Doing the Shanahan Shake

Gangnam style.

Shanahan is posting fairly regularly on LENR Forum, sometimes on relevant topics, often where his comments are completely irrelevant to the declared topic. I invited Shanahan, years ago, to participate and support the development of educational resources that would fully explore his ideas. He always declined. When I pointed out a major error in his Letter to JEM, his last published piece, as a courtesy before publishing it, he responded with an insult: “you will do anything to support your belief.”

Pot, kettle, black.

Shanahan is important to the progress of LENR. I will show below why. Continue reading “Doing the Shanahan Shake”

Zero in Rossi-speak

Rossi was asked about the resistance of the Quark-X, and he answered “zero.” When his fans, even, pointed out that this would make it a superconductor, he then “explained,”

August 10, 2017 at 6:40 PM

Frank Acland:
No.
Superconductivity is a completely different thing.
Obviously my “zero” was not absolute, it was jargon for good conductor ( otherwise I wouldn’t write it in letters). I just wanted to say that it is a good conductor, like copper, so that its resistance ( that cannot be R = 0 ) does not affect the circuit.

Rossi is lying. That is, he is making up a story for why he said “zero.” There is quite another reason:

DT
August 17, 2017 at 2:49 AM

Dr Andrea Rossi
You cannot disclose the voltage across the Ecat QX because there lies the core of your industrial secret, correct?
From Russia, with love
DT

Rossi answered “Right.”

From the Gullstrom paper, we have a claim that the current through the QX is 100 mA. If we knew the resistance, we would know the voltage. Therefore, if he wants to keep the voltage secret, and he does, he cannot disclose the resistance, which is certainly not “zero,” it’s a finite value that he did not want to say. Never mind that this makes the Gullstrom report unintelligible.

So now we have ele tossing more flabber into the fire. (Flabber burns with intense heat. Great stuff.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plasma_(physics)
Yes plasma has extremely high conductivity.

see Lying with facts.

That article actually has:

Electrical conductivity Very low: Air is an excellent insulator until it breaks down into plasma at electric field strengths above 30 kilovolts per centimeter.[28] Usually very high: For many purposes, the conductivity of a plasma may be treated as infinite.

Glow discharge describes plasma devices. A plasma device will typically have high resistance until a breakdown voltage is reached. As current flows, the gas in the tube ionizes and conductivity increases, and the more the current, the lower the resistance, so it is said to exhibit “negative resistance.” However, that is only the change of resistance with current. The resistance is always positive.

Consider an ordinary neon lamp. I used to play with these for hours on end. The breakdown voltage of the common NE-2 lamp is about 90 volts. However, once the plasma has been created, it can be maintained with a voltage of about 50 volts. To use an NE-2 lamp with 120 VAC, one would have a 100KΩ resistor in series with it. That’s called a “ballast resistor.” If is not there and the voltage reaches breakdown and the plasma starts up, and if there is significant available current, the tube will burn out.

Specification for the operating current for an NE-2 appears to be 500 μA. The voltage drop across a 100K resistor would be, then, 50 V. That’s enough to protect the tube from burnout.

Rossi has such a habit of lying that he didn’t just say, “that is proprietary information” for the beginning. Instead, he imagined that he could just say “zero” and maybe the question would go away. The current is 100 mA. In spite of what Rossi has said, this gives us no information about the input power. We are told it’s DC.

However, if the QX is a plasma device, it would have a breakdown voltage higher than the operating voltage. So we may speculate that he starts the device with a voltage spike, then the 100 mA is operating current. (There may be a limiting resistor not shown, could be in the power supply circuit; the effect of that would be a voltage spike, because the drop through the limiting resistor would be low until current increases.) Another possibility is that the power supply is set for constant current. I was just looking at specs for a supply that had a constant current mode that was voltage-limited at 100 V. One could use it at up to 600 volts total by putting a voltage supply in series with it.

One could use such a supply with what is shown of the QX in the Gullstrom paper, just set the constant supply for 100 mA. The voltage would increase to 100 v; if that was enough to strike the plasma, then voltage would decline to keep the current constant and would then presumably be DC, constant current and voltage. If 100 V was not enough for the gas characteristics of the device, then up to 500 V more could be added, current control would be maintained.

The resistance of that NE-2 neon lamp under operating conditions is very roughly 100 KΩ. So the idea that a plasma is necessarily a very good conductor is … misleading. If the current were allowed to increase, it would become a better and better conductor, but would be getting hotter and hotter until it burns out.

When air breaks down, when the field strength is greater than 30KV/cm, what happens? If that voltage is from a very low-current source, like a van de Graaf generator, it makes a hot but very fast spark. I had one as a kid. What fun! Zap! But if the current source has much higher available current, the arc would burn through anything. That’s lightning! What is the conductance of a lightning strike?

From the Wikipedia article,  the channel current in a lightning discharge is on the order of 40 KA, and the potential gradient is “hundreds of volts per meter.” (This is far less than the strike voltage, 3 MV/meter.). So the plasma resistance is on the order of 75 ohms per meter. Not close to “zero.”

