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The Singularity

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Guest Steve Cook

A cursory reading of this site suggests they are arguing that system complexity in the human species and in all of it's technological manifestations will soon reach a "singularity" point where complex development will go stratospheric, leading us to places as yet unimagined.

Sorry to burst their bubble, but all of the above will require huge amounts of energy. Something we are about to face a severe shortage of.

For a vision of the future, look to the past. Rather depressing, I must confess. But there we are. It's time for our species to grow up and learn to live within it's means, if it is to have any hope of continuing to live at all.

All else is wishful thinking.

Edited by Steve Cook

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A cursory reading of this site suggests they are arguing that system complexity in the human species and in all of it's technological manifestations will soon reach a "singularity" point where complex development will go stratospheric, leading us to places as yet unimagined.

Sorry to burst their bubble, but all of the above will require huge amounts of energy. Something we are about to face a severe shortage of.

For a vision of the future, look to the past. Rather depressing, I must confess. But there we are. It's time for our species to grow up and learn to live within it's means, if it is to have any hope of continuing to live at all.

All else is wishful thinking.

Oh well, having been reliant on using stored energy from the sun, now we've got to find more efficient ways to harness it lets all just assume defeat.

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Guest Steve Cook
Oh well, having been reliant on using stored energy from the sun, now we've got to find more efficient ways to harness it lets all just assume defeat.

You mistake realism for pessimism. A common flaw in blind optimists

Humans beings, being largely comprised of blind optimists (for otherwise sound evolutionary purposes) is the primary reason why we get economic bubbles dontcha know...... ;)

Edited by Steve Cook

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You mistake realism for pessimism. A common flaw in blind optimists

Humans beings, being largely comprised of blind optimists (for otherwise sound evolutionary purposes) is the primary reason why we get economic bubbles dontcha know...... ;)

Why bother finding a replacement for oil until it runs out?

Lets not fight them on the beaches, they might slaughter us.

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It's time for our species to grow up and learn to live within it's means, if it is to have any hope of continuing to live at all.

All else is wishful thinking.

Well thats the most wishful thinking of all right there.

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Guest Steve Cook
Why bother finding a replacement for oil until it runs out?

Lets not fight them on the beaches, they might slaughter us.

There are lots of replacements for oil. Just not for 7 billion of us. The reason being that the main problem is not the trivial one of whether there is an alternative to oil. It is the more pressing problems of speed of flow and EROEI (energy returned on energy invested). All three of the above conditions must be satisfied in order to view any alternative as being a viable one. There is also a fourth one. That of environmental impact. I mention this one separately because, in the short to medium term, we can ignore it. But we will do so at out peril since it will probably be the one that brings the house down in the end.

Currently there is no such solution on the horizon (barring the stop-gap of uranium fission or the environmental lunacy that is methane clathrates), never mind imminently in view.

It's five minutes to midnight and the lights are about to be switched off.

Edited by Steve Cook

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Guest BoomBoomCrash

I can tell there aren't many scientists on this site because you all seem very out of the loop technology wise. Black silicon solar cells are going to be on the market within 3 years (read about them), nano structured solar cells within 5 years. There are dozens of viable ways of capturing the energy coming from the sun, tide, waves and winds, the problem is that oil remains too cheap. Once we see oil hit $200 these technologies will start to emerge as the intertia of change will be overcome by necessity. Even existing fission power can meet all world energy needs wihout a drop of oil or any new technology being deployed. It comes down to storage capacity in batteries, as that improves there won't be an energy nee currently served by fossil fuels that can't be met by energy stored in a battery.

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Guest Steve Cook
I can tell there aren't many scientists on this site because you all seem very out of the loop technology wise. Black silicon solar cells are going to be on the market within 3 years (read about them), nano structured solar cells within 5 years. There are dozens of viable ways of capturing the energy coming from the sun, tide, waves and winds, the problem is that oil remains too cheap. Once we see oil hit $200 these technologies will start to emerge as the intertia of change will be overcome by necessity. Even existing fission power can meet all world energy needs wihout a drop of oil or any new technology being deployed. It comes down to storage capacity in batteries, as that improves there won't be an energy nee currently served by fossil fuels that can't be met by energy stored in a battery.

Oh well, it'll all be fine then

And by the way BB I am, by inclination and training, fully versed in the scientific method you'll be pleased to know. Not that the above matters by the way. It's just that it appears to be important for you to know this.

Appeals to status are never a very convincing debating technique

Edited by Steve Cook

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Guest Steve Cook
In the meantime I will be quite happy surfing the LNG boom...

