Larry’s perspective

I absconded this comment from Ing. Rossi’s blog
May 17th, 2012 at 6:54 PM

Dear Ing Rossi

I agree with Francesco

Your rather pessimistic comment that we should forget using the ecat for air travel for 50 years is way off the mark. In his book “The Singularity is Near”, Ray Kurzweil discusses how just about everybody tends to underestimate short term targets and badly overestimate long term targets, especially when talking about technology which improves exponentially. This comes about because everyone instinctively extrapolates in a linear fashion. In your case your history tells you it took you 25 years to get where you are now so in another 25 years you should have advanced twice as far. What you forget is the tendency of information based technologies to follow Moore’s Law ( which generally states that integrated circuits halve in size and double in power every 18 to 24 months.

The ecat is not an integrated circuit but its advancement is directly related to scientific research which makes it an exponentially improving information technology. If the ecat were to roughly follow Moore’s law as other science based technologies do then it could reasonably be expected to halve in size and double in power approximately every two years. In 10 years that would be 5 halvings in size and 5 doublings in power. The current inefficiency in thermoelectric conversion, which is about 70% waste heat could also halve every two years. If these figures are anywhere close to true then your 10 KW home ecat in 10 years will be 3% of its current size, generate 300 KW of power which will be converted to electricity at about 97% efficiency. The ecat would effectively evolve into a nuclear battery about the size of a “D” flashlight battery, generate about 300 KW of electricity and produce waste heat at about 10 KW. Now we be flying.

It may sound like science fiction but imagine the resources that this invention will free up and the scale of the financial and human resources that will be brought to bear on this technology once it’s proven and accepted. It could well create a renaissance in science.

It’s going to be a long summer.

Larry Jameson

Mr. Jameson, I didn’t have contact information for you, so I took this without your permission.  If you’re mad at me, let me know and I’ll happily remove it promptly.

I think your perspective holds a lot of validity, albeit I think your perspective is as exaggerated as Ing. Rossi’s perspective is muted.  Some things certainly have done a good job of following Moore’s law, such as computers.  However, batteries have been hot research lately, but have not succumb to Moore’s law.   I expect unprecedented growth in LENR once the secret gets out.  However, I don’t expect to see a “D” sized nuclear battery in my lifetime.

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96 Responses to “Larry’s perspective”

  1. Greg Goble Says:

    Thank you
    I share this in appreciation.
    Ode to Inventors, Free Thinkers, and Solution Seekers
    my heroes…

    It’s of great use to wonder
    Why our minds wander
    In awe of it all
    Being forever true
    Seeking the new
    We are just now discovering
    That which has always been
    Impatiently awaiting us
    Craving our keen attention
    Hoping for deeper understanding
    Awesome is
    The wonder of discovery
    And the power
    Of awe

    gbgoble 2011

  2. Bob Says:

    All previous forms of energy have been basic combustion except for the fission reactors. Coal, oil, gas all are pretty simple, get it and burn it. The basic designs for most uses have changed little as there isn’t much to innovate on. With the advent of LENR the picture changes dramatically. This is a technology with huge potential for innovation and new developments. Maybe a big thinker will come out with the equivalent of Moors law, something like energy generation doubles every year at a reduced price. Product innovation will go wild with the development of practical heat conversion by means other than steam. That will bring on the era of power miniaturization.

    LENR is a fire that will ignite a revolution.

  3. Simon Derricutt Says:

    I tend towards Larry Jameson’s viewpoint, though I think the version of Moore’s Law will have a longer cycle because we are looking for breakthroughs on physics with the thermoelectric generation. There are also physical constraints on getting a lot of heat out of a small volume.

    The starting gun for Moore’s Law to apply is the first commercial offerings of a working device – at the moment there are none we can buy, so the research is poorly funded and done by by people who are regarded as crazy or misguided. Once a real product and massive profits are evident, we’ll see a load of research.

    I just received a nice email from Shell Gamechanger, saying they don’t want to research the Lithium cavitation hot-fusion reactor. I’m thinking that once the area has been opened up they’ll feel a bit sick for missing an opportunity (any opportunity) to be in at the ground floor.

  4. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    Once LENR is a commercial success there will be increased research and probably great improvement in size and COP but I doubt the science will necessarily follow Moore’s Law since it’s likely already at an atomic or molecular level.

  5. Brad Arnold Says:

    That is a good application to the exponencial increase in technology rule. I would take it one further, and predict LENR enabling massive amounts of mass being propelled out of Earth’s orbit. It soon will be economical to get off this rock – which I think is a whole lot more important than if your domestic flight is powered by LENR directly.

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      Brad – getting a Space-based culture and spreading out through the universe needs to be started as soon as we can. There are too many risks when we have all of humanity (the only life we really know of as yet) in one place subject to stupid wars or asteroid hits as well as the slower climate change problem (whether it’s man-made or not, it’s still changing).

      As well as the survival-of-species aspect, there’s also a load of money to be made once you can go asteroid mining for materials that are rare or expensive on Earth. This bit of science-fiction needs to be made science-fact as soon as possible.

  6. Simon Derricutt Says:

    Bruce – I expect you will see a D-cell sized nuclear battery, but it will probably be around the same amount of amps out as your current D-cell battery – maybe up to 20 watts of power (and may get a bit hot in the process). That is, however, pretty useful when you look at the number of useful things that will happily run at this level of power. Phones, laptop computers (if the two haven’t become the same thing), lighting, music/entertainment – all the must-haves of modern life. Heating and transport need more power, but there you have the space for larger units.

    If you work out the power produced per square metre of surface area in Rossi’s and Defkalion’s devices, you get the order of magnitude calculation as 1-10 watts per square metre – the kilowatts and megawatts claimed are from using very large areas. Stringham, on the other hand, has produced around 400kW per square metre by cavitation (1cm square Palladium, 40W). As the understanding of what is really happening increases, then we can expect large leaps in power density each year after the Moore’s Law starting-gun is fired. Larry Jameson may not be so far out in his estimates on power density, though he may be a lot out on the generation of electricity from it since no-one has yet got a really new idea (thus new avenues of research) and are just improving the old methods incrementally. There may be someone who’s going to prove me wrong here – I hope.

  7. Greg Goble Says:

    It may be he end of the world as we kow it in many respects… so conjecture is diffucult.

    Thermoelectric.. direct conversion of heat to electricity without the middleman… kinetic.

    The efficiency rating of these systems improves when energy is nearly free, nearly unlimited, and with little energy needed in the (hidden) supply side of the equation. Plenty of heat for little cost out of a small power plant.

    LENR research may lead to a nuclear reactive environment that results in freed electons (direct electricity). No middleman; neither thermo or kinetic. NASA is chewing at the bit for this one. Plazma thrust from a small powerplant would enable powered landings as well as take-offs from planetary bodies at low G forces with live cargo, Cheap electricity would enable mag-lev launches of payload (ultra-hi G force) at costs similiar to U.S.-to-Europe next-day-air rates.

  8. Larry Jameson Says:

    You should take a look at Ray Kurzweil s “The Singularity is Near”. You may live a lot longer than you think. The first man to live to 1000 has probably already been born. The exponential growth in technology is going to result in paradigm shifts like cold fusion occuring more and more often. I m guessing the next biggie will be gene therapy, then nanotechnology and then artificial intelligence, all within the next 20 years.


