Sunday, October 21, 2012

How can we make society better? New course!

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This is info about a new course that might be of interest to you. The information is in Swedish and I the course seems to be in Swedish too so I won't bother to translate the text.

Nov 15 is the deadline for applications - only 24 students can take the course and KTH students are limited to only 8!

/Daniel


Hej lärare på CSC

Vi vill ha er hjälp att välkomna studenter till den första OpenLab kursen (pilotversion). OpenLab är den stora projektkurs, 15 hp som ges under VT 2013 och som bygger på behovsdrivna utmaningar. Kursen ska skall kunna väljas av studenter från KTH, SU och KI. Det som nu behövs är ett antal studenter från utvalda skolor som skulle vilja delta i kursen och det behövs en aktiv rekryteringsinsats. Det rör sig bara om 8 KTH-studenter i denna version och det finns intressanta projekt från Stockholms stad resp Stockholms Läns Landsting som skall genomföras av tvärdisciplinära studentgrupper. Vi tror det är bra att kunna välja studenter som särskilt gärna vill vara med!

Det behövs en mer aktiv insats från er studierektorer eller lärare i lämpliga ämnen. 
Kort introduktion till kursen nedan, för mer information ligger det också en länk på www.openlab.se.


----------------------------

Hur kan samhället bli bättre?

Svåra problem kräver ofta nytt tänkande. Och nytänkande är svårt inom gamla ramar med etablerade tankemönster.


Därför startas kursen ”Innovationer för den växande staden” – en ny multidisciplinär projektkurs inom OpenLab på Valhallavägen 79 i Stockholm. OpenLab är en plats för kurser i innovation och nytänkande, där studenter och lärare från KI, SU och KTH möter uppdragsgivare från Stockholms stad, Stockholms läns landsting och Länsstyrelsen i Stockholms län, för att tillsammans skapa innovativa lösningar på stora samhällsfrågor. I projektkursens terminsuppdrag lär sig studenterna hur man arbetar i innovativa processer över olika vetenskapsfält. Och uppdragsgivaren får nya idéer på hur man kan lösa viktiga samhällsfrågor som kommer att betyda mycket för alla människor i samhället.


Kurserna vänder sig till dig som redan har en kandidatexamen. Du kan ha läst ekonomi, humaniora, juridik, medicin, samhällsvetenskap eller till ingenjör. Du kommer att studera tillsammans med människor du kanske aldrig skulle ha träffat annars. Du vill lära dig att hantera samhällets utmaningar och prova nya arbetssätt. Kursen kommer att vara krävande och stimulerande.


Du kommer att arbeta med riktiga uppdrag som kan påverka andras liv i en nära framtid. Regionens politiker och beslutsfattare väntar på dina förslag till lösningar.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Meta: Daniel's reflections on the course

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I happen to know a few people in the "Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas" (ASPO Sverige). They asked me to come and talk about the DM2573 course and my thoughts about it. If you want to, you are welcome to join this Swedish-language meeting on Sunday (Oct 21).

Time: Sun Oct 21 between 16-19.
Place: The restaurant/pub Pelikanen (Södermalm), Blekingegatan 40

Since ASPO would like to have an idea about how many people will come to the meeting, please fill in this Doodle if you would like to come!

/Daniel

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Daniel Pargman, lektor i medieteknik, KTH
Titel: Peak oil på högskolan?

Daniel berättar om sina tankar kring att utforma delar av en ny kurs om "hållbarhet och medieteknik" kring teman som "begränsningar" och resursutmaningar. Vilket var utfallet när civilingenjörsstudenter på KTH fick höra att hållbarhetsproblematiken och resursutmaningar inte representarer abstrakta frågor som "någon annan" får lösa, utan potentiella ödesfrågor som kommer att komma att få en konkret inverkan på deras egna liv? Vad händer när unga människor ("future captains of the industry") börjar väga möjligheten att pågående problem (EU, USA) kan vara tecken inte på en tillfällig svacka utan på en oundviklig kollaps?

David Webb talk at KTH Oct 25

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During the course wrap-up (Oct 10) several students said they would have wanted David Webb to give a lecture in the course. While the course has now ended, you actually do have the chance to listen to David talk at a seminar at KTH next week.

Due to the fact that David is invited to a seminar (not a lecture), space is limited and we unfortunately thus have to limit the number of students to maximum a dozen (12). So I have created a Doodle where you can indicate if you want to come (or if you don't want to come).

Please only state that you will come to the seminar if you really will come to the seminar!

/Daniel


-----------------------

Date: To 25 oktober kl 15-17
Place: Seminar room 1537 (house E, floor 5)

Guest: David Webb, Retired financial analyst, investment banker and hedge fund manager.
Title: Paradigm Collapse

Talk: Beginning with a chronicle of the unprecedented increase and scale of financial exposures in the United States, we will discuss evidence that the banking power of the United States is indeed collapsing.  We will discuss available historical precedent, and some unexpected implications including the prospects for interest rates, commodities, deflation vs. hyperinflation, the devaluation of the dollar, and the involvement of China.  The relative merits of Sweden and the Scandinavian region will also be discussed.

