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Swarm Farming vs Permaculture?

 
Todd Hoff
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Interesting take on using more mechanization to improve productivity: http://blog.makezine.com/archive/2011/10/swarm-farming-explained.html. The problem with permaculture seems to be it actually takes effort and doesn't reduce to a manufacturing model. Will this kind of automated model win in the end?

 
Tyler Ludens
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The main difference to me is - permaculture actually exists.
 
Todd Hoff
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Just a matter of time.
 
Guy De Pompignac
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I thought it would be impossible to be more disconnected from landbase. I was wrong...
 
Tyler Ludens
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toddh wrote:
Just a matter of time.


Yep, that's what people said about vertical farming. 

 
William James
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toddh wrote:
Will this kind of automated model win in the end?


If you view "the end" as drawing down physical resources and overshooting, then no, it won't win.

If you believe that infinite growth is possible on a finite planet, well then I guess that like growing hamburgers on the moon or occupying Mars, anything's possible.

But I imagine the aliens will come down from Vector 12 and stop us before we get that far, right?

Personally, permaculture not being able to be reduced to a mechanical model is one of it's strengths. It can be done by anyone, anywhere, with whatever they have on hand. But, I guess if one wants the world's resources in the hands of machine owners, I can see how that would be discouraging.

william
 
Marla Kacey
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How can it work?  It will take money to buy the little buggy looking machines, money to maintain them, personnel to maintain, stock and monitor them.

Only the wealty farmers (or those with lots of credit) will be able to afford them, and surely food prices will go up even more to make the creepy little things financially feasable.  (Arachnaphobic - can you tell?)

And surely the big oil companies won't allow them.  I didn't watch the video (out of MB usage for a few more days), but how are they powered?  If not by oil, big oil will squash those little machines.
 
duane hennon
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so how many do you need per acre?
seems to be oriented toward monoculture

literally reducing "conventional agriculture" to mechanical insects is:

reductio ad absurdum [rɪˈdʌktɪəʊ æd æbˈsɜːdəm]
n
1. (Philosophy / Logic) a method of disproving a proposition by showing that its inevitable consequences would be absurd
2. (Philosophy / Logic) a method of indirectly proving a proposition by assuming its negation to be true and showing that this leads to an absurdity
3. application of a principle or proposed principle to an instance in which it is absurd
[Latin, literally: reduction to the absurd]


but probably won't keep some ag dept from getting a grant
 
Abe Connally
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it would only work if every little bot was controlled by some kid on the web, and it was a like a video game, where they had to build a sustainable ecosystem with their robot...

so maybe the future is bot + permaculture
 
Guy De Pompignac
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velacreations wrote:
it would only work if every little bot was controlled by some kid on the web, and it was a like a video game, where they had to build a sustainable ecosystem with their robot...

so maybe the future is bot + permaculture


Ender's strategy for agriculture ?
 
Hugh Hawk
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Can't believe no-one has yet commented on the quote at the beginning of the video.

"When tillage begins, other arts follow.  The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization." - Daniel Webster, 1840

Runs rather contrary to the beliefs of many on this forum.

But interestingly, the system would appear to minimise tillage, or at least have the potential to do so.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Hugh H. wrote:
Can't believe no-one has yet commented on the quote at the beginning of the video.

"When tillage begins, other arts follow.  The farmers, therefore, are the founders of human civilization." - Daniel Webster, 1840

Runs rather contrary to the beliefs of many on this forum.

But interestingly, the system would appear to minimise tillage, or at least have the potential to do so.


From an anthropological point of view, farmers are the founders of human civilization because one of the primary characteristics of civilization is agriculture.  But art predates agriculture and civilization by tens of thousands of years.

 
Paul Cereghino
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What is the basis that human labor costs are a limiting factor in industrial agriculture?!  Farming is all fuel, machines and debt already. Don't you need the farmer as a socio-economic debt-slave to keep the whole agricultural system running?

LOL -- and what exactly is 'the end?'
 
Hugh Hawk
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Yeah, I thought the video was either misinformed or misleading in a few ways.  For example, the curves of agricultural yield improvement vs population - neither curve was particularly representative of reality.

This seems like a sales video more than anything.  Probably used to get funding from blue sky investors I would guess...
 
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