A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

I’m working on study documents. Doing work like this is how I learn, it’s how I become familiar with the documents. I’ve been watching LENR Forum and E-Cat World, and I see plenty of people commenting who obviously know a little, not a lot. They’ve seen some document that confirms what they believe, they take some accidental implication and run with it. And Sifferkoll is up to his old tricks. Ah, later.

I had started to work with RvD: Study of 214:Rossi Motion for Summary Judgment because I wanted to study the Rossi side first. However, 214 is so full of errors — almost all exhibit numbers are incorrect, for example, and the Motion is heavily based on something that didn’t happen: the exclusion of all IPH claims. Or at least it hasn’t yet happened. Since it is days of work to prepare one of these study documents, I put it off and started working on the IH side, with RvD: Study of 203:IH Motion for Summary Judgment

And then I realized that this document heavily depends on RvD: Study of 207:IH Statement of material fact supporting MSJ. So I decided to compile and link this first. You can see more or less what it will look like, I just need to complete it.

The statement of material fact is a boiled-down summary, filtered for significance, and some of it, so far, has blown my mind.

For example I thought that the IH claim that Leonardo Florida was not the same corporation as IH had the agreement with was a bit silly. However, I think I was wrong. Basically, I had assumed that this was just a move to Florida. Okay, the New Hampshire corporation still exists, so the claim of merger may be shaky, but … it’s still Rossi, really, right?

Actually, no. Rossi does not own Leonardo Florida. It is owned by a trust. Trustee is Johnson. IH may have a point, even a strong point.

That Ampenergo deliberately refused to sign the Second Amendment that allowed a later GPT is telling. All this, I will review in detail, studying the documents. Rossi, then, knew the ropes, before the Doral “test” began.

This is just one of many points that come up in the documents. For example, Penon explains why he did not respond to the Murray questions. It was because, he claimed, these were the same questions Murray had asked in February. Of course, the Murray document was deliberately a memorialization of those questions. Penon’s English is pretty bad, apparently. Let’s give his response the best construction. He believed he had answered the questions, but perhaps Murray did not understand. By this time there were lawyers involved on both sides, and it would be suggested to Murray that he ask the questions formally, in writing. So he did. And Penon, hired jointly by Rossi and IH to make or validate measurements, consciously refused to answer. His reason is irrelevant. IH apparently, then, refused to pay him his final payment, and Rossi paid it.

IH excerpts from the Penon deposition.

This was terminally sloppy. Penon depended heavily on data provided by Rossi and Fabiani. While data was stored on his computer at the Plant (possibly still there), Fabiani obviously had access to it. This was not an independent review.

As with the Lugano text and Levi, Penon reports as fact what he was told by Rossi. (Lugano, the reason for not calibrating at full input power, and Ferrara, the reason for only testing 18 reactors.)

So why did IH put up with this? Darden does explain, but the general reason is obvious. In order to continue to deal with Rossi, it was necessary to be maximally compliant and not argue with him, or show any need to confirm independently. If they did, it would be End of Test. Go eff yourself. Rossi had done this many times.

To complete their goal (which was twofold: to obtain and commercialize the technology, or, in the alternative, to determine that there was no technology at the levels claimed or even close), they needed to extend the relationship with Rossi, though not outside of “reason.” I.e., they were not about to agree with Rossi that Doral was the GPT and Penon the ERV, but they also were not going to start screaming that Rossi is Wrong.

They decided to watch, and then, when possible, to verify. And the beginning of that process — sending Murray — was where Rossi drew his own line. Murray was refused, and Rossi says why. Spy.

Annesser was quickly involved, and it appears that Annesser may have encouraged the breakdown, instead of calming it. Annesser apparently advised Rossi and Johnson to reject the December request for access, that is, to violate the Term Sheet, this time clearly. At that point, IH may have believed that the Doral warehouse was rented by JMP, controlled by Johnson, and may have had no idea that Rossi himself had rented the warehouse.

Annesser is in this up to his eyeballs, but that will not be relevant to the present case, unless a motion for sanctions is entered after the basic case is resolved. I no longer have any wonder that Annesser left Silver Law Group. This would be very unlikely to be something that Ruth Silver would approve.

