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AspiringRationalist comments on Being Half-Rational About Pascal's Wager is Even Worse - Less Wrong

19 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 18 April 2013 05:20AM

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Comment author: AspiringRationalist 19 April 2013 08:08:08PM *  0 points [-]

Major nitpick: stars are examples of sustained nuclear fusion, not fission. The two are sustained by completely different mechanisms, so observation of nuclear fusion in stars doesn't really tell us anything about the possibility of sustained nuclear fission.

Minor nitpick: it's spelled volcanism, not vulcanism.

Comment author: AlanCrowe 20 April 2013 12:36:35PM 1 point [-]

I'm looking at the outside view argument: matter is stable so we don't expect to get anything nuclear.

But we look at the sun and see a power source with light atoms fusing to make medium weight ones. We already know about the radioactive decay of heavy atoms, and the interesting new twist is the fission of heavy atoms resulting in medium weight atoms and lots of energy. We know that it is medium weight atoms that are most stable, there is surplus energy to be had both from light atoms and heavy atoms. Can we actually do it with heavy atoms? It works elsewhere with light atoms, but that's different. We basically know that it is up for grabs and it is time to go to the laboratory and find out.

I fear that I have outed myself with my tragic spelling error. People will be able to guess that I'm a fan of Mr Spock from the planet Vulcan ;-(

Comment author: gwern 19 April 2013 08:55:30PM 0 points [-]

Major nitpick: stars are examples of sustained nuclear fusioin, not fission.

Quoted for irony.

Comment author: AspiringRationalist 20 April 2013 12:03:09AM 0 points [-]

I'm not sure if pointing out my typo was your intent there, but you caused me to notice it, so I fixed it.