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(BBC)   Three hundred years ago the steam engine made deep coal mining practical, providing fuel to power the newly-invented steam engine   ( bbc.co.uk) divider line
    More: Interesting, coal mines, Newcomen Society, Thomas Newcomen, Museum of Science, nuclear power station, Northwest Airlines, Royal Mail, nuclear powers  
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907 clicks; posted to Geek » on 28 Jun 2012 at 10:27 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

6 Comments     (+0 »)
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2012-06-28 11:39:15 AM  
I thought Valve came first.
2012-06-28 12:44:31 PM  
2012-06-28 05:20:03 PM  
In all seriousness, so much of our infrastructure is recursive it's scary.

Some people who "get it" were saying we shouldn't wait until after high oil prices justify the cost of developing alternative fuels because it'd take most of what we have left to convert our infrastructure to alternative energy. It's really hard to make solar cells in factories powered by solar cells. Over the long haul direct sunlight will have to provide more of our energy than fossil fuels, but without a transition where cheap oil is used to make cheap solar we'll hit a very serious bottleneck when the oil's gone but alternatives aren't yet up to speed.
2012-06-28 05:20:06 PM  
And the engine was inefficient as hell because no one really understood how much heat you need to turn a given volume of water into steam. Turns out it was a whiskey distiller who lead to that being figured out. And with it, steam engines became far more efficient.
2012-06-28 07:09:13 PM  
John Henry does not approve.
2012-06-29 12:04:04 PM  
Maybe it is just not possible to develop a civilisation without pumping all the coal back into the air and providing us with something to do after we finish the main plotline. Nobody really likes pure sandbox games, there has to be some problem to deal with or it is boring.
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