    • brucefast Says:

      Hi Larry,
      I presume by the fact that you are joining the discussion, that you approve of me republishing your work.

      • Larry Jameson Says:

        Hi Bruce
        As they say “Copying is the greatest form of compliment”. I’m pleased you enjoyed my comment and feel free to copy any others you come across.

    • Greg Goble Says:

      Gravity may move beyond theory. It will be so cool when we create gravity waves or negate gravity waves… fire up the tractor beam Scotty. Yes, epic technological advances are surfacing from our exponential growth in understanding. Social, philisophical, economic, religious, and political paradigm shifts concurently surface from that same exponential growth in understanding. Our strong survival instinct is now evolving to include each of each other and all life on the planet as a whole.
      You may enjoy watching this.
      Jeremy Rifkin The Empathic Civilization

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        I’m having more and more trouble with gravity.

        My doc said, “Mr Dalrymple, I’m afraid you have a serious disease…’s called ‘Furniture Disease’. Your chest has fallen into your drawers.”

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Igyy – how can you joke about gravity? It’s serious….

      • Anony Mole Says:

        There is no such thing as gravity – the Earth sucks. (From my teenage years.)

    • Greg Goble Says:

      Those hard at work on maintaining our gravity infrastructure deserve some consideration here. They are often misunderstood and maligned in mainstream science; yet without them we would… spin out into space. Gravity Engineers Rock! (er… are rocks)

      Cold Fusion/LENR will soon be deemed as important (as gravity). With it we will fly out into space. Cold Fusion Rolls! (er… off the line soon)

    • iggydalrymple Says:

      Larry Jameson Says: “You should take a look at Ray Kurzweil s “The Singularity is Near”. You may live a lot longer than you think.”

      Kurzweil will likely live a lot less than he thinks.

  9. First L Says:

    LENR could directly replace jet fuel in a jet engine:
    A jet engine continuously burns fuel in the combustion chamber to heat the air (after it is compressed). The heated air has much greater volume and results in the air being ejected out the back at high speed, producing thrust. Typical jet engine maximum exhaust temperature is about 1200F, combustion temperatures would be higher. Jet engines are run lean to lower temperatures and avoid melting the combustion chambers and turbo fans. Rossi commented that internally his e-cat was running at about 2000F, limited by the melting point of nickel. This could be a good match for a jet engine No need to convert heat to electricity to drive electric motors in the plane’s turbines. Lots of heat would be required as a 747 burns 1 gallon per second = 36.6kwh per second or 1.3 Mega Watts continuous. Think of taking all the e-cat reactors from two of Rossi’s 1 MW units and inserting them into 4 jet engine combustion chambers. The chambers could be larger up to a point. Then fly continuously for 6 months before refueling.

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      First L – Although you are right in the first part, the temperature limitation is more likely to be where Nickel softens and can start sintering together, which is somewhat below 600°C. If used in a jet engine, therefore, you’d only get 3x the volume of hot compressed air, not 6x as you think from Rossi’s explanations. To run a jet engine reasonably well, you’d need to use Tungsten as the catalyst/fuel. LENR using Tungsten was first demonstrated by Nagaoka in 1926, though he thought it was Mercury he was transmuting. Since, as far as I know, no-one at the moment is trying LENR with Tungsten, it could be a while before your idea gets off the ground.

      • First L Says:

        Simon, appreciating your comment for your insight, understanding and new information. My motive was to get people thinking about how LENR “could” be used in jet / gas turbines. Tungsten would be a hopeful candidate for giving high enough temperatures for efficient LENR air turbines. Nickel is probably not a candidate. Also, the control claimed by would offer the fine control necessary in an aircraft engine.

        If the world woke up to LENR today and put replacing jet engines as an “super urgent” priority, I’d guess it could take at least 10 years for certified LENR engines to be fitted to new aircraft, perhaps starting to replace old engines on the existing fleet. At that point the financial motive could be high to replace many engines, but then jet fuel could get much cheaper slowing the adoption down. That would assume no real barriers on the LENR side. If we muddle along like we are then 2050 or later is more likely. Stationary air turbines for electricity generation could likely come first. Could stationary LENR air turbines be the method of choice for generating local electricity? How small could we make a reasonably efficient stationary LENR air turbine so we could also us the waste exhaust heat locally.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        First L – I expect that once the first production LENR device hits the market for real, and it stops being science fiction that’s only believed in by crazy people like us, we’ll see examples of it in a lot of places. See Lewis Larsen’s slides for his take on this.

        Jet engines are not the most urgent priority, though. Replacing the electricity generation systems and heavy transport motors (especially in sea-vessels, who use really polluting fuels) is the first priority, and there we have no real limits on weight or size, and the efficiency can be low without impacting the energy costs much. Here the Nickel-based systems will be more than adequate.

        Since aviation fuel (and petroleum products in general) has a very high energy-density, and changing the engines is going to be difficult and expensive, it’s likely that they will remain in use for a long time, at least for long-distance flights. These (now expensive) long-haul flights will only gradually be taken over by LENR-based solutions as the power-to-weight ratio is improved by both nanoengineering methods and better understanding of the best ways to drive it. The first LENR-based planes will probably be propellor-driven, and thus be too slow for long-haul flights.

        I find my house runs quite fine on 4kW or so (220VAC, 16A trip) even though my water is electrically heated and I use washing machine, tumble dryer and electric kettle etc. The overall average is less than 1kW per hour, so with battery or supercap storage I could use a 1kW generator and not notice the difference apart from the electricity bill disappearing. Depending on efficiency of the heat engine driving the generator, therefore, I’d need somewhere between 3 and 5 kW of heat input. The excess heat would either heat the house or be vented. I would expect such systems to start being produced in a few years, but maybe starting at the 2kW electricity level and maybe 10kW of total heat output. Expect nice simple rotary systems that have been well-proven, rather than new designs here. Turbines are just too expensive for home use.

        As Larry Jameson, who wrote the bit that started this string, says, there will be a quick development of things once it has really started. I think he’s a bit over-optimistic, but he could well be right. It’s hard to call. Ask us again in 5 years or so – the first systems will have been marketed by then and we’ll have a better handle on how the subsequent development will go.

      • First L Says:

        Simon, I agree, lots of early opportunities starting with heating. My house uses a tad over 24kw in a 24hr period. 2 freezers and 2 fridges probably accounting for a good percentage of this. I’m afraid we are fringe. My sister is considering putting in a heat pump for heating and cooling on a very large farm house. At the end of my response I added the best 10 URLs I have about LENR and suggested she keep an eye on it. She calls me about a week later on another matter, never mentions the LENR. Apparently too fringe to even take a glance or remember.

        A lot of people are in for a big surprise if functional LENR devices suddenly appear on the shelves. Then things will heat up … so to speak.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        First L – You’re right that it will surprise a lot of people, though I would put “when” rather than “if”.

        After that, it’s really a matter of ranking the conversion task into order of ease of doing it and importance of doing it, and thus finding the order in which it makes most sense to work. Home heating is simple and an easy retrofit, and will save a lot of people a lot of money (and save a lot of carbon burnt). In the UK at least, this accounts for around 25% of the energy consumption, if I remember right. Electricity generation for industry is more difficult but also can be retrofitted into normal power stations (with a bit of luck, anyway) and would reduce industrial costs. Cheaper goods -> stimulated economy, so might also start to solve the financial crises. Road or rail transport will take longer, mainly through regulatory issues. For air transport, freight may well be the first using the equivalent of turbo-fans – slower but cheaper. Again a retrofit, and may also have regulatory problems for a few years – jet engines take around 10 years in design and test anyway, so it’s not going to be quick.

