Alternate channel

Some internet fora pretend to represent a community, and, sometimes, to some extent, they do. But it is common that the collection of users that would consider itself the community has no real power except to make a fuss (and maybe get banned) or walk away.

The Wikipedia community is a great example. There is a real community, but there is also a corporation which, for years, hid behind the trope that the community was in charge. Several years ago, they appear to have abandoned that, and the problems show up in quite a few ways.

Bottom line, the WikiMedia Foundation can and does, on its own, globally ban users, with no explanation and using a crude tool that disables account access and incoming email, cutting the user off. They announce to the world that the person is banned (without explanation but generally implying that the Terms of Service have been violated, which is sometimes false). In fact, the community is banned from communicating with the user! At least using the open email access that is normal through the MediaWiki interface. (Some time back it was discovered that a globally locked user could receive mail if they had email enabled, and so the Foundation quietly fixed that.)

And they do this arbitrarily, with no notice to the user, no warning, and they claim, no appeal possible. They ignore requests for review or to correct errors. It’s a lifetime ban of the person, not the account, and one person was banned with no account, banned by his real name.

Lenr-forum also bans users. For most bans, there is a fairly obvious reason, but occasionally, it’s personal and arbitrary and lenr-forum administration is opaque. But they cannot stop people from reading the site and commenting, and I’m not talking about creating sock puppets. Some time ago, I started occasionally commenting on lenr-forum, using hypothes.is. This tool was designed for academic use, largely. Comment on any web site, and share the comments with a group or with the world. I highly recommend it for the possibilities. I have the tool installed in my browser, so I can add a comment anywhere, with no fuss or special log-in, and I can make it private or publish it.

So, some links:

All comments on lenr-forum.com (by anyone using hypothes.is)

All my comments on lenr-forum

(at this point, both links return the same 116 comments. They are returned in reverse date order, so, as you can see, I made 7 comments recently.)

All my comments anywhere.

I just added new comments on a Shanahan post.

My ideal is better than your reality

Much criticism is based on this comparison between real-world expression and the critic’s ideas, which, of course, may be revised, ad hoc.

This extends far outside science. Our ideas of perfect morality may be, for example, compared with the real behavior of (some) formal members of a religion, as if this demonstrates the superiority of our religion (or our ideals) over the other.

Because there was only one major and relatively deep critique of the Fleischmann-Pons calorimetry, published in a mainstream journal, one debate where there was original publication, critique (by D.R.O. Morrison), and author response, last year I began a page hierarchy to study the debate. The original as-published documents are behind a pay-wall, so I used copies from lenr-canr.org, that were based on a copy of the Morrison critique from sci.physics.fusion, an internet newsgroup, an obsolete form similar to a mailing list.

I first observed the issue of paper integrity in that the FP paper was not identical to the lenr-canr.org copy, which is likely a copy supplied to that library by an author. That is routine for lenr-canr copies of journal-published papers, for copyright reasons. The changes seemed quite minor (I will check this again more thoroughly). But for no decent reason, I did not check the Morrison critique against the later as-published version, and because that as-published version is not widely available, I preferred to use a version that anyone could check against my copy.

And that was an error. I was then distracted by other business, and as continued participation in the review did not appear, I did not return to my study of the debate until yesterday. I started by completing the adding of URLs for references, and then began going over the Morrison paper. It was full of errors or non sequiturs, immature argument, etc. And I started to wonder how this had gotten past peer review. Journals do not necessarily review critiques as strongly as original papers, and I have seen blatant errors in such critiques. Ordinarily, it is left to the authors to correct such errors. In one case where a blatant error was left standing (the Shanahan review in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring), the error was so ridiculously bad that the authors and others responding completely missed it, instead focusing on Shanahan’s conclusion from his seriously defective analysis. Argument from conclusion, naughty, naughty!)

The Morrison document from the newsgroup had this at the top:
5th DRAFT – Scientific Comments Welcomed.

There were no serious responses to that post, threaded with it. (There were other responses that can be found with some searching, made more complicated by some very poor Google archiving practices, what they did when they took over the newsgroups. I will cover other responses (some of it is interesting) elsewhere.

What Morrison was doing was, in part, to be commended, he was putting his work out there for critique before final submission. However, by this time, the scientific community had become highly polarized, and serious discussion, what might be called collaborative critique, good scientific process, was often missing. It still is, too often. Morrison’s critique would be useful, even if “wrong” in this way or that, because what Morrison wrote would be what many would think, but not necessarily write.

I came back to this issue because I noticed a mention of my study on lenr-forum.com. The remainder of this post is a detailed response to that. Continue reading “My ideal is better than your reality”

The care and feeding of the Troll

Trolls, by definition, provoke, they “troll” for outrage. Their goal is to provoke their targets into sticking their feet in their mouths. Some people are complete suckers for this, because when “someone is wrong on the internet,” they must reply. There is a point to that, if what is being said is misleading on a matter of importance, but a skilled troll will work our “defender of truth” into such a froth that their responses become gibberish.

Kirk Shanahan — and certain other writers on LENR Forum — is a troll, among other roles. He also happens to be the last published significant skeptic on LENR, and some of his arguments are at least plausible. Yet when he joined LF, his second post was hyperskeptical trolling.

In reply to Jed R.:

No, F&P drew down the ire of the scientific world because they claimed to have found a way to “infinite energy”, but no one could reproduce it except by random chance.  […]

For the record, I believ they found a real effect, it just has nothing to do with nuclear reactions.

This was poking Rothwell. Shanahan would know, very well, how Jed would respond. Fleischmann and Pons did not claim to have found a way to “infinite energy.” The comment that no one could reproduce it (the experiment) except by random chance contradicts the “belief” he claimed. He’s not a scientist at heart, he forms beliefs without experimental confirmation — he wants everyone else to do the experiments and takes no responsibility for making them happen.

He is referring to an anomaly, unexpected “ATER,” At the electrode recombination. He ascribes an almost magical ability for ATER to fool electrochemists, without ATER ever having been demonstrated — other than by Shanahan’s legerdemain with calorimetric results, ignoring contrary evidence, etc. He is making an extraordinary claim but not providing extraordinary evidence, exactly what he accuses LENR researchers of doing. Yet there is extraordinary evidence for LENR, but it is still common that scientists are unaware of it.

And at the same time, many assume that if such evidence were discovered, surely it would be all over the news.

In any case, the occasion for my comment today is a flame war that arose on LENR Forum between Shanahan and others, most notably the very same Jed Rothwell that he poked in 2016. Some authors on LF have the bad habit of claiming that others said something really dumb, and don’t link to it. Then, when they person claims not to have said that, they claim the person is lying. Pushed, they go back and find quotes, and again, sometimes, still don’t link. The quotes don’t match what they had earlier claimed, but the quoter claims, then, that there were other comments they couldn’t find. And then the two call each other liars.

This is at least one person not knowing how to defuse stupid arguments . . . or someone really is lying or, on the other side, gaslighting, and possibly some combination. The moderators have been AWOL or have given up on these trolls or, on the other side, “dedicated believers.”

A thread was started by Rothwell on the Beiting report, which is certainly of interest. Shanahan looked at it, giving some initial concerns about the precision of the calorimetry. I intend to eventually cover the Beiting report, and at that time will study Shanahan’s objections. Rothwell attacks it with a superficial comment.

If there were an 8% shift, as Shanahan claims, much of the test shown on p. 20, the calibration runs, and the control runs would be endothermic. They would be swallowing up megajoules of heat. It would be a fantastic coincidence that the calibrations fell exactly on the zero line. This is impossible. Shanahan has a rare talent for inventing impossible physics.

For starters. Shanahan did not claim an “8% shift.” Jed does not read carefully. (The 8% figure seems to have come from Zeus46, who is also piling on Shanahan. Shanahan is doing his classic analysis, looking for possible calibration error. He did not assert that there was one. Shanahan is talking math, Rothwell is talking ad hominem. He writes:

Beiting has made a second, flow calorimeter that confirms the first one. Shanahan cannot explain this, either, except with his impossible hand-waving.

As far as is apparent, Shanahan has not begun “hand-waving.” He does that sometimes, but Rothwell is not responding to the real, present Shanahan actually writing in the thread.

I must say, Shanahan is learning to use forums. He skewers Rothwell, who had made an argument to authority. (I’m not claiming that Jed was wrong, but the claim he made was one easily set aside as unsupported. It is along the lines of believers in this or that making claims of support from “reputable professors.” It’s not necessarily wrong, but this is imitating the behavior of fanatic believers — or frauds. Pulling out and playing these cards in discussions with experienced skeptics is asking to be eviscerated.)

and the people at The Aerospace Corp. are world class. (See: http://www.aerospace.org/)

Out of curiosity, how do you measure that?

Rothwell misses the opportunity to respond with humor. The argument continues, ignoring the substance, misrepresenting what Shanahan has written in this thread. Jed is responding to older comments and ideas from Shanahan, not to the specifics here.

Shanahan’s hypothesis is even more unlikely because it is a magic problem that cannot be detected by calibration or any other test, and thus cannot be falsified.

I haven’t seen a hypothesis yet in this thread from Shanahan. He simply started to discuss the report and to consider calibrations. He has not actually asserted error, beyond this, about Beiting, but his focus by this time is Rothwell’s claim that the work must be good because Aerospace.

Shanahan had written:

He failed to compute the error of his calibration curve properly and he failed to take into account the proper chemistry in his sample prep and subsequent experimentation. There might be more if I study the paper more, but what I’ve seen so far is enough to class his efforts as ‘typical so-so CF community work’. And that isn’t ‘world-class’. With regards to other Aerospace people, no idea, don’t care.

I don’t know yet if this is valid, and the discussion is continually diverted from fact and attempted analysis, to ad hominem arguments and accusations.

There was a comment from stefan which addressed the error problem. His conclusion: Beiting may have done it right but doesn’t show this.

Back to Rothwell, and my emphasis on claims about what Shanahan allegedly claimed in the past (my emphasis below)

It only happens when there is a particular choice of metal, which cannot affect the calorimetry. There can be no physical explanation for such a thing. It resembles his claims that people cannot feel an object is hot by sense of touch, or a 1-liter object will remain hot for three days with no input power, or that a bucket of water left in a room will magically evaporate overnight. In other words, once again he makes claims that anyone should instantly recognize are preposterous. I doubt he believes these claims. I suppose he is trolling us, or hoping to fool people such as seven_of_twenty who apparently cannot tell that Shanahan is spouting impossible nonsense.

Yes, anyone could recognize that. If Shanahan actually wrote those things. Did he? I’ve been following Shanahan for almost a decade and he just isn’t quite that stupid. He does speculate on Rube Goldberg explanations that are highly implausible. Sometimes. But I’ve never seen him make such claims, so, knowing Rothwell as well, I suspect that he has done some interpretation, shifting what Shanahan actually said, converting it to classic straw-man argument.

Shanahan wrote:

JedRothwell wrote:

It seems unlikely that such people overlooked a problem that Shanahan found in an hour or so.

That is the nature of systematic errors. Or lack of training.

Rothwell’s response:

Invisible systematic errors that cannot be detected with a calibration, or by any other physical test. Unfalsifiable errors. Metaphysical errors that you alone, in all the world, believe. Perhaps you are delusional. Surely you are an egomaniac who thinks he knows better than a team of experts who spent years on this experiment.

Either that or you are trolling us.

Rothwell is being grossly uncivil, and not addressing the actual points raised by Shanahan. If Shanahan is trolling, it’s working, Rothwell is looking obsessed. He’s reacting to a ghost, the ghost of Shanahan past, I suspect. More:

You are saying the experts at The Aerospace Corporation are incapable of understanding the issues.

This went on and one. Shanahan made one comment worth reading for itself, about “working in the noise.” He’s correct, in substance. However, he overstates his case and uses his own historical ideas far too strongly. His conclusion:

Accurately determining error levels is the only way to avoid working in the noise.

This is, in fact, often missing from even some of the best work.

THHuxley wrote a cogent analysis of the discussion.

Rothwell again brought up the alleged Shanahan idiocies:

No test will refute Shanahan and other extremists because their objections are irrational nonsense. Shanahan says that sense of touch cannot distinguish between an object at 100 deg C and room temperature. He says that a 1-liter hot object will remain hot for 3 days, and that a bucket of water will evaporate overnight when left in an ordinary room. People who believe such things have no common sense and no knowledge of science. No demonstration, no matter how convincing, will change their minds. (It is possible Shanahan does not actually believe these things and he is trolling us, but in that case we can say he will never admit he is wrong or engage in a scientific discussion.)

Again, I doubt that Shanahan ever said those things. He said something that Rothwell remembers as that, because of his own extreme response. Shanahan does not believe what Rothwell claims. And he keeps repeating it, though this is actually irrelevant to the subject discussion (the Beiting report).

Let me remind you again that Shanahan is on record repeatedly claiming that an object heated on Monday and left in a room at 20 deg C will still be hot on Wednesday. Anyone who says things like that has zero credibility, to 5 significant digits. If you believe anything he says about physics, you are a naive fool who will believe any fanatic who claims the world is flat or Einstein’s theories are wrong.

What I’m seeing here is that Rothwell doesn’t understand what is in front of his face, or that which is easily verified, so what about his understanding of more complex issues?

The fact is that when we become attached, each and every one of us becomes relatively stupid. Rothwell is attached to his opinions, strongly, and he has long formed highly judgmental opinions of others. About an author, a scientist, whose book convinced me that there was something worth looking at in cold fusion, Rothwell has proclaimed that he was the “stupidest person on earth.” I’m not mentioning the name because he normally goes ballistic if I whisper it, and it’s not a pretty sight.

Shanahan finally replies:

What Rothwell thinks I say is totally in his imagination.

I’d disagree. It is not “totally in his imagination,” but what Shanahan actually said was very likely quite different from what Jed claims. What Jed does is to infer a cockamamie belief and then assert the belief as being what the person said. Thus, for example, a speculation, a looking at possibilities or brainstorming them, becomes a belief. It’s a classic error when people are arguing from fixed positions, not seeking to find any agreement. Shanahan continues replying to earlier Rothwell comments:

Let me remind you again that Shanahan is on record repeatedly claiming that an object heated on Monday and left in a room at 20 deg C will still be hot on Wednesday.

To all— This is one of Jed’s perennial lies. He can’t document that if he tried. What it shows is a) his inability to follow a technical argument, and b) the extent he will go to to try to discredit a skeptic.

My emphasis. That was a direct challenge. Jed tries and fails, but doesn’t accept the failure, though it is totally obvious, thus missing the opportunity to clear this up. No, Shanahan did not say that. In attempting to maintain the discrediting of Shanahan, he makes many errors in describing both the original Mizuno report — what this is about — and Shanahan’s comments about it. The Beiting thread was thoroughly hijacked, the substance ignored.

seven of twenty, apparently a pseudoskeptical troll, finally confronted Rothwell over that same comment:

Where exactly did he write that? You on the other hand, clearly wrote some time ago that Rossi had to be right on “prime principles” or some such, remember? Shall I dig up the quote?

seven of twenty is very unlikely to be new. This is very old, and a favorite theme of a certain well-known pseudoskeptic. Rothwell replied:

He wrote it many times, such as here:

And Rothwell linked to his own posts, quoting from them as they quoted Shanahan. The quotes do not support the silly claim attributed to Shanahan. (Links would be much better than earlier quotations without a link to the original context, because context matters. Rothwell has been and is still being quite sloppy.

Quoting Shanahan: 

I granted this given that you are referring to when they disconnected it from the heaters that had heated it up to the point it was too hot to touch.

It is unclear why Rothwell quotes this. It certainly is not what was asked about.

again

[Rothwell:] The thermocouple installed in the cell registered over 100°C for the first fewdays.

[Shanahan:] Malfunction.

Notice that this does not confirm the claim about a cell heated on Monday still being hot on Wednesday. And there was more like this. Not what he claimed. What I’m seeing is that Rothwell is taking old speculations by Shanahan and turning them into affirmative statements that Rothwell thinks are implied. He’s losing on this one. But he’s sure he’s right and is not about to listen to anyone on this, as far as I’ve seen.

He then claims that Shanahan is gaslighting. But Shanahan has, on this point about what he said, simply been truthful, and if he set Rothwell up to make him look like an idiot, he’s succeeding. This isn’t gaslighting, though, as far as anything I’ve seen.

