[ExI] Fusion breakthrough

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Wed Dec 14 15:00:47 UTC 2022

...> On Behalf Of Stuart LaForge via extropy-chat
Subject: Re: [ExI] Fusion breakthrough

Quoting Dave Sill:

> We interrupt this conspiracy theory discussion for some interesting 
> science news.
> -Dave

Right? You would think that people would be dancing in the streets, knowing
that their children wouldn't have to fight to the death over the last barrel
of oil, eat each other, or hold hands singing Kumbaya while the lights went
out forever. This is huge. This gets Malthus off of our backs for the
foreseeable future and moves us much closer to becoming a space-faring type
I civilization. I literally cried when I heard about this.

Stuart LaForge

Stuart don't literally cry yet.  Reaching fusion breakeven is cool, but that
in itself is insufficient to indicate our children will not fight to the
death over the last lump of coal, over which to grill their neighbor.  It is
progress, but before you strike up the band, consider the mechanism for
recovering the energy is in that fast neutron, and what potential that
process has for improvement.

I get a good feeling that reaching breakeven is an indication that humanity
might be within a few decades of making fusion a practical energy source,
but it isn't entirely clear that will be in time to prevent the neighborhood
barbecue scenario.  Let's hope we can make fusion pay before then.

Breakeven will likely attract funding for more research however.  If a
solution exists, we will find it.  Getting more people into the field is a
good thing, because nuclear physics requires the study of stuff which is
real.  Science and math rule that world.  So if there is promise there, it
helps drain the silly and foolish stuff that too many students squander
their college years studying and fill the seats in the physics and
engineering classrooms, where they teach reality.  

Maintain hope Stuart: dynamic optimism in our times is perhaps best
expressed by studying physics.


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