Geolocation

The original Anglo Pyramidologist study did not include anonymous (IP) editors, largely to avoid claims of privacy policy violations. However, suspected sock reports have often included IPs, and from block logs, it can sometimes be determined that they were block-evading socks. IP addresses are not persons, as such, and have no intrinsic right of privacy and may, through disruptive action, forfeit the special right granted in some terms of service.

This page includes IPs from the WMF study.

Abbreviations:

  • APG matches generally known AP location
  • OP identified or suspected on evidence as open proxy.
  • UID other location, possibly temporary open proxy or meat puppet — or independent user with coincident interest.

The WMF Study

The RationalWiki study:

Specific deceptive claims

Overall, the RationalWiki article was clearly written as revenge for exposing the activity of “Anglo Pyramidologist” socks, in impersonating and attacking enemies. See the WikiMedia Foundation study, and then the RationalWiki study (created after the attack article was created, and documenting long-term creation of attack articles on many people.)

These studies are long because they do not simply make claims; they are short on “claim” and long on evidence, and they are for the use of this who are interested in reality, rather than mere opinions. Some have discovered that they can play on the reluctance of some to study long pages or complex , and they can then create “fake news” — or claims that sober journalism is fake news, and people then go with knee-jerk reactions.

One of the techniques of trolls, I found this on Wikipedia long ago, is to convert a single incident where there was arguably some problem, into a pattern. So a young woman editing on Wikipedia had copied some materail from a draft page she found. Turned out it was, arguably, a copyright violation, and an obvious troll attacking her claimed that she “creates copyright violations.” Later, in process that I largely created, her history was examined. There were no other examples. But even administrators looking at the original requests of that troll, even if they checked the single example (often, amazingly enough, they don’t!) would see what could be a confirmation (and if they also paid no attention to the back-story, of where she got that material, and she had asked an administrator if she could use it, and the admin had said it was okay.)

Everyone makes mistakes, or takes actions that might be justifiable, or that can look bad if divorced from context. And trolls thrive in an environment where knee-jerk reactions can carry the day. So, from the RationalWiki article, on various topics:

Wikiversity

Written on RationalWiki:

Between 2010 and 2017, Abd was blocked 11 times on Wikiversity.[46]

That looks really bad, eh? The devil is in the details. In response to the message quoted below, I examined the block log. 3 of those blocks were by an rogue custodian, reverted quickly as not following policy, and the custodian was quickly desysopped. It is rare that block logs are reviewed and corrected. Most of the time, if one is unblocked, it’s over, and to review these things can be seen, in itself, as disruptive. What I found, in quick summary, was that of the 11 blocks, two were legitimate (and short). In one of those cases, I simply made a mistake and supported the short block. In the other, I was addressing major disruption and decided to do what would get me blocked to force attention — no custodian was active, so I lit up watchlists. It worked, by the way. But I expected to be blocked, I was willing to be blocked to stop what was happening, it was harming the community.

On 31 December 2017, Abd was blocked for a year for disrupting articles.[47]

That was not the block reason. It was for allegedly disrupting a discussion, when the discussion had become irrelevant (and could be continued, if desired,  by reverting an edit, a few seconds). My block log review goes into details. This was the tenth block in my log. It would have been reversed if not for the eleventh, as stated by another bureaucrat who was involved. But “disrupting articles” (plural) sounds worse.

The same day, a bureaucrat extended his block to indefinite, after pointing out Abd has engaged in contentious activity by misusing the website as his “personal podium” spanning 7 years of long-term abuse:

This, my eleventh block, was based on a review of the block log. Wikiversity did allow people to “take the podium.” It’s not an encyclopedia, and opinion was always allowed. But I had not been substantially contributing to Wikiversity for two years. So why the block now? This was the same bureaucrat who had just blocked me, about which the other bureaucrat, with much more experience, had written:

… I would support this unblock request. The edits in question could be interpreted as a good-faith attempt to resolve a content issue.

It was obviously that, but … either the bureaucrat was not understanding the edits, or was looking for proof that I was disruptive — which can lead to misunderstanding. And so then, looking at my block log, he would react to the length. He very much misinterpreted it. What he wrote in the next block:

Your long term activity at Wikiversity shows a persistent pattern of long term disruption that has been going on for the past SEVEN YEARS! This activity has also drawn a great deal of unwelcome contentious activity to our site that distracts the community from developing learning resources. The unblocks in your log show repeated attempts by our community to assume that you are making a good faith effort to improve Wikiversity despite much evidence to the contrary. I’m not going to get into the minutia of your individual actions. I’m going to make a call based on the sum of your contributions. Wikiversity is not your personal podium. Your participation here has become a drain on the resources of our community and we will not allow this to continue.[48]

This was effectively a community ban, but without any ban discussion, as Wikiversity traditions required. As a result of this claim, I wrote a block log annotation, see below. The AP sock continued:

Harassment and complaints

Prior to his ban, various editors on Wikiversity had complained about Abd’s disruptive behaviour.

Over the years, it’s true, there had been complaints. Often from very disruptive users, such as the former custodian I had blocked for incivility (my block was later confirmed by a bureaucrat as within discretion) and who then embarked on a vendetta… However, there had not been such complaints for years, except very recently from sock puppets of AP, the same person (or small family group) as wrote the RationalWiki article.

He had also sent another user “harassing” emails.[49]

This is conclusory, not factual. The fact  is that a user complained about harassing mails, giving no evidence or details. He links to an entire page on archive.is, but the actual comment was this:

Delete and ban User:Abd for harassing me in e-mails. Wikiversity should be ashamed of itself for continuing to let him abusively campaign here. I have asked the foundation for a ruling as well. ජපස (discuss • contribs) 22:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

He was lying. And there was no “campaign.” I had hardly edited the cold fusion resource — which I did not start as was also claimed — for two years or more. I am informed that the Foundation will be disinterested in these unsubstantiated claims. But one never can tell. Toss enough mud, some may stick. Does anyone notice who is constantly tossing mud? (This user was long banned on Wikipedia for outrageous behavior, but he attempts to conceal his past.) The request for deletion was full of ad hominem arguments irrelevant, normally, to keep or delete.

The emails are quoted on this page. None of this was what is understood as harassment. Disagreement is not harassment, unless continued well beyond a request to stop. There was no request. The correspondence was voluntary. When he ceased responding, I ceased responding, as can be seen in the history quoted. But if this user complained to the bureaucrat, perhaps the bureaucrat believed him.

A Wikiversity bureaucrat noted “We have received numerous legitimate complaints about your activity over a long period of time.”[50]

The bureaucrat writing that was the same one as the one who blocked me twice without following, at all, blocking policy, particularly in there being no violated warning. The AP socks had threatened they would write complaining emails. Obviously, they did. But normally such complaints, if they are to be actioned, would be documented so that an accused user has the opportunity to defend him or herself. this is normally done with a Community Review on Wikiversity, though there are alternate processes. Instead … he reacted. It was out-of-the-blue, without providing any opportunity for defense, explanation, and no warning.

Abd wrote thousands of words on his blog about the incident, claiming he has been incorrectly blocked.[51] Do You Believe That?

Misleading. The link is to the block log annotation which goes over the 11 blocks, created so that anyone who wants to review that block can see the record and history in detail.

Evidence is always lengthy, compared to summary claims. But does that page claim I was “incorrectly blocked”? Which block? As I wrote there, two were legitimate blocks. There were at least three that were obviously and totally illegitimate. What I actually wrote was that the other blocks did not follow blocking policy, which is rather easy to establish. That does not mean that they were “incorrect.” Some were “involved blocks.” Perhaps there was some emergency, for example. Was there? This would take examination of the log entries and circumstances. Whether the block was “correct” or “abusive” or whatever is up to the community, and if the community doesn’t review it — too often that has been the case, it will stand. And that is exactly how wikis become unsafe. It is common and has happened to thousands of users.

Alleged harassing emails

Joshua P. Schroeder claimed, on Wikiversity, that I had harassed him by email.

  • Delete and ban User:Abd for harassing me in e-mails. Wikiversity should be ashamed of itself for continuing to let him abusively campaign here. I have asked the foundation for a ruling as well. ජපස (discuss • contribs) 22:53, 21 December 2017 (UTC)

It is possible that his complain was one that the bureaucrat who blocked me was referring to. He was lying two ways: first, I did not harass him with emails (this page documents them). Second, I was not “campaigning” on Wikiversity, and, for two years, I had been mostly inactive, becoming active only because I saw genuine harassment, involving impersonation, leading me to massive disruption, cross-wiki and on other web sites, and I documented the WMF portion of it on the meta wiki. Many socks were blocked and locked, but the user vowed revenge.

I first wrote, through the Wikipedia interface:

On Sat, Dec 2, 2017 at 12:04 AM, Wikipedia <wiki@wikimedia.org> wrote:

I see that 117.20.41.9, who is a very crazy person, probably Daryl [Darryl] Smith, has kindly pointed out your new user page, and has elsewhere called you a “very old friend.” https://en.wikiversity.org/w/index.php?title=User_talk:Abd&diff=next&oldid=1764384

(I have asked for that edit to be rev-del’d for obvious reasons.) I am not obsessed with you and hadn’t thought about you for quite some time. However, there may be some issues between us. If you ever want to talk, you will now have my email address. My talk page on Wikiversity and on meta can also be used.

Meanwhile, if you have friends like Smith, you are in trouble. You might take a look at the global contributions of this IP and also the .10, which was just globally blocked and .9 will probably be blocked soon, it’s so obviously socking, block evasion. The guy has at least 200 socks on wikipedia and was just stirring up shit, calling a lot of attention to himself. And now to you. I have no plan to publish your new user name unless some reason appears. If you have any requests to make, you may make them.

Good luck with your work. Astronomy is fun. Real science is fun.

This was, by the way, taking some risk, because my email has never been blocked on Wikipedia. So his later claim of harassment could be very serious, if taken seriously. He replied:
From: X X <[redacted]>
Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 13:07:40 -0500

Why did you post the post to thunderbolts.info? Would you be willing to delete it?

 To be clear, that post is exactly why I changed my username.
 
We then corresponded directly.
Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 10:20 AM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[redacted]> wrote:

That post was in an obscure forum. It was then posted, about a month later, on my blog. (the blog post has a date, but that is the date it was created. It was private at first, only made public later, as I was under extensive attack by your “friend.” Your “friend” also pointed me, very handily, to your new account. This[Thus] if my motive were actually to expose and attack, as he is claiming, he made it easier.

But that is not my motive, and I hope for your career success.

Why I posted it is irrelevant now, but we can discuss that later. Yes, I am willing to delete it, but that may be useless, since your “old friend,” he called himself, archived both it and the later copy on my own blog. I already deleted the personal information there, but he’s linking to archive copies. (I have IP and timestamp evidence that he is the one who archived it.)

This is an extremely disruptive troll. I will attempt to delete the thunderbird post. I don’t know if I can do it, but I will certainly support a deletion request by you if it helps. Let me try first.

We can then discuss any issues we have, which might go into the reasons I posted that.

But first things first.

I did, in fact, take the post on my blog private, as a courtesy. I did that immediately. I also requested that the thunderbolts post be taken down.

From: X X <[redacted]> Date: Sun, 3 Dec 2017 13:07:40 -0500

Look, I don’t care one way or another about any of this and I have no idea who the IP is who is posting to my page. I just want you to stop writing long screeds about me around the internet, okay?

Someday maybe you can take a step back and consider what evidence there is that I have been personally attacking you. I can point to a lot of times where you have personally attacked me on fora where I am not active.
The same user behind the IP also canvassed him to come to Wikiversity and vote in an RfD that was hardly even disguised as an attack on me. To not care who is leading him around by the nose is foolish.

On Sun, Dec 3, 2017 at 9:32 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <abd@lomaxdesign.com> wrote:

This is not encouraging, Joshua. I took down what I could and did what I could and you show zero appreciation. I have not been writing “long screeds” about you on the internet. I have written much more about Joshua Cude, which I do suspect is you from a number of evidences. That was old. Mostly he’s smart and relatively knowledgeable, like you. I said we have issues, and I’d hope we can talk about them and possibly come to some agreement, but if you prefer to maintain hostility, I don’t predict a good outcome.

I have not claimed you were personally attacking me, unless you did so as Joshua Cude. (I [And] that’s not how I think about him.) However, there are other issues. What you do has effects. At this point I’m not making any claims or asking you to change anything, except maybe that battleground attitude. I’d prefer to see you let go of the past and move into a future that will be far more satisfying.

Your comment on that Noticeboard in response to the IP, who was clearly attacking me, in a completely inappropriate place, it had nothing to do with the business of that Noticeboard, was discouraging. (He was doing [this] on Wikiversity and on meta as well, and that’s why he was globally blocked. He was also lying, about many things.)

JPS was essentially supporting the anonymity of an user who was blatantly attacking, in a place where it was irrelevant.

That person is vicious, and vicious people will make “true accusations” but mixed with poison. He is the one who has made it difficult to get that material on you taken down, not me. If you don’t know who he is, maybe it’s time you learn. You have worked with him, I’m pretty sure. But I have not researched that specific issue.

I have specific technical evidence on that claim about who ordered the archive.is and archive.org copies being made. “Worked with him” might only mean as a Wikipedia editor, before the AP accounts were identified and blocked. But it might mean more than that. However, if JPS had not worked with him before, he proceeded to do so, clearly and aggressively.

I have not done anything, as far as I know, to real-life harass you. Documenting your accounts is what I did, which would not be harmful unless (1) those accounts did things which will harm your career or (2) others will real-life harass you. But they could also do what I did. It wasn’t that difficult!

The socks of Anglo Pyramidologist/Dan Skeptic/Goblin Face and many other names have attacked people — and continue it — who might be interested in harassing you, if you appear to be allied with them. That comment in the Noticeboard made me think you might actually be allied.

In other words, you may be creating causes for your own harassment. (By others, not by me.) Doing that while attempting to hide is crazy. Attempting to hide actually motivates search and discovery.

I’m not really that interested in you, you are not anywhere near as much of a threat and harm as Anglo Pyramidologist.

You could, you know, have asked me months ago to delete that material. If you had done that, it would have been gone before they found it and archived it.

One more comment. You wrote: ” I can point to a lot of times where you have personally attacked me on fora where I am not active.”

“personally attacked” is often not an objective statement. It is more of an emotional response. If I wrote anything about you that was untrue, do point to it and maybe I can correct it. I could even correct old material on Wikipedia, indirectly. Don’t assume I would not be cooperative, and you might actually see cooperation!

Good luck. Again, if I can assist with the removal of that material from archive.is and the internet archive, let me know. (they are attacking me for removing the material from my blog!)

From: X X <[redacted]> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 11:50:42 -0500

I’m sorry, I’m not in the mood to thank you for taking something down you shouldn’t have done in the first place.

The fact that you think I’m “Joshua Cude” still is just more evidence of your continued paranoia. Stay in your lane.

That was suspicion, not belief. It is not paranoid to suspect what is reasonably obvious as a possibility, on evidence. So he was accusing me of being crazy. In spite of years of Wikipedia experience, he has no idea of how to calm disputes and find agreement. He does the opposite of what it would take.

On Mon, Dec 4, 2017 at 1:42 PM, Abd ul-Rahman Lomax <[redacted]> wrote:

Joshua, you create the response you get. You must prefer insults and fighting to actual discussion and cooperation. That explains a lot.

“Joshua Cude” was reasonable surmise and I never attempted to prove it. Too much work for too little value.

I may or may not restore the material. I may or may not cooperate with you as I said I would, hoping that you would appreciate that much. I may or may not point to your new account, except that I now have, because of that discussion that you encouraged on your Talk page, which leads into some very dangerous territory, attacking not just me, but Wikiversity and, in fact, academic freedom.

Instead you prefer to maintain that I was “wrong” to write what is available in public logs and documents you created about you. Your friends, and you are treating them as friends, when I documented the ruthless attack they made on Ben Steigmann (Blastikus), impersonating him and then attacking his Wikiversity account, where he had done no harm, and, I can see, Wikiversity itself, which you are seeking to destroy, created an article on me on RationalWiki. Enjoy it. It’s probably how you think.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Abd_ul-Rahman_Lomax

This was not created by “skeptics.” It was created by one of the Smith brothers. That’s all making it quite clear how they operate. That’s what I’ve been documenting, not your sorry history, that was over two months ago, and I actually don’t remember at this point why I wrote that. You are motivating me to look at your edit history. Proud of it? I’m proud of mine, and I’ve always been public, real name available. I’ve never hidden and I’m responsible for what I write.

You are collateral damage and I was hoping to ameliorate it. Forget that!

From: X X <[redacted> Date: Mon, 4 Dec 2017 21:56:12 -0500

You are behaving unethically. It is really amazing.
Some days later I responded:
Abd ul-Rahman Lomax 12/07/2017 (11:45:21 AM MST)

confirmation bias. your approach to interpersonal communication can be predicted to fail. How often have you succeeded in creating cooperation by accusing someone of unethical behavior?

In none of this conversation have you shown that you were actually paying attention to what was said.

If you actually cared about removing that material, one would think you would cooperate first, then deal with “issues.” That’s exactly what I proposed.

However, you don’t, it’s obvious. Sanely, you would have immediately deleted that material from the obvious sock on your talk page, and would have located all other occurrences of WMF references to the documentation, and asked a steward or the stewards list (better) for rev-del or suppression of all of it (easy to find those, just follow the sock edits — and, of course, you can find all the recent socks on my study page on meta. That’s what it’s for. I would have done this except if you don’t care, why should I?

You could start at any time. Meanwhile, because that sock is active and has been encouraged to file a complaint with the WMF, I’ve taken precautions.

Can you point to any evidence that what I did was “unethical”? It is contrary to Wikipedia policy, but, Joshua, I’m banned. I have no contract with Wikipedia. (One of the stupid aspects of banning instead of working with a user to create cooperation, which is possible and I’ve proven it.)

I could sock there and point to the archive copies that I did not create — that sock did, and the evidence I have is conclusive — and keep it up. If I actually wanted to harass you, you’d be experiencing a lot more harassment. As it is, because of this incident and your response, I am studying your history more closely, something I’d never done. But that’s not being documented openly and won’t unless it appears to be useful, which I don’t know yet.

I do not start with an assumption of bad behavior and then look for proof. I don’t know what I will find. But I look.

The world is much broader than Wikipedia.

He did not respond. Again, a few days later, with developments as they arose, I wrote:

The problematic material I was willing to delete (and the rest, temporarily) was your present name and employment. I apologize for posting that information. It is not relevant to what you have done on wikipedia. I would advise you to live openly, but I have no intention of aiding those who might harass you.

My interest is in community process and often Wikipedia. Your wikipedia history and activity is quite relevant to my work and it is not private information. Your extensive attempts to cover it up are an attack on the ability of the community to police itself. You got away with a lot that would have resulted in blocks for anyone else, because of lack of documentation and short institutional memory.

As a courtesy, I am informing you of a study I have begun on the blog. This is on a “page,” not a “post,” i.e,. the blog part of the site. It may or may not be referenced from blogs, which more people read.

http://coldfusioncommunity.net/wikipedia/joshua-p-schroeder/

Comments on it are open and you may, if you wish, correct any errors there (or at least assert your position). You may also do so by email. I will consider removal of material, but make no promises on that.

Reviewing the history, you got in with a bad crowd. Hipocrite especially, a troll who told me on RationalWiki to “go fuck my kids.” (When that was tolerated by mods, I stopped doing anything much on RationalWiki.) Sometimes, Joshua, we suffer for the behavior of our friends, sometimes our “friends” are our worst enemies.

No response is required.

(I remain willing to cooperate with you in getting those archived pages deleted and the Thunderbolts forum post deleted. I asked again and this time actually posted a request, and the mod just responded to me, seeking clarification. “Corrections” would be useless. Cat out of bag.)

That was my last email to JPS. He did not complain about either of the last two. I would ordinarily not publish private email, but when “harassment” is claimed, privacy rights have been waived.

The moderator of Thunderbolts decided to delete the posts as a result of my communication with him. So at that point, the truly private information (even though found in public documents), his changed working name (legally changed? I don’t know) and current employment as an astronomer, was hidden except for the archive.org and archive.is copies his “friend” made in order to attack me. He showed no interest or inclination to confront the obvious disruptive troll.

So … I republished that information. The page I pointed to was retitled “Joshua P. Schroeder on Cold fusion,” and at this point it is mostly a list of 313 edits to the Wikipedia cold fusion article. Contrary to what is claimed, that page is not an “attack, ” unless describing with links what JPS has actually done on Wikipedia is an “attack.” It would not be the first time research and documentation has been considered an attack. But is it an attack? Perhaps he did good work?

He did some socking, those accounts are listed. I have not yet checked to see if they edited cold fusion.

The information, besides existing on archive.org and archive.is, might end up being actually useful to someone. I don’t know. I have not yet analyzed those editings, I merely spent the considerable time to copy them into the page, so I saw some idea of the extent. I could jump to conclusions, but it would not be thoroughly grounded. It might be contaminated by my understanding of Joshua Cude. Was he Joshua Cude? Elsewhere I state the reasons why I suspected it, but it doesn’t really matter.

It is not illegal to create and use an anonymous account. Whether it is ethical or not depends on how one uses the account.

With his comments on that Wikiversity Cold fusion request for deletion, he established himself as an active enemy of academic freedom, and someone willing to be highly deceptive in order to disparage another, with a serious charge, of harassing emails. He deserves no protection (even though I redacted his email address above. Perhaps he might want to communicate in the future, so I will protect that, at least … unless he actually started harassing me by email, which I doubt he would do.

Block log

Review of Wikiversity Block log for Abd

This page is cited on the RationalWiki article on “Abd ul-Rahman Lomax,” with:

Abd wrote thousands of words on his blog about the incident, claiming he has been incorrectly blocked.[51] Do You Believe That?

As is common for RatWiki attack articles, allegations are made that may appear to be based on the source, but the source actually shows something else. “The incident” would be the 11th block that was based on the block log. I have not written — on this page — “thousands of words about the incident,” nor is this page  “claiming that he was incorrectly blocked.” The page is a study of my block log, all blocks, and is almost entirely a collection of evidence rather than conclusions, but the summary at the top does give some conclusions. The type of RationalWiki user who writes these articles commonly confuses evidence with conclusions, and attaches to conclusions without understanding evidence. Those are really “believers,” simply believing in their own warped view of life rather than something that might provide inspiration or guidance.

A block is a happening, one was blocked or not. There are 11 blocks in the record. “Correct” or “Incorrect” are conclusions, not facts, unless we restore the lost performative. “Correct” according to whom? Two of the blocks were correct according to me. Three were incorrect according to a Wikiversity custodian, who reversed them on that basis. Other blocks — according to me, and anyone can verify — did not follow blocking policy or were based on a misunderstanding. So, on to the evidence and my prior summary: Continue reading “Block log”

Abd

Global account contributions for Abd shows at this moment:

  • Username: Abd
  • Registered: 12:48, 3 September 2008 (9 years ago)
  • Total edit count: 36,308
  • Number of attached accounts: 485

The registration date is misleading, it does not show original registration but the date when accounts were attached globally. The Wikipedia registration date is lost (in some software revision, the old user creation logs were apparently removed), but my first edit was  7 February 2005. At that point, though I had wiki experience (with other wiki software) I had no clue about how to attach a signature….

Significant wiki contributions:

  • Wikiversity: 16,667 currently indef blocked, see my talk page
  • Wikipedia: 14,259 community banned in 2012, see the discussion
  • Wikiquote: 386
  • Wikibooks: 316 editor
  • Commons: 1,131
  • fr.Wikiversity 97
  • meta 2,448 autopatrolled

On the English Wikiversity, I was a probationary administrator (“custodian”) three times:

Logged actions using admin tools:

My block log Ii.e., the list of blocks and unblocks of Abd) is the topic of a subpage.

 

Wikiversity

I described Wikiversity a bit in a blog post, An Avalanche of sock puppets, which is what had happened there. Until now, Wikiversity has been a safe place to study and explore and discuss topics, within the goals of the two major goals of Wikiversity: the creation of educational materials — as distinct from books (Wikibooks is for that) — and encyclopedic articles (that’s Wikipedia).

Wikiversity has a neutrality policy, and mainspace resources should be neutral, and the expression of opinion should be attributed, not presented as fact. That has been, at least, my position, which, handled in certain ways, avoided revert warring over “point of view.” Points of view and advocacy of them are allowed on Wikiversity, but not in any possibly misleading way. That is, fringe views may not be presented as if mainstream.

In that blog post, I give Parapsychology as an example. That resource, which grew with the contributions of a number of users, was attacked many times. And the recent development is that a bureaucrat decided that resources that attract attack and disruption should not be allowed. This might be appropriate for primary or secondary education, but not for the university level, where controversial topics may be studied and academics will be defended (usually, at least) against attack.

There was dispute over this on Wikiversity, mostly over “wiki studies,” which was actually part of the original mission, but “study” and “attack on users” often got mixed up. Historically, study was allowed if it did not defame specific users and not if it did. Mixed up with this becomes the study of Wikiversity itself.

It was well-established on Wikipedia that administrators should have a “thick skin,” and that critique of administrators was allowed … by guidelines, that is. In practice, criticizing an administrator can be wiki-suicide, even if the criticism was fully validated (i.e., by the Arbitration Committee). The committee, composed entirely of administrators, clearly is biased against non-administrators and it tends to shoot the messenger even when it accepts the message.

On Wikiversity, however, it was understood that administrators should not use the special tools in any dispute where they are involved. Neverthless, when they did, and commonly, nothing happened. That comes up when I document my block log. I was not the only user to run into this. The arguable founder of Wikiversity, JWSchmidt, was told that he could go fuck himself, by a bureaucrat, and then was blocked by that ‘crat. Was this a proper block? Not by tradition, but … wikis often ignore tradition, policy and guidelines when there is no administrator willing to enforce them, and arguments about recusal failure are often considered “wikilawyering,” with no realization of the damage done by the mere appearance of bias. Instead, the focus will be on who was “right,” and recusal failure will be excused.

I wrote a proposed recusal policy which dealt with the issues and which allowed recusal failure in an emergency (i.e., in a situation reasonably considered urgent by the administrator, it was not necessary to specify in advance what exactly consistituted an emergency, and the admin could even be “wrong” about that, it would not matter, if they then did what the proposed policy suggested, which was actually common practice on Wikipedia: if taking an action that might be controversial, immediately request review. If an admin did that, even if he or she was “wrong,” the action could still be legitimate. Without that review, involved use of tools could be a serious offense against the community, creating an appearance of bias, rather than the generation of consensus.

In general, my experience, administrators oppose the development of policy that might restrain them. They tend to be the most active members of the community, and so they will see and participate more intensely in central process, which most users ignore.

This was my thinking years ago, when I started to participate in Wikiversity (and the principle of participation bias or the cause of the Iron Law of Oligarchy operates in this way. It is not possible to avoid the Iron Law, but it is possible to turn it to the benefit of an organization and there is one, highly successful, that did just that.I had written extensively about this before I ever became involved in WMF wikis.)

