How to drastically overvalue a company

To pull off this trick, the company must have both ordinary and preferred stock. From this page from the Journal of Accountancy:

To value a business having both common and preferred shares, CPAs should value the preferred shares first and deduct that value from the entire equity of the entity.

The trick? Ignore the difference between preferred stock and ordinary stock, and then use the price paid for preferred stock and multiply it by the total number of shares. Presto! Massive overvaluation, it can be! Continue reading “How to drastically overvalue a company”

OMG! Good news!

This LENR Forum development gives me hope for humanity. Arguments have been raging about the alleged flow limitation raised by Pace in his opening arguments on Day 3 of the trial, Rossi v. Darden.

This was based on the Smith Supplemental Report.

Planet Rossi has been loudly claiming that this was the height of stupidity, so bad that when Lukacs pointed it out to Pace and Bell, IH attorneys, before the evidentiary phase of the trial was to begin on Day 4, realized that their entire case was utterly hopeless and laid down and played dead.

Then Rossi went at it hammer and tongs in his Mats Lewan interview. Utter ridiculous stupidity!

There is some discussion of this issue on Pumped Up or Stupid Mistake.

Those folks on LENR forum decided to actually obtain one of these pumps and actually measure the flow rate. What? And give up all the fun of arguing endlessly and firmly proclaiming that the “other side” is not just wrong, but insanely-stupid-wrong and someone-must-be-paying-them?

Apparently, yes. Giving that up, we can hope. So I’m applauding, and commenting on this test idea and implications. Continue reading “OMG! Good news!”

Mats Lewan interview

This is a study of a post on Mats Lewan’s blog (linked under the date below), copied for purpose of analysis and critique. It included some good photos of Dr. Rossi, eliminated here because they are not necessary for this purpose. My comments are indented and italicized.

Corrections of errors and comment on arguments is welcome. Comment here is generally open; incivility in comment may result in comments being hidden or moved to an organizing page at the sole discretion of CFC administration (until a more open process is practical and available). If a comment is hidden, the content may be requested by the author. We do not generally delete content, at least not in the short-term.

Here’s The Settlement—Getting The License Back Was Rossi’s Top Priority

July 18, 2017 Uncategorized

Mats has not categorized his pages. It’s not an active blog, so it doesn’t matter.

In the settlement between Rossi and his US licensee IH, Rossi got the license back together with all E-Cat equipment and materials, while none of the parties will have to pay damages to the other.

Yes, if this is the settlement as agreed, and if there are not other agreements. IH is, in signing this, totally relinquishing all claims to Rossi’s IP. A fly in the ointment would be Ampenergo. AEG was a party to the IH/Rossi agreement, and modifications of that agreement without Ampenergo signature are not valid, and this new agreement modifies (basically revokes) that original agreement. Ampenergo is mentioned; Ampenergo rights (and responsibilities, if any) are not altered by this settlement agreement.

It was Ampenergo’s refusal to sign the Second Amendment that created a major legal problem for Rossi in claiming the $89 million payment was due. The provisions allowing this in the original agreement had, in fact, expired, so the Rossi claim depended on estoppel, the idea that IH had behaved as if bound by the Guaranteed Performance Test provisions; but Rossi was unable to find any clear evidence for this, in spite of extensive effort. The evidence that was found only showed that in a few internal communications, IH referred to a test in process according to an agreement, but the reference was vague and could have referred to the Term Sheet agreement and Penon’s involvement.

Getting the license back was his top priority all the time, Rossi explains in this interview.

Yes, he claims that. Mats does not seriously question it — or anything Rossi says. If that was his “top priority,” we went about it very strangely, creating an enormously complicated lawsuit at high expense. It has been claimed on the blogs that Rossi offered to settle with IH for a return of the License fee (probably $10 million); that is implausible and without evideniary support as far as anything I’ve been able to find. If that had been offered, it would be unlikely for IH to settle as they did with no refund of any kind. However, there are many strange features of this case’s history, so that isn’t proof of anything. Indeed, proof is elusive, but there is a great deal of evidence that Mats is ignoring.

Update. Frank Acland has pointed to a 2016 interview with Rossi. This is probably the source. This claim, unverified in part, has been repeated as if clear fact, on which various conclusions are then based.

During summer 2015, IH offered Rossi to back out from the test and cancel it, with a significant sum of money as compensation. Rossi’s counter offer was to give back the already paid 11.5M and cancel the license agreement, but IH didn’t accept.

From many examples in the lawsuit, we know that Rossi’s reports of conversations are subject to extensive distortion, even if there may be a core of reality. IH did offer money to Rossi, not as “compensation for cancelling a test,” but apparently assuring Rossi that money was not the problem, the problem was them not having been successful in making devices that would pass fully-independent testing, which was absolutely necessary for them. So this first part is framing, how a fact is presented. The second part is not verified. This has later been called a “public offer.” Such a public offer would have been a violation of the License Agreement. Rather, it was a claim made to Lewan, which became public because Lewan published it. A sincere public (or private) settlement offer would normally remain on the table (possibly modified somewhat due to legal expenses). Rossi, in fact, did not request return of the License in the lawsuit, and there was certainly no public offer. Had there been, and assuming that this is what Rossi actually wanted, it would have changed the entire complexion of the case. It might have settled early, saving both sides substantial expense, and netting IH more than $10 million for other LENR research.

But Rossi hated “other LENR research.” More money for it would be the last thing he wanted.

[Here’s the document defining the terms of the settlement (un-disclosed source)].

This copy is unsigned and undated. There is a copy that appeared on LENR-forum, without attribution, that shows Rossi’s signature and a date, July 14, 2017. The draft agreement does not require confidentiality as to itself, nor in general. What remains protected is the secret fuel formula and anything disclosed in Discovery and already covered by a Protective Order. Everything else is, on the fact, permitted.

“To us, the most important thing was to regain complete ownership of the IP and of all the rights that were conceded through the license. At this point, it had become very clear that a continued collaboration had become impossible because of the choices IH made and because of other reasons.

Collaboration actually broke down by July, 2015, when Rossi violated the Term Sheet, refusing entry to the Doral plant to the IH engineer, Murray. Rossi gives reasons in this interview that don’t make sense from a business perspective, but only from within his well-known paranoia.

The development, the finalization, and the distribution of the technology—any agreement regarding this would have been impossible,” Rossi told me during an interview via Skype on July 15.

The impossibility was entirely related to Rossi’s absolute intransigence about his ways of doing things. He made it impossible for IH to actually verify what was happening in Doral, made the “test” take total priority over showing IH how to make devices that would pass independent testing (small scale testing, the normal testing one would expect), and this made it impossible for IH to raise the $89 million payment. Even though the time for that had expired, IH indicated in communications that came out in the trial that they were willing to pay Rossi if they could make those working devices. One of their theories is that Rossi never disclosed what was needed, and that is quite consistent with his comments to Mats. He didn’t trust them, but the mistrust goes back further than he discloses.

IH had obtained a commitment for another $150 million from Woodford, so the plentiful Rossi claims that they objected because they couldn’t pay were simply more smokescreen. They could have paid if Rossi had shown what was needed.

The settlement was drafted on July 5, 2017, on the fourth day of the trial regarding a lawsuit that Rossi filed in Florida, mainly against his US based licensee Industrial Heat, IH, early in April 2016, for not having paid the final amount of USD 89M according to the license agreement, after one year of operation of a 1MW heat plant based on Rossi’s E-Cat technology, apparently successful according to a supposedly independent report made by nuclear engineer Fabio Penon.

We do not know when the settlement was drafted. What I saw in court was that the parties requested that the judge dismiss the suit with prejudice, with all parties bearing their own legal costs, with any details to be worked out with private agreement. The indications I had at the time was that this agreement did not yet exist. It is possible that some outline existed. The settlement agreement provides for a joint filing, which hasn’t happened yet.

The documents as they stood did not require that $89 million payment. Rossi used shaky legal theories to advance this. He would not have prevailed, my opinion, based on what I saw. I did not expect, however, that IH would relinquish all rights unless compensated; and a reason for doing that only occurred to me a few hours after seeing the agreement. Tax purposes. They had come to believe that the IP was worthless, but there would be a residual value due to a small probability of future value. If there is a formal release as binding legal settlement, they could then totally expense all the costs, being able to distribute this as a loss to their investors, which is part of how these risky LLCs operate. They create losses that are then fully deductible from income for their investors. Otherwise the investments might sit there for years, not deductible. So a more accurate description than “worthless” would be “not worth as much as the tax deductions.”

(IH would still have gathered a valuable intangible, “experience.” I was told that IH does not intend to abandon LENR, but a sane long-term approach would be to gather experience, learning to recognize what has true commercial potential and what does not. They would retrench and maintain “watchful waiting,” including readiness to act quickly when needed.)

The defense, on the other hand, accused Rossi of having produced false results in conspiracy with Penon and others.

According to whom? Mats is relying on Rossi’s account. This is a story about the lawsuit that doesn’t fairly present it. What IH did was to call the Doral test into question; this was actually a secondary defense, the primary one being that Doral simply was not a Guaranteed Performance Test, but rather a sale of power to a supposedly independent customer with an immediate and desperate need for steam, willing to pay for it, and the site serving as a demonstration for investors. No mention of “test.” Then, tacked onto this was measurement by Penon, but this was to be in addition to independent measurement by the “customer.” The customer was, we now now, entirely Rossi, and the invoice requests from the customer, signed by Johnson, were drafted by Rossi. There was no independent customer, this was all fraudulent inducement, and that all became totally clear in the evidence, and was emphasized in the opening statement. At trial, Rossi was going to lose, totally, on the $89 million claim.

The claims of fakery in the test results were secondary, not primary. It only became relevant if the GPT arguments were to fail. The underlying equity was that without the ability to reproduce results, IH could not possibly raise the $89 million; the Rossi counterargument in the case was that the Agreement did not require reproducibility. That is literally true and utterly misleading. Perhaps Mats should actually read some documents!

Eventually, however, none of these accusations could be confirmed by proof, which I will comment on below.

Mats is here stating as bald fact what is obviously a conclusion, his conclusion. He refers to “proof,” which is legally naive. The standard of factual judgment in a civil case, like this, is not “proof.” Proof is rare in the world. The standard is the “preponderance of evidence.” He has not actually specified the allegations but is already referring to them as if established. This is the kind of vagueness on which Rossi has long thrived. It is distressing to see in someone who was, at one time, a serious journalist.

Mats does not cover the evidence for fraudulent representation, he simply declares it out of existence. This is appalling.

“There were two clauses in the license agreement that were extremely dangerous to us—the right of first choice [if you plan to make any agreement outside of the licensee’s territory, you first have to offer the licensee the possibility to make an agreement for that new territory] and the rights also to all subsequent inventions. These clauses would have made any further development very complex.

Not really. This is simply Rossi paranoia and smokescreen. The term is “right of first refusal.” Before acting to make an extraterritorial agreement, Rossi would have had to offer the agreement on the same terms to IH. IH could then accept or refuse. This could not harm Rossi’s legitimate interests. However, Rossi often used alleged difficulties to excuse his refusals. He told IH that the presence of an independent engineering company experts at the Ferrara Validation Test in 2013 would “make problems” for him. What problems? One possibility is obvious. They might see through his friend Penon’s incompetence or collusion with Rossi. None of this is proof, but it all builds a coherent picture of how Rossi has operated.

“The perspective for the continued trial was that we could win or we could lose. You always have to examine these possibilities and investigate the consequences. A victory for us risked becoming a pyrrhic victory. Even though we were convinced of having a very strong case, eventually the jury would decide. And the problem was that in the case of a victory, the jury would probably say that it would be fair for Leonardo Corporation [Rossi’s company] to receive the claimed funds, but it would also be fair for IH to keep the license. For us to also get the license back was beyond the horizon.

Many people had pointed this out. Rossi did not actually ask for license cancellation in the Complaint nor in succeeding documents. If this was his primary goal, that’s rather odd. A license cancellation would probably be accompanied by a refund. It has been claimed that Rossi offered such a refund, but I’ve seen no confirmation of this. [see above, there is evidence, a Rossi comment to Mats Lewan in May, 2016, with no independent confirmation]. Refund for cancellation of license would have been an obvious settlement. It would have involved IH eating an additional $10 million or so of expenses, but surely better than a total loss of the entire $20 million investment. 

“So my lawyers asked me before the trial which my priorities were if the trial would lead to any transactions—those indispensable and those negotiable. My answer was that the indispensable condition was to get the license back because I didn’t want to collaborate with IH anymore. As for the financial aspects, I told them which my expectations were, from a lower level to a higher one.”

“My lawyers” is a bit vague. The one who apparently negotiated the settlement was Lukacs. Notice that the primary goal is emotional: “I didn’t want.” I think he’s telling the simple truth here, this is what he thought. Why didn’t he want to collaborate? Where did that come from? It’s found below. It was crazy paranoia, the classic Rossi story. The paranoia led to the major breakdown, by July, 2015.

Were you aware of the danger of the two clauses in the license agreement when you signed it?

Unless Rossi was later lying, always possible, he didn’t consult attorneys before accepting the License Agreement, nor after. There was no danger in the clause he mentioned. It was more or less standard. There was no occasion where this caused him any actual loss, it was all fear. The second clause is misrepresented by Rossi, somewhat. It is not “all subsequent inventions,” it is only inventions that would compete with the original E-cat technology. Again, the reason for that clause is obvious. Inventor has product A, sells it to investors, then comes out with B, which destroys the market for A. Not great for investors, eh? Rossi consistently has shown, since before 2011, that he does not understand the needs of investors.

“Yes, I had understood the risk but I was convinced that I was collaborating with a partner that I would never separate from. Let’s say that I got married without taking into account the difficulties if there would be a divorce.”

Sure. However, most agreements for $100 million involve a bit more sophistication. The settlement agreement looks like something drafted by a lawyer, and includes contingencies dealing with various failures to agree. Marriages where significant property is involved often include separate property agreements that protect the parties. There is no way that IH was going to suggest these protections to cover Rossi (and they were not going to include them to protect themselves, and this was all seen as necessary to deal successfully with Rossi, given Rossi’s character. Bring up such a possibility, for example some attempt to verify his measurements, very possible he’d explode and walk out the door. He’d done it many times.)

What would have happened with your new reactor version, the E-Cat QX (formerly known as Quark X), if you hadn’t got the license back?

This was all obvious, I wrote about this many times, with Rossi supporters screaming that it was biased. Now Rossi acknowledges it.

“It would have been very complicated because it’s an E-Cat—the theory base is the same and the patent protection is basically the same, even though revolutionary inventions have been added, but the license agreement expressed very clearly that all inventions, also subsequent and future ones, would become IH’s property. Together with the clause of first choice it would have become very complex. So it was absolutely necessary to eliminate the license.“

Very complex = “absolutely necessary to eliminate.” Not actually very complex! Quite simple. If Rossi improves the invention, they get that technology. Rossi makes more money, certainly not less. Yes, he’d be sharing profits. At this point, status quo, IH had paid only $10 million for that full benefit. Of course Rossi didn’t like that, but he had many opportunities to be paid much, much more. He turned away from them. They would have required that he actually fulfill the intention and letter of the Agreement, and he didn’t trust them, that is the long-term Rossi position. Mistrust. Mats knows Rossi well enough to recognize this.

To obtain another $89 million, all he’d have had to do was to get the signature of his friends at Ampenergo on the Second Amendment. There was no time limit on that. Then he’d have needed to get all parties to agree to the start of a test date. If they unreasonably dragged their feet, that would have made for a simple specific-performance demand, and lawsuit if necessary, a much less complex lawsuit, with far more basis (and easily resolved by going ahead with a test with reasonable precautions).

Alternatively, it appears that IH offered to waive the GPT requirement. All Rossi had to do was teach them how to make devices that actually passed careful, independent testing. Rossi either could not do that (one possibility) or did not want to do that (the other major possibility, consistent with the story he now tells Lewan.) Annesser, Rossi’s early and very pugnacious attorney, pointed out another possibility: they were incompetent boobs who could not follow instructions. However, if they were truly incompetent, find them competent advisors. Pay them if you have to. Guide them through the process step by step. And an absolute no-no: if an error or possible error is found in your measurement methods, don’t storm out claiming the Russians Did It. Fix the problem, nail it.

According to the settlement, the defendants shall return or destroy all documentation, return all reactor vessels including the 1MW E-Cat plant, also promising not to disclose the E-Cat fuel formula to anyone. How will you be able to control this?

