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[ba-unrev-talk] Knowledge Bases and 3-D Farming

Paul F. did it. He got me thinking again, which brought
up some project ideas that have lain dormant for quite
a while. Peter J. did it, too.    (01)

So, herewith, my ideas for knowledge bases we could
use to advance the cause of global health, a book idea,
and the concept of 3-D farming that figures prominently
in it.    (02)

Knowledge Base Projects
These are long term projects that will require a lot of people
and a lot of time, but will be of invaluable assistance to
humanity.    (03)

  1. Gardening Knowledge Base
        --which plants do well in which climates
        --what soils they like
        --what kind of foods or flowers they produce
        --when they bloom
        --what they cross-pollinate with
        --what pests or diseases they prevent
        --how high they grow, vine, or groundcover
        --perennial, self-seeding, or non-self-seeding
        --"compatible plants" (those they do well with)
        --availability and expense (high/med/low)    (04)

       Most all of this information exists, in one form or another.
       The goal is to capture it in a knowledge base where it
       can be queried to design a three-dimensional garden,
       finding things that do well together. The interface would
       help you fill out a matrix that puts together plants in the
       right kind of soil, blooming at the right times for cross-
       pollination, with weed-control, disease-control, and
       pest-control factored in with aesthetic beauty (for a
       flower garden) and productivty (for fruits and vegetables).    (05)

  2. Nutrition Knowledge Base
      --what foods/herbs contain which nutrients (ties to garden info)
      --which nutrients affect which health conditions
      --which nutrients affect different body systems
      --which ones promote longevity, exercise tolerance, etc.
      --which nutrients produce same results as common drugs
      --take into account fasting and water as "nutrients"
         (for example, with respect to allergies & asthma)
      --which nutrients affect other nutrients
            --improve or required for uptake
            --improve or required for manufacture
            --substitute for, leaving more for other uses
            --prevent destruction of
            --reconstruct after breakdown
            --act as co-factor with
            --prevent or assist elimination of
      --what environmental factors affect nutrient requirements
            --sunlight, flourscent lights, X-rays, CRTS, TV,
            --stress, exercise
            --toxins, pollutants, carcinogens, allergens
      --how much of the nutrient is required
          --for men, for women
          --to prevent obvious signs of deficiency
          --for optimal health
          --as function of body weight or lean body weight
          --to assist in overcoming specific health conditions
      --how much of the nutrient is available
          --in organic, fresh picked foods
          --in organic foods, not freshly picked
          --in non-organic foods, not freshly picked
      --normal healthy levels that can be measured
         --in men, in women
      --record sources of evidence for the information
         --studies showing effect of X on condition Y
         --biology level explanations (e.g fatty acids good for brain)
         --cellular-level explanations of how X works
             (how fatty acids bind to the cell, what they do)
         --biochemical explanations showing how X affects Y
             (how combinations of fatty acids and proteins work)
         --quantum physucal explantions for the chemistry
             (how fatty acids provide the electrons that jump the
              neural gaps)    (06)

      With this information base, an individual or health practitioner
      could go to the doctor to get a thorough diagnosis and a
      prescription. Armed with that information, they could find the
      nutritional causes and cures for the condition, and find out
      what nutritional remedies would produce the same symtom
      relief as the prescribed medications.    (07)

      Further, health practioners with the facilities to do so could
      monitor current nutrient levels, to determine what's low &
      the best strategy for dealing with it. (Depending on diet, for
      example, how much supplementation is needed?)    (08)

  3. Nutritional Physiology Model
      --Extends the knowledge base above to model the
         human physiology.
      --Takes as inputs exercise, environment, and foods
      --Takes as a genetic base predisposition towards
         different kinds of conditions (hair loss, heart disease,etc.)
      --Accounts for internal changes over time (growth, aging)
      --Models the effect over time of environmental and
         nutritional inputs on the system.
      --Outputs health conditions, energy levels, and measurable
         nutrient levels in the system.
      --Predicts the effects of nutrional intervention, given a
         particular starting state of health condition and nutrient
      --Allows comparison of the predicted change with the
         observed change, to gauge patient compliance levels
         and to feedback information to the model. (If expected
         results are not observed, then the model may be
         missing something.)    (09)

      Such a tool could be used by individuals and health
      practitioners to dramatically improve quality of life.    (010)

Book Project
A collection of articles on social and environmental
philosophy that I'd like to publish in a magazine, and then
collect in a book. So far, I haven't heard back from the
magazine editors I have contacted.    (011)

--Continue to investigate "forest gardening".
   An article I'm currently working on. The idea is basically
   to recreate a garden of Eden -- no plowing, very little
   maintenance, and fresh food for 7 months out of the
   year! (4 hrs a week for a 400x400 "garden", with the
   equivalent of 15 tons per acre in productivity).    (012)

   It turns out that much information on this subject
   already exists! It is only a matter of capturing it,
   practicing it, and promoting it. The results for health
   and quality of life will be invaluable.    (013)