The internet is tied inextricably into the physicality that is the earth. Even the network nodes that exist beyond this planets atmosphere have been constructed from the materials pulled from the ground below our feet.
Whilst many will now take their power from the sun, the very fact that they are there and are able to collect, transmit and receive data is dependant on the raw materials that this planet provided.
Roy Batty proclaimed that ‘We’re not computers Sebastien, we’re physical’ what we have done is built the paths and tools for computation onto a physical layer.
Our infinite virtual exists in the imagined space conjured up by this computation and our interaction with it.
At some level, at some point we have to step off the virtual levels of the stack and examine the physical parts that make this machine work and tally the cost of each component and each joule of energy it consumes.
Physical costs but so do bits.