        Your sister needs to look at what’s available now for saving fuel costs, and a heat pump will do that (COP of around 2.5-3). By the time she can buy LENR-based heating systems, she can do the sums again to work out when is the best time to change over.

      • First L Says:

        Simon, yes when, not if LENR goes commercial.

        Now for a sideshow & slightly over the cliff thought. :) I checked turbo chargers for diesel engines they max out at around 700C. It’s possible to series these to get 6 times boost pressures or more. (used in racing and aircraft) Could be an interesting experiment, 2 or 3 turbo chargers with linked drive shafts coupled to a gear box (for the right ratio) and then a common induction motor for starting and (hopefully) absorbing excess power. In the center have a heater to heat a heat exchanger up to 600C and see if the system puts of useful power. Still plenty of exhaust heat to use for hot water, heating and even cooling. The question is, would inefficiencies of these turbo chargers could soak up all the power, I saw efficiencies stated at 70% but not sure how to interpret that percentage. If lucky, 10Kw in could produce 2Kw of electricity and plenty of spare heat for other purposes. Rossi is “claiming” 600C in his new design. From the little I know about his design, his COP could be higher at these temperatures, with a COP of say 12, you would have 1kw of excess power. (or not). Have fun all you experimenters, build in safety features.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        First L – a single turbine wheel has a maximum efficiency (power taken from the available fluid flow power) of around 30%. Try taking more, and the output is slowed too much. You get high-efficiency turbines from putting wheels of the correct size/speed in series – it’s a bit complex to get it optimised. With your 600°C heat source, you can get about 3X pressure or volume. A turbocharger has two turbines on the shaft; one side is optimised for exhaust gases and the other side is optimised for compressing the intake air. Generally I would expect the exhaust to be optimised somewhere around 1.5 the gas flow of the inlet, but check on the ones you have. One inlet compressor can thus drive enough air that, once it is heated, will then drive both itself (via the exhaust fan on the same shaft) and another similar one at the same power. The second one will also try to compress air too, of course, and you might want to modify it so it doesn’t, and instead drives your alternator. Expect maybe 20% efficiency maximum once you’ve got it running sweetly. The output air will still be somewhere around 300°C, and could run a Stirling engine before you use the rest to heat the house. On the other hand, if you’ve gone to the expense of buying a Stirling engine….

      • First L Says:

        Here’s a way Rossi’s COP could go much higher than 6. Assuming that much of the electrical input to Rossi’s E-Cat is for heating the reactor core to 1500C (see Rossi ref below). The reason for the heat is that the reaction is heat dependent (and there are probably some other tricks employed). Assuming that much of Rossi’s control comes from the reactor needing supplemental heat to maintain operating temperature, remove the electrical heat allows the reactor to cool and as a consequence it outputs less power and cools further until shut down, taking an hour to complete for the home E-Cat.

        Instead of the above design, how about controlling the temperature of the reactor by controlling the percentage of air passing over it vs air that bypasses the reactor. To start, you would need heat to get the reactor up to temperature, this could be done with all the air bypassed so could be quick (unlike when the home E-Cat reactor that is surrounded by a significant amount of water that also needs heating), then phase out the electrical heat and move control over to the air flow. In the air turbine example, 100% of the temperature control could be by airflow. Emergency stop cooling system would be needed, probably water based through pipes built into the reactor.

        If my assumptions are correct (big if) the electrical power required would drop down to something like 100 Watts or less to run the electronics and control valves. 10kw out, 100 watts in = COP = 100 times.

        Additionally, if my assumptions about the E-Cat are correct (big if), then this type of air E-Cat could be built to have an external temperature close to the internal temperature because there is no need to control temperature by a large temperature difference and added power. According to Rossi the internal temperature is close to 1500C (2700F). (ref, interview 5min 40 sec ) Perhaps an air temperature of 1400C could be achieved and this could be a very nice match to current gas turbines along with a COP of 100 ( with all the big ifs and speculation involved in this analysis ).

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        First L – It’s probably better to not believe a lot of what Rossi says. He’s trying to keep his process secret by telling people the wrong things, so that people trying to copy him go down the wrong path. If he runs at 1500°C internally, then his core is slagged and needs replacing. Since the core is powdered, it’s difficult getting energy out of it at a high rate, so the core will internally run at a much higher temperature than can be extracted at the heat-exchange. So maybe 600°C tops internally before sintering occurs, and maybe 500°C or less on the outside – check the properties for conduction of heat and sintering temperatures in the standard texts.

        To make it work, he’ll need to have the powder above the Debye temperature by a reasonable amount, so say 200°C starting-point. He is also using other methods of excitation apart from heat. His methods are not complex or difficult, which is why he’s keeping it secret. Look up Piantelli’s patent on either or New Energy Times to get a good idea of Rossi’s starting-point.

  10. Greg Goble Says:

    Tungsten LENR (more on google)
    Transmutation of metal at low energy in a confined … – lenr-canr
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    made of pure tungsten, with a combined volume of 3.8 cm. 3 . The
    cathode is partially covered with a ceramic sleeve, which allows us to
    control the dimensions …
    Search for Nuclear Products of D + D Nuclear Fusion – lenr-canr
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat – Quick View
    by T Aoki – Cited by 2 – Related articles
    Key Words: Nuclear Fusion, Nuclear Products, Electrolytic Cell,
    Tungsten Bronze … For the experiment (3), large single crystals of
    tungsten bronze were grown.
    Production of Heat during Plasma Electrolysis in Liquid – lenr-canr
    File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat
    by T MIZUNO – 2000 – Cited by 20 – Related articles
    KEYWORDS: plasma electrolysis, hydrogen evolution, calorimetry, heat
    generation, tungsten electrode. 6055. 1. Introduction. When certain
    types of metal are …
    “Applications for Tungsten Powder”…/Tungsten…/tungsten_po...
    Types of tungsten powder densities for tungsten powder applications.
    … Tungsten Heavy Powder Inc. logo, tungsten powder, lead
    replacement. 7430 Trade Street … Learn why tungsten is better than
    lead for raditation shielding applications …
    Re: [Vo]:Pirelli Foundation funds successful LENR Cold Fusion Project
    Re: [Vo]:Pirelli Foundation funds successful LENR Cold Fusion Project.
    Axil Axil Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:22:21 -0700. Tungsten is interesting
    stuff when used in …
    Catalyst | E-Cat Builder
    Tungsten powder; Raney Nickel; Carbon (unactivated?) Manganese Dioxide
    …. The
    report was …
    tungsten – LENR forum
    Apr 24, 2012 – Some professors, with students have build and patented
    a small LENR reactor. Here is the translation of Danielle Passerini
    blog article on last …
    Open Source Nuclear Fuel: Italian High School Publicize Cold ……/italian-high-school-publicize…
    Apr 25, 2012 – This is important because rather than using tungsten
    rods with their limited surface area, … How to make nuclear fuel for
    self sustaining LENR .
    cold fusion, lenr, cmns, GDPE, plasma electrolysis
    Downloadable from the library at 2) T.
    Mizuno …. The anode was a welding tungsten rod containing 2% of
    thorium. The electrolyte, as …
    Patent overview on LENR related inventions | LinkedIn…/Patent-overview-on-LENR-related-4105916.S….
    Apr 23, 2012 – I think we need to remember also the patent of the
    Italian High School L.Pirelli that created a Tungsten based LENR
    reactor and made …

  11. Simon Derricutt Says:

    Greg – I think you just googled those and didn’t read them all. The GernertNnascenthyd.pdf one relates to just Nickel (no Tungsten at all that I could find). Two other links are not complete. The second one (Aoki) found no reaction and no transmutation (negative result). Although Cirillo, Mizuno and Pirelli high-school are using Tungsten, it is water (heavy or not) based electrolysis, and would not be really suitable for a jet engine heat source. Pirelli high-school seem to be intending it as inert connecting rods to reduce the resistance to their “mud”, although based on Mizuno’s experiment they may possibly dispense with the “mud”.

