The RBE10K Project

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RBE10K (R-B-E-10-1000 or /ˈɑrˈbˈ/ /ˈtɛnˈθzənd/) is an primitivist or eco-communalist experiment project seeking to implement the a basic Resource-Based Economic Model (RBEM) system. The experiment is being planned and prepared through this Wiki and other tools since 1st January 2013, and will run for two years, 2015-2016, involving 10,000 volunteers in a yet to-be-determined location, with a main objective of trialling a real world RBEM, i.e. a social arrangement engineered to satisfy premises of sustainability, equality, liberty, health, and access to the necessities of life without using money, trade, or authority or privilege systems.

This wiki is a work in progress, and it is currently in very early stages of development, with little information and almost no planning started. In order to grow and develop, this project requires the participation of interested volunteers to either plan, contribute with information, or intend to be one of the pioneers who will make part of the first experimental RBEM settlement.

Current participants of RBE10K project planning believe that a real-world RBEM system experience, even a primitivist one, will help expand awareness and cause a surge in interest on this lifestyle. Once in execution in 2015, the project includes plans to regularly upload information and videos of day to day life in the community to the project's website, and several social networking services like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, assisting this way with other transition projects like The Venus Project, and collaborating with awareness-raising movements like The Zeitgeist Movement and The Free World Charter.

Contents

Project schedule and timeframe

The project has two stages: 1) planning the settlement, and 2) settling and conducting the social experiment.

The project planning started on 1st January 2013, and aims at finishing by then end of 2014. The settling will occur immediately after, and the social experiment will be conducted for two years.

Participation

This Wiki is the main platform for the engineering of the systems and methodologies that will support the community, and anyone is welcome to participate in one of many ways. The Project is open to the participation of anyone who has an interest, regardless of an intention to live in the experimental community itself. Participating in the project begins by registering as a user of the wiki, either through the normal registration form or using a Facebook account by clicking on the link on the top-right of the page. The current contributors to the project are registered in the RBE10K Project Participants page, and anyone is invited to add themselves to the list. In line with the Project's values of openness, honesty and individuality, we request that each contributor create a personal wiki user page with their own understanding of an RBEM and the objectives sought after through participation in RBE10K. For further information, see the RBE10K Project Participation.

Providing feedback and criticism

Chances are the reader of this page was requested to provide one of the activists with some feedback about our project. Should that be the case, it is important to note that comment of the nature "I think the idea is great", although it may appear to be encouraging, is far from what is needed. The same applies to negative remarks of the likes of "it won't work", even when expressed in all honestly. Rather, the activist requesting for feedback would benefit from insights such as what can be improved, what information could be included, analyses of RBE10K approaches of how it is likely not to work and how it could be corrected, and what assistance the reader may provide or contribute with.

Current project platforms

The project is being primarily managed through this Wiki knowledgebase, and it is being supported by the following technologies:

Project needs

The project has just began its journey, and has many needs. Feedback is very important, as it helps enriching the content with notions from a variety of points of view. Contributors to this Wiki would be highly appreciated! The project also needs being talked about and shared with people who might be interested in participating.

Currently the project needs:

  • Assistance with the Newsletter (In the works! Do you have experience with MailChimp? We need you!) - (further details in RBE10K Project newsletter)
  • A better logo for the project (Do you have experience with graphic design? We need you!) - (further details in RBE10K Project logo)
  • A video explaining the objectives and the benefits of this project (In the works! Do you have experience with video production? We need help!) - (further details in RBE10K Project introduction video)
  • A easy to learn and follow, compelling, and effective method for participation in this wiki (Do you have experience with MediaWiki or as an editor in Wikipedia? We need you!) - (further details in RBE10K Project Participation)
  • Participation in meetings! (Meetings are advertised in our Facebook page. They occur regularly on Thursdays from 7PM to 9PM Sydney Time, presently in Newtown, NSW, or through Google Hangouts, or alternatively Skype) - (further details in RBE10K Project planning meetings)
  • A website for the Project (Do you have experience with website development? We need you!) - (further details in RBE10K Project website)

Features of a RBE10K settlement

The most important feature of a RBE10K settlement is sustainability, as understood from an RBEM point of view, i.e. living in accordance to the carrying capacity of the Earth, in a peaceful, egalitarian, voluntarist, and evidence-based decision-making community. The settlement is expected to consist of 10,000 people to ensure sufficient variety of skills to be fully self-sustainable, and to ensure the social experiment is relevant. The location for the settlement is not yet defined, however it will have to be a place where there is permissiveness by the local governments to perform as intended. The project intends to be not-for-profit and fully self-funded, however the viability of the project may require extra funding, or even the implementation of the project under a company structure. The experiment will go for two years, and it is expected it will renew for subsequent two meanwhile volunteers are still interested in its continuity. The experiment will also attempt at producing a sister experiment at the end of each term, meanwhile there is sustained interest.

