A few days ago at lunch my friend asked me what science experiment I would perform if I could choose anything at all. My response was this: What would happen if everyone on Earth was focused on the exact same thought and feeling – at the same exact time. Would the physical world change – even if for a moment? We laughed, but realized this may very well be possible really soon. Everyone on Earth will have a smartphone in the coming years, so a simultaneously experienced video broadcast could really happen – and achieve this experiment. The next day we happened to watch Disney’s newest movie Tomorrowland. This scenario doesn’t happen in the movie, but the premise of a reality created by our imagination is certainly nothing new to Disney. No spoilers ahead.
Tomorrowland, like many other science fiction futuristic films, shows our current day as the end of times. It was good to see the topic of the future approached in such an entertaining way, while still broaching the big issues of our time. The emphasis on a future filled with incredible technology is not so far fetched considering the incredible changes upon us. The latest special effects are spectacular and fresh, but the storyline of “believing” is in the bones of Disney. Most of their movies seem to have very similar premises: the archetypical bad guys or world threatening crisis beat by the underdog powered by truth, heart, and courage.
The big take away from Tomorrowland is that the future is in our hands. This may seem like hot air, and not seem like anything profound or special at all. We all know this. We are independent, self willed and in control of our destiny. We are free and at the pinnacle of progress. Our technology will come to the rescue and science will be our savior. But if this is the case, then why are conditions getting increasingly worse for earth’s health, and seriously threatening life for future generations. All the while there appears to be many well funded organizations and powerful governments tackling the problems. yet the headlines keep getting more disturbing with each passing day.
What will the land of tomorrow really be like? Will some fantastical story unfold like we see in Disney’s latest sci-fi adventure. Is the world of a better tomorrow just a fantasy – or to be molded by our own hands? This is the important question this latest movie poses. It is nothing new to ponder these macro matters, but perhaps the time has come to dream up solutions. Walt Disney famously said, “If you can dream it you can do it.” He also said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Disney has done what it does best, and has framed the solution in fantasy. It is up to us to remove it from the realm of fantasy and truly “believe”.
It seems everything is getting disrupted these days with clever apps and new business models that harness the new digital landscape. Cheaper taxis and multitudes of ways to communicate are nice, but the status quo has yet to be shaken to it’s core. Bitcoin offers a monetary disruption, and a significant second is housing. Buying and maintaining our boxes seems to be a lifelong endeavor. We don’t believe it has to be. A little scratch of the head reveals there are lots of alternatives emerging that could end the 30 year mortgage, a paper chain commitment most folks still consider the American dream.
We’ve been pursuing a new way to build a solid inexpensive home now for nearly 2 years. At the dawn of our first prototype we got a wonderful surprise. Power is one of the biggest challenges we’ve faced on our road to a new self sustainable housing model. You’ll see our current power cell design uses old lead battery technology packed in recycling bins. Multiple units with heavy batteries are needed in our first power source plan. Everything just changed now that the new and exciting home battery was just announced by none other than Tesla.
Jeff Evanson, Tesla’s investor relations director notably revealed that CEO Elon Musk believes rivals’ batteries “suck”. So starting last year testing began with SolarCity customers in 230 houses in California, and 100 out of the state. Early reports said the battery will cost $13,000 and would be installed 1.5 feet off the ground and need about a foot of space around the perimeter. The April 30th announcement revealed a 6 inch thick wall mounted battery that is a real good looker that comes in different colors too! The cost is an affordable $3,500 for a 10kWh unit and a cheaper $3,000 version with a 7kWh capacity. Solar power is ideally stored in this beautiful clean and quiet milestone to the future.
The new battery will be available for home and large scale needs, and is capable of being controlled via smartphone or web applications, Charging happens via solar, the grid, or generators, and can feed power back to the grid. Initial beta users are reporting making $10 – $12 a month selling power back to the utility company. Now that is a nice reversal of roles. This wonderful new Tesla home battery is a perfect companion to power our portable and completely self sustainable dome homes.
The future is certainly upon us, and it is looking pretty good right about now. With changes happening so quickly, it seems our initial dreams of disrupting housing are getting closer to reality with each passing month. It seems the world is ready for the big solutions and we are excited to offer our contributions. We look forward to building our first prototype dome home powered with Tesla batteries. Soon a truly free and independent dome home community will sprout and show a clear path off the grid. The solutions are already here, we just have to reach out and grab them.
