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John McCarthy

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Jul 1, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/1/96
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from a news story about a Chinese experimental "fast neutron reactor"
to be built by 2000.

Development of fast neutron reactors was crucial in
the face of China's growing energy needs in the next
century. China would need 120 million to 240 million
kilowatts of nuclear energy by 2050, Xinhua reported.

120 million kilowatts is more than the capacity of the 109 American
nuclear power plants.

A very large amount of CO2 will not be put in the atmosphere if the
Chinese carry out their plan.

Unfortunately, many of those most worried about greenhouse gases are also
anti-nuclear.
--
John McCarthy, Computer Science Department, Stanford, CA 94305
*
He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.
http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/progress/

Scott Nudds

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Jul 4, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/4/96
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(John McCarthy) wrote:
: A very large amount of CO2 will not be put in the atmosphere if the

: Chinese carry out their plan.

: Unfortunately, many of those most worried about greenhouse gases are also
: anti-nuclear.

Here again we see McCarthy implying that nuclear power is the solution
to the CO2 problem. In order for nuclear power to be a solution, the
vast majority oc fossil fuel consumption will have to be replaced with
nuclear reactors.

McCarthy has supplied us with an estimate for the number of reactors
that will be required to reach such a goal. His estimate is 120,000
reactors of current generating capacity.

McCarthies estimate is an underestimate by 50% to 100%, so lets say
180,000 reactors will be required.

Assuming a reactor life of 50 years, new reactor facilites would have
to be constructed at a rate of 10 facilities per day until new forms of
power are found.

Construction costs over these 50 years will total roughly $1,000
trillion dollars.

McCarthies view of the world is a throwback to the 1950's era as seen
through the eyes of an adolescent popular science reader, and comes
complete with robotic assistants and personal flying devices.


---
2. The article I quoted from makes a good case that natural, large
scale unpleasant events have occurred many times in the last 10,000
years. My point was that the unpleasant consequences of these events,
e.g. deserts in California and the American Midwest can be avoided by
very large scale engineering. - John McCarthy 1996/04/19

Now that I think about it, I have serious doubts about the possibility
of insulating a car, because of all the glass it needs. - John McCarthy
1996/02/28


--
<---->


Joseph Hertzlinger

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Jul 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/5/96
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In <4rg1pn$k...@james.freenet.hamilton.on.ca>
af...@james.freenet.hamilton.on.ca (Scott Nudds) writes:

>McCarthies view of the world is a throwback to the 1950's era as seen
>through the eyes of an adolescent popular science reader, and comes
>complete with robotic assistants and personal flying devices.

We have robot assistants. A microwave oven is an excellent assistant
in cooking. AltaVista is a very good assistant for the purpose of
locating preposterous statements by environmentalists.

Those are Boucher's robots instead of Asimov's but that's just a
quibble.

We have the abilities that personal flying devices would produce.
We can fly off to another city quite easily --- by airline. Airlines
improved enough to make personal planes unnecessary.

As a general rule, when a technology isn't developed, it is usually
because there is a better means of doing the same thing.

There is a strong possibility that solar energy may render other forms
of nuclear energy unnecessary. In that case we anti-environmentalist
wackos should advocate nuclear energy anyway. When we advocate nukes,
the Greens talk about solar. When we advocate solar, the Greens
advocate abandoning industrial civilization.

>2. The article I quoted from makes a good case that natural, large
>scale unpleasant events have occurred many times in the last 10,000
>years. My point was that the unpleasant consequences of these events,
>e.g. deserts in California and the American Midwest can be avoided by
>very large scale engineering. - John McCarthy 1996/04/19

Make sense to me --- except that some people might want deserts.


Tooie

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Jul 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/5/96
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Joseph Hertzlinger (jher...@ix.netcom.com) wrote:
:
: >2. The article I quoted from makes a good case that natural, large

: >scale unpleasant events have occurred many times in the last 10,000
: >years. My point was that the unpleasant consequences of these events,
: >e.g. deserts in California and the American Midwest can be avoided by
: >very large scale engineering. - John McCarthy 1996/04/19
:
: Make sense to me --- except that some people might want deserts.
:
Dudds, I suggest you examine Holland and the Netherlands of which large
percentages are below sea-level and are kept dry due very large scale
engineering. Sorry, I don't have an URL, I guess the Dutch are part of
some conspiracy. And you had the nerve to call Rod a "right wing
paranoid looney". It must be due to YOUR rectal-cranial inversion! ;-)

tooie

DaveHatunen

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Jul 5, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/5/96
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In article <JMC.96Ju...@steam.stanford.edu>,

John McCarthy <j...@cs.Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>from a news story about a Chinese experimental "fast neutron reactor"
>to be built by 2000.
>
> Development of fast neutron reactors was crucial in
> the face of China's growing energy needs in the next
> century. China would need 120 million to 240 million
> kilowatts of nuclear energy by 2050, Xinhua reported.
>
>120 million kilowatts is more than the capacity of the 109 American
>nuclear power plants.
>
>A very large amount of CO2 will not be put in the atmosphere if the
>Chinese carry out their plan.
>
>Unfortunately, many of those most worried about greenhouse gases are also
>anti-nuclear.