The Wikipedia article is misleading, applied this way. Very hot plasmas have very high ionization, and thus very high conductivity. The power dissipated in that lightning channel is perhaps 10 MW per meter, if I’ve done the math right. It’s damn hot!

So Rossi’s comments about resistance are still misleading, unless he has plasma so hot in there that no material could survive contact with it. I don’t think so. Lightning is about 30,000 degrees K. It would have to be hotter than that.

No, it’s very simple: he did not want to disclose the voltage (or resistance, same thing), so it appears he dissembled.

Might he be telling the truth, i.e., that the resistance is very low? It’s not impossible, he might have something that is generating high ionization other than input voltage. I can’t imagine what it could be, but “I can’t imagine” is never a proof of anything.

Meanwhile, this is clearly misleading, again:

On LENR Forum, ele wrote:

Malcolm Lear wrote:

I’d say the fact that a plasma is very good at producing light and heat radiation is an good indication in most circumstances its a rather poor conductor of electrical current.

You have not read even the wikipedia page I linked.

Plasma is quite a perfect conductor. Any electrical discharge (lightning, sparks….. and many others) is the demonstration of that.

Actually, above, I showed that the resistance of a lightning channel was on the order of 75 ohms per meter. If there is an error in that, I’d appreciate correction. Lear was correct, as long as we also understand what “most circumstances” means. Lightning is a mere 30,000 K. Get it hotter, it would be a better conductor. The Wikipedia page was misleading. It happens, all kinds of people edit Wikipedia, and sometimes gross errors get through. The statement that ele may be relying on was unsourced, and actually vague. In a chart comparing the conductivity of gases and plasma, plasma conductivity is said to be:

Usually very high: For many purposes, the conductivity of a plasma may be treated as infinite.

For what purposes? And what is “usually”? What is the average plasma? I have two plasma devices above my desk. It’s a pair of 40W flourescent bulbs. This kind of device may be the most comment, the most “usual.”

If the current is not limited somehow, connected to a constant voltage source, those tubes would burn out, because resistance would keep decreasing with current until the power dissipation in the bulb was enough to destroy it. So, in a way, we might think of the resistance is zero, but doing so would drastically underestimate the dissipated power.

Rossi’s “zero” implied negligible power input and his continued explanation (likening the QX to a copper wire) did the same.

It is extremely unlikely that the Quark-X is hot enough or otherwise ionized enough to have very low resistance. But, to be sure, if somehow Rossi was making it so, he might well want to keep it secret, but, then, what is the point of the information about current in the Gullstrom article? It’s useless without voltage or resistance information.

What is scientific consensus?

Cold fusion debates often assert that there is this or that scientific consensus. What would this mean?

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/consensus

1 a : general agreement : unanimity • the consensus of their opinion, based on reports … from the border — John Hersey
b : the judgment arrived at by most of those concerned the consensus was to go ahead
2 : group solidarity in sentiment and belief

So what, then, is scientific consensus? Because consensus is about opinion or judgment, there must be someone with opinions or judgments. Who?

Well, “scientists,” of course! Just any scientist? Continue reading “What is scientific consensus?”

Ruby Carat releases Storms video on HYDROTON A Model of Cold Fusion

Edmund Storms HYDROTON A Model of Cold Fusion

This is an excellent video explaining Storms’ theory. Ruby, at the beginning, treats cold fusion as a known thing (i.e., will provide energy for a very long time, etc.) — but that’s her job, political. Cold Fusion Now is an advocacy organization.

Our purpose here, to empower the community of interest in cold fusion, can dovetail with that, but we include — and invite — skeptical points of view.

As to cold fusion theory, there is little agreement in the field. Criticism of theory by other theoreticians and those capable of understanding the theories is rare, for historical reasons. We intend to move beyond that limitation, self-imposed as a defensive reaction to the rejection cascade. It’s time.

For cold fusion to move forward we must include and respect skepticism, just as most of us want to see the mainstream include and respect cold fusion as a legitimate research area.

At this point, I intend to put together a review of the video, which first requires a transcript. Anyone could make such a thing. If a reader would like to contribute, I’d ask that references be included to the video elapsed time (where a section begins) … though this could also be added later. Every contribution matters and takes us into the future.

I have done things like this myself, in the past, and I always learned a great deal by paying attention to detail like that, detail without judgment, just what was actually said. So I’m inviting someone else to benefit in this way. Let me know!

(There is a “partial” transcript here. I’ll be looking at that. If someone wants to check or complete it, that would be useful.)

Transcript ( from YouTube CC, edited by Abd ul-Rahman Lomax)

Transcript moved to Storms 2017 video transcript.

Questions on that video may be asked as comments on that page.

