Top products from r/ScienceFacts

We found 3 product mentions on r/ScienceFacts. We ranked the 3 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top comments that mention products on r/ScienceFacts:

u/OddJackdaw · 3 pointsr/ScienceFacts

> I’m not sure if there is any truth to that, but it is interesting to think about.

"Truth" in this case is complicated. It is true that some things, like oil, are scarce now. That doesn't mean we don't have plenty of it, but like /u/ARandomBlackDude said, it's not because we don't know where to find it, it is just that it is more difficult to get at.

That is true of most of the resources that people worry about: It's not that we are running low, it's just that we will have to spend more in the future.

But that is not necessarily as bad as it sounds. Oil is great for energy because it is cheap and packs a lot of energy by weight. But it's also dirty and polluting, and recovering it is really bad for the environment, so the higher it's price goes, the more it drives people to alternative fuels like electric or hydrogen.

And again, this is true of most things. If we really do start to run low, we can find an alternate.

None of this is intended to argue against conservation at all, but the people who push the "if we ever get hit with a spot of bad luck we are totaled as a species" lines are really not looking at the issue dispassionately.

Another thing to consider is that, contrary what you might think, most people are actually using substantially fewer resources today then we have in the past. Stephen Pinker talks about it in his book Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress:

> All these processes are helped along by another friend of the Earth, dematerialization. Progress in technology allows us to do more with less. An aluminum soda can used to weigh three ounces; today it weighs less than half an ounce. Mobile phones don’t need miles of telephone poles and wires. The digital revolution, by replacing atoms with bits, is dematerializing the world in front of our eyes. The cubic yards of vinyl that used to be my music collection gave way to cubic inches of compact discs and then to the nothingness of MP3s. The river of newsprint flowing through my apartment has been stanched by an iPad. With a terabyte of storage on my laptop I no longer buy paper by the ten-ream box. And just think of all the plastic, metal, and paper that no longer go into the fortyodd
consumer products that can be replaced by a single smartphone, including a telephone, answering machine, phone book, camera, camcorder, tape recorder, radio, alarm clock, calculator, dictionary, Rolodex, calendar, street maps, flashlight, fax, and compass—even a metronome, outdoor
thermometer, and spirit level.

> Digital technology is also dematerializing the world by enabling the sharing economy, so that cars, tools, and bedrooms needn’t be made in huge numbers that sit around unused most of the time. The
advertising analyst Rory Sutherland has noted that dematerialization is also being helped along by changes in the criteria of social status. The most expensive London real estate today would have seemed impossibly cramped to wealthy Victorians, but the city center is now more fashionable than the suburbs. Social media have encouraged younger people to show off their experiences rather than their cars and wardrobes, and hipsterization leads them to distinguish themselves by their tastes in
beer, coffee, and music. The era of the Beach Boys and American Graffiti is over: half of American eighteen-year-olds do not have a driver’s license.

> The expression “Peak Oil,” which became popular after the energy crises of the 1970s, refers to the year that the world would reach its maximum extraction of petroleum. Ausubel notes that because of the demographic transition, densification, and dematerialization, we may have reached Peak
Children, Peak Farmland, Peak Timber, Peak Paper, and Peak Car. Indeed, we may be reaching Peak Stuff: of a hundred commodities Ausubel plotted, thirty-six have peaked in absolute use in the United States, and another fifty-three may be poised to drop (including water, nitrogen, and electricity), leaving only eleven that are still growing. Britons, too, have reached Peak Stuff, having reduced their annual use of material from 15.1 metric tons per person in 2001 to 10.3 metric tons in 2013.

> These remarkable trends required no coercion, legislation, or moralization; they spontaneously unfolded as people made choices about how to live their lives. The trends certainly don’t show that environmental legislation is dispensable—by all accounts, environmental protection agencies, mandated energy standards, endangered species protection, and national and international clean air and water acts have had enormously beneficial effects. But they suggest that the tide of modernity does not sweep humanity headlong toward ever more unsustainable use of resources. Something in the nature of technology, particularly information technology, works to decouple human flourishing from the exploitation of physical stuff.

u/larrymoencurly · 3 pointsr/ScienceFacts

Read Skunk Works, a history of Lockheed's secret division that designed the SR-71, the U-2, and the F-117 stealth fighter. The author, aeronautical engineer Ben Rich, was the second person to head Skunk Works, after the legendary Kelly Johnson retired. Rich's first project as head of the division was the stealth fighter, and Johnson literally kicked him in the ass because he thought if it failed it could end Rich's career.