That thinking could be predicted to bring me into conflict with some administrators (not with all), and historically, some supported what I was doing). This will come up when I annotate my block log.

Abd on Wikiversity.

 

 

 

MrRowser

In the original Anglo Pyramidologist study, there was this, one name is now bolded as is the disclaimer at the top:


The older Wikiversity SPA accounts possibly involved (listing here is not necessarily a claim of disruptive behavior):

MrRowser, his Wikiversity contributions, edited on 8 March and 14 March 2015.  His edits did not display extreme skepticism or incivility. There were a few hints that raised my eyebrows, but … the behavior was not disruptive. (Some others listed were actually disruptive.)

Then, after no apparent WMF editing with this account, for over two years, he showed up on the meta wiki, to address the Anglo Pyramidologist undeletion request.

Delete I just received an email from another user that I was included in Abd’s study so I will respond here. Abd has now ported this study to his personal website Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist. I did a handful of edits in regard to the Wikiversity article on parapsychology back in 2015. I am a skeptic who has published a handful of papers debunking psychics. I am not a fan of the parapsychology article on Wikiversity, it was written Abd’s friend Ben Steigmann a banned Wikipedia user and neo-Nazi. I am not a troll or a sock, vandal that Abd claims. I have never heard of AngloPyramidologist (what a stupid username!) so I would appreciate if Abd would please remove my username from your “study” which is now on your website and contains false information. This is defamation and I will email the Wikimedia project about this. You are not a steward here so I am not sure why you are hosting these personal investigations!? My username is now blacklisted on your personal website. Please remove. MrRowser (talk) 22:21, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

The study was open here for a short time, accidentally. That link is broken now, because the open page was caused by a WordPress duplicate page. Remove the 2 from the end and it would work now. When I saw this comment I immediately took it private. The arguments given are, however, vintage Anglo Pyramidologist. MrRowser was mentioned as shown above. Steigmann did not write the Wikiversity Parapsychology resource, though he contributed to it and was the author of a few subpages. Called Steigmann my “friend” has been common for AP, and so is pointing to his Wikipedia block (he is not banned there), but has been indef blocked. There is a difference. Calling him a neo-Nazi may or may not be correct, but is likely related to old positions, he has moved on. There are indications that the long-term conflict between Steigmann and AP were related to problems on other web sites. AP is possibly a fascist but certainly has a high interest in political organizations that have been called fascist. He was not called a “troll or sock,” then. He is now. He has not pointed to any false information. (Stating that he was possibly involved wasn’t a claim of being a troll or sock. There is evidence of some level of off-wiki coordination — notice the claimed email — but I have not emphasized this yet. He was making a legal threat (“defamation.”) “You are not a steward here” was commonly repeated by AP. His username was not “blacklisted” anywhere.

That density of false or misleading information is an AP characteristic. I suspect that he forgot that in 20165 he was running a good hand account. But AP does not care if he is identified and blocked. After all, he has created hundreds of accounts. An SPA is a throwaway, the only benefit gained is autoconfirmation, and it is easy to get that for a new account.

I considered filing a checkuser request, but … at this point MrRowser is not causing particular harm and I want to be quite careful about filing any more such. There are hostile watchers. So there would need to be benefit. I already know, from the evidence here, that MrRowser is an AP account and I don’t need checkuser for that. If he wants to prove that he is not AP, he could do so. I doubt he will try, but commentary is open here. I’ll see it.

Abd

I noticed you deleted his study which is a good thing! He has incorrectly put me on his study. See my edit here. Abd has now ported his study to his personal website [8]. How do I go about getting this removed? I am not the person he claims I am. According to another IP who has complained Abd is also attacking Wikipedia users on his website [9]. Is this behaviour to be tolerated?! MrRowser (talk) 22:27, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

Stirring up shit with stewards is another AP trait. AP has freely linked to my pages that are allegedly attacks, which is the direct opposite of how to handle them. AP has even archived pages allegedly containing privacy violations, so that I could not even hide them, and then linked to the archive. The page he points to is primarily a list of the edits of Joshua P. Schroeder. It consists of a list of his accounts and then a list of his edits to the Cold fusion article on Wikipedia. That’s an “attack”? However, JPS strongly dislikes exposure of his activities, and has been allied with AP socks in the past.

My blog pages do not violate any WMF policy. He was wasting Vittuzu’s time.  The full discussion in which I suggested that Vituzzu checkuser MrRowser, and MrRowser replied, digging the hole deeper:

Abd you included my username in your LTA study and you have been writing about me on your website.

He is not careful. He slips. At that point “MrRowser” had not been mentioned on this site. The other IPs recently commenting also made the same claim, that I was writing about them. But the study is only about AP socks, including recent socks locked and blocked for disruption. Is he one of them? There were a very few users mentioned in the study that were reasonably suspected as being involved in some way, withotu definitive identification, which could include meat puppetry — and MrRowser is effectively admitting meat puppetry here. He wanted the study deleted because, in fact, it is about him. He went on:

I have been emailed what you have been doing, you have now deleted the evidence on your website which is very dishonest because you are now running scared.

That damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t-argument has been used often by AP. “Evidence”? He complained about being “included” in a study that was accidentally published, and so I deleted it, and he claims that this means I am “running scared.” Identified AP socks have claimed that. At that point, by the way, I had not seen the extended evidence that he thoughtfully provided that, in fact, he’s AP (or one of the family).

You wrote to another IP on the undeletion request that your study only included “blocked” users, but that is a lie because it included many unblocked IPS!

Two things happened recently. AP stopped using logged-in accounts and started using open proxies. Those were blocked. Then he started using a mobile phone provider (O2). Stewards will be reluctant to block those, because they are constantly reassigned. I took a look at the range involved, and there are many edits probably not AP. However, geolocation is very close to that of known AP IP. Without looking at the post … he provided no link — I don’t know if the claim was true at the time. AP often distorts what has been written in a way that makes it untrue. It can be a small shift, a single word omitted, for example, and if someone looks at the evidence, they might fall for it!

You have included innocent people in your study such as myself and other IPs who are not socks.

An IP is not a person. An IP which continues the exact arguments of a blocked IP/user will often be tagged as a sock. Vituzzu could have confirmed or disconfirmed this, though AP is getting more sophisticated and knows how to defeat checkuser. The narrow focus and arguments, though, completely betray that MrRowser is AP.

I just told you it is defamation and within 20 minutes of my reply you deleted it from your website.

I did that immediately, giving him the benefit of the doubt. I did that from his first edit, and thanked him for calling attention to it. As have other AP socks, he is making an attempt to comply with a request, at least temporarily, into a claim of misbehavior, “dishonesty.” I explained the page and the removal in my response to him in the request for undeletion he linked to.

I was not agreeing that it was defamation. The comment can be seen above. It was not defamation at all.

You have been accusing innocent people of being Anglopyramidologist, a user you have a vendetta against for allegedly creating your Rationalwiki article.

AP makes up arguments that he thinks will fly with his audience. First of all, he is not “innocent,” but he wasn’t accused. By the way, AP socks, mentioning AP usually mispell it, perhaps so that Google searches will fail. Just one more small sign. Secondly, I did not have a vendetta against AP, but AP attacked a user, using impersonation socks to make him seem far more disruptive than any actuality (the reality was very minor, a small amount of socking, not disruptive in itself, except for being block evasion. AP has done a hundred times that, and disruptively, attacking.) So I investigated, realized what a huge sock family there was, and started to document it. AP went bananas, creating more and more socks. That made me think I was onto something! The RationalWiki article, which he is pleased to link to, did not exist at that point. AP vowed he would get even and he has now succeeded in obtaining a deletion decision on Wikiversity — which is trashing Wikiversity traditions — but I had already decided to not invest more work in Wikiversity itself, and the recent sequence shows that the decision was sane.

No, the vendetta is his, and that will be documented more thoroughly. He announced it plentifully, as a threat! However, I don’t intend to stop documenting what he is done and it will now be on this blog, cooperating with others who have done the same for some time. I can now reveal some of what was kept private because I was still working with WMF policies and traditions. I have much more freedom here.

As the IP pointed out in the un-deletion request, you originally wrote here [10], Friends and Enemies.

And what does that mean? It’s still up, that page. The link is to a diff where I was changing the section name from Friends and Enemies to a clearer expression of the intention, . “Other persons named by AP”

You appear to being using this website to attack users you have personal issues against, your “enemies”.

No, AP names others in many of his account names, and they mostly are his enemies. It’s a behavioral characteristic, that is obvious, if one looks at the list of account names. Apparently this argument fooled a Wikiversity administrator who referred to it.

I also do not understand your other LTA study [11], it lists socks of AngloPyramidologist which are found here [12] active from 2011-2015 on Wikipedia but then you added about 50 other accounts unrelated to AngloPyramidologist that were active on Wikiversity in 2017.

Actually active on Wikipedia, Wikiversity, and meta. He understands. He’s lying.

Your study is not supported by solid check-user evidence and you appear to be making false connections.

Appear to whom? AP made a few mistakes that connected the older and newer accounts. This argument is a particular obsession of AP. “You have no technical evidence” he has said many times. First of all, the duck test evidence is even stronger than checkuser technical evidence. They are, however, supportive of each other. I have private evidence, and he had edited IP on RationalWiki there in a way that connected him with a newly blocked sock in the Michaelskater series. That was promptly revision deleted, but I was a sysop at the time and could read such edits. The IP had edited a Wikipedia article, carrying on the work of HealthyGirl, who had been blocked as an AP sock.

Most of the former meta LTA study is from checkuser evidence, though. What MrRowser is arguing is that there is no proof that there are not two separate families of socks. Who is the judge?

For my own life and what I write, I am. I am responsible.

You are not a steward so you should not be conducting these investigations. AngloPryamidologist was a sockpuppeteer but I do not see evidence he was any of those accounts in 2017.

So? There are many incorrect sock identifications on Wikipedia. (and AP created some of them!) Why is he obsessed with this one? It’s obvious. And “you are not a steward” is a common AP argument. True, but without consequences. Stewards don’t do investigations that lead to checkuser requests. The community does, those who decide to do it.

I just read over what the various IPS have written about all this.

I will be putting all that together to make it easy to review.

Admins have complained about your behaviour [13], you have also accused innocent IPs of being AngloPyramidologist which they have denied [14][15].

They are not innocent. The most recent O2 IPs geolocate to AP’s home location, which, of course, I could not reveal on meta. They were continuing the same arguments as the blocked open proxies he had been using just before that, and those open proxies connect with technical evidence to much AP activity. What they were doing was exactly what AP socks had promised they would do, in an apparent attempt to intimidate me.

You have sent another Wikipedia user harassing emails [16]

He claimed that, yes. Did I actually send harassing emails? I will show the emails to a qualified functionary with a need to know, but I sent one email to Joshua P. Schroeder through the WMF interface, to his current user name, which the IPs had pointed me to.

The way that works is that it is forwarded by the WMF to the addressee, who may ignore it or respond. The original mail was an offer to cooperate in getting certain material taken down from another web site and then saved on archive.is and archive.org by AP. And, yes I have proof of that. JPS responded, which he would not do for a harassing mail (he has claimed to be harassed for years, and it certainly wasn’t me!) We went back and forth and he never requested I stop mailing him, though he did not reply to my last mail, I think. This is not “harassing emails.” However, as a result of that false claim, which was libelous and may have influenced the thinking of others, I have returned all the material that I had hidden.

AP thinks it is perfectly okay to out and defame users on RationalWiki — and he did create that article on me, that is quite clear, but if someone documents what he does, he’s oh, so offended. He is a liar and a hypocrite and probably fucks sheep without their consent.

Ahem. I’m human and I can actually get angry. Reading MrRowser lying, over and over, I am reminded this is not about some attack on “skeptics,” or, from the other side, simply exposing pseudoscience and “woo.” Genuine skepticism — ancient and honorable — does not need to lie, ever. There is a far darker agenda involved here. It’s been exposed on many sites, and I’ll be collecting that muck as well. This is about violations of basic human decency.

 and you defame him on your website [17][18] on several articles

Where is the defamation there? 17 is a link to a page on JPS edits to Cold fusion. It is, at this point, almost entirely a list of edits without comment. If anything there is defamation, I appreciate knowing. (But I will probably begin to analyze the edits, so it could be come more, ah, controversial.

18 is a link to a list of his accounts and, now, what had been removed, his current real name and current position as an astronomer. Information like this is routinely posted on RationalWiki, without the consent of the targets, largely by AP (many articles have been documented in the RationalWiki page). That is certainly not defamation, or is it, Mr. Smith?

According to another admin you spoke to there have been numerous complaints about your behaviour. The same admin on that talk-page says the Wikimedia foundation have received “numerous legitimate complaints about your activity over a long period of time.”

I’m easily accessible and I have received no indication of Foundation interest and I’m told by someone who should know that the Foundation is very unlikely to be interested. People have complained about me for years. Why? Well, I confronted administrative abuse on Wikipedia, successfully (one admin reprimanded that then one who came after me, possibly in retribution, desysopped), and people who do that had better be prepared to face complaints.

In my training — yes, I’m trained — we were told, “If you are not being shot at, you are not doing anything worth wasting bullets on.” A bit of an unusual perspective, eh?

My own version, before the training, related to Wikipedia Rule Number One: (If a rule prevents you from improving the project, ignore the rule.) If you have not been blocked, you are not trying hard enough to improve the project. It follows from the Rule and from human nature.

As this IP wrote [19], you are using these “LTA” studies to “defame” innocent people. You then link to it on your personal website.

He does not name one innocent person defamed! Over 200 socks are listed, plus a few IP addresses globally locked and then a few checkuser-declined (for technical reasons). (And the LTA studies are completely independent from the material about JPS or others sometimes described on these pages, except that AP is now attempting to create allies by claiming a common “enemy.” That is another AP trait.

To defame a person I must name them or show their identity. Mobile phone IP addresses, which this user was so concerned to defend, are not identified people, as such, and cannot be defamed. However, we can share that information because it may be useful to an administrator somewhere, and there are also legal actions being contemplated by some. AP has allegedly real-life harassed people, with phone calls and threats, and his internet activities have caused damage to business interests. Sooner or later someone with resources that can be dedicated to that will say “enough!”

I have not been harmed, or I’d be talking to an attorney myself. But I will cooperate with anyone needing assistance. AP is defaming people under real names (such as me! but many others)

You also have an obsession with claiming different people are “AP” a target of yours, as another IP pointed out this is extreme paranoia.

Just because you are paranoid doesn’t mean they are not out to get you.

However, I present evidence, not just wild accusations. I was originally completely ignorant of AP, I knew a little about one sock, Goblin Face, but no idea that this was a sock of a large family of socks. Just seemed like a highly opinionated user, and ready to make accusations of others. It was Wikipedia business which hasn’t been my business, as such, for about six years. Except I am interested and involved with cold fusion, and the state of the article there is atrocious, so I have researched sources that others might use if they choose.

I can assure you none of us are that stupid user from years ago!!

This is absolutely amazing. He is describing himself as “one of us,” which must be one of a number of people named in the study, which describes, for the largest part, blocked and socked users, who have lied and been uncovered and blocked and locked. He could mean the recent IPs, which geolocate the same as AP. It’s like he believes readers won’t put that together. And he might be right. Wikis seem to generate clueless users, or burn them out and make them so.

I do not know what the official rule on off-site harassment is, but as you have been harassing different Wikipedia users on your website I will email the Wikimedia Foundation and see what they say about this. You obviously need to be blocked because you have no intention of stopping. MrRowser (talk) 02:49, 27 December 2017 (UTC)

He will be wasting their time. I doubt he will actually email, because it would reveal more about his real identity, and the WMF will ignore anonymous complaints, I’m fairly sure. I cannot be stopped by the WMF, even if they wanted to, and they don’t. That is, my account could be locked, that they can do. But that would not stop me at all, it would merely give me higher motivation, which all of AP’s fuss has done.

He seems to have believed his own propaganda, that I was using Wikiversity to “push” pseudoscience. I actually stopped most work on Wikiversity years ago because I concluded it wasn’t safe, it was vulnerable to attack from Wikipedians, in this case led by a troll, obviously socking. And that reveals a great deal about Wikipedia and about wikis in general. I just found out out obtuse some administrators can be.

So the guy walks across the street to a police officer to report a mugging taking place, and the officer arrests him for jaywalking. However, when life gives me lemons, I don’t just make lemonade, I make lemon chiffon pie or lemon chicken. Yippee!

I warned AP that I was the Tar Baby and that attacking me was a Bad Idea. His response was to complain about 73-year old cranks who should not be allowed access to the internet. Ah, no respect for elders! His choice, though.

MrRowser now does actually join the list. Previously, there was only a mild suspicion and his edits looked much like common skeptical edits, reasonably ordinary.

MrRowser is not merely suggesting that he was improperly “blacklisted” — the study was not a blacklist at all, and had no such effect — he was attacking the list and supporting and using the block on RationalWiki, which he linked to (such external links will normally be considered harassment), which block was by … an AP sock; one such sock claimed, on RW to be “running the place” and to have about 700 socks. Joke? Maybe. Like editors affiliated with what was called in reliable source a “cabal” had, almost always, a “Cabal Approved” template on their user pages.

Update

And now another clue. An AP sock just posted notes on my Wikiversity talk page:

he also attacks Wikiversity and Wikipedia admins on his website.

I have made references to a Wikipedia administrator,JzG; and I have not reviewed them for consideration as “attacks.” However, Wikiversity administrators? Where? The only Wikiversity users I have discussed here have been AP socks (on the AP study page) and … this page, just created, on MrRowser. Or is he simply lying? In any case, I am putting together a study of recent events on Wikiversity, and connecting them with a long-term trend, where Wikiversity was slowly going down the tubes. I have never told the story in one place. It will name names, which would have been avoided, generally, before now. I’m going to add the IP information to the AP study and tell why I conclude the IPs are Anglo Pyramidologist.

 

Anglo Pyramidologist

 

UNDER MAJOR REVISION

This study of the massive socking called “Anglo Pyramidologist” was originally on the meta wiki, the first study having been moved from wikiversity to avoid disruption, as the file User:Abd/LTA/Anglo Pyramidologist, but was deleted there for mysterious reasons, given that it was the source, the evidence, for a list of socks that was allowed by the same steward. That page was ported here from an archive of the meta page and I am removing all the chatty discussion of why I started the study, etc., the page before such stripping can be read at http://archive.is/iJ1SI

When hosted on meta,  I attempted to comply with WMF privacy policy, and some material was not disclosed there, that is disclosed here, where there is no such restriction. This user is the most disruptive and libelous I have ever seen, and does not deserve protection, and those who are protecting him (and there are some), are taking a side against decency, not to mention WMF neutrality policy.

Subpages:

  • MrRowser deserves a special honor being at this point the most recent identified AP sock to edit using his account. (Identified by the duck test.)  There are other new IP accounts listed.
 There are indications that AP is more than one person, two brothers are often mentioned on other sites (Oliver and Darryl Smith) and there may be a third brother or a sister (HealthyGirl?). Behavioral differences may be seen.
Complicating matters is that, as Anglo Pyramidologist is known to impersonate enemies in order to bring down  the thunder on them, it is possible that he has also been impersonated. He has not complained about this, as far as I know, and it has not been investigated using checkuser or similar tools, to my knowledge. I am finding, for sure, strong signs that almost all of the activity is coming from one location in England, where IP can be identified (the user often uses open proxies, but not always).
This will be covered in the IP section.
On Wikipedia, though, all the accounts are classified as Anglo Pyramidologist, they don’t really care if it is one or two people, if they behaviorally match one of the tagged accounts, and/or are confirmed by checkuser (which can fail to distinguish between people using the same internet access).
Contents

Disclaimers

Inclusion of an account here is not a claim that identification is correct, only that it — or suspicion — can be documented in some way. If a claim is included that is not documented, correction is invited.
The recent activity has been through SPAs, which register and dive immediately into high conflict discussions, these are easily recognized. Most recently, open proxies and then mobile phone IP addresses have been used
You can delete this message if you like. Just to let you know I will not be further engaging you. It seems you live for this drama, I will not longer be involved. I will do my best behind the scenes via email to get admins to delete all your material.
He meant it, and he has done just that, but was lying when he said he would not be involved. He continued to create sock puppets — or to create disruption with open proxies and then mobile IP>
If you want to spend the rest of your life stalking someone that is up to you, but it is not healthy.
On his favorite web site, RationalWiki, that is called “concern trolling.” The sock master has obviously been stalking Ben Steigmann, then me, and many others.
I object to such a thing. I am done with this.
Excellent, but he just contradicted that with a threat of endless effort.

I would like to add though that AngloPyramidologist is innocent. If you want the debunker of parapsychology/or pseudoscience it is me.

This would be, I tentatively assume, Darryl Smith, whereas AP was Oliver Smith. I don’t really care. Both were disruptive and the checkuser evidence does not distinguish. There does appear to be crossover, i.e., some shared interests. If the original AP is inactive, good for him, but the other brother, then has also taken on some of his brother’s interests, because the original patterns still show up.

I have debated Ben in the past, he knows who I am, I have talked to him on Wikipedia in 2014. I have nothing against Ben personally, unfortunately he uses Wikipedia to promote his fringe beliefs, he promised in 2014 not to come back but his mistake was coming back in 2017.

Obsession with Ben Steigmann is an AP trait.

Take care. Btw I do object to the ‘troll’ allegations. I have written over 250 articles on Wikipedia. As to this very day 30/9/2017 I have four Wikipedia accounts and 12 others I occasionally use, the admins are only interested in banning vandals.

Most of the provocative posts this user made were trolling, poking, attempting to find some vulnerability that could be exploited. On Wikipedia, this user, perhaps hiding his true mission, would poke and provoke until a naive user explodes … and then he can get the person blocked for incivility. There is a trail of wreckage, if one were to look back.

If you are atheist, pro-skeptic like me and debunking fringe beliefs the admins love us.

If admins love this, they have lost the core of Wikipedia, NPOV, in favor of something they like personally. I could think of a couple who might, but most would recoil in horror, and the SPOV faction has lost every time the issue comes to serious community attention.

I can’t go wrong. I was even offered paid work from the owner of a skeptic group.

There are possible connections between AP, the faction mentioned, and a well-known “skeptic group,” but others are working on that aspect of this. I’m not, at this point. That is, I think this may be true, and I may know who that “owner” is. However, I also know that it is possible that some enemy of those people is pretending to be their friend, here.

 

I still create articles perhaps 12 or so a week. I have serious knowledge and I have improved the Wikipedia in skeptical related articles in relation to fringe beliefs.

I have found some recent activity, but I have not begun systematic study. Now, if this is true, why would he tell me? Indications are that this person is mid-twenties, and is obviously arrogant. He is likely unaware of all the ways that activity can be studied, that socks can be identified. He may imagine that certain defenses are impregnable. Truth, however, tends to out. If he stops attempting to disrupt Wikiversity, and to attack me, maybe I’ll never get to it. He’s been quiet for a day now. I’ve been warned that these people never give up, so we’ll see.

Your statement we are all vandals or doing illegal activity is false.

First of all, there may only be one of him. Secondly, impersonation with intention to defame is a crime almost everywhere.

This is common in his arguments, they misrepresent what has been said. It has not been claimed that the accounts or IPs are “all vandals or doing illegal activity.”

Take care and Good bye. My advise for you would be to give up. You are fighting a war you cannot win.

I’ve already won, thanks to reality. Survival is a game that we always lose, eventually, if that’s the game we play and the war we fight. However, at my age, every day that I’m still alive is a victory, and the mystery is how many more I have left to win.

You will never work out who I am or get rid of me from Wikipedia.

Leon. From a tower (talk) 01:24, 30 September 2017 (UTC) [this section has a link to the edit in the heading]

Relying on sources I consider reasonably reliable, I have some developed opinions as to personal identity, I’ve mentioned that. This would be AP/D, probably. It doesn’t matter. I’m unlikely to sue, because I have not been damaged. Some, however, might.

If Wikipedia is infested with him, that’s their problem, not mine. No critical interest of mine depends on Wikipedia at all. Nor, in fact, on Wikiversity or any WMF wiki. There are sincere people there, working for the goal of a user-created encyclopedia based on neutral presentation of what is in reliable sources, and that goal is damaged by those who work to selectively exclude some point of view or position, rather than channelling these into collaborative work. Wikiversity, not having limited space for specific topics, is not normally afflicted by factional wars, AP/D attempted to take such conflict there. He failed, because I recognized what had happened and addressed it.

(However, the last attack, by IP, including canvassing on Wikipedia, drawing in his faction, the one that he claims “loves him.” And something was indeed going on behind the scene, because admin response on Wikiversity (1) completely ignored the previous history and obvious personal attacks, and (2) served the AP agenda.  The effect of that is to demonstrate conclusively to me that Wikiversity is not safe, so, unless something drastically shifts, bye bye Wikiversity!

I will continue to document what has happened and is happening. I’m not dead yet.

 SPI investigation archive for Anglo Pyramidologist

roughly 190 socks on Wikipedia, plus IP
11 April 2011

15 June 2011

28 November 2011
13 December 2011
above confirmed mutual.
21 September 2011
27 September 2011
03 October 2011
03 October 2011, take 2
05 October 2011
IP check declined for privacy reasons. There was “other behavior” which the checkuser declined to disclose. I have a suspicion of off-wiki coordinated editing, and the checkuser may have detected actual sock accounts and left them alone. I may look more closely at this later. These are all Verizon wireless. So why doesn’t the account register, if they want to edit that much? Likely reason: they don’t want to be identified. Wikipedia went overboard in privacy protection. Privacy is important, but … sometimes there are higher values. I don’t know if that applies here, yet.
It appears that IPs were blocked. These IPs don’t look like AP, but … open proxies or something else.
02 November 2011
all confirmed. match to BookWorm44.
13 June 2012
claimed to be w:User:Earthisalive
Quack. Previously blocked as User:Earthisalive, now returning as User:The earth has a mind, First edit is to recreate European origin of modern humans as Out of Europe theory. Check user requested to check for sleepers. SummerPhD (talk) 23:35, 14 June 2012 (UTC)
Follow-up. Mentions a series of articles deleted, that lead to RationalWiki articles and more possible socks there. AP has been claiming that he has created many Wikipedia articles and RationalWiki articles. Yes, he has. Often very disruptive articles, the cloaca of RationalWiki. See the tip of the iceberg in the RationalWiki/Anglo Pyramidologist study. 
29 September 2012

From a combination of the duck test (which I have not confirmed (but the account names!!!), I have not yet studied these account activities) and the checkuser confirmations, I suspect that AP may have been using some kind of open proxy then, though that also seems unlikely.

11 November 2012
24 December 2014
10 June 2015
all confirmed

17 January 2016

At this point investigations were moved to Anglo Pyramidologist

29 March 2016

all confirmed. Again, Anglo Pyramidologist asserted as master.

08 August 2016

all confirmed.