Were the USA willing to build a similar dam across the Columbia River
at, say, the Gorge between The Dalles and Portland, we could have a
similar energy source. of course, like the Three Gorges Dam, the
Columbia would flood immense amounts of land and communities, but it
could be done.

And a very high dam at the Lake Mead end of the Grand Canyon would
probably be a very good energy producer. I'm sure with modern
technology we could build a dam well over a thousand feet high.

--


********** DAVE HATUNEN (hat...@netcom.com) **********
* Daly City California *
* Between San Francisco and South San Francisco *
*******************************************************


Scott Nudds

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Jul 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/6/96
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(Joseph Hertzlinger) wrote:
: We have robot assistants. A microwave oven is an excellent assistant

: in cooking. AltaVista is a very good assistant for the purpose of
: locating preposterous statements by environmentalists.

Joseph Hertzlinger seems to believe that a microwave oven or a piece
of software is a robot. Perhaps he believes that a blender a whisk and a
fork are robots as well.

Unless Joseph Hertzlinger is knowingly abusing the term "robot", it
must be concluded that he is ignorant of definition of the term.


(Joseph Hertzlinger) wrote:
: We have the abilities that personal flying devices would produce.

Do you? Do you fly to work? Fly to the corner store? Clearly you do
not. Hence the abilities you mention, do not include the abilities
provided by a "personal" flying device.

I invite you to pick up a 1950's copy of popular science and create
your own personal flying device.


(Joseph Hertzlinger) wrote:
: As a general rule, when a technology isn't developed, it is usually


: because there is a better means of doing the same thing.

So much for personal flying devices...


(Joseph Hertzlinger) wrote:
: There is a strong possibility that solar energy may render other forms


: of nuclear energy unnecessary. In that case we anti-environmentalist
: wackos should advocate nuclear energy anyway. When we advocate nukes,
: the Greens talk about solar. When we advocate solar, the Greens
: advocate abandoning industrial civilization.

Spoken like a true anti-environmental loonie. There is no logic to
your vitriol, you are driven strictly by hate.


- Hoover Hypocrite ---------------------------------------------------

"The Biomass Alliance doubtless includes farm organizations. The image
that comes to mind is that of a large number of piglets squirming to get
at a teat of the sow." - John McCarthy in SCI.Energy

2 weeks later...

"My research has indeed been supported by the Government - almost
entirely by the Defense Department..." - John McCarthy in SCI.Environment

My BMW 325i will comfortably go 300 miles on a tanfull before its
threatening light goes on. - John McCarthy 1996/01/12


--
<---->


Scott Nudds

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Jul 6, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/6/96
to

(Tooie) wrote:
: Dudds, I suggest you examine Holland and the Netherlands of which large
: percentages are below sea-level and are kept dry due very large scale
: engineering.

Extremely small potatoes in comparison to what McCarthy is proposing.

Do you think the Dutch have done anything close to the difficulty of
removing all of the thorium from the crust of the earth to a depth of
one mile? How amout removing all the iron from one cubic mile of
average "country rock"? How about removing the salt from the California
soil to a depth of 30 meters?

Or, how about building 120,000 nuclear reactors?


(Tooie) wrote:
: Sorry, I don't have an URL, I guess the Dutch are part of


: some conspiracy. And you had the nerve to call Rod a "right wing
: paranoid looney".

Why do you guess the Dutch are part of some conspiracy? Are you a
right wing loonie like Rod-rectal-cranial-inversion Adams?


(Tooie) wrote:
: It must be due to YOUR rectal-cranial inversion! ;-)

Immitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

---
Let me repeat that 25,000 reactors was computed on the basis of
(1) all countries reaching American energy usage levels
(2) all energy, including for transportation, being nuclear.
- John McCarthy 1996/02/05

The U.S. has about 1/20 of the world population, so it would seem that
40,000 reactors would be required to meet the world's energy requirement
at American usage levels. American energy usage levels will only be
required at an American standard of living. - John McCarthies web page
/04/96

The arithmetic suggests 120,000 reactors - in say 6,000 power plants.


--
<---->


Joseph Hertzlinger

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Jul 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/7/96
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In <4rkria$i...@james.freenet.hamilton.on.ca>
af...@james.freenet.hamilton.on.ca (Scott Nudds) writes:

>Joseph Hertzlinger seems to believe that a microwave oven or a piece
>of software is a robot. Perhaps he believes that a blender a whisk
>and a fork are robots as well.

Hmmmmm. No. Pens and pencils on the other hand can be considered
robots.

> Unless Joseph Hertzlinger is knowingly abusing the term "robot", it
>must be concluded that he is ignorant of definition of the term.

A robot is something that does part of your work for you. The pen I
mentioned above is taken from the noted mathematician Euler who said
that he was able to make his discoveries because his pen was smarter
than he was.

