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. 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
°You

"Municipal liberty is the first and most important [principle] of democratic institutions, since nothing is more natural or worthy of respect then the right which citizens of any settlement have of arranging themselves the affairs of their common life and of resolving as best suits them in the interests and the needs of the locality." - Emilio Zapata

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How fire helped us evolve...

There's a new book out by Harvard biological anthropologist Richard Wrangham on how the harnessing of fire by our ancestors nearly 2 million years ago catalyzed a new phase in human evolution. It pivots around the changes in our physiology enabled by the fact that cooking food, especially meat, essentially pre-digests it for us and helps cut way down on chewing time. In addition to affecting our digestive system, this also precipitated changes in our jaw and face physiology, and allocated more space and energy for our brains, the author argues. Despite this landmark study, the topic remains controversial - for good reason. What does the author have to say about the shrinkage of the human brain... over the last 10,000 years - as discussed in recent studies? ( see http://www.livescience.com/history/091113-origins-evolving.html ) How much does this undermine the raw food movement, and the dietary choices we make? Is there such a thing as too much cooked food? With obesity at an all time high, there probably is...

It's called Catching Fire: How Cooking Made us Human