Sunday, August 25, 2013

Energy Rhetoric

 There's a debate about energy use comparisons between iPhones and refrigerators. Mr. Mills says iPhones use more and another says refrigerators use more. I had to submit my five pesos worth of nonsense and here it is in verse format because I'm unconventional like that.

Another approach to this debate would be to imagine an
Earth with only 6 things: 2 refrigerators, 2 iPhones
and two immortal people who live on different
continents where they each sit next to their one
refrigerator holding their iPhone.
There is only nature and these 6 things.
Determine how much energy it would take to power the
two refrigerators.
Then determine how much energy it would take to enable
the two iphones to communicate to each other.

But that's still academic and I think this is a
philosophical question:

The values that are important are imagining an Earth
with only naked humans.
Now determine how much energy it would take to
manufacture two refrigerators and run them.
Then determine how much energy it would take to
manufacture two iPhones and communicate with them.

And if you really want to get philosophical the whole
debate is Bernays-ian because it's predicated on the
assumption that both refrigerators and iPhones are
required for a content life. It's fundamentally
manipulative, consumerist propaganda. Bernays wrote
that if you want people to buy a piano then hire
architects to draw rooms named "Piano Room" and the
owner will fill the void on his own. Mr. Mills is using
the same trick: in order to generate pro energy
sentiment, make ludicrous statements about energy use
comparing two consumptive devices. The subsequent
argument will conventionalize the existence of both
devices in the minds of the public. He wins not by the
science but by public perception.

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Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.