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FarmerGiles

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
— Abraham Lincoln

I am good at giving a damn.

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22201

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by GeneSK

    Why Futurists Suck: The Real Promise of the Digital Age via magazine.good.is

    27

    GeneSKabout 1 year ago

    Time is much more valuable than money. However, it takes a great shift in peoples' mentality on both ends, employer and employee, to stop treating each other as kindergartners and start treating people as grown ups (as long as they are grown ups).

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    "Time is much more valuable than money." I heartily agree. And is there anything more wasteful, in that sense, than "free" TV supported by wasting your time with commercials. Even worse, cable TV is not even free of commercials either!

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  • FarmerGiles commented on a link

    Why Futurists Suck: The Real Promise of the Digital Age via magazine.good.is

    27

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    I'd not blame it on "futurists", although I 'm not impressed by Toffler. Indeed, the title I'd have used for expressing very similar thought is "Why Capitalism Sucks". There are two possible interpretations of the purpose of industrialization. One is, to reduce the amount of work necessary for everybody to live a decent life. In the Book of Genesis, remember, the punishment is that "by the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread". Work here is the Curse that God decreed, for the disobedience of seeking Knowledge. On the other hand, the holders of industrial and financial power in the early days of the Industrial Revolution, reckoned it was a way to acquire even more money and power, by having the same goods to sell and fewer workers to pay. This is the difference between democratic socialism, and capitalism. So-called Communism in Russia and China is merely a State based form of Capitalism, as China's international market success makes perfectly clear.

    But it is true and very important that the corporate culture must not be allowed to gobble up the Internet as it has done the news media, entertainment, and broadcast media.

    Every person who can do so, should do their share of the work and drudgery necessary, to provide themselves and all of us with the goods and services we need.

    The entire cadre of those whose job it is to persuade us to want things that we do not need, in order to keep the factories running and the workers working, we would be better to pay them to stay home and find some more worthy outlet for their talents.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by Alex Sprunt

    You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel, Just Everything Else via magazine.good.is

    52

    Alex Spruntabout 1 year ago

    Wow ... there are so many good points you raised Rachel and I agree ... many areas/cities are NOT bike or pedestrian friendly and that is a design omission. I was once Chairman of the Road Safety Risk Branch here in Victoria, Australia and gave a talk one night to a group of road engineers. I started off by saying we have designed a road transport system that kills 2000 people a year (Australia) and there was silence. I feel the future holds many exciting and amazing new systems if we are willing to let go of the old outdated ones that don't serve us any more. After an architect friend of mine died of a heart attack aged 44 I changed my direction Rachel and became a health & lifestyle coach. I would be delighted to help you shed those 40lbs easily ... my wife Helen lost 30lbs in 10 weeks and now in her early 50's she looks and feels great, her basal metabolic age is around 16.

    You can find us at http://australian-weightloss.com and one on one free coaching is available anywhere in the world.

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    One of the old outdated ideas that does a very great deal of harm is the curse that God put upon Adam. "By the sweat of thy brow shalt thou eat bread". From this, the ruling classes have historically espoused for the lower classes the proposition that work is virtuous, which now emerges in political promises that this, that, or the other scheme is good becauseit provides employment.
    There are two interpretations for the virtue of the Industrial Revolution.
    The first is that it can make leisure possible for the whole of society.
    The second is that it can provide a small proportion of the society with immense wealth.
    We need to adopt the first one.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by Maniceye

    You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel, Just Everything Else via magazine.good.is

    52

    Maniceyeabout 1 year ago

    I like the idea, but I think you have this 'cart before horse', so to speak. The problem isn't the bicycle - it's the roads/cycleways, etc. The infrastructure is currently too expensive to build, requiring skilled specialists. Has anyone considered that the requirements for a cycleway may be less stringent from an engineering standpoint than that for a road designed for cars? Could be we build them cheaper? And if so, how>

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    Excellent point. I have read that a great many highways are designed for passenger vehicles, and that the heavy trucks create a serious toll of destruction, out of proportion to their numbers, because the loading under their wheels flexes the roadway unduly.
    So a bikeway could be built lighter (I'd like to see it wider) than is needed for a roadway. But bikeways need to be uninterrupted.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by paulebert

    You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel, Just Everything Else via magazine.good.is

    52

    paulebertabout 1 year ago

    I agree that eliminating infrastructure can be beneficial, but feel that the main reason this is true is the redundancy of it all. Why should I light and heat both my home and my place of work? This, in addition to the energy used in transportation as you mention. I doubt, however, that bike riding has a measurable, much less significant, impact on carbon foot-print. On the other hand, the electronic infrastructure needed for a global virtual-reality system would require large amounts of energy as the current server warehouses that power the cloud demonstrate. This is not to say that these are bad ideas, rather that complete energy demands must be considered to find the optimal solutions.

