The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


One of the many failings of the progressive world view is the underlying assumption that all existing problems will remain unchanged going forward. That we must spend trillions trying to remedy existing problems when they may be resolved in other ways by changes in culture and/or changes in technology. That BIG (Big Intrusive Government) and its central planning and control hierarchy (ironically, in an increasingly networked world) are necessary to solve these problems and that individual freedoms must be subservient to the dictates of BIG (as long as those dictates dovetail with progressive thought).

Today, Lockheed-Martin announced a breakthrough in energy technology:
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Lockheed Martin Corp said on Wednesday it had made a technological breakthrough in developing a power source based on nuclear fusion, and the first reactors, small enough to fit on the back of a truck, could be ready for use in a decade.

Tom McGuire, who heads the project, said he and a small team had been working on fusion energy at Lockheed's secretive Skunk Works for about four years, but were now going public to find potential partners in industry and government for their work.

Initial work demonstrated the feasibility of building a 100-megawatt reactor measuring seven feet by 10 feet, which could fit on the back of a large truck, and is about 10 times smaller than current reactors, McGuire told reporters.

In a statement, the company, the Pentagon's largest supplier, said it would build and test a compact fusion reactor in less than a year, and build a prototype in five years.
If this nuclear fusion technology pans out, it changes almost everything. First, it demonstrates for the millionth time, that the private sector (driven by—the horror!—profit) is far more competent in changing the world than BIG. But more important, it demonstrates that the progressive hysteria over climate change (global warming) is based on the assumption that nothing would change, that fossil fuels would dominate for the next 100 years. If Lockheed-Martin's fusion reactor goes mainstream, that won't happen. In fact, dominance of oil might begin to wane within a decade or two.

In addition to the petrochemical industry and the Middle Eastern countries that have been hotbeds of Islamist terrorism funded by oil money, the biggest losers will be those who have preached the climate change narrative. They'll be faced with clean, abundant, cheap fusion energy—no nuclear waste to worry about, and no significant environmental impact (although I'm certain the greenies will come up with something).

Richard Fernandez comments on all of this when he writes:
While most of the attention will be focused on the “non-fossil fuel” aspect of fusion development, Lockheed Martin appears to understand its most revolutionary aspect. It’s small and empowering. A glance at the diagram shows that the associated inputs still have to come from substantial auxiliary structures. It needs “neutral beam injectors” and some way to power and cool its superconducting magnets and carry away the resulting energy from the reaction.

All the same, if its promise is fulfilled, mankind will have its first sci-fi, dilithium-crystal modulated, flying-car capable, fusion engine. That spells f-r-e-e-d-o-m. All we need now is robots, a 3-D printing manufacturing machine, a ray gun and off we go. It basically recreates everything central planners hate: the modern equivalent of a horse, six-gun and a wide-open frontier. Even your own robotic sidekick. “I’m back in the saddle agin’.” The stars, my destination.

As I’ve written elsewhere, the 21st century promises to raise the curtain on the affinity group. The individual, the small, interest focused group will be viable in the age of disintermediated knowledge and productivity. The giant, bureaucratic Marxist hive of the 20th century is not the wave of the future.
BIG is so 20th century. But then again, most progressive thought draws heavily on ideas that are rooted in the 1960s. Hopefully, BIG is not the wave of the future, but it won't go down without a fight.