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Tom Kramar

Which is worse: 3D printing or bitcoin?

Which is worse: 3D printing or bitcoin?  

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  1. 1. Which is worse: 3D printing or bitcoin?

    • 3D printing is worse
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    • bitcoin is worse
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Hi. I am facing a decision on which I could do with some advice.

I am currently working in two jobs. One is a company that manufactures and sells 3D printers (the type that prints from plastic filaments). The other company makes money by running a bitcoin mining pool. I'm looking to only keep one of those jobs, as it would be somewhat more practical for me. I'm wondering which one of those two jobs is less unacceptable from ecological standpoint. Intuitively I'm leaning towards 3D printing being less bad, since bitcoin (esp. bitcoin mining) consumes ridiculous amounts of power, but it's kind of hard to say and there are multiple factors in play.

There's of course the third option of ditching both jobs and finding a more eco-friendly one. This might be an option but it's a longer-term goal and I need to make this decision rather soon.

If bitcoin and 3D printing are comparably bad, then I suppose I can just pick whichever is more convenient in other respects and keep looking for a 3rd job as I go.

Thanks for any and all insights into this.
 

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Bitcoin mining isn’t bad for the environment in and of itself. What’s bad is that we power the process with dirty fuels. Clean power makes bitcoin mining also clean. 

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Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies in general are helping eliminate waste and inefficiency across the globe.  Hence I would keep the bitcoin job.

Edited by Alex_Krycek

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I would say 3D printing is better. Depending on how it is done reduces energy demands in terms of shipping and storage.

Could see the debate going either way though depending on what factors you are looking at.

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8 hours ago, iNow said:

Bitcoin mining isn’t bad for the environment in and of itself. What’s bad is that we power the process with dirty fuels. Clean power makes bitcoin mining also clean. 

Odd way you said this... There is no clean power. Just less dirty one.

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9 hours ago, iNow said:

Bitcoin mining isn’t bad for the environment in and of itself.

Well it produces heat, although I have no idea whether the amount of it is enough to be a concern.

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3 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

There is no clean power. Just less dirty one.

Let’s not sacrifice the good in pursuit of the perfect, okay?

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1 hour ago, iNow said:

Let’s not sacrifice the good in pursuit of the perfect, okay?

Maybe you are right... I must admit I am undecided. (This could be a topic for some other thread.)

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If you are talking the environment and the transfer of resources, bitcoin has no impact on the environment. 3D printing will require resources to produce its product, but at the same time reduces humans ability to be independent in their natural environment which we can’t live without (a topic I rarely see addressed). 

I see this decision as more of a moral/philosophical question rather than an environmental one. -GI

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19 minutes ago, NatureGI said:

If you are talking the environment and the transfer of resources, bitcoin has no impact on the environment.

Except for the heat generated by the server stacks and the dirty fuels generally used to power them, of course.

 

20 minutes ago, NatureGI said:

3D printing will require resources to produce its product, but at the same time reduces humans ability to be independent in their natural environment which we can’t live without (a topic I rarely see addressed). 

Will you please elaborate and better explain what you mean? In what way are you suggesting 3D printing reduces human independence?

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3D printing is a way to limitate waste and product in ''less worst'' way in my opinion. Bit coin still a high use of energy.

We can hope to be able to product what we need without shipping or stocking thanks to 3D printers.

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2 hours ago, iNow said:

Except for the heat generated by the server stacks and the dirty fuels generally used to power them, of course.

 

Will you please elaborate and better explain what you mean? In what way are you suggesting 3D printing reduces human independence?

3D printing allows for more goods lowering the entry point and cost for humans, this in turn makes it easier to live with less effort, energy, and risk. This allows for humans to reduce previous skills needed to gain those same goods through resources other than 3D printers which, all in turn, allows for more humans. 

With a larger supply of goods, the demand for the skills needed to obtain those goods decreases increasing a population while decreasing that species natural ability to survive in its environment (considering that there is a natural carrying capacity for each species in each ecosystem).

By independence, I mean our ability to survive without these goods in our own environment. 

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4 hours ago, NatureGI said:

3D printing allows for more goods lowering the entry point and cost for humans, this in turn makes it easier to live with less effort, energy, and risk. This allows for humans to reduce previous skills needed to gain those same goods through resources other than 3D printers which, all in turn, allows for more humans. 

With a larger supply of goods, the demand for the skills needed to obtain those goods decreases increasing a population while decreasing that species natural ability to survive in its environment (considering that there is a natural carrying capacity for each species in each ecosystem).

By independence, I mean our ability to survive without these goods in our own environment. 

How is that different from goods manufactured by other methods?

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7 hours ago, NatureGI said:

By independence, I mean our ability to survive without these goods in our own environment

As swansont highlights, this is not a problem specific to 3D printing. Further, you’re ignoring the net effect of this tech overall and you’re failing to consider all of the significant increases this process offers to human independence. You also have not supported your assertion that the ability to survive without goods manufactured in this way should be valued more highly than the benefits we enjoy from the new opportunities these processes provide.

By comparison, it’s a bit like you’re arguing that vaccines pierce our skin when injected so reduce our health, or that they prevent us from evolving into beings naturally resistant, all while ignoring the obvious long term health benefits and life saving effects they provide to the masses. 

Edited by iNow

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