It’s in the Settlement Agreement. Rossi’s answer is also fairly obvious.

“With the information that I have provided you can make a replication, and if we see other companies producing something analogous, even partly analogous, this means that our technology has been transferred. And we will protect our IP.”

Yes, this is more or less correct. However, something like a secret formula, which is the only secret aspect, could be found by someone else doing what Rossi claimed to do, running a thousand tests. That’s not very many, actually. There are techniques for running millions of tests, simultaneously. It’s only money. So why hasn’t this already been done? Well it’s being done, but not focusing on “Rossi technology,” for the most part. Why not? Because nobody with the resources believes that Rossi technology is real, for all the obvious reasons, very obvious, if one studies the case documents (which is a significant project by itself, I will be working to make it easier; I’ve already done this to a limited degree. It, itself, is a significant project, and it is not funded beyond my expenses — which are crowd-funded).

An early theory, which I considered possible, was that Rossi deliberately created the appearance of being a con artist, in order to allow easy dismisssal of his work by others who might otherwise seriously investigate with the goal of competing with him. )Mats supports this idea in An Impossible Invention. It was this argument that led me to conclude that the appearances did not prove that Rossi was what he appeared to be. So … what if this is still happening? Mats is ignoring obvious appearances, as if they don’t exist, he is not confronting them and asking difficult questions. Why not?

That, again, is obvious. Ask Rossi difficult questions, there goes your access! (An alternate explanation is that Lewan is simply not smart. I doubt this. He could understand if he wanted to.)

Talking about replication. In his deposition, Tom Darden [President of IH and of Cherokee Investment Partners] claimed that with the information you provided, they ‘were never able to build devices that successfully produced energy.’ What is your comment to that?

That is a decent question. The problem here is that Lewan doesn’t go deeper. Darden said this in a deposition (though I don’t have the exact quote in mind and Lewan does not bother with sourcing like this.) That means under oath, under penalty of perjury. Rossi responds with misdirection.

“During the discovery phase, emails from Darden were provided and made public, where Darden himself confirmed to have replicated our process successfully.

Well, by being vague, Rossi maintains appearances. Darden was enthusiastic and had some early results that appeared positive. We have seen this many times with LENR! Some of that disappears when examined more closely, the “unable to build” comment is about a fuller, later judgment. In Rossi case arguments, positions that changed over time were often collapsed, as if a person would have one, fixed view, from beginning to end. This would not have impressed a jury, it’s easy to understand.

We also have testimonials from persons who have assisted at such replications. Woodford [Investment Management] assisted at one of those replications, after which it invested USD 50M in Industrial Heat, even before the [one-year 1MW] test started in Doral [Miami], at a time when IH obviously had nothing but our IP in its portfolio.”

This is radically misleading. Woodford did not “assist” at an “IH replication,” as far as we know. Rossi is vague, but may be referring to the Doral test as a “Rossi replication.” This was totally managed by Rossi, featuring a faux Director of Engineering for the “customer” who was literally a puppet for Rossi, saying what Rossi told him to say. Maybe Rossi is talking about some other test, but, if so, I haven’t seen evidence for it in the documents. Woodford committed to invest in 2014, up to $200 million. IH had suggested that this go into IPH, the Dutch BV, where it would be exposed to Rossi claims. Woodford insisted that it go instead into a new UK limited liability company, IHHI, which became the owner of IH, but not obligated to pay IH debts; it could voluntarily do so. The first tranche, $50 million, cleared in May, 2015, and this money went into other technologies, not Rossi, and that totally pissed him off, though this was simply Woodford doing what they wanted to do with their money.

Woodford did not invest in Rossi technology, but that IH had a hedge to cover the possibility of Rossi success was likely attractive. They were not impressed by the Doral plant, apparently. I wouldn’t have been, beyond, OMG, what a complicated piece of machinery for a fraud! Maybe it’s real! I would not be impressed by steam pipe going through a wall into an inaccessible “customer area,” with the only sign of a megawatt being the claims of Rossi (or the “customer engineer” who was clueless), from instrumental readings. It’s hard to hide a megawatt! That is the only reason I could think of for a megawatt test. It’s a terrible way to gather reliability data, the way it was done.

“We also have testimonials.” That appears to be a claim without evidence, very common. It’s meaningless without specifics. Lewan does not ask for specifics. Notice that underneath Rossi’s claim is an implied claim that Darden and Vaughn and others perjured themselves. If there was a successful “replication” — which is itself misleading, because replicating results is not yet independent confirmation if the test methods are flawed — Woodford would know it and would then be a possible witness in a perjury prosecution. This is all misleading, implausible, but Mats swallows it whole, apparently. (It isn’t obvious in the early parts of the interview, but shows up in what Lewan states as fact without attribution to Rossi.)

In his deposition, Darden also claimed that you had said that JM Products [the ‘customer’ that used the thermal power produced by the E-Cat plant in Doral—more comments on that below] was a subsidiary of Johnson Matthey, that Johnson Matthey would have operated the plant of JM Products, and that after [a] brief period of positive operation Johnson Matthey would have announced that they were the customer. What’s your comment?

Lewan attributes this to a Darden claim, instead of what the IH attorneys did, referring to the primary evidence, a series of Rossi emails, as well as evidence from James Bass, and the OFAC declaration of Johnson. That sets up Rossi’s basic answer, an implication that Darden was lying and that there was “no evidence.” But there was plenty of evidence, conclusive evidence, overwhelmingly so. The representation that the “customer” would come out like that is in a Rossi email that is quite clear on the topic, quite enough to convince a jury in a civil case, and possibly enough to convince a jury in a perjury prosecution. By not understanding this, Lewan simply provides a soapbox for Rossi.

“Mr. Darden hasn’t been able to prove what he said under oath. Basically, he has sworn on things of which he has no evidence. I have never said or written that Johnson Matthey was the owner of JM Products, while in contrast I always said and wrote that Johnson Matthey was the producer of materials that I had use for in my work with JM.”

First of all, the history of the draft of the Term Sheet shows that IH believed that the customer was Johnson Matthey. The customer was allegedly a chemical company with a need for steam. IH obviously got the name of Johnson Matthey from somewhere! Here, Rossi has created a cover story that might explain it, i.e., he told them of his plans and IH misunderstood. However, this is utterly inconsistent with Rossi’s subsequent behavior. Instead of telling IH that it was a mistake, he told them that he “wasn’t supposed to mention their name.” In many documents, he referred to the customer as a distinct and independent entity, not merely himself planning to work with JM materials. When IH suggested they might visit JM in the U.K., Rossi demanded that they not do this, it would spook them. If he was merely buying materials from them, what would be the problem? And this goes on and on. This isn’t just one piece of evidence and it isn’t just Darden’s word against Rossi’s. Rather, the reality is that there is no contrary evidence in the evidentiary record to what Darden claimed, and there is massive support. Rossi obviously led IH to believe that the “real customer” — that is, the hidden owner of JM Chemical Products — look at the name! — was Johnson Matthey. He was lying from start to finish, and he is still lying, to Mats.

More accurately, it’s likely that Rossi believes his lies, that is part of how he is able to convince people, his obvious sincerity. Technically, then, they are not “lies,” but intention to mislead, which is the core (not “false statements”) is obvious. It exists somewhere in Rossi’s psyche, he is creating his own “reality,” and transmitting it to others, but the patterns are consistent. Mats is refusing to recognize what really, by now, should be obvious to him. Rossi is, at best, insane. Nice wig, though. Nice smile. Cordial. And very persistent, hard-working, etc.

When one creates a misunderstanding, the best construction I can find, and there is a clear opportunity to clear it up, and, instead, one papers it over with appearances, it becomes clear that the “misunderstanding” was intentional. (Rossi said there was nothing wrong with dealing with a new company, which was true, except … he had claimed originally that this was an existing company, ready to go, and hurry, they need to go soon, don’t miss the opportunity, when, in fact, and this is simply not in doubt, there was no independent customer, no existing process requiring steam, and all the funding and control was purely Rossi. IH obviously decided, even though it was starting to look shaky, to give Rossi the chance, and that fell apart by July, 2015, when Rossi blatantly violated the Term Sheet by excluding the IH engineer, and even if we imagine that Doral was a GPT, this was a gross violation of the orginal GPT intention. I think Rossi is telling the truth that he had decided he didn’t want to work with IH any more. Consider what he claimed to have done with Hydro Fusion. This could have been, quite simply, a more elaborate version of the same behavior. 

Some of Rossi’s supporters think all this is irrelevant, that what really matters is “did the Plant work?” The problem is that how Rossi set it all up makes conclusions about actual power generation depend entirely on trusting Rossi. The “independent ERV” was not quite so independent, and the actual management of operation and data collection was … Rossi. The test conditions were entirely controlled by Rossi, and then we find out about, say, other pumps in the system. One of the ways to fool a steam measurement system as existed in Doral would be through such hidden elements. And … the instruments were removed immediately at the end of the test, taken by Penon. All with excuses, of course, but an attorney saw that and immediately said, to me, “spoliation” (Not an IH attorney, and this was before IH claimed spoliation. This was before more examples of spoliation of the evidence appeared, the removal of the steam piping not allowing verification of the slope of that return pipe and the exact installation of the flow meter, which itself had multiple problems.)

The pressure gauge, critical to understanding the state of the alleged steam delivery, was being operated above the specified operating temperature, and the simplest explanation of the rock solid report of 0.0 bar pressure is that the gauge was broken (or simply blocked; removed from the system, it might operate perfectly), and it was removed by Penon. (0.0 bar in the Penon report was a blatant error, and this was generally translated to 0.0 barg, which is, at least possible! but then there are many other problems, all glossed over by Rossi’s facile explanations that don’t hold up under examination. In any given example, there may be an explanation, but this “test” was a mess. Penon was vastly overpaid.

Rossi often made the point that Penon, his friend, was a “nuclear engineer” as if that made a difference. Nuclear engineering is irrelevant to measuring steam, Jed Rothwell has often made the point: one needs an HVAC engineer who actually works with steam. While some nuclear plants use steam, the training of a nuclear engineer would not extensively prepare a person for this work, for there is no clear theory of operation for LENR devices, but measuring steam and generated heat are all well-known and with well-known possible errors, to steam engineers.

Darden also reported an episode when they provided a reactor that you operated successfully, after which they revealed that the reactor was empty, suggesting that there were systematic errors in the measurement method, also describing your violent reaction when they told you this. Can you comment?

This was, again, a good question. It’s a report, I think more than one person has referred to it, and, again, Rossi talks about “proof.” In court, Darden would testify, someone else would testify who may have been a witness, and Rossi would testify. The jury would consider how these match and how they differ. What does Rossi actually say here?

Mats actually makes the statement that Rossi operated the reactor. This is not a clear account matching what I recall. However, maybe. Mats does not attribute sources for his information, generally. He is, in effect, repeating rumors or creating them based on something he read somewhere, which may or many not have been accurate.

“Darden has said lots of things that he has never been able to prove. What he assures doesn’t exist. I always made experiments with reactors charged by me, or by me in collaboration with Darden. Never with reactors provided to me as a closed box, for obvious reasons.”

What obvious reasons? Rossi has diverted from the actual story, and talks about something else. I saw this many times in his pleadings. IH would assert an alleged fact, A. Rossi counsel would “dispute” the fact but then, for evidence, would provide irrelevancies that would all be about how A was to be interpreted, not the fact A itself. This managed to confuse the Judge, actually, which may have been the purpose. It is all clear from the record when one actually studies the pleadings and looks up the cited references. It’s not very visible if one just reads the pleadings themselves. To understand those documents actually takes a lot of work! Unless someone has organized them and analyzed them, making verification easy.

The actual story, at this point from my memory. IH was running tests of reactors, and had apparently created empty reactors. They had written a letter on the outside of the reactor, as I recall the story (eventually, I’ll look all this up). They were getting some strong results, high COP. Then they realized that they had been confused by an upside-down letter and what they thought was a fueled reactor was actually unfueled. Notice that Rossi’s answer completely avoids the actual reported situation, which involved a reactor that was unfueled, so even if Rossi was correct, and all the fueled reactors had been loaded by him (but Darden supposedly had the formula), IH may have made some unfueled versions and got one confused with the fueled ones.

So they called Rossi and demanded that he come to North Carolina immediately. He did, and they showed him the test. They then, together, cut open the unfueled reactor, and it was empty. The story I have in mind has Rossi getting angry, claiming “The Russians stole the fuel!” and storming out.

Was this story pure invention? It seems unlikely, but a jury would have decided, looking at the witnesses in testimony and under cross-examination, and possible corroboration. And, remember, all this was peripheral. The central issue, the contractual requirements, was actually very clear. Much of this would be relevant to the counterclaims, not the primary lawsuit.

What this shows to those interested in Rossi Reality would be how a lack of control experiments can be fatal to experimental studies. Rossi hated control experiments, had expressed his contempt for them in 2011. Lugano was most seriously damaged by the lack of a control experiment (a “dummy reactor”) at full input power, which would have immediately exposed, if it existed, error in temperature measurement. In fact, the IH mislabelling showed a naivete on their part as well. One would label controls either not at all (depending on later opening them up) or with a code unintelligible to the experimenters. Using a letter and knowing what the letter was supposed to mean would damage neutrality; ideally the difference is blind. (This is far, far from what Lugano did. The fueled and dummy experiments were treated differently and known. That’s relatively weak, but not uncommon in initial studies. Lugano was not designed to be conclusive.)

Let’s talk about JM, since how, why, and by whom the company was formed was one of the main topics to raise doubt about your motives with the one-year test. You already explained that you never said that Johnson Matthey was the owner. So who formed the company?

“I always said that the owner of JM was an [Italian] person who knew me since a very long time, and who was in contact with a British company and wanted to participate in the work with my technology.

He is still lying, here, that is, being deceptive. At best, Rossi isn’t at all careful. He “always said” this to whom? There is no sign that what he has said here is what he said to IH in 2014. “Italian” was supplied by Lewan?

Johnson, supporting the JM story, claimed that the owner was a “U.K entity.” Not Italian, and, in fact, the supposed owner (in name only, in fact, Rossi was entirely responsible for JM Products), Rossi may have indeed met again in Johnson’s office, he who became the sole beneficiary of Platinum America Trust, but that wasn’t a U.K. entity, it existed in a file cabinet in Johnson’s Florida office, only. That this was a long-time Rossi friend was concealed from IH, and covered up with the OFAC “U.K. entity” story. In his deposition, Johnson acknowledged that there wasn’t and had never been a “U.K. entity,” giving the excuse that they had planned to create one, but it was too expensive.

But why would they even bother; there is only one reason I can think of: to make it appear that it was Johnson Matthey. Once they had made that representation, and once IH had agreed to the Doral move, there was no longer any need to go to the trouble of creating a U.K. entity.

So I invented this proposal for him to be both a customer, buying the energy produced by the E-Cat plant, and collaborator, verifying the validity of my technology [both the E-Cat technology and the one used by JM Products]. This is what I always declared. And in my depositions, I also provided the name of the owner of JM. I also explained that the owner of JM didn’t achieve any agreement with the British society, and therefore went on by himself together with other partners.”

The depositions were, of course, after the lawsuit had been filed. Rossi did not lie about it then, except in one way: claiming that he had not told IH the customer was Johnson Matthey. He obviously led them (and others, such as James Bass), to believe that, then backed up and mixed up the story while maintaining the impression of an independent customer, still Johnson Matthey. What other partners? Rossi is continuing with his vagueness that is designed to confuse. Johnson presented the “U.K. entity” claim as a present fact, not some future possibility. But this is standard for Rossi: present a possibility as an already-realized fact. Johnson was a rubber-stamp for Rossi.

Rossi did invent the proposal. But look at how this was proposed to IH! The story he now tells is very, very different. Okay, the customer was to “buy the energy.” $1000 per day. Attractive proposal, to be sure, and he pointed out that the Plant only cost $200,000 to build. Amazing profit! Really, read that email. Here, I’m not spending much time looking up stuff, but compare this to what came out and what Rossi is now saying. 

(Rossi also claimed that the test didn’t happen in North Carolina because of IH failures. In that email, we can see that Rossi declined an opportunity to run a test under close IH supervision in North Carolina. He claimed that an independent customer in Florida would be much better!)

How was JMC/JMP to pay that $1000 per day? It’s totally obvious: Rossi paid all operating expenses of JMP. JMP had no independent income, Rossi would have paid the $1000 per day, if IH had ever actually issued the invoices. (they were not confident; I think it was a mistake. they would have invoiced “per your report.”) Rossi developed a story to justify moving payments around on paper: JMP would process materials and Leonardo Corporation, Rossi’s company, would buy them.

