agricultural app of fractal robots, was FDA recalls Starlink

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Sat Nov 04 2000 - 20:19:27 MST

The following is an excerpt from the URL listed. It's speculative at the
present time, but IMO this is a far better technology to aim for than
building toxins into our food.


Smaller fractal robots can be used to control pests especially those that
hide in fractal space (the tiny nooks and crannies found in small areas).
The pest control can be 100% effective. This however is a dangerous
option. Wherever pest control has been introduced, all efforts to
eradicate some pest or another produce newer and super varieties of pests
because the only ones that survive are by natural selection more fit and
more able to overcome their adversaries in nature. Even if a pest was
eradicated, a totally new and unexpected one will take its place.
Whatever the method of pest control, be it chemical or be it traps, the
result is always the same. The problem with farming as practiced today is
that it has to produce large monocultures of one crop which then favours
breeding of huge monocultures that feed on these vast food reserves. It
is not possible to eradicate such large monocultures of pests because
they have amplified genetic variety that can withstand increasingly
severe pest control systems.

Instead of eradicating pests, we can talk about managing pests. Very
small pests that infest a leafy plant is difficult at best of times to
recognise and eradicate because of their size. They are small and hide in
every nook and cranny which in surface area alone is vastly inflated than
what we might measure with a big ruler at our scale. The the pest scale,
it is a vast space and good for hiding - i.e. they hide in fractal
space. To hunt down such pests, a fractal robot is needed to search out
pests in this fractal space - i.e. we need a robot that can reach into
smaller nooks and crannies where these pests might be hiding. Fractal
robots around 100 microns in size is adequate for many pests to be

Once we have a small army of tiny predatory robots, it can be sent into a
field to manage the number of pests in the field. We don't want to wipe
out everything. We need to set a minimum count for the number of pests we
would like in an area. Anything over that is culled. Larger fractal
robots can be used to manage larger pests such as rodents by sniffing out
their burrows and controlling their numbers (once again - we do not need
100% culling).

Another potential way to manage pests is to get rid of monoculture
farming techniques and replace it with multi-culture farming techniques.
A field might contain soil that suits different plants and we could put
all those plants there if we knew where we put each plant and we had a
machine to harvest each fruit. The likelihood of monocultures of pests
developing are reduced because it is more than probable that predators
that live on one kind of plant is also likely to feed on other insects
that live in other plants thereby indirectly controlling the population
of both since if there is no food, the predator does not proliferate. To
economically farm such a jumbled up field, it is necessary to have a
machine that can harvest all the different kinds of produce in one go
without the farmer having to buy separate tools for each produce - and
also without having to send out men and machines to hunt down the right

On Sat, 04 Nov 2000 13:32:41 -0800 Samantha Atkins
<> writes:
> Barbara Lamar wrote:
> >
> > >
> > > Mike, I am certainly no fan of the FDA, but I think I have to
> side
> > > with them
> > > on this one. The food in question is engineered to produce its
> own
> > > pesticide. This new corn is not chemically equivalent to
> natural
> > > corn, but
> > > is chemically equivalent to natural corn plus pesticide.
> >
> > Given that toxins tend to concentrate in urine, milk, and fat I
> wouldn't
> > want to drink milk or eat meat from animals that had been fed this
> corn,
> > nor would I want to use manure from these animals on my garden.
> This is a bit strange considering that you are already consume
> animal
> based products from animals fed foods quite saturated with
> pesticides.
> The point of modifying a plant genetically to produce its own
> pesticide
> is that it produces just enough (and if possible of a happier
> chemical)
> for its needs. This results in much lower concentration of
> pesticides
> than non-genetic means like spraying crops. The latter is a shotgun
> approach and likely to result in much higher health risks and
> accidental
> contamination of nearby lifeforms.
> >
> > I've had the experience of using manure from horses who'd been fed
> hay
> > cut from pastures sprayed with 2,4-D. The herbicide residue in the
> manure
> > killed all my broad leaf plants. Even the county ag extension
> agent here,
> > who was educated at a university which advocated the liberal use
> of
> > pesticides in agriculture now questions whether it is, afterall, a
> good
> > thing.
> >
> Exactly. Old style pesticide use is much more dangerous. However,
> some
> kind of pesticides must be used to have effective crop yields. So
> you
> do what is most controllable.
> > I doubt that it's any worse to eat Starlink corn itself than it
> would be
> > to eat animals who'd been fed on it.
> Actually it should be much better to eat animals fed this corn and
> the
> corn itself than corn that had been massively sprayed the
> old-fashioned
> way. The pesticide is in the plant but not necessarily as
> concentrated
> in the actual corn. But I would need to see studies on that idea.
> - samantha

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Mon May 28 2001 - 09:50:19 MDT