Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Vampire Devices

This press release from the White House is almost seven years old, but I think it is worthwhile to mention that the President of the United States explained he does not wish to break basic laws of Nature like conservation of energy, and therefore wants to support vampire slayers.

"The President will challenge American businesses, both in their manufacturing decisions and in their purchasing decisions, to look to the vampire slayer as a means of conserving energy and saving money."

"Conserve your energy. That's the message I'm sending to Congress today," stated president Bush.

Sorry, couldn't resist. And yes, of course I'm all for energy saving, so stop laughing, it burns calories.


Andrew Thomas said...

I used to work for Sony designing set-top boxes for TV. And when you put the box into stand-by ... the little green light on the front of the box turned red. And that was it. No reduction in power at all.

Uncle Al said...

uncomfortably prescient
"I pledge to make poverty every worker's concern."

Furniture in the Oval Office is smarter than the ass who sits on it.

stefan said...

A bit nerdy a joke ;-)

To me, to hear speaking about energy conservation in a political/economical/ ecological context usually doesn't ring our "conservation of energy" first law...

Cheers, Stefan

Bee said...

Yeah, sorry, it just sounds to me as if they can't quite figure out what the issue is to begin with. It's not about conserving energy, but about saving energy that is in a useful form, or call it reducing energy consumption or whatever. I'm waiting for somebody to point out whatever we do, energy is always conserved, so why worry about anything? And hey, mankind lived before we drilled for oil, and hey, the earth climate has always been going up and down, and we're still around, and hey, who cares whether there is loads and loads of plastic swimming in the Ocean as long as I don't have to see it. I know this sounds quite cynical, but we talked recently about that I find it surprising the recent bio-fuel discussion was surprising. How come so many people apparently weren't aware of the bad energy-return-on-investment ratio, which seems to have been clear to pretty much everybody I talked to? I mean, it could indicate two things: A) the circle of people I know is very far off the average person or B) many people who knew kept their mouth shut. Probably a combination of both.

William said...

Money won't be saved and energy won't be "conserved," because any money saved by using Vampire Slayers will just be spent on something else, which will have required energy to have been produced.

An efficient way to conserve energy, in the sense of using less energy on a global scale, is to burn money. Physically burn it or shred it or electronically destroy some portion of wealth in individual accounts. That will result in less economic activity and therefore less energy used.

Individually saving money, that is, not spending it, doesn't work to reduce energy consumption, because saved money is used by banks to fuel bank loans, which are then used by borrowers to fund economic activity, which requires increased energy usage. In effect, some else will end up spending the saved money, thereby creating energy-intensive economic activity.

To reduce energy consumption by the destruction of wealth, one method would be to have a Wealth Destruction Tax, whereby the government assesses a tax on all tax payers and then destroys the collected funds. As can be see with Bush's special tax rebate legislation, just the opposite is being done: the government is creating money to give to taxpayers to fuel economic activity, which will further accelerate the use of energy and the depletion of limited stores of fossil fuels.

Another method would be to have a Currency Destruction Day, where peer pressure is used to induce people to burn some portion of their paper currency "for the good of the environment and future generations."

Since those methods will not be popular, humankind will continue to feed off of all available energy resources at genocidal rates, in tune with atavistic genetic programming which is, at bottom, interested primarily in gaining competitive advantage for the purpose of reproduction and social domination ... with intelligent planning similar to that of bacteria in a petre dish.

Although chronic recessions will reduce energy usage in coming decades, such recessions will be symptoms of humans having depleted low-cost energy stores on a global basis, and therefore, they will not be a cure in the sense of reducing economic activity and energy consumption by design or planning; but rather, they will be a symptoms of the new dynamics, where energy is prohibitively expensive due to scarcity.

Phil Warnell said...

Hi Uncle Al & others,

All you people are so unfair to George, for this was to be only the first phase of a three pronged assault on the problem; as after Vampire Slayers he was to follow up with Ghost Busters and finish with his Werewolf Whackers. However, the cynicism and lack of understanding culminated to bring about the discontinuance of this enlightened initiative.



Chris Oakley said...

It's true - the First Law of Thermodynamics makes no mention of Vampire Slayers.

Maybe, as the president suggests, the Slayers are there only for enforcement purposes. So just as the police are tasked with enforcing human laws, the Slayers are tasked with enforcing physical laws.

So don't even think about violating conservation of momentum, energy, charge, TCP or lepton number - if you do, and this blonde Californian teenager suddenly appears with a wooden stake wanting to kill you then you only have yourself to blame.

Georg said...

Hello Bee,
that reminds me somewhat of "Seifenklau",
the second or thirdmost national enemy
in Germany's Third Reich.
Another Point:
Is it possible to violate natures laws?
I think no.
Contrary to mens laws you will be "punished"
already when trying, without any need
of police and jails.
BTW: In German the Laws of thermodynamics are not called laws,
but "n-th Hauptsatz" and so on.
There was/(is?) some idea behind that gives
those laws a character of axioms.

Bee said...

But we do have the Naturgesetze (= Laws of Nature)!

Cynthia said...

True, energy is always conserved, according to the first law. But more importantly, energy's usefulness is dictated by the second law. So, for this reason, the prez should have included the qualifier 'useful' in his message, thereby having it read 'conserve [useful] energy'. But because 'fuel' is synonymous with 'useful energy', it would have been even better had he used the word 'fuel' instead of 'energy' in his message to congress.

That said, Bush is being awfully penny-wise-and-pound-foolish to order his 'energy vampire slayer' to slay rather miniscule waste on Capitol Hill, when there's enormous waste being generated in Iraq. The prez, much to my chagrin, just can't seem to get it in his thick head that the Iraq War is far and away our biggest Energy Vampire!

Neil' said...

Notice this little slip: "Vampires typically consume anywhere from 4-7 watts per hour." - Heh, they should have just said "watts", or were they saying the power use accelerates? Of course, we've all seen worse, and I still can't get over that English/Metric confusion that crashed a Mars probe several years ago!