Big Tech drives overconsumption (Part 1)

The digital sector is sometimes known as the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. What is digital and what is not digital is often defined based on an OECD classification that was last updated in 2007, according to Gauthier Roussilhe, who specializes in the environmental challenges of digitalization. The digital categ... Read More »

AI is designed to lie

When asked to give examples of sexual harassment at US law schools, ChatGPT—the latest AI miracle worker—named a law professor who it said has been accused of touching a student on a class trip to Alaska. As evidence, it cited a Washington Post story from 2018. “The law prof is real,” Will Oremus, a Washington Post reporter stated in A... Read More »

The dangers of focusing only on CO2

We are facing climate, soil, air, water, chemical, fertilizer, and plastics crises. Interlinked with these are a whole range of mining waste, commercial waste, data waste and e-waste crises. We have zero hope of solving the crises we face by simply focusing on one metric such as CO2. In fact, focusing too much on CO2 will make the overal... Read More »

The nature of digital is environmentally destructive

Overconsumption is the meta crisis, the meta problem. Within a couple of hundred years we have moved from living sustainably to becoming consumers and wasters of more and more materials, to, in the last fifty years, becoming the great devourers. Greed among rich and middle class people has absolutely exploded. Why? Why have we suddenly s... Read More »

The Great Big Tech Technology Swindle

Who would not want to be Big Tech? They make massive, massive margins. They pay practically no taxes. They design trashy products that are useless after a couple of years and cannot be repaired. I mean, how many iPhone models have we had since 2007? The latest great Big Tech technology swindle is data centers, and this is particularly ... Read More »

Toxic data, waste: feeding AI’s voracious addiction

Our data is our society. Our data is our culture. Our data is our attitudes. Our data is our prejudices. Our data is our history. And our history is full of inaccurate, out-of-date, irrelevant, poor quality, racist, misogynist, cruel and biased data. And all this data is incredibly poorly managed. In fact, much of it we don’t even know e... Read More »

Waste is the new gold

There is something more valuable than gold. There is something more valuable than diamonds. Waste. Modern societies have made waste the most valuable product of all. The brand that can design waste into its product will maximize its profitability. The questions for product designers are no longer about how to make things durable and long... Read More »

Technology for bad

When we look across the landscape, what do we see? A human species relentlessly driving itself to collapse, with half of the population screaming to put the foot even harder on the accelerator. And what is the accelerator? Technology is the accelerator. And yet an almost constant refrain is that technology is neither good nor bad. It’s... Read More »

5G: A symptom of the Growth Death Cult

5G is a symptom of our scientific and technological obsession with efficiency, progress, growth, innovation. It’s a great technology. It improves on 4G. It’s faster. It’s more efficient at transferring data. It is also one more tool we designed in order to destroy our environment. 5G is like 8K video. There is a scientific wow factor t... Read More »

The myth of infinite data growth

As our environment comes under more and more pressure from the growth demands of rich humans, more and more recognize that this growth and overconsumption are the core problems we face. One area, however, that is still obsessed by growth, that still thinks that accelerated growth is the very goal of civilization, is the technology indust... Read More »