(Shanahan, for his part, also becomes obsessed, having been successfully trolled by Zeus46. Zeus46’s response actually looks like gaslighting. Ah, I’m reminded of why I was happy to be banned from LENR-Forum.)

Jed uses his stretched claim in argument with seven of twenty. First, about his own cited error:

Ah, but I retracted that, admitted I was wrong, and explained why. Do you see the difference? When I make a mistake, I admit it frankly, correct it, and move on. Shanahan has never admitted he made a mistake about anything.

Rothwell does admit errors on occasion. Shanahan has, as well. In this case, though, Shanahan is at least technically correct, and Rothwell obviously erred. As far as anything I’ve been able to find. The truth behind Rothwell’s claims is obscured by his insistence that he’d correctly quoted Shanahan, when he clearly did not.

The truth is that Shanahan engaged in a series of speculations as to how what he calls the Mizuno anomaly. As an example, “Malfunction” (of the thermocouple) is a speculation, obviously. If he’d been careful, he’d have put a question mark after it, because speculating on possible artifacts is Shanahan’s long-term interest. He does not claim it as a fact, and this is generally true of his position. Behind that, though, appears to be a conviction that he’s right and the cold fusion researchers are wrong. Or at least that they have not “proven” their claims.  Rothwell is reacting to Shanahan’s overall concept, and is erring in asserting that Shanahan said X, when, in fact, he said Y, which Rothwell interpreted as X. So Shanahan is correct, as to fact, and Rothwell refuses to admit the possibility and claims Shanahan is gaslighting. Rothwell went on:

Now then, do you agree with Shanahan that an object of this size once heated will remain hot the next day? And three days later? Are you with him on that? Because that is what he said. He said it again and again. He denies he said it it, then he says it again, then again denies he said it. He is gaslighting you. Do you agree with him that two adult chemists might not be able to feel the difference between an object at 100 deg C and one at room temperature?

What he asserts as an assumed fact is not Shananan’s position at all! Shanahan never said that such an object will stay hot. He speculates that (1) the thermocouple may have malfunctioned, and (2) seeing the thermocouple reading, Mizuno may have imagined heat, and, therefore, (3) the object may not have been hot.

He did not speculate that “two adult chemists might not be able to feel the difference.” Rather, what he wrote is actually possible, and it is not about inability, but about transient error. It can happen, especially if one is afraid, and Mizuno was afraid, that’s part of that story. Is it likely? No. In the full context, very, very unlikely. But Shanahan does not require that some proposed artifact be likely, and will stand on possibility until the cows come home. That’s to be rejected by any assessment that cares about the preponderance of the evidence. In the real world, decisions are made by preponderance, not by absolute proof that everything else is impossible.  Here is what Rothwell had quoted:

[Rothwell] “[snip] A thermocouple malfunction cannot cause a cell to be too hot to touch, “

[Shanahan:] But it can precondition a human to believe that the cell is hot and even dangerous, which would result in misinterpreting sensory data. This impact of expectations on judgment (which is what was being done by ‘touching’) is a well-established fact. That makes any data of this nature highly suspect, and certainly not solid enough to conclude physics textbooks must be rewritten.

This argument obviously drives Rothwell up the wall. However, it’s true, that is, such a thing is possible. But is it likely, looking at all the evidence, that this is what happened? No. It is highly unlikely. Now if we had conflicting evidence, we might need to look for an explanation like the effect of expectation on how we interpret our senses. But there is no conflicting evidence, and Shanahan’s final reason is diagnostic of cold fusion pseudoskepticism, the idea that the finding destroys our understanding of physics, that “physics textbooks must be rewritten.”

That’s a blatant error, only resulting from vague and unclear speculations. This error leads some to demand insane levels of proof for a finding of anomalous heat. Ordinary science would have moved on long ago. The 2004 U.S. DoE review, 50% of the panel found the evidence for anomalous heat to be “conclusive.” It would have been more, I suspect, except for that “physics textbook” belief, which is an obvious bonehead error in basic scientific process. By definition, an anomalous result proves very little, until it is reduced by controlled experiment to solid predictive theory. An anomalous result is an indication that there is something to be discovered and understood. Maybe. Some anomalies may never be explained.

Some are so offended by anomalies that they will believe in ridiculous Rube Goldberg explanations in order to avoid allowing the possibility that something of unknown cause actually happened. Others infer a contradiction to basic physics and loudly proclaim that the laws of physics have been overthrown. All this creates is a confused mess. The cold fusion fiasco was a perfect storm in many ways, and the damage caused has still not been cleaned up.

If Mizuno had allowed someone other than his coworker to see the cell, and it were considered proven beyond a shadow of doubt that the cell stayed hot, there would not be one sentence revised in a single physics textbook.

Anomalies do not, in themselves, lead to major revisions in understanding. The idea that LENR was impossible was not derived from basic principles of physics, but from an approximation, and the idea of utter impossibility already had a known exception, muon-catalyzed fusion.

So it’s possible, certainly, to deconstruct and dismantle Shanahan’s arguments, but misquoting him is a losing strategy, unless your first name is Donald. And we will see how well that works, long-term. Or pushing for a second term, as the case may be.

Rothwell continues to repeat his blatantly false claim, including the gaslighting charge.

Rothwell responds again, this time acknowledging fact, while avoiding any responsibility for his interpretations, and continues to claim gaslighting. He wrote:

seven_of_twenty wrote:

Where exactly did he write that?

Thanks for asking. Seriously, you spurred me to look for some of the quotes. It is a pain in the butt navigating this website, but I found some of ’em.

He still did not actually link to the original Shanahan comments. Yes, LF navigation can be a pain. But it can be done. Best practice, when quoting, link to the original. It can avoid a lot of stupid argument, and it makes what is being claimed verifiable. Mistakes do get made, stating what others have said.

Skeptics are suggesting scientific rigor is required in CF work. That is an excellent suggestion, and is actually necessary. I’m suggesting academic rigor in discussions of cold fusion. That’s probably not possible on LENR Forum, because moderation is hostile and at least one moderator routinely tosses gasoline on smouldering fires. There are good moderators, but that’s not enough. There must be an overall structure that supports clarity and clear discussions, and the structure there generally is not adequate for that. Discussions become insanely long, with good content buried in the noise.

I should have documented Shanahan’s statements in my intro. to the Fleischmann-Miles correspondence. If I update it, I will add links to this website, and actual quotes.

That would be a good idea, if this were actually relevant to the presentation of the correspondence. This is taking a personal spat with Shanahan and inserting it into something that should be about Fleischmann and Miles, not Rothwell and Shanahan. Because skeptics are mentioned by Fleischmann, apparently, some explanation would be in order, but as related to the mentions in the correspondence. This is far outside it, and is an attempt to denigrate and defame Shanahan by making him look ridiculous. Bad Idea. Pseudoskeptics do stuff like that.

As you see, Shanahan does not actually come right out and say “it remained hot for 3 days.” He says:

I granted this given that you are referring to when they disconnected it from the heaters that had heated it up to the point it was too hot to touch.

Which has nothing to do with the “remained hot” claim. Nothing.

But it wasn’t “given that.” In the chronology Mizuno said this event occurred 3 days after disconnecting it from electrolysis. I and other pointed this out to Shanahan. He refuses to address that fact.

Shanahan has addressed it, though only primitively and with high speculation.  Yes, electrolysis was turned off, but the heater (yes, there was a heater!) had not been turned off. Rothwell doesn’t understand the distinction between report and fact, that theme runs through many of his comments.

To make it very clear, there is this evidence that the reactor remained hot, when it was expected to cool.

(1) At “three days after electrolysis ended,” Mizuno assessed the temperature, not by touching, but by placing his hand close and feeling. This was a deliberate attempt to directly estimate temperature, and his report has him telling Akimoto, “That’s pretty hot, That can’t be 70 degrees. It has to be over 100 C. You can’t touch it with your hand.”

(The temperature was expected to decline to 75 degrees with electrolysis off, and only the 60 watt heater. This is an important aspect of the story: at this point, Mizuno was highly skeptical of excess heat claims, and was pursuing possible neutron generation. He had difficulty believing that the cell was actually over 100 C., so he checked with his hand. Carefully, as an expert. However, in any case, the cell would have been too hot to actually touch. This gets completely missed in Rothwell’s frenzy.)

(2) The thermocouple was, at this point, being recorded. Mizuno, afraid of a possible explosion (even though the cell was rated for 250 atmospheres), decided to turn off the heater, and moved the reactor). The temperature in the record, as reported by Mizuno from Akimoto, was “30 degrees over the calibration point,” i.e., that would be about 105 C.

(3) When he moved the reactor, and checked a day later, it continued to stay hot, and he again checked the thermocouple (manually, with a voltmeter). It was 4.0 mv —  or 100 C.

(4) Still concerned about explosion, he submerged the cell in a bucket of water. The temperature fell to 60 C. (This is an indication that the thermocouple was working.) He expected the temperature to continue to fall and went home.

(5) But “next morning,” the temperature had risen to 80 C., and the water had nearly all evaporated. (about 9 liters). He got a larger bucket and added  15 liters of water to it

(6) Over the next days, he found it necessary to add more water. Total water evaporated: “about” 41.5 liters. Obviously, to use this for calorimetry would need correction from natural evaporation.

(7) April 30, the temperature had fallen to 50 C. Evaporation apparently continued at about 5 liters per day. When he came back from a 5-day holiday, May 7, the temperature had fallen to 35 C (still warm!)

Because of multiple evidences, I conclude the report shows that the reactor stayed hot after all power was turned off and, at one point, the temperature rose . There was an internal source of power. However, all this is depending on the report coming from one person: Mizuno. We only have anything from Akimoto through Mizuno. Mizuno was never again able to replicate this, and, weirdly, it does not look like he actually tried. Instead, he pursued other approaches.

From the Mizuno account, Akimoto did not personally verify the temperature by touch. Again, Jed’s enthusiasm to refute and ridicule drove him into inaccuracy. Nevertheless, Shanahan’s critiques are, when all the evidence is considered, incompatible with the Mizuno report.

Jed continued with his diatribe:

He does this again, and again, and again. He dances around, he ducks, he evades, he waxes indignant with high dudgeon, he sorta, kinda says what he says in a way that could not mean anything else, and then at the last minute he pulls away. Then, when anyone points out that is the chronology, and what he said can only mean that a hot object stays hot for 3 days, he accuses that person of lying. This is classic “gaslighting” behavior.

The indignance I have seen has been only to being misquoted, and he was misquoted. Rothwell is applying his own logic to speculations by Shanahan, and then claiming Shanahan asserted what he speculates it must mean.

Shanahan claimed that the alleged quotations were Rothwell “fantasy.” That’s reasonably accurate. It  is not gaslighting to claim misquotation when there was misquotation. And “gaslighting” is highly reprehensible, it’s worse than lying, it is lying with an intention not only to deceive but to attempt to convince the person (the one telling the truth) that they are insane.

Rothwell was not telling the truth, he erred, because of his general confusion between fact and interpretation. It’s a common ontological error, to be sure.

To recover from this is simple. He almost got there with “Shanahan does not actually come right out and say, “it remained hot for three days.”

All he has to do is admit he was interpreting instead of quoting. And stop claiming that Shanahan lies when he objected to the misquotation. Rothwell’s logic:

Either he thinks it stays hot for three days, or he thinks is a valid argument to arbitrarily replace “3 days” with “immediately after disconnecting” and no one should quibble with that substitution.

Shanahan does not think it remained hot for three days, period. That is not his idea at all. Everything he’s written is aimed at looking for flaws in that claim. As to the alternative Rothwell presents, I don’t find it intelligible. Attempting to force debate opponents into positions they do not hold and have not expressed is highly offensive.

In practice, reality is never confined to two invented options.  The “he thinks is a valid argument” is, again, mind-reading, and the difference between the two proposed wordings is obvious. No wonder Rothwell gets nowhere with Shanahan.

That outcome might not depend on Rothwell behavior, but my concern is with how people who support LENR appear in public discussions, and the full audience appears over the years. How will this flame war appear to that full audience?

This was all a distraction from the thread subject, the Beiting report. Take it out back, guys!

Either argument is nuts, in my opinion. What do you think? Is “immediate” the same as “3 days”? Or do you think it stayed hot? Do you buy either interpretation? Tell us what you think.

So, here, Rothwell is attempting to push seven of twenty into the same false choice. However, this is fascinating: my interpretation of the evidence is that the cell stayed hot, clearly. Somehow Rothwell has confused Shanahan’s position with what is very likely reality, that the cell did stay hot. Shanahan absolutely does not believe that. Rothwell has allowed himself to get so upset that he has become incoherent.

(Shanahan has not, with the Mizuno anecdote, attempted to show calorimetry error. He has really pointed to (remotely) possible error sources, and has not clearly shown belief in any of them. Yes, they are preposterous, given the full evidence, but he’s not lying. The ultimate argument about the Mizuno anecdote is simply that it’s an anecdote and an anomaly if the report is accepted. There has been no attempt to confirm the result. This is, then, a footnote, a detail of historical interest, and not useful except as the reported experience of one scientist. I’d love to see Akimoto’s account. Has anyone attempted to obtain it?

(Shanahan also objects somewhere to the reported temperature over 100 C, i.e., above the boiling point of water, he assumed. But this was a closed cell, run at substantial pressure. The assumed boiling point limit of 100 C. was an error.)

I told him that if he really thinks it was “immediately” and not 3 days later, he is saying Mizuno lied. He responded with fake high dudgeon, saying “I don’t accuse professional scientists of lying” when that is exactly what he just did. More gaslighting!

Again, he did not claim — anywhere that I have seen — that Mizuno lied, and his comment about his general practice matches my experience with Shanahan. He doesn’t accuse professional scientists of lying. He is, himself, a professional scientist. Rothwell is not. He is an opinionated amateur (though one with a lot of knowledge, from his long involvement with the field, his work as a translator, and as librarian for lenr-canr.org). Jed presented Mizuno’s talk at ICCF-21, something else I will be looking at carefully.

That Rothwell calls this “gaslighting” is, then, massively delusional. I also don’t think for a moment that Rothwell lies, but he can be in error, and in this case, it’s completely obvious and clear. He also claims that when he is wrong, he admits it, but he hasn’t done that here, other than in a way that continues to claim that Shanahan lies. So was Rothwell lying when he wrote that about himself?

No. He was mistaken. Some people do lie, which means intentionally misleading. In some common speech, “Lie” means “reprehensibly wrong,” and there is a territory that overlaps. To say something where reputation is disparaged, without taking caution about accuracy and truth and the distinctions I have pointed out, is a carelessness that can create what amounts to lies. Call it willful disregard of truth. It is still not, quite, lying.

But it can get us into trouble the same as lying. Again, the remedy is obvious: when people claim we are in error (or lying), look carefully at how they might be right. Where it is possible that they may be right, at least in some way (not necessarily overall) acknowledge it!

The people who are most to be trusted are those who are not afraid of being wrong and looking bad from some mistake, who do not attempt to deny the possibility. We have it backwards, often. To really look bad, in a deep way, let it be seen that one is attached to looking good and doesn’t care about reality.

Shanahan responds with re-asserting that not only did he not say what Rothwell had claimed — which is obviously true — but that the quotes Rothwell supplies don’t show Shanahan as saying those things — which is also correct. Shanahan then uses the occasion to tar with the same brush the entire LENR field:

But you, in your preferred MO, misconstrued that in the worst way anyone could, and then said that was what I said. All that proves it that you learned the ‘strawman argument’ technique from your heroes quite well.

And this is what Rothwell opens for himself — and the field — by his carelessness and contempt. How much damage is done by this? I don’t know. I know that LENR Forum, by allowing flame wars like this, turns discussions into massive train wrecks, nearly useless for education. But LENR Forum, like many on-line fora, is like a bar, like Moletrap, say.

Shanahan has long been invited to participate in coverage and discussion of his ideas. I invited him to explore his criticisms on Wikiversity, almost a decade ago. Instead, he supported my Wikipedia ban, and seemed to believe that his ideas being excluded from Wikipedia was my doing, when, in fact, I acted to preserve content he had created. He is still invited. I’d give him author privileges here, if he’d accept them and he could write pages on his ideas. Which would, of course, be critiqued. But he could fully express himself and could ignore the potshots and incivilities that would surely appear. The same with the copy of the Wikiversity cold fusion resource that is hosted on the cold fusion community wiki. See Skeptical arguments/Shanahan. (that page is still mangled with templates placed during the process where all “fringe science” was banned on Wikiversity, which happened early this year. Long story. Bottom line: the community did not defend the right to study alleged fringe science on Wikiversity. Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. So I rescued all those deleted resources. And if nobody cares about them, there they will sit until the cows come home or I go home myself.