Sifferkollamity

Sifferkoll has been active on LENR Forum, arguing for the right to insult. Not surprising. His blog has skated around the edge of libel, which is criminal in Sweden, and one might think that libeling billion-dollar corporations would generate some caution, but … No.

Did Woodford Recently Buy Industrial Heat Shares at a 87% discount?
Posted on 2017/07/23

This was based on two Ahlfors images from LENR Forum. Sifferkoll commonly doesn’t link to ready verification. Neither does Ahlfors, and commonly Ahlfors images are, ah, unclear in significance. In this case, Sifferkoll has a history of misinterpreting data from Industrial Heat. The two images are:

Woodord Funds Patient Capital Trust portfolio holdings as of May 21, 2017. This shows:

36 Industrial Heat (unquoted) Industrials 0.87%
52 Industrial Heat A2 Pref (unquoted) Industrials 0.50%
73 Industrial Heat A3 (unquoted) Industrials 0.04%

A more recent report as of June 30, 2017 shows the same.

What does this mean? The number on the left is the rank of the holdings in all holdings of the fund (there are 77 as of June 39). The percentage is the ratio of the specific holding to the entire fund. The figure I found for total fund value as of June 30 was £829.5 million. (I don’t have the May 21 value) In USD, that would be about 1.30 USD/GBP as of June 30. So the total fund value is 1.078.35 billion. That gives rough values for the various holdings:

no class given: $9.38 million
A2 Pref $5.39 million
A3 $0.31 million

IHHI (the actual company involved) filings are found here.

Sifferkoll shows the other Ahlfors image, showing the first page of the 6 July 2017 filing of an IHHI share allotment. This was a sale of 377,391 Series A shares (preferred) for $2,153,652.57, or $5.70669 per share.

Sifferkoll calculates,

So according to the filing above stock is now valued at $5.7 compared to ~$45 when the original shares were bought by Woodford, Looking at the Woodford funds total holdings it seems as if they now value the complete (increased by about 50%) IH position to roughly $25M (all their funds). And this was before the settlement…

I get about $15 million. What is the value of the IHHI investment? There is a court document that goes into that, but I’m not going into it today. How does one value a company like IHHI? One standard would be the value of assets, but some assets are rather intangible, like licenses. Clearly, however, the IPH licenses to Rossi technology were not being valued for beans. $15 million might be cash on hand. Or might be partly speculative.

Sifferkoll is assuming that the shares were issued to Woodford. That’s not clear, though it seems plausible. This could have been a new investment to cover IH legal expenses or other operating expenses. As to the alleged “$45” value, this was never understood by Sifferkoll, and was misrepresented by Rossi in the trial. That was what Woodford paid in $2015 for preferred shares, which is similar to a loan, it does not establish the value of ordinary shares at all. It provides working capital that is to be paid off first, after ordinary debts but before any distribution to ordinary shares.

I don’t know when they did it, but Woodford is not carrying the original $50 million in preferred shares at cost basis, obviously. It would be misleading for them to do so. Why this value of $5.71 was chosen, I have no idea.

Rossi, in the lawsuit, valued IHHI at about $45.05 per share, using the preferred share value, but multiplying it by the total number of all shares, turning about $50 million into $1 billion. Chaiken said in his opening statement to the jury in Rossi v. Darden:

May 2015, payday. Defendants successfully sell 4 percent of their company in exchange for 50 million dollars. That’s a 1 billion dollar valuation. They kept 96 percent, they gave out 4 percent of their shares for 50 million dollars. Company called Woodford gave them that money. Oh, they’re going to claim that money didn’t go into their pockets. That, instead, it was used to invest in other LENR technologies. Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence will
show, that they still have ownership of those technologies. They still have the right to get the benefit of those technologies. My client has no right to those technologies and will receive no benefit from those technologies.

(And definitely, this pissed Rossi off! How dare they invest in other technologies?)

But they had not sold “4%” of their company. Preferred stock can’t be compared with ordinary stock like that. The preferred stock had voting rights, per share, equivalent to the penny shares that Darden and others owned, so control remained with them. Preferred stock is far more like a relatively temporary loan that doesn’t have to be paid back unless the company liquidates, after payment of other debts, where it gets paid before ordinary stock. (I have not studied the details about dividends, but that is all moot for a company that is not expected to turn a profit for a long time, if ever.)

This new stock was issued at a different cost. That’s all. It is unclear to me what difference it makes. This isn’t an arms-length sale. There is no market for the stock. As I see it, this was Woodford tossing $2 million to IHHI, perhaps preparing them for lengthy litigation costs. That didn’t happen.

Like most of what Sifferkoll writes, this was fluff, nothing.

Surprise! (not)

Sifferkoll has been again banned on LENR Forum. His post record shows massive argument with a moderator. As pointed out by can:

Most discussion boards have an “argue in public with a moderator on moderation matters and you’ll get suspended/banned”-kind of policy for a reason, so I’m sort of surprised that this meta-discussion is still going on.

“A reason” is that when participation starts wasting the time of a volunteer who is not paid to put up with tons of crap, said volunteer may decide to stop it.

