Once a group of future members decided to form a new nucleus, they have to carefully examine the pragmatic aspects of its creation and functioning. One of the ways to do it is to define the key areas which have to be investigated. They definitely will include the place where the future nucleus would be located, construction of the dwelling space, the size of the area dedicated agriculture and methods used to its production, technology to produce the necessary energy, area for the re-creation of the natural environment. This may become fairly challenging because maybe none from the group know, for example, anything about how to construct a house or develop an efficient and, at the same time, ecological agriculture.
But it is not all. The members of the forming nucleus have to decide how the nucleus would generate the income necessary to cover additional expenses beyond food, lodging, energy, taxes, and, most likely, repayment of loans taken while establishing the nucleus.
Once that is done, the group has to decide who among its members would become responsible for the above-mentioned areas of activity and put it all together in the form of a business plan.
Doing all of that will not be easy. Still, a great learning experience showing that the widespread view that we are incapable of doing anything outside of some narrow domain is fundamentally false. However, saying that some aspects of forming the nucleus, like legal status, may require the assistance of a proper professional.
In the rest of this chapter, I will present some suggestions concerning the issues mentioned above. They are based on internet searching and some on my own personal experience.
Where should the nucleus be located?
The response of the question depends on a lot of factors, among which the most important one is: in what country is it supposed to be established. The further issues range from the local climate and costs of land to laws and regulations, which could be more or less friendly to the creation of new workers cooperatives. For example, in France, cooperatives of many kinds are acceptable for a long time, there even exists a bank Credit Agricole which suppose to be helpful, but it may not be the case elsewhere. Also, since a single nucleus is very vulnerable to external mal forces, it is essential to locate it in a country that has a well-organized legal and police protection. It may be very different when the Wisdom Society reaches the critical mass. Still, instead, we will look at the current reality.
Also, the choice depends on the costs of agricultural land, which varies from country to country and within one state from region to region. For example, in the Netherlands, such expenses are high; according to Google, it ranges to 120,000€ per hectare while in France (except areas around Paris and touristic South), it would come 60,000€ and in Rumania only 20,000€. Please, note that these figures are for orientation only!
Another essential aspect is the presence of underground water. We have to be acutely aware that global reserves of unsalted water are continually shrinking. If this will reach a critical state, the nucleus must be prepared to rely on its own deep well to get it.
The last aspect is the presence of the local building laws, which often protect agricultural land and do not permit the residential building. However, often these laws are adjusted if such a residence building is a part of an agrarian enterprise for people working on the land, particularly if it is a workers cooperative.
Of course, the mentioned above issues do provide full-spectrum of necessary investigation. It would require openness, patience and discernment to combine the vision with minute pragmatics.
Before talking about agriculture, I would like to make a clear statement: the provided ideas about agriculture are only suggestions; the real decisions would require much more research, discussion, etc.. The same applies to all other presented concepts concerning the members’ residence and acquiring the energy, which are discussed in the following sections.
The agriculture methods used in Wisdom Society have to satisfy two requirements: first, it must not be, in any way, be harmful to the ecological environment and second, it must be as efficient as possible.
At present, many ideas on this subject are floating around, such as permaculture or no-tilling agriculture. Though they are environment-friendly, they ignore utilizing the methods based on modern technology, which is often viewed as evil.
The methodology presented here is appropriate for small scale agriculture, satisfying the needs of members of a nucleus. In other words, it is based on the assumption that each nucleus produces a sufficient amount of food for a healthy life, avoiding dietary extremes, that is, respecting the biology of our genetic inheritance.
This methodology will be geared towards minimizing the usage of land and water and preserving and even increasing the quality of the soil. It will be based on utilizing the advantages of the modern, protective environment in the form of long-lasting glass greenhouses and the supply of additional geothermal heat energy. That would enable the dramatic extension of the growing season – for some plants up to three crops a year. Also, it will protect against the invasion of harmful insects and weeds by filtering the air entering a greenhouse. This also minimizes the usage of water. The pollination of the plants which require insects to do it can be accomplished by cultivating inside of the greenhouse bumblebees, which apparently do well in such an environment.
This approach may sound revolutionary and have not been used only on a larger scale. Therefore, I would like to remind the reader that it is only a suggestion that can be modified.
Fertilization and soil enrichment can be accomplished naturally. For example, via the cultivation of alfalfa or clover plants, which has a unique ability to absorb nitrogen from the atmosphere: alfalfa up to 400kg per hectare. After harvesting, those plants can be composted and used as fertilizer.
The diet of nucleus members can additionally be enriched by animal protein derived from eggs of cultivated free-range chicken and milk for goats or sheep, which are more economical than cows. These animals would be kept alive, even when they become less productive until their natural death.
The necessary costs mainly come from the establishment of the production facilities: land, greenhouses and geothermal equipment. In comparison, maintenance costs are minimal, and the labour is supplied by the members of the nucleus.