    Information from these is however useful, in that Tungsten seems to suffer Hydrogen embrittlement severe enough to disintegrate it (so Axil might well be wrong on Vortex). A Rossi/Defkalion/Piantelli-type experiment would thus need to be based on powders, and maybe Iggy’s fluidised bed approach would be the best format for normal use. Getting something with the sustained power output and heat-transfer capability to power a jet engine looks like it would be a bit difficult to do, while still remaining small and light enough to be useful.

    Still, it’s nice to know that people are looking at it as an LENR material. It could certainly drive up the achievable temperatures, and thus make electricity generation easier with the current (steam) technology.

  12. sven Says:

    If the LENR energy is cheep, and cheep electricity can be made, hydrogen can be made as fuel for both jets and cars. Hydrogen for aviation has been studied for a long time, it is much lighter than conventional jet-fuel and the technology is already available. The main reason why this change has not taken place already is the price of the energy needed to create the Hydrogen and the huge investment in infrastructure that we have in the aviation business around the world.

    I do however doubt that there is a technological reason why it would take 20 years to create a car or alike powered directly by LENR. Is Rossy playing some politics here with the oil-industry?

    There are however economical reasons why this could be the case. The first thing that will happen if cheep LENR energy will become available, is that oil-price will drop massively, as the producing countries will have a fixed deadline on when their product will be made obsolete as fuel. They will pump like never before and try to cash in on their oil-reserves as fast as they can. This will however eliminate all the current efforts in trying to decrease our carbon footprints, there is simply nobody going to pay for efforts to save something that is available in limitless amounts, like energy.

    The scary part is therefore that LENR could actually temporarily speed up global warming and delay the energy saving progresses that are so heavily invested in today.

    • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

      I bet Harry Schoell would like to mate the industrial E-Cat
      to the Cyclone-steam powered StreamLiner Speed Demon.
      PR and stunts are Cyclone’s principal product.

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      Sven – yes, making Hydrogen and using that as fuel in slightly-modified engines that we are used to manufacturing is probably the best way to gain the benefits quickly. Better ways of using the “nearly-free” heat directly will come along in time.

      The Hydrogen thus produced would be competing with sunny countries where Hydrogen will be produced using sunlight – this technology is getting close to mainstream now.

      The price of oil should drop somewhat, but the countries that currently depend on oil revenues also are generally hot and sunny, so they do have an alternate revenue stream if they choose to invest in it. I wouldn’t expect either a massive drop in price or a massive increase in output for oil.

  13. Anony Mole Says:

    The singularity is a myth. Although Kurzweil, Joy, Vinge, et al. all have incredible extrapolation skills, reality, in the form of economics, humanity, politics, religion, environmental events and many others, has a way of gumming up the works.

    TechnologyReview is a great site to learn of these man-chine type advances, iBrain chips, and retinal boosters, and such. But I’m afraid that things like, oh, say a world wide 50 trillion dollar debt may have a role in quashing our dreams of a technical utopia. A tempest is brewing and it’s not in a teapot.

    The other issue I personally have with the singularity is that I look at tech advances as rather like the central pole in a circus tent. We continue to push the pole higher and higher, while all the while the tent remains staked at the edges where the world’s impoverished live. The tent continues to get stretched tighter and tighter still leaving the fringe pinned to the ground. What will happen?

    • Will the world’s plutocratic technorati punch through the top leaving the rest of us to flounder beneath the collapsing canvas?

    • Will the stakes be pulled from the perimeter, lifting all of humanity techward?

    • Or will catastrophe undo us all, a CME, or massive weather unbalancing, an asteroid, or bioterrorist escapee?

    Or maybe I’m swayed this direction due to the fact that I’m reading about the fall of Rome… Regardless, Kurzweil’s estimates are a skosh optimistic me thinks.

    • Anony Mole Says:

      Then, again, there is the potential resurgence of U.S. mfg and energy independence:

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Anony – those arguments make sense to me, even though they are based on more oil/natural gas being produced in the States to keep the price and supply stable. With energy prices falling with LENR, the arguments make more sense.

        I know logic hasn’t much to do with this, but pulling manufacturing back from China does have marketing advantages. Some UK companies are doing this now, and finding that the “Made in Britain” tag commands a higher price than “Made in China”.

        There’s also the argument that the Chinese will want to have some piece of the pie, too. Chinese wages are rising, and they’ve had some strikes over pay and conditions. While they can continue underpaying their workers they’ll be cheap, but in another 10 years or so they’ll have to do some catching-up. There’s a massive home market that they aren’t servicing at the moment, and they will have to do that, too.

        Since it hasn’t been too long since all our manufacturing jobs went to China or some other cheap place (my job went to Hungary), then the skills base is not yet totally lost and can be rebuilt by finding the engineers and craftsmen who are currently unemployed or early-retired. It’s best to start fairly soon, though – another 10 years may be a bit too long.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        I agree with the author if we just consider fossil fuels. However with widespread NFE, the advantage will swing back to Asia because the entire world will be on a level playing field, energy wise. Asia will still enjoy a lower labor coast advantage. Some of Asia’s labor cost advantage has been neutralized by shipping cost. With nearly free energy, shipping costs will plummet. North America’s great advantage will be mucho real estate, the world’s best natural waterways, and plentiful fertile farm land.

      • Greg Goble Says:

        Short term present day economics are important, thanks. Long term considerations are that the economic model for humanity may radically change. Advanced robotics, nearly free energy, artificial intelligence, expansion into space, and the evolution of our survival instinct are long term factors. Radical change can take place fairly quickly when at a tipping point.

        Notions of individual rights (life, liberty, and the experience of happiness) to include housing, food, health, and leisure are fairly new in the history humanity. In the long term epic advances in technology will see concurrent advances in the evolution of our sociobiology. Nearly free energy enables….

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Greg – short term economics are certainly important. We do have to survive until the bright new dawn, after all.

        The next problem, when manufacturing is brought home from China, is that a lot of the work will be done by robots rather than people. We’ll still have a problem employing all the people we have, especially if they aren’t technical enough to maintain robots.

