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Those Tiny Chips With Huge Smelly Footprints

Low Tech Magazine presented the article titled “The monster footprint of digital technology” in which they show how the power consumption of our high-tech machines and devices is hugely underestimated:

When we talk about energy consumption, all attention goes to the electricity use of a device or a machine while in operation. A 30 watt laptop is considered more energy efficient than a 300 watt refrigerator. This may sound logical, but this kind of comparison does not make much sense if you don’t also consider the energy that was required to manufacture the devices you compare. This is especially true for high-tech products, which are produced by means of extremely material- and energy-intensive manufacturing processes… The energy consumption of electronic devices is skyrocketing…There are multiple reasons for the growing energy consumption of electronic equipment; more and more people can buy gadgets, more and more gadgets appear, and existing gadgets use more and more energy (in spite of more energy efficient technology – the energy efficiency paradox described here before).

However, most of the energy involved in electronics is not much about their use. Larger amounts of energy are being used for the production of the technology, the embodied energy.

The energy used to produce electronic gadgets is considerably higher than the energy used during their operation. For most of the 20th century, this was different; manufacturing methods were not so energy-intensive…Advanced digital technology has turned this relationship upside down. A handful of microchips can have as much embodied energy as a car… The embodied energy of the memory chip (of a computer) alone already exceeds the energy consumption of the laptop during its life expectancy of 3 years.

The trend in the manufacture of electronics is going toward more energy-intensive processes and heavier costs in terms of raw materials and resources. Did the fast development in computer processing speed and memory, coupled with the huge amount of energy needed for manufacturing them make them faster and more productive? Every Windows user knows that after one or two years of use the operating system becomes cluttered and slows down considerably.

Defragmenting the hard disk, cleaning the registry and uninstalling applications have little effect. The cooling fan runs often, often the hard disk works like hell with no apparent reason, operations get slower and slower. This can be blamed on the poorly-engineered Windows operating system, but even alternatives like Apple or Linux, though better, don’t come any closer to match the development in hardware at the software level

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Not being able to stop

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A couple of years ago I started to write this short essay on the inner motivations and the addiction to production. At that time the environmental problem was already full-blown, but the crisis of energy sources which will be with us for a long time wasn’t felt yet.

I asked myself what the psychological roots would be and what conditioning was at the base of the addiction to production in the West, exported thereafter around the whole planet.

The origins of the compulsion for production and the resulting devastation of the planet date back to the interpretation of the messages spread by religions, particularly the Judaeo-Christian religions.

Christianity propagates messages regarding original sin and the impossibility of reaching the divine in human form. Those and other messages produce psychic double binds, like short circuits.

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The only way out for human beings was to redeem themselves, re-creating heaven on Earth through “virtuous” acts, ruling over nature for this purpose, as authorized by the Bible itself.

Religious statements made a sense originally as tools for the spiritual path, but those messages have been misunderstood by the ego in other ways.

Since this article is quite long, is available as a free e-book which can be downloaded clicking on the cover.

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Avevo iniziato a scrivere questo breve saggio sulle motivazioni interiori che stanno alla base della dipendenza a produrre due anni fa. Il problema ambientale era già conclamato ma ancora non si avvertiva la crisi delle fonti energetiche che ci accompagnerà per lungo tempo.

Mi sono interrogato sulle radici psichiche e sui condizionamenti alla base della dipendenza a produrre in occidente, poi esportata in tutto il pianeta.

Le origini della dipendenza a produrre e della conseguente devastazione del pianeta risalgono all’interpretazione dei messaggi diffusi dalle religioni, in particolare della tradizione giudaico-cristiana.

Il cristianesimo ha propagato i messaggi concernenti il peccato originale e all’impossibilità di raggiungere il divino in forma umana. Questi e altri messaggi hanno prodotto dei doppi vincoli psichici, dei corti circuiti.

senza potersi fermareL’unica via d’uscita per l’essere umano era rimasta quella di riscattarsi ricreando il paradiso in terra, tramite azioni “virtuose” e dominando la natura a questo scopo, autorizzati dalla Bibbia stessa a utilizzare la natura per i fini umani.

I messaggi della religione avevano un senso originario come strumenti per la ricerca spirituale, ma tali messaggi sono stati interpretati sul piano dell’ego nei modi che questo poteva.

Poiché l’articolo è piuttosto lungo, l’ho impaginato in forma di e-book gratuito che si può scaricare facendo clic sulla copertina.

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Brains

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The global ecological conscience becames unavoidable both because of the obvious environmental devastation and because of the expanded awareness of that through the Internet.

Every instance of deforestation, the melting of every glacier, every territory where drought advances, as well as the presence of pollutants in the atmosphere and in the seas is monitored by the sensitive nervous systems of satellites, whose data are being sent back to the Internet’s nervous system, which in its turn is connected to individuals’ nervous systems, and in their turn connected between themselves through the Net.

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La coscienza ecologica globale è diventata inevitabile sia per gli evidenti disastri ambientali che per l’allargata consapevolezza degli stessi tramite Internet.

Ogni deforestazione, ogni fusione dei ghiacciai, ogni territorio in cui avanza la siccità, nonchè la presenza di inquinanti nell’atmosfera e nei mari è monitorata dal sistema nervoso elevato dei satelliti i cui dati vengono rimandati al sistema nervoso di Internet, a sua volta connesso ai sistemi nervosi dei singoli individui, e a loro volta connessi tra di loro mediante la stessa Rete.

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