Re: Orangutan granted human rights

2014-12-26 Thread trent shipley
In Indonesia rapidly shrinking habitat might force the Orangutang into
cultivated areas, where she would be killed as a crop raider.

On Fri, Dec 26, 2014 at 12:13 PM, Jon Louis Mann
net_democr...@yahoo.com wrote:
 Would this orangutan be better off released in the Indonesian rain forest?
 Jon Mann

 Very interesting, so the court decided that the non-human individuals have 
 rights such as freedom of movement, and that the orangutan was unjustly 
 imprisoned at a zoo (the story makes it clear that she didn't enjoy being 
 there, and would probably not choose to remain). I wonder how much precedent 
 this case will generate, and whether it will get applied to industrial 
 animals as well?
 -- Matt

 A court in Argentina granted human rights to a captive Orangutan:

 http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/21/us-argentina-orangutan-idUSKBN0JZ0Q620141221
 http://www.buzzfeed.com/mbvd/orangutan-granted-basic-legal-rights-in-argentina#.fimQx6Xkb
 http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/landmark-ruling-orangutan-granted-basic-rights-argentina/
 http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-30571577

 (that's a great improvement from a country where, 40 years ago, humans
 didn't have human rights)

 Now, let's Uplift them!!!

 Alberto Monteiro

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Re: Brin: Urangutan granted human rights. First step to Urangutan uplift?

2014-12-25 Thread Matt Grimaldi
Very interesting, so the court decided that the non-human individuals have 
rights such as freedom of movement, and that the orangutan was unjustly 
imprisoned at a zoo (the story makes it clear that she didn't enjoy being 
there, and would probably not choose to remain).  I wonder how much precedent 
this case will generate, and whether it will get applied to industrial animals 
as well.
-- Matt

  From: ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO albm...@centroin.com.br
 To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion brin-l@mccmedia.com 
 Sent: Tuesday, December 23, 2014 5:31 AM
 Subject: Brin: Urangutan granted human rights. First step to Urangutan uplift?
   
A court in Argentina granted human rights to a captive Urangutan:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/12/21/us-argentina-orangutan-idUSKBN0JZ0Q620141221
http://www.buzzfeed.com/mbvd/orangutan-granted-basic-legal-rights-in-argentina#.fimQx6Xkb
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/landmark-ruling-orangutan-granted-basic-rights-argentina/
http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-30571577

(that's a great improvement from a country where, 40 years ago, humans
didn't have human rights)

Now, let's Uplift them!!!

Alberto Monteiro

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RE: Ad Astra article

2014-04-02 Thread Keith Henson
On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 10:00 AM,  Ellen S. zoo...@hotmail.com wrote:

(Keith)

 Working on a similar article for much higher circulation outlet.

http://theenergycollective.com/keith-henson/362181/dollar-gallon-gasoline

 Alright, now I'm feeling pretty hopeful about what power satellites
 can do for us. Thanks for sharing!

 I'm less optimistic about the chance of convincing politicians
 in the West to support something like this. Fossil fuel companies
 would probably oppose such a plan vociferously.

For coal probably yes, for oil producers, probably yes.  For big oil
companies maybe not.

Couple of years ago I talked to the guy who is head of strategic
planning for ExxonMobile.  Really cheap electrical power would be a
godsend for them.  They know how to combine electrolytic hydrogen and
CO2 in the Fisher/Tropsch reaction to make synthetic oil.  They could
sell gasoline forever without worrying about pumping oil from
unfriendly places.

 The best chance
 might be to persuade government people in a developing country
 that has more to lose from climate change.

It's too big for all but a few developing countries.

 That's not to say it couldn't be done... look at the Chinese
 government, investing far more in wind power than the United
 States in spite of their dependence on coal.

About a year and a half ago, the Chinese government proposed to
jointly build power satellites with the Indians.  How serious they are
is hard to judge.

 I wonder how much support could be gained from companies that
 foresee a future in space tourism or asteroid mining?

Not much would be my guess.  In spite of the hype, space tourism is a
hard business.  Asteroid mining is even harder.
http://htyp.org/Mining_Asteroids

 Does the National Space Society have any plans to try to pitch
 this to anybody?

Not that I know about.

What might be of interest to this group is science fiction stories
written around power satellites.  There are any number of stories that
could be written around construction or diverting a propulsion laser
for military use.  There is also the mother of all disaster stories
where the earth has become dependent on power satellites and the lot
of them were knocked out by a gamma ray burst similar to the one that
hit the earth in 774 or 775.

Keith

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RE: Ad Astra article

2014-04-01 Thread Ellen S .
 https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5iotdmmTJQsSzVYQ2Q0YUtCMERRczdYSXMtUWphUl92aHFN/edit?usp=sharing

 Working on a similar article for much higher circulation outlet.

 Keith


Alright, now I'm feeling pretty hopeful about what power satellites
can do for us. Thanks for sharing!

I'm less optimistic about the chance of convincing politicians 
in the West to support something like this. Fossil fuel companies 
would porbably oppose such a plan vociferously. The best chance 
might be to persuade government people in a developing country 
that has more to lose from climate change.

That's not to say it couldn't be done... look at the Chinese
government, investing far more in wind power than the United 
States in spite of their dependence on coal.

I wonder how much support could be gained from companies that
foresee a future in space tourism or asteroid mining?

Does the National Space Society have any plans to try to pitch
this to anybody?

~E.S. 
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Re: Gravitational Waves

2014-03-31 Thread William Taylor



2. Come close to disproving the cyclical (oscillating 
universe) and ekpyrotic (colliding branes) theories.



Um... does this replace the colliding brains theory?

When all else in the universe collapses, the only things left will be 
Bluebottle and Eccles.

Who will immediately hit each other in the head.

Owww.   me nut.

You dirty rotten swine, you

Hm...

Shouldn't that be the Ecclrotic theory?

Never you mind what's under me nightshirt!

Bluebottle is famous for the absolute first string theory.

Without string, my trousers fall down.
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Re: Introducing Myself

2014-03-06 Thread William Taylor



Wouldn't that be nice! Heaven's Reach ended on gigantic 
cliffhangers, such as WILL HUMANITY GO EXTICT!? :p
 



Heaven's Reach ended with a giant rocket made of boo lifting off of Jijo.
A long time had passed since Streaker had left.

The cliffhangers of Jijo:

The Jophur were in control the Great Library. 
How do you get rid of them without destroying the books?
 
The Great Library is NOT the largest collection of books on Jijo.

The Rothen ship inside of the time goop has a Library unit.

The Uplift Library units store memory in the 4th dimension. 

The 4th dimension is going to close down as the galaxy that Jijo is in breaks 
away from the other four galaxies.

How do you get into the Rothen ship, get access to the Library unit, and 
download as much data onto Jijo compatible data storage devices as possible 
before the Great Split occurs?

...and:

How does one build and launch a rocket ship made from boo?

Those are the cliffhangers I know. 

Vilyehm
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Re: Introducing Myself

2014-03-06 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
William Taylor wrote:

 The 4th dimension is going to close down as the galaxy that Jijo is in
 breaks away from the other four galaxies.

It also mean that all the magic will go out from Jijo. Everything
that can't be explained by XX-cent technology will cease to work.

No more psychic powers either.

Some of the lifeforms will go extinct. Some sentient beings that rely
on magic will go crazy.

Alberto Monteiro

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RE: Introducing Myself

2014-03-06 Thread Ellen S .
 From: albm...@centroin.com.br

 William Taylor wrote:

 The 4th dimension is going to close down as the galaxy that Jijo is in
 breaks away from the other four galaxies.

 It also mean that all the magic will go out from Jijo. Everything
 that can't be explained by XX-cent technology will cease to work.

 No more psychic powers either.

 Some of the lifeforms will go extinct. Some sentient beings that rely
 on magic will go crazy.



I didn't remember that! Is it explained why in Heaven's Reach?
It sounds like a really strange result of the hyperspace levels
temporarily breaking down. Other than FTL travel, what relies on
hyperspace?

~E.S. 
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RE: Introducing Myself

2014-03-06 Thread Ellen S .
And then Temptation introduced a bunch more cliffhangers
to the situation on Jijo, via the Buyur.

I think the Buyur will prevent the Jophur from winning, but
I doubt they have any incentive to prevent the destruction
of any part of the Commons civilization.


~E.S. 
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Re: Introducing Myself

2014-03-06 Thread William Taylor




-Original Message-
From: Ellen S. zoo...@hotmail.com
To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion brin-l@mccmedia.com
Sent: Thu, Mar 6, 2014 11:38 am
Subject: RE: Introducing Myself


And then Temptation introduced a bunch more cliffhangers
to the situation on Jijo, via the Buyur.

I think the Buyur will prevent the Jophur from winning, but
I doubt they have any incentive to prevent the destruction
of any part of the Commons civilization.

Oh...

What if the Commons defeat the Jophur by using Buyur technology?



 
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Re: Power satellites was and the rest of you

2014-03-05 Thread Ronn! Blankenship

At 12:04 Tuesday 04-03-14, Keith Henson wrote:

[...]  Time to displace fossil fuels
is a bit over two decades from the start.




Will probably take at least that long before second- and third-hand 
used electric vehicles get cheap enough for those who today cannot 
afford anything newer than that in a gasoline-powered vehicle to 
start being able to afford to replace their current vehicles that 
they have to have to get to work, school, the grocery store, the 
doctor, etc.  It's also highly unlikely that things will change 
enough any sooner than that in most places in the US and elsewhere 
outside of a few densely-packed urban centers like NYC for most 
people to be able to do without individual powered transportation for 
those necessary trips:  IOW, most places I've lived the bus or other 
public transportation is only good for going downtown in the morning 
and coming back in the evening after regular business hours, and 
not even that from many places where people live, and most people 
have too far to go or have disabilities or other health conditions 
which would prevent them from walking or riding a bicycle to/from 
work, even when it's not raining or other inclement weather, or their 
job requires them to arrive in a suit or other specified attire, 
looking and smelling fresh, and stay that way all day, and the 
business doesn't have and probably has no place to install locker 
rooms with showers.  Then there are the ones who have to carry tools 
or samples or other bulky items with them, and pretty much everyone 
who has to bring groceries home or take kids to the doctor or 
multiple kids to multiple schools, music lessons, soccer practice, etc. . . .



. . . ronn!  :)

An Active List Again? Maru 



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RE: Introducing Myself

2014-03-05 Thread Ellen S .
AT LAST my messages from like 6 months ago when I joined the 
mailing list have materialized. Though I do wonder what took 
so long. I see references to messages that I know I have not 
gotten, so I think there's also something preventing my 
address from receiving some messages from this list. Who is
the list manager?


 Hello. There are plenty of real names and plenty of ‘nyms
 here, so don’t be shy either way. “ES” or “zoon33” both
 seem reasonable enough - as long as you’re consistent or
 let the rest of us know your wishes who are we to argue?

Hello!
I hope my real name isn't showing! I cannot find any controls 
to make the email service stop doing that.

I will go with E.S. for now.


 It’s been quiet recently but every now and again this place
 sputters into life… I doubt it’ll ever reach the volumes of
 The Old Days again (unless DB WRITES MORE UPLIFT BOOKS…) but
 there’s always room for discussion. 

Wouldn't that be nice! Heaven's Reach ended on gigantic 
cliffhangers, such as WILL HUMANITY GO EXTICT!? :p
 


 At one point, there was Between a Grok and a Hard Pace on the net.
 My fanfic set 100 years before Brightness Reef. A Qheuen challenges
 a G'Kek to a downhill race--and wins. Then for the sake of continued
 peace, it's all hushed up.

 Only worth being a fanfic when written.

 Vilyehm

I think I read that once... the qheuen attached itself to a section
of boo and used it as a giant wheel, right?


~E.S. 
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RE: Uplift questions

2014-03-05 Thread Ellen S .
 Spoiler warning to anyone who hasn't read Heaven's 
 Reach!! 





 And that's Alvin, Mudfoot, and Huck on Harathrurptra. 
   (Correct spelling anyone?) 
 Mudfoot can become VERY important if Harathrumta (Sp?) 
 has Rousit.

In what way? By influencing Rousit in some way to be 
friendly to Clan Tymbrimi than their patrons are?
I wouldn't hire Tytlal for my PR campaign, that's for 
sure.



 Does anybody remember the Rousit?

 Contacting Aliens didn't.

 (The above is subject, of course, to Dr. Brin actually 
 making the Rousit clients of the Hoon. It wasn't that 
 clear in Heaven's Reach.)

Buh wait, that isn't canon? I assumed they were confirmed
Hoon clients.



 2. Did we ever find out why Gillian wanted a herd of 
 Glavers? 
  
 They speak to hydrogen breathers, IIRC. 

Reading Contacting Aliens cleared that one up for me.
Though I don't recall any glavers sitting in on her
interview with the Transcendent being... then again
maybe a few were sitting in a corner wordlessly chewing 
their cud or whatever glavers do.



 (It 
 would also have made it possible for Dwer to take a 
 few back to Jijo, but I doubt David Brin would make 
 things so narratively easy for Jijo.)

Oops, that comment of mine was about red rings, not
glavers. But seriously, you'd think Lark would remember
Asx's request to take the original red ring to the
Sages, and try to get somebody to take some.



 And Alvin could use the bio-life preservers in 
 his sailing business. 

