Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forMarch 11th, 2004 | back to home

11 March 2004

The UN has released a report into the negative environmental impacts of computers. Much of the BBC’s summary is familiar (at least to me) but here’s something I didn’t think of – energy-saving devices which automatically switch devices into standby mode can be deceptive as they are frequently ‘woken up’ by traffic from servers if they are connected to a network.

More information on the report is available from the UN University’s “Zero Emissions Forum”:http://www.unu.edu/zef/publications.html. Also see an “this entry about the negative impacts of computing”:http://blog.org/archives/cat_negative_uses_of_technology.html#001000 and “this posting about an earlier report”:http://blog.org/archives/cat_interesting_facts.html#000301

Filed under:Virtual Communities,Weblogs at10:53 am

Will Davies “questions the blogosphere gift economy”:http://www.theisociety.net/archives/001145.html, suggesting that some people use that gift economy to benefit themselves – a charge levelled by others earlier against virtual community boosters like Howard. Personally I don’t see the problem – if people choose to give out valuable information for their own altruistic reasons and others take that information and use it for self-interested reasons that doesn’t invalidate the original motivation. But perhaps I have misunderstood Will’s post which was more in the nature of a provocation than an argument.

David Wilcox responds to this with a long interesting post containing this key observation:

Media, politicians and think tanks get locked into self-regarding loops paying too little attention to enlightening wider publics. Blogs could be a way to break into this… citizens’ self-publishing and all that. But not if the ethos becomes just as self regarding, with bloggers mainly writing about other bloggers. It is a bit scary, I suspect, for most people to start blogging, and so they look around to take comfort from others doing the same thing. If you want links and mentions – easiest from other blogs – you can easily fall into following the prevailing ethos.

For a lighter look at blogosphere cliques, see this humorous “Village Voice piece”:http://www.villagevoice.com/issues/0409/essay.php.