The Made and the Born: Neo-Biological civillization, written by Kevin Kelly, excerpt from Out of Control : The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems and the Economic World, Kevin Kelly (1995) Perseus Books Group, ISBN-13: 978-0201483406.
I am sealed in a cottage of glass that is completely airtight. Inside I breathe my exhalations. Yet the air is fresh, blown by fans. My urine and excrement are recycled by a system of ducts, pipes, wires, plants, and marsh-microbes, and redeemed into water and food which I can eat. Tasty food. Good water.
Last night it snowed outside. Inside this experimental capsule it is warm, humid, and cozy. This morning the thick interior windows drip with heavy condensation. Plants crowd my space. I am surrounded by large banana leaves — huge splashes of heartwarming yellow-green color — and stringy vines of green beans entwining every vertical surface. About half the plants in this hut are food plants, and from these I harvested my dinner.
What has a virtual world got to do with CO2 emissions? Electricity. Second Hype creator Linden Lab consumes an enormous amount of electricity on its 4,000 servers that support 10,000 to 15,000 avatars at a time . . . and it’s just getting started. Nicholas Carr ran some numbers. He says an avatar consumes 1,752 kWh per year. That’s lower than the average human being in the United States who uses about 7,702 kWh a year. ”But if we look at developing countries, where per-capita consumption is 1,015 kWh, we find that avatars burn through considerably more electricity than people do.” Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians.
Packet Garden is an experimental artwork that seeks to provide an alternative and accessible approach to visualizing daily internet use. Plants are also grown for each protocol detected by the software; if you visit a website, an ‘HTTP plant’ is grown. If you share some files via eMule, a ‘Peer to Peer plant’ is grown, and so on. The fake nature metaphors are too much for me, but still its a sweet way to visualize daily internet use.
Global warming is “very likely” a human-caused problem that will last for centuries and require concerted international action to reduce its potentially devastating impacts, a United Nations panel of climate experts declared Friday in a landmark report.