Ahah yeah! Hoon can't swim so they might find those
traeki scuba-gear rings handy. But then traeki were
basically written as biological Swiss-army-knives for
nearly every need... to the extent of producing
the enzymes that make it possible for humans and
maybe others to exist on Jijo without dying of
malnutrition. It makes me wonder how the Path of
Redemption folks plan on replacing that function once
traeki are mindless dirt-eaters.


 ~E.S.
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RE: Introducing Myself

2014-03-05 Thread Nick Arnett
That would be me. Don't know why I didn't see any notices about the held mail until the other day. Odd.
Nick
"Ellen S." zoo...@hotmail.com wrote:AT LAST my messages from like 6 months ago when I joined the 
mailing list have materialized. Though I do wonder what took 
so long. I see references to messages that I know I have not 
gotten, so I think there's also something preventing my 
address from receiving some messages from this list. Who is
the list manager?


> Hello. There are plenty of real names and plenty of ‘nyms
> here, so don’t be shy either way. “ES” or “zoon33” both
> seem reasonable enough - as long as you’re consistent or
> let the rest of us know your wishes who are we to argue?

Hello!
I hope my real name isn't showing! I cannot find any controls 
to make the email service stop doing that.

I will go with E.S. for now.


> It’s been quiet recently but every now and again this place
> sputters into life… I doubt it’ll ever reach the volumes of
> The Old Days again (unless DB WRITES MORE UPLIFT BOOKS…) but
> there’s always room for discussion. 

Wouldn't that be nice! Heaven's Reach ended on gigantic 
cliffhangers, such as WILL HUMANITY GO EXTICT!? :p
 


> At one point, there was "Between a Grok and a Hard Pace" on the net.
> My fanfic set 100 years before Brightness Reef. A Qheuen challenges
> a G'Kek to a downhill race--and wins. Then for the sake of continued
> peace, it's all hushed up.
>
> Only worth being a fanfic when written.
>
> Vilyehm

I think I read that once... the qheuen attached itself to a section
of boo and used it as a giant wheel, right?


~E.S. 		 	   		  
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Re: Introducing Myself

2014-03-04 Thread Charlie Bell

On 13 May 2013, at 5:42 am, E. S. zoo...@hotmail.com wrote:
 
 
 Also I don't have a screenname picked out for this list. I try 
 not to share my real name online. 

Hello. There are plenty of real names and plenty of ‘nyms here, so don’t be shy 
either way. “ES” or “zoon33” both seem reasonable enough - as long as you’re 
consistent or let the rest of us know your wishes who are we to argue?

It’s been quiet recently but every now and again this place sputters into life… 
I doubt it’ll ever reach the volumes of The Old Days again (unless DB WRITES 
MORE UPLIFT BOOKS…) but there’s always room for discussion. 

Cheers,

Charlie.



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Re: Introducing Myself

2014-03-04 Thread William Taylor




-Original Message-
From: Charlie Bell char...@culturelist.org
To: Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion brin-l@mccmedia.com
Sent: Tue, Mar 4, 2014 6:22 am
Subject: Re: Introducing Myself


I doubt it’ll ever reach the volumes of The Old Days again (unless DB WRITES 
MORE UPLIFT BOOKS…) but there’s always room for discussion. Cheers,Charlie.

At one point, there was Between a Grok and a Hard Pace on the net. My fanfic 
set 100 years beforeBrightness Reef. A Qheuen challenges a G'Kek to a downhill 
race--and wins. Then for the sake of continued peace, it's all hushed up.

Only worth being a fanfic when written.

Vilyehm 
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Re: Domain Hierarchy

2014-03-04 Thread Keith Henson
On Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 5:22 AM,  trent shipley trent.ship...@gmail.com wrote:

 I once read a quote that went something like, No action against
 climate change has ever been taken that resulted in material economic
 injury to those who took the action.

 This lead me to think that despite the knowledge about climate change
 at a physical level, humans make decisions based on the domains (not
 the sciences) of psychology, economics, and politics.

 Climate change then, is not a hard science problem, it is an economic
 and political problem.  The solution can't be had through privation,
 no matter how much scientists say extreme conservation may be
 necessary, but has to involve a path through shared prosperity.

Oh my, do I agree with you!

After considering the problems since 1975, I think there is a solution
based on new technology.  Some of the new technology, the Skylon
rocket plane, has hundreds of millions ($) committed to it.  I
referenced it in a previous posting today on this list.

 The second thing it made me think is that while it cannot be said that
 one science is more important than another, the discursive domains
 indexed by sciences can be ranked as more or less foundational or
 derived, or more pejoratively as reductionist or ramified.

 Society
 Politics
 Economics
 Psychology
 Biology
 Chemistry
 Physics

That's a good list.  I think the first four are emergent from
evolutionary psychology.  That in turn is based on evolutionary
biology, which is emergent from chemistry and physics.

 (Everything is, of course, mediated by psychology, but leaving that
 aside.) As you go down the scale knowledge becomes more precise and
 attainable, but relevance to daily experience lessens. As you go up
 the scale, the ramified complexity of the domain makes knowledge
 imprecise, but the lived relevance is high.  This explains the
 frustration of natural scientists who find good science rendered
 irrelevant in the face of psychology,economics, politics, and society.

That's well stated.  And then there are the engineers (like me) who
just want to solve the damned problems.

It's just an economic/engineering problem to get the cost of renewable
energy down.  It's not like the sun doesn't put out enough energy.

Keith

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Re: Uplift questions

2014-03-03 Thread William Taylor





Well, since I have joined this mailing list I can ask 
some questions that I've wondered about. I haven't 
read Heaven's Reach in a while, but I don't remember 
the book answering these questions. Maybe some list 
members might know.



Spoiler warning to anyone who hasn't read Heaven's 
Reach!!







1. When Gillian traded things with Uriel, did she take
 any rewqs? They'd be very valuable both for Earthclan
 and for that colony Alvin and Huck moved to.

You ask a` question that would most likely be answered
by our good Dr. Brin with, Of course they did--just
as soon as I write in the need for them in a later story.

It ain't always completely thought out beforehand.
Authors do get surprised by their own future plot twists.

And that's 
Alvin, Mudfoot, and Huck on Harathrurptra.
 (Correct spelling anyone?)
Mudfoot can become VERY important if Harathrumta (Sp?)
has Rousit.
Does anybody remember the Rousit?
Contacting Aliens didn't.
(The above is subject, of course, to Dr. Brin actually
making the Rousit clients of the Hoon. It wasn't that 
clear in Heaven's Reach.)


2. Did we ever find out why Gillian wanted a herd of 
Glavers? 
They speak to hydrogen breathers, IIRC.

I doubt they're legally available for uplift 
yet, (RE-Uplift, as they're on the downward slope.)
but Contacting Aliens does say they haven't been 
spotted (in the other Galaxy 2) in 2000 years. Did she
 figure they might be the last of their kind, and want
 to prevent the Jophur from killing them all? (It 
would also have made it possible for Dwer to take a 
few back to Jijo, but I doubt David Brin would make 
things so narratively easy for Jijo.)

3. When Streaker and Polkjhy exchanged people and 
chunks of hull, did Lark and Ling give any of the red 
rings to Gillian? Those things are a potent biological 
weapon against Jophur, even if used only as a 
defensive measure.
And Alvin could use the bio-life preservers in
his sailing business.

4. Lark saw an Urs on Polkjhy, stuck in an air bubble. 
Why would any Urs accept such a watery/confined fate? 
Better than having some er pop the bubble?

She'll be stuck in that little bubble for the rest of 
her life. Why didn't she go onto the Streaker while 
all those Dolphins were going onto Polkjhy?



~A new person without a screen-name   
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Bluehost?
OK, any name but Smurfette.


 
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Re: Uplift questions

2014-03-03 Thread Nick Arnett
Bluehost is el cheapo, yet reasonably reliable, web hosting.

Nick


On Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 10:07 AM, William Taylor medieva...@aol.com wrote:


   Well, since I have joined this mailing list I can ask
 some questions that I've wondered about. I haven't
 read Heaven's Reach in a while, but I don't remember
 the book answering these questions. Maybe some list
 members might know.



 Spoiler warning to anyone who hasn't read Heaven's
 Reach!!







 1. When Gillian traded things with Uriel, did she take
  any rewqs? They'd be very valuable both for Earthclan
  and for that colony Alvin and Huck moved to.



 You ask a` question that would most likely be answered

 by our good Dr. Brin with, Of course they did--just

 as soon as I write in the need for them in a later story.



 It ain't always completely thought out beforehand.

 Authors do get surprised by their own future plot twists.



 And that's

 Alvin, Mudfoot, and Huck on Harathrurptra.

  (Correct spelling anyone?)

 Mudfoot can become VERY important if Harathrumta (Sp?)

 has Rousit.

 Does anybody remember the Rousit?

 Contacting Aliens didn't.

 (The above is subject, of course, to Dr. Brin actually

 making the Rousit clients of the Hoon. It wasn't that

 clear in Heaven's Reach.)



 2. Did we ever find out why Gillian wanted a herd of
 Glavers?

 They speak to hydrogen breathers, IIRC.



 I doubt they're legally available for uplift
 yet, (RE-Uplift, as they're on the downward slope.)

 but Contacting Aliens does say they haven't been
 spotted (in the other Galaxy 2) in 2000 years. Did she
  figure they might be the last of their kind, and want
  to prevent the Jophur from killing them all? (It
 would also have made it possible for Dwer to take a
 few back to Jijo, but I doubt David Brin would make
 things so narratively easy for Jijo.)

 3. When Streaker and Polkjhy exchanged people and
 chunks of hull, did Lark and Ling give any of the red
 rings to Gillian? Those things are a potent biological
 weapon against Jophur, even if used only as a
 defensive measure.

 And Alvin could use the bio-life preservers in

 his sailing business.


 4. Lark saw an Urs on Polkjhy, stuck in an air bubble.
 Why would any Urs accept such a watery/confined fate?

 Better than having some er pop the bubble?


 She'll be stuck in that little bubble for the rest of
 her life. Why didn't she go onto the Streaker while
 all those Dolphins were going onto Polkjhy?



 ~A new person without a screen-name   
 ___http://box535.bluehost.com/mailman/listinfo/brin-l_mccmedia.com



 Bluehost?

 OK, any name but Smurfette.


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Re:

2014-03-03 Thread Damon Agretto
I just picked up KSR's 2312 and Jack Campbell's The Lost Stars: Tarnished
Knights (sequel series to the Lost Fleet series). Haven't started reading
them. I was re-reading Sword of Shanarra as MTV is threatening a new series
al a Game of Thrones. It's turning into a slog (seemed much better when I
was a kid!)

Damon.


On Thu, Mar 14, 2013 at 1:46 AM, Doug Pensinger brig...@gmail.com wrote:

 Yea, what's the deal?  Anyone home?  Anyone read anything
 good/interesting?  I recently listened to For Whom the Bell Tolls and am
 now listening to a book called The Mongoliad, Greg Bear being one of
 several co-authors.  The Hemingway was very stark and depressing and a bit
 obsessed with death but very good all the same.  The Bear (et al) is an
 action packed thriller set during the Mongolian invasion of Europe.  I'm
 also reading Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl  by Harriet Ann Jacobs
 which is interesting and a bit of an eye opener.

 Doug


 On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM, Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:

 Hi Debbi,

 I don't think you've been deleted.  But we've been real quiet.

 Dan M.


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Re: Domain Hierarchy

2014-03-03 Thread David Hobby

On 3/3/2014 10:37 PM, trent shipley wrote:

...
The second thing it made me think is that while it cannot be said that
one science is more important than another, the discursive domains
indexed by sciences can be ranked as more or less foundational or
derived, or more pejoratively as reductionist or ramified.

Society
Politics
Economics
Psychology
Biology
Chemistry
Physics



Trent--

You left out Mathematics?
http://xkcd.com/435/

---David

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Re: Domain Hierarchy

2014-03-03 Thread trent shipley
I have a degree in Mathematics. I consider it more of an art than a
science. Math is a linguistic game that fortuitously has practical
applications.

On Mon, Mar 3, 2014 at 8:44 PM, David Hobby hob...@newpaltz.edu wrote:
 On 3/3/2014 10:37 PM, trent shipley wrote:

 ...

 The second thing it made me think is that while it cannot be said that
 one science is more important than another, the discursive domains
 indexed by sciences can be ranked as more or less foundational or
 derived, or more pejoratively as reductionist or ramified.

 Society
 Politics
 Economics
 Psychology
 Biology
 Chemistry
 Physics


 Trent--

 You left out Mathematics?
 http://xkcd.com/435/

 ---David

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Re: Obama II

2014-03-02 Thread Doug Pensinger
Actually,  bugs/design flaws caught during the design phase cost far less
than those discovered during the build.

Doug
GSV Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
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Re:

2014-03-02 Thread Doug Pensinger
Yea, what's the deal?  Anyone home?  Anyone read anything good/interesting?
 I recently listened to For Whom the Bell Tolls and am now listening to a
book called The Mongoliad, Greg Bear being one of several co-authors.  The
Hemingway was very stark and depressing and a bit obsessed with death but
very good all the same.  The Bear (et al) is an action packed thriller set
during the Mongolian invasion of Europe.  I'm also reading Incidents in the
Life of a Slave Girl  by Harriet Ann Jacobs which is interesting and a bit
of an eye opener.