Forum staff consult on bans, a policy that may have begun with mine. This was one of two improvements that I “brought” to LENR Forum. The other was that they stopped deleting “off-topic” posts, but started moving them to new threads, including the Playground and Clearance items. The only apparent cause for my own ban was declaring a personal boycott of the Forum until that was addressed. I was promptly banned without explanation, anonymously. Then, ultimately, they addressed it. My other sin was discussing the whole affair here.

I never approached the level of disruption that Sifferkoll long represented. In fact, it appears that LF was biased, not against Rossi, but for him, though it had ideals of open discussion. As Alain Coetmeur “apostasized,” and Eric Walker came on board as a moderator, that shifted toward what I’d say is the middle.

I learned about the ban on Sifferkoll’s blog (which I don’t link to as a matter of policy, but it can easily be found. Not too many “Sifferkoll”s out there.) His new headline:

WARNING! Eric Walker of LENR-FORUM is Tracking IP numbers of Forum Members!

Sifferkoll just “discovered” that amazing news! Blog administrators have privileged tools! Who knew?

If I want to see it, I can see not only the IP address of anyone posting on this blog, I can see them even for who is reading anything. This is standard for web sites, all access is logged. Anyone with host domain access can see the logs for all page access.

There is a story in the news yesterday about a subpoena for these logs, being fought in the courts as overbroad and dangerous. But nobody questions the right of a site owner to have log access, and then site owners determine what users have the privilege of seeing the data. Routinely, on Media Wiki sites, if a non-logged-in user edits, the IP becomes public. (A common request was for these edits to be “revision-deleted,” so the public could not see them, but any admin still could, unless it is “oversighted,” a high-level privilege).

Seeing the IP address is routine for all blog comments; WP SpamShield also sends me the User Agent string, which provides detailed information about the user’s computer system, operating system, revision levels, software of the browser, and how many natural teeth the user has. Okay, not the latter, and it’s obvious why. That information is necessary for smooth operation of the internet. IP address especially, data transfer on the internet is always by handshake, verifying the actual sender. (But the actual sender could use a proxy, and there are open proxies that anyone can use, and then lists of these, which are used by WP SpamShield to identify spam and automatically block it, and the whole antispam industry monitors the internet extensively to identify open proxies ASAP. It’s a war, actually.

This is the information that WikiMedia Foundation Checkusers access to identify socking. Ordinary WMF admins don’t have that information, they must consult a Checkuser, who is obligated by privacy policy to not disclose the information, but only the results of analysis. I handled many cases (as a WMF user and administrator) and have seen just how ragged that can get, but WordPress gives this information to any high-level administrator.

Sifferkoll has this information, and, as I recall, he has used it and has disclosed it. Most web sites have a privacy policy that requires not disclosing the information without necessity. Identifying disruptive users, attempting to evade a ban, is commonly considered necessity.

Sifferkoll has used other accounts on LENR Forum, including using at least one to evade a ban. He has previously all-but-admitted this, complaining about his alternate account being banned. Here, he does the same:

After lying — apparently — about why he was banned, Sifferkoll has:

However this made me track my handle back and then I found something interesting…

I’ve missed this comment before but a while ago when Eric was on the hunt for Rossi defenders he admitted that he is tracking the IP from where I login:

Absolute proof is hard to come by since we don’t require people to establish their identity when signing up at the present time. But (1) you’re logged in from the same ISP as sifferkoll ,

I covered this on The drama continues

See this post by slashdevnull, a Sifferkoll sock, and then followup.

Eric Walker wrote:

slashdevslashnull : we think you’re sifferkoll . If true, then you have attempted to escape the temporary account suspension by creating a new account, after which you have taken baby steps towards resuming your previous obnoxious behavior. This is not something to be encouraged.

Shall I mention the other account that we have long suspected of being a sock puppet of yours?

slashdevslashnull wrote:

That is a pretty serious accusation Eric. Please elaborate. And can you also please present proof of yourself not simply being a “polite troll” of the worst kind? 

So … an accusation of socking is a “serious accusation.” Sifferkoll is here acknowledging that socking is widely considered reprehensible. Otherwise it wouldn’t be “serious.” If false, this could be defamation.

Sifferkoll is an Aspie and often such have inflated ideas of their own intelligence and the scope of it. He’s not “in recovery,” he’s unrestrained. I would suggest to every Aspie getting a coach, someone trusted to tell you when you have gone off the rails. It’s mostly a matter of learning when to shut up and to re-examine the basis of one’s world view. It can be a killer.

Eric Walker replied:

Absolute proof is hard to come by since we don’t require people to establish their identity when signing up at the present time. But (1) you’re logged in from the same ISP as sifferkoll , (2) your mannerisms are indistinguishable from those of sifferkoll , and (3) your account was created shortly after sifferkoll was placed under suspension.

Just to give a heads-up to anyone else reading this thread so that it does not come as a surprise, the likelihood is very high that this account will be perma-banned.

