Science, pseudoscience, and legal decisions

On my bus trip home from Washington, DC (where I went from Miami), I had plenty of time to read and write comments on E-cat World, where there are many claiming the settlement of the case means that Rossi technology is real. On the other side, here and elsewhere, some are complaining that it is tragic that Rossi v. Darden did not go to trial, because then Rossi would be prevented from “fleecing more sheep,” or the like. Yet all a verdict in that case would have established, almost certainly, was some kind of fraud, on someone’s part, and fraud may have nothing to do with underlying reality. It shows that a judge and/or jury was convinced, which can be a matter of truth, or a matter or skill or lack of skill on the part of attorneys. And then arguments may continue forever.

This is an ECW post that refers to Stanley Meyer. Analogies prove nothing, but provide indications, and there are analogies between Meyer and Rossi. There are also massive signs of pseudoskepticism in the critique of Meyer, and pseudoskepticism is belief, often masquerading as science. Genuine skepticism is essential to science, pseudoskepticism avoids the scientific method. Continue reading “Science, pseudoscience, and legal decisions”

How to beat the law

Don’t try to do it to often, don’t push your luck, but it’s actually easy to experience. Just buy lottery tickets (as a weak example, but easy to understand) until you win. Look at that transaction only: you beat the odds but you won. With some games, you might win immediately, you’ll have a net lifetime gain, unless you continue playing, having decided that you are lucky or smart or whatever. Then it becomes

Usually, anyway. This post is inspired by Simon Derricut’s defense of his ideas, and because he’s exposing some basic principles, worth looking at, and commonly misunderstood, I’m giving this a primary post here, instead of it merely being discussion on posts that aren’t on the point. So below is his last effort, responding to me:

(The Laws of Thermodynamics are statistical: they may be violated with isolated interactions, and this is all well-known, except that people forget and say things, quite commonly, that are inconsistent with that, giving impossibility arguments that are not actually the Laws as understood by those who know them well. This sometimes impacts LENR discussions.)

Take it away, Simon: (my comments are in indented italics): Continue reading “How to beat the law”

What’s real? Not this, not this.

… is an ancient heuristic.

And if it is a mystery, kill it immediately!

On LENR Forum, Wyttenbach wrote — wandering far off topic, hence moved to the misnamed “Playground,” or do we imagine a garbage dump is a great place to play? —

kirkshanahan : The net is full of unbelievable stories. Even if you would live 1000 years you could only read some of them.

Well, that’s true. It’s unclear, though, how it relates to Shanahan’s post; that unclarity is typical for Wytte. I imagine him commenting in a bar, soused.

People like ABD are still part of “the 28 years wasted to explain LENR” story, because he only knows old stuff. Latest since the Lipinski experiments, we need not to know about Storms, Hagelstein, Mizuno, Takashi etc.. models, because it is now obvious how LENR works.

Wytte always seems to think he knows what escapes everyone else. The “new stuff.” He’s a bit like Axil, but more obtuse, less focused. Takahashi, presumably. My work — for the last eight years, not 28 — is not to “explain LENR.” I don’t care about the explanation, I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime (though it’s not impossible), what I care about with LENR is what I care about everywhere: reality. What we can observe, far less “theory” and “explanation,” which can be very useful, but which also can lock us into frozen modes of thought.

Now, Lipinski. WTF? Okay, United Gravity Corporation. See this old LF thread. Bottom line, this is not “LENR.” It is hot fusion, explicitly from the patents. (Though sometimes “cold fusion” is used to describe plasma fusion with tunnelling; this isn’t related to the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect.)

As to the UG web site, if I look at more “new energy” web sites with photographs of unobtainable “generators” being used to power cars and homes, I may need help cleaning up the mess.

Thus, “Krik”, have some fun and avoid any debate about a ton of old, stinking fish.

Carp.

Bdw: Lipinski(s) measured “tons” of He…

Wytte gives no link. However, the patent is about alleged proton-lithium fusion, generating “helium ion” byproducts. Alpha particles. On the face of it, if the fusion occurs, from Li-7, it would generate 8Be, which would immediately fission to two alphas, i.e., the product would be helium plus energy.

Moved from this thread with a long name. Eric

Eric, Alan, and Barty are starting to get more pro-active in removing topic dilution. So then maryyugo popped in:

[Quote about ABD from above post by Wytte]

Abd still thinks that dowsing is useful in detecting explosives! he should volunteer to clear a minefield using a dowsing rod to prove his contention.

George has no idea how I think. He’s never understood the discussions. Dowsing — like many other techniques — almost certain function, to the extent they function, as indicators for subtle movements of brain activity. Most attempts to test this “double blind” fail for obvious reasons: brain activity requires consciousness and double-blind tests remove the cues that might be useful for the operation of what is generally called “intuition.” The real question, with “explosives,” is not what Hody thinks. The Sniffex — what George has in mind — was a scam. The real question is not if it “actually” detects explosives, but if using it increases detection success. This could entirely depend on the skill and experience of the user, who would be the real detector.

Personally, to clear a mine field, I’d want something more reliable. Unreliable, however, is not the equivalent of “useless.” I’d prefer an actual dowsing rod, if forced to cross a mine field, not the faux pretend electronics of the Sniffex. And “clearing” a mind field, as Hody suggests, there is no way I’d volunteer for that.