Doug


On Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 1:03 PM, Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:

 Hi Debbi,

 I don't think you've been deleted.  But we've been real quiet.

 Dan M.


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RE: Stephen Hawking: There are no black holes

2014-03-02 Thread Ellen S .
So if this is correct, what is the difference between a black hole and a naked 
singularity?

The article describes an event horizon shrinking or growing in relation to a 
black hole's apparent horizon, but isn't Hawking saying that the apparent 
horizon is real and the event horizon just doesn't exist? In which case how can 
a black hole have both?

~Ellen





 Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2014 21:28:28 -0600
 Subject: Stephen Hawking: There are no black holes
 
 Notion of an 'event horizon', from which nothing can escape, is 
 incompatible with quantum theory, physicist claims.
 
 http://www.nature.com/news/stephen-hawking-there-are-no-black-holes-1.14583
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RE: For David Brin and the rest of you

2014-03-02 Thread Ellen S .
Solar and wind energy on Earth certainly are economically viable, far more than 
the costs and damages we'll have to pay for massive climate change. Fossil 
fuels are cheap right now only because the costs (military action, increased 
pollution and disease and medical costs, climate change, wildfires, crop 
losses) are paid for through circuitous routes, or are not being paid yet 
(read: borrowed/stolen from future generations), or the costs and damages are 
forced onto disenfranchised people in poor countries who have no recourse to 
the people making these decisions. We literally can't afford to keep paying for 
that crap.

Solar energy beamed down from outer space? I don't know anything about that.

~Ellen



 Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 17:40:15 -0300
 Subject: Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

 Even if these things were economically viable (which they probably
 ain't), ambientally it would be a disaster. I can't image the Earth
 getting such extra amount of radiant energy and not turning it (she?
 Gaia?) into a hell much worse than the most pessimistic images of the
 most radical ecogroups.

 Alberto Monteiro (oil company guy)

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Re: History lessons not learned?

2013-12-28 Thread ASLAN T . SOOBZOKOV
www.tscherimSoobzokov.com provides the actual truth.


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Re: Scam?

2013-09-09 Thread Matt Grimaldi
I got a copy of this email from Jon Louis too.  I doubt he would turn to Brin-L 
for a time-sensitive loan request.  Well, for that matter, *any* loan request, 
much less one that must be fulfilled in a few hours.

-- Matt





 From: Keith Henson hkeithhen...@gmail.com
To: brin-l@mccmedia.com 
Sent: Monday, September 9, 2013 11:19 AM
Subject: Scam?
 

Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 03:46:48 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jon Louis Mann net_democr...@yahoo.com
To: undisclosed recipients: ;
Subject: Help  a favor (Jon Louis Mann)

I have seen perhaps 5 or 6 of these in the last year.  Looks to me as
if Jon lost control of his email account.  Anyone actually know?

Keith Henson

Hello,

I am sorry for
reaching you rather too late due to the situation of things right now.
My family and I had a trip visiting (Manila,Philippines), everything was
going on fine until last night when we got attacked by some unknown

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RE: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-07 Thread Keith Henson
From: Dan Minette danmine...@att.net

At $10/watt, this is about 4 million.

How badly do you want to see this demo?

 I don't expect to see it, ever.  But, that demo is an example of the very
easy baby steps that would have to be taken very early in the project.  The
fact that we don't have a demo of baby steps is a very good indicator of
where the project is.

Dan the idea that made the economics look good happened in _April_.

Took a couple of months to work out the consequences and fit the idea
into the economic model and get a reading that it cut the startup cost
from $140 B to about $60 B.  So the very existence of the concept as
perhaps economically viable is _3_ months old.  It has not been
vetted, though the basic physics of the $140 B version passed peer
review and should be published sometime in the next year.

Nobody is going to build a 400 KW laser in three months.  However,
there does exist a 105 kW CW laser and for testing you could use a
gyrotron mm wave generator that come up a MW or so.

I can make a case that the demo was done 2000 years ago.

Of course, if I had anything to do with such testing, you would not be
hearing from me.

The point is that it looks like there is a solution to the
energy/carbon/climate that will provide really cheap energy for as
long as the sun functions.

Will we do anything with it?  Probably not.  Will any other country, perhaps.

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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-06 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
Dan Minette thread-killed:

 I don't expect to see it, ever.  But, that demo is an example of the very
 easy baby steps that would have to be taken very early in the project.  The
 fact that we don't have a demo of baby steps is a very good indicator of
 where the project is.

This is not fair-play! :-)

Alberto Monteiro

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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-06 Thread Keith Henson
managing the list at
brin-l-ow...@mccmedia.com


From: David Hobby hob...@newpaltz.edu

On 9/5/2013 4:54 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
 The propulsion lasers to get the parts up to GEO at a cost where the
 whole thing makes economic sense, those are weapons, game changing
 weapons. And if I had to bet, it would be for them to be controlled by
 the Chinese. Keith Henson _

 Now that's a problem with the plan.

 If the lasers could be weapons controlled by one country, I can see
other countries upset enough
to sabotage the whole project.  There'd need to be a political solution
that made it clear
the lasers weren't going to be used as weapons by any group short of
most of the UN Security
Council.

John Mankins, one of the big names in power satellite research, told
me that the US would destroy a Chinese propulsion laser before it was
turned on.  Covertly.

The head of the Chinese space agency talked to visiting Indians and
proposed they jointly build power satellites.

Would the US destroy an Indian/Chinese propulsion laser?

From: Dan Minette danmine...@att.net

 Do you have any vidios of lasers holding up, say, a 10kg object, for 20
minutes

20 minutes is 1200 seconds.  An object falling in a one g field would
be attain a velocity of v=gt or 11760 m/s.  Assuming 7.5 km/s exhaust
velocity, the fuel mass to hover that long would be:

1-1/e^(11760/7500) or 79%.  So you have a vehicle mass of 2.1 kg, with
7.9 kg of hydrogen

The starting power for the laser would generate g x the mass of the
vehicle, 98 N.

Force being equal to ma where a is v/t for one second for the hydrogen.

98 N = mass per second x 7500 m/s

solving for mass, about 13 gm/s

Ke per second (i.e. watts) of the hydrogen is 1/2 m v^2 or

367,500 W, tapering off over the 20 minutes to 1/5th of that amount.

At $10/watt, this is about 4 million.

How badly do you want to see this demo?

Keith

 and keeping it under control.  This would be one of the easy
feasability tests one would do at the start of any serious undertaking.
That would be one of many things that would have to be sucessfully tested
before the project would be deemed even possible.

Dan M.

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RE: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-06 Thread Dan Minette
 

At $10/watt, this is about 4 million.

How badly do you want to see this demo?

I don't expect to see it, ever.  But, that demo is an example of the very
easy baby steps that would have to be taken very early in the project.  The
fact that we don't have a demo of baby steps is a very good indicator of
where the project is. 

Dan M.


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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-06 Thread Dave Land
On Sep 6, 2013, at 12:37 PM, ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO chided:

 Dan Minette thread-killed:
 
 I don't expect to see it, ever.

I can see Alberto taking issue with this statement, except that it's just Dan
stating his expectation. Are we to judge what Dan expects?

 But, that demo is an example of the very
 easy baby steps that would have to be taken very early in the project.  The
 fact that we don't have a demo of baby steps is a very good indicator of
 where the project is.
 
 This is not fair-play! :-)

It's totally fair play: With all due respect to Keith, his answer to Dan's
question implied that if Dan wanted to see the thing demonstrated, he'd better
be ready to pony up the $4M.

But regardless of how completely world-changing it may be to beam energy from
geosynchronous orbit some day, there will definitely need to be numerous,
costly baby steps demos.

Does anyone think that SpaceX and Virgin Galactic and XCOR and the like
bypassed testing and just built ships and launched 'em?

Dave



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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
David Hobby wrote:

 Or are you worried about energy being beamed down inefficiently, producing
 much more heat than just the amount from people using energy directly?

No, even if it was possible to beam energy with 100% efficiency...
it's still energy. It comes down, it must get out. If not, Earth gets
cooked.

Hell on Earth, the nightmare of science fiction, brought to us by
those that try to save the planet. Isn't this the scenario of some
cheap sci-fi, where the Mad Scientist tries to destroy the Earth by
placing an enormous mirror or lens in orbit, concentrating solar
energy?

Just we don't need mirror or lens, place a lot of death ray
satellites. Sorry, power satellites.

Alberto Monteiro

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RE: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread Pat Mathews


 Date: Thu, 5 Sep 2013 08:24:00 -0300
 Subject: Re: For David Brin and the rest of you
 From: albm...@centroin.com.br
 To: brin-l@mccmedia.com
 
 David Hobby wrote:
 
  Or are you worried about energy being beamed down inefficiently, producing
  much more heat than just the amount from people using energy directly?
 
 No, even if it was possible to beam energy with 100% efficiency...
 it's still energy. It comes down, it must get out. If not, Earth gets
 cooked.
 
 Hell on Earth, the nightmare of science fiction, brought to us by
 those that try to save the planet. Isn't this the scenario of some
 cheap sci-fi, where the Mad Scientist tries to destroy the Earth by
 placing an enormous mirror or lens in orbit, concentrating solar
 energy?
 
 Just we don't need mirror or lens, place a lot of death ray
 satellites. Sorry, power satellites.
 
 Alberto Monteiro
 

And of course, anything that can be that easily weaponized, will be. Remember 
Heinlein's Loonies winning their independence by throwing rocks at the mother 
world? 
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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread David Hobby

On 9/5/2013 7:24 AM, ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO wrote:

David Hobby wrote:

Or are you worried about energy being beamed down inefficiently, producing
much more heat than just the amount from people using energy directly?


No, even if it was possible to beam energy with 100% efficiency...
it's still energy. It comes down, it must get out. If not, Earth gets
cooked.




Alberto--

Sorry, I don't understand how getting energy from space is inherently 
worse than getting
energy by burning stuff that's been sitting in the ground for millions 
of years.  Either way,
it's extra energy.  Plus, burning carbon compounds from the ground 
adds to the greenhouse

effect, which just beaming power down would not.

There may be good arguments for conserving more rather than having cheap 
clean power from

space, but yours isn't one.

---David

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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread Medievalbk


In a message dated 9/5/2013 4:24:09 A.M. US Mountain Standard Time,  
albm...@centroin.com.br writes:

where  the Mad Scientist tries to destroy the Earth by
placing an enormous mirror  or lens in orbit, concentrating solar
energy?


It's not in orbit; it's in London melting parked cars.
 
Google: London building melting cars.


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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread David Hobby

On 9/5/2013 4:54 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
The propulsion lasers to get the parts up to GEO at a cost where the 
whole thing makes economic sense, those are weapons, game changing 
weapons. And if I had to bet, it would be for them to be controlled by 
the Chinese. Keith Henson _


Now that's a problem with the plan.

If the lasers could be weapons controlled by one country, I can see 
other countries upset enough
to sabotage the whole project.  There'd need to be a political solution 
that made it clear
the lasers weren't going to be used as weapons by any group short of 
most of the UN Security

Council.

---David

Zeus' lightning bolt, Maru


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RE: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread Dan Minette

It looks like a combination of Skylon, a project being developed in the UK
and big propulsion lasers will get the 
cost to under $100/kg to GEO.  

Do you have any vidios of lasers holding up, say, a 10kg object, for 20
minutes and keeping it under control.  This would be one of the easy
feasability tests one would do at the start of any serious undertaking.
That would be one of many things that would have to be sucessfully tested
before the project would be deemed even possible.

Dan M. 


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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-05 Thread Keith Henson
From: Pat Mathews mathew...@msn.com

 How much does it cost in energy as well as in dollars?

Substantial.  I figured this for an elevator and got that the elevator
had a 3 day payback for the parts and the same for lifting.  The
calculated energy investment for a kW of capacity was paid back in 53
days.  Figured at 24 kWh/day, 1272 kWh.  94% of that is in the
hydrogen used mostly for reaction mass.  The startup scale project,
100 GW of new power plant per year takes a few LNG tankers a week to
make the hydrogen

 Cradle to grave?

Mass in GEO is useful, so a worn out power sat would probably be fed
into making new ones.

 And is the initial investment within the capability of the United States 
 right now? (I know. $60B is peanuts. Even so -) or any corporation?

There are several current energy projects, most of them LNG, that are
in that range.  Apple has $100 billion.  If Steve Jobs were alive they
might use it for this project, but without him, probably not.  The
most likely to do it are the Chinese, who certainly need the energy
and a way to quit burning coal.  How seriously to take this, I don't
know.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2012-11-02/india/34877401_1_space-solar-power-space-collaboration-v-ponraj

 What are the economics - in the terms mentioned above - of beaming solar 
 power down to earth?  (Those of using it space are, of course, well 
 understood by now.)

Space based solar power will under cut coal by half or it is not worth doing.

 Over the past 7 decades, I've come to see the wisdom of getting a good, solid 
 cost accounting done before instituting any large scale project.

If you want to go through the spreadsheet analyzing the project as a
business, ask for it.

 Anyway, subject to that sort of analysis, it does sound good indeed.

Now all it needs is people.

From: ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO albm...@centroin.com.br

 Even if these things were economically viable (which they probably
ain't), ambientally it would be a disaster. I can't image the Earth
getting such extra amount of radiant energy and not turning it (she?
Gaia?) into a hell much worse than the most pessimistic images of the
most radical ecogroups.

