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  • #659
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Phil’s Dad wrote:
    http://www.hsbc.com/1/PA_1_1_S5/content/assets/sustainability/climateconfidencemonitor09.pdf

    That’s a fascinating document! Wonder if we can apply this to focus fusion. A “fusionconfidencemonitor” would be useful. Their approach measures concern, committment, optimism and confidence:

    Concern: X is the biggest issue I worry about today. (or, most important task for science)
    Committment: Personally making a significant effort to help out with X.
    Optimism: Belief that X will be achieved.
    Confidence: Those who should be doing something about X are doing so.

    I like this angle for fusion. Perhaps some of you can develop a questionnaire to begin measuring this… Of course, an actual measure would have to use random polling or whatever – proper methodology. In any case, just putting things in these terms is a helpful tool to get people to think about the importance of the issue and where they stand on it. And it can be a part one and part 2 thing – fusion in general, vs. aneutronic fusion…

    I’d like to brainstorm on this a bit. That means – – – this needs its own topic thread.

    #4858
    AvatarDerekShannon
    Member

    I like it!

    #4873
    AvatarWarwick
    Member

    Rezwan wrote:

    Concern: X is the biggest issue I worry about today. (or, most important task for science)
    Commitment: Personally making a significant effort to help out with X.
    Optimism: Belief that X will be achieved.
    Confidence: Those who should be doing something about X are doing so.

    I like this angle for fusion. Perhaps some of you can develop a questionnaire to begin measuring this… Of course, an actual measure would have to use random polling or whatever – proper methodology. In any case, just putting things in these terms is a helpful tool to get people to think about the importance of the issue and where they stand on it. And it can be a part one and part 2 thing – fusion in general, vs. aneutronic fusion…

    I’d like to brainstorm on this a bit. That means – – – this needs its own topic thread.

    I guess I’m at Concern. As a statistics/simulation person I’m not sure what work is needed in the fusion arena. (I once applied to work at IST Lisbon, the place that does the research for HIPER, but they said they wanted someone with a more plasma background.)
    I imagine the same applies to a lot of people – other than telling their mates about it, what commitment can they make?

    Optimism – I’d say fairly. Confidence? Well, I believe some people are doing something… and that a lot of other people really really like treading in others’ footprints and building tokamaks.

    #4916
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Need to develop a survey for this. Might use survey monkey. http://www.surveymonkey.com/

    So, tools are handy, but now the tricky part is to craft the right questions.

    #4926
    BreakableBreakable
    Keymaster

    This might be a little relevant:
    http://www.talk-polywell.org/bb/viewtopic.php?t=1584

    #5392
    Avatardigh
    Member

    Rezwan’s correct, the key is to craft the right questions. For my graduate work I constructed 5 part Likert Scales then tested attitudes. The Likert scale is a simple and valid way to test subjective attitudes. Its simple to construct with attitudes ranging from ex. Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree in a five part range. However, validity depends on an insitefull if not artfull selection of the appropriate questions.

    #5395
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    Just for clarity; are we talking a fusion confidence monitor or a FF confidence monitor? 8-/

    Breakables Polywell link is very helpful.
    (Having said that and just to be pedantic; if the theory is wrong it will not work however many times you try. So the probability does not approach 1 just by doing it over and over. If the theory is right it will work the first time you get the engineering right too
    – but I digress) 🙄

    I think the questions ought to include two things.

    Firstly a step by step approach similar to that suggested by chrismb in the Polywell link with a probability at each stage.

    Step / Probability

    Will it get built? / 100%
    If built will it achieve pinch? / 100%
    If pinch will it fuse “low temperature” fuels / 99%
    If so will it fuse p11B / 98%
    If so will it overcome x-ray cooling / ?
    If so – and so on

    The second factor is time (back to the markets?)

    How confident are you that proof of concept will be achieved in 10 yrs, 5 yrs, 1 yr
    How confident are you that commercial FF generators will be available in …
    How confident are you that they will be widely adopted in…

    etc.