On LENR Forum, it gets worse: Jed wrote:

kirkshanahan wrote:

Yes, that’s sort of the point of me making that comment. Preconceptions can be very powerful. And by the way, I never referred to when the cell was wrapped in towels, we are talking about when it was in a bucket of water. The ‘towel’ thing is another of your misconceptions,

Regarding the towels, Mizuno and Akimoto held their hands over the cell, and felt the cell wrapped in towels (as with a potholder), prior to moving it from the underground lab. That is what Mizuno wrote. That is the “two people” I refer to here. Perhaps you have not read the account, so you did not know that.

The Mizuno report (his book, p. 66-70) does not have any mention of Akimoto touching the cell. Akimoto only looks at the log of temperature. Mizuno moved the cell wrapped in “rags and towels.” The cell at that point was at, from the thermocouple reading immediately after, 100 C. This is not very hot. It might feel warm through towels. Mizuno turned off the cell heater before moving it. Basically he disconnected everything. So without XP, the cell would have been at about 75 C at that point. This could also feel warm through towels.

Sure, Shanahan has probably not read the account. I only have it because I have the book. Rothwell’s introduction is available, it describes the event, but is not complete.

After the cell was placed in the bucket, only Mizuno checked it, not Akimoto. He checked it every day by sense of touch and by reading the thermocouple.

There is no mention of “sense of touch” in the accounts of the cell in the bucket of water. The temperature fell to 60 C. from the reactor being placed in the bucket, but later rose, and those are all thermocouple readings. The temperature did, by the next day, rise to 80 C. On May 7, the temperature was still 35 C., which is still anomalously high for a cell sitting in a bucket of water in a normal room, his lab. The report ends there.

It is frustrating to read this report. Mizuno could have left the reactor connected to the logger and heated, as Akimoto suggested. Akimoto realized this was an opportunity, but Mizuno was afraid, and I don’t think the full dimensions of that fear have been recognized. Mizuno did not take steps to create better confirmation of his data. He did not publish this report, though there was apparently a newspaper account. (I hope Jed will translate that, if he has it.) Most amazing, given that this is the best-observed Heat After Death incident at high power, Mizuno did not attempt to replicate.

The temperature anomaly was noticed first on April 22, 1991. That cell was tightly sealed. From what we now know, the cell atmosphere should have had helium levels far above ambient. But Mizuno didn’t talk about it. The opportunity was missed, and not from fear of explosion. His book, p. 60-70.

I have learned a valuable lesson from this experience. I am appalled at my own inability to completely shrug off the bounds of conventional knowledge. Weak as they were, I verified neutron production. I even detected tritium, although the figures  did not add up to tritium “commensurate” with the neutrons. But, in my heart, I still harbored he view that the excess heat phenomenon surely could not occur, and, for that reason, I had not made adequate preparations to measure it. When the heat did appear, I was totally ill-equipped to deal with it appropriately. You never know when this heat will appear; later I experienced it many times.

And then:

I did not report on the May 1991 excess heat burst I experienced after terminating electrolysis, because I did not have precise data. I described results from a subsequent experiment in a poster session display. Other reports were made of heat after electrolysis was turned off (so-called “heat-after-death’), an important point which I think indicates the effect is reproducible.

If he had been thinking clearly, he would not have removed the cell from the logger and would have left the heater on. HAD with external supplemental heat is better confirmed, but in this case the heat production was enough to overwhelm the normal cooling. He could have returned the cell to the original setup and continued logging. He could have had an independent report written by Akimoto. He could have gathered additional information for a report — analysis of cell contents being something obvious to us with hindsight. (He describes another event where he scrapes the “crud” off of a cathode that was active, not realizing that this could be a treasure trove of information.)

I see his behavior as rooted in fear, mostly fear of looking bad. His actual data, probably recorded in a notebook, would have been clearer and better data on excess heat than about any other report in the field. Still could be, though it’s pretty late. His precision would be as it was. He had calibrated the cell, apparently. He knew the input power record, I assume.

His reaction to the unexpected excess heat, I imagine him thinking: “I don’t understand this. Therefore it’s dangerous!” Indeed. But he’s also aware that this was not much of a real danger, that cell had been experiencing recombiner failure repeatedly, with “explosions.” It was designed to withstand them.

The unknown is dangerous. But not usually, in a context like this, and the risk was small of any actual harm. His most legitimate fear was of leaving the reactor running while nobody was around. So perhaps turning it off was a reasonable response, though, in hindsight, that may have amplified the XE, as the Flesichman and Pons explosion was preceded by turning the reactor off and leaving it. This was years later, and surely Mizuno knew about that event. Maybe he hadn’t believed it happened, or that it had been exaggerated or misinterpreted.

That event also boggles my mind. Pons and Fleischmann did not photograph the damage. They did not appear to have kept the detritus left for analysis. Why not?

Fear, quite similar to Mizuno. They were afraid that the university would shut them down. To continue with Jed’s continued mind-reading:

I do not think preconceptions could fool the sense of touch in two professional chemists. Apparently you think it can.

First of all, one professional. Second, it could. And third, given that there were three confirmations of elevated temperature, this is very, very unlikely. So Shanahan is right, it could. Rothwell is right, it didn’t.

Shanahan has not read the original, I suspect, and doesn’t put the pieces together, and, in addition, he doesn’t trust Rothwell’s report is accurate, because, after all, Rothwell errs in reporting what Shanahan has written, why not the same with Mizuno’s report? Of course, Rothwell knows Mizuno, but … I don’t trust Rothwell’s account as completely accurate, either, but it is possible that Rothwell knows more that Mizuno has told him, that is not in the book.

I will repeat this: as far as I’ve seen, Rothwell doesn’t lie. Nor does Shanahan. In court, testimony is to be accepted unless controverted, and sound court process will attempt to avoid contradiction in testimony, i.e., it will look for harmonizing interpretations. Impeaching sworn testimony is generally avoided, except that process will distinguish between eyewitness testimony and interpretation by the witness. (But a jury, based on observing the witness, may consider possible deception.) Rothwell continued to argue:

kirkshanahan wrote:
For the record, *you* are the one claiming I was talking about being fooled by a 100C object. I made no such assumption. I actually assumed it was a ‘hot object’ (remember that?) for *part* of my analysis and that when they were ‘touching’ it (in the bucket), they were in fact touching a warm object immersed in water with an attached, malfunctioning TC that said the object was much hotter than it was.

Shanahan becomes careless, though he does state his alternate hypothesis as an “assumption,” which is not the same as “believing” it.

He’s confused on the factual history from the Mizuno report, possibly because he doesn’t have a copy. Is there one somewhere? I’ve quoted from the published book. There is no account of Akimoto being involved with the cell after Mizuno took it back to his office and immersed it in water. “Much hotter” would be incorrect. There remains the water evaporation data. But the point for me, here, is that Shanahan has not assumed what Rothwell claimed.

The “part of the analysis” he refers to would be the “three days after electrolysis was turned off,” where the temperature was a bit above 100 C per the thermocouple. At that point, it was still being heated by the internal heater, and temperature was expected to be, from prior calibrations, about 75 C. The difference was stated as 30 C.

There is no report of them actually touching the cell directly. There was an attempt by Mizuno, rather, to confirm the thermocouple reading by holding his hand over the cell, as I would do with any object I suspect to be hot. And Rothwell is correct that a deliberate attempt by a professional who must make these judgments often is very unlikely to be drastically off, as with some quick deceptive “perception.”

So Shanahan is confused. From where is he getting his information about the anecdote? From Rothwell, of course. Now, my training is that if I attempt to explain a situation to someone, and they remain unclear about it, I did not explain well, something was missing in my work. Shanahan is not necessarily a good listener, but still, taking responsibility for outcome is empowering, blaming others for failure is the opposite. Given all the noise about “you said” what was not actually said, I don’t wonder that Shanahan is factually confused. [Rothwell:]

As I said, “they” (Mizuno and Akimoto) did not touch it in the bucket. That is a minor misunderstanding. Only Mizuno touched it in the bucket.

Maybe Rothwell knows this directly from Mizuno, but that’s not in the report in the book. Nobody is reported as actually touching the bucket. Mizuno obviously was close to the reactor, but it was not hot enough that his direct perception of temperature would be reliable as to distinguishing between 75 C and 100 – 105 C.  I would not assume there was direct perception (touch), and that actually seems unlikely (Mizuno actually reports saying “You can’t touch it with your bare hand,” but there still remain two major evidences: the thermocouple reading and the very unusual water evaporation, that slowly declined as the TC temperature declined. These pieces all fit together.

They touched it, and then Mizuno placed it in the bucket, 3 days after electrolysis stopped and it was disconnected.

This is clearly inaccurate. Sequence:

April 22, stopped electrolysis, internal heater remained on.

April 25, abnormal temperature noticed. Mizuno checks heater power supply, which is supplying 60 watts, same as for a “month.” From calibration, temperature should have been 75 C. Three days after electrolysis ended, the deuterium loading should have declined (he writes “nearly all should have come out of the metal. He checks the temperature manually, hand held over the surface of the cell. “That’s pretty hot. That can’t be 70 degrees. You can’t touch it with your bare hand.”

So he did not touch it. It appears that neither Akimoto nor Mizuno actually touched the cell. But, at this point, it was still being heated electrically.

It would be stone cold long before that. It could not be a warm object for any reason.

How does Rothwell manage to get this so wrong? It should have been at 75 C. Still too hot to touch! Rothwell makes this blunder because he is so focused on Shanahan’s alleged stupidity that he forgets to be careful, himself. That’s quite normal for untrained humans.  (Some people understand this more or less naturally, but many don’t.)

There is no chemical fuel in the cell except for the emerging hydrogen, and the power from that is so low it could not be detected, or felt. The total energy from it is about as much as 3 kitchen matches.

That depends on conditions. This is a closed cell and would have orphaned oxygen in it, but I don’t know how much energy would be available. Something very unusual happened with that cell. The water evaporation figures are the strongest evidence.

Right here, again, you are claiming that an object heated with electrolysis will remain hot (or warm) from April 22 to May 7, even though there is no source of heat in it. That is absolutely, positively, 100% certainly IMPOSSIBLE.

And, once again, Shanahan did not claim that “right here.” It’s simply not there, so Shanahan is correct, this is Rothwell’s “fantasy.”

kirkshanahan wrote:
But most importantly what I said is: Anecdotes aren’t science.

Tell that to an astronomer. But in any case, you are ignoring the fact that heat after death was demonstrated hundreds of times, reliably, by Fleischmann and Pons, often at power levels as high as Mizuno observed. No, you are not ignoring this. Wrong word. I and others have pointed this out to you time after time, but you pretend it did not happen.

Shanahan’s comment is slightly overstated. Science is a vast pile of anecdotes, but where possible, we look for independent confirmations, and, best of all, replication. In astronomy, that one person observes something is an anecdote. When many observe the same phenomenon,  that is a collection of anecdotes, but the observation has become confirmed. Science is a process, and it begins with the observation and reporting of anecdotes. From there, to confirmed and accepted knowledge, can be quite an involved process.

Fleischmann and Pons may have observed HAD many times, though “hundreds” is questionable. Maybe. What’s the report? I have not seen reliability data from them, and much of that research was never published, a tragedy.

I have studied the debate between Morrison and Fleischmann, though not yet completely. At this point, presenting it to skeptics as proof of something would be premature. Whether or not this confirms Mizuno is tricky and unclear. And this is all distraction from the major point, which is not actually Mizuno, Rothwell is claiming “gaslighting,” which is lying about the past to attempt to confuse. In fact, Shanahan didn’t say what Rothwell claimed, and that’s quite simple. What Rothwell does is to throw in arguments irrelevant to that, basically claiming that Shanahan is wrong about something.

But if we can’t agree about what is in front of us and accessible — the record of conversation — how could we hope to agree on something far more complex?

And that’s the bottom line here. Rothwell has asserted, many times, that he doesn’t care what skeptics think. He isn’t attempting to understand them, nor to communicate effectively with them. He is hostile and combative, and deliberately so. He does not speak for the CMNS research community, and certainly not for political outreach (i.e., Ruby Carat or, to some extent, me).

Shanahan is cleaning his clock, because of the obviousness of this.

Seven of twenty chimes in:

Just curious, JedRothwell if you believe that your arguments with Shanahan and anecdotes about water staying hot for days add substantial value to the probability that Mizuno can make 1, 10 and 100kW (or thereabouts) reactors based on LENR, as he has claimed.

Troll. Mizuno has not claimed that. Rather, it appears, some reactor designs were named with such figures. I’m not going to track it down, but assigning outrageous claims to cold fusion scientists is par for the course for pseudoskeptical trolls.  Seven of twenty is using Jed’s bad habit of getting into unwinnable arguments to attack the entire field. Obviously, that whole mess has little or nothing to do with Mizuno’s ability to do anything. IH did attempt to confirm some Mizuno findings, as I recall, and appears to have failed, but this happens in the field quite commonly. The most difficult aspect to LENR research is reliability, and an obsessive focus on More Heat, even though motivation for that is obvious, doesn’t help. So in the recent Takahashi report, we actually start to see what reliability study could look like. Too little, still, my view, but at least they are moving in a powerful direction.

The field is full of intriguing anecdotes, and is either afflicted with or looks like it could be afflicted with, confirmation bias.  Denying this is not going to convince anyone who understands the issues. There is work that carefully avoids this, but there is so much that does not, that an appearance is maintained of a systemic problem.

Basically, that there is poor research — or poorly reported research, the effect is similar — does not negate that there is solid research from which clear conclusions can be drawn. Bottom line, at the present time, analysis of research is not going to prove anything to people who are not listening, not following the research, except for a very few.

There are genuine skeptics who are listening, but some of us insult them, merely because they are skeptical. Skepticism is essential to the scientific method, and if one has developed a belief about something in science, the obligation the method prescribes is to become as skeptical as possible and attempt, vigorously, to prove the opposite of what we believe.

Shanahan is a pseudoskeptic, I’ll assert, but he is also a real skeptic on occasion, or can play one on TV, and does attempt to raise genuine issues. So Shanahan should be handled carefully. Attacking him can look like attacking skeptics in general, which is a “believer” behavior, to be avoided.

Yes, pseudoskeptics are not following the scientific method, but that does not mean that we should imitate them and fall down that rat-hole. In fact, we can use their ruminations and speculations.

Again and again, Rothwell repeats his error, and Shanahan rubs his face in it. He wrote:

JedRothwell wrote:

That is not even remotely similar to saying that two chemists might think an object is too hot to touch when it is actually stone cold. The physical sense of touch is nothing like an academic dispute. It is much harder to fool.

…says the Head Acolyte for the Church of Cold Fusion…

Shanahan is returning the favor of pure ad hominem argument. However, Rothwell has repeated clear errors. The object, at the time in question, would be expected to be at 75 C, not “stone cold.” Rothwell has forgotten about the internal heater, so sure is he that he is right, and that he knows the conditions of this event. That’s what we do when we allow ourselves to believe in the stupidity of others. It infects us, sometimes even more deeply than the others. And the “two chemists” did not touch the cell. One put his hand near it. The other only saw the temperature log and was in conversation with Mizuno, the only one actually using, not touch, but our ability to sense radiated heat without getting burned.

Rothwell is right that, as the usage is described in the report, it is very unlikely to be seriously deluded. Mizuno concluded that it was not at “70 C.,” but it was hotter. He would not touch it, then. I might use a “rapid touch, ” where the motion of a finger would only allow a very rapid contact, and I might wet the finger.  A little dangerous, but not very, on a metal surface. Observing the wet spot on the cell would have been a confirmation of “above 100 C.” I do that with the sizzle, in my kitchen. But that was not done.

