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May 30Liked by Andy @Revkin

Had a power cut the other day, night, and half day till it was fixed. Lost power to all power-points in the living area. It was a good reminder how dependent technology is on an uninterrupted power supply as I was unable to recharge both my laptop and mobile phone for 30 hours, as well as fridge and freezer defrosting. That powercut happened because one powerpoint short-circuited, causing the whole connected circuit to drop out. One level of control.

To connect my laptop to the internet I need ... power supplied to my house, a modem that also needs that power, the modem to connect into the broadband connection at the curb, glass fiber cable underground, some kind of mix-and-match station where all the cables meet, and so on. I only mentioned five levels of control there, all places where the connection can be lost. Power supply is a fragile commodity.

How many levels of control are needed to keep a large AI installation going, I wonder? And I wonder whether they could be limited in their output by limiting their power supply. Give them a system isolated from the net and make them ration themselves.

Or we can wait for an ice storm to do the job for us.

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