I genuinely think there's no better demonstration of sexism in our society than the fact that we talk about cat ladies but not sword guys (and I do not mean to disparage either). This is despite the fact that the transition into the sword-guy lifestyle is swifter: A woman has to have, let's say, more than three cats before her cat ownership becomes a lifestyle statement and people deem her a "cat lady." But if a guy just mounts a single katana on his wall he is saying, "That's it, this is me now." Yet we never talk about sword guys?
SpaceX works in mysterious ways, but today, Elon Musk decided to gift fans with the first-ever look at SpaceX’s space suits. In just a few hours, fans have collectively lost their chill, and it’s not entirely unwarranted: the white-and-black aesthetic is sleek and sophisticated, like if Daft Punk went to Wimbledon.
Electronic devices are getting smaller and more energy-efficient.
Everything from our heating systems to our toothbrushes are plugged in and connected to internet, and smartphones are glued to the palms of our hands. Yet, Americans are using less electricity than we did 10 years ago.
Our numerous gadgets are all getting more efficient, so they’re less of a drain on residential electric bills.
And our devices are also getting smaller.
Most TVs are now flat and require less energy to operate than the giant TVs of yore. TVs in general are also disappearing from American households, as Americans spend less time watching TV.
Instead, we spend more time online, increasingly on laptops and tablets (rather than bigger and less-efficient PCs). Most importantly, we’re spending more of our time on relatively tiny and energy-efficient smartphones.
Eventually, however, the ubiquity of rechargeable devices will counter efficiency gains, causing a net electricity consumption increase from 2030 to 2040, according to the EIA.
Also, much of our personal computing is being offloaded to the cloud — i.e. servers in data centers somewhere else. This electricity consumption — carried by the Facebooks, Googles and Amazons of the world, among other companies — is considered commercial electricity usage. There, too, we’re seeing efficiency gains, but our data demands will grow ever larger over the next 20 years.
So, while declines are expected to continue into the near future, the increased adoption and saturation of all types of electronic devices will eventually weigh on electricity consumption in both the residential and, more dramatically, the commercial sectors.
Interesting article. What the author doesn't discuss is the transition to more energy efficient lighting that is taking place during this same time period. It would be interesting to know how much of the decrease can be attributed to that one change alone.