/int/ – No shittings during wörktime
„There is no place like home“

Currently at Radio Ernstiwan:

Hail Odin! by Christenklatscher666


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No. 74619
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Alright. I will open a thread on infrastructure. Generally this one can be used to think about infrastructure, admire its aesthetic potential and beyond this ponder the network existence and its different modalities that we may lead in this world that we inhabit right now.
These introductory words need further elaboration, ideally, it will be done over the course of this thread.

Paul N. Edwards wrote a general article on infrastructure in the early 2000s. In that he cited the U.S. President’s Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection from 1996 that shall be our gateway to what infrastructure is commonly referred to

• transportation
• oil and gas production and storage energy production in general would be more suitable these days with renewables being a thing
• water supply
• emergency services
• government services
• banking and finance
• electrical power
• information and communications

I like to add
• raw materials, the EU has a list for such critical elements that are used for batteries or chip production as an example.

A key concept for all infrastructure according to Edwards is flow. Flow also provides the base for its aesthetic potential. That is: seamless operation has an aesthetic quality.

>Not only hardware but organizations, socially communicated background knowledge, general acceptance and reliance, and near-ubiquitous accessibility are required for a system to be an infrastructure in the sense I am using here

says Edwards, he does remark though, that this is a western understanding and that concrete infrastructure of the west cannot be universalized throughout the world in its conception and actual operation.

Edwards has more to say about infrastructure but I will stop now.

The article in question is (the book can be found on libgen):
Paul N. Edwards. Infrastructure and Modernity: Force, Time, and Social Organization
in the History of Sociotechnical Systems, in: Misa, Brey, Feenberg (ed.), Modernity and Technology, MIT, Cambridge/London, pp. 185-227.
No. 74620
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One way to "experience" infrastructure is to play ETS2 or ATS. Vroom vroom, mothafucka.
No. 74626
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A welcome threda. Also props for stating that a referenced resource can be found on libgen.

>oil and gas production and storage
>energy production in general would be more suitable these days with renewables being a thing
Not only energy production but storage as well, no? As we scale up renewables we also need to figure out appropriate ways to store that energy. Both for surge demand and low production periods.
No. 74633
Yes. I have no clue, but one can sense that this kind of storage differs from oil and gas. I wonder how the gas storage sites look like that have been talked about during the beginning of the war here in Germany.
No. 74634
To fill the thread, I will present something from my personal archive/notes.

Something closely related to infrastructure is the non-place. French anthropologist Marc Augé is famous for his book on non-places. Augé is bemoaning and critical of modernity and its production of non-place that encompasses transportation infrastructure.

The 'supermodern', according to Augé, produces non-places, a space "that has no identity and can be described neither as relational nor as historical."(83) In this, the supermodern, a different terminology - by the way - for the globalized world, is distinguished from a Baudelairean modernity that still knew how to integrate anthropological places (e.g. the church). The supermodern is a "world that relegates birth and death to the hospital, a world in which the number of transit spaces and provisional occupations under luxurious or repugnant conditions grows ceaselessly (the hotel chains and transit homes, the vacation villages, the refugee camps, the slums destined for demolition or decay). a world in which a narrow network of means of transport is developing, which are also mobile dwellings (think of truck drivers in Europe), where those familiar with long distances, automatic distributors, and credit cards link up with the gestures of silent traffic, a world that is thus given over to solitary individuality, to transit, to the provisional and the ephemeral." (83)
The separation of place and space is made through a recourse to Michel de Certeau but is modified by Augé. The anthropological place is that "of the inscribed and symbolized sense," in which "sense must be put to work," the "place must be filled with life."(86) Movement of individuals is taking place, which has the effect of constituting place; space, on the other hand, despite movement, always remains abstract and a passage, a line or travel route along which one moves and which - this is particularly important to Augé - only refers to the place (via text, an example would be the brown signs at the edges of German highways) that is located off to the side. (87ff.)

