Book about Taylor Wilson is out

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Jim Kovalchick
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Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Jim Kovalchick » Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:33 pm

Several years in the making, Tom Clynes book about Taylor Wilson is now out for general release. Titled, The Boy Who Played with Fusion: Extreme Science, Extreme Parenting, and How to Make a Star, the book meintions the fusor community with specific mention and quotes for a couple individuals here including Richard Hull and Frank Sanns. Carl Willis's special role as a mentor for Taylor gets lots of mention.

I haven't finished the entire book, but it does come across as an interesting study on what can happen when parents with adequate financial means accomodate the early enthusiasm of a child. A couple quick thoughts on Taylor's story as told in the book:
1. Taylor's overt ability to call the attention of others to his special talents has proven to be invaluable in getting people to help him almost to a fault.
2. Gifted people who happen to be more typically shy and introverted are not as special in the eyes of the author and others.
3. Taylor's parents come across as giving a high priority to helping their children develop to their maximum potential in a very self sacrificing way.
4. Taylor's enthusiasm and high aptitude seems to be misinterpreted at times for creative genius. While certainly special for his ability to grasp topics at a young age, his 'ideas' don't really seem to be his own. All of it such as the fusor and his proposed uses as well as his most recent touting of molten salt reactors are all the ideas of others.
5. The author calls the fusor community "unsettling." It's hard for me to argue against the true perspective of another, but I really wish that we came across another way.
6. The author only vaguely hints at this, but the impact that Taylor had on his student peers at the 2012 Pittsburgh ISEF was not necessarily positive. Within the physics and astronomy category, other ISEF finalists were clearly put off by Taylor and his 'look at me' attitude. I wonder if this characteristic will have a negative impact on his ability to collaborate in the future.
7. Taylor both exagerates and under plays the hazards of radioactive material. When he wanted to make his work look special he sometimes grossly overstated the danger to others. In other cases, he was perhaps overly cavalier by doing things like digging in a pile of uranium ore with bare hands and no mask and by climbing over the fence of a closed mine. I blame the latter on his father who climbed over the fence with him. This action was not only reckless, it was illegal. I don't think this is helpful for those of us who pursue amateur science interests.
8. Taylor is a valuable proponent of nuclear energy, and the power industry should look to leverage his fame and showman skills while he is still young. He clearly has the ability to capture people's attention.
9. Time will tell whether Taylor made the right decision to skip college. Trying to make it with pure innovation and showmanship in the nuclear industry which is currently on the ropes because of of wind, gas, and Fukishima perceptions, will be tough.

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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Richard Hull » Thu Jun 11, 2015 11:47 pm

Fabulous review Jim. As I value your thoughts on the review, it seems that Clynes is selling Taylor as a marketable entity. I'll have to read the book myself, of course.

As for the author's view of the fusor community as unsettling.... Well he is viewing it from the perspect of so many out there who know truly little or nothing about the nuclear world. Anything nuclear is at the very finest "suspect" and nuclear stuff done by private citizens is often downright scary. I think he was actually quite mild in the use of "unsettling", for a lay person.

His parents are the real heros in my estimation. They accomplished something. They gave their boy all that he needed, when he needed it with a whole bunch of attaboys all along the way.

Will Clynes book create another tidal wave of newbie/DIY/fringe/new energy freaks, sweeping over this serious effort to create and assist serious amateur scientists interested in nuclear science? We will see.

We each have our own take on Taylor. Self-agrandizing and self-promoting would be my take. Obviously, intelligent and outgoing, As well. Still, what has he actually done for all the hype? Is it too early to tell? Will he be a Carl Sagan for the nuclear power biz with billions and billions of megawatt lectures and TV appearances? Like the fusion energy of the future, we will have to wait and wait and see.

Sadly, Taylor may ultimately be likened to the great predicted comet Kohoutek that fizzled in a big way with books being written about it before it ever arrived only to have those tomes doomed to forever remind us of a joke we played on ourselves.

I'll try and write a review once I read it. Thanks ever so much for taking your time to share your thoughts with us.

Richard Hull
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Fusion is the energy of the future....and it always will be
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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Mark Scott-Nash » Fri Jun 12, 2015 6:01 pm

Thanks for the review, sounds interesting.

As for Taylor, and not having read this book, you have to give the guy credit for being articulate and able to sell himself. I find it amusing that people judge him based on whether he is a show-off or not.

