Breakdowns create breakthroughs

On LENR Forum, Rigel wrote:

Mods, a humble request. Let these words stand. Let us clean up our own mess. Strong people have strong opinions. Please

This was after some extensive flame warring and mutual recriminations, of which a small part was discussed yesterday on And now for something completely different.

Bob then did something rare enough to be remarkable. He admitted error, here and on LF.

IH Fanboy responded:

I must say, Abd is one of a kind. Looks like we have recursive forums. Perhaps someone should start a new one that critiques Abd’s, and so on, and so forth.

Thanks, IHFB.

I started CFC because I needed a forum that could be structured to develop truly useful content, and this was apparently not going to happen on LF. When I saw that LF content could be — was actually — deleted arbitrarily, without notice, unapologetically, and possibly irrecoverably, I decided to stop contributing content there unless that situation was addressed. Instead of it being addressed, I was banned after I’d said I wasn’t going to contribute. This has all been covered here, if anyone is interested. It has not been discussed on LF.

Not contributing substantial content was my intention then, but I might have been able to do what I often do on E-cat world, point to content elsewhere. One-liners.

Not a problem for me. I found that writing here was far more powerful, far more effective for my purposes, and being banned on LF reduced temptation for me to spin my wheels dealing with trolls — or opinionated moderators who impose their opinions on the community.

It is fine if there are many fora, one would be too restrictive. Let a hundred flowers bloom was only a problem because the one who said it was a dictator who proceeded to cut down the blossoms as soon as they were visible. I don’t have the power to do that even if I wanted to, and I don’t want to.

It is possible that CFC could be critiqued on LF, if the moderators allow it, and it’s possible elsewhere. (Nobody has been, so far, threatened with sanctions for pointing usefully to content here. LF (probably Barty) attempted for a time to suppress refered links from here, displaying an access prohibited error, a bad idea which was easily defeated — by turning off referral! — and which was finally abandoned.) Peter Gluck links to us on his blog, often. E-Cat world has no problem with linking here.

However, we can also be critiqued here. Let a hundred flowers bloom. Here. This is not an invitation to trolling; I am committed to two principles: the first is creating useful content and structures to support cold fusion research and the second is to treat dissent fairly, with the ultimate goal being consensus. Genuine skepticism is fully welcome. Pseudoskepticism is not excluded (one man’s pseudo is another’s speedo), but will not be allowed to dominate. We will, however, guide rather than ban, wherever possible. My concepts of how to manage this and create community leadership that will survive me are far beyond what has been demonstrated fully.

If this depends only on me, it will ultimately fail.

Rigel wrote:

I like Abd’s critiques, they keep us honest. Whether you agree or not, he is in depth and thoughtful. In my own opinion I am not sure why he is not accepted. He is of obviously high intelligence, why is his worldview intelligence a threat here? (I assume he did/said something and I must respect it) I just disagree and move on. We maybe   we should all agree healthy discourse is healthy.

Abd is not the enemy he is just a voice sometimes with great reason.

Once we lose a voice we all lose caipche?

Hmmph. Great minds think alike. (Thanks, Rigel. Capiche?)

Be aware that sticking your head up, someone may shoot at it. In my training, the saying was that if nobody is shooting at you, you are not doing anything worth wasting ammunition on. The people held up to us for inspiration were Martin Luther King, Jack Kennedy, Mahatma Gandhi, Malcolm X…. and then we notice that all of them were shot.

My habit on Wikipedia was to defend those who were being abused. So the abusers came after me. One user defended me. They banned him. However, one discovers this: being banned is liberation, freedom. When I was banned from Wikipedia, I no longer had any responsibility for all the crap coming down there, and it can be awful. I also found that if I wanted to edit Wikipedia, I could still do so any time I wanted. They actually had no power, or … not the power that they imagined. They had the power to shoot themselves in the foot. It only harmed me to the extent that I was attached.

When I was banned, I no longer had any responsibility to follow due process. I don’t edit Wikipedia, but not because I couldn’t. I could, the same as I could post on LENR-Forum if I chose to do so. And the same as I can critique LENR-Forum if I choose. Or, more relevantly, Steve Krivit, who did fire a shot recently. The result: much more critique.