The problem is that Rothwell continues to repeat his story of what Shanahan supposedly said, refusing to accept that something was off about it. He had the opportunity to recognize an error, a simple one, and take a step toward resolving the issue. Instead, he succeeds in making himself look worse and worse. And all of this is off-topic in that thread, so he’s is taking up time and space better devoted to actual exploration of genuine controversies and reports. Of course, the moderators of LENR Forum must bear some responsibility for tolerating this mess.

On the other hand, maybe they like it. Some people enjoy watching flame wars, it makes them feel superior. Shanahan wrote:

JedRothwell wrote:

Let me again advise you, however, that you must not admit the cell was even a little warm.

What do you not understand about the fact that I said *IF* what you wrote is true, we have an anomaly. The problem is that ONE EXPERIMENT NEVER PROVES ANYTHING. We don’t know why the TC read >100C for 3 days, but us conservative-types tend to opt for equipment malfunction. You fanatic believers opt for the opposite.

First of all, the cell at the point under discussion (“after three days”) would be at 75 C. with no excess power. So the premise is nuts. Shanahan is right about “proves,” but anecdotes create indications for further research, where possibilities like “equipment failure” would be ruled out — or supported. In this case, thermocouple failure is very unlikely, because of the consistent behavior of that thermocouple, particularly as cool-down proceeded. It’s too bad the logging was not continued or resumed, so we might have seen even more evidence on that.

Shanahan’s self-description as “conservative,” though, is self-serving. He isn’t conservative, scientifically, he is far, far too certain of himself and his own ideas. Here, he extrapolates from an example in a forum that attracts extremes, to all “fanatic believers.” Yet he himself is a fanatic believer, as to his behavior. That’s a long story, and the whole Mizuno affair, and “lies” and “gaslighting” were distractions from real issues. Shanahan took a look at the Beiting calorimetry, and the entire line of attack by Rothwell and others was intended, it appears, to disparage that without actually considering it in detail, through an ad hominem argument based on misrepresentation of what Shanahan had written. In a word, that sucks. Jed wrote:

kirkshanahan wrote:

Objects at about 54 to 55°C (130°F) will usually result in a sensation of warmth that is on the threshold of pain: it’s really hot!.”

Careful there! You must not admit that it might have been 54°C. If it were that temperature 3 days after disconnection, that means cold fusion is real. It would have to be 20°C, the ambient temperature in the underground lab. Stone cold. If it were even a little hot, enough to measure with the TC, that means cold fusion is real.

Again, Jed has allowed his internal incendiaries to confuse him. He thinks this is a gotcha! In fact, until the cell was removed from the underground lab, it was at over 100 C. by the thermocouple indication, and would have been expected to be at 75 C. from the 60 watt internal heater and the calibration. Mizuno is explicit about that. Jed should really study the report again. I read things like this many times. One reading can be quite inadequate to become familiar.

I also used to be interested in arguments that develop in meetings, where there was no record. So, one time, I taped a meeting where there were controversies and arguments. Later, I transcribed it. A lot of work. And I found that my memory was utterly unreliable. With training, some people can develop accurate memory, even to the point of being able to assert verbatim, what others actually said. It’s rare. Rather, we remember summaries, mostly colored heavily by emotional responses.

I have a friend and he complains to me about what his fiance said to him. What did she actually say? He often says, when I press him, that he can’t remember. But he’s upset about what he can’t remember? It’s obvious: At the time, he thought that she meant something or that her statement implied something that worried him or upset him. Under those conditions, the original statement, what she actually said, gets lost, and that, then, traps him into a fantasy (a made-up story, which may or may not have some basis in reality) that he repeats to himself, and it makes and keeps him unhappy. This is all boringly common!

You have to show that two people in an underground lab where it is 20°C year round felt a 20°C object and both mistakenly perceived that it was hot.

No, he doesn’t “have” to do that. First of all, the object with no XP would be at 75 C., above the threshold of pain. Second nobody actually touched it, and only one used “feeling” — our ability to sense the temperature of a hot object close to our hand — to sense temperature.

Then one of them put it in a bucket, and 17.5 L of water evaporated, but that can happen any time.

Again, this is taking a Shanahan speculation and turning it into a preposterous statement. Shanahan noticed what I also notice: There would be some normal evaporation. But how much? Rothwell has several times used the 17.5 liter figure. That is total evaporation since April 30, not total evaporation. Total evaporation after removing all input power and placing the cell in a bucket of water was over 40 liters. Suppose the temperature was incorrect, that the cell was actually at room temperature after initial cooling. (I find the possibility of error in temperature here to be very, very low. It simply doesn’t look like thermocouple failure.) The final “measurement period” was 5 days, and water loss for that period was about 7.5 liters. That’s 1.5 liter/day. Assuming all of that is normal evaporation, that gives us “normal evaporation” from April 25 to May 2, seven days, of 10.5 liters. That still leaves 33.5 liters.

The normal evaporation artifact speculation doesn’t work, and actual normal evaporation, I’d expect, would be lower than the figure used. Apparently, Shanahan also speculated that rats drank the water. I think he had the underground lab in mind, but the evaporation took place in Mizuno’s personal lab on the third floor of a different building. Shanahan was engaging in a “what if” brainstorming, it’s completely standard for him. “What if there was some artifact, some error? What could it be?” And then one can always come up with something. Much more likely than rats — which simply don’t drink that much water, I’ve lived with them — would be a practical joker.

That’s a generic possible artifact that cannot generally be disproven. But, one will notice me saying over and over, “conservative” analysis will look at such possible artifacts and will normally reject them immediately as unlikely, and cold fusion is not what Shanahan thinks.

If the Muzuno event was real, this would not — at all — require physics textbooks to be revised. That would only happen after the cause of such an event were determined, with strong evidence, not merely the fact of it happening, and if the cause, now demonstrated with clear evidence, then required revision basic concepts of physics.

That is very unlikely, though obviously not impossible. The problem is that the circumstances of LENR are extremely complex and not easy to analyze accurately. I consider it likely that no changes to basic understanding, truly fundamental physics, will be required. It’s simply a complex situation that allows something otherwise unexpected to happen.

From all the evidence we currently have, it is no longer anywhere near as anomalous as was originally thought. But the Mizuno event was still outside the envelope of what is common. Rothwell treats every cold fusion finding of excess heat as confirming the Mizuno event. That’s simply naive, involving a loss of specificity and assuming that all cold fusion reports cover the same phenomenon. They might, and they might not. Until we have reliability, it’s going to be very difficult to resolve this issue.

There are a few results that are quite reliable, and that’s where some discussions might be fruitful.

You are sure that can happen. Again, be careful! You must never put a bucket of water in a room to test your claim, because you will see that does not happen. You must stick to your story.

Shanahan has generally backed off from claiming that it “did not happen.” His position is, quite clearly, “anecdote, and therefore not probative.” Then, out of his usual habits, he speculates on possible artifact. That’s all. It is really not such a big deal.

(Elsewhere, Shanahan pointed to sources on evaporation, which will obviously vary with temperature, exposed surface, air flow, humidity, and other factors. Simply putting a bucket in a room would not establish the fact as to what happened in that particular room at that time. I’m not going through the math, but the evaporation reported is clearly outside normal. There is an upper bound to normal evaporation in the last five days, I covered that above. Because the cell was still warm at the end of the five days, that was likely still beyond normal evaporation at room temperature.)

Shanahan wrote:

JedRothwell wrote:

Careful there!

I’m always careful. You aren’t. For example, you missed the fact that I have cited a couple of sources that says the pain limit for physical temperature measurement is around 45-60C, not 100C. So, if Mizuno and Akimoto actually touched a 100C object, they would have been badly burned, Since they weren’t (i assume absent medical evidence to the contrary) they must have only approached the cell physically. Given their preconceptions that a) CF is real and they are proving it, and b) that the cell temp is >100C, the claim that they ‘felt’ it was that hot has no factual basis. They were fooled by their preconceptions, just like Blondlot thought he saw spots.

Nobody here is terribly careful. While one might have touched a 100 C object without harm — if donet just right — we actually have no report of actual touch. Rather, only one of them “approached the cell physically,” the report is clear, so Shanahan is correct on that point. However, “they were fooled by their preconceptions” is highly unlikely given the description. Shanahan is, himself, sitting in his chair creating possibilities out of his own preconceptions.

The Blondlot illusion was based on vision at the limits of perception, dark-adapted, where it’s quite noisy.

In the Mizuno report, this was an ordinary test of heat, in a context where Mizuno was quite surprised and wondering if he could trust the thermocouple. I get why Rothwell gets worked into a froth! Shanahan is actually outrageous, on that matter. But this had nothing to do with the Beiting report! The senseless debate continues:

Remember: if the cell was palpably hot to any extent, even a few degrees, three days after it was cut off, that means cold fusion is real. You cannot admit that! You must insist it was stone cold, right at ambient.

Rothwell has forgotten what was actually reported. At the point where the cell was “palpably hot,” the temperature with no XP would have been 75 C. Not “ambient,” stone cold. He’s forgotten about the cell heater; only electrolysis had been cut off, not the heater.

(Why would they have a cell heater? Well, to increase possible reaction rates, that’s why!)

As to the later heat, there is no direct evidence in the report of feeling the heat after that single manual test on April 25. The later temperature record is from the thermocouple, and heat is inferred from evaporation, which was clearly higher than normal. But that’s a separate issue.

Shanahan is arguing — and quibbling — over trees, Rothwell is arguing about the forest, and forgetting details about the trees, inferring them from secondary records, i.e,. from talking about the talking and his ideas about the forest.

When Alan Smith made noises about trolling, Shanahan explained (more or less correctly), and added:

I thought the Beiting issue was quite simple. He miscalculated his error limits on his calibration. A better estimate leads to the conclusion that his apparent excess heat signal is potentially just noise.

Now, that’s a simple claim, and moderately simple to verify, but work to verify. It requires actual study.  This, by the way, is classic Shanahan. A key word is “potentially.” He does not actually claim that there is no excess heat, only that it is “potentially just noise.” Now, is that supportable? I don’t know yet, and I won’t have any real idea until I check Shanahan’s work, which isn’t necessarily simple, it’s reasonably sophisticated. Rothwell simply attacked it as arrogant, which is not acceptable. It’s a decent analysis or it is not. I’m going to look again. Did Rothwell or anyone actually show error in the Shanahan analysis?

Knowing Shanahan, there is a good chance there is some dead fish in his analysis. However, that is a very subjective and easily biased expectation.  Cold fusion deserves better than that. Just as the appearance of excess heat does not require that physics textbooks be changed, a defective error analysis in a cold fusion paper does not require a dismissal of the evidence found in it. The smell test at this point is from an appearance that Shanahan pulled possible error values out of a dark place. Did he?

I’m not seeing that Rothwell — or anyone — identified error or unwarranted assumption in Shanahan’s critique. Fundamentally, the discussion was extensively derailed by the ad hominem arguments.

THHuxleynew appears to agree with Shanahan on one point:

Kirk is claiming (correctly, AFAIK) that the reported results are 10X more sensitive to calibration error than you might think . . .

That is not the same as confirming that there is such error. Attention to objective measurements of error is crucial to LENR research. We need to clean up the field, to expect better work (with more extensive calibrations), and to expect clearer analysis and presentation of data, and more thorough study of possible artifacts. Part of this is respecting skeptical commentary, and, especially learning to distinguish and encourage genuine, constructive skepticism, from useless and provocative trolling.

People often behave as they are expected to behave. When a community fails to guide its members, it can fall apart. “Guidance” does not mean domination and control, it means taking responsibility for our own behavior, and expecting that of others. It means and requires deepening communication and the seeking of genuine consensus.

I end up being mentioned, by Zeus46. It’s pretty funny, Zeus46 puts up a non-functioning link.  This is all fluff, of the “who started it” variety.

The discussion continued to focus, so far, on more fluff and irrelevancies, and the real issue raised by Shanahan, originally, possible poor handling of calibrations and error statistics, is ignored. When I can get to it, I intend to look at the Shanahan critique as part of a study of the Beiting report, which is on the agenda for me, along with the rest of ICCF-21. There was a lot to digest there.

Update 2018-07-03

Zeus46 continued to troll Shanahan. However, Shanahan had declined to continue argument on the false quotations — which were indeed false, and continued deceptively as such, in the face of protest, by Zeus46.

As part of that intended refusal, Shanahan wrote:

Z is a troll and JR is a fanatic. They both seek to confuse what I say for their own personal reasons. In the process they resort to illegitimate argumentation tactics and finally to insults. I will seek from now on to avoid answering them. If they try to make some point that I feel misleads unduly I may comment, but I will try to minimize that.

As to Zeus46, Shanahan is probably correct, and LF moderation is woefully lax in that discussion (and often, elsewhere). Direct misquotation to defame is not only unfair argumentation, it is grossly uncivil and provocative. As to JR (Jed Rothwell), I don’t think he is seeking to confuse; rather, he’s confused himself.

Shanahan returned to focus on the issue of calibration and error propagation and real discussion ensued.

Update 2018-07-25

I put this up with a password and sent the password to Rothwell. He still insisted that he was right and that Shanahan was gaslighting him. He has, with dripping sarcasm, directly attacked me on a private mailing list for LENR researchers. Rothwell is a loose cannon, unfortunately, even though he has done much for the field (and supported me in various ways). I think that’s over. I have removed the password protection.

 

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.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen, the QUA[R]CK-X!

LenrForum:

Demonstration thread started November 15Start reading here, Alan posted before the DPS (Dog and Pony Show) started.

E-Catworld:

Youtube:

3 hours. As I write this, I have not yet viewed more than a little of it. I will be compiling links to specific times in this video, and will appreciate assistance with that. Above, by the headline and by “DPS”, I reveal my ready conclusion. I will be providing a basis for that, but, meanwhile, fact is fact and we need be careful not to confuse fact with conclusion.

Test methods

From this page:

Here are the slides that Mats Lewan used in the first segement of the E-Cat QX demonstration of November 24, 2017 in which he gave an introduction to the E-Cat QX and explained how the presentation was to proceed.

Unless he hedged this in the actual presentation (and I will edit this if I find that he did), Mats is responsible for this content.

Slide 1:

E-CAT QX

Third generation of the patented E-Cat technology:
A heat source built on a low energy nuclear reaction (LENR)
with a fuel based primarily on nickel, aluminum, hydrogen and
lithium, with no radiation and with no radioactive waste.

The fuel is “Rossi Says” [* is used below] “No radiation” is possibly controversial: many tests, however, have looked for radiation and found little or none.

Claims E-Cat QX:

I have numbered the claims, and brief comments:

1. volume ≈ 1 cm3 [plausible]
2. thermal output 10-30 W [plausible as dissipation in device]
3. negligible input control power [* not plausible]
4. internal temperature > 2,600° C [* unlikely]
5. no radiation above background [plausible]

Today: Cluster of 3 E-Cat QX

Slide 2: (diagram, shows water circulation)

Water reservoir -> K-probe  -> QX -> K-probe -> Water tank on scale

(This looks simple and solid. While a magician or fraud, given control of conditions, can create fake anything, if there is fraud here, it is probably not in this part of the test.)

Slide 3: (calculations)

Thermal output
W = mwater* Cp* ∆T
Cp water = 4.18 J/(g·K)
Pav = W/t

W is, misleadingly but harmlessly, in a common confusion in Rossi presentations, not wattage but energy, in watt-seconds or Joules. Average power, in watts, is then is the energy divided by the measurement interval.

Slide 4:

Thermal output

(diagram, QX light -> spectrometer)

Wien’s displacement law:
λmax = b/T or T = b/λmax
where b ≈ 2900 μm·K
Stefan–Boltzmann law:
P = AεσT4
where
A = area
ε = emissivity
σ ≈ 5.67 × 10−8 W/(m2⋅K4)

This is BS. The QX is allegedly a plasma device, and light from a plasma does not follow the laws for black-body radiation. Light can appear to be intense but the energy will be in narrow bands, characteristic of the plasma gas. This approach simply does not work. However, it is not actually a significant part of the test. A very small spot can be very hot, that does not show high overall power if the very hot region is small, with low mass, and, as well, if it is transient.

(Mats in the video claims that the device is “similar to a black body,” but no evidence is provided for that claim.)

