Chatting to some friends recently about aquaponics, I re-visited some thoughts that were shared on the forum some months ago. They are also from an academic background, and we were lamenting how difficult it was to get any type of support out of these places without the institutions immediately wanting to corner IP, and not push the technology forward. I told them how wonderful it was that AP is developing through forums like this one. Over here, you can watch new member’s systems develop rapidly, and you can have a huge amount of input coming from all sectors of expertise needed to rapidly develop the industry. I would like to think of it as a “two steps forward and one look back” development.
New ideas can be tested and vetted rapidly, as the person with the idea is not scared to share it, knowing that there will be someone out there capable, and most of the times willing, to add to or improve the concept before it is tried. If it is a bum concept, it is also likely to be tried and turned down in cyberspace before too much time was spent on it. Results of testing and concepts are openly shared, thus the concept is proposed, vetted, tested and reported back on extremely fast in comparison with what I am used to – Get idea, keep it secret, write funding proposal, get money, perform research, write report, and keep it secret because someone now owns the IP…………
As was suggested before, aquaponics is perhaps one of the first serious new production methodologies that is developing in a largely open-source environment. The staggering speed at which ideas are being put forwards and systems morph into new designs. Only a few years ago, there were perhaps three main designs only. Now there are so many options to choose from. Ideas have also become product lines in a very short time frame here. All very impressive to me. My recent renewed interest in sand as a media options was sparked mainly by reading comments about how it was a preferred media in the early days of testing systems. So, I am thinking – long may this process continue. Two steps forward, one look back. Get an idea, test it try it out among cyber friends, write about it and off we go.