I’m not bulletproof, except in one way, which I won’t reveal.

IHFB wrote:

I wasn’t trying to demean Abd. It was more of comment of admiration of his persistence and excruciating detailed analysis of the comments made here by me and others. I do prefer that his extensive analysis exists elsewhere besides this forum. It is just my personal preference for concise to-the-point reasoning. If somebody wants the book version, Abd is quite skilled at that.

Consider it hypertext, and it could literally be that if anyone wants to point to comments here. I will also place anchors wherever requested, so that one can link to a particular place in a post. I may be doing this more and more, creating indices.

The LENR-Forum format is not suited for the kind of writing I do. What might be noticed is that, here, I write commentary on sequences of answers, generally with some overall theme.

I’m currently the only one writing posts here, but nobody else has yet expressed interest. Posts and pages are welcome, just ask for the necessary privilege level. As well, help with maintenance is sought, and, as well, participation, ultimately, in governance, not only of this site but of my work and that of Infusion Institute, Inc.

On the other side, one person’s to-the-point concise analysis is another’s dull, repetitive, mind-fogged knee-jerk opinion. Writing something concise to clear up a serious misconception that might be expressed in a sound bite can take enormous skill, if it can be done at all. But people want to be spoon-fed. That’s okay, but it makes them dependent on the spoon-feeders.

Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax


8 thoughts on “Breakdowns create breakthroughs”

  1. Abd – I occasionally read what is said on LENR Forum just to see where they have got to, but in general it’s so full of flames and personal insults that it’s not worth the time. There’s very little real information based on facts, but a lot of opinions. I also read Peter’s blog, since despite his refusal to accept Conservation of Energy arguments in respect of what happened to the 1MW said to be produced by the Doral test, he does scour the international LENR publications and sometimes they are useful. I’ve also tried to persuade him to look at the available data with an unbiased view, but that has so far failed. He obviously thinks I am part of Planet IH and thus biased against Rossi.

    It seems to me that IH had a well-designed strategy to call Rossi’s bluff. This needed deep pockets, but was probably the only way they could be sure whether Rossi had something or not. If Rossi had something that worked to some extent (say COP=1.2 or more, but reliable) then their investment would likely pay off since analysis of the ash should tell them what was happening and development would improve the reaction. If instead no excess heat was produced, then that information is also useful in defining what doesn’t work. It seems IH went into this with open eyes and weren’t necessarily believing what Rossi Says, as I’d originally thought. They wanted proof one way or another, and were prepared to pay to get that proof.

    Rossi has managed to keep most people uncertain as to whether there was some reality to his claims. Even now, I can’t be sure that he didn’t have some success even though it may have been over-stated and mis-measured. Even the Doral test may have produced a few kW of excess heat even though the 1MW claim can be discounted as physically impossible. The reports of the IH testing of their copies, though, implies either no reaction at all or that Rossi did not tell them some critical information. There’s still uncertainty, which will likely remain (at least as regards whether Rossi had a valid LENR reaction) even after the court-case is done and dusted. On a practical level, though, it does look like the methods Rossi uses do not result in LENR happening often or reliably, and they are certainly not LENR+.

    It is hard to avoid the conclusion that people trying to replicate Rossi are wasting their time and money. Maybe trying to replicate Brillouin is a better route, or as Brian Ahern will shortly be doing, to replicate the Thermacore meltdown. Anyone But Rossi….

