[FoRK] Making robotics a priority

Ken Ganshirt @ Yahoo ken_ganshirt at yahoo.ca
Thu Jul 14 16:13:56 PDT 2011

--- On Thu, 7/14/11, Eugen Leitl <eugen at leitl.org> wrote:

> Total solar output is 4 MT/s of flux, and there's more than enough
> matter in the local system to make use of it. We're currently a factor
> of million away from Landauer limit, nevermind reversible
> computation.
>  ....
> > Your "information consuming economy" is still totally dependent upon
> > significant consumption of Real Stuff.   
> Of course. We're very far removed from the possible limits, but not in
> terms of doubling steps.
>  ....
> Most of the current advances in HPC are energy-focused. We should see
> the transition from electronics to spintronics/plasmonics/photonics over
> the course of then next 30-40 years, or so. 3d integration of molecular
> scale components should be also in time frame, or slightly later.

I don't know if you are missing the point, Eugen, or simply ignoring it.  

The point is that ... let's take your solar power example ... the photons may be "free" but it requires significant quantities of Real Stuff to construct, install and maintain all of the things necessary to capture, convert and distribute it. 

With that in mind, do you think the advances in technology will outpace, or even manage to keep up with, the increasing demands as the Asian countries continue their valiant, and mostly successful, attempts to match the consumption rates of the "1st world" countries?  

That is, will the amount of Real Stuff required, for example, to build the energy capture, conversion and distribution systems be reduced enough to offset the increasing quantities of them that are needed to 1) replace existing fossil fuel generation at a status quo rate AND 2) match the increasing demand for energy? Regardless whether that energy is used to stitch up sdw's running shoes or to capture, store and distribute bits?


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