        At some point in the future, the only manufacturing jobs available will be the human auditor of what the robot has produced. There’ll be jobs in design for a while, but maybe even those will go in a real sense, leaving the designers in the position of approving the work that’s been done in their name. This is going to be a problem in economics and in humanity – how do you make the people feel that they are living a useful life, and how do you allocate money to them? Most people will be effectively unemployed, and this is not a good state for humans to be in. This will also affect the rich – how do you differentiate the rich when everyone has access to the same resources?

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        how do you make the people feel that they are living a useful life, and how do you allocate money to them?

        With free enterprise, problems sort themselves out. When govt start “allocating”, that’s when problems are compounded. When govt decided everyone was entitled to own their own home, a housing bubble occurred and the world economy crashed. Now the people that caused the problem are saying we didn’t have enough regulation.

        I believe I’ve read that when ancient civilizations produced an idle elite class, that elite class became very creative in the arts and science. Ted Turner once suggested that we could start building pyramids once more (Ted’s a liberal).

        “I no longer believe that democracy and freedom are compatible.” Peter Thiel

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        HULC may deploy to Afghanistan next year

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Iggy – I found the Hulk (my mis-spelling) interesting, but not sure how it relates.

        I agree that when governments start to allocate things, the system generally screws up. The problem is that far less manpower will be needed to produce the necessities of life for the people of a country, so there will be far fewer jobs that actually produce something physical that is sold. If, say, 10% of the people are in such a job, of necessity their taxes will be at 90% of their earnings to pay for the 90% that do not have a job that makes something physical. The other service jobs (no physical product) will of necessity also be taxed at the same rate. Free enterprise then becomes very heavily-taxed enterprise, and I don’t know how this will pan out. At the moment, summing the taxes gets you to somewhere around 60% tax for the average wage-earner, I think – there’s a LOT of hidden tax. Inflation is an interesting form of tax – money decays if it isn’t in use and working. I suppose the half-life of a dollar’s value is something of the order of 20 years. Some countries see a much shorter half-life for their currency.

        For sure, arts and science will see a boost, but there could be various problems before things settle down to the new system – that level of taxation is going to seriously annoy a lot of people.

        While I was at university, a friend of mine put in a planning application to build a replica pyramid in Christchurch meadows. It wasn’t accepted, though.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Simon, I understand your point but the same could be said for industrialization. Machines do what once required thousands of workers, yet it has resulted in increased prosperity. Mechanization of farming allowed one worker to replace 200 farmhands.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Iggy – I accept your point, too. It’s just that the process was very hard on the people who lost the jobs they knew how to do. This process of losing human jobs is, as you just pointed out, accelerating, and the social change will be bigger than anything we have so far experienced.

        A while back I saw a proposed “solution” for the UK. It was very tongue-in-cheek, but despite that made a lot of sense. I’ll try to duplicate the thoughts:
        1: Everyone over 50 is told to retire, and if they do they will be given £1M as a retirement present.
        2: As a condition of this gift, they will buy a new (British-made) car, and will employ a butler or housemaid.

        This makes a lot of openings in industry for the young to find employment, and boosts others up the ladder, too. The remaining unemployed become butlers/housemaids. The British car industry gets a boost in sales. The increased spending-power those car-workers have would boost commerce in general, and the economies of scale would also boost exports. There would be very few unemployed, so the government would have a far smaller bill to pay. Taxes could thus go down, too, further boosting industrial production in general and raising living-standards overall.

        It sounds crazy, but the cost of doing this would be less than the cost of the dole cheques being given out.

        I may have missed a few bits out along the line, but you get the drift.

        Very cheap energy from any of the sources we’ve discussed on this blog will get us closer to the point of robotisation of nearly all manufacturing processes and thus the loss of nearly all manufacturing (and farming) jobs. The time to think of the social consequences of this is now, not after the revolution.

      • Brad Arnold Says:

        I think may people have a hard time imagining the full implications of energy “too cheap to meter.” Frankly, it is small potatoes to worry about manufacturing jobs or national economies. The main bottleneck to the world economy is cheap energy – and with LENR we are talking very very cheap (as well as clean and super abundant). Once the brake is taken off the economy, you will see an economic transformation – the value added cost of energy to everything we buy and consume is gigantic.

        Again, using the conventional paradigm is unuseful toward evaluating the economic effects LENR will have on the economy and jobs. This is a break from the past, in the most significant way, with energy – one of the most fundamental and vital of economic units – being virtually eliminated as a cost.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Brad, I agree. Once the disruption is over and nearly free energy has been implemented, the world economy will boom. The assets that will boom most will be the fixed supply ones like land (particularly farmland and ocean-front) and precious metals (unless LENR enables economic transmutation i.e. alchemy).

    • Brad Arnold Says:

      Anony Mole, the Singularity is not a myth – it is inevitable. All you have to do is posit the creation of a AI smarter than humans. Every cool technological invention (like LENR) just brings us closer. BTW, it is predicted that man will merge with machine by 2045. Also, radical life extension is in the pipeline. The Singularity is coming!

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Although I believe the Singularity is inevitable,
        I doubt Kurzweil and I will live to see it.

      • Bob Says:

        Iggy, don’t tell that to Kurzwell, he is obsessed with living to be 1000.

      • brucefast Says:

        What comes after the singularity? Oh yea, that’s where products pop into existence before anybody has thought of them. That’ll be cool.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        You could regard AIs as not having a body, so yes, things would pop into existence before any body thought of it.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        What comes after the singularity? Oh yea, that’s where products pop into existence before anybody has thought of them. That’ll be cool.

        Maybe spontanelarity?

      • Brad Arnold Says:

        Just for your information, I am closely watching longevity treatments, and we are close to making half a dozen breakthrough treatments for aging that will significantly extend a person’s average lifespan. I am personally on the CRdiet, where a person cuts their calorie intake in half (mine is 1200) – it is the only proven way to extend life now, but it is only a matter of time before it will be one of many.

        As examples:

        I’ve also heard of Mayo Clinic work on chemical marking and killing zombie cells, which may be the primary cause of senescence.

        My point is that I expect to live several hundred years and die off planet. This isn’t preposterious or even unlikely, unless I am unlucky.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Brad – since each time a cell divides, its telomeres get shorter, and when it has none left it stops dividing and the individual dies, it is more likely that a way to overcome this inbuilt genetic programming of lifetime will be found. Most cells in your body are replaced quite frequently, the longest being the bones at around 10 years – you’re literally a different person than you were 10 years ago. It’s strange that scars and such can last a lifetime, and that the new cells have the same problems as the old ones – a bad heart will remain a bad heart, for example, despite having been totally replaced in the last few years.

        In order to be able to have children and for us all to live on this world, there has to be a way of removing the old. Since if we spread out to first local space and then the stars, this restriction will no longer apply, and the genetic fix may reasonably be applied to emigrants. If such a fix is found before that point, you can pretty well bet that it will be applied in secret to the people rich enough to afford it (Elvis??). Since with a bit of luck it will also rejuvenate people, then it would be worth having even without the life extension – fix that arthritis or loss of hearing/vision that makes being old a punishment for something you don’t remember doing. (Maybe with the fix, you’d be able to remember that fondly, too.)

        As a downside of this research, think of people being on welfare for a few hundred years.

