Iconic books are texts revered as objects of power rather than just as words of instruction, information, or insight. In religious and secular rituals around the globe, people carry, show, wave, touch and kiss books and other texts, as well as read them. This blog chronicles such events and activities. (For more about iconic books, see the links to the Iconic Books Project at left.)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Physical digital data pollutes

The New York Times details the energy consumption of the huge database servers that power the internat. In doing so, it calls attention to the material realities that are hidden behind words like "the web" and "the cloud" and the cost of the illusions they create:
With no sense that data is physical or that storing it uses up space and energy, those consumers have developed the habit of sending huge data files back and forth, like videos and mass e-mails with photo attachments. ... To support all that digital activity, there are now more than three million data centers of widely varying sizes worldwide.
So the material form behind today's virtual world hides in featureless warehouses, betrayed only by its growing appetite for electricity ...

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