Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy; an embrace of myth and ritual as eco-technologies. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Science concedes: Being Here Now is the way to be

Just read this article in the paper today. Cool that science is finding a way to articulate how much being in the moment/having your focus consumed by a single task can be deeply satisfying. I've long understood that humans aren't one-job animals, but I think we're likewise one-job-at-a-time animals. It's not that multi-tasking is bad—but rather the option of multiple tasks is what can wear at your ability to focus on one thing that you really love, for long enough a period of time as to allow you to feel like you've truly connected with/become that thing. Nicholas Carr talks about the cognitive clusterfuck precipitated by the ways some of us interact with cyberculture in his recent book The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains.
A lot of my own experience with craft/skill/geekdom has corroborated this; it's all about the flow.
Article: When the Mind Wanders, Happiness Also Strays (New York Times)


Just so no one thinks I'm implying that daydreaming/mind-wandering is bad: There have also been recent studies about how "letting your mind wander" while at work, say, is beneficial, and that it stimulates creativity— basically it's good for your brain, just like dreaming while you're asleep is! But that stuff isn't actually antithetical to this—I think they're two sides of the same coin. Of course you've got to let your mind wander at work & give yourself "mind breaks"; we haven't evolved to sit at a desk 8 hours a day (thank God!)

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