Being intelligent is a great personal asset but if you can't learn to be outgoing and communicative then you've severely handicapped yourself in the real world. He's got the assets for success and of course time will tell if he can negotiate the other hundred roadblocks out there.

Personally, I find David Hahn far more intriguing. He was truly creative in many ways, notwithstanding whether he was technically correct or it was a good idea. Not only that, his story likely inspired and continues to inspire a lot of interest in amateur fusor building.

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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Jim Kovalchick » Fri Jun 12, 2015 8:54 pm

Mark,
You raise some very good points about Wilson and Hahn that have parallels to lots of other modern human success stories. In the case of Taylor Wilson, his enthusiasm, intelligence, and ability to connect with lay persons arre his recipe for success. He doesn't have to be a Da Vinci to make it when he can sell an idea like that. At the other end of the spectrum you have Hahn who kept to himself. For people like him, success will be a rockier road. You need to work with others for resources, challenges, validation, and finally to sell the idea. If you clam up and go underground you may not make it even if you are a creative genius. Taylor Wilson, in all his pompous exhuberance, is proving that his formula works better.

The other interesting story is about parenting. There is a fine line between nourishing and spoiling. I think the Wilsons crossed the line a few times, but how can you fault their passionate engagement in their children's lives? The top colleges in the country are full of students who were raised by engaged and even intrusive parents. This data point is sufficient to validate that parenting model in comparison to one where parents are not as engaged. Hats off the the Wilsons and parents like them.

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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Carl Willis » Fri Jun 12, 2015 10:52 pm

Tom kindly sent me an advance copy of his book, which I read last weekend.

He has chronicled an inspirational phenomenon in nuclear physics: the ability of an enthusiastic child (a bright one, necessarily with the support of committed parents and mentors) to participate meaningfully in this domain popularly imagined to be the exclusive redoubt of "big science." He documents a victory for the "hands-on imperative," learning by doing, indulging curiosity about the physical world by actively exploring it. That's a foundational value of the Fusor.net community, of course, and we have numerous success stories to point to now.

Tom's book, while adulatory at times, is not a hagiography. He doesn't shy away from some important and uncomfortable questions: What do the quiet children endure in a family where one sibling is the focus of outsized public acclaim? How does being in the media spotlight shape the social outlook and character of a child prodigy? What do higher education and the professional realm have in store for the mature Taylor as an ex-Wunderkind with a highly-unconventional and very specialized background? Tom notes that while childhood achievement is often defined by knowing the answers, adult achievement is more about asking the questions, drawing upon a more introspective and deliberate type of genius. Transitioning from one mode to the other is hardly a sure thing. Tom breaks up the episodic biographical material with a more general discussion about the challenges of raising and educating intellectually-gifted children. He draws a distinction between positively-indulgent and "helicopter" parenting. He notes that a child's opportunities, independent of intellectual capacity, come from the parents and from the fortuitous constellation of resources in the wider community; obviously, many capable and curious kids do not have such a supportive environment. (What can be done to address the great imbalance of such opportunities is a very important, highly-politicized, question that this book doesn't really treat.)

There is a notable shortcoming in one respect, and it is a bias one finds in a tremendous amount of popular science writing that I call the "lone genius" trope. In this work, a casual reader without a nuclear background would probably be led to think--mistakenly--that Taylor invented Cherenkov detection for neutrons (the basis of his winningest ISEF project) or that his Scotch-tape neutron generator experiment described late in the book were without precedent, for example. The truth here is that Taylor made incremental, well-informed, synthetic adaptations of established understanding. That's the reality of most scientific progress. To acknowledge this doesn't dull the story and is not demeaning to Taylor's intellect, and in fact, being able to understand the genesis of his projects by way of his influences and his synthetic thinking and his experiential knowledge-base are are some of the most interesting aspects of his character to me. Folks like Zane Bell at ORNL did pioneering work on Cherenkov neutron detection in the preceding decade involving the same materials (Gd in water, for instance) and in pursuit of the same application: efficient detection of fissile materials without the expense of He-3 counters. (Jon R. and I posted on the use of a rhodium plating bath-based Cherenkov detector for fusor neutrons back in 2010 on this forum.) The use of Scotch tape in vacuum to generate electrons and x-rays was reported in 2008 by UCLA postdoc Carlos Camara, and to get from high voltage (generated with tape or by any other means) to neutrons is the sort of logical progression that comes second-hand to a fusor builder. Taylor's achievements arise from a process that is far more collaborative and communal than the fashionable trope would have us believe--a process that is more representative of science generally.