        I wish you success in achieving your ambitions.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Here are a few promising ideas:

        Key Gene Found Responsible for Chronic Inflammation, Accelerated Aging and Cancer;
        Cancer Inhibitor In Soaked Soybeans
        Meet Bill Andrews: The Man Who would be Immortal

      • brucefast Says:

        Brad, I hadn’t heard of the CRdiet, but I did read about a study done on mice. It seems that mice, men and worms have a gene which shortens our lives if we have an abundance of food. Knock out the gene and the effect goes away. I’ve been trying for all the world to figure out an evolutionary explanation for that one.

        On the topic of diets, as of this Easter I have been living grain free. My type 2 diabetes has taken an radical turn for the better. I no longer need fast acting insulin with meals, and I have reduced my slow acting insulin by nearly 50%. For me type 2 diabetes = grain intolerance. However, there is virtually nothing on the net to suggest this correlation.

      • Brad Arnold Says:

        Simon, there is a new paradigm called “Abundance” (as opposed to the current “Scarcity” paradigm). It promises to reverse the dynamic of the urge to deny poor people resources, and (I predict) will lead to a tremenous economic surge. Basically, in the past resources were viewed linearly, and population growth exponencial, so not enough to go around was a natural conclusion (this has TREMENDOUS implications). Under the new paradigm, technological advancement is exponencial, and is a resource multiplier. As a consequence, every person is an asset, not a potential liability (a “worthless eater”).

        Unfortunately, so many people are so ingrained with the Scarcity paradigm, and they have invested so much in it, that change to the Abundance paradigm, regardless of how wealthy it makes us, will be very difficult to make.

        The reason I am bringing this up is because in the next few decades, predictably, we will switch to the Abundance paradigm, and all people (even in the US) will be treated as an asset, meaning anti-aging/longevity treatments will be more cosmopolitain than can be imagined now.

        As an example to why this is so important: imagine everyone being hooked up the internet, with universal translators, and communicating their ideas. Some African living in the bush could come up with a revolutionary new idea that pays for all the “worthless eaters” for centuries. This isn’t at all preposterious, expecially since the internet is the greatest and most powerful self-improvement/education tool.

        Let me add, that I believe (this is controversial) that correcting the main causes of senessence is low-hanging fruit. There is now an genetic model of a living organism that repairs it’s telemese/genetic damage:

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        Brad – thanks for this. I think I’ve been using the Abundance paradigm for a long time without realising it or having a name for it. Your example of someone far away in the bush coming up with a massively useful idea is not far-fetched, but it does require that education is made available to those who want it wherever they are. The internet does already facilitate far-flung groupings who work together, and solving a problem requires firstly that the problem is acknowledged and after that it may need information from such a lot of specialist studies that no one person or reasonably-sized group could know enough.

        Bruce – I can’t find the link, but there was some research that showed that type2 diabetes can possibly be cured (around 50% chance) by a crash diet for 3 months or so – as with Brad’s longevity diet it halves the calorie intake. It may be worth looking in to this.

        Iggy – interesting links as usual. The Bill Andrews link is very apposite.

        All these developments mean that we need to take a bit more care of our planet, and also to get space exploration back into a higher gear. We’re going to need another planet soon, if everyone starts living a lot longer. Interestingly, Asimov worked out a long time ago that, if you take a conservative tunnelling scheme, you could produce more living-space on the Moon than currently exists on the Earth. There’s also the possibility of O’Neil halos of space-stations, and with enough energy around we could terraform Mars. It’s possible (though very expensive) using current technology, so with all those inventive minds giving us new technologies at exponential rates it’s probably going to happen sooner than we can currently predict.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Larry Page

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Wheat Belly corrected link

      • brucefast Says:

        Brad Arnold, “Under the new paradigm, technological advancement is exponencial, and is a resource multiplier. As a consequence, every person is an asset, not a potential liability (a “worthless eater”).”

        Oh I wish this were so. However, I do not believe that the coming energy revolution will significantly change human nature.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Chinese tea consumption is associated with longer telomere length in elderly Chinese men.

  14. Greg Goble Says:

    Oh yeah… somewhere I heard that economics comes from two greek words, maybe ecos and nomos…
    meaning the running or care of… a household!
    Anybody know this better?
    I’d love to hear the correct version… I
    It seems applicable here.

  15. Bob Says:

    To me the big crisis in society is the education/skills gap that is occurring. Our schools are dumbed down and the drop out rate is increasing, at the same time the job skill level is ever increasing. The people can’t do the jobs that are looking for people.
    Technology is advancing at an accelerating rate, driving these two opposite forces until we are quickly developing into a society where there are no jobs for the masses, because they can’t handle the work.

    This has resulted in more and more people getting government checks. Here in the US 48% of the people don’t pay taxes and most get checks from the government. The 52% that are working resent this highly, especially with the low end of the workers living at a lower life style than those not working. A cataclysmic clash is in the making. We must igure out what to do with people who refuse to be educated to handle the new work environment.

    This is the biggest problem we face today and most don’t even see the problem. If we continue in the present path government will fail by over taxing the people and spending until it all crashes. We are on that treadmill and only have a short time to find a solution.

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      Bob – it’s difficult to refute that. There are a few other factors though. The first is that as the jobs become more technical, fewer people will actually be needed to do them to maintain the lifestyle of the majority. It would always help having more, but the supply of people able to work at high levels of technical competence has always been limited – look back at your own experience. Pretty well by definition, the average IQ is 100, and if a job demands an IQ of, say, 150 then you won’t have many applicants to choose from.

      You can boost the technical ability of your people by longer training that is more interesting and shows rewards at the end (a good job to go to). South Korea is doing this, and Denmark has been doing it longer. That also needs a supply of teachers who are competent to a higher level, so needs time to set up before you can start to implement it.

      People generally drop out of education either because they can’t hack it or because it’s boring them, though a few drop out to start billion-dollar businesses. Education needs to start by making it fun to learn and keeping the interest of the student after that – too often it doesn’t. In some cases you can blame the teachers themselves, but in the UK it seems that each government wants to reform the way things are done to massage some statistic or other, so what the teachers are told to teach and how they do it are now largely government-specified and change frequently – always a recipe for disaster.

      It’s a problem of numbers. In good times, when there are a lot of jobs available, nobody is going to worry too much about a small hard-core of work-shy people. In bad times, the sheer numbers of people who haven’t got a job is overwhelming. After a few years on welfare, it gets so difficult to get that first job that a lot of people give up applying for them – even if they are not work-shy they are seen as such since they’ve been out of a job so long. In this case, maybe government-controlled companies would hire them and find work for them to do – the basic principle is that if you don’t work you don’t eat. Exceptions are needed for those who are disabled, but they can often do more than they are allowed to and would in fact be much happier if they could feel useful.

      I touched on the IQ problem to start with, and as Roger says this only measures how well you do at IQ tests, and misses off a lot of other measurements. Finding an ideal job for the people who, though bright in their own way, do not fit in to the technocracy we are heading into would be a good thing.

      In summary, education should be enjoyable, doing a useful job should be enjoyable, and not having a job (except for retirees!) should not be easy (but getting a job should be easy). This is a problem that needs at least to be addressed soon, even if it’s going to take a while to fix – maybe even because it’s going to take a while to fix.

      In all this do-gooding, it still needs to be remembered that businesses exist to make profit, and so employing people should also be profitable for them.

      • Bob Says:

        I agree with everything you have stated. You can’t get everyone to the proper educational level and technology eliminates jobs faster than new ones can be created. It almost seems like an unsolvable problem.