    1. Thanks, Simon. Welcome to cold fusion community. I had noticed you attempted to advise Peter, as have many others. I don’t see independent studies of what is claimed to be the Rossi Effect as being harmful in themselves, and those doing them, if they pay attention and follow the scientific method, will learn a great deal. Finding artifacts is fun! — if one is not attached to “success.” And, then, if one actually finds something of value (beyond “replication failure” which does have a value, if reported clearly and without unnecessary conclusions), one will be in a much better position to develop it, publish it, and support independent confirmation. Something like LENR takes a lot of independent verification. Call it extraordinary evidence. Evidence is, however, simply evidence. We can come to preponderance of the evidence, provisional conclusions, at any time, risking our own time and investment, and then the full scientific community can do the same, but often there is no full community process clearly in place, it’s all ad hoc and seat-of-the-pants and information cascade, which can be literally dead wrong. At some point here I may cover Gary Taubes. He has done major research on an information cascade, about diet, where “scientific consensus” may be responsible for many millions of premature deaths, which is ironic, because he was part of the rejection cascade wrt cold fusion. I’m not ready to re-engage Taubes, but may be ready within a year or so. Stuff is Happening.

      You would, of course, be welcome to write here, just ask for privileges. I am not worried, I could always revoke them! As this community grows, community process would be established to make organizational decisions. I must turn this over, sooner or later.

      1. Abd, Are you ok? I have not seen an update, no goofing off.
        I have tried to contact you several times, do you have an email?

        Also Simon IMHO is a polymath. It causes problems with others when a compliment like this is given as we have many smart folks. I read about him and Dansie on R-G where they look and discuss Alt-energy devices, and debunk nonsense.
        Please leave an email addr. I don’t contact people online (I have done it 2x).
        I also never see my comments so do not know if you get them.

        1. If you have not seen an “update,” update to what and where would you expect it? I am writing more than one post per day for this blog, plus working on informational pages. The email address you gave with this comment has now been added to my spam filter for the account I have written you from, so confirm that, it comes from the domain, and is a very old address I have been using since something like 2001 or earlier.

          The Contact Us form on this site works, but may take some time to be noticed. I had not seen anything from you, here, either there or as a comment on a post like this. So I just checked Submissions, and yes, you made two contact attempts on February 6. That’s not an unusual delay. I will now look at what happened to the notification I expect I was sent, now that I know what was in the submission, I can search for it in spam filter records or other mail records.

          Understand that I used to receive around 500 spams per day, occasionally more. And then I get distracted, to boot, by all the interesting stuff to write about. After all, Someone Is Wrong On The Internet!

          Anyone may submit a comment on a post, it goes to moderation, showing me the email address. This normally gets immediate attention. I get a lot of spam every day, and any blogger knows about this. It is still within range of easy management, so no spam filters have been installed. Your email address, though, does not inspire confidence, it looks like trolling.

          If you are leaving comments here and not seeing them, when you look at the post or page where you comments, let me know, you should now have my email address confirmed. The Contact Us form here emails a notice to my yahoomail address, and they have an aggressive spam filter that blocks good mail, fairly often.

          Yes, there are many smart people. In fact, there is also a high level of social dysfunction associated with being a “polymath.” Aspberger’s is fairly common, along with less dramatic social dysfunction disorders.

          I doubt that I have deleted any of your comments here as spam. It’s really easy to distinguish, and something from you with Rigel attached to it would stand out clearly. It might happen once, but I don’t think it has happened so far. The difficult cases are users making comments like “Great site! I’ll tell my friends,” but nothing that shows any connection with the topic. (Peter Gluck has approved some of these!) These are almost always spam, publicizing their web site, one can tell by the site. It is possible that some sincere compliment gets rejected as Spam, but none of these, so far, are actually deleted, merely tossed into a spam category. Right now that has 481 posts in it, while there are only a hundred accepted comments.

      2. Abd – at the moment I am otherwise engaged since I have logically shown that Perpetual Motion is not only possible but actually proven. It’s just that it wasn’t noticed, since it is traditionally impossible. Yep, I know this sounds pretty ridiculous and wacky fringe, but it needs to be pinned down this year and the available power (currently in the mW range) to be improved by a few orders of magnitude. As such, I need to put time into that rather than LENR for a while. I do have writing-rights on Revolution-Green for disseminating my outrageous theories, but I now have the time so need to spend it in the workshop rather than at the desk. Generally the articles I write take weeks to prepare, with some being the result of decades of thinking. Theories are nice, but hard data is a lot better. It’s interesting that this is also against the scientific consensus, even though the evidence is pretty obvious once you see the point.

