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ant village challenge 2019 brainstorming  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
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from another thread:

Gilbert Fritz wrote:If things don't come off this Friday, will there be a retry next year?


I don't know. 

If we had 12 people sign up in the first 48 hours, and we had 12 contenders right now, then I would call this a string success and want to do it again.

Jim made an interesting suggestion:  do it again, but it is only open to people that start with a bare acre.  That way, the current ants don't have a head start.   It sounds like Jim would like to do it again, but starting off with a bare acre.

Maybe it would be good just to have a bit of conversation.

I think Jim demonstrated that a house could be built pretty quickly.  And it left him itching to build another.   A lot of the lessons appeared to be:  build something really small and humble the first year, and something better the second year.   The first structure will server other functions later. 

So it seems that an optimized plan is to go through two winters. 

There also seems to be some needs to build fence, build gardens ....  plant your gardens the first year to build soil with some food - much more food later.  I know that for the current challenge, people are growing some food this year, but are gearing up to do the big planting this upcoming year. 

So maybe the thing to do is to say that the next challenge starts jan 1, 2017 and judgement day is sep 10, 2019.  So if somebody paid to get in, it would cover three years of rent.  We would be judging a better structure and a richer garden. 

Another possible idea for existing ants, or new ants that have adopted an existing ant property:   maybe on the same day (sep 10, 2019) we could offer "the gert award" for the property that is the most gert-like.  

-----

Suppose it is a three year ant challenge.    I would guess that the price would have to be something like $1600 for the three years.   I suppose we could set it up like we did last time where $1200 would cover the first two years and then the last $400 could be for the final year - only for those that are still in the running.   I think this is the minimum price for three years.  For a lot of reasons.  One of those reasons is that each contestant has to have "skin in the game." 

I think everybody reading this wants to see a dozen ants in this.   Good ants.  Great ants.  Doing amazing things.  And that it is well documented.  So maybe the thing to do is to sweeten the pot.

I think that there were a lot of people that sent in a lot of ant love and gapper love so that the pot was sweeter.   Maybe we need to brainstorm further on what might be sweeter still.  With all the tools, maybe a portable tool shed would be handy?  Maybe we should be better organized with "peasant workshops":  super cheap workshops with a focus on building experiences and simultaneously helping the ants.

Ideas?




 
Mike Jay
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Ok, this may have been thought of and very possibly would not work or match with your goals/ethics.  But if it did, it could be a great way to help with world domination and generate some coin for the empire.

What about engaging with a tv channel and making the ant challenge a tv show?  A bit like the other homestead shows out there but with minimal drama, "be nice" ethics, permaculture education built in and the accomplishments of the ants towards surviving the winter and winning the challenge being the focus.   I don't watch many of the homesteading shows but from what I have seen, they sure struggle to put enough actual content into each episode.  The ant village would surely have plenty of things going on to educate folks about. 

The BBC shows on Edwardian Farming were what got me thinking about this.  They focused on the farming practices of the time and very little on the drama of living in that historical situation. 

I'm assuming a downside would be the desire for drama (real or manufactured) from the producers.  Plus having tv people on the lab. 

A huge upside would be a platform to introduce permaculture to the masses. 

Episode 1: 
  We join Judy the ant as she cuts trees and peels them for her wofati.  Wait, what the hell is a wofati  We then meet with Paul, mythical overlord of ant village to hear about the challenge.  Then we join Frederick the ant as he struggles to earn a bounty on a junk pole fence.  Hmm, what's a junk pole fence?  etc etc etc.

 
K Putnam
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Can I ask about generators?  It seems like things could go much, much faster if they were able to use power tools for longer periods on their plot.  it seems like there is plenty of fuel going into excavators and tractors which are digging up the land...generators for the purposes of construction don't seem like a stretch to me in comparison.

From the outside, it seems like there are a number of things that could have helped them get over the hump that might have had a short-term cost but much bigger long-term gain by building a viable community sooner rather than later.

It also seems like having some sort of financial reserve in place might be a good idea for challenge participants.   Perhaps that would narrow the field too much. But, it seems like one of the big challenges was balancing work on the plot with the need to pay for the basic costs of living and construction.  Perhaps participants need to come with a plan for how they are going to both survive and build their plots.
 
paul wheaton
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Mike Jay wrote:What about engaging with a tv channel and making the ant challenge a tv show?


We have catered to these guys a bunch of times.  I've now been on way too many skype calls with these guys.   And they just seem to perpetually eat up my life and don't follow through. 

Further, you would think "I'm gonna make bank!" but they are pretty clear:  every fucking nitwit on their end gets paid handsomely, but you get paid less than minimum wage, or nothing at all. 

It has now gotten to the point that it all feels like one giant gimmick.  

Further, I have talked to people that have been on the shows - and they totally fuck with you eight ways to sunday. 

Fuck that shit.
 
paul wheaton
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K Putnam wrote:Can I ask about generators?


Maybe that's more of an "ant village" question than part of another ant village challenge brainstorming thing?
 
Mike Jay
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paul wheaton wrote:
Mike Jay wrote:What about engaging with a tv channel and making the ant challenge a tv show?


We have catered to these guys a bunch of times. 

they totally fuck with you eight ways to sunday. 

Fuck that shit.


Gotcha, I did figure that you'd explored that and it's good to know that it was an easy decision
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