    Of course a short education in progress to-date would have to be included prior to the question as most people haven’t even heard of it. :down:

    Just as a relevant aside; I was chatting to a physicist in his lab at the UK National Physical Laboratory on Monday and Focus Fusion came up (well… y’know… I might have slipped it into the conversation). His specialty is fine measurement of temperature using sound so FF was a bit outside his brief. None the less his view was “it is thirty years away in the laboratory.” His big idea at the moment is to make energy so expensive that market forces drive emissions down to an acceptable level.
    Much to do. :-S

    #5404
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    I just finished reading Seife’s “Sun in a Bottle…the science of wishful thinking”. He has 0% confidence for conventional fusion. Tears them down. Utterly. Since pB11 fusion is much harder to achieve, would that make us wishful thinkers of wishful thinkers? Like “king of kings”.

    My confidence is not totally deflated, because he doesn’t address the DPF. Hasn’t heard of it.

    In fact, his book echoes our own critique of conventional fusion – you can’t control the instabilities. he also validates our whining: I worry that we sound like whiners because we aren’t with the “in crowd” of fusion scientists. But Seife paints such an unflattering picture of the mainstream and their own infighting – makes us look good & justified in comparison.

    Finally, he drives home the point that it’s effectively impossible to control the instability of unpredictable plasmas, as the mainstream seeks to do. Thus, Focus Fusion is outside the scope of his critique, because it works with the instabilities, instead of trying to control them. We’re not written off.

    But, will it work? I’d like to hope so, but, according to Seife, that’s the worst thing I could do. Hope. Optimism. Just another flavor of “delusional wishful thinking.” Per Seife, we must banish it from the process.

    Consider the confidence monitor approach: it has four components: concern, commitment, optimism and confidence.

    Seife’s book annihilates optimism. Optimism/delusion itself is the problem in fusion. Literally. His concluding sentence:

    The promise of a fusion reactor a few decades away has been a cliche for a half century. Every time it is repeated, it just illuminates how generation after generation of scientists, drunk with the promise of personal glory and unlimited energy, keep forgetting the hard lessons learned by their predecessors. The quest to put a star in the bottle is intoxicating. Fusion might be the energy source of the future. If fusion scientists are unable to rid themselves of their intemperate self-deception, it always will be.

    He doesn’t like it when people get excited about fusion. Best to approach things with a flat, unemotional tone.

    His book keeps asserting that wishful thinking has predominated fusion, and has led to all these scandals with bad data (but he only produces a few examples, like the cold fusion debacle, and that other one.) I suspect that many other fields of science are full of scandals – equivalent in the short cuts and the delusional thinking – but with less media impact because it doesn’t get the whole world excited.

    That’s a tu quoque argument, of course, and ultimately I don’t want to excuse bad scientists – but it appears the method worked. I mean, they debunked the cold fusion guys. And in fusion you can’t fake it. You can generate some hype for a while, but if your gizmo doesn’t work, it doesn’t work. Everyone will soon enough know.

    So, then his argument seems to be that these fraudulent, delusional fusion scientists simply don’t deserve money. Any money spent in pursuit of a grand dream is a swindle.

    I’m going to have to take another tu quoque moment here. Consider undeserved $. If we were to develop some sort of “corruption index” for science, economics and politics, or, let’s call it a “delusion index” – something which could quantify how many decisions are made from corruption or delusion, would fusion scientists, even in the most profligate experiment, rank poorly? The tens of billions of dollars spent on fusion energy so far have advanced our understanding of the problem – certainly our appreciation for it. A lot of this money has come from the defense industry, especially with NIF as Seife himself points out, because it isn’t even about fusion, it’s a cover for something nefarious and defense related. So, I don’t even think we should budget that under fusion.

    Tens of billions (need a ref) total, for conventional fusion so far, with no fusion results, although knowledge has been advanced (can you put a price on knowledge?). Are the scientists fraudulent and undeserving? How about the 700 billion for the economic bailout, in just a few short years. A lot of economists and people in the banking industry are certainly undeserving. Very dramatic. And going to war in Iraq based on non-existent weapons of mass destruction, 500 billion? 8 years? $/year?