28 September 2016

Meta checkuser/lock reports

Filed 20 September 2017

Filed 24 September 2017

Locked 26 Sept 2017

26 accounts. New ones not listed above

Locked 27 Sept 2017

Filed October 15, 2017

locked in this sequence (no explicit checkuser request or report, and not all socks will be seen, no active watch will be maintained, only accounts seen as actively disruptive by the duck test or inferred from logs)

Other locks

IP reports

Mobile IP

Additional suspected socks, not yet handled globally

Detailed study comparing users

Because a probable AP sock has claimed to have multiple active en.wiki accounts, a study of the editing patterns of AP socks, as well as possible suspect users, is in order. On this subpage, links will facilitate study of contributions and data generated by user comparison tools. Being listed on this subpage is not an accusation of sock puppetry, because there are multiple possible causes of comparison positives. Correction of errors in data or analysis is invited. Please be careful about privacy policy, real-name identification is prohibited. Even if a user has admitted to real-name identification, it should be avoided. The subpage is /User data. —Abd (talk) 14:04, 14 October 2017 (UTC)
This was a meta subpage and is still there.

connection between Anglo Pyramidologist and the Michael skater sock family

(I have seen evidence connecting AP to Michael skater, to be supplied with any filing that depends on it. These users are all blocked on Wikipedia (except as noted above, i.e., possible innocent bystanders). Michael skater socks have generally been globally locked.) I do not assume that all identifications above are correct. After all, the Michael skater socks were identified and tagged as Blastikus in the Bastikus case archive. It only matters if a tagging is then used as evidence against a user cross wiki, as happened with Blastikus (Ben Steigmann), as socks were designed to implicate him, see cheesecloths ben steigmann above. Could an enemy of AP have run these socks to get him whacked? If so, it failed. However, there are known agendas, and, with some care, it can be seen that the false flag socks, which exist, are designed to interrupt and damage the impersonated user while, sometimes, pretending to share the user’s point of view.
There are additional clues in the latest suspected socks that have not yet been checkuser connected, even though one admits to being Michael skater. Because the history is rife with possible impersonations and red herrings,I am not starting there.

Identifiable characteristics of Michael skater socks

Michael skater contributions

  • registered enwiki 22 June, 2017
  • filed SPI for Blastikus.[4]
  • claims to have been following Ben Steigmann on Wikiversity, claims Ben Steigmann (BS)is banned.
  • points to edits of Psychicbias and Myerslover (Steigmann) to w:Frederic W. H. Myers. Meyerslover (Steigmann) reverted by IP with same POV as skater, which also edits w:Bruce Lipton, fringe, epigenetics, “crank,” “quacks.” check geolocation.
  • BS allegedly pushing “psychic beliefs” on Wikiversity
  • reveals alleged BS IP
  • asked if he has another account, does not answer, but says he does not want to reveal his Wikiversity account for fear of being targeted by BS.[5]. This would necessarily be off-wiki drama, if there was anything like that. BS was non-disruptive on Wikiversity, and his WP socking was low-key and not characterized by personal attack or disruption (other than being block evasion, and that was not extensive).
  • pings Manul
  • Edits as IP (forgot password). check geolocation.

more analysis

The following material was rev-del’d for “personal information.” [6] based on a complaint from one of the socks, now globally locked. There was a link to a critical wiki that gave the name of the real-life person allegedly behind AP. I have removed that link. If any other material here violates policy, please suggest changes on Talk. Any registered (not SPA) user may also remove specific allegedly offensive material here. Disruptive editing will be reported. However, this was the complaint that led to the rev-del:[7]
Doxxing and harassment from abd
Abd is personally stalking mikemikev, anglo-pyramidologist, manul and other Wikipedia editors and writing false claims about them [8], he has no technical evidence linking any of those accounts to Ben Steigmann but presents his speculations as factual. He also links to a real life name that is alleged to be of a Wikipedia account, taken from internet troll Rome Viharo‘s website. Can you remove the doxing and stalking? I fail to see why this is being put onto Wikiversity. Abd is a 72 year old man who seems to spend his time online now stalking people. This sort of behaviour and the doxing is unhealthy and breaking multiple laws. Antifa activist (discuss • contribs) 21:08, 25 September 2017 (UTC)
Remarkable — and ironic: the user has given a link that will lead to much more independent information. that was not necessary. This is classic, and this is a long-term user, one might imagine that he would know to report alleged doxxing by email to an admin, not on a public page, because that will call attention to it. However, the real purpose was to irritate the administrator and lead to action to be seen — by me — as harassment. In fact, the admin properly offered to email me the rev-del’d content (completely proper) and I saw all this as evidence that some nerve had been touched.
The report to Dave lies: that page complained about, copied here, did not claim fact, but collected evidence and some preliminary opinion (some of which was incorrect). There is technical evidence for much of the linkage (i.e., checkuser reports) but the duck test can actually be stronger. This user attacked many other users as socks without “technical evidence” in his activity, specifically the sock activity reported in w:Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Blastikus/Archive#19 August 2017 which followed w:Wikipedia:Sockpuppet investigations/Blastikus/Archive#22 June 017 filing by the same user as behind the disruptive sock activity.
The page did not accuse w:User:Manul, mentioned in the study, of any wrong-doing, nor have I found evidence of that. Manul is not responsible for v:User:Friend of Manul nor v:Manuls brother.
w:User:Mikemikev, blocked on Wikipedia, may have been the target of impersonation, as have been others; this appears to be a developed behavior.
There are piles of false accusations, in many places, from AP, and he is essentially a troll, seeking to upset others. Yes, I’ve been spending a lot of time on this case over the last week or so, because AP had done extensive damage, harming others through impersonation, personal attack (often with outing) and damaging wiki content. It took a great deal of research, looking at maybe hundreds of pages, to put together what had happened, and that, then, led to steward requests, granted, and the basic conclusions were confirmed, and then the threatening and menacing response that followed demonstrated deeply the character of this person. He’s obsessed, obviously. I spent a week, he has spent at least six years, with some indications of more than that.
Off-wiki activity will not be documented here unless permitted by wiki administration. But the user does, himself, provide some documentation, as can be seen above. Rome Viharo was a long-term target who decided to fight back.
Per w:WP:stalking, documenting the behavior of wiki users is not, per se, stalking. It is ordinary research, and, in fact, this SPA routinely violated privacy in filing Wikipedia sock puppet investigations and in recent editing.

Tracking one case back

This starts with an account on Wikiversity: v:User:Sci-fi- This led to w:User:Michael skater on Wikipedia. A host of accounts, including this one, were identified by a steward as likely related.
Looking at the list of accounts Identified as Michael skater, I found two that had only edited Commons, one upload each. These were accounts that would be of high interest to Mikemikev, or at least possibly so.
(Interests of Mikemikev, at that time, would overlap those of AP/O. The link between Mikemikev and AP came from RationalWiki, as found by another here. There is more misdirection by an AP sock there. The puppet master here has done what he did on Wikipedia, on other wikis, creating impersonation accounts, creating misdirected responses. He has succeeded in getting targets blocked and banned elsewhere.)
I requested block of those accounts and deletion of the remaining image upload, and that was promptly done. The image ofw:John Fuerst that was deleted led to a usage on RationalWiki, asserted there by a user immediately after upload, and that image went to a redlink when the Commons image was deleted, causing attention and re-upload on RationalWiki. This, then, led, through IP evidence, to recently active IP editing Wikipedia, working on an article that had been the work of w:User:HealthyGirl, blocked as a sock of w:User:Anglo Pyramidologist. John Fuerst himself would be a particular interest of AP/O, while HG’s interests might match those of AP/D. This kind of cross-over seems common. The IP would, then, could be shared IP, linking the two users. The AP accounts have created an incredible mess.
This edit is astonishing. An identified sock of AP, [w:User:Evil Boglin] accuses another, w:User:Goblin Face, of being AP andw:User:HealthyGirl. In this edit, another AP sock, w:User:Late night joggersee this diff, defends HG and is whacked by the admin. The arguments are similar to those made recently by AP/D, and AP/D is apparently real-life involved with one of the founders of Guerilla Skeptics, who might share some agenda on occasion. “Involved” must likely be real-life because of IP identification. GS users come from many locations, though, what has been amazing to me is how much this has *not* been the case. Fooling checkuser is not all that difficult, but AP doesn’t seem to bother. I will not detail how it can be done!
Writing styles may be different. However, a person may also wear more than one hat. Real-life data has shown — I am told by a source I deem reliable — that there are, however, two brothers with the names asserted in various places on the web. So the “my brother did it” excuse, the subject of some level of ridicule on Wikipedia, may actually be somewhat true. But both brothers were disruptive and blocked in their own right. Birds of a feather may have literally been born together.
Again, looking for connections, I looked back at Wikiversity history for accounts with similar behavior, and found several, and one of those led me to Mikemikev as an identified puppet master, from Wikipedia checkuser that caught them. Since Single-unified login, Wikipedia logins are created, often, automatically for people who register on Wikiversity, so Wikipedia checkuser may pick up a consequence of Wikiversity activity. Listed as a Mikemikev sock was w:User:Goblin Face which then connects with even older accounts. I took this back to Anglo Pyramidologist. These various puppet master accounts had not been connected on Wikipedia.
The link to mikemikev was likely an error; rather the same interest would be relevant for AP, long-term. —Abd (talk) 19:24, 28 September 2017 (UTC)
The older Wikiversity SPA accounts possibly involved (listing here is not necessarily a claim of disruptive behavior):
Link to external web site removed as containing personal identifying information.
(This was from the original SPA study on Wikiversity, revision deleted. It was a page containing the name of one of the Smith brothers, perhaps this one.
The site is a Wikipedia criticism site, started by someone who had experienced high disruption on Wikipedia. There are many such sites, his would be relatively sober. His site led me back to w:User:Dan skeptic, who created an “alternate account” before being blocked. That was w:User:Goblin Face, a name I was familiar with from years back, having seen the disruption well before Goblin Face was blocked. Sometimes Wikipedia continues with w:WP:AGF well beyond sanity, as long as vulnerable editors are being attacked, i.e., editors with some minority point of view. DS and GF were a sometimes-not-recognized kind of SPAs, i.e., a “skeptical” point of view — and it is a point of view, as practiced by the abusers — will appear as an interest in many different articles and someone may look at contributions and not see the connection. But a high level of attack on others, not Assuming Good Faith, should properly cause a suspension of that assumption with regard to them. This may actually happen if there is an Arbitration case, but, unfortunately, Wikipedia can be a bit like Lord of the Flies. The “community” — meaning those who show up — can be a vicious mob, not the intention of “consensus” enshrined in policy. A structural problem, and considered quite a difficult one.
In any case, the ”’redacted”’ page refers to brothers. In one of the old SPI discussions, one brother claimed that problem edits were by his brother. This is a common sock defense. However, there may actually be two brothers. As well, the user is aware of defense against checkuser. I have historically, found ways to penetrate the defense, but it is tedious and requires co-temporal editing, it is not useful for sequential socking. The user claims that Ben Steigmann used a defense, but there is no sign that Ben used any active method of avoiding detection. Rather, pot, kettle, black. Maybe. The user did not use defensive methods in the recent Attack of the Massive Inpersonating Socks — possibly because he wanted them all to be identified as socks, but as socks of Steigmann! Howeeer, he also did not use defensive methods to protect *other accounts” which were then revealed. This is the realilty of using VPNS to avoid detection: it’s a nuisance, and given that one can, with low cost, use new accounts as throwaways, an LTA may not bother. He will create accounts to toss mud, he will do it as quickly as possible, and maybe some will stick.
These are just pointers to tracks. There is at least one w:WP:LTA here in fact, though not in recognition on that page. Hundreds of socks. Maybe more than one LTA. This much is clear at this point. Ben Steigmann, the supposed target, is not an LTA. I just reviewed his Blastikus talk page. Very common story. Editor writes too much. Nobody was advising him, just warning him, and nobody telling him what the actual problem was. He did eventually figure it out, but did not know how to recover. When I was active on Wikipedia, I used to identify such users and advise them. If they listened, they often avoided being blocked. I saw only one serious process there: An [ ANI notice] in May, 2011. Common practice on this used to annoy the hell out of me, because when one comes along later, finding the notice is a PITA. However, I know how to do it. What can be tricky is finding the full discussion, not just how it looked when that notice was posted. Here it is. My, my, my. Very common problem. User is convinced an article is Wrong, and then argues at great length on the Talk page. It does matter if he is right or wrong, this will be very much disliked by the community. So when he is warned, he thinks the warning is aying that he is Wrong. About what he’s been advocating. No, and then he’s taken to ANI. And what does he do? He argues — at great length, and with low skill — that he is right. Sometimes users like this can be helped, but Wikipedia typically has no patience for them. Wikiversity does, basically, the Wikiversity structure allows almost endless expression, within reasonable limits, especially on a single page or a tight family of pages, not presented as “neutral.” And if what he was claiming is considered truly offensive (such as it actually being “anti-Semitic,” a point he was arguing endlessly about — or it actually appearing so, because what counts in community decisions is appearance, not necessarily reality — he’d be stopped. But when he eventually came to Wikiversity, he did not misbehave. And I’ve seen that again and again. Give a disruptive user something constructive to do, something of interest to them, many will become constructive. Blastikus was blocked, as was more or less predictable. Looking at his block log, my thought is “They shoot baby seals.” It used to be that if a user was disruptive, there were graduated blocks, to get the user’s attention. Here, the user was immediately indef blocked. I agree that a block was appropriate, but zero to indef in one action? However, some administrators have zero tolerance for what they don’t understand — or have a view of “disruptive users” that they cannot change. Users can change, it it is rare that it happens in one day. So Blastikus argued with the blocks with repeated unblock templates. Nobody told him this was a Bad Idea. If there are pages giving guidance for what to do if blocked, what works — and what doesn’t work — I never saw them. Maybe I should have created one, but I pretty much know what would have happened. It would have been attacked as So, then, sock puppet investigations.
Joe Slovo blocked by duck test, which is heavily vulnerable to possible “POV ban,” i.e, a user with an apparent POV similar to that of a blocked user is blocked as a sock “by the duck test.” It happens fairly commonly.
Pottinger’s Cats blocked, as possibly compromised account. Possible impersonation. A very suspicious “confession.” I will check to see later if Steigmann acknowledged this account. [He did. —Abd (talk) 14:06, 1 October 2017 (UTC)]
Pile of IPs. Checkuser ID’s as same IP user as topic banned [9]. No identification as Blastikus at this point. (ban was a discretionary sanction, meaning only one admin created it. ArbComm created that to make arbitration enforcement easier, then POV admins drove a truck through it. Which is not a claim that this particular action was incorrect, just that these things are not necessarily reliable.
The SPI was filed by vzaak. That seems familiar to me. User talk page was deleted, for personal attacks. User name gone. The page history was concealed by the one who copied content from another page. Well, I’ve been here before. Finding another talk page edit signed with “vzaak” the edit was at 23:40, 31 August 2013. Page history tells me vzaak wasw:User:Manul(the edit). I was unable to find the user rename log; there was a usurpation involved.
Ben Steigmann was almost certainly the real Ben Steigmann. Steigmann had registered a Wikiversity account and was using it. This autocreated a Wikipedia account, and it easily happens that the user goes to Wikipedia, is not blocked, and just edits, may not even realize that they are logged in, if they have been editing by IP. There was only one edit. It may be a continuation of edits by [10]. This was in a discussion with w:Goblin Face. Fully disentangling this mess would take more time than I’m willing to devote. Ben Steigmann was not blocked as a result of this report, but did not edit again, He was not blocked until
Pottinger’s cats was accused above, blocked, and accused again. Evidence? supposed confession, easily spoofed. That’s a pattern here, seen most egregiously in the later SPI, with a large pile of impersonating socks. There is no sign of Steigmann being a massively disruptive sock puppeteer, this entire Blastikus archive, up until the activity this year (2017) was quite weak compared to LTAs and compared to AP.
Manul also filed a request for ban for Blastikus. The request failed. My conclusion: Blastikus is not banned on Wikipedia.Any admin could unblock; properly they would want to see assurances of low risk of disruption. It would be easier to request this for Ben Steigmann, as a real-name account with no special history of disruption (other than a relatively low level of block evasion, not necessarily disruptive in itself. But an unblock request could avoid considering most of that, with mere disclosure of actual socking and then a commitment to using a single account and avoiding old behaviors. It’s actually easy, unless some faction massively attacks — which could happen in this case.
In recent discussions, it has commonly been said that Blastikus is banned on Wikipedia. No, apparently not. Neither has any unblock request been refused since 2011. However, my private information is that Steigmann (Blastikus) may not want to return. If he does, he might want a new account. Those are all issues for him and his future. For now, he’s unblocked on Wikiversity and he may not care even about that.
(Steigmann was later unblocked on Wikiversity as a result of the checkuser investigations, and his resource was restored, and as soon as he started editing it, again, he was attacked again. To be sure, he had socked on Wikipedia, though relatively harmlessly. The attack on him was, this time, by an IP user massively complaining on Wikipedia, Contributions/117.20.41.10, which then also attacked him on Wikiversity and now has shown up here. That’s an open proxy. This is the LTA, certainly, from some of the edits. Note added 02:28, 2 December 2017 (UTC))
What I care about is the massive disruption caused by long-term attack on Steigmann, and on alleged “pseudoscience” that is not clearly such — and, even if it is pseudoscience, Wikiversity can cover alleged pseudoscience if it is done in a neutral fashion, and, unlike an encyclopedia, Wikiversity neutrality allows full presentation of alternate points of view (there is no notability policy, only neutrality), and attacks showed up on anyone who assisted Steigmann, such as me, now as in the past. I will also document this, it has been done almost entirely through SPAs, probably socks of the Sock Ring described recently. When Wikiversity users and their work is attacked by SPAs with nothing to lose, it is incumbent on the entire Wikiversity community to defend them and Wikiversity resources, and when this is lost, due to various excuses or just plain neglect, the entire Wikiversity project is at risk. The abusers will almost always go after those they perceive as vulnerable. If they succeed, they will be emboldened and they will then go after bigger targets.

A new argument on evap calorimetry

On LENR Forum, there is a thread on Shanahan’s critique of cold fusion experiments, and this post appeared by THHuxleynew:

I’ll give his last comment first:

PS – I don’t make these arguments often here, since I feel they are perhaps known by those interested in them, and strongly disliked by others. So I will not continue this argument unless new facts are added to make it worthwhile.

In fact, THH addresses an issue that I have never before seen raised. It is of limited impact, but it proposes a possible artifact that could afflict some experiments, that should probably be explicitly ruled out (or confirmed!)

Jed was arguing something familiar, common, and … incorrect, and THH nails that.

Jed,

It may help to look closely at the strands of argument here:

THH: As far as the F&P evidence against entrainment goes, salt measurement does not do the job since there can be condensation within the cell.
Jed: Yes, there is condensation in the cell. You can see it. But that does not change the heat balance.

I agree with Jed, he makes a number of true statements, but his point does not address mine. My point was that measuring salt balance does not determine the amount of entrainment, because entrained liquid can be either condensed (no salt) or non-evaporated (with salt). Condensation does not change the heat balance. But entrainment, in an open cell as we discussed here, does. Jed trying to argue that F&P can know there is no entrainment (and therefore no resulting change in heat balance) by measuring salt content. This is false.

He is correct. We will explain. Measuring the salt assumes that entrained liquid is unvaporized electrolyte, and the electrolyte is salty. However, that is not the only possibility!

Jed: Condensation is exothermic, so the heat lost to boiling is added back into the cell by condensation. You can test this by measuring the heat of vaporization in a cell with some condensation. It does not change from the textbook value. The null experiments by F&P all had condensation and they all produced the textbook value.

Jed is completely correct that condensation does not change the heat balance. However, this is missing THH’s point. The problem is not condensation alone, but condensation followed by entrainment of the condensed vapor (which would have no salt in it). The PF cell has a long, thin tube as a vent. if the vent is at a lower temperature than the cell interior, I would expect condensation to take place within it (heating it up).

This requires more than a little care to examine! It does seem possible that condensate (salt-free) could then be blown out of the cell. It would be, in boil-off cells close to the boiling point and would then evaporate outside the cell as it hits the unsaturated air. This water was not expelled as vapor, though, as it left the calorimetric envelope. If it is treated as having been vaporized, the heat of vaporization would then incorrectly enter the calculations.

And this cannot be ruled out by measuring the remaining salt. That would apply to “splash,” i.e., perhaps boiling or bubbling electrolyte that tosses it into the head space and then flow carries it out. The cell design militates against this as to any major quantity, but condensed electroyte might well be preferentially expelled. The devil is in the details.

The problem is that such results can be over-generalised. They only apply when conditions remain the same. The entrainment issue applies to unusual boil-off conditions. By definition the control, which does not have such extreme boil-off, will have different conditions, in a way likely to alter this result.

THH’s argument gets a bit iffy here. If the control is lacking an “extreme boil-off,” why? The point of the PF “simplicity” was that the boil-off time would be the experimental result. The loss of unevaporated water would indeed decrease the boil-off time, but only as an additional effect. That the boil-off is more rapid is a result, not a set condition. Presumably the conditions were set so that without XP, the boil-off times would be the same.

Jed: In a closed boiling cell with 100% condensation, the heat balance from vaporization is always zero. There is no heat lost to vaporization, because no vapor escapes.

I agree – but this is not relevant to the matter at hand which is discussion of F&P open cells in boil-off phase.

Both seem correct.

Jed: You are wrong about the salts,

I don’t believe you have shown that?

Jed often argues from conclusions based on evidence outside the argument. This then creates sprawling disagreements that never resolve. In this case, THH’s original point is very simple: the salt measurement does not definitely rule out liquid entrainment, liquid leaving the cell while unevaporated.

Jed: and you ignore the fact that they did several other tests to ensure there was no entrainment.

This is an offensive “you ignore” argument, common with trolls. Jed is not a troll, but … he’s not careful. He is very knowledgeable but has stated many times he doesn’t care about communicating clearly with skeptics. It’s unfortunate. Jed has paid his dues, to be sure, doing an incredible level of work to maintain the lenr-canr.org library (and he has been personally supportive to me in many ways). But we should keep him away from outreach to the mainstream! — Unless he is willing to develop better communication skills, dealing with genuine skeptics, and here, THH certainly resembles a genuine skeptic.

No – I point out that it is not possible to know which tests are done on which experiments, and note the danger of over-generalising results. That is addressing this fact, not ignoring it.

He is correct, and there are such dangers.

Jed: It would make no difference whether they did each of these tests every time: once every 10 tests would be fine. Note that they ran hundreds of cells, 16 at a time.

Only if the one in 10 included the (1 in 10 – I’m not sure?) cells that showed this special boil-off. We don’t know this.

This problem is addressed with random sampling and controls. I am not claiming Jed is wrong, only that his arguments are far less conclusive than he makes them out to be. Jed was correct, it is not necessary to verify every instance, but in doing that one would need to look out for possible sample bias.

THH is correct to at least suspect that rapid-boil-off cells would be more likely to entrain condensed water, which would again shorten the boil-off time. Obviously, one would want to see tests for expelled liquid, though that isn’t necessarily easy. I think measuring the heat of condensation on an external trap might be necessary. I’ve seen no descriptions of this.

THH is also not paying attention to the primary phenomenon, the rapid boil-off, treating it as an experimental condition, rather than a result. If there is the rapid boiloff changing the cell conditions, yes, entrained water could cause calorimetry error, but Pons and Fleischmann were not depending on the calorimetry at that point. The possible level of error could be estimated, and it is limited to the correction made to heat measurement for vaporized water. Looking at cell conditions, one could estimate the range of possible values.

Jed: They also tested closed boiling cells where the heat of vaporization plays no role (as I just said), and these cells also showed excess heat.

This kind of thinking fries my brain. Jed is arguing for the correctness of a conclusion (real heat, not artifact), which is the opposite of scientific process. There can be different artifacts in different experiments. What is needed is something that can be measured across all experiments, or at least most of them. We have that.

The heat/helium ratio. I remember when I started proposing measuring that with increased precision, there were arguments within the field that this was unnecessary, we already knew that helium was the ash.

However, if there is a single phenomenon that produces both heat and helium, in a consistent way, i.e., with a constant ratio, within experimental error, each measurement validates the other, again within the error bars. Ideally, helium should be measured in every D20 cold fusion experiment. At this point it’s too expensive, but that could change. It would kill all these arguments about various possible artifacts. If the heat/helium ratio holds in the experiment, the calorimetry was almost certainly correct, in spite of all the i’s not being dotted and the t’s crossed.

It has been pointed out that there is no end of possible artifacts, which is why the “they must be making some mistake” argument is so offensive. It’s pseudoscientific, proposing theory as creating a conviction of error. That makes sense when one must make some quick decision, but it makes no sense when one is examining experimental results to see if there are possible reasons to reconsider one’s beliefs.

(Cold fusion is not actually theoretically impossible, the arguments all require assuming a specific reaction and then calulating the rate for that reaction, which completely fails to be relevant if that is not the reaction.)

When Storms’ 2010 review was published in Naturwissenschafter, I winced when I saw the abstract: “reaction between two deuterons to make helium.” That was Storms opinion (generally rejecting multibody reactions, largely out of ignorance of the possibilities, and then thinking of two nuclei coming together, though, in fact, his theory is multibody, merely in a different way. It is not the simple two-body reaction that the abstract suggested.

That would be a different paper, with results and conditions we would need to look at afresh. Shanahan’s affect might be relevant here, or something else. Or perhaps this other sustem would be solid evidence. We would need to consider it. Either way, it does not change the arguments here relating to F&P open cell results.

Jed: Unless you have a scientific reason to believe there was entrainment, you should stop beating that dead horse. You have not given a single reason other than “maybe” “I suppose” “we can imagine” or “some scientists think they may eventually find a reason.”

This was way off. The explanation of how entrainment was ruled out was simply wrong. Testing the remaining salt does not show lack of liquid entrainment. I’m sure Jed can understand this, so, why not simply recognize that this particular argument has not — so far — been addressed.

That is where we disagree about the nature of skepticism. F&P posit some new effect (LENR) to explain anomalous results. It is they who must show there is no plausible mundane explanation – as they try to do – not others who must prove such an explanation.

Nevertheless, THH here takes on standard pseudoskeptical cant. “It is they who must show.” Must according to what? Someone can assert some evidence for something new, and can show evidence that they think supports it. There is no “must.” Both skeptics and believers fall into this trap. They become demanding, attached to a position, and the position of “wrong until proven true” or close equivalents, is pseudoskeptical. The moral imperative “must” deludes us. People need freedom to change their minds, we resist attempts to force us to accept based on coercive arguments. THH has the complete right to be skeptical, which is properly an agnostic position. He isn’t convinced yet, and he is the world’s foremost authority on whether or not he is convinced. Jed has the complete right to believe or accept whatever he wants … and to disbelieve skeptical arguments until and unless he is convinced.

The problem arises when one party or side attempts to claim the other is “wrong.” “Wrong” — like “Right” — is a complex judgment that does not exist in reality, and that gets into deeper ontology. The naive will think my statement preposterous!

Jed: Oh, and “condensation in a cell changes the heat of vaporization.” No, it doesn’t. Try it.

If THH said that, he misspoke. But I don’t think he said it. Rather this was Jed’s interpretation, and if so, the use of quotation marks was an error.

