Soddy's Economics

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Richard Hull
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Soddy's Economics

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jan 17, 2005 4:41 pm

Recent discussions regarding the future, future energy issues and the closely linked world economic situation and Frederick Soddy's total abandonment of science to struggle into economics, led me to obtain his book.................

"Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt", 1926, Frederick Soddy

This book was significant enough to see a modern 1983 reprint in paper back which is what I obtained.

Fantastic is all I can say! Soddy received a Noble in 1921 in Chemistry and I think he should have received another in Economics.

Soddy's foresight and prognostication has come to pass and other of his predictions seem immenant. He attacks economics as a science with a scientists cold logic. He comes up with brilliant yet often obvious suggestions which, to this day, are ignored. He labored in an effort to isolate economic factors which might hope to stabilize debt and secure geniune renewable national wealth.

His education, as a late Victorian, forces him into long and difficult sentence structures that is a mastery of the language at its peak. All such speech and narritive writting is now long lost. It will surely be a tedium for all but the most avid reader of older english works. You will not scan or speed read this work and grasp anything!

His discussion is serious, crisp and clear. We glimpse his vision for nuclear energy as endless power for either a glorious society or total ruin. He notes man's natural tendency to take all new sources of energy and weaponize it first. I am, personally, saddened that man has had the nuclear genie of Soddy's vision and has allowed it to go moribund and hold it in current stagnation, inspite of Soddy's predicted end of "the debt system" hurtling towards us at ever increasing speeds. He viewed the limitless energy of the atom as a saving system of renewable wealth for a burgeoning society.

He notes that we could just do what we always seem to do with new energy and power sources......grow more food to breed more people and then weaponize it to kill off the excess, so created, in cycles of growth and war.

This is a must read for the citizen scientist who is alert to his economic environment. One has to constantly realize that this amazing vision was written when others felt that nuclear energy was a joke and the atomic nucleus was viewed as a bizarre system of protons and electrons. (neutron had not been discovered.)

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

servant
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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by servant » Mon Jan 17, 2005 5:02 pm

an excellent resource for anyone trying to understand what is really going on in economics is Jim Puplava's website:
Http://www.financialsense.com

also, a worthwhile perspective on strategic issues is at:
http://www.jrnyquist.com

Phil

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Richard Hull
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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Jan 17, 2005 6:01 pm

Soddy had a most interesting way of reducing things in this work.

We are here because of chlorophyll and chloropyll alone. It is the only significant factor in man's existence! It remains the only genuinely significant source of energy on earth. The only significant transformer of solar energy to all other useful forms. water power and nuclear energy are mere also rans.

Everything energetic on earth of significance is chlorophyll transfomered energy forms. Wipe out chlorophyll and its process and all of mankind would be dead in a generation or less.

I have previously opined here in these forums as to the actual source of energy even within chlorophyl. This form is outer electron chemistry only. All energy trapped on earth produced by the sun is single electron, outer shell energy traps and all chemical in nature. Even water power against gravity is an electron bond energy transfer. Thus, all energy released here on earth by man is also single electron shifts. All other forms are microscopic by comparison.

We are lucky that this is all the energy capable of being received daily from the sun. (one electron shifts) Almost all of this energy is UV light and blue end based.

Still, It is all pretty amazing that the bulk of the world's useable energy for life and production is received, stored and transferred initially via chlorophyll.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by ChrisSmolinski » Tue Jan 18, 2005 4:23 pm

It would be nice to find a way to efficently make use of chlorophyll for more of
our energy needs. Unfortunately, things like ethanol are roughly an order of
magnitude more expensive than gasoline. Indeed, even the meager ethanol
production today is heavily subsidized, thanks to congresscritters in the corn
belt. What's interesting is that part of the subsidy is to pay for the higher cost
of corn because - you guessed it - corn in this country has minimum average
price. (Actually it is interesting, a lot of agricultural products have such
minimum prices)

I don't know if it is an issue of scale, whether just increasing ethanol
production would drop the price enough or not. You'd be talking serious
increases in annual corn production as well. But then, maybe we wouldn't
have to artificially set the price of corn

Interestingly enough, I stumbled on a mention of a report that you can turn
animal manure into crude oil, by adding carbon monoxide and hydrogen
under high pressure and temperature.

The problem with all these man-made methods of producing useful energy
sources is that we have to work to make it happen. Vs letting nature do the
job "for free". Unfortunately nature is the typical union worker, and she is
rather slow at her job.

Bio-engineering plants to produce gasoline (say 87 octane) as their waste
product would certainly be a step in the right direction

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Brian McDermott
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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by Brian McDermott » Wed Jan 26, 2005 11:57 pm

I bought the original 1926 edition. It cost a pretty penny and had to ship from London, but I think it was well worth it.

I've only read the first two chapters in the time since I opened the mail, but I love his writing style, as it keeps the reader interested and involved. The key to reading verbosely written books is to have the correct reading atmosphere. I have read things like John Locke's "Second Treatise on Government" and Fyodor Dostoevsky's "The Brothers Karamazov," and those required an absolutely silent room with no outside distractions. Soddy's "Wealth..." is no exception to this method. If you read in a room with other people, the TV or similar distractions, you may miss an important point that has been made.

Richard, can you comment (have you commented) on Soddy's other books like "Matter and Energy" and "Science and Life" ? They may be worth getting if they are as good as this.

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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Jan 27, 2005 3:09 pm

Thanks for the commentary review and tips on reading.

I agree. I am a very slow reader as 98% of all I read are scientific books. This has kept my speed very slow, but comprehension-retention high. I read late at night which is when all is quiet, as you say. Unfortunately, I am usually tired and, at my age, I tend to doze or node off, but can usually knock out a chapter before retiring. My mass reading time is on Sunday mornings when I get up and go to a local restaurant around 8am that is virtually empty and have a hearty breakfast and read for about 1 hour or more. I am fresh, there are zero distractions and no noise. The owners expect me to virtually open the place. By 9:30 the place has a few more folks (church crowd) in it and it is becoming to distracting.

As regards other Soddy works, I have not considerd them yet, but may well do so in future. I mainly have 6 copies (editions) of his masterful "Interpretation of Radium" 1909 and the virtual wealth book in discussion here. I did crack the old wallet to the tune of $130.00 for the 1987 book "Frederick Soddy" by Kaufman which I have not delved into yet. It is far too expensive to even recommend here. I am stunned that so recent a tome is so expensive. I am sure it suffered only a single very limited printing.

I have paid a lot for many first editions of the earliest writers in radioactivity but this latest, newer book on Soddy stunned me. ( I think I got one of the last at under $130.00 most of the ones that remain are on the order of $220.00!!!!)

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by superluminal » Wed Feb 16, 2005 2:04 pm

Too bad you guys paid for the book because Wealth, Virtual Wealth and Debt by Frederick Soddy is available at http://abob.libs.uga.edu/bobk/wvwd/ . Just install the plugin that is on that page and you can read it for free.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Soddy's Economics

Post by Richard Hull » Wed Feb 16, 2005 3:30 pm

Thanks for the tip, superluminal.

I maintain a technical library, being of the old school, and would buy the book at any event.

Others should avail themselves of this free opportunity to expand their econmics sense by looking at this work, produced by the hand and mind of a sensible man.

Richard Hull
Progress may have been a good thing once, but it just went on too long. - Yogi Berra
Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
Retired now...Doing only what I want and not what I should...every day is a saturday.

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