(But she would never say that, and I’ve dealt with a law firm that had represented a plaintiff suing me. One partner started to say to me that maybe they were on the “wrong side,” and the other said to him — quite correctly — not to say that. It was obvious anyway, and these attorneys had advised the client, obviously, to settle with me, and that was quickly done. It looks like Annesser did not advise Rossi to settle differences, but to fight, not let these big guys push him around, and probably they will settle. Besides, this was his chance to sue a $2.2 billion corporation. These don’t come around every day. Even if he did need to stretch the law a bit.)

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

See http://coldfusioncommunity.net/biography-abd-ul-rahman-lomax/

15 thoughts on “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing”

    1. On thenewfire blog. On the Altonaga page, a little information possibly of some very minor interest, mixed with gossip, stuff I would not repeat. Undigested crap. I do recommend reading the Wikipedia article. I read it last April. I’ve now read quite a few of Altonaga’s orders. I don’t agree with all of them, but she is a judge and I’m not. The only ruling that I saw as a serious problem, she reconsidered on request and fixed it.

      The Sun-Sentinel article is about a criminal case, and Altonaga ruled in a fairly ordinary way. You don’t escape responsibility for running a Ponzi scheme by claiming good intentions. The road to hell — and prison — is paved with good intentions. And other intentions as well. I have seen nothing indicating that Altonaga will be anything other than fair. Judges are not perfect, none of them are. But it’s the best system we have for resolving disputes, where the parties cannot or will not resolve them directly. One of the things one might notice, carefully reading the RvD documents, is that Rossi is about as stubborn as they come. He is famously “difficult to work with.” We get to see exactly how that shows up in the documents, we can look at Rossi’s testimony when he is under oath, with a penalty of perjury. I see some approaches to the legal edge, but it’s all about very … optimistic … interpretations of reality. I highly recommend looking carefully at the JMP history, what Rossi said to IH, what IH clearly believed — there are many documents and testimonies — and then the reality behind it.

      Mostly his testimony is “truth as he sees it.” (Which is legal, even if wrong.) He lied to his fans, again and again, but that’s not illegal. He lied to IH, though, as part of his business relationship with them. That is legally actionable, and might even be criminal. Rossi creates fantasies and then treats and talks about them as realities.

      It is now easy to see how and why he got into such trouble in Italy, even if he had a real technology.

    1. The gap in depth of experience between Annesser and Pace is enormous. What I’ve finding in reviewing documents is that Annesser may have made things worse between Rossi and IH, though it is every difficult to tell, because if Rossi insists on some path, most attorneys will follow it, but if Annesser advised Rossi to treat IH as appears to have actually happened, it was possibly sanctionable, though I don’t know if it would ever come to that. Annesser, if he did not advise against the actions that clearly created the open rift between IH and Rossi, midway during the alleged “test,” and then against the filing of Rossi v. Darden, has cost Rossi a very large sum of money (plus the same for IH). Rossi has demolished his business future. The lawsuit itself is doomed, for multiple reasons, all clearly established by evidence. Dewey Weaver has more or less telegraphed that IH is not about to settle the counterclaims, but IH is certainly not bound by that. I don’t have a crystal ball and cannot predict how IH will handle the possibility of settlement. Rossi claims to follow his attorney’s advice, but I rather doubt it, since he actually violates the advice, then, routinely, on JONP and likely elsewhere, with socks.

      Reading those document systematically, instead of just a snippet here and a snippet there, is much more like how a jury would see them. Much of the blog conversation is fluff, ungrounded. There are some good writers, but they are the exceptions. Before writing much more as opinion about the case, I intend to complete the studies, which requires me to look at all the evidence, not just what immediately appeals to me in some way. At this point, I’m working on the IH MSJ, but I did already import the Rossi MSJ and have looked at it some; as it stands it was such a mess that I dropped it. I don’t know if the Judge will allow Rossi to change it. It is face-palm incredible that the Exhibit numbers are all screwed up, but that was a product of the rush, partly, and the rest of the problems about the Rossi MSJ are related to the Hail-Mary pass attempted to disqualify all IPH counterclaims, that is just about certain to fail. So, in a way, Annesser created the rush. I’m not really sure of the role Chaiken is playing.

