I’m curious who, if anyone, is developing knowledge, tools, or plans for bootstrapping industrial civilization after a disaster? We might think of this as turning the book The Knowledge into a practical program. Or we might think of it as something like ALLFED, but applied toward the resilience of industrial civilization in general, going beyond resilience of the food supply.
Possible projects might include ideas proposed in Lewis Dartnell’s 2015 article “Out of the Ashes” for rebooting without fossil fuels. Or developing low-tech solar panels or other tech for generating electricity, for storing it, for converting it into hydrogen/methane/hydrocarbons—requiring only widely-available materials and low-tech tools. More generally, what is a robust tech tree and plan for recovery? Can we build prototypes and test the plan?
The premise of this question is that there ought to be an organization like this. I’d also be interested in thoughts on the value of such an org, and ideas on what kind of existing org or people might incubate one.
ALLFED also works on resilience (or at least recovery) of industrial civilization, such as here and here.
Thanks for these pointers! I’m glad to see ALLFED’s work in resilience/recovery of industrial civilization.
I’m curious whether ALLFED has interest or plans to expand into practical work on non-food needs—building prototypes, testing ideas, etc. (Please don’t take this as criticism—I know there’s a lot to do and we need to prioritize.) Are we mainly limited by people, by funding, by ideas, by organization, or by something else?
As an example of practical work, one of your links refers to Open Source Ecology, which is working toward prototypes of low-dependency machines—though their vision seems to also include other philosophy that goes beyond a recovery strategy.
So far, we have been mostly leveraging other people’s experiments. But once we find the holes, with additional funding, we do want to do more experimental work. Since that nonfood need paper was published, we have started a project on seeing if it is feasible to build a lot of wood gasifiers in a catastrophe, which were used to convert gasoline/petrol/diesel vehicles to wood power in World War II. Indeed, Open Source Ecology has looked into wood gasification, but they are not really focused on the scenario of global catastrophe.
Illumine Lingao aka Morning Star of Lingao, is a Chinese time travel novel.
In the story, more than 500 people from early-21st-century China intentionally travel back in time to the late Ming dynasty in 1628 AD. Settling in Lingao County on the island of Hainan, the time travelers set out to establish an industrialized society and change the course of history.
The work is crowd-authored by hundreds of netizens and praised for its realistic depictions of how to bootstap an industrial civilization from scratch.
Relatedly, there’s the 1632 series by Eric Flint and others.
I wasn’t able to find a translation (there was one reddit post but the link was timed out) or even a pdf/purchase link in Chinese to plug into google translate. Any chance you have a link?
Here is the link to the book hosted on a Chinese website, with further links to the chapters. I had a poor experience reading on that website but unfortunately I was unable to find a more pleasant one.