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The energy for objectively maintaining the information colony-organism (called Civilisation) is just a small fraction of the energy we waste. Say, recently there was a strong earthquake in Japan, and a nuclear plant was shut down. To ease stressful redistribution of energy, the local population was asked to conserve on air conditioning and other things. The energy demand dropped upon request, and there was no substantial redistribution needed at all!

Planetwide, we "consume" quite a few nuclear reactors just for keeping computers switched on overnight.

The can be attributed to the relatively young age of the evolution within information exostructure, as you call it. That evolution still has to prove its robustness. But more likely, modern humanity just stop worrying about its collective impact and functionality recently - everything is based on individual excitements, the libertarian philosophy is no less effective than a global religion. Even if humanity never worried much (a questionable if), the modern zealotry to consume everything is qualitatively new. That won't last for long...

I don't think that civilisation complexity is a particularly substantial reason to high energy demand. Rather, run-away complexity is a symptom of our futile "innovations" to cope with finite capacity and boundaries of the environment.

by das monde on Fri Oct 12th, 2007 at 04:46:54 AM EST
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Wasting resources builds status (as per the status thread) so keeping computers on all night makes perfect sense...

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by A swedish kind of death on Fri Oct 12th, 2007 at 11:51:30 AM EST
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A small piece of software that switches off unattended PC's is saving us in the region of £40,000 a year at my place of employment.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.
by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Fri Oct 12th, 2007 at 12:12:45 PM EST
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