The anecdotes in the book that involve me are mostly very flattering. I do have one unfortunate quote (on p. 149) relating to the degree of support I got from my parents for my own youthful science activities. The comment could be read to infer that my parents were generally unsupportive, which isn't the intended reading and isn't fair to their considerable efforts on my behalf. While I am certain the quote is accurate (Tom is a very careful researcher), the context was that of Taylor wishing his folks had scientific backgrounds, and my rejoinder (from experience) that this is a double-edged sword: while my parents were powerful advocates for me (they helped me scrounge parts for my first Tesla coil, took me on trips, notably to visit Richard Hull when I was twelve or thirteen, gave me space in the workshop, and helped me find plenty to read), they also drew the line on safety in a very different place from Taylor's parents and were more effectively able to enforce their chosen limits because of their own enhanced understanding about what I wanted to do. I had to take a lot of activities "underground" or at least partially underground in order to have fun with radiation and explosives, notably. I don't have a strong opinion about which style of parenting is or was "better;" I recall wishing at times that I had less-scientifically-educated parents who kept me on a longer leash, a la Taylor's. On the other hand, there are obvious advantages to having experienced scientists in the family, even at the expense of living on a shorter leash. I think my parents did a commendable job and mostly struck the right balance.

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Jim Kovalchick
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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Jim Kovalchick » Sat Jun 13, 2015 12:43 am

Carl,
Let me start by saying that I too think your parents did a commendable job! Your positive and sharing bias makes all the amazing things you do that much more amazing. Thanks for being one of the heros of this community.

I think your post is a fantastic commentary, and given your front row seat, it would be difficult to argue against your positions.

You seem to take some difference with one of the more troubling aspects of the story. Specifically about whether the author should be assigning credit to Taylor for his apparent discoveries or instead giving him credit for his early understanding of complex topics while also communicating them with his unbounded enthusiasm. I would certainly credit Taylor for the later, but not necessarily the former. The author doesn't seem to want to communicate that, but he is not alone. This is why I worry about young talent like Taylor. Is it possible for others to so misinterpret the true aspect of the story that they push him down the wrong path? Or even mislead Taylor himself into believing the hype. That would be tragic.

In Taylor's defense, I'm not sure that it is his fault. Take the example of the scotch tape neutron generator. In the book's description of that story, I did not see words indicating that Taylor did anything other than show excitement for the new experiment he had done. It was the author who suggested it belonged in Nature. Surely the author is unaware that Camara and Putterman were already in Nature for adhesive triboelectric acceleration. I agree that a fusor builder would find the connection to neutron generation obvious. My son mimicked the UCLA experiment before he built his fusor. When he made neutrons in the -20 kV range with his fusor he realized that the 27 kV xrays he previously measured from his scotch tape generator meant that it could accelerate to fusion relevant energy. Taylor probably came to the same conclusion. Not really a big deal, and more of a parlor trick than anything else especially when you know that even Camara has moved past using tape as a good way to make the effect. Except that Clyne makes a huge deal of it further adding to the Taylor Wilson myth to the discredit of the good parts of the young man. All that being said, the science fairs where Taylor gained his biggest fame and accolades were full of projects that were also good science done by teenagers but were otherwise ideas that were hatched up by others. Taylor just used the ideas of others better than most.

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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Jun 13, 2015 4:33 am

I have my copy of Clynes book on order and it has supposedly shipped. I will hold comments regarding it until it is read.

As regards parenting, I was fortunate in having a mother (father left - divorce at 5 years of age) who demanded I read. I could read whatever I wished, but I had to read. I was twice blessed by the time of my birth. As a Baby-Boomer, and a son of a Great-Depression survivor, I was exhorted to be more than my parents and to get an education regardless of all obstacles.

The glorious "Atomic Age was upon me from birth. Boys were especially pressed to be engineers and scientists during the ice cold war for the sake of the nation. To this end, the U.S. government supplied U.S. Army artillery ranges twice yearly to amateur rocketeers like me to launch homemade steel missles. President Eisenhower and his Atoms for Peace program supplied me with an endless supply of general licensed radio-isotopes from Oak Ridge. Everything came to me that most any boy could want at that time. I had a good parenting and a supportive government aimed at arming itself with the best and brightest in engineering and the sciences. It was a "hands on imperative" world then. You could get real chemicals for rocket fuel with ease, radio nuclides, all manner of electronic surplus from WWII, live biological specimens and a good deal of scientific gear either through purchase, trade or self-manufacture. You learned to scrounge as a way of life to get what you needed. No internet, no computers, only a public library and local group activities of similarly minded youth.

