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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 7:52 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
Does agreement have anything to do with truth? Nothing whatsoever!

Hopefully nobody has to resort to mind expanders to appreciate some of the ideas here! Are we open minded enough to really listen - that could be another story, based on some of the responses...

Well, I've simply been pointing out the effects of much of the prevailing mentality in the above posts.

As far a new markets - the U.S. has stopped doing what it is does best -- innovate in a leading role. You want an example of making headway? Helium3 mining and fusion power, which may mean going to the surface of the moon to get. But fusion would be clean burning (virtually doing away with radioactive waste) much more efficienct, and the supply market for the H3 energy source would help develop technologies for other space ventures, say, capturing resources via asteroid mining. We've lost the leading creative spark and its time to restart it.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 23, 2009 9:01 am
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Ard wrote:
Does agreement have anything to do with truth? Nothing whatsoever!

Hopefully nobody has to resort to mind expanders to appreciate some of the ideas here! Are we open minded enough to really listen - that could be another story, based on some of the responses...

Well, I've simply been pointing out the effects of much of the prevailing mentality in the above posts.

As far a new markets - the U.S. has stopped doing what it is does best -- innovate in a leading role. You want an example of making headway? Helium3 mining and fusion power, which may mean going to the surface of the moon to get. But fusion would be clean burning (virtually doing away with radioactive waste) much more efficienct, and the supply market for the H3 energy source would help develop technologies for other space ventures, say, capturing resources via asteroid mining. We've lost the leading creative spark and its time to restart it.


There are plenty of people working on He3 including a few that I know personally. But no one thinks it will solve the world's problems. At best it would be a source of power for a moon base. But what good would a moon base be? What does it actually provide us?

I'm all for space exploration. But right now it contributes to the debt/deficit problem. It does not solve anything.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 8:51 pm 

Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 2:23 pm
Posts: 810
Ard wrote:
Does agreement have anything to do with truth? Nothing whatsoever!

Hopefully nobody has to resort to mind expanders to appreciate some of the ideas here! Are we open minded enough to really listen - that could be another story, based on some of the responses...

Well, I've simply been pointing out the effects of much of the prevailing mentality in the above posts.

As far a new markets - the U.S. has stopped doing what it is does best -- innovate in a leading role. You want an example of making headway? Helium3 mining and fusion power, which may mean going to the surface of the moon to get. But fusion would be clean burning (virtually doing away with radioactive waste) much more efficienct, and the supply market for the H3 energy source would help develop technologies for other space ventures, say, capturing resources via asteroid mining. We've lost the leading creative spark and its time to restart it.


What a great idea, when can we expect to hear about you bringing the commerciality of these ideas forward? Or are you just spewing off information from wikipedia pages?

puff puff pass

_________________
Bichon Frise

"If you only have 1 year to live, move to Penn...as it will seem like an eternity."


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2012 10:14 pm 

Joined: Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:02 pm
Posts: 13
Bichon, pass if you want, that's okay too...

I never said H3 will solve all of the worlds problems, but with so many of the current nuke plants in decline, and in need of core upgrades, and with H3 bringing som much greater efficiency, it would mean a lot, and its just not 'moon energy' . Far from it.

Nobody can tell me that dedicating more resources to the goal and assuming more of a leadership role in organizing a more expedient global effort, wouldn't make a difference, because it would.

Vital to the development of space is commercialization. Not government backing. Exploration can have many big benefits as it once did, not just like from the apollo program, but from the settling of America.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:16 am 

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:19 pm
Posts: 1726
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Ard wrote:
Helium3 mining and fusion power, which may mean going to the surface of the moon to get. But fusion would be clean burning (virtually doing away with radioactive waste) much more efficienct, and the supply market for the H3 energy source would help develop technologies


Wait ... are we talking about Helium 3 or H3 (Hydrogen)? I'm no physicist/chemist, but isn't H3 Tritium, an isotype of Hydrogen used to dramatically boost the yield of thermonuclear bombs? Wouldn't Helium 3 be He3, not H3?

I'm sure it was just a typo, but if you can't even keep the symbols straight, how can we take your input on energy issues as credible?


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 5:17 am 
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Do you realize that there is very little He3 on earth? The closest source is the moon. It takes an enormous amount of energy to go to the moon and come back.

Also, if I'm not mistaken, the attraction of He3 is not its efficiency but rather that the reaction does not produce radioactive waste or radiation losses. That's hugely important of course but it's also very important in building any realistic system. If extraction from the source takes a lot of energy (which it does) then the overall system is not very efficient.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 08, 2012 7:50 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am
Posts: 201
DoingHomework wrote:
jaiko wrote:
Well, we're not Europe with a recession and high unemployment or China with its frantically-juggled balls of ethnic tensions, corruption issues, billions in hidden loan losses, potential ecological disasters along with a rapidly aging population and divisive class divisions....so yeah, I'd rather be here than anywhere else right now!