Sifferkoll then, as he normally does, jumps to conclusions. This post is an indication that Eric has access to IP information, but is not strong evidence, because … Rends, another LF moderator — and generally pro-Rossi, about three days later — wrote:

@all I would like to explicitly clarify that Eric Walker does not act alone and omnipotent, but, even if he does not have to, always coordinates his administrative interventions with the administrators and moderators of this forum, therefore I would welcome it very much if these untenable insinuations stops!

LF, after I was banned, began to develop some level of collective competence, and consultation before banning would be an aspect of that. I do not know if Eric has access to IP information, directly, but what he would could simply reflect a communication he had with someone who does. I am almost certain that Barty has root access to the server, which would give him complete information even outside the software. I do not know if other “administrators” have it, but if they do, then AlainCo would have it. Again, I don’t know if ordinary moderators or “super moderators” have it, but … it really doesn’t matter. Someone has it, and someone can be asked.

I certainly have that kind of information here, and surely Sifferkoll would be aware of that. He commented here.

From the standard WordPress administrative interface, looking at his comment in the Comment review screen, I can see his IP and I can click on it and immediately see all comments from that IP. So I could immediately see any comments under that IP, regardless of user name.

Readily available user logs only go back so far, these are routinely dumped after a time. For that reason, I think, WMF checkuser only goes back so far; however, individual checkusers do keep personal records of what they have checked, and share this with other checkusers, there is a special private wiki for that. They do, in fact, violate privacy policy, on occasion. However, if legal push came to legal shove, they would doubtless claim necessity.

For policy reasons, I’m not going to reveal all that I know, and we do routinely respect privacy. I will say two things, then:

  1. Sifferkoll’s access IP shows him using a particular Swedish service provider. This information is permanently stored.
  2. His domain host for sifferkoll.se is the same provider.

On WMF wikis, the evidence described by Eric would be routinely adequate, not controversial, to justify a permanent ban, and if this was over more than one wiki, it could easily become a global account lock, which would then be enforced by stewards regardless of the original situation. Checkusers can see — and sometimes act on — a user merely looking at one of the wikis, if it creates an automatic log-in.

As pointed out above, Sifferkoll is aware of how serious an offense this is. (or he was trolling, merely pretending to be falsely accused and saying that bit about “serious” would, he might think, increase credibility.) He’s been treated very gingerly even though he has offended users and the staff repeatedly.

slashdevslashnull was permanently banned. anotherTroll was likewise banned. (He had previously been suspended.)

My own suggestion would that since Sifferkoll was complaining extensively about Eric, (on-forum and off), it would have been better for Eric to recuse and ask another moderator to look at the situation. On Wikiversity, I developed procedures to use if a user was being disruptive and I was the only administrator active. Basically, one may block to protect the wiki and immediately create a review process due to otherwise being subject to a recusal requirement. But Wikiversity is a public wiki, and is, in theory, run by the community. LENR Forum is a private web site, not community-run, but by a small group of moderators, chosen by a murky process, but likely the only person who can assign and remove privileges is the Founder, though in practice, Barty could certainly do it and maybe AlainCo.

Sifferkoll is pissing in the wind. LENR Forum may be the least of it. Sifferkoll is a conspiracy theorist, but like many such, there is a way in which he obviously doesn’t believe his own theories. If the conspiracy was as wide as he claims, involving companies as powerful as he claims, and if these people are unscrupulous, he’d be dead not long after they felt that he was any kind of threat at all. Sometimes people have no idea about how much money $1 billion is.

As it is, he is libelling billion-dollar corporations, which is a crime in Sweden, I understand. Eric Walker and the LF staff is the least of it, they are not likely to act internationally. (However, I suppose Eric might be offered the opportunity to lend his name to a complaint. My guess is that he would decline. Eric is actually quite straight-arrow and would want to avoid the appearance of any entanglement with, say, Cherokee Investment Partners or Industrial Heat.

If he were telling the truth, well, we might sympathize with him as a possible martyr. But he’s not. He lies and misleads and distorts.

Sifferkoll used a Swedish phrase in his last post, När man talar om trollen, equivalent to the English “speak of the devil.”

I used that for a post title here, a couple of weeks ago. Speak of the devil.

The occasion for that was a LENR Forum post the mentioned me. That also happened in the Sifferkoll mess:

Eric Walker wrote: (in response to Mary Yugo pointing out that Roger (allegedly) was impersonating “Mary Yugo” on Peter Gluck’s blog):

maryyugo there’s not a whole lot we can do in this case. I suggest you write Peter Gluck privately and let him know, and/or add a note to the blog to clarify the matter for others. I recall something like this happening to Abd Mats Lewan as well.

Actually, on Peter’s blog, it did happen to me. I was impersonated, and very likely by the same person pretending to be Mary Yugo; this was some time ago when Peter was still active. It is really easy to do this on blogs that allow direct and immediate comments. In that earlier incident, Mary may have added a note, but it was unclear, and Peter had no clue how to handle it. How could he tell what was genuine and what was fake?

