Chris J Powell

Peak Oil is Not the Only Challenge!

There seems to be a growing concern that our planet is approaching the rate of Peak Oil – which is the point that oil production will reach its maximum, after which production will steadily decline.  This is important as we all head off to the pumps over the holiday season to generally get hosed by our governments and the Oil Companies but I have been giving some serious thought to another issue that may be a little further out but just will carry the same amount of impact.

Our ability to process the mountains of Data that we collect is at an all time high, but the reality is, we collect more than we consume.  How much of the 2.8 zettabytes are being used?  Not much according to the Digital Universe Study that I cited last week.  And now General Electric is putting a bounty out for industries to start tapping into that data.  But the reality is…there is several bottle necks that limit the ability to process and analyze all that data.

We are approaching Peak Data for several reasons and while human ingenuity will overcome some of them…there is a potential for some very scary outcomes (could a Terminator like SkyNet that destroys humanity be on its way).  We can not transfer or share the information that we currently have at our disposal, let alone make sense of the reams of unstructured data that is floating around the Interwebz.

As a society, I am not saying we should stop collecting data…but I think we should at least be selective in what we are keeping!  To avoid the growing bottle necks and traffic jams on the Information Super Highway we will either need to find new ways of compressing data as business and personal cloud services become more and more prevalent.

Over at I have been building out a series that looks at Peak Data from a few different Angles, I have been holding off on publishing that content to allow for a more complete picture but each time I look in a different direction, another challenge pops up so that series (as it stands) should be coming out soon!

As for today, it is Christmas.  There was a dusting of Snow on the Ground when I took the puppy out for her morning stroll so I think it is time to sit back and relax for the day…the first official day of my Christmas Vacation!  To each of you…spend this time with friends, family and those who are closest to you.


Chris J Powell

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