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 Post subject: A History of the Future
PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:07 pm 
Sanno
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For a while now, I've been working on some 'predictions' (halfway between predictions and a science fiction scenario) for the future. [I.e. ages ago I started it, and now I've given up waiting for me to finish it].

Here's the beginning:
http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/a-history-of-the-future-part-1/
http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2010/12/11/a-history-of-the-future-part-2/

Feel free to criticise either as SF or as serious prediction (obviously, further into the future the prediction element drops out and it becomes purely SF, but I want the base to seem at least plausible)

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:45 pm 
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Will we do historical preenactments?

(I read everything, it was interesting, now do Europe >:O)


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 4:58 pm 
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Well, first, I enjoyed it immensely, hope to see more, and second the request for Europe, though I am also a bit curious about Canada. With its already-different political system, I would expect society to change on a very divergent path from the United States, and perhaps take the rest of the Commonwealth along with it, but I'm sure you've already got something in mind.

Although there were a few awkward spots, your prose is generally quite clear and comprehensible, not to mention engaging.

The one thought I would call into question was the lack of viability of renewable resources when compared with oil — I would expect some to be developed somewhere, but, as a work of fiction, that does not break the suspension of disbelief (for me, anyway).

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 5:49 pm 
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I call into question the "collapse" of certain resources...

With more and more innovation, I think we can start to balance the usage versus waste of oil.

I'm intrigued though, made for good reading.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 6:00 pm 
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Quote:
The remaining horizontal farms were cleared of their owners in the greatest consolidation since Enclosure, and turned into more organised, efficient, industrial super-farms

Won't this result in either really, really, really huge overproduction of food if the countryside is all pseudourbanised in this way, or the turning of large parts of the countryside to wasteland if vertical farms are more widely spaced out?

PLUS, all the vertical farm plans I am aware of tend to rely heavily on hydroponics and automation and in a world where "Petrochemical-derived fertilisers were becoming more expensive" and "water resources were horrifically stretched", this does not seem like a super idea to implement! Since you also have an increase in agricultural labour, this *suggests* an increase in the sort of horrible back-breaking work of planting, harrowing, hoeing, harvesting, extended towards crops that even at present are capable of being processed by machine rather than immigrant labour. And what of animals?

To what extent are the products of these vertical forms weird, in the sense that they are more or less quorny, or vat meat, or profoundly genetically engineered plantlife?

You describe vertical farming as being a sort of happy [if kinda stopgap] solution to the food crisis of the 21st century, but also describe it as being worse than the Enclosures! I would *guess* that you are going to use this in the China section as the catalyst of the splintering of All Under Heaven and its reunion under some warlord with strong links to the American Oil Barons. Or its reunion into two Chinese territories, perhaps Diamond Age-like.

---

I am deeply surprised that FTL is your big scientific marvel of the 22nd century -- surprising enough in itself, but also surprising that your 21st seems to lack one entirely. Do AI, biogenetics and Neobehaviourist Complexity Science [*] fail to pay off entirely? I realise you do not want to retread over well-trodden ground too much and Christ knows there is no future more boring than God descending at some point in the next 50 years, turning everyone into a white American male first year electrical engineering student and opening the door to paradise, but given that you are willing to posit a revolution in farming greater than the Green Revolution, surely there is some sort of equivalent revolution in biogenetics? And if it is applied to food and cash crops, then the obvious next step is to apply it to Man...

And even if you do not apply *that* sort of manipulation to Man, then consider the third option

Generally, *scientifically* speaking, you give little indication that 2110 is much different from 2010. If this is the case, compared to the differential between 1910 and 2010, I'd at least expect there to be a reasonably profound... *reason* for this, rather than just "oh, everything went to hell and the oil ran out" *especially* when you talk about thriving fourth- and fifth- order[+] economic sectors. Is the "creativity" of this Third Estate just a bunch of decadent Nathan Barley wanking or are they coming up with genuinely new stuff?

-----
I ask myself how the Air Force could lead a coup -- is the answer "nuclear weapons"? And what happens to them, anyway? I guess the parts of it relating to proliferation [++] this is going to be answered in the Superpowers section, but what about the Oil Barons and their nonamerican copycats?