Yes, as I recall, the first element of the scheme to appear, though it was not public until disclosure was required in the lawsuit, was the formation of Platinum America Trust. So Rossi planned all this, there was no independent customer: like turtles, it was Rossi All The Way Down. So all of Rossi’s claims about the independent customer, to IH and to his public, over the years, were deceptive.

Pace’s theme in his Opening Statement on Day 3 was “fake [this], fake [that], and fake [the other thing]. Easy story for the jury to remember and to use to mentally file the evidence that would then be presented in the next phase of the trial. While this or that might be shown to have some factual basis, or to be wrong, the overall story was easy to understand and the evidence for deception was massive and overwhelming, and not dependent on Darden Says. That was just support!  (Sworn testimony is evidence.)

Rossi then explained that he had presented his attorney Henry Johnson, who would have the formal position as president for JM Products for administrative reasons, to Darden and JT Vaughn [vice president of IH], making clear that Johnson was his attorney.

Eventually, yes (though I don’t know that Rossi volunteered the information. IH claimed to have been surprised to find the Rossi attorney as the “JM” representative. However, the impression was carefully maintained that the Johnson and JMP were merely representing for public purpose a true owner, who would, Rossi claimed, be willing to reveal true identity after a few months of successful operation. By this time, the proposal stank, but …. IH apparently reasoned that surely an attorney would not participate in a fraud…. 

“I would then have directed JM’s operations from a technology perspective. I also sent an email in June 2014, provided as evidence, in which I informed Mr. Darden that I was going to be the director of JM’s plant.”

The language was there, but in context, did it mean what Rossi is now claiming?

One of the things I intend to do is create a chronological index to the documents. I haven’t checked, but Rossi may have said, I seem to recall, that he would be the director of the “Plant,” and in context, this could have meant the power Plant.

Rossi, in fact, entirely controlled JMP, making all decisions, and paying for everything. JMP did not have its own facility. The original name was JM Chemical Products, but they had trouble finding a rental, landlords being reluctant to rent to a “chemical company.” The response to that was typical of how some lawyers — and Rossi — think. Change the name, problem goes away! However, ultimately, Leonardo Corporation rented the warehouse, then subleased part of it to JMP.

So you invented the technology used by JM?

“Yes, I made all the technology, I invented their production plant, and I made the plant.”

It was all very obviously invented as an excuse. Rossi All The Way Down. Remember all the claims on JONP about an “independent customer”? That customer is now revealed as entirely the invention of Rossi. They were not, as claimed, an independent company with a process they needed steam for. The “independent company” was an idea in Rossi’s head, even though he used the third person for it. In mercato veritas, which to Rossi apparently means, create a dummy customer and create dummy sales, where you pay yourself, and hey, “the market has spoken.”

Can you describe the technology?

“We produced substances with a very high added value. To do this we had to achieve an extremely high pressure inside small reactors that were introduced in larger tubes. The concept was to provoke contractions in certain materials, using heat exchange with the hot steam [from the E-Cat plant] and a pressure of a few bars but concentrating the force from the pressure on a larger surface, a few cm2, on much, much smaller surfaces, increasing the pressure proportionally. And this process consumed heat.“

In mercato veritas. “High value” implies high sale value to arms-length customers. Did he actually sell any products? We don’t think so. Now, “this process consumed heat.” That’s not impossible. However, crucial: how much heat? A process does not “consume” heat, rather, some processes will store it as chemical energy, or possibly phase change. How much chemical? This would be the real question. What we know of the “product” was the raw material: Rossi originally asked for a bid on a kilogram of platinum sponge from Johnson Matthey. That was apparently the only actual contact with JM. The bid was a million dollars. (which is roughly reasonable.) Rossi apparently decided to buy some catalyzers and scavenge a few grams of platinum sponge from them. So we have a few grams of platinum sponge. If this was the most efficient energy storage process known, how much energy could be stored in a few grams? Later, Rossi claimed to buy some graphene. Again, how much energy? Let’s put it this way: these processes could have been run with less than a kilowatt of power. A megawatt was vast overkill.

“Very high value” is actually contradictory to the basic idea here, large amounts of product. Was Rossi producing a fabulous value of product every day? How much energy could a kilogram (a million dollars worth of palladium sponge, the original production material claim) “absorb”? 

How much of the heat from the E-Cat did this process consume?

“On average it consumed between 20 and 40 percent of the heat produced by the E-Cat plant. I had to learn from the experiment how much heat was necessary, because there were not any precedent analogous experiments to get data from.“

Not before and probably not yet. His “customer process” could not make a measureable dent in a megawatt under the conditions at Doral.

This is completely unreasonable, preposterous. This was all examined at length on the blogs. There is no way that this much energy could be stored in product (Rossi’s “consumed” implies violation of the laws of thermodynamics, but translating it to “stored”). It would require massive deliveries and removals of product. Storing that much energy, the product would be very, very dangerous. Etc. A non-dangerous endothermic reaction could have been melting ice, requiring a constant flow of ice deliveries.

So since it didn’t consume all of the heat from the E-Cat plant, you had to get rid of the excess heat in some way?

When this was raised on JONP, Rossi eventually settled on some combination of endothermy and ventilation. He did not mention “heat exchanger.” That was only raised this year, and nobody who had seen the plant suspected a heat exchanger, which would have been quite visible and very noisy. Rossi’s idea was a kludge, almost certainly yet another fantasy. He would have had to create it so it would be hidden, which is not what one would do if this was simply getting rid of the heat. Such a heat exchanger, operating, generating measureable temperature rise in a measurable amount of air, at least as to round estimates, would have been a great confirmation of Plant energy generation. And this is standard engineering. Why hide it?

“Yes, I didn’t have any experience of the process in the JM plant, so obviously I over-dimensioned everything to be sure to achieve the intended physical transformations. I didn’t know how much the plant would have consumed, so therefore I introduced a heat exchanger after the plant that could dissipate the eventual excess thermal energy, condensing the steam to water that could be sent back to the E-Cat plant. I designed the heat exchanger so that it could dissipate all the heat from the E-Cat plant, in the case of malfunctioning of the JM plant, since I didn’t want to stop the E-Cat plant, because I needed to make the famous 350 days of operation within 400 days [according to the license agreement].“

This makes no business sense. A cooling tower (Smith shows one) could have been purchased and easily installed, and then, later, sold when no longer needed. 

Problem is, this wasn’t made clear to IH, at all. Further, the GPT requirements did not actually require a continuous megawatt, they only required COP. All this would have been much more easily handled with a simple agreement with IH, and then if power wasn’t needed, shut down reactors (but leave at least one running at a COP of 6.0 minimum, or a few, if one wants to insist on that 350 day stuff)! If the plant cannot be controlled that way, it would surely be very dangerous! The heat exchanger and what it required was a system change, clearly not mentioned to IH at all. The only kind of process that could actually dissipate a major fraction of the power would be phase change (simple version: melt ice.) It was obvious ab initio that a major heat exchanger would be needed. This can be purchased off-the shelf, as rooftop cooling towers, cheaply. Why go to all the trouble to make one from scratch, and why put it in the mezzanine?

I think the answer is obvious: this heat exchanger only existed after-the-fact, in Rossi’s imagination. If it were in the obvious place, on the roof, it would have been visible, so it couldn’t be there! Perhaps there might have been some regulatory problem, but then this would reveal that Rossi, ah, fudges and hides. If he got fire department approval for his reactor assembly, it was based on power input, not actual  (or expected) generated power. Deception. Don’t leave home without it!

In fact, the entire idea of a megawatt test was insane. But that is what Rossi wanted and had declared in 2011.

So how much thermal power could the heat exchanger dissipate?

“One megawatt.“

This is controversial. Wong thought it could do the job. Others have said, no, but the idea of the heat exchanger was introduced late in the Discovery process, not early, so there was less consideration of it. Rossi could have put a standard cooling tower on the roof, no controversy. Or Rossi could have agreed with IH for a different GPT, IH was apparently quite amenable to that.

And you didn’t have any photos of the heat exchanger?

“No. I never take photos. I don’t need them. I never take pictures of my prototypes.”

Rossi always has reasons. This was not a “prototype,” it was allegedly a fully-functioning heat exchanger that had to be working every day of the test, and before the test, as soon as the reactor was in operation. It had to be there first. But nobody saw it or saw any sign of it. The jury would have loved this. Easy to understand. Murray, there at the end of the test, would have seen evidence. He was looking for evidence of how the warehouse was cooled. He didn’t see it, and then Rossi claims he dismantled it, after the “test,” making it impossible to actually start up the reactor again, if anyone wanted to do that. This was not a real chemical operation, and it had served its purpose, a faux “test” under full Rossi control, unlike the original GPT concept, which would have been under full IH control, at least full detailed observation.

This was the famous heat exchanger in the mezzanine of the premises in Doral where the one-year test was run. The heat exchanger was questioned by the defense in the lawsuit since there were no photos or other proof of its existence.

Not the only reason, and, again, “proof” is a strong word. There was actually no evidence at all of its existence other than Rossi Says. Okay, Engineer48 on E-Catworld.com claims that a photo of a tree outside the window showed heat damage. It sure would have damaged the tree! It would have killed it. I don’t see what E48 sees. Maybe if you squint, just right…. He also claims there were some scratches on the floor, that show …. what? Where did all the materials go? Rossi says he “repurposed them.” Where? This was a huge pile of stainless steel pipe. Did he have receipts? None were produced. Did he hire a crew to install and then remove them? Yes. Off the street, and no, no record, probably he paid them in cash.

You can always come up with some explanation…. But a jury will decide (and if we need it, we will decide) based, not on proof, which is rare outside of mathematics, but on the preponderance of the evidence, and to decide that, one needs to look at all the evidence, not just what one side or another claims.

That’s what we have now, a huge mass of evidence, that can’t be hidden. If someone wants to know, read the evidence, not merely me or Mats Lewan or Andrea Rossi or Engineer48 (who has a clear conflict of interest). Use all of us to consider arguments, but … you are the judge and jury for your own life decisions. If you are considering investing, and you depend on bloggers, ah, be really careful! If you are an inventor considering working with Industrial Heat, will you follow what Sifferkoll has written? Sanely, you will check it out yourself. Sifferkoll presents evidence, to be sure, but what does it mean? that’s up to you! Again, be careful, what Sifferkoll claims as proof of Cherokee (and thus IH) misbehavior is simply normal business practice that he doesn’t understand. So study it! Don’t just look at cherry-picked anecdotes, selected for ready — and misleading — appearances, by someone obviously convinced that Something is Terribly Wrong.

However, the plaintiffs’ expert witness Ph.D. Vincent Wong [Prof. of thermodynamics for engineers at the University of Florida] confirmed that Rossi’s description corresponded to a possible design for dissipating the necessary heat.

I agree, it might have worked. And it might not have. It’s marginal. Wong was shown a window being replaced, allegedly the window where the heat exchanger fans blew hot air out the front of the building. Only problem: this was about a year after the test ended and the heat exchanger was removed. So Rossi left the window out for a year? In Miami, with blowing rain being common? This would have caused interior damage. There are photographs from Google Street View in that period that appear to show reflections of the sky, i.e,. glass present. The noise from the heat exchanger would have been very, very noticeable. Nobody reported hearing or seeing it. These questions were not asked in most of the depositions, because they were taken too early. But they would have been asked at trial, you can bet on it.

Rossi was going to lose his primary case, that was obvious (and the case was obviously defective from the beginning, just from Rossi’s filings, and became far more clearly so as discovery proceeded). The question is what would have happened with the counterclaims. My sense is that IH would have prevailed on some counts, but monetary damages might have been relatively small. Recovering on the original payment of $10 million, very difficult, though they were certainly going to try. They could have ruined Johnson, but their own benefit from this might have been small. I do not know what considerations led them to accept the settlement we have seen. Nobody from IH is yet talking about it. I’m asking so eventually I may get some answers. Hopefully, I can get answers I can publish! I did just get the Day 4 transcript.

Rossi explained that it consisted of tubes and two fans blowing horizontally inside an isolated wooden construction attached to the windows where the heat was vented out. A large tube for the steam and a smaller tube for the returning water went through the small door to the mezzanine at the lower left corner.

Yes, that’s what he claimed. The door would have been open, I think. Those fans would have been quite noisy. This would all have been visible from outside the customer area. But because nobody suspected the existence of a heat exchanger (and when asked last year, Rossi did not mention it), searches were not more narrowly focused. Rossi confused this all and continues to confuse it.

Rossi explained a couple of things with regard to the heat exchanger.

A ‘circulator’ was used to stabilize the flow of steam and water through the whole system. Rossi wouldn’t comment on further data of the circulator since he said he was preparing a patent for this device.
This circulator had nothing to do with a pump of the model ‘Grundfos’ that was brought up by the defense’s expert witness Rick Smith who suggested that the Grundfos pump was used to make hot water flow through the system and that no steam was produced.

I advise against relying on Rossi for statements of what Smith claimed. What were raised were possibilities. I.e., “may have been used.” As an example, very strangely, the flow meter had a sending unit that would have allowed automated data collection. This wasn’t used. The basic unit was undersized, designed for higher flow than was used, not actually rated for accuracy at the relatively low flow in the system. However, the sender would have provided higher resolution, at least. There is a suggested fraud mode. (A “fraud mode” would involve deliberate deception, as distinct from error. The Defkalion flow meter artifact could have been error, maybe. A fraud mode, if it could be proven — which wasn’t claimed –, would prove fraudulent intent.) An obvious one: at night, run a pump that floods the system and winds up the flow meter. Indeed, if this is run at night, one could run it until the flow meter reads exactly what is desired, thus explaining the remarkably constant values, in spite of other operational variations in the system. “Explanations” are never proof — though sometimes they indicate the state of the explainer.

The real use for the Grundfos pump was instead to push the water through a by-pass with a filter about once a week to make it cleaner.

That’s plausible. However, this is all complexity added to the system that wasn’t covered by Penon.

Rossi also addressed the claim made by IH that producing one megawatt of heat inside the building where the test was run would have made it so hot that you couldn’t have stayed there. First, he noted that the sun on a sunny day radiates about 1 kW per m2 and that the building, having a roof of about 1,000 m2 normally would have received about 1 MW of heat from the sun, without making it too hot in the building, even though the roof was barely insulated.

That’s one of Rossi’s nutso arguments that can sound plausible if one is inclined to believe him. Solar irradiance does not generate much heat “inside the building.” The figure for Miami seems to run between 1000–2000 BTU per day. “Barely insulated” doesn’t cover the fact. Most heat will be reflected. The roof itself will get too hot to touch, and if the air in the building got that hot, it would be fatal, and a common example is an automobile, which, on a hot day, will quickly reach fatal temperatures. This doesn’t happen in an ordinary building, and why not? I created large protective structures in a desert, weather very hot, using nothing but one layer of paper. Very little “insulation,” but high reflectance. White newsprint paper, I got the rolls from a printer as roll ends. Shade. Really, this is obvious.

The figure of about 1 kW per square meter is about right; in fact, that is called “one sun.” However, the roof does not “receive” a kilowatt per square meter from the sun, because most of the energy is reflected. Insulation is only one factor, different from reflectance. What is absorbed will heat the roof, and then whatever insulation is there will slow heat transfer to the interior.

Furthermore, it had large openings with exhausts for venting air out of the building. Then the JM plant consumed on average 20 to 40 percent of the produced heat, and the rest was vented out with the heat exchanger.

The openings have been considered and modelled. Wong, in his deposition, acknowledged that without the heat exchanger, and a megawatt of power, the building would have become uninhabitable. Wong was evasive, encouraged to be so by Evans (a Rossi attorney at the time, later withdrew), but finally acknowledged the matter. See deposition pages 147-150.

(Wong starts out by asserting that the heat was probably being used to heat some industrial process, as if this would make a big difference. It would, if there was major product being moved. But such processes are normally not efficient, thus most of the heat is “waste heat,” and, indeed, large quantities of product would be required. Wong had no clue about this, as a practical reality. Wong was evasive, and why? He didn’t want to say something because it was what Murray had said. This shows that he was not simply providing expertise, but argument on a side. He knows the facility would become unbearably hot. He ends up acknowledging that the difference between his analysis and that of Murray is that Murray did not account for a heat exchanger, while Wong did. Obvious.