Slide 5: (schematic diagram)

Electric input. [explanation at video 11:28)

Shown is AC line power (unmeasured) feeding a Direct Current source (the symbol for DC is used), incorporating a fan, “active cooling ca. 60 W”. Then the DC output is connected to a 1 ohm sense resistor, and there is a voltmeter across it. Then the other side of the resistor is connected to one terminal of the QX. There are two labels, overprinted, “0 Ω” and “800 Ω.” This refers to two conditions, the zero resistance is to test conditions, allegedly, and the 800 ohms is a Lewan “test” which shows essentially nothing. The other side of the QX returns to the power supply.

I = U/R
P = UI
P = RI2
800 * 0.252 ≈ 50 W

This is utter nonsense. There is no reported measurement of the “power input” to the QX. This is the same preposterousness as was in the Gullstrom paper, widely criticized. What is “U”? Unstated. Perhaps it is in the videos. By the formula it is a voltage, the voltage used to determine the current through the 1 ohm sense resistor. If I is then that current, “P” would be the power dissipated in the sense resistor. The figure of 800 is used, but this is not under test conditions, the QX has been replaced by the 800 ohm resistor. So there is, from the power supply, 50W of power delivered to an 800 ohm resistor, apparently. This means what? It means about 200 V, that’s what!

Mats says in the video that the white box is the power source. Then he says it is a black box. Well, Mats? Which is it, white or black? He describes it as producing “direct current, which is pulsed.” That is quite different from “direct current,” depending on details. Mats says that the 1 ohm resistor is not necessary for the function of the generator. Yet, in operation, the resistance of the QX is described as zero. These descriptions have driven many who know a little electronics crazy. Yes, the 1 ohm resistor is a sense resistor, used only to measure current, but if the QX resistance is actually zero, nothing would limit current other than the supply max, and there would be no control.

The QX is a plasma device. Such devices have high resistance until a plasma is struck. It appears from the video that a plasma is repeatedly struck. At that point the voltage to the QX must be high. There will then be a short period when input power to the QX is high, until the resistance drops and input power with it. Zero resistance is quite unlikely. There is no evidence shown in the video of zero resistance, but the largest missing is any actual measure of input power.

At 13:22, Lewan explains the Rossi insanity that the heat of the reactor is conducted through the cables to the power supply, causing destruction of components. Later, on ECW, Lewan reports that Rossi is “no longer” giving this explanation. But why did he believe it in the first place?

This is said to explain the cooling fan for the power supply.

I later said, during the presentation, that Rossi no longer claims the heating problem is due to heat through the wires, but an internal heating problem in the control box. Fulvio Fabiani, who has built the original design of the control system, confirmed this, and said that it would need investments to and resources to build a control system that eliminates this problem. I agree that this seems strange. However, high voltage, high frequency, and high velocity might be challenging, combined.

The power supply is creating an output with substantial high voltage and frequency, but nothing shown as input to the reactor is high voltage or frequency. There is no consideration in the input power discussion of anything other than direct current, at low voltages.

It is obvious: there is high-frequency power being generated, and there is indirect evidence in the demo that this is roughly enough to explain the reported output power. I was discussing this today with David French, and he said that a test with forbidden measurements of a factor that might be crucial is not a test. He’s obviously correct.

If Rossi were a reliable reporter, we might decide to trust his reports. But there is voluminous evidence in Rossi v. Darden that he is not reliable. For as long as I have been following Rossi (since early 2011), he has put on one demonstration after another where some critical factor was hidden. With some of his early E-Cat demos, it was claimed that the cooling water was all vaporized, that the output was “dry steam,” but a humidity meter was used to verify this, and humidity meters cannot measure steam dryness. The physicists observing these tests had no steam experience and were easily fooled. In the Krivit video, Rossi clearly knows that there is condensed or overflow water in the output hose, because he walks it to the drain before pulling the hose out to show Krivit the steam flow, which was completely inadequate for the claimed evaporation rate. And that little demonstration concealed that water was slowly overflowing, and overflow was never checked. (Overflow is a different and larger concern than steam quality; steam quality itself was a red herring.)

In discussions on LENR Forum, THHuxleynew wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

[…] The 800 ohm resistor was used as part of the calibration demonstration. Since the Q-X has virtually zero resistance there is not much point in measuring the voltage drop across it, so in order do show that (for example) an 800 ohm resistive heater was NOT present inside the Q-X capsule, the Q-X was taken out of circuit and a low-wattage 800 ohm resistor was put in its place. The voltage drop was measured again over the 1 ohm resistor to show there was a significant difference. This also was used to prove that the PSU was a constant voltage device, not a constant current device.

Anyone with substantial electronics experience would know how crazy-wrong this is. You don’t know that a device has “virtually zero resistance” unless you measure the voltage drop across it at a known current. The resistance of quite good conductors can be measured this way.

In any case, one would measure the voltage across the QX to verify that it is low (or “zero” as claimed, which is very unlikely for a plasma device.) Who there has experience with plasma devices? I played with neon tubes when I was young, great fun. Yes, they show “negative resistance,” i.e., the more current that flows through them, the lower the resistance, but zero? This is a major discovery all of its own, if true. It almost certainly is not. But the resistance of the QX might well be very low, because it is not the resistance of a plasma device, but of an inductor.

The test does not show what Alan claims for it. An ordinary 800 ohm resistive heater was not a reasonable possibility. With no measurement of voltage, this is all meaningless. The power supply is said to be “adaptive,” so conditions for the QX test and the 800 ohm resistor could be different. There was no description of what was actually done. The power measured with 800 ohms, from calculations was 50 W, which would certainly not be a “low wattage” resistor. But then there is more:

That is a weirdly indirect way of showing the QX has a low impedance. Also it is likely wrong! What was the 800 ohm resistor cal current? You also can’t prove CV from a single measurement.

only Rossi would give such indirect and dubious evidence… Why not measure the PSU voltage directly?

Sekrit, that’s why!

THHuxleynew wrote:

Also, these voltage measurements, are they DC or AC? And is the supply DC or AC? Without all these questions answered the word prove that Alan uses is way off beam… Impedance is not a single value independent of frequency. Nor is the QX likely linear.

Indeed. Alan’s response?

Alan Smith wrote:

The QX is stated to have near zero resistance. Which tends to suggest it has near zero impedance. Though after 5 beers I am not looking for an argument about that. Have at it.

After 5 beers, it gets worse.

THHuxleynew wrote:

[…] Suppose it has low resistance when in plasma state but high resistance when off. Driven by AC it would have varying impedance, and maybe absorb much power during these HV spikes some believe exist.

Or, take an inductor in parallel with a resistor. Low impedance at DC, high resistance at AC.

Perhaps I need to drink some more wine to even things up…

He’d have to drink a lot to approach Alan’s dizziness….

Oldguy points to the obvious: [To Alan]

Was the 800 ohm resister inductive or non inductive?

I am still having trouble with the claim that the claim that the device has “virtually zero resistance”.

Was it measured while running? How was that measured for the system as demonstrated?

Sure seem like there IS a “point in measuring the voltage drop across it”. A major point. It is possible to have a device with a low DC resistance but high inductive impedance. If there was any pulses or AC present, it could make a very big difference. -(example: a wire coil around some Ni) If It is to demonstrate the reality of excess then the voltage needs to be measured across with what ever waveform it is running with.

One would think. But Rossi certainly does not think like this. Unless he does. Unless he figured out  a way to make it appear, to those who don’t look or think carefully, that he is putting on low power, when he is putting in much more, there in plain sight and actually obvious and even necessary.

Alan Smith wrote: (about Oldguy’s “device”)

Tell me about this device? A choke perhaps? I think you will struggle to find me a good example.

Weird, indeed, probably the beers talking. He said the word: “choke.” That’s an example.

Oldguy also wrote:

No, again, you can have near zero DC resistance but have a large inductive impedance to high frequency (or spikes). The narrower the pulses the greater the “effective resistance” for an inductive device. […]

A simple wire coil with a nickel or cobalt core would do it. For example, a 10 mH inductor, would appear to have near zero resistance (depending on gauge) but about 4 ohms at 60 Hz and 7.5 ohms at 120 Hz and then about 160 ohms at 2500 Hz. Very fast pulses (single wave of a very high freq in effect) would make the effective R very high and with power going as V^2 you could transfer a significant power. A flyback transformer, cap and a read vibrator could easily be put in the housing of most DC supplies to add high V pulses.

Bottom line – the DC and AC across the device must [be] measured while running or you know nothing about possible power consumption.

Yes. The DPS pretends otherwise, and Mats Lewan, while he is aware of the massive deficiencies, goes along with it. It does not appear that Rossi invited anyone likely to question his claims. Mats seems to be on some kind of edge. Yet, in the end, he’s been had.

THHuxleynew:

All these (dubious even at DC) indirect measurements are no good if the PSU is AC, or has HV AC spikes.

Rossi, remember, has a proven (by Mats, of all people) history of mismeasuring things with meters to show positive COP from devices that are actually electric heaters.

Adrian Ashfield wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

Tell me about this device? A choke perhaps? I think you will struggle to find me a good example.

The pathoskeptics are just looking for a way to back up their previous firmly held opinions. I doubt you can win against hem short of units for sale.

Even if the setup were perfect they would say the readings were false, or there’s hidden battery, etc, etc. The current and voltage appears to be low enough that would be very difficult claim measurement error would wipe away a COP of 300.

Ashfield has shown again and again that he is utterly clueless. There are certainly pseudoskeptics who will not accept even good evidence, but they are matched by pseudoscientists (i.e., “believers”) who assume what they want without evidence. Here, Ashfield has nothing to contribute to the conversation, but still bloviates about what he has no understanding of.

Genuine skeptics (people like THHuxleynew) are very important for the future of LENR, because they can form the bridge. Genuine skeptics are willing to look at evidence and not dismiss it out-of-hand.

As to Ashfield’s claim, input power was not measured, and easily could be enough for a COP of 1. I.e., no excess power. Mats Lewan even points this out:

‘I think the demonstration today went well, with some limits that depends on what Rossi will accept to measure publicly. The problematic part is that the voltage over the reactor could not be measured, which would be necessary to calculate the electric power consumed by the reactor. In the calculations made by Rossi and Eng. William S. Hurley, who oversaw the measurements, the power consumed by the 1-ohm resistor was used as input power instead, assuming that the plasma inside the reactor has a resistance close to that of a conductor, thus consuming a negligible amount of power since the voltage across the reactor would be very low.

(“could not be measured” because Rossi would not allow it. Then it is claimed that it was “very low,” but the evidence for this is entirely missing. They don’t even try. The power dissipated in the 1 ohm sense resistor would be irrelevant, having almost no relationship to the QX input power. That only shows DC current, not power input, even at DC, and no attempt was made to measure RMS power, and there was very substantial RMS power, it’s obvious.)

[…] it seems strange that the power supply, even if it is a complex design, is such that it needs significant active cooling, resulting in a total system that has a COP of about 1 or less at this point.

That power supply needs cooling because it is generating high voltage pulses to strike the plasma, and with no measurement of these (and it seems that the pulsing was frequent), there is no clue as to input power, but it easily could be enough to explain the “output” power.

William S. Hurley III

Sam provided a list of comments on JONP from Hurley.  It came from LENR Forum, Bill H.  (There appear to be many more comments from Hurley there.) There is speculation about Hurley on LENR Forum, with people doing a search, finding a William Hurley, and then saying that this is the DPS engineer. No. There is more than one Hurley, that much I had. I suspect the DPS Hurley lives in Huntington Beach, California, but I haven’t yet seen any strong evidence. However, his alleged company name, somewhere (I think in Lewan information), was spelled Endeavor. From the JONP comments, it is Andeavor. $6 billion in assets. Web site.

Bruce H wrote:

Alan Smith wrote:

He is Willam Hurley, an engineer who works in the oil business. That’s what he told me. At the beginning of the demo he was introduced as an an ‘overseeing expert’. But he was pretty low key for that role. nodding now and then was most of it.

Thanks. I think he probably has the background he claims. My interest is in his role in the proceedings. One thing that has puzzled me is that a summary of COP calculations was sent to Mats Lewan and then posted on ECW over his name (http://e-catworld.com/2017/11/…comments-from-mats-lewan/), and yet this report is written in Rossi-ese complete with “Wh/h” notation and slightly ungrammatical English.

He strikes me as a pawn who was under the impression that he had an important role in the proceedings, but in reality did not.

I pointed out the Wh/h trope yesterday. There is a history behind this. I once pointed to Rossi’s usage of Wh/h for power as a “trope.” That did not  mean “error.” It is simply relatively rare, i.e., idiosyncratic. I’ve researched it fairly deeply, it may be more common in Europe, and I think Jed said some Japanese use it. I have never seen an American engineer or scientist use this.

In my training, we always reduced units. Working with units like that is an important part of learning science and engineering.

Wh is watt-hour, i.e., 1 watt for one hour. The SI unit is joules/second, but the definition of a joule is one watt-second, i.e., one watt for one second. So an alternate unit for energy is watt-second, and watt-hour is common. The unit for power is simply “watt.”

I explained all this maybe a year ago. Rossi commented on it, claiming it was completely wrong, and his treatment showed that he thinks of “watt-hour” as a unit of energy, and that then power is the obvious rate, watt-hours/hour. He claimed the “hour” cannot be cancelled, and for further discussion, he referred to an well-known book author. I researched this issue in that author’s work, and found that he confirmed that the “hour” would cancel out. I.e., Rossi’s source contradicted Rossi. Rossi never, however, admits error.

It was not the use of wh/h that was wrong, that would be a pedantic objection. Rather it was his claim that “watt” or “kilowatt” was wrong.

(By the way, Rossi called the Plant the “1 MW E-cat.” Not the “1 MWh/h E-cat.”)

The point was not that Wh/h was incorrect, but that this was a red flag that this was not written by an American engineer, unless he was copying Rossi.

There is another clear sign: the company name spelling “Endeavor” is in that text, linked by Bruce H, taken from ECW. Hurley would not make that mistake. Period. Rossi would, easily. Rossi wrote that report. Hurley may have approved it, but even there, I’d expect the Endeavor error would have stood out for him and he’d have corrected it.

Alan Smith wrote:

Bruce_H wrote: “Wh/h”

Don’t start this again or we will have MY banging on about it. Wh/h is power supply engineer shorthand for the sustained load a system can handle. It is however not a recognised SI or Imperial unit of measurement.

Alan doesn’t want accurate information expressed because MY will jump on it? His comment may be misleading, or may be accurate for Great Britain, where he lives. However, “Wh/h” is not how a power supply engineer would express the load a system can handle. They would either state that it can handle X Watts for time T. Or they would state that the system can deliver so many Wh, but they would want to state peak load. Another way to say this is that a supply can sustain a load of so many watts (time not specified, and time is not specified in Wh/h, it’s an average). “Sustained” in this case is about what the supply will do without burning out. It’s a rating.

Bruce_H wrote:

I agree completely. I only use it as an indicator that that it was not Mr Hurley who wrote the report that appears over his name.

This is the DPS Hurley.

Tesoro Senior Project Engineer, Tesoro Petroleum Corp.

(Tesoro became Andeavor, August 1, 2017.)

This is also Hurley, engineer for a radio license with an address given for Tesoro in Huntington Beach., 2101 E PACIFIC COAST HWY, LOS ANGELES, WILMINGTON, CA. Mr. Hurley has a boat.

If it were important, we could contact Mr. Hurley. It’s not. We know what data he worked with, and if he made a mistake, as we think, it is no skin off our teeth. He should know, however, that he is hitching his reputation to a known fraud and con artist.

I finally found his Linked-In profile. It’s listed under Bill Hurley. (there are many of these.) Behold:

 

Mr. Hurley has a decent background. However, he has a conflict of interest. Considering the above, he would want, at this point, to encourage Rossi to deal with him. He gains no benefit by being skeptical in his analysis, as long as he is honest with his employer, and he would know, if he’s researched Rossi history, that any sign of significant skepticism, he’d be history in the Rossi story.

If Andeavor actually buys a reactor — or power — from Rossi, this would become very, very interesting. Otherwise, this is SOP for Rossi.

What next? So much meshegas, so little time.

Watching LENR Forum, as well as looking at unfinished business here, there are endless provocations to write. I’m going to list some topics.

Interest?

Continue reading “What next? So much meshegas, so little time.”

How to win by losing: give up and declare victory!

And that’s what Rossi did, in spite of the insanity proclaimed on LENR Forum and elsewhere, and his followers lap it up, even though, like much buzz on Planet Rossi, it is utterly preposterous.

