Category Archives: consumer habits

Bringing Sexy “DC” Back

Interesting article I read from EcoGeek via Greentech Media…  I never knew that computers and LEDs ran on DC power…  hybrid AC/DC buildings might be the way of the future for consumer cost savings and overall sustainability. 

Brief overview of DC Electricity


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Filed under consumer habits, economy, energy, technology

The Energy “Non-Crisis”

Last week, I attended a presentation by Pierre-Olivier Pineau, a professor at HEC Montreal who specializes in energy policy. He delivered a presentation entitled “The Energy Non-Crisis.” His basic thesis is that the current state of global energy consumption does not meet the definition of a crisis. He asserts that at our current rates of consumption we could survive for at least a century, and thereby there is no immediate need to curb usage of non-renewables.

Obviously, and I believe intentionally, this perspective excludes a number of critical arguments, not the least of which being rising rates of demand across the developed and undeveloped world and the environmental impacts of our energy habits. He does this to establish a bookend perspective. One (untenable) position is that we maintain the status quo. The other (unlikely) position is that the world wakes up tomorrow with the political and economic will to dramatically and materially change the way energy is produced and consumed.

The net effect this has is to open up the middle ground, and allow the rest of us to debate exactly what the appropriate actions to take are. For our generation, this question is particularly poignant. 100 years seems like a long way off, but when we turn 65, this will become an immediate concern.

For the most part, we say all the right things. We research new technologies, we talk about reducing our carbon footprints, and we chide our parents about the gas-guzzling minivans they drove carpool in when we were young. But what can we do to have an impact beyond our small spheres of influence? How do we expand our scopes to the communities around us?

I believe that the way to affect change is by engaging actively in the political process, working with our elected representatives to develop an implement meaningful change. Ultimately, we will be in a position to become those elected representitives, and will hopefull be campaigning to a more educated and concerned population. I suspect, however, that many of my peers disagree with this, and feel that politics is an old man’s game with no real impact. So what does everyone out there think? How can generation Y, on the cusp of self-sufficiency, drive our respective communities to take action while energy is still a “non-crisis”?

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Filed under community, consumer habits, economy, energy, politics, Uncategorized

Too Much Texting

I always find it annoying watching someone swirve on the road only to find them texting on their cell phone as I pass by, my fist waving angrily out the window. This whole texting revolution has gone too far in my mind. The number of car accidents in the UK alone attributed to texting on a cell phone is uncanny. The fact that London is installing foam around some of it’s metropolitain street posts due to people walking into them as their heads are down, concentrating on their lovers text message request for a couple of limes from the local supermarket, is in itself absurd. However, last weekend a friend of mine told me about something he had seen online that blew his mind (mind you he was texting, eating McDonalds, smoking and driving the car at the same time/watching a movie). I wont describe it as the video is worth a thousand words in itself … you have to check it. See below.

What are we becoming?

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Filed under consumer habits, productivity, safety, technology

Price as a Value Indicator

I came across an interesting blog post today by a software developer based out of NYC called Joel Spolsky. He talks about a recent statement by EMI boss-man Alain Levy who says that iTunes is going to begin selling older (less popular) songs for less money and recent big hits for more money. Joel’s argument is interesting and comes back to something I was taught a while ago. Basically he says that when items are less expensive you consider them to be of lower quality and value. Therefore people tend to stay away from the cheap stuff and by the premium material more willingly. Its an interesting argument and one I have debated on with a number of people when trying to decide what price to offer a product for.

I have always been one for offering products for free and building a community around them so that you can find out what your users really want and then charge for them for what they really want/need. However, the opposing side would say that you will have trouble attracting enough people to build a community for a free product because people will consider it less valuable. It’s an interesting debate and a very interesting quick read. I suggest everyone take a look at this one and let me know your thoughts in the comments section. Here is the article.

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Filed under community, consumer habits, pricing

Uncertainty and the Powerlessness of Oil Consumption

  • reneewarren argues that consumer anger has less to do with the business model of the oil companies than with feelings of uncertainty and powerlessness. She compares buyers’ experience at the supermarket (an industry that was ranked most loved by consumers) to their experience at the pump


Filed under consumer habits, economy, energy