What I’m Reading: A Friday Link Roundup

The Sustainability Problem of Digital Currencies – No Tech Magazine
The average Bitcoin transaction uses about 4000 times as much energy as a credit card transaction, or enough to drive a Tesla for 300 miles, found the author of this short article. Yikes.

Vietnam’s Low-tech Food System Takes Advantage of Decay – Low Tech Magazine
A very interesting survey of Vietnamese food culture, and the ways that they avoid the costly use of refrigeration by various fermentation methods.

The Dutch love affair with natural gas: A cautionary tale for the United States? – Resource Insights
Kurt Cobb explains the history of natural gas harvesting and use in the Netherlands, and where it’s gone horribly awry. To make a long story short, early projections about the output of the Groningen Gas Field turned out to be far too optimistic. Unfortunately, they”re still obligated to export their rapidly shrinking reserves thanks to long-term deals, and have become a net importer just to keep their own pipes flowing.

Is Facebook a Structural Threat to a Free Society? – Truthhawk
For some time I’ve been urging readers and fellow zero wasters to think critically about their use of social media, and to ditch Facebook in particular. If you haven’t because of it’s convenience and ubiquity, then hopefully this terrifying piece will change your mind. Facebook is bad for the environment, bad for human health, and bad for the future of democracy. Not to spoil anything, but the piece ends with this:

Are we willing to trust one man with:

  • The largest share of wealth on the planet?
  • The biggest trove of private data ever assembled?
  • The greatest control over information flow ever seen?
  • The biggest psychological research facility in history?
  • The most significant influence machine ever?
  • All five?

Zuckerberg is human. As the saying goes, “power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Don’t forget this is the man who gave us this gem:

Zuck: Yeah so if you ever need info about anyone at Harvard
Zuck: Just ask
Zuck: I have over 4,000 emails, pictures, addresses, SNS
[Redacted Friend’s Name]: What? How’d you manage that one?
Zuck: People just submitted it.
Zuck: I don’t know why.
Zuck: They “trust me”
Zuck: Dumb fucks


3 thoughts on “What I’m Reading: A Friday Link Roundup

  1. One more thing making me happy I never joined Facebook so I have nothing I have to quit now. It’s a destructive force on so many levels.

    It amazes me that people used to spend so much time worrying about the government spying on them, Big Brother and all, and now they willingly hand over all their private information, install their own listening devices (hello, Alexa!), photograph and videotape their fellow citizens constantly in public without consent, and pretty much just invite corporations to control their lives. More and more I feel like I may have to withdraw even further from society in order to just maintain a basic level of privacy and control.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Facebook absolutely terrifies me, and this just proves it. I may go so far as to ask other people not to upload photos of me to the service as well – the idea of a ‘shadow profile’ being created without my consent is no less than obscene.


      • If I had any friends who were likely to post photos of me online without my permission (which I can’t even believe is an acceptable practice these days), I would definitely tell them not to. I guess it’s something I should probably bring up the next time I’m with extended family, taking family photos, since they don’t all know my views on the subject. Unfortunately, almost nothing one can do about the fact that strangers are constantly taking photos in public places where I may be captured in the background. But at least it’s a start.


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