About: David Webb is the founder of Origin Investments AB, which has applied to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority (Finansinspektionen) for permission to manage a market neutral long/short equity strategy designed to serve as a core holding for institutional investors. Mr. Webb was the founder of Verus Investments, where he managed long/short equity hedge funds with AUM in excess of $600 million. Previously, Mr. Webb was a Senior Managing Member of Shaker Investments where he was the sole manager of long/short equity hedge funds with AUM in excess of $1.3 billion. Mr. Webb has served as an Associate with the venture investment arm of E.M. Warburg, Pincus & Co., Inc., and as an Associate with the Mergers and Acquisitions Department of Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. Mr. Webb moved with his family to Sweden a few years ago to escape the impeding collapse of the US banking sector.

On the future of this blog

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The deadline for the home exam has passed. I think it is pretty logical that the time to write blog posts here and get bonus points for them in the course has passed too.

However, you are welcome to continue to post stuff here - I will continue to subscribe to the blog and I hope some other people will do that too. I might post some stuff myself here now and then.

More specifically, this is what will happen to the blog:
- You will still be able to post stuff.
- A year from now when the course starts again, we might continue to use this blog and thus build upon your blog posts. At that time, I will kick you out and a new crop of students will get invitations to contribute to the blog.

Do note that this blog post is followed by two blog posts about events during this coming week that might be of interest to you - even though the course has ended.

/Daniel
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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Sustainability indicators


As this wasn’t part of the lesson, I thought it might be interesting for others as well. I wondered how the progress of sustainable development is measured and visualized. Because of this I searched for some actual systems.
The “Committee of Sustainable Development“ (CSD) introduced a set of basic indicators in 1997. Since then, 22 countries (e.g. Germany) are testing these indicators. As the basic indicator set doesn’t fit the need of all participating countries, each participant defined their own set of indicators. Because of that, a comparison of the different countries is extremely difficult. I will use the report of the Federal Statistical Office of Germany as a base for this blog entry.
The report is divided into four parts. As there are more than 30 indicators, I will mention only the most interesting The first part handles the Intergenerational equity, which includes resource conservation, climate protection, the usage of renewable energy sources and other environmental issues. The quality of life is part of the second part, this includes mobility, air quality, crime rate and healthcare. The third part is about Social cohesion, examples for that are the employment rate, integration and equal opportunities. The last part deals with the international responsibility and includes only two indicators: Development cooperation and Opening markets.
The report is published every two years. In every report, the collected data is compared to the previous reports. These trends are compared to the climate & sustainability goals of the government. In the report of 2012, which is available online (see link), more than the half of the indicator developed in a positive way. 20 indicators are developing weaker than expected, the defined goals might not be achieved. The remaining 8 indicators had a very high deviation of the target value.
This example shows the effort of some countries in setting transparent goals for sustainability. On the other hand these goals are relatively weak, as the government tries to set achievable goals. There are several other criticisms as well, but as these indicator systems are “new”, they might need some time to develop.



Monday, October 15, 2012

Sustainable stadiums

I found a quite cool site about some eco-friendly, sustainable, unic and certainly beautiful stadiums around the world. We have already seen some of these huge arenas recently like the Olympic stadium in London this year during the summer olympics and we will be more familiar with some of them in the near future, like for instance the 2014 Winter Olympic stadium in Sochi, Russia. They contribute differently to a sustainable future which you can read shortly about. Some of these are for example covered with huge solar panels, photovoltaic panels or rainwater harvesting systems. Maybe we have a few preconceptions about stadiums in general because of bad influences on the environment? These comparatively green arenas are supposed to change our point of veiw I guess.

http://www.greendiary.com/worlds-most-beautiful-eco-friendly-sports-stadiums.html 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Stockholm - European green capital 2010


We often hear a lot of bad things about how our society looks today from a sustainable poit of view. A few days ago i read about a conferens that will take place at Kistamässan, october 19th. I went to their home page and found out that Stockholm became the first ”european green capital” in 2010. At  European green capitals home page their are some funny information about Stockholm from a sustainable point of view that I think is worth reading. For example all inner city buses and trains runs on renewable fuels and the green house gas emissions have been reduced by 25% since 1990. Sometimes I get the impression that we are going in wrong direction but after reading the review of Stockholm it seems that we (the city) actually making improvemenst all the time.

Link to the conference at Kistamässan:

Link to  European green capital:
http://ec.europa.eu/environment/europeangreencapital/winning-cities/stockholm-european-green-capital-2010/index.html

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Futurama on the topic of sustainability

Today I came acress a hilarious episode in the cartoon called Futurama. The episode is basically a parody of our need-the-new-gadget culture. It touches upon a lot of the topics discussed in this course. I find it both funny and very true, and a quite interesting point is being made in the end.

