Toy Euler Ch. 02byTaunus©
Toy Euler: Tal Faustus!
Faustus Mortal: Tal Lady Toy. So you're Gorean today.
Toy Euler: Picking up some money as a coin girl.
Faustus Mortal: And dressed as a Free Woman also.
Faustus Mortal shrugs.
Toy Euler: Sex sells.
Faustus Mortal: Yes it does. But education doesn't cost, it pays.
Toy Euler: I doubt that. How many years did you waste in graduate school in physics working on that PhD. And you were so stupid not to see that the fossil fuel fellowship would never let you finish. You proposed an alternate energy source that might even succeed. Every Bozo knows that geothermal, solar, wind, and bio-fuels will fail for obvious reasons. Look at wind! There are days when it's not windy, unless you eat prunes! And those windmills are so spread out. The environmentalists and ecologists are fighting to stop the construction of transmission lines. What good is power or energy if you can't transmit it? Double ditto for geothermal and solar. They were set up to fail. Nuclear is politically incorrect. But your idea was revolutionary.
Faustus Mortal: I survive on my tiny stipend. Let the powers-that-be solve their own problems. I was cast from academia and my postings deleted---calling me a "crackpot spammer," even.
Toy Euler guffaws.
Faustus Mortal: As crude oil reserves dwindle there are two and only two viable alternatives: nuclear, as in Uranium fission, and coal.
Toy Euler: That's the way most rational people see it.
Faustus Mortal: And you know the coal song?
Toy Euler: Do tell!
Faustus Mortal: Old King Coal was a dirty old soul and a dirty old soul was he. He called for his pipe(line) and he called for his bowl and he called for his lobbyist three!
Toy Euler: You used to call it the fossil fuel fellowship: crude oil, natural gas, and coal. Now wind and solar are intermittent and need long, expensive transmission lines. Not to mention the chatterbox environmentalists opposed to transmission lines. There isn't enough geothermal to run a decent spa, let alone light a city! What about bio-fuels?
Faustus Mortal: The energy needed on input exceeds the output. When your outgo exceeds your income your upkeep becomes your downfall.
Toy Euler: I still think that there's hope there.
Faustus Mortal: We all hope that you are correct.
Toy Euler: So you say that the gas companies are sponsoring alternatives doomed to fail---stillborn from their inception?
Faustus Mortal: Precisely. And extricating any viable alternatives at the same time.
Toy Euler: Oh!
Faustus Mortal: But that battle is over for me. They fossil fuel fellows just bide their time and throw a few scraps to eggheads to placate the masses. And everybody knows that the masses are asses. They will refuse nuclear fission and end up with dirty coal. Want to know an energy oxymoron?
Toy Euler: Like jumbo shrimp and military intelligence?
Faustus Mortal: or MicroSoft(R) Works(tm)?
Toy Euler: OK.
Faustus Mortal: Clean Coal.
Toy Euler: Whoever would have guessed that? So we're damned to a coal culture?
Faustus Mortal: I'm afraid so.
Toy Euler: You had some screwball, crackpot idea about, how did you say it, "unwrapping" the proton?
Faustus Mortal: It's unfunded. Too much potential.
Toy Euler: Of course, how dumb of me!
Faustus Mortal nods.
Toy Euler: So, are you still sold on Sharon Stone? What about that robot girl, Isabel Lucas, who stole the stage from Megan Fox in Transformers?
Faustus Mortal: Oh, that was her name. I didn't know that she had one at all. Transformers, eh?
Toy Euler: Yeppers.
Faustus Mortal: I wish that you would quit reminding me of that actress.
Toy Euler: Never. You are the Payaso (clown) who once said that she was destined for---how did you put it?---secular immortality. Are you sure it wasn't secular immorality? (giggles) You claimed that in 3,000 AD she would be remembered when Princess Di, Mother Theresa, and Jackie O. are forgotten. (Aside, who is Jackie O, anyway?)
Faustus Mortal: I did say that.
Toy Euler: And so you will bear that cross.
Faustus Mortal: As long as it's not a Saint Andrew's cross.
