Saturday, December 18, 2010

Nothing To Say

As you can tell I haven't had much to say the last couple of days. I'm doing holiday stuff with my family and having seasonal fun. Plus I'm having the time of my life with the one I love. Hope you are having the same.

I'll probably be back tomorrow.

8 comments:

isochroma said...

No news is good news on the Polywell front. I hope any news that does percolate from within that sad little lab within the rotten military-industrial complex is news of failure.

It will be a sad day in this world's history if the USMil butchering mass-murders gain a new source of power to further their vicious, cruel and illegal ends.

The end of oil will be the end of their rolling tanks and jetplane bombers killing innocents in other countries. Their evil existence must be strangled to death by a slow suffocation of energy withdrawal. Nothing else has sufficed to this date, and I expect nothing will until the fateful energetic end-of-days comes via the long emergency of oil depletion.

PS. There are lots of places besides Talk-Polywell where Polywell is discussed. I'll be at those places having my say. The attempt to silence me by account removal at Talk-Polywell won't stop the message from being heard loud and clear all over the world.

Your silence is a telling sign of your intellectual vacuity and amoral existence. In an age when the conflict between those who support evil and those who oppose it will become the defining standard of every human being's life, those without such standards will stand out in both their defeaning silence and their mealy-mouthed words of lying propaganda.

M. Simon said...

The end of oil will also result in mass starvation.

Knowing you I'm sure you are rubbing your hands in anticipation.

Of course economics will kick in resulting in the destruction of forested land on a massive scale in order to grow food. Seems like a good idea to me.

BTW why no mention of the Russian military? They use oil too. And the Chinese. Between them they far outstrip the US military in murdering.

Dude. You got removed from Talk-Polywell for not following the rules after being asked more than once. In fact you are unique. You are the only non-spammer to have been banned from the board. Ever.

As to no news? My theory is that they are solving problems and wish to keep the solutions secret for now.

BTW - love the compliments. Care to post some more?

isochroma said...

"BTW why no mention of the Russian military? They use oil too. And the Chinese. Between them they far outstrip the US military in murdering."

For two reasons. First, it's your country. I went through your blog and read lots of posts about other countries. My goal is to alert those who are responsible by neglect, in whose name others are being slaughtered. It is the responsibility of the people of their own nation to reign in crimes committed by their military.

Rather than pointing fingers at everyone else, the responsible man will look in the mirror at his own self, and by proxy the actions of his own State, both because he stands a better chance of reigning in those actions, and because even if he does not directly participate, those actions are being committed in his name so he is responsible by proxy. If he does nothing he is responsible by omission or inaction - the same as a bystander witnessing a crime in progress who does nothing. Such an act is itself a statute crime on the books in both the US and my country.

As for the argument that other countries committed worse crimes, I also have two points to make about that.

First, the argument must be tested against fact. The Soviet Union did indeed kill many with its military. It also lost many of its own men in alliance with the US against the Nazis during World War II - the USSR took the majority of casualties on the Allied side, far more than the US did - namely around 8.8 million dead and nearly 15 million wounded (1). The US for its part lost a mere 418,500 (2).

Undoubtedly the USSR also committed war crimes throughout its existence, but do they measure up to those committed by the US?

In Afghanistan the USSR is said to have killed 1-2 million (5). 1-2 million German POWs also died in Soviet detention (a war crime) during World War II.

China, too, has also committed war crimes - on a vast scale. The ugly total from 1900 to today is at least 57,829,000 deaths - a large fraction of which were its own population (4).

From 1778 to 2008, the US has sustained about 1,190,109 war deaths, not counting injured survivors (3).

Reading through the various war death counters online, I find that virtually all list US casualties but very few list the deaths and injuries of victims in the lands where the US has seen fit to deploy its military. Thus due to lack of published data the numbers reported are likely underestimates.

It should also be noted that these places are not on American soil. The US military went to these lands and did its dirty deeds.

The list of US military interventions - direct and indirect - all over the world is too long to recite here. A recent example is the Iraq slaughter, which is estimated to have directly killed about 100,000 people. The number doesn't count the indirect deaths due to disease, starvation and internal crime caused by the chaos and destruction of utilities, sewage and other necessities.