You can watch the whole episode here:
http://www.watchcartoononline.com/futurama-episode-603-attack-of-the-killer-app

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

TED: The moral roots of liberals and conservatives

Here's a TED-talk I mentioned during the seminars today, it goes somewhat in the same lines as the paper (Climate Change as Culture Wars) for the seminar. Even though it is more about the moral roots of people in general and issues around this, I think it has some interesting points for this course as well. Enjoy!

http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html

Preppers

The recent episode of Swedish cultural program Kobra is about "preppers", people preparing for some kind of judgement day. It's very interesting, and suits well for everyone taking this course, since a lot of discussions on the seminars has been about how one should prepare if and when some kind of collapse happens.

It's OK if you don't know Swedish, the major part of the program is in English. Also, it only runs for 30 mins.

http://www.svt.se/kobra/se-program/article331233.svt

(I tried to post this as a commentary on the canceled lecture post, but apparently failed, or the moderator is too busy.)

Monday, October 8, 2012

10 sustainable buildings

Recently, I found an interesting site about 10 sustainable or green buildings in the United States. These buildings are mainly water and energy sufficient out ­of environmentally friendly materials and the purpose is to show encouraging examples of different green building methods. Unfortunately the buildings are quite expensive but in the long run, the cost may be equal because of the lower water and energy bills. There is a lot of detailed information about each building and the structures vary enormously between each others. For instance some of them are constructed by renewable resources like bamboo, recycled mild steel or scrap materials from bordering buildings and a great part of the wastes that resulted from the construction were also recycled. On the other hand you can argue about if all of these solutions really are sustainable? See the link below for more information.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

How much energy do you use?

I read an article about electricity consumption in "Ny teknik" a couple of weeks ago. The article consited of a few peoples opinion on their electricity usage, and what they thought were their biggest "electricity thief" in their homes. One of them specifically drew my attention since he said that the computers that he had in his home were the biggest "thiefs". He said that the consumption from the two desktop computers that he had pulled nearly 8kWh per day. I found that to be a lot and compared it to my own electricity bills. With the 8kWh per day that he used for his two computers (240kWh per month) I used the same amout for my whole appartment (including 2 laptops), and mostly I don't even use that much. One interesting fact with this example (if the numbers that he pulled are true) is that it's definitely much better with a laptop than a desktop computer! How much are you consuming?

Friday, October 5, 2012

The politics of trolling

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I know this is a stretch to publish this here, it doesn't have that much to do with sustainability, but it has to do with media technology and since we listened to a podcast on "patent trolls", I though this could be of interest to you:

-----------

Hi all,

Apologies for cross posting. One last reminder on this CFP for the Fibreculture Journal.

The politics of trolling and the Negative Space of The Internet

http://fibreculturejournal.org/cfp-special-issue-for-the-fibreculture-journal-the-politics-of-trolling-and-the-negative-space-of-the-internet/

A great deal of thinking about the Internet and politics is still structured by a desire for deliberative democracy. From 1993 - when Howard Rheingold enunciated one of the Internet’s key founding myths - the virtual community - scholars have sought and found communities characterised by a mutuality of interests, a common purpose, a collaborative striving to renovate the democratic ideal, a tendency towards the “regulative idea” of the ideal speaking position, and an acknowledgement of the obligations of citizenship within the political association. For so long the Internet has continued to function, in Barbrook’s formulation, as a “redemptive technology”. Social media is just the latest in a long line of technologies which may, on a certain vision, rescue liberal democracy, with its decaying civic life and corrupt media, from itself.

There is, proportionally, too little attention to the everyday conflicts that haunt all such communities. Some conflict is temporary, and can be accounted for in terms of long-standing democratic theory. But some conflict is persistent, intractable. Some of it is gratuitous, and deliberately disruptive. Online, those who bring it about are often subject to normative disapprobation. Sometimes people call them trolls.

”Troll”, as a term of moral opprobrium, indicates an online actor who is not interested in deliberation, but in derailing it. Trolling is not apt to be captured by network maps or visualisations of online publics, because these teachniques cannot discern which nodes in a conversational network are created in bad faith, or in a spirit of disruptive play. Trolls are not interested in redeeming democracy through deliberation, and they mock attempts to do so. Trolls respect no procedural rules, though they may be generative of them. Trolls are the constitutive outside of online communities of political discussion, they are the intolerable of the most tolerant communities. Trolls are usually someone else, defined from our own position and interests. When they are not, and we inhabit trolling, we discover that trolling requires know-how, close reading, experience, sometimes sympathy with those we would disrupt.

What are the consequences to seeing trolling and other forms of affective behaviour as the norm, rather than the aberrant? The discourse of digital art has long since told this story, but the intellectual desire for open and constitutive democracy has overridden the 'actually existing democracy' of bullying, trolling, threats, inane memes and low signal-to-noise ratios. What would happen if we started to think of trolling as the central practice in online discourse? What if trolling is the Internet’s signature mode of discursive politics? What if we started to think about trolling as a practice which is generative rather than destructive?

This special issue of fibreculture seeks a range of perspectives on trolling, online conflict and incivility. Twenty years on, it looks to interrogate  the founding myth of virtual community with accounts of generative conflict, strategic incivility, and productive trolling.

