Current LENR Industry Reminiscent of Early Days of Computer Industry in Silicon Valley
A number of observers have noted that the current low energy nuclear reaction or cold fusion industry is reminiscent of the early days of the modern computer industry. These observers are right there are serious parallels between today’s LENR business and the computer business back in the 1970s.
Until the 1970s computers had been the domain of big business and big government. They were big, bulky impractical and only of use to a few large institutions much like nuclear physics today. There was little or no way for a private individual to access that technology or leverage it for his or her advantage. Computer science was a limited, arcane and obscure field limited to a few universities.
Then a few entrepreneurs took computers outside the laboratories and workshops of big science. These people began working on computer science and technology in places well like the garage. The pioneers included Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozinak and others.
Unlike their brethren in the big companies and government bureaucracies these innovators actually succeeded in making technology that was small, practical and affordable. Part of the reason they had to was that their resources limited. Another was that they were free to think, tinker and create in ways that were not allowed at the big outfits. Finally they had the profit motive to drive them unlike the government and corporate scientists they actually had to figure out how to make money with their gizmos if they wanted to eat.
These innovators gave rise to a technological revolution that has changed our lives and the shape of the world. It has also given rise to several of the world’s largest and richest companies including Apple, Google, Amazon, Dell, Microsoft and Oracle. The wealth generated has been incredible as the recent stock prices for Apple and Google attest.
The parallels between the early days in Silicon Valley and today’s LENR industry are striking. The exciting work is being done by obscure start ups such as Brillouin, Defkalion, JetEnergy, Andrea Rossi’s Leonardo Corporation and NanoSpire Inc. Some of these companies operate out of garages, others out of warehouses.
It is of course to soon to tell if today’s low energy nuclear reaction research will lead to anything as revolutionary as what came out of Silicon Valley but the parallels are striking. There are differences of course: energy and electricity are very different industries from computers. Far more capital, engineering and resources will be needed to harness LENR than was required to build early computers. So will some level of government support and backing from big business.
There are also safety concerns and objections from entrenched scientific elites that weren’t there in Silicon Valley. One big problem that today’s innovators face is that today’s scientific establishment remembers what happened in Silicon Valley and they don’t like the idea of it happening again. They hate the idea of businessmen, hippies (yes Steve Jobs was a hippy he even did LSD), venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, engineers, computer geeks and other innovators intruding in their neatly ordered little world. Witness their hostility to Andrea Rossi who refuses to play by their rules.
This video shows Steve Jobs circa 1980 notice the beard and long hair.
So there are some parallels between the computer industry and LENR but there are profound differences. The question will be can today’s innovators overcome those barriers and create a cold fusion industry that could change the world as much as the computer industry did.
One final thought many people today dismiss the idea of LENR devices in our homes as impractical or far fetched. Well I can remember a time when nobody thought about having a computer in his home. Now we can’t live without them, we even carry them in our pockets (in the form of “smartphones”). I wonder if the same thing will happen with LENR. We might not be able to live without it in a few decades.
- early computers
- first computer
- steve jobs first computer
- apple first computer
- apple computer