[ExI] former deceased nfl players...

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Sep 21 05:15:49 UTC 2015



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Stathis Papaioannou


### I'll one-up you on that: They say that transmitting one megabyte of data over the internet equals a pound of coal (or something - exact numbers are for bores). There is a miner or trucker or some other poor schlub killed for every couple gigawatts that are used to push these bytes between us. So, Spike, you just callously contributed, through your internet and electricity demand, to the death on an innocent blue-collar worker! And he has children, who are now crying inconsolably!!


Are you feeling guilty yet?  :)




>…The 1lb coal for 1 megabyte data figure can't be right. Global coal production in 2012 was 1.7e10 pounds, while estimated global IP traffic in 2015 is 8.7e14 megabytes (72.4 exabytes per month). I guess your figure must have come from much earlier in the history of the Internet. I remember that my dialup modem and the laptop straining to push the kilobytes through it used to get pretty hot in the 1990's.

Stathis Papaioannou



Cool, we might be able to get reasonable OoM estimates for how many proles per megabyte are slain retrieving coal, just with this little bit of info.


I heard recently that about a third of electricity production is by coal, and I am going to take a wild (conservative) guess and say the percentage of power used for pushing data across phone lines might be on the order of a percent, so let’s just ignore the other sources and imagine all the data pushing was done by coal, so about 5e8 pounds of coal was used to move data.  Then 5e8 pounds of coal moves 9e14 megabytes, so close enough to a pound of coal moves 2e6 megabytes of data, cool.


I can only be made to feel guilty for slaying coal proles in the USA, since I have zero point nada influence over governments where I cannot vote, so the data shows me that a reasonable average in the USA is that we slay about 30 per year in that industry, while producing about 2e12 pounds of coal.  So:


(30 fatalities/2e12 pound coal)(pound coal / 2e6 MB) =  about 1 fatality / 10 E17 MB  for one-digit estimates.


So every time you send a hundred gigabytes, you have slain one picoperson by subjecting them to the dangers of coal mining.


On the other hand you have employed a bunch of coal proles, so it is difficult to even estimate to an order of magnitude how many you help save from a life of poverty and alcoholism.  Rather, since alcohol costs money and marijuana grows wild in coal country, perhaps you have saved them from weedism.  


In any case, here we sit making up these goofy calculations while a real energy threat is upon us, as that coal continues to dwindle and the oil and natural gas goes down too.  We fret and stew about carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, while we have no idea how we are going to generate enough energy to feed us all when the oil becomes scarce.





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