This is the first Fallow Zine, a small zine that sprang forth from La Jachère. This zine is basically a simple attempt to think collaboratively about subjects that the Jachère/Fallow/Brache project concerns itself with. If you are interest to know what these are, please have a look at the about page.

Lazy tech or tech for the lazies

If you are interested in this issue’s theme, there was a call for entries that is a bit more detailed. The Fallow Zine is open-ended. If you have something to add, please send it in!

In my personal opinion technology should make life easier. I get the impression, that this is not a common goal, when designing and producing technology. We have so much technology that makes everybody’s life (peoples, plants, animals, planets and other things) more complex, more difficult, and definitely less fun. It seems that the only way to make life easier is through capital.

The initial goal of this zine was an attempt to paint a different idea of technology, or dream a different dream of what technology could be, provide a different starting point or vocabulary to talk about technology. Since this idea only existed in my head, more or less, I was very surprised how others interpreted the call for entries.

Some of it occupies itself to different degrees with the refusal of technology, the minimization of it, not unlike the Luddites. It’s not about being anti-technology, but about drawing the line and stating, that we actually have more than enough technology already. Other entries are a bit more playful, easing the air and adding some lightness. And of course some of it aids in being lazy.

So, let’s dive in. Get yourself comfy, and let us collaboratively refuse the onslaught of technology. Have a tea, eat some cookies, enjoy the moment. Here is what’s in for you in this issue. There is a raw version of this zine at

Table of Content


Cut it short by Pixel


Reflection and Refusal

Humane Tech by Boris Marinov

Unmedia by TMO




Growing in the cracks by Shane Finan

Tomatoes by Vasilii Kolobkov
Growing in the Cracks - by Shane Finan

Cut it Short

By Pixel.

Em Dash ALT+0151: — En Dash ALT+0150: – Star ALT+9734 OR ALT+9733: ★ Today’s Date ALT+[blank] Yesterday’s Date? ALT+[blank]


Try Espanso, the text replacement tool. Whether you’re a high school student, or a markdown power user, this is my gift to you.

Espanso is: - Free - Open-Source - Privacy Respecting - Extensible - Customizable - Cross-Platform

MacOS Users may be familiar with the pricer Keyboard Maestro

Maybe you’re thinking, Ooo, I like her~. Well, be me a few years ago, a high school student, part time marketer/copywriter/copyeditor, who couldn’t be fussed to learn an ALT shortcut. Sure, when doing schoolwork, I could use the custom preferences in Google Docs to replace double hyphens with an em dash, but what if I wasn’t on Google Docs? I couldn’t be fussed to search for a symbol every single time I needed it.

Enter: Espanso. Where did I even find her? I don’t know, but finally, I could quickly type \-- to get an em dash —. With emoji and HTML packages, I can type :cat: to get a cat 🐱. I can type ::a to get an HTML <a href=""></a> .

As I’ve moved on from writing for others, I learned to write more for myself as well. Obsidian is a knowledge management tool where I do daily journals, make spaced based repetition flashcards to study for exams, take notes during technical classes with symbolic formulas, and connect dots between those experiences along the way. In turn, I wanted to customize my Espanso configuration further using shortcodes that would be intuitive to me. Taking a look at configuration basicsI made my way to the default.yml file.

# Simple text replacement
- trigger: ":espanso"
replace: "Hi there!"

# flower
- trigger: "~~"
replace: "❀"

# star
- trigger: "-="
replace: "★"

# LaTeX
- trigger: "\\fr"
replace: "\\frac{$|$}{}"
- trigger: "\\te"
replace: "\\text{$|$}"
- trigger: "$$"
replace: "$$|$$"
- trigger: "_{"
replace: "_{$|$}"
- trigger: "^{"
replace: "^{$|$"
- trigger: "\\["
replace: "\\left[$|$\\right]"
- trigger: "\\("
replace: "\\left($|$\\right)"
- trigger: "\\sq"
replace: "\\sqrt{$|$}"
- trigger: "\\Del"
replace: "\\Delta"

