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Entropy production delusion

It is common in knowledgeable circles to talk about the development of civilization in terms of entropy discussion. The term 'entropy...

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Information impotence

Society is becoming besotted with the exponential growth of information. The innovators of the devices that store and communicate the vast amount of information are revered. Many people, especially the young, want to have the latest versions of these devices. Desk top computers are now regarded as ancient relics. However, society does not take into account three fundamental issues that will ensure that the information revolution is unsustainable. The demise of the copious information era this century is certain, despite all the contrary hype.

The intangible information is always stored and communicated by tangible devices and systems made of mined materials by the use of natural forces. This has always been the case and will always be the case, even in the distant future when few of these devices are still around. Despite the general view that people have been clever to invent the technology that is the basis of the information revolution, all they have done is use some natural forces in a novel fashion. Most people think some clever people developed electricity but all they did was invent machines to generate electricity using natural forces. Nature has been producing electricity for eons. Lightning provides us with reminders of the power of these natural forces. The materials used in the manufacture of these devices has been mined  but many of the deposits are running out. Some of these materials are being recycled but most of them are ending there short lives in land fill.

The second issue is that most of the information is misleading, wrong or useless. Nature provides sound information in seeds that enable the replenishment of a vast range of organisms from trees through to humans. Humans have used misleading information to generate technology without taking into account the deleterious consequences, such as climate change. The information about monetary forces is wrong as it does not take into account the ecological costs of the activities financed. The economic growth that this information promotes is not sustainable, as society at large will learn the hard way in coming decades. The bewildered masses will wonder how the political leaders got their information so wrong. They will find that most of the information they have been fed is useless as they try to cope with the inevitable powering down.

Education involves the transfer of information. Most of this information transfer is aimed at providing students with the know how to operate in society. The information that teaches people how to relate with others, do useful things such a grow food and how to contribute to community activities is very useful. People are now addicted to getting information from such sources as TV without thinking through its usefulness. They are sold the benefits of having a car or going on overseas tours without the being informed

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