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Re: <nettime> Franco Berardi & Geert Lovink: A call to the Army of Love
John Hopkins on Tue, 18 Oct 2011 18:14:58 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Franco Berardi & Geert Lovink: A call to the Army of Love and t...

Hi Mark!

Order and energy availability go hand-in-hand. Even the persistence
of information/knowledge into the future is directly dependent on
energy (re)sources to maintain it.

Indeed, thermodynamics is an important "theory" but, as many have
noticed, life-in-general seems to defeat the "2nd Law" everyday.

I dunno, maybe we are moving towards the proposition of some friendly
wagers! ;-)

HUMANS, who are clearly different from other living things, further

That clarity is not universally accepted nor supported by, say,
theories of evolution, genome mapping, biochemistry, appearances, and
indeed, overall behavior.

confound thermodynamics -- which means that however "stupid" we
might be, we are still the only beings "smart" enough to come up
with something as useful as the 2nd Law.

Yes, for example, in "Into The Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics,
and Life" (Schneider, Eric D. and Dorion Sagan), there is a deep
exploration into the puzzle of why it is that life (Life!) initiates
self-organization which itself appears to be in contravention to
thermodynamic laws. However, this does not preclude the situation
that Life as it proceeds is still subject to thermodynamic laws. If
you stop the inflow of energy into a living system that system will
eventually die (move to disorder). Humans-as-living-organism are no
exception to this application of thermo. So, yes, why there exists
self-organization of a full scalar range of systems (accretionary
processes which create galaxies and stars which create planets which
create conditions for life and where life erupts) is a bit of a
puzzle. But as things proceed, life, planets, stars and galaxies, all
the observable cosmos, fall under thermodynamic processes. Yes, we are
smart enough to observe consistencies in the universe we inhabit, that
is a necessity for any Life-form to continue itself. But knowledge and
information need an abundance of energy to project themselves into
the future, and it is very likely that, as energy sources tighten up,
knowledge will be the first loss.

Danny Hillis, co-founder of both, is responsible for PREDICTION #605

personally I'd rather explore the I-Ching than follow the promotional
lead of a 'perpetual motion machine' enthusiast ... ;-)


(needs winding!)

"By December 31, 2020, synthetic solar energy (fusion) will
have been shown to be a technically feasible, by an experiment
demonstrating a controlled fusion reaction producing more
harnessable energy than was used to ignite it."

My brother-in-law is the lead physicist for NIF (National Ignition
Facility https://lasers.llnl.gov/) which is the project ('experiment')
you speak of at Lawrence Livermore Lab near San Francisco. They
had their first successful test of the system a couple years ago
(not a test of the fusion reaction at all, just a test of the laser
arrays). The ultimate success of this project doesn't mean that there
will be ample energy for all suddenly in 2020. This is an extreme
naive view as projected by techno-utopians. Participating in the
construction of the laser array at NIF has taken my b-in-law's entire
career from when he started as a post-doc under Edward Teller. The
complexity and manufactured precision of the array system is several
orders of magnitude greater than what is neccessary to run, say, a
nuclear power plant. And, yes, all these human-constructed systems
are completely subject to thermo -- the greater the complexity,
the greater the instability and the greater the energy consumption
of the globe-spanning infrastructure needed to keep such a system
'alive.' It has taken more than 25 years (and is, as of 2009, 600%
over budget - now around 5 billion) and 8 years late) to get to
the point of this small experimental apparatus functioning (not
yet a demonstration of 'free energy for all' by any stretch of
the imagination). There is a sizable chunk of the nuclear science
community who believe it is/will be a failure. Not to mention the
primary purpose of the project is for testing the efficacy of
nuclear weapons. It is merely sold to the public who underwrite the
multi-billion dollar project under the 'free energy for all' rubric.
(See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Ignition_Facility -- under

No fusion reaction has yet been initiated. And if it does, it
is at a scale of nanometers: nothing approaching what would be
necessary for 'commercial' production. Huge problems with things like
neutrino release (basically impossible to shield from), would dog any
deployment for decades if not longer.

And this is under the assumption that the US nuclear weapons behemoth
techno-social system will still be lumbering along in 20-30-40-50
years from now. It also falls under the weight of thermodynamics,
needing huge influxes of (hydrocarbon) energy, but is losing the
fight on the streets to humans who strangely enough would rather have
health care than have a nice nuclear umbrella with which they can kill
everyone on the planet.


John Hopkins
Watching the Tao rather than watching the Dow!

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