Rossi, with Mats, is beating a dead horse, he’s flat out wrong, but won’t admit it, because Rossi Never Gives Up. Mats knows Rossi’s character, but doesn’t confront or challenge it, knowing full well what would happen if he did.

Pump capacity

I then wanted to hear Rossi’s view on the discussion about the 24 smaller pumps feeding water into the E-Cat modules, which had become one of the defense’s major arguments against Rossi, and also one that attorney Christopher Pace raised at the beginning of the trial.

This is not an argument “against Rossi.” It’s just about asserted fact. The thinking is primitive. It is not a “major argument,” other than being quite simple to present and understand. It was, in fact, raised in the IH Opening statement, that is correct.

Update: This issue is covered on Pumped Up or Stupid Mistake, and then OMG! Good news!

“This is my favorite because now we’re going to have some fun. You need to see it from a ridiculous side because it’s so ridiculous that you can’t take it seriously.”

Rossi thinks he has a zinger here. And maybe he does. However, the matter is not so simple, and quite a few people have looked at this, and, in my mind, it’s not fully resolved. To fully resolve it someone needs to actually test one of these pumps; what is obvious is that the pump data sheets do not contemplate the conditions Rossi describes as actual usage.

[Update: there is now a project started by some LENR Forum people to actually measure the Prominent pump output. OMG! Actual experimental evidence! Will Lewan look at this? There are possible pitfalls, but … they can be avoided and, in fact, anyone could do this. Not even expensive. If any controversy remains, MFMP could do it, and MFMP does have a reputation for reporting their results, “exciting” or otherwise.]

Not mentioned by Rossi is that the pumps are metering pumps, not “workhorse pumps.” A metering pump is designed to deliver a controlled flow, with relative independence from pressure variations.

The argument, which was brought up in the Expert Report by engineer Rick A. Smith, was based on an observation that on the name plate of the pump it said ’32 l/h.’ In his report, Smith concluded that this was the maximum capacity of the pump, and multiplying 32×24 you get 768 l/h which, if evaporated, only consumes 482 kW—less than half of a megawatt.

It’s actually nominal capacity, not, technically, maximum. Or it is a “maximum setting,” again, not actually maximum flow. however, Rossi confuses this massively. If Smith erred, Smith erred, it happens all the time. Rossi commonly converts the alleged errors of others into proof of incredible stupidity. The basic argument as presented by Pace in the opening probably stands. We will find out. Then it’s further confused with the “recirculation pump,” which, of course, might be able to increase flow to what was claimed. It could make the flow whatever they want; problem is, it could also flood the system, possibly causing all the measurements to become meaningless.

The Expert Report. There are two expert reports by Smith. The second one was issued after inspecting the facility. Rossi is referring to the second, supplemental report. This is the cited page.

The issue is that just next to ’32 l/h’ it says ’02 bar’. The reason is that any pump’s capacity depends on the pressure it needs to overcome to pump the water, the same way as the flow of air you can blow out of your mouth depends on how open it is. Now, 2 bars correspond to the pressure under 20 meters of water, which is way beyond the pressure in the E-Cat plant, and the pumps’ capacity in the actual situation was therefore much larger because the pressure on the pumps was about 1/10 of bar.

Mats here loses attribution. Is this his own explanation, or is it Rossi’s? This is definitely Rossi’s argument, but is treated as fact by Lewan. If Lewan were retaining journalistic reserve, this would be very obvious to him, trained journalists simply don’t do this.

This is a misleading explanation. Mats is treating this pump as “any pump.” (Following Rossi; this is what has often happened, Rossi gives an explanation that seems plausible on first impression to some observer, and it is then presented by the observer to others as fact. Happened, very obviously, in the Lugano report.)

It is not just “any pump,” it is a metering pump, designed to deliver a measured “dose,” and it is correct that the rating on the label is not maximum flow, per se, but more likely maximum metering setting. Apparently at low pressure, these pumps may be inaccurate, probably due to leakage in the internal flow regulators. This leakage can even cause high variation from the “stated flow,” which is what the pump reads on its display. However, that high variation is probably not at maximum setting, but at much lower flow settings. It doesn’t seem plausible that at low pressure, as described, the flow error would be anywhere near as high as Rossi claims. However, the proof would be in experiment. It is possible that someone will obtain direct manufacturer information, the manuals are vague on the issue. Bottom line, these pumps were not intended to operate accurately at such low pressure.

[Great minds think alike. There is, as linked above, a project to measure the actual capacity of the pump.]

I have a beginning look at this in the post Pumped up or Stupid Mistake.

In a comment there, there is an estimate from published data on the pump of a possible 20% increase in rate at 0 bar. I do not consider any of this definitive, but the matter is, quite simply, not as Rossi presents it.

“Here comes the comic aspect. At the trial, you cannot bring documents that you haven’t produced during the discovery phase so I would have needed to explain to the jury, which was not composed of experts on the matter, that the capacity of a pump is a function of the pressure.

Technically correct but highly misleading in this example. Lots of Rossi “facts” are like that. Depending on design, and within operating specifications, metering pumps can be quite independent of pressure. Obviously, a pump is pressure-limited, but the limit would be the force that the pump can exert on the fluid, and below that limit, it could be quite insensitive. The general principle here, as applied to a metering pump, is just plain wrong, so Rossi is either ignorant or lying, and Mats seems to have accepted this deception as fact.

Again, experiment trumps theory, always. But Rossi was using theory here to explain, not actual experiment.

I would have had to explain that the flow rate of a pump is an integral, not a number, as any intelligent engineer knows. It would have been a little difficult, albeit possible.

If Rossi had been allowed by his attorneys to present this to the jury, IH attorneys would have torn him to shreds. The flow rate is an integral? That’s nuts! Total flow is the integral of the flow rate. Rate is the differential of the total flow. And anyone who knows the mathematics of physics knows this. In the jury pool there were members who had the math background. I know the strongest weren’t selected — for other reasons.

This is not all that complicated, if presented by attorneys or experts with skill. Smith, in fact, has high communication skills, this is obvious, reading his reports and deposition. And the little piece of supposed fact here is actually irrelevant, Rossi introducing techno-confusion. He has often done it on his blog. He is someone who thinks he’s smarter than he is, and adoring fans don’t help. None of this means he doesn’t have reactors that work, but it does mean that what Rossi Says is not reliable.

“But during his deposition, Smith, after having insulted me and Penon [the independent controller], several times, saying that we were fraudsters

I don’t recall Smith saying that. Maybe someone can point it out. This is the World According to Rossi. What the evidence in the case establishes is that Rossi presents information designed to mislead. That’s not possible to deny, reviewing the case documents. I recall no claim at all that Penon was a “fraudster.” The Penon data shows anomalies, something is off, apparently. Penon was fed data by Rossi. Rossi apparently destroyed the emails. Conclude what you like. The Penon report doesn’t present the raw flowmeter data, just daily difference (i.e., calculated), and very strangely constant, with a system facing many variations. The legal point is that the report cannot be trusted, not that it was fraud. Explaining the anomalies with clear evidence could be impossible because of the spoliation.

and how can you say that with 32 l/h and 24 pumps you produce a megawatt, and so on, then he said something like ‘now I will show you the brochure of the pump, 120 pages of technical data,’ as if he wanted to show how much of an expert he was.

This is all personal fluff, imagination of the motivation of another, a motivation not actually likely for Smith, who, from his comments, could care less, he DGAF what people thought of him. Rossi doesn’t give me enough evidence to find what he’s talking about, and it’s irrelevant.  Mentioning the pump manual (not “brochure,”) would be completely normal if asked how he knew something.

Then you need to know that I have used these pumps for years and know the brochure by heart. I opened the brochure and looked at the page where I knew that the capacity was specified, and it said ‘minimum capacity at 2 bars pressure, 32 l/h.’ But in his report, Smith had written maximum capacity.

We have looked at the manual. It’s here. There is also a brochure, here.

Smith did write “maximum capacity,” but he was also clear that he was translating “Dosierleistung.” When I look that up I find “dosing capacity.” Rossi is correct that this is not literally a maximum, though ‘capacity’ implies maximum. I read the specification as the maximum setting for the pump, the maximum “stated rate.” Remember, this is a dosing pump, not a workhorse where faster is better.

“When he said this I could have reacted, asking if he had read the brochure, open it and make him read. But we preferred to remain silent, letting them being convinced that it had passed as true, just like when you have an enemy and you let him run and get himself pierced by your bayonet. I showed it to my attorney who laughed under his mustache, and we would then have brought it out at the trial. We would have destroyed them.

Rossi also apparently deceived his attorneys. Or they knew and simply liked his money. 

Actually, if this is the error he claims, this would very likely have been realized and IH simply would not have presented this in the evidentiary phase, it wasn’t a crucial part of their case, merely something very simple that could be shown and understood. However, at this point, it looks like it may not have been an error.

Because half of Smith’s report talks about this and the other half about things that are related. But the problem is—we would have won, but they would have kept the license. That’s why my lawyers told me ‘you need to tell us clearly which is your priority—getting the money or the license because listen, you won’t have both.’ And I said the license because the license has an enormous value not only in economic terms but also in technological, philosophical, and existential terms.”

And personal terms, to Rossi, who always wants to be in full control. He doesn’t really trust anyone else.

But, what do you think—didn’t they ever realize that they were wrong?

Lewan appears to be assuming Rossi is correct and a skilled engineer is wrong. It’s definitely possible, though not particularly likely. Experts make mistakes. That’s obvious. Will Lewan check these things out? This is not really difficult. I’m a blogger, not exactly a journalist, but … I might check it out further. I prefer, generally, to delegate these things to my readership — and then I will check what they find. That makes far better use of my time and l love to involve community, it’s far more fun than doing everything myself — my older habit.

I think… I’m extremely puzzled by the fact that two engineers, Murray and Smith, are so naive not to realize making errors of this kind. I cannot make conclusions because I cannot start imagining things. I can only say that they probably all thought we were fools. I think that their problem, from the beginning to the end of this affair, was just that—they underestimated the person they had in front of them enormously. I believe that they thought they could write such things without my noticing it. It’s impossible that two good engineers with excellent careers, like Murray and Smith, really can have thought that something like that was true, because if a student at the first year of engineering school takes the exam in thermodynamics and tells his professor that a pump, of which the specifications says that its minimum capacity at 2 bars is 32 l/h, has a maximum capacity of 32 l/h, he would have been sent home immediately.”

Rossi often argues like this, makes up a hypothetical situation involving something he thinks is really stupid, with a hypothetical professor, then the imaginary professor confirms his idea.

What is the 32 l/h figure? It is a dosing capacity. Can the meter dose at a rate less than that? Of course, that’s the maximum stated rate, it’s a setting, apparently, unless I’m way off here. Rossi has actually worked with these pumps, which would ordinarily create a level of respect. However, Rossi isn’t ordinary, and there are certain errors that he has made for years, in spite of them being pointed out. He takes all critique as enmity and “clownery.” He doesn’t actually consider how it might be right. He doesn’t look deeper than his own set ideas.

Continuing this, what is the maximum flow? As I read the evidence, it is the maximum set rate plus possible error under the conditions given. So, yes, it can be higher. But not much higher, as Rossi claims below. Does Rossi claim to have actually measured this? Under what conditions?

And maybe he’s right. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. His arguments, however, are not convincing to those who are careful.

Mats saw Rossi arguing against experts in that Hydro Fusion test, obviously convinced that he was right, and he has more recently made statements that show he has never understood the power measurement issue. (This was the test where Rossi later claimed to Industrial Heat that he had deliberately made the reactor fail, but not mentioning the measurement issue. So either Rossi was stuck on his own completely incorrect ideas, as appeared to Mats, or he was putting on an elaborate show to deceive Hydro Fusion — and Mats.) However it’s sliced, Rossi is often some combination of wrong and deceptive, and the deceptive part is beyond a shadow of doubt.

By the way, since you know these pumps, what capacity do they have at the actual pressure in the plant—about 0.2 bars?

“About 75 l/h.”

So he has it as double, but this is simply Rossi Says at this point. There is no other evidence that I’ve seen supporting his position. There is a statement in a brochure that these dosing pumps can, at atmospheric pressure, deliver two to three times the “stated rate.” That is interpreted by a Rossi supporter as the specified rate on the label, but that isn’t what it actually says. The real meaning is, in my opinion, not clear, but easily it could simply mean that you might have a setting of 1 l/h on the display, and an actual delivery rate two or three times that. Not necessarily at the full allowed setting, which appears to be 32 l/h.

The brochure linked above has this at the very beginning:

The gamma/L is a diaphragm-type, solenoid-driven, microprocessor based metering pump with maximum capacities to 8.4 gph (32.0 L/h) and maximum backpressures to 253 psig (17.5 bar).

So perhaps we might cut a little slack for Smith saying that the maximum capacity is 32 l/h, since the brochure actually states that. The manual does have a specification for “minimum capacity,” as Rossi claims, at 2 bar pressure. It’s a chart, not a sentence as implied, but close enough. It has this as 32 l/h at 2 bar, and 36.2 l/h at 1 bar. It is not unreasonable to extrapolate this to 0 bar (though certainly not reliable). That leads to a figure of 40.4 l/hr. However, I’m quite unclear on what “minimum capacity” means for a metering pump, because the “capacity” can obviously be lower if the pump is set lower. This kind of unclarity breeds error. Bottom line, what will one of these pumps actually deliver under the stated conditions? This is not at all difficult to measure with a bucket and a stopwatch, which is how these things are normally tested. In order to meet the 1500 kg/hour that is claimed from the flow meter, with 24 pumps, 62.5 kg/hr would be needed. A kilogram of water is close enough to a liter for these purposes.

The issue here is not the system flow rate, per se, it is whether or not the reactor pumps could deliver that flow rate. By introducing other pumps, it all gets more complicated. Had this been done openly, not a problem. But it wasn’t.

Going back in time—when did you first understand that things were not going well between you and IH?

“When I discovered that IH was making agreements with our competitors. At that point, I understood that they were trying to fill up their portfolio of intellectual property in view of litigation with us pending the huge payment they were going to have to pay. It was instinct—I had no proof, but eventually, the facts confirmed this instinctive doubt.”

He doesn’t respond with when it happened. In the timeline Chaiken constructed, the point was to show an alleged change in attitude on the part of IH. Supposedly when they got the $50 million from Woodford, IH didn’t need Rossi any more. There was no sign that IH was considering litigation with Rossi, he’s made that up. They wanted him to teach them how to make devices that worked. But they allowed him to run the Doral power sale and demonstration plant, and cooperated. The Woodford sale closed in May, 2015, after the Doral “test” had been running for about three months. In July, IH decided they needed to take a closer look, with an expert, so scheduled a visit with Vaughn and Murray, whom they had hired to manage engineering. Rossi refused to allow it, violating the Term Sheet which explicitly allowed such visits. Later, in a pleading, Rossi remarkably explained this as being because he believed Murray was a “spy.” But hadn’t Rossi already disclosed his secrets to IH? (or if there were new ones, related to new developments, i.e., Quark-X, wasn’t he obligated to disclose them?)

There was nothing about the License Agreement that didn’t allow IH to diversify. They actually were permitted to sublicense the Rossi technology, though there is no evidence that they actually disclosed it. This was all Rossi paranoia, here confirmed. Does Mats realize that?

This story has often been told by Rossi as Woodford investing because they were so impressed with the Doral plant. However, they had committed before they had seen that plant. Above, Rossi mentions a prior test that Woodford participated in. This isn’t public information, as far as I know. It may be true or not. But Woodford very clearly didn’t actually invest in Rossi technology, but in all the other stuff. That obviously enraged Rossi. He had created this, though, by being unresponsive to IH requests for assistance — if we assume that he actually had a real technology. Otherwise this is all smokescreen, fluff.

And later, on January 8, 2016, there was a meeting in Miami between you, Darden and the lawyers. What can you say about that meeting?

“Nothing, because it was a meeting between lawyers and covered by NDA.”

Implausible, though not impossible. A party may disclose their meeting with lawyers. The lawyers may not disclose it. But there might have been special conditions. We do know what conflict existed at that point, there are documents. Contrary to common Rossi claims, it simply is not true that IH did not complain “until it was time to pay.” They informed Rossi long before “time to pay,” according to his demand, that they did not consider Doral was the GPT, nor had they consented to Penon as ERV for a GPT there. Rossi actually filed the lawsuit a day prematurely, the payment was not yet late. But he did know they wouldn’t pay.

Now, there’s much more to comment, but leaving all this behind, what are your plans now?

