Friday, September 08, 2006

One Potato, Two Potato

James Murray has a piece here on whether IT can lead the green revolution. Picking up from my last post, I wonder where we, as a people, are going with this. Here's a quote:

If increased use of aircraft and cars has accelerated climate change, then new communication technologies and tools can reduce the need to travel without causing irredeemable damage to modern business.
On the face of it, this is a strong argument; carting ourselves around is more pricey than sending ourselves around, and it's probably true. However, given the fact that computers are more wasteful than cars to produce, I'd like to see the full cost benefit here; there's a good chance that it's not such a great deal after the communications devices end up in the landfill.

I'm no Luddite, but I have no problem with inflicting 'irredeemable damage to modern business'. I have no problem dropping the Pringles and the GoGurt from our society, the perfectly made, heavily marketed stuff that we have come to identify as progress. The fact is that if Pringles went away tomorrow no one would care. And here's the important point - it is going to happen. It's going to have to, because these things take so much energy for so little benefit that some day they are just going to vanish. And they are going to vanish because they are unnecessary.

I think the same thing is happening in computing right now, the things that are pointless are disappearing. The massive overbuying of equipment, the million dollar software projects that don't work, the bloated support staffs, all of these things are doing a Houdini. CIO's have stopped eating the Pringles. Murray touches on the fact reducing IT costs is could be the first step into seguing into other fields such as solar, and I agree that this is both probable and promising. Let's see if it works out.

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