Monday, October 3, 2016

On Alliance, Part 2

Edit: Since there apparently exists an active opposition to even permitting discussion of the ideas I raise here on HEMA fora, this is published out of my sense of completeness and ease of future data retrieval.

In Part 1 of this series, I introduced the idea of an alliance between an established marketer of digital designs and engineering plans and the HEMA Alliance. Here I discuss to what end we might do so.

Over the last few years the generic rubric "3D printing" (which is actually referring to two separate steps in the design and additive manufacturing of objects) has become much more commonplace outside of science fiction novels as well as much more economically attainable to the average citizen. How do we who study and practice history become adepts at the bleeding edge of the future too?

Now comes Chris Byrne, former martial artist, former SCA fighter, former firearms manufacturer and repair specialist, former (still current?) NRA firearms safety instructor, banking (and other) industry network security administrator manager (he bosses the admins), cancer survivor, and current online instructor on computer network security. In private conversations, Chris has assured me that a 40 to 80 hour course of instruction would be more than ample to prepare an uneducated computer user to take and pass the Cisco CCNA 60 day course and thereby become employable in the computer network security field.

That's 1 month on the dole basically (two weeks of 40 hour days of prep training followed by two 30 hour weeks studying the CCNA course work), to go from computer network security zero to potential entry-level employable computer network security nerd. Or, you could be a more fully functional human and do the same over 4 months or so of evenings and weekends (9 nine hour weeks of prep studies and 8 eight hour weeks of CCNA). You could take longer of course, and probably should if you can afford to, but this isn't an impossibly heavy workload for such a limited period of time. You would then need to search out the location for the next scheduled CCNA test you can afford to get to and pay for to complete the process.

I haven't asked Chris to plot out a similar course of instruction for 3D printer operator (his next cancer surgery is scheduled for 29 September [edit: surgery went well apparently and he is progressing through the expected-to-be trying recovery process], so asking for any sort of time consuming favor is right out, as my Lincolnshire former in-laws would have said), but I can't imagine it would be that much more difficult to get into than the network security gig is. YouTube is loaded with videos about the subject. How hard can it really be?

That said, you have to ask yourself how reliable and accurate is your data source, and how specific is it to what you want to accomplish? Cue Michael Chidester here if there's any question regarding the critical nature of these questions. Having access to a course of instruction that takes into consideration the characteristics of the objects you are most likely to want to manufacture, as well as the materials you would most likely want to build with, would seem a useful attribute for such an instruction course to offer.

Were the HEMA Alliance Governing Council to negotiate with Chris' employer (or any of the reputable online instruction businesses that exist via the modern 'net) to develop a course of instruction for HEMA club members around the world to use to learn to make their own training weapons and safety gear, we in HEMA would have an alternative option to those that presently exist when it comes to gearing up. So, it should be pointed out, would our existing sources of supply gain options to expand their capability to meet our wants and needs. To complete our strategic Opportunity, we would also have a possible source of club (and personal) income going forward.

If the HEMA Alliance, in partnership with others, were to maintain a general database of digital designs and engineering plans for the membership to use (or license for commercial activity), we would have access to a source for individual construction of pretty much any HEMA-related historic object entered therein. By having successfully passed the suggested Additive Manufacturing Design and Construction instruction course maintained on the HEMA Alliance web page (whom we each would pay in order to take the course - HEMA is a non-profit, not a charity), we would learn the technical capability and design knowledge necessary to modify the additive construction process to incorporate personal variations to a generic design pattern. Our training gear would be both unique to us and uniform in structural design safety standards.

We would also have the means to contract with other businesses - large and small, local and international - to manufacture components for them. For the very modest fee our business agent Mr. Barzini, err ... the HEMA Alliance Governing Council will negotiate for us, of course (or at least arrange for a boilerplate contract form we could buy from them to use in contract negotiations with any company we might contract with).

No, we won't do this overnight, or even next year. No, it won't be anything like as easy to accomplish as this might seem to suggest - what of value ever is?

Discussion of plans is an inherent part of their development and improvement, so I offer here a suggested plan for we in HEMA to research and consider for development. No individual member, even a life member, should have the authority to decide such a complex and far reaching decision as that being suggested here. Thus, what I have suggested so far is at best mostly incomplete and lacking in many critical details.

In it's basic form though, I propose we consider arranging alliances and partnerships with those companies and individuals who can assist us in expanding our capabilities to support and extend our study and practice of HEMA, as generally outlined herein.

How say you all?

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