A further specification of the place in contrast to the non-place:
anthropological are those "places whose analysis has meaning because they are charged with meaning and each new path, each ritual repetition reinforces and confirms their necessity." The meaning of those places is constituted by the three characteristics "identical, relational, and historical."(59) Identity comes about through birth, through which the individual is assigned a place; in this place, he or she inserts himself or herself into an ensemble of individuals (including family relationships, festivals) and is thus relationally determined. Finally, place becomes historical through ancestors and the recently deceased and their 'markers' that serve as indexes of history, which include buildings that are meant to reach beyond the present as monuments (59ff.) Ultimately, at the anthropological place "there is a crossing and combination of individual and collective experience." (67) These are places "that an older and slower history has produced, places where paths of individuals cross and connect, where communication takes place and solitude is forgotten for a moment, on the steps of the church, at the counter of the café, at the door of the bakery."(71)
Non-places are characterized above all by their 'textuality' in the form of (usage) instructions, which can also be described as subject invocations: You should do this, this is allowed, that is not, "this way one establishes the conditions for circulation in these spaces, where individuals seem to interact only with texts whose authors are exclusively 'juridical' persons or institutions [. ...] whose presence appears only in hints or is explicitly expressed [...] in the instructions, advice, comments, and 'messages' on the countless 'carriers' (signs, billboards, posters) that are a part of the contemporary landscape." (98)
The juridical persons reveal the anonymous and thus also distanced character of the non-places. While it does not preclude the emergence of a social of whatever kind, Foucauldian government and the control of individuals is at the forefront for those who have created such spaces; function takes precedence over meaning.
[@auge2014, 98]

In sum:
The non-places "do not create a synthesis, they do not integrate anything, but merely authorize, for a short time of passing through them, the coexistence of different, comparable, and mutually indifferent individualities."
[@auge2014, 110]
The (anthropological place) integrates through identity, relationality, and historicity. The non-place, on the other hand, atomizes the individuals who reside in it or pass through it.
No. 74635
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This is a very classic critic of modernity. One wonders though, what kind of sociality can arise from infrastructure and if it really is without any meaning, without any of the characteristics of the anthropological place.
No. 74973
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Germans are frauds. I've been fooled by them for the last time. Powerhouse of infrastructure, my ass.
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> Powerhouse of infrastructure
How to tell someone you have never lived in Germany without telling them you have never lived in Germany.
No. 74975
What's up with these photos? Look like usual European town.
No. 74976
I didn't want to just shitpost without providing at least something on-topic.
No. 74978
The road map looks faulty, check google maps. The Ruhr Valley has quite a few Autobahns that don't seem to appear on the EU map.
No. 74979
Isn't that just connections between (air)ports and such?

Although Germany does indeed not have the most highway in Europe, but Spain.
No. 74981
>Isn't that just connections between (air)ports and such?

Not really, they are only in the Ruhr Valley, they might connect ports but there are going ways where there is no port.
No. 74982
Hm, maybe European Highways? Not all Autobahnen are also EU highways.
No. 74983
Yeah, sounds plausible that this categorization makes the difference.
No. 74984
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Artist Matt Parker made six short movies ranging from 7-13min. Scenic shots of internet infrastructure and interviews mix in all of these. A good capturing of infrastructure with some information that doesn't go too deep but might be novel for many people that never cared for what's beyond the displays. As Parker writes this idea of the large megastructure (it's a concept afaik) guides the idea and it's clearly audible in the eerie ambient music that accompanies the moving pictures. It sounds like the music from alien movies.
I enjoyed especially episodes 1-4 and the shots gathered. The submarine cables and coast shots are probably the best. Great pictures and good info content when you aren't super into internet infrastructure and its technology at various scales and layers.
No. 74991
No. 74993 Kontra
I watched this movie last year. Looks almost quaint considering how much further down the line we are.
No. 75020
Would schools count as infrastructure in the context of this thread?
When I go on for a walk, I always stop at schools and assess their infrastructures.
Is the gymnasium big enough? What's the playgroud's ground made of and is it open? Are the windows getting sunlight? How are disposed the chair in the classrooms? Is the janitor living in the building and where?
I have a mental list of the best primary schools I ever encountered but never thought about documenting it.
No. 75022
>I always stop at schools
Got any restraining orders yet?
No. 75038 Kontra
>Got any restraining orders yet?
I'm not doing all of this when there's childrens on the building and I try to be with other people when looking at schools in cities with passerbies so I don't look too suspicious. I hope those precautions will keep me safe from that kind of criminal records.
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Discussing the future of energy production we end up focusing on the usual suspects. Solar, wind, nuclear and hydrocarbons. But the element that's almost always missing is geothermal. Why is this? Perhaps because like the name implies it deals with thermal energy and most of the people on this planet live in moderate climates where the most direct application of geothermal, heating, is not required to the extent that it is in Northern climate. Or it could be that the most easily available resources are already being exploited. I'm really not sure. I'd guess the most popular ideas of large scale geothermal relate to places like Iceland where the resource is easily accessible and indeed used to heat up the entire nation.