>(Joseph Hertzlinger) wrote:
>: We have the abilities that personal flying devices would produce.
>
>Do you? Do you fly to work? Fly to the corner store? Clearly you do
>not. Hence the abilities you mention, do not include the abilities
>provided by a "personal" flying device.
>
> I invite you to pick up a 1950's copy of popular science and create
>your own personal flying device.

OK. Pick up an old copy of Astounding and point to routine use of
personal flying machines to get to the corner store. (I can think of a
well-known piece of SF that mentioned routine use of personal flying
machines --- Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon --- but it was
written several decades earlier and also included environmentalist
ideas.)

While you're at it please try to find a statement that nuclear power
will be too cheap to meter.

>(Joseph Hertzlinger) wrote:
>: There is a strong possibility that solar energy may render other
>: forms of nuclear energy unnecessary. In that case we
>: anti-environmentalist wackos should advocate nuclear energy anyway.
>: When we advocate nukes, the Greens talk about solar. When we
>: advocate solar, the Greens advocate abandoning industrial
>: civilization.
>
> Spoken like a true anti-environmental loonie.

Thank you.

> There is no logic to
>your vitriol, you are driven strictly by hate.

I was not a pro-nuclear fanatic until I read anti-solar stuff from
environmentalists.

Besides, I thought I was driven by a combination of a neural link from
Rush Limbaugh and large bribes (which haven't shown up yet) from Exxon.

Maybe I'll try negotiating with someone else.

Excuse me. I have to adjust the antenna I use to contact the Ferengi.


John McCarthy

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Jul 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/7/96
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The stuff about "too cheap to meter" was from an after dinner speech
by Admiral Lewis Strauss talking to science writers in 1955. Various
environmentalist propagandists have ascribed it to the nuclear
industry, but you can't imagine someone trying to get an power plant
into his rate base babbling about "too cheap to meter".

I would be grateful if someone could find the exact quote from
Strauss. I think he was promoting Eisenhower's new "atoms for peace"
policy which involved declassifying the technology required for
nuclear reactors.

Steinn Sigurdsson

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Jul 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/7/96
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In article <JMC.96Ju...@Steam.stanford.edu> j...@Steam.stanford.edu (John McCarthy) writes:

The stuff about "too cheap to meter" was from an after dinner speech
by Admiral Lewis Strauss talking to science writers in 1955. Various
environmentalist propagandists have ascribed it to the nuclear
industry, but you can't imagine someone trying to get an power plant
into his rate base babbling about "too cheap to meter".

In situations where costs are dominated by capital
costs and fuel and distribution costs are low
enough, metering is not worthwhile - if the incremental
capital costs are low in turn, then metering really
is not worth while. Many water utilities, for example,
do not bother metering, because their costs are not sensitive
to demand over a large range of plausible demand and
the development costs have been written off.

John McCarthy

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Jul 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/7/96
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True enough. And if fuel costs were the only costs of nuclear
electricity and distribution were cheap, it might work out that way.

DaveHatunen

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Jul 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/7/96
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In article <JMC.96Ju...@steam.stanford.edu>,
John McCarthy <j...@cs.Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>The stuff about "too cheap to meter" was from an after dinner speech
>by Admiral Lewis Strauss talking to science writers in 1955. Various
>environmentalist propagandists have ascribed it to the nuclear
>industry, but you can't imagine someone trying to get an power plant
>into his rate base babbling about "too cheap to meter".

It is not necessary to meter something in order to charge for it.
Consider, for instance, current ISPs at $20/month flat rate.

In some areas, water is paid for by the month, not by volume.
Especially residential water.

DaveHatunen

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Jul 7, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/7/96
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In article <JMC.96Ju...@steam.stanford.edu>,
John McCarthy <j...@cs.Stanford.EDU> wrote:
>In article <lk7msgf...@sandy.ast.cam.ac.uk> ste...@sandy.ast.cam.ac.uk (Steinn Sigurdsson) writes:

[...]



> In situations where costs are dominated by capital
> costs and fuel and distribution costs are low
> enough, metering is not worthwhile - if the incremental
> capital costs are low in turn, then metering really
> is not worth while. Many water utilities, for example,
> do not bother metering, because their costs are not sensitive
> to demand over a large range of plausible demand and
> the development costs have been written off.
>
>True enough. And if fuel costs were the only costs of nuclear
>electricity and distribution were cheap, it might work out that way.

Not necessarily. If fuel costs are trivial, then charges can be based
mostly on amortization of the capital costs and fairly precitable
oeprating costs. Thenm it is only necessary to divide the total annual
costs by the size of the customer base to arrive at a monthly charge.

Don Baccus

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Jul 8, 1996, 3:00:00 AM7/8/96
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In article <4ri58e$6...@sjx-ixn2.ix.netcom.com>,
Joseph Hertzlinger <jher...@ix.netcom.com> wrote:

>Make sense to me --- except that some people might want deserts.

Yes, indeed. Some of us, even some of us who love technology and
living in an industrialized civilization, would feel less whole if
they were to disappear.
--

- Don Baccus, Portland OR <do...@rational.com>
Nature photos, site guides, and other goodies at:
http://www.xxxpdx.com/~dhogaza

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