Have you worked by an Internet Service Provider or any activities related to energy distribution?
The profile of consumption in developed countries is the same:
Activities peaking up early in the morning with max before people eat. People come back from eating, works and decrease their load until business hours and then activities from evening to night.
5/7 and on week end a lesser activity.
Have you got any physical intuition?
The answer is YES: you all have. So let's use it.
So we have basically concentrated the activity of human beings in such a way that we speed up our works by synchronizing business hours. The result is congestion: on the internet, on the transportation grid, on the allocation of resources for keeping kids...
To handle a system in congestion, we throw more energy at the congestion; building bigger roads, more transportation, scaling up our internet pipes. Diminishing the overall efficiency of each of our daily action requiring use of resource for sustaining our way of life.
Scaling up in physics tends to throw diminishing returns. Power throughput vs efficiency are antagonizing and it is described by reversibility. The more power you want to extract of an energy source, the more violently and irreversibly you destroy it : example explosive bombs are a direct application. You cannot find the components of the initial reaction after, and the entropy of the universe is higher. Used another way you can extract more useful energy (than heat) but you require more time.
Another example is Stie?rling engine vs Carnot engine. Efficiency of Carnot is less, but with a greater loss you achieve more power.
The new energy challenge is wrongly thought about energy. It is much more about the available usable pool of accessible entropy we can diminish over time.
Given our actual knowledge and the inherent limit of physics (causality and equivalence principle) we know we have a very limited pool of entropy we can transform per unit of time. Solar insulation, wind, heat of the earth, fossil energy, nuclear energy, hydro energy, living stuff (that diminishes locally entropy by increasing it on a higher level).
The increasing consumption of entropy generated by our way of life is making us leave in a negative overall system. We borrow more we can replenish. We are making a survavibility debt. We borrow on the entropy available for the future generations in an irreversible way and at one point there will be no coming back.
We actually generate more entropy daily than we soak it. Hence we end up producing one of the most degraded form of energy in the atmosphere that is irreversibly hardly recyclable : disorganized heat.
And that is why Fourier claimed that human activity results in global warming. Temperature is just another name for entropy.
Our planet has a limited overall pool of available fixed entropy, and have a potential daily refurbishing of it (eolian, photovoltaic, hydrology) that is not predictable. But we live under the tyranny of 24/7 human activity.
Most people forget all these pools are coupled through the movement of a fluid called air. You cannot think of alternatives. The entropy equation is global because of the climate. Shifting the debt from coal to nuclear, or eolian, or rare earths (batteries) ... Does not essentially changes the existence of the systemically improving debt, it just changes its accidental nature. Like a diversion. It is just a transfer on an another limited budget or resources.
Through chemistry we can with Faber process transform heat and chemical compounds irreversibly in boosters of living production called Potasse and Nitrate. They are useful to feed the whole planet. We could also use the natural cycle to achieve with a better efficiency the same result but on longer scale of time with locally less productivity.
Thermodynamics is about the way we create an energy debt.
And it is growing.
Look at a web page.
1000 meaning full words at most and already 1Mb of data loaded through n web servers available 24/7 from every where around the world.
S = k ln(O) where O = sums of relevant choices other total choices.
I can't help but notice that eye candy is not meaningful information. Nor ad trackers.
in 10 years we have multiplied the entropy generated by document passing of ln(1000) = 2 ln(10) just looking at the row information loaded per HTML pages.
We have directly multiplied the minimum energy needed to load any web page by 6.7 as a DIRECT effect with diminishing return.
And also. Look at all the crap on the internet. Do we have relevant new piece of knowledge or isn't internet filled with increasingly NIH and noise? So entropy due to Noise/Signal ratio also increases in a way I cannot evaluate.
You will say computers have been more efficient. I will say bullshit crap.
New Highly Available architecture (like bloggers) require multiple levels of infra. And redundancy to achieve .1 more in SLA does not scale well.
Exemple: if multiplying your clock seems a good idea it has all the more diminishing returns we are close to the physical limits of speed of light.
Then, doubling your CPU/threads/datacenter/dockers/VM brings only a marginal benefits of 40% per each doubling
If IT architecture DO scale, it is mainly because IT industry does not pay energy at its true cost.