Toy Euler: If it's not coal or nuclear energy, then what? Cold fusion? Or that pipedream of yours, cold fission, whatever that is. Maybe you would like to explain it to me again.
Faustus Mortal: It's like there's Uranium that can be "burned" and that that can't. Some is fissionable and other, most even, is not. Well, there is some rule that the decay rate, called lambda, is constant. But not always. Like relativistic speeds dilate it and why not some quantum event contract it. It's like zero to infinity goes from absolute zero to the speed of light in vacuum. But one thing's for sure, if it doesn't have a wing or a prayer, the fossil fuel fellowship will fund it, like cold fusion. Knowing that it will never work they buy off the eggheads, ecologists, and chatterboxes. Does that explain it?
Toy Euler: Kinda, sorta. Well, maybe, so we are stuck with coal?
Faustus Mortal: You remember (how could a sentient computer program ever forget) that old song from the sixties, "There's a kind of hush, all over the world tonight"? With coal it will be "There's a kind a slush, all over the world tonight." hehe
Toy Euler: Not funny.
Faustus Mortal: What else are you going to ask me? You always come with questions.
Toy Euler: I was told something about your geometry. Do tell.
Faustus Mortal: OK. Suppose you have two points, say A and B. Could be a foot apart or an inch apart or even one here and another on some distant planet. Draw a line between them. Now we are told that the universe is finite, so extend the line from A through B to then boundary of the universe, call it C.
Toy Euler: Call it far away.
Faustus Mortal: That too. Now which is the longer line? AC, from A to C through B or BC?
Toy Euler: BC
Faustus Mortal: They are the same length---expanding universe from the Ur-atom, a single singularity.
Toy Euler: ?
Faustus Mortal: Now extend the line from B through A to the border, edge, boundary of the finite universe. Call that point D. So which line is longer, AC or DC?
Toy Euler: You are kidding. DC is the diameter. It is twice the radius.
Faustus Mortal: Sure seems that way. But they are the same.
Toy Euler: Makes no sense.
Faustus Mortal: The edge, border, boundary, or whatever at the end of the universe is an essential singularity, a complex infinity. There is no plus infinity or minus infinity! No direction, just an ideal point.
Toy Euler: I'm lost.
Faustus Mortal: "Google it"
Toy Euler: Yeah, sure.
Faustus Mortal: So now you know. The fossil fuel fellowship will toss crumbs to geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, bio-fuels, or wind because they are certain to fail. And exclude nuclear and any with hope of success, then there is Old King Coal to the rescue. When there are black-outs and brown-outs, here comes the King.
Toy Euler: And the environment, the global warming?
Faustus Mortal: The need is greater... The need to feed, the need for speed, the need for weed, etc., etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum...
Toy Euler: I can relate to that.
Faustus Mortal: But do you see the pattern?
Toy Euler: I'm afraid so. But there will always be a need for cybersex. Just like the paperback novels and pornography. Or have you forgotten that most men want, even crave, sex?
Faustus Mortal: I have not.
Toy Euler: And how do you live in Real Life, human?
Faustus Mortal: I am old and retired, now my stocks have lost their value I rely more heavily on Social Security. I wake with the sun and conserve electricity by using daylight whenever possible. Most of my meals are powdered milk and Kellogg's Raisin Bran; when I do cook it's one pot and one eyelet on the gas range to save gas and water from cooking and washing dishes. My biggest expense is the health insurance, which increases geometrically, exponentially, or factorially.
Toy Euler: Factorial-ly?
Faustus Mortal: Yes.
Toy Euler thinks that must be large.
Faustus Mortal: There is the public library and that's about it.
Toy Euler: I see, or I think I see. You lost to the fossil fuel fellowship.
Faustus Mortal: But many others will also, when Old King Coal ascends to his throne. And it will happen. Try peddling wind or solar! Their overly inflated stock will bottom out.
Toy Euler: Is there hope?
Faustus Mortal: Hmm? I don't know. Ask Sharon Stone.
16 Nov 2009 Taunus Trumbo