Also, robots for old people! Japan! Kawaii! A robot does not have to be very clever or expensive to be able to wipe your mother's arse and make sure she doesn't starve to death or forget to take her medicine, and so you can go to work to pay for the credit that was extended to you for the robot in the first place.

Children are also entirely absent in this -- if the workforce becomes increasingly agricultural, focused on care *and* America in general becomes a bit shit *and* the trend towards temporary part-time work with flexible[|P] hours, are children kept in full time education?[~D] Mama has Monday off, Papa has Tuesday off, Pepe has Tuesday and Thursday off school [and hardly goes anyway [because it's shit]], Maria has Wednesday off and Jose can't find a job *anyway*...

----

Why "Shatterspace"? Is this going to end up with lefty anarchists living in space because Iain M Banks already did that one very well.


[*] For want of a better word. I am talking about the application of http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2 ... ost_1.html in earnest, given the final, global victory of neoliberalism and the fruition of all the stuff we are hearing now about being able to model sociology stuff with huge networks of data on computers -- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26092/ for an example of that. This is the sort of thing where I would expect AI to come in.

[+] This marks, I think, the first time I have seen this concept suggested outside of some sort of awful corporate propaganda thing that *doesn't* also have "6th (????)" as a way to ensure that even the highest executives have permission to speculate blindly about there being Something Yet Greater Than Themselves.

[++] And I can't really see nuclear disarmament happening in this world. Not yet, anyway.

[~D] and/or employment depending on how shit exactly everything is

[|P] or ""flexible""

-----

NE: fuck, pharazon reminded me. "This inevitably had sociopolitical consequences". I CALL YOUR BLUFF that you have not actually worked out any such consequences.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 11, 2010 8:29 pm 
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Shit, now I've got to actually read all that stuff to find out how to answer your questions...

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 12, 2010 1:37 pm 
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Pthug wrote:
Quote:
The remaining horizontal farms were cleared of their owners in the greatest consolidation since Enclosure, and turned into more organised, efficient, industrial super-farms

Won't this result in either really, really, really huge overproduction of food if the countryside is all pseudourbanised in this way, or the turning of large parts of the countryside to wasteland if vertical farms are more widely spaced out?

I'm sorry, I wasn't clear on that. I meant two DIFFERENT trends:
a) in some cities, vertical farms provide a large part of the food supply for that city. The middle classes flock to the cities, and rural land is bought up by the rich
b) the remainder of the food supply for those cities, and all the food supply for the rest of the cities, comes from the countryside. These farms are now larger latifundia, the middle-classes having been cleared out, and are owned by the rich and serviced by a combination of machinery and poor labourers.

[In poorer countries, the vertical farms don't exist, and everyone has to go back to the countryside, so you don't get the latifundia, but you do get rural unrest]
Quote:
PLUS, all the vertical farm plans I am aware of tend to rely heavily on hydroponics and automation and in a world where "Petrochemical-derived fertilisers were becoming more expensive" and "water resources were horrifically stretched", this does not seem like a super idea to implement!

The genius of the vertical farm is that it uses virtually zero water, despite being water-intensive. This is because it can be a virtually closed system, in which the plants actually act to purify the water (which can then be condensed from the air). They do take energy, but (after the extremely high start-up cost) not as much as bringing all that food to the cities.
Quote:
To what extent are the products of these vertical forms weird, in the sense that they are more or less quorny, or vat meat, or profoundly genetically engineered plantlife?

Don't know. Depends on the degree of genetic engineering, I suppose.
Quote:
You describe vertical farming as being a sort of happy [if kinda stopgap] solution to the food crisis of the 21st century, but also describe it as being worse than the Enclosures!

"worse"?
Quote:
I would *guess* that you are going to use this in the China section as the catalyst of the splintering of All Under Heaven and its reunion under some warlord with strong links to the American Oil Barons. Or its reunion into two Chinese territories, perhaps Diamond Age-like.

Nope.
Quote:
I am deeply surprised that FTL is your big scientific marvel of the 22nd century -- surprising enough in itself, but also surprising that your 21st seems to lack one entirely. Do AI, biogenetics and Neobehaviourist Complexity Science [*] fail to pay off entirely? I realise you do not want to retread over well-trodden ground too much and Christ knows there is no future more boring than God descending at some point in the next 50 years, turning everyone into a white American male first year electrical engineering student and opening the door to paradise, but given that you are willing to posit a revolution in farming greater than the Green Revolution, surely there is some sort of equivalent revolution in biogenetics?

