a guy who claims to have done nuclear fusion at his home … a star in a jar, including a 200 million degree plasma. And now he attempts to build a fusion reactor, at home. And there are several other hobbyists, approx. 24 worlwide [source], who also achieved nuclear fusion at home. I have read about home-made electron microscopes etc., and that would not be stunning to me any more … but nuclear fusion? This is so awfully crazy … hope he succeeds with the reactor 🙂

See for yourself:

Yesterday I met a guy from church who suffered a stroke in his thirties. More precisely, two strokes. He has no problems of this remaining, none at all. This is strange, because it is  unlikely, though not impossible. So this could be a “live miracle”.

It was hard to believe that this guy had suffered stroke at all, him standing before me and joking and talking and walking as he ever did. And here is the lesson from it: miracles are not necessarily visible. The absence of lasting injury can also be a miracle. And also, miracles are not necessarily emotionally accessible; as in this case, where emotions are unchanges from meeting him the last time, as the situation is seemingly unchanged. Emotions react to situational / senseable changes, but in “invisible” miracles, there are no such changes.

Why is there no such thing as a Nobel Prize of Theology? It would be granted for major advancements in theology … .

The most prominent reason is probably that we have no well-accepted epistemology how to arrive at new knowledge in theology. People have different hypotheses (= different religions), claiming them to be true due to some revelation. But what we need is a way to test them against reality. Otherwise, theology would be about opinions only, and the war of opinions. Like flame wars in Internet forums, but nothing well-founded.

While it seems relatively simple to test, say, Hinduism and Paganism against our (Western) concept of reality (multiple millions of gods are prohibited by Occam’s razor) … how to test Christianity and Islam against reality?

Probably, history (as historical science) would help. But as with any non-empiric science, preconceptions are a great danger here. The historical-critical method of theology is full of them, and so are the interpretations of history and the Bible by believers. We would need a “sober”, scientific interpretation of history that excludes the influence of preconceptions by some sort of method …