Condensation in the cell, as above, can affect open cell experiments by allowing entrainment not discovered from salt balance check.

This does not change the “heat of vaporization, which is a constant for a particular liquid. Rather it changes the correction made for vaporization, if and only if the liquid actually leaves the cell as a liquid, condensed, instead of as vapor. One would need to look at a particular experiment to see if this is relevant. I don’t think THH explained the problem well enough, I can see Jed continuing to think that it is the condensation that matters, and thus that THH is wrong wrong wrong. But that is not what THH is talking about. He is talking about the possibility of water leaving the cell as liquid instead of as vapor, having first been condensed inside and only then blown out. Thus the amount of water leaving the cell unvaporized would not be determined by measuring salt loss.

I don’t have the experience to say much more about this, about how much of an effect this might be. But I agree with THH on the primary issue, and it seems clear enough. Against this would only be argument from authority (they were experts and could not possibly make such a stupid mistake). Or other arguments that depend on there being a single effect without having actually shown that.

For closed cells we have other issues, and specifically, unless the calorimetry calibration is known independent of cell temperature distribution, ATER/CCS. But it does not help to mix up different cases – open and closed.

Each approach must be evaluated separately. Because of problems with confirmation bias and the file drawer effect, there are many problems in interpreting cold fusion experimental results. I remain satisfied as to the reality of the effect by the heat/helium reports, which actually point to a testable hypothesis, which has been confirmed by many, even though there is also room for improving the work, increasing precision, etc.

This is much more definitive than a pile of anecdotes, using varying experimental methods, showing heat but without being able to predict it. The multiplicity of excess heat reports is evidence, all right, but circumstantial. The correlation of conditions with results (such as loading ratio with heat) is supportive, but also subject to other possible interpretations. Heat/helium, by comparison, ices it.

We are discussing F&P’s open cell results. I’m not going to address directly here the question of whether condensation in the cell can ever affect the heat balance (by indirect means), it is not what I’m arguing now. Given more space we could however consider it. I’ve never stated or implied that condensation changes the heat of vaporisation.

Regards, THH

THH is the clearest, best, and most civil of all the skeptics I have encountered in about eight years of discussing cold fusion. He, and people like him, are important to the progress of cold fusion, more important than “believers,” unless the latter are scientists practicing real science, where the goal is to prove oneself wrong. (I.e., that the hypothesis fails to predict results). Those have paid their dues, and it is actually their work that is of ultimate importance, not their conclusions as such.

 

Wikipedia neutral or not neutral?

Well, what is it? Inquiring minds want to know. First of all, the policy.

The policy follows the “impartial” or “objective” journalistic model, as described in this document from ethics.journalists.org.

Supporters of this tradition feel it is the most honest form of reporting, attempting to lay out all sides of the issue fairly so that readers can make their own decisions. Reporters and editors following an objective model generally conceal their personal political beliefs and their opinions on controversial issues.

It is not necessary to conceal one’s own point of view, but the effort of an “impartial” journalist is to cover the topic, not their own opinions. As pointed out in the essay, if they do write about their opinions (as distinct from the facts on which those opinions might be based), this is labelled or distinguished as opinion.

Objective journalism does not require so-called “he said, she said” reporting that just cites the arguments or each side without seeking to draw any conclusions. Objective reporters can judge the weight of evidence on various sides of a dispute and tailor accordingly the amount of space they give various opinions. There is no need to provide “false equivalence” — treating every opinion equally.

News media following the objective model may express opinions in clearly labeled editorials, commentaries and cartoons, but those views should not affect the organization’s news reports.

Calling the neutrality goal “Neutral Point of View” was misleading, because “impartial reporting” is not a “point of view.” It’s a choice, a decision, a practice, the goal being to present, for Wikipedia, encyclopedic information that is not based on some point of view, but that provides readers with the information they might need to make their own assessments. There has been long-term conflict on Wikipedia over the interpretation of this, and what is remarkable is that there are users and administrators who openly prefer advocacy reporting, who have edited in conflict with others, and used tools to enforce, their own obvious point of view.

It has been called the “scientific point of view,” which was also a misnoer, because science, by definition, has no point of view, but seeks to establish knowledge through testing of ideas. Humans have points of view, not abstractions like “science.” Scientists often have points of view. In fact, scientists often get blocked on wikipedia for expressing them.

Again from the Policy:

Neutrality requires that each article or other page in the mainspace fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, in proportion to the prominence of each viewpoint in the published, reliable sources.[3] Giving due weight and avoiding giving undue weight means that articles should not give minority views or aspects as much of or as detailed a description as more widely held views or widely supported aspects. Generally, the views of tiny minorities should not be included at all, except perhaps in a “see also” to an article about those specific views. For example, the article on the Earth does not directly mention modern support for the flat Earth concept, the view of a distinct minority; to do so would give undue weight to it.

Wikipedia made a decision very early, not based on extensive experience, to use a flat model, with all encyclopedia articles sitting in a single namespace, called “mainspace.” Subpages are not allowed in mainspace. Wikiversity decided differently, having had more experience. The flat model discouraged exploration of detail. So the Wikipedia article on the Earth does mention Flat earth ideas, by linking to the article. By doing so, the coverage becomes complete, and roughly proportionate to coverage in reliable source.

Notice: the standard for inclusion of material is coverage in reliable sources, a term of art for Wikipedia, a substitute for having an actual editorial staff of experts making notability and reliability decisions. However, in actual practice, the flexibility allowed creates situations where a point of view, especially if held by a significant faction of users, can warp what is allowed for inclusion and can effectively exclude from the entire project, information presented in reliable sources, because of editorial opinion about what is accepted by “most scientists,” as it is often put.

Reliable sources include the expression of opinions, not all are purely factual. So if some reliable source shows an opinion that “most scientists consider parapsychology a pseudoscience,” as a real example, this is then often reported in articles as if a fact, rather than the opinion it often is. However, perhaps there was a poll. The fact is the poll and objective reporting would cover that poll, where it was appropriate. If there are other sources which treat parapsychology as a science (which it clearly was, by intention, the “scientific study of claims of the paranormal”), these will then be labelled by anti-fringe users as “fringe,” which is synthesis, often, i.e., the insertion of personal judgment for reporting of verifiable information.

And “most scientists,” if they have not studied a topic, have opinions that are not much more informed than those of anyone else. Generally, they may depend on what others they consider to be informed have said, and this can be an information cascade. In the case of parapsychology, they may readily confuse parapsychology itself with belief or promotion of the claims studied. They may have an opinion that all paranormal claims are false, unsupported. Is that opinion a scientific fact? Consider what it would require! There are two aspects to a claim:

The first aspect is the evidence, and the second aspect is analysis. So there is a claim, perhaps, of some “paranormal ability,” and the bottom line for classifying a claim as “paranormal” is that it is not understood, or not understood scientifically, and it may seem to conflict with ordinary understanding of how the universe operates. Is the investigation of the unknown “pseudoscientific”? Investigation will develop evidence. Suppose the evidence shows that the so-called “psychic” was a fraud. Was the investigation — parapsychology in modern times — therefore “pseudoscientific”? Hardly.

Basically, if people are asked survey questions who are not experts on the topic, their responses might be poorly informed. But a collection of those responses might well be published in reliable source. Does it therefore become “fact,” which can be reported on Wikipedia without attribution?

Notice that with attribution, anything can become a “fact.” That is, if the attributed report is verifiable by looking at the source, that such and such was said or claimed is “verifiable fact,” not that the statement or claim was necessarily true.

When I began, as a Wikipedia editor, looking at Cold fusion, what I saw was that sources were being cherry-picked, and, as well, an administrator had blacklisted the main site where one could read scientific papers on the topic. At that point, I was quite skeptical about cold fusion, believing the common wisdom, that nobody could replicate the original findings. That claim, by the way, is still found in many articles on cold fusion in reliable sources, particularly newspaper or tertiary sources not actually focused on the topic, but which mention the inability to replicate in passing.  When I attempted to balance the article, as policy would require (this was, after all, on an arguably fringe topic, so covering it more thoroughly than in an article on nuclear fusion would be appropriate) I ran into high resistance. I have since researched coverage of cold fusion on Wikipedia and saw that this went way back. Many arguments were advanced to avoid covering what should be, by Wikipedia guidelines and Arbitration Committee rulings, golden for science articles. One of the principle ones was “undue weight.”

Yet this was an article on a subject that was poorly defined. First of all, it was called “cold fusion,” first, in media (I think the first to apply the idea of “fusion” to the anomalous heat seen by Pons and Fleischmann in 1984 and first reported publically in 1989, was the University of Utah press office, but it caught on, and Pons and Fleischmann themselves were iffy about it. They actually claimed an “unknown nuclear reaction.” The only nuclear evidence they had were some detections of neutrons (an error, artifact), tritium (actually confirmed by others but of unclear implications and not at levels expected if the reaction were producing tritium through ordinary deuterium fusion) and inference from the energy density they calculated, which was weak; and confirming their work was very difficult. Even they had trouble with it, later. (The finding of anomalous heat in palladium deuteride was later confirmed by many groups, but it remains a difficult experiment).

Cold fusion immediately became, by 1989 or 1990, a fringe topic. That is, the idea that there actually was a nuclear reaction taking place in the material studied was largely rejected, but it was never conclusively shown that the original work was defective as to the report of heat. There is still no successful and verifiable theory of mechanism, but a practical theory has emerged that is verifiable, and it has been widely confirmed, and this is reported in scientific journals, and not just in primary sources. There are multiple secondary sources, peer-reviewed reviews of the issue or of the field in general including the issue or of some aspect of the field that takes this practical theory as a given, and that is that the reported heat is explained by the conversion of deuterium to helium, without significant loss of energy to other products or radiation. That conversion, by the laws of thermodynamics, must generate the observed energy in some form or other. (In classic hot deuterium fusion, if helium is the product, the large bulk of the energy is released as a high-energy photon (gamma). This is not observed (which caused many to reject helium as a possible product, “because no gammas.”)

So, the entire Wikipedia article is on a fringe topic. Many sources from almost thirty years ago reject cold fusion as a phenomenon worthy of study. The formal reviews, by the way, (1989 and 2004, U.S. DoE) did not do that; these are merely widespread opinions, back then. As it happens, if one restricts a source study to mainstream peer reviewed journals and academic publications, the best sources, there are more papers considered positive on cold fusion than there are negative. But that cannot be reported on Wikipedia because it is synthesis. As to reviews of cold fusion, I studied papers in Wikipedia qualified reliable source (or should be), published since 2005 on Wikiversity

I count 19 peer-reviewed or academically published reviews, in the period 20015-2012. In 2015, there were 34 papers published in Current Science, a peer-reviewed publication of the Indian Academy of Sciences. Some of them are reviews (such as my paper there). Are any of these reviews, over twenty, cited in the Wikipedia cold fusion article? Yes.

A small community of researchers continues to investigate cold fusion,[6][11] now often preferring the designation low-energy nuclear reactions (LENR) or condensed matter nuclear science (CMNS).[12][13][14][15]

15. Biberian, Jean-Paul (2007), “Condensed Matter Nuclear Science (Cold Fusion): An Update” (PDF), International Journal of Nuclear Energy Science and Technology, 3 (1): 31–42, doi:10.1504/IJNEST.2007.012439

Links shown are to the Wikipedia article or, for Biberian, to a copy on his web site. I cover some of these sources here: [15] [16]

15. Biberian is a general review of the field (as of 2007), and would be reliable source. All that is taken from it is the name shift. Isn’t that a bit odd? There is another paper that I did not classify as a review, ([16], Labinger & Weininger), but it could be taken that way (and there are other sources that are not peer-reviewed as scientific papers).

Since cold fusion articles are rarely published in peer-reviewed mainstream scientific journals, they do not attract the level of scrutiny expected for mainstream scientific publications.[16]

16. Goodstein 1994,Labinger & Weininger 2005, p. 1919

From Goodstein (my emphasis):

Cold Fusion is a pariah field, cast out by the scientific establishment. Between Cold Fusion and respectable science there is virtually no communication at all. Cold fusion papers are almost never published in refereed scientific journals, with the result that those works don’t receive the normal critical scrutiny that science requires. On the other hand, because the Cold-Fusioners see themselves as a community under siege, there is little internal criticism. Experiments and theories tend to be accepted at face value, for fear of providing even more fuel for external critics, if anyone outside the group was bothering to listen. In these circumstances, crackpots flourish, making matters worse for those who believe that there is serious science going on here.

Who believes that about “serious science”? Goodstein, physics professor at Cal Tech, apparently. Goodstein covers the “fiasco,” the total mess of 1989 and beyond. He ends up with what became my position, very quickly, which was very unpopular with the editors sitting on the Wikipedia article. What was a casual, off-hand remark that actually makes little sense when closely examined, if taken literally, is what is selected from him. That was his opinion. He expresses other opinions, which are ignored. Why?

Because, I came to think, the anti-fringe faction believes they are wrong. By the way, by “serious science,” Goodstein was not claiming that cold fusion was real. He was claiming that there is genuine research and there are some genuine mysteries, things not understood yet.

What Goodstein wrote, in 1994, was about the very large body of research reports that are not published under mainstream peer review. That’s a loss, created by the difficulty of publishing experimental results in some journals. But others accepted papers and the issue obviously does not apply to what is published under peer review. So research published in that was does receive — or would be expected to receive, normally — the necessary critique. My position is that genuine skepticism is essential to science, and critique within the field is crucial and necessary.

The article presents Goodstein’s 1994 comment as if it describes the present situation. Does it?

And then there is Labinger and Weininger, 2005.  It isn’t easy to find a copy of this paper, but I have one. It’s a decent report of the history of the cold fusion controversy. It does not support what is attributed to it.  Because of the importance of this study, I am uploading a copy of the paper, claiming fair use. The page referenced is 1919, but the entire paper is worth reading. Again, there is much in this paper relevant to what have been major issues with the Wikipedia article, and it’s been ignored. Heat/helium correlation is covered, as was known to the authors in 2004 (and there is much that they apparently didn’t know, but they were certainly aware of the significance of the correlation claim). I will probably write a fuller review of the paper.

The heat/helium correlation is still not covered in the Wikipedia article. All attempts to refer to it were reverted on various excuses or sometimes no excuse. Yet Labinger and Weininger, in 2005, considered this significant.

So how does this happen? It’s what I called MPOV-pushing, Majority Point of View Pushing, and in practical terms, “Majority” does not refer to the “majority of experts on the topic,” nor to “the majority of scientists,” nor even to the “majority of Wikipedia editors,” but rather to the “majority of those who are watching an article and who have not been blocked or driven away by the majority faction.”

And that faction has been quite open about opposing neutrality policy. Here is an essay by an editor, Manul,  Neutral and proportionate point of view.

There was no participation in that page by other than the author, and there is no comment on the Talk page, but it’s linked from many pages.

The neutral point of view policy does not prescribe neutrality, in a certain sense of the word. When there are competing points of view, Wikipedia does not aim for the midpoint between them. Rather, it gives weight to each view in proportion to its prevalence in reliable sources. Wikipedia’s less-than-obvious meaning of “neutral point of view” is a perennial source of confusion.

NPOV editing would be “objective and impartial.” “Points of view” are actually irrelevant. The problem is in determining “weight,” because Wikipedia verifiability rests on what appears in reliable sources, and the faction tends to reject sources that “promote” views it opposes. That judgment is synthesis; it’s prohibited in text, but infects the process by which text is selected — or rejected.

How the faction distorts the subject is by creating “balance” that reflects their own views, by cherry-picking from a vast array of sources of differing quality and relevance. And the strongest sources, for how cold fusion is currently viewed, would be those peer-reviewed reviews. In my opinion, that balance is itself somewhat skewed as to general scientific opinion, because, as pointed out by Labinger and Weininger and others, most scientists are not aware of “recent research,” which includes much research published as early as a few years after Pons and Fleischmann announced. From what I’ve seen, many scientists will argue that the biggest problem with cold fusion was the absence of a nuclear product, and that argument depends on ignorance of the heat/helium correlation.

Facts are not points of view; they may be used in arguments to support or oppose a point of view. But if a fact is verifiable by reliable source, my position was that the fact belongs somewhere in the project. For example, there are claims of evidence for a flat earth. If these appear in reliable source (which might be an article on the Flat Earth BS, published by a reliable secondary source as Wikipedia requires), they belong in the project somewhere, assuming that an article on the topic exists, which it can if there is enough reliable source. It only takes a few for an article, and only one for a mention.

The faction would exclude these arguing that they would be undue weight in an article, but would also disallow and historically opposed creating a new article that would include those facts, being more specific and balanced within the topic of that new article.

Presenting an argument against some position while not presenting the position itself is clearly POV expression.

Effectively, evidence that they think contrary to their point of view has been excluded. The essay by Manul is not completely wrong, but is misleading, because the issue is not the “weight of points of view,” but the “weight of what is in reliable source.” If all of that is presented somewhere in wikipedia, and properly linked and contexted, what is “mainstream” will become obvious.

Yes, there can be reliable source claiming that such and such is fringe or pathological science or pseudoscience. However, are there reliable sources that claim other than that? And if a source claims something is fringe, but another reliable source accepts that thing and covers it, is the latter to be excluded because a source claims it is fringe?

That exclusion, which has obviously happened, is not neutral in the meaning of the policy. As a practical reality, opinion shifts over time, and the opinions of experts can differ from that of the majority, so there is also the fact that what is “fringe” may vary with time.

There are rejected views that exist in reliable source. “Reliable source” does not become unreliable because opinions expressed became obsolete. Rather, it would be covered somewhere, in the project I and many others envisioned. “The sum of human knowledge” includes mistakes that were made.

I never attempted to present cold fusion, in the article, as other than fringe, but simply to present what was in reliable sources, following policy. This was heavily attacked. On the talk page, however, I argued that the extreme skeptical view, favored by many editing that article, had disappeared from scientific journals long ago, and that cold fusion was being routinely accepted, in some journals. Not in all. There were journals that vowed, in 1990 or so, to never again publish an article on cold fusion. All this, by the way, is not some vague conspiracy theory, it’s well-covered in sources accepted by Wikipedia, such as Simon, academically published, Undead Science, mentioned by Labinger and Weininger.

Wikipedia never developed reliable structure to deal with factional POV pushing. Yet it obviously exists, with some administrators being among the pushers.

Is Wikipedia neutral? No. It could be, and it often is. There are many editors who understand the principles — as are well-known to experienced journalists. The “He said, she said” style of journalism is lazy and shallow, and the idea of neutrality as being “in the middle,” as Manul decries, is a primitive idea, a straw man. However, what the principles behind the NPOV policy suggest is allowing the weight in the sources (which means, effectively, the weight of the sources) to determine the balance of articles.

Factional, POV editing pushes out information, even though reliably sourced, that contradicts the faction’s point of view.

I found that this only happened when there wasn’t broad community attention. Factional POV-pushing, then, thrives in the noise, the huge volume of activity on Wikipedia, where a faction can, through what is created by watchlists, appear to be in the majority, and can revert-war out what they don’t like, and they did, long-term.

When broad attention was attracted, as with RfC or other process, they would lose and articles would be improved. So a priority for the faction came to be eliminating or disempowering users who could skillfully manage creating those processes, within policy. And so there is an essay written originally by a factional administrator: Civil POV pushing

There is philosophy that developed of creating a neutral encyclopedia by excluding editors who were not neutral.

As can easily be understood, that was doomed, because nobody is always neutral. Very rarely are those who  become highly informed on a topic completely neutral, having developed no point of view.

What human organizations develop, that need objective judgement, is process, and there is only one real standard for assessing neutrality: consensus, with the degree of neutrality generally being measurable through the degree of consensus, including all participants willing to behave civilly. Civility is crucial to this.

In standard deliberative process, if a member of an assembly is uncivil, they are not banned, but asked to sit down, and if they refuse, they are conducted from the room. To actually ban a member from a deliberative assembly generally takes a supermajority vote, after announcement, and it’s rare. Most people will cooperate with an attempt of a chair to maintain order. So if the chair orders a member excluded from the room (the equivalent of a block on Wikipedia), that only applies to the immediate session. Wikipedia went for “quick,” i.e., :”wiki,” and lost the power to develop consensus as a result. It famously takes time and much discussion.

In fact, however, wiki process as it developed on Wikipedia is incredibly inefficient, failing to establish real consensus after massive discussions, enormous wastes of time, because few do the real study needed. Instead it’s quick: Keep/Delete, Block/Unblock, and if you argue, Ban. Or if you argue for what a strong faction likes, ”Unban.” Even after massive process to determine a need for a drastic change in behavior.

What I saw from the author of the CPOV essay was gross incivility from him and those whom he supported and who supported him. These users, including administrators, could freely and with little restraint insult those who disagreed with them. Before I was involved with cold fusion, the faction was not doing well before the Arbitration Committee. The open “SPOV (Scientific Point of View) pushers” had suffered losses in arbitration and thus we can see disgust with the Arbitration Committee in the essay — though I agree that they failed to deal with the issues. Then there was the first cold fusion arbitration, in 2008.

I was largely unaware of this case until later. (And at the time I was quite skeptical about cold fusion.) There was no finding of improper behavior (by which I mean behavior not matched at least as strongly by those arguing for Pcarbonn to be banned), rather the core finding by the Committee was this:

3) Pcarbonn edits articles with a stated agenda against Wikipedia policy[1] [2][3] Additionally, Pcarbonn has treated Wikipedia as a battleground; his actions to that effect include assumptions of bad faith [4], and edit warring. [5][6]. For more complete evidence see [7][8][9].

The “stated agenda” links to a screed by JzG (Guy) on the Administrator’s Noticeboard. JzG was far from neutral, I established that later, he was involved in the controversy. So they validated JzG’s agenda by blaming the problem on Pcarbonn instead of looking at the underlying cause of the continued dispute. (And JzG, emboldened, then proceeded to act even more disruptively, leading him to blacklist lenr-canr.org out-of-process, which I noticed and confronted, purely as a neutral editor …. and JzG will never mention it, but that first arbitration led to his reprimand. But nothing was done to actually restrain his POV-pushing. He resigned his admin tools in disgust, but, then, because the resignation was after the ruling, he was able to request them back and then work, piece by piece, over time, to get revenge.)

What was the “stated agenda”? JzG wrote:

See also WP:COIN. The long and the short of it is, Pcarbonn (talk · contribs · logs · edit filter log · block log) has written an article in a fringe journal, New Energy Times, openly admitting that he has been pursuing a years-long agenda to skew the article Cold fusion (edit | talk | history | links | watch | logs | views) to be more favourable to the fringe views proomoted by that journal, [10] and especially [11]. Example:

“I’m pleased to report that the revised page, resulting from the mediation process, presents the topic as a continuing controversy, not as an example of pathological science. This is a major step forward in the recognition of the new field of condensed matter nuclear science and low-energy nuclear reaction research … I now have a lot of respect for all paradigm-shifting scientists, like Copernicus, Galileo, Fleischmann and Pons, and the other courageous cold fusion pioneers”.

Note:

Few media outlets are paying attention to the subject, and many of the prominent individuals known to New Energy Times who are observing the field are keeping mum though a few observers such as Ron Marshall and Pierre Carbonnelle have tried their best to participate.

That note was from Steve Krivit, not Pcarbonn.

The source given by ArbComm does not support the claim. The whole article should  be read (the old links are dead), it is here. Pcarbonn was claiming that the Wikipedia Dispute Resolution process worked. What he was allegedly “promoting” was what is quite obvious from recent sources, including the 2004 U.S. Department of Energy review.  An “agenda to skew the article” would be far from reality for Pcarbonn. But ArbComm fell for it.

In addition the edits they point to with “[1][2][3] “do not support the claim. They have stated that they do not wish to rule on content issues, but what Pcarbonn was claiming in those edits is easily supportable from sources, and they seem to infer an agenda from pointing to what would be, for him, simple knowledge found in reliable source (or at least sources accepted by most editors). That’s ruling on a content issue, by using an opinion or claim as evidence of improper agenda to promote that opinion, while claiming they were not so ruling.

I am not here looking at the behavioral claims, i.e., the alleged results of “battlefield mentality,” (revert warring and incivility), but Pcarbonn’s accusers had, for years, in many situations, behaved as badly or worse (and continue). Assumptions of bad faith have been routine for them, and it is still going on. Pcarbonn had been able to work through mediation to improve the article, but the faction (JzG and Science Apologist being prominent factional users) did not like the results, so they got rid of him, it’s pretty much that simple. They knew what arguments might appeal to the Committee, and this time they prevailed. Science Apologist was only a few months away from being sanctioned himself, but he was able to later return with no restrictions, with factional support that misrepresented the history to the community.

The Arbitration Committee did not have the sophistication to realize that “POV pushing” is human, and normal, and that what we would hope for is “Civil POV pushers,” who will negotiate in good faith, and seek consensus.

Instead, “POV pushing” is considered a crime, and experts get banned frequently, because they have a point of view and argue for it. A sane Wikipedia community would guide them toward advising the community, to provide sources. A “fringe POV pusher,” is likely to know better than anyone else what reliable sources exist, if they exist.

I argued before the Arbitration Committee that Wikipedia might consider suggesting that experts declare their credentials and with that be treated as having a conflict of interest (since Wikipedia does not want them as “authorities,” but would — or should — respect and consider their advice. An expert (which would include “cranks” and “crackpots”) is likely to be aware of the best sources, but should not be judging whether or not these are adequate. Those are editorial decisions, which on Wikipedia would be made according to policies, not “truth,” or even “expert opinion.”

By banning experts, and, relative to the other editors involved, Pcarbonn was an expert, Wikipedia warped the article.

Other experts, including scientists, showed up, but generally did not understand how Wikipedia worked and tended to argue “truth,” an easy mistake to make.

JzG actually disclosed, at one point, where his POV came from. He had a friend who was an electrochemist and he had asked the friend about the article, from before Pcarbonn and others had worked on it, apparently, and he thought it was “pretty good,” as I recall. So, JzG concluded, Pcarbonn and others must be wrong. He had a point of view, and he pushed it relentlessly, and continued to do so, but it was not a point of view based on expertise, nor on the best reliable sources, but on emotional reactions and personal opinion. JzG was famous for radical incivility, long before I ever became involved. And it continued, it’s still going on….

Pcarbonn faced, as I later faced, some outrageous opposition, and commented about it, which could look bad. But I have not examined those specific claims. I’m just looking, now, at what was cited by ArbComm as the proof of an “agenda contrary to policy.” It wasn’t there. So they imagined it, synthesized it, which, I found, was all too common. They did themselves what they accused Pcarbonn of, not “assuming good faith,” but assuming an intention to violate policy — which was not shown in the evidence given. And they did it unanimously, which is scary.

(Later, the ArbComm mailing list was hacked. ArbComm considers it valuable to present a face of consensus to the community, but that is negotiated privately, on the list. So much for open process.)

(One point: I think they considered Science Apologist an expert. He was indeed a physicist, but that conveys almost no expertise on cold fusion, only on the theoretical reasons to expect it’s impossible, which is not controversial. That is, “cold fusion” is not well defined, but the common concept of it, the easy assumption from the name, is probably impossible and SA would know why — and so do I.