Easily, actually, plus he could directly email people. He could ask others for help, I’d certainly have assisted him. But by that time he did not trust me in the least.

As to Mats Lewan, this comment was how I learned that a post here wasn’t from Mats. You can see how it was handled.

One of the standard reasons for revealing IP information would be where internet access was used for identity theft.

Alan Smith wrote:

Abd did suggest/imply PG was [redacted as unnecessary – Abd] in this place, but I don’t think Roger ever personated him, on PG’s blog or in here.

Alan Smith: color him socially clueless. And wrong. I am not going to repeat or justify what I wrote then, because at this time there is no necessity, and it would be like hitting a man when he’s down. Peter was a long-term friend and the whole affair was unfortunate, and I hope he recovers fully.

But it is a near certainty that the same person who impersonated Mary Yugo on Peter’s blog also impersonated me. The themes were familiar, matching Roger Barker behavior on LENR Forum. Grossly offensive posts, well beyond the pale. No redeeming value. Not banned on LF, and then there is The Real Roger Barker

This account apparently exists to harass Mary Yugo (and acknowledges trolling).

LENR Forum has not yet clearly decided if it’s a rowdy bar [like moletrap] or a serious forum. Rowdy bars may like to keep disruptive trolls around for the entertainment. It may toss them out if they go too far, which would probably involve broken furniture or ambulances. Or, more to the point, annoying the bartender.

Serious fora will ban them on sight; if they do this quickly, little damage is done. Users can generally reform behavior and come back if they want. (It’s too much work to maintain full vigilance against socking, but not when a sock puppet waves a flag “Look at Me!” A new account engaging in disruptive behavior can be banned quickly, and that is how Wikipedia practice settled, they have a standard process of so many warnings, but it’s swift. (And then some admins bypass the warnings, and I’ve not seen any sanctioned for it.)

If “The Real Roger Barker” truly wants to use his real name and distance himself from the Other Roger Barkers, he could easily do so.

Meanwhile, gross offense on LENR Forum appears to be long-tolerated, then sometimes banned. Reading Eric’s explanations of policy, my sense is that there is no policy, there is only ad hoc handling of each situation, which is guaranteed to be inefficient and erratic and unreliable.

But there is no conspiracy, it’s only amateur behavior.

One more mention of the devil:

Alan Smith wrote:

… In terms of balance, Abd is banished to a happier place, …

So now I’m the token banned Rossi critic. However, my ban had nothing to do with that, at least not outwardly, so I’m not sure this is meaningful. It would be more correct that I criticized moderator practice, specifically Smith’s easy delete-trigger-finger. I wrote that I would be boycotting the Forum until these unexpected and erratic and unnecessary deletions were addressed (and one of the solutions I had previously suggested is what they now do). The response was, in effect, “You can’t boycott us, because you are banned.” Like a certain President dealing with industrialists resigning from his business councils by disbanding the councils: you can’t resign, you don’t have a position any more.

But Alan is right in that I was far happier devoting more time to the blog (which had already been created before the Can’t Quit Ban). Far, far, far happier, than slogging through the muck on LENR Forum. I can look at it if I want and ignore it if I want. I can actually create content here; when I attempted to do that on LENR Forum, it was damaged by … Alan Smith.

But the format of LENR Forum is not conducive to content creation. It’s a discussion group and easily distracted.

Troll-washing

The Real Roger Barker now suspended on LENR Forum. 

Roger Barker is not.

(If someone has been impersonated, it is normally easy to establish a real identity. Doing what TRRB was most likely trolling, and probably lying. Again, easy to establish truth, if it is truth. TRRB made some claims and was told that if he did not provide evidence, he’d be suspended. His response: 

Alan Smith Eric Walker Go on Eric. Just ban me and be done with it. You guys claim to run a free and fair forum but it is only full of hate and vitriol.

“Roger” simply made the decision really easy. The most noticeable offense: arguing with moderators, extensively, on moderation issues, creating post after post to waste moderator time. He hasn’t been banned, yet, only suspended. This is a weak response, but the only real harm done is a bit more time to be wasted in the future, likely. Mary Yugo can handle the abuse (but the back-and-forth is not tolerable, my opinion, and Mary would properly be warned. On the other hand, what Mary got done on Peter’s blog is commendable.

Mary Yugo wrote:

[it is offensive to repeat offensive comment when there is no necessity, and Mary does that here. I’d warn.]

Georgina, at my urging, has deleted all the offending posts and has placed Peter Gluck’s blog on complete moderation.

Mary did not use the quote facility, which would have provided source. Because Mary attributed this to “Roger Barker,” not the longer, currently active user name, I thought maybe this was an old quote. No. It was from The Real Roger Barker, and betrays that he was almost certainly lying.

