Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

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Richard Hull
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Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Richard Hull »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKiBlGDfRU8

In a fabulous and prefect missive, Sabine dives into her most deep self-analysis and feelings about physics in particular, but all of science in general. She will have you rolling in the aisles with laughter when this serious quantum physicist cuts loose and uses the word (excuse my french) "bullshit" four of five times in rapid succession. You get the feeling she might be pissed off and in the very end, she doubts if she will publish the segment you have just watched. I feel far more akin and inline with her than ever now. A real working scientist telling her life story in which both sympathy and great feeling for her willingness to share enters one's heart. It is a gem and you will love it!

I note that in 2 days she has over 70,000 comments. One of them is mine.


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
The more complex the idea put forward by the poor amateur, the more likely it will never see embodiment
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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Dennis P Brown »

Yes, academia is just as bad - though not necessarily worse - than private business; but certainly harder to change jobs if one isn't at the top. As someone who wrote proposals and chased those grants dollars it is no fun and frankly, difficult and very tiring in a way I never found in any other profession. Yet she is also facing open and accepted sexism and that certainly adds a very real obstacle. And the German academic structure strikes me as a very difficult place in any case; for instance, a PhD who teaches and does research at a German University cannot call themselves a Professor (don't tell Paul ;) ) - to do so is criminal, in fact. That is a reserved title that must be awarded due to further and noted research success. So, Germany is rather difficult in many more ways then here.
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Re: Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Richard Hull »

Paul is the "perfesser", a play on the term and well deserved, as he hopes to expound and enlighten.
The Germans were always a bit tight assed about such matters and a PhD was no proof you could profess a full measure of your science, even if you supposedly taught the subject. Tenure did not count either. It just meant you could not be fired easily.

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
The more complex the idea put forward by the poor amateur, the more likely it will never see embodiment
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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Dennis P Brown »

Uhm, maybe the spelling will convince the German authorities ... of course, those Germans and their rules ;)
Rex Allers
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Re: Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Rex Allers »

Saw this in one comment:

@buybuydandavis
Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy:

In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control and those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.

----
I had not heard that one. Seems to be by Jerry Pournelle. A longer version is available by searching.

Seems a perfect axiom.

Applicable to so much that is wrong... academia of course, also military, government, big business (eg. Boeing), etc. It seems to me that as entities grow, conglomerate, merge, this becomes even more inevitable.
Rex Allers
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Re: Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Richard Hull »

Spot on Rex!

So it is with the fusion quest. It got bigger and bigger, got linked to the government, and now, big business contributions contributing to startups in hope of a quick turnover from their investment bucks. Absolute success results in all the lessers in the fusion bureaucracy, (millions of people), being out of work. Buffalo hunters, Railroad Firemen, etc. all worked themselves out of their jobs. (This certainly gives middle management and all the worker bees below, great pause). Not so fast guys...Just let me reach retirement, and so on for 3+ generations in the fusion biz. Blessedly, fusion is just hard enough for even to the hyper dedicated, that many more generations will feed, clothe, and house themselves and their families off failed fusion bucks.

It seems getting fusion going here on earth, is like stopping fusion in a star.......Takes a long, long time.

Starting fusion here has become a bloated, ever expanding bureaucracy, just as old fusion stars swell to red giants near the end of their journey. Does this mean we are near useful fusion? Red Giants live on and on, so does the fusion quest, if only through constant, advanced lip service.

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
The more complex the idea put forward by the poor amateur, the more likely it will never see embodiment
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Dennis P Brown
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Re: Sabine Hossenfelder "breaks bad", tells it like I see it!

Post by Dennis P Brown »

Well, relative to the US Federal Government, fusion energy is basically a nearly extinct dinosaur with bare funding and said funding is ONLY for places that can do weapons research. Fusion energy experiments are allowed (now) but a tiny part of their funding. But strangely, the US is building a cart even through there are no horses; that is, the issue of wall threat study of D-T fusion neutrons is starting to be taken very seriously and funded (huh, why?)

As for the Germans, their approch is certainly small but also (typical of the Germans) narrowly focused on a viable magnetic concept. Any approch that has weapon applications (aka non-magnetic) are ignored (maybe best for us, considering.)

The French are happy to fund the best understood failures (ITER isn't their only one, by the way) and get everyone to notice via the 'look at me' approch.

In Asia, (China, Korea, and Japan) its small scale scatter gun approch that has zero interest in any serious work till someone else gets a good (when?) idea up and running.

As for industry (Really only the US) its definitely the approch with chrome wheels and no substance and all hot air bluster.

Fusion energy has never gotten enough funding nor any real success to achieve a level that would merit bureaucracy. But not for want of trying.

The perfect example of what everyone here is getting at is the massive US fission energy program. That super low carbon, really easy to build power plant level energy source has failed thanks solely to government bureaucracy - looking at you, US navy - with tragic consequences for us all.
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