Most of the price of the internet (routers, IP, bandwidth, allocation and operations) are paid by the customers paying for unsolicited information. Even the one not using any free products are paying for free users of gmail & al. Internet in its cost structure is like a thermostat on which commercial companies plug themselves to parasit the resource gathering of the whole planet.
And IT is not the only industry making its profit by sacrificing without control the future of our civilization.
And that is the last reason I quit IT. I will not take part in condemning the future of humanity by my own work.
I am good enough in science to know that what I do is wrong.
I am also convinced that throwing more power on the grid using batteries is wrong. The new green tech bubble is not thermodynamically justifiable. It comes with more entropy being generated in the process of storing and transporting energy while relying on more entropy debt. Just on a new budget. But the number of accessible budgets are limited by the nature of entropy.
The solution will be to adapt our work rhythm to the cycle of naturally available energy that will be used with the less loss possible. And to favor back natural adaptive locally reversing entropy reactors called living beings over mechanical workforces.
- using boats on river instead of trucks to transport merchandises and accept slower delivery;
- using eolian energy for direct mechanical conversion (water pump, mills);
- using hydro-electricity only when dam are full and new collect is expected;
- letting micro organism slowly build fertilizer rather than Faber process;
- having animals both used for they power to help on the field and as food in a quantity that does not imbalance the biotops;
- letting local producer survive according to the entropy efficiency;
- dynamic websites closed out of work hours if useless to avoid energy use;
- denying private property so that we can use like native Americans a globalized nature as a plant able to give and build resources (plants, mammals, trees) we can use for our global interest.
I think there is no IT bubble right now. IT Unicorns are built on absurdly cheap power given by the limited pool of fossil energy that is ridiculously NOT priced correctly when all costs are taken into account if we consider that Humanity does want to still be alive in the future.
We have family, we have kids to protect. I do not think our objective is to condemn them to die or set them on the track to do so in a catastrophic way.
I think it is time again every citizen just try to re-use the little knowledge they learned to evaluate what I say and decide by themselves after thinking critically if I am wrong and if our actual way of life really worth is.
Our future and the future of our family totally worth we invest a little time for thinking. It is not acceptable as human beings we give up on improving the world. We are setting a wrong example.
We are all gonna die. Our kids too. It is the law of nature and the curse of locally diminishing entropy. That is the reason why time is not symmetric in physics at our levels.
Before we condemn our kids selfishly like a psychopath millennial apocalyptic sect, I think as an atheist, that we need religions & citizens to wake up.
Science and religions are orthogonal, and I also think that now more than ever we need religions to stop fear science and promote it. Science is also stuck in an academic (value of authority) posture that is counter productive. It also has to be reformed. So I clearly don't rely on actually broken institutions.
I don't know why, science and religions to face the problems are trying to impose a one best way that does not exists (yet?). We need to think harder. We have to trust we can do it. We have to have Faith in ourselves even if there is no Gods or science.
Our whole way of life needs a solid questioning on why are we there?
Do we want to live like happy selfish Pavlov's dog to scared to look at our destiny and condemn ourselves predictably or do we want to resume the amazing Odyssey of Humanity and write new amazing adventures to the book of our specie in new imaginative ways?
I made a Choice. I will take the second option. And the second option is antagonizing with most business models of IT (not all of them) that do not think of their global entropy debt.
IT evolution is one of the less sustainable one ever in human industry right now. I will not work for it given my potentially incomplete knowledge. But I dare take a stand. If I am wrong, educate me better and come and convince me. It will not be the over way round.
And I will boycott working for any companies that will endanger by its recklessness the future of my families.
It is by taking our destiny back in our hand that we have a way to deviate the future from potentially harmful consequences of the decisions of a few that are never liable.
Liability and considering every one are responsible of their action has been a major break through in making human specie able to progress, innovate and negate randomness. Let's resume this positive thinking.
So far we have done well, let's trust our history, our pasts and let us resume the good job of our ancestors. We are no weaker than past heroes. We are like them. It is time we become the heroes that will save our future, standing again on the giants' shoulders.