(The post from Mary Yugo that TRRB was replying to was also inappropriate. We care about Peter Gluck, so the general topic was acceptable, but it was unnecessary to quote all that, and, as well, to vituperatively attack Roger Barker — even if he deserved it.)

Update

Alan Smith confirmed that LENR Forum moderators don’t have IP information, but that an administrator might supply information when appropriate.

Actually moderators do not have access to members metadata as siffer suggests. Admin will sometimes inform mods (if a reasonable request is made by a mod) if a member appears to be using more than 1 log-in ID. But the data itself is not known to us.

Alan was not clear on who actually has access, it is “admin,” and there are two adiministrators (Barty and AlainCo) plus the Founder (and normally founders/owners have full access to everything). But close enough.

Wyttenbach wrote:

Alan Smith : Eric said different things. Obviously he has different power(s)…

Actually, Eric did not say something “different.” I quoted him above. Here it is again:

Eric Walker replied:

Absolute proof is hard to come by since we don’t require people to establish their identity when signing up at the present time. But (1) you’re logged in from the same ISP as sifferkoll , (2) your mannerisms are indistinguishable from those of sifferkoll , and (3) your account was created shortly after sifferkoll was placed under suspension.

and then I wrote above:

Sifferkoll then, as he normally does, jumps to conclusions. This post is an indication that Eric has access to IP information, but is not strong evidence, because … Rends, another LF moderator — and generally pro-Rossi, about three days later — wrote:

@all I would like to explicitly clarify that Eric Walker does not act alone and omnipotent, but, even if he does not have to, always coordinates his administrative interventions with the administrators and moderators of this forum, therefore I would welcome it very much if these untenable insinuations stops!

So Wyttenbach obviously also jumps to conclusions, and when presented with contrary evidence (Alan’s statement) holds to his original conclusions. Not surprising for him.

Straw houses and straw men

People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

I think I read that story in Astounding Science Fiction when I was in high school.

The occasion for this post is a thread started by the old standard, Mary Yugo, who created a LENR Forum thread entirely based on a possible overstatement by Jed Rothwell, I’m not entirely certain yet.

Is there evidence for LENR power generation of 100W for days without input power?

He starts with:

Jed Rothwell has repeatedly asserted that there is significant and credible evidence for an LENR device which sustains a 100W output for days without any input power.

I’ve been seeing this go back and forth for days. Mary says “you said,” and Jed says “something else.” Often there is no link to the prior discussion, a particular LF peeve of mine, users who don’t use the quote facility when responding, so tracking conversations back can be tedious.

Yes, a 100 watt power release for days from LENR without input power would be remarkable. Has this ever happened? I don’t have any example in mind, setting aside the claims of Andrea Rossi, which are, to say the least, unconfirmed, hence not answers to Mary’s question. Continue reading “Straw houses and straw men”

Something is stupid on the internet

Actually, on Rossi’s blog. This has become so unsurprising that I intend to stop covering it unless asked.

Planet Rossi thinks of Rossi as a great genius, and he is often asked about scientific questions. I have previously shown how he commonly has little clue what he’s talking about, his knowledge is shallow, as might be expected from a jailhouse student, as he was. (Though the “electrical engineering” involved here I originally learned early in high school.) This shallow knowledge is distinct from the issue of whether or not he has a real technology, but it can have an impact on how he talks about it.

(By the way, I was a prison chaplain, and knew many intelligent prisoners. I am simply pointing out the possible limitations of prison study. One will not have the benefit of a community of study, it’s isolated and generally solitary. Unless one is taking a correspondence course — some do — there will be no testing, no writing of papers for professorial review, no opportunity to make mistakes and be corrected, which is the fastest way to learn.) Continue reading “Something is stupid on the internet”

Lying with facts

On LENR Forum, SSC has been writing deceptive after deceptive post, sometimes with clear error, but other times reporting facts that SSC would reasonably know, if he were careful, would mislead.

(Fact, presented out of context, can be highly misleading. Rossi often used this in his legal arguments in Miami. Partial truth can be perjury, distinct  from “the whole truth.”)

Here is one from just an hour ago:

SSC wrote:

Shane D. wrote:

I am pretty impressed with TD’s comments Abd so kindly provided. He sounds sincere, and truly committed to the humanitarian first, money second aspect in his search for a working LENR tech. Definitely at odds with the unflattering picture IH haters here painted. By their depiction, the “greedy bastard” should have pulled his money out of LENR by now, and gone back to real estate. Instead, he is continuing on with his LENR quest. Good on him!

You base your judgment on the words that Darden said, while his detractors are based on the facts.

He is lying; if he believes what he wrote, he is being without caution in repeating the deceptive claims of others, so he can earn the reward of those who lie.

Darden can tell all the fables he wants, he can say that his first thought when he wakes up every morning is to save the world and he can even tell you that money does not matter to him. But are you really willing to believe him? Did you read the Cherokee – Zeneca case?

