Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Reflections on fusion history, current events, and predictions for the 'fusion powered future.
ChrisSmolinski
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by ChrisSmolinski » Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:05 am

Anonymous Guy wrote:
> I have no crystal ball to tell me what our future has in store, but with so
many big issues looming its difficult for me to see a bright future ahead. I
think some our best days of our lives are already behind us, and a new era of
poverty and dispair is less than a decade away. This is one conclusion I hope
to be proven wrong!

Fortunately, I think you will be proven wrong

Forecasts of imminent doom have always been with us. Man is easily able to
adapt to change, provided that change is not too drastic, in which case w're
only slightly less able to adapt, with a little more discomfort.

Oil will not suddently become unavailable, except in the case of a sudden
disruption in supply due to war/etc. Once we reach the point of limited
resources, the price will start to climb, which will push both alternatives to oil,
as well as methods of creating our own oil and petroleum products from more
available materials. We've been told for the last 50+ years that proven oil
reserves have peaked, yet somehow we keep finding MORE of the stuff. And
improved technology lets us use previously non-economical deposits.

I'm not pessimistic about the future. The future WILL BE better. The past was
NOT better. The "good old days" were not good. The nickel candy bar cost
more of your workday to earn than it does today. Will progress be an un-
interrupted straight line up? Of course not, there will always be bumps, and
short term setbacks. But I'm sure man will get through them, at least for a few
thousand more years.

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Richard Hull
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by Richard Hull » Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:25 pm

You are very optimistic Chris. More oil can always be found if the price is pretty and folks are willing to shell out for it. Worthless reserves, hard to extract, will become valuable assets, etc. Still, there is a limit.

America's core manufacturing capability is all but gone now as we become an information society selling "air" and good wishes. The infrastructure itself is the work for the elite nations.

I don't know, but one morning someone in a massive, but trailing manufacturing nation will wake up and realize they have the information folks by the short hairs.

I feel that no matter how hard it gets or what comes along, including global thermonuclear war, we will have little trouble adapting and reverting to at least an 1890's to 1910 level of production and energy capability, perhaps with vastly fewer souls on the planet.

Again, real wealth is what you hold as fixed, on site, assets coupled with its immediate, sustainable and, hopefully, recirculating, recyclable value. Skills at the lowest, hands-on, levels are of real recirculating value. Plumbing, Carpentry, electrical, electronic, mechanical repair etc. These guys may become the captains of industry in future and not the programmers and information age hacks or the money shufflers taking our money out of our pockets, playing with it and giving us a quarterly receipt telling us how rich we are in relation to all that is no longer there. We play with and accept perceived value as opposed to goods. The goods we do take in leave us oddly in debt inspite of good IRA and 401K reports. This is the bulk of America, not just a few idiots on a mindless buying spree.

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.

AnGuy
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by AnGuy » Mon Mar 07, 2005 3:22 am

>Fortunately, I think you will be proven wrong

I hope so!

> Once we reach the point of limited resources, the price will start to climb, which will push both alternatives to oil, as well as methods of creating our own oil and petroleum products from more available materials.

Well It looks like the cost of Oil is moving up! Unfortunately replacing oil isn't that simple. All the talk about replacing oil with hydrogen, Biodiesel, Ethanol is a farse! In fact all of those renewable fuels require Oil and gas to produce. Hydrogen is produced from natural gas. Ethanol needs to be distilled which requires a massive heat source (currently it's oil). Biodiesel need both hydrogen and a heat source. We also use Oil and N-gas to produce fertizlier which would be required to grow corn or soy to produce ethanol or biodiesel. If you want to learn more about the farse of renewable fuels check out www.energybulletin.net. They have recently posted a detailed article that debunks the hydrogen economy.

Now that the cost of oil is on the rise we can see some minor global discomfort. Russia is nationalizing Oil and Gas resources, China and India are traveling the globe in search of oil and N-gas contracts. The US has mobilized its forces in the Middle East. If the prices continue to rise this year, A new cold war and arms race will begin between the major nations fighting to secure the dwindling oil resources. Eventually, as the supplies get tighter a hot war could develop. On the other hand, a global recession could cool things off because it would reduce demand (at least temporarily).



> Of course not, there will always be bumps, and
short term setbacks

Depends on what you mean "short term setbacks": Geological or Human live span?

Unless a realistic subsitute is found quickly we are headed for a major setback. The World cannot sustain a population of 6+ Billion Humans without oil. We consume something like 500 exajoules to support the current infrastructure and its going to be very damn difficult to find a substitute. Not to mention the cost of changing the infrastructure to something else than oil. All those cars, trucks, planes, factories require oil. Either we need to find a very large source of energy or we need to reduce the population. I think the latter is likely to happen first. After all, we are inherently a self-destructive species. As a species we still can't seem to get along and respect either others beliefs. When the store selfs go bare, the ugly side of human nature reappears.

3l
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by 3l » Mon Mar 07, 2005 8:14 pm

Hi AG:

You guys have more optimism than I currently possess.
I am current going more rural....infrasture costs in taxes have trippled.
The concept of the city is going tits up...too costly.
Give me the county anytime.