Yet that argument is also flawed, and was known to be flawed. Basically, perhaps something is happening that we have not anticipated. Low-temperature fusion is not “impossible,” but a first approximation of rate, for d-d fusion, which is what everyone thinks of first when “fusion” is mentioned in connection with the heat effect, would have the rate be very, very, very low. However, rate cannot be calculated for an “unknown nuclear reaction,” which is what Pons and Fleischmann actually claimed. That fact, by the way, is not mentioned in the article. My source for it would be primary, the actual first paper. Here it is: (my emphasis).

… We realise that the results reported here raise more questions than they provide answers, and that much further work is required on this topic. … The most surprising feature of our results however, is that reactions (v) and (vi) are only a small part of the overall reaction scheme and that the bulk of the energy release is due to an hitherto unknown nuclear process or processes (presumably again due to deuterons).

The title of the article as printed was “Electrochemically induced nuclear fusion of deuterium”; however, I have seen claims that as-submitted, there was a question mark after this, dropped in the editorial process. The matter was enormously confused by the coverage of the classic d-d reaction, because they apparently believed they had detected those neutrons, and tritium as well, which, as to the neutrons, was artifact and error. Looking at that paper now, numerous errors stand out. This was rushed and sloppy — and apparently did not disclose enough to allow replication.

There is later work reporting neutron production from PdD, but the levels are extremely low, and have never been correlated with heat. There is also later work finding tritium, but roughly a million times down from what is apparently the primary product, helium. And, again, I have seen no attempts to determine if tritium was correlated with heat. Experiments tended to look for one or the other, or if they looked for both, as in some of the famous replication failures, they found neither.

“Fusion” also appears in the University of Utah press release.

Again, I’ve seen a claim that this came from the press office, not Pons and Fleischmann.

My favorite counterexample to the “impossibility” argument is to point to a form of cold fusion that is not controversial, it is accepted as a reality, and the argument as to why “cold fusion is impossible” does not consider it. Muon-catalyzed fusion takes place at very low temperatures.

What we know of as “cold fusion” is definitely not muon-catalyzed fusion, but the naive impossibility arguments don’t think of exceptions, i.e., what if there is some catalyst? MCF (or an equivalent with another catalysis, perhaps some kind electron catalysis) isn’t happening because MCF has the same branching ratio as hot fusion, and would generate fatal levels of neutrons (from the level of heat reported), so a simple catalyst causing ordinary d-d fusion cannot be the explanation of cold fusion. But what if the reactants are not just two deuterons (and some catalytic condition)? Basically, what Pons and Fleischmann actually claimed was an “unknown nuclear reaction” and the later-developed evidence, still excluded from the article even though very amply covered in reliable source, does not tell us the actual reaction, only the fuel and the “ash” or nuclear product.

I still find it hard to believe that the strong helium claim remains, after so many years, and in spite of ample coverage in peer-reviewed and academically publish sources — including sources cited in the article for other, relatively trivial matters, totally excluded. What the article has on helium is this:

In response to doubts about the lack of nuclear products, cold fusion researchers have tried to capture and measure nuclear products correlated with excess heat.[121] Considerable attention has been given to measuring 4He production.[13]However, the reported levels are very near to background, so contamination by trace amounts of helium normally present in the air cannot be ruled out. In the report presented to the DOE in 2004, the reviewers’ opinion was divided on the evidence for 4He; with the most negative reviews concluding that although the amounts detected were above background levels, they were very close to them and therefore could be caused by contamination from air.[122]

(The links in the article quotations are to the Wikipedia notes, but I will cover some of these sources below. [121] [13] [122])

Ugh. “In response to doubts” was POV synthesis. There was a search for nuclear products, from the beginning. Helium was not expected, from “fusion theory.” The lack of other products (especially neutrons) was a cause for doubt that a nuclear reaction was involved. But helium can be a nuclear product. Helium was found to be correlated, but that is not stated, only that there was a search for it. Describing this as a reaction to doubts follows the debunkers’ opinions that this is based on fanatic belief, trying to prove the belief. Not good science.

Other nuclear products have indeed been reported (at very low levels), but only helium has been correlated with heat. Tritium has been widely observed, but still only, roughly, a million times down from helium; if tritium is being produced, it is probably from some side-reaction or rare branch. No attempt was made, to my knowledge, to compare tritium levels with heat reports. The discovery that helium and heat were correlated was not announced until 1991, by Miles, and that fact was reported by Huizenga in his book — also reliable source. He was quite skeptical but considered the report astonishing, as it would “solve a major mystery of cold fusion,” as I recall. All this, of high importance in the history of cold fusion, is missing.

One of the main criticisms of cold fusion was that deuteron-deuteron fusion into helium was expected to result in the production of gamma rays—which were not observed and were not observed in subsequent cold fusion experiments.[40][123] Cold fusion researchers have since claimed to find X-rays, helium, neutrons[124] and nuclear transmutations.[125] Some researchers also claim to have found them using only light water and nickel cathodes.[124] The 2004 DOE panel expressed concerns about the poor quality of the theoretical framework cold fusion proponents presented to account for the lack of gamma rays.[122]

The new sources are [40] [123] [124] [125].

[121] The 2010 Hagelstein review in Naturwissenschaften, being cited for what is trivial about it. Wow: they point to a convenience copy on lenr-canr.org. JzG must not have noticed. What would be a bombshell in that article is the stated assumption in the abstract:

In recent Fleischmann-Pons experiments carried out by different groups, a thermal signal is seen indicative of excess energy production of a magnitude much greater than can be accounted for by chemistry. Correlated with the excess heat appears to be 4He, with the associated energy near 24 MeV per helium atom.

Peer-reviewed reliable source in a mainstream multidisciplinary journal (then, it later narrowed the focus to life sciences).

[13] The Hagelstein paper submitted to the 2004 U.S. DoE review. Not peer-reviewed, though. Primary source for claims of a segment of the Condensed Matter Nuclear Science community.

[122] is the 2004 U.S DoE review report, misrepresented — or synthesized. The statement, however, is from the summary and was the opinion of the anonymous review author, based on some reviewer opinions.

From the review, listing the claims in the review submission:

1. “The existence of a physical effect that produces heat in metal deuterides. The heat is measured in quantities greatly exceeding all known chemical processes and the results are many times in excess of determined errors using several kinds of apparatus. In addition, the observations have been
reproduced, can be reproduced at will when the proper conditions are reproduced, and show the same patterns of behavior. Further, many of the reasons for failure to reproduce the heat effect have been discovered.”
2. “The production of 4He as an ash associated with this excess heat, in amounts commensurate with a reaction mechanism consistent with D+D -> 4He + 23.8 MeV (heat)”.

The second claim being considered is not mentioned in the Wikipedia article, only a criticism of it. “Commensurate” is stronger than “correlated.” That is, not only is 4He correlated with heat (i.e., increases when heat increases, is not found when heat is not found), but the ratio found experimentally is consistent with the requirements of thermodynamics for deuterium conversion to helium. (Which might not be the reaction shown, but another which accomplishes that conversion). And then the review had:

The hypothesis that excess energy production in electrolytic cells is due to low energy nuclear reactions was tested in some experiments by looking for D + D fusion reaction products, in particular 4He, normally produced in about 1 in 10in hot D + D fusion reactions. Results reported in the review document purported to show that 4He was detected in five out of sixteen cases where electrolytic cells were reported to be producing excess heat.

Wait just a cotton-pickin’ moment!  That was a blatant error. It’s not what was in the document, they are referring to the Case Appendix, which mentions “sixteen cells” that were tested. But 8 of them were controls which were not expected to show either heat or helium. Unfortunately, the Case work was never published, I’ve been leaning on McKubre — gently! — to arrange its release, it was done for a governmental client. In any case, only five cells are reported in the Appendix, I forget the exact details, someone could look them up. A detailed heat report was only shown for one cell. There were not “sixteen cells reported to be producing excess heat.” And, as well, these were not electrolytic cells. Someone read quite carelessly. (One of the reviews made the heat error and I think the summarizing bureaucrat made the “electrolytic” error.) All of this shows that the review report itself was not carefully checked. Primary source, my opinion. It went on:

The detected 4He was typically very close to, but reportedly
above background levels.

Misleading and inaccurate. In two cells, helium levels rose above ambient, and showed no slowing as they reached ambient levels. In most 4He work, the helium levels are either below ambient (and ambient helium has been excluded) or in one case, which I cover in my 2015 review in Current Science (reliable source!) ambient helium was not excluded and the measured helium was an elevation above ambient.

This evidence was taken as convincing or somewhat convincing by some
reviewers; for others the lack of consistency was an indication that the overall hypothesis was not justified. Contamination of apparatus or samples by air containing 4He was cited as one possible cause
for false positive results in some measurements.

That is a “possible cause” if one pays no attention to experimental details and the correlation, and if one believed the 5/16 claim, as one reviewer did, of course the “lack of consistency” would be an indication that the overall hypothesis was not justified. However, what is the hypothesis? The work was investigational, and the conclusion was that heat and helium were strongly correlated, and this was not based on Case, except a little. It was based on Miles, which the reviewers ignored, but who is featured in all reviews of the topic.

The correlation is covered in many, many reliable sources, but totally missing from the article, yet it is the strongest evidence for the nuclear nature of the heat effect called “cold fusion.” By far. All the rest is circumstantial and remains debatable for the most part. Garwin on input power and heat measurements: “They must be making some mistake.” Okay, it’s possible, but the “mistake” somehow creates a correlation with blinded measurements? I’ve said that if cold fusion was a treatment for heart disease, it would be standard of practice already, the evidence is that strong.

Remember, though, Wikipedia’s standard for inclusion is not “truth,” but verifiability in reliable sources, and for scientific articles, the gold standard is peer-reviewed and academic sources. Not editorial opinion about “mainstream views.” If a view is not mainstream, that can be stated, by showing a reliable source claiming it. All this can be verifiable if properly attributed.

But the faction actually censors and makes the subject obscure. This example makes that obvious. Continuing to look at the notes on what I quoted from the Wikipedia article:

[40] is an article from Scientific American in 1999: What is the current scientific thinking on cold fusion? Is there any possible validity to this phenomenon?

Peter N. Saeta, an assistant professor of physics at Harvey Mudd College, responds:
Eight years ago researchers Martin Fleischmann and Stanley Pons, then both at the University of Utah, made headlines around the world with their claim to have achieved fusion in a simple tabletop apparatus working at room temperature. Other experimenters failed to replicate their work, however, and most of the scientific community no longer considers cold fusion a real phenomenon. Nevertheless, research continues, and a small but very vocal minority still believes in cold fusion.

Fuzzy in, fuzzy out. What did Fleischmann and Pons actually claim? “Fusion in a simple tabletop apparatus”? Not actually. They claimed evidence for an unknown nuclear reaction, and the apparatus only seemed simple. It was actually quite a difficult experiment. “Other experimenters failed to replicate their work” was false, if taken as excluding confirmation, the reported effect was eventually confirmed by many, the idea of general failure was obviously based on early difficulties in replication.

The statement about “most of the scientific community” was true for 1999 and may still be true. What does “believes in cold fusion” mean? Is cold fusion a religion? The question was about “current scientific thinking,” but it is asked as if there is some authority, when, in fact, scientific opinion can vary widely. “Very vocal” is a tad, ah, judgmental. People who are working on something may be enthusiastic about it. Is that a problem? I will quote the skeptical inquirer Nate Hoffman from Dialog (1995):

YS: I guess the real question has to be this: Is the heat real?

OM: The simple facts are as follows: Scientists experienced in the area of calorimetric measurements are performing these experiments. Long periods occur with no heat production, and then, occasionally, periods suddenly occur with apparent heat production. These scientists become irate when so-called experts call them charlatans. The occasions when apparent heat appears seem to be highly sensitive to the surface conditions of the palladium and are not reproducible at will.

YS: Any phenomenon that is not reproducible at will is most likely not real.

OM: People in the San Fernando Valley, Japanese, Columbians, et al, will be glad to hear that earthquakes are not real.

YS: Ouch. I deserved that. My comment was stupid.

OM: A large number of people who should know better have parroted that inane statement….

The Scientific American article then presents Michael Schaffer. He is clearly at least somewhat knowledgeable, but he’s also sloppy. Nevertheless, he comes to a reasonable conclusion:

“So, what is the current scientific thinking on cold fusion? Frankly, most scientists have not followed the field since the disenchantment of 1989 and 1990. They typically still dismiss cold fusion as experimental error, but most of them are unaware of the newly reported results. Even so, given the extraordinary nature of the claimed cold fusion results, it will take extraordinarily high quality, conclusive data to convince most scientists, unless a compelling theoretical explanation is found first.”

He is talking about the political situation. He obviously thinks that something might be valid. However, he does not mention the strongest evidence that the heat effect is nuclear in nature, the heat/helium correlation. He merely points out what is not controversial, that the ordinary d-d fusion reaction only very rarely produces helium and when it does, it will always produce (must produce) a gamma ray. It is not clear that Schaffer realizes that the reaction might not be “d-d.” The lack of gammas strongly indicates that. But what I find of interest in his comment is the description of the position of “most scientists.” Is this “reliable source”? Obviously, the editors think it is for the comment about gammas. What about the ignorance of most scientists on the “newly reported results”?

A “compelling theoretical explanation” is quite unlikely at this point. Many have attempted to come up with one. Most theories conflict with the experimental evidence, so are not complete even if valid, i.e., there would be details to be worked out. Some theories replace one mystery with another, i.e., cold fusion is a mystery but what is known does not actually contradict known physics, it is merely unexpected, something yet to be understood. The theory that most closely attempts to explain experimental results would require a massive revision of basic nuclear physics, but without the specific experimental evidence that would justify this.

However, as to a scientific examination, the heat/helium correlation hypothesis is testable. In addition to having been confirmed widely, there is a project under way to confirm it with increased precision, and I hope and expect that there will be results in “not long.” Which could still be some years. My concern here is simply that there is extensive coverage of the heat/helium correlation in reliable source, the earliest I know of would be Huizenga, Fiasco, 1993 (2nd edition), yet it is still entirely missing from the article, almost 25 years later. This is not “recentism.”

The rest of the Scientific American article is pseudoskeptical bullshit, mostly scientifically irrelevant. I have sometimes considered writing a detailed review of that whole article, but … so much bullshit, so little time. (Morrison also did debate Pons and Fleischmann in a journal, and we are reviewing that elsewhere on this site. In that environment, he was more careful. What the other respondent wrote could not have been published in a scientific journal … but Scientific American published it…. so much for them. There was no thorough analysis of the topic, it was almost entirely opinion.

Phlogiston theory is covered better than cold fusion.

Completing the notes to that quoted section of the Wikipedia article:

40. The 2004 U.S. DoE report, again, which is reporting the “most negative” individual reviews. The argument of leakage is an obvious possible artifact with helium measurements at the low levels that would be expected if helium is the source of the reported heat (as helium production from deuterium is very energetic). The objection completely neglects the correlation and the actual experimental behavior.

[The review report was itself not subject to peer review, it was political. It actually shows a sea change in thinking from the 1989 review, but … attempts to insert fact from the review that could show this was always reverted. Instead, superficial comment from the review that is easily misunderstood was used. There was massive revert warring over this, over the years (before I was ever involved).  Is this still the condition of the article? Yes. The 1989 review is presented this way:

In 1989 the United States Department of Energy (DOE) concluded that the reported results of excess heat did not present convincing evidence of a useful source of energy and decided against allocating funding specifically for cold fusion.

That is easily verifiable from the primary source, the 1989 review. It is also misleading. First of all, the 1989 review was rushed, and the conclusions based on almost complete replication failure in the early efforts. Of course those reported results “did not present convincing evidence”! Further, the concern was “useful source of energy,” and there are still no such results, only indications of possibility, certainly not “convincing evidence,” enough to justify the charge to the panel, should there be a massive, heavily funded project? No, there shouldn’t have been, and still should not be. Not yet. Rather, the panel did recommend further research “under existing programs.”

A second DOE review in 2004, which looked at new research, reached similar conclusions and did not result in DOE funding of cold fusion.[10]

And on that point, (a massive or special program) the 2004 review conclusion was “similar” as in 1989, and said so, and that is also my conclusion, with much more thorough knowledge of the evidence than they were able to gain in the short review process. Rather, the panel again recommended further research– unanimously this time (the 1989 recommendation was actually forced by the threatened resignation of the Nobelist co-chair if it was not included, along with other language noting doubt, not certain rejection) further research. What was missing from that summary of “similar” was that what they report from 1989, about the lack of “convincing evidence” was definitely not the conclusion of the 2004 panel. Yet the way the reports are presented in the article matches the common opinion of skeptics on this: that the 2004 report also rejected cold fusion, and that there is no decent evidence for it. There is language in the summary of the report that shows the contrary; the panel was divided, which actually is a better reflection of “emerging science” rather than “fringe.” Given the very strong general negative opinion of cold fusion, some reviewers were apparently predisposed to misread the evidence, as can be seen in the individual reports (and then reflected in the summary). I never attempted to state this in the article, because it is “original research,”  though it is easily verifiable in the primary source, the review submission and report.

123. Rogers, Vern C.; Sandquist, Gary M. (December 1990), “Cold fusion reaction products and their measurement”Journal of Fusion Energy9 (4): 483–485, Bibcode:1990JFuE….9..483Rdoi:10.1007/BF01588284

The abstract is at the linked URL. From the first words of the article:

Ambient or cold fusion of deuterium is postulated to occur when two deuterium nuclei in a palladium or titanium metal lattice with ambient kinetic energy quantum mechanically tunnel through their mutual coulombic charge barrier and undergo one or more of the following
nuclear fusion reactions.

It is not controversial that gammas are not observed. The article examines the proposal (“postulated to occur.”) By whom? The reactions listed are the three known d-d fusion branches, and it was obvious from the original Pons and Fleischmann paper that these were not the main reaction, and what they presented showing that the might be happening at low levels was either artifact (neutron measurements) or weak (tritium and helium, as of that time). The article wastes a lot of space on what is completely not controversial: the absence of any product other than helium at significant levels. Is this the best source for that? Perhaps. They use the source to show “no gammas.” Right. No gammas, at least not high-energy gammas. There is later work reviewing this issue in more detail and with more experimental history, this was 1990.

124. This is Simons, Undead Science, p. 215. He is actually studying the sociology of cold fusion and the rejection. Simon is cited for “X-rays, helium, neutrons.” To repeat the quotation:

Cold fusion researchers have since claimed to find X-rays, helium, neutrons[124] and nuclear transmutations.[125] Some researchers also claim to have found them using only light water and nickel cathodes.[124] 

Now, due weight. What are the “main claims”? What has the most reliable source? Further, there are claims of major effects, correlated (and also with correlated causal conditions), and claims of minor effects, not correlated. The article mashes all this together. There are indeed persistent reports of X-rays, , but with no particular coherence or consistency across multiple researchers. Likewise neutrons have been reported, with the strongest report, least likely to be some artifact, being more recent than Simon, so why is Simon cited? And the levels of neutrons reported are only slightly above background, with the relationship to the primary reaction (primary symptom: heat) being quite obscure.

This was “passing mention,” by a sociologist and it contains no detail or references. It is quite unspecific. They are avoiding citing peer-reviewed reviews, which do cover all this with far more detail.

p. 215 in Simon mentions light water reports (mostly heat and tritium). This is all vague and not clearly confirmed, unlike the primary findings: heat from palladium deuteride, and correlated helium. There is no balance, in spite of the existence of peer-reviewed reviews of the field that cover these issues in detail.

The sentence makes it seem as if helium were found in light water experiments. No, helium has not been so reported. Light water or light hydrogen have been used in control experiments. If there are light water reactions, they are largely unconfirmed. Light water has been used as a control in heat/helium studies. No helium from PdH. (Storms has theorized that light water LENR would produce deuterium, which would be very difficult to measure.) What Simon actually says is:

The most startling of these are reports of the measurement of excess heat and nuclear particles (mostly tritium) using light-water based electrolytes with nickel cathodes, as opposed to heavy water and palladium.

So not helium and not transmutations other than to tritium. Poor sourcing. And these editors don’t actually sit down and read Simon; rather they grab snippets from Google Books. Simons reports much on the sociology of high interest, but the faction just cherry-picks what tells the story they want to tell.

125. Simon again, 150–153, 162. Mysteries abound in cold fusion research and Simon is aware of it. What is reported by “most cold fusion researchers” and what is reported by only a few, inconsistently? Again, the article mashes all this together, an inconsistent collection of artifacts generated by confirmation bias.

The Wikipedia editorial process encourages sentence-by-sentence, line by line, point by point “negotiation” of article content. It is extremely difficult to generate an article with overall balance, because of how the work proceeds.

Ironically, it was Science Apologist who demonstrated another approach. While he was site-banned, for a time, from his disruptive editing, he used the time to create an article on Optics, in his user space on Wikisource. I don’t know why he didn’t use Wikiversity, it would have been ideal for that. What he wrote was judged better than the standing Wikipedia article, and it was then RfC’d to replace the existing mess in one edit. I supported that move. See the discussion. It was all much more complicated than necessary. Really, there would have been a binary choice to make, which article is better? (Not “perfect.” Just a comparison!) (The author being banned was actually irrelevant, the content was released under the standard WMF license, but some argued “meat puppetry.” An opinion that an article written by X is better than the articles written by a farrago of users, erratically, is not “meat puppetry,” and if there is consensus for a substitution, that is it, as to my understanding of Wikipedia process. ArbComm apparently explicitly approved what should really have been obvious.) I am not aware of any other example of this being done. Nor have I found much interest in doing it. People would rather fight than switch. And writing an article on a topic as complex as cold fusion is actually a lot of work. And nobody is being paid to do it.

Many hands make short work, so if that were to be done for cold fusion, it would take collaboration, which has never appeared, in spite of opportunities.

 

 

SOS Wikipedia

Original post

I’ve been working on some studies that involve a lot of looking at Wikipedia, and I come across the Same Old S … ah, Stuff! Yeah! Stuff!

Wikipedia has absolutely wonderful policies that are not worth the paper they are not written on, because what actually matters is enforcement. If you push a point of view considered fringe by the administrative cabal (Jimbo’s word for what he created … but shhhh! Don’t write the word on Wikipedia, the sky will fall!) you are in for some, ah, enforcement. But if you have and push a clear anti-fringe point of view — which is quite distinct from neutrally insisting on policy — nothing will happen, unless you go beyond limits, in which case you might even get blocked until your friends bail you out, as happened with jps, mentioned below. Way beyond limits.

So an example pushed against my eyeballs today. It’s not about cold fusion, but it shows the thinking of an administrator (JzG is the account but he signs “Guy”) and a user (the former Science Apologist, who has a deliberately unpronounceable username but who signs jps (those were his real-life initials), who were prominent in establishing the very iffy state of Cold fusion.

Wikipedia:Fringe_theories/Noticeboard


Aron K. Barbey ‎[edit]

Before looking at what JzG (Guy) and UnpronounceableUsername (jps) wrote, what happened here? What is the state of the article and the user?

First thing I find is that Aron barbey wrote the article and has almost no other edits. However, he wrote the article on Articles for creation. Looking at his user talk page, I find

16 July 2012, Barbey was warned about writing an article about himself, by a user declining a first article creation submission.

9 July 2014, it appears that Aron barbey created a version of the article at Articles for Creation. That day, he was politely and properly warned about conflict of interest.

The article was declined, see 00:43:46, 9 July 2014 review of submission by Aron barbey

from the log found there:

It appears that the article was actually originally written by Barbey in 2012. See this early copy, and logs for that page.

Barbey continued to work on his article in the new location, and resubmitted it August 2, 2014

It was accepted August 14, 2014.  and moved to mainspace.

Now, the article itself. It has not been written or improved by someone with a clue as to what Wikipedia articles need. As it stands, it will not withstand a Articles for deletion request. The problem is that there are few, if any, reliable secondary sources. Over three years after the article was accepted, JzG multiply issue-tagged it. Those tags are correct. There are those problems, some minor, some major. However, this edit was appalling, and the problem shows up in the FTN filing.

The problems with the article would properly suggest AfD if they cannot be resolved. So why did JzG go to FTN? What is the “Fringe Theory” involved? He would go there for  one reason: on that page the problems with this article can be seen by anti-fringe users, who may then either sit on the article to support what JzG is doing, or vote for deletion with opinions warped by claims of “fringe,” which actually should be irrelevant. The issue, by policy would be the existence of reliable secondary sources. If there are not enough, then deletion is appropriate, fringe or not fringe.

So his filing:


The article on Aron Barbey is an obvious autobiography, edited by himself and IP addresses from his university. The only other edits have been removing obvious puffery – and even then, there’s precious little else in the article. What caught my eye is the fact that he’s associated with a Frontiers journal, and promulgates a field called “Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience”, which was linked in his autobiography not to a Wikipedia article but to a journal article in Frontiers. Virtually all the cites in the article are primary references to his won work, and most of those are in the Frontiers journal he edits. Which is a massive red flag.

Who edited the article is a problem, but the identity of editors is not actually relevant to Keep/Delete and content. Or it shouldn’t be. In reality, those arguments often prevail. If an edit is made in conflict of interest, it can be reverted. But … what is the problem with that journal? JzG removed the link and explanation. For Wikipedia Reliable Source, the relevant fact is the publisher. But I have seen JzG and jps arguing that something is not reliable source because the author had fringe opinions — in their opinion!

What JzG removed:

15:48, 15 December 2017‎ JzG (talk | contribs)‎ . . (27,241 bytes) (-901)‎  . (remove links to crank journal) (undo)

This took out this link:

Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience

and removed what could show that the journal is not “crank.” There is a better source (showing that the editors of the article didn’t know what they were doing). Nature Publishing Group press release. This “crank journal” is Reliable Source for Wikipedia, and that is quite clear. (However, there are some problems with all this, complexities. POV-pushing confuses the issues, it doesn’t resolve them.

Aron Barbey is Associate Editor of Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, Nature Publishing Group journal.[14] Barbey is also on the Editorial Board of NeuroImage,[15] Intelligence,[16] and Thinking & Reasoning,.[17]

Is Barbey an “Associate Editor”? This is the journal home page.

Yes, Barbie is an Associate Editor. There are two Chief Editors. A journal will choose a specialist in the field, to participate in the selection and review of articles, so this indicates some notability, but is a primary source.

And JzG mangled:

Barbey is known for helping to establish the field of Nutritional Cognitive Neuroscience.[36]

was changed to this:

Barbey is known for helping to establish the field of Cognitive Neuroscience.[35]

JzG continues on FTN:

So, I suspect we have a woo-monger here, but I don’t know whether the article needs to be nuked, or expanded to cover reality-based critique, if any exists. Guy (Help!) 16:03, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

“Woo” is a term used by “skeptic” organizations. “Woo-monger” is uncivil, for sure. As well, the standard for inclusion in Wikipedia is not “reality-based” but “verifiable in reliable source.” “Critique” assumes that what Barbey is doing is controversial, and Guy has found no evidence for that other than his own knee-jerk responses to the names of things.

