Why? What? How?
I always had the feeling i'm not doing enough with my life. Eventhough i'm an idealist, I never know where to start in making the world a better place because it seems there is so much to do. So if you have an idea, tell me about it. I will execute the most popular idea of each month for one year! I'm a puppet to your ideals!
Credits Thanks to all the members! and Bart, Thierry, Davide, Ingetje, Paul, Philipp, Yichun, Rick, Mark, my family and everybody else for helping out.
Comments / Votes
I can think of many things that negative effects of digital data: use of energy, carbon offset, global heating, privacy issues and probably more. But what do you think then of the alternatives? What do you think costs the most: sending a postcard, email or sms?
So what is the purpose of your idea?
At the same time: 2% of worldwide carbon offset comes from data centers. Those are the places where our google and facebook accounts and this website are residing. I happen to know that this website runs in a green energy center which has very efficient cooling.
The amount of data storage and traffic will probably keep on growing. I think improvements can be made here (and they are being made):
- More green energy (can go faster by introducing a carbon offset tax to non-green energy)
- More efficient use of resources (move from normal servers to virtual servers, saves on total capacity and hardware)
- Better software (a nice example: if i put a song on Dropbox, this actually won't take any diskspace, if somebody else has the same songfile on Dropbox. It just recognizes that and they will not save the same file twice on their disks)
- Clouds can save space (you might think it costs, but it can save): think of how many diskspace you use to save your music collection. Multiply that by the amount of people having a digital music collection. Now think of something like Spotify. No more millions of times the same files in collections, but one data source for us all.
When i read your post, i feels like i should transform myself also into a piece of digital data, maybe an avatar with a green certificate, to save the world. Also if you bring in numbers (like the 2%) please with the source. where is this from? this is also missleading!
Did you also calculte all the new equipement we had to buy for the new digital world? all the new servers, cameras, phones, media players? did you also think of the number of digital devices a modern person owns? now and some years ago? what about the (green) high speed stock servers? transfering money around the world in seconds. this goes in some sentences for sure to far, but: why not step back for some time?
Because we shouldn't look back to much, because that'll not be the way we're going. Being critical towards everything is good though.
There are really bad things going on in Africa where they dig for lithium and other stuff that is being used in digital equipment.
I think a lot of future innovations, in food production, health services, education and more lay in the use of digital technology. Stepping back thus also means stepping back in those subjects. Stepping foreward is better. For example: Since the time that electronics became mobile, we are so much more focussing on saving energy.
I am sure that a lot of people are trying to find methods of producing, that do not rely on scarse minerals. The solutions are always in front of us, although may be far.
And for the 2%, that was about energy use of data centers, not for carbon offset. This is a source http://blogs.computerworld.com/18738/data_centers_use_2_of_u_s_energy_below_forecast
So equipment is not included. It's only about data centers. And 2% is really a lot and its merely invisible, therefore an interesting number.
So i am still interested in the purpose of your idea! What do you want to reach? As I said: what do you think use more energy/carbonoffset: sending an sms, mail or a real postcard?
And reading the article i am thinking: energy costs are rising really fast. That's a good thing, since the incentive of saving energy and finding alternative sources is getting bigger as well.
Btw, I did live one month without electricity. I can tell you, it was a very stressless experience!
June - Live one month without electricityhttps://vimeo.com/45138764
Yep, I lived a month without electricity, how was it? Actually nice!! You can read more about it here:...
@Maraten: Maybe the Result is too close to the electricity idea, i already watched the video :-)
@Bart: You're on the wrong track with just focusing on saving carbon and energy. The digital age has changed a lot of things in our lifes that have nothing to do with basic materials. and still: you can just proof that new digital machines need less energy than old ones. it is a total misbelief that the digital age is saving resources. to come back to your question: please compare how many postcads a human beeing sends in his life and how many sms, emails, twitter messages, ... ?
@nils: can you elaborate on that misbelief?
I believe that digital age brings us more than it will cost. Not easy (or impossible) to put that in numbers, because this is about nearly everything (even the basics: health, food, shelter) and it is what the future will bring.
Nobody would put the idea on this website to just stop all train networks. But in the beginning some people were very negative about it, and even thought trains were very dangerous. Some people think that innovation means decay, but i think innovation is the only way to go.
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