      The video is of Annesser when he was with Silver Law Group and Ruth Silver. Ms. Silver was highly experienced, so I’ve stated what my suspicions are about that move. I watched the video almost a year ago, looking up the attorneys was one of the first things I did.

      1. Pace sure has experience and 1990 University of Pennsylvania law
        school valedictorian first in class so will be smooth.
        Annesser also has a business degree along with law degree and owned and operated two businesses so that could come in handy.He does not seem like a shy guy.
        Should be interesting.
        If it goes to trial do you have an opinion on how long trial could be
        and when it could begin Abd?

        1. Found this on internet.

          A recent transcript of a discovery hearing in the Rossi et al. V. Darden et al. case from March 9, 2017 proved to be very informative. The magistrate is clearly rankled with the attorney’s bickering and in a revealing comment, Mr. Pace, for the defendants answered “probably not” when the magistrate asked if they were never going to settle the case. Mr. Pace also predicted a 2-3 week trial this summer. IH and Darden seem very committed to proving Rossi defrauded them and/or breached the agreement they had.

          THE COURT: All right. Good.
          You guys are never going to settle this case, huh?
          MR. PACE: Probably not.
          THE COURT: How long is this case going to take to try?
          MR. PACE: A couple of weeks.
          THE COURT: Really?
          MR. PACE: Yes. Two, three weeks.

          1. When you quote something from “the internet,” it would be a courtesy to provide a link. This was from Drama in the Rossi V. Darden Case on Ecat.org. The transcript is 226-5 on our docket page. There are many, many things I have seen recently that show how the case is going. It’s so much that writing about it seems like cherry-picking. But the analysis there that the judge and magistrate are getting a bit impatient with the bickering seems generally correct. It’s mostly impatience with Rossi’s counsel. The partial hearing transcript was posted by Rossi as a supplement to an appeal from the Magistrates’ ruling. Altonaga denied this appeal without comment. Rossi’s attorneys are pushing the limits.

            That Ecat.org comment was better than many I’ve seen on Rossi-oriented sites. However, it contains very little real information. The site is strange. For example, it has a page of links, and so far all the links I’ve checked refer back to ecat.org. clickbait.

        2. In July, last year, Altonaga set the trial dates: “THIS CAUSE is set for trial during the Court’s two-week trial calendar beginning on June 26, 2017.

          How long the trial will take will depend on the issues needing factual determination. I expect that the Rossi suit will be terminated by Summary Judgment, the basic issues are so clear. The judge almost tossed it with the original Motion to Dismiss, over the Six Cylinder issue. Now that we know that the missing Ampenergo signature was deliberate, I find it difficult to imagine how the judge could continue the charade. If Count I fails, the rest more or less automatically fails. Remember, IH whacked four out of eight counts with the MTD. That was a very high success rate, MTDs are difficult. MSJs, after Discovery, are probably easier, because no longer does the Judge have to assume that claims in a complaint are true. A Complaint is not testimony under oath. (It is not perjury to file a false claim in a complaint. It can sometimes be sanctionable misconduct, if complaints are completely frivolous and if a filing attorney should have known that.)

          The Motions for Summary Judgment lay out a basic case strategy, but it should be realized that the trial strategy may differ. An MSJ must stand on uncontested fact (and “fact” includes sworn testimony as to matters of personal knowledge.). At trial, less solid claims can be made, presented to a jury. “Proof” is not required, sometimes people don’t understand that. What is required is to convince a jury, unanimously, of facts. The jury will ordinarily continue to deliberate until they agree on unanimous conclusions. If they cannot, mistrial, and a new jury would be chosen, trial all over again….

  1. Simon, thanks. I have added some more.

    First, my primary interest is people, not LENR. LENR is a very useful example of scientific process, and the breakdown of the same. “Scientific Fiasco of the Century,” Huizenga called it, and he was right. He simply did not understand the full extent of it. Ironically, Gary Taubes, who wrote Bad Science about cold fusion, has more thoroughly documented information cascades in his other books. The phenomenon of information cascades is both necessary (at times) and dangerous and damaging (at times).

