Fusion Commandments

Posted by Rezwan Razani on Nov 01, 2011 at 09:57 PM
What do you think about this? Let us know in the comments below!

Many people are discouraged by the amount of time it is taking to master fusion.  A quick success in fusion would be ideal, and we hope any one of the projects in the fusion league has a breakthrough soon.  But in the meantime, we need to focus on solving the problem, and building our stamina.  To that end, here are the Fusion Commandments. 


Paradoxical Fusion Commandments

  1. When it comes to energy, people are insatiable consumers, full of NIMBY, yet take a tightfisted “wait and see” stance towards research.
 Fight for funding and do the research to get them fusion energy anyway.
  2. If you do fusion research, people will accuse you of wishful thinking. 
Do fusion research anyway.
  3. If you are unsuccessful in your fusion experiments, people will ridicule you and accuse you of fraud and waste.
 Do the experiments anyway.
  4. If you are successful, people may attempt to steal or stifle your inventions.
 Succeed anyway.
  5. Fusion is “oversold” but underfunded.
 Fight for fusion funding anyway.
  6. Honesty and frankness about the uncertainties of research make you vulnerable to defunding and derision. 
Be honest and frank anyway.
  7. The biggest scale ideas with the biggest budgets may, or may not, be outperformed by the simplest ideas with the smallest budgets. 
 Pursue a diverse range of fusion experiments.
  8. What fusion researchers spend years building may be successful overnight.  It’s a cliff edge phenomenon.  
Keep calm and fuse on!
  9. People really need energy breakthroughs but attack you with budget cuts and contempt if you attempt them.
 Attempt fusion breakthroughs anyway.
  10. Give the world the best you have and you’ll get swarmed by ungrateful people with pitchforks saying “what took you so long?”
 Give the world the best you have anyway.

Design and distribute posters on this theme!

We hope the version above captures the essence of the message.  We’d be delighted if you improve it, or come up with other variations.  Likewise, we’d love this to be turned into attractive poster format (and postcards, and so forth) and spread around.  Below is one fantastic poster variation, designed by Derek D. in response to the sparked.com design challenge:

Use this poster, or design your own!  And if you do, send us a copy so that we can spread your design as well!

Origins of Paradoxical Commandments

The Paradoxical Commandments were written by Kent Keith and came out of his experience as a student leader.

One thing he learned was students didn’t know how to work through the system to bring about change. Some of them also tended to give up quickly when they faced difficulties or failures. They needed deeper, longer-lasting reasons to keep trying.

  “I saw a lot of idealistic young people go out into the world to do what they thought was right, and good, and true, only to come back a short time later, discouraged, or embittered, because they got negative feedback, or nobody appreciated them, or they failed to get the results they had hoped for.” recalls Keith. “I told them that if they were going to change the world, they had to really love people, and if they did, that love would sustain them. I also told them that they couldn’t be in it for fame or glory. I said that if they did what was right and good and true, they would find meaning and satisfaction, and that meaning and satisfaction would be enough. If they had the meaning, they didn’t need the glory.”

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