        I had hopes that LENR would spark a revolution in small farms that I have spoken of several times on various threads. If cheap energy will launch vertical farming, everyone in theory could be self sustaining by becoming self sufficient with food growth and excess to barter or sell to others to meet their other needs. This may go a long way in solving the jobs problem, but then you have a lot of people that won’t work or can’t master the sophistication of doing vertical farming.

        Maybe the solution is a little bit of everything, better education, better job training and new life styles. The birth rates in all the
        industrial countries has slowed to being flat or decreasing, so for those countries the problem long term may be less.

        The third world is a whole different set of equations on how to help. Maybe that’s why the UN agenda 21 wants to reduce population by huge numbers. Its a great solution, but not humanitarian.

    • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

      There’s hardly a better motivator than a hungry belly. In the US, the fattest group is the welfare class.

      Our education system is designed to benefit the educators, not the students. Univ of Michigan has considerably more administrators than teachers.–bl54STenh0/TyKz5V6bIJI/AAAAAAAAQxc/6XhSFks9mUs/s400/umaa.jpg

      Ohio State has 6.3 times as many total employees as full-time teachers.

      The only price that’s climbing faster than medical care is higher education. Medical costs skyrocket because it’s paid for by 3rd parties. No incentive for patient to shop for better price. Higher education costs are fed by guaranteed college loans. A kid graduates with a $60,000 indebtedness and is so ill-prepared that no employer will hire him.

      Most kids could get a better education by joining the military and learn a good trade. One of the highest earners in my family learned jet engine mechanics and now works for FedEx. He barely made it pot of high school.

  16. Bob Says:

    I agree, education overhead in administration has gone crazy. The old high school I went to had one principle the whole time I went. I recently found out now that they have 3 principals for the same number of students, its that way across the board.

    A big part of education problems is that people are not taking coarses that translate to jobs. I love History, but how many history teachers does the world need. I think there should be a return to trade school.
    When the older machinists, welders and mechanics retire there aren’t many trained people behind them to take those jobs.

    Some of the best trained people in electronics have come out of the military training, especially the Navy.

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      On job-oriented courses – in the UK you can now take a degree in “surf studies”. Maybe it’s a comprehensive course in how to ride a wave and where the best ones are, but I can’t see a job at the end of it. Apart from teaching “surf studies” to the next batch of students….

      Learning history is OK if you apply the lessons, but history is a mutable thing, and our view of it is often changed when alternative data and hypotheses turn up. How many History students does the world need?

      Trade school is a new/old thing in the UK, but it seems that the teachers in them expect to get the dregs of the academic world – the ones who don’t want to learn. Apprenticeships are still available if you’re lucky, but it’s a short 1-3 year course that doesn’t get you to journeyman status. To get that far you need to be good enough to get the job, too.

      On the cost of education, recently the limit on the tutorial fees in UK universities was raised from £3k to £9k, with the promise that only the best ones (Oxbridge) would charge this much and the majority would be midway, so not much more money, really. The majority are in fact at the high limit, with the “cheap” ones being the ones that accept anyone who can mark a cross to sign their name. Yes, Nuclear Physics costs more than it used to, but surely the cost of teaching English has not risen that much? They have become businesses, and wish to make as much as the traffic will bear.

      • Bob Says:

        Much of what is taught in school are things that people used to get training at home, like cultural studies. Every group seems to need their own studies for their ethnicity or gender. This is great, but not what applies to making you prepared for a job. Much of what schools now teach is irrelevant for job training. Great for social/cultural understanding, but not what you should spend your money on or borrow for.

        Trade schools are great, but are viewed by many as inferior to college, but I think that may be changing as it seems to be gaining favor again.

        The problem with a lot of jobs Union requirements that make it hard to get in and discourages many by the apprenticeship requirements. I had real world experience dealing with this. I was part owner in a boat company years back and we couldn’t get good welders, so I talked the local trade school to teach how to weld properly. We started getting good workers, but they immediately Unionized and quickly got the wages very high. To be competitive I had to get the price back down, so I went to Laser cutting and robotic welders and soon the labor force was gone. The problem with many jobs is there is a value the job is worth and if you exceed that value your liable to put yourself out of work. Globalization has done that across the board with the whole manufacturing environment. Personally I think free trade has done more harm than good, Sure we get lower prices, but look what it has done to the labor force. I’m betting most out there will disagree with this, but the US makes open trade agreements and never enforces the agreements so they turn into one way advantages for other countries.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Back in the ’60s when I was cropdusting I was having lunch with a couple of farmers who were discussing which is more cost effective, human hoers or weeder-geese. My suggestion was to alternate every-other row, having the humans compete with the geese. One farmer replied that the geese were ill tempered and couldn’t get along with human co-workers.

      • Bob Says:

        Iggy, that’s a good story!
        When I was in high school I flagged for the local crop duster. In those days they used DDT. I can’t tell you how many times he missed the mark or the wind carried the pesticide. I would just hit the dirt and cover my head. If you go buy common beliefs I shouldn’t still be alive.
        The city would spray the ditches with DDT and we would run behind the truck and play in the DDT fog.
        What did you fly? He took me up hunting once, that was fun shooting out of a plane! Not exactly legal, but he was the county Judge!

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        I cropdusted with Bell 47 helicopters. I flew fixed wing and choppers in the Marines.

        Most of the WW2 GIs serving in the Pacific got regularly dusted with DDT head to toe. Some are still alive.

        Many, many more people died from lack of DDT that died from it. Rachel Carson may have been responsible for more deaths than Joseph Stalin.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Speaking of shooting from aircraft I met someone who told me of being paid a bounty (by the govt) for shooting deer in New Zealand. The deer were exotic to NZ, and having no natural predators, soon became grossly overpopulated.

      • Bob Says:

        That’s a sweet little machine! Is that the same version that used to be used on the old Whirly Birds programs remembered by us old fellows.
        I agree with the assessment of the affects of DDT. I think using it in Africa makes sense. More lives would be saved through mosquito eradication than ever be lost to DDT. I think the whole Policy should be rethought.

      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        At the time of the DDT controversy, a group of 6 scientists ate it for a year to see what ill-effects it would produce. They found no problems. Sorry, I haven’t a link for this. The “modern” pesticides are far more dangerous to humans, and whereas no-one died or had ill effects from DDT, a fair number of farm workers have had health problems (and a few quick deaths directly attributable) to the “safer” versions.

        It is fairly sure that over-use of any chemical pesticide/herbicide is going to be bad in some way for the environment, and that if we mess with the ecology of our farmland there’s an unknown risk attached since we don’t know what all the species are, let alone what good they do to balance the obvious harm from eating crops.

        The same caveat applies to GM crops, where the plant is modified to produce an insecticide that is systemic. My gut-feel is that GM maize is the root cause of the drastic drop in bee (and other pollinators) numbers. Try and find some maize now that is not GM – the pollen is very fine and travels world-wide, and countries that have not bought from Monsanto are finding their maize crops are modified. DDT would have been safer, I think. The long-term human effects are just not known. Other food crops have been human-tested for thousands of years and we know the problems and how to prepare it to avoid them, but with GM crops you cannot know the effects on , say, fertility or long-term cancers – there hasn’t been enough human testing involved.