We seek papers on a range of topics not limited to

- Trolling, activism and politics
- The persistence and ubiquity of online conflict
- Trolling as a business model: the mainstream media and clickbait
- Gendered aspects of trolling and incivility
- 4chan and trolling; activism and meme factories
- Trolling and cyberbullying
- Complaints about trolling and the “hatred of democracy” – are complaints about trolling really an attempt to re-gentrify political debate?
- Cultures and rituals of trolling – troll culture and the celebration of lulz
- Trolling and “cyber-bullying”
- The Internet and agonistic politics
- Trolling and counterpublics
- The grammar of trolling
- Trolling as the glitch in social network analysis and “big data”
- Popular culture, trolls and the democratization of politics
- Tabloid media, professionalization of trolling and the economics of opinion
- Trolling as cyber-bullying, internet as masochistic survivalist playground
- The pleasures of trolling
- Trolling the trolls
- The art and ‘new aesthetics’ of trolling
- The gamification of trolling

—–

Please note that for this issue, initial submissions should be abstracts only

abstract deadline: October 15, 2012 (via email, to Jason Wilson, email address below)
article deadline: January 15, 2012
publication aimed for: April/May, 2013

all contributors and editors must read the guidelines at;
http://fibreculturejournal.org/policy-and-style/
before working with the Fibreculture Journal

email correspondence for this issue:

Jason.Wilson@canberra.edu.au<mailto:Jason.Wilson@canberra.edu.au><mailto:Jason.Wilson@canberra.edu.au<mailto:Jason.Wilson@canberra.edu.au>>

Christian.mccrea@rmit.edu.au<mailto:Christian.mccrea@rmit.edu.au><mailto:Christian.mccrea@rmit.edu.au<mailto:Christian.mccrea@rmit.edu.au>>

Glen.fuller@canberra.edu.au<mailto:Glen.fuller@canberra.edu.au><mailto:Glen.fuller@canberra.edu.au<mailto:Glen.fuller@canberra.edu.au>>

—–

The Fibreculture Journal (http://fibreculturejournal.org/) is a peer reviewed international journal, associated with Open Humanities Press (http://openhumanitiespress.org/), that explores critical and speculative interventions in the debate and discussions concerning information and communication technologies and their policy frameworks, network cultures and their informational logic, new media forms and their deployment, and the possibilities of socio-technical invention and sustainability.

Interesting Open source project!

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/622508883/global-village-construction-set

Found this project on kickstarter and got to think about the copyleft discussion. Here is a good example when Open source does good for the enviroment! :)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Evil technology?

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We had a discussion in our seminar group about the merits or drawbacks of technology and innovation. Here's an interesting case study, a good review of a new book, "Addiction by design: Machine gambling in Las Vegas". From the review:

Addiction by Design is a nonfiction page-turner. A richly detailed account of the particulars of video gaming addiction, worth reading for the excellence of the ethnographic narrative alone, it is also an empirically rigorous examination of users, designers, and objects that deepens practical and philosophical questions about the capacities of players interacting with machines designed to entrance them. 
[...]
Schüll asks readers to consider the insidious dependencies that arise between machine designers, casino owners, and gamblers, especially “problem gamblers,” whose struggle to control personal spending generates 30 to 60 percent of casino revenue. Schüll’s Addiction systematically builds on her basic argument that, “just as certain individuals are more vulnerable to addiction than others, it is also the case that some objects, by virtue of their unique pharmacologic or structural characteristics, are more likely than others to trigger or accelerate an addiction.”
[...]
There is no single devil here, and no particular exorcism can right the wrong, but there is something devilish about the way designers’ intentions and users’ neurology meet up to make video gaming so devastating for some and so profitable for others.



Carbon footprint of spam e-mail

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This is sort of an answer to Gustav's post 2 weeks ago. Instead of commenting his blog post, I post it here and hope that more persons will see it!

Here's from a text I wrote three years ago on the carbon footprint of spam e-mail.

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the numbers from this report (pdf) claims that each spam mail ending up in your mail box on average generates 0,3 grams of CO2 emissions (the same amount as if you drive your car 1 meter). Since the number of spam e-mails sent during 2008 was approximately 62 000 000 000 000 (62 trillions), the total amount of CO2 emissions caused by spam is not insignificant and more precisely corresponds with the amount of CO2 emitted by a car driving around the world 1,6 million times. If we assume that there are about 800 million cars on Earth, then all the spam sent during 2008 corresponds to the accumulated CO2 emissions from all the world’s cars driving 80 kilometers each. I am not sure whether this is much or little in a big-picture perspective, but I have no problems being judgmental and deeming spam e-mails 100% unnecessary, and now for yet another reason. Where are the technological and social solutions to stop them`

I saw a reference in January 2008 stating that a "bizarre" record was broken one day in October the preceeding year (2007). During that one day, more than 160 000 million spam e-mails - roughly two dozen per man, woman and child on Earth - were sent. Comparing this number with the total number of spam e-mails send during 2008 (see above), we find that the record from 2007 is actually lower than the daily average of spam e-mails sent during 2008...