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    I suspect that the "current server warehouses that power the cloud" consume a trifling amount of energy compared with just the air conditioning necessary to serve the same number of people in offices. Does anyone have actual data?

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by hellcat

    You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel, Just Everything Else via magazine.good.is

    52

    hellcatabout 1 year ago

    Bicycles increase your carbon foot-print by making you work harder (thus causing you to eat more). The real solution to the infrastructure problem is to eliminate it: i.e. just stay where you are. We should just live, work, eat, etc. in one place and not move around too much. If no one goes anywhere, then there is no need for infrastructure, and no need for all the energy used for transportation. This is the ideal. Obviously we can't get there in one step. But imagine everyone jacked into a global virtual-reality system that is plugged into their visual cortex. This would allow people to travel, work, play etc. without actually using much energy. Either that or we can just live in huts and grow our own food like Mahatma Gandhi. Either way our footprint is minimized. Personally, I'd rather plug into the system.

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    I question the proposition "work harder (thus causing you to eat more)" Lots of Americans manage to eat far too much because of their lack of exercise. But in any case, you are right about the absurdity of vast numbers of people in far too many single-passenger vehicles all going in the same direction at a snail's pace, or anyway little faster than the 15 mph average I was able to achieve in my 40's. Telecommuting does indeed seem the way to go. And the solution to the unemployment problem is a shorter work week, which would cut total travel if leisure time were spent at home, or in the garden, or for that matter in the pub.

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  • FarmerGiles commented on a link

    You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel, Just Everything Else via magazine.good.is

    52

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    I commuted to work seven miles away by bicycle, for 14 years, and was able to make as good time as my neighbor driving in rush hour traffic.
    The bicycle is one of the very few inventions in biofueled transportation that is several times more efficient than what the 18th century had. Its performance is as good as a horse, and the power source requires far less grain for the trip than a day's fodder for the horse.
    But I abandoned the whole idea when a motorist ran six lanes, against the light, and hit my front wheel. I realised that I cannot recommend this way of saving energy resources until bikeways are totally segregated from tons of vehicular metal.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by Bean Waxler

    Why Carbon Footprints Matter: What I Learned from my Hyper-Detailed Calculations via magazine.good.is

    22

    Bean Waxlerabout 1 year ago

    Electric heat is extremely inefficient, and is powered by electric companies, which run on coal or diesel. There is probably no worse form of heat for the environment, unless you run on nuclear or some form of natural electric distribution.

    A CFL light bulb or small laptop runs on about 25 watts, an electric blanket at 180. Air conditioner at 800, coffee maker, hair dryer or refrigerator at 1500, water heater at 3000, stove around 5000, and the electric heat for a two bedroom house, about 15,000 watts.

    You can't "trick" people into being green. If it happens, it will happen through great sacrefice and discomfort. If you're looking for an easy solution, or one that won't cost jobs and tax dollars, just stop looking.

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    Thank you for the clause "unless you run on nuclear".
    You also make an excellent point about the substantial wattages for big appliances. It's the ultimate reason why wind turbines are not the solution. A window air conditioner needs 800 W or more. But what astonished me, when I sent a command to my laser printer, was that the 15 Amp fuse for the room circuit blew. In my ignorance, I had the printer and the air conditioner on it. In other words, the instantaneous load exceeded 110x15 W, i.e. 1650 W, or 1.65 kW.

    So all the claims that this or that project "will supply N thousand homes" are probably rubbish. Multiply the nominal capacity by the expected "capacity factor" (CF), and divide by N thousand. For solar, for example, CF is obviously less than 1/2, and unless the project includes sun tracking, it's < 0.33 for clear desert air. The result will probably be around one kW, which means that when the customers turn on their electric cooking devices, the sudden peak demand will be far higher than the annual average.
    You get the same effect when the wind drops, even by a mere 5% of the wind speed.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by Bean Waxler

    Why Carbon Footprints Matter: What I Learned from my Hyper-Detailed Calculations via magazine.good.is

    22

    Bean Waxlerabout 1 year ago

    Electric heat is extremely inefficient, and is powered by electric companies, which run on coal or diesel. There is probably no worse form of heat for the environment, unless you run on nuclear or some form of natural electric distribution.

    A CFL light bulb or small laptop runs on about 25 watts, an electric blanket at 180. Air conditioner at 800, coffee maker, hair dryer or refrigerator at 1500, water heater at 3000, stove around 5000, and the electric heat for a two bedroom house, about 15,000 watts.

    You can't "trick" people into being green. If it happens, it will happen through great sacrefice and discomfort. If you're looking for an easy solution, or one that won't cost jobs and tax dollars, just stop looking.