For a year, on his blog, Rossi had been proclaiming that he was going to demolish IH in the lawsuit, that he had proof, etc. Out of eight counts alleged, four were dismissing from a motion (and a count must be really poor to be dismissed at that stage — and what remained was hanging on a thread. Maybe Rossi could come up with some killer proof in discovery. That never happened, all that Rossi found were some ambiguous statements that, if one squinted, could look a little like what he was claiming, whereas the other side was heavily supported. Continue reading “How to win by losing: give up and declare victory!”

Mary Yugo, Sniffex and the Blindness of Reactive Certainty

On LENR Forum, maryyugo bloviated:

When James Randi’s foundation exposed Sniffex as a fraud, he was sued. The suit was similarly dropped before independent technical experts could perform tests on the device. Strange how that works. You may recall that Sniffex was sold as an explosive detector but was really a dowsing rod which when tested by many different agencies, detected nothing. It and similar devices did and probably still do maim and kill many people who rely on them to detect explosives and IED’s, especially in S. E. Asia and the Middle East and IIRC Africa where they can still be promoted and sold. Amusingly, Lomax the abdominable snow man, still thinks these things have merit. I propose giving him one and turning him loose with it in a minefield so he can prove it if he thinks we are slandering the makers.

I know the Sniffex case and have researched it fairly deeply. Much of what Mary Yugo has claimed is not verifiable, but some is. It does appear that the Sniffex was a very expensive dowsing rod (about $6,000, though there are sources saying as high as $60,000).

However, dowsing rods can detect something, this is where Mary goes too far. What they detect is entirely another issue, I call it “psychic.” Meaning “of the mind,” not  meaning woo. A “psychic amplifier” or “sensor” will fail a double-blind test, the kind that Mary considers golden. However, in real life, there are often what are called “sensory leakages,” in parapsychological research. Information that comes through in ways that are not necessarily expected.

In medicine, there is the placebo effect, but, then, are there approaches which amplify the placebo effect? Clinical manner certainly would. Anything else?

I never claimed that the Sniffex “had merit.” This is Mary’s corrupt interpretation, radically misleading, like much of what Mary writes.

And I never claimed that Yugo was “slandering the makers.” Mary made all that up. Continue reading “Mary Yugo, Sniffex and the Blindness of Reactive Certainty”

Is there a survival benefit for stupidity?

Continuing Hope springs eternal.

Is there a survival benefit for stupidity?

Probably not for stupidity itself, but possibly for persistence in the face of obstacles, if the person does know when to fold.

My son was about ten years old, walking in the woods with his friend. Recognizing poison oak, he told his friend to be careful not to touch it. His friend said, “That’s not poison oak!” My son said, yes, it is. His friend said, “Look!” and rubbed his face with the plant. Continue reading “Is there a survival benefit for stupidity?”

Hope springs eternal

Rossi-Blog Comment Discussion on LENR Forum. This starts with Alan Smith’s announcement that he will be attending the Rossi Quark-X demo in Miami (apparently), but then looks at discussion and general insanity around the Quark-X electrical measurements. Many other topics intruded into the thread, but mostly I stuck with the electrical issue. Continue reading “Hope springs eternal”

Lowdown on Lie-bull

I mentioned the other day that Ascoli65 was banned on LF for two weeks, by Alan Smith. Ensuing discussion has brought up some issues worthy of attention. So, first of all, this is the post for which Ascoli65 was banned:

Rossi vs. Darden aftermath discussions

The post — and the subsequent discussion of the censorship — were all off-topic.

Ascoli65
Tuesday, 11:30 pm

@ Alan Smith,

my long and documented comment has been substituted by this words of yours.

Ascoli65 wrote:

The content of this post has been removed, since it contains nothing but thinly veiled attacks on Levi and UniBo, despite your assertions to the contrary. Do ir again and you may well be sanctioned or even banned.

This comment, apparently by Alan Smith, was argumentative, and, as well, was off-topic. A procedure had been established to move off-topic posts to the Playground — or to create a topic for them — and offensive posts to Clearance Items, though I think grossly offensive material was still being deleted, at least I’d expect so. My own practice is not to actually delete anything, but to possibly “trash” a clearly offensive post; it’s still in the database and can easily be recovered by me or anyone with admin privileges. Mildly offensive or irrelevant material may be moved to an appropriate topic or to a catch-all. Personally, I’d want to add notes where appropriate to maintain transparency. These considerations seem to have long been completely beyond the ken of Smith.

If the post was “long and documented” as claimed, deleting it was quite offensive, unless a procedure exists for the user to recover it. (On Discus blogs, like ECW, when a post is deleted, it appears that it is still accessible through the user’s profile, at least by the user.)

I’m very surprised of your decision to completely cancel my comment. Not greened, not moved in the Playground or Clearance Items threads, but immediately deleted. I think, it’s the first time this happen in this abrupt way, and I don’t see any reason for such a reaction. I didn’t used offensive words, and I only reported documented facts.

It was probably quite unexpected. Ascoli may have done more than present “documented facts,” but … the offense in this post was quite mild, compared to what is routinely tolerated when it is not Levi or Unibo being “attacked.” Alan is personally offended, apparently. Darden can be attacked, Dewey Weaver can be attacked, and often nothing is done.

My comment was not a “thinly veiled attack”, it was just a “open plain evaluation” of the apparent behavior of a public researcher at a public university which publicly claimed on many public media of having measured 12 kW of alleged excess heat generated by a table top device during the public demo held in Bologna on January 14, 2011. This conclusion of him was based on a couple of presumed data that I can’t explain otherwise, except for an intentional misrepresentation of experimental data. If you have any other explanation, why don’t you provide it?

Smith greened this paragraph as offensive. “Intentional misrepresentation of experimental data” is, in fact, a serious charge, albeit consistent with Ascoli65’s long-term claim that there was some sort of falsification of data in those early reports. I never found his claims plausible, but, like many who write on LENR Forum, he was quite sure of his evidence.

I’m going to agree with Smith that this was inappropriate, but it was merely a failure of ability to imagine alternate explanations, and was far short of ban-worthy (though any offense can be ban-worthy if it persists after warning). Much more direct claims of false statements have been made about many others involved in Rossi v. Darden, and commonly. Drawing the line here, while not covering more egregious possible libels, is bizarre and unskillful. The effect is chilling.

Apparently one may strongly criticize or even insult, depending on whom it offends.

I think Ascoli65 genuinely did not understand, and because that paragraph was greened and not deleted, it was not a repeat of the allegedly deletion-worthy offense, so blocking him because he questioned the censorship was offensive and a violation of civilized norms — i.e., what Smith below accuses.

My comment was in theme. THH had just accused Levi of practicing “bad science” following a mistake in the emissivity used in the Lugano report. This aspect seems to be quite controversial and has given rise to hundreds, perhaps thousands of comments in recent years.

Ascoli is making a false parallel. I would not like THH using “bad science,” if he did. The mistake was a mistake. The failure to require a full control was worse. Allowing the work to be so strongly guided by Rossi was worse. It gets pretty bad, all right, but I have never seen evidence of actual data falsification on the part of Levi and the other professors. Ascoli did not quite accuse Levi of that, but of “intentional misrepresentation.” That’s close enough to be considered falsification. It’s an offensive claim, and, indeed, in some contexts, could even be criminal libel.

On the contrary, the inconsistency between the pump capacity and the flow rate reported in the UniBo document issued on January 2011 is much more apparent and incontestable. In fact, Levi claimed to have calibrated the pump for 2 weeks, but on the front panel of that pump was clearly indicated a max output of 12 L/h, a value much lower than that one he claimed in his report (equivalent to 17.6 L/h).

That statement is not libelous. By the way, the “label” is, as Rossi correctly pointed out, not a maximum capacity, but a minimum guaranteed capacity at the specific pressure, and under some conditions actual flow could exceed that. This is Rossi’s argument on Lewan’s blog and it is not exactly wrong, except that he then proceeds to use this fact as a justification for making probably false claims.

The word “capacity” implies a maximum!

From 12 l/h guaranteed to 17.6 l/h actual might well be possible for a real pump under some conditions. The current testing being done by Alan Fletcher is showing a pump rated at 32 l/h at 2 bar, actually pumping maybe 40 l/h at low pressure. That is 125% of rated flow. The Levi claim is 147%. Maybe. Different model pump.

I would never accuse a professional scientist of data falsification based on evidence this thin. But, again, libel is fairly common on LF.

I can’t understand why these considerations are not allowed in this forum. Which specific rules do they break?

Smith then adds his comment in bold:

Your comment above breaks the rules of civilised behaviour just for a start.

That is an offensive comment. An experienced moderator will never argue with a person they are sanctioning, it inflames sensibilities. The issue is civility, and Smith’s comment is outrageously uncivil, much more so than Ascoli65’s.

As -despite your denial- so did almost every line in your deleted post which actually contained a criminal liable (in some jurisdictions). Accusing somebody who is not a member here of (effectively) deliberate scientific fraud from behind your avatar is certainly worthy of a 2 week ban. And you just got it. Alan.

I find Smith’s claim likely exaggerated. Levi is a “public figure” in the Rossi v. Darden case. Others not members have been accused of fraud, lying, data falsification, etc. I agree that this could be libel, though generally truth is a defense. There are other defenses as well.

That Smith enforces a rule against libel could actually create risk for the blog owner, if it is enforced selectively. There are also issues around anonymity.

So some discussion ensued:

Alan Smith wrote:

Hi Jed. My interaction with the now banned (for 2 weeks) ‘Ascoli’ had nothing to do with a debate on scientific ethics. The deleted post contained what could be considered – in almost any jurisdiction outside the USA – to be a criminal libel, repeated twice in the thin disguise of a question. If you had been the target of it- or indeed MY or Kirk I would have taken precisely the same action. Since Ascoli hides behind a screen-name libelling somebody on the web takes zero courage on the part of the poster, but does carry risks for other parties involved in publishing this forum.

The question asked by Ascoli was actually what it was about his question that was bannable. He apparently repeated the question in order to ask. He could very simply have been told. Instead he was, himself, insulted, though not libelled. “Hides behind” is uncivil, to be sure. Alan Smith is commonly terse, avoiding clear and complete answers to questions. It was easier to accuse Ascoli65 than to tell him where the border not to cross lies. That might actually take some thought, and, problem is, the border Ascoli crossed — in my opinion — is crossed by many so then the next question would be why was this enforced strictly and rather abruptly with Ascoli — who was being polite — and not with so many others? My answer is “Alan Smith.”

Jed Rothwell wrote:

Libel is never criminal in the U.S. as far as I know. It is always a civil matter. I do not think it is a good idea to have the police involved. This web site is based in the U.S., so U.S. laws apply, and you don’t need to worry about criminal libel.

Alan Fletcher wrote: (in response to Jed)

According to wiki 17 states have Criminal Defamation Laws. In Florida it’s a misdemeanor Florida Statutes Chapter 836

Lots of legal foo, but admins, note : 

836.03 Owner or editor of the paper also guilty.—Any owner, manager, publisher or editor of any newspaper or other publication who permits any anonymous communication or communications such as is signed otherwise than with the true name of the writer, and such name published therewith to appear in the columns of the publication in which said communication any person is attacked in his or her good name, or it is attempted to bring disgrace or ridicule upon any person, such owner, manager, publisher or editor shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree

Kudos to Fletcher for providing links. The Wikipedia article includes this:

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 generally immunizes from liability parties that create forums on the Internet in which defamation occurs from liability for statements published by third parties. This has the effect of precluding all liability for statements made by persons on the Internet whose identity cannot be determined.

That is, the web site owner is not liable. (The author of the libel would be liable.) The owner could become liable under some circumstances. The decision to “publish” on LENR Forum is not made by moderators or administrators. However, this may shift if there is a protest. The Communications Decency Act supersedes state laws.

Alan Smith replied:

The server you see may be in the US Jed, but the publisher is in the EU. That’s what counts I beleive.

Alan is sliding down a slippery slope by considering David Nygren the “publisher.” Nygren lives in Sweden, apparently. Sweden apparently has criminal libel laws; this was,. I think, pointed out to Sifferkoll. Sifferkoll’s main protection has been inertia, because he’s written a lot that is clearly libel. But Nygren has not libelled Levi. He simply owns a blog where someone may have done this. I think Ascoli65 is Italian. I doubt there is any risk to Nygren, unless he refuses to cooperate with a libel investigation. I also doubt that any action would be initiated against Ascoli65 for his level of offense.

In any case, there are what may be complex issues of jurisdiction. Nobody commenting so far is an attorney, and neither am I, though I know some.

Being a blogger, I need to be better informed. So: Online Defamation Law.

That’s about U.S. law. There is a source on English libel law, London being “a town called Sue.”

The author of that was asked: Could I be liable if someone uses my blog to post a defamatory message? He replied:

Potentially, yes

As the publisher of a blog, you could in theory be held liable in respect of defamatory material posted by others on the blog.

There are two main approaches to dealing with this risk:

• first, you can review all material before it is published, and refrain from publishing anything risky;
• second, you can seek to take advantage of the provisions of Section 1 of the Defamation Act 1996 and Regs 17-19 of the Ecommerce Regulations.

This second approach is the usual one, and typically involves a publisher doing the following sorts of things:

• prohibiting the posting of defamatory and other unlawful content in the blog T&Cs;
• providing an effective abuse notification procedure;
• not systematically reviewing or editing content posted on the site; and
• removing risky content promptly following notification of a problem.

 “Not systematically reviewing or editing content” would be a reference to the idea I mentioned above, that deleting some libels and not others could create risk that might otherwise be absent. Ideally, there would be a TOS to which users agree, and then clear procedures for dealing with violations of the TOS. LENR Forum never created this, or, more accurately, there was a feeble and naive attempt that proceeded to be ignored.

Very few users like to see their content deleted. If a blog wants to encourage users to write substantial contributions, deleting it without notice or opportunity for recovery is a huge insult to any writer. LENR Forum uses idiosyncratic software, I don’t know what tools are available. This is a WordPress blog, and I can easily and quickly hide any content, without deleting it. That is, if the author wants a copy, I could (and would) send it to him or her. This avoids the worst admin abuses. Others still exist, but, bottom line, the owner owns the site and may delegate authority. But others can also point to abuses or moderator incivility!

When a site comes to enjoy wide public participation, users may come to expect fair treatment, and when it doesn’t seem fair, sometimes they develop a grudge, and Wikipedia administrators created highly offended users that proceeded to engage in sock puppetry that lasted for years, with thousands of accounts created, wasting countless hours of admin time. Some of that was necessary, perhaps, but it was also clear, when I investigated cases, that there had been abuse of users, and it was very difficult to address. The abusers were highly privileged.

I have seen no case of such revenge posting on LF. However, there are some blatant trolls. Activities like that, tolerated, will drive away many otherwise productive participants, eventually. Ever wonder why few real-name users are women? Why actual scientists rarely post on LENR-Forum?

Beyond pointing to that British site, I’m not summarizing libel law for bloggers, though I’ll be happy to discuss it. This is an area of law which is shifting, as one can tell from the EFF coverage.

Update

I found this Pennsylvania site interesting. Pennsylvania Newspaper Handbook – Libel.

Newspapers are held to a stricter standard, in some cases, but libel is libel and this and the pages I have linked above cover the definition and give advice about avoiding libel that any blog, if it is to develop a reputation for utility and reliability, should understand.

Looking at it again, and reviewing all this, the comment of Alan Smith implying that David Nygren was the “publisher” who might be held responsible for libel, was a stretch, particularly since the particular incident he was discussing did not involve a publication decision. As well, deletion is a form of retraction, and does not defend against a libel claim for something published, it may merely mitigate damages.

Rossi, in many posts and filings, and in my opinion, did libel others. However, there are specific exceptions in libel laws for court filings, and for obvious reasons. Nevertheless others, repeating the claims in those primary sources, presenting them as fact (instead of as allegations), also libelled, and may not have had that necessity defense. Is Frank Acland responsible for libels posted to ECW? Not unless he specifically approves of them. Thus by moderating some users, he is creating a (low) risk of a prosecution for libel. He has less risk if the user decides to publish or not.

The internet is still a frontier, and frontiers can be lawless, or, more accurately, law may not be settled. Some risks might exist in theory, but in practice, there is no risk. Until there is a crazy plaintiff! — or one who decides, “enough is enough!” and goes ahead, damn the expense!