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TEDxHornstull change trhough cooperation



It is time for this year's TEDxHornstull.  This year the main theme is change through cooperation, which relates in certain way with the topic of our sustainability course.  If you feel like listening people like Anna Nygård representing planka.nu, or Rebecka Carlsson, the spokesperson for the youth organization of the green party in Sweden, this is the perfect opportunity!

For more information, make sure to visit:
http://www.tedxhornstull.se/2012/?lang=en

Rebound effects resources

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In looking for a good picture to for today's lecture about rebound effects, I found an interesting blog post (and also with further links to other blog posts) about a variety of rebound effects:

- household energy conservation behavior
- using photovoltaic panels
- recycling
- sunscreen (to avoid sunburn)
- preventive health care
- long-distance driving instead of taking the airplane (post 9/11 American behavior)
- bicycle helmet laws
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Friday, September 28, 2012

Seminar Mon Oct 1: "Democracy, Development and Ecology"

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This is info about an upcoming seminar (on Monday!) that overlaps with the course and might be of interest to you.

/Daniel


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the next higher seminar at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment at KTH will be held on Monday, October 1, 13:15-14:45.

Our guest will be Mahesh Rangarajan, Director of the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, New Delhi, and Professor at the Department of History, University of Delhi. He will speak about "Democracy, Development and Ecology: Dilemmas and Choices in 21st Century India".

Abstract

The economic rise of Asia, especially though not exclusively of China and India is widely seen as a major feature of the coming century. At the same time, economic expansion and technological transformation opens up new possibilities for human self advancement, it imposes new burdens on resources and new strains on the fabric of life. The scale and scope of the remaking of landscapes and waterscapes as currently under way often entails the obliteration of ecosystems, species and habitats.

In the Indian case, there is special interest as it is a constitutional democracy of 60 years standing with a free press and labour unions, an independent judiciary and a vigorous public sphere of debate. Environmental issues are often not only about rare species and habitats but about human displacement and despoliation of rivers, the clash of industry and water and land based livelihoods. How there can be peaceable ways to move ahead is a major challenge. The last two decades have seen a deepening of democracy but the quickening of the growth process has also deepened conflicts over forests, land, living spaces and water.

Whether or not there can be more harmonious ways of achieving a better quality of life while keeping the natural cycles of renewal and repair intact is a major challenge. One meta shift in the new century is that environmental issues, from global warming to water shortages, from the death of species to displacement have come to the centre stage of public life. How these are made subject of effective action poses more than mere scientific or technical challenge. It will call for a re-engagement with our pasts as we try to comprehend better, more humane and effective ways to shape the future.


The seminar will take place at the Division of History of Science, Technology and Environment, KTH main  campus, Brinellvägen 32, 11428 Stockholm. The seminar room is located on the top floor.

Welcome!

Sabine Höhler and Maja Fjaestad

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Carbon Footprint of the Internet


Working as a postman the past two summers I come across messages like the one quite often, the sign say(roughly translated) “No advertising please, save the nature”. When delivering mail and advertisement I do my best to obey these signs, and the swedish postal-service also keeps a record of how many signs there are to not produce unnecessary amounts of printed ads that are never delivered, the signs thus have an effect. 

But that is regular mail. How about email? of course there’s a lot less resources consumed when sending an email compared to sending out printed add, but that doesn’t mean that there’s none at all. I had a conversation with a friend of mine on this topic some time ago. He was annoyed of people sending replies to emails received through email-lists saying “please take me of this list, I don’t want these emails” when its such a small task marking them as junk-email and never have to bother again, the only reason to send such a reply would be to save the energy consumed when the emails are sent, and that’s such a small amount that it’s not worth bothering, or is it? 

What do we really pay for when we pay for our broadband connection. I’m assuming that administration and infrastructure would be a big chunk of it, but some of it has to be for energy.

According to some calculations found here <http://energyzarr.typepad.com/energyzarrnationalcom/2008/08/the-true-cost-o.html> the amount of energy consumed when viewing a pretty standard webpage, wikipedia for example, is about 11.5 joules. If we make the rough approximation that sending an email consumes the same amount of energy as viewing a webpage, and the normal mailing list sends about one email per day. It’s important to note that these calculations only include the energy needed to transport the packets over the net, not the power needed to keep your computer running. According to this blog post <http://voices.yahoo.com/unplugging-cell-phone-saves-much-energy-2527431.html> the amount of energy saved from unplugging your cellphone charger for 24h instead of leaving it plugged in is about 0.0066kwh, wich is 6.6wh(of course). The amount saved from not sending an email is 11.5 Joules(ws) wich would be approximately 0.03wh, so it’s smaller. But the thing is that while you usually only have one cellphone charger, and you can’t unplug it for more than 24h a day(and most of the time less than that since you need to charge your phone), the amounts of emails we receive is scalable. What’s even more scalable is the amount of data requests we send in total, including all the cat videos we watch on youtube :)

I thought this would be interesting to test, and decided to create a carbon footprint calculator for the network card in my computer. This calculator builds on the estimates found on the energyzarr webpage cited above, where an estimate for how much energy needed for transporting 1 bit was 4.6 x 10^-6 joules. This the gives the energy for one byte as 0.0000368 joules/byte (4.6 x 10^-6 x 8). I’m no expert in energy calculations, but I believe that 1 joule could be seen as 1 Ws for practical reasons in my calculations. This would the give me 1.022222.... x 10^-7 Wh/byte.