    FarmerGilesabout 1 year ago

    Thank you for the clause "unless you run on nuclear". I say so because it is the only energy resource that was unknown to the people of the 19th century. The official "renewables" are all from 18th century sources, except geothermal, which is great if you live near the Ring of Fire. Actually, it's supplied by the radioactivity of Earth's ancient long lived isotopes, radio-potassium, thorium, and uranium.
    But the really good news is that although fissile isotopes are scarce, the USA gets about 20% of its electric energy from under 100 tons a year of actual fissile fuel. That includes fissile plutonium created within the reactors, which didn't exist when the fuel rods were loaded. There is a reactor design that can produce 100 MW for 20 years using 8% of the 21 ton fuel load.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by agnus

    Tapping the Motion of the Ocean: Could the Tides Power Our World? via magazine.good.is

    34

    agnusover 1 year ago

    What happens if you take the energy out of the tides? Is it 100% replaced, or do the tides slow, eventually? I'd like to see some projections of the effects.

    FarmerGilesover 1 year ago

    I'm pretty sure that each tidal surge is simply reduced, and probably not by a noticeable amount. But compared with the most successful use made of the winds, it's trifling as an energy source.
    The use to which I refer, is that airlines route their flights to take advantage of the jet stream. I'd love to know how many kilowatt-hours of energy is the equivalent of flying a jumbojet in a 50 mph jet stream, going its way.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by Jesse McDougall

    Tapping the Motion of the Ocean: Could the Tides Power Our World? via magazine.good.is

    34

    Jesse McDougallover 1 year ago

    Great question. The answer is: it largely depends on where the turbines are sited. Obviously, if done irresponsibly, a turbine field on the ocean floor could have disastrous results for an existing ecosystem—and therefore proper siting must be a priority for all tidal power companies. However, often in areas of strong tide, the power of the current is such that ecosystems are unable to develop—leaving only the water rushing over bare rock. In these places, a turbine field would have minimal impact.

    Here's a good answer I came across:

    From: http://www.oceanenergycouncil.com/index.php/Tidal-Energy/Tidal-Energy.html

    "Tidal energy is a renewable source of electricity which does not result in the emission of gases responsible for global warming or acid rain associated with fossil fuel generated electricity. Use of tidal energy could also decrease the need for nuclear power, with its associated radiation risks. Changing tidal flows by damming a bay or estuary could, however, result in negative impacts on aquatic and shoreline ecosystems, as well as navigation and recreation.

    The few studies that have been undertaken to date to identify the environmental impacts of a tidal power scheme have determined that each specific site is different and the impacts depend greatly upon local geography. Local tides changed only slightly due to the La Rance barrage, and the environmental impact has been negligible, but this may not be the case for all other sites. It has been estimated that in the Bay of Fundy, tidal power plants could decrease local tides by 15 cm. This does not seem like much when one considers that natural variations such as winds can change the level of the tides by several metres."

    FarmerGilesover 1 year ago

    Two Scotsmen had different views on the usefulness of the tides. J.B.S. Haldane reckoned that ultimately that would have to be what humans used. Lord Kelvin actually performed a calculation for a hypothetical tidal impoundment, and concluded that it was impractical for the expense.
    Neither of these gentlemen, brilliant as their work is, were aware of radioactivity and nuclear energy.

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  • FarmerGiles replied to a comment by Jack Baldwin

    Tapping the Motion of the Ocean: Could the Tides Power Our World? via magazine.good.is

    34

    Jack Baldwinover 1 year ago

    sorry for the 2nd post, wanted to explain a little of the concept I have behind that idea.
    As the air naturally heats, and cools with the daily warming/cooling cycles, that very "air" around us becomes more and less dense, it's gases expanding and contracting. putting these artificial constraints on the natural process should direct it causing the work already taking place to harnessed. side note, if you put the whole thing in a cradle that tilts you should be able to flip the whole thing 180 degrees on the vertical, or horizontal axis and switch from taking advantage of expanding, then contracting of the very air around you to power anything.

    this is all should be a mute point, most people are already aware of the electromagnetic grid that surrounds the planet, we already have the tech to tap this, it's just not being made available,
    think of what USB means, or what we've made data into. Usb is already bidirectional, and data itself a charge. the radio waves are power, it's only harnessing them.
    I hope someone with more in depth knowledge then mine can shed some light on what to me seems simple

    FarmerGilesover 1 year ago

    There is a natural heat engine that makes use of the warm sea as an energy source, and its sink is the stratosphere and outer space. The pppplanet receives more radiant energy from the sun in an hour than the entirety of human technological processes for a year. The snag is, that the planet has to GET RID of that energy just as quickly.
    The kind of heat engine to which I refer is called a tropical storm, hurricane, or typhoon. Its area is the size of two or three Eastern States of the USA and its height is about that of the stratosphere. These are big machines, and our best meteorologists can just about tell us a day or two in advance where to expect the maximum destructiveness. Employing that energy for human purposes is very unlikely. So the usefulness of that vast influx of radiant energy to replace its stored version - fossil carbon -is wildly exaggerated. We need to find something else, and it is stored supernova energy, a.k.a. thorium and uranium.

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