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For the past 100 years or so, we've been living high on the hog from new sources of energy we learned to exploit, with very little view to the long term consequences. Since we have the ability to anticipate problems, it falls to those social institutions best suited to direct the course of our society's development to prevent its eventual collapse. By paying a higher price now, we can defer the collapse of our civilization by several centuries. For those of us with kids, ardent transhumanists, or just a little more altruistic than selfish, this is a desirable goal.
Does this mean that society will have to change? Yes, but society has been changing faster and faster as technology advances. So rather than burning ancient marine life, we'll charge our hyper-sexy full electric cars with waste heat from the sun. Booo hooo. Will suburban shopping malls disappear? One can only hope!
The society of our future looks much more like the society of the 18th century, only with clean water, medicine, computers, plenty of food, and increasingly high levels of affluence globally. Most of us will return to living in small towns and villages, and the mega-cities will grow upwards (like Edinburgh did) not outwards. Most of us will live in walking distance of everything we need, including parks, wildlife, and recreation areas.
Also with having to make everything energy efficient, changes in technology mean huge work for all of us engineers. Huge money making opportunites will arise when the Feds start taxing waste. Construction will boom, durable goods spending will flourish, and any geek with half a brain will figure out how to "green" some old clunky tech and make a buck.
So quit your bitching... our green future is bright and profitable. Maybe with the higher energy costs, our server farms won't require air-conditioning to operate, and could just be shoved in a closet. Higher commuting costs mean telecommuting becomes even more attractive. As someone who has telecommuted for the past 6 years, let me tell you that's a very good thing.
Clearly he has a point. It just isn't a very good one. The real problem with the linux desktop has been INSUFFICIENT innovation. And I don't mean replacing X. I mean designing software that makes computing ubiquitous, transparent, and accessible. Why I as a user should ever be concerned about files, drives, network connections, applications, processes, etc. you know all those metaphors programmers have invented for themselves, is beyond me.
What the linux desktop sucks at (and this is true for all WIMPy interfaces) is cross-task operations. When I'm working on a project that involves, text, drawings, tables, and some computations, using a system like Linux, Windows, or Mac OS X is an exercise in frustration. Each "task" as defined by the system's designers requires a different set of tools. By generating a report is only one task from my point of view as a user. As a result, I will end up using 4 or more tools, because no one tool has my work flow in mind.
There are interfaces that solve this problem, however, and they've been around since the late 1970s and early 1980s. Some of us still use them today. Now there is an experimental implementation of one for linux here you can run them in your web browser here and you can package up you can roll your own tools with this here. But all of these are still from the user's point of view in their infancy.