Why is better sorting needed?

Software is eating the world and uses more and more energy, and the world is heating. Ubiquitous tasks such as sorting waste lots of memory and energy. They use too many too expensive operations on too much hardware. In the climate crisis we need to reduce the number of operations and the amount of hardware required to perform them.

What is the idea behind greeNsort®?

Save hardware and make software more energy-efficient by switching to more sustainable algorithms

More sustainable algorithms in central libraries of the 15 most important programming languages brings energy savings to thousands of software applications without needing to re-code them (improving central components is economic, re-writing efficient software would be good but is expensive)

More sustainable software brings energy savings to billions of IT devices without needing new ones (using existing devices longer is more sustainable than producing new ones)

greeNsort® reduces hardware requirements and electricity consumption of fundamental algorithms (sorting is the most fundamental software algorithm, even more important than hashing)

greeNsort® is based on historical-thinking, computational-thinking and data-centric-thinking and perhaps greeNsort® influences future hardware architectures1.

How much can we save?

We estimated that the annual worldwide savings potential of better sorting algorithms is 51.3 TWh resp. 30.3 MtCO2e, this corresponds to 4.3 large-scale power plants2 or a public value of 7.1 Billion EUR.3

That’s about how art can foreshadow politics, offering glimpses of a future that we can then work in more mundane ways to turn into reality. That’s the concrete utopia concept that I dearly love. — Benjamin Tallis4

  1. see also “HCDA: From Computational Thinking to a Generalized Thinking Paradigm”↩︎

  2. 12 TWh/year is the average size of a Nuclear Power Station↩︎

  3. The combined value of electricity and cost of greenhouse gas based on projections of the Lean ICT Report March 2019, see also the greenhouse-gas-equivalencies-calculator↩︎

  4. Benjamin Tallis, Star of Lithuanian diplomacy, Neo-Idealism↩︎

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