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Peak Internet?

The Bite-sized treatment from Reality Sandwich:


The Hungry Man version from John Michael Greer:


It's not an accident that the internet came into existence during the last hurrah of the age of cheap energy, the quarter century between 1980 and 2005 when the price of energy dropped to the lowest levels in human history. Only in a period where energy was quite literally too cheap to bother conserving could so energy-intensive an information network be constructed. The problem here, of course, is that the conditions that made the cheap abundant energy of that quarter century have already come to an end, and the economics of the internet take on a very different shape as energy becomes scarce and expensive again.

-John Michael Greer

In both instances, some of the best stuff comes in the comments section.


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Jul. 12th, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
more on the Internet from Paul Stamets
“About 600 million years ago, the branch of fungi leading to animals evolved to capture nutrients by surrounding their food with cellular sacs — essentially primitive stomachs. As these organisms evolved, they developed outer layers of cells — skins, basically — to prevent moisture loss and as a barrier against infection. Their stomachs were confined within the skin. These were the earliest animals.

“I have long proposed that mycelia are the earth’s ‘natural Internet.’ … recently scientists in Great Britain have published papers about the ‘architecture’ of a mycelium — how it’s organized. They focused on the nodes of crossing, which are the branchings that allow the mycelium, when there is a breakage or an infection, to choose an alternate route and regrow. There’s no one specific point on the network that can shut the whole operation down. These nodes of crossing, those scientists found, conform to the same mathematical optimization curves that computer scientists have developed to optimize the Internet. Or, rather, I should say that the Internet conforms to the same optimization curves as the mycelium, since the mycelium came first.” - Paul Stamets
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