LENR and Jobs

In recent months I have been noticing an increasing number of news stories and media commentary on the expected impact of automation on jobs. The basic premise of the articles is usually the same: that a large percentage of jobs that are currently done by humans will disappear within the next few decades as robotics and artificial intelligence develops and is deployed to replace them.

Here’s just one example from the Pew Research Center. In an article titled “The Future of Jobs and Jobs Training”, the authors write:

“Machines are eating humans’ jobs talents. And it’s not just about jobs that are repetitive and low-skill. Automation, robotics, algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) in recent times have shown they can do equal or sometimes even better work than humans who are dermatologists, insurance claims adjusters, lawyers, seismic testers in oil fields, sports journalists and financial reporters, crew members on guided-missile destroyers, hiring managers, psychological testers, retail salespeople, and border patrol agents. Moreover, there is growing anxiety that technology developments on the near horizon will crush the jobs of the millions who drive cars and trucks, analyze medical tests and data, perform middle management chores, dispense medicine, trade stocks and evaluate markets, fight on battlefields, perform government functions, and even replace those who program software – that is, the creators of algorithms.”

Many people like to think that their own profession is special, and it would be unlikely that their particular job could be replaced by a machine, but the list above covers a huge range of jobs; white and blue collar, low-tech and high-tech.

While there seems to be wide agreement that technology will mean the replacement of workers by machines, there is less consensus on whether more new jobs for humans will be created than lost. The Pew article cited above reports that in a 2014 survey, 48% of experts surveyed responded that more jobs would be lost than created, while 52% believed the opposite.

So where does LENR fit into this picture? I actually think that most people currently thinking and talking about jobs and automation are completely discounting the possibility that a radical new energy source could emerge in the near future. Many leaders today talk about a wave of “green jobs” that should be created to deal with issues connected with the environment and climate change, but they are thinking in terms of jobs connected with wind and solar, rather than LENR. A recent US Department of Energy report stated that in 2016 the solar workforce increased by 25% in 2016, and wind power workforce increased by 32%.

If LENR really does prove to be a viable energy source, and it takes off commercially, there should be a surge in workers needed to manufacture and install LENR power systems, and this could certainly add jobs to the workforce. If the power density of LENR is far superior to other energy sources, and if it is widely recognized as being inexpensive, safe and carbon-free, there could be a worldwide push to transition away from both the fossil fuel industries, and wind and solar, and a whole new industry could be born with many new workers needed to bring about this transition. Jobs would be lost in the current energy sectors, but perhaps surpassed by new LENR jobs.

There is also the indirect impact of a LENR revolution to consider, which could be much more significant. There are regions and nations where the economy is largely based on oil, coal or natural gas resources, and move away from fossil fuels to LENR would have a massive economic impact which would affect not only jobs but government revenues. Oil-rich nations are already dealing with the fallout from a huge drop in oil prices over recent years, and are struggling to fund basic government programs. Those problems could be exacerbated if LENR breaks out.

I am thinking here in the short term, but long term impacts from LENR could be even more significant. I believe we have not yet seen an energy technology that is as potentially revolutionary as LENR. Energy production has always been a labor and resource intensive, but from what we have been hearing lately, it could become a rather trivial thing in terms of cost and labor to produce massive amounts of energy, and this is something the world has never faced. Since energy costs are at the root of almost all production, we could really be moving into an age of abundance which could upend all political and economic systems and cause us to rethink how society functions.

  • Omega Z

    That mythical beast. It does not exist and neither will a Utopian world. Your utopian world would require the elimination of free will and a collective mind. Star Trek had a name for such a species. BORG. Are you prepared to be assimilated. Most will not and will fight to the death.

    There is also those who aspire to a life of leisure. While some leisure can be rejuvenating, a life of leisure leads to a weaker species and eventual extinction.

  • Warthog

    And once again with the same vague handwaving you always do. All theory, zero facts.