EGS, Enhanced(or engineered) Geothermal Systems go beyond the conventional solutions and tries to access often deep layers of dry and impermeable rock within the Earth to create electricity. In theory these systems aren't dependent on the local geothermal conditions as the idea is simply go deep enough to reach big enough of a temperature delta. In practice the geology matters very much, as majority of the lifetime cost is related to the drilling process. Still, EGS aims to bring the heat or electricity to wherever it is needed regardless of local geothermic conditions. Why is it worth the trouble? Well, in Northern areas (like Finland) over half of the annual energy production is spent on heating. In these areas many of the existing power plants operate on the principle of combined heat and power(CHP) harnessing the residual heat in electricity production for example in district heating. Operating with geothermal allows the same methods and infrastructure to be used. And this is where the usual suspects of renewable energy fail. Northern Finland sees no sunshine at all when the energy demand is the greatest. Similarly wind power doesn't produce as much during winter time. And so, we've seen great efforts to tap into large scale geothermic energy despite having no easily accessible means to do so.

A pilot project was conducted in the recent years in Southern Finland where two geothermal wells were drilled as deep as 6,4 kilometers. The drilling took years, was very expensive, got delayed multiple times and caused mild earthquakes and constant stream of micro scale seismic events. Nothing dangerous, but definitely something that can mess with high accuracy sensors used in industry and research. The worst part of course being that the project was deemed a failure. The system was supposed to be a loop where cold water is pumped in one of the holes, and +100C water would come out of the other hole. The details of the failures are not publicized, but it was stated that the system is not cost effective and the fluid transfer from the cold side to the hot side is not working as planned. And so, even with the holes already drilled in it is not being used to produce any electricity. Even when the majority of the cost should be tied in the construction process. A troubling state. Difficult to say what the future of deep geothermal energy is but after all this there is currently at least one company building geothermal systems in the 1-2km depth range. And another pilot is in being constructed at the moment. A notable remark is that one of the companies involved with the first pivot ceased all geothermal project stating that capturing waste heat from industrial processes is much cheaper and works.

I'm still hopeful for EGS and a MIT report estimates that the energy production could come as cheap as 3.6 cents/kWh. The report also states that with a billion dollars spent on research over 15 years could result in in 100 gigawatts of geothermal installations in the US by 2050. The potential of exploitability reaches far beyond that point of course. At the moment it seems like a very risky business. Maybe Ernst has some knowledge of EGS projects in their own country?

Disclaimer: The subject is just so goddamn wide for someone not in the industry. Maybe this will be the first of many in a series of geothermal. We'll see. After many rewrites this is finally somewhat of a readable post but is missing a lot. I'll concede and post this before I end up deleting it all.

MIT report source:
No. 75105 Kontra
Interesting. It sounds a bit like it's all good when it works, but when it doesn't, it's so deep that there's no way to find out why, let alone go down and fix it. Does "pilot projects" mean "first EGS projects in Finland", and is Otaniemi one of them? Sounds like something big, but Wikipedia's Otaniemi articles don't seem to mention it.
Did you mean pilot (but V is not even close to L), or is that a technical term related to drilling?
No. 75107
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I'll just continue a bit with some parts that got left out.

So geothermal solutions in residential heating in particular are somewhat common here. The two most common types are horizontal, shallow installations requiring a lot of free space and vertical drill holes reaching around 300 meters. Both types are mostly used to heat floors of buildings. There's really no chance for electricity generation there as the liquids stay well below 100C at all times.

Neither horizontal or vertical systems really work on city-scale though. The city of Helsinki published a report that the conventional vertical heat wells would have to be installed at about every 20 meters in the city to provide adequate heating. See pic 2 for reference. So of course that's a no-go in terms of construction and the maintenance nightmare that would ensue. But after the failed pilot project at least one company emerged that started producing heat wells in the 1-2km range. In my understanding it still doesn't work for electricity, but one deeper-than-usual well would replace "tens"(claimed by company rep) of the regular wells with about the same footprint. Maybe making it more suitable for cities. Not quite sure what enables the jump from 300 to 2000 meters in terms of the construction, but it would seem like there has been some sort of technological or know-how advancements.

>Interesting. It sounds a bit like it's all good when it works, but when it doesn't, it's so deep that there's no way to find out why, let alone go down and fix it.
Indeed that would be my assessment as well. Seems like a real gamble considering the costs and time to build. But it would appear that there's going to be a lot more demand for these types of systems going forward. So the future is still unclear.

