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17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
1	
  
Computing within Limits
Daniel Pargman | pargman@kth.se
KTH Royal Institute of Technology,
Stockhol...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
2	
  
http://limits2016.org
http://acmlimits.org/2017/
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
3	
  
Limits to Growth
(Meadows, Meadows and Randers 1972)
Computing within Limits
•  Computing within Li...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
4	
  
1 Me
2 My motivation
3 The spike and the peak
4 A world of limitations
5 (The road to) Limits
6 Wra...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
5	
  
Daniel Pargman, associate professor
•  Department of Media Techology and Interaction Design &
•  Ce...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
6	
  
2 My motivation
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
7	
  
Research 2000-2005: online games
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
8	
  
www.craftster.org
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9	
  
Microsoft Research (MSR),
Community Technologies Groups
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10	
  
NE 156 Ave NE / NE 40th St - Redmond
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11	
  
3 The spike and
the peak
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
12	
  
Two conflicting views of the future
Things are really taking off now (getting better and better
al...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
13	
  
Techno-
optimists
! "Techno-
utopians
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
14	
  
Vilken typ av framtidsbilder…?
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15	
  
The only alternative on offer…
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16	
  
What types of pictures of the future…?
”It is easier to imagine the end of the world than
to imagi...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
17	
  
+ = ?
or = ?
+ = ?
or = ?
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18	
  
4 A world of
limitations
The size of the economy is ultimately limited
by the fact that we live on...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
19	
  
Fossil fuels are ≈ 85% of world energy use
Fossil fuel use 1750 -
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
20	
  
No more low-hanging fruit
Peak Oil
• Peak oil refers to the point in time when production can
not ...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
21	
  
US production
The end of cheap energy?
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
22	
  
BP deep water oil spill
(Gulf of Mexico) April 2010
Richard Nixon (1973)
”There are only seven per...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
23	
  
Energy infrastructure transitions
"Changes in the world of energy are measured not in
months, not ...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
24	
  
1 oil barrel =
159 liter
Energy
content =
25.000
hours of
physical
work
On our taken-for-granted
e...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
25	
  
Good times
Good times
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26	
  
Will good times come to an end?
Is it a coincidence that computers, internet has
come about in the...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
27	
  
5 (The road to)
Limits
It’s all vanilla to me
•  ”Vanilla sustainability” (Pargman & Eriksson 2013...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
28	
  
•  Raghavan, B. & Ma, J. (2011). Networking in the long
emergency. In Proceedings of the 2nd ACM S...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
29	
  
Collapse Informatics is a hard sell
•  The term “Collapse” gets pushback
•  Anthropologist-archaeo...
17-­‐08-­‐04	
  
30	
  
Why Limits is not Vanilla Sustainability
•  LIMITS aims to foster discussion on the impact of
pres...
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31	
  
https://computingwithinlimits.wordpress.com
Limits 2018
•  ICT4S 2018 in Toronto May 14-18
•  Main...
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32	
  
Future of Limits (trajectory, goals)
•  Venue for ideas papers, hothouse for ideas(?)
•  Venue for...
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33	
  
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34	
  
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36	
  
Thank you!
Questions?
Daniel Pargman
pargman@kth.se
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Computing Within Limits

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Daniel Pargman's presentation at the ICT4S summer school in Leiden, Netherlands in August 2017, uploaded by me with his explicit permission

