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    Jun 29 2012: Somehow, I think a smarter use of energy and technology will, or at least could, make cities obsolete.

    Think of it : machines are smaller now, we may not need gigantic centralized production anymore.. We may not need to transport all this energy, food, goods etc..

    I'd rather imagine a world where a city is a transitory project, when needed.
    I'd rather imagine a world where where any human can move and live where he wants, having all the tools he needs to make electricity, desalinate water, farm, print objects, etc..
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      Jun 30 2012: Wow, a provocative thought Thomas. Whilst I'm not completely on the same wavelength concerning your ultimate prognosis for cities (although there may be some Mayan gods looking down who may disagree), there is some logic in the direction of your thinking,

      Decentralised energy and the ability to access some important requirements without now having to leave our homes (goods, work, education) means that we are less tied to the old structures of cities. Projecting forward (and probably a long way forward), the promise of the 3D printer may liberate us in so many other ways, and make us self sufficient in ways we can only now imagne.

      This may lead to looser communities and migration out of cities by certain groups, however they'll still almost certainly pass at the city limits folks coming the other way, attracted by the things that in their personal circumstances are not available in rural communities.

      As i fnish this, I am reminded of Logan's Run...but there I go showing my age!
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        Jun 30 2012: You are right Nick, there should be a balance between nomadism/ruralism and sedentary/urban lifestyle.

        My slightly provocative words are here because there is a huge unbalance in favor of cities now. I see many ideas that are technically inspiring, but given the actual political world we're in, I now they will just add to the unbalance..

        Ex: I was watching a documentary the other day where an NGO was trying to learn to the slum people how to grow some vegetable for them to be able to eat.. That made me sick : all these people where autonomous before going to the city !

        That is a constant in today's human construction : forgetting the "why?"..

        Ex: mechanical transportation of people (cars, plane, boat, etc.). Those machines are here to let a human move faster, go farther.. But, only if this very human has the right to. Boundaries wont let him go where he wants, $€£¥ is mandatory, patent won't let him build his own car, driver license, insurance, etc.

        The result is that if we were to compare to global speed of humanity now and a few centuries earlier, it has been reduced to nil! This is what we see now in Japan : many, if not all japanese people should just move away their land.. but they can't.

        So, although I have been a science and techno enthusiast all my life, I think now it is time to focus on political and legal issue, before going farther..

        3D printing is another exemple of this issue, which is imaginary BTW. The original FDM patent is 1983 I think. Without this patent, this technology, at least the cheap FDM could have been mainstream since 1990.. But we had to wait for the patent to become public domain in 2006. 22 years lost !

        The bottom line is that if the human specie keeps the abstract system that holds all its real innovations, it will find itself stuck in a bottle neck, or a dead end..ø

        You know that your projects, even some utopian ones, could be realized in a few years if you didn't have to "sell" them for a few $ ?

        We daydream too much ø:)

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