    ” it will simply not be a money-mediated exchange, but organized via scientific planning within the totally robotized production system and the totally automated distribution system, in the same way as today, within a GM factory, the welding robot does not buy the car doors from another robot. “

    Money is money, whether it is pieces of paper, or zeros and ones in a computer. It is simply and only a medium of exchange.

    “…in the same way the capitalists knew what their goal was, bourgeois enrichment, but surely did not imagine, for example, the hundreds of years of wars needed to unify the capitalist markets among European kingdoms.”

    Capitalism hasn’t EXISTED for “hundreds of years”, so certainly cannot have been the cause of the wars in Europe. The only warfare that can reasonably be attributed to capitalism started with the 20th century. Religion and colonialsm accounted for most.

    “As for your usual argument of killer communists and the market in Soviet Union, I have already debunked it explaining that since the 50’s various authors defined those regimes as state capitalistic.”

    More accurately stated as, “we communists failed, so we’ll call the failure something other than communism”. More broadly practiced by the entire left as “we didn’t like what happened, so we’ll change what the call the subject”.

    “…. violence is always exerted by counter-revolutionaries in the first place.”

    Really?? It hasn’t appeared to be so in most of the time period I have personally observed (~1950 to present day).

    ” f you are in agreement with the “plan” of the bourgeoisie that has freed itself from the domination of kings, I would not give support to the workers’ plan for liberation from the dominance of the bourgeoisie. But I could justify your statement if you belong to the ruling class.

    I’m not in agreement or disagreement with ANY “plan”. I’m just pointing out the actual realities that have existed devoid of BS propaganda. Certain things have worked, and shown themselves repeatedly to have worked. Certain other things have NOT worked, and repeatedly shown themselves as not having worked.

    “Remember, though, by definition, communism is a project for the liberation of all humanity.”

    From what??

  • Andreas Moraitis

    Maybe of interest:

    “False Alarmism: Technological Disruption and the U.S. Labor Market, 1850–2015”


  • Bruce Williams

    I didn`t know Steve was interested in LENR !

  • Warthog

    And how, exactly do “you communists” plan to “…abolish the market, selling, and money in general…..” ??? The only means communists have ended up with thus far is killing off or imprisoning anyone who disagreed with them. People have exchanged goods and services since the days of Neanderthal man. How do you plan to force them to do those exchanges according to your “scientific” plan?? Or will the reality be a burgeoning “black market”, as has happened in every attempt to impose Marxism attempted to date??

  • Warthog

    “Will need to produce same (and surely more) machinery and tools as
    capitalism, with the difference that these amounts would not be a result
    of man exploitation, but of human scientifically planned cooperation,”

    Oh yeah….that has worked out so well thus far. 100,000,000 dead who didn’t agree with the “scientific planners” approach.

    The problem you communists have is that you are stuck with the thinking of Marx, who was an incompetent idiot in real life, sponging off of Engels. There is nothing scientific about communism. “Dialectical materialism” is a complete circular fantasy and a colossal failure in the real world.

    I read your “plan” on how to implement communism, and you are stuck in the year 1913, before the abysmal track record of the next 75 years.

    But you and your ilk are so absolutely convinced in your own minds that only your way is the right way, and, in the end, anyone who disagrees with you ie “evil”, and has to be eliminated “for the good of the proletariat”.

  • Warthog

    “….in capitalism, it is necessary to produce large amounts of capital….

    Communism will need to produce exactly the same amounts of capital in order to have an advanced civilization. Machinery and tools will still be needed for production.

  • Omega Z

    You are so delusional right down to believing capitalism is a modern concept. Nothing has changed in 1000’s of years except that we have become better at it. All the while raising the standards of living for everyone. Even the poor have a better life then they did 1000’s of years ago.

  • Omega Z

    I think people’s expectations are greatly over blown. There is going to be a lot of distraught people when reality sets in. Energy is just 1 aspect of life among many. LENR will merely provide cheaper energy. All else will remain mostly the same.