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Computing Within Limits

  1. 1. 17-­‐08-­‐04   1   Computing within Limits Daniel Pargman | pargman@kth.se KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden Computing within Limits
  2. 2. 17-­‐08-­‐04   2   http://limits2016.org http://acmlimits.org/2017/
  3. 3. 17-­‐08-­‐04   3   Limits to Growth (Meadows, Meadows and Randers 1972) Computing within Limits •  Computing within Limits aims to foster discussion on the impact of present or future ecological, material, energetic, and/or societal limits on computing.
  4. 4. 17-­‐08-­‐04   4   1 Me 2 My motivation 3 The spike and the peak 4 A world of limitations 5 (The road to) Limits 6 Wrap-up This talk 1 Me
  5. 5. 17-­‐08-­‐04   5   Daniel Pargman, associate professor •  Department of Media Techology and Interaction Design & •  Center for Sustainable Communications (CESC) •  (Both at the School of Computer Science and Communication) We do research and teach about ICT and sustainabiltity
  6. 6. 17-­‐08-­‐04   6   2 My motivation
  7. 7. 17-­‐08-­‐04   7   Research 2000-2005: online games
  8. 8. 17-­‐08-­‐04   8   www.craftster.org
  9. 9. 17-­‐08-­‐04   9   Microsoft Research (MSR), Community Technologies Groups
  10. 10. 17-­‐08-­‐04   10   NE 156 Ave NE / NE 40th St - Redmond
  11. 11. 17-­‐08-­‐04   11   3 The spike and the peak
  12. 12. 17-­‐08-­‐04   12   Two conflicting views of the future Things are really taking off now (getting better and better all the time) –  Pace of technological innovation increasing, soon to reach the singularity We are at the peak now (things will get tougher and tougher from here on) –  Global warming, resource depletion –  Peak oil, peak water, peak phosphorous (= peak food), peak X… –  Bardi (2009), “The spike and the peak”
  13. 13. 17-­‐08-­‐04   13   Techno- optimists ! "Techno- utopians
  14. 14. 17-­‐08-­‐04   14   Vilken typ av framtidsbilder…?
  15. 15. 17-­‐08-­‐04   15   The only alternative on offer…
  16. 16. 17-­‐08-­‐04   16   What types of pictures of the future…? ”It is easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine the end of capitalism.” Fredric Jameson (2003) Or, if we are lucky…
  17. 17. 17-­‐08-­‐04   17   + = ? or = ? + = ? or = ?
  18. 18. 17-­‐08-­‐04   18   4 A world of limitations The size of the economy is ultimately limited by the fact that we live on a finite planet Planetary ecosystem (IPCC 2013) Resources Pollution/waste Input Output The economy
  19. 19. 17-­‐08-­‐04   19   Fossil fuels are ≈ 85% of world energy use Fossil fuel use 1750 -
  20. 20. 17-­‐08-­‐04   20   No more low-hanging fruit Peak Oil • Peak oil refers to the point in time when production can not increase and further extraction yields gradually lower levels of production • Peak oil can refer to a single oil well, an oil field, the production of a whole country, or the production of all the oil fields of al the world (Global Peak Oil)
  21. 21. 17-­‐08-­‐04   21   US production The end of cheap energy?
  22. 22. 17-­‐08-­‐04   22   BP deep water oil spill (Gulf of Mexico) April 2010 Richard Nixon (1973) ”There are only seven percent of the people of the world living in the United States, and we use thirty percent of all the energy. That isn’t bad; that is good. That means we are the richest, strongest people in the world and that we have the highest standard of living in the world. That is why we need so much energy, and may it always be that way.” The US imported 10% of its oil in the early 1970s – today it imports >65%
  23. 23. 17-­‐08-­‐04   23   Energy infrastructure transitions "Changes in the world of energy are measured not in months, not in years, but often in decades. The abrupt transition from whale oil to kerosene took less than two decades. In the history of energy substitutions, that’s a duration of time akin to an eye blink" The transition from wood to coal took 75 years (1825-1900) – despite the fact that coal has many characteristics that are superior. The transition from whale oil to kerosene took 20 years (19th century) Energy vs computing infrastructure “A thousand barrels a second” (Tertzakian 2007) 86 million barrels of oil/day 31 billion barrels of oil/year Today’s energy infrastructure is rooted in decisions made generations ago We are equally dependent on a 145-year old multi-trillion dollar oil infrastructure (supply chain) as we are on the oil itself
  24. 24. 17-­‐08-­‐04   24   1 oil barrel = 159 liter Energy content = 25.000 hours of physical work On our taken-for-granted exponential-growth culture “During the last two centuries we have know nothing but exponential growth and in parallel we have evolved what amounts to an exponential-growth culture, a culture so heavily dependent upon the continuance of exponential growth for its stability that it is incapable of reckoning with problems of non-growth.” M King Hubbert, 1976
  25. 25. 17-­‐08-­‐04   25   Good times Good times
  26. 26. 17-­‐08-­‐04   26   Will good times come to an end? Is it a coincidence that computers, internet has come about in the age of cheap energy? Are computers, internet built on the premise of cheap energy? What happens if energy will no longer be cheap? Thinking about the future Science fiction author William Gibson is known for repeatedly having stated that “The future is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed”. It makes just as much sense to state that "The collapse is already here, it’s just not very evenly distributed." What if the future is not to be found in Google’s research labs but in contemporary use of ICT among unemployed young adults in Greece?
  27. 27. 17-­‐08-­‐04   27   5 (The road to) Limits It’s all vanilla to me •  ”Vanilla sustainability” (Pargman & Eriksson 2013) •  Problems might be severe, but will somehow always be manageable •  Ecological modernisation = full speed ahead, investing in electric cars, Carbon Capture and Storage, Smart Sustainable Cities, smart grids etc.
  28. 28. 17-­‐08-­‐04   28   •  Raghavan, B. & Ma, J. (2011). Networking in the long emergency. In Proceedings of the 2nd ACM SIGCOMM workshop on Green networking. •  Tomlinson, B., Silberman, M., Patterson, D., Pan, Y., & Blevis, E. (2012). Collapse informatics: augmenting the sustainability & ICT4D discourse in HCI. In Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM. •  Tomlinson, B., Patterson, D. J., Pan, Y., Blevis, E., Nardi, B., Silberman, S., Norton, J. & LaViola Jr, J. (2012). What if sustainability doesn't work out?. Interactions, 19(6), 50-55. A relief to then find:
  29. 29. 17-­‐08-­‐04   29   Collapse Informatics is a hard sell •  The term “Collapse” gets pushback •  Anthropologist-archaeologist Joseph Tainter (1988) defines collapse as “a rapid, significant loss of an established level of sociopolitical complexity” but to him “rapid” means “no more than a few decades”. We rebranded it - “Computing within Limits”
  30. 30. 17-­‐08-­‐04   30   Why Limits is not Vanilla Sustainability •  LIMITS aims to foster discussion on the impact of present or future ecological, material, energetic, and/or societal limits on computing. •  A goal of this community is to impact society through the design and development of computing systems in the abundant present for use in a future of limits and/ or scarcity. •  (An Internet for hard times?) 6 Wrap-up
  31. 31. 17-­‐08-­‐04   31   https://computingwithinlimits.wordpress.com Limits 2018 •  ICT4S 2018 in Toronto May 14-18 •  Main conf May 15-17 with workshops before and after •  Deadline for full papers = Nov 15 •  Limits 2018 in Toronto May 13-14 •  Separate co-located event but tightly coordinated with ICT4S •  Deadline for full papers = Feb 1
  32. 32. 17-­‐08-­‐04   32   Future of Limits (trajectory, goals) •  Venue for ideas papers, hothouse for ideas(?) •  Venue for ph.d. students to publish research that would not be accepted elsewhere •  Influence HCI and related scientific communites (ICT4D, crisis informatics)
  33. 33. 17-­‐08-­‐04   33  
  34. 34. 17-­‐08-­‐04   34  
  35. 35. 17-­‐08-­‐04   35  
  36. 36. 17-­‐08-­‐04   36   Thank you! Questions? Daniel Pargman pargman@kth.se

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