And Rossi goes on to give his plans for starting “industrialization” of products. I’m not commenting on that. I prefer to comment where I have knowledge.

[…]

Finally—what happened to your hair?

Again, that’s Rossi’s private business. As I wrote in the blog about the trial, his wig looked normal and was attractive. It’s unfortunate that some have made light of it, making some remarks about “false hair” as if it means something about his character. That is aggressively and gratuitously rude, and it saddens me to see it.

When Rossi filed the lawsuit against IH I had to take a step back and look at all possible explanations. I was and have been open to the possibility that Rossi was involved in fraud and conspiracy. But during the discovery phase of the litigation, it became obvious that the defense couldn’t produce any convincing evidence for this hypothesis.

Mats, this is preposterous. What you have done is to set up a very narrow definition of “fraud.” Rossi engaged in fraudulent representation. The evidence is overwhelming, the situation is far from what you say, which is obviously not based on an actual examination of evidence, but on looking for something to leap out at you about fake data. There are problems with the data, none of which rise to the level of clear fraud. That’s not the core problem. The core is that what Rossi says cannot be trusted.

All technical arguments that were put forward were hollow and easily torn apart by people with engineering training.

You are focusing on technical arguments while you have a shallow knowledge of them. Your overall assessment is not based on your personal discussion with unbiased people who have no axe to grind, but on conversations in highly biased environments.

Yet, these arguments were continuously repeated by a number of people, possibly related to IH, at various forums.

There is only one person “related to IH” who has discussed this affair, and that is Dewey Weaver, who becomes a figure in the case, as an IH investor and contractor. Weaver is not among those with high engineering knowledge who have discussed the technical arguments. Weaver made highly personal arguments based on his personal and direct knowledge of Rossi and the people and the history of the relationship, not technical arguments.

Mats, it looks like you have swallowed Sifferkoll’s obviously paranoid conspiracy theory. Sifferkoll has claimed that various people have been paid to attack Rossi. There isn’t a shred of evidence of that; Sifferkooll puts together random shreds of connections, thinking, for example, that because Eric Walker was affiliated with the Baha’i faith, there is a “fundamentalist” religious conspiracy to suppress LENR (and he’s made the same argument about me, because I’m Muslim) and he’s also claimed that I’m paid to write against Rossi, when my limited funding, covering expenses, came from a source completely unrelated to Industrial Heat and Rossi, and came with no strings attached, it was actually granted for writing about Wikipedia process — and lately I’ve been crowd-funded, that’s how I went to Miami for the trial.

None of my sources have been related to Industrial Heat. This is all paranoia, very similar to Rossi himself.

Since there was no way to discuss them in a serious way I early decided to stay away from such discussions, also closing the comment feature on this blog, yet I admire a few individuals, mostly anonymous, who continued to fight for what they considered to be the truth in those discussions.

Foolish decision, allowing you to remain ignorant. Yes, the ordinary blogs can be a mess, but this one was created to set up coherent discussions, far deeper content. It takes little courage, Mats, to be an “anonymous fighter for truth,” because there is no responsibility.

You know that I’m a real and known person, we had personal history, and I’m responsible for what I write. I created Wikiversity resources years ago so that serious writing could be done, including serious discussions. What you are thinking of as “truth,” unfortunately, is mostly conspiracy theory. There are some anonymous writers who are dedicated to objective analysis, but …. you have not been paying attention, your activity has mostly — or entirely — been on E-Cat World, which is explicitly Planet Rossi, contrary opinion is often banned. I’ve been allowed to post there, to be sure, but that’s fairly unusual (Thanks, Frank!). The actual IH voice, even though he’s not official, at least the connection is real, Dewey Weaver, is apparently not free to comment there.

I am confident that if Rossi were really involved in fraud, evidence for that would have been found during the time—a year and a half—since IH claimed to have started to be suspicious about Rossi.

Mats, you have not considered most of the evidence of fraudulent representation. You have not done your own analyses, looking for the balance, the preponderance of evidence. You may be confident, but your confidence is rooted in ignorance, sorry to say. I’m truly disappointed, I did expect better of you.

Looking back and noting that no such evidence was found, while hollow arguments have been shouted out loud, I have very little doubt that the E-Cat technology is real and that the one-year test was a clear success of a world changing technology, producing 1 MW of heat without emissions, from small amounts of harmless fuel at a COP of about 80 for a whole year!

You have studied neither the evidence in the case — it is voluminous — nor the arguments, yet you dismiss them as hollow. Some arguments are, indeed, hollow. Which ones? You just presented some arguments from Rossi, some of which were hollow. You’ve lost it, Mats.

Noting this I have also started investigating the timing for relaunching the energy conference I proposed in 2016—the New Energy World Symposium, addressing the consequences of LENR based technologies for industry, society, and finance.

Now the fun can start!

Good luck. I won’t be there. LENR technology isn’t ready, we are still at the basic science level. That’s where I’ll be, in Texas, at Texas Tech where crucial heat/helium research is being done, and at ICCF-21, which was planned to be hosted by IH in North Carolina, but because of the lawsuit, they found it necessary to withdraw, and I’m in contact with possible organizers, I’m hoping that some support can be found.

Rossi is an enemy of LENR research, sucking the life out of it. His attitude about investment in alternatives betrays his real position, he is anti-science and anti-research, except for his own.

And you are helping promote this. If you decide to look deeper, start the conversation, you would be welcome.

§

Documents:

The document defining the terms of the settlement.

Information I have, so far, indicates that this is not yet fully signed.

Rossi’s notes addressing the Expert Report by Rick Smith.

Rossi’s notes regarding arguments raised by Joseph A. Murray.

§

Note: All comments to this post will need to be confirmed by me.

So far, all fawning praise. If that’s what you like, you are welcome to it. You had some experts, people with actual knowledge, commenting before. You insulted them.

I have commented on the Lewan post, citing this page. The comment was made at July 20, 2017 at 18:33 and is awaiting moderator approval. (I draw no conclusions from the delay. No additional comments have been accepted since then.)

The drama continues

Unfortunately. The flow of libelous posts on JONP had stopped but, sad to say, it seems to have started up again. Sifferkoll is echoed on JONP.

This is long and detailed. Unless a reader is interested in the massive flabber generated on Sifferkoll’s blog, and implications, including evidence that Sifferkoll is being directly deceptive, I suggest skipping this. Continue reading “The drama continues”

Zoology

We have come across various animals in our wanderings, and humans and groups of humans often have totems.

Some time back, I proposed the Macaw as the official animal of Planet Rossi (photo credit is on that page):

Aren’t they beautiful? If you think of “Planet Rossi” as an insult, I suggest reconsidering this. As I say on that page, “Be Proud,” which I recommend to nearly everyone. “Planet Rossi” is not an insult in itself, it simply means the collection of people who share some coherence around Andrea Rossi and his work. While there are some common characteristics, which I go over in that post, people are diverse on Planet Rossi just as they are elsewhere. If someone identified or identifying as Planet Rossi is Stupid, that doesn’t make you Stupid. Really, it’s up to you.

I have no doubt that Frank Acland has a residence on Planet Rossi. Yet I’m happy to consider him a friend, though I’ve never met him. Which Macaw is he? The middle one? He gets to choose and he can choose a different totem if he wants. I’m just making some suggestions. In a list of Native American Totems, the Parrot has the qualities: Communication, beauty, guide for wisdom, mockery, language, prophecy, verbosity, promise.

As some know, I was very active on WikiMedia Foundation sites for quite some time, often defending users under attack by factions, and at one point, some bully called me a “Rat.” I love rats, my daughter had five at one point, and one is still alive and lives in my office, near my desk. So I grabbed an image for my user page on Beta Wikiversity.


https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Alby_the_white_rat_holds_irish_cream.jpg

I’m a Muslim and don’t drink alcohol, but dreaming about anything is lawful, and Alby looks like he’s having fun. The rat totem qualities: Fertility, stealth, scavenging, intelligence, enjoys luxury, intelligent, wealth, success, drive. Hey, I have seven children. No wonder.

Now, there are other creatures in our neighborhood. Here is one. Guess whom I’m recommending adopt this totem:

From https://www.flickr.com/photos/cecilsanders/2978331541/

Are we having fun yet?

And this one is no longer found in Italy:

Fogbow and community discussions

Because it was linked from LENR Forum, I wrote some posts on Fogbow recently, and the experience reminds me of why I avoid such fora. This is not a particular problem of Fogbow, it is generic to open fora without disciplined moderation or clear and efficient decision-making structure.

I wrote this before noticing some comments that may shift my view. So what will be read here, first, is how this all occurred to me, is not some sort of final conclusion or definite and overall judgment.

The topic there is Rossi v Darden : Cold Fusion Trial

The motto of Fogbow is: “Falsehoods unchallenged only fester and grow.”

However, what is “challenged”? If someone writes, “The moon is made of green cheese,” is the falsehood challenged by someone writing “You are an idiot”? That comment would be a violation of Fogbox rules, as an insult. However, what if the person had asked “why do I think that the Moon is made of green cheese,” would “Because you are an idiot” be an insult?Yeah, probably. But if you say, “That’s an idiotic idea, like the other ideas you have advocated,” is that an insult? Apparently not, though the actual effect is almost identical. The direct insult to the person, however, is easily recognized, and sanctioned, it’s blatant, whereas insult to idea or an assumed general stand or an entire class of people is allowed, even if clearly and deliberately provocative.

Trolls, defined by the goal of enraging or outraging others, then become skilled at making statements that will provoke as insults, but not be immediately recognizable as such. Such a person may appear to those who don’t know the circumstances as merely opinionated or even correct. They may become skilled at making plausible allegations. Yet the goal is to enrage. That goal will not necessarily be visible in an immediate interaction, it could show as a pattern of behavior over time.

There is no clear dividing line between pseudoskeptics and “debunkers,” and trolls. The effect can be the same. Discussion sites like Fogbow and tend to become infested with trolls and pseudoskeptics. Sometimes “believers” can also troll, as to provoking the others.

Bottom line, understanding of truth is not spread by merely “challenging” falsehoods. That idea is common, and it fails. Falsehoods can be asserted with brief statements that convey complex ideas, to actually answer them better than a mere challenge (“Lies!”) takes lots of words, or sometimes it can be done relatively briefly with references. On discussion sites, though, the routine practice becomes sound bites, considered entertaining, and some people who are not trolls themselves enjoy the fray.

I concluded quite a while ago that there was mostly insufficient benefit in “confronting someone who is wrong on the internet.” It’s endless, and discussions where that is the norm commonly go nowhere, failing to create genuine corrective analysis and structure, efficiently accessible.

The topic of the Fogbow discussion that I posted in was the lawsuit, Rossi v. Darden, and LENR in general. LENR in general, when brought up anew in a forum, generates a host of very predictable comments, too often stated confidently by users with one of two positions: “this is the truth, and is how mainstream science views this topic,” or “here is my original idea, aren’t I brilliant and aren’t they stupid for not thinking of this.” The discussion format encourages this, and useful content is not built.

I am considered by many to be highly informed on LENR, familiar with the arguments. However, LENR is a fringe topic, or, possibly more reasonably, an emerging science, still considered fringe by many. I hope to be able to show, within the next year, some far stronger experimental evidence on something that was already strong, as, I hope, was shown in my Current Science paper (2015). However, that’s not what I want to focus on now. Last year, I began writing on Rossi v. Darden (mostly on LENR Forum). I recognized that there was no archive making the case documents readily available. (“Pacermonitor” was often represented as a place to get “the docket”, which was quite misleading. Various documents had been downloaded and were hosted in many different places, erratically. So I created an archive, originally in the filespace for the newvortex mailing list. Then I moved it to this blog, and it is recognized by many as the best such resource available. (There is also Eric Walker’s googledrive, but it is not indexed and organized for rapid access, and there are files on thenewfire, also not well-organized (but some of those documents are OCR’d which makes for easier quotation.)

But that is not all I did. I also studied the pleadings and created analytical pages where, say, all the cited documents were linked and page-referenced for fast access; to do this, with the Motions to Dismiss that I studied, required reading or at least literally seeing all those documents, and often rereading them. As a result of this, it is possible that I know more about this case than anyone else on the planet (possibly even including the lawyers and parties). I mentioned this on Fogbow. As could be expected, on a site like Fogbow, this attracted derision. The possibility that it might be true, or true in some ways, was totally disregarded.

There was an apparent lawyer commenting there. His comments were generally correct, in my view, about law, but were not well-informed about the particulars of the case. And that attracted support, and his comments were considered to be “correcting” me. I will look at that one narrow issue, but my decision to restrict my posting to Fogbow is much more about an issue of the allocation of time than about any specific offensive comment there. But here was that commentary (and Startibartfast may be one of the better writers there):

[better than I thought, see below for another post by Starti)

Startibartfast wrote:

[blue, first-level indent]

Mikedunford wrote:

I don’t – despite Slarti’s attempt to make my head swell – consider myself to be one of the “real lawyers.”

Sorry to embarrass you, but what you wrote essentially proves everything I said about you, so you kind of torpedoed your own modesty. In any case you once again demonstrated that you have some small understanding of what you are talking about.

I’m licensed, but I’m not a practitioner and have no immediate plans of becoming one. What I am is an early-career legal scholar

Even a baby legal scholar is still a legal scholar and I thought Abd needed to understand that. Thanks for showing him! :thumbs:

Um… what was shown to me? I responded to Mikedunford, assuming that he had knowledge of law, but not necessarily the particulars of this case, which is unlikely in anyone without extensive study, no matter how much they know about law. Yet we are seeing confident expression of opinion without that study. I will return to this.

(who really should be working on a 20K-word dissertation instead of procrastinating here),

And Abd really should be getting ready to travel to Miami to cover the case (and for reasons that are fairly obvious from what has routinely happened, “cover the case” seems to have been interpreted in some very weird ways, such as “testify as a witness” or “have some interest” — i.e., as an involved party.)

What is the value of writing on Fogbow? It is not building content that can be efficiently accessed. Right now the RvD discussion there is 120 comments, the RvD Developments discussion on LENR Forum is at over 8900 comments. The same claims are made over and over. Sometimes those who might correct them burn out, and stop. It cannot be assumed that the latest comments are the most cogent, it can merely indicate that the “survivor” was the most fanatic, the most stubborn. It’s a structural problem. Fogbow software is even worse than LENR Forum software. Quotations do not refer back to the original comment, so context cannot be checked, tracking the flow of a discussion becomes difficult. There is no method of creating a content hierarchy, of tagging individual posts with meaningful categories. (But threads can be categorized, but only so vaguely as to be nearly useless.) The flaws of Fogbow include most of the flaws of LENR Forum, but cutting a bit deeper.

Right there with you. For me it’s writing my father’s eulogy and preparing a brief for a meeting next week.

Sorry about the father.

with relevant degrees from a couple of places, a solid foundation in US law, and (hopefully) a better-than-the-average-lawyer understanding of global intellectual property law.

Do you have any idea how hot you look right now? :lovestruck:

In other words, MikeDunford may be an ordinary lawyer with some specialization (“better than average”) in intellectual property law. I have no difficulty accepting that. The only problem here is that IP law is not at all the core of the case.

Law360 got it wrong. This is not a licensing dispute, even though it involves a licence. There were some licensing claims in the original Complaint, they were dismissed, and what remains relating to them is very weak and mostly irrelevant.

I would suggest that if Rossi and HI et al. had a lawyer or two who understood global IP law when they were writing their deal they might not have needed to spend a combined $15 million on lawyers for a contract dispute.

Just sayin’.

This obviously assumes that the problem was an ignorance of “global IP law,” and that Andrea Rossi would be interested in and follow legal advice when writing that Agreement; on the other side, it assumes that it would have been practical for IH to modify what Rossi was suggesting according to their own legal advice. It is highly likely that IH had significant access to legal expertise. They were faced with a problem that is not even on the radar screen of this “just sayin'” writer. They knew full well that the investment was risky. IH accomplished what they set out to do, as one possible result. I’m not going to explain what I’ve seen as their strategy in detail, beyond mentioning that Dewey Weaver, one of their investors and the only one discussing the case in public, has affirmed it, and it matches what is in the IH depositions.

That Rossi would sue as he did was not something easily anticipated. He had no history of initiating legal action. He was paranoid. A choice apparently had to be made: allow him what he wants, or no deal, nothing discovered. The Agreement is obviously flawed six ways till Sunday, but the legal costs cannot be traced to flaws in that Agreement, since, as written, the Agreement protected IH adequately; Rossi basically ignored the Agreement and fact to sue. Putting in stronger protections, such as a provision for binding arbitration or something that would have weakened the decisive role of the ERV, would probably have led Rossi to bail. IH needed to know if Rossi had a functional secret, if his technology worked, because it would threaten any other LENR technology. So they bought it.

