Conceivable Waste

I find it almost impossible to grasp just how much sheer stuff gets used up by our current society. It’s just one of those ideas hard to get your mind around, like how some numbers are too large for us to comprehend. Photographer  Chris Jordan tries to help us grasp what we’re throwing away partly by taking pictures of vast piles of trash, but also by making detailed representations of waste.  I found his stuff via a New Scientist slide show, but his website has some staggering photos of a mountain of sawdust, piles of dead cell phones, and other mind-numbing displays of waste. The whole thing makes me think of how Slumdog Millionaire and Wall-E manage to find beauty in piles of garbage.  I recommend flipping through the whole slide show, but here’s one example, and then a close up of it.

There are 320,000 light bulbs in this image. This is equivalent to the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity wasted in the United States every minute from inefficient residential electricity usage, such as poor wiring and computers left in sleep mode.

And then the close up of the center:


3 Responses to Conceivable Waste

  1. Thanks for every one of your labor on this website. My daughter delights in managing research and it’s really obvious why. I know all of the lively ways you convey priceless steps by means of this web site and in addition attract response from other individuals on this content plus our favorite child is truly studying a lot of things. Take pleasure in the rest of the year. Your doing a dazzling job.

  2. Dave HI’m an experimental phiyscist and I have felt the urge to respond to what I think is your confusion on an issue you brought up Is there a consensus on evolution through natural selection? Was there one on Newtonian mechanics? Is there one on relativity? The periodic table? Plate tectonics? The germ theory of disease?To be frank: no there isn’t a consensus on Newtonian mechanics and relativity, because one replaces the other. There is still doubt about relativity from some quarters, even how it was first formulated but because a lot of people have verified by TEST that the theory gives some will do for now. And people are still testing it. That isn’t consensus on the theory its consensus on that it will do for now but we will keep testing the fundamentals of it.The periodic table was an idea based on chemistry some parts were a guess, an extrapolation, a lot was tested and re-tested. But still it has been modified: atomic weights changed. It was only after quantum mechanics could the idea be really investigated. And you know what, people are still adding to it..but no one really minds because it will do for now.Plate tectonics there are two competing theories that even I know about one is the idea of solid plates, the other is of a superviscous liquid the physics looks similar but long term effects are different people are still testing it but you know what it will do for now.You really want to do natural selection? Darwin’s theory was very vague. It talked about the fittest species surviving which made some sense. Yet it does not explain any reason at all why we still have junk genes or why some species never seemed to evolve but are still here. It was only in recent years with the ideas, yes of evolutionary biology, that a theory like The Red Queen came up..but it is still decisive. Still you know what it will do for now.BTW it will do for now’ does not mean consensus it means we are only as good as what we know and have tested. Or in layman’s terms: you are only the sum of your experiences up until now. Tomorrow, if it exists for you, is always a guess.The only people who think that science deals in consensus are lazy people who don’t actually go and ask a real scientist what the state of affairs is. And then ask a lot more.Oh wait, doesn’t Anthony kind of do that already? Go. Figure.

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