Dome Home with Tesla Battery
BEFORE: Lead Acid Batteries
I can still remember my first day of philosophy class. It was a lecture about how logic had been stripped from the educational curriculum, and the reason why the world had run amuck. The points of the lecture were valid, yet there were no resolutions in reality. So I concluded the teacher was jaded and over thinking things. Lately it’s been getting more clear that there is certainly a void of rationale and reason that is drifting the world into dangerous waters. Using logic may be a real solution now. It is possible that the underlying premises that spew our daily headlines, can be rewritten with the emergence of real time data, the internet of things, and everyone on Earth watching and interacting online.
If technology does what it could, then we we will enter an era where logic and reason reign. Much of computing power comes from the boolean – where everything ultimately ends up as a 0 or 1 representing variations of True and False. “Boolean algebra has been fundamental in the development of digital electronics, and is provided for in all modern programming languages. It is also used in set theory and statistics.” – Wikipedia. This most basic of mathematical methods to determine truth could readily be applied towards constructing a better structure for our future.
There are many ways booleans are used, most simply it’s defined: AND: True & True; OR: True & False; and NOT: False & False. Many mathematical compositions can be built from here, but at it’s core it boils down to Conjunction (and), Disjunction (or), and Negation (not). Using web applications to assess what is best for earth has never been available like it is now, with the rapidly evolving technology and ever growing human data. The processing power and information are now here. We are not talking about a computer taking over our lives, but rather using the information and insight from real time connections and assessments, to make decisions with logical discernment. The era of politics and power have left much to be desired, and hopefully will soon be relics of the past.
The world situation gets more clear now that we are increasingly connected with constant communication and online sharing. About 2 billion people are online now. What happens when the other 5 billion come online and voice their vote. It is planned for everyone on earth to be online by 2020 or so. Online access now is only about 28% in Asia, 15% in Africa, 43% in Latin America, and 40% in the Middle East. Things could get interesting as real time interactions become ubiquitous. How will this technology be used? There has never been a time in history like now. We can correct our past errors or further entrench them. A digital renaissance is upon us. Will logic and reason prevail?
In memory of Leonard Nimoy. Rest in Peace.
Why go round instead of square? For starters take a look at how nature designs everything. The movement and momentum of life happens on a platform based on the circle. There aren’t really any straight lines or squares in the growth of life and movement of the heavens. So why do we build most everything using squares or straight lines? We don’t live in MineCraft, so we may want to explore the world of circles and natural ratios to build our future homes and products. Here are just a few very good reasons why this makes sense.
The geo dome structures weigh less when completed because of the air-mass inside the dome. When it’s heated warmer than the outside air, it has a net lifting effect -like a hot-air balloon. This is almost unnoticeable in smaller structures, like houses, but as geodesics are based upon spheres, the effect increases geometrically with size. So you’d be able to notice it in a sports stadium, and a sphere more than a half mile in diameter would be able to float in the air with only a 1 degree Fahrenheit difference in temperature.
“The Geodesic Dome is, simply stated, the strongest, lightest and most efficient means of enclosing space yet devised.” American Institute of Architects. This says it all, but here are some more reasons. Geodesic domes use about a third less building materials for some substantial savings. The primary factor affecting efficient use of materials and energy in a structure is its shape. Think of a soap bubble. A sphere represents the smallest amount of material surface area needed to enclose a given volume of space. A divided sphere becomes one of the most efficient shapes known to enclose a given floor area.
The lower the total outside surface area (walls and ceilings) the greater the efficiency in energy use for heating and cooling. A dome has approximately one-third less surface area to the outside than a box-style structure. The amount of surface area exposed to the elements has a much greater impact on energy efficiency than insulation values. Efficient airflow inside a dome adds to the energy savings further; the curved surface of a dome provides a natural circulation of internal air. Outside the dome, the round shape provides an aerodynamic effect; so wind passes over the dome with less resistance. In comparison, a box-style structure provides a flat barrier to wind, creating positive wind pressure and suction. Ever notice how a door will slam shut when a door to the outside is left open, or air blows in from under a closed door?
The nature of the spherical design provides strength because the stress is shared evenly by all the points of the structure. The dome shape allows resistance to movement from earthquakes, high winds, and spreads stress from snow load evenly throughout the structure. The geometry of the triangle offers additional strength to the dome shape. Interior advantages of the dome include greater freedom of floor plan design, high ceilings, and even light, heat, and sound distribution. Domes display superior light characteristics as spherical shapes tend to amplify light while rectangular shapes tend to trap light. Acoustical advantages include more even sound distribution and less outside noise infiltration.
