Wednesday, December 27, 2023

Make Up Your Mind

This isn't America's Finest News Source, it is this morning's Crypto page from Bloomberg. I couldn't resist posting it.

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

There Is No Planet B: Part 2

In Part 1 I applied basic arithmetic to the logistics of Elon Musk's claimed plans for colonizing Mars in 2050 to show they were implausible. Below the fold I continue, first by discussing Maciej Cegłowski's equally basic dissection of NASA's economically implausible plans for Mars in Why Not Mars?. Second, by reviewing the host of non-logistical and non-economic problems facing humans attempting to survive on Mars based on:

Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Why Worry About Resources?

The attitude of the crypto-bros and tech more generally is that they are going to make so much money that paying for whatever resource they need to make it will be a drop in the ocean. Amd that externalities such as carbom emissions are someone else's problem.

I discussed Proof-of-Work's scandalous waste of energy in my EE380 talk, Can We Mitigate Cryptocurrencies' Externalities? and elsewhere, since 2017 often citing the work of Alex de Vries. Two years ago de Vries and Christian Stoll's Bitcoin's growing e-waste problem pointed out that in addition to mining rig's direct waste of power, their short economic life drove a massive e-waste problem, adding the embedded energy of the hardware to the problem.

de Vries Fig. 1
Now, de Vries' Bitcoin’s growing water footprint reveals that supporting gambling, money laundering and crime causes yet another massive waste of resources.

But that's not all. de Vries has joined a growing chorus of researchers showing that the VC's pivot to AI wastes similar massive amounts of power. Can analysis of AI's e-waste and water consumption be far behind?

Below the fold I discuss papers by de Vries and others on this issue.