You should do well since, over the coming decades, energy of all kinds will be the biggest play in town

Edited by Steve Cook

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I can tell there aren't many scientists on this site because you all seem very out of the loop technology wise. Black silicon solar cells are going to be on the market within 3 years (read about them), nano structured solar cells within 5 years. There are dozens of viable ways of capturing the energy coming from the sun, tide, waves and winds, the problem is that oil remains too cheap. Once we see oil hit $200 these technologies will start to emerge as the intertia of change will be overcome by necessity. Even existing fission power can meet all world energy needs wihout a drop of oil or any new technology being deployed. It comes down to storage capacity in batteries, as that improves there won't be an energy nee currently served by fossil fuels that can't be met by energy stored in a battery.

The real solution will most likely be some sort of highly efficient fission/fusion reactor in every home. Pebble bed nuclear maybe many iterations later. I discount tidal and wave as distributing the power is one of the major inefficiencies of the current system.

One of the biggest problems will be that individual energy self-sufficient is not in any government's interest.

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Guest Steve Cook
The real solution will most likely be some sort of highly efficient fission/fusion reactor in every home. Pebble bed nuclear maybe many iterations later. I discount tidal and wave as distributing the power is one of the major inefficiencies of the current system.

One of the biggest problems will be that individual energy self-sufficient is not in any government's interest.

:lol:

You do realise that from now on I will experience the greatest difficulty in taking any thing you say seriously?

Not that I suppose you will lose any sleep over that revelation

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The real solution will most likely be some sort of highly efficient fission/fusion reactor in every home. Pebble bed nuclear maybe many iterations later. I discount tidal and wave as distributing the power is one of the major inefficiencies of the current system.

One of the biggest problems will be that individual energy self-sufficient is not in any government's interest.

:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

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I can tell there aren't many scientists on this site because you all seem very out of the loop technology wise.

Oh I think there might be a few of them tha sciencytists on the board now and then.

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
Oh well, it'll all be fine then

And by the way BB I am, by inclination and training, fully versed in the scientific method you'll be pleased to know.

Appeals to status are never a very convincing debating technique

You've become very cantankerous of late, ever ready to take offence.

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Guest Steve Cook
:lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:

Oh dear injin

Capitalism is as dead as all of the other cultural manifestations of the industrial revolution. It just doesn't know it yet.

Trading wont be dead of course. Along with all of those other humans traits such as nepotism, cronyism, reciprocation etc etc

Edited by Steve Cook

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
The real solution will most likely be some sort of highly efficient fission/fusion reactor in every home. Pebble bed nuclear maybe many iterations later. I discount tidal and wave as distributing the power is one of the major inefficiencies of the current system.

One of the biggest problems will be that individual energy self-sufficient is not in any government's interest.

Hmm.

Fissionable material in every home, what could go wrong? As for fusion reactors, a waste of time and money IMO. The investment made would be better spent refining and deploying more promising technologies that will come to fruition. The history of fusion research is one of huge investment with nominal progression.

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Guest Steve Cook
You've become very cantankerous of late, ever ready to take offence.

I'm not offended BB.

The only things that ever offend me are dishonesty and hypocrisy. Neither of which you are guilty of.

I am, however, a cantankerous old git

Edited by Steve Cook

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:lol:

You do realise that from now on I will experience the greatest difficulty in taking any thing you say seriously?

Not that I suppose you will lose any sleep over that revelation

maybe not every home but the aim of pebble bed reactors is certainly to operate on the apartment building scale, SSTAR is another micro reactor design that springs to mind.

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Guest BoomBoomCrash
I'm not offended BB.

The only things that ever offend me are dishonesty and hypocrisy. Neither of which you are guilty of.

So you're not refuting the charge of being cantankerous? :)

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There are lots of replacements for oil. Just not for 7 billion of us.

Post-singularity there won't be 7 billion of us ... there might be 7 billion somethings ;)

Or there might not. That's the nature of the singularity, you can't see beyond it...

But realistically I fear you are right, there's not enough fuel left in in the tank to get there.

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Guest Steve Cook
Well thats the most wishful thinking of all right there.

You may well be right.....

Oh well.

Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow..............

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Guest Steve Cook
Post-singularity there won't be 7 billion of us ... there might be 7 billion somethings ;)

Or there might not. That's the nature of the singularity, you can't see beyond it...

But realistically I fear you are right, there's not enough fuel left in in the tank to get there.

This is the central problem. Once pushed off our industrial perch, we will lack the energy to climb back on.

The metaphor of a house of cards springs to mind

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