I also found some carbon footprint estimates here: <http://www.altprofits.com/ref/widgets/co2_emission_calculator.html> saying that the carboon footprint of 1kwh is 1.37 lbs, which gives me 669.53377 g/KWh. I then get my final calculation needed to construct my carbon footprint calculator, where the footprint of one byte is: 1.0222222... x 10^-7 x 0.66853377 g(CO2)/byte.



These calculations are of course really rough, and based on the packets being sent via TCP, which is not the case when watching funny cats. But I still thought it was an eyeopener for me, and made me think about if I really need to watch that video, or update my facebook page every three minutes.
Heres the code needed to build the co2calculator in python(only works in osx):
#Gustav Rannestig co2calc.py 2012-09-20
import commands
import time

#Only works on OSX, for ubuntu the command needs to be rewritten in some clever way :)
Ibytes = commands.getstatusoutput("netstat -ib | grep -m 1 en1 | awk '{print $7}'")
InitialIBytes = Ibytes[1]

Obytes = commands.getstatusoutput("netstat -ib | grep -m 1 en1 | awk '{print $10}'")
InitialOBytes = Obytes[1]
BiteCount = 0
Co2Eq = 0

while True:
    time.sleep(5)
    Ibytes = commands.getstatusoutput("netstat -ib | grep -m 1 en1 | awk '{print $7}'")
    Obytes = commands.getstatusoutput("netstat -ib | grep -m 1 en1 | awk '{print $10}'")
    ByteCount = ((int(Ibytes[1]) - int(InitialIBytes)) + (int(Obytes[1]) -int(InitialOBytes)))
    InitialIBytes = Ibytes[1]
    InitialOBytes = Obytes[1]
    Co2Eq = Co2Eq + (1.02*(10**(-7))*0.6695377)*ByteCount
    print "Your Co2eq is" + str(Co2Eq) + " g of Co2"

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Sustainable Data Warehouse

Yesterday at the lecture we heard that transportation was a big part of the total energy consumption in a media company. Besides from that, electricity was also a big part of the energy beeing used. Depending on the the company, the use of electricity might be different and I assume that consumtion of electricity in computer related companies are relatively high.

One way to not consume "bad", non-renewable energy for electricity is to do what Apple are planning on doing for one of thier data warehouses. They are setting up solar panels that will generate energy worth 60 percent of their total consumption for the data warehouse. I think this is a good initiative since data warehouses generally consume a lot of electricity, and solving it in this way seems much more sustainable.

Though, I see one problem with other companies following this initiative and that is that these solar panels take up a lot of space and this is just for one Apple data warehouse. And also that the energy generated from these solar panels could instead be genereting electricity for 10 874 homes. That makes you understand how big of an energy consumer these data warehouses are, and this one is just one of Apples.

This is a sustainable way of running a data warehouse, but when seeing this I am starting to question how sustainable data warehouses are in general and that the continuing growth of these pose a problem for ICT in relation to sustainability.


Link:
http://www.apple.com/environment/renewable-energy/

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Topics for blog posts

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I haven't had enough time to comment your blog posts here lately, but please don't let that refrain you from posting stuff.

Based on the seminars we had earlier today, it seemed the lecture by Nate Hagens yesterday made an impression on many of you - that (or any other lecture) thus seems like a suitable topic for a blog post (or several, covering different aspects of the talk). The same of course also goes for Hagen's texts, the text for today's seminar or any other text we have read in the course.

Another great topic could be your thoughts going in to the seminar earlier today - for example based on you seminar question. Some of your questions were great but we didn't have time to discuss them all and naturally people in other seminar groups don't know anything about your question.

Beyond the question, the seminar discussions and your thoughts at of following the seminar could be yet another suitable topic for blog posts here.

/Daniel
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Food waste

I found a great TED talk by Tristram Stuart that bring up our ways of consuming and wasting food. In the video he expose how much the developed world throw away and what this leads to. One thing he brings up which I found very interesting is that we from 2001 can not feed our livestock with our own food and the result of this is that we "cook" food for them and much of the ingredients comes from south america. To produce these ingredients they cut down a lot of rain-forest to gain access to rich land. So when complaining on companies cutting down rain-forest we mostly got ourselves to blame.

I think this could be an interesting subject that could be developed into a seminar maybe next year.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cWC_zDdF74s&sns=em

Friday, September 7, 2012

Rolighetsteorin.se

In a course on design given by the school of architectural design here at KTH  one of the concepts we  as students got in touch with was rolighetsteorin.se (A theory of fun). It's about fun ways to how we can be more sustainable adopting a more fun way doing it. This one is an example about ecological sustainability:


Another thing is the "walk-panels" made by the japanese engineer Kohei Hayamizu. I belive it connects with the thought of the eco-gym and personally I belive Hayamizus idea is great:




What do you think?

