Thanks for your answer.
Given that empirical science cannot ever conclusively prove anything, you may never find a physicist to tell you that it isn't possible. But there's no reason to think that it is possible. Compare to Russell's Teapot.
We don't know whether this is possible. You are the only one to make the choice between:
Pascal's wager and oppotunity cost madness ensues thereafter. However, maybe I'm blindspotted, but I can't find a better topic to bet on - would solve all problems solvable with resources.
I don't think I can find a non-emotional way to convince people to switch from
we should not search to
we should search (for infinite energy).
Addressing rationally (but it's not clear how reason can change values/emotions) :
Comparison to Pascal's wager is an interesting point. Sounds like it makes sense to some extent. I am not 100% certain though that the one could fundamentally boil down the infinite energy problem to Pascal's wager, because:
So in a way, the infinite energy idea is at the very least more like a Pascal's wager, where there seem to be far fewer gods.
But ultimately, this is an emotional issue. It is very similar to climate change in this regard, just more abstract, further away, and with higher payoffs.
Hey Guy, thanks for your feedback.
I might be wrong on this, but the way I understand probability to work is that, generally:
What this means, is that technically:
simply on the basis that more constraints make the probability of the event smaller.
The interesting point however is that I have found (so far) no physicist that says this is not possible.
I have also not found anyone yet who knows how to estimate the effort so far.
I would be very interested however if there are arguments against this position.
And I'd be even more interested in people who want to help me with this initiative :D Arguments are nice, but making progress is better!
Thanks for your explanations of what likely is the issue regarding disagreement here. I appreciate it that you spent some time to shed light here, because feedback is important to me.
I knew about Isaac Arthur, I'm trying to reach out to him and his community as we speak.
I'd try to add some clarrifications, hoping I adress the concerns of those people that seemed to be in disagreement with my idea.
I find it quite surprising that people concerned with the long-term welfare of humanity seem to be against my idea.
If there are genuine arguments against my position, I'd totally be open to hear it - maybe indeed there's something wrong with my idea.
However I can't find a way to get rid of these points (I think this is philosophy)
Framing in "What we owe the future" terms:
So if my points are correct, we basically have a tradeoff between:
This is a genuine dylema, I don't have the answer to it, but my intuition tells me that we should invest more than 0 effort in this goal.
@Erin, or others:
Do you have any other idea where I should take this problem? As said, I'm trying to reach out to Isaac Arthur and many other people. Do you think this would be interesting for William MacAskill?
Thanks a lot,
Hi all, I'm Vlad, 35, from Romania. I've been working in software engineering for 12 years. I have a bachelor's and master's degree in Physics.
I'm here because I read "What we owe the future", after it was recommended to me by a friend.
I got the book recommended to me because I had an idea which is a little unconfortable for some people, but I think this idea is extremely important, and this friend of mine instantly classified my thoughts as "a branch of long-termism". I also think my idea is extremely relevant to this group, and I'm interested in getting feedback about it.
Context for the idea: Long-termism is concerned about people as far into the future as possible, up to the end of the universe.
The idea: ...what if we can make it so there doesn't have to be an end? If we had a limitless source of energy, there wouldn't have to be an end. Not only that, but we could make a lot of people very happy (like billions of billions of billions .....of billions of them? a literal infinity of them even)
It sounds crazy, I realize, but my best knowledge on this topic says this:
So my conclusion is: some amount of effort into the topic of infinite energy should be invested.
Is anyone interested in talking about this? I can show you what I have so far.
P.S. fusion is not a source of infinite energy, but merely a source of energy potentially far better than most others we know
P.P.S. I created this website for the initiative: https://github.com/vladiibine/infinite-energy
This book contains studies of poor people, how they spend their money, and what could help them the most: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10245602-poor-economics?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=3qdox2Dpdo&rank=1
Hi @Erin , thanks for your continued interest in this topic.
Thanks for being blunt. Bluntness is good for saving time.
Let me address some things you said:
That is simply just not true. If we had infinite energy tomorrow, very soon after that, we could solve all problems solvable using resources. Let me present a list of stuff we could do very very soon (likely <10 years, extremely likely <100 years):
There is lots of potential here, but I found that if I start talking about all the things that could be done, people are actually
Based on the refutation above, this point does not stand anymore.
This is an awkward argument to address. Sure, everybody I ever met could be lying, and there's always solipsism. Same argument applies to everyone. I don't think this is a healthy way to continue a conversation - throwing doubt into what people say. It's not healthy compared to an alternative that fortunately enough, we have:
Please however let's avoid distrust-based arguments in the future, and let's replace them with data-based arguments.
I'd avoid them first of all because, being from Eastern Europe, I am not aware of the existence of people who would not call an idea "stupid" right off the bat, instead of being polite, if they had the slightest distrust in it. Am I wrong? Not sure. Am I lying? You can't be sure. So let's let experiments decide :)
@Erin, I can't fight belief. If you believe this idea is wrong, there's not much point in talking.
Sure, you said "think", not "believe" - taken, however thinking and reason means explanations, justifications, models, and logic. Do you care to justify:
I understand that this might be a deep emotional backlash. Humans have emotions, yes, unfortunately at times.
I'm however looking for supporters, and there will be only so much time I will spend on arguing with non-supporters. If you don't want to believe that people are interested in this, feel free. If you want to see what actually is happening, check out http://infiniteenergy.org
It kind of feels like all I have so far was said. I don't have more data at this point to get you more toward "omg, this might be possible after all", but I am eager to hear your arguments, that might get me more toward "omg, this might actually not be possible" - as they say in startups: "negative feedback is the best kind of feeback".
Thanks for your feedback!