Rolling back through history we encounter the Vietnam war, another slaughter which claimed about 2 million North Vietnamese lives, 486,000 - 1.2 million South Vietnamese civilians, and 160,088 South Vietnamese military deaths.

This ends part one of my reply due to the 4,096-character limit imposed by the site. The next comment contains the second part.

isochroma said...

This is part two of the reply.

Of the two major war-crimes perpetrators in your reply, China has clearly and substantially outpaced both the US and the former USSR, if one counts the vast number of internal deaths of its own people.

None of these sordid facts are an excuse for the slaughters the US military has repeatedly engaged in on foreign soils.

Most importantly, the crimes of others are not a justification for one's own crimes - except in the case of self-defense - as the law states both within the US (personal self-defense), and international law as written by the United Nations - which the US is a co-signatory to. Everything else is a war crime and potentially punishable by the death penalty or life imprisonment.

Finally, returning to Polywell. Fusion is not needed for people to live decent lives - any more than fission is. Decent behaviour between nations and within them is. Careful, humane social planning that prevents population overshoot and environmental-social destruction is needed.

An environmentally-friendly way to keep the war and repression machine running is the ultimate technocratic-utopian 'fix' that will ensure the 'problem' continues unabated. The Nazis were environmentalists. I kid you not. In 2005, Franz-Josef Bruggemeier, Mark Cioc and Thomas Zeller wrote "How Green Were the Nazis?: Nature, Environment, and Nation in the Third Reich". The book points out,

isochroma said...

This is part three of the reply.

"The Nazis created nature preserves, championed sustainable forestry, curbed air pollution, and designed the autobahn highway network as a way of bringing Germans closer to nature." (6)

Due to war requirements their visions were curbed by the material necessity of military production, so the vision was never taken to full fruition. I point this out because environmentally-friendly designs and technologies are not in inherent opposition to authoritarian or militarist regimes, at least so far as their physical requirements can be met without compromising other objectives. The same is true of nuclear technology, especially the promise of clean energy by aneutronic fusion (Polywell) and other designs.

The key determinant as to how a technology will be used is who has control of it. By control I mean the physical designs, theory and materials needed for its manufacture and deployment. A clean energy supply such as Polywell can cause far more war deaths than nuclear weapons, for example. This seems counterintuitive, but in actual practice nuclear weapons were only used twice in our world - both times by the US against the tiny island nation of Japan. However, they have not been used since because of both the collateral damage they cause and a potential nuclear response.

Unlike the unusable nuclear weapons, a cheap energy supply like Polywell can be put to use right away generating liquid fuels for the ICEs of military vehicles and crafts, as well as directly powering military plants and larger crafts. Even though it is not a direct weapon, such a technology is the powerer of weapons and as such is of much greater use than radioactive nuclear weapons. Indeed, this is why Polywell is being funded by the US military.

War is the least efficient method of achieving the aims of a better life for the people and the environment - which is why war is so profitable and also why wars tend to self-perpetuate until they run out of victims or victimizers. Like the perpetually unsatisfying addictive drugs of wealth and power, one dose is never enough, and indeed compels the user to repeat, while making the underlying problems worse in the bad cases and no better in the best cases.

1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties_of_the_Soviet_Union#Current_Assessment_by_Russian_Government

2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties#Human_losses_by_country

3. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004615.html

4. http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE2.HTM

5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet_war_in_Afghanistan

6. http://www.ohioswallow.com/book/How+Green+Were+the+Nazis%3F

M. Simon said...

China solved the "humane social planning" problem by killing millions with starvation and then instituting a one child policy. Just think of the kind of government necessary to implement such a policy.

Germany solved the "humane social planning" problem by industrial planned genocide.

The USSR solved the "humane social planning" problem by killing millions with starvation and then some decades later collapsing.

There seems to be a dearth of humane social planners. The evidence is that social planning attracts sociopaths.

Why would that be? Well if you are going to run really big plans you have to ignore individual circumstances. Stalin put it well, "One death is a tragedy, a million is a statistic."

Note: due to the murdering by the North Vietnamese in the aftermath of the Vietnam War (and the rush to escape that murdering by so many) we have in America quite a vibrant Vietnamese community. For the most part they make excellent citizens.