  • Vinney

    But what do you think of my idea of a rollout of ‘low temperature e-cat technology’, it’s already in the hands of his ‘former’ (and commercially dormant) partner IH, but Rossi will introduce the world to his technology using the developing world needs.
    You also cannot get a more ‘altruistic’ entry into the market.
    In these same Markets it would be pointless for IH to pursue their legal and stalling tactics, when these people desperately want to elevate their living standards.
    It will be incredibly frustrating for them at every turn, as their intention is to ‘stall’ the rollout (assisted by the bidding of the elite), but instead Rossi is raising everyone’s standard of living to western standards but using only one hundredth of the traditionally required energy resources in coal, oil and gas.
    The environmental impact of this rollout would make ‘western’ observers green with envy.

  • georgehants

    Until the day comes when the poorest children in this World have exactly the same care and equal opportunities to advance as the richest then every one of us is a failure.

    • Omega Z

      Then we shall always be failures. All things being Equal, things are never or ever will be Equal. We are all different. It’s part of nature. Nature demands diversity to allow survival of the fittest.

      • LilyLover

        George isn’t saying ‘same pampering’; what he means is elaborated thus – democratized examination and admission processes to medical school leading to democratized medical knowledge with ample and better doctors leading to doctors sitting idle; when a patient comes in, they get full-luxurious-care and are sent home after embetterment.
        When equi-sick “rich” and “poor-orphan” make a phone-call to doctor and are picked up by the Medical Services, the probability of obtaining the quality of doctor and the quality of treatment by either, must be same util they both are discharged.

        This does not mean that the rich cannot order pearls to eat while getting better. But the Medical Center provides the high quality nutrition to both.
        The important factor is top of the line doctors (highly paid) are availed by time-urgency or logical algorithm not by patient’s ability to pay.

        Survival of the fittest is old, subhuman, scarcity-paradigm.
        If an aggressor eradicates you, did you deserve to be eradicated?

        & Equal opportunity to advance means NOT rewarding un-earned goodies through indirect rent-seeking through interest rates. –> (Rich people’s kids get better internship positions and better recommendation letters from people that are richer, smarter, and have plentiful non-rushed time on their hands, to become richer lawyers/doctors/businessmen.) <– Another form of parasitic leverage.

        • US_Citizen71

          Much of human society worldwide is caused by the desire to improve one’s place and possessions beyond what the average is. Yes, there are small groups that do not behave this way, but in general it holds true. You will not find many that would not like to see the hungry fed or medical care to all that need it. Changing human society to make those goals happen is not that easy or it would be done already. We can would, should, could all we want but without a step by step plan to change the status quo to reach this utopian vision the vision becomes not much more than a Hobbit’s pipe dream. Identifying the need for change is step one, the next thousand steps are where it gets complicated.

          • cashmemorz

            Local governments here in Ontario, Canada have long promised to eradicate poverty. Finally one socialist party leader admitted that the reason children are still hungry is because they have no political clout. Politicians listen mostly to those with some kind of power already in their hands, be that political power as in voting or money and nice sounding rhetoric as in lobbying. So the political system has to be revamped to get the politicians to listen to those with most urgent life threatening needs first, not those who are already in good shape and want more or better to satisfy their personal idea of want.

        • Omega Z

          Equal health care is not obtainable. A recent think tank report stated that if you allow everyone who wants to be or has wanted to be a doctor in the past regardless of abilities and qualifications to become a doctor, there will still be a major doctor shortage in the world. And the number of doctors per capita is expected to continue to decline far into the future.

          In our modern pampered world, It seems income starting at $250K plus a year can’t overcome the eww-ick factor that entails the gross bacterial-laden human body.

    • Warthog

      “The poor you will have with you always”………God.

  • nietsnie

    I stand chastened.

    • Stephen

      I probably should have said “super mega hyper powerful neutrino weapons” just to be sure it works 😉.

      But actually neurtrino momentum is quite interesting. They travel at the speed of light so in someways carry momentum more like a photon…

      On the other hand they have some other interesting properties related to mass. Although they have some mass it is unlike other massive particles that gain almost infinite mass to an out side observer as they approach the speed of light. Netrinos apear to have low mass at the speed of light. It’s even more interesting that the spear to be able to oscillate between flavours i.e. Between electron, muon and tau neutrino flavours each of which have their own mass and also travel at the speed of light although I suppose this could be energy dependent.

