Daily Digest

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Daily Digest 1/5 - Canada Finds Itself In Energy Crunch, The Dreamers And Loons Of Fusion Energy

Saturday, January 5, 2013, 11:31 AM

Economy

Fiscal Deal Fails to Allay Doubts on U.S. Global Power (jdargis)

Vali Nasr, who will soon publish “The Dispensable Nation,” argues that the debt, among other economic woes, has allowed Mr. Obama and other Democrats to justify a retreat from global engagement. “It’s made it far easier to say ‘We can’t do more,’ ” said Mr. Nasr, the dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University. “And without addressing the debt issues, it will be easier to make that argument for years to come.”

From NASCAR to rum, the 10 weirdest parts of the ‘fiscal cliff’ bill (jdargis)

As Dan Eggen has reported, this provision, first created in 1997, allows manufacturers and banks to defer taxes when they engage in a special type of financial transactions known as “active financing.” The break now costs $9 billion per year, and critics claim it encourages firms to create jobs overseas. But it’s a top lobbying priority for companies like GE and JP Morgan, who say that it helps them compete abroad, and it will get extended another year.

Sci-Finance: The Great Cybernetic Experiment, Part 2 (adam)

In Part II, we’ll take a closer look at the nature of this experiment, how it is evolving, and a possible outlook for the future. To begin, let’s return to some of the concepts mentioned in Part I—artificial markets, adaptable software agents, and machine learning—with a quote from Scott Patterson’s latest book, Dark Pools: High Speed Traders, A.I. Bandits, and the Threat to the Global Financial System. As he explains, the trading world is now one...

Obese who refuse to exercise 'could face benefits cut' (westcoastjan)

Resident, housing and council tax benefit payments "could be varied to reward or incentivise residents", the report said.

It claims "early intervention techniques" could help save more lives and money.

Energy

Worsening oil bottleneck could cost Canada $1 trillion, shock government revenues (westcoastjan)

Today, Canada finds itself caught in an energy crunch.

Oilsands production is taking off, but the country's future capacity to export oil appears constrained. Our main customer - the United States - is also enjoying its own oil renaissance, while concerns over foreign takeovers and the environment loom. For Albertans - and other Canadians - it's a decisive moment for a country striving to be an energy superpower.

Iceland awards oil and gas exploration licences (westcoastjan)

"The Norwegian participation is also important - we think that it strengthens the matter in every way, not least to have the support of Norway and its massive knowledge in this field."

Exxon Mobil moves ahead with $14-billion Hebron oil field off Newfoundland (westcoastjan)

The green light for Hebron, the fourth major offshore Newfoundland oil project, is a positive development for energy operations in harsh operating conditions in a week in which the industry came under intense fire for an accident in the Far North.

Fusion Energy’s Dreamers, Hucksters, and Loons (jdargis)

For one thing, the history of fusion energy is filled with crazies, hucksters, and starry-eyed naifs chasing after dreams of solving the world's energy problems. One of the most famous of all, Martin Fleischmann, died last year.* Along with a colleague, Stanley Pons, Fleischmann thought that he had converted hydrogen into helium in a beaker in his laboratory, never mind that if he had been correct he would have released so much energy that he and his labmates would have been fricasseed by the radiation coming out of the device. Fleischmann wasn't the first—Ronald Richter, a German expat who managed to entangle himself in the palace intrigues of Juan Peron, beat Fleischmann by nearly four decades—and the latest schemer, Andrea Rossi, won't be the last.

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7 Comments

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
One funeral at a time.

Ah Yes, Professor Charles Saife sings the party tune with gusto. Full of certainty in the face of Nature.

How many times do we have to have our noses rubbed in the fact that Reality can be tricky? Remember Phlogiston? How about the Ether? And what did the physics community do when Michaelson and Morley did their famous experiment that showed that there was no movement through the ether? Why, they went into denial! They swept the empirical results under the carpet.

It is a basic tennet of science that when experimental  results come into conflict with the models, it is the models that have to go. No matter how precious. No matter how many years you have been teaching them to students. If the empirical evidence is not in agreement with the theory, the theory is discarded like a used tissue.

Professor Saife can be certain of his facts because he has not read the literature. He sweeps the empirical results under the carpet. 

What must we do about Professor Saife? We must do what we have always done in these circumstances. We must wait for him to die.

Science progresses one funeral at a time.

Max Planck

Let us hope that he does not take too many people to the grave with him.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
Over and Out, Capital Account

Well, that was sudden. RT has pulled the plug on Capital Account. I would love to know why.

Our Chief, Dr Martenson was there. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=MDcHprMHF24

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
More Loons.

Our good friend Ruby Carat has posted all the "loons" who are teaching Cold Fusion to students.

The difference is that these "Loons" have done their homework.

How easy it is to apply epilets and adjectives to your marks. "If we can't play the ball, why then sir, we will play the man."

 

Adam Taggart's picture
Adam Taggart
Status: Peak Prosperity Co-founder (Offline)
Joined: May 26 2009
Posts: 2934
Capital Account shutdown

Arthur -

It was surprising news to us, too.

But it's good news for Lauren Lyster. She's moving to Yahoo! Finance and will co-host the Daily Ticker with Henry Blodget:

https://twitter.com/LaurenLyster/status/287318966370721793

That's a big boost audience-wise for her. (and she'll still be interviewing Chris on a regular basis)

Mots's picture
Mots
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2012
Posts: 187
More loons

It is real easy to avoid the discipline of studying science and then make conclusions based on ignorance, cloaked in "a am a science fiction writer, listen to me!".... the world is a bit complicated and the people who make the effort to understand often are too busy and are not spending all their time posting messages about research that requires a bit of education to understand.  Also, buying a plane ticket and going to a conference.  doesnt make one an expert.

Arthur Robey's picture
Arthur Robey
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Feb 4 2010
Posts: 3936
The Cult of Loons and Lemmings

All you say is true.

However, how often do we have the luxury of making decisions on complete knowledge? And if there is a non-zero possibility that our civilization converts 10 units of oil energy into 1 unit of food energy the results of oil energy going away are unacceptable.

Can you look that little girl in the street in the eye and say to her " I am sorry my child but you are going to die of malnutrition because I am to pig-headed to explore every avenue out of our predicament?"

Cold Fusion is not a panacia. It might not even be useful. But what advantage is to be gained in this stage of our predicament in ignoring it? Deliberatly ignoring a possible salvation amounts to a death wish. A death wish is irrelevant if it only results in one suicide, but if it takes out others, how is it different to a cult?

Mots's picture
Mots
Status: Silver Member (Offline)
Joined: Jun 18 2012
Posts: 187
Cult of Loons an lemmings

lol I agree too.  We must think outside the box.  But there are many directions to go.  Many directions have not  yet traveled by anyone. Some directions attract charlatans and quick answer carnival barkers.  I prefer new directions.  Fusion energy is very old and well trodden.  if something was there, all would have been well known by now, or at least used by someone.  We are not a culture that resists new ideas. 

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