The precise size of the necessary land requires proper research, which I do not feel qualified to make. However, from mine admittedly “amateurish” research and calculation, I derived to astonishingly small surface around 2 hectares (plus an area for plants used for soil enrichment) per nucleus.
Finally, a remark: while assessing the costs, do not use the prices of glass greenhouses and geothermal heating devices (see the section below) produced in the Western countries: the Chinese Alibaba equivalents are usually much cheaper.
We assume that a nucleus should provide residential space for up to 30 persons, including children, each person having a separate room. Also, there should be provided with an area for communal everyday use: kitchen, dining room and large salle for other activities. A proposed such house is presented on this site in the category: Economy and Structure (see its outline below)
The building should be two storeys to minimize the costs. The bottom floor would provide rooms for the elderly and those who climb the stairs would be too challenging. The building made of wood using the so-called Candain system I with super thick insulation can be close to the passive house principle to minimize the heating/cooling costs. If the members decide to do part of the construction work themselves, what would significantly lower the costs. Working at this kind of construction is very easy, even for people without any previous experience. While living in Canada with 3 of my students and a qualified carpenter who lead the work, we have built a house of 300m2 surface in 3 months!
The nucleus should, as much as possible, rely on generation energy for its own use. The amount and kind of energy may vary depending on the type of residence, the methodology used in agriculture and climate. At present, the natural technologies for acquiring energy are wind turbines, solar panels and geothermal devices. The wind turbines make sense only when used on a large scale, far beyond the needs of a nucleus, while solar panels output depends heavily on the climate. The most stable appears to be geothermic devices which can be used as water to water or generators of electricity. They require minimal maintenance and are relatively inexpensive. They are ideal as the source of additional heat during the cold season for greenhouses.
The additional electric energy nucleus may be forced to buy from conventional national networks. However, the actual decisions can be made only together with others concerning the kind of residence and usage of the greenhouses during the cold season.
Preservation of the natural environment
The nucleus should dedicate an area for preserving and re-creating the natural habitat, which is appropriate for the environment in which it is established. Most likely it will be a forest, but also it may include ponds, lakes, meadows or even swamps. It is imperative since the damages already done, particularly in the agricultural, urban areas and other natural reserves as the Amazon region will not “repair” themselves. It will often require human intervention: planting trees, shrubs, smaller wild plants and populating it with animals, etc.
It also will provide space where the members of the nucleus could be in a close connection with nature, which may be particularly beneficial for children. Many of them are only familiar with the virtual world via their tablets or, at best, lawns in their gardens. It is not an idealistic, tree-hugging dreaming, it is a necessity. Homo Sapiens was genetically adapted to the “wild” environment, and present living in the artificial one is harmful to its physical and mental health. Returning to our innate wisdom cannot be accomplished while ignoring that.
The establishing of a new nucleus most likely will rely on some form of loans, which have to be paid. Also, there would be a need for money to cover a variety of additional expenses such as medical care, closing, transportation, electronic and other household devices, etc. What would be the source of the money will be up to both: the creative wisdom and financial resources of the members of the future nucleus.
The enterprises to generate this additional income should require the small initial costs, that is, avoiding expensive equipment. It could, for example, belong to the domain of informatics, simple gene-editing for the agricultural application using the new, revolutionary CRISPR technology, production of preserved food, etc.
For some, such a suggestion looks outrageous because of the firm belief that they incapable of learning such new skills. It is the result of our modern attitudes which propagate the cult of experts while considering a person without the university education a lesser being. These opinions are utterly false. Spending 33 years of my life as a professor of Computer Science at reputable universities, I witnessed first hand how the vast majority of the material taught there was of no practical value. Particularly now, it is clear that the skills needed for most of the professional activities in informatics have very little to do with university educations.
Now, during the era of the internet, inexpensive electronic books and Google search, one can learn from innumerable sources what one needs. For example, it is sufficient to visit the Syntego site and see what it provides as excellent informational materials on genetic engineering and how to use their products.
In this chapter, there is presented a vision of pragmatics involved with establishing a new nucleus. Its members may or may not like it, and may come up with their own solutions. However, one way or another, it will involve a substantial investment in terms of money and effort. Initially, I tried to assess the required funds but decided to abandon this idea. There are so many variables that trying to come up with an assessment would not be useful. On the contrary, it may be too low what will create illusions of easiness or too high, which may be discouraging. Nevertheless, I would like to stress that such an amount will be substantial, and acquiring it would challenge the creativity and generosity of future members.
The same in a way applies to learn new skills: I cannot suggest how much time or how much aspiration it may require. But again: be prepared for an interesting journey.
As far as learning new skills is concerned, the situation is easier and more difficult at the same time. Easier because it does not need any substantial financial expenses but challenging because it would require consistent effort to break-through our deeply ingrained doubts about our capabilities. However, I cannot suggest how much time or how much aspiration it may need. But unquestionably, be prepared for an interesting journey.