# Dates
# Today
- trigger: ";tt"
replace: "{{mydate}}"
- name: mydate
type: date
format: "%Y-%m-%d"
# Yesterday
- trigger: ";yy"
replace: "{{mytime}}"
- name: mytime
type: date
format: "%Y-%m-%d"
offset: -86400
# Tomorrow
- trigger: ";mm"
replace: "{{mytime}}"
- name: mytime
type: date
format: "%Y-%m-%d"
offset: 86400

This snippet shows that I can use shortcuts to manifest symbols, complete my LaTeX while properly positioning my cursor in between $|$, and give me dates in my preferred ISO 8601 YYYY-MM-DD format. I do have a few more that are specific to other Obsidian packages I use on the day-to-day and autocompleting brackets, but I think this should give you a good sense already.

❀❀❀ Now I can be like a wizard and conjure up as many flower I want in my notes. Here’s some more. Bam! ❀ BAM! ❀ BAMM! ❀

Writing is often a space I don’t myself. With this tool, I can continue along with composing whatever comes to mind with ease, and my own charm. ★

Here are some bonus ideas I considered talking about: - String your charging cable through your bed frame so it’s closer off the ground when you charge your phone from you bed. (I always hate when my cable is on the floor, and I have to get down or reach off the bed to grab it.) - The small piece of metal that you find in a sewing kit that has a face and a bit of wire on it is actually, a wire threader, and with it you’ll never have to squint to get the thread through the eye of the needle again. - Having a weighted blanket makes making the bed easier, especially when there are blankets underneath, because it doesn’t get as rumpled. I can sort of hold the corners of a weighted blanket with another blanket underneath, and toss it across my bed, and now both the blanket underneath and the weighted blanket has been put in place. - Carrying a slim power bank that fits neatly in one’s pocket without much protrusion, so that I don’t have to carry an extra bag or have something bulky on me when I’m at a public event and hopefully won’t need that much of an extra charge when most of my time is spent engaging with those around me. - If you tuck the bowstrings of your shoelaces after knotting them up, back into the crosses across your foot, they’re less likely to be untied later.

Suonen 1

This specific technology is ancient and has been in use by cultures and communities since forever: water irrigation systems. Suonen are just a version that is specific to a region in Switzerland, in the state Wallis. What’s special about this iteration is its placement in mountain landscapes.

Bisse_de_Saviese_Torrent-Neuf Bisse de Savièse with the Tunnel du Moujerin on the valley slope of the Morge

If you look at this image and others on the Wikipedia entry on Suonen, you can imagine how much energy was invested in creating and maintaining such as system. Nonetheless, it seems that it was worth it. Either you get water into places otherwise not possible or transporting the water to these other places by other means probably needed so much more resources.

Once in place and properly maintained (hoping that the materials used last) the Suonen work, almost magically, thanks to gravity. Not necessary a technology for the lazies, because of the high initial energy expenditure, but definitely a lazy technology.


If your feeling lazy today, just know that last weekend my mom told my to vacuum my room so I youtubed vacuum noises and took a nap

Humane technology

By Boris Marinov.

It is a well-known engineering principle, that you should always use the weakest technology capable of solving your problem - the weakest technology is likely the cheapest, easiest to maintain, extend or replace and there are no sane arguments for using anything else.

We can argue that this is the principle behind the evolutionary process that designed us human beings - evolution always starts from rudimentary and the weak and then, only if needed, it proceeds towards greater strength and complexity.

Technologies (as Marshal McLuhan theorized) can be perceived as extensions of our bodies and minds. Like, a pair of binoculars can be thought as an organ that extends our vision with additional lenses. And the written word is nothing more than an extension of our ability to talk and memorize. Technologies that embrace this view with all it’s implications are what I call humane technologies and they are the subject of this book. My main thesis is that they have many advantages over technologies that focus too much on superficial criteria and ignore these principles (AKA non-humane technologies.)

Humane technologies solve problems in ways that don’t create other problems.