Lifespans are probably increasing in this timeperiod, at least theoretically, but resource scarcity (not just energy and petrochemicals, but also many mineral resources, and even water) rather hampers this. I imagine a lot of the intellectual energy being devoted to improving efficiency of existing machines, rather than mechanical innovation, and most of it probably to 'virtual' industries. Entertainment and communications and a lot of decision-making work can be improved dramatically without too much in the way of resources. Although remember that even computers are reliant on rare materials.
Quote:

And if it is applied to food and cash crops, then the obvious next step is to apply it to Man...

And even if you do not apply *that* sort of manipulation to Man, then consider the third option

Genetic manipulation of humankind does play a role later on, but not in the next century.
Quote:
Generally, *scientifically* speaking, you give little indication that 2110 is much different from 2010. If this is the case, compared to the differential between 1910 and 2010, I'd at least expect there to be a reasonably profound... *reason* for this, rather than just "oh, everything went to hell and the oil ran out" *especially* when you talk about thriving fourth- and fifth- order[+] economic sectors. Is the "creativity" of this Third Estate just a bunch of decadent Nathan Barley wanking or are they coming up with genuinely new stuff?

As I say, mostly wanking (ie entertainment and communications and decision-making), with a fair bit of efficiency improvement. Humanity is at a 'plateau' in terms of feasible mechanics, and the improvements that are possible are hindered by their cost.
Quote:
-----
I ask myself how the Air Force could lead a coup -- is the answer "nuclear weapons"? And what happens to them, anyway? I guess the parts of it relating to proliferation [++] this is going to be answered in the Superpowers section, but what about the Oil Barons and their nonamerican copycats?

Well, it's unlikely to be the army, because the army's got a lot of Normal People in it. The Air Force is generally the most right-wing part of any military, because it's the most elitist (and it tends to have a stronger group mentality of honour, tradition, and mutual loyalty). Hence they have a penchant for a) overthrowing left-wing governments and b) refusing to participate in coups seen as too revolutionary. The Navy has a lesser tendency, while the Army is usually more sympathetic to the leftists, but also more prone to radicalism. I guess I probably had, eg, Chile in mind there - Leigh's air force was the instigator of the coup, and the most brutal part of the junta, but came to oppose Pinochet's army when the latter was seen as being too constitutionally and economically radical (similarly Leigh, though an enemy who Pinochet forced out, and who called for the return of democracy, then opposed the arrest of Pinochet - because for Leigh, sovereignty was all-important). Something similar can be seen in Bolivia, where the radical Garcia Meza was overthrown by an air-force-lead junta (albeit one which handed power back to a different general).
[I imagine the threat of nukes being more relevent than nukes themselves]
Quote:
Also, robots for old people! Japan! Kawaii! A robot does not have to be very clever or expensive to be able to wipe your mother's arse and make sure she doesn't starve to death or forget to take her medicine, and so you can go to work to pay for the credit that was extended to you for the robot in the first place.

But they're expensive to buy in the first place, and there's not going to be a lot of available credit. So yes, rich people will have them, but the poor won't.

An important point here is that the whole point of this scenario is that high transport costs undermine Ricardian economics. High transport costs mean that it's very hard to increase productivity through reorganising labour (ie making things where they can be made cheapest) - you have to actually make technological advances to increase productivity. Hence productivity doesn't increase as much, hence profitability of new ventures is lower, hence banks are less willing to loan money, hence there is a more rigid class system.
Quote:
Why "Shatterspace"? Is this going to end up with lefty anarchists living in space because Iain M Banks already did that one very well.

Just a convenient label for me. The original idea was a universe that only had humans in, but in which humans became shattered into multiple incommensurable cultures.
Quote:

[*] For want of a better word. I am talking about the application of http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/2 ... ost_1.html in earnest, given the final, global victory of neoliberalism and the fruition of all the stuff we are hearing now about being able to model sociology stuff with huge networks of data on computers -- http://www.technologyreview.com/blog/arxiv/26092/ for an example of that. This is the sort of thing where I would expect AI to come in.