The US definitely has its issues, but we also have a lot of strengths other countries don't. Whether we can get our politicians to stop posturing and start working together to SOLVE our problems - that's another question altogether.

I do think that people who are the "haves" - I am not referring to the 1%, but to the middle-class people who still have jobs and have a stable lifestyle - are starting to spend money again. We dine out a lot (it's our hobby, we're foodies) and saw a huge decline in customers during 2009-2010. But in 2Q2011 people began trickling back into restaurants and bars and theatres. More bargain/discount/coupon-oriented, but the increase was gradual and noticeable.

For 2012 we have not seen full crowds yet except at peak times/days, but dining rooms are still getting fuller and tabs are going up (drinks and dessert with dinner, for example, instead of just a single glass of wine and coffee afterwards).

The problem is the people who are being left behind. There's no easy answer for helping them, no matter who gets elected. When you sow the seeds of poverty, it gets harder to eradicate them the longer they're left to grow.


Agree with all of this!

And all the data seems to support a gradual improvement. One thing you almost never hear on the news is that academic and theoretical models have shown for a long time that recovery after a shock takes much longer than a normal business cycle recovery. So while the politicians and partisans argue about economics they are truly clueless about, what is happening now seems to be a relatively normal post-crash recovery. Just don't expect to get back to 2008 levels for many years.


DoingHomework, out of curiosity is there anything specific you've read on recoveries after a big shock that you particularly found interesting?


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 6:04 am 

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:00 pm
Posts: 6
Ard wrote:
Bichon, pass if you want, that's okay too...

I never said H3 will solve all of the worlds problems, but with so many of the current nuke plants in decline, and in need of core upgrades, and with H3 bringing som much greater efficiency, it would mean a lot, and its just not 'moon energy' . Far from it.


As a nuclear engineer I might be stepping on a bit of a soapbox here but fusion is not as easy as most people claim/wish it is.

The first problem we have with fusion is that if you want to fuse helium3 and deuterium you're going to have to find it on the moon. The second problem is that we can barely get the D-T reaction to work reliably, and that is the easiest combination of elements to use to induce fusion (lowest energy input required).

So when we have a fusion reactor, it will probably be a D-T reactor. Unfortunately it's going to be hugely radioactive, much more so than a conventional fission reactor. That and the neutron radiation released will quickly destroy the structure holding the reaction together. Fusion is probably the wave of the future, but it's going to take a lot more time and money to make a reality.

Our best bet currently would be to invest in our current and proven fission technology. It works, we can make it clean (relatively), and there is very little risk to the population for the amount of power we can produce. That and we (North America) are sitting on several hundred years worth of fuel!


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 3:09 pm 
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spotmaxdog wrote:
As a nuclear engineer I might be stepping on a bit of a soapbox here but fusion is not as easy as most people claim/wish it is.

The first problem we have with fusion is that if you want to fuse helium3 and deuterium you're going to have to find it on the moon. The second problem is that we can barely get the D-T reaction to work reliably, and that is the easiest combination of elements to use to induce fusion (lowest energy input required).


I think the dreamers focus on He3 fusing with itself. That reaction produces no neutrons so it its products are not radioactive and the output is a proton flux that can be easily and efficiently converted (almost) directly to electricity. As you know, since protons are charged they can be steered and contained with electric fields much the way older TVs work with electron beams. Technology for doing that is fairly mature.

The biggest problem with that reaction, aside from getting the He3 in the first place, is achieving the temperatures required. In practice, even if we could reliably do it, cool spots and contamination would probably lead to reactions involving deuterium and tritium that produce neutrons...so it's not likely to be as clean as promised and those neutrons will go everywhere and damage the equipment itself.

Still, if we could do it, it would be great. I agree with you though that it's going to be a while. I look at all the resources put into NIF and doubt I'll see fusion as anything more than a science experiment in my lifetime.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:15 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 5:00 pm
Posts: 6
Completely agree.

D-T fusion will always have to contend with the first wall problem, but eventually it will be solved (liquid metal shielding perhaps) and we can turn neutron heating into steam. The first fusion plant will be massive!