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by AnGuy » Wed Mar 09, 2005 4:45 am

>You guys have more optimism
I do?

>I am current going more rural
Actually I was thinking the same. Recently I've thinking about buying a farm or large amount of land in some rural region, in perhaps a decade. Currently, I live in the NorthEast and have a very profitable business. At this point I think it would be prudent to continue to run my business while to going is good.

However, I am having difficult of identify a region that would be appropriate. I think it would be better to avoid northern regions because of difficulty of finding heating fuel for the winter. Even if I have sufficient funds, I suspect the gov't could impose rationing rather than letting price dictate supply. Coal could be an option, but who knows if gov't will permit home owners to burn coal because of environmental issues. Wood will only last so long and isn't all that more environmental friendly than coal.

On the other hand, If global warming becomes more severe, living in the south could also be a bad move. If Oil and NGas supplies dry up Coal and other heavy carbon fuels are likely be used. This would likely dramatically increase CO2 emissions and accelerate global warming. The US South East is vunerable to Hurricanes and other extreme weather events. Before the sea level rise, I think the number and severity of storms would increase as the system works off excess thermal energy.

The most of the south west is too dry and arid to consider. Plus the land is not suitable for growing crops.

The Ideal region would have:
1. Very mild winters so that heating costs are very low, and heating fuel rationing would not be a significant issue.
2. Fertial land where one can at least plant a garden to suppliment ones diet, if food rationing becomes an issue.
3. Plenty of water and where the water doesn't have to be piped in from a distance.
4. Good transportation infrastructure for the population in the region. Access Rail or some form of public ground transportation. You going to want to be able to get delivery of goods to the local stores. If the nearest store is 100 miles away its may be difficult to get there. Gasoline becomes scarce at any price because of gov't rationing. If the car becomes uneconomical I believe a good portion of the US highway would be converted to rail. All they would need to do is lay track over the road bed. Before the car, the Railroad was the only US transportation system.
5. Good Local Medical faculties. Everyone gets sick!
6. Access to high speed Internet. If I could only keep access to one medium (TV, Radio, Telephone, Internet, etc), for me, it would be the internet. I could care less about all the rest.

3l
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by 3l » Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:27 pm

Hi AG:

You have just described Mississippi.
Shock!
Rail travel and shipping are still availible here.
The area has fertile soil and loads of rainfall.
I plan to raise trout and catfish in a small aquaculture tank.
You can plant virtually any plant in Mississippi and it will grow
fairly well.
Shallow surface wells are possible with only a 100 ft well hole.
I live near Oxford Ms...All the eminities you describe exist there.
I plan to live within 40 miles of the city. I am moving to take advantage of a crazy sellers market in Oxford. Land prices are in orbit in the city limits. I purchased the property in '96 for about
45k$ ,it is worth 70K$ (7 miles outside the central core) now. Land retails for 20k$+ per acre in town and $700/acre out of town. A no brainer!

Happy Fusoring!
Larry Leins
Fusor Tech

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Mike Veldman
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by Mike Veldman » Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:05 pm

I'm curious what the draw is to your little town. LIke I'm curious what the draw is to the one I live in. The living and growing, and the infrastructure conditions you describe are similar. Our major industry is the university, with a few minor others, but the people are moving in like crazy. Land prices in town can run to 12k an acre, close outside, 4k an acre, ten miles out, west, south or north 2.5k an acre, east is a little less at 2k. We bought ten acres east of town in 96 and paid 1k an acre for it. Some close friends bought 35 acres two miles further east of us and paied 1.5k, but they have frontage on a state highway, we're a mile from the highway. Within six months of our purchase the guy we bought from offered us 1.5k to buy it back. But very few sale signs stay up even in the rural areas for long. When I moved into this house twenty years back it was pretty rural, I was on the eastern outskirts of town. I built a raised deck 12' above the patio on the east side of my house to sit and look through my telescopes. I did this to clear the tree line south of me. I could look to the east, north and south and not see a light. Now the entire panorama is dotted with yard lights. So I drive ten miles east to the new place to look at the stars, but in the last ten years the dots on the horizon have been growing. I guess a lot of people like me are moving to the country.

mike
I tried to contain myself, but I escaped.

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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by AnGuy » Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:54 am

>I'm curious what the draw is to your little town. LIke I'm curious what the draw is to the one I live in.

Its not a local phenomena. Here in the northeast Builders can't build fast enough. They contine to build even when there is over a foot of snow on the ground. Where there was some wooded areas, there are now McManisons on tiny lots. Prices have more than doubled since 2000. In 2000, a small raised ranch was less than $200K, Today they are over $400K for a fixer'up'er. Tiny Condos (< 900 Sq feet) sell in the $300-$350K range. And this isn't the expensive area. There, the homes now average above $750K for a small 1800 Sq foot home with no land and no garage. Its truely ridiculous. Few folks can really afford to buy these homes, but lenders are sure willing to help them with the financing. The stock mania of the late 90's has now morphed into a real estate mania. People I bump into now talk about purchasing a vacation home as an investment. Its only a matter of time before it all comes crashing back to earth. When I meation housing bubble to them, I get the look: "what planet are you from?". When I bring up the stock bubble, the reply always is "Its different this time". Yeah Right.