They found out, not as an absolute proof, but as a clear demonstration that nothing Rossi said could be trusted, that he would shamelessly cheat and lie, and that he also was able to fool scientists and others — there is a major trail of wreckage, where scientists (such as the “Swedish professors”) blackened their records with serious errors, and that is all still working out. And IH still has a hedge, the License, just in case Rossi pulls a Wabbit out of a hat.

IH really looked like they had screwed up, to me, when I started studying this case. However, as I went deeper, I came to see their plan as absolutely brilliant, even though I still do not agree with every detail of how it was executed. There is a proof: Woodford. The initial Rossi investment and followup was about $20 million. The IH goal was not profit, as such, their original interest was environmental, they are what is sometimes called “socially responsible investors.” Their goal was to support the possibility of LENR. They hope to make a profit with their investments, on average, and they commonly make risky investments in pursuit of their goals, and they are patient, willing to follow the long term. Woodford is similar, apparently, and invested $50 million in what became the parent company of IH, IH Holdings International. This was obviously set up to protect the Woodford investment from Rossi predation. Woodford also committed an additional $150 million if needed.

So Darden and Vaughn amplified their own $20 million, and that they took the risk with Rossi made the world safe for further investment, not in Rossi, but in other LENR research and technology. They are still cash ahead, even considering the legal costs, and they may be able to recover those, from two defendants: Rossi, who may own on the order of $10 million in Florida real estate, though that is probably being mortgaged, my guess, to pay his own legal bills, and Johnson, Rossi’s real estate lawyer, who supported the fraudulent representation that is quite obvious from case evidence. In addition, there are aspects of this case that call attention to possible lawyer misbehavior.

There is a pattern shown in the Rossi pleadings. He has accused Jones Day of legal misconduct, while his own lawyers may be more in line for sanctions for that, he accused Darden of perjury, whereas he has, himself, almost certainly committed perjury, demonstrable by comparing his depositions and attestations with clear evidence, his own emails, and, of course, there was the basic case filing itself, claiming fraudulent inducement, when there is no evidence of that on the IH side, and plenty on the Rossi side.

So, what did MikeDunford show me? His posts. Search for Rossi v Darden to see the seven posts (at this point)

Fri Jun 16, 2017 3:50 pm

I haven’t weighed in on the legal issues yet, and won’t unless/until I get a chance to read the papers in some detail. (Which is very unlikely to happen in the next several weeks.) I’ll also freely admit that my patent law knowledge could be getting blurred because it’s not my primary area, but it is one where I’ve done the basic-level class for multiple jurisdictions. That said…

My recollection is that the validity of a patent is generally relevant in a patent licensing dispute, because if there is no valid patent, there is nothing to license. Whether or not the invention actually does what it says on the tin is generally relevant to validity, because a patent for thing that can’t possibly do what it claims may be invalid for lack of utility.

So I do think that the science may be relevant. But this sounds like a strange arrangement of contracts, so I’d have to take a good long look to be sure.

Sounds like a smart lawyer, actually. What I would point out is that the validity of the patent has not been legally challenged. The idea that this was a patent dispute appears to be common. It isn’t. It is, indeed, a contract dispute, with a few odd claims relating to IP tossed in. IH is claiming that if Rossi knows how to make working devices, he didn’t show them, so he’d be in prior breach. The only relevance I know of patent law is application to some of the dismissed claims in the Complaint. Rossi claimed that by adding a co-inventor to a patent application, they had somehow infringed on Rossi’s patents, which, is, ah, cloud cuckoo land. I’m confident that Mike would agree.

IH is not asking for the patent to be invalidated.

Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:44 pm

Having skimmed a couple of the summary judgment motions, I feel very sorry for the judge and her law clerks. And that’s all I’m gonna have to say about that.

I responded to this with general agreement, but then some details. Mike came back with:

Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:30 am

This is complicated, but in summary, I had argued that the Judge erred in dismissing the Motions for Summary Judgment without looking at any fact and legal argument. What Mike asserted about Summary Judgment was all general truth, but Mike did not address my specific claim. He merely gave a conclusory comment, an opinion based admittedly on a shallow review. here were his notes:

1: Even if the other side has the burden at trial.
This was a note to “The burden to persuade the court that summary judgment is appropriate rests with the moving party”. That is correct, AFAIK.
2: It’s a lot harder for a plaintiff to win on summary judgment.
I think so, as well. The “Partial Motion for Summary Judgment” filed by Rossi was preposterous, not even close to what might have succeeded, in my opinion. As well, IH as counter-plaintiffs had a tough row to hoe. Most counterclaims required matters in controversy to be decided. There might have been some relatively simple ones. As a tactical matter, my impression is that Jones Day attempted way too much and so got nothing. But IANAL, and assessing the practical reality of that is beyond my pay grade.
3: I agree that the 4-page blanket denial was a bit of a slap at the lawyers; I’m not sure it was an unwarranted one. The motion I read (the Int’l Heat one) was very hard to get through and did not do a great job (IMO) of clearly setting out the basis for summary judgment.
It was not merely “hard to get through.” To actually study it required reading the SOMF, and to understand what was happening with the SOMF required reading the evidences asserted, and that was, as these documents exist, tedious. Did IH “do a great job”? No, they didn’t. That’s obvious. A great job would have won at least one issue for summary judgment. Or would have resulted in the Judge clearly rejecting the arguments and explaining why. What they got was zilch. No examination. In my training, when I get results like that, the training is to take responsibility. “I failed …” However, this wasn’t my pleading, I did not write it and wasn’t asked to review and perhaps edit it before it was filed.
Mike actually says he’s not sure. I am more sure, but have likely spent an order of magnitude more time studying those documents. This is not about familiarity with law. Mike and I appear to agree on the legal principles. Mike did not actually address my central claim, that the Judge didn’t do her job, reviewing and accepting or rejecting arguments. She just threw up her hands in … despair or disgust? It’s hard to tell. This was not the assessment of uncontested fact that I would have expected. The result: the Rossi strategy of generating massive smoke screens worked. He could make up a set of unsupported arguments and she took this as a “disputed fact.” It didn’t matter if those arguments had any relevance or evidentiary basis. I think that’s error.

The result is a complex trial expected now to take a month. Some of this might have been unavoidable. She apparently is pushing for settlement. If she had dismissed what was dismissable, based on uncontradicted evidence and arguments (and particularly on the original complaint issues, thus the standard should have been easier, this was IH as a defendant), settlement might have become more possible.

Mon Jun 19, 2017 4:45 pm

This got convoluted. I pointed out that the term “absolutely” was a “bit strong,” he wrote “not a bit strong,” but we actually agreed on the substance, and his restatement did not use “absolutely,” nor any equivalent.

As I said above, technically speaking the defendant doesn’t need to produce any evidence in opposition. It’s a good idea for the defendant to try to produce evidence, of course, but the defendant can – through argument – convince the finder of fact that the presented evidence is simply insufficient to meet the burden of persuasion.

In the most significant and clearest of the issues covered by the IH MSJ, IH was the defendant. I did not claim that all the IH MSJ issues were worthy of much attention, and Mike’s argument, apparently thinking of IH as plaintiff, focuses on plaintiff arguments, but I still am concerned about what the Judge did. This was a complex case, with two initial plaintiffs (and confusion over the identity of one of the plaintiffs), four initial defendants, and then counterclaim plaintiffs and originally about eight counterclaim defendants, reduced by one when Penon could not be found for service. The Judge wanted all elements included in a single motion, of restricted size. She also created a much earlier trial schedule than what the parties had agreed upon, and refused to allow consensual postponement of deadlines. That all raised my eyebrows. Other than not allowing the parties to have what they agreed upon, however, her prior rulings all seemed within reason.

 

At a point where I agree with Mike (saying “that is correct,’) he wrote:

I’m relieved to learn that my years of legal education have not been entirely in vain.

Not a good sign….

Nothing shown to me here that I did not already know. I was thinking I’d write more detail, because Mike went on to present speculations as if they were facts …. but I’m losing interest rapidly. Mike is clearly knowledgeable about law, but then made hosts of assumptions about the specific facts. He did ask me for an example of what MSJ might have been granted, but I’m not convinced the question was sincere. I’ve covered that extensively here. Someone else can answer him.

And then:

Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:32 am

tjh wrote:

So … ONE person (though not an attorney) who knows BOTH the law AND the technology? My vote’s for Abd.

Mine isn’t.

Abd’s knowledge of the law is clearly substantially weaker than Abd thinks it is.

Apparently his vote is for himself. Surprise? I am not a legal expert, I merely have more knowledge of law than many lay writers. Mike imagines he knows what I think. He did come up with a stronger statement of what he thinks are my errors.

Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:29 am

It’s tempting to respond to him, but …. no. I will lay out what I will do, but what I will not do is to engage in these bar conversations. His comment above is an insult, a comment made either as trolling or in reckless disregard of normal responses. His subsequent comment actually addressed issues, but … context matters. If anyone has questions regarding any of what I wrote or what he wrote there, ask me here. Comments are open; only the first comment from a user requires approval. There are some loose ends to tie up. First of all, thanks to tjh for the kind comment. However, we are not running for office and there is no job on offer, nobody is to be established as The Authority. I merely know more than the usual about some things, but I make mistakes and that is one reason why I generally provide sources and links. I don’t always do that, so if anyone disagrees with what I’ve written and it was not sources, please ask. If you have the question someone else might, as well.

So, tjh. I had not seen his post.

Mon Jun 19, 2017 11:21 pm

vic wrote:

Sterngard Friegen wrote: [quoting Abd, adding a highlight]

“I don’t need this forum for anything in particular, I posted here Just Because I know more about the topic (that lawsuit) than almost anyone else on the planet, and this discussion was mentioned elsewhere.”

Regarding the highlight – an ego is a terrible thing to waste.

I’m the one who created this topic, and referenced it on https://www.lenr-forum.com — which might be why Abd came here.

Yeah.

But I will endorse his comment “I know more about the topic (that lawsuit) than almost anyone else on the planet”.

Let me put it this way: I’ve spent a year studying the suit, and then creating the resources on coldfusioncommunity.net, I read the documents again and again. There are some people who know things that are not public, and sometimes people notice things about the documents I have missed, but … when I read the comments of those who have not studied the documents, I notice the many errors that are common, and I know how I know what I know, because I’ve been over and over those documents, reading what others write about them, and my comment was an opinion that might be fact in some ways. And the reception was chilling, overall. People mostly go away when treated that way, sane people do (women will almost always not tolerate it)

One commenter imagined I didn’t know what a troll was. I’ve been dealing with on-line community since the 1980s on the W.E.L.L. People confuse their own ignorance or differences of opinion with the ignorance of others. “Troll” is a word. What it means is up to us. We use language, or we let it use us. I prefer the former.

Rossi’s and IH’s attorneys may know more about the law …

They certainly do. Some abuse it. My knowledge will also be spotty, incomplete. I often comment from a common-law perspective, more or less equivalent in some ways to “common sense,” though common sense is not necessarily common.

but they know (and care) little or nothing about the technology. Read the depositions.

Right. Jones Day has a real blooper in one of their pleadings. This is what I know about professionals in my life: they know more in general, almost always, but they don’t know my situation as well as I do. So I use professionals without making them into gods. I’m responsible for my choices, not the professionals I might consult. They are responsible for sharing their experience and knowledge with me, but they are advisors, not governors.

(From the technology end I would love to cross-examine ALL of the “technical experts”. How to do it legally … no idea. I do know that major cases can hinge on ONE question, eg “Is there any possibility you MIGHT have seen the microcode?”)

One of the nutty things that was tossed at me was the idea that I was trying to intervene in the case, to get the Judge to read my work. Basically, people make up what fits their preconceptions, so what I wrote was read that way. In fact, what I had suggested was that a clerk might use certain documents here that had links added; the clerk would not trust the document, but would verify that the links were what they purported to be, that the copies were true, etc. That would be much faster than creating it from scratch. Maybe ten times as fast. I spent many days creating some of those documents. With such a document, hypertext, reading the MSJs would be far easier.

(I never completed those documents, they would still be useful to someone who wanted to make it easy for the Judge to review. Frankly, my opinion, attorneys should be required to present documents like that, instead of what they have been doing for way too long. It should be possible to verify a claim in a pleading as to what is in evidence, in seconds, not several minutes per claim.

Lots of people (with whom I have corresponded on forae and by email) know lots about the technology. (eg Rothwell, Storms) …
[Edit]: but little or nothing about the law.

That’s what they tell me, they are honest about it.

Abd has an excellent technical reputation in this the technical area (I met him first online on vortex, but he got thrown off for rationally defending a religious attack).

Given Fogbow, it’s ironic. The fellow was a birther and that was a major part of what I confronted. That is, in fact, where I learned about that flabber.

So … ONE person (though not an attorney) who knows BOTH the law AND the technology? My vote’s for Abd.

(He sure ain’t modest, he sure ain’t polite — he’s dinged me for posting some hignorant stuff. )

Sorry. Not about not being modest (though simply saying that I may know more than the vast majority of people on some topic is not immodest, if it’s factually based), but about any hurt feelings. I have learned what I learned by writing and, on occasion, being corrected by those knowledgeable enough to accomplish that. Some have been polite and some not, but the opportunity is there for me. I would probably learn much on Fogbow, but it ain’t gonna happen. Most of those conversations were far too boring, on matters where I discussed the stuff to death years ago.

AND I’m still not going to defend Cold Fusion / LENR here.

It doesn’t need defense, or, at least not on Fogbow, which will make zero difference in what happens with LENR. In fact, I’m strongly suggesting that people without high knowledge stop arguing about LENR, and people with high knowledge usually have something better to do.

And then Startibartfast.  Tue Jun 20, 2017 12:05 am

[I am creating links for his footnotes, and backlinks just for fun]

I find it fascinating how quickly bad blood can arise from a failure to understand each other’s position (and grumpiness too, also1). In an effort to get an interesting thread back on track and prevent someone who seems to me to be making a worthwhile contribution from getting turned off, let me see if I can help explain… or at least make things worse.
:towel:

Since I was a moderator on the W.E.L.L., I have been noticing social pathologies in on-line discussion, probably related to the lack of direct visual and auditory cues, and the depersonalization related to the low bandwidth of text. It’s an issue I have worked on since then, because there are also vast possibilities from there being a clear and accessible written record of conversations. However, what I saw, then, and continue to see, is that this possibility is largely missed because it is overwhelmed by social phenomena and how people routinely form opinions. To review the record to find the original of conflicts was, in practice, almost useless, because people mostly will not read the record, and will assume that references to the record are “cherry-picked” or otherwise simply reflecting the political position of the one making the references. This is an aspect of general dysfunction in how we form our identities and beliefs. To move beyond it generally takes training, and that training is not routinely supplied or expected.

Those who might be expected to see beyond these reactive patterns often don’t. I saw a professor of linguistics argue with one of the most skilled trainers on the planet, that he was using words wrongly. If anyone should know that language is a tool, not  truth, it would be such a professor. He walked out, because he could not tolerate “wrong.”

Stern,

I don’t think Abd is trying to peddle woo, I believe he is just someone who, based on his own informed opinion, believes that cold fusion is real4 and hopes that, one day, it will result in commercially viable energy production.

Thanks. To be clear, I am informed more than most, and less than a few. I am sufficiently informed to be able to participate usefully in conversations with experts, and to be able to write a review paper and see it pass an initially negative peer review and have it be published, and cited by the person I most respect of all the experts. However, I do not “believe” that cold fusion is “real.” To be sure, the word “believe” carries many possible meanings. A more neutral statement of how I think is that I have concluded through a preponderance of the evidence, pending the availability of better evidence, that at least some of the reported effects sloppily called “cold fusion” are real, not merely artifact, and that it is nuclear in nature. This view is probably consistent with the view of the majority of informed experts. Cold fusion, like some other fields, is afflicted with experts who do not know the evidence, so “informed experts” would mean those who are somehow tasked with a review and study. People like McKubre and Robert Duncan. I just noticed that a Rossi voir dire asked if jurors had seen the CBS special on Cold Fusion, where we saw Duncan investigating cold fusion.

