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Old 07-06-2020, 11:29 AM   #31 (permalink)
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Two things about these two projects:
1) The reporting on both essentially stops, or tells a story of a stalled project in recent years as they try to secure backers who never materialize, it seems. The major stumbling block for both in terms of moving forward to production and distribution is relations of power.
2) The OX seems designed by outsiders to Africa, and the Turtle by insiders, and yet they have some similar ideas in some respects, as you noted, freebeard.

Okay, a third point...

3) Noticing the production/distribution challenges the Turtle team seemed to pivot to a strategy of adapting to the hardware that already gets routinely dumped on Africa as waste by wealthier countries... they designed a chassis concept that could accept parts from the three most popular SUVs alreay on the streets of Ghana. Smart.

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Old 07-06-2020, 03:33 PM   #32 (permalink)
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If anyone is interested I am working on streamlined cargo bikes with a bike shop in Ghana. I will post in the Alternative Transportation thread.
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:11 PM   #33 (permalink)
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If anyone is interested I am working on streamlined cargo bikes with a bike shop in Ghana. I will post in the Alternative Transportation thread.
I am interested. For what it is worth, I have been there twice for a couple weeks each time (work releated research trips). I have friends and contacts there. Wanna learn more about what you are into. Very interested. I will check out the other thread.
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Old 07-07-2020, 11:20 AM   #34 (permalink)
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I found the video displaying the CAD "three-way" or "all-in-one" chassis design. Basically, the chassis can accept parts from all three of the most common SUV vehicles in Ghana without modification (supposedly):
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Old 07-08-2020, 10:08 AM   #35 (permalink)
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One would think that the mounting points for motor, trans and suspension are relatively similar. The frame on the Ranger has predrilled holes that remained the same for 20+ years regardless of powertrain options. Mounting brackets between the options/years vary.
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Old 07-08-2020, 11:12 AM   #36 (permalink)
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One would think that the mounting points for motor, trans and suspension are relatively similar. The frame on the Ranger has predrilled holes that remained the same for 20+ years regardless of powertrain options. Mounting brackets between the options/years vary.
Yeah. I would bet the information behind this CAD did not come from the Dutch artists who created it. The workers in the Suame Magazine in Ghana would have all this knowledge from constant reassembly of delapidated vehicles dumped into their salvage yards by wealthier countries. I like to to think the workers taught the artists. A good collaboration that needs funding to proceed, but there again are the relations of power engineered into the supply chains.
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Old 07-08-2020, 12:20 PM   #37 (permalink)
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I would bet the information behind this CAD did not come from the Dutch artists who created it.... I like to to think the workers taught the artists. A good collaboration that needs funding to proceed, but there again are the relations of power engineered into the supply chains.
Graphics technician. The only art involved was picking the colors. I'm sure the Dutch had some input, even if it's only cheer-leading.

'Power' or relations of facilitation?
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Old 07-13-2020, 11:47 AM   #38 (permalink)
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... 'Power' or relations of facilitation?
I understand why you would ask the question, and I like to think in terms of facilitation, too, as an alternative to command or domination. But the distinction assumes there is a fascilitation that would be free of interpersonal power. It's really almost impossible to have such a strong distinction, especially in situations of really significant power differences. Those workers in the Suame Magazine have an autonomy that is attractive (though it comes with dangerous working conditions and poverty). But when wealthy Dutch filmmakers and designers show up talking about developing an African car and promoting it to other even wealthier people in Europe, these workers will turn their attention to the project. Facilitation therefore can no more escape the context of power than could efforts to command the labor directly. See what I mean?

A question I would have for these Dutch artists: were the workers in the Suame Magazine paid for developing and building the car? Depending on the answer, I would have followups... most importantly, how did the SMATI Turtle project develop? What are the details of the story?

I think a cooperative collaborative formal company with such workers that would return big benefits to them if successful would be cool. That does not seem to be what happened here[, but I think it would have been better "critical engineering" practice].
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Old 07-13-2020, 01:25 PM   #39 (permalink)
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But the distinction assumes there is a fascilitation that would be free of interpersonal power. It's really almost impossible to have such a strong distinction, especially in situations of really significant power differences.
That's why in minarchist or [small-L] libertarian systems enforcing contracts is one of the three necessary functions.

The first time I tried to form a business with other people, we chose Cooperative over Corporation or Partnership (the fourth form is Sole Proprietor). It fell apart over power tripping among equals.
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Old 07-17-2020, 12:47 AM   #40 (permalink)
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... The first time I tried to form a business with other people, we chose Cooperative over Corporation or Partnership (the fourth form is Sole Proprietor). It fell apart over power tripping among equals.
Such power tripping can happen in almost any startup enterprise. It is common for new private schools to struggle horribly within five years over internal disagreements as to authority, direction, and curriculum. Plenty of business partners in startup corps don't end up getting along, either, and somebody gets forced out. Meanwhile there are also examples of long-term successful worker-owned cooperatives around the world. Some of the most notable would be the Mondragon Corporation in Spain, the Brukman Factory in Argentina, and the Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative. But I don't see any shame if a coop disbands after some years ...when it's time to move on... move on.

Buckminster Fuller was part of the Black Mountain College in North Carolina. That school was owned by the faculty and run democratically: Black Mountain College: A Brief Introduction - Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center ...he taught students for a while... hd them build an early version of his domes...

This EM site has cooperative aspects: we all make the content quite equally, though we don't own it. We do some pretty good "critical engineering" around here, even if it is all low-tech hacking.

Wikipedia is a version of that open democratic cooperative enterprise, too... not "worker owned cooperatives" but so what. Wikipedia is great "critical engineering" in that its "workers" have learned not just subject matter but about hacking "encyclopedia." They have reinvented editing and its all free and open to all. Over the years, the quality of wikipedia's content has improved greatly. It is a go to source and not a bad one.

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