“Technology was not given so humankind could ride roughshod over nature and wreak irreparable changes. Rather, technology is to draw out the hidden essence of all nature so that it can sparkle with new purpose. Technology is not to enslave and command life but to draw forth the infinite possibilities locked within all life and to open new realms of significance. Thus it is that we need to heed the message of life and nature and to create new interfaces infused with nature’s wisdom.”
— Shinichi Nakazawa, “Beyond Development: Rediscovering Nature’s Wisdom”
By the 2030s, the world will generate around a yottabyte of data per year — that’s 1024 bytes, or the amount that would fit on DVDs stacked all the way to Mars. The data boom has prompted the governors of the metric system to agree on new prefixes to describe the outrageously big and small.
The prefixes ronna and quetta represent 1027 and 1030, and ronto and quecto signify 10−27 and 10−30.
Earth weighs around one ronnagram, and an electron’s mass is about one quectogram. Ronna and quetta might sound strange now, but so did giga and tera once, says metrologist Olivier Pellegrino. This is the first update to the prefix system since 1991, when zetta (1021), zepto (10−21), yotta (1024) and yocto (10−24) were added.