Constraints on growth even in a world with cheap electricity

If polywell fusion is developed, in what ways will the world change for better or worse? Discuss.

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Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Wed Mar 30, 2011 9:49 pm

Yss, but his issue was that they would be limiting EVEN WITH cheap energy and both seedload and I dont think that this is necessarily the case.
I do agree that without sufficiently cheap energy, they will be a limiting factor to growth just as any other resource (or the lack thereof).
However, cheaper energy solves all the problems with resources in the long term, at least for centuries. After that, they might become a prpblem again (though depending on the energy source, it might also be solvable for all eternity). But without cheap energy the problems wont be solvable at all.
So, what I wanted to express was that, yes I do believe that resources are a problem, but I do believe that this problem can be effectively solved with a cheap source of energy. At least the likeliness of this being solved by it, is very high.
Of course Chris will then emmediately say "you are fantasising up some cheap energy source that does not exist". But then he misses the point of this thread which was speculative in itself.

KitemanSA
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Postby KitemanSA » Thu Mar 31, 2011 12:41 am

Given sufficiently cheap energy, the only thing that will limit growth is... energy. Not getting, but getting rid of. In a stellar system, this is basically the endstage called a Dyson Sphere.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:27 am

In a stellar system, this is basically the endstage called a Dyson Sphere

Yeha, I am familliar with this concept, though I do have my doubts about its feasibility. I think that simple emmigration to other worlds is easier and more efficient than building a Dyson Sphere (though such a thing sure is a fascinating). The additional advantage of emmigration to other worlds is that it increases the chance of survival for the species. Any solar system will die eventually due the death of the sun. Plus the entire population of a Dyson sphere could be extinct by cosmic events like a gamma ray burst directed at it...

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:33 am

..and, besides, living in a vacuum cleaner is impractical...

http://www.dyson.com/technology/balltechnology.asp

Giorgio
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Postby Giorgio » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:59 am

That was a nice one :D

ladajo
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Postby ladajo » Thu Mar 31, 2011 11:33 am

Right up there with Rockstar Drag Racing Mice! :D

seedload
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Postby seedload » Thu Mar 31, 2011 2:02 pm

KitemanSA wrote:
seedload wrote:Drawing such a strong and argumentative distinction between 'free' energy and 'cheap' energy is pretty pedantic, IMHO.
Is it that you are unable to understand what CMB has been saying or are you just arguing for the fun of it? I do that at times.
CMB's point was that the issue at hand is that the original post was not about "ENERGY" at all, per-se, but about OTHER RESOURCES being a limit despite an abundance of energy. So, "free" or "cheap" is not germain. Energy, OTHER resources, the issue. Ok? :D


I was responding to someone who was arguing for the sake of arguing (chrismb). Follow this.

Skipjack wrote:I said that "if"(!) you have free energy... then things will be much easier and interplanetary travel, which would free enough resources for millenia would become possible.
You dont even have to go that far though. If you free energy, recycling becomes much more practical. Many recycling methods use a lot of energy and are therefore not done.


Skipjack is right on topic. Free energy will allow for unlimited resources via space and energy intensive recycling.

chrismb wrote:
Skipjack wrote:all that I said was based on the assumption that we have free and abundand sources of energy, which is the topic of the thread, if you look please(!).


That wasn't the topic of the thread!!!

The topic was that free energy will have little impact because we're likely to bump into resource issues first!


Chrismb quotes conveniently to somehow accuse someone of being off topic for no particular reason.

93143 wrote:And his point seems to be that free energy will raise the resource ceiling far and fast due to

a) energy-intensive recycling
b) space development


93143 encapsulates Skipjack perfectly and shows that he is on topic.

chrismb wrote:His point was that this thread was 'about free energy'. You could argue that 'everything' is about energy because nothing would happen without it!!

The thread was about the limits of material availability being the limiting factor of future development, rather than energy.


Chrismb again tries to go the off topic route. Funny because the posts were about space and intensive recycling enabled by cheap energy solving any other resouce problem. Much more germane to mb's summary of what the topic of the thread is than his accusation of what Shipjack was actually doing.

Skipjack wrote:Again, you missrepresent my point. 93143 got it right.


Skipjack confirms what I am saying.

seedload wrote:For the record, I think your point is pretty simple and almost impossible to misinterpret. Surely, no one could accuse you of going off topic. You were pretty dead on topic for sure.