I use the term “cold fusion” for political purposes. That is, the evidence shows that the reaction is likely the conversion of deuterium to helium. That conversion, regardless of mechanism, would routinely be called “fusion” as to effect. Steve Krivit has never understood this and argues at great length that most in the field are promoting a wrong idea, fusion. But then he means by fusion “d-d fusion,” which is easily understood as either impossible or in any case not what is happening with the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect and the production of gammas. Huizenga point it out long ago when he noticed the heat/helium evidence, considered this an amazing report (it was!), that it would explain a major mystery of cold fusion (the ash!), but that it would probably not be confirmed (because no gammas!). That opinion was obviously based on an assumption that if heat and helium were correlated, the reaction must be d-d fusion. That is only an assumption. There are other possible pathways.

An information cascade formed in 1989-1990, where a “scientific consensus” arose, meaning broad and common opinion among scientists, that was never based on completed or conclusive scientific study and findings. Gary Taubes wrote the best skeptical book on Cold Fusion, Bad Science. Even though he finished the book after the Miles announcement of heat/helium correlation, he never looked at it, and the reason is obvious: his simple story of bad science, a long-term theme of his, became really complicated, and he needed to finish the damn book! Later, he investigated some other information cascades and wrote compellingly about them. These cascades are still in place, but falling apart as real research is done. Taubes, indeed, founded NuSci to facilitate that research. I like Taubes, a lot, even though some of my LENR friends hate his guts. He worked his butt off. For some understanding of how information cascades work, google “Taubes Tiernan information cascade”. Here:

Diet and Fat: A Severe Case of Mistaken Consensus

How the Low-Fat, Low-Fact Cascade Just Keeps Rolling Along

Information cascades are not “bad.” They are a mechanism by which society creates more efficiency, but they can fail to recognize anything that is outside normal thinking or what is easily accessible. Overcoming them can be quite difficult. I’ve been looking recently at the history of the recognition that h. pylori infections case gastritis, ulcers, and stomach cancer. The creation of review bypasses could have saved many lives and improved the quality of many more. The cost of the rejection cascade was in the billions of dollars. My guess is that the collective cost of such phenomena is in the trillions of dollars per year. That does not mean that people should be so open-minded that their brains fall out. Rather, it only takes a few to review and spread the news, if structures are in place.

Creating those structures is my goal, long term. Cold fusion is merely one example of an information cascade where what became insanely strong rejection, if it delays the commercial application of LENR, costs about a trillion dollars per year in lost opportunity cost. Even if the probability of such applications is low, this would be worth many millions of dollars in review costs, including, of course, definitive experimentation.

In discussions of LENR, N-rays and polywater are often mentioned as prior examples of “pathological science,” tossing cold fusion in that basket. However, N-rays were shown to be artifact by a conclusive experiment. That experiment did not “prove” that N-rays were not  real, but that the evidence for them was not based on objective observation, but was a product of observer expectation and interpretations that “seeing is believing,” even if the seeing is … at the edge of clear. Polywater was shown to be artifact by an experiment that conclusively provided a prosaic (though remarkable in itself!) explanation, contamination of the water by condensed sweat from the researchers.

The core findings of LENR were never shown to be artifact, i.e., the heat. The early neutron radiation report was, indeed, artifact, retracted. That was often considered proof that the heat effect could not be real, because d-d fusion would always generate copious neutrons, but the interpretive error is obvious. As well, the conclusion that the heat was nuclear in nature was premature. Pons and Fleischmann actually had, when they initially announced, three evidences of “nuclear.” First, the level of heat was beyond chemistry, in their judgment, and chemistry was their expertise. Second, they saw evidence for neutrons. Third, they found tritium. The neutrons and the tritium, however, were far below the levels expected from d-d fusion. The neutron evidence was artifact. However, that was never shown for the heat, nor for tritium, and both of those effects were widely reported, confirmed. A few neutrons have even been shown, but those findings are not confirmed.

As such, this trial is of interest to him just like many other trial threads on the Fogbow are of interest to you and the rest of the boogle2.

Yeah. It was doubly interesting, because it is a convergence of two significant interests. It might be a good place to ask legal questions, for reasons that Starti makes clear. However, it’s also a public comment forum, with very loose administration, with all the down sides of that. I broke a rule. No administrative warning, just some blame from a troll and friends. Yes, some explained the rule I had violated. Yet from the common severe disrespect and contempt shown, the initial offense, the kind that seriously damages discussions and tends, for example, to drive away women or others not interested in bulls butting heads, and endless waste of time in discussions that never go anywhere, that rarely accomplish any measurable benefit, was tolerated, and it was repeated. I.e., the judgment of “insult” was superficial. This is a product of the limitations of narrow administration without decent structure. That is a discussion forum default because it’s easy and familiar and can be controlled by the owner. There are far more powerful options. Hybrids, essentially, and few have experience with them.

You might find cold fusion to be nonsense, but Abd doesn’t and seems willing to discuss LENR on the merits.

Yes. If you look around this blog, you will find serious discussions with serious skeptics. I don’t expect a knowledgeable skeptic to lay down and play dead. My stand is for all to express what they know. Emphasis on know. As part of the process, there is the expression of opinion, which is reactive, not exactly knowledge (though necessary in human process).

More precisely, the opinion that “cold fusion is nonsense” is obviously an unsupported judgment as apparently held. It would depend on a definition of “cold fusion,” wouldn’t it? I’ve had this argument with some atheists. Speaking at a university on Islam, a young man stood up, proud to express his opinion. “I don’t believe in God.” Great. I asked him, “in what God do you not believe?” It appeared that nobody had ever asked him that question, he was dumbfounded. I then said, “The God that you do not believe in, I don’t believe in either.” Now, I’ve had this discussion with serious atheists, who were not naive college students. Their ultimate objection: I capitalize God, and I capitalize Reality, and I define God as Reality. Period. No ideas attached, not as belief. There are some explorations and possibilities, that’s all.

The “cold fusion” that is nonsense is an idea in the mind of the pseudoskeptic, typically unquestioned, almost invisible, because it is assumed that we know what is being talked about, i.e., say, the claims of Pons and Fleischmann. However, they did not actually claim fusion. Their paper claimed an “unknown nuclear reaction.” In the title, as I recall, they had Fusion? at the end. The editors lost the question mark.

The history of cold fusion is an extensive comedy of errors, a demonstration of how very smart people can make very stupid mistakes. All of us can. In my ontology, “mistakes” are the fastest way to learn, if we pay attention and are not attached to being right.

Which is perfectly reasonable from a scientific point of view3.

Thanks. To echo Mike, I’m grateful that my fifty years of observation and study and training have not been wasted. (But I actually do thank you, I am not being sarcastic.)

Anyway, I think Abd is adding value to the discussion (and certainly a lot of knowledge about the particulars of the case) and, at the very least, isn’t doing any harm.

I doubt that whats-his-face, the user I set to ignore, will leave because of my “insult.” The insult was actually calling him a troll, as I recall, which was very obviously reasonable, i.e., if someone trolls, they are, in that interaction, a troll. No action exclusively creates identity. I was not claiming and would not claim that the only thing the fellow does is troll, that he is a “pure troll,” only that he was obviously trolling, and I drew a conclusion from that, which was personal, that I was not going to continue interaction. If he wants to communicate with me, this blog is open for comments. I have no assumption that he has nothing of value to contribute; such an assumption would violate my basic ontology and stand. Mike is merely opinionated and quick to judge, I didn’t see trolling there. Mike has actually raised an issue worth exploring, which I intend to do here, but not today, I need to get ready to travel to Miami.

In any case, I don’t think he really deserves all of the scorn you’ve leveled at him. Certainly not because he chose not to answer a hostile comment on Saturday afternoon by Sunday morning7. Just my opinion.
:towel:

Indeed. That was trolling, highly offensive, provocative, and … obviously tolerated, and, my guess, much from him is tolerated, probably because he is seen as a “valuable contributor.” That is an error very common in site administration. It is possible to create and enforce civility without losing truly valuable contributors; that this is thought not possible is a result of failure to respect the capacity of users to cooperate, when that is tested. Most will cooperate with civility rules, if they are clear, and clearly and reliably enforced, but it takes some administrative work, and admins are typically overworked and definitely underpaid.

p.s. I didn’t know the story about your avatar, so, if nothing else, I’m grateful to Abd for getting you to share that.

You’re welcome. My comment about his avatar was not a claim — as he represented — that he had created the avatar to insult me, which would have been stupid and egotistical — more or less his point in making the claim. Rather it appeared to be a symbol of his interactions, not just with me, but with many. It’s not just grumpy, it is in-your-face grumpy. It is or has become his identity.

Abd,

Please correct me if any of my suppositions above are untrue. You seem very forthright and write long, detailed comments (see below :towel: ) and you’re arguing the counter-orthodoxy5 without, in my opinion, crossing the line, all of which gets my sympathy, but I think you’ve made some (very understandable) blunders due to circumstances you aren’t aware of.

That’s life. I don’t think they are “blunders,” however. When I toss a pebble in a pond and its splashes, it would not be a blunder unless it creates damage to some goal important to me. In fact, the splash tells me far more about the pond than a more cautious approach would. I assess actions based on outcomes, not on presumed freedom from “error” as if that were an intrinsic characteristic of the actions, which the language of “blunder” incorporates. If my goal were not to break rules, it would be a blunder, or, in my training, that is called a “breakdown.” But it is also said that “from breakdowns come breakthroughs.”

I became, as a result of the comment, very quickly aware of many aspects of the situation that I might not have learned for a long time. Not only has no harm been done, I saved myself a great deal of wasted work. Writing details responses takes much time. Mark Twain said, about a long letter, “I would have written less but I didn’t have time.” That is, writing effective polemic, if it is to be deeper than “you’re an idiot,” takes time. Providing sources takes time (and this is part of how I learn when writing sourced material. To provide a link, I have to look at the source again. So I end up seeing sources over and over. Basic method of learning: exposure to material. It can actually be superior to what we call “understanding,” which is often an illusion (meaning that we have some conclusion that fits into our world-view).

This forum, while having long ago branched out, started as an anti-birther forum. Conspiracy theorists in general6 are still a major focus.

What I see as the Fogbow condition correlates with that. Moletrap was started by Steorn debunkers. RationalWiki was started by Conservapedia debunkers. These become insular, self-reinforcing social structures. RationalWiki does build content, but it is heavily biased in a particular direction. Moletrap doesn’t, generally.

It is not that the debunkers are “wrong.” It is that contrary views are buried in mud. On Moletrap it was quite obvious. That community effectively denied the existence of pseudoskepticism, which is an extreme view, with no distinction being made between pseudoskepticism (which fails to be self-skeptical) and genuine skepticism (which does not require brains falling out, it does not require accepting and believing “woo,” and the very term “woo” is pseudoskeptical, it has no clear definition other than “stuff we think is loony.”

As such, two things are true: first, some of the people, especially those who have been here for a long time, have a very quick trigger when they think people are supporting frivolous arguments or woo, and, secondly, while the membership here is very diverse, it is still skewed heavily towards lawyers.

This could be both a strength and a weakness. Lawyers are skilled in argument, at inventing arguments to support any position whatever, including attacking and discrediting the views of others. Some lawyers are skilled at dispute resolution and mediation. Some are fight-to-the-bitter-end-never-give-up hired guns. And then they follow those same principles with their own opinions, a busman’s holiday.

Unfortunately, you happened to run afoul of one of the most well-respected8 and grumpy of those lawyers, who seems to have thought that your comments implied beliefs that were frivolous or unscientific and, as you pointed out, he trolled you about them. Now, you’re certainly right that he showed contempt for your ideas, and while the motivation for your insult was certainly understandable, you are the one who broke the rules.

The rule I broke was calling him what he obviously was, i.e., the name of one who engages in his behavior. That was from one incident, and would not, in itself, an identity define, but what I saw was clear enough to make the call, and what is being said here confirms that the call was not just my own opinion, but matches the community opinion. But he is “one of us,” and I wasn’t. One of the claims made as a result of my comment (besides a call to effectively ban me —  sorry, not allowing comment on the topic of interest, but only in the Cesspool or the Dungeon or whatever it is called may not be “censorship,” but neither is total ban, because the banned person is not prevented from expressing their opinions except in one place. It would still be a ban) was that I didn’t know what a troll was. Which would, of course, be inviting argument, since I have thirty years of experience with on-line conferencing. I was not claiming that the fellow was an “actual troll,” which would require showing that he lives under a bridge, but rather was behaving like a troll, showing signs of habitual trolling, and that claim is confirmed here. But apparently accurate description of behavior is not allowed on Fogbow, if it gores the valuable contributor. This is very common, and boring.

Now that’s certainly not a cardinal sin and, even if you do get thrown in the FEMA camp (and I don’t believe you should or will), you probably wouldn’t even notice the difference (except that people would be free to insult you and vice versa),

FEMA Camp is a user group. From Fogbow Forum information:

FEMA Campers is a closed group. Birthers, SovCits, trolls, and anyone else who joins the forum in order to hassle us are put in this group. Then they can only post in FEMA Camp 7½, a hidden forum.

The FEMA Staff & Visitors group can see the FEMA camp. If you don’t join, you don’t see us dealing with the troublemakers.

Sterngard Friegen is in a group of his own, for reasons that will become apparent when you get to know him. He is the Super Grumpy Geezer.

Why in the world would I write for FEMA camp? I can write on Quora, say, and have 2.6 million page views, I can write on my blog and create useful pages and discussions (and blog posts, i.e., opinions, though some pages express opinions), and have many appreciative readers and why should I care about the others — they don’t care about me. (If they do, they will comment and I respect them and generally reply, even if they are telling me what I’ve heard for as long as I’ve been writing, I write too much. To that comment I say, “Don’t read it, then. Or ask for a summary. Or wait until someone comments and reply to that. Your choice.”

I would surely notice that I was not allowed to post in a topic of interest. Or if somehow that post is there (not rejected by the software), I would notice that I couldn’t see it when not logged in. I don’t know how Fogbow implements this ban that it pretends isn’t a ban.

Fogbow administration obviously has decided that Stern is an exception and may insult others (perhaps as long as he avoids the direct insults that are easily seen without having any idea of the topic). So he can troll others, those people who come to Fogbow to “hassel us, ” because that serves a useful function: when the person, generally a noob, responds like an ordinary human, returning insult for insult, that person can be FEMA camped for breaking the rules. I saw this strategy used to great effect on Wikipedia, there were users who freely broke the rules, in order to tempt “POV-pushers” to violate the rules, to, then, provide easy cover for administrators, their friends, to ban those people. The administrators had points of view that they pushed, but often had difficulty with what they called “civil POV pushers.” Those who followed the rules to push a POV. Wikipedia fell into some internally contradictory tropes, such as the idea that neutrality can be found by excluding people with strong points of view. It often excludes, then, experts, from participating in the discussions.

In this case, if I were to tendentiously argue that this was all unfair, that Stern was truly a troll, i.e., had been trolling — there is no other objective definition — the community, with established habits, would pile on and I could be actually FEMA camped. I won’t do that on Fogbow, and, in fact, I’m not going to argue on Fogbow at all. What I will do will not be argument, itself. Mostly, though, I won’t be reading or following Fogbow, but may look at discussions there pointed out to me. Whatever, it depends somewhat on how much free time I have and what I have to do with that time. I wrote that I posted on Fogbow “Just Because.” I.e., no particular good reason, and I’d chalk it up to testing the waters.

but, if you’re going to hang around here9, I would suggest that a sincere apology to Stern for the insult would probably go a long way towards getting people to take the time to look at who you are instead of who they think you are.

What would a “sincere apology” look like? My opinion, now strengthened, is that Stern trolls users, at least he was trolling me. I don’t see any sign that he was harmed, other than possibly being, himself, trolled into making some stupid comments. But his friends think he is brilliant. Personally, I think that the community is enabling him and harming him. I’m also an “old geezer” (73), and think that when people conspire with my stupidity, they are truly harming me.

So how could I apologize “sincerely”? I know how to influence public opinion in situations like this. But do I want to? Is Fogbow my target audience? (No. Not lawyers, for the most part. Scientists and decision-makers in funding agencies. My blogging is to create a channel for meeting possible supporters for the long-term work, to recruit leaders and empower them and “leaders” can include genuine skeptics who will actually study a topic, seeking deeper understanding.)

I am not willing to lie or deceive in order to generate popularity. I will shut up about some things, not every truth or opinion must be stated. I’m not going to break the rules, though what I’ve found is that if someone is considered an outsider, the rules may be interpreted to ban them, it’s common. What I will do on Fogbow may indeed create some deeper tests. Anyone watching will be able to learn from this.