They were not economically viable before April.  Now they might be.
But let's put numbers on your concerns.  G. Harry Stine put a maximum
capacity for power sats in GEO at 177 TW.  I don't know exactly how he
did it, I get similar but smaller numbers around 120 TW.  Because the
energy is higher grade than heat, 12 TW would probably be enough to
replace fossil fuel use..

The Earth receives 174 petawatts of incoming solar radiation of which
70% is absorbed by clouds, oceans and land masses, about 122 PW.   So
the amount of energy added to the earth by 12 TW of power satellites
is around 1 part in ten thousand.

But wait, there is more.  If you have this kind of industrial base in
space, sunshades in L! are fully possible.  How cold do you want?

Alberto Monteiro (oil company guy)

As an oil company guy, you might start thinking about what can be done
with oceans of cheap power.  There are things that hydrocarbons can do
that just can't be electrified at reasonable cost.  If you go through
the chemistry and energy economics, synthetic carbon neutral gasoline
can be made for about a dollar a gallon if the cost of power gets down
into the 1-2 cent range.

I know ExxonMobile is thinking about it.

From: Pat Mathews mathew...@msn.com

And of course, anything that can be that easily weaponized, will be. Remember 
Heinlein's Loonies winning their independence by throwing rocks at the mother 
world?

It's really hard to weaponize the microwave transmission link.
Microwave optics just will not let you focus it tight enough to be
particularly dangerous.

The propulsion lasers to get the parts up to GEO at a cost where the
whole thing makes economic sense, those are weapons, game changing
weapons.  And if I had to bet, it would be for them to be controlled
by the Chinese.

Keith Henson

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RE: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-04 Thread Pat Mathews


 Date: Wed, 4 Sep 2013 10:10:33 -0700
 Subject: For David Brin and the rest of you
 From: hkeithhen...@gmail.com
 To: brin-l@mccmedia.com
 
 As of last April, there seems to be a solution to the
 energy/carbon/climate problems, even water.  Relatively cheap, less
 than ten dollars a person.
 
 It's long been understood that solar power from space gets around the
 limitations on the Earth.  The problem has always been the high cost
 of lifting solar power satellite parts to GEO.
 
 It looks like a combination of Skylon, a project being developed in
 the UK and big propulsion lasers will get the cost to under $100/kg to
 GEO.  Due to a clever idea by Steve Nixon, investment cost could be
 around $60 B, the break even point from selling power satellite around
 8 years, and the ten year return on investment 500%.  The cost of
 electric power from space would rapidly fall to 2 cents per kWh or
 less.  That's cheap enough to make synthetic gasoline from CO2 out of
 the air for a dollar a gallon.  Energy this cheap will allow sea water
 to be turned into fresh at low cost and permit recycling just about
 everything.
 
 $60 B is smaller than a number of exiting energy project, and only
 twice what the Chinese spent to build Three Gorges dam.
 
 Eye candy: Laser powered Skylon near the end of acceleration to LEO on
 hydrogen heated by 3 GW of lasers located in GEO
 
 http://www.htyp.org/File:SkylonLaser.jpg
 

How much does it cost in energy as well as in dollars? Cradle to grave? And is 
the initial investment within the capability of the United States right now? (I 
know. $60B is peanuts. Even so -) or any corporation? What are the economics - 
in the terms mentioned above - of beaming solar power down to earth?  (Those of 
using it space are, of course, well understood by now.) 

Over the past 7 decades, I've come to see the wisdom of getting a good, solid 
cost accounting done before instituting any large scale project.  

Anyway, subject to that sort of analysis, it does sound good indeed.
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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-04 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
Even if these things were economically viable (which they probably
ain't), ambientally it would be a disaster. I can't image the Earth
getting such extra amount of radiant energy and not turning it (she?
Gaia?) into a hell much worse than the most pessimistic images of the
most radical ecogroups.

Alberto Monteiro (oil company guy)

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Re: For David Brin and the rest of you

2013-09-04 Thread David Hobby

On 9/4/2013 4:40 PM, ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO wrote:

Even if these things were economically viable (which they probably
ain't), ambientally it would be a disaster. I can't image the Earth
getting such extra amount of radiant energy and not turning it (she?
Gaia?) into a hell much worse than the most pessimistic images of the
most radical ecogroups.

Alberto Monteiro (oil company guy)


Alberto--

I'd argue that if people are going to be using all the energy anyway,
they might as well be doing it without adding to the greenhouse effect.

Or are you worried about energy being beamed down inefficiently, producing
much more heat than just the amount from people using energy directly?

---David



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Re: Multi-talented

2013-08-29 Thread Matt Grimaldi
Maybe, but he would have had to change his name from David to Sergei.





 From: Dan Minette danmine...@att.net
To: 'Killer Bs (David Brin et al) Discussion' brin-l@mccmedia.com 
Sent: Thursday, August 29, 2013 1:46 PM
Subject: Multi-talented
 

I never knew the good doctor founded google until I read it in Yahoo news as
part of a scandel.


Alleged Affair of Google Co-Founder Brin Raises Ethical Issues


Dan M.


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RE: Multi-talented

2013-08-29 Thread Dan Minette


I never knew the good doctor founded google until I read it in Yahoo news
as
part of a scandel.

Maybe, but he would have had to change his name from David to Sergei.

Didn't you know, David translated into Russian is Sergei,  I knew a Sergei
from Russia. He used Sergei when founding Google to have a cosmopolitan
flair. :-)  
 
Dan M.


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Re: Multi-talented

2013-08-29 Thread Nick Arnett
It's Sergey, actually.

Nick
(from the Googleplex-almost)


On Thu, Aug 29, 2013 at 4:29 PM, Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:



 I never knew the good doctor founded google until I read it in Yahoo news
 as
 part of a scandel.

 Maybe, but he would have had to change his name from David to Sergei.

 Didn't you know, David translated into Russian is Sergei,  I knew a Sergei
 from Russia. He used Sergei when founding Google to have a cosmopolitan
 flair. :-)

 Dan M.


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Re: Multi-talented

2013-08-29 Thread Dave Land
On Aug 29, 2013, at 4:16 PM, Matt Grimaldi wrote:

 Maybe, but he would have had to change his name from David to Sergei.

I know we're all very impressed with Dr. Brin, but this whole incident 
highlights *two* failures in his life.

One, of course, is the seedy business of the alleged affair.

The second, lesser-known, is his failed attempt to go into hiding by changing 
his name from Sergey
to David. This paper-thin subterfuge has served him poorly, and we all may 
mock him. Briefly.

David (No, not Sergey) Land

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Re: Heaven's Reach

2013-05-16 Thread William Taylor



1. When Gillian traded things with Uriel, did she takeany rewqs? 
They'd be very valuable both for Earthclanand for that Hoon colony 
Alvin and Huck moved to.

Not mentioned. Could go either way if our good Dr. has anything planned. 
And you forgot to mention Mudfoot.

(Then again, Contacting Aliens forgot to mention the Rousit.)

2. Did we ever find out why Gillian wanted a herd ofGlavers?
 I doubt they're legally available for upliftyet, but Contacting 
Aliens does say they haven't beenspotted (in the other Galaxies) 
in 2000 years. Did shefigure they might be the last of their 
kind, and wantto prevent the Jophur from killing them all?

IIRC, Glavers still had a knack for talking to hydrogen breathers.


3. When Streaker and Polkjhy exchanged people andchunks of hull, 
did Lark and Ling give any of the redrings to Gillian? Those rings 
are a potent biologicaldefense against Jophur invasions, so it'd be 
nice forEarthclan to have some.(It would hypothetically also have 
made it possible forDwer to take a few back to Jijo, but I doubt 
David Brinwould make things so narratively easy for Jijo.)

This I know: The red rings are not being used for the retaking of 
the Jijo Library.

And the Jijo Library is not the biggest souce of books on Jijo. 
That's the Rothen ship--at least until the 4th dimention closes down.



4. Lark saw an Urs on Polkjhy, stuck in an air bubble.
Why would any Urs accept such a watery/confined fate?
She'll be stuck in that little bubble for the rest ofher life. 
Why didn't she go onto the Streaker while allthose Dolphins were 
going onto Polkjhy?

Unknown.

Urs is not to reason why.

Vilyehm 
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Re: On quiet

2013-03-15 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 3/14/2013 2:05 PM, Jon Louis Mann wrote:

Hi, Nick
I'd like to get back on the?list, please.
I think I've been deleted??
(been inactive for a long time!).
Thanks, Debbi
Hi Debbi,
I don't think you've been deleted.
But we've been real quiet.
Dan M.

  Brin's website and Facebook page
(watchout for trolls) are vey active, though.

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He also posts regularly to Google+

Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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RE:

2013-03-13 Thread Dan Minette
Hi Debbi,

I don't think you've been deleted.  But we've been real quiet.

Dan M.


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RE: Chinese ham handedness and monopolies

2012-12-04 Thread Dan Minette
 I sent this to a single person instead of the list due to Killer B being
changed (probably automatically) from the sender to a cc.  I think this
happened a couple of other times.  I've gotten replies, but will not post
them, because they aren't my emails.  But if the sender would, or would give
me permission to, that would be great.
In reply to Kevin, I wrote:

 The Chinese were extremely ham-handed about this.  In particular, 
 their stoppage of rare earth shipments in response to an incident 
 involving their extrodinary claims to ocean territory (basically any 
 territory claims of the Chinese over the last 1000 years are 
 considered valid and enforceable by the the Chinese government) 
 generated strong reaction.  Given the fact that consumers rightfully 
 believed that the Chinese were untrustworthy suppliers, as well as 
 expensive ones, it was reasonable for them to sacrifice a little 
 performance to switch to a more reliable and cheaper supply.  The Chinese
overplayed their hand, as they have overall the last year.

 They can probably drive Western companies out of the solar cell business.
 Their entire ecconomic model, with artifically low value on their 
 currency, and the disdaining of IP right of other countries, fits 
 this.  They may very well increase prices after becoming a near 
 monopoly, but the alternatives are oil and gas and coal and wind.  
 And, for certain remote applications, solar power actually works best.

 So, I'm guessing that it will not be the big win they see.  But, they 
 are caught at a GDP level where Huntington has pointed out that 
 totalitarian goverments begin to get pushed by the growing middle 
 class.  Their reaction is to clamp down harderespecially with the 
 new leadership, where all the leaders are both well filtered and the 
 result of nepotism.  It is a dangerous mixture.  Putting this together 
 with their demographic window of opportunity (the 1-child policy has a 
 big demographic bubble that will be old in 20 years), a surplus of 
 males, and one has a classic situation where countries become aggressive.

 We will be living in interesting times.

 Dan M.


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Re: Chinese ham handedness and monopolies

2012-12-04 Thread Klaus Stock
Hi,

 Their entire ecconomic model, with artifically low value on their
 currency, and the disdaining of IP right of other countries, fits 
 this.

Well, selling products at prices below below production cost and
(aggressive) disdaining of IP right of other countries has happened
before. So. China is imitating the past strategies of the western
countries. So what?


Some disturbing thoughts remain, though.

We in Germany pay high fuel taxes and are told to drive fuel-efficient
and clean vehicles. OTOH, Volkswagen still produces 1980s models in
China. This way, we take care that not are responsible for pollution
and excessive oil consumption, but the Chinese. Hooray?

- Klaus


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Re: Chinese ham handedness and monopolies

2012-12-04 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 12/4/2012 9:02 AM, Dan Minette wrote:

  I sent this to a single person instead of the list due to Killer B being
changed (probably automatically) from the sender to a cc.  I think this
happened a couple of other times.  I've gotten replies, but will not post
them, because they aren't my emails.  But if the sender would, or would give
me permission to, that would be great.
In reply to Kevin, I wrote:


The Chinese were extremely ham-handed about this.  In particular,
their stoppage of rare earth shipments in response to an incident
involving their extrodinary claims to ocean territory (basically any
territory claims of the Chinese over the last 1000 years are
considered valid and enforceable by the the Chinese government)
generated strong reaction.  Given the fact that consumers rightfully
believed that the Chinese were untrustworthy suppliers, as well as
expensive ones, it was reasonable for them to sacrifice a little
performance to switch to a more reliable and cheaper supply.  The Chinese

overplayed their hand, as they have overall the last year.


And if the Chinese try to raise further, it only creates more incentives 
to look into alternatives.


I think this may be one of the reasons why the Club of Rome predictions 
failed (there are clearly numerous reasons). As an economist named 
Hotelling pointed out early in the 20th century, there are good reasons 
in economics to expect the prices of non-renewable resources to rise 
over time at approximately the same rate as the interest rate. (I'm just 
giving a simplified explanation here, see the Journal article if you 
really like this sort of thing.) But any time a resource has rising 
prices it creates incentives to look for substitutes, and the higher the 
price, the higher the incentive. So a lot of products are no longer made 
with steel, but with plastics or composites, for instance. The other 
price obviously is to stimulate the search for new sources of supply. 
Put those together and you can see why those predictions of disaster 
have not materialized.