      Still given all that physics im not sure yet what I would do if an alien in a space ship threatened to

  • SG

    The long sought after post-scarcity world. And to think we might all be playing a small role in seeing come about.

  • Warthog

    “It is getting pretty annoying that so many pro-capitalism advocates
    can’t seem to get this, in my opinion, at least, relatively simple

    See my above posting re the scientific method. Your position is speculation and nothing more, with no hard evidence to support it. Ugly facts tend to kill beautiful theories. Alfred has presented MANY facts (some of which I knew, and some of which were new to me).

    • For god’s sake, I wasn’t even responding to you. Well, I’m not bound by science. Anyone who is following cold fusion, or any other controversial area, should know that science gets things wrong, sometimes, and other forms of reasoning can get things right, even if the science is practiced perfectly.

      As far as my position and speculation…well, I don’t think that it is just speculation to say that when people are hard at work trying to come up with machines to, NOT aid, but TOTALLY REPLACE humans…well, it ain’t just speculation to say that, at some point, the humans will probably be replaced. If you think that’s not going to happen, then I think that YOU have a burden to show that to be the case, and do it WITHOUT appealing to some dopey idea that because it has always happened a certain way in the past it will necessarily always keep happening the same way in the future.

      • Warthog

        So science is dopey?? The SOLE thing that has resulted in a massive increase in global societal wealth, and mass decreases in virtually every index of measurement of “bad things for humanity”. Albert has provided excellent evidence outlining the REAL data.

        The problem with cold fusion is that the real scientific method WAS NOT FOLLOWED. There was nothing that science “got wrong”.

        I personally watched the first wave of “robots are gonna replace humans” back in the 1980’s, while working for one of the world’s biggest chemical companies. A company (Zymark) came up with a robot that was going to totally revolutionize the chemical analysis business, and eliminate the need for chemical technicians. Said huge chemical company bought several systems (one came into the group I worked in) and spent a huge number of research manhours trying to get it to work. Turned out there were a lot of variables that no one had considered, and said robots were abandoned, as the problems proved intractable.

  • Warthog

    “……while the other is pragmatic, and undeniably bleak, and sees the
    results of these developments strictly in terms of precedent and track

    That is called the “scientific method”. It “does” work. Those postulating socialist-type societal reorganization are hypothesizing with no evidence (and in fact much negative evidence) to support their contentions. The constant refrain is “it is just common sense”. Well, no, it isn’t.

  • FC

    For what it’s worth, here’s Warren Buffett’s opinion on the impact of AI on US jobs:


    • Omega Z

      Buffett is mostly following the hype. Reality wont be anything like predicted. This same prediction was made in the early 80’s. While a lot of bots and computers were introduced, it never reflected the prediction. If it had, the current prediction wouldn’t be necessary.

  • Rheulan

    Now, Ahlfors is suggesting, as fas as I can understand his silent posts, that Rossi is using this beauty to test the QuarkX calorimetry:


    “Differential Scanning Calorimetry – DSC 404 F1/F3 Pegasus® Method, Technique, Applications Differential scanning calorimetry (DSC) is one of the most frequently employed thermal analysis methods. It can be used to analyze nearly any energetic effect occurring in a solid or liquid during thermal treatment.”

  • Albert D. Kallal

    The analogy with the horse is silly. I mean for this discussion the horse is tool. We don’t see old tubes in tube radios from the 1950’s talking to each other and asking what they will do in the future either – did we? And horses are machines – not people and thus the comparison makes little if any logic.

    The fact that we not using older machines like horse or radio tubes and attempting to state that because we use less tubes, we going to have less work for humans? The difference here is wants of humans are UNLIMITED! The horse was a machine to facilitate economic activity OF humans – not a human that had a job.

