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User Info Something To Contemplate This Weekend; entered at 2018-07-07 06:33:55
Posts: 1755
Registered: 2009-03-18 Alabama
The metaphor is for the national debt. Bipartisan agreement has led to a deficit since about 1980, with national debt increasing at about 9% per year. The U-235 maps to the debt itself, and the radiation maps to interest on the debt. Eventually, criticality will be reached, and the column goes boom. But, the exact moment is not known, only that the probability of criticality increases as the stack gets higher. Given Karl's love of exponents, I suspect radiation increases exponentially, but I'd have to think more about that to prove it.

When do I get alarmed? When it is clear the radiation is getting intense enough to harm a lot of folks. By analogy, when it is clear that if rate on national debt increase slightly it will consume 20%+ of the budget. When the markets recognize this, game over.

What do I do? Educate folks, teach the next generation, and prepare for detonation. (I bought a 60s era CD V-700 geiger counter recently. Really! I love engineering from the 60s. American-made (Lionel!) and you can work on it yourself!)
2018-07-07 06:33:55