        Thanks for the indefatigable defence of reason with regards to Rossi. For sure, people trying his methods will have a learning-process on how to measure things, but then I had high hopes for Celani at one point but that turned out to be a problem in getting a valid control. There is of course some chance he also had some sort of reaction, but too low of a heat output to measure.

        The demands for “extraordinary evidence” are moot, as I see it. We just need good evidence that people can replicate and thus convince themselves that LENR works. I suspect a synthesis of the current big ideas may have some legs, and the test for that needs Hydrogen-loaded Nickel and a source of EUV at the energies Mills sees. Later on I’ll do a test of that and see what happens. It’s getting somewhat late here, so I’ll leave the details for some other time. I’ve discussed bits of this with Jones Beene, but he wasn’t that enthusiastic so it may just be not crazy enough to work. One important point is why there’s no major radiation, and this links to why and how a gas can radiate IR anyway. Still, working out precisely what happens needs maths I’m not familiar with and would need to learn first, so at the moment it’s an intuitive picture and stands a good chance of being non-physical. The experimental test is actually a short-cut.

        We’re still collecting pieces of the puzzle and trying to find where they go in the overall picture. Rossi, though, is another puzzle altogether.

        1. Simon, “extraordinary evidence” has a meaning. The general meaning is verifiable evidence that is actually verified independently. “Demands” for such evidence are generally dumb. I have no right to demand anything, but I do have a right to directly and manage my own activity. This is the current situation with LENR. PdD LENR has not only been confirmed by many independent tests, including some exact independent replications, the ash is known and has been confirmed to be correlated with the heat, again by many independent groups. That heat/ash correlation is “extraordinary evidence.” However, doubt can be raised about it, and a claim that this is ignorant doesn’t fly well, even if true. Hence my strong suggestion for, and then when it happened, my strong hope in, new independent confirmation with increased precision.

          The situation with NiH is similar, except for all the Rossi noise, to the situation with PdD before the ash correlated with heat was reported by Miles in 1991. Lots of independent evidence that “something might be happening,” but little evidence as to what it actually was, it was generally circumstantial, anecdotal, with great difficulties in replication. Given the massive effort to replicate, the file drawer effect then looms as a possible explanation. Something much more probative was needed to move beyond that.

          Anyone who studies this field knows that heat measurements can be misleading. There are many possible artifacts. Yes, kilowatts, absent fraud, are pretty convincing! But I wrote in 2011 that, given the immense possible value of LENR, fraud must be on the table as possible. If fraud is possible, any demonstration can be faked. There is practically no way to eliminate all of them unless fully independent examination and study is possible. I.e., the device could be a black box, it is not necessary to know what is inside. What would be studied independently would be the box, kept closed, IP protected, and input and output, with no-touch or even direct presence by the inventor or anyone representing the inventor, but the inventor could watch by video. Basically, eliminate possible interference with the testing. That’s what IH did, and it appears likely at this point that Boeing was asked or asked to participate, and it would be utterly unsurprising that they would have an interest, enough to do some fairly simple tests.

          My experience has been that there are major industrial organizations interested in LENR, waiting for opportunities. Mostly, what the cold fusion community has presented are not opportunities for them. That’s a product of lack of community organization, a lack of overall strategy, cooperation, and action.

          “Scientific consensus” is a fascinating topic. What does it mean? How is it measured? How is it determined that it exists? Can it change? How? Is there a peer-reviewed Journal of Scientific Consensus? What I can say from my experience is that the opinion that All Things Cold Fusion are nonsense, is common. When one looks closely, this doesn’t match the reviews, the actual decision-making. It is a faux consensus, what Taubes has exposed with regard to diet. It is not the consensus of the informed, and when one does manage to engage with the “believers in consensus,” the lack of information is obvious. There is a strong reliance on belief as to what happened in the past, conclusions drawn long ago with utterly inadequate evidence, complicated by political motivations that are well-known, not surprising, and not an “evil intention to suppress cheap energy.” Just mistakes that became “common knowledge.” Information cascade, a well-known social phenomenon. I usually call it the “rejection cascade.”

