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Technological Agorism Part III: AI & the Agora

There are two types of artificial intelligence: the rules-based, & the neural network-based approach. To illustrate the differences, I'll borrow an example from AI blogger Janelle Shane's book, You Look Like A Thing & I Love You, & pretend we're training an AI to recognize dogs.



Using a rules-based approach, we’d create parameters which the AI would then use to determine whether or not the thing it’s looking at, is in fact a dog. Our rules would include things like “must have four legs” & “must have tail,” etc. When all of our conditions have been satisfied, the AI will recognize a dog.

With a neural network-based approach, we show the AI images of dogs & it learns to recognize patterns. The more pictures of dogs we show it, the more accurate the AI becomes. Nowadays, this is usually the preferred approach & will be the subject of this article.

The interesting thing about the neural-network approach to AI - as we’ve already noted, is its reliance …

Apartment Grown Resistance - Green fingered Agorism


Let's face facts: Every time you shop at a grocery store with a sales tax on food, you are lending a hand in your own suppression. Cultivating your own food supply is a practical and effective way to oppose the state - Today we are taking a look on how to not support the government through your dinner plate, from the comfort of your own apartment! 


Beans, Peppers, and Tomatoes growing on my kitchen counter.

Modern apartments are not set-up for growing foods in any practical way. Your interior design is probably made for things like leisure and sleeping. You might not even have access to a backyard or a balcony. Not having a single green finger on either of your hands might also be troublesome. 

These things and more are problems and the problems just keep on stacking - It seems impossible at first, an uphill battle designed to hold you back. Let me give you a secret: It is not impossible to be self-sustaining on food, even in a small apartment. You just need to change your perspective and get knowledgable about things you've never thought you could do. I'm going to share some of my progress with you dear readers, and we will build from there!


Most of these things will apply even if you are not living in an apartment (it will work better the more space you have, through scaling).

First of all, we need to look at the positives of living in an urban environment:  Easy access to electricity, indoor-growing, water, and public transportation. These 4 luxuries are things we city dwellers take for granted, but when I was living in rural Sweden I felt the pain of a single tree falling cutting off the power supply - The only time I've had power supply problems in a town was when one of my roomies forgot to pay the electric bill! Any other time it was fixed within half an hour. 

All these are advantages to my (maybe yours too?) living situation. There are additional ones as well: I have a 15-minute walk, both ways, to two different grocery stores and their fruits and vegetable section cover any and all seed and stock needs I have - Do I want to set up a line of water grown sweet potatoes? I can go right over and grab the raw materials to do it! 

I can not underline the public transportation part enough, though. Last year I had a great yield of balcony grown tobacco plants (thank you, rare warm Norwegian summer) and I set up some sales through a local facebook-group. There was plenty of potential costumers and easy access to all of them by having a simple bus card. That is an amazing privilege to have.

All fantastic upsides. The downside? The greatest limitation for me, or any caveman in an apartment really, is space. Growing food takes up a lot of it. Especially if you are aiming to become as close as possible to self-sustaining. Small Footprint family did a great infographic on that matter on their Pinterest, check it out if you are interested in some rough napkin numbers so you can get feel for it. Now, those numbers don't translate very well to what we are talking about here, but its good to have some figures to play around with.

The picture used as the headline-photo of this article is my second-generation plants (beans, tomato, and peppers) grown out of seeds from the first generation. I wanted to start small and to stuff that I could realistically handle as I'm figuring stuff out as I go: With a proper setup I should be able to continuously grow these three crops so I have fresh produce every week, year round. I am methodically researching each of them, noting down in my calendar how the plants' progress and spice it up with plenty of progress pictures to go with my notes. 

This second go at growing is going much, much smoother than the last one because of my information gathering and I expect to get even better as I continue growing these. Tapping into online communities (I am partial to the Subbreddit Indoor Garden myself, there are some sweet projects being shared on there!) has been great for me as well, for inspiration and helpful advice.


By starting on a smaller scale and scaling up as I get more knowledgable, my confidence grows (believe me, I was scared to try this at first!) and I can start crunching numbers soon, hopefully before summer, on how to pace the seed-seedling-plant cycle in a rotational manner so I save on counter space, but keep getting produce. When you can start to see where your own limits (in regards to growing-area) is and stretch that out, magic happens. You can get really creative with shelf-space and hanging pots from the ceiling - Some of these plants are gorgeous decoration, adding a breath of fresh air to our living room.

I'll come back to this topic in the spring with some hard, solid numbers for you reading this to show how much I've grown so far on just a kitchen counter. I'm in the process of building a cheap do-it-yourself style hydroponic system that I'll present in the future as well. 

My challenge to you before we part is this: Grow something. Anything. Start today. Plant a seed. Comment below what you are planting and follow up on it with us! We love resistance.

ALEX UTOPIUM 

Scandinavian anti-establishment blogger, editor for the Utopium Blog. Counter-economics, agorist-separatism and Free Market advocate.




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