Links for 5th January 2010

Fresh from the clogged tubes of teh intarwubs…

  1. The monster footprint of digital technology

    "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 comparisons 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. How much energy do our high-tech gadgets really consume?"

    Tagged with: technologyeconomicsenergyconsumptioncarbonfootprintsustainabilitycultureIT

  2. The Burj Dubai and architecture’s vacant stare

    "… so here is the Burj Dubai's real symbolic importance: It is mostly empty, and is likely to stay that way for the foreseeable future. Though most of its 900 apartments have been sold, virtually all were bought three years ago — near the top of the market — and primarily as investments, not as places to live. ("A lot of those purchases were speculative," Smith, in something of an understatement, told me in a phone interview.) And there's virtually no demand in Dubai at the moment for office space. The Burj Dubai has 37 floors of office space."

    Tagged with: economicsarchitecturecultureDubaiskyscrapersquattingfuturismferal-cities

  3. Domesticating the Enemy

    "When the rest of us went to war trying to wipe out infections entirely, the Norwegians forged an uneasy truce. They intentionally deny themselves access to the latest infection-fighting technology. They suffer through colds and other minor illnesses, essentially letting the bacteria run rampant (Tylenol is used to control the symptoms rather than the disease and infected individuals are sent home and paid to stay there). In life-threatening situations, the big guns come out and antibiotics keep the staph at bay. It works because there is no evolved resistance. The staph gets to live day to day, so we get to live in the emergency room."

    Tagged with: NorwaystaphMRSAantibioticsdomesticationeconomicsterrorismanalogy

  4. Notes from New Sodom: The Scourge of Sci-Fi

    "It’s a dangerous game though, that pride, because when we turn this noun into an adjective or a genre label in its own right — saying this is 'genre fiction', or simply this is 'Genre' — we’re buying into the very rhetoric of abjection that built the ghetto walls around us. It is a term that functions in the same way 'coloured' does." Hal Duncan.

    Tagged with: Hal-Duncansfgenreliteraturecriticismtaxonomyghetto

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