The blogger most at risk in what I’ve seen is Sifferkoll. And maybe Rossi, for JONP. (I have not reviewed his JONP posts from this point of view. Many “insults” are not libel. Context matters. Rossi does not seem to have an open blog, I believe all posts must be approved. That can create liability for what those users post, i.e., approval is publication.

Many libel targets will not sue, because it can look very, very bad. Consider Levi. Suppose I call Levi a “blithering idiot.” First of all, not libel, legally, if one studies the sources I’ve given. Just an insult, one which might enrage Levi or his friends. However, suppose I claim that he altered or faked data. And then he sues me. A defense is truth, and truth may be decided by a jury. As well, my state of mind is an issue. I’m media, and Levi is, in this field, a public figure. That’s a defense. I might be able to show truth or, given “public figure” and “influence,” at least reasonable cause to present information. “Proof” in a civil case is preponderance of the evidence, it need not be absolute. I think any sane lawyer would advise Levi to let sleeping dogs lie, and maybe to tolerate some level of barking.

There is a list of “red flag” words on the Pennsylvania site. These words are relatively common on LENR Forum. Alan Smith was not wrong to identify the Ascoli65 post as libelous, but, in context, he had singled out a mild case to enforce a rule that was vague and probably not understood by the user, instead of doing what the user asked, to explain it to him. It is as if the real rule was “if you have to ask, you’re banned!”

Dewey Weaver’s comment about LF moderation was “amateur hour.” Technically, of course, LF moderators are amateurs, but some amateurs become experts. Some don’t. Some refuse to learn, and simply blame others. LF had been doing a better job, with moving comments instead of deletion. I never liked green ink, it’s ugly. However, it is far better than raw deletion. I boycotted LF when Smith deleted *many* comments that he considered off-topic, and I said “until this is addressed,” which could mean that the Staff community restrained Alan (with removal of privileges being the extreme sanction, if the moderator refuses to cooperate). LF Staff does not discuss issues publically, which can make it a star chamber. I was banned, by Alan, apparently — banned users cannot read their own private messages — as retaliation for declaring a boycott, surely a juvenile and amateurish response. But the entire Staff is responsible, it is not just Alan. We are responsible for what we tolerate and allow. I have friends on that Staff. I was basically told that the situation was hopeless.

This incident demonstrates that it’s still a mess. Alan Smith has a high personal conflict of interest. He runs Looking for Heat, a generally laudable exercise, with a problem: it is almost entirely about nickel hydride exploration, which depended for its appeal heavily on Rossi, and, as well, on Levi. There are plenty of attempts to “replicate” Rossi, which is, scientifically, a problem, because a replication is not possible without full information about the original experiment. So at best, independent “replications” without that information, are a kind of “confirmation,” i.e., that something happens. A genuine replication would also be quantitatively confirming. What is often an “indication,” can be the file-drawer effect. Many people try, a few make calorimetric errors…. and often only positive results are published, the rest remain in the “file drawer,” hence the name of the effect.

So Smith, in defending Levi, is promoting his own interests. And he did so in a quite uncivil way, while pretending to be disallowing incivility. Smith does not know or understand recusal, apparently. And in that, he has been, as far as we can tell, unrestrained by the administrative staff (at least one member of which, probably more than one, has the power to assign and remove moderator privileges.) In the end, the highest responsibility is with David Nygren, the owner.

Nygren sells advertising. “Vigorous discussion” — which can be an alternate description of libel and flame wars — can improve traffic, possibly improving revenue. Or that motive is not applicable to him. I really don’t know, because Nygren is mostly silent.

Taken from the list of red flag words, ones that I’ve seen (or close equivalents), on LENR Forum, E-Cat Word, JONP, or Sifferkoll (on his own blog or on LENR Forum) — or here on CFC, for which I am, at present, responsible:

altered records
bad moral character
bankrupt
bribery [or corrupt influence] gambling den
gangster
graft
hypocrite
illegitimate
incompetent
intemperate
intolerance
mafia
mental illness
mobster
moral delinquency
mouthpiece
perjurer
pockets public funds
profiteering
scam
scandalmonger
scoundrel
sharpdealing
shyster
smooth and tricky
smuggler
sneaky
sold out
spy
swindle
thief
unethical
unprofessional
unsound mind
unworthy of credit
villain

Avoid any words or expressions imputing:

2. a crime, or words falsely charging arrest, or indictment for or confession or conviction of a crime;
3. anti-Semitism or other religious, racial or ethnic intolerance;
4. connivance or association with criminals;
5. financial embarrassment (or any implication of insolvency or want of credit);
6. lying;
7. membership in an organization which may be in disrepute at a given period of time;
9. unwillingness to pay a debt.


Reviewing Obsidian Finance Group, LLC v. Cox, as part of an ongoing study, I am drafting a policy for CFC, to govern some legal issues that could arise here, both from the point of view of protecting the owner of CFC, Infusion Institute, Inc. (III) from liability, protecting CFC administration, whether volunteer or otherwise, protecting the interests of the community that CFC attempts to represent and serve, which includes the right of free expression, while at the same time protecting individuals and organizations from libel and claims of copyright violation.

Policy on libel and copyright violation

Comment here or there is welcome.

Update1

A copy alleged to be (and believed to be) the original obliterated post on LF has been added here as a comment.

While this is edgy, it is not libelous in context. It was actually a challenge to Alan Smith, which he removed by censoring it. This is long-term Smith behavior. The real problem is not Smith, but an LF Staff that does not restrain its members. I have seen many bans now. Most of them were well-earned. This one was not, but there is no clear appeal process, and no genuine explanation, so bans do not establish precedent and policy remains unclear.

Ascoli actually asked for an explanation of how his post could be considered libel. Instead of an explanation, he got a ban. This is far, far less than civil and helpful. It is knee-jerk hostile, behavior unbecoming of any site moderator or administrator, if the site clains to represent a community (as LF does) instead of merely the positions and interests of the owner. This could be remedied, but the owner is mostly absent, it is not clear that he pays attention to LF administration. This is, again, not uncommon, but this shows how internet structures can break down.

Ascoli65

{This was originally posted under Is cold fusion a fraud?]

This section was one of a number of copies of and comments on posts on fusionefredda, one of which explicitly called “cold fusion a fraud,” and other of which was radically and blatantly pseudoskeptical. Ascoli 65’s post was not libelous, though it skirts close to an edge, but he  apparently did not want his user name associated with such blatant claims of fraud. He requested that I move that section here, which I have now done. I will leave behind a note. I hope this is satisfactory to him.

Ascoli65 wrote:

[a civil post in which he discusses various issues. I’d reply there except for it being much easier for me to write here, with formatting, etc. So his post:]

@ Abd UlRahman Lomax,
I’m still unable to post on the CFC site (I tried just now), so I reply here to your comments, and, if you don’t mind, I’d invite you to reply here as well.

Thanks. I intend to post a link to this there. I may not continue to monitor that blog. As to the posting problem, something about the user email or identity triggers the spam filter. I have put Ascoli65’s email address on the whitelist here, so, in theory, he could post here by providing that address, and I have confirmed the address (because he kindly responded to my email).

In your comment on CFC dated September 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm (*), you wrote:

– I could not find a source for the pump data and the pump being called “peristaltic.” I’m sure it’s out there, but wasn’t linked by Ascoli65.

And now Ascoli65 confirms that:

The source are the Lewan’s reports of the two tests held on April 19 and 28, 2011. These reports were published on the NyTeknik site, but they are no more accessible. Anyway a copy of the first one is still available on NewEnergyTimes (1).

To give this in-line for convenience: here.

It ends with the list of “Instruments”, where the first one is called “Peristaltic pump”. I don’t know if this definition is correct. Whatever it was, I agree with you, it was a metering pump, a dosimetric pump, an instrument devoted to deliver a calibrated flux of water.

There is a lot in that document. Yes, at the end:

Peristaltic pump NSF
Model # CEP183-362N3
Serial # 060550065
Max output 12.0 liters/h
Max press 1.50 bar

First of all, the pump identification is almost certainly incorrect. The only returns, Googling the Model number, are E-cat or similar discussions taking that number, likely, from the paper cited. One comment cited a manufacturer page. Dead link. I looked at the manufacturer web site. Found no clue, so far.

Years ago, I designed equipment to use a peristaltic pump. It is a particular type of metering or dosing pump, see the Wikipedia article.

Dosimetric pumps, most (all?) types are pressure sensitive. That is, flow will vary with back-pressure (or forward pressure). “Calibration” of these pumps is valid at the calibration pressure (and I would think calibration would be necessary across a range of pumping rates). One-point calibration is only valid if the pump operation is that the same pressure. Which does open up possible artifacts.

The Levi paper appears naive to me, unaware of possible problems, so they were not checked.

Levi claims to have measured a flow of 4.12 kg/hour. He was actually weighing the water, in two sessions, a total of about 8 or 9 kilograms each. This should be accurate, if, as it appears, he was pumping water from a weighed reservoir. The rate is not a problem, being well under the specified flow of 12 l/hr, i.e., about 12 kg/hr, at 1.5 bar.

Is that a maximum flow? A lot of hot air has been issued on this. It is a minimum maximum. That is the manufacturer is, with the specification, is guaranteed that the maximum actual flow at maximum flow setting, will be a minimum of 12 l/hr. Jed Rothwell makes the point that if the pump would pump a *lot* more than that, the manufacturer would increase the claimed number, because they could sell more pumps. Perhaps.

In the cited paper, the problem of “maximum pump flow” does not exist.

– There were many tests and differing conditions and possibly different pumps.

Yes. This is a common problem in review of various claims. There may be many experiments and demonstrations, with differing conditions. It’s easy to get them confused and to think that what is true for one is necessarily true for another. Indeed, Rossi might sometimes be hiding behind that.

In 2011, there have been 10 tests at lab scale whose info appeared on internet (2). In most of them a pump was used to feed the various Ecat devices, and this pump, from the January 14 up to the October 6 tests was the same yellow dosimetric pump, featuring a nominal max output of 12 L/h.

– The measured flux was of 168 +/- 2 g in 45 +/- 0.1 s.
While it is difficult to control a water flow with a precision of 0.1 second, this would be 13.4 liters per hour. That doesn’t seem impossible for a pump rated at 12 liters per hour.

You are talking about the wrong test.

Nope. Not “wrong.” Different from what you intended, and, indeed, I have no clear idea what test you were talking about. Bottom line, Ascoli65, you are not writing clearly and carefully. Some people, believing that it’s all very simple — and very bogus — don’t take care to be clear and complete. It’s work! If we want to assist the full community in coming to choices based on evidence, we need to be clear, or, too often, we are just adding confusion.

The normal blog format and practices encourages terminal sloppiness. What does it matter if an error is buried in thousands of posts that are all over the map? Nobody is going to study these anyway! You’d have to be crazy!

The datum you cited refers to the first test [Test 1] held on December 16, 2010, whose results was reported in the same calorimetric report (3) issued on January 2011, along with those of the January 14 demo [Test 2]. In the December test, whose setup is shown in Fig.1 of that report, no pump was used. The inlet hose was directly connected to the water tap, which was presumably used to regulate the flux. Conversely, the yellow dosimetric pump has been used only starting from the public demo held on January 14, 2011.

So the problem, the inconsistency is where? You aren’t saying, Ascoli65!

– Ascoli’s real point: this early report demonstrates Levi error, which, combined with a lack of later follow-up and correction, indicates that his reports are not trustworthy. With Lugano, we saw different errors, but the same intransigence and stonewalling. I could not find verification of the pump used. He doesn’t provide a source for it, but then makes an argument that depends on the information.

I did provide all the links to the many documents available on internet which clearly demonstrate the many errors (at least three errors only for the January 14 demo: pump’s flow rate, missing steam probe, and doubled test duration) present in the January 2011 report.

Ascoli, all this is next to useless unless I spend a lot of time trying to figure out what you mean. I’ll do that to a degree, but if you are not convincing people, the first place to look is not in them, but in your own expression. When I submitted my paper to Current Science for that special issue on LENR in 2015, the reviewer initial comments were basically, “horrible paper.” Instead of getting mad, I took responsibility — which is what I’m trained to do, this wasn’t my “natural good nature.” I can be pretty crabby naturally! So I rewrote my paper, rather extensively, making sure that his objections were addressed. He turned around completely.

That’s how to write, Ascoli65. You can make real contributions if you back up and learn to write effectively and clearly. At the same time, what it takes to be careful and thorough will educate you far more deeply. You might find some of your opinions changing, or even beliefs. That will be entirely up to you!

The problem is that I can’t see how these errors can be interpreted as mistakes.

  1. You have not detailed the errors for me to review.
  2. There are many errors. By focusing on many, you become stuck in an overview (“these errors”). Rossi has long inspired scientists to make stupid blunders (stupid in hindsight). I’ve speculated that he is really good at this. Rossi’s psychology is not necessarily simple, but it is obvious that his presence inspires some people to trust him. That could be the skill of a con artist (they can be amazing in this way, with people continuing to trust they were told long after it became obviously false. And this happens with very smart people, not stupid people. Konnikova, in The Confidence Game, points out that “gullible people” are generally happier. That is, a con artist takes advantage of a very functional human behavior: trust. People who cannot trust are seriously disabled.
  3. Rossi may also be insane, that is, he might actually believe the deceptions he pushes. He might be fooling himself.
  4. Until you can understand these possibilities, as generalities, you won’t understand the specifics, and until we understand each specific example, generalization from the specific to the general can be drastically off and heavily influenced by expectations and knee-jerk reactions.
  5. If you need someone else to invent an explanation, I might be able, but that will not establish what *actually happened.* All I have claimed is that, so far, there is no evidence I have seen sufficient to justify making a public claim of data falsification for any of the scientists involved. CimPy is libelling an entire field, and no wonder he is hiding behind anonymity

(Libelling a field is not actionable until and unless it becomes personal. The courts will dismiss it as bloviation, of no substance. If I were to say, “all liberals are pedophiles,” I would simply be an idiot, I could not be sued for it.)

I did ask many people to suggest me possible explanations, but I didn’t get any answer on the merit, that is nobody suggested a possible chain of events which could explain why, for example, it was erroneously reported a flow rate much higher than the max output of the pump.

Here, we are engaged in a discussion of this matter, and you have not clearly made your case. You keep repeating certain conclusions without providing a clear and connected factual basis.

– He cites a flow figure of 17.5 l/hr. That’s from a Macy report of an “exclusive interview with Levi. Yes, that would be oddly high if it is the 12 l/h pump involved. But that figure is different from Levi’s paper covering those tests.”

The flow rate announced in the Macy’s document (“146 g in 30 seconds” = 17.5 L/h) was the same reported a week later in the final calorimetric report (3) of the demo held on January 14 [Test 2], ie “146.4g +/- 0.1 per 30 +/- 0.5 s”, equivalent to 17.6 L/h. In the meanwhile this figure has been reviewed by many people, in Italy and in the US.

That figure is not so far above the rated flow that it’s impossible. It merely raises doubt. As well, this could be a single error that propagated. I don’t see evidence cited as to what pump was used in that specific demonstration.

As well, what you are doing is focusing on, relatively speaking, a fly, when there is an elephant in that living room, the use of a humidity meter to check steam quality, plus a complete absence of examination as to overflow water, which could make the calorimetry almost completely meaningless. Lack of consideration of alternative hypotheses afflicted all of the apparently successful Rossi demonstrations I know. In the early flow calorimetry, verification of complete evaporation was missing, it was based on some incorrect ideas. In the Lugano test, assumptions about measuring temperature with an IR camera badly afflicted the claimed results, and a calibration at full power — one of the most obvious verification measures, was missing, for reasons stated by the authors of the report, but almost certainly based on Rossi Bullshit, stated by them as if factual and sensible.

None of this, though, shows actual data falsification, merely naivete and error and, later, stonewalling, avoiding the obvious. Be careful! Details matter!

Bottom line, that you cannot understand something shows much more about you than about reality. It’s a failure of imagination, because a free human mind can always find “explanations” for anything. It’s what we do. For better and for worse. The task for adults is to sift through this and come up with sufficient analysis to create basis for action.

Should there be more investment in cold fusion research? How about more investment in Rossi? Industrial Heat? What action can members of the public take or encourage? We need facts, not more knee-jerk reactive analysis.

