George Ure on “Making”

This is NOT going to become a full-time job for me.

In fact, this site was built purely to show my subscribers a different take on the future that arose from my book “The 100-Year Toaster.”

The book, serialized over several months, was the beginnings of a “manifesto” – wherein the most dangerous economic problem of ALL was revealed.

That Problem?

This (way of living on the Earth) cannot persist.

Something’s going to get us – and there’s a race on to figure out what that will be.

There’s a Race Underway

All a matter of which threat will “win” – and take down the brief flash-in-the-pan that was humans.

  • I’m not a climate change fan, since it’s a control and tax-grab scheme, mostly. BUT, we can’t wreck the environment, either.
  • Compound Interest will eventually drive the National Debt to unsustainable levels. The good news, such as it is, is Zimbabwe persisted for a while with trillionaires all over the place. (Of course, the money could buy nothing of value…)
  • Resource depletion is being held at bay thanks to Fracking. Good technology (as long as you don’t mind a lot of earthquakes…) But, one of these days, a “Big One” will be along.
  • Soil depletion…air pollution….runaway antibiotics in the foodchain…GMO’s… hell, you know the list – I don’t need to tell you.

The real challenge is what do we do about it.

As I was writing my latest book (“The 100-Year Toaster”) the last few chapters came into view.

It’s this website.

It’s about doing the single-most important thing we can all do: Begin to unplug from the Old Paradigm of mass consumption and excessive financialization. And put something new in its place.

How do we evolve a new system, from within the old one?

Traditionally, the way it’s been done is by a very few people controlling most of the resources. People had to comply with the wishes of the Overclass.

There has emerged, in part from the prepper movement, the homesteading, organic gardening, and now the Maker Movement, a consortium of technologies and “ways of living” that – once properly harnessed – will be able to wrestle control back to humans and away from what we call the bankster class.

You see, it’s all about who really ADDS VALUE to this world. Financialization has long-past that point.

Excessive financialization is, sadly, unquestioned in the world. When someone sets about to “make money” is that really an “honest value-add?” Is charging of interest and compounding on poor adding any honest value?

To its credit, in Islam there is a prohibition on charging interest. Business is based on buy-sell price spreads, and then equal payments on that.

Compounding interest on money (debts) eventually beggars the debtors to the point of Default. Which is a root-cause of business cycles.

Fortunately, we do not need to become a theocracy and we do not have to renounce interest all at once. There is a path toward widely dispersed local manufacturing.

Imagine waking up one day, deciding you need a new kitchen item. Let’s say a can opener.

The current paradigm says you can either put it on your shopping list (driving to the store, an option that takes both time, money, and burns gas and wears out your car), or you can order online.

Which is the key insight that has made Jeff Bezos ultra-rich: Key knew instinctively that people understand time is money. Which is the genius of? Amazon, of course.

But we see a New Business Model coming. One where you go online and order a product. But now, instead of the product arriving in the mail, most of the product arrives instantly. The product downloads onto your computer as one, maybe two .STL files.

That’s short for stereo lithography. From the earliest days of plastic prototyping of new products. Where several lasers were fired into a “goo” of plastic – and where they congealed, due to the local “hot spot” that become the new product.

Back to our order: You order a can opener, download the .STL file instantly, and put it into your 3D printer which will over some hours, locally print your product.

But wait! What about the metal parts?”

Those arrive via U.S. Mail, the very next day. Since the parts are designed to fit perfectly into your can opener, assembly is complete in seconds.

Now, compare this with the Old Paradigm of can openers. When a Can Opener Company begins operation, they design a can opener, which then is sent to China, or elsewhere in Asia because that’s the lowest labor-cost place to “make can openers.

From manufacturing, and since the sales channel of all these Chinese-made can openers is not known in advance – now we get into packaging of products.

That takes trees, energy, chain saws in the woods, energy to make cardboard, and then chemicals to print all neat and fancy so the can opener will eventually “sell” to an end user.

What’s more, because of crime along the supply chain to end user, there may be a plastic “clamshell” involved to cover-up the can opener or make it big enough to discourage shoplifting.

We can skill the discussion of ocean freight, the impact of land and sea cargo, multi-modal rail terminals, and trips to stores. Stocking shelves? Who needs it.

Amazon is already the largest operator of “robotics” in America. And frankly, dispersed in-home manufacturing doesn’t really care if you’re buying a 2.2 pound roll of PLA plastic filament for Making your own can opener, or the can opener itself.

Your expected cost for a can opener, though, could be down in the $1.00 range for a device which could compete with the $9-dollar (retail) price.

That’s because of how the Old Paradigm makes money off “things.”

There is a “bill of materials” (BOM) worked up in manufacturing. That’s not just the can opener body, and the two-bits worth of metal. It’s that plus the packaging, plus the shipping, plus the clamshell, plus transportation, plus duties and tariffs, and stocking, and…..

By the time all’s said and done, the BOM is multiplied by 2-1/3 to 4 times and that’s what the consumer pays presently.

Up for a revolution?

Here…let me email you an adjustable LED light for your desk.

The .STL file for the light and, because I’m an upscale designer guy, you set a second .STL to feed into one other machine: A small PCB router.

When the rest of the light shows up in the mail (tomorrow) you will simply solder in the LEDs, a few components on the circuit boards, and solder-in the A.C. plug. For a cost of, let’s imagine $6-dollars, shall we? – you’ll get a desk lamp that today would cost $15 to $18-dollars online.

Oh… and since you keep several rolls of PLA plastic in your “Making Room” have you decided on a color yet?

You do know PLA plastic filament that glows in the dark is available, too, don’t you? Makes finding the light easier for us Old Folks.

More to come, but this is the first blog post, the first page entry (Business Model of the Future).

Thanks to subscribers for helping us beat the future.

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