Fusion Message Board

In this space, visitors are invited to post any comments, questions, or skeptical observations about Philo T. Farnsworth's contributions to the field of Nuclear Fusion research.

Subject: Re: IEC will never break even
Date: Mar 17, 5:43 pm
Poster: Scott Stephens

On Mar 17, 5:43 pm, Scott Stephens wrote:

>Dr. Bussard is absolutely convinced it is worth trying, and very likely that it will work. To the point that he has funded it out of pocket when he couldn't find anyone else to fund it.

Thats encouraging.

> Some of our stuff looks worse that Richard's -- Radio Shack parts, Home Depot science supplies

That's encouraging too, and indication that the objective has more value than the method and politics to accomplish it; the reference frame is global and altruistic rather than provincial and selfish.

If I had life experiences with organizations with those values, I wouldn't be so bitter and cynical. No doubt our culture wouldn't be disintegrating if those values were more common.

>I am sufficiently convinced the idea can work that I'm living out here on the wrong end of the country, 2200 mi away from my wife, keeping company with a cat, paying rent that is as much as the mortgage on our house.

I wish you the best of luck. I thought it odd that Richard Hull would be so pessimistic. Then again, I tend to be overly optomistic, seeing few of my aspirations realized with more effort and less performance. But that is life.

I guess R&D engineering maturity is being optimistic enough to try, and pessimistic enough to manage the project profitably. Keeping your eyes on the clouds with your feet on the ground.

I've half way through a wonderfull book about 'Learned Optimism" by Sieglman. Would be very usefull for serious inventors as it speaks to character traits necessary for a success. Which are not the same as those for a good businessman! And you can be optomistic and creative, yet impotent. Soviets make great theoreticians I understand.

I suppose I could write a few pages about what I've learned, and how it applies to our hobby, vocations and world.

But to summarize, I feel experimenting and learning about fusors (plasma physics)is a much better hobby than beach-combing with a metal detector or lottery tickets. An individual or small group may have a better chance than a giant lab, due to various systemic beaucratic faults.

The complexity is greater than that of an amature Tesla coil, or laser or turbojet, but not impossible as brewing your own Pentium CPU.

There is some poetic justice in the fact that nature will reward cultures with altruistic core values (reference frame), even with selfish motives. We may not know the names of all the kooks that tried to fly, et. but we're better off because a couple figured out how, so I don't see any specific fruitless sacrafice or accident is in vain, in context of history.