By similar reasoning, any attempt to monopolize a resource or product 
can only succeed if there is some way of preventing and competitor from 
entering the market. Most commonly this requires government action to 
create and sustain the monopoly. Since that will not happen in the case 
of rare earth elements, I doubt there can be a lasting monopoly problem 
here. In a similar way, recall how the oil prices hikes of the 70s 
turned into the price collapse of the 1980s as both fuel efficiency and 
increased exploration responded ot the market price signals.



They can probably drive Western companies out of the solar cell business.
Their entire ecconomic model, with artifically low value on their
currency, and the disdaining of IP right of other countries, fits
this.  They may very well increase prices after becoming a near
monopoly, but the alternatives are oil and gas and coal and wind.
And, for certain remote applications, solar power actually works best.
Well, they can drive them out, perhaps, but can they keep them out? One 
of two things seems likely:


1. China creates a temporary monopoly, then tries to raise prices to 
profit from it. See above for how market forces respond.


2. China creates a monopoly, then subsidizes solar panel producers 
permanently to maintain that monopoly. And permanently low prices for 
solar panels cause terrible devastation to the U.S. economy...Wait, that 
doesn't quite make sense. I think I rather like low prices for solar 
panels. And this could create a boom in low-cost, non-polluting energy 
which only benefits us.



So, I'm guessing that it will not be the big win they see.  But, they
are caught at a GDP level where Huntington has pointed out that
totalitarian goverments begin to get pushed by the growing middle
class.  Their reaction is to clamp down harderespecially with the
new leadership, where all the leaders are both well filtered and the
result of nepotism.  It is a dangerous mixture.  Putting this together
with their demographic window of opportunity (the 1-child policy has a
big demographic bubble that will be old in 20 years), a surplus of
males, and one has a classic situation where countries become aggressive.
OK, this is where my economist hat no longer gives me any particular 
aid. I will say that indeed it will get interesting, but the factor that 
is most likely to cause aggression on a large scale is water. That is in 
short supply, unless we can access abundant cheap energy to desalinate 
ocean water to make potable water.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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Re: Power and civilization

2012-12-03 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
Dan Minette wrote:

 The poison you talk about is roundup.  And, yes, if I drank a bottle of it,
 I'd probably be sick.  But, I've used it on weeds.  Spray it on grass, and
 the grass dies, but spray it on weeds 3 inches from grass, and the small
 amount that gets on the grass doesn't hurt it.  If Roundup were that bad,
 wouldn't we see the effects on the laws of folks who use it, on the animal
 life in the area, etc?

That's not how slow poison works. People don't die for smoking a
cigarette, or for smoking 100 cigarettes a day for 30 years. But then
they die in the 31st year.

Alberto Monteiro

PS: is bringing cigarettes to the discussion like bringing Hitler?

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-03 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
Klaus Stock wrote:

 Nope. In Germany, political reasons are the real reasons, not common
 sense.

The europeans are crazy. They don't know what to do, they add a lot of
uncertainty to the economy with all those subsidies that come and go,
taxes that come and go, and regulations that come and go.

Alberto Monteiro

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RE: Power and civilization

2012-12-03 Thread Dan Minette

That's not how slow poison works. People don't die for smoking a cigarette,
or for smoking 100 
cigarettes a day for 30 years. But then they die in the 31st year.

The difference, of course, is that there were a large number of symtoms,
very statistically significant differences in longevity, etc. with cigarette
smoking.  Even with simple studies, it was easy to see.

With DDT, much more sophisticated studies were done.  It's impossible to
prove that no-one is hurt by exposore to DDT, Roundup, etc.  But, Roundup
has been subjected to the tumor prone mice study.  What hasn't, is natural
supplements.  It is likely that there are dangerous things sold in health
food stores that we could check for, but by law they are not checked because
they are natural.

Dan M. 


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-02 Thread Klaus Stock
 Of course, it would make sense to integrate water and wind plants,
 probably even using the wind 
turbines to power the pumps directly. But that's a problem with politics,
 not technology.

 I beg to differ.  The obvious problem is geography.  Pump storage is highly
 used in Switzerland, and they have moutainous terrain and have hydroelectric
 dams which are perfect for combined generation/pump storage.  But, most good
 windfarm locations are offshore or on the plains (e.g. Iowa or the Panhandle
 of TX) where high winds blow.  The energy from a wind turbine is
 porportional to the cube of the velocity of the wind.  Yes, there is high

Only for an ideal wind turbine. In real life, current designs have to
be turned out of the wind if the wind gets strong. They actually have
a rather small range of wind speeds in which they can operate; both
weak and strong wind is a problem.

Vertical wind turbines, like the Savonius design, are less efficient,
but can cope with a wider range of wind speed (including weaker wind
and turbulent wind). Advocates of vertical wind turbines often cite
conspiracy theories as the reason for the limited use of these designs
in large scales.

 wind on ridge lines, but I've seen windmills there, and there is just one
 line, not row after row.  So, pump storage needs to be located in very
 specific geographical locations (wherever there is a quick change in
 elevation from one large area to anothermountaintops aren't good because
 you can't put a big lake there), while the flat plains and the oceans, seas,
 and the Great Lakes are the best place to locate wind turbines. If it were
 easy, the German company that already has 10% of its nameplate capacity in
 wind would be doing water storage already.

Nope. In Germany, political reasons are the real reasons, not common
sense. Electricity from wind turbines was highly subsidized, with the
result that it became commercially efficient to erect wind parks at
location which made absolutely no sense. After this had been found
out, the subsidies have been reduced. But still you can make more
money by producing electricity than by pumping water.

- Klaus


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Re: Power and civilization

2012-12-02 Thread Klaus Stock
Unfortunately, we already have surplus crop and other produce. In order to
 keep the price up, 
surplus is destroyed.

 I goggled for that in the US, and it referred to this happening during the
 Great Depression, when prices were so low during the deflationary era that
 it wasn't worth the cost of bringing them to market.  Since then, farmers
 have been paid to leave land fallow.  Lately, it's been much better.
 Farmers are paid to plant land with the greatest risk for erosion with
 grasses that are superior for soil retention.  That's one reason why, on US
 farms, topsoil is increasing.

Yup, I checked, right. In the EU the overproduction problem had been
solved by 2007. However: regardless if we destroy surplus or get paid
not to produce it, it won't help feed more people.

Monsanto has proven that  genetically modified crop is dangerous. 

 I've seen some extraordinary sketchy studies on this, but nothing
 substantial. With 95% or so of the US eating food that has been genetically
 modified, then we should see the effects with real science. I've checked the
 latest study of organic food vs. non-organic, and absolutely no health
 benefits were found with organic foods.  Yes, residue pesticides exist on
snip

That wasn't the danger I meant.

Yes, genetic modifications have a long history. Yup, trial  error
 breeding. 

 Genes don't care how they are modified.

Dan, you still think like a scientist. You need to think like a greedy
idiot to understand what I mean. :-)

In historic times, 232 different races of domestic pigs could be found
in Germany. In more modern times, this was reduced to one single race (the
most efficient, short-term money-wise). Nowadays, a few old races
seem to have re-appeared.

The real problem is that if you base you base your country-wide
farming on a single race of crop, diseases can lead to crop failure or
mass mortality. Country-wide. Diverse redundancy would have helped.

The problem are not genetic modifications by themselves, but the
reasons *why* and *how* it is employed.

It's used to maximize short-term profits. There's a risk to it, as
mentioned above. But, what the heck, if anything fucks up, the state
will bails us out again. Yup, not only bankers think that way, farmers
as well.

 The poison you talk about is roundup.  And, yes, if I drank a bottle of it,
 I'd probably be sick.  But, I've used it on weeds.  Spray it on grass, and
 the grass dies, but spray it on weeds 3 inches from grass, and the small
 amount that gets on the grass doesn't hurt it.  If Roundup were that bad,
 wouldn't we see the effects on the laws of folks who use it, on the animal
 life in the area, etc?  

That's what they said about DDT, too.

However, I'm still suspicious. Monsanto apparently prefers buying
politicians over addressing my doubts and concerns. While their
product safety tests have their merits, I find them a bit...simplistic
for a technology on which a complete country relies on for feeding
its population.

- Klaus


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-02 Thread Keith Henson
On Sat, Dec 1, 2012 at 11:00 AM,  Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:

(Keith)

If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep it to
 yourself.

 I have actions that, given historical precident, have a much better chance
 of suceeeding.

Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
 working on power satellites
and laser propulsion.

 I'm not sure if you will like my case because it's not a quick fix.

I make a case that going to laser propulsion and power sats would get
humanity off fossil fuels in 20 years.  Do you consider that a quick
fix?

But,
 we've been trying quick fixes since the oil shock of 1973, almost 40 years
 now, and haven't made any significant progress.  So, I'd argue we need a
 plan that will work in the long run as well as remediation in the short run.

snip

I notice you don't put either a cost per kWh or a capital investment
on any of these tired proposals, Nuclear is both expensive and slow
(even in China) to install.  There are also scaling problems.  If you
are going to get off fossil fuel, do you really want to build 15,000 1
GW reactors?

If we are going to make a good choice, we need to cite the numbers.  I
have analyzed the cost of this new idea to build power satellites with
laser propulsion.  I get $1600 per kW and 2 cents per kWh based on
6.8% discount rate.  The cost information for other forms is easy to
find.

Offer stands, but you are going to have to cite defensible numbers to
get me to switch my efforts to your concept of how to solve the
problem.

Keith

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-02 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 12/1/2012 6:36 PM, Dan Minette wrote:

How is that going to happen.  Are you arguing that the US will impose a
carbon tax that is so high that we will be paying more in carbon taxes than
fuel costs?  Given the fact that we've been unable to raise the gas tax in
decades, how will we impose a severe carbon tax.  A modest carbon tax will
benefit natural gas, because it will facilitate the switch from coal to
natural gas.  Nuclear power might benefit, but I'm guessing that real reform
of nuclear regulations will not be popular.  Taxes in the US are not
populareven going back to the tax levels of the Clinton era is too much
for Obama to propose.
I am assuming that at some point we have enough Sandy's to tip the 
balance. That will come much later than it should have come, but I think 
it will come at some point. IF you don't think that will ever happen, 
just adjust your forecasts accordingly. BTW, carbon taxes are an 
economically efficient way of reducing emissions, which means that if 
you need to reduce emissions this does it with the least negative effect 
on the economy.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien TANSTAAFL
zwil...@zwilnik.com  Linux User #333216


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-01 Thread Dan Minette


If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep it to
yourself.

I have actions that, given historical precident, have a much better chance
of suceeeding.

Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
working on power satellites 
and laser propulsion.

I'm not sure if you will like my case because it's not a quick fix.  But,
we've been trying quick fixes since the oil shock of 1973, almost 40 years
now, and haven't made any significant progress.  So, I'd argue we need a
plan that will work in the long run as well as remediation in the short run.

Short run: give nuclear power a level playing field...the same safety
requirements as any other industry, and allow the testing of new safer,
cheaper designs in the US and Europe.  Practically speaking, it is unlikely
that the Communist party/the government of China is a good source for
innovation.  Princelings tend to not want to vary from the tried and true
much.  So it is up to Europe and the US to do this. (I've had experience
both with Chinese tech. goods and as a potential vendor for China and you
can see the fingers of the Communist party holding back the wheels of
progress in both cases).

Short run: improve fuel efficiency standards.  Add a tax to gasoline and
electricity.  Have rebates for low income people to balance the tax.  If
they spend it elsewhere, find.

Short run: build a natural gas infrastructure for truck transportation in
the US.  The decline in US emissions to 1992 levels (even though the
population increased 23%) is mostly due to the switch to natural gas from
coal.

But, the critical area is the developing world.  China puts out more CO2
than the US and EU combined, and the new coal plants on order from China and
India will add this amount again.  So, we need to make nuclear power cheap.
It may not be enough to be as cheap as coal, and in that case the west could
switch but India and China would be far less likely to.  In the west, the
small difference in cost would not be a barrier.  The difference is larger
in India and China because coal is very cheap with no pollution control or
mining regulations.

Mid term, offer subsidies for synthetic biofuels that do not displace
cropland.  Right now, several companies are in pilot to initial commercial
appplication.  I'd give this field the highest chance of working: say 25%
chance of being close to competitive with gasoline while using concentrated
waste CO2, sunlight, bioengineered life forms, and brackish water.

Then, the goverments should support research in areas that would allow for
alternative energy in decades.  This would be developing our knowledge in a
lot of different fields so someoone could put the knowledge together to
develop either a power source or effective power storage.

They include

Plasma physics
Mesoscopic physics
Synthetic biology
Material sciences

And more engineering oriented, but still experimental:

Development of capacitance
Development of compact accelerators

This is not exhaustive, I'd welcome suggestions.  It's putting governments
back in the business of funding fundamental research at, say, 1% of GDP.
There will be scores of possibilities that all have a 1%-2% chance of
working.  And when one does, venture capital and small companies can be the
mechanism for picking winners and losers.  The government's job is to
prepare the field.

Dan M. 


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-01 Thread Dan Minette
 
 Of course, it would make sense to integrate water and wind plants,
probably even using the wind 
turbines to power the pumps directly. But that's a problem with politics,
not technology.

