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

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

My Next Horizon: Excavating the Nature-Based Roots of Christianity

What I'm currently working on: The "Good Shepherd" from the Roman catacomb of Priscilla, c. 3rd century C.E., where some of the earliest known Christian art was found. The Good Shepherd functioned as an early metaphor for Jesus, but this archetype of the herdsmen with shamanic powers can be traced in the story-traditions of figures such as Orpheus, Hermes, Moses, King David, or Endymion the shepherd-astronomer. Indeed, to think such a rich web of meaning discredits the story of Jesus is to miss the point entirely--in the mode of myth such things just compound potency and make things more interesting. I believe the figure of the Shepherd is central to the cultural "creation story" of the Near East, hence Western culture. Shepherd is a symbol of underworld guide (guide of souls), but is also an icon of ecological "deep" history, speaking of a symbiotic relationship between two species that literally made our culture possible. We westerners seem to romanticize such symbiosis in other cultures, especially pre-industrial ones, but fail to see a comparable pattern in our own. Mythology should not be just for talking about other people's cultures and distancing ourselves from the past. I know that religious studies as an institution felt tarnished by the "crypto-theological" work of certain mythologists. But there can be a way to take note from both the universality of mythology and the relativism of postmodern thought. The notion that you have to pick one (and they are just stand ins for the old dichotomy of rational/intuitive, intelligence/emotions, science/art) is the symptom of an emotionally wounded and indecisive culture that, tragically, can't trust itself.

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