RARA-AVIS: Re: Dorchester goes digital and POD

From: jacquesdebierue (jacquesdebierue@yahoo.com)
Date: 12 Aug 2010

  • Next message: jacquesdebierue: "RARA-AVIS: Re: Dorchester goes digital and POD"

    --- In rara-avis-l@yahoogroups.com, "gsp.schoo@..." <gsp.schoo@...> wrote:
    > Talking about Bludisian noir? We are? Okay, works for me. But I still don't buy your energy argument. The part about problems with oil etc., okay, though there's still an abundance of coal, but my real point would be that the internet is being accessed by smaller and smaller devices which run on batteries that can be recharged with a relatively small solar panel, only slightly bigger than the one that runs hand-held calculators. Maybe we'll have to give up on 50+ inch screen displays, but the hand held? Printing presses and logging equipment however run on pretty significant amounts of petroleum products. The books we have may survive, but publishing new ones is a high-energy activity.

    I don't think you got my point. You are assuming the continuity of industrial civilization, different versions of the same thing. That is an impossibility in anything but the very short term. A lifetime, and even more the life that you and I may have left, is but an instant. The continuity of the whole enterprise is not possible. There is no hydrogen economy coming, no solar economy coming. I understand that the thought of this is disturbing but hey,

    > You're right that the internet will cease to exist, or at least change into something less recognizeable but if you've grown up relating to the world through devices such as cell phones and smart pads you won't give up on these things easily.<

    Again, you misunderstand me. You are still thinking of "choice" of "lifestyles". Those concepts are part of the very short-lived prosperity era that has lasted... only a few decades, and that only in a relatively small part of the world. Think longer term and you may see how people will relate to the world in any way they can, not in any way they choose.

    >> From this point of view, books simply do not do what these devices and the internet do. On the other hand, folks like you and me will die much sooner. In fact, I believe one of the contributing factors to the recent economic recession was that boomers are entering their retirement years and beginning to shed automobiles, going from 2 or 3 per household to 1 or 2. Many are downsizing their houses too, looking for 2 bedroom condos in stead of 3, 4, 5 bedroom breeding facilities. These sorts of circumstances contribute to financial bubbles that leave recessions when they burst.
    > There are a host of existing technologies that will mitigate and even work as alternatives to oil. Solar energy may be only a mitigating factor, for instance, but it's amazing what really thick rock-wool insulation can do for your heating bill. Stuff like that. There are no guarantees for the future of course, and most people are slow to adopt these technologies until the shortages really hit home, but much as I enjoyed McCarthy's "Road" I'm not rushing to build my suvival shelter just yet. I have been looking on the internet for good ideas for a low-cost retirement home, however.

    No replacement for oil, unfortunately. For example, try to run the highway system in the US with... what? You are thinking there are technological fixes for everything but this is simply a wish. Right now, the grossly overpopulated planet can only be fed because of nitrogen-based fertilizers. Remove that (because it requires enormous amounts of energy to produce them) and you have about two-thirds redundant population. Add to that that the naturally arable land has been destroyed in large parts, that the oceans and seas have been largely fished out, and the remaining third would have a hard time surviving. Wishes are a different thing, but wishes have never been worth much.



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