Taylor seems to have mastered much of this in a world that had grown a bit cold, prohibitive and terse towards the youthful, hands on imperative that often blossoms in youth. Thanks to his parents, Carl and others, he has had a lot of the bumps on the road in the modern, post nuclear world smoothed out for him in his quest.

How much greater are the successes of those here in the neutron club who have had none of this? How many of these success stories had to work around scared and concerned parents in the vein of Carl Willis or suffered the slings and arrows of overbearing, curmudgeonly retorts from such as myself on this forum? These are the bold, the brave, and the successful who stand as good a chance as any in the real world, regardless of whatever they undertake in life.

Here endeth the lesson.

Richard Hull
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Re: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Richard Hull » Sat Jun 27, 2015 7:47 am

I have finally completed my reading of Clyne’s book on Taylor Wilson. Interesting read that was a good one, though I winced a bit in places.

A huge portion of the book was devoted not to Taylor, but about how we educate ”whiz kids”. It delved into how their education is or has been done wrong and how it might be done better. A large number of experts are consulted, each with their own slant on the issue. Studies were quoted and suggestions made throughout the book. The public, especially parents who just know their kid is special, will lap this up.

As a populist tome, this book is surely a huge success. The tale is spun……. Incredibly brainy kid outstrips his environment at every turn. His parents are befuddled, but proud, frightened, yet supportive. Taylor gets good, supportive schooling in elementary school, yet founders in junior high school. His parents send him to a special high school where he is supported in an incredible fashion. He is sent to herd among the finest mentors anyone might ask for in the Physics Dept. at UNR. Taylor’s Davidson School is located on the UNR campus. With all this help, support, and his own verve he creates a working fusor in a corner of the high energy plasma physics lab at the university,which was cleared and set aside for his fusor. Who wouldn’t class this as an amazing win for a pre-destined winner? A fabulous tale, well told.

How many in the fusor Neutron Club had this easy path? Virtually all the members of this group had no easy row to hoe. Many had no mentors outside of this forum. Many picked up the technology, the physics, electronics, material science, etc. by reading and study. Others blundered through to a win via sheer force of will with machines of many different stripes. As noted earlier, this in no way detracts from Taylor’s abilities or good fortune in his win. What it does for me is amplify to the nth degree the work of others who won due to packing the gear needed to win under trying and difficult circumstances, bordering on the near impossible.

Now, to the wincing I did while reading….This in no way hurt the book’s effort towards the satisfaction that might be gleaned by the general public’s reading. Folks in the Neutron Club here might take issue with many statements regarding the fusor. I will give a few examples that I found amazing.

It was stated that Taylor needed a vacuum orders of magnitude greater than outer space. Wrong, of course! Few opertional vacuum systems can achieve a vacuum equal to that of true outer space. Near space, maybe. The definition of outer space can be quibbled over, of course. Outer space typically means the space clear of any trace of atmospheric molecules....Say, midway between Earth and Mars perhaps ~10e-9 torr. Interstellar space is far below this figure. Fusors function at a pressure of 10e-2 torr, but need to go to about 10e-5 torr prior to pumping in deuterium.

Taylor supposedly could not get a sufficient vacuum with a fore pump and a diff pump. He had to link the diff pump in tandem with a turbo pump! Two of his best mentors in the physics dept. advised Taylor they doubted he could get the desired vacuum with just a diff pump! He must have had leaks as the vast majority of winners went well over the finish line with rather crude systems using only a diff pump as their secondary pump. I have logged over 2 million fusions a second in fusor IV with a diff pump.

It was stated that the grid was one of the most challenging items to construct in the fusor when it is actually one of the easiest. The typical quote of how it had to survive the vicissitudes of hundreds of millions of degrees in the fusion zone was predictable. The author swallowed the fusion scientist's blab fed to the public telling why fusion is so difficult. We can forgive him as he could not have known that the temperature he quoted is not a thermal temperature as the public would know and perceive it, but a "physicist speak" of the statement of deuteron kinetic energy in a highly rarified gas. This Boltzmann based equivalency temperature, (kelvins), is fully explained in some detail in our FAQs.

viewtopic.php?f=24&t=9223&p=62526#p62526

Fusion, in our fusors, takes place in "velocity space" by quantum tunneling as none of our acceleratory voltages allow for full potential well defeat. In other words, it is a quantum probalisitic crap shoot. What we lack in fusionistic elegance, we make up for by herding quadrillions of cats towards an opening suitable for just a few million per second to get through. The ones that don't get through each second, die a horrible death, falling into cat hell where their burning bodies heat the fusor shell with real finger burning degrees centigrade.

