Low Tech Magazine : History Of Technology

Well I had some fun with modern days crazies, so let’s switch back to a more informative tack. While I am not a Green, efficiency fascinates me – and as our ancestors had way less energy at their disposal than we, they could afford much less waste.

A very good site talking about past technologies is Lowtechmagazine.

Link goes to one of my favorite articles – about pre-electric times when ropes and steel wires were used to drive machinery directly with water power.

The writers over there also talk about modern solar etc. solutions but usually have a very critical eye on whether all of it actually makes sense energetically or resource-wise – not like the common know-nothing Green fanatic who just wants shiny stuff with subsidies.

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7 thoughts on “Low Tech Magazine : History Of Technology”

    1. Interesting! Of course memory hardware should prevent exactly that. And, I don’t think it’s easy to exploit, it depends on the kind of memory used in your computer and its tolerances so it’s very hardware dependent. Maybe a monocultural product like some Apple computer could be targeted to a certain extent. But the wild zoo of Android and PC hardware?

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      1. “Maybe a monocultural product like some Apple computer could be targeted to a certain extent. But the wild zoo of Android and PC hardware?”

        I suspected that something didn’t make sense. Thanks for explaining why I felt uneasy about it. 🙂

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  1. Slightly more on topic. Thanks to you I remembered I had come across this website before, and as a result I recovered this link to one of their very good articles on why (un)renewables stink – in this case solar panels. (not that I mind the CO2 generated, but because it is just a way too expensive method of accomplishing that).
    http://www.lowtechmagazine.com/2008/03/the-ugly-side-o.html

    Stuff greenies don’t want us to know.

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    1. Well we’ve been telling them for years.
      More details:
      The experience curve of solar panel production encompasses process improvements where e.g. the amounts of expensive, poisonous and energy-intensive to make chemicals are reduced for purely economic reasons.
      This has led to one halfing of the price for one kWpeak per decade.
      As Ray Kurzeil observes, these Moore-type laws tend to have nearly unchangeable exponents so the best guess is to assume that this progresses with exactly that speed.
      And that of course makes it over time more attractive to actually use solar panels. It was silly by Germany to subsidize them before that point is reached. You through billions of Euros at it but all you get is a shortlived deviation from the exponential; when you run out of money it resumes its predestined trajectory. You can neither stop it nor accelerate it – it is a function of the development speed we achieve. (which grows itself)

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