We Serve The Soil Appendix: The Illusion of Control
Most of the disempowered and insecure screen-damaged Millennials (and the later Generation Y) calling themselves “master growers” have at best mastery only of the mechanics of growing (the engineering and, to a much lesser extent, the reductionist “science”) but not of the organics of growing (the complex-systems insight and science, and the shamanic aspects). At least the older generations (Boomers and Generation X) have the excuse of a fraught political and cultural situation and primitive early plant, soils, and systems sciences, but now that we know better no such excuses are legitimate (and the fake-legalization control-fraud racket has exacerbated this already unfortunate situation).
In manifesting the classic American neurosis and entrenching their Nature Deficit Disorder (NDD), these gadgeteering “gear freaks” compound and overcompensate-for their NDD by building elaborate and very expensive constructs of gizmos and techno-gimmicks attempting (and universally failing) to imitate the self-regulation of bio-dynamic eco-systems and mimic their overall health. They tend to reject the notion that they can learn to do it all themselves, and prop up their enterprise with externalities to make up for their lack of confidence and courage.
Except for those with a sufficiently complex bio-dynamic ecosystem, all Cannabis gardens, especially indoor hydroponics grows, are simple complex systems. Because they are simple, they are vulnerable to cascading. Because they are complex, we don’t know how to anticipate what interventions are needed to stabilize them.
Complex systems that have artificially suppressed volatility become extremely fragile,
while at the same time exhibiting no visible risks.
Nassim Taleb, in the June 2011 issue of Foreign Affairs
The fate of the hydroponics grower is to be constantly guessing (so much for “mastery”) at how to stabilize a cascade and minimize its harm (and mostly failing, despite all the gimmicks). The best hydro operations are the most hyper-controlled and rigidly defined; ironically, the higher the level of control the more un-natural and unstable the system becomes and the greater the risk of being blindsided by catastrophic cascading. The systems still cascade (perhaps less often, but definitely more dangerously when it does happen) and the price in degraded outcomes remains high, the “unit costs” are very high and keep rising, and the plants still drift (or leap) epigenetically.
If we have “mastered” the practice of hydroponic growing, we’ve mastered a dumb art, and it’s a dumb art because it can’t be mastered in this manner — no matter how tightly we wind our control and no matter how desperately and how detailed and metered our systems are, they remain unstable simple complex systems that return inferior and overly expensive results. The encompassing irony is that all this “control” is already built into the natural-soil systems that are self-regulating without all the expense and effort on our part, and which return superior results.
There actually areappropriate places in our human universe for the hydroponics approach: on the space station, below-decks on massive steamships, in Antarctica, deep in the bowels of the Mighty Metropolis, and in addiction-withdrawal therapy centers.
See the “Physical Plant Gizmos” appendix below for a partial listing of some of these mixed-blessing technologies. Where is the best gizmo-balance to be found? Once again, less is more . We are not neo-Luddites on this matter, but simply practical in the face of self-subverting fetishism.
All these gadgets are no more than partial substitutes for just a few of the inherent capabilities of the co-evolved integrated bio-dynamic vitalizing-soil ecosystem — cumulatively these gizmos are incomplete and, ironically, overall damaging to the integrity and bounty of whatever system they contrive, which is relentlessly unstable, and exhausting for the would-be “master growers.”