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Jun 19 13 1:05 PM

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In the Absence of the Sacred -- The Failure of Technology and the Survival of the Indian Nations
by Jerry Mander 1991:

It is profoundly naive for people who work to prevent planetary devastation to speak of the computer as if it were neutral; as if it were as useful for decentralization as it is to centralized development interests. Large institutions that seek the latter benefit far more than do-gooders who plan to use computers for a high-tech jiujitsu. It is only misunderstanding the big picture, and a certain conceit, that allows us to think any other way. Environmentalists, bioregionalists, and other progressive activists would be better off realizing that for all the little benefits they offer us, computers set our movements back. We ought to begin dealing with them as an urgent environmental and political issue in themselves.

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Jun 29 13 1:49 PM

I think it is fair to say that I can speak from direct experience with computer manufacturing.  It is something that consumes vast resources, not least of which is the massive use of non-renewable copper, resulting in exploits such as this:

Utltimately, one might say that this mine is salmon powered.  Trade the ever important salmon and its habitat for......copper.

That said, the biggest issue is the industry's need for "growth" (I substitute incessant expansion) to stay afloat in our current economy.  I do see real awareness of resource use improving in the industry, the above statement, however, is mostly met with deer in the headlight stares.

The lions share of these resources are reusable and recyclable.  I can imagine a computer industry where improved computers would be derived from obsolete computers (which are currently in abundance).  This would require an economy that is "steady state" and not fueled by expansion.

Socially, computers are no substitute for real, personal interaction.  They ultimately, can lead to that however.  Because of the damn obsolete computer that I'm now typing away on, I have had some great, real interaction with folks like Buffychick, Islandnotes and Ryerro. 


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