by Mike Miner Tuesday February 19, 2008

Harper's has an annotation of a blueprint of a new Google server farm in Oregon. They title it "Keyword: Evil." Bah bah baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! It's about Google's addiction to electricity, and it's a fascinating look at some very concrete realities behind your web use.

 

Sez Harper's:

 

The blueprints depicting Google's data center at The Dalles, Oregon, are proof that the Web is no ethereal store of ideas, shimmering over our heads like the aurora borealis. It is a new heavy industry, an energy glutton that is only growing hungrier.

 

and:

 

As functions long performed by personal computers come to be executed as these far-flung data centers, the technology industry has rapturously rebranded the Internet as "the cloud." The metaphor is apt, both for our foggy notions of a green Wen and for the storm that awaits a culture that squanders its resources.

 

OK. . . . I'm not sure if I'd call the internet a squandering of resources, but the piece raises some important considerations.

 

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