    I thus disagree that the “nature” of newer tech makes any difference here. The de-industrialization of the nation did not occur due to automation but primary occurred to the failed free and open trade policies. The last 40 years of history has been shown to be a disaster of too open trade and that is what wiped out so much of the middle class. This “big change” towards us supposedly designing things here and manufacturing them in say China is the PRIMARY reason for the thinning out of our manufacturing and industry – not some magical change in technology.

    And the conclusion that such technology results in less human jobs is not proven by history nor is a strong intellectual case been made that anything has changed in this regards.

    What the internet has facilitated is sharing of information. And this has supported and allowed manufacturing to occur near anyplace.

    You can manufacture high quality cordless drills in the middle of Africa with a modern fab plant that is the size of a double garage. The REAL change then is WHERE you can (and will) manufacture those cordless drills.

    In the past to manufacture those drills you needed rather LARGE investments in capital to create a “viable” plant to build such drills. Now with computer controlled milling, 3-D printing and small automated robots you can build those drills ANYWHERE you want. In fact due to all these cool computer controlled machines, we are seeing a rise in small manufacturing returning to the USA.

    I mean look at this cool video of this James bond like one man helicopter. Note how “nice” the unit looks, but MOST amazing is the video towards the end: You see it was built by some bloke in Russia near in the middle of nowhere. And take a look at his “garage” manufacturing facility and the tools he has at his disposal. (Simply incredible!) Without such “cool” equipment which are essentially robots that fellow would likely be a chicken farmer.

    The video is only 2 minutes – fun to watch!


    MORE cools is the plant at the end:

    Sorry – but automated machines ALLOW you to build and make incredible things – things that people need or want. I am quite sure that the horse does not nor need a one man personal helicopter!

    In fact, with new technology if you can dream it you can quite much build it. In fact the challenge THEN becomes what cool product you “want” to build – and our imagination is really un-limited. Unlike that horse!

    The above change in information flow and small technology manufacturing means that industrial policy and especially trade policy is what going to drive your jobs (or lack of).

    And we see with Brexit, Trump and yes even the rise of La Pen in France shows that the NEW political area is not so much left vs right in politics, but that of globalism vs that of nationalism – that is people simply figuring out why all their jobs are gone – (globalism).

    While Le Pen lost in France the “direction” is towards nationalism – it still growing in Europe and the next election in France thus VERY likely suggests that a “nationalist” will win (and note how conservative and socialist parties were nearly wiped out in voter support). The NEW politics is globalism vs nationalism).

    This “nationalism” is EXACTLY what we had before free trade and globalism – and globalism is EXACTLY the trend that caused all the job losses and des-industrialization of the USA.

    In my province I see TONS of older brewery buildings that date back to the 1930’s. You see, before free trade and the 100 years of REALLY great increasing income we ALSO saw that such prosperity occurred where trade was managed. So “managed” trade does not mean we don’t trade – but ONLY do so for OUR interest. (That means supporting business where you live!).

    So provinces in Canada had a law that if you sell beer here, you have to setup a brewery to do so. That way you paying local taxes for hospitals, schools, and you also buying wheat, barley etc. from local farmers. And you also hiring local sales people, beer reps (has to be the best job in the world!), accountants, and plant managers.

    If you manufacture in China, then THEY have all the benefits of the taxes for schools, hospitals etc. – it WHERE you ADD the wealth to the product is WHERE the economic activity and BENEFITS is going to occur – it really that simple!
    So talk of some kind of state “minimum” income is not possible UNLESS you have wealth creating in your location – and that means industry. I mean does anyone think China going to give that money from where THEY manufactured the goods and wealth and then pay people in your location to not work for some guaranteed income? This is called welfare if you are wondering and you can’t support the welfare state without industry, jobs and wealth creating occurring WHERE you live! If the robots are in China, then you have no taxes and money to support the welfare state.

    The lowering of computers caused a HUGE boom in smaller business in the 1980’s – tons of wealth was created. It allowed a small business to now have the computing power of a huge business. And now with manufacturing and small robots, then small manufactures can exist and compete with larger ones – since they now both have computers. In fact such lowering of manufacturing costs means you can EASY bring back manufacturing to your location.