It may be that the article needs to be deleted. It certainly needs to be improved. However, what is obvious is that JzG is not at all shy about displaying blatant bias, and insulting an academic and an academic journal.

And jps does quite the same:

This is borderline Men who stare at goats sort of research (not quite as bad as that, but following the tradition) that the US government pushes around. Nutriceuticals? That’s very dodgy. Still, the guy’s won millions of dollars to study this stuff. Makes me think a bit less of IARPA. jps (talk) 20:41, 15 December 2017 (UTC)

This does not even remotely resemble that Army paranormal research, but referring to that project is routine for pseudosceptics whenever there is government support of anything they consider fringe. Does nutrition have any effect on intelligence? Is the effect of nutrition on intelligence of any interest? Apparently, not for these guys. No wonder they are as they are. Not enough kale (or, more accurately, not enough nutritional research, which is what this fellow is doing.)

This is all about warping Wikipedia toward an extreme Skeptical Point of View. This is not about improving the article, or deleting it for lack of reliable secondary sources. It’s about fighting woo and other evils.

In editing the article, JzG used these edit summaries:

  • (remove links to crank journal)
  • (rm. vanispamcruft)
  • (Selected publications: Selected by Barbey, usually published by his own journal. Let’s see if anyone else selects them)
  • (Cognitive Neuroscience Methods to Enhance Human Intelligence: Oh good, they are going to be fad diet sellers too)

This are all uncivil (the least uncivil would be the removal of publications, but it has no basis. JzG has no idea of what would be notable and what not.

The journal is not “his own journal.” He is merely an Associate Editor, selected for expertise. He would not be involved in selecting his own article to publish. I’ve been through this with jps, actually, where Ed Storms was a consulting editor for Naturwissenschaften and the claim was made that he had approved his own article, a major peer-reviewed review of cold fusion, still not used in the article. Yet I helped with the writing of that article and Storms had to go through ordinary peer review. The faction makes up arguments like this all the time.

I saw this happen again and again: an academic edits Wikipedia, in his field. He is not welcomed and guided to support Wikipedia editorial policy. He is, instead, attacked and insulted. Ultimately, if he is not blocked, he goes away and the opinion grows in academia that Wikipedia is hopeless. I have no idea, so far, if this neuroscientist is notable by Wikipedia standards, but he is definitely a real neuroscientist, and being treated as he is being treated is utterly unnecessary. But JzG has done this for years.

Once upon a time, when I saw an article like this up for Deletion, I might stub it, reducing the article to just what is in the strongest sources, which a new editor without experience may not recognize. Later, if the article survives the AfD discussion, more can be added from weaker sources, including some primary sources, if it’s not controversial. If the article isn’t going to survive AfD, I’d move it to user space, pending finding better sources. (I moved a fair number of articles to my own user space so they could be worked on. Those were deleted at the motion of …. JzG.)

(One of the problems with AfD is that if an article is facing deletion, it can be a lot of work to find proper sources. I did the work on some occasions, and the article was deleted anyway, because there had been so many delete !votes (Wikipedia pretends it doesn’t vote, one of the ways the community lies to itself.  before the article was improved, and people don’t come back and reconsider, usually. That’s all part of Wikipedia structural dysfunction. Wasted work. Hardly anyone cares.)

Sources on Barbey

Barbey and friends may be aware of sources not easily found on the internet. Any newspaper will generally be a reliable source. If Barbey’s work is covered in a book that is not internet-searchable, it may be reliable source. Sourcing for the biography should be coverage of Barbey and/or Barbey’s work, attributed to him, and not merely passing mention. Primary sources (such as his university web site) are inadequate. If there were an article on him in the journal where he is Associate Editor, it would probably qualify (because he would not be making the editorial decision on that). If he is the publisher, or he controls the publisher, it would not qualify.

Reliable independent sources
  • WAMC.org BRADLEY CORNELIUS “Dr. Aron Barbey, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Emotional Intelligence  APR 27, 2013
  • 2013 Carle Research Institute Awards October 2013, Research Newsletter. Singles out a paper for recognition, “Nutrient Biomarker Patterns, Cognitive Function, and MRI Measures of Brain Aging,” however, I found a paper by that title and Barbey is not listed as an author, nor could I find a connection with Barbey.
  • SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE David Noonan, “How to Plug In Your Brain” MAY 2016
  • The New Yorker.  Emily Anthes  “Vietnam’s Neuroscientific Legacy” October 2, 2014 PASSING MENTION
  • MedicalXpress.com Liz Ahlberg Touchstone “Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds” July 25, 2017

“Aron Barbey, a professor of psychology” (reliable sources make mistakes) Cites a study, the largest and most comprehensive to date, … published in the journal Scientific Reports. N. Ward et al, Enhanced Learning through Multimodal Training: Evidence from a Comprehensive Cognitive, Physical Fitness, and Neuroscience Intervention, Scientific Reports (2017).
The error indicates to me that this was actually written by Touchstone, based on information provided by the University of Illinois, not merely copied from that.

Iffy but maybe

My sense is that continued search could find much more. Barbey is apparently a mainstream neuroscientist, with some level of recognition. His article needs work by an experienced Wikipedian.

Notes for Wikipedians

An IP editor appeared in the Fringe Theories Noticeboard discussion pointing to this CFC post:

Abd is stalking and attacking you both on his blog [25] in regard to Aron Barbey. He has done the same on about 5 other articles of his. [26]. He was banned on Wikipedia yet he is still active on Wiki-media projects. Can this guy get banned for this? The Wikimedia foundation should be informed about his harassment. 82.132.217.30 (talk) 13:30, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

This behavior is clearly of the sock family, called Anglo Pyramidologist on Wikipedia, and when I discovered the massive damage that this family had done, I verified the most recent activity with stewards (many accounts were locked and IPs blocked) and I have continued documentation, which Wikipedia may use or not, as it chooses. It is all verifiable. This IP comment was completely irrelevant to the FTN discussion, but attempting to turn every conversation into an attack on favorite targets is common AP sock behavior. For prior edits in this sequence, see (from the meta documentation):

This new account is not an open proxy. However, I will file a request anyway, because the behavior is so clear, following up on the 193.70.12.231 activity.

I have private technical evidence that this is indeed the same account or strongly related to Anglo Pyramidologist, see the Wikipedia SPI.

(I have found other socks, some blocked, not included in that archive.)

I have also been compiling obvious socks and reasonable suspicions from RationalWiki, for this same user or set of users, after he created a revenge article there on me (as he had previously done with many others).  It’s funny that he is claiming stalking. He has obviously been stalking, finding quite obscure pages and now giving them much more publicity.

And I see that there is now more sock editing on RationalWiki, new accounts with nothing better to do than document that famous troll or pseudoscientist or anti-skeptic (none of which I am but this is precisely what they claim.) Thanks for the incoming links. Every little bit helps.

If anyone thinks that there is private information in posts that should not ethically be revealed, please contact me through my WMF email, it works. Comments are also open on this blog, and corrections are welcome.

On the actual topic of that FTN discussion, the Aron Barbey article (with whom I have absolutely no connection), I have found better sources and my guess is that there are even better ones available.

JzG weighs in

Nobody is surprised. Abd is obsessive. He even got banned from RationalWiki because they got bored with him. Not seeing any evidence of meatpuppetry or sockpuppetry here though. Guy (Help!) 20:16, 16 December 2017 (UTC)

This is a blog I started and run, I have control. Guy behaves as if the Fringe Theories Noticeboard is his personal blog, where he can insult others without any necessity, including scientists like Barbey and a writer like me. And he lies. I cannot correct JzG’s lies on Wikipedia, but I can do it here.

I am not “banned” from RationalWiki. I was blocked by a sock of the massively disruptive user who I had been documenting, on meta for the WMF, on RationalWiki and on my blog when that was deleted by the same sock. The stated cause of the block was not “boring,” though they do that on RW. It was “doxxing.” As JzG should know, connecting accounts is not “doxxing.” It is revelation of real names for accounts that have not freely revealed that, or personal identification, like place of employment.

“Not seeing any evidence of meatpuppetry or sockpuppetry here.” Really? That IP is obviously the same user as behind the globally blocked Anglo Pyramidologist pushing the same agenda, this time with, likely, a local cell phone provide (because the geolocation matches know AP location), whereas with the other socking, documented above, was with open proxies.)

Properly, that IP should have been blocked and the edits reverted as vandalism. But JzG likes attack dogs. They are useful for his purposes.

Joshua Cude

I came to suspect that Joshua Cude was Joshua P. Schroeder. The basic reason was that JC was the most knowledgeable allegedly skeptical writer on cold fusion anywhere on the internet. Most skeptics simply don’t know enough to make clear cases, and if they do write about cold fusion, display ignorance. Joshua often did that, but … was able to go far deeper, and was quite familiar with the arguments. Back in 2011 or so, I knew less about the history of Joshua P. Schroeder than I now know, but still saw him as the most knowledgeable critic of cold fusion on Wikipedia. The coincidence of first names, the unusual level of knowledge, and timing as well reinforced the suspicion.

Timing: Schroeder was indef blocked on Wikipedia, 21 January 2011. He had maybe over 35,000 Wikipedia edits at that point, which is high if one isn’t doing bot-assisted editing. Many high-contribution users, blocked, start socking, as he did, but as enforcement ramps up, such will often take up activity elsewhere. Did he do this? Where?

The earliest comment I have found from Cude was  Thu, 10 Feb 2011 11:51:14 -0800 on Vortex-l.

As well, Joshua Cude was highly knowledgeable about physics, and Schroeder was a PhD candidate in astrophysics (and did receive his doctorate). From the extensive contributions on various fora, documented below, he had a high interest in countering what he saw as pseudoscience. That such a person would not be active on Wikipedia, if not blocked there, would be unusual. He would, in fact, be welcomed there by the faction that supported JPS. He might get into trouble with his high level of incivility toward those with differing views, but JPS survived doing that and also was supported enough to become unbanned, 10 August 2013. I intend to look at the combined contribution history of both accounts, to find possible correlations (though studying the arguments is more important than “real identity.”

I have found no candidates for “Cude on Wikipedia” or “jps elsewhere.” Both lacunae would be odd. I have no proof, merely grounds for suspicion. The arguments of Cude, which I begin to examine anew below, are blatant pseudoskepticism that has a high knowledge of cold fusion claims, and, as well, a high knowledge of true skepticism, which he uses.

This is not relevant to Wikipedia, his activity elsewhere should not be mentioned there (unless he mentions it). Sometimes administrators and others I was dealing with on Wikipedia referred to my Wikiversity and Wikipedia Review activity; that was generally improper.

Sometimes Cude is debunking the comments of “believers” who don’t really know what they are talking about. He is often right in some way. That is, there is some fact behind much of what he says, but he also makes categorical statements, without evidence, or with misleading evidence, that are just plain wrong, and if one does not know the field, a reader may not know the difference.

I wrote about JPS and Joshua Cude on newvortex:

648 ScienceApologist and Joshua P. Schroeder Sep 15, 2013

I have many times mentioned that Joshua Cude is almost certainly Joshua P. Schroeder, who was ScienceApologist on Wikipedia. Joshua Cude appeared immediately after Schroeder was 
site-banned. The arguments were identical. The real Schroeder has never denied the identity.

This is no longer true. I recently emailed Schroeder and he responded. He did not actually deny being Joshua Cude.  Rather he wrote:

The fact that you think I’m “Joshua Cude” still is just more evidence of your continued paranoia. Stay in your lane.

This was a private mail in which I was attempting to cooperate with Cude. I still have reasons to think Cude might be Schroeder. As with any hypothesis, it could be wrong, but accusing me of “paranoia” is exactly what a troll would do. What I had stated was:

I have not been writing “long screeds” about you on the internet. I have written much more about Joshua Cude, which I do suspect is you from a number of evidences. That was old. Mostly he’s smart and relatively knowledgeable, like you. I said we have issues, and I’d hope we can talk about them and possibly come to some agreement, but if you prefer to maintain hostility, I don’t predict a good outcome.

He maintained hostility, so far. Maybe he will smell the coffee. Studying his Wikipedia contributions, what stands out is a maintained hostility, toward many. His problem, not mine.

As I wrote, I had written extensively about Cude, but only a little about jps. Occasionally I mentioned that I thought Cude was jps, but the long posts were about Cude and Cude’s arguments, so that Schroeder thinks it was about him shows a connection. I have seen similar with the studies on Anglo Pyramodilogist. A sock appears who claims I am doxxing him, but denying that he is Anglo Pyramidologist, a known sock master who is known to lie. It’s either about him or it is not. It is possible — barely — that he is one of the socks incorrectly identified as AP, which is possible. But I have direct evidence that this sock was connected with many others. If there was some confusion, it was far back, in around 2011 or 2012, on Wikipedia. Anglo Pyramidologist had specific interests, then. Recent AP socks have very much the same interests. Duck test.

Here I will be interested in the arguments Cude made, which may be also compared with those made on Wikipedia by JPS. I have studied Cude’s arguments extensively in the past, communicating with him on moletrap and other places. I documented the arguments on newvortex.

https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/newvortex/search/messages?query=joshua%20cude

Joshua Cude’s record of comments:

vortex-l

first comment:

total comments: 933 for  Joshua Cude

last comment:

Tue, 04 Jun 2013 05:21:46 -0700 Re: [Vo]:Adding Energy to get Energy

moletrap

  • joshua cude 
  • Account Created Jan 12th 2012
  • Last Active Oct 29th 2014
  • Visit Count 283
  • Discussions Started 0
  • Comments Added 107

Most cold fusion pseudoskeptics are relatively ignorant. Cude was not. He was clearly aware of much evidence that most pseudoskeptics would not have seen. What he does is present a series of arguments that are true, or half-true, sometimes (or absolutely wrong sometimes), presented as fact, all in a particular implied or stated direction, which is a sign of pseudoskepticism rather than skepticism. I see that, in 2013, I thought he had maybe two posts after registering, then this,  joshua cude, Feb 3rd 2013, jumped in with this:

Posted by Abd:

Rather, heat/helium is the single replicable experiment that skeptics were demanding, for years, and it was first done almost twenty years ago.

Like most of what you’ve written here, your heat/helium account is a gross misrepresentation of the facts.

That is a variety of ad hominem argument. Is that a “gross misrepresentation”? My Current Science paper, published in February, 2015, essentially made that same claim. The reviewer, apparently a physicist, did not like the paper. I rewrote it to clearly address his objections, and he turned 180 degrees. Of course, that would be an argument from authority. Perhaps I did misrepresent, but Joshua had not shown that. Does he show it here? Or is he himself grossly misrepresenting the situation? Cude, often, lies with facts and concedes nothing.

A correlation between heat and helium is clearly an important and definitive experiment for cold fusion.

Indeed. Has it been done? Let’s start with the fact that before Miles, 1991, there was no attempt to correlate heat with any nuclear product. Many papers showed, however, that expected nuclear products that could possibly explain the heat were absent. Many of those papers though, didn’t look for heat at all, or didn’t see heat, so they did not test correlation. Correlation would only be measurable if there was a finding of anomalous heat (artifact or not). Correlation can cut through noise, i.e, measurement error.

And yet, the best you can point to is a review by someone who took (and possible still takes) Rossi seriously. Anyone who suggests Rossi’s demos represent evidence for nuclear reactions is not to be taken seriously.

This is pure ad hominem argument, and ignoring what another (jps) ignored on Wikipedia. Wikipedia looks for Reliable Sources based not on authors, but on publishers. First of all, taking Rossi “seriously” was done by many, including a physicist who was on the Nobel Prize committee (Kullander). He was also wrong, but being wrong does not then disqualify anyone from presenting opinions or research.

Joshua is here talking about Ed Storms, who did think it was possible that Rossi had something, even though he knew that the “demos” were misleading garbage. It’s a complex question. Rossi is probably insane, and a con artist, knowingly or instinctively. And that is completely irrelevant here beyond showing pseudoskeptical, dedicated debunking behavior. Having studied the lawsuit (Rossi v. Darden, documented heavily here) in depth, it is clear that there is no sustainable evidence for nuclear reactions in what has been published by or about Andrea Rossi. There was also, clearly, outright fraud, gross misrepresentation. And this has nothing at all to do with the topic here.

In Storms’ review, the most recent peer-reviewed results used to demonstrate a heat/helium correlation come from a set of experiments by Miles in the early 90s.

The review is Storms (2009). Cude is technically correct, but highly misleading, if one doesn’t notice the “peer-reviewed.” Most cold fusion work has not been published under peer review. The strongest heat/helium work was published by SRI International as an EPRI report. Both of these (SRI and EPRI) would qualify as reliable source publishers under a fair interpretation of reliable source rules, because of publisher reputation at stake. Miles went on and did more work.

In a review of the field, invited by the editors of a major mainstream multidisciplinary peer-reviewed publication, should Wikipedia rules for sourcing be followed? They are not. Writers of peer-reviewed papers often cite unpublished material, attributing it sometimes as “private communication.”

Reviewers of such papers decide whether or not to allow these sources, on behalf of the responsible publisher. Pseudoskeptics will often claim “there is no evidence,” when there is evidence. A genuine skeptic might point out weakness, but not deny that evidence exists.

Storms cites on, heat/helium. the work of

  • Arata and Zhang (1999; 2000)
  • Case (McKubre et al. 2000)
  • Bush, Lagowski et al 1991
  • Morrey et al.(1990)
  • Miles and Bush 1992; Miles, Bush et al 1994; Miles, Bush et al 1991)
  • Miles and co-workers (1990)
  • Chien and co-workers (1992)
  • Karabut and co-workers (Karabut, A. B. , Kucherov et al 1992; Savvatimova, I. ,
    Kucherov et al 1994)
  • Zhang and co-workers (1992)
  • Stringham (2003)
  • Aoki et al. (1994)
  • Botta and co-workers (Botta, E., Bracco et al 1995; Botta, Bressani et al 1996)
  • Takahashi and co-workers( Takahashi 1998; Isobe, Uneme et al 2000; Matsunaka,
    Isobe et al 2002; Uneme et al 2002;)
  • Gozzi and co-workers (Gozzi, Caputo et al 1993; Gozzi, Caputo et al 1993)
  • Apicella et al. (2005)
  • De Ninno and co-workers (De Ninno, Del Giudice et al 2008; DeNinno, Frattolillo
    et al 2004)
  • Miles and co-workers (1994)
  • Bush and Lagowski (1998) cited in Storms (1998)
  • McKubre and co-workers (McKubre, Tanzella et al 2000; McKubre, Tanzella et al
    2000)

(This list may include redundancies. The actual sources may be found in the Storms review paper.)

These were very crude experiments (by Storms’ and your admission) in which peaks were eyeballed as small, medium, and large, the small taken as equal to the detection limit (which seemed to change by orders of magnitude over the years). The correlation was all over the map, and barely within an order of magnitude of the expected DD fusion value.

Again, technically correct but highly misleading. The early helium work was indeed as described. Later work used more precise measurements. I am not here reviewing all the results from Miles, but Storms did so in the review for most of them. There is one outlier, probably calorimetry error, and there were two samples only that showed no measured helium but anomalous heat, which could be, again, calorimetry error, but those samples were from a palladium-cerium cathode which may behave differently with helium, if a surface layer is formed that resists helium escape. Huizenga, in his review of this, considered an order-of-magnitude correlation astonishing, but because of the lack of gammas, expected that Miles would not be confirmed. Miles was confirmed. In only two experiments, however, were efforts made to capture and measure all the helium, and that was McKubre, SRI M-4 and Apicella et al Laser-4. In those experiments, the ratio of heat to helium showed the theoretical fusion value within 4% (M-4) and roughly 20% (Laser-4).

There are difficulties in this work, and many problems, but my claim is that, at this point, the preponderance of the evidence is that the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect is the result of the conversion of deuterium to helium, exact pathway and mechanism unknown. And, for me, that conclusion leads to a suggestion for more research to measure that ratio with increased precision, and how to do that is indicated by the M-4 and Laser-4 results.

Cude points to the difficulties as if they are some kind of proof of bogosity — and that I’m being misleading, but my claim has been published under peer review and Cude could get a peep into a journal on this topic. There are outliers, to be sure, but no evidence sufficient to impeach the finding, so far.

Shanahan wrote a critique of a review of LENR in Journal of Environmental Monitoring that criticized the heat/helium results of Miles et al as reported by Storms in his book (2007). That critique completely misread the data, it was embarrassing. Shanahan acknowledged the error — eventually.

Miles results’ were severely criticized by Jones in peer-reviewed literature.

As Storms pointed out:

Miles and co-workers(Bush, B. F., Lagowski et al 1991; Miles and Bush 1992; Miles, Bush et al 1994; Miles, Bush et al 1991) at the China Lake Naval Weapons Center (USA) were the first (1990) to show helium production in an electrolytic cell while it was making energy. Pyrex flasks were used to collect the gases (D2+O2+D2O+He) evolving from the cell but the resulting values for the amount of helium in the gas were crudely measured. Even so, a clear presence of helium was found when heat was produced and no helium was detected when heat was absent. Although many critiques (Miles and Jones 1992; Miles 1998; 1998) were offered at the time to reject the results, subsequent studies support their conclusion that helium is produced by a typical F-P electrolytic cell when it makes extra energy.

I have a copy of the Jones critique but it is not readily available, I may upload a copy here for review. Jones, S.E. and L.D. Hansen, Examination of claims of Miles et al in Pons-Fleischmann-Type cold fusion experiments. J. Phys. Chem., 1995. 99: p. 6966. Miles response would normally be on lenr-canr.org, but seems to be missing. I’ll see if I can fix that. Meanwhile, as I recall Jones ignored the correlation, and only critiqued the calorimetery and the helium measurements. Correlation generally confirms the measurements. That is we might be mistaken about heat, and we might be mistaken about light, but heat and light together and absent together demonstrates fire unless some independent mutual cause can be shown. Storms says about the Miles-Jones interchange (2007, p. 86):

This investigation was debated in a series of papers between Miles and Jones, in which Miles successfully defended his work.

That is in a book published by World Scientific. an academic publisher, and is not a passing mention or tertiary in nature. That does not prove that the conclusion is “true,” but it does establish notability, and all this points out that Cude is actually outside current consensus, as to what is being published in journals and academic publications. But if someone depends on “general scientific opinion,” which is not actually “expert opinion” but just sounds like it, one could think otherwise. As the author of Bad Science, the best critical book on cold fusion, Gary Taubes, later pointed out, “scientific consensus” can be formed by other than knowledgeable examination of evidence and can be dead wrong. Cude is finding whatever arguments he can dredge up to impeach the knowledgeable consensus. Back to Cude:

There was considerable back and forth on the results, and in Storms view (of course) Miles successfully defended his claims, but the DOE panel in 2004 agreed 17 to 1 with Jones, that there was no conclusive evidence for nuclear effects.

That is a deceptive summary of the review. Many times, many users on Wikipedia attempted to present the actual review results, and were frustrated by the anti-CF faction, which included jps, I think. I’ll be documenting that, I assume. First of all, the review did not consider the Miles results, apparently, and especially not the reported correlation, but rather the material in the Case appendix, which was misread and misreported. There were 18 experts in various fields on the panel. From the report:

The hypothesis that excess energy production in electrolytic cells is due to low energy nuclear reactions  was tested in some experiments by looking for D + D fusion reaction products, in particular 4He, normally produced in about 1 in 107 in hot D + D fusion reactions. Results reported in the review
document purported to show that 4He was detected in five out of sixteen cases where electrolytic cells
were reported to be producing excess heat. The detected 4He was typically very close to, but reportedly above background levels. This evidence was taken as convincing or somewhat convincing by some reviewers; for others the lack of consistency was an indication that the overall hypothesis was not justified. Contamination of apparatus or samples by air containing 4He was cited as one possible cause for false positive results in some measurements.

First of all, it was confusing to refer to the search as a search for D +D fusion reaction products. The helium reported is clearly not from D + D fusion, or if it is, the reaction is radically different from the known reaction, because of the lack of gamma emissions. Rather, the legitimate search was for any nuclear products that might be an “ash” from the reaction. The only one that has been found at significant levels is helium. It should be noted that the conversion of deuterium to helium is extraordinarily energetic, and only a little helium — close to background levels — would be produced to explain the modest levels of heat reported.

Secondly, the “results reported” were synthesized from the Case appendix, as “4 He was detected in five out of sixteen cases where electrolytic cells were reported to be producing excess heat.” That was an error. There were sixteen cells, and half were controls, producing no significant excess heat. They were not electrolytic cells, they were gas-loaded. So there were, if I have it correctly (this information was only presented very sketchily in that appendix) eight experimental cells, of which 5 showed excess heat. The excess heat results were not reported except for one cell. So the claim of “sixteen” cases showing excess heat, with only five showing helium, was a radical misunderstanding, and that this misunderstanding arose and was not corrected in the review process shows how defective that review was. From what would be, properly understood and explained, a strong correlation, was converted by the error into an anti-correlation, so of course any reviewer who made this mistake (it was easy to make, I had to read that Case paper several times to notice the reality, and then I found other references to that work confirming my view, and confirmed it with McKubre himself. What the anonymous review summarizer reported repeated the error of one reviewer and compounded it. The Case work, unfortunately, was done for a governmental client and was never formally published. It was a mistake to include it in the DoE review without first vetting it thoroughly, but that review was rushed.

Remarkably, the cold fusion community did not notice the error and focused on other issues. Assuming that the summary error was true, the review conclusions are remarkably favorable to cold fusion! My emphasis:

Evaluations by the reviewers ranged from: 1) evidence for excess power is compelling, to 2) there is no convincing evidence that excess power is produced when integrated over the life of an experiment. The reviewers were split approximately evenly on this topic. Those reviewers who accepted the production of excess power typically suggest that the effect seen often, and under some understood conditions, is compelling. The reviewers who did not find the production of excess power convincing cite a number of issues including: excess power in the short term is not the same as net energy production over the entire of time of an experiment; all possible chemical and solid state causes of excess heat have not been investigated and eliminated as an explanation; and production of power over a period of time is a few percent of the external power applied and hence calibration and systematic effects could account for the purported net effect. Most reviewers, including those who accepted the evidence and those who did not, stated that the effects are not repeatable, the magnitude of the effect has not increased in over a decade of work, and that many of the reported experiments were not well documented.

“Not well documented” is certainly true for some reports, maybe even many. It is not true for all. The general problem with “cold fusion” — a possibly misleading name — is that reproducing the originally-reported effect was very difficult, and many workers were unhappy with the low reported heat and attempted to “improve” the experiment, mostly failing, but sometimes still confirming some possibly related heat effect. Few actually attempted to “replicate” the original reports, given that those weren’t considered convincing, and certainly would not be an indication of possible power production. However the original DoE review (1989) pointed out that even a single incident of significant anomalous heat woudl be remarkable. Investigating “all possible causes” could take centuries. Rather, what has developed as known from, now, almost three decades of study, based on a preponderance of evidence, and what, then, remains to be tested and confirmed? By fragmenting the discussion into excess heat alone as a finding, the presence of correlations (helium is only one of several) was ignored. With correlations, a small effect can be confirmed. Without them, yes, one can speculate on noise and various errors, but few of those artifacts would create a clear correlation. Nevertheless, “split approximately evenly” is a vast shift from 1989, where it appears that very few reviewers thought the work was even worth the time of day.