          1. Abd – I suspect the Journal of Scientific Consensus exists as Wikipedia. Generally, Wikipedia is pretty good at stating what is generally-agreed, and where there’s disagreement there will be a lot of editing going on as the factions try to get their view to be the one that’s visible.

            When in doubt, follow the consensus, but if the evidence for *something else* seems solid-enough then take the heretical viewpoint instead. I know people who reject Miles’ experimental results and others who accept Rossi’s claims. I hope Brian Ahern succeeds in his Thermacore meltdown replication, which will maybe give a similar solid peg to hang Ni/H on as Miles gave to Pd/D. It seems Brillouin use Pd in their Nickel, so it’s hard to be sure of what’s happening there except that it’s likely that the heat produced is real.

            I’ve been commenting in the Free Energy field for around 5 years or so, and have had the opportunity to see a fair number of attempts to get money from customers/investors based on false claims. It’s interesting to see how the wish to believe in the miracle blinds some people to simple physical tests. On the other hand there are also the committed sceptics who selectively ignore positive evidence. One thing shines from all this, though, and that is that unless you trust the experimenter, you won’t accept data he/she produces if it goes against your preconceived ideas. I’ve been fooled by measurement kit before, and I’m sure anyone with experience has also been likewise fooled by some bit of kit, which is why people use multiple methods of measurement on important stuff so that there is no single point of failure. Belt-and-braces or sanity-check, and there are probably other terms to describe this caution about believing one measurement or one experiment. An undeniable test, however, is where the machine produces enough power to run itself and a load without connection to an outside power-source – a self-loop.

            For an LENR system to be able to self-loop, it needs a COP maybe greater than about 3, because of the inefficiency in converting heat to electricity to run the system. Mills should have no problem doing that based on the claimed results, and neither should Rossi. Still, they both remain plugged into the grid or a big generator and show us meter readings that, as experimentalists, we know can be in error or fudged or simply lied about.

            It’s possible that in the past there might have been attempts to suppress a cheaper method of generating power, though I can’t find any such attempt. These days, though, we see solar power being actively pushed by governments in general (though some utility companies are fighting back on grid charges because their earnings models are outdated) and Musk building a giant battery factory for electric cars. The oil and fossil fuel energy sector is definitely under threat in the next couple of decades, yet the big oil companies are looking to get their future incomes from renewables instead, and not trying to squash the technology. If the new method is cheaper, people will buy it. Enough will buy it when it’s at parity or a bit above if there are other benefits such as lack of pollution or energy-independence.

            The rejection cascade is certainly there, but a self-looped demonstration where the fact of it is above suspicion (for example in an open field away from a power-supply, and doing real work such as pumping water, lifting dirt etc.) should negate that pretty quickly. My bet is that Rossi will never manage that, based on what we currently know. I suspect Mills won’t, either, since according to the data he has produced that was easily possible a year ago. Still, it’s not me he has to convince.

            Should someone produce such a demo, I’m sure that industry will be flocking to get a licence to make them. Popular opinion and “consensus” will then shift so quickly that if you blink you’ll miss it, and we’ll find a lot of supporters of LENR we never knew about before. In the meantime, there’s no evidence that there’s anything commercially viable yet, or that can definitely be scaled up to be so. Given the the P+F or Thermacore meltdowns, there may be some critical size required to get a lot of output and then it may not be controllable. We just don’t know, except that there does seem to be something odd and nuclear happening and we don’t yet know why.

            Also, given that Piantelli saw cloud-chamber tracks from his Nickel block for a short time after then end of his experiment, it does seem likely that Ni/H may be a different miracle than Pd/D where little such activity was seen, with the triple-track SPAWAR results (and the co-deposition kits you sold/sell) being dependent on the support-wire chosen. Looking for the same answer to both may be the wrong path. At times I think we could do with a number of colour-coded post-it notes with what we know, what we think may be true, what we think is untrue and what we know is false, to make a physical jigsaw puzzle we can juggle to see what congruences we can find.

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