Yeah I knew I'm not the only one, but spending time researching upgrade options make me feel like I am.
There is some truth in what you (Moogles et. al) are saying. I am cheap in that I don't allow myself the things I would like to have, and perhaps that is where my bitterness comes from... And I rationalize my sense of unworthiness by saying that it is bad for the environment. Don't get me wrong, I care hugely about the environment, but I also use it to cover my lack of self worth
, or maybe it even causes it. This makes it hard to make a realistic choice, because these hidden intentions influence my thinking and decisions.
I am not so cheap as to not want to invest in quality hardware though. I wouldn't think twice about buying the Antec P180 if I liked its size, and my PSU is a Tagan, while not very efficient, not very cheap either. Also, I'm not downloading 24/7 or even 8/7. The people I know that do, usually have dozens of DVDs or albums that they still need to watch or listen to, but they don't have the time for it. Still they keep it coming
It is however the question if energy efficiency in the home weighs up against the environmental cost of procuding and disposing of new and old hardware. It is said that for every container of trash leaving your home, 70 containers of trash leave the factories that were byproducts of the production of your one piece of trash. This means that end-user disposal has a minimal impact compared to production. The energy used for driving your computer is also minimal compared to the cost of heating your home and your water, your fridge and your washing machine. And half of the year, your computer even helps warming your home. Every kWh you save with your more efficient PSU will need to be drawn from natural gas (where I live). The story is different in the server park of course. Airconditioning server parks uses loads of energy.
My issue with 1080p is really more an issue with our way of life at large. There is nothing wrong with progress or allowing yourself the pleasures of life and technology, but at the same time, we're on a train that's heading linea recta for a ravine. By becoming more energy efficient we can slow down the train, but I see no sign of us changing tracks yet. Meanwhile, the developing nations are putting more coal on the fire, effectively nullifying our efforts. We need to start working the points if we are to make it through the next century intact.
My point is more along the lines of:
- we are in a type of economy that mandates that it keeps growing indefinitely, and also that it keeps accelerating its growth indefinitely. This cannot be ever conciled with a sustainable way of life. The Earth is a limited phenomenon.
- arguments of consumerism being good for the welfare of people only make sense if you commit already to an economy that needs to keep growing in order to stay healthy, an economy of ruthless competition and ruthless efficiency, an economy that will commit suicide eventually. Thus, the argument must be flawed.
- higher efficiency is never going to solve our environmental problems or our societal problems. Higher efficiency puts ever higher strain on all agents in the economy, and is like a pyramid of weight crushing down those at the bottom. The one at the very bottom, the one most suffering, is the Earth. The more efficient the economy becomes, the bigger the gap between the rich and the poor. The lower working class people in the big cities of the richest country on Earth are *not* living pleasant lives.
Designing for sustainability must mean that every part of the life cycle of production is geared towards recoverability of resources. That will make production vastly more expensive, so it is clear that this will not happen until either
- we completely run out of resources
- governments impose taxes on newly extracted material resources instead of human resources
- we make a radical shift away from thinking only with our heads (and wallets) towards thinking with our hearts, which would completely revamp our economy since competition would no longer be solely based on the value interchanged between and aqcuired by trading partners.
So, thanks for the feedback. Given the economy we're in, going for 1080p seems the most natural thing to do. Progress is part of every healthy society. It is natural that technology matures and new generations of products get produced. What is unhealthy is not the advancement, but the bigger system that makes faster advancement cause faster destruction. In a heart-centered economy, advancement would be completely natural and completely environmentally friendly. That it is not now cannot be attributed to advancement in itself.
It looks like I'm going to be buying myself a nice new system
I was not implying that mATX is an industry scam trying to make products obsolete faster, only that it would have that effect.