        Most new technologies carry unknown risks as well as unknown rewards ( I expect LENR to be safe, but we don’t really know yet). Marie Curie died early from the effects of the radiation she was investigating. DDT is an old technology whose effects are pretty well known by now to have no major problems if the dosage is kept within limits, and maybe its use should be revisited.

      • Anony Mole Says:

        I recommend reading “1491” and “1493” by Charles C. Mann. It is possible to link dozens of massive shifts in society and historical events to malaria. Slavery, the defeat of the British in the Revolutionary War, and many others, all linked to the mosquito and the various diseases it carries.

        The impact of NFE on agriculture may allow us to forgo genetic modification by growing crops in locations vacant of vermin and insect pests. Imagine the deserts of Namibia, flourishing with desalination watered farms, or Antarctic greenhouses. Or NFE could be used to run robotic pest control systems.

        Iggy, Rachael Carson, I’m sure, is responsible for perpetrating the malarial death of millions.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        Oh, and there we were all in one place
        A generation lost in space
        With no time left to start again
        So come on Jack be nimble, Jack be quick
        Jack Flash sat on a candlestick
        Cause fire is the devil’s only friend
        And as I watched him on the stage
        My hands were clenched in fists of rage
        No angel born in Hell
        Could break that Satan’s spell
        And as the flames climbed high into the night
        To light the sacrificial rite
        I saw Satan laughing with delight
        The day old energy died.

        apologies to Mr McLean

  17. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    All of the Bell choppers with the clear plexiglass bubble were the ’47’ series. I also flew an after-market modified model called the “El Tomcat”.

    • Bob Says:

      I’m curious, do the different choppers essentially fly the same. Can jump out of one and into the other and not be too confused as to operation.

      • Iggy Dalrymple Says:

        I’m curious, do the different choppers essentially fly the same. Can jump out of one and into the other and not be too confused as to operation.

        Yes, I would say so. All the choppers I flew were powered by reciprocating engines and were much more difficult to fly because the pilot had to constantly control the rpm with a motorcycle-type twist grip throttle. Turbine powered choppers’ rpm are automatically controlled. Modern choppers also have computer enhanced stability

  18. Bernie Koppenhofer Says:

    I have enjoyed this discussion very much. Would like to hear everyone’s take on what LENR will do for clean and desalination of water. How will LENR be applied to clean water and desalination? How fast can we get it those areas that need it most? What will it mean to agriculture?

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      Bernie – There are two mainstream ways to desalinate. The old one is by boiling it and condensing the steam. It’s energy-intensive, but with a bit of good heat-exchanger technology can be made better. In some places, the Sun’s heat is used to evaporate the water, so it’s basically free once you get the device constructed. This is technology available right now – it just needs promulgating to where it’s needed.

      The second method, also very much in use, is reverse osmosis, and this only works with high-pressure pumps and so is going to use a fair amount of energy, but a lot less than boiling off the water. Here you can’t use the Sun as the energy source unless you use PV panels to get electricity or a sun-powered heat-engine, so generally it uses power from the grid, though I remember there’s one that uses wave-power to get the energy needed. There’s nothing stopping this type of technology to be used where it’s needed now, either.

      LENR will reduce the energy costs for running these machines, but will not affect the capital costs of setting them up. The only thing stopping them is the cost-benefit analysis, and whether the clean water has enough value to the people who may want to use it in order to make agriculture work or to live in otherwise dry places.

      Overall, therefore, LENR will make little difference to desalination techniques, just make it cheaper to run. It could make a difference if a free-standing machine were made that extracted water from the air by condensing it. This would not be very efficient thermodynamically, but with the low cost of the energy would be viable. This could provide water in the middle of a desert. I’ll try designing one when I’ve finished the current projects.

      • Bernie Koppenhofer Says:

        Simon: Thanks for the reply. So, the cost for constructing desalination plants will be the same, but the cost of operation will be maybe 75% less? So if the cost of x amount of water used to be 1.00 dollar it will now cost 75 cents???……I guess we have to know how much of the 1.00 dollar cost is the original construction?

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      Bernie – Yes, my gut-feel is that unless you use solar, wave power or some other renewable, the energy costs will be around 75% of the cost of the water – in the case of renewable energy the savings won’t be as much as thought since the capital cost will be a lot higher, and on cloudy/windless days you’ll need to use other energy unless you have enough stockpiled to supply the water anyway. With LENR, therefore, the cost probably will go to around 25% of the current cost (again gut-feel rather than doing the full research).

      It will probably therefore make a lot of difference to the economics of water supply.

  19. Greg Goble Says:

    Paul Maher penned this. I like it and have sending it to politicos and activists.

    To you and all of your’n,

    Energy really is at the heart of everything.

    There are pundits and prophets at every corner with something to sell.

    I am selling a scientific and technological breakthrough today. That being any one of a number of new Condensed Matter Physics LENR devices entering the marketplace.

    LENR seems to be the front runner in terms of simplicity, cost of operation and scalability. There are others: Densely Focused Plasma and Z-Pinch. Folks like Busnell and Zawodny from NASA love this stuff. MIT has taught a course in it and has a device that has been operating since January 20, 2012 putting out 10 times more energy than is going in. CERN and our National Laboratories at Langley, Sandia, and Los Alamos are on it. It’s the “New Fire”. Fossil fuels must go; at least according to most proponents of Global Warming. The handwriting is upon the wall.

    Popularly known as Cold Fusion; our understanding of NAE (nuclear active environment) is growing exponentially.

    Please visit

    Do you have a stand on any of this?

    Let’s change the world,

    Gregory Goble, CC/Concerned Citizen

  20. Iggy Dalrymple Says:

    About 10 years ago I reconnected with an old Marine Corps buddy and learned that he was a scientist/inventor in San Diego. One day I brought up the subject of “cold fusion” and here’s his reply:

    Subject: Cold Fusion Heating Up — Pending Review by U.S. Department of Energy
    Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2004 11:11:58 -0700


    Due to the crazy nature of my business we are offered a LOT of amateur cold fusion projects. But behind the scenes – embarrassed to become very visible – there is serious work being done. The conventional science community has not been officially reviewing cold fusion, but we are involved with one group of highly reputable people that are being well-paid to confidentially review what’s happening so the payER will know when to jump. It’s pretty close, and most of the people we know think it WILL happen. When/if it happens the world’s geoeconomics will change enormously and in a direction you and I will enjoy. The minute DOE published (below), MIT officially jumped on the train – and they’re just too grant-conscious to risk credibility on a farce. I think we’re only 5 years away from “success”, whatever that means, and 10 years away from commercialization.


    Ike’s 2014 prediction may prove to be pretty accurate.

    • Simon Derricutt Says:

      Iggy – it does seem pretty accurate based on what we know now. Given that it seems it was also known then, it’s somewhat strange that the research grants were cut and the existence of a real effect has been suppressed so long. Conspiracy?

      As regards geoeconomics, I’m hoping LENR arrives soon enough, since economics generally seems in dire straits. 2014 still seems a bit too far in the future, with a lot of possibility of economic crashes between now and then.

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    • brucefast Says:

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      • Simon Derricutt Says:

        There do seem to be a lot of them, though, and I suspect that the people behind this are testing out their software with a Turing test equivalent. When it’s accepted as coming from a real person they’ll be happy. Maybe the spamming will stop then, or maybe we won’t be able to tell any longer.

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