Archive for jamz

Tiny Houses

Posted in Conceptual Art, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2012 by javedbabar

There was a huge earthquake in India and lakhs – hundreds of thousands – were homeless. Reading the report upset Sami. People were begging for clean water, food and shelter, and with the monsoon approaching they were likely to be washed out.

One of Guru Baba’s projects was disaster relief. Though Sami was now working as the 3D Unit’s manager rather than Guru Baba’s assistant, he was still on the books as a volunteer. He received a call at lunchtime.

“Hello Sami. My name is Raja. We haven’t met, but Guru Baba asked me to call you. I am his new assistant. He said you could help us with disaster relief.”

Sami put down his NFC sandwich. Whoever thought of putting fried chicken between bread was a genius. Northern Fried Chicken was so good, and to think that his previous girlfriend had wanted him to share her vegan raw food diet. No way, chook!

“Yes, of course. What can I do for you?”

“I am not sure really. Guru Baba wondered how your trials were going with large-format 3D printers. He said you were looking at modular construction systems.”

Ah! Thought Sami. He’s on the ball, still. Always thinking ahead and beyond. “I haven’t made much progress yet. There’s been a rush of prototyping projects this summer for fall production and Christmas sale. I may have time next week to continue trials.”

Sami knew people were in trouble. He wasn’t saying he couldn’t do anything, he was saying he couldn’t do anything right now. “Are you suggesting we make stuff here and ship it over? That would be really expensive, and take a month or more.”

“Hang on, let me ask him. I’ll call you back.”

He called again in five minutes. “Guru Baba says he doesn’t want production, he only wants prototyping. He wants you to provide low-tech blueprints for the printer and perform experiments on efficient material usage. Find the cheapest materials and stretch them. Can you please look into that?”

Sami said, “Okay, I’ll take a look. I’ll report back soon.”

The large format 3D printer appeared complex, but beyond the CPU, it was simple mechanically. It was just a machine layering materials and leaving gaps, paralleling the way that nature built landscapes, creating them with volcanoes and floods and fine-tuning with wind and rivers.

Sami wondered if nature, or the 3D printer, could rebuild lives.

Jamz poked his head in at four pm. He was unofficial leader of the rag pickers working the trash after school. “Hello Sami, I just thought I’d say hi!”

Sami wasn’t in the mood for chat. “Sorry Jamz, I have an urgent task now. No time to talk.”

“Can I help you with it?”

“I don’t think so. It’s for disaster relief in India. I need to think it through.”

“That’s the problem with adults. They want to think about things rather than do them immediately. Why don’t you tell me what you need and I’ll help you.”

Sami was surprised by his manner but said okay. He explained the task.

Jamz said, “It’s simple really. Make flexible blueprints so people can use whatever materials are available – metal, plastic or wood – for the structure. Leave the CPU to the kids. They’re savvy with technology and have smaller hands. They’ll do a much better job than adults. They can be actors, rather than burdens, in regenerating their own lives.”

They spent the evening making architectural models of simple structures. It was a practical, open ended way to explore ideas. They studied volumes and appearances, and toyed with components, calculations, and dynamic reflections.

“Let’s follow the way of the bee,” said Jamz. He devised a honeycombed wall structure allowing one cubic metre of cement to create a room with an internal volume of thirty cubic metres, enough for a family to survive. They modelled a room which could be shown by NGOs to government agencies for fundraising, obtaining permits, even sales.

Cement is just crushed rock and lime. It could provide the interface between virtual and real worlds, those of disasters on the news and providing comfort for the afflicted.

With 3D printers, it was simply a case of pushing a button and sending plans, which could be translated into action.

Diamonds Are Forever

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Mystical Experience, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 10, 2012 by javedbabar

Guru Baba appeared in the 3D Unit. It seemed the retired holy man had manifested miraculously. He had in truth walked through the doorway, with Sami too busy to notice, tinkering with feedback loops causing unexpected effects.

“I hate to ask,” said Guru Baba, “but can you please help me with some admin? You know it’s not my strong suit.”

Sami had felt bad about leaving Guru Baba’s side but he’d had no choice. The Authority had repurposed him, changing him from the holy man’s personal assistant to manager of the Transfer Station’s 3D Unit.

His new job was enjoyable – prototyping designs, fabricating components, and creating unusual gifts – but he was aware that Guru Baba’s organization was in trouble. Its charitable projects were struggling, and recent events had been poorly attended. This was all due to a lack of organization, leading to a lack of funds.

Sami had to face the fact that he’d left his previous employer in the lurch. Widows, orphans, disabled people and disaster victims were suffering because of him.

“Guru Baba, I will come to your office after work. I’m sorry I can’t come right now as I have many orders to complete today. Shall we say 6.30pm?”

The sage nodded and left.

Sami’s first job today was fabricating a range of jewellery. It was amazing how things like this could now be designed and made locally. No India or China required.

