Zorro

Zorro

  • Commented on Generation Z
    Manganese nodules form very slowly indeed, but the weathering continents have been sending phosphorus to the seas for many millions of years. The phosphorus that might be reclaimed from nodules within a century arrived there millions of years ago; it...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    I don't know about mining the river mouth sediment, but the old dream of mining manganese nodules from the ocean floor keeps coming up again. Given advances in remote-controlled and autonomous deep water vehicles, and rising prices for minor coproducts...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Most phosphorus that exits the oceanic biological cycle ends up in seafloor deposits. See "The Oceanic Phosphorus Cycle" by Paytan and McLaughlin, Chemical Reviews 2007, for a recent review....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    What we're talking about with computers is something much more complex than bronze. Computers are made from minerals brought from (or recycled) all over the world, to where machines built in multiple places are brought together to make the chips...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Even in the Age of Sail water transport was cheap enough that sailing comparatively low-value bulk products like coal and wheat across oceans was done. Electronic computing and communication devices and their material inputs are more akin to spices for...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    I think we're going to way overshoot the max CO2 emissions for 2 degrees of warming. I also think that as a result active mitigation measures will eventually come into play. Probably this century, definitely by the next. Solar radiation...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Negligible methane escapes into space. Earth's atmosphere is about 5.2 ppm helium and loses about 50 grams per second due to particles at the tail of the Boltzmann distribution exceeding escape velocity in the near-space region. Methane masses 4 times...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Are you sure that poverty has been decreasing? Yes, the World Bank says that poverty (defined as living on less than $1.25/day) decreased from 1.908 billion in 1990 to 1.215 billion in 2010 (source: http://povertydata.worldbank.org/poverty/home/). However, during that time, there's...
  • Commented on Heartbleed note
    The only media attention that 'goto FAIL' got was a handful of 'lol apple' stories on tech news sites, with comment threads making 'goto considered harmful' jokes and criticizing brace style. Why is heartbleed getting mainstream media attention, when it's...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    The first PV cells were made in the 1950s, not long after the first small nuclear generating stations came on line. There have been no real efficiency improvements in PV technology per se in the past thirty or forty years,...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Argh, one last correction: module time in the field ranged from 19 to 23 years. Not 30 years. All signs still point to median module remaining useful for far more than 20 years....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Instead of my garbled half-rememberings please refer to this study on PV module life: A large variety of modules from different manufacturers, re-examined after 30 years at the European Solar Test Installation: http://pvevolutionlabs.com/pdf/JRC.pdf More than 70% of modules exhibited 0.5%...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I don't think that the next generation of PV panels will be cheaper than already-built coal and gas plants in the UK. Of course this is true of the next nuclear reactors to be built also. It seems like a...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I have a love-frustration relationship with nuclear power. It's not dependent on the weather, it's scaleable, it can directly replace coal, and all evidence to date is that even including accidents it's going to do less damage to human health...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Correction: I did not add the export tariff to large PV system rates. Current UK all-in PV tariff is actually £113.80 for large systems rather than £66.10 as I wrote. Given the historical pattern of tariff degression I would be...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I have hopes that the Western world can (re-)discover how to build nuclear power plants at reasonable cost and with predictable less-than-a-decade schedules. The 4 AP1000 reactors under construction in the USA seem to be moving forward OK, so far....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Hydroelectric dams generally have modestly-good capacity factors, e.g. ~40% for the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest in the USA. This is more valuable than a wind farm with the same annual capacity factor because the hydro system produces on demand:...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    We don't really know if something would be better than lithium batteries on price until it's available to buy. The purified lithium carbonate that goes into making a battery is only a tiny fraction of the battery cost, maybe 1-2%....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    They'd benefit more from some serious research, but no one really wants to put money into it because there's a bunch of chemistries and it's very hard to predict which one will win. (Lithium won't; lithium is inherently rare, and...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    I think that lithium ion batteries are already Good Enough for mass market electric vehicles on every metric save price. They have enough energy density, enough power density, long enough lifetime to displace liquid fuels from most automobiles. Battery pack...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Incidentally, the electric car thing? Posit that a mid-range car with a 100hp gas engine is putting out 70kW at peak power, or maybe 20-45kW when cruising, and has a gas tank able to take it 300 miles, or about...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    That approach works well when resources are plentiful. Sadly, unchecked human populations tend to double every 25 years or so, which means we're never all that far from not having enough food for everyone. World population was 3.2 billion in...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    More to the point, a mathematical researcher with a good track record claims to have formalized a proof of the second incompleteness theorem (turned it into a machine-verifiable form) last year: http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~lp15/Pages/G%C3%B6del-slides.pdf http://www.cl.cam.ac.uk/~lp15/Pages/G%C3%B6del-ar.pdf The first incompleteness theorem has been formalized...
  • Commented on Can We Merge Minds and Machines?
    Isn't there a very well-funded drive against any sort of augmentation & life-extension going on in the USA? Backed (what a surprise/not) by just about every form of god-botherer & the ultra-right. I don't think so, at least not any...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    In Moore's Law, there's good reason to believe that integrated circuits, the way we currently build computers, can keep getting smaller and faster for another decade or two, but probably not for another 40 years. Ray Kurzweil points out that...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Well, if that were true, China and India would have massively more impact on the planet than the US. The fallacy is that population has little or nothing to do with consumption footprint. The US is the classic example of...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    --If an economy is run by consumer demand, depriving consumers of the way to make money will kill the economy. Ergo, automation will stop when it starts hurting sales. --Lots of unemployed or underemployed young people is the classic recipe...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    I think pro-bitcoin and anti-bitcoin sentiments predicated on the idea that it will destroy governments by tax starvation are mistaken. The government doesn't need to track down your crypto-identity and unmask your transactions to get you for tax evasion, just...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    Any good low-energy high-tech future stories out there? Where 'good' has as a necessary condition it's not a grim meat hook future (No Paolo Bacigalupi, please.) Even woo woo drug-centric eco-hippy stories are preferable to that. I think Ken MacLeod's...
  • Commented on The revolution will not be hand-stitched
    Note that low employment is an unstable situation. There are at least three historical solutions for it: --Revolution followed by forced de-automation --Population flight following the jobs --Revolution to a fascist regime, followed by rapid expansion, followed by major war....
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from Zorro

Following

Not following anyone

Specials

About This Page

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog

Propaganda