I'm unfamiliar with these matters.
Quote:
NE: fuck, pharazon reminded me. "This inevitably had sociopolitical consequences". I CALL YOUR BLUFF that you have not actually worked out any such consequences.


Well, America becomes even more class-statified, and this becomes more racially-locked. Also, it helps (along with the other developments) produce a more religious country - Catholicism, in particular, will clearly become more important.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:28 am 
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I'll be looking it over in greater detail but a total lack of a space elevator was most striking. Or talk of a tunnel under the Bering Strait (allowing travel from Paris to New York by rail inside of a week to compete with rising airfares). But I guess the later contradicts the weakening of globalization.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:28 am 
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Salmoneus wrote:
Well, America becomes even more class-statified, and this becomes more racially-locked. Also, it helps (along with the other developments) produce a more religious country - Catholicism, in particular, will clearly become more important.


Why? the states have long been predominantly protestant, with a hundred thousand minor sects well-tailored to the need and particularities of the communities they cater to. Furthermore, radical and militant religiosity in the states is, AFAICT, predominantly protestant, while Catholicism looks to be a mainly ethnic and family issue... you know, Irish people are catholic because they're Irish, and so are people of Latin American ancestry.

With a rise in 'religious sentiment' or something, this is, with a more religious population, it seems only logical that, unless ethnically catholic groups have radically higher fertility, small and medium-time christian sects would grow in popularity, not to mention guys like the Mormons. What fuels the Vatican's success in your future america?

EDIT: especially with a reversal of globalization

EDIT2: what's up with that? don't people eventually get the hang of fusion ?

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 11:45 am 
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Torco wrote:
Salmoneus wrote:
Well, America becomes even more class-statified, and this becomes more racially-locked. Also, it helps (along with the other developments) produce a more religious country - Catholicism, in particular, will clearly become more important.


Why? the states have long been predominantly protestant, with a hundred thousand minor sects well-tailored to the need and particularities of the communities they cater to. Furthermore, radical and militant religiosity in the states is, AFAICT, predominantly protestant, while Catholicism looks to be a mainly ethnic and family issue... you know, Irish people are catholic because they're Irish, and so are people of Latin American ancestry.

With a rise in 'religious sentiment' or something, this is, with a more religious population, it seems only logical that, unless ethnically catholic groups have radically higher fertility...


Errr. that's the point. They do. Specifically, the Hispanic population is increasing dramatically, and my number of 40% is far from extreme. And the Hispanic population is Catholic, and shows little sign of converting at the moment. By the end of the century, America will be a majority-Catholic nation (if it stays traditionally religious at all).

EDIT: especially with a reversal of globalization

EDIT2: what's up with that? don't people eventually get the hang of fusion ?[/quote]

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 12:56 pm 
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Two counterresponses, both sorta technological.

I urge you to reconsider robots as being affordable for the common man, *especially* if there is a credit megacrunch [pulverisation?]. Once people grow out of the habit of depending on lines of credit, then older mutual-help forms will reassert themselves, surely? A thriving second-hand market, for example, since eventually people's ailing relatives will all be dead. I also think it likely that people will create robot clubs -- a bunch of people, like maybe five or ten or so who are all working club together to get a care robot, their old relatives go to a sort of daycare centre and the communal robot does all the menial stuff during the day. This seems exactly the sort of technological improvement that the Third Sector would excel at -- it requires nothing particularly magical, just more of the same.

That makes a pretty good summary of your 21st century as a whole, really. So do you have any reasons other than authorial fiat for seeing the entire century as one of scientific and philosophical stagnation to an extent that has not been experienced since, uh, maybe the 15th century?


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 2:36 pm 
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Good point on hispanics... I didn't know they were so ahead in fertility, but if that's right then yeah, makes sense

My question regarding de-globalization stands, however: what about non-oil energy? I know renewables are pretty useless right now, photovoltaic being an apparent dead end and large scale wind having huge negative impact over the area, killing birds and making an awful lot of obnoxious noise, but by the end of the century, shouldn't we have working fusion? isn't fission a viable alternative ? [a bunch of countries already have extensive non-oil energy production]. hell, even solar reflectors work, and people want their energy. A crisis of transportation because of high oil prices is inevitable, but internal combustion engines can be modified to use hydrogen at relatively low cost, so the problem isn't portable energy [a field in which there has been huge advances lately, and will likely be in the future, like h2 cells or something] but energy production, which can happen already with fission and should happen with fusion in the next... what... 40 years ?

