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OfflineLearyfan
It's the psychedelic movement!
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Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 30,330
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Last seen: 4 hours, 31 minutes
"Death throws of a system gone totally insane"
    #1920217 - 09/16/03 01:43 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Here?s an article about solar technology companies needing more money.



Link







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Mp3 of the month: Tommy Jett - Groovy Little Trip



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OfflineGernBlanston
unintended sideeffect

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 841
Loc: In my pants
Last seen: 5 years, 7 months
Re: "Death throws of a system gone totally insane" [Re: Learyfan]
    #1920319 - 09/16/03 02:51 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:


In eight minutes, the U.S. Government spends more money on running an illegal and unnecessary war than it took for a group of researchers to develop photovoltaic technology that is over 100% more efficient than previous designs. This cannot be explained away as merely "the vagaries of a big government," or some sort of endemic negligence. I'm not even sure this can be chocked up to criminal collusion at the highest levels. Nope. What we are witnessing is nothing less than death throws of a system that has gone totally insane.




Wow.  NICE find, Learyfan.  I've never seen that site before - I'll have to give it a good lookin'.  Thanks :smile:


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There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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Offlineyogaflame
Native

Registered: 09/14/03
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Last seen: 14 years, 2 months
Re: "Death throws of a system gone totally insane" [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1920764 - 09/16/03 08:15 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I think America is loaded.


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"Goodnight my friend" Bill


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OfflineGernBlanston
unintended sideeffect

Registered: 05/28/03
Posts: 841
Loc: In my pants
Last seen: 5 years, 7 months
Re: "Death throws of a system gone totally insane" [Re: yogaflame]
    #1921048 - 09/16/03 11:50 AM (14 years, 2 months ago)

As in "drunk"?
I'm loaded right now, then!


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There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.
  --  Howard Zinn


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OfflinePhred
Fred's son
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Registered: 10/19/00
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Re: "Death throws of a system gone totally insane" [Re: GernBlanston]
    #1921456 - 09/16/03 02:11 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

Yes, "nice find" indeed, if the intent is to find a textbook illustration of extremist ideological polemic ignoring fact. From the link Leary provided us --

Quote:

Read this article and think about what we could accomplish if a criminal gang hadn't stolen our entire existence at gunpoint:




A "criminal gang"? Our "entire existence" has been stolen at gunpoint? Uh huh.

It would have been nice if they had provided a link to the article they selectively quoted so we could actually read the article rather than plowing through hyperbolic crypto-anarchist buzz-phrases, but hey, I guess that's what Google is for. Here is a link to the full article -- a press release from Rensselaer Polytechnic. It's fairly brief and is written so the layman can grasp its essence. I suggest you read it through before reading my next comments.

http://www.wired.com/news/avantgo/story/0,2278,60301-,00.html

Now that we have had a chance to read the actual press release, it becomes apparent why cryptogon was reluctant to provide a link. What is the point of cryptogon.com's rant? Learyfan interprets it to mean that solar technology companies need more money, overlooking the fact that Rensselaer Polytechnic is not a solar technology company, but a University. But cryptogon goes further than Leary and claims:

Quote:

This story also proves (emphasis added by pinky) that the reason we don't have viable energy alternatives is because there is no will in corporate or government circles to create them. I've been saying it for years, and I'll say it again: The barriers to clean power are political in nature, not technological.




The story proves nothing of the kind. Perhaps in his zeal to quickly move on and dazzle us with his grasp of "simple" (but irrelevant) arithmetic, the author overlooked what the press release points out -- "The project has cost $700,000 so far, paid primarily by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority." Need I point out that NYSERDA is a government agency?

