Materialism & Ephemeralization

Hallo hoppy readers,

Of late, I’ve been blathering on here at the Bitstream about virtualization as it relates to IT. As with many other things, it seems that R. Bucky Fuller got there first, coining a new term in 1922 to describe it. “Ephemeralization” refers to the ability of technological advancement to do ever more with less…“the principle of doing ever more with ever less weight, time and energy per each given level of functional performance” (Synergetics 2, 792.52). I think he also said “…we are now able to do so much with so little that we can provide for the basic needs of 100% of humanity without disadvantaging anyone.”

Bucky’s ephemeralization has morphed into dematerialization, so says Bill St. Arnaud in his interesting Green IT blog. “One of the major ways we can reduce our CO2 footprint is through de-materialization where we replace physical products with virtual ones delivered over the Internet. Some studies indicated that we can reduce CO2 emissions by as much as 20% with materialization. I argue that dematerialization can be further amplified through carbon rewards (instead of Carbon taxes) where consumers are rewarded with a variety of virtual products in exchange of reducing their carbon footprint in other walks of their lives.”

Dematerialization is really what virtualization and cloud services are all about; using existing “smart,” net–based systems to replace “dumb,” local physical systems. Working smarter, along with less self–centered behavior and a recognition that each of our actions impinges on everyone else, is the only way to get out of the disposable mentality that our free market has promoted since the ’50s.

I’ll continue to grumble and everyone, not only continue to geek but take responsibility for your actions and consumption!

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