Now, if one thinks that there is no evidence for excess heat, of course they would not think the origin of the non-existent heat was nuclear! The next finding should be seen in that light:

Two-thirds of the reviewers commenting on Charge Element 1 did not feel the evidence was conclusive
for low energy nuclear reactions, one found the evidence convincing, and the remainder indicated they were somewhat convinced. Many reviewers noted that poor experiment design, documentation,
background control and other similar issues hampered the understanding and interpretation of the results presented.

Cude translates all this into ” the DOE panel in 2004 agreed 17 to 1 with Jones, that there was no conclusive evidence for nuclear effects.’

They did not “agree with Jones.” Again, what Cude claims has some literal truth to it, if we include the word “conclusive.” That is not a clear and crisp claim, because what is conclusive to one is not conclusive to another. First of all, the reviewers were evenly divided on the heat evidence being “compelling.” Given the known physics, if one doesn’t find “compelling evidence” that there is excess heat, one will be unconvinced by evidence of low levels of helium. To have another opinion would require much more study. The general “scientific consensus” without personal study is that cold fusion was a big mistake, and “nobody could replicate.” With that background, then, reviewers randomly chosen would tend to be biased ab initio. The “nuclear” opinion would then be expected to be negative for half the reviewers from the lack of positive conclusion that the heat anomaly is probably real. So, then, what we have is about two thirds of those who accepted that the heat evidence was at least “somewhat compelling” did think the nuclear evidence was at least “somewhat convincing.” And that is with the misleading interpretation of the Case data standing in front of them.

Cude refuses to accept a preponderance of the evidence conclusion of reality for a nuclear effect as being at all plausible and attacks every evidence advanced. That is pseudoskeptical. If he is not convinced, that is within reason (though some supporters of cold fusion disagree with me on that). But his apparent certainty and dedication to accusations and debunking, that is clear pseudoskepticism. Further, as I recall the matter, Cude continued to advance misleading arguments over and over, in new fora, as if nothing had been explained. That is, again, characteristic of pseudoskepticism, it is resistant to evidence and to the finding of agreement. My goal has never been to “prove” that cold fusion is real, but rather to present the evidence — to be sure, with my own conclusion as to preponderance, which generally agrees with a major portion of the U.S. DoE panel in 2004 — and then to support and facilitate what they also recommended: more research. In particular, because it’s a replicable experiment (properly stated), replication with increased precision, the classic test of “pathological science.” Does the effect go away with increased precision?

Precision was, in fact, increased, and the effect did not go away but seems to have settled closer to the theoretical value. Again, this is testable, though Cude and friends will call it pseudoscience. At some point, that becomes a lie.

In any case, that kind of disagreement and large variation in such a critical experiment simply cries out for new and better experiments. So what have we got since?

Many experiments. He names one which was inconclusive.

A very careful set of experiments looking for helium by Gozzi, which was published in peer-reviewed literature in 1998, concludes that the evidence for helium is not definitive.

The only results since Miles that Storms has deemed worthwhile (i.e. cherry-picked) to calculate energy correlation come from conference proceedings, and the most recent of them from year 2000. Nothing that Storms considers adequate quality in this critically important experiment has met the (rather modest) standard of peer review. And they’re not good enough to allow Miles results to be replaced; Storms still uses some of Miles results, one assumes because it improves the average.

Again, “peer review” is desirable but evidence from outside of peer review is citable in peer-reviewed reviews.

The SRI work was, in fact, published under internal review, which would be as stringent or more stringent than normal peer-reviewed publications, and it was then passed on to EPRI members through that organization’s process. These were people with a need to know.

Mile’s extended work was the only work with enough experiments to look at more than an anecdote. It is not the best work, which would be SRI M-4 and Apicella et al (ENEA) Laser-4, where attempts were made to capture all the helium. In Laser-2 and Laser-3, there were

In writing my own paper, I considered compiling the results of all the experiments. It’s extremely difficult because of the varieties of work involved, results were not necessarily reported in ways that can be compared. Hence my hopes for the new work, using a hopefully maintained and identical protocol, taking steps to recover all the helium (variation in the recovery ratio probably explains the extant variation in results as to ratio — and Storms is emphasizing the general correlation, not the ratio itself, and all that work is general confirmation on that point, which Cude is ignoring —

Most of the results come from McKubre’s experiments, which Krivit claims to show (with considerable evidence) were cooked. McKubre has very little scientific cred anyway with his interest in the Papp engine and willingness to support cons like Dardik and Godes, and (if I recall correctly) Rossi.

Again, a series of ad hominem arguments, with assumptions that “McKubre has very little scientific cred,” contradicted by the trust place in him by the Duncan project in Texas, and by EPRI over many years, and governmental organizations, and  that someone finds something “interesting” does not establish any kind of lack of scientific integrity, in spite of the fervent beliefs of pseudoskeptics, and then that Dardik and Godes are “cons,” which they are not, and as to Rossi, McKubre never “supported” Rossi. He found the Lugano test interesting (as did many) but also pointed out the glaring deficiency.

Cude clearly has a collection of strongly-held beliefs which he asserts in a farrago of arguments without actual evidence. (He accepts Krivit’s ignorant critique and yellow journalism, without any actual examination of Krivit’s “evidence,” which is mostly innuendo and sometimes dead wrong.) This is all libel, actually. Of course he wants to remain anonymous!

And then there’s this from the review: “The paper provided insufficient information to check the claimed values, so the values in Table 3 are based on detailed information communicated to Storms by Bush in 1998 (Storms 1998).” Translation: The results didn’t fit, so I called Bush up, and suggested adjustments, which he accepted. Talk about confirmation bias.

Lies. No, the results without Bush and Lagowski were fine. The claim that he “suggested adjustments” is libelous. These are scientists and that would be highly unethical behavior. What Storms reports asking for is “detailed information,” so the “adjustment” would simply be more information. So Cude presents asking for additional information as “suggested adjustments,” implying data falsification. Shame on him!

The error in the end result, even if you accept Storms’ cherry-picked, dubious analysis, which I don’t, is still 20%. On an experiment that removes the dependence on material quality. Heat, it is claimed, can be measured to mW, the helium, it is claimed, is orders of magnitude above the detection limit, and yet the errors are huge.

The major variation is in capture ratio, not in the heat or helium measurements themselves. If Cude were a genuine skeptic, he would see the actual problem.

One of the best sets of experiments is Apicella et al (2004). There were three experiments reported. (Unfortunately, ENEA has often not reported all results, only “positive” ones, which in my view is a serious error. McKubre has generally reported all experiments, so one can see the situation far better. But this is what we have.) In the first two, there was relatively substantial heat, and helium was reported at about 60% of the expected level from the 24 MeV/4He hypothesis. That is generally consistent with Miles and other work, including the first part of SRI M-4. With the third experiment, heat results were much lower. My sense is that in an attempt to stimulate heat production, they stripped the cathode (“anodic erosion”) which sometimes works for that. They found more helium released, the level came up to roughly the expected value, but the error bars would be about 20%, as I recall. Krivit did not understand what they did and made all kinds of accusations. What I noticed with SRI M-4, which also made attempts to strip the cathode, also more or less inadvertently, the helium levels rose as well, to within 4% of the expected value under that hypothesis. Hence I suggested that future work would also strip the cathode before completing. The hypothesis here is that helium is trapped in the cathode (which would be expected), that something more than half of the helium is not trapped), and that the rest is trapped near-surface, where only a thin etch will release it.

This is what passes for conclusive in the field of cold fusion.

The issue is not “conclusive.” It is “preponderance of the evidence.” According to whom? Cude? Lomax?

Well, sometimes, according to the editors of peer-reviewed journals, but even more significantly, those who make funding decisions for research. What I know is that I was promoting heat/helium research, encouraging replication with increased precision, way back. I was asked to write my Current Science paper by a physicist, at the end of 2014. But before the end of 2014, the project led by Robert Duncan at Texas Tech was funded, with $6 million from an anonymous donor and $6 million from State of Texas matching funds. The donor is known, and is no dope. This is exactly the kind of research that both U.S. DoE reviews suggested and I assume that, when complete, it will be published in the “journal system.”

This is good enough that no measurements of helium-heat in the last decade entered Storms’ calculations.

No, Storms considered all that. His figure for the heat-helium ratio is obviously an estimate, not a “calculation.” He gives 25 +/- 5 MeV/4He.

These are clearly pseudo-scientists, one and all. Real scientists obsess about details, especially in critical experiments like this. Any real scientist thinking there is anything to cold fusion would not rest until this error was nailed down. Millikan’s experiment was not accepted as good enough, but was repeated endlessly. Scientists are still toiling to reduce the limit of error on measurements of Einstein’s time dilation, and improve the value of the gravitation constant, and so on.

Cude has no idea. Cold fusion research and especially heat/helium research is expensive. Measuring helium at the predicted levels is difficult. Setting up the FP Heat Effect is difficult. But it’s being done. what Cude is more legitimately describing is not “pseudoscience,” but “pathological science,” at best. There is plenty of it around, sometimes supporting the “mainstream views.” That’s a long story, and coldfusioncommunity.net is telling some of it. Cude would actually be welcome to contribute, if he would tone down the pseudoskepticism and ad hominem arguments. There are real problems with many cold fusion experiments. One of the goals of the research I am supporting is to identify possible artifacts and test them. Pseudoskeptics are content to identify some “possible artifact” and then blame researchers for not ruling it out, but what is being demanded is more than available funding and time may permit. Until it is ruled out by controlled experiment, a “possible artifact” cannot be completely excluded.

What is offensive about Cude is not the criticism of some cold fusion work, but the general debunking rejection of all work, without discrimination, based on knee-jerk, unsupported claims of “con men” and guilt by association and all the other techniques of “debunkers.”

No, the pseudo-scientists are not pursuing it (or not admitting it) because they’re afraid that more careful results will be negative, and they would rather remain ignorant than to have to admit they wasted 2 decades of their life chasing wild geese.

Actually, my suggestions for confirmation of heat/helium were opposed by some in the field because they believed that work was already sufficient to establish the correlation, and scarce research dollars should not be spent on confirming what is already known. I disagreed, and, thankfully, funding sources also disagreed. A new result with increased precision should be publishable, and I would argue strongly for publishing results, if carefully done, no matter what they show. My trust is in reality itself, not in “cold fusion” or any particular scientist. Anyone can make mistakes. Bauer did a good job of deconstructing “pathological science,” but the pseudoskeptics on Wikipedia covered that up. It’s worth reading his paper.

I have argued for a long time that cold fusion researchers should publish all work, not just “positive results.” (If results are boring, fine, publishing on-line is enough.) Recently, I’ve been going over certain “replication failures,” they have been called. JCMNS has been publishing some of these. Real science is not about “positive” or “negative.” It is about actual results, and then careful analysis. “Replication failure” is usually a failure to replicate, not a proof of original error, but, obviously, it can raise some suspicion of that. Cude elsewhere calls cold fusion the same as “N-rays” and “polywater,” but with those, there was positive replication that, then, showed by controlled experiment that the original results were artifact. That never happened with cold fusion (other than as to some level of speculation, Cal Tech speculated that excess heat was the result of failure to stir, but that was shallow. Yes, with failure of electrolyte circulation, hot spots can develop and be mistaken for excess heat, with some forms of calorimetry. That the Pons and Fleischmann results, and other results using, say, flow calorimetry, were such artifacts was never shown. Heat/helium measurement cuts across protocols and should clearly distinguish between artifactual heat and helium and heat and helium as products of the same effect.

Instead of supporting confirmation, Cude attacked me and prior work. He was a pseudoscientist when it comes to cold fusion, asserting scientific belief without evidence. He attacked real people, real professionals, from behind a screen of anonymity. Which may have come unravelled, for which he blames everyone else, not taking responsibility for what he’s done.

Isn’t it an amazing coincidence that of all the possible products of nuclear reactions, the only one they claim to observe commensurate with the heat is the only one that is present in the background at about the right level?

As Huizenga pointed out, the experimental results are indeed amazing. However, the results show that this is not background helium. Miles was very careful about that. In the Case work, helium levels rose with accumulated excess heat, and continued rising in two of the experiments, showing no sign of slowing as they approached the background level and then exceeded it. So to explain it requires some hypothesis of sequestered helium, somehow released with the experimental conditions, rather Rube Goldberg, but I would not rely on the Case work, myself, because it was a gas-loaded protocol.  I used a diagram from Case in my Current Science paper because I was asked for “eye candy,” and it was the best thing I could come up with on short notice. I’d have preferred something more like the histogram that Storms later produced, showing results from many experiments. There are problems with that. There are problems with anything. The newer work, if I have any say, and I might, will address many of the old objections, but there is already enough evidence for what is important: a conclusion that either the preponderance of the evidence shows the heat/helium correlation already, or at least enough evidence to encourage new efforts to study it.

The within-the-field opinion contrary to this was based on another need: to develop a “lab rat,” a protocol that will demonstrate the FP Heat Effect with reasonable reliability. Long-term, this is very important, but my position was that as long as the reality of the effect was in serious question, as it is in the eyes of many, nailing that issue first would then open up and broaden interest and make more funding easier to obtain. Years ago, the genuine skeptic, Nate Hoffman, skewered the argument that because it was difficult to reproduce, cold fusion was therefore unreal, in his Dialogue book.

All the more plausible products that can be detected easily at levels orders of magnitude lower, are found, surprise, surprise, at orders of magnitude below the expected level. Nature is toying with them. (The transmutation situation is similar: all the precursors and products are stable, when of course, only a tiny fraction of radionuclides are stable.)

The FP Heat Effect produces heat and helium, the experimental evidence indicates, without those other effects. The other effects are reported, but at levels far below helium. The one most persistently reported is tritium. Often no attempt was made to correlate with heat, a mistake, in my opinion. That was because the levels were not “commensurate” with the heat, very far from it, but that reason depends on a theory of mechanism. Tritium is obviously not a major product, my standard rough estimate is that tritium is a million times down from that idea. And then neutrons are also reported at very low levels, which often gets people excited. A million times down from tritium. Basically, tritium, neutrons, and transmutations are generally a side-show, if real. The plethora of “nuclear effects” reported actually confused the entire field greatly. It is possible that there is more than one possible nuclear reaction under FP conditions. One of the benefits of improved heat/helium measurements would be setting limits on other reactions.

Deeper understanding will likely have to await the development of lab rats, so that various groups can be studying the same animal. Until then, the corpus of cold fusion research is largely, though not entirely, a collection of anecdotes, and anecdotes are properly indications for further research, not proofs of anything.

To sum up: An objective look at the heat/helium results does not provide even weak evidence for cold fusion. And given its extraordinary nature, that means it is almost certainly not happening.

Cude has not come close to an “objective look.” That summary conclusion, at variance with what has been published in not just one peer-reviewed review, but many, is clearly pseudoscientific and highly biased, relying on nonscientific argumentation and imprecation. This is typical. “Not even weak evidence” is obviously biased polemic. It is Cude believing in his own ideas — unless he actually knows better and is purely trolling.

I find no way to search moletrap for comments by joshua cude. Google for “joshua cude” site:moletrap.co.uk I get five hits. But cude has 107 posts made there according to the statistics. A search on-site for cude generates 77 hits, but only finds responses to him, not his posts. I can still compile a list, but it will be tedious. Maybe tomorrow, maybe never. 

disqus blogs

earliest post:

joshuacude November 6, 2011 11:32 AM

So what you’re saying is that the following people are total idiots;

that was a comment from cmoo, and the listed people were:

• Physicist professor Foccardi [sic]
• Physicist professor Levi
• Physicist professor Loris Ferrari
• Physicist professor Sven Kullander
• Physicist professor Hanno Essen
• Professor Roland Petterson
• Physicist professor Christos Stemmenos [sic]
• Professor Enrico Campari
• Professor Ennio Bonetti
• Professor Pierre Clauzon
• Chemistry professor Edward Jobson
• Matt Lewan (Physics Phd) [sic]
• All the staff and Board of Defkalion
• All the staff and Board of Ampenergo
• And finally most recently the scientist employed by the purchaser to oversee the latest test, Domenica Fioravanti [sic]

[sic] is for spelling errors that leap out at me. I don’t know all the names mentioned….

If the shoe fits…

Whether you want to call them idiots or not, it is clear that on the question of the ecat, they have demonstrated incompetence, and have failed to do their jobs, if their jobs were to extract a useful evaluation of the ecat performance. And you don’t have to believe maryyugo or anyone else to come to this conclusion. You only have to read a freshman physics or chemistry or thermodynamics text book, to realize that claims of nuclear reactions in the ecat are simply *not* supported by the evidence presented.

This was misleading, though, in fact, there was probably no nuclear reaction. There is no information in a those textbooks that would allow an a priori evaluation of such a claim. The issue with nuclear reactions is not possibility (they are possible) but rate. To calculate the rate, one must know the reaction and conditions, and with Rossi, at that point, the claimed reactants were not known and the conditions were secret. It was clear by this time (late 2011) that the Rossi tests were inconclusive, and it appeared to be very possible that (1) Rossi was a con artist or (2) Rossi was a real inventor paranoid about his invention being stolen and (3) Rossi was attempting to look like a con artist to discourage imitation. There was no way to truly distinguish these possibilities. By 2012, a group of investors decided they need to know, and it was worth risking a substantial sum to find out. They found out. Rossi lies.

But were all those people “idiots”? Well, Ampenergo was paid a lot of money for the investment they made. They may have made a profit. The goal of Industrial Heat was to facilitate the development of cold fusion in general, and their risk with Rossi — they knew it was a long shot — appears to have inspired an investment of $50 million for cold fusion research (not for Rossi!), so it paid off for them (not personally, that wasn’t their goal, this was all high risk, and they have reported nothing so far that would be an immediate commercial possibility (nor do I know of any such. Brillouin has some results, nothing spectacular, they have a long way to go, if they ever succeed. What I know is that cold fusion is, preponderance of the evidence, a real effect, nuclear in nature, but difficult to control, and without control, commercial possibilities remain elusive. So, anyway, Cude sits in his chair and condemns others for not immediately “knowing” that this was bogus, imagining that he has a better grasp of physics. He doesn’t. He is simply young and arrogant.

All but one of the semi-public ecat tests (including the megawatt test) rely on the claim that all (or nearly all) of the water passing through the ecat is converted to steam. However, credible evidence for this claim is never presented. That several of the named professionals accept visual inspection or measurements of relative humidity as evidence for complete vaporization, alone impeaches their competence on evaluating the ecat. Instead of looking for evidence for dry steam, they measure the temperature every few seconds, even though the temperature (always near the boiling point) tells us nothing about the fraction of liquid that is vaporized. Pure incompetence!

They were, in fact, outside their field. The relative humidity meter had a g/m^3 function, which some of those people named apparently assumed was measured. Quite simply, they did not know how the meter worked. That was simply a calculated reading from the humidity. Devices that can measure steam quality are very expensive and complex. Any steam engineer would know that. Rossi kept steam engineers far away from his demonstrations. He also rejected a visit by Jed Rothwell, who was quite sympathetic, because Rothwell said he would bring his own instruments. The last thing Rossi wanted! He was famous for shutting down demonstrations when anyone attempted to verify what he was claiming.

If you read a physics textbook, you will learn that when you pass water through a system, it takes a certain power to raise its temperature *to* the boiling point. You will also learn that (if you are starting from room temperature), it takes about 8 times as much power to convert all the water to steam.

All this is true and well-known.

None of those professionals seem the least bit bothered by the fact that the ecat takes on the order of hours to deliver the power required to reach the onset of boiling, but only a few more minutes to deliver 8 times that power to vaporize all the liquid.

And that could possibly be explained. (To produce the necessary power, the fuel must reach a certain temperature, and at a critical temperature, power rapidly increases and the problem is preventing runaway. Yes, it’s bullshit. Cude’s objection was reasonable. It’s an issue. However, mysteries prove little, this is the “how come” argument that pseudoscientists use to argue for, say, flat earth theory. Something unexplained is found that may imply the pseudoscientific theory.

One of the problems with Rossi is another unwarranted assumption. To attempt a fraud as Rossi was attempting, “he would have to be crazy.” He even sued his major investor, and his followers said, if he didn’t have a real technology, “he’d have to be crazy.” Well, he’s still alive, and didn’t go to jail, and he got to keep the money he had been paid. How crazy is he?

At this point, though, with all the evidence that is now available, someone who invests in his technology, thinking it is real, would “have to be crazy.” But we know that with high certainty now because some investors were willing to take the risk. They could afford it. These are people who invest $25 million in a long shot, commonly, and who only need to occasionally win the bet.

The reason that this is so easily accepted appears to be because both of those scenarios occur at the same *output* temperature.

That would explain acceptance by the ignorant, not those who know the basic physics.

But if you take a little time to think about it, then you should understand that the two scenarios require vastly different temperatures of the ecat heating element. In fact, the power transfer scales with the temperature difference between the water and the heating element.

It is obvious that the internal design of the e-cat, for it to mean anything, required substantial thermal resistance between the “heating element” (i.e., the fuel) and the cooling water. The fuel must be a lot hotter than the water. If we assume a constant thermal resistance (it might not be), then, yes, the transfer would “scale with the temperature difference.”

This kind of a discontinuous change in the temperature of the heating element is simply not plausible, given the time it takes to reach the onset of boiling.

We were allowed no information on the temperature of the heating element. We were allowed no information on the heating protocol. Perhaps, for example, the heating was slowly ramped up to approach a critical temperature. My own analysis was that the Rossi design practically required water overflow if the flow rate was constant. So was water overflow measured? No. Kullander and Essen did not look for overflow water, apparently trusting the humidity meter. Huge mistake. And to compound it, they never acknowledged the error. (And, later, the other so-called “independent professors” made huge mistakes in the Lugano test, and never acknowledged them.) All this was glorious idiocy for Cude. I’m somewhat sympathetic. But … apparently scientists are human.

What makes it even more implausible is that the discontinuous change in the heating element temperature is presumed to happen exactly at the onset of boiling. How does it know? That these professionals can believe this means the shoe fits.

Cude has not established that change. I agree that a detailed analysis wasn’t done.

Finally, the notion that power is so accurately regulated indicates that the output fluid is almost certainly a mixture of phases at the local boiling point. The variation in power that corresponds to the variation in temperature corresponds to about +/- 1 %, which seems a little rich, given the variations reported in the February run (that didn’t rely on steam), and from the fact that the various demonstrations give powers that are all over the map.

Something was always fishy about every Rossi demonstration. That was obvious by the end of 2011.

(By the way, the only semi-public test that did not rely on conversion to steam, claimed a much lower COP, and used an inexplicably indirect method to measure the water temperatures, which almost certainly resulted in errors in favor of the ecat.)

Rossi seems to have found many ways to create an appearance of significant power.

It is indeed surprising that so many scientists and engineers can miss these simple considerations. I think it speaks to Rossi’s skill at vetting the observers that he invites to the demonstrations.

Indeed. Rossi also strongly resisted the presence of independent experts as requested by his actual customer (in 2013), and they allowed that, because they knew that if they objected, I infer, Rossi would simply have pulled the plug, as he had many times. They wanted to give Rossi every chance to prove the technology was real by teaching them how to create the reaction. He never did. Always some excuse or other, and then he faked a megawatt plant. But …. he’d have to be crazy! How can you fake a megawatt?

You probably can’t, but you can create distractions and confusion and the appearance of expert testimony. In actual court, they were setting up to present the opening arguments when Rossi’s attorney suggested a settlement. Many critics of Rossi were disappointed that Industrial Heat agreed to a walk-away. My own analysis was that, legally, they would not be able to recover their original investment because of estoppel. They could have recovered as much as a few million dollars from the later 1 MW frauds, not enough to recover their legal expenses, and some level of risk that Rossi’s attorneys might have been able to sway a jury. I was there and I’d already seen the opening arguments and the jury and my opinion is that, no, IH would have prevailed, but at high cost. A month of trial with four or five high-paid attorneys sitting there. Not cheap. Was anyone ready to pay their legal expenses? I don’t think so.

In fact, what came out in the trial — it is all on this site — was quite enough to expose Rossi as a fraud. He is still continuing to snow some of his followers, but some of them are bailing.

Some of them of course are LENR advocates from before,

That is not true for almost all on the list. In fact, had they been “LENR” knowledgeable, they might not have been so vulnerable. The majority opinion among CMNS researchers was that Rossi was not at all to be trusted. Some were much more negative than that. Focardi is the major name who had done prior LENR research, and he was old and shortly to die. Nobody had every shown anything like what Rossi was claiming. It was outside the box. But if one had an existing opinion that LENR was real, from having seen it oneself, yes, one might be more vulnerable to thinking Rossi had something.

some have been associated with him for a long time (including the customer consultant in the megawatt test), and some have made public statements in support of the ecat.

there was no customer yet. Defkalion was the initial customer and bailed (and then fell into massive disrepute themselves). Rossi claimed to have sold many 1 MW plants. The only actual sale was to Industrial Heat in 2012, delivered in 2013, and returned, apparently as worthless, in the Settlement Agreement in 2017.

If Rossi really had confidence in his ecat, the invitees would include scientists on the record as being skeptical. For example, he could invite Steven Krivit to bring a few scientists of his choosing. Convincing them would carry some weight.

Rossi had already rejected Krivit as a “snake and clown.” The assumption here is that if the technology were real, Rossi would want to prove that in his demonstrations, by doing what Cude thinks he would do.

Cude does not consider an opposing argument, that Rossi had a real technology but also knew that someone else, highly motivated, seeing such proof and willing to put millions of dollars (or hundreds of millions or billions) could do what he did, and find it. So he would want to make it look like he was a con artist. So why have any demonstration at all, until he is ready for market? Well, perhaps to attract enough interest and investment to carry on until market-ready. This is what people who could see the problems were thinking in 2011. My personal opinion back then was that “fraudulent and insane” was more likely, but I could not rule out the possibility of “real inventor and insane,” i.e., paranoid. Everyone agrees, including Rossi’s friends, that he’s paranoid. A few think it is justified.

Storms apparently still thinks Rossi had something, but that he lost it. That has apparently happened in the history of LENR. Something works, they keep trying to improve it, and then it doesn’t work any more and they can’t get back to what works. Basically, some original condition was not recognized as important, the original materials that worked were lost and it never worked again. The Case material may have been like that. A particular batch of coconut charcoal. There are aspects to the history of LENR that might forever be mysteries. Or not. Until we know what the reaction actually is and know how to reliably create it, true knowledge is likely to remain elusive.

Of course, we could simply ask Joshua Cude, the authority, who doesn’t need facts but can assess truth through personalities and who supports what.

There were a total of 19 comments under this Disqus account. The rest of them:

Discussion on NetworkWorld  91 comments

Cude jumped in with this: Feb 17th 2016

Abd wrote:

No, what is needed, ordinarily, and even with something like cold fusion, is preponderance of the evidence. It is not necessary to prove every detail, and unless one has unlimited funding, it is probably impossible.