I beg to differ.  The obvious problem is geography.  Pump storage is highly
used in Switzerland, and they have moutainous terrain and have hydroelectric
dams which are perfect for combined generation/pump storage.  But, most good
windfarm locations are offshore or on the plains (e.g. Iowa or the Panhandle
of TX) where high winds blow.  The energy from a wind turbine is
porportional to the cube of the velocity of the wind.  Yes, there is high
wind on ridge lines, but I've seen windmills there, and there is just one
line, not row after row.  So, pump storage needs to be located in very
specific geographical locations (wherever there is a quick change in
elevation from one large area to anothermountaintops aren't good because
you can't put a big lake there), while the flat plains and the oceans, seas,
and the Great Lakes are the best place to locate wind turbines. If it were
easy, the German company that already has 10% of its nameplate capacity in
wind would be doing water storage already.

Dan M. 


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-12-01 Thread Dan Minette
 

-Original Message-
From: brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com] On
Behalf Of Kevin O'Brien
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2012 8:13 AM
To: brin-l@mccmedia.com
Subject: Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

On 11/30/2012 8:49 AM, Dan Minette wrote:
 So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low wind. 
 Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down 
 to a virtual halt.


Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being expensive.
And to my mind the only 
question is when that tax comes, not if.

How is that going to happen.  Are you arguing that the US will impose a
carbon tax that is so high that we will be paying more in carbon taxes than
fuel costs?  Given the fact that we've been unable to raise the gas tax in
decades, how will we impose a severe carbon tax.  A modest carbon tax will
benefit natural gas, because it will facilitate the switch from coal to
natural gas.  Nuclear power might benefit, but I'm guessing that real reform
of nuclear regulations will not be popular.  Taxes in the US are not
populareven going back to the tax levels of the Clinton era is too much
for Obama to propose.  

Given the fact that Kyoto was rejected by the US Senate 95-0, I can't see
carbon taxes at 5x the European level. At the present level of Europe's tax,
it would cost an extra 0.6 cents/kwH for natural gas and 1.2 cents per kWh
for coal.  That's peanuts compared to the extra cost for wind/endergy
storage which is by far the cheapest form of energy.  And for gasoline, it's
an extra 11 cents/gallon, well within the weekly variation in price.

And, this is just the US.  China will just use coal.  But, windmills will
not be effective until the total cost, with energy storage, becomes within a
2-3 cents/kwH of other sources.  

Dan M. 


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RE: Power and civilization

2012-12-01 Thread Dan Minette
Unfortunately, we already have surplus crop and other produce. In order to
keep the price up, 
surplus is destroyed.

I goggled for that in the US, and it referred to this happening during the
Great Depression, when prices were so low during the deflationary era that
it wasn't worth the cost of bringing them to market.  Since then, farmers
have been paid to leave land fallow.  Lately, it's been much better.
Farmers are paid to plant land with the greatest risk for erosion with
grasses that are superior for soil retention.  That's one reason why, on US
farms, topsoil is increasing.  My stepfather in law grew up on his family
farm and farmed until he retiredand he's very familiar with how grains
are grown.


Monsanto has proven that  genetically modified crop is dangerous. 

I've seen some extraordinary sketchy studies on this, but nothing
substantial. With 95% or so of the US eating food that has been genetically
modified, then we should see the effects with real science. I've checked the
latest study of organic food vs. non-organic, and absolutely no health
benefits were found with organic foods.  Yes, residue pesticides exist on
non-organic food, but the linear hypothesis is required to assume danger.
And, I drink to the great fellow who gave a beautiful illustration of the
problems with the linear hypothesis.

And, a friend of mine points out, India is self sufficient in food with  2x
the population it had when starvation was epidemic.  He said that the person
who created a the short stalk grain hybrid saved the lives of many of his
friends. 

Yes, genetic modifications have a long history. Yup, trial  error
breeding. 

Genes don't care how they are modified.

My problem with Monsanto is that they not only sell the crop, but also
poison which kills every living thing (except their genetically modified
crop).

The poison you talk about is roundup.  And, yes, if I drank a bottle of it,
I'd probably be sick.  But, I've used it on weeds.  Spray it on grass, and
the grass dies, but spray it on weeds 3 inches from grass, and the small
amount that gets on the grass doesn't hurt it.  If Roundup were that bad,
wouldn't we see the effects on the laws of folks who use it, on the animal
life in the area, etc?  

Dan M. 


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-30 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
Dan Minette wrote:

 Wind just needs one, effective storage.  The lack of it is why
 wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.
 It only made sense when natural gas was expensive.

Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are
outside it). It helps save water and not consume natural gas when
the wind blows. So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used
complementary to other sources of energy.

Alberto Monteiro

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-30 Thread Klaus Stock
 Wind just needs one, effective storage.  The lack of it is why
 wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.
 It only made sense when natural gas was expensive.

 Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
 country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are
 outside it). It helps save water and not consume natural gas when
 the wind blows. So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used
 complementary to other sources of energy.

I remember one study where it was predicted that if (in Germany) 10%
if the required electricity is produced by wind, temperatures on land
will rise and drop on the sea.

To me, that sounds like wind farms on land will deliver not enough
energy to power the air conditions we might need. Wind farms on the
water will reduce evaporation. No idea how big this impact will be,
but if we begin to need desalination plants to provide water for
irrigation, wind farms might again lead to less energy instead of more.

Furthermore, the currently used designs require massive maintenance.
Production of replacement parts is not CO2-neutral. Not by far! Yo,
still somewhat better than burning coal. But still surprisingly
dirty.

Water is, AFAIR, even worse. The water basins replace plants, which
would otherwise convert CO2.

Pumped-storage hydroelectricity are often cited as a solution to
the storage problem. Apart from the problem mentioned above, they are
also inefficient. While a modern pumped-storage hydropower station may
yield an efficiency between 70% and 80%, energy transmission from and to
the the site also takes a toll. It's estimated that today about 50% of
the electrical energy is lost on it's wan from the power plant to the
user. Consider that the energy might to be transmitted twice (to the
pumped-storage hydropower station and back). Of course, it would make
sense to integrate water and wind plants, probably even using the wind
turbines to power the pumps directly. But that's a problem with
politics, not technology.

- Klaus


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-30 Thread Dan Minette

Here in Brazil, Wind is used as part of the electric grid (there is a
country-wide electric grid, only some parts of the Rain Forest are outside
it). It helps save water and not consume natural gas when the wind blows.
So, Wind is _not_ one black swam away, it can be used complementary to other
sources of energy.


I'm sorry if I was unclear.  Texas actually had a fairly large number of
windmills.  And, they had been used in tandum with expensive natural gas.
The natural gas plants are cheaper than coal, but the fuel was more
expensive. So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low
wind. Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
to a virtual halt.

The largest German company in this field has calculated that they can only
count on about 10% of the nameplate capacity from windmills.  As a result,
when windmills get to over 6%-10% of total grid power, they become
impractical.  The black swan I was talking about was a cheap efficient
storage mechanism for vast amounts of power.  That would make windmills
practical as a significant source. Otherwise, we can have them as a 4%-8%
source, but always need to rely on other sources.  At low levels, this might
make ecconomic sense.  But, having two sets of power plants, overall, does
not make sense.

Dan M. 


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-30 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 11/29/2012 6:38 PM, Dan Minette wrote:

  They used the low price tactic to drive out virtually all
other rare earth suppliers a bit over a decade ago, and are now in a
position where the startup costs are high for other countries, and any
country with pollution regulations would have a hard time competing.  So,
using this tactic, they could keep a monopoly, once they established it.
Well, I just noted that a new technology has come along that replaces 
much of the use of rare earth elements (it had to do with electric 
motors). This is one of the reasons you have to be slightly skeptical 
about attempts to use predatory pricing to create monopolies. The very 
act of raising prices creates a strong incentive for substitutes, among 
other things. I just did a Google search on rare earth substitutes 
that brought back a number of recent articles about how rare earth 
prices were falling as a result of manufacturers finding substitutes, 
and other articles about how manufacturers are finding those substitutes.


Now, I cannot say exactly how this will play out since predictions are 
hard, especially when they are about the future. ;) But there is a 
concept in economics called hysteresis that says that changes once 
made are sometimes hard to reverse. A great example of this was the 
automobile market in the 1970s. When oil prices rose, consumers went 
looking for fuel-efficient autos. When U.S. manufacturers could not meet 
this demand, they turned to the hitherto ignored Japanese cars. This led 
them to discover a previously unknown fact, that those cars were of 
higher quality than American cars. As a result, even when oil prices 
fell, the market share of Japanese autos did not fall back to its 
previous level. A permanent change had occurred in consumers' 
preferences. It is at least conceivable to me that the research into 
alternatives to rare earths will result in a permanent fall in demand 
for them.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-30 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 11/30/2012 8:49 AM, Dan Minette wrote:

So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low
wind. Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
to a virtual halt.
Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being 
expensive. And to my mind the only question is when that tax comes, not if.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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Re: Power and civilization

2012-11-30 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 11/29/2012 9:16 PM, Dan Minette wrote:

  They convinced Uganda that using fertilizer and insecticides was bad.
That's why the crop yield is so low.  Little grows and the insects get most
of it.  The US, on the other hand, uses insecticides in cycles so it's hard
for the insects to develop immunity to several insecticides...what is
superior for one is inferior for the other.  And, farmland is now adding
topsoil with fertilizer and advanced techniques, and genetically modified
crops.  If we could get corn to fix nitrogen better, we'd be home free.
In fact, the other major sin of the Greens (in addition to being against 
nuclear power) is the opposition to genetically modified crops. I get 
the fact that Monsanto is the poster child for evil greed, but there 
really isn't any other way to feed the number of people we now have, let 
alone will soon have, without those high-yield crops.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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Re: Power and civilization

2012-11-30 Thread Klaus Stock
 In fact, the other major sin of the Greens (in addition to being against
 nuclear power) snip

That's their political agenda. When the CDU announced that the nuclear
power plants in Germany will be shut down, the greens were not
alltogether sure if they really wanted that... ;-)

 is the opposition to genetically modified crops. I get
 the fact that Monsanto is the poster child for evil greed, but there
 really isn't any other way to feed the number of people we now have, let
 alone will soon have, without those high-yield crops.

Unfortunately, we already have surplus crop and other produce. In order
to keep the price up, surplus is destroyed.

Monsanto has proven that  genetically modified crop is dangerous. Yes,
genetic modifications have a long history. Yup, trial  error
breeding. My problem with Monsanto is that they not only sell the
crop, but also poison which kills every living thing (except their
genetically modified crop).

- Klaus


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Re: Clean high tech solutions

2012-11-30 Thread John Garcia
On Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 10:47 AM, Jon Louis Mann net_democr...@yahoo.comwrote:


  I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is
  that all un-processed petroleum is destroyed by an act of
  bio-terrorism. In the middle of it right now, but so far
  it's scaring the spit out of me.
  john

 why?


I know intellectually that we live in a fragile civilization, but I suppose
that I haven't felt it emotionally. But seeing Sandy's effects on my city
(I live in Washington Heights, a neighborhood in Manhattan that thankfully
was spared the devastation in other neighborhoods of the city), makes me
begin to *feel* just how fragile things are. ConEd loses a substation and
suddenly 200k people don't have power. No power and there is no way to pump
water to floors in buildings. First responders are overwhelmed. A
neighborhood is destroyed by fire because there is no water pressure in the
hydrants to fight the fire.

So I suppose I'm in the *right* frame of mind to read Varley's book. Next
up is Barnes' Directive 51.

john

snippage

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-30 Thread Klaus Stock
 So, they were fired up when the windmills were down due to low
 wind. Now, with cheap natural gas, the building of windmills has slown down
 to a virtual halt.

 Well, cheap currently. It is just one carbon tax away from being 
 expensive. And to my mind the only question is when that tax comes, not if.

Of course, certain critical businesses will be exempt from that tax.

- Klaus


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Re: Clean high tech solutions

2012-11-30 Thread Klaus Stock
 How were the European Greens responsible for keeping
 Uganda poor, by
 turning them away from nuclear?  

 Two ways:
 1) They have extremely strict and unreasonable standards for
 imported food.
 For example, its virtually impossible for US food products
 to be sold there. 

Unreasonable standards? I do not know about Uganda, but I know other
markets where such apparently overly strict standards are exist.
Officially, it's claimed to prevent harm to the people by disallowing
low quality imports. In reality, these standards are meant to prevent
imports, simply to prevent money from leaving the country.

Unless, of course, the money is used to import Ferraris or Lamborginis
for the ruling class. Or weapons. The military also want their toys,
and in some countries the ruler depends on the support of the military
(like, North Korea).

Feck. I realize that I  do know too much about politics.

- Klaus


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Re: Power and civilization

2012-11-30 Thread Medievalbk


In a message dated 11/29/2012 6:47:33 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,  
net_democr...@yahoo.com writes:

 The  measure of a civilization could be said to be 
 its consumption of  energy and how it uses resources. 
 Conspicuous v.  sustainable... 
 Jon

  From:  medieva...@aol.com
 Twas in Last And First Men, by Olaf Stapledon,  
 I think, where all future  
 civilizations had their  power based upon alcohol. 
 Nothing stored from the past was  left.

I never could get through Stapleton.  
What was  destroyed; all other sources of power?  
How could that  be?

Atomic power (though not named exactly as such) burned of most of the  
crust. Mankind restarted from one Arctic scientific research boat.


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses (Keith Henson)

2012-11-29 Thread Dan Minette

 With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 
 50 years.

That's impressive hearing considering that the big, high efficiency lasers
that make this 
concept possible have been around for less than 5 years.

