The Free Foundation is basically an idea.
The idea is to create an automatic system, the Free Foundation, that earns money in the profit-driven universe and injects it in the non-profit universe.
The base idea is to use free software and open source processes to build an economic system, of software nature, globally distributed on the Net using grid computing design, functionning in a totally autonomous manner with no human control, and with a unique goal : to make real profits by all possibles legal means, and then reinject these profits, through a foundation, in the field of art, science, research and education.
The Free Foundation is made of two entities : the software enterprise which is an autonomous machine living in the economic and financial ecosystem, and the foundation which is controlled by humans and redistributes the funds earned by the enterprise to other humans. The Free Foundation is not a simulation, it is intented to function in real life, with real money and real people.
The Enterprise entity uses the idle time of computers and devices, lent by volunteers on the Net, in the grid computing / collaborative computing spirit. It is programmed using the free software and open source processes, and is built by aggregation of software contributions from programmers worldwide. Its 'economic intelligence' is imbedded in the software contributions from experts from the financial, gaming, artificial intelligence, genetic algorithms fields, among others. The Enterprise makes it own decisions, is unpredictable, and is unstoppable (because not centralized). It is designed to run forever (at least as long as capitalism). It has no human control and no human ownership (to avoid takeovers). It has its own bank account, and makes real money in the financial and economic fields.
The Foundation entity is human controlled, and redistributes the money earned by the Enterprise, to intellectual human projects : arts, science, education.
There is no technological impossibility to the Free Foundation idea, the issue is how to get there. In order to get there, many problems have to be solved : technological, legal, ethical, organisational, etc
As the bearer of the idea, I consider that I have the duty to serve it as much as I can. I dont have the technical nor organisational capacities to make it exist myself, so I have done what is in my capacities : I have designed Specifications and a FAQ to explain exactely what the Free Foundation could be, and to justify the choices. I see this website as a blueprint or a kind of metaprogram, a program to make a program. I welcome and am ready to contribute to any initiative that goes towards the actual realization of the Free Foundation.
Read the Specifications and the FAQ. Think about it. Imagine how fun, how exciting it would be if it was actually functionning. Think about what *you* could do to make it exist.
The Free Foundation idea is simple but strong. May this website help it exist in real life someday.
Antoine Schmitt September 2002