In permaculture we often rely on a zone/sector analysis: zones are the areas we visit more or less frequently, and sectors are flows of energy and matter that intersect those zones. What we don't talk about enough is the technology sector.

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Sectors are mostly thought of in ecological terms: sun, wind, water. Or in terms of city infrastructure: the road-noise sector, the reflected-sunlight sector, the fruit-nabbing children sector. The streetlight sector that travels through the bedroom zone at night.

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But the digital-technology sector has crept steadily into our zones. First, in the distant zone 5 of government bureaucracy and defense spending. Then in the zone 4 of our work lives, travel and commerce. Into the neighborhood, the home; our beds, our hands and our very bodies.

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The forms and functions of digital communications have altered the way we think. Millennials and Zoomers have networked brains. Whether we officially Believe in Individual Rational Choice or not, the reality is we act like a hive mind

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We talk in memes and threads, we document our lives obsessively and share our data indiscriminately. We form friendships and communities over the internet. Where are you more likely to meet someone cool and new -- dating app, or just wandering around different bars?

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Now technology is inside our minds. We need to find a way of understanding it, of engaging with it on equal terms. It is a flow of energy and power. If permaculturists refuse to deal with the technology sector, the flow will only increase. We must channel this energy.

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always has been

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