I guess I'm saying what Pthag is saying; what's up with progress, man?

tho' I don't think anthropomorphic robots will ever be practical, though, beyond house service... and not even that. Way I see it, the human form is pretty random, and for whatever function you want to think about, there's a better, cheaper, and more practical design for a robot... plus, humanoid robots have the whole uncanny valley thing going on... I mean a walking manequin like those things the japanese are making... asking me how much I want to tip it would be... creepy. I'd much rather be waited on by a tetrapod with tridactyl hands and four radially-mounted webcams, all encased in sleek-looking plastic.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 3:52 pm 
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Psychohistory, yo.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:25 pm 
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Beware of the "ahead in fertility" arguments. I've heard that what serious studies actually show is that the fertility rate of immigrants tend to become the same as the welcoming country after some time.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 4:51 pm 
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Torco wrote:
large scale wind having huge negative impact over the area, killing birds and making an awful lot of obnoxious noise


Agreed. They are basically huge bird blenders that run all day and night. Also, I heard that each turbine can only power a single light bulb!

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:00 pm 
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Torco wrote:
My question regarding de-globalization stands, however: what about non-oil energy? I know renewables are pretty useless right now, photovoltaic being an apparent dead end and large scale wind having huge negative impact over the area, killing birds and making an awful lot of obnoxious noise, but by the end of the century, shouldn't we have working fusion? isn't fission a viable alternative ? [a bunch of countries already have extensive non-oil energy production]. hell, even solar reflectors work, and people want their energy. A crisis of transportation because of high oil prices is inevitable, but internal combustion engines can be modified to use hydrogen at relatively low cost, so the problem isn't portable energy [a field in which there has been huge advances lately, and will likely be in the future, like h2 cells or something] but energy production, which can happen already with fission and should happen with fusion in the next... what... 40 years ?


Also, wood gaz generators.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:51 pm 
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Legion wrote:
Beware of the "ahead in fertility" arguments. I've heard that what serious studies actually show is that the fertility rate of immigrants tend to become the same as the welcoming country after some time.
Catholics in developed countries in general do have higher fertility rates than non-Catholics though.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:58 pm 
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Obviously, renewable energy and/or fission can meet all our energy needs. The question is whether they are able to do so at the current price. I think that's an open question.

So essentially there's a double pinch. First, power generation becomes a lot more expensive, and then transport costs become doubly expensive, because the energy can't be stored efficiently.

Hydrogen is not (or at least is not clearly) a solution to this. Hydrogen production generally requires a lot of energy, and a lot of fossil fuels; the alternative methods require even more energy, and a variety of (increasingly) expensive catalytic elements. The hydrogen then has to be used as a fuel, in an extremely inefficient process. Hydrogen fuel cell technology is currently LESS efficient than the normal battery technology in cars, which is itself highly inefficient. Well-to-wheel, electric cars are at least three times as efficient as hydrogen cars... Not to mention that through the production process, hydrogen cars use more fossil fuels than petrol cars!

What's more, the entire idea of widespread hydrogen fuel cell us is founded purely on hope: with all known methods to date, it will be impossible to produce enough of the rare materials required at prices low enough to enable mass adoption of the technology. [Platinum is catalyst of choice...].
Oh, and the fuel cells themselves are made of complicated polymers, which are created from fossil fuels via an energy-intensive process.

------

Of course, I'm not saying we WON'T develop sufficiently efficient energy-storage technologies. Just that it is far from clear that we will.

As for fusion... that's planned for early in the next century, which I think is quite reasonable. It MIGHT be available earlier - but then it might not even be possible, so I don't think giving it another century is too wild.