Cude did not link to the original, so here it is.

A preponderance of evidence is a legal term, but used descriptively, presumably it means that, based on the evidence, someone judges something to be more likely than not. You are saying, presumably, that in your judgement, the evidence indicates cold fusion is more likely to be real than not.

Yes. And from my study, that evidence is not weak and not merely circumstantial. To be sure, we need a definition of “cold fusion.” I use that to refer to the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect, and it appears that half the U.S. DoE review panel agreed with this in 2004. However, I go further. That review, as reported by the summarizer, did not understand the helium evidence and radically misstated it. The production of correlated helium is direct evidence that the heat is generated by a nuclear reaction, Pons and Fleischmann called it “unknown.” Calling it fusion was quite misleading. I use this term, instead of the more neutral LENR, because the helium evidence does indicate that the reaction is converting deuterium to helium, by unknown mechanism. That is a fusion result, so … until we know better, it’s like some kind of fusion. But it is very unlikely, for reasons Cude knows well, to be “D-D fusion.”

But you are not in a position of authority to make such a judgement for anyone else.

That is correct, unless I am placed in that position. I am a journalist, primarily, and an activist. My responsibility is to my readership. In general, I present evidence for readers to judge. I also disclose my own judgments, and I am responsible for them. However, this is a truly remarkable argument to make, I would call it trolling.

You don’t have a science degree or any experience in scientific research. Moreover, you have admitted that your advocacy has been paid for.

If I had such a degree, would it make any difference? Would I therefore be qualified to “judge for someone else”? I have an education, which has been disclosed. I have a great deal of experience writing for an expert audience (on the CMNS mailing list).

As to being “paid for,” that is a report that shows that Cude either doesn’t understand what he has read, he confuses his interpretations with truth, or he has believed trolls who make that claim. What actually happened that could be taken that way is that I wrote, in private email with a scientist, about Wikipedia and how it worked, the policies, and how it doesn’t work. There was someone on cc who then asked me to bill him. I told him that he could donate to my nonprofit, $50 or $100, it would be fine. He then asked me to bill him for a far higher figure, through the nonprofit. So I did. He did not pay for advocacy, there was one request, that I review a certain web site, but it wasn’t ready yet. I’ve still not been asked to complete that, and the review would have been for him, not for publication.

I have not been paid to advocate anything. Advocacy is my choice, and what I am advocating is not “Cold Fusion is Real!” but research; as part of that deciding what research is to be supported is important, and, years ago, I identified confirming heat/helium determination as crucial, as the only direct evidence that the Anomalous Heat Effect, it is also being called, is both real and nuclear in nature. Determining the value of the ratio is difficult, something Cude doesn’t seem to realize. Part of the problem is capturing all the helium, and then there are issues in the mass spectrometry, which is expensive. Etc.

Recently, I was also crowd-funded to report on the Rossi v. Darden trial, such that I actually met Rossi and Darden and Vaughn and other involved people. Because that trial settled unexpectedly on the fourth day, I have money left over, so I have funding for expenses and travel. Cude it attempting his classic move: ad hominem argument. It’s false and it is trolling.

Those who do have relevant expertise and experience, for the most part, are not convinced cold fusion is real, so that means that, in their judgement, the preponderance of evidence fails to make cold fusion more likely to be real than not.

And who is Cude to be making this judgment? I am known, I have a long public history, people can review it readily. Cude is an anonymous skeptic/pseudoskeptic/troll. His “for the most part” is a complex judgment. Is it based on evidence? What evidence, and when was that evidence collected? How would we know?

I was aware of the Pons and Fleischmann announcement in 1989, and knew the basic issues, but not the experimental details. In fact, nobody knew other than a few, at that point. When what we know of as early cold fusion history came down, I assumed that it had all been a mistake. Much later, I had become quite involved with Wikipedia, and came across an abusive blacklisting. I request that the administrator undo it. He blew me off. Eventually, this went to the Arbitration Committee and they confirmed my assessment and the admin was reprimanded. And then his faction came after me.

I had started to work on the Cold fusion article. I was not a “believer.” (It is still not fair to call me that and I consider it very possible that I will never see a commercial cold fusion device, it is possible –though perhaps unlikely — that such will never exist, so “wishful thinking” (Cude’s classic explanation for the belief of scientists and others “in cold fusion” — that is a radical insult to a scientist) has nothing to do with it. Because I realized the potential importance I bought all the major books, something I had never done before researching a Wikipedia article. Taubes is one of my favorites, for his historical research. Cude has no clue.

Genuine skeptics support what I’m doing. Trolls attack it.

Such experts are of course considering the copious and consistent and reproducible evidence from a century of nuclear physics that collectively suggests strongly that nuclear reactions would not happen in the context of cold fusion experiments.

That argument was known to be defective in 1989. (Teller, Schwinger, Cold fusion is not a “nuclear physics” topic, in origin. It was a finding in electrochemistry, of anomalous heat. The first and foremost question was the reality and origin of this heat. Not “is it theoretically possible,” that is a Cargo Cult question. Science does not ask if experimental results are “possible,” and a science that rejects experimental results in favor of its own theoretical construct has lost science and has become scientist.

(Experimental results are experimental results and are distinct from their interpretation.)

Yes. The heat was very much unexpected. Pons and Fleischmann were looking at a problem that I remember from Feynman: we cannot calculate the solid state, it is far too complex. They knew that certain simplifying assumptions were made to calculate fusion rates in the solid state. (i.e., in a material like PdD). They suspected that the actual rate might be different. This was ordinary science. They expected that there was a difference (that is practically inevitable), but they also thought they would probably be unable to measure it. Nevertheless, they decided to look. And then their experiment melted down. They spent almost five years attempting to create controlled experiments, and it was … difficult. They were not ready to announce. But Jones was actually investigating along the same line of thinking, and thought he was finding neutrons. That pushed the university into announcing, prematurely. The rest is history.

What happens when experts are charged with investigation and report? Cude is quite unspecific. He is asserting a vague consensus, as if it is fact. It is probably true that “most scientists” or “most nuclear physicists” think “cold fusion was rejected long ago.” This was mentioned in my paper and in other reviews in Current Science in 2015. That is what Tiernan called an “information cascade” (referring to the “scientific consensus” on fat in the diet and obesity and heart disease). It is an opinion that spread without ever being scientifically confirmed.

The most recent public expert panel was the 2004 DoE review. It does not support Cude’s idea of some massive scientific rejection. That review as brief and badly managed, I’ve written extensively about that. But it was a sea change from 1989. And 1989 did not conclude impossibility. It noted the theoretical difficulty, and, to my mind, both reviews focused far too much on theory. There is no satisfactory cold fusion theory as to mechanism. It’s an enormous challenge. There is a hypothesis, that falls out of the heat/helium work: the heat is from the conversion of deuterium to helium. That is testable. It does not require “reliable experiments.” It does require setting up the AHE, at least occasionally. It is known how to do that, but it’s still largely an art. There is no “lab rat” you can go out and buy or put together from instructions. But if one is determined, one can see the effect.

And that work is under way in Texas.

Next to this, the erratic, marginal, inconsistent, and irreproducible results associated with such experiments are far more plausibly explained by artifacts. Which is to say, in the mainstream view, the preponderance of evidence points to artifact, and by a vast margin.

Helium production correlated with anomalous heat is reproducible and has been confirmed many times by many groups. Cude knows this, so he is lying. Where does the “mainstream view” exist?

In the minds of some. In the Sixty Minutes report on Cold fusion, Richard Garwin is quoted, about SRI calorimetry, the work of experts, “They must be making some mistake.”

That is an understandable, though knee-jerk, opinion. There is a belief in the impossibility of “cold fusion”, but like many such beliefs, it requires a definition. How would we know that “cold fusion” is impossible? We would have to know what it is. Or we would have to have such thorough and deep knowledge of all the possible conditions that can arise to be able to claim, sensibly, that if it was real, we would already know about it. That assumption of adequate knowledge is common and ordinary, but … if accepted, such that experimental evidence is simply discarded because “impossible,” science could not advance beyond the limits of the already-known.

The basis of Cude’s position, then, is belief. Rational skepticism would sit with “I’m not yet convinced,” but not advance into the arrogant, confident, rejection of the work of others, that Cude so often indulges in.

“Scientific opinion” is properly, the opinion of the knowledgeable. Cude is more knowledgeable than any other skeptic I have encountered. Shanahan is actually published, but is common unable to see his hand in front of his face. Cude has collected an armory of arguments. I have collected these before, on newvortex, I’ll probably pull that in.

Cude is not, however, practicing science. He is not seeking to test his ideas. He advances arguments that appeal to some audiences, but that are not at all scientific, such as his obvious ad hominems.

He is dissmissing the work of hundreds of scientists as all “artifact.” He has elsewhere claimed that cold fusion is “N-rays” and “polywater,” but those were found to be artifact through replication and then a showing of artifact, not through simple claims and replication failure.

The work on those topics that led to rejection was actually replication first. Creating the artifact! So what happens when careful calorimetry is done? Many fail, that’s what Cude relies on, but he is ignoring that many have succeeded in seeing the heat. And then he is ignoring the extensive work showing helium correlation. Again, there must be some mistake, and it’s easy to postulate that the helium is from leakage. But that explanation does not fit well with the actual results. It’s just an idea without foundation in the experimental evidence. And, then, “artifact” does not fit well with the observed correlation. Wouldn’t helium also leak in hydrogen or other control experiments? Why does helium show up with heat, and not with no heat? The “heat” involved is not “higher temperature,” necessarily, or if it is higher, it is a few degrees C., not a major heating that could affect seals.

No, Cude is essentially ignoring any inconvenient evidence, or attacking it with pseudoscience.

Of course, absolute proof of anything is not possible, but something like cold fusion could surely be proved to arbitrary certainty if it were real, much as high temperature superconductivity was not doubted by any experts after the first publication became available.

Reasoning by defective analogy. I would say that “cold fusion” has been shown to be real by extensive experimentation by many different research groups. That it is not accepted as HT superconductivity was accepted is an issue for the sociology of science, and there are books on this. It is not about science, per se, but about people and how people behave collectively.

And what matters is not my opinion, or Cude’s opinion, but the opinion of those who decide on research funding. The DoE recommended modest research funding, but the only research we know of that was funded by the DoE was Shanahan’s Abortion. Why were there no fundamental projects funded? Probably, politics.

But there are other sources of funding. EPRI needed to know, and they funded McKubre’s work at SRI, and published it. Cude completely disregards that SRI was charged with sober investigation, by people who needed to know. DARPA needed to know, and also funded SRI. Others managed to continue research out of discretionary funds. I’m told that the SPAWAR program was shut down because a manager freaked out over Rossi. I just read the other day on E-Catworld a 20aa claim that SPAWAR was the “military customer” that Rossi pretended to have tthen. That might just have led to that program cancellation. It was completely false.

And, more recently? Industrial Heat needed to know, and was willing to put money into finding out. Their interest was LENR in general, and Rossi was depressing research. (Why fiddle with milliwatts or a few watts if Rossi is claiming kilowatts?)  They raised and invested in Rossi, $20 million.

Woodford Fund investigated LENR and decided to invest. In Rossi? No. They gave Industrial Heat $50 million for LENR research, which was spent, maybe $25 million of it, on other LENR projects, with theory and experiment. One of the projects they supported for a time was the Letts work with dual laser stimulation, which I had also suggested as scientifically significant. (That work was unsuccessful, apparently, but inconclusively so, and it was stopped, apparently because IH needed to focus on the lawsuit. Rossi did a lot of damage! IH is mostly secretive, so I don’t really know what is happening now.(

And then, a major donor gave $6 million to Texas Tech for a project that featured heat/helium replication, to be matched by $6 million in Texas State funds.

Those are the people who need to look at “preponderance of the evidence,” and in some cases, even weak evidence might be worth investment. The reason for that is that cold fusion, if real, could be extraordinarily valuable. Sane investment does not require certainty. It requires a sober estimate of risks.

It is almost inconceivable that an energy density a million times that of dynamite, accessible at ordinary conditions could not be made obvious in 27 years,

The conditions of cold fusion are far from “ordinary.” He means “not at temperatures of millions of degrees.” That energy density is apparently in a thin layer under not-well-understood conditions. This paradox appeared in the attempts to replicate Pons and Fleischmann: the Japanese though that they should use the purest palladium. It flat-out did not work.

When people do see the effect, it’s often obvious. Cude knows that. The truth behind his claims is that it’s quite difficult to set up the conditions. He is demanding, not mere obviousness, but readily repeatable and reliable obviousness.

I proposed the new heat/helium work because it does not require that we have what Cude demands. If one experiment out of ten, say, with a confirmed protocol, were to produce XP (and some protocols have done much better than that), and then one were to run a hundred trials, producing 10 examples of excess heat, and one were to analyse the outgas from those experiments, what would it show?

From the history, I expect that heat and helium would  be correlated and if these are FP-class experiments, about 60% of the helium expected from the conversion of deuterium to helium for that energy release would be measured. And if the surface is stripped, dissolving palladium and releasing trapped helium, the rest would be measured. Within experimental error.

That would be as close to “proof” as I can imagine.

And then the focus can turn to creating the lab rat, because further investigation requires commensurability across the work of multiple groups.

What I have found is that genuine skeptics are interested and support this approach. Pseudoskeptical trolls attack my lack of a degree and my age and my alleged this and that.

but it is completely plausible that artifacts producing a variety of confounding effects that look like cold fusion if you squint would be too elusive to be nailed down in 27 years.

Plausible but not likely. There are artifacts that afflict the research, but there are also studies that were quite careful, where artifact is unlikely.

EPRI also funded Hoffman’s study, published as a book in 1995 by the American Nuclear Society, A Dialogue on Chemically-Induced Nuclear Effects, Guide for the Perplexed about Cold Fusion. Hoffman goes over the evidence that existed as he began. He does not mention the later Miles work, and I’m not sure why. But Hoffman was a skeptic, not a “believer,” but he knew that the question or reality was open. He considered the calorimetry, in general, to be sound.

So is the heat a chemical effect? The calculations of energy density, I do not find convincing. There are too many assumptions being made. (In fact, though, it appears that the effect is a surface one, and so the energy density is higher than estimated by Pons and Fleischmann based on their idea that the effect was in the bulk.) The problem is generally the level of the effect compared to some possible unexpected recombination.

Shanahan makes the general point that there is an anomaly, something unexpected, but he assigns it to chemistry, not a nuclear reaction. Shanahan’s ideas are rejected by experienced electrochemists, but … that would be an argument from authority, so we have been and will be looking at details.

But Shanahan’s chemical anomaly does not approach an explanation of correlated helium.

Many cold fusion students will also point to tritium (often found, but correlation with heat has not been studied), neutrons (found at extremely low levels, no far above background, at least not generally), and transmutations. I consider all this a distraction, mysteries that will become far easier to resolve with the existence of a lab rat. The main show is heat and helium and apparently almost nothing else being produced. No gammas, or if there are significant gammas, they are low-energy.

Cude went on to generate a total of 261 posts on LF. The last was July 16. 2016.

Skeptoid

On February 27, Cude dumped a huge text bomb on that blog….  There were followup posts. Nothing appeared like what was commented the first time.

Cold Fusion Now

March 12, 2012

April 12, 2013
“Your historical analogy is not accurate. The energy released by Ra-226 is not fission; it’s alpha decay.”
This is bizarre. As usual, Cude is half-right. The energy is from alpha decay. But alpha decay is obviously a form of fission, a special case. This is typical trolling. Cude’s argument was irrelevant. French was correct. All analogies are inaccurate in some way, so this objection was purely pedantic (and only correct within a very restricted use of language).

April 13, 2013
April 14, 2013

Mass Use of Cold Fusion in One Year – or Less


October 24, 2011
October 26, 2011
October 26, 2011
October 26, 2011

Letters to the Senate request hearings on DOE and USPTO.

Electron capture by a proton – Where would the energy come from?


March 18, 2013 (Except for the “attorney” comment, he is totally correct.)
March 19, 2013
March 20, 2013
March 19, 2013
March 19, 2013
March 20, 2013
March 18, 2013
March 19, 2013

Scientific American Attacks Cold Fusion Research with Twenty-Year-Old Claims

In this case, Jennifer Ouelette wrote a critique of cold fusion on her Scientific American blog, then left comments open and censored them without cause. It does appear that she deleted a comment by Joshua Cude, of which one line is quoted by Rothwell.

I’m not aware of a single major university that has expressed the opinion that evidence for the claims of P&F is overwhelming.

Ouelette refers to pro-cold fusion fanatics, as if these are the only trolls infesting fora.

That Cude statement is a great example of how Cude argues. I am not aware of such an expression either. Notice all the qualifications. “Major,” which then allows Cude to claim, if one points to a counterexample, that it’s not a “major university.” Then, universities rarely express opinions and then not opinions like that. Then, what are the “claims of P&F”? What claims? Some of their claims were erroneous. And finally, is the evidence “overwhelming,” presumably, “beyond a shadow of doubt”? — or is it merely convincing or even reasonably conclusive?

Jed responded with his own hyperbolic polemic:

Professors at universities and at other institutions express that opinion. For example, the Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission said that, as did the world’s top expert in tritium at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (NSF p. 13-3). In 1991, The Director of the Max Planck Institute for Physical Chemistry in Berlin wrote: “. . . there is now undoubtedly overwhelming indications that nuclear processes take place in the metal alloys.”

Hundreds of other distinguished experts in nuclear physics and other related disciplines have said they are certain cold fusion is real. They know this because they have conducted experiments and detected the reaction at high signal to noise ratios, and their experiments have survived rigorous peer-review. That is the only way anyone ever knows anything for sure in science. Replicated, high sigma experiments are the only standard of truth.

He has not read the Cude comment carefully, so he responds to a different claim, and I could suspect that Ouelette recognized this and thus dismissed his comment, which is unfortunate. As is not uncommon with Jed (there are many examples in the discussions I have been linking to in studying Cude), his comments overstate the case. Usually the ‘case’ would be reasonable, but not the details of how he presents it, so a troll like Cude can take it apart, and a pseudoskeptic like Ouelette can dismiss it. Jed’s response to critique on this point is often “I don’t care what skeptics think.”

That is where we differ. I do care what genuine skeptics think, and will also attempt to carefully address even some pseudoskeptical arguments, because the boundary between pseudoskepticism and genuine skepticism can be obscure. In the end, my target is ultimately decision-makers (for funding, publication, and other issues), who will properly be skeptical.

Jed gives three references.

  1. A BARC publication. 8 pages. I searched it while having migraine symptoms. So maybe I missed it, but I found nothing in that publication that supported the claim of “overwhelming evidence.”
  2. EPRI publication. 13-3 (pdf page 266) does not support the statement. This is not looking good.
  3. This reference is a note from Bockris about Gerischer, about a shift in Gerischer’s position that took place in the Como Conference, 1991. A fuller quote than Jed gave:

In spite of my earlier conclusion, – and that of the majority of scientists, – that the phenomena
reported by Fleischmann and Pons in 1989 (3) depended either on measurement errors or were of
chemical origin, there is now undoubtedly overwhelming indications that nuclear processes take
place in the metal alloys. The early publications were so full of errors in measurement technique and
in the interpretation that the euphoria to which the discovery gave rise was rapidly replaced by
disappointment when it turned out that the laboratories with the best equipment could not reproduce
the results. Only very few groups found similar effects, but even these groups could not find
reproducibility in their own laboratory.

And then:

AN EVALUATION OF THE RESULTS OBSERVED SO FAR

Although there are many discrepancies in the reports which are at hand, and although there
are many open questions, there now lie before us several indications that fusion reactions do occur
between deuterides in metals. This gives rise to a new situation. It is entirely an open question
whether such processes could be used as the source of energy but this, of course, can only be
decided if the processes which have been revealed in the work discussed here are researched and
given a theoretical basis. In any case I consider it absolutely necessary that these phenomena are
systematically researched and the conditions for their reproducibility cleared up. That a nuclear
reaction can be stimulated by interaction with a solid lattice and made to take another path from that
which it would take in the plasma, is an entirely unexpected discovery with possibly wide-ranging
consequences. It demands confirmation and further experimental evaluation. In the following a
number of experimental and theoretical questions are raised which are at the present time entirely
open.

That “evaluation” shows what was already reasonably concluded from what Jed quoted. There are “indications.” Jed synthesizes it into “that opinion” (what Cude claimed did not exist, perhaps correctly), and then goes on to consider it, probably, as an example of what he then claimed about hundreds of scientists, “they are certain cold fusion is real.” Gerischer didn’t say that and did not mean that.

As Jed well knows, there was a rejection cascade, where an unscientific scientific consensus appeared, and incorrect or misleading opinion became common. It is not fair, but to counter this requires extraordinary evidence, and those who seek to transform any broad consensus need be particularly careful. If you are going to shoot the King, don’t miss.

Jed became cynical, and just expresses his opinion, without that caution. The “certainty” expressed, if that is the actual position, and without being careful about what “certainty” means, would be pseudoscientific. There is no successful cold fusion theory. There is no lab rat allowing wide and ready confirmation. Gerischer points out the problems, he does not think they have been solved. His actual claim is that the “indications” are strong enough to justify further research. This is not, as Cude claims in his “poetic” post (great catch, Ruby!) N-rays or polywater, where controlled experiment revealed the artifact under the original claims. But it is not the confident conclusion Jed imagines.

So, in a discussion that will be read by a general audience, including those who are ordinarily and reasonably skeptical, but perhaps they are not aware of the developed evidence, as Gerischer became, and you make a claim that appears to contradict what they thought was commonplace, what “everybody knows,” you have made a major accomplishment, if they bother to check your sources (most won’t!). But if the sources do not clearly show what you claimed, you have completely blown the opportunity, poisoned the well, and they may think the same about anyone else who makes the same claims. They won’t even look. They will think, with Garwin, “They must be making some mistake.”

Pogo: we have met the enemy, and he is us.

An Impossible Invention

Aleklett’s blog

misc

http://scienceblogs.com/startswithabang/2011/12/05/the-nuclear-physics-of-why-we/

Mats Lewan’s blog

Cude also acknowledged writing as “popeye”. (lovely comment, by the way, on Skeptoid. If Cude/Schroeder ever wonders why some might be motivated to document his activity, he could look at that.) Retrieving posts from ecatnews.com may be difficult or impossible. It has also been claimed that “fact police” was Cude. I found a post on E-Catworld, but the user did not create a profile. While this could be Cude, it is far from obvious.

 

 

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

Work in progress

This is a review of the revenge article written about me on RationalWiki, by a sock of the user known to Wikipedia as Anglo Pyramidologist. I am here commenting on it. At the time that this article was written, I had (from many years earlier) sysop privileges on RationalWiki, which were nearly useless. I had given up on doing any serious work on that wiki, it was so overrun by trolls and contemptuous pretend skeptics. It was a place where some users from Wikipedia would come to freely express how they thought, showing how depraved they actually were, depravity that would get them blocked (and some were administrators, and they would face desysop on Wikipedia if they were so free there). Snark reigns on RationalWiki.


Abd ul-Rahman Lomax

Abd ul-Rahman Lomax[1][2] (a.k.a. Daniel Lomax or User:Abd) is a Muslimconspiracy theorist and crank who is a proponent of pseudoscientific cold fusion.

Lomax has a history of being banned on forums and wikis for trolling.

Lying from the start. Yes, Muslim, I hope. Conspiracy theorist is a lie, created by the troll who started this article, and maintained by a series of sock puppets. Identification of sock puppets is not “conspiracy theory,” though it is a theory of sorts. Evidence? Fake skeptics don’t care about evidence! It exists and has been heavily documented by me and by others (some is private information, which may be revealed if necessary). This is being covered on other pages, as well, as, for the WikiMedia Foundation socks, on the meta wiki (because it was cross-wiki socking). Even short of the technical evidence that exists, which is definitive, the duck test is totally clear. Most WMF socks are identified by the duck test.

Crank is opinion. I’m 73, self-expressed and assertive, and that can look like “crank.” Or cranky people, of any age, may consider as a “crank,” someone who is assertive with different opinions than theirs.

 Proponent of pseudoscientific cold fusion is misleading I am a proponent (hopefully, facilitator) of scientific research, published in the mainstream journal system where possible, into what is popularly called “cold fusion,” which was a misleading name from the beginning, for the Fleischmann-Pons Heat Effect (FPHE). It was misleading because there was evidence that the reaction, if real, was not what was ordinarily understood as “fusion,” and there still is no definitive and confirmed explanatory theory, except the simple one I will mention below. Pons and Fleischmann themselves, in their first paper, called it an “unknown nuclear reaction.” “Nuclear” because they were chemists and, to them, this wasn’t chemistry. Others disagreed. More below. While there are “believers” in cold fusion, whose opinions might be called “pseudoscientific,” I am not one. Rather, I have claimed that the preponderance of the evidence is that the FPHE is real, and that it is nuclear in nature, because it has been found and widely confirmed to produce a correlated nuclear product. That is simple science, fully falsifiable (though not easy to test), not “pseudoscience,” except to a pretend skeptic who doesn’t actually understand the words he uses, but knows what is “bad” on RationalWiki.

As to being banned for trolling, this is a Lie. In fact, the idea that I am extensively banned results from squinting and only looking at a few bans.

I was banned by a cranky moderator on the vortex-l mailing list. It was not for trolling, it was the opposite. It was for responding soberly and carefully to a troll. The ban said DNFTT, for which see Wikipedia.

I am “community-banned” on the English Wikipedia. One might notice that there is no Sock Puppet Investigation case for me there. That’s because, while I did sock for a very short time, in 2011, those socks were not disruptive, except for being block evasion. Except for one, they were self-identified, no need for checkuser. On the other hand, the author of this article, and supporting socks which continue to edit it, has almost 200 identified and blocked socks on Wikipedia, has now a series of globally locked accounts, and most recently has been editing using open proxies, and starting up a new one as soon as globally blocked. And cries about “why isn’t Abd banned?” (This is covered on other pages here.)

I was banned from LENR-forum. That’s not dissimilar to what happened on en.Wikipedia. I confronted abusive administration. Long story. “Trolling” was not the reason. However, before being banned, I was called a troll by … a troll. Of course he will quote that! (That is common with RatWiki hit pieces. Anyone expressing a negative opinion of the target, they are likely to find it and quote it as if a fact.)

 I am not “banned” on RationalWiki. That would take a Cooping, and the last thing AP wants is to call attention to the situation. I could easily sock around this, but instead prefer to document the behavior, here, thoroughly. I don’t need to use that RW account. And if I ever want to edit Wikipedia, I would follow policy to request unblock. There, I have a set of dedicated enemies (at least one of whom is still ranting about me after my being gone for six years, because … I set up an ArbComm case that got him reprimanded. Unforgiveable!  And I set up a case where a good friend of his was desysopped, which is rare for a non-administrator to accomplish)– but I also I have friends with weight. By the Standard Offer, I should qualify. But I don’t want to edit Wikipedia. Why should I?

Counting blocks, and having been very active, I am banned on two foru