    A great example is the high performance GE water heaters. They used to manufacture them in China. They moved the plant back (to an old 1950’s washing machine plant in New York! – there were STILL un-finished washing machines hanging on the production line from 1950’s when they simply turned that plant off.

    The key driving factor in GE moving the plant back to the USA?

    Lower energy costs – we still have FAR better and use FAR less energy than China for a given manufacturing output.

    Quality – ability to change parts of the design – ability to stop production etc.

    Accountability – if you wait 6 weeks for delivery (from start of build + delivery), and the batch is bad, you duck soup. You usually just toss them out then try to send the shipping contain back and sort the mess out.

    Want to guess how long the time takes from manufacturing that water heater on plant floor to it appearing on the floor of Home Depot?

    Hang on to your underwear!!!

    In some cases the SAME DAY! That’s right, from start to appearing on floor of Home depot it can occur in the SAME day. The benefits are massive as a result. No huge inventory, super low transportation costs and a zillion more advantages. And you find a defect the same day when the customer tries to install the heater – you not have 12 weeks of produced heaters that are bad!

    JUST 4 days ago? Apple announced a BILLION dollar fund to create manufacturing jobs in the USA. So all this cool new automation is turning the tables back towards manufacturing WHERE your consumers are.

    So this trend ALREADY is creating jobs and opportunities here!

    There is simply NO well thought out example I can find or see that such automation will not result in more jobs, more wealth and a higher standard of living.
    It really comes down to how we prepare and embrace such change. And change brings HUGE opportunities for people to create business that create jobs. I see nothing but opportuneness occurring with this trend.

    Albert D. Kallal
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada

  • artefact


    Automated Injection Run May 9, 2017

    Video excerpt of a SunCell’s® ignition run deploying the automated
    control system to maintain equal molten silver levels in the reservoirs
    of the dual molten metal injectors.


  • LION

    There are more dangers more pressing:




    LENR will give us HOPE. Patterns are CYCLIC generally with small variations over time. Nothing Personal. Chin up, no blubbing allowed, just focus and hard work gets the job done.

    • LION
      • radvar

        Can’t say it’s wildly hilarious reading, however, considering how far people have gotten in the last 6,000 years, Hancock’s conjectures open the door to imagining a much earlier civilization developing in a previous era, and then getting wiped out by a comet strike. Seems like there would be more artifacts, however, maybe they skipped the whole patriarchal over-populating techno-empire trip and just sat around doing math and art. Hmp.

        • Omega Z

          ->”Seems like there would be more artifacts”

          Totally abandon New York city for a 1000 years. You would likely be shocked at how little evidence of it’s existence would remain. Nature is very good at erasing our footprints. In 10,000 years, proclaiming to scientists that a great city once stood there would likely raise quite a chuckle. That we build nothing to last helps nature a lot. Want people to believe. Build a pyramid.

        • Warthog

          Most of the previous civilizations (as with present ones) developed along the banks of rivers and near the sea. Evidence is that the more advanced ones were in Southeast Asia. The melting of the glaciers from the last Ice Age raised sea level many meters, and today, they are all under water. Sonar exploration/mapping of the sea bed shows human habitation evidence right where you would expect to find them. Which is probably why virtually every group of humans have apocalyptic flood legends….not just the Jews.

      • LION
    • Omega Z

      There is evidence even in the mainstream that indicates there was an advanced civilization prior to that which we are taught. However, that riles up those who claim today to be the cradle of civilization.

      I think much of the information that would confirm this is under water. One merely needs to search what would have been the shoreline and rivers edge were the water level 200/300 feet lower. Point being, Man has always built near the water as it’s an easy route of transportation just as it is today and a source of food.

  • Bob Greenyer
    • Steve Savage

      A Libertarian, Globalist, Marxist – I love it.
      New combinations of ism’s, creative thinking, blending of ideas, openness to new ways, democracy restored.
      These new lines in the sand are exactly what we need to move forward, working together as a species rather than as tribes.
      We must do this because the risks of leaving the advance of technology in the hands of the currently powerful are immense for the rest of us… Seriously bad!