-----

As a general point, people underestimate how much we rely on rare elements for our modern technology. For instance, Torco suggests solar power. Well, even the plain old inefficient solar cells use silicon. The flashy modern cells use cadmium, tellurium, gallium, arsenic, indium, selenium, and ruthenium! Oh, and they all need silver. A lot of silver. To produce 5% of global energy requirements, we would have to use 30% of global silver production purely for solar cells. And that's a silver production level that is already unsustainable.

Even computers and the internet are not immune. Modern computers (and mobile phones) and so on require rare earth elements. 97% of rare earth supply is from China, and China's reserves are projected to have been used up within twenty years. And even plain old silicon - in the last boom, the cost doubled in only five years - it then dipped in the credit crunch due to lack of demand, and has now doubled again in the last two years. That's just the rarity issue (yes, silicon is commonplace, but usably pure silicon isn't). In the future, the energy costs of silicon will have to be borne in mind. Making a ton of metalic silicon requires at present 1.4 tons of coal and 2.4 tons of wood: and that's not including the fossil fuels we use to supply the electricity for the process. And as that electricity has to heat the coal and silicon to 2200 degrees, that's quite a lot of energy. And then you've got to turn the metalic silicon into usable silicon, and then you have to process that into the finished article... it's a hugely expensive process, and will become even more expensive as energy costs increase.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 6:59 pm 
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Legion wrote:
Beware of the "ahead in fertility" arguments. I've heard that what serious studies actually show is that the fertility rate of immigrants tend to become the same as the welcoming country after some time.


Yes, which is why I'm not saying the US will be 100% hispanic in two centuries. But when you have large populations and large differences in fertility rates, three or four generations are enough for major demographic shifts.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 7:11 pm 
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http://vacuouswastrel.wordpress.com/2010/12/12/a-history-of-the-future-part-3/, by the way.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:01 pm 
Smeric
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Quote:
. For instance, Torco suggests solar power.


Torco meant the kind of solar power that uses mirrors instead of photovoltaic cells.

Anyway, thinking about it, I'm not at all sure globalization's going to be able to deal with peak oil. After all, I get the feelong that technology has been moving forward REALLY slow lately in everything that isn't information technology... and information technology isn't going to make energy any cheaper... or is it?

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Last edited by Torco on Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 13, 2010 10:01 pm 
Smeric
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patiku wrote:
Torco wrote:
large scale wind having huge negative impact over the area, killing birds and making an awful lot of obnoxious noise


Agreed. They are basically huge bird blenders that run all day and night. Also, I heard that each turbine can only power a single light bulb!


Okay, so maybe it's a viable alternative. I sure as hell hope so.

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 10:40 am 
Sanno
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Now with more China!

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 1:52 pm 
Avisaru
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This is really shaping up to be the most boring century in world history ever, especially in terms of wasted potential -- really it seems to be more of a long and unfunny parody of the last quarter of the 20th (1979 - 21whenevermagichappens as the Quite Long 21st Century?) where the only wars are internecine, low-intensity fourth-generation affairs, where everything slowly becomes more and more shit as the rich get richer.

The only thing spoiling the Fukuyamist parody [which hold up, unsurprisingly, best in America] is the return of socialism that you keep invoking -- governments starting to reassert themselves with the European Funds and a quite... nice sounding Chinese system, but even this is just a continuation of much the same sort of thing. The world is not transformed by steam, steel, rail, telegraph, Empire and the Old Physics, nor by electricity, silicon, petroleum, internet, atomic war or the New Physics, it's just broadly *dull* with all the interesting and novel things in minor details.

For something that is supposed to be "halfway between predictions and a science fiction scenario", I wonder which horse in the biga is responsible for this.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 14, 2010 3:09 pm 
Avisaru
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Pthug wrote:
This is really shaping up to be the most boring century in world history ever.


Just wait. He hasn't gotten to Bhutan yet! Maybe they've all become shuffleboard-playing Rastafarian pirates.

I like the history so far. I can see Pthug's complaint about it being a lot like the later 20th century, and lacking any really huge changes, but who knows, maybe the excitement of the industrial revolution was a temporary thing? For all we know, we could be headed for a "Long Boredom" like we had in the past.

Also, what stopped corporations in Europe from doing what they did in America? How is it that the popular funds, often small and local and by your own admission less efficient than the New World mega-conglomerates, managed to stave off the plutocrats that rule in America?

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