This particular combination, I haven't heard for 50 years.  But, the basic
physics of photoelectric cells has been around for over a century; current
produced by low intensity beams was one of the key early experiments that
led to QM.  So, the basic physics for solar panels has been around that
longOK, not well understood for a couple of decades.  Still, Germany is
building more coal plants for electricity and solar panels for show.

The physics behind fusion power has been around for 60 years.  In the '50s,
it was assumed that fusion plants would be common in the '80s.  The physics
hasn't changed.  But, a lot of practical problems have come up, and the
optimists are saying 30 years, like they did in the 50s.

I've seen resources poured into things for which the physics would work, but
any good applied physicist could see was vaporware.  Just at my work, over
million was spent on a shake table that tested at different frequencies than
applied downhole.  One of the critical points of their argument was not to
involve any technical people in the decision because they were wedded to
the old paradigm.  Or acoustic telemetry while drillingthat only worked
when the drill string didn't touch the borehole wall at quasi-random points
(which happens all the time).  Or downhole robots. 

In almost all of the cases I can think of, there are no answers to practical
questions.  Folks who have been responsible for building fleets of tools
that work worldwide, that operate at 150C with 20G rms vibration tend to
know what questions to ask about folks who propose new ideas that the
company should put vast resources in.  Unfortunately, the chief corporate
technology officer, like the person in change of computing for the
corporation often was in the '80s, did not have ordinary skill in the art.

This is what I referred to.  I only gave a fraction of the answers. we could
add inertia fusion in the '80s, the multiple times solar power was going to
be cost effective in 5-10 years, etc.  None of these concepts violated laws
of physics.  But, anyone who has been around the block knew they were
sketchy.


 One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you point to a 
 design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major 
 industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely 
 than earth bound solar cells.

But I don't exactly see why you are appealing to authority.  The physics
behind this concept is 
either correct or it is not.  So far the people who are qualified to
express an opinion and have done 
so all say I got the physics right.

I was basically asking if you've been around the block. That's not an appeal
to authority, just the result of the observation that folks who've walked
the walk are more likely to be accurate the next time they talk the talk
than folks who never walked the walk.

I did look at high energy lasers, and the person who wrote

http://www.rp-photonics.com/high_power_lasers.html

Looks like he has worked with high power lasers.  One notes that high power
is 5 kWatt, and the many caveats for use at that energy.  


It's not that bad.  If you can remember or relearn a few pages of high
school physics (the rocket 
equation and Newton's laws), you can be qualified to express an opinion
too.

Everyone is entitled to an opinion.  I keep telling myself that when I hear
how modern science is a left wing plot.  But, the question is not whether an
opinion is constitutionally protected (I think flat earth folks have
constitutionally protected opinions), but whether it is right.  Your ideas
don't violate the laws of physics any more than the idea that folks had in
'30s of the world of tomorrow violated physics.  But, reading the article,
and thinking about laser based propulsion, I can see overwhelming practical
problems that would have to be solved.  Looking at articles on laser
propulsion, it is definitely in the highly speculative phase right now.  In
fact, part way along the way to your plan, we should have enough control
over beams (particle beams have real advantages over lasers here) to do
inertia fusion practically.  So, I won't say never to power satellites, but
I'd saw it's probably three black swans awayand they have to be just the
three black swans we need.


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses (Keith Henson)

2012-11-29 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 11/28/2012 7:05 PM, Keith Henson wrote:
In regard to Kevin B. O'Brien's comments, the Chinese are far more 
likely to build propulsion lasers and power sats than the US. It's 
possible they have already made the decision, see the recent 
announcement about building power sats with the Indians. They could 
build power sats with their PV production and sell power or power sats 
instead of panels. 


If they do so that is great. I also recall reading that they have been 
looking at pebble-bed reactors as an energy source. That is all to the 
good. What is abundantly clear is that they have no intention at all of 
cutting down on their energy use and economic growth, so any 
environmental progress will depend on rolling out cleaner alternatives.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-29 Thread Keith Henson
On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:00 AM,  Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:

snip

 I was basically asking if you've been around the block. That's not an appeal
 to authority, just the result of the observation that folks who've walked
 the walk are more likely to be accurate the next time they talk the talk
 than folks who never walked the walk.

It's not hard to find out what I have done,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keith_Henson

 I did look at high energy lasers, and the person who wrote

 http://www.rp-photonics.com/high_power_lasers.html

 Looks like he has worked with high power lasers.  One notes that high power
 is 5 kWatt, and the many caveats for use at that energy.

These  http://www.as.northropgrumman.com/products/vesta/ are 15 kW and
have been ganged to over 100 kW.  Getting to the GW level (out in
space no less) is just a matter of having a lot of money to buy lasers
and haul them out there.

snip

 So, I won't say never to power satellites, but
 I'd saw it's probably three black swans awayand they have to be just the
 three black swans we need.

If you have a better way to get humanity off fossil fuels, don't keep
it to yourself.

Make a good case that it's cheaper and I will support that instead of
working on power satellites and laser propulsion.

Keith

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Re: Power and civilization

2012-11-29 Thread Medievalbk
 

 
 


 
 






Twas in Last And First Men, by Olaf Stapledon, I think, where all future  
civilizations had their power based upon alcohol. Nothing stored from the 
past  was left.
 
 
In a message dated 11/29/2012 12:58:45 P.M. US Mountain Standard Tim,  
net_democr...@yahoo.com writes:

The  measure of a civilization could be said to be it's consumption of 
energy and  how it uses resources.  Conspicuous v. sustainable...   

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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-29 Thread Dan Minette

Yup, oil production is not as harmless as nuclear bomb tests.

It depends on how close you are to the nuclear bomb test.  But, oil is
generally lower in radioactivity than bananas. If you are far enough away
from the test, then the radiation is so low, it's orders of magnitude below
what you get from eating a banana.  

Dan M. 


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-29 Thread Dan Minette
 

-Original Message-
From: brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com] On
Behalf Of Kevin O'Brien
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2012 9:06 AM
To: brin-l@mccmedia.com
Subject: Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

On 11/27/2012 5:18 PM, Dan Minette wrote:
 Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite 
 and use
 it for propulsion
 lasers to bring up parts for thousands. 
 With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 
 50 years.  One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you 
 point to a design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale 
 in a major industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even 
 less likely than earth bound solar cells.
Speaking of solar cells, this article looks interesting:
A trade war over cheap solar involving Europe and China. That opens up
several interesting topics. 
First, this is arguably the most important technology of the 21st century
since it not only provides 
energy security but also addresses global heating. Second, the U.S. does
not appear in this story. 

But, the technology is extremely expensive, even the cheap version.  That is
why Germany is building coal plants to replace the nuclear plants, while
solar represents only 0.3% of the total energy supply.  
China is subsidizing it's solar panels in an attempt to gain a monopoly in
selling solar panals.  It doesn't really use themI couldn't get a number
just on Chinese solar panels, but there total renewable (excluding
hydroelectric and wood) is 0.2% of their energy consumption, and wind is
much cheaper, so maybe they have 0.01%-0.05% solar.

They have a natural advantage in that they can just dump the toxic byproduct
of making solar cells instead of processing them.  That cuts material costs
tremendously.  They used the low price tactic to drive out virtually all
other rare earth suppliers a bit over a decade ago, and are now in a
position where the startup costs are high for other countries, and any
country with pollution regulations would have a hard time competing.  So,
using this tactic, they could keep a monopoly, once they established it.
But, since solar power is a feel good luxury, and shows no sign of being an
important part of any ecconomy, they cannot use it as a political weapon.  A
country can do without solar power; it cannot do without rare earths.

Nuclear power and biofuels from synthetic biology and bioengineering are far
more likely to be used as green energy sources.  One advange each has is
that the development of efficient storage is not required for their use.  In
a real sense, solar needs two breakthroughs that we cannot see to be
effective.  Wind just needs one, effective storage.  The lack of it is why
wind power cannot be counted on as part of peak demand.  It only made sense
when natural gas was expensive.

Dan M.


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Re: Power and civilization

2012-11-29 Thread John Garcia
I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is that all
un-processed petroleum is destroyed by an act of bio-terrorism. In the
middle of it right now, but so far it's scaring the spit out of me.

john

On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM, medieva...@aol.com wrote:

 **

 Twas in Last And First Men, by Olaf Stapledon, I think, where all future
 civilizations had their power based upon alcohol. Nothing stored from the
 past was left.


 In a message dated 11/29/2012 12:58:45 P.M. US Mountain Standard Tim,
 net_democr...@yahoo.com writes:

 The measure of a civilization could be said to be it's consumption of
 energy and how it uses resources.  Conspicuous v. sustainable...

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RE: Power and civilization

2012-11-29 Thread Dan Minette

The measure of a civilization could be said to be it's consumption of
energy and how it uses resources.  Conspicuous v. sustainable...  

At what point was civilization sustainable without depending on unknowable
innovations in the future?  It would have to be before steel, because
blacksmithing almost deforested England before coal was found and used (back
around 1000 I think).  Going to Africa, and seeing the sustainable organic
farming they used to get 5 bushels/acre out of depleted soil reminded me of
what my Zambian daughter Neli argued, to no avail, to the government of
Uganda.  That using natural methods would just have it's people starve, like
they have for centuries.  Unfortunately, the European Greens were more
powerful in their persuasionand Uganda will remain poor until they stop
listening to them.  It's hard because the EU policy is dedicated to
protecting inefficient EU (mostly French) farmers.

Dan M. 


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RE: Power and civilization

2012-11-29 Thread Pat Mathews

John Barnes' Directive 51 went it one better - ALL petroleum and petroleum 
products. It did devolve into the question of whether it was a centrally 
organized conspiracy, preferably from abroad, or a spontaneous movement; in 
fact, the entire US splits over that question, thanks to a disagreement in the 
administration on whose watch it happens. There is a sequel; not sure there is 
a third. 

Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:49:34 -0500
Subject: Re: Power and civilization
From: john...@gmail.com
To: brin-l@mccmedia.com

I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is that all un-processed 
petroleum is destroyed by an act of bio-terrorism. In the middle of it right 
now, but so far it's scaring the spit out of me.


john

On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM,  medieva...@aol.com wrote:













 
Twas in Last And First Men, by Olaf Stapledon, I think, where all future 
civilizations had their power based upon alcohol. Nothing stored from the past 
was left.
 
 
In a message dated 11/29/2012 12:58:45 P.M. US Mountain Standard Tim, 
net_democr...@yahoo.com writes:
The 
  measure of a civilization could be said to be it's consumption of energy and 
  how it uses resources.  Conspicuous v. sustainable...  
  

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Re: Power and civilization

2012-11-29 Thread John Garcia
I'm picking up Directive 51 from the NY Public Library in the next day or
two.

On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 7:39 PM, Pat Mathews mathew...@msn.com wrote:

  John Barnes' Directive 51 went it one better - ALL petroleum and
 petroleum products. It did devolve into the question of whether it was a
 centrally organized conspiracy, preferably from abroad, or a spontaneous
 movement; in fact, the entire US splits over that question, thanks to a
 disagreement in the administration on whose watch it happens. There is a
 sequel; not sure there is a third.

 --
 Date: Thu, 29 Nov 2012 18:49:34 -0500
 Subject: Re: Power and civilization
 From: john...@gmail.com
 To: brin-l@mccmedia.com

 I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is that all
 un-processed petroleum is destroyed by an act of bio-terrorism. In the
 middle of it right now, but so far it's scaring the spit out of me.

 john

 On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 5:26 PM, medieva...@aol.com wrote:

 **

 Twas in Last And First Men, by Olaf Stapledon, I think, where all future
 civilizations had their power based upon alcohol. Nothing stored from the
 past was left.


 In a message dated 11/29/2012 12:58:45 P.M. US Mountain Standard Tim,
 net_democr...@yahoo.com writes:

 The measure of a civilization could be said to be it's consumption of
 energy and how it uses resources.  Conspicuous v. sustainable...

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RE: Power and civilization

2012-11-29 Thread Dan Minette
 

-Original Message-
From: brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com [mailto:brin-l-boun...@mccmedia.com] On
Behalf Of Jon Louis Mann
Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 7:47 PM
To: brin-l@mccmedia.com
Subject: Power and civilization

 The measure of a civilization could be said to be its consumption of 
 energy and how it uses resources.
 Conspicuous v. sustainable...
 Jon
 
  From: medieva...@aol.com
 Twas in Last And First Men, by Olaf Stapledon, I think, where all 
 future civilizations had their power based upon alcohol.
 Nothing stored from the past was left.

I never could get through Stapleton.  
What was destroyed; all other sources of power?  
How could that be?