He set the printer to multi-materials, loaded metal, glass and pigment powders, processed the design, set it to high definition, and pushed GO.

While the jewellery was fabricating, Sami thought about Guru Baba’s situation. How could he help his organization. What was…

A flash of white caught his eye, and then a blue flash, a red flash, and yellow, green and brown. He was dazzled by light. Diamonds! That was the answer, diamonds!

Guru Baba had often used a diamond metaphor for spiritual growth.

Its cut was how you caught and revealed the light that was given unto you.

Its carats revealed your spiritual weight, which was substantial yet also weightless.

Its colour was every colour possible, fused together and shining alone.

Its clarity was the vision that guided your life, making all things manifest.

Sami could make diamonds to fund Guru Baba’s charitable projects! Sure, they provided good abstract metaphors, but they were even better as material goods, and there wasn’t any law against fabricating diamonds, as there was against printing cash.

He knew that a diamond’s atoms form a rigid lattice, allowing very few impurities to enter. The ones that do enter may degrade, but can also improve, the diamond, like grit in an oyster forming a pearl. One impurity per million atoms is all it takes. Boron creates a blue diamond, nitrogen a yellow or red one, lattice defects make brown diamonds, and radiation exposure, green. Their desirability differs by culture. Green diamonds had once been the most precious in Europe, but now it was blue and red.

What didn’t change were superlative physical properties. Diamonds are incredibly hard and have remarkable optical dispersion, creating dazzling lusters. Guru Baba said they were the mineral equivalent of great souls. Like those of diamonds, the tints and taints of people were easily confused.

Sami could fabricate diamonds easily at the 3D Unit. They were allotropes of carbon arranged in variations of cubic crystal structures. He could build these lattices at the push of a button. GO.

What about the powerful natural forces required to make these wonders: high temperatures, hundreds of kilometres of depth, billions of years of time, and volcanic eruptions? In the modern age are these things inconsequential?

He produced a test diamond, and showed it to the rag-pickers working the trash after school. “You joker!” said Jamz. “Trying to trick us! That’s not a real diamond. It’s too perfect. It seems artificial.”

“Isn’t it good to be perfect?”

“Maybe it is, but it is better to be real.”

Rag Pickers

Posted in Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2012 by javedbabar

Sami let rag pickers work the Transfer Station’s bins. He wasn’t really allowed to, as it reduced the waste’s recycling value. However it could be termed a grey area, as people were allowed to “retract and repurpose extant waste”. He had skim-read regulations and found that phrase. He could quote it if questioned.

He called out, “Jamz, how’s it going over there?”

A thin boy in a red hoody, crouching in a bin, straightened up and waved. He cupped his hands to his mouth and said, “A good day so far, Mr Sami. Let’s hope it gets even better!”

Sami loved these kids. He saw them most days after school, analysing the day’s new arrivals, before the waste was shipped out the next morning. At weekends they were usually away, helping their families with odd jobs around town.

They were poor kids from the trailer park. The rich-poor division in Lucerne was extreme. It was often referred to as the professional-unprofessional problem, but in truth it was more about privileged and unprivileged members of society, if such a thing existed.

A famous British Prime Minister had said, “There is no such thing as society”. Sami’s teacher, Guru Baba, had wanted to meet this lady to ask her what she meant by that, but she had recently died. He referred to her as an “anti-role model”.

When Sami worked on film crews, he had learnt about the effect called persistence of vision, where an image remains on the retina for a short period after its source is removed. This effect is used to create the illusion of continuous motion between frames in movies.

There was a similar effect in societies called persistence of privilege. Studies showed that children of wealthy people were physically and mentally healthier, wealthier, and ultimately happier in life. You can’t blame the parents, as their biological imperative is to promote their genes, and you can’t blame the kids for having good role models, and for enjoying their lives. Who can you blame then for children picking rags daily after school?

Jamz was the rag pickers’ unofficial spokesman. He came over later and said, “We’re all done for today. There’s nothing much out there, but slim pickings are better than thin air. Thanks again.”

There was an informal agreement that rag pickers would not take the right materials from bins, only misplaced materials. They took plastic from metal bins, metal from wood bins, wood from fibre bins, and fibre from paper bins. This cleaned the waste stream, making it easier to sort later; less labour was needed to dismantle complex consumer products, such as cell phones, and there were fewer breakdowns at the processing centre. So the value of materials lost was recouped in efficiency. Sami felt it was a case of win-win, or maybe bin-bin.

Sami began training Jamz on the 3D Unit. He taught him to prototype products, print components, and create unusual gifts. At Christmas, he called the rag pickers together and said that he and Jamz would make them each a model of anything they wanted.

At first they were shy, but then began to speak up.

“A dad.”

“A mum.”

“A house.”

“A car.”

“Money.” This wasn’t allowed at the 3D Unit, and would set The Authority’s alarm bells ringing.

“A better future.”