    The utility here wrt LENR is only to distinguish that an entire branch of LENR research, using nickel hydride, has been warped by Rossi claims. The existence and occasional plausibility of those claims (i.e., of “scientific validation” by Kullander, Essen, the other Swedes, and, of course, Focardi and Levi and, not to neglect her, Foschi) then led to confirmation bias, the “file-drawer effect.” It’s a mess, and NiH must be re-evaluated, because most research into NiH after 2011 has been warped as a result. Sometimes, for example, Rossi has been considered a validation of Piantelli. It’s not. Piantelli, indeed, could be Rossi’s excuse. Piantelli’s work must stand on its own, and then, necessarily, on independent validation, not contaminated by commercial interest.

    IH is supporting all that, apparently, as case documents show, and the Texas Tech effort — which I expect is likely to dynamite the rejection logjam — is also looking into NiH reactions (though the exploding wire technique of testing materials for LENR effects).

    The lawsuit demonstrates how to — possibly — move beyond an information cascade. In this case, the cascade operates within a subculture. Information cascades propagate by avoiding the step-by-step validation of evidence. Lawsuits are designed to create that validation and study. It is, generally, the best thinking we have.

    And, yes, it can still be flawed, there are breakdowns, but when the sides are matched, can afford good lawyers, it gets much better. And if we, the public, want to avoid the breakdowns, we will need to support parties by funding legal counsel — or perhaps filing friend-of-the-court briefs. We are not yet organized sufficiently to do that. And mostly we don’t even realize the value of such organization. Rather, we conceive of ourselves as victims of the existing order, instead of taking responsibility. That then allows us to kvetch and complain and to feel superior to all those idiots.

    So is Planet Rossi supporting Rossi? Is there a Rossi Defense Fund collecting money?

    IH is for-profit, but are we creating organizations and institutions to promote the public interest? My sense is that IH would strongly cooperate with such, because a rising tide floats all boats. The “other interests” in LENR are not fighting with each other — set aside Lattice Energy and Steve Krivit.

    I obviously have my opinions about Rossi v. Darden, but I am also promoting consensus process and study. It is essential to me that I distinguish my own opinions as being such. Opinions. Reactions.

    While I may think my opinions are rooted in fact, it is my responsibility to continue to consider new evidence and to review the old. When I see the knee-jerk reactions of Planet Rossi, it is cautionary for me, since I am also human and have knee-jerk reactions.

    1. Abd – my primary interest is energy production, and not LENR. LENR is however a good way to get the production of energy to be almost pollution-free, if it can be made to work reliably, and may thus be the catalyst to a new age of plenty and might even stop a few wars. That’s why I’m also interested in solar power, molten-salt fission reactors, and various table-top fusion experiments. Rather than have grid-scale power production, having a small unit that will run a house (or a small commune at most) but produces energy cheaply will reduce the capability of governments (or natural causes) to shut off power to any individual, town, city, or country. Although you don’t agree with my 2LoT ideas, that also complies with the basic drive to get a small portable power-source, and since it can be falsified by experiment it is in the realm of science and not tinfoil hats. Incidentally I expect to prove an information-cascade of over 150 years there, which has been taught as absolute truth even though the loophole is obvious once you’ve seen it.

      Ni/H was severely warped by Rossi’s claims, though it seems Piantelli is still working and is a good scientist. I never regarded Rossi as a validation of Piantelli, but instead saw Piantelli’s work as a reason to not dismiss Rossi’s claims.

      Maybe it’s my background, but personally I try to avoid any contact with the Law. That also includes not doing anything that I know is illegal, by the way…. The reason is that it seems to take a very long time to decide anything in law, since in technical matters you’d need to bring the lawyers up to the point of understanding the issues in order to be able to decide. In a situation where the factory was on stop, my job was to find the problem and fix it so that people could get back to work. After that was done was the time for *someone else* to decide where the blame should lie.

