The operation was a success, but the patient died


Currently, we produce ∼1021 digital bits of information annually on Earth. Assuming a 20% annual growth rate, we estimate that after ∼350 years from now, the number of bits produced will exceed the number of all atoms on Earth, ∼1050. After ∼300 years, the power required to sustain this digital production will exceed 18.5 × 1015 W, i.e., the total planetary power consumption today, and after ∼500 years from now, the digital content will account for more than half Earth’s mass, according to the mass-energy–information equivalence principle. Besides the existing global challenges such as climate, environment, population, food, health, energy, and security, our estimates point to another singular event for our planet, called information catastrophe.

{ AIP Advances | Continue reading }

It is estimated that a week’s worth of the New York Times contains more information than a person was likely to come across in a lifetime in the 18th century. […] The amount of new information is doubling every two years. By 2010, it’s predicted to double every 72 hours. […] The lunatic named Bobby Fisher “despised the media”: “They’re destroying reality, turning everything into media.” “News exceed reality” writes Thomas Bernhard somewhere. The saturation and repetitions in Basquiat’s paintings. The high-frequency trading. “an immense accumulation of nothing“ (Imp Kerr, 2009). An immense accumulation of ignorance. […,]

From what precedes it necessarily follows that the inescapable future of knowledge is banality, falsehood, and overabundance, which sum is a form of ignorance.

{ The New Inquiry | Continue reading }