    And here is Focus fusion, asking for a few million. When I spoke to the folks on capitol hill, they said “that’s a lot of money.” We need to prove the idea can work, before they’ll give us the money to prove the idea can work. Because we’re not with the “in crowd” (not desirable company per Seife, but still). and that makes us deluded wishful thinkers, rejected by debunked wishful thinkers, who, to be fair, as a class are no less deluded, wishful, or fraudulent than most of the professionals in most industries that make up our glorious economic and scientific establishment.

    Deep sigh.

    Arguing about optimism is frustrating. So, let’s look at those other factors – concern, committment and confidence.

    Start with confidence. In light of this surreal hyper-optimism, hyper-pessimism, and weird accounting practices (swallowing camels of economic bailouts and wars in Iraq and giant reactors, but choking on the tiny $2mil dense plasma focus) – are we doing enough to make this happen?

    Confidence: Those who should be doing something about X are doing so.

    LPP is doing its bit, but on a limited budget, which could prove to be an obstacle. Anti-gov sentiments aside, government & humanitarin orgs need to kick in their support. Many more people need to be concerned with this question, intrigued by this approach. Because it’s important, and we’re committed. All those who should be doing something about it – are not.

    #5405
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Since we can’t be wishful, I guess that leaves us with “grim determination”. :blank:

    Wait! Here’s a better grim smiley: :coolmad:

    #5406
    AvatarRezwan
    Member

    Rezwan wrote:

    Confidence: Those who should be doing something about X are doing so.

    LPP is doing its bit, but on a limited budget, which could prove to be an obstacle. Anti-gov sentiments aside, government & humanitarin orgs need to kick in their support. Many more people need to be concerned with this question, intrigued by this approach. Because it’s important, and we’re committed. All those who should be doing something about it – are not.

    My point being that, no, I am not confident that all those who should be doing something about this are.

    But…I’m confident we could be doing better!

    Seriously, though, Government needs to kick in. I guess that takes us back to #1 & 2, concern and commitment. Which falls back on pre-1, which is education, since most people don’t even know this option exists.

    Which brings me back to this website, and the members of this organization. Site supports members, members go and get the concern and commitment to happen.

    But at this moment, the priority is to make a cheesecake.

    #5408
    AvatarJimmyT
    Participant

    Phil’s Dad wrote: Just for clarity; are we talking a fusion confidence monitor or a FF confidence monitor? 8-/

    Breakables Polywell link is very helpful.
    (Having said that and just to be pedantic; if the theory is wrong it will not work however many times you try. So the probability does not approach 1 just by doing it over and over. If the theory is right it will work the first time you get the engineering right too
    – but I digress) 🙄

    I think the questions ought to include two things.

    Firstly a step by step approach similar to that suggested by chrismb in the Polywell link with a probability at each stage.

    Step / Probability

    Will it get built? / 100%
    If built will it achieve pinch? / 100%
    If pinch will it fuse “low temperature” fuels / 99%
    If so will it fuse p11B / 98%
    If so will it overcome x-ray cooling / ?
    If so – and so on

    The second factor is time (back to the markets?)

    How confident are you that proof of concept will be achieved in 10 yrs, 5 yrs, 1 yr
    How confident are you that commercial FF generators will be available in …
    How confident are you that they will be widely adopted in…

    etc.

    Of course a short education in progress to-date would have to be included prior to the question as most people haven’t even heard of it. :down:

    Just as a relevant aside; I was chatting to a physicist in his lab at the UK National Physical Laboratory on Monday and Focus Fusion came up (well… y’know… I might have slipped it into the conversation). His specialty is fine measurement of temperature using sound so FF was a bit outside his brief. None the less his view was “it is thirty years away in the laboratory.” His big idea at the moment is to make energy so expensive that market forces drive emissions down to an acceptable level.
    Much to do. :-S

    I am confident that once we check off a couple of more items in Phil’s Dad’s list that funding for the next step will become available. Money will follow experimental results.

