Just some thoughts on this thread:
It was the beginning of a world so bright and filled with hope that nobody could remember how dreary things had been just a few years earlier.
It was simple thermodynamics -- mankind's craving for energy was more than just an addiction (as some people had liked to think), not just a simple
matter of using less, of conserving. That route had led to starvation. Society required POWER to survive.
Now, mankind had it -- more POWER than in every single household than a city could use. And before long, each person consumed each day the same BTU
count as ten former lifetimes.
Portable fusion power was born. The "fusion battery" could he held in your hand, It was marketed. Distributed. Available. Nearly for free -- to
power industry and agriculture and space flight and hand-held flashlights. Enough power to turn deserts into gardens, sand into glass bricks
necessary to build a million towers, each 500 stories tall.
Antarctica was warmed. People lived in the clouds. At last -- the promise of hope was fulfilled. Mankind truly thrived.
It didn't end as well as it had started, unfortunately.
History records the name of the person who brought it all crashing down. We won't mention it here. But you know, he was just a casual hobby scientist
with a knack for understanding how things work, taking things apart, and putting it back together in a different way.
One Saturday morning, out of simple curiosity, he explored the fusion battery. He took it apart carefully, and he noted that -- if you simply drilled
out the standard manifold a little, and then removed a couple of resistors, you could get a lot more POWER. A whole lot more. And then, if you used
that POWER to create a feedback loop to increase the magnetic containment field -- well -- you might have something interesting.
Using simple tools, he modified a fusion battery. He ran an experiment.
We will never know what he thought as he flipped the switch. Was he excited? Hopeful? A bit scared?
We don't know. All we know was that the blast radius of total devastation was ten miles.
All from ONE LITTLE fusion battery -- just one of millions that could be picked up at any store for a few pennies. All of which, with a little
knowledge, could be easily modified with household tools.
Yet even then, the total destruction of civilization might still have been avoided -- If only he hadn't published this information to the web BEFORE
he ran his experiment.