Real life is not a double-blind test, except for some who have their eyes fixed shut, like George Hody.

Meanwhile, all LENR claims are from the “usual suspects”. Let us know when someone can produce a nice, clean ten watts from a reactor, without input power, verified by a credible independent agency like a government lab or renown test lab, for a few months without external power or fresh fuel. Hell, I’d settle for one watt properly measured and truly autonomous.

He’s been saying this for years, keeps repeating it. Who cares what this faux “maryyugo” thinks or would “settle for”? 10 watts? By a credible independent agency or renowned test lab? Okay, how about SRI and ENEA. But for a few months?

This is not the state of the art, and creating and observing an effect, and maintaining it, long-term, are quite different. It is possible it could be done, given enough funding, but would add very little to the science of LENR. This is not where I am recommending research go; rather, before such “demonstrations” could be worth the effort, much more is likely to be needed, as to developed knowledge and techniques.

There are experimental approaches I am considering that would test already-observed effects with input power reduced to zero. In most LENR experiments, “input power” is used to maintain experimental temperature. For practical reasons, this makes the experiment easier. That, however, can be shifted so that environmental temperature maintenance is separated from experimental input power. We do not include in the input power of an experiment the heating of the room in which the experiment is located. This principle does not change if the “room” temperature is raised.

Operating temperature may be maintained with high insulation, using controlled cooling if there is any XP. This is not done in early stages of testing, because it is complex and the only reason to do it could be to satisfy pseudoskeptics, who won’t be satisfied anyway. Scientifically, this is utterly unnecessary effort.

However, maintaining constant temperature is something that is often not done in LENR experiments, and temperature is allowed to rise with XP or claimed XP. This leads to interpretive difficulties. What Storms has reported, recently, is the maintenance of XP when electrolytic current was shut down, but the system was maintained atconstant temperature. This is actually consistent with prior work and is technically “heat after death,” showing that, while high loading is well-associated with the onset of the FP Heat Effect, it may not be necessary for the continuance of it. That all deserves deeper exploration.

The reality of LENR, at this point, does not depend on the kind of as-yet-unobtainable results Hody demands. It is well-established by the heat/helium correlation, creating a default understanding that the heat is the result of the conversion of deuterium to helium, and work to verify or disconfirm with increased precision is under way.

(This is in addition to and distinct from the massive circumstantial evidence so often pointed out by Jed Rothwell. All that is important, but not as probative as direct and confirmed and replicable experimental evidence.)

Hody is a classic pseudoskeptic, rejecting definitively whatever he does not understand.

Who is Lipinski? (linkie pls) Not only is it not obvious how LENR works, it is far from properly demonstrated that LENR *does* work.

In addition to being a pseudoskeptic, Hody is lazy. This was easy to find. On one point I’ll agree with George: it is not obvious how LENR works, beyond a default “explanation” that is summary in nature: the FP Heat Effect works by converting deuterium to helium, mechanism unknown. It’s a mystery.

Generally, pseudoskeptics hate mysteries, they will seek to kill them on sight.


I did a little more reading on Lipinski and United Gravity. They misrepresent what they are doing. There is a chart at their web site, under “Our Approach.”

Unified Gravity Hot Fusion Cold Fusion
Fuel Hydrogen and Lithium Deuterium and tritium Heavy water (D2O), hydrogen, and heavy elements
Fusion creation Alternating negative and positive voltage applied to proton-lithium plasma Magnetic pulsing or laser heating D2O electrolysis and other combination techniques
Temperature Room temperature 100 million °C Room temperature
Containment Reaction chamber Magnetic bottle Various
Size 2 cubic feet Truck-size Various
Radioactivity (Byproducts) None (Helium ions) Strong (Neutrons) Strong (Neutrons)
  1. p-Li fusion does not take place at “room temperature.” First of all, they are working with a plasma. While an attenuated plasma is possible at low temperature, if the pressure is low, cold fusion takes place in condensed matter (and is apparently, contrary to what they say, aneutronic, and the product might be helium ions, like they claim for their own process). What are the product energies?
  2. Start off with the reactor energies. It appears to be about 225 eV. While this is far below the energy at which normal proton-lithium fusion rates will be high, it is not “room temperature.” I’m not 100% sure about the conversion of electron volts to temperature, it appears to be about 2.6 million degrees K.

However, this doesn’t mean that their approach is wrong, and it might be, if valid, much better than the d-t reaction used for ordinary hot fusion approaches. It might not be radiation-free, they claim to detect 5.6 and 8 MeV particles coming out. While those might ordinarily be absorbed, they will also cause secondary reactions that could create residual radioactivity. Depending on construction, this could be relatively harmless or dangerous.

But is it valid? The web site doesn’t inspire me, with its breathless predictions. I found no clue of published independent confirmation. At this point, it’s a secret commercial claim, not worth very much. It’s not LENR, as we understand it. The reaction is one of hot fusion, even if it is happening at a relatively low-energy resonance.

The apparent claim of new physics is also not inspiring, if not accompanied by clear experimental evidence. Presumably investors will be shown evidence under NDA, but watch out. Any investor considering this should do serious diligence, obtaining expert advice, the best, about the experimental evidence. Forget about theory (unless it is clearly making verified quantitative predictions). What do they actually have?