Saturday, 7 June 2008

AC vs DC, And Others

http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/06/06/edison-make-way-for-the-leds/index.html?partner=rssnyt&emc=rss always associated with something evil, was old Thomas Alva E...

Look, far be it from me to be skeptical (hmmm? Why do you pull that face?) but Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse both had issues with Tesla's unmeterable free electricity over the air - which proves that our altruistic inventors were all about making lots and lots and lots of money. What is distinctly sinister is that Edison wanted to use DC single voltage supply, the most wasteful and inefficient way to deliver his "product" - and Westinghouse's first comment to Tesla on hearing about wireless transmission of power was "don't be silly - where would one put the meter?" and then the defacto standard for lighting becomes the one that is guaranteed to waste the most electricity...

If you wanted to pin global weather changes down to something, start with the Otto cycle petrol engine and the two electrical heroes. And think to yourself that such individuals, so many centuries ago, could have such a profound and evil effect on our world such a long time later, and for heaven's sake think things through.

For instance, I heard that a friend of a friend is using reflective mirror surfaces to dry out damp south sides of houses by bouncing light and warmth into those places. Commendable, but the two biggest things that leap out at me are: A) where do the shadows of those mirrors fall and what effect do they have on the new shaded spots? and B) what are you making those mirrors out of? It had better be something whose environmental impact of manufacture is less than the impact of a damp south side of your damn house!

That's a relatively immediate unexpected outcome - but every action we perform has some effect that will affect the future. I'm saying, think about what you're doing now, what effect it will have in the future, and then modify your behaviour as necessary. I think that's called "responsibility..."

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