some thoughts

Now that I'm back in
School, I can ponder stuff like
This. And share it, too!

I went to a talk earlier this week by one of the profs in the CS department (man, the honors seminar at IU is pretty awesome): Eli Blevis. He talked to us about all the tech junk that computers and stuff are generating; even washing machines have brains now, and when a consumer doesn't know how to fix it (and sometimes even techs don't know!), washing machines will get replaced. The whole machine. When all one really needs is probably one part that's maybe 8" long.

Eli also talked about other areas of sustainability. He and his wife live in town, but they grow almost all of their own food in a garden, and they have creative ways of recycling things that they can't produce on their own. Bloomington actually has several interesting sites for this; along 446 there is a toilet, well-known to the denizens of this area, with flowers peeking out of its bowl.

Eli started his work before everyone was green fatigued. He wrote the first paper on sustainability in computer hardware. Ironic that he flew all over the world to present it.

It's shocking to me how little people think about all this stuff. I mean, I guess it's a little more to the forefront of people's minds in a community like Bloomington that is basically the closest Indiana may get to a hippie commune, but so many people in so many places don't give it a second thought at all. People replace their cell phones on average every 17 months? That's ridiculous. One guy who attended the seminar on Monday has had twelve cell phones in three years. That is *obscene*, mmkay? I get my cell phone replaced every two years like a good kid. I've had my laptop for almost 3 years. Do I really want that new gaming rig? Well, yes. But I probably don't need it. Our society of keeping up with the Joneses is rife with rapidly diminishing satisfaction with technology. I wish people didn't have this crazy desire to be above-and-beyond better than other people. :-/

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