Re: [ox-en] more on RepRap
- From: Stefan Merten <smerten oekonux.de>
- Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2005 08:52:27 +0200
3 months (112 days) ago magius wrote:
This is really interesting. For the record: RepRap stands for
*Rep*licating *Rap*id Prototyper.
There are two things I find most interesting. The first is the lack of
connection to the Free Software experience. I read the comments in the
links above and in none of them Free Software is mentioned as an
example. It would be great if this changes.
The second is the lack of economic / labor theory involved in here.
I'll expand on this a bit here.
From the citation in
This prompts the intriguing idea that it should be possible to
design an RP machine that is capable of making nearly all its own
component parts. Such a machine would have a number of novel
characteristics. For example, it does not matter how much the first
machine costs. The second and all subsequent machines will only cost
as much as their raw materials and their assembly.
Well, what are raw materials after all? Indeed, IMHO there is very
little you can really call *raw* materials. For instance all the
material found in the ground needs a certain amount of human labor to
dig them, process them, transform them and so on. Probably pure air is
the only real raw material which can be used without any further human
So the assembly and the raw materials mentioned above are basically
the same: human labor. The only difference is that in the "raw
material" the human labor is crystallized while in the assembly you
see it in its fluid form.
In capitalism crystallized labor and crystallizing labor is the basis
of everything. Money is nothing else than a representation of
crystallized labor. Capitalist modernization is nothing else than
replacing fluid labor (aka work done by workers) by crystallized labor
(aka work done by machines).
In capitalism money is the means to organize this whole process on the
basis of exchange. This makes it possible that individual pieces of
work are combined afterwards and so make sense on a societal level.
Looking at it this way I can not see what is so special in the RepRap
project. It is a next step in replacing liquid labor by crystallized
labor. This is, however, what we see all the time.
The difference to the standard capitalist model is that it tries to be
autonomous. After all self-replicating is the most extreme form of
autonomy. Though I can see that this is a tantalizing idea for many
people - which might be seen as a value in itself - I wonder whether
this is something we should wish for from an Oekonux perspective.
The level of productive interaction in society developed by capitalism
is something to be kept and not reversed. Well, even for the RepRap
the more important stuff is the digital knowhow in the plans. This is
something which the project seems to see as a resource which can and
shall be developed on a societal level. But where is the point in for
instance not using standard chips just for the sake of
self-replicating? I can't see any.
The point Christof Beaupoil made on Oekonux and the Oekonux
conferences that many things can be build from 99% standard parts I
for one find more intriguing.
Mit Freien Grüßen
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