The Arcology Garden

The Change of Scenery and Kickass Systems


I started in earnest on building the Arcology at the end of 2013. At the time, I was living with my dear friend Teapot, we had a lot of conversations around escaping this corporatocracy, this world that was being designed not for the humans who inhabit it but for Capital's and Technology's sake. We talked about Aurynn's Change of Scenery in the apartment complex's hot tub, about how to build a future of computing that didn't require pervasive passive surveillance. We started building that syndicate with some friends, scalable self-hosting, a private and trustworthy network for friends and family. One of those friends runs the ISP which hosts this site's server now.

<meander here on the body computing system>

For a while, it didn't feel attainable, this change of scenery. There was too much momentum pulling away. There still is. All this smart-home and IoT bull-shit going on right now, all tied in to ecosystems that don't give a fuck if you invest in them1, all competing for you to spend the most money on their tools and give them the most data, rather than providing a system which integrates with all of the things you care about and you can interface with them freely.

and now we are entering a new time where facebook and google and these companies which i have not trusted for years, companies whose walls i have fought to break down for a decade have started lobbying towards the US government enforcing their walled-in status in the face of european data rights expansion. The 5bn$ settlement with the FTC hinged on Facebook getting in writing from the US government that they were free to block 3rd party access to their customers' profile data, which was never the problem in the first place, and won't stop the next cambridge analytica.

And so I've withdrawn, and built The Complete Computing Environment for myself, built the first iteration of Arcology knowing that no one else could use it, all while of course feeding this monster of capital in my own way. But as this vision comes together, I think there is a future where these things can be shared, where a private network can be operated by three or four people and serve the needs of 20 or 50. I think that society could structure itself in this fashion more. Small community and familial collectives, providing for each other in spite of the rest of the world. I know I'm a fool. The point is that I would like to live in a world which respects its inhabitants, and that those inhabitants respect the world. As our world is shut down and isolate, gripped in fear of COVID-19, I see signs that I am not the only person looking for solutions towards the increasingly visibile inequity around me. And so, I have decided once again to sharpen the axe, to find a point on the map of space-time-culture and walk towards it with purpose.

  1. For example: Nest ecosystem being sunset for the Google Home↩︎