It’s a small matter and everyone knows you didn’t violate the rules intentionally (and that Stern is a expert at walking the line without crossing it — not to mention really grumpy), but it would be a show of respect for the community and probably enough to let the matter die and return the discussion to the case (or cold fusion in general), which I believe is what you would like.

I am not maintaining the discussion on Fogbow. If that community wants to beat a dead horse, they can continue the conversation. Communities like Fogbow typically prefer to discuss personalities rather than principles and objective fact. What happened on Fogbow is quite common.

You said:

Abd wrote:
I am not a “real lawyer,” for sure, but I’m in regular consultation on these issues with one, and others are chiming in.

Which was simply true.

You clearly want the respect that you think you are due for your knowledge and expertise,

I actually DGAF. However, I understand that if I have knowledge, I have an obligation to share it. It is up to others if they take advantage of this or not. Those who do, learn, those who don’t — I am not responsible for them. They make their choices. I do not “hide my light,” under some idea of pious humility. I don’t consider that kind of humility to be a virtue, at all. Genuine humility, to which I aspire: I know I make mistakes and will consider what is pointed out to me as error.

However… trolling never brings this out, not directly, though I can still take advantage of the opportunity.

but, in trying to convince us that you deserve respect you unknowingly disrespected the knowledge and expertise of this community. Roughly half of the people that are engaging with you are real lawyers (and good ones).

If I tried to convince people of that, the effort would be self-contradictory and doomed. Human beings deserve respect, even from lawyers. (Cue a series of Bad Lawyer Jokes.)

Most people (including friends who don’t know me face-to-face) will not correctly assess my goals and motivations. That’s just the way it is.

In particular, in your exchanges with Mike Dunford it is very clear that you don’t understand that, even in a group of outstanding attorneys, Mike is special. When he gives his opinions, everyone listens carefully, because after over 7,000 posts demonstrating his knowledge and insight he’s earned enormous respect. When he says, “I’m relieved to learn that my years of legal education have not been entirely in vain.”, everyone here is quite aware of just how erudite a legal scholar Mike is.

I don’t doubt it. However, he was making assumptions about the case based on shallow knowledge of it. The greatest expert in the world who does that is out on a limb. The number of posts on a discussion Forum like Fogbow is not a particularly impressive credential, by the way, I place more credence in your own opinion.

Which is not to say that your knowledge and insight into this case isn’t welcome, but it is generally a good idea for IANAL types to be careful about asserting themselves as legal authorities, especially when in discussions with actual lawyers (which is pretty much every thread here).

I have a habit of assertive writing. I will describe things as I see them. IANAL (I am not a lawyer, folks) will cover that there will be things that I misunderstand or miss, but in real-life conversations with real-life lawyers, these are easily fixed. Real-life lawyers, in my experience, listen to my comments, because I’m coming from outside the box and I might see something that, out of habit, they might have missed. Or not. I might be seriously mistaken, so they say so, directly, and if they are true experts instead of stuffed shirts, they can and will tell me why, ordinarily.

If you do a little listening and then ask some questions, I’ll bet you will learn some new things about the law yourself. I certainly have11

I may ask questions, though I do have a lawyer I can call for that.

and:

Abd wrote:
I posted here Just Because I know more about the topic (that lawsuit) than almost anyone else on the planet, and this discussion was mentioned elsewhere. I’ve been funded to cover the trial, and I have multiple places to publish that coverage.

Okay, so you’ve been trolled and scolded and talked about and you’re probably thinking, “why should I bother to stick around?” What you just said is why. I don’t believe you can find a more discerning audience to which to publish your coverage or a more knowledgeable group with which to discuss the merits of the case.

The Fogbow software sucks and is not designed to handle the kind of writing I would want to do. I will publish here (or maybe in Infinite Energy, it’s been suggested, but I have no agreement with them.)

Another place to publish with a wide audience is Quora, where I have many followers, and where there are deep experts on just about everything.

There’s a long standing tradition on the Fogbow of having BOTG (Boots On The Ground) for trials of interest. Members (both lawyers and non-lawyers) post their notes and then the ask questions and start speculating on the meaning and significance of what happened. There is much popcorn and good times all around.

I’m on a low-carb diet. However, I have nothing against good times. If Fogbow sends a Boot, we might have some good times if we meet. I’m big on real-life meetings, it is far more fun than pounding on a keyboard. Or Fogbow could consider me a Boot. It will be up to the users and how they use the opportunities that I present.

So here’s my challenge to you: stick around long enough to post some coverage from the trial and answer the questions you get from Stern and the other lawyers and then see if the analysis they give is correct. I bet it will be. And I bet you will find it a worthwhile experience too. also. What have you got to lose?

Everything and nothing. I stand for the nothing part. I’m not LANCB. I call that “binding the future,” and it is generally a stupid thing to do. People do it because they don’t trust themselves, which is a generally disempowering position.

Questions, I haz some. You say you are being funded to cover this trial, by whom and what is their (and your) interest?

I don’t ask them. Some donors may be seen publically on the GoFundMe site. Some donations have come from a lawyer who saw what I was doing and offered to cover Pacer costs. He wants to be anonymous. But I can say that he has no connection with the parties in the case. Indeed, so far, no donor has any known connection with the parties. What has been said is that they are supporting my reporting, the Rossi v Darden resources on this blog, and they trust my honesty. Most would be called, perhaps, “believers,” i.e. they think LENR is real.

However, that does not bias my reporting, at least I hope not!

My interest is in the outcome of the first major investment by a commercial entity in LENR in a long time. My interest in going to Miami is to see the parties and witnesses myself, personally, instead of just what is written. We can’t see the video depositions, which might convey something. I also may meet with some of the involved people. That is likely, though not arranged yet. I am, as part of this trip, visiting Washington, D.C. and will meet with at least one scientist there. Maybe two.

Mostly, though, I’m interested because It’s There. I like fact and evidence, much more than opinion and conclusions.

What are your relevant credentials and experience? I assume from your name that you are (or were) a graduate student, is that correct, and if so, what did you study?

No. I never completed college, nor was I a graduate student. Abd is not “All but degree.” It is the first noun in my Muslim name, I accepted Islam in about 1970, and have written more about Islam, overall, than about any other topic, over the years. The name is Abd ul-Rahman, “servant of the merciful.” (“Abdul” is not actually a Muslim name, but a fragment of a phrase taken as if it were a word.)

I attended Cal Tech, sitting in the Feynman lectures in 1961-63. I dropped out, became a musician and became involved with “spiritual communities,” and was recognized as a teacher. I created a career as a kind of electronics engineer, and still have some income from the design service I started. I retired on social security, but then went through extensive training from Landmark Worldwide, perhaps specializing in community projects (not “Landmark community,” the training actually prohibits projects involving Landmark graduates specifically, but must be “outside community,” with measureable results. I was a Wikipedia editor, known as standing for community rights vs the “administrative cabal,” which was a Jimbo Wales term. Later, if you called them a “cabal,” you were labelled as a conspiracy theorist, but … no conspiracies are needed. Cabal behavior functions through shared watchlists and interests, cabal members defend each other and attack “enemies.” Sometimes very effectively, if there are members who are administrators. Wikipedia is largely helpless to deal with it.

You referred to later work (after P & F) verifying LENR. Could you give us a layman’s summary of that work and the strength of those results? It might help if you could give us a clear statement about what you think is established science and what you believe that hasn’t been demonstrated yet.

That’s a huge topic. There is a video published by Jed Rothwell that is decent. Focusing on what is the most established science would be my paper published in Current Science in 2015.

I do not agree with everything in the video. But nobody is perfect.

On an unrelated note, do you know anything about Steven Jones, former colleague of Pons and Fleischmann? I’m curious as to the quality of his earlier work given what he did later13.

I’ve met Jones, at ICCF-18 in 2013. Jones is far from popular in the LENR community. His work was entirely different from the FP Heat Effect. He was reporting very low levels of neutrons, and a reaction rate far below what could generate major heat. I shook his hand, congratulating him for being the only skeptic to actually critique the published work of Melvin Miles on the heat/helium ratio, in a peer-reviewed journal. What is unfortunate, though, is that though he pointed to possible heat measurement errors (probably not real, but this is a very ordinary objection) and possible helium measurement errors (the standard one is leakage from ambient, though some results are above ambient, just not the Miles results), he did not address the correlation, which is very difficult to explain with a theory of artifact. It is the correlation, not the separate results, that was significant about Miles.

As to his later ideas, well, sometimes people go off the rails. It does not tell us much about his earlier work. There are mysteries in the 9-11 evidence and there is common thinking that goes “if it isn’t explained, it must be …. [fill in theory].” When someone actually creates a theory that fills in a few blanks, they can become quite enthusiastic about it.

I concluded years ago that there are mysteries that will never be resolved. That is more or less meaningless. What a mystery shows is that for someone, something is not explained, they don’t know enough. So if one wants to know, investigation is in order, but most people are looking for quick answers, real investigation is far too much work. Or might even be impossible. I’ve looked at the videos. There are people who believe that the radio tower vaporized, and that one is obviously an appearance, unsupported by the videos if one looks carefully (this is an element in a directed-energy-beam theory).

Anyway, sorry your welcome to the Fogbow has been a little rough, but know that your comments have been appreciated and I hope that you will persevere and discover the quality of this group. I may be a wee bit biased, but I think the Fogbow is quite simply the best community on the internet.
:bighug:

Not in my book, though, to be sure, I don’t know Fogbow other than only one set of interactions. I was threatened with FEMA camp, but not warned by any administrator, nor did any administrator suggest to me that either I was safe, or in danger, or warn me.

However, Quora is fantastic, with a community of some of the most skilled writers on the planet. It has problems, mostly due to naive administration (Facebook people!). But, still, there are writers there who are, routinely, a joy to read. The format more or less discourages the kind of endless argument that is common on some blogs and sites like Fogbow.

Mike,

It has been bugging me for a while now and I gots to know… WTF is “1 Cranch 137, 177”?
:confused:

1 Cranch 137, 177 is a device used by a lawyer who wants to display his insider knowledge, his familiarity with esoterica. To others it would Marbury v. Madison.

From Wikipedia, “while serving as a Circuit judge, Cranch also served as the second reporter of the Supreme Court from 1801 to 1815. At the time, the reporter was an unofficial post and he used his own funds to produce the reports.[citation needed] Cranch took on the responsibility because of his respect for precedent.[citation needed] He was slow in producing his reports of cases and their accuracy was questioned.[citation needed]

So what might be cited as 5 US is instead cited as 1 Cranch, the reporter. “5 US” would be a later name, 1 Cranch is the original publication. Volume 1, I imagine. 137 may be a page number or docket number, I didn’t find that. Someone who actually looks at the book may find this. Someone familiar may simply know. Remarkably, Googlebooks does not seem to have it.

tjh,

Thanks for starting this topic! I’m really enjoying it.
:thumbs: :popcorn:

I personally find the topic fascinating, a drama, a comedy of errors, one ridiculousness after another, stranger than fiction in many ways. Shallow, knee-jerk reactions appear common in all directions.

1. To Abd: “Too also” is a common Fogbowism, not some kind of speech impediment. (back)

When in Rome, too, also.

2. To Abd: a collective noun used to refer to the membership of the Fogbow. I believe it is the name for a group of weasels or some such. (back)

Something like that. I was put in that group.

3. So long as a hypothesis isn’t falsified (and no one has proven LENR can’t happen), a scientist is always free to argue for it on the merits. (back)

In fact, scientists, like everyone, are free to argue for anything forever, regardless of flabber like “proof.” By the way, it is generally considered impossible to prove that “LENR cannot happen.” That was in the first U.S. DoE review. Rather, it could happen that evidence appears to discredit reasons to think it exists. Unfortunately for the knee-jerk “impossible” debunkers, cold fusion is known and accepted to exist, as muon-catalyzed fusion. (Steve Jones’ specialty, by the way, but this is not controversial). So the question is whether or not there are any other possible catalytic or other processes. I consider the heat/helium evidence very strong, and widely confirmed, with no substantial negative evidence, but … many people remain skeptical because blah, blah, hence the effort to increase precision. That is a classic test of fringe or pathological science: does the effect disappear when precision increases? (Researchers in the field already know that in some cases, it doesn’t, but skeptics can always claim “file drawer effect,” which is a genuine hazard but does not apply to the best research.

4. Which is to say that it will be scientifically demonstrated one day. (back)

My hope is always in the revelation of reality, I trust reality, not my ideas about it or anyone’s ideas.

5. Which I know is hard. (back)

Only if one is attached to convincing someone. My training is not to convince, but to offer opportunities. I have had little trouble, though, finding skeptics who agree that testing heat/helium is a great idea. Pseudoskeptics keep repeating “bogus,” or “even if it’s real, it could never be practical,” or “you are just a stupid believer,” or they say it more politely on occasion. I really only care about encouraging scientists to do genuine, careful research and encouraging those who want to see that happen to support and fund them. So Andrea Rossi can be seen as a huge distraction, someone who wasted millions of dollars in his own fantasies.

I was thinking about this on the way home. In some ways, some of the evidence indicates that he believed his effect was real. There are other ways where he clearly lied, but sometimes fanatic believers will lie, thinking it is justified by necessity. In any case, that’s basically over. Anyone who invests in Rossi or anything like his claims will likely be far more careful in the future. No more pandering to paranoia.

6. Such as sovereign citizens. (back)

We are sovereign, but idiots have appropriated the concepts and live in cloud cuckoo land, or that probably is a nicer concept than the cobwebs filling some minds.

7. I’ve certainly done much, much worse myself… :towel:  (back)

Basic discussion rule: nobody is ever obligated to answer anything if it doesn’t come by service of process or at least registered mail. If someone is asked a relevant question, and that is confirmed by others, and keeps on posting repetitive nonsense where that question’s answer may be significan, this might shift as to what is socially acceptable, but trolls imagine that they make the rules for everyone to follow. Except for them, of course.

8. For good reason. (back)

I.e., excuses.

9. And I sincerely hope that you do. (back)

Thanks. Not going to happen. You are welcome here, and I am likely to occasionally ask questions on Fogbow, as long as that generates value, and I may post occasional comments there, but only as links to this blog. I’m not going to write the kind of explanatory posts that are obviously disliked by some, the expression is pearls before swine, which is not a claim that my comments are pearls of wisdom or that Fogbowers are swine, but that my writing appeals to some and not to others, and writing for Fogbow, the little I did, is not fun, too much work for too little value. I can write for Quora and get millions of page views, if readership is what I want. But at this point, I’m not writing much for Quora, and am almost entirely writing here. And people who like my writing can cite it and link to it, and those who don’t like it can ignore it.

11. I can cite 4 centuries of jurisprudence making President Obama a natural born citizen.12 (back)

I’m sorry.

12. Which is now, of course, totally irrelevant. :crying: (back)

There, there. Remember that it was fun while it lasted.

13. He completely abandoned his scientific integrity to become a 9/11 truther. (back)

I’d rather not sit in judgment of the scientific integrity of a man just because, on some topic, he goes off the rails. If I had time or interest, I’d look more closely at his claims. But I don’t.

There are millions of stories in the Big City. I choose stories that create inspiration. That one doesn’t. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, but … the stories we follow create the lives we lead. What does that one create?

Ah, one more point before I publish this. Mike brought up a question that is worth answering. What elements in the Industrial Heat Motion for Summary Judgment were worthy of acceptance? I was vague about that, and focused on the failure of the Judge to cover the facts and arguments. Mike has an impression that the Motion was not well-argued. Is that true?

This is not a question to be answered off-the-cuff, and I won’t get to it, until, at least, I’m on the bus to Miami or even later. I would expect to take at least a full day to write something like that, even though I created some study documents that will make it easier.

Takes a licking and keeps on ticking

Just like a Rossi demo! (Those were the days! Live TV!)

The occasion for this brilliant wit, a masterpiece, if I say so myself, and I do, is ele’s continued citation of the Cherokee legal stuff, even though it is completely irrelevant to the topic, Cherokee is an LLC that makes risky investments, and a few fail, and the accounting is complex, and with that, an SEC settlement of $100,000 for an accounting error, with no finding of intention to defraud anyone, is SOP, and equivalent to me being fined $0.05. Yet to ele, this is “very interesting.”

I covered this first on Ele mental my dear, posted 5/18/2017 at 5:10 PM. So today I see another post from ele on the same topic. 5/18/2017 12:41 PM. Continue reading “Takes a licking and keeps on ticking”