I certainly have. I have researched it in detail. First of all, as is common in the Cherokee libels, there is no discrimination between Darden and Cherokee Investment Partners and the various LLCs that are created for specific projects.

I will not be checking every fact alleged by SSC, but most of this appears factual; however, it simply does not show what he is claiming. What, in fact, is he claiming, exactly? He is presenting facts about this case as if they reflect on Darden’s sincerity. How? Continue reading “Lying with facts”

If it blew up, it must be LENR!

I’m writing this because I like the headline. It does bring up some more, ah, fundamental issues.

THHuxleynew wrote:

kirkshanahan wrote:

The results of doing this is to come up with an excess heat signal that is a) large and b) occurring when no current is flowing, meaning you essentially have an infinite instantaneous COP. The problem is that this comes out of applying the same calibration equation used for ‘normal’ operations. The steady state is so radically different in a ‘boiled-dry’ cell that everyone should know you can’t do that. But not the CFers…it shows excess heat…it must be real…and is certainly must be nuclear!

“The CFers.” Classic Shanahan. Classic ad-hominem, straw-man argument, one of the reasons he gets no traction with those who would need to understand and respect his arguments, if he has a real basis and actually cares about supporting science.

Below, I go into details. Continue reading “If it blew up, it must be LENR!”

No payoff = bad bet?

This is an obvious logical fallacy, yet the argument is surprisingly common from some who think of themselves as skeptics. They are, in fact, “pseudoskeptics,” because they are selectively skeptical, rejecting the ideas of others while swallowing their own whole.

We never have complete control over the circumstances of life. What works one time may not work another. Walking down the street can be a gamble; after all, we could get hit by a bus. Yet if we live as if we must avoid all danger, we die in a state of constriction and loss.

Ideally, we learn to assess risk and to make choices that recognize risk and consider possible returns. If the return is high, we may take higher risks. That’s all rational game theory.

So if I get hit by a bus, does that mean it was a mistake to walk down the street? Perhaps it was a mistake to be inadequately careful, but no amount of care can avoid all risk. The risk is small, so normal response to it is reasonable caution. Continue reading “No payoff = bad bet?”

Cold fusion: Manual for the Compleat Idiot

There is a decent video by Jed Rothwell

Unfortunately it repeats some common tropes that can make an approach to understanding cold fusion more difficult (as they did from the beginning). Rather than take this apart, what would be a better introduction? I’m using a recent post by Jed Rothwell as a seed that may create one.

On LENR Forum, Jed Rothwell wrote:

kevmolenr@gmail.com wrote:

So how do we establish that LENR has been replicated? We are surrounded by hyperskeptics, whom I have no real interest in appeasing because their standard, if it were applied to any other branch of science, would send us back to some kind of stone age.

I recommend you ignore the hyperskeptics. I engage with them here only to keep in practices, as an exercise in rhetorical target practice.

Great excuse! Someone is wrong on the internet! There goes countless hours. This is useful if one actually hones literary and rhetorical skills, but, too often, there is no genuine feedback, no objective standard or measure of success. What, indeed, is success? What I’ve gained from the engagement is familiarity with the issues. It enables me to speak cogently, off-the-cuff. We’ll see how effective that is!

We are not, however, “surrounded by hyperskeptics.” Where does Kev live that he thinks this way? Planet Rossi? If someone new is not skeptical about cold fusion, they don’t understand the problem.

I recommend you concentrate instead on trying to persuade open minded people who are sincerely interested in the subject. There are apparently a large number of such people. Although the numbers seem to be dropping off. See:

lenr-canr.org statistics

I’ve been writing for years about this. A goal of “persuading” people can be disempowering. How about “inspiring” them? Short of that, “informing” them. Of what? Our opinions? Continue reading “Cold fusion: Manual for the Compleat Idiot”

Peep!

“Peep” is the sound of Main Stream Media regarding Rossi v. Darden. The following is the first mention I’ve seen of the settlement, in Triangle Business News, in an article behind a paywall.

https://www.bizjournals.com/triangle/news/2017/08/03/dispute-between-inventor-and-raleigh-investor-over.html. I have a copy of this article, and provide here some excerpts. Much of the article will be familiar to anyone who has been following the case. Continue reading “Peep!”

Who won?

Color mind boggled. “Winning” is generally a highly subjective judgment, unless there are clear standards, which, in this matter, there are not. Someone may claim that the issue is clear, by either proposing or assuming a specific standard, which is, in this case, post-facto. The “case,” is, of course, Who Won in Rossi v. Darden? or Who Won by Reaching Settlement?

Frank Acland started a poll on E-Cat World. Poll: Rossi v. IH Settlement — Who Won?

The announcement refers to a discussion on the Vortex mailing list. I’ll get to that. On-line discussion groups have long ignored the processes of deliberative democracy. A question is asked, sometimes, but the exact form of the question is well-known to have a massive influence on answers. A question is asked and then people answer it, often arguing for their answer. Very normal in on-line fora. Continue reading “Who won?”