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:46 pm 

Joined: Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:20 pm
Posts: 10
I agree there's lots of fluff in there, but a couple of points;

1 - wealth is related to how well you utilize your resources and turn them into things you want. In a nutshell, I'm wealthier than most anyone from the 3rd century because I have an iPad, cheap food, and can heat my house by pushing a button. An econ text will tell you that wealth is proportional to the role of innovative technology, at least in the abstract. So i think innovation is obviously important, but damn, we're a long ways from making money in space! How about a really nice, small, cheap, long lasting battery? Once there are no more outlets in my house, then let's go mine Mars, ok? Love to see that business plan.

2 - greed. its good, definitely, motivation is important, but greed isn't the only trait inherent to humans. I think that some of the political rhetoric needs a refreshed packaging. so many people are angry about supporting lazy welfare types with their tax money, or immigrants, or whatever. However, this isn't the point. The point is that people who don't want to work and are determined to live off the government aren't going to change because you yell at them. You can only admit there is such a demographic (though smaller i think, than it's made out to be), and then manage for it. It is a fact that preventative health care saves $$ for everyone. It is a fact that people with stable homes and food commit less crime and make fewer social problems. Denying basic needs from our unproductive citizenry, no matter how much it makes you feel good, is just bad business. The most economic solution would be extermination, but since that would never fly (and i don't advocate it) the only reasonable path is to minimally support them to mitigate other costs. I don't have supporting data for this, and I haven't looked for it, but I'm sure someone has. Jails are expensive, ER visits by the homeless are very expensive, violence and theft cost $$ in multiple ways, not to mention the lost resources in all the smart little kids that are too busy trying not to get shot that they never get a chance to create wealth for the rest of us.

Overall, I feel like there is a common ground between the conservative and liberal philosophies, it's just been poorly marketed. We all want to make more wealth, but can't seem to agree that mitigating the costs of NOT supporting the poor/unemployed/lazy/etc... helps us.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:10 pm 

Joined: Mon Nov 01, 2010 5:15 pm
Posts: 1159
Khamul01 wrote:
The point is that people who don't want to work and are determined to live off the government aren't going to change because you yell at them. You can only admit there is such a demographic (though smaller i think, than it's made out to be), and then manage for it.

I disagree. In my view, there's plenty of people in the US who do their best to find ways to not work. I know plenty of them. I could offer them a cushy job making more than they ever have with the stipulation they'd have to work 50 hrs a week to earn it but they would turn it down 100% of the time out of pure laziness. Going to work would mean they couldn't sleep until mid morning & they might miss a soap opera. Or Oprah.

There's an even larger demographic of that lives completely hand to mouth. No education other than a GED. No formal job training. No ambition. No goals in life. No money set aside for a rainy day. Then the economy tanks & they lose their clock punching job down at the local plant. They won't work at McDonalds since Uncle Barry Obama will give them more money for staying unemployed. Then they move to the first demographic.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:49 am 
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Tightwad wrote:
They won't work at McDonalds since Uncle Barry Obama will give them more money for staying unemployed. Then they move to the first demographic.


Except unemployment payments are appropriated by Congress.

You're both right. There is certainly a group of deadbeats in this country (and probably others) that are just plain lazy. I have also known a few.

But it's also true that many of the real problems like crime are simply alleviated when people have a little bit of wealth. The US has a very high crime rate compared t other industrialized countries. I have never liked handouts but I don't want to see widows and orphans begging in the streets either.

As for immigrants, the ones I see don't come here for a handout. They come here to work hard and earn a living. That doesn't mean I'm in favor of illegal immigration. I'm just saying you can't lump them in with the lazy deadbeats.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:04 am 

Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:07 am
Posts: 201
Tightwad wrote:
They won't work at McDonalds since Uncle Barry Obama will give them more money for staying unemployed. Then they move to the first demographic.


Do you maybe think there is something wrong with the fact that McDonalds can pay people so little? Somebody working hard, 2 minimum wage jobs for 60 hours a week can only clear just over $22,500 BEFORE taxes. And that is without taking any time off at all. To me, that is absurd.


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 Post subject: Re: Is the economy turning?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 7:13 am 

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ambition wrote:
Tightwad wrote:
They won't work at McDonalds since Uncle Barry Obama will give them more money for staying unemployed. Then they move to the first demographic.


Do you maybe think there is something wrong with the fact that McDonalds can pay people so little? Somebody working hard, 2 minimum wage jobs for 60 hours a week can only clear just over $22,500 BEFORE taxes. And that is without taking any time off at all. To me, that is absurd.

I'm sure a major corporation like Mickey D's is aware of the minimum wage laws. Not my fault most of their jobs are part time burger flipping & floor mopping gigs. I did it part time when I was in college. Maybe a stint in fast food would motivate some of the deadbeats to get off their ass & do something with their life. Or not.


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