I will also get back on the reply on my previous post when I've got the time to formulate a good answer.

Eco-gym


I think a big reason why many people do not choose to be environmentally friendly is because it in many cases costs more than the non-environmentally friendly option.
A few years ago I read an article about "Eco-gym" in Metro that showed numbers of how many households a hall with 20 spinning bikes could generate electricity to if the bikes where used extensively for a year. Unfortunately I do not remember the exact numbers but after Googling ”Eco-gym”, I came across an article about a gym in Portland, USA, whose ambition is to be completely self-sufficient when it comes to electricity. When the article was written, in 2010, the owner said that the 200 members who trained at the gym did not generate enough electricity for the 280 sq. m large facility to be carbon-neutral, but if all the training equipment would be used at the same time, it could generate twice as much electricity as the facility needs.

The gym in the article is not the first Eco-gym in the world but it still raises my attention because this business concept creates an opportunity to reduce the price range if the equipment manages to generate as much electricity as is needs. Because that would mean that the electricity costs would disappear. I think the idea is very good because it does not require more effort for an individual to work out in a eco-gym than in a regular gym. It could even result in, that you would pay less for the eco-gym.

However, the purchase cost of these machines is probably higher than the non-electricity-generating equipment and therefore this business concept involves higher initial costs.

The bottom line of this blog post is that I think it is important for entrepreneurs to develop a business concept where people contribute to sustainable development even though they do not change their lifestyle because many people today are not willing to change their way of living.

http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,2032281,00.html

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Återanvändning av företagsdatorer

Upphandling av IT står för en betydande ekonomisk andel för en kommun. Samtidig utgör IT-produkterna en risk att bryta mot mänskliga rättigheter i bland annat produktionen. Miljöaspekterna i återvinningsfasen bör också tas in i rikssammanhanget. Eftersom att IT-produkter är en stor ekonomisk post och ett område där det finns stora förbättringsmöjligheter utifrån miljö- och social hänsyn, vill vi se miljömål med hållbarhetskrav på inköp av IT-produkter, säger Gabriella Blomgren, marknadschef TCO Development.

http://bambuser.com/v/2799724

Företaget som köper upp äldre använda datorer heter Inrego och börjar prata efter ca halva klippet.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Global Footprint Network - Calculate your personal footprint

In one of the text we are supposed to read for the seminar the author mentions "Global Footprint Network". I looked it up online and found out that you can gather a lot of interesting information about different types of footprints we leave after us. You can look up footprints based on countries, cities, businesses etc. Sweden actually isn't in as bad trouble as a lot of other countries according to their information, which is encouraging for Swedes. But overall you can see that it's not looking good for a lot of countries.

They also have a footprint calculator where you can calculate your own personal footprint. Unfortunatly you can't do the calculations for Sweden, but you can still choose other countries and see what your footprint would have been if you lived there. It's pretty basic and you should take it with a grain of salt, but it is still fun (or disturbing) to see how big of an ecological footprint you leave behind.

Link to the calculator:
http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/

Link to the homepage:
http://www.footprintnetwork.org/

Monday, September 3, 2012

"Clean" energy

First watch this video:



Today I came across this video showing off BioLites new product called Camp Stove. In the video, the product is said to give you access to clean energy. Now, even though I am quite impressed by this product, I am having a hard time seeing how burning wood equals clean energy.

It's funny, because at first I did not even think about weather this product actually is eco-friendly or not: I subconsciously thought that it must be! But then, because of this course, I started thinking about it, and my conclusion is that I do not want to live in a world where everyone charges their cellphones by using Camp Stove.

I guess that this video goes to show just how easy it is for us to get tricked into thinking that a product is eco-friendly. Everyone on Youtube seem to love it, which actually says quite a lot about peoples feeling towards eco-friendy products.

Friday, August 31, 2012

What Isn't for sale

I will follow up the previous blog-topic and switch from games to economics and sustainability.

For about 4 months ago I came across an article in The Atlantic called "What Isn't for sale" and in this article Michel J. Sandel (an american political philosopher and a professor at Harvard University) argues that without morals we can't sustain a healthy society (this is a pretty common theme for most  great writers through history - even Freud argues in this direction though he shared a materialistic world view - and then you've got the 10 commandments). So this blog post is maybe more in between the dimensions of economical and social sustainability, but if you read the article (it's quite "long", depending how much you like to read) you get the feeling that it also embraces the ecological viewpoint - and therefor qualifies for this blog?

I'm posting this because it's in stark contrast to the efficiency of measuring GDP as a country's dominating health indicator, it's maybe also a critique to the more technocratic theme Nils Brandt spoke about in "how many rabbits can live in a sustainable society" - if I did understand him correct.  So it should be a good platform to build some kind of discussion on morals, economics and sustainability. Also because some of the key-factors for building a sustainable society according to Mulders (Sustainable development for engineers; 2006)  is to reach equilibria between rich & poor, our generation & future generations, humankind & nature, and how do we solve this without speaking of values and morals?

