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modern industrial technology is way more efficient in its use of energy and material resources than "traditional" production methods.

I'm not convinced this is true if you consider the resource cycle as a whole.

You can cherry pick items like electronics which look small and cheap, but the complete cycle includes ripping stuff out of the ground and shipping it around the world.

And you not only have to refine the stuff you're shipping, you also have to refine the stuff to build the things you're shipping it in. And fuel them.

And then there are the various levels of repetition and recursion involved in putting it all together.

A truly efficient technology would do this with no mess. We're a long way from anything like that - so far away that on a planetary scale, it's not obvious we've moved on from the 19th century.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Tue Jun 24th, 2014 at 05:12:01 PM EST
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A truly efficient technology would do this with no mess.

That's not an argument for returning back to "traditional" production methods, nor an argument that these would be more efficient, but only an argument that the current state of industrial process and the intermediate steps of production can be further optimised.

by Bjinse on Wed Jun 25th, 2014 at 04:58:46 AM EST
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