>Does "pilot projects" mean "first EGS projects in Finland", and is Otaniemi one of them? Sounds like something big, but Wikipedia's Otaniemi articles don't seem to mention it.
In my understanding following the Finnish news about the project it is probably the first project reaching so far down with the intention of creating a loop between two holes. There are of course deeper holes like the Kola borehole or some oil wells, but they're probably unsuitable for geothermal as-is. In my understanding many of the current or planned EGS taps into specific geothermal resources that are found in more shallow depths. Resources like hot springs, underground molten rock etc. There's nothing easily accessible in Finland resulting in the deepest required holes when compared to other systems currently. That being said I haven't researched all the existing EGS sites, but the ones I looked at peaked at about 2500 meters.

>Did you mean pilot (but V is not even close to L), or is that a technical term related to drilling?
Yes, I was quite drunk while writing that post. My apologies.
No. 75268
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Not much, just a picture from defunct infrastructure. Port cranes somewhere at the former Aral Sea.
No. 75274
Inclined elevator should be considered as a kind of rail transport.
No. 75275
Now that I look at it again. The cranes have a kind of animal sculpture character to it. Perhaps the animals in the front who have gotten a new habitat enhance this impression.

Don't they exist as "rails" in (some) airports?
No. 75276
It is
>An inclined elevator or inclined lift is a form of cable railway that hauls rail cars up a steep gradient.
But the article is interesting. Even though the technical difference between a funicular and an inclined lift is the independence of their cabins. Most of the time, inclined lifts linking two outdoors locations are called funiculars even is they're technically and legally not.
No. 75383
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Just letting you know I'm waiting for your school infrastructure analysis or observations with great anticipation!
No. 75441
I can already tell you generalities about Swiss schools.
Every canton has the responsibility to manage it's own educational system and has a great degree of freedom in doing so.
Contrarly to our French neighbours, school's playgrounds don't need to be surrounded by barriers and most of them are not. In rural areas this means that the playground often blends in with the surrounding space.
In the last 20 years, my canton has begun to close more and more small rural schools to adopt a broader intercommunal system of schooling. It saddens me a lot because small rural schools are an essential part of the Swiss national identity of scattered industrialisation.
No. 75479
Let me formulate it in this way: an infrastructural perspective could be possibly turned toward schools. That is, a certain infrastructural theory might conceive of schools as infrastructure in order to gain knowledge. Consider the role schools have in flows (the kind of flow has to be determined though and make sense) or as you mentioned the architecture of schools can govern flows, flows of children. You could however for example also consider an office as infrastructure that is concerned with flows of information. It's a bit vague at this point though. The problem is that infrastructure is not far away from systemic concepts again. So I'm sometimes wondering how they are similar and in which way they differ. Obviously in the opener the Presidents Commission gives criteria for what counts as infrastructure (that could also be described as system I guess, but that is the systems theories abstract power: do understand many things as systems)
No. 75854
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Big developments with heat pumps.

Heat pumps are generally very efficient systems for home heating or cooling. But as the ambient temperature drops, so does the efficiency of the systems. Which leads to increased investments required for heating in cold areas.

"The prototype delivers 100% heating at -15°C at double the efficiency, and 70% to 80% heating at -20.5°C and -23.3°C."
Units converted from burger to metric.

Heat pump adaptation is on the rise here, especially in places where there's no district heating available. The breakthrough systems would bring a huge improvement during the winter.

No. 75856 Kontra
I'll just add a disclaimer that the wording on that report is pretty vague and they don't directly address COP, so if terms like "double the efficiency" is COP of 2, then this is very much not a breakthrough.

Oh well. Time will tell. I'll still keep that post up. Can never have too much infa about heating systems.
No. 76008
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Did any of you took notice the collapse of a Condo building on Miami some months ago? While this is not super close to infrastructure, it was an interesting read there is an audio of the text that I was listening to about Florida's condo boom some decades ago and what it means to built condos on sand and close to the beach with rising sea levels often times with quickly checked application papers and permits during the boom years. It revolves around the history of Florida as vacation paradise and old age resort and then goes into politics, laws and engineering/geological situation and climate change that affects the geology on which the houses are built.

No. 76009 Kontra
I forgot but of course, economic interests play a big role in the situation as well.
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Urban planning laws there could be avoided by corruption so people build extensions for their flats in commieblocks.

https://web.archive.org/web/20160314003556/https://varlamov.ru/1268095.html - more photos
No. 76014
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Very interesting, doesn't even look half bad from a distance. I hate even closing your balcony, it makes decent buildings look like vertical favelas.
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Once I remembered about Varlamov, top 100 ugliest buildings in Russia:

Often deviations are more informative than normal samples. In particular different ghettos, favelas, etc can tell us more about infrastructure than neat German towns.