  From: John Garcia john...@gmail.com
 I'm reading John Varley's Slow Apocalypse. The premise is that all 
 un-processed petroleum is destroyed by an act of bio-terrorism. In the 
 middle of it right now, but so far it's scaring the spit out of me.
 john

Years ago George R.R. Martin wrote a pilot called Doors.  If I remember
correctly it was about an alternative Earth where a virus was created to
absorb oil spills and it ended up eating up all traces of petrochemicals
everywhere on Earth and civilization went back to the horse and buggy days.
(not necessarily a bad thing!~) Jon Mann

 The measure of a civilization could be said to be
 Its consumption of energy and how it uses resources. Conspicuous v. 
 sustainable...
 Jon Mann

 At what point was civilization sustainable without depending on 
 unknowable innovations in the future?  It would have to be before 
 steel, because blacksmithing almost deforested England before coal was 
 found and used (back around 1000 I think).  Going to Africa, and 
 seeing the sustainable organic farming they used to get 5 bushels/acre 
 out of depleted soil reminded me of what my Zambian daughter Neli 
 argued, to no avail, to the government of Uganda.  That using natural 
 methods would just have it's people starve, like they have for 
 centuries.  Unfortunately, the European Greens were more powerful in 
 their persuasionand Uganda will remain poor until they stop 
 listening to them.  It's hard because the EU policy is dedicated to 
 protecting inefficient EU (mostly French) farmers.
 Dan M.

You have a Zambian daughter, Dan? 

Two.  The eldest, Neli, came to the US about 10 years ago.  She is an
ecconomist who was a Brookings Institute fellow for a couple of years,
concentrating on African development.  She was always second author on the
papers she wrote, with a big name as first author.  She was quietly upset
until she found out high government officials called Brookings to complain
about the papers and talked with the big wig instead of yelling at her.  We
were in Zambia for two weeks in August, with 10 from the US (including Neli
and her American husband) and 5 from Zambia and went all over Zambia as one
big happy American-African family.  We went to the home villages of both of
Neli's parents.  I got to dance in lion skins with the village wariors at
her mom's village.


I have no clue at what point civilization was sustainable after the leap
from hunter gatherer to 
agriculture to industrial society.  I suppose it won't happen unless
humanity matures beyond greedy,
pleasure seeking immediate gratification, self centered behavior, and that
probably won't happen 
unless there is a singularity event.

Actually, most commodities (e.g. iron and copper) are used less now.  If we
can solve one of many problems (e.g. find a cheap way of storing energy,
have a venture like Joule Technology work in synthetic biofuels, have a way
to poison breeder reactor fuel output so it can't be used for bombs,
develop mesoscopic physics to the point where solar cells are practical) in
the next 250 years, we won't need to worry. 


How were the European Greens responsible for keeping Uganda poor, by
turning them away from nuclear?  

Two ways:

1) They have extremely strict and unreasonable standards for imported food.
For example, its virtually impossible for US food products to be sold there.


2) They convinced Uganda that using fertilizer and insecticides was bad.
That's why the crop yield is so low.  Little grows and the insects get most
of it.  The US, on the other hand, uses insecticides in cycles so it's hard
for the insects to develop immunity to several insecticides...what is
superior for one is inferior for the other.  And, farmland is now adding
topsoil with fertilizer and advanced techniques, and genetically modified
crops.  If we could get corn to fix nitrogen better, we'd be home free.

Dan M.


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Re: Space progress report

2012-11-28 Thread Richard Baker
Keith said:

 Friday I visited Reaction Engines.  Delightful experience meeting Alan
 Bond and Richard Varvill, the key technical guys.  They have (and I
 saw) the precooler for the SABRE engines working.  They extract a GW
 of heat from entering ram air and drop the temperature to -150 deg,
 making it possible to compress the air to rocket chamber pressure with
 a low tech turbine.  Miles of tiny tubes in each one, and they *don't
 leak.*

Speaking of Skylon, the SABRE precooler has now successfully passed its test 
programme:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20510112

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-28 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 11/27/2012 5:18 PM, Dan Minette wrote:

Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite and use

it for propulsion

lasers to bring up parts for thousands. 

With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 50
years.  One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you point to a
design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major
industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely than
earth bound solar cells.

Speaking of solar cells, this article looks interesting:

http://www.news-republic.com/Web/ArticleWeb.aspx?regionid=1articleid=5336750

A trade war over cheap solar involving Europe and China. That opens up 
several interesting topics. First, this is arguably the most important 
technology of the 21st century since it not only provides energy 
security but also addresses global heating. Second, the U.S. does not 
appear in this story. Third, there is an interesting economic argument. 
The Chinese government is subsidizing their manufacturers which results 
in Chinese solar panels being about 30% cheaper (per the story. I have 
not verified this independently.) From one perspective, you could argue 
that this is great for consumers. China is making everything 30% 
cheaper! Woo hoo! The objection is that this would undermine local 
producers, but that is not as clear a problem as the European 
manufacturers would like to say. For the advantage to be permanent you 
would need either perpetual subsidies by the Chinese government or some 
kind of barrier to entry in the solar panel market that would keep out 
competitors. Economic theory says that potentially the Chinese 
manufacturers could use these subsidies to drive out competitors, and 
when that was accomplished they would just raise prices and enjoy 
monopoly rents. But without the barriers to entry, that cannot happen.


The other solution, if you think that subsidies by one side is a 
problem, is to create counter-subsidies. That might be preferable to a 
trade war, and arguably would help promote a technology we desperately need.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses (Keith Henson)

2012-11-28 Thread Keith Henson
On Wed, Nov 28, 2012 at 11:00 AM,  Klaus Stock k...@stock-consulting.com 
wrote:

snip

 Our political leaders don't need solutions, they need fear. Once you
 control voters by fear, you can do literally everything.

snip

 However, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has studied physics.
 I'm wondering if she would be open to scientific solutions. Or if
 there political contrains which would prevent her from actually
 persuing solutions.

 - Klaus

That's a good idea.  Any thoughts on presenting this to someone who knows her?

Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:

 With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 50
 years.

That's impressive hearing considering that the big, high efficiency
lasers that make this concept possible have been around for less than
5 years.

 One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you point to a
 design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major
 industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely than
 earth bound solar cells.

No.  Closest would be the log-antilog 4 quadrant multiplier I invented
in the early 70s while working for Burr-Brown.  In the heyday of
analog control these were use from tire balancing machines to the
control of thousand ton ball mills.

But I don't exactly see why you are appealing to authority.  The
physics behind this concept is either correct or it is not.  So far
the people who are qualified to express an opinion and have done so
all say I got the physics right.

It's not that bad.  If you can remember or relearn a few pages of high
school physics (the rocket equation and Newton's laws), you can be
qualified to express an opinion too.

In regard to  Kevin B. O'Brien's comments, the Chinese are far more
likely to build propulsion lasers and power sats than the US.  It's
possible they have already made the decision, see the recent
announcement about building power sats with the Indians.  They could
build power sats with their PV production and sell power or power sats
instead of panels.

Keith

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-27 Thread ALBERTO VIEIRA FERREIRA MONTEIRO
For God's sake (written as 日本酒), Japan had the earthquake of the
century, it hit hard on the nuclear plants, and almost nothing
happened. If this is not a very good security test on nuclear power,
then I don't know what could be. Maybe hit a nuclear plant with an
airplane?

Alberto Monteiro

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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-27 Thread Kevin O'Brien

On 11/26/2012 9:21 PM, Dan Minette wrote:

Since we don't want this list dominated by carved Norwegian tourist shop
items, I thought I'd throw out an argument. I have seen Germany and Japan
shutting down nuclear energy, after the Greens have suceeded in making it
non-PC.  They had argued that the energy will be replaced by renewaable
sources.  But, reality has set in, and they are being replaced by fossil
fuels.

Indeed, the biggest rise in energy production will be coal plants.  As

http://www.climatecentral.org/news/more-than-1000-new-coal-plants-planned-wo
rldwide-15279

shows, there are plans for 1.4 trillion watts of capacity being added now in
process.  This will add the equivalent of another China in greenhouse gas
emissions, more than the US and EU combined.  So, I'd argue that the Green's
main effect on the environment has been to increase greenhouse gas emissions
by making nuclear power politically unacceptable.  Japan shutting down their
reactor after the only nuclear damage having been radiation burns on the
feet of workers who walked into radioactive water without checking and
without boots (non-fatal) is amazing.  It's like shutting down all
automobile traffic after the 100 car pileup on Thanksgiving on I-10.


I think you are correct in that. The only thing I would add is that the 
design of the Fukushima plant was very old, and that modern designs are 
even safer. This issue is not being resolved rationally, but then very 
few people approach problems that way.


Regards,

--
Kevin B. O'Brien
zwil...@zwilnik.com
A damsel with a dulcimer in a vision once I saw.


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-27 Thread Klaus Stock
 I think you are correct in that. The only thing I would add is that the
 design of the Fukushima plant was very old, and that modern designs are
 even safer.

Um, like the german SNR-300 design? Yup, the first reactor with a core
catcher! Which was, of course, dismantled. Apparently, there's only
one things the greens fear more than an unsafe reactor - and that's
a safer one.

Funny quote from a politician who opposed the SNR-300: If we had
such technology, we'd have to export it, too.. That wouldn't have
helped Fukushima; that was a 1960s design, while the SR-300 was a
1970s design, which was being upgraded though the 1980s.


And now something completely different (warning: machine
translation!):
http://translate.google.de/translate?sl=detl=enjs=nprev=_thl=deie=UTF-8layout=2eotf=1u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.planet-wissen.de%2Fnatur_technik%2Fenergie%2Ferdoel%2Finterview.jsp

Yup, oil production is not as harmless as nuclear bomb tests.

- Klaus



-- 
Best regards,
 Klausmailto:k...@stock-consulting.com


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Re: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-27 Thread Klaus Stock
 This issue is not being resolved rationally, but then very
 few people approach problems that way.

 Twitter compressed solution

 Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite
 and use it for propulsion lasers to bring up parts for thousands. 

 If anyone wants to know more, ask.

Our political leaders don't need solutions, they need fear. Once you
control voters by fear, you can do literally everything.

That's toally different from us people with a scientific background,
who still believe that we're constrained by physical laws. Or math. Or
reason. Or logic.

It works because politicians don't even get close to breaching natural
laws. They are content with much, much simpler achievements. Personal
wealth, power or just making certain other people feel miserable.

However, Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, has studied physics.
I'm wondering if she would be open to scientific solutions. Or if
there political contrains which would prevent her from actually
persuing solutions.

- Klaus


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RE: Greens add to Greenhouse gasses

2012-11-27 Thread Dan Minette

Really cheap power if we bootstrap by building one power satellite and use
it for propulsion 
lasers to bring up parts for thousands. 

With all due respect, Keith, I've been hearing arguments like this for 50
years.  One thing would help you establish credibility.  Can you point to a
design of yours that is used worldwide on a massive scale in a major
industry? No hard feelings, but it sounds like its even less likely than
earth bound solar cells. 

Dan M


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Re: Politeness

2012-11-25 Thread Warren Adams-Ockrassa
Having been watching from the sidelines, it's amazing how easy it is 
for me to decide whose voice is respectable and mature, and whose is 
childish and petulant, in this discussion. 


 --
Warren Adams-Ockrassa | nightwares.com


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RE: Politeness

2012-11-25 Thread Dan Minette
I would like to clarify one thing that I said and to comment on something
Johnathan Mann said.

I said:
  
 While self respect is critical, and one shouldn't put up a false front 
 to get respect, earning the respect of those who have achieved less 
 than you can be very beneficial.  

While I didn't want to complicate my reply at the time, I do want to take
this opportunity to say that in no way was I referring to how much Jon
achieved or hasn't achieved. I was referring to John Williams attitude.  The
only reason I would want to judge Jon's success would be if it were germain
to the discussion (e.g. I'd be more inclined to believe on of the Manning
brothers when they talk football than a guy who plays touch football once a
year. 

...is the fact that I refuse to sell out.  It would defeat the purpose of
why I run for office.  I 
don't just talk, I do the walk.   


This raises an interesting question.  Lincoln did things like appoint
incompetent generals knowingly, because they were supported by a political
faction he needed to keep the Union going.  Is doing things like arresting
the Maryland legislature on the way to vote for secession to keep the Union
together wrong?  In other words, if one holds onto principals without
compromise, one rarely changes how things are.  Those folks who we look back
at and see as being vital to the US did make those compromises. I don't
think that was selling out, it was having a sense of balance and priorities.

Dan M.


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Re: Politeness

2012-11-25 Thread John Williams
On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 1:15 PM, Dan Minette danmine...@att.net wrote:
 While I didn't want to complicate my reply at the time, I do want to take
 this opportunity to say that in no way was I referring to how much Jon
 achieved or hasn't achieved.

Hilarious!

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Re: Politeness

2012-11-25 Thread John Williams
On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Warren Adams-Ockrassa
war...@nightwares.com wrote:
 Having been watching from the sidelines, it's amazing how easy it is for me
 to decide whose voice is respectable and mature, and whose is childish and
 petulant, in this discussion.

If only it were also easy for you to post something of value, instead
of your opinion which is worthless.

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Re: Politeness

2012-11-25 Thread John Williams
On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 12:00 PM, Jon Louis Mann
net_democr...@yahoo.com wrote:

 He assumes that I am not a successful politician because I have not won an 
 election.

Actually, no, that is not why I assume you are not successful.

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Re: Politeness

2012-11-25 Thread Nick Arnett
I read this as a personal attack, which is not permitted in this group.

Nick

On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 1:57 PM, John Williams jwilliams4...@gmail.comwrote:

 On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Warren Adams-Ockrassa
 war...@nightwares.com wrote:
  Having been watching from the sidelines, it's amazing how easy it is for
 me
  to decide whose voice is respectable and mature, and whose is childish
 and
  petulant, in this discussion.

 If only it were also easy for you to post something of value, instead
 of your opinion which is worthless.

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