Inhumane technologies sometimes leaves us at a state where we have to remind ourselves why exactly do we use them. Yes, they benefit us in some ways, but these benefits always come with a cost which seems almost equal to the benefits.

This dilemma doesn’t exist with humane technologies - we know exactly why we use them and their disadvantages always seem superficial, compared to their advantages.

Humane technologies leave the user in control.

Whether they are broken, or operating as intended, inhumane technologies often look like they have a will of their own and they often surprise you unpleasantly. With human technologies, on the contrary, you always know exactly what is gonna happen. And in case there is a problem, you often know what the issue is and how to fix it. Humane technologies are not black boxes.

Humane technologies are timeless.

Because they are often a result of a compromise, inhumane technologies are bound to have a due date - a time when some other alternative would prove to be more performat. Inhumane technologies tend to go out of fashion. Human technologies, on the other hand, are often ancient (due to their simplicity), and at the same time, due to their versatility, eternal.

Humane technologies are fulfilling to use.

An inhumane technology is something that you pick up to “do your job” and leave it as soon as you are done, wondering when is a better alternative coming out. They are designed with a specific purpose in mind and they have no other uses. A humane technology often has a variety of purposes (with more to be discovered). We use them for more and more things, because using them feels good. We either cannot imagine our lives without them (if we have used them since birth), or bless the day we found them.

Humane technologies are unimpressive

Inhumane technologies often look better than humane ones, especially to the untrained eye - they are so shiny, so innovative, they look like they bring the promise of a better future. Compared to them, humane technologies seem plain and uninteresting. However, all that changes when we put things in perspective.

Read the complete text on Humane Technology.

Unmedia (abstract)


General peace and distraction-free living by self-imposed media abstinence

In late-2019 I “stopped” with media. A fair deal of it - I closed the last two social media accounts I had (Twitter and Instagram), I stopped checking up on CNN here in The States, I stopped looking for news recommendations from other RSS sources. I just stopped ALL of it. It turned out to be a good time to turn away from media consumption, too, because the COVID-19 pandemic was just around the corner (not that anyone saw that coming).

But, when I began my longterm media sabbatical (it has been 2 1/2 years now with very little media consumption, besides a few headlines here and there, and still no social media), I decided to write about how it was going by avoiding news, social media, and other outlets of information. And that is where “Unmedia” came into play.

In this article I address the very real, but very unnecessary trepidation people experience with Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO), discuss a few small hiatus’ I took from the Internet pre-media abstinence, how deciding to remove the mass media (social or otherwise) consumption from my life was the “correct answer” for me to “heal” and for me to regain my bearings, and how I spend my time now that I am not in “Consumption Mode” 24 hours a day.

As time went on (and as I documented in the article), I saw that media was much more than just a passive way to kill off some time - it was, in fact, an addiction. The prolonged hours of boredom (that never get “replaced”, just “dealt with” and consolidated in a different (and more healthy) way), and to use one quote from the article:

Boredom is like a mantlepiece for how time is spent – make use of it, BUILD with it, DO with it, or let it be a crushing hurdle in life when it is not managed properly.

I also address elements of the addictive properties OF social media sites, and CHOOSING to (re-)prioritize how I spend my time, and how by staying away from bad news has improved my outlook and approach to life, and how I am going to stay away from media consumption for the foreseeable (and unforeseeable) future.

The index for “Unmedia” is below. About 2,100 words, cut into seven sections:

  1. Out Of Touch (with world happenings)

  2. Good information. Bad information. True information. False information. No information

  3. Amusing Yourself, or, Becoming Anti-Bored

  4. The Feed Is Not The Problem

  5. Lost to Time(lines) and (Cyber)space

  6. Dancing Around The Zeitgeist In The Room

  7. The Permanent Vacation (Conclusion)

Read the complete text on Unmedia.


Hammocks were probably the archetype of technology that I thought of when I posted the call for entries… lazy tech and tech for the lazies. They are so simply and yet so wonderful. Just hang a piece of cloth between two things and rest. Nonetheless, they are a sience in themselves and have a rich history. It’s well worth to go through the according Wikipedia article.