So, what are the ugliest buildings in your country? and same question not counting artsy postmodernist architecture
No. 76030 Kontra
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My favorite. A historic building was "pickled" into shopping mall. When I first saw it, I laughed hysterically for 10 minutes straight. Now I think it's kinda cool.
No. 76031 Kontra
>can tell us more about infrastructure than neat German towns

Nobody said infrastructure turns out the same everywhere. It was just a joke with Germans and infrastructure.
Though building "beauty" is not so much infrastructure as aesthetics and design questions.
No. 76058 Kontra
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>Once I remembered about Varlamov, top 100 ugliest buildings in Russia:
Not half of the buildings in this list look ugly to me. Most are cool.
No. 76070
Might be related to the people who get a heart attack when they see Comic Sans - hating on stuff to feel hip or something
No. 76072
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Your defense of comic sans is a lot like saying
>Paperback romances are actually great literature
>People just hate on them to be hip
>Everyone is soooo pretentious but me

Comic Sans is ugly, it is bad typography, people who use it are slightly dumb more likely than not.
Pic related is ugly, it is bad literature, people who read it are slightly dumb more likely than not.
No. 76074
Hipster detected
No. 76075 Kontra
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Please. The EC Institute for Infrastructure Studies is not the place for this debate.

t. head of institute
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Comic sans is the greatest because it's fun, the ideal font for a power point presentation. Autists and Germans hate it for obvious reasons.
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No. 77382
No one listened to me when I argued terribly against Impact font. Terribly terribly.

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I just found out the German Green Party proposed a utopian project of a European night train system. The map looks very nice, albeit we will have no connections to Moskwa, Pidorsburg and Kyiv for the next years I suppose.
Currently, we have a few EuroCity trains that drive during the day and EuroNight that roll through the night. It makes my heart bleed to see how many cool connections existed and have been canceled.
This is a great alternative to planes and private cars, Ernst, don't you think? What would you be willing to pay for you favorite connection? How can you imagine making trips with train in the future?

There exists a map from english Wikipedia on 2020 night trains but I suspect many of those are not the highspeed trains envisioned by that 2030 proposal.

No. 79223 Kontra
>This is a great alternative to planes and private cars, Ernst, don't you think?
Only as long as the Deutsche Bahn isn't involved.
That said, trains are still slower than planes and less flexible than cars, so for me it's certainly not an alternative.
Also, if you don't just so happen to live near one of those cities that are connected in the first place you will still have to find a way to get there (I assume those trains go nonstop between those stations).
Also, who will pay for that? Probably the same people who are paying for the 9-Euro-Ticket.

t. Green Party and Deutsche Bahn hater
No. 79225
I won't be going anywhere for the rest of my life

t. poor shut-in
No. 79228
I suffer on the island of Finland.

But trains are love, and European current infrastructure is pretty good, and here's hoping for a better tomorrow. Maybe some day I can hop on a train and wake up in Poland or Germany. A man can dream.
No. 79251
>who will pay

Money gets free once you stop tax cuts and other things that are beneficial to the service industry that is travel by air. You can make it a market thing as with all things.

>Also, if you don't just so happen to live near one of those cities that are connected in the first place you will still have to find a way to get there

I don't think you have an airport in front of your house, do you?

>slower, flexible

first won't matter once it's common and second is true but you could also change the concept of mobility once outside of rail tracks and stations. You can not just change one thing when it comes to general mobility concepts is my guess.
No. 79253 Kontra
Oh, I thought we were talking about night trains, not a total mobility/infrastructure reform.
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A short video on European rail development of the last decade. The deregulation of national rail service and the question of how to foster international, inter-european train travel and some of its obstacles

two conference videos on the future of European night trains. Will listen now while trying to sleep.

No. 84941
The chances of derailing the thread could be heightened but I think it fights the title


An article on markets as information infrastructure that also serves as model of political organization for (Silicon Valley) libertarians: users using a platform on which politics boils down to information signals. Markets are serving user freedom (choice to invest, consume, buy and work) while libertarian overlords are the ones controlling the technology and that is the markets, since markets are not natural but have to me engineered or made, but I prefer the latter since I think it puts an emphasize on the design aspect that comes from engineering.