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The Cistercian monks, whose abbey stood there in the thirteenth century, wore no clothes but rough tunics and cowls, and ate no flesh, nor fish, nor eggs. They lay upon straw, and they rose at midnight to mass. They spent the day in labour, reading, and prayer; and over all their lives there fell a silence as of death, for no one spoke.

A grim fraternity, passing grim lives in that sweet spot, that God had made so bright! Strange that Nature’s voices all around them — the soft singing of the waters, the whisperings of the river grass, the music of the rushing wind — should not have taught them a truer meaning of life than this. They listened there, through the long days, in silence, waiting for a voice from heaven; and all day long and through the solemn night it spoke to them in myriad tones, and they heard it not.

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A common intermediate step to going carbon neutral is to “match” your electricity usage with purchases of the same amount of renewable electricity. But you often still use some non-renewable, at least at this stage, due to grid realities. So, where does the excess go?

Haven’t found a clear answer yet. Google was an early example of this, but I haven’t found an explanation from them. The closest is from this blog post:

…we may find ourselves temporarily oversupplied in some regions and undersupplied in others (where access to renewables is currently more limited). We will also be drawing energy from the grid to meet our 24/7 electricity needs…

And from this white paper:

While we work hand in hand with regulators and utilities in these areas to evolve the market structure to unlock renewable purchasing, we overbuy renewables on one grid to offset our inability to purchase renewables on another.

So what happens to the oversupply? Is it resold at a loss? Curtailed away? Something else? And so then the benefit is guaranteeing demand for renewable projects, even if not all energy gets consumed?

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This thing was ridiculous. It took forever. The colors are obviously wrong. Every one of our “strategies” started out great and inevitably failed us. Our best advice is to never start it in the first place.

And yet, we did it! …ok, mostly Gina did it. Brooke and I stood around, poked at it, attached a few pieces, sorted a few others by shape and color, and then stood back and admired Gina’s (somewhat fatalistic) commitment.

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Code reuse reminds me of trade. When we reuse other people’s code, that frees up our time to focus on our own. We can then make our own available for reuse, which completes the cycle. Specialization, division of labor, comparative advantage, raising everyone’s quality of life.

How far can we take the analogy? Which deeper economic principles based on trade might apply to code reuse, package managers, etc? I doubt it’s an original idea, but it’s hard to Google.

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