Okay... we have established that government does in fact have the will to create viable energy alternatives. Strike one to cryptogon.com. But what about corporate will? Let's go back to the press release:

'While Dyson won't comment on actual costs and efficiency rates until the research is published this fall, she did reveal that Bernie Sater at Photovolt, Rensselaer's manufacturing and design partner, has developed a new manufacturing process that "gets the cost down far enough that you can use it.' "

Need I point out that Photovolt Inc. is a corporation? Interestingly enough, Photovolt Inc. also receives government grants to research alternative energy sources. From this link: http://www.google.ca/search?q=cache:ZAO8...en&ie=UTF-8

"PhotoVolt acknowledges the generous support provided by the Department of Energy's Inventions and Innovation Program and the administrative oversight and assistance provided by Lizana Pierce, the Project Manager at NREL.? We believe there is no better Governmental program available to help independent inventors develop and demonstrate viability of unconventional new technologies, the initial step towards commercialization and solving the Nation's energy problems.? In addition, PhotoVolt is gratefully indebted for technical support given by the Photovoltaic Research Branch at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland OH under a NASA Space Act Agreement.? We especially wish to thank Don Chubb, Dave Scheiman, and Phil Jenkins for their expertise."

There's more --

"Photovoltaic technologies are important to the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) mission to develop clean, competitive power technologies for the 21st century.? Under the DOE Office of Industrial Technologies Inventions and Innovation Program, PhotoVolt was awarded a Grant to develop and finalize fabrication processes for its high intensity silicon vertical multi-junction solar cell (VMJ cell) and demonstrate its performance viability in solar concentrators."

Okay... we have now established that not only does government have the will to create viable energy alternatives, so does corporate America. Strike two to cryptogon.com. Let's now examine cryptogon's "simple arithmetic" --

Quote:

Let's do some simple arithmetic to demonstrate the point.
This solar project at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has cost $700,000 over a period of three years, and has already increased solar power conversion efficiency by over 100%! Again, this was accomplished with only $700,000. Let's take a look at the costs associated with the U.S. occupation of Iraq. You better be sitting down for this:
Cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq per month: $4,000,000,000 (source)
Cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq per week: $1,000,000,000
Cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq per day: $142,857,142
Cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq per hour: $5,952,380
Cost of the U.S. occupation of Iraq per minute: $99,206
In eight minutes, the U.S. Government spends more money on running an illegal and unnecessary war than it took for a group of researchers to develop photovoltaic technology that is over 100% more efficient than previous designs.




The way this is phrased, the implication is such that an uncritical reader is led to believe that all that is necessary to double efficiency yet again is to throw more money at the project. As any research scientist will tell you, things just don't work that way.

For the sake of argument, let's assume someone at Rensselaer has in fact invented a radically new variety of solar cell whose efficiency at converting sunlight to electricity is around 50 per cent -- a truly remarkable feat. We cannot be sure of these claims until they have been published in the appropriate peer-reviewed scientific journals and others have duplicated the results -- remember the "cold fusion" scam of a decade or so ago? But let's assume for now that the claim will hold up under scrutiny.

In order to achieve this astonishing level of increase (a doubling of efficiency in a field where increases of fractions of a per cent are celebrated), we are not talking about evolutionary refinements in manufacturing, but rather a revolutionary discovery -- a fundamentally different way of approaching the task. Such discoveries are not the inevitable result of unlimited budgets, but of flashes of insight in the brain of a single brilliant individual. In actual fact we could throw hundreds of billions of dollars at the field for decades more, before some genius visualizes the next quantum leap.

So, the implied "arithmetical" argument that if we were to divert the funds spent on military ventures to research into solar electricity, we would magically have photovoltaic cells of 100% efficiency in a year or so is also false. Strike three to cryptogon.com.

Just a minor point -- the term is "death throes", not "death throws".

pinky


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InvisibleEdame
gone

Registered: 01/14/03
Posts: 1,270
Loc: outta here
Re: "Death throws of a system gone totally insane" [Re: Phred]
    #1921773 - 09/16/03 04:12 PM (14 years, 2 months ago)

I have to generally agree with pink on this one I think. I read about this 'discovery' on Slashdot, and the general consensus was that it's PR bullshit until they provide actual proof of their claims. As far as I understand it, even the solar panels used in space by NASA are only about 28% efficient. I also read that 100% efficiency is almost impossible with what they describe, because some of the sunlight will always be reflected away due to the angles involved (these cells would be suspended in glass). They claim all this for only 25 cents a cell? I'm inclined to agree with pink's cold fusion comparison.


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The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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