Kurzweil Speculates on Solar Energy, Health and Other Topics

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JRB's picture
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Kurzweil Speculates on Solar Energy, Health and Other Topics

Despite being a scientist, I tend to not look to technology to solve our energy problems.  But here is a different perspective on exponential development. 

- Jim



Solar energy may be meeting only 1% of world energy needs today, but wait just 16 years. Then it will meet 100% of global energy needs, predicts inventor Ray Kurzweil, who forecast the worldwide interpersonal communications we know now as the World Wide Web. Kurzweil bases this and many other predictions on exponential computations and the widespread use of information technology.


sjmvideo's picture
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Re: Kurzweil Speculates on Solar Energy, Health and Other ...

People may react similarly to his solar use forecast, he notes. However, since information technology is doubling every two years, our knowledge about and capability to utilize solar energy is “only eight doublings away from meeting 100% of our energy needs,” explains Kurzweil. Not only the U.S., but also countries like Germany, China, and Israel are actively pursuing solar energy systems.

Ok, now plot that 16 years against the exponential resource depletion and see where we end up. I used to buy into Kurzwell's vision of the future, then I used to hope parts of it would be true. Then I saw the Crash Course...

I would love for someone to sit down with him and go through this fantasy vision and show how the issues we all talk about here are going to be dealt with. No matter what, we can't continue on living in an exponential growth paradigm. Ray's thinking  seems to think that we can exponentially grow out of the brick wall we are headed to.

He seems to be a smart enough man. I'd like to know where his blind spots are. Has he really though all his predictions through? What (dangerous) assumptions is he making? This is a man who believes he can achieve immortality for himself and resurrect his dead father through advances in technology. (Yes that is his stated goal. Although I would have to search for the magazine article I read it in. Inc. or Forbs or something like that.) The elimination of death as inevitable through age or disease will compound the scarce resource problems unless there is some major change in human consciousness and we are willing to severely cut back on having offspring.


wildjo's picture
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Re: Kurzweil Speculates on Solar Energy, Health and Other ...

Once the first photovoltaics factory opens in the U.S. powered solely by the sun, whose materials are sourced locally and arrive without the aid of petroleum, with workers who arrive in electric vehicles or by bike (or who live on site), and whose products are handed to customers on site, then I will be a believer.

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