      • Bob Greenyer

        We are so much more powerful than we think. My father used to say “if you can’t stand on your own two feet, you are nothing”. I am more collectivist than that, in that communities can stand together to achieve goals, just as this one is trying to do. We are very powerful and we may hold the keys to the solution to this big, inevitable change.

        Moving quickly to a situation where communities can provide all of their own needed energy, water and food will remove the dependence to a few that may find us pointless down the line. Independents will also be no threat to the elites since there will be no competition for the same resources.

        • Stephen

          Even old fashioned “village communities” can be amazing and do amazing things when they have the desire and pull together. In this Internet age this must be magnified thousands of times… perhaps there is even a potential infinite COP of community spirit there. Even special interest groups that were individuals in the past can form “villages of common interest” in the World Wide Web.

          With shared power and resources and training and education be it LENR, power storage, AI, local resources distributed manufacture of needed items from local waste etc… who knows what amazing things those groups can make, create and innovate.

          It used to take large corporations to develops and distribute new technology. They may still be needed especially in these immediate times but for sure with the right resources connected communities will play bigger and more important roles. I think in the future the world will work best that way too. Those organizations that adapt and embrace and help the connected world wide community fairly will be the ones that survive I think.

        • Warthog

          “Moving quickly to a situation where communities can provide all of their
          own needed energy, water and food will remove the dependence to a few
          that may find us pointless down the line.”

          Already tried back in the late 1800’s. Failed.

          • Bob Greenyer

            I had no idea you were that old 😉 Look – if I had time to write a book and debate these issues, I’d do it – however, I think it is clear that I am not referring to old approaches to these things.

            Did they really have access to modern levels of energy use and automation in the 1800s?

            What could we achieve with this level of energy use but without the cost and the dependence on third parties to produce it.

            My family were very successful in the 70s – 90s in providing most of our own food, however, we still had high energy costs. If energy costs were not a factor, our 4 acres of green houses could have produced 3 crops a year.

            • Warthog

              There are days when I feel even older.

              My point is that the “village model” has been tried over and over and over as a retrogressive solution to the problems of mass society. They have thus far ALWAYS failed, even those with religious cult starting philosophies. I don’t see lowering the cost of energy causing this to be a success.

              I don’t know what drives humans to build larger and larger cities, but that tendency is a historical fact. More easily available and lower cost energy will most likely result in even denser urban areas, as food production will be “verticalized”. Jed Rothwell has discussed the potential effects of LENR many, many times. His stuff is worth reading.

              • Bob Greenyer

                Not sure I mentioned villages. I did in my steemit post draw attention to production of food in vertical farms in cities.

              • Pekka Janhunen

                True, but abandoning cities and going back to villages has happened as well, for example in the millenial history of South America. Such de-urbanisation phase might happen again in the future for a variety of reasons, e.g. if LENR makes transportation cheaper and faster or if really usable remote presence emerges.

                • Warthog

                  Quite true, but that reversal wasn’t voluntary. It was forced by some external event(s)…climate, soil depletion from slash/burn agriculture. Many possibles.

        • Steve Savage

          Indeed, It is a nice dream, unfortunately, until we see more value in working together rather than in our own self interest, it will likely not become a significant modality of organizing human will. I think the answer may lie in AI technology that can facilitate democracy, wherein we can design systems that can measure the will of the group and balance that with the needs of individuals on various issues of import and then scale up those decisions to a societal level. I strongly agree that LENR has a huge potential to democratize, allowing for the collective and to isolate it from the world, but there are 6+ billion people, how long can a system of smaller collectives lats, and are we not more dependent on one another in the larger sense such as; climate, travel, economic systems. We need to somehow develop global understanding, it is the only thing that will work, but maybe the collective is a path to that, maybe? I honestly see see no other possible paths, except as the result of humanity confronting a Global shared crisis, and by that time many of us will be gone, pity really!