I just give him a pat on the back. Your point is clear, man.

chrismb wrote:I do not believe that [I do not see how] anyone presented with the first post of this thread would conclude this thread is about 'free energy', as per the claim I was refuting. But I do not care to participate in any pedantery, if you all read, and wanted to read, something else into it. I'll let Charles correct me if I was wrong to suggest his post wasn't about 'free energy', and otherwise y'all can carry on talking about whatever you think the thread is about.


Huh? Again back to claiming that Skipjack was making the thread about free energy. What the heck is Chrismb talking about? Just arguing to argue.

Pedantic? He doesn't want to be pedantic? He is already being pedantic! So silly!

seedload wrote:
chrismb wrote:I do not believe that [I do not see how] anyone presented with the first post of this thread would conclude this thread is about 'free energy', as per the claim I was refuting. But I do not care to participate in any pedantery...


Drawing such a strong and argumentative distinction between 'free' energy and 'cheap' energy is pretty pedantic, IMHO.

BTW, "pedantery" should be "pedantry" (minus the 'e'). Oh crud, there I go, being pedantic. Sorry....


Guess you didn't get it or it wasn't funny. Anyway, obviously Chrismb is off in the weeds and you missed the point... potentially by not reading my prior post in this thread.

Skipjack
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Postby Skipjack » Thu Mar 31, 2011 7:47 pm

Right there with Seedload, I dont see the issue with the topic either.
Maybe we both dont get "it"?
For me and I think him, the topic is "EVEN with cheap energy, there will be limits to growth".
This means to me that cheap energy is part of the equation.
Otherwise the topic should simply be "limits to growth" period.

Teahive
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Postby Teahive » Sun Apr 03, 2011 3:55 pm

chrismb wrote:I fully agree. We need to stop taking anything out of the ground that we can avoid, and we need to do it now.

Recycling is obviously important, but why should we leave something easily obtainable in the ground and therefore leave it outside the production/consumption/reuse cycle unless its use would inevitably increase pollution?

Energy provides the means to 'remove the entropy' we have fed into materials, turning them into products. Material prices are disproportionately cheap compared with their value over the life of mankind. We need 100% nuclear power right now, and we need to be using that energy to [at least aim to] suck every atom back out of the materials we build into our technological devices.

Material prices only represent the cost for getting them into the current iteration of the usage cycle. Why would we need 100% nuclear power?

We cannot afford to carry on using up our base material resources in such a profligate and ignorant manner. They are not going to replenish themselves [any time in the next billion years].

Some actually do, wood for example. Nature can still teach us a lot about recycling. And maybe we can shape nature to suit our recycling needs.

rjaypeters
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Postby rjaypeters » Sun Apr 03, 2011 6:48 pm

Teahive wrote:And maybe we can shape nature to suit our recycling needs.
Carefully, please.
"Aqaba! By Land!" T. E. Lawrence

R. Peters

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:39 pm

Teahive wrote:
chrismb wrote:I fully agree. We need to stop taking anything out of the ground that we can avoid, and we need to do it now.

Recycling is obviously important, but why should we leave something easily obtainable in the ground and therefore leave it outside the production/consumption/reuse cycle unless its use would inevitably increase pollution?
Because if we don't leave something behind that is half-easy to pull up, and for some reason unanticipated (meteorite, mag field reversal...who else knows...that's why it is unanticiapted) then if, and once, our industrial infrastructure fails then we may never be able to go 20 km down into the earth's crust ever again to recover it. This is the whole point of what I am [unsuccessfully, it seems] trying to get across here.

Oh, f*ck it. Why do I bother. Go ahead mankind and use up all your freakin' raw materials, 'cos if you're too dim to see why the population of Easter Island went away (several times) then your destiny is sealed. Knock yourselves out! Go ahead!

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Sun Apr 03, 2011 7:55 pm

seedload wrote:Chrismb quotes conveniently to somehow accuse someone of being off topic for no particular reason.
This is a verbal soup of shyte you are brewing that I did not want to rise up to again. But seeing as it is still going two pages after I was told I did not understand the topic, I will point out that it arose from me defending myself when SkipJack tried to tell me the topic was about 'free energy'.