>I guess a lot of people like me are moving to the country.

I would suspect much of this is "investment" property, that people are buying to build a second (vacation) home or to rent it out in hope to make some money.

Note: This week Bankruptcy reform was just passed in the House. Just in time for the Real Estate Bubble to go bust.

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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by Edward Miller » Thu Mar 17, 2005 7:14 am

interesting article ain the la times about the real estate bubble.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-e ... &cset=true

if it requres a login you can use www.bugmenot.com

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Richard Hull
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Re: Infrastructure - the joy and end of us all.

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:24 pm

It is all smoke and mirrors...............

There are, actually, many bubbles about to burst.

It is all about "grabin' yours" and screw all the rest of 'em. There are many other such "grab and runs" active in the economy whereby slick schiester's fleece the flock. A huge percentage of these are extremely well constructed around stock holdings that are not held, bonds that are not there and I fear that the 401K programs are as solid as the faith people put in them.

It will all have to shakeout with any serious adjustments towards reality in financial dealings. I predict that the S&L and Enron scandals will pale against the coming 401K meltdowns. Rest assured that no one will pay for this debacle who has not already paid into their 401Ks. I have a 401k.

There is just too much apparent wealth flowing about with multi-trillion dollar debt and matching deficits.

Here....Have another platinum VISA card..... No interest for 12 months!

Buy this living room suite... no payments until 2007!

New Chevy Suburbans on sale below dealer cost... zero down and low interest rates with 6 years to pay.

Where is the real money?... The cash? Who pays the workers that built that Chevy while the purchaser takes years to pay? Is there no backlog in the money source?

The answer is that GM can use their accounts receivables (the multi-year debt on that Suburban) as a true and real asset in obtaining loans to pay their workers today.

Ever seen a cat chase its tale?

There is countless trillions locked up in accounts receivables and unpaid debt all of which is far out in front of, and an overburden on, an out of control buying spree.

Rest assured the buying glut can and will stop on a dime and all that tailgating overburden will result in a multi-institutional rear-ender that will leave all asking "where's th' beef"? The answer is that there never was enough beef to go around just the unending promise of beef to come.

If cash money is just a certificate of deferred wealth that the bearer has chosen to delay receiving but is honored by all institutions and merchants, then how much weaker is accounts receivables that rely on countless millions of individuals to pay back over ever extened periods and not declare backruptcy.

Sure, such economic slights of hand expand the economy and allow high standards of living. The economy expanded in the late fifities, ballooned in the 80's and this balloon is ready to burst in the new millenium. We are already seeing this heralded by tiny little multi-billion dollar shell games collapse.....no matter....the good ship lolli-pop just sails on.

The little guy, who usually financed, all of these multi-billion dollar boon doggles raises hell for a bit, but is soothed back to sleep with 4 more credit cards he can max out and other perks where actual money is not needed to enrich himself. So everybody seems to be "gettin' theirs".

There is just too much fake wealth all assembled and accumulated in ledger books. All of it is based solely on accounts receivables and massive debt being considered as good as gold by those holding the debt and by lending institutions willing to lend them more based on same.

Right now we are kept groggy and off our guard in a manner similar to what follows..........

It is late at night....almost too late......we find ourselves quite comfortable, but standing in the middle of railroad tracks with several folks we know and trust, some of whom are old friends, standing just off the tracks but with us as a group. We see a light in the distance piercing the night somewhat in alignment with the tracks. We note to the others that we ought to move off as we think a train is coming. Immediately one of our trusted advisers says that we must be mistaken and continues to engage us in conversation.

As the light gets brighter, we become more concerned and interrupt our friends banter with yet another warning, but one of the more reasonable of our friends notes that the blanket statement that a train is approaching is a bit premature and rather assumptive on our part.

The light is really bright now and the alignment with the rails is near perfect. Remember, only you and I are in the tracks.

Again, we protest with more vigor. Now all of our trusted friends jump in and ask us to consider other possibilities and not continuously whine about a train when any number of other alternatives are to be suggested. Some even offer alternate possible scenarios that are far less ominous and appear to be be well crafted explanations.

By now, we are almost like deer caught in headlights.....frozen, but still listening to advice given by people we have grown to trust.

When do we leap off the tracks? Are we so used to advice and comforting assurances that we will allow the train to hit us? We seem to know one thing for sure... If it is a train, we will take the hit and our friends, who are not on the tracks, will be spared....Will we move? Probably not. Many of our kind have been hit before by allowing the siren's song to immobilize us. Others in our herd watch passively.

As we are hit, others from the herd note that our old friends all move off quietly until another night when they return and take others of the herd to the tracks for conversations.

Too bad. The herd always figures there is safety in numbers and each member figures, "what is the probability my number is up"?

In the end, it is energy that will be the measure of wealth as folks scramble to stay warm and run all their cool stuff they bought just before "The great collapse of 'aught' nine". I just don't see fusion anywhere in this picture.

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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