      As such, I don’t have a lot of experience on the legal side. I can however see your point about the exhaustive evidence-collecting and thus giving a balanced answer. At least an answer that most people should agree is balanced. However, setting up a legal fund to prosecute and thus find the legal answer seems a bit expensive when lawyers charge somewhere over 10 times the hourly rate I used to earn and they’ll need to spend a lot of hours to gain the technical knowledge. In Rossi’s case, it’s not really a technical problem since the engineering viewpoint is that he lied about his data. It is not consistent with what is possible no matter how LENR works or doesn’t work. All we’re talking about is how the fraud was perpetrated. It’ll make a good film someday.

      Our own opinions should be mutable depending on the total of the evidence available to us at the time. If I can prove that my opinion is wrong, I simply change it. There’s no shame in having been wrong when some information was missing, but there is if you hold on to an opinion that can be shown to be inconsistent with the facts. It is possible for the consensus to be wrong, and that theory we thought was incontestable is actually wrong, but we should be able to see the evidence if that is so.

      I have no problem with IH intending to make a profit. Without that chance of a gain, few people would gamble on developing a new technology, considering how often such ventures fail. That’s maybe why the large-scale stuff is government-funded (at least at the start), since it’s easier to bet someone else’s money than your own.

      I think you overplay your capacity for knee-jerk reactions, by the way. By the time you’ve written it out and edited it, what’s published seems pretty balanced. Maybe you should also look back on what you’ve published and see if you still agree with it, and also whether you’d still think the same if the new information hadn’t turned up.

      1. I found that the blog software had automatically closed discussions after some period. I fixed that. It’s all open, and I figure out how to open up pages for comment as well.

        I see all comments on the blog, so if there are any suggestions, they are totally welcome. Trolling may or may not be deleted, depends on how obviously trolling it is. Ideally, a decision like that would not be made by me, if I wrote the piece.

        I do sometimes edit old comments, but I generally am reserving “pages” on this blog for maintained documents, and “posts” for ephemera. If something has been published, I would generally note any changes using standard methods. Absolutely, I learned to be unafraid of being wrong. Errors can be fixed, most of them. The real danger is in being attached to a fixed position.

        Thanks for the encouragement. So many great things to do, so little time. I find it totally fun to be working on a blog, why didn’t I do this years ago?

  2. Abd – though the legal case is fascinating, it does swallow a lot of time. As far as I can see all the work involved will only give us some sociological insights and will not actually advance LENR/Cold Fusion a jot. Though this story may serve as an example of how people are fooled, previous examples (John Worral Keely, John Rohner etc.) don’t seem to have educated some people as to what to look for. Still, basing a scam on an underlying truth does seem to be a good way of getting an income-stream from people who want to believe, and occasionally things that sound too good to be true may be true. Just not often….

    It is possible that some of the “replications” of Rossi’s methods may actually work to some extent, given that the methods were probably gathered from people putting ideas into the JONP and thus using crowd-sourcing of ideas. We see some useful input on Bob Higgins’ replication attempt on LF, and when true open-source experiments are attempted then some smart people give their time for free. It’s also worth noting that something like the QuarkX structure might be viable, where high-voltage is used to implant Hydrogen deeper into the lattice than would be possible using electrolysis. This may need modifications to how the fuel is prepared (multi-layered from several materials) but is not an illogical thing to test out given what we know so far. Rather than being run at high pressure, though, it would need to be run at a rough vacuum in order to give enough eV gain over the mean-free-path. Just dump Rossi’s methods of measuring the input and output power and do the job right, then see if there is any real effect.

    As far as I can tell, though, Rossi and the people who are still supporting him are not progressing LENR research. Seeing the extent to which IH are involved with the LENR community, and the obvious intention to find something if it is in fact there (and of course make a profit on it), the time and effort they are needing to put in to fighting Rossi is another delay. As such, I hope for a quick resolution of the court case, and I hope we don’t need to talk about Rossi after that.

    At the moment with Rossi we’re only talking about the legalities, since the only science involved is in demonstrating how what RossiSays is wrong. It is fascinating, but not really useful.

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