Taylor was told the stuff he needed to build his fusor was incredibly expensive. Yes, if you purchase 100% of it at list price! Many winners here cobbled up winning systems with less than desirable gear and have found some amazing work-arounds.

Taylor was told it was impossible to build a fusion reactor, and impossible to understand how the particles interacted to create fusion without an understanding of nuclear physics and mathematics. You really do not need to know this to build a successful fusor, but you can find out all you need to know right here at fusor.net. Many here have won without this in-depth knowledge, though most ultimately absorbed it from the FAQs or self-paced side reading and study. This is something we highly advise of our would-be fusioneers.

I do not know if the author reported what he was told or not, but he got a number of fine and important points in the sciences and of fusor construction just flat-out wrong.

Finally, the idea that the machine is simple and that the physics of its specific operational modality would seem straight-forward is advanced in the book along the often parroted "path of re-circulation". We now know this not to be the whole story by half. The fusor is working on many functional planes to achieve fusion. Many of these “other paths to fusion” within a working fusor have been covered in the theory and operational forums over the years.

All in all, it was a good read, but we read with a more critical eye having done fusion ourselves. The general public could never understand or be capable of understanding the finer points. Those few that might comprehend, probably wouldn't take the time to study the process to the depth where they would "own" the overall picture.

I hope, in the end, Taylor’s star continues to shine as a star which is born to shine for a long time and not that of a brilliant and short lived super nova whose explosion is seen and heralded in lore and media only to fade from view in short order.

Them's my thoughts..

Richard Hull
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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: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Richard Hull » Fri Jul 03, 2015 7:50 pm

A follow up on the theme of this thread…..

The hardback copy of the book I bought by Tom Clynes was only $9.50 and listed as used on Amazon. It arrived here only three days after my original posting here in which I noted that I had a copy on order….. More on this later.

A bit about me and those early “Sputnik days”.

I am a tediously slow reader. Twenty pages read in an evening is a true accomplishment. Do not get me wrong, I love to read and was taught the value of reading by my mom at a very young age. As an amateur scientist and hands-on guy in the mid-late 50’s and 60’s, reading was the only way to get highly detailed information I needed to advance my amateur efforts. This meant many regular trips to the city library via the bus…We had no automobile. The Richmond city library was vast and the only library containing any significant books on the kind of science in which I was interested. There was no Internet and the gulf affixed between the true scientist of the time and an 8-15 year old kid was great indeed. My reading was held back by the type of content I was reading. You had to absorb every word to gain in-depth understanding. I discovered true, gut-level, understanding came rapidly with "the doing". I owned what I did and once ensconced in the soul of my brain, new ideas and thoughts came fast. I paid large late fees on books on loan that I just had to keep far beyond the two weeks allowed. I checked out certain favorite tomes many times.

I could spin out of control here about my youth and scientific efforts which followed Taylor’s path, though less rapid or elevated due to a blue collar yet loving household consisting of me, my mom, a brother, and two grandparents. My grandfather was a lone-wolf custom cabinet maker and had a shop on our property. His tools and tutoring in their use help breed the hands-on imperative.

The upshot of the foregoing is that I was a Taylor Wilson along with a large number of my peers in the Atomic Age – Sputnik – Cold War era. Clynes caught on to this in his book and this buoyed my feeling for his overall understanding of that period. The government supported and stressed the need for youthful science under Eisenhower. His administration showered money and material on schools and made available what might today be considered deadly, dangerous or hazardous tools and supplies, to youthful amateur scientists. There were virtually zero restrictions on the purchase of chemicals and many items that are today, totally controlled within the bowels of litigious-conscious corporations or bloated government bureaucracies designed, ostensibly, to “keep us safe”.

A stunning crossover has occurred for the Taylor Wilsons of today that is a horridly painful situation as observed by myself who did things and lived in an age when you could do most anything as a youth if you were fortunate enough to have money. The thing that your parents did then, having lived through the Great Depression, was to stress the need to get an education above all things. Educate, educate, educate, was the clarion call. Forget what you were interested in now, get educated and you will figure it out in late high school before college. It was all about getting a good job and having a happy family for the rest of your life. It wasn’t so much about being happy in your job as the job was a means to an end…..Money and, thereby, happiness. The work ethic was the thing. Almost no one loved their job. That was a dream for the very few. The type of job would define you and your family’s future through simple economics. It was a simplistic philosophy that worked at the time.