Daily life in the settlement will be all but boring. There will be a significative focus in the development of health, fitness, knowledge and skills of each volunteer. The community will aim at producing rich, diverse and high-quality artistic works to be contributed free of charge through online services, including music, films, literature, visual arts. etc. The community will also aim at furthering science, and producing technology such as software, open-source hardware, and educational materials. Other activities will include refining notions of RBEM, developing this wiki for the benefit of subsequent settlements, online media for communicating developments in the community, and daily tasks for the sustenance of the community such as producing food, equipment, doing general maintenance of public spaces, and providing public services such as training, coordination, cleaning, cooking, etc.

Objectives of the RBE10K Project

The RBE10K Project has two main objectives: a) proving that the RBEM is viable, and b) providing a voluntary and realistic transition towards a RBEM.

Planning for the RBE10K Project

The RBEM system can be defined social engineering, i.e. the system is wholly designed as opposed to the emergent result of culture. The success of this project requires careful planning for a great number of things, including:

  • Design and development of resource production/distribution computerised systems
  • Choosing an appropriate clean and sustainable energy production systems
  • Planning for sustainable water harvesting and purifying systems
  • Defining and establishing the production of nutritious food that can be made abundant with little effort or resources

Differences from other projects

The RBE10K Project has unique purposes and strategies. Although many other projects have been attempted with apparently similar goals, the strategies have been significantly different. Even the goals pursued, if analysed carefully, quickly show that the goals are also significantly different. This project differs from The Venus Project mainly in its strategy for implementation, choosing to implement immediately with the resources available as opposed to waiting until the conditions are ripe for involving the governments of the world. It also differs significantly from The Zeitgeist Movement in that it will promote a RBEM from within one (even though a primitivist one), as opposed to from within a monetary market system. There have been and currently exist many communities with sustainability in mind like transition towns, hippy communes, and projects like The Peckham Experiment, however none of these have embraced both social engineering, automation, a non-monetary system, and voluntarism.

Sources of inspiration for this transition approach

The RBE10K Project derives inspiration from a number of projects and movements. The most relevant is of course the work of Jacque Fresco and The Venus Project, and the clarity of Peter Joseph for developing those works and making them accessible and popular. The project is also inspired in the works of Nature through biology and ecology, notions of dynamic equilibrium and systems theory. The project would not be possible without the support of the Free and Open-Source Software (FOSS) community and the hacker ethics, and projects like the Linux and most especially the Wikipedia. Also from commercial companies which provide invaluable zero-cost services such as Google and Facebook. The project also derives inspiration in the creativity of game developers, who allows us to immerse in imagined worlds with other real people (MMOG) such as Runescape. And finally all the many emergent solutions to today's problems like pollution, ecological degradation, poverty, war, injustice, sexism, poor health, mistreatment of animals, etc, which even though individually they're patchwork and miss dealing with the root causes for the problems, they help by raising awareness and stimulating individuals to take action and personal responsibility.

Criticism

Concerns

Advocates and activists of The Venus Project generally emphasise the need for having a concerted, global effort in the explained plan, instead of a multitude of transition styles (one of which would be RBE10K) occurring at various spots in the world. However Jacque Fresco himself proposed a path of action that is very similar to the RBE10K project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RpYkACMMd-0 Also explain that this project is not a full Resource-Based Economy as Jacque Fresco purposes and it isn't a project of The Venus Project.

Advocates and activists with The Zeitgeist Movement generally emphasise the importance of not progressing into transitions just yet, that the best strategy at this time is help raise awareness within our communities in an effort to reach critical mass and act when the time is ripe.

Some of the criticism received includes the following notions:

  • An RBE settlement must not be experiment
  • We need to transition globally to RBE much quicker than 40 years
  • The inclusion of money pollutes the concept of an RBE
  • RBE must be a global initiative, and not a mix of various styles of transition (TVP view)
  • RBE cannot be implemented low-tech
  • If the project doesn't succeed it may cause a negative perception of RBE in the general population
  • It is essential that an RBE city has all the basic comforts people are accustomed to

Addressing concerns

The RBE10K Project intends to address all concerns raised, dealing with conflicts by documenting reasons for each claim and dispute, researching and quantifying the validity for each reason, and arriving at the best possible outcome to maximise the degree of consensus.

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