 Michel J. Sandel has also written a new book called What Money Can't buy: The moral limits of markets, and I'm hoping I will have the time to soon give it a read-through. 

If any one have read it, please let me know what you think about it.
      

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Fate of the World

I realize we have barely started the course, but I hope this can be regarded as relevant enough to contribute to this blog. Here goes!

I stumbled upon this game recently, and I think it can be classified as something that connects ICT with Sustainability. The computer game is called "Fate of the World" and is available since about a year and a half back. It's apparently an "indie game", so it really doesn't display any amazing graphics or advanced visual interactivity. However, its central theme is saving the world from global collapse, which can come about in several different ways. From what I understand, the player assumes the role of leader of a world-wide humanitarian organization, then chooses scenarios to play through for the duration of gameplay. The scenarios can range from improving living conditions for the population of Africa to preventing catastrophic climate change (source: Wikipedia).


The game is turn-based, and every turn the player distributes actions such as investing in electric car technology, as well as having to manage public opinion of the regions where they are active with policies.

I find this idea for a game quite odd, because I instinctively assume nobody is going to play it, which isn't very fair to the developer. I'm not sure if the graphics and structure will appeal to the average computer game player, although I already know that some fans of strategy games have both downloaded and played it. One thing that is certain is that there is no shortage of apocalyptically themed video and computer games out there, but they usually don't deal with actually solving the world's sustainability issues before it is too late. And they're usually a little more action-oriented. Nonetheless, I can imagine how awareness and, in a way, educating younger generations on problems with i.e. population growth and global warming can be helped through the computer game medium, but I'm not sure if this particular game will reach enough individuals. It wouldn't exactly be the first time an attempt at teaching through gaming would be made, although most previous examples I know of were directed at children in primary school... Regardless, it is an interesting idea, and possibly the cornerstone in a coming trend of game themes (for adults and teens)? It's an exciting thought!

For those of you who want to try it out, it is available on Steam!

Regarding this blog/bonus points

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In the course, we only have one seminar per week. That seminar represents your best opportunity to ask questions, to discuss issues and to make your voice heard - but 2 hours is not a lot of time. This blog represents an opportunity to take our "remaining" questions, comments and discussions on-line.

This is thus the place for all the "I wish I would have said ... at the seminar" comments. As well as blog posts about stuff that relates to the course (a newspaper article, an invitation to an event or a lecture somewhere else) and thoughts/opinions/critique about the lecture you just heard.

You have a very good incentive to post at least a couple of blog posts here during the course - you can get 2 bonus points in the course for your contributions to this blog. Do note that these really are bonus points - you are not forced to write if you don't want to and you can get top (maximum) points in the course without contributing to the blog.

So what kind of blog post qualifies for bonus points and which don't? Based on experiences from a previous course (see this blog post), you can typically contribute with:

- A blog post with some information or tips about sustainability & media technology/ICT; for example events happening in Stockholm or elsewhere, relevant newspaper/magazine/blog articles (with links) etc. The blog is our collective eyes and ears keeping track of relevant news and events during the course.
- A blog post with a summary, analysis, critique and/or thoughts that were initiated by a lecture in the course.
- A blog post with a summary, analysis, critique and/or thoughts that were initiated by course literature.
- A good (elaborate) comment on someone else's blog post!

I will not specify how long your contribution should be in terms of number or words etc. The important criteria is that your contribution should add value. "I agree", "me too" or "the lecture was great" does not add value. It is obviously hard for me to beforehand draw a clear line, but your blog post should contribute to an ongoing "class discussion" about issues and questions that are relevant and related to the course. It just isn't good enough to post a link to a random resource (text, comic strip, movie) on the web and say "look what I found on the web". You are welcome to post links to resources, but you have to "frame" them; to explain why this thing you are linking to is interesting, how it relates to the course (to issues that have been raised by lecturers, by the literature or in seminar discussions). If you link to a long text or a movie that is 20 minutes long, you really have to explain why it would be worthwhile for your classmates to invest the time to look at it - and what you yourself think about that text/movie! For example, what questions and what thoughts did that movie raise for you? 

In short: the keywords are "added value" and "quality" (not quantity).

Do comment on this blog post if you have any questions. I will comment on some of your early blog posts here in order to provide you with feedback and direction as to what "adds value" and what constitutes "quality".

/Daniel
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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Welcome to this blog - it is all yours!



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Throughout the course Sustainability and Media Technology, all of us will together come across many different and interesting examples of issues that can be related to topics that the course covers. This blog is where you post information about what you come across so that we all can learn about and benefit from the information that we all together come across. 50+ pair of eyes are better than 2!

All students who take the course will be invited to become contributors and post blog entries here.

Feel free to post whatever you come across that you think is interesting and that has a relationship to things we have read, or seen, or heard in the course, or that in general is related to issues of sustainability and media technology (and IT)!

Also feel free to check out others' posts and please also comment on them. Hopefully some blog entries will generate lively discussions!

See this blog (same function, different course) for inspiration about how this blog can be used.

Daniel Pargman
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