The stunning crossover that I noted above is that I and my fellow Taylor Wilsons had access to any materials we dare dream of, yet, functioned with little money and no easy access to information, at least not with the ease of today. There was no Internet or e-mails or forums for the like-minded. You had to seek out and identify kindred spirits among your school chums to form school based “bunds” or, at best, form local city wide rocket clubs, chemistry, electronic and science clubs. Within these limited means, you “did things”! The doing was the thing!

The Taylors of today have instant access to any depth of knowledge they choose to follow. They have 1000 ++ like-minded folks to commune with daily. Unfortunately, many are handicapped with 5 thumbs on each hand. This handicap is sponsored by a world which has manufactured things that are safe and wonderful that are ready made for them and dropped into their hands. For the few who have capable and inquisitive hands, raw materials of in-depth science are expensive or absolutely unobtainable at most any price. The true Taylors of today will win due to sheer verve, of course, just as we did in my day. It is just everything in the process is juxtaposed.

Today, if it is not a manufactured goody then you don't need it or certainly shouldn't want it or any of the materials needed to make it yourself.

The dissolution of the family and home structured values, coupled with apathy on the part of many single parents can create monsters that are left to prey upon society. Inner city education is, for the most part a joke. Is it any wonder why a Taylor Wilson is so vaunted today? He is the result of a perfect chain of events in a crumbling society.

Much of the foregoing is an attempt to show that fusor.net is a gathering place for those few Taylor Wilsons who are interested in nuclear science at a core level and why it is our responsibility to shepherd their efforts. Within this mantle of responsibility we will see the best complete the task they start out upon. Others we will see, for a myriad of reasons, fail and disappear. It is unfortunate that we can’t all sit down and tell our tales in person. A written epic would fall short. Without interaction as a group, we would not be able to ask questions and learn the “work-arounds” so hard won related to getting around recalcitrant or failed parenting, indifferent schooling, non extant mentoring and lack of access to critical materials, etc.

I plan on instituting just such a session at HEAS this year for those youthful in attendance. A group of old guys will tell their tales and the youthful will tell theirs with good interactive comments and questions as the flow develops.

Back to the book itself….I have just received what appears to be a complimentary copy of the book from Houghton-Mifflin-Harcourt, probably from a list given to them by Tom Cylnes, perhaps in appreciation for the interviews and assistance given. What amazes me is that I was able to get a used copy in my hands on the 16th when the publication release date was 9 June 2015!

I did put forth a great effort to carefully read the book at a blindingly rare pace once my Amazon copy arrived. With the new complimentary copy came several cut sheets with reviews of the book. Across the board, the focus of the bulk of the reviews were on Tom’s main theme which, in my view, had Taylor as a back story and the science of fusion, itself, as an also-ran. The great emphasis was on parenting and schooling and recognition of bright kids. It is more of a parenting and educators book than a tale of Taylor Wilson and his perfect, “guided missile-like” path to fusion.

Taylor’s story is told well in spite of certain obvious gaps, extensions and mis-statements related to the precise science involved. As a populace effort it is a cool story. But, we read with a hyper-critical eye having traveled the trajectory ourselves.

Blessedly for most here, this might be my last significant epistle entered in this thread.

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: Book about Taylor Wilson is out

Post by Paul_Schatzkin » Fri Jul 03, 2015 8:35 pm

Ah, sorry, not so fast there Richard...

Actually, I've been sorta off the reservation for a while... thankfully Richard gave me a call this afternoon and a heads up on this book.

I've downloaded it to my Kindle so that I can read it over the coming long weekend (we're going camping near the Nantahala River in North Carolina).

I'm intrigued to learn what the perspective of this book is, and glad to hear it's giving some credit where it is due for Fusor.net.

Actually, I think I'll print these pages and take 'em with me, too. I'm told there's not a whole lot in the way of connectivity where we're going. Which is probably a good thing.

Have a good weekend and I'll check in with y'all next week.

--PS
Paul Schatzkin, aka "The Perfesser" – Founder and Host of Fusor.net
Author of The Boy Who Invented Television - http://farnovision.com/book.html
"Fusion is not 20 years in the future; it is 50 years in the past and we missed it."

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