Skipjack wrote:Chris, the topic is "with free energy".


It wasn't, and it isn't. End of. If you think it is otherwise, post in a quote from the original post that shows it is so.

seedload
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Postby seedload » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:17 am

chrismb wrote: SkipJack tried to tell me the topic was about 'free energy'.

Skipjack wrote:Chris, the topic is "with free energy".

No, he tried to tell you the topic was "with free energy". Where did the 'with' go?

Anyway, here is a fuller quote.

Skipjack wrote:Chris, the topic is "with free energy". With free energy, provided it is useable for space propulsion, we can easily, easily improve our space traveling. We wont need interstellar either. For now, we would barely need interplanetary. Maybe in a few thousand years, we would need interstellar, but that is a problem for future generations to solve. I always say that we should plan for millenia ahead, but some developments require the development of other things first. Lets begin with finding an energy source for our interstellar space ships. Once we have that, we can think about a propulsion system to power with that energy source...
Right now the energy source is the most important thing, as it solves other problems as well.


He wasn't correcting you at all if you take it in context. He was making the statement to frame his response. Free energy enables what he is talking about. Doesn't sound at all derisive in context to me.

Skipjack wrote: I said that "if"(!) you have free energy...


Here Skipjack tries to even highlight it for you. IF free energy and then notice the little ... thingy.

chrismb wrote:
Skipjack wrote:all that I said was based on the assumption that we have free and abundand sources of energy, which is the topic of the thread, if you look please(!).


That wasn't the topic of the thread!!!

The topic was that free energy will have little impact because we're likely to bump into resource issues first!


Where did the "based on the assumption" go? The topic of the thread was based on the assumption. You even repeated as much.

Again, if he was only saying free energy then maybe you have a point, but he full text of his posts was discussing energy intensive recycling and easier space exploration and harvesting WITH free/cheap energy. Here he says "based on the assumption". Yes, he is only encapsulating a part of the thread topic, but it is the significant part that he doesn't think that you are getting. He clearly understands the rest because he is talking about energy intensive recycling and space exploration and mining.

Finally, you say the following to me.

chrismb wrote: It wasn't, and it isn't. End of. If you think it is otherwise, post in a quote from the original post that shows it is so.


"...with cheap electricity" - Topic of the Post.
CharlesKramer wrote:... it applies to a world of cheap fusion energy.

CharlesKramer wrote:In short: even if electricity becomes much more cheap ...

CharlesKramer wrote:...with cheap fusion energy.

CharlesKramer wrote:Cheap electricity from fusion ...


So silly.

Teahive
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Postby Teahive » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:23 pm

chrismb wrote:
Teahive wrote:Recycling is obviously important, but why should we leave something easily obtainable in the ground and therefore leave it outside the production/consumption/reuse cycle unless its use would inevitably increase pollution?
Because if we don't leave something behind that is half-easy to pull up, and for some reason unanticipated (meteorite, mag field reversal...who else knows...that's why it is unanticiapted) then if, and once, our industrial infrastructure fails then we may never be able to go 20 km down into the earth's crust ever again to recover it. This is the whole point of what I am [unsuccessfully, it seems] trying to get across here.

Taking something out of the ground isn't "using it up", it's putting more of it into the cycle. If our industrial infrastructure fails, there will be plenty of resources just lying around on the surface of this planet, waiting to be picked up by the survivors.

chrismb
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Postby chrismb » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:58 pm

Teahive wrote:Taking something out of the ground isn't "using it up", it's putting more of it into the cycle. If our industrial infrastructure fails, there will be plenty of resources just lying around on the surface of this planet, waiting to be picked up by the survivors.
That would appear demonstrably untrue because if it were so, people would be mining this man-made litter rather than mining kilometers underground. What motivation would mining have to carry on doing so whilst it is easier to extract these materials from old products?

If you are suggesting that we should carry on mining from the ground once there is nothing at all left in any man made landfill, then, sure, I will agree with you because a) it would prove we can recycle in that way and b) if we need it and there is not even any trash left to recycle, then of course we have to carry on mining it if we want it.

But I think you are underestimating how easy it is to reclaim most of the metals we're talking about here. Once they get alloyed and distributed within products, most are very difficult to extract again. As I said, if it were otherwise, then why do mining companies carry on digging fresh ground rather than land-fill?


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