I believe the North Vietnamese would fit into the "social planning" rubric you favor. Some how they missed the humane part.

In fact that seems to be a reoccurring fact in history. Fortunately it was all explained by Nobel Prize Winner in Economics (the first I believe) Fredrick Hayek in his book: The Road to Serfdom.

It comes down to the fact that no 10,000 planners can know what 10 million people know. The 10 million if left alone can adapt and adjust. Plans are harder to change. If the planners have planned for cold weather and there is hot - the plan is in trouble. Free people can just go to the beach until it cools off.

And there are incentive problems. How can 10,000 planners know exactly what incentives to put into the plan to get the 10 million to put their backs into it? That is solved in the "no plan" system by billions of transactions.

And how do you account for in your plan: "When I left home this morning I was going to buy a very nice meal for lunch, but it started raining so I decided on a lesser meal and an umbrella."

Or "Comrade there is a shortage of umbrellas because of unusually heavy sustained rains. We could alter the plan to fix that problem. But it would destroy the plan."

isochroma said...

I can agree with you on the historic bad examples of social planning.

Good social planning exists too, and mediocre or short-sighted versions exist all over America itself at all levels - from city councils to states and the Federal Government.

The evidence you present isn't an argument against social planning - because it's impossible to run a modern society without a lot of power and control (your blogtitle says it all). Those controls are just less visible in America because its corporate media run the show.

The important question is whether social planning is done in the interests of the general population or for the benefit of a select few rich and powerful.

As for Polywell or any new technology, the key is how it will be used - to help the general population or further the interests of concentrated wealth and power. To figure out how it will be used - as I pointed out in my previous reply - it is only necessary to observe who possesses and controls it.

For example, there's tons of oil in Nigeria, but the people are starving. Shell and other IOCs collaborate in a corrupt relationship with the government to steal that oil without compensating the general population. A select few elites are bribed and have jobs in top positions. How has their plentiful oil helped the Nigerians? It's called a resource curse.

The fact that plentiful oil or raw materials exist in third-world countries does not help their populations in most cases. In the few positive examples such as Venezuela, the administration engages in social planning that benefits the people rather than planning that benefits the rapist IOCs.

A working fusion system - just like plentiful oil - can be used to drive war machines or feed people. If I had to decide between plentiful oil or working fusion in the hands of evildoers, or neither for anyone, I would pick the latter.

Thus I support the development of Polywell and other clean fusion technologies by entities whose goal is something other than war. Even private corporations have at least a commercial interest in implementing such designs - one that can form a win-win relationship with the whole population.

(Part II in second reply)

isochroma said...

(Part II)

Even in 'good' hands though, clean fusion without large-scale planning will also drive people to extinction. Many key minerals such as phosphorus are depleting, along with lots of important metals. Cheap energy might make the extraction of dilute 'wastes' such as phosphorus from the sea economic, but that assumes the construction of very many large plants.

It is dubious whether such an effort will prevent mass dieoff or chaos in the near or far future, even if clean fusion were hooked to the grid tomorrow. Reason being that many factors are conspiring together to end the way of life that so many have become used to. Rather than search for a quick fix, it might be better to undergo an immediate crisis and thus be driven to make permanent changes in how people live - and how many of them live - than allow the population to continue overshooting and the environment to keep degrading.

My final question for you is this: if dirt-cheap oil - which we have had for the last hundred years now - hasn't given society the ability to better manage its environment, then how will more dirt-cheap energy do so, absent a progressive and co-ordinated worldwide effort to fundamentally change both the internal distribution of wealth, the population and reproduction rates, and destruction of the environment?

More energy or cheaper energy or both do not guarantee a better life for the majority. As today's examples well illustrate, it is only the combination of a material base with decent society that helped the majority achieve a decent standard of living and maintain it.

The good social policy I speak of is not Stalinist dictatorship or Chinese starvation programs. While being negative, those two examples you quote indeed prove how well social policy can work - in those cases to ruin the majority. Good social policy comes from the ground up through unions, associations, collectives, culture and more. These things have been wiped out in America by the corporate-wealthy plutocracy but can and do reform under various circumstances.