Hammocks fit very well into Ursula K. Le Guin’s The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction. In this brief essay, she positions the recipient device against the weapon and their importance in our own myth-storytelling. She says, that the recipient device was so much more important than the weapon in terms of cultural development.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient…. Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier. - Elizabeth Fisher, Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975)

This fact is not mirrored in how we tell our own history, which is usually a history of war, fighting and heroes. Which brings me back to why I wanted to have this issue’s particular subject. It’s importance what stories we tell stories with (Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble, 2016). Here are two excerpts that catch the essence of hammocks very well.

“Old Mother.”  That is what denizens of the Amazon call their hammocks: As in our first unremembered memories, mae velha  enfolds us in comforting arms, besides protecting us from scorpions, mists, and  serpents that meander along the ground. The hammock accompanies us like a bed never could through our whole existence. Born in the jungle by the shore of a river, the newborn sleeps his first sleep in the hammock as his grandfather will sleep his last. Then as is our ancient custom, we bury the dead lying down in their own hammock. We are born, we live, we love, we die in the hammock, and then our friends carry us to the boneyard in mae velha to rest up till Judgement Day. - Source: Hammock Variations

There is a rightness in hammocks, rightness with calm and balance. There is a natural melding, needless of any artificial effort. I lay in my hammock, allowing the rightness and harmony to claim my soul. The rolling sound of waves, the chirps of birds, the muted conversations of other vacationers, all combine into a complete existence, and the rightness of being here, the significance of now. This is not escapism, this is acceptance. - Paul Howard Clark, Source: The Rightness of Hammocks

How to build a hammock in 5 Minutes

There are many ways of creating hammocks. I found an easy one on Have a go at it and rest well.

Thoughts in a hammock

Thoughts in a Hammock. Crane, Walter. “Thoughts in a Hammock.” The English Illustrated Magazine. 2 (1884): 82-87. Hathi Trust version of a copy in the Pennsylvania State University Library. Web. 8 January 2021.

Growing in the cracks

By Shane Finan All photos and illustrations (c) by Shane Finan

I have been developing a series of drawings and photographs that are looking at the moments between human built space, where plants have taken root and are growing. This is part of a larger project about liminal spaces and thresholds, which is ongoing. I have not written anything up on this yet, as a lot of the process is still fermenting, but I wanted to submit the images as they might have some visual use/identity and I like the idea of your project of fallow-ness. If they are not a fit/not selected then that is completely understandable and I welcome comment – I see these as works in progress and not as completed ideas.

That was the general idea Shane approached me with. We discussed some ways of letting the illustrations growing out of cracks in the finished zine. But that might be a thing for an enhanced version of this issue 😅 and who knows when that will happen… (sorry Shane!)

I love the idea of looking at how our human infrastructures are taken over by flora when we are not constantly combat those beautiful plants. See all of them here on


By Vasilii Kolobkov

Vasilii reached out to me, as a response to the call for entries. When he did so, he had a rough idea what he would like to write about.

Hi Adrian! I’ve seen your call for works for the Fallow zine and am curious if an essay I had been hatching for some time would be a good fit. I’ve been using the web in utmost sparring manner for a good while (bare-bones HTML, no CSS, JS, et al.) and am pondering on the results this practice has on emotional state, changes to how I perceive information, influence ops and marketing.

I like the approach a lot and we started to send each other mails, back and forth. At first we were talking about his contribution, but we let go of that rather sooner then later. Instead, we focus on, well, everyting else.

Amongst the many threads woven into our mails we’ve sent every few weeks was the Curonian Spit 2. I’ve been there in 2018, and Vasilii just recently. He sent me the following photo of tomato plants, which bust out of the windows of an upper story.

I found this photo equaly fitting and beautiful for this zine’s focus. What’s there not to love about weathered technologies, in this case homesteading and shelter, clashing and weaving into each other.

IMG_20220731_174247_s CC0 by Vasilii Kolobkov


Growing in the Cracks - by Shane Finan

Growing in the Cracks - by Shane Finan

Growing in the Cracks - by Shane Finan

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