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A Post-Technological World

10 March 2009

So here’s my prediction of what the buzzword of a peak-oil age will be:

Smart-growth, smart-grid, smart-farm, smart-card smart-transit.

After decades of being told that increased machine power would make our lives easier and full of leisure, most of these Smart systems will not refer to AI or computer-regulated efficiency. Instead, there will be a rally for human power. Especially in agriculture, the only way to create an efficient sustainable system is to apply the human evolutionary advantage of reason and memory to it. Less money and resources will be spent on machines and chemicals, and more brainpower will be consumed by our work. We will have less leisure, but we will have more life.

Nothing will be more important than education, which itself will need to change. It needs to become more diverse, cultivating to the specialized intelligences that different children have. It needs to be more far-sighted, teaching the basics of how our world functions, how we need to treated, and how to problem-solve and how to learn for a lifetime. It needs to encourage a greater variety of post-graduation options; university is not for everyone.

We need to work more, so to work the earth less. Human energy is the most renewable resource we have.


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