Tuesday, October 6, 2015

More Fusion Dreams

"For $20 billion in cash, I could build you a working reactor"
Said the physicist, with a mad gleam in his eye.

But I should also note that Jeff Bezos, Peter Thiel and Paul Allen have all invested in fusion companies. So maybe I am being a fool for dismissing this. But these guys just sound so much like the inventors of perpetual motion machines.

1 comment:

G. Verloren said...

Fun fact - $20 billion in cash is about 1/200th of the extant global cash total. That's a pretty absurd amount of physical currency to demand for anything.

Also, "investing" in something doesn't really mean much on its own. The scope of the investment is critical contextual information to render any kind of a judgement.

The vast majority of the investments made by the wealthy elite are "safe bets" - putting their money in stable and reliable places where it can earn them steady, predictable returns. But people also invest smaller amounts of their fortunes here and there on "long shot" enterprises - things that they don't really expect to pay off, but which will be monstrously lucrative if they ever do.

Basically it's a form of high stakes gambling, engaged in mostly just for the fun of throwing around one's wealth. When you've got a spare half a million dollars lying around and can't think of anything else you'd rather do with it, why not invest it in something like fusion?

Maybe you get lucky and get in on the ground floor of a revolutionary new technology. But even if the entire thing fizzles out, it's still good for your image and reputation to be seen to be investing in trendy new fields of endeavor, even if it's just pocket change to you.