Most interesting and important are recent studies that show that the full spectrum of energy waves are available in the center of a dome. In a box, the energy waves are blocked. Thus the saying, “I feel like I am boxed in…” We seem to know instinctually and feel physically the comfort of being inside a dome. The importance of the natural energy waves all around us is just beginning to be understood. Lastly, let’s not forget they are simply good looking and cool.
Do you remember the days of typewriters and TV antennas? These were great technologies for their time, but are relics of history now – and largely unknown. The developments of the last few decades have certainly changed the world rapidly. It is safe to say that the technologies and methods we use today will soon become history as well. Now we have the quickly growing development of affordable machines and printers that create objects. Your imagination is the limit. We believe today’s emerging technologies will help bring back our dependance on each other instead of the current set up where banks and insurance companies are in charge of our homes and security. The ability to print your own home is here now. We are currently creating the first prototypes of a geodesic dome home kit cut with a ShopBot, using the most common 2×4 lumber and plywood.
For the majority of human existence (pre-civilization), humans have lived together in daily cooperation and communication. This is the story we would like to build our foundation upon – what we believe is the true human story – before the grid. This story involves minds and souls freed up to live, communicate, and create everyday. The tools and technologies at hand allow us to continuously improve on the design and building of our homes as well as most anything else we may need. Our plan includes the use of modern technologies to form a self sustaining housing system that has human needs at the center of every design, material, and construction method. Human’s cooperating, building, and playing together is the basis of a true community. We will leverage all the latest technologies and tools to demonstrate that this is a potential alternate reality.
This is not a plan for building new grids that separate us into boxes to endlessly compete with each other under a veil of scarcity. This same premise permeated the recently cancelled Fox show Utopia that was billed as the largest social experience ever. They attempted a utopia with characters abiding by the same principles and attitudes that define our current system – but severe our natural inclinations to help and support each other. Fox made sure that the most “diverse” types were cast for optimum “reality”. It turned out to be a good example of the fears and anxieties that govern and separate us – but especially the desperate desire to transcend them. We look to create a Utopia based on a completely different script that cuts out the middle man.
We are putting our efforts into starting a new type of community that is fundamentally different from the foundations of the grid system. We are approaching this venture embracing all the technologies and information available today. Thus we are building a community where anyone can create anything they need with the help of 3D Printers, ShopBots, open source software, and the collective creativity and coherence of everyone in the circle. We are now printing the first geodesic dome home which will be completely self sustaining and designed with humans and life as the focus – and a better way of living together as the goal.
My first computer class was learning DOS. It stands for Disk Operating System and was the dominating PC platform until about the year 2000. It is a simple logical language that transformed into the super computing power we have today. All graphics were very square. Even circles were jagged. Pre internet computers had all sorts of useful programs and some neat games too. But today we have supercomputers in our pocket with internet, limitless social connection, and real life games. A computer’s processor, memory, and hard drive work in the same way our brain’s cortices communicate. Our brain – powered with the heart as a power supply – is the ultimate super computer. This begs the question: What program are we running on it?
We spend our lives stuffing the brain with endless facts and images that program the brain just like any software. It happens our entire lives, from the day we are born until the day we die. We have short term memory that is like Random Access Memory (RAM), an important part of processing in a computer – and the brain too. If you don’t clear your RAM cache regularly – your computer will indeed crash eventually. We put great emphasis on memorization, counting, and categorizing, but how about clearing our cache? It seems some are starting to crash considering the daily headlines of the “new normal”.
What are these facts, figures, and beliefs? Science says they are not a reflection of what is real – on the contrary – what is real is a reflection of our collective display. What we display is bound within the boundaries of our software programs. Our education is a program of sorts for sure. Forget the past science, social studies, and economics classes – they are like DOS running and limiting a supercomputer. So what can we do? It is impossible to unplug from the main frame of society – right? This feeling of inevitability is an intrical part of the program we run on today – a virus that has attached to our supercomputer.
This virus is absolutely necessary to maintain the manifestation of the grid system we live in and support daily with our feelings, actions, and the words we give breath. The understanding and discernment of the fact that we are not just observers – but creators, can affect everyone and everything. If our program didn’t tell us we had to abide by the history of the world, that people are greedy and violent – we might create a world where we use our supercomputer to build a new platform that works on an open source transparent model. Let’s call it Life 2.0.
We regularly run programs to calm our spirit and give us hope. These are the music, movies, and art of life. It is time for more: Life 2.0 is a new improved operating system built with the latest features that take advantage of our awesome processor and wireless capabilities. Yes – we have a wireless modem too! In Life 2.0 we get out of the boxes we “live” in and enjoy the full range of wireless service available in a geodesic dome. If you feel like you are in a box and want out – join us.