Sunday, December 2, 2012

Pitfall in the Path to Unlimited Growth

The Pitfall

In an earlier post I had described a way to achieve unlimited economic growth without population growth.  We can achieve unlimited economic growth only through an electronic economy.  There will be limits to the number of people this world can support.  There will be limits to the number of material products this world can produce.  Numbers in electronic ledgers can grow without bound.  So money in electronic ledgers can grow without bound.   A problem with an electronic economy is the reliance on energy.  The New York Times, on Sunday September 23, 2012, ran an excellent article on the energy needs of cloud computing:  Power, Pollution, and the Internet by James Glanz.  You can Google it and read it on the internet or read the real newspaper, pages A1, A20 and A21.

We might run into a serious energy crisis.  We might run out of oil some day.  The documentary named Collapse with Michael Ruppert as narrator proposes that the rapid growth of prosperity following the industrial revolution was due to the exploitation of cheap energy, such as coal and oil.  Yes, a modern industrial society needs dependable energy supplies.  The arguments by Cleon Skousen in his book The 5000 Year Leap attribute the economic growth during this time frame to political advancements.  I think perhaps economic elements might have been a bigger influence over financial growth than political elements.  The difference in viewpoints matters because some people believe that capitalism will lead to democracy in mainland China.  Although morality matters in economic development, the dependence is tenuous and difficult to use in an instrumental fashion.

Economic Planning and Quantum Computing

We need to find ways to use energy more efficiently when powering cloud computing.  Cloud computing is server farms, large numbers of computers and databases.  Quantum computing is a topic for scientific research.  There is a belief that quantum computing will be more energy efficient than conventional computing.  It is very important that quantum computing is developed so it is more energy efficient than conventional computing.  It is also important that databases and memory devices keep up with quantum computing, including energy efficiency.

Robert Canright

Related Posts:
How to Win a Nobel Prize in Economics (Part 1): Economic Growth without Growth  August 23, 2008

Economic Growth Without Population Increase  April 8, 2012