    #5409
    AvatarAeronaut
    Member

    JimmyT wrote:

    Just for clarity; are we talking a fusion confidence monitor or a FF confidence monitor? 8-/

    Breakables Polywell link is very helpful.
    (Having said that and just to be pedantic; if the theory is wrong it will not work however many times you try. So the probability does not approach 1 just by doing it over and over. If the theory is right it will work the first time you get the engineering right too
    – but I digress) 🙄

    I think the questions ought to include two things.

    Firstly a step by step approach similar to that suggested by chrismb in the Polywell link with a probability at each stage.

    Step / Probability

    Will it get built? / 100%
    If built will it achieve pinch? / 100%
    If pinch will it fuse “low temperature” fuels / 99%
    If so will it fuse p11B / 98%
    If so will it overcome x-ray cooling / ?
    If so – and so on

    The second factor is time (back to the markets?)

    How confident are you that proof of concept will be achieved in 10 yrs, 5 yrs, 1 yr
    How confident are you that commercial FF generators will be available in …
    How confident are you that they will be widely adopted in…

    etc.

    Of course a short education in progress to-date would have to be included prior to the question as most people haven’t even heard of it. :down:

    Just as a relevant aside; I was chatting to a physicist in his lab at the UK National Physical Laboratory on Monday and Focus Fusion came up (well… y’know… I might have slipped it into the conversation). His specialty is fine measurement of temperature using sound so FF was a bit outside his brief. None the less his view was “it is thirty years away in the laboratory.” His big idea at the moment is to make energy so expensive that market forces drive emissions down to an acceptable level.
    Much to do. :-S

    I am confident that once we check off a couple of more items in Phil’s Dad’s list that funding for the next step will become available. Money will follow experimental results.

    I agree. We already have 2 successful experimental machines that have confirmed the predictions of our in-house theory development (theoretical progress is accurate but doesn’t sound substantial to my gut). This lets us plot the Plan and milestones on a ray (lines are a fixed length :down: ). This graphic would set the stage for 2010 to prove that funding FF has produced and continues to produce concrete results aimed at achieving practical fusion long before 2015. This would make the educational part more compelling, especially as we fill in a lot of dots next year.

    As for government funding, this seems to be a restatement of the ‘How to get a loan- prove you don’t need it’ banking cliche. One of our local hamlets just turned down a Stimulus Fund project to repave ~1 km because they could do it quicker and cheaper without the government meddling. I’m looking to the private sector, iow. Making the case that doing the right thing has enormous economic, environmental, and PR benefits for early adopters. But outstanding benefits for the mainstream, as well.

    Until then we have to soldier on. This means that we must have a vision, even if others label it a dream.

    #5410
    AvatarJimmyT
    Participant

    Describing progress as lines of finite length, I guess is true. But they are pretty long lines. Eric has assured me that once a commercially viable device has been produced; research will continue. I can envision teams of engineers and scientists working well into the future to make these generators: smaller, lighter, cheaper, more durable, easier to service. Perhaps different variants of the aforementioned characteristics for special settings.

    Neutrons aren’t always bad things. We need an ongoing supply of radioisotopes for research and medicine. If we can produce these in Focus Fusion generators, we should. Making it easier to avoid the other F-word (fission).

    #5416
    AvatarPhil’s Dad
    Member

    Rezwan wrote: But, will it work? I’d like to hope so, but, according to Seife, that’s the worst thing I could do. Hope. Optimism. Just another flavor of “delusional wishful thinking.” Per Seife, we must banish it from the process.

    A couple of years after I was born a powerful man looked up at the night sky and decided, right where he stood, that he would put a fellow country man on to the moon and bring him safely back. And do it before the end of the decade. Some hope.

    If I think further back I can almost hear them saying “You can’t sail around the world – you’ll fall off.” (And boy did he have trouble getting funding)

    Seife is guilty of the worst tu quoque of all. No one’s done it yet so it can’t be done.

    Until someone does.

    Chin up.

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