– I’d trust the paper over the interview, even if the interview was by email (where some will be incautious and errors abound).

As shown above, interview and calorimetric paper reported the same flow rate value (ie 17.6 L/h), whereas the max output of the pump was 12 L/h, that is the same value (12 L/h) mentioned by Levi during his speech before the test (4). The main problem is that, in the Macy’s interview, he also said: “After this calibration period I have checked that the pump was not touched and when we brought it here for the experiment it was giving the same quantity of water during all the experiment.” How do you explain this statement? Was this also an incautious declaration?

I get no impression from Levi of care and caution. The statement, however, does not seem odd to me, yet. That was not a report of an actual measurement, “the same quantity” is a coarse judgment, not a number, the result of an actual measurement. I find it difficult to parse — to understand — the statement you report. The language is confused, unclear. Normally, it is possible to clear these things up, by asking the scientist questions. That totally broke down.

So my own conclusion is that I don’t trust anything Levi says. He is emotionally involved and reactive, read his “unsworn declaration” in Rossi v. Darden, and also read the private investigator’s declaration.

But I have not seen any actual lies, just gross misinterpretations.

BTW, how can you say that the interview was by email?

I didn’t. So that’s an easy question to answer. Read it again.

(*) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/low-down-on-lie-bull/#comment-5420
(1) http://newenergytimes.com/v2/sr/RossiECat/docs/2011Lewan19AprilData.pdf
(2) http://i.imgur.com/rB93G1X.jpg
(3) http://lenr-canr.org/acrobat/LeviGreportonhe.pdf
(4) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jr0ysNSN9Ng (at 9:46)

Thanks for giving the video time location. Many writers neglect doing that.

Watching that video, I’m impressed by how Levi became an advocate, far from a neutral observer and analyst. He is explaining the demonstration, as if he was working for Rossi. He leaps way ahead, instead of focusing on the critical issue, the heat level, he wants to exclude a chemical source. If we know the actual heat level and various other statistics, then “non-chemical” would fall out rather simply. It’s like the Lugano report, substantial energy devoted to a Rankin diagram, which is polemic and overheated analysis, not fact, while the most obvious facts — how bright was that thing glowing at, allegedly, 1400 C.? — are ignored. And later, when questions are asked, stonewalled.

But how this could happen, how scientists could stonewall, is not such a difficult question. They are human: embarrassed, defensive, or, as well, they might consider themselves bound by non-disclosure agreements, none of which would be at all surprising.

There is some of what Taubes called Bad Science there. So what else is new? What’s the reality? We will not find it by focusing on the errors of so-and-so. There is plenty of work which is not so afflicted, and there is more work to be done. That’s where we can find the future.

Even  if the future is that someone finally identifies the artifact or collection of artifacts that led me to think that deuterium is being converted to helium, in some “cold fusion” experiments, and demonstrates it with controlled experiment (as happened with N-rays and polywater) I’d break out the champagne (hah! just an expression, I’m a Muslim and don’t drink.). I completely trust reality, and my stand is that reality is better than anything I can imagine.

More from Ascoli65

Ascoli65 persists with beating a dead horse, long after reasonable utility. Well, maybe this will have some value. I’m skeptical, but I do lots of things just in case.  He wrote on fusionefredda: (15 settembre 2017 alle 12:12 am)

@ Abd UlRahman Lomax,
you replied to an above comment of mine (*) in your last post titled “Is cold fusion a fraud?” (**). As you know, I didn’t like very much to have been addressed in a post which deals with possible “fraud”, because, as I always said in all and every occasion, I’m not interested in this specific aspect. I would have preferred to read your answer in your previous post on CFC, where the pump issue was treated and a replication of my comment was still present (***).

This was corrected yesterday, per his email request. I’ll say that he might be judged by the company he keeps, it happens in real life.

(*) https://fusionefredda.wordpress.com/2017/05/26/df/#comment-61662
(**) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/is-cold-fusion-a-fraud/
(***) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/low-down-on-lie-bull/#comment-5426

Anyway, being still unable to post on your blog, I post here my answer to your reply.

He could email me, as one possibility. As before, I checked the spam filter. He attempted to post again on 14 September. As before it failed WP-SpamShield code ‘UA1004.’ I have been unable to find the significance of that code, and I have no other reports of failure that did not have a clear cause (the only other failure was a post with four links. His test post had no links. His email address is on the whitelist. The two attempts showed IP addresses from different service providers.

(I think WP-Spamshield does not post the codes because they don’t want spammers to know exactly what tests they are using. Combining the failure with the use of two different service providers makes me suspect some attempt to conceal identity, which I don’t mind in this case, but … there can be consequences. I don’t know that this is the cause.)

Ascoli65 is not providing me with precise information about what is happening. He reported a message that is not what WP-SpamShield allegedly displays to a user whose post is being blocked. There is no way I can test his access. The problem is not yet clear enough for me to file a support request, which I’m reluctant to do for free software (I have not paid for support). Back to the issues under discussion:

While I have nothing to add to what I already said about the pump issue, I’d like to answer these two points of yours.

Abd wrote:

– As well, what you are doing is focusing on, relatively speaking, a fly, when there is an elephant in that living room, the use of a humidity meter to check steam quality, …

I already pointed out many times, even to you (1), the issue of the presumed dry condition of the coolant at the outlet.

That is only one aspect of the issue. The aspect I mention is the use of an explicitly named meter, as reported by multiple sources, that can’t do what is claimed. It is an on-the-face error. However, the real situation is even worse, because even if the meter could measure steam quality, it would be possible to have high quality steam and water outflow at the same time. It’s possible accidentally. If we add the possibility of fraud, it could be even more possible (i.e., if there is a separate water pipe inside the steam pipe). When a technology that could be worth a trillion dollars if real, and with testing that did, in fact, attract investment in the many millions of dollars, fraud must be considered as a possibility, not on the part of scientists, necessarily, but on the part of the one who controls the tests. The magician, as it were.

(1) 

is a post where Ascoli65 begins by quoting me. “Ascoli65 is a troll.” The good news is that he did link to my post, so what I was actually writing about was visible if anyone checks. I don’t call people “trolls” without, at least, some evidence, and merely being wrong or even idiotic does not make someone a troll. It is trolling when someone posts something, without necessity, that one would know, if at all careful, would be offensive, and he had done that — not to me, but another user.

The foundation of Ascoli’s claim is summarized in this faux fact:

– NO Air Quality meter has been ever used to measure the quality steam during the January 14, 2011, demo!

That is not a fact, it is an inference Ascoli65 made, long ago, from the absence of evidence, not evidence. That is, no photo of the necessary probe, as I recall. Photo showing some other probe. A claim that it would be impossible to change probes (which neglects that Rossi claims low pressure — a problem in itself, but a separate one). Given the testimony we have, from Levi and from Kullander and Essen, it is highly likely that an Air Quality probe was used, at least at some point.

Given the sloppiness of other reports, such as the Lugano report, it is possible that Rossi or Levi or someone said that such a probe had been used, and that it was not actually used at the specific time in question. Again, that would not be lying, exactly, it would be terminal sloppiness, which we know happened in Lugano (which also involved Essen), so I can’t say it’s impossible.

But it is most likely, in my opinion, that a probe was used. It’s simple and actually changes nothing, and it is far easier to establish that a humidity meter cannot do what was claimed than it is to claim as if a proven fact that there was no meter, a claim made by someone who was not a witness and who appears to be relying on shaky and indirect evidence.

Ascoli65 is operating on a well-known principle: I was right, and others are wrong. And he is stuck on it, after many years, even while it has become totally useless and probably impossible to resolve. It is impossible to prove a negative, another well-known principle. Did anyone photograph the humidity meter in use? Maybe. Would that satisfy Ascoli65? Maybe.

But I call this a mouse compared to an elephant. The mouse may squeak, but the elephant will break furniture. Reading over that Levi report, it reeks of unexamined and unchecked assumptions, with an effect of promoting a commercial interest and with displayed indifference to error, as to what we have seen in what came after.

I showed you that the real elephant in the living room is that the instrument (the humidity meter) mentioned in the Levi’s report doesn’t appear in anyone of the many pictures available on internet, and taken during the January 14 demo, even in the middle of the boiling phase (2). But I also learned that you are not willing to recognize this real elephant.

Something not showing in photos is not evidence that it was not used, unless those photos were continuous and clearly documented as such. It can create suspicion only, maybe we think it “should have” shown. Reality often, however, doesn’t match what we expect. This is very ordinary, so why is it not obvious to Ascoli65? I think there is an obvious answer: He committed himself to this claim years ago, and is unwilling to let it go. He thinks “It’s true, dammit!” But so what? So what if it is true? I pointed out above how it could be true and not indicate any fraudulent intent, only sloppiness.

If the Ascoli claim is false, which is possible, easily, the test is still badly defective. The humidity meter was actually irrelevant, that’s what was later realized. Kullander and Essen and Levi never responded to those issues, which were not claims of fraud, but of error.

“Steam quality” was actually a red herring, distracting from the major issue, overflow water. In considering steam quality, there is an unspoken assumption, that the only unevaporated water would be suspended droplets, i.e., “wet steam.” Ordinary steam from a boiler is normally wet to some degree. When water evaporation is used for calorimetry, though, there is another problem, bumped water, which looms larger than mere wet steam. And then the Rossi design, as I understood it, basically required that there be some overflow, or he’d be risking the boiler running dry with associated runaway (assuming the thing actually works). Once that is realized, the issue becomes “how much.”

Industrial Heat recognized the problem and installed steam traps on the Doral Plant. (a bit misnamed, they trap liquid water and drain it off.) Rossi removed the steam traps. Not part of the design, he was reported as saying. Indeed.

You’d rather prefer to imagine the most incredible explanations in the attempt to negate its presence (3).

(3).

Apparently, Ascolil considers the use of a product that, were I designing that test setup, I would surely use, to allow quick insertion of probes while the device is operating. He thought such a thing was impossible. That old post show that Ascoli65 is not understanding what he is reading.

The pump issue is the second elephant in the room that you are not willing to see. There is also a third one, which crown the wonder elephant trio (4), but I doubt you will to see it as well.

Yet I have seen all these issues, and have investigated them, considering them carefully. Ascoli confuses my ability to consider alternate scenarios “not seeing” what he is claiming. Let’s say I have dealt with that for many, many years. People think that if I don’t fall over and agree with them, that I don’t “see” what they “see.” Sure. It’s possible that they have seen something that I have not seen, but … they commonly don’t show it, don’t communicate it, and are creating certainty for themselves out of fluff or imagination. People do that all the time, under some conditions. They confuse “seeing” with agreement and understanding.

I have “seen” nothing new here. If there is, anyone is free to point it out. Going over old arguments, that were not accepted, called “beating a dead horse,” is what fanatics and trolls do. I have not seen anyone of weight accept Ascoli’s claims.

I did learn one thing, looking at the links Ascoli65 gave. “cam” on LENR Forum appears to be Camillo Franchine, from an oft-repeated and idiosyncratic argument. If it matters (right now it does not), I may look further.

In science, personal reputation matters. Pseudoskepticism is not science.

Abd wrote:

– Even if the future is that someone finally identifies the artifact or collection of artifacts that led me to think that deuterium is being converted to helium …

Let me doubt this, too.

You can doubt or believe anything you choose.

Sorry, but if you are not able to recognize the three elephants present in the January 2011 demo, ie the most simple, witnessed, celebrated, and documented test occurred in the whole CF history, I really doubt that anyone will be capable of convince you of any artifact presents in any other CF test.

First of all, I recognize all the claims, and the only one I find implausible is the claim that reports of the use of a humidity meter were lies, which is what Ascoli65 has effectively insisted on, in spite of a lack of probative evidence, only a weak ground for suspicion.

I’ll agree that it’s unlikely that someone will convince me of artifact with regard to the best work on heat/helium, but I have identified many possible artifacts in other CF work. Sometimes they may have have been real. I.e., just because an artifact is possible does not show that it actually happened. That takes much more work, work that often was never done.

And it doesn’t matter if I’m convinced or not. What matter is what appears to the editors of mainstream and other journals, what matters is what is actually tested experimentally and reported, what matters is what those who fund research think. They will trust me or not, but what I do, properly, is to present verifiable evidence, not mere claims.

Now that I look back, seeing how much time has been wasted discussing this, I’ll be a little more explicit: I would not present claims like what Ascoli65 is making to any serious investor or in an article for a peer-reviewed journal. I would, instead, flush it down the toilet where it belongs.

(1) https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/3374-Jed-Rothwell-on-an-Unpublished-E-Cat-Test-Report-that-%E2%80%9CLooks-Like-it-Worked%E2%80%9D/?postID=30552#post30552
(2) https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/3374-Jed-Rothwell-on-an-Unpublished-E-Cat-Test-Report-that-%E2%80%9CLooks-Like-it-Worked%E2%80%9D/?postID=30695#post30695
(3) http://coldfusioncommunity.net/if-i-repeat-it-enough-it-will-become-true/
(4) https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/3374-Jed-Rothwell-on-an-Unpublished-E-Cat-Test-Report-that-%E2%80%9CLooks-Like-it-Worked%E2%80%9D/?postID=25650#post25650

Even more from Ascoli65

CimPy posted another response from Ascoli65, plus the latter made some comments in Italian that reveal more of his position, which, in spite of his denials, is quite similar to that of Camillo Franchine. The theme in the English comments seems to be that certain scientists would surely have known better than what they said or wrote, therefore something highly suspicious is going on, which he isn’t going to say, and please don’t mention the “F” word, but he can’t think of any other possibility. No wonder he was banned on LENR Forum…. do that kind of thing for a while, a moderator may well eventually act, and if the moderator is unskilled, there will likely be problems with how that’s done.

This is becoming tedious. It’s all about tests and reports from six years ago, and no matter how many times I point out that that those tests and reports were riddled with errors, “reeking” of them, Ascoli persists in his idea that he’s incredibly right and nobody else has figured it out. Who cares? Yes, there is some sort of ongoing responsibility for cleaning up institutional errors, but the field of LENR is full of examples where this never happened, and that is about “both sides” of the issues. Reading accounts of the people involved, I’m struck by how intense the emotions became, and nobody thinks and acts well when upset (and being certain about the believed errors of others is a kind of upset, it clouds the mind.)

So a few snippets from Ascoli65:

Abd wrote:

– Given the sloppiness of other reports, such as the Lugano report, it is possible that Rossi or Levi or someone said that such a probe had been used, and that it was not actually used at the specific time in question. 

I’m not interest in Rossi’s says, […]

Then he is not interested in understanding how it could happen that certain scientists stated certain things as fact that they did not necessarily actually observe themselves, or the analysis was fed to them and they accepted it because it did not occur to them that it was seriously off.

A general theme of Ascoli65 is that genuine scientists could not possibly make the mistakes the “professors” made, therefore there must be darker forces at work. Genuine scientists can make mind-boggling errors. It’s human. I’ll explain more below.

I am not going to research the claims Ascoli65 makes, unless they are clearly and specifically evidenced with links. If this was about the lawsuit, Rossi v. Darden, I have extensive resources and know exactly where to look. For old Rossi reports, they are all over the place, many different documents, and not a button push away. Ascoli is giving links for some claims, but not all.

nor in those coming from any other people different from the many professors who publicly took on themselves the responsibility to measure the excess heat, that the Ecat should have produced during the public demo held on the January 14, 2011. All of them, I guess, had the competence to distinguish a thermometer from a humidity meter, and all of them knew that such last an instrument is not able to measure the steam dryness.

First of all, nobody became “responsible” for “measuring the excess heat” simply by attending a demonstration. A series of inaccurate assumptions are being made. One cannot necessarily tell the difference between a temperature probe and an humidity probe, just by looking at it from a distance.. The meter was called an “air quality meter” and it apparently had a g/m^3 display, which could seem to someone unfamiliar with steam quality — and how that meter specifically worked — as if it was measuring steam quality. When I discovered the humidity meter issue (I think it may have been independent of others who made the same discovery) there were people arguing with me using the same argument Ascoli65 uses, that professors could not possibly make such a dumb mistake. In fact, Essen acknowledges his ignorance, in a Krivit interview, and it is utterly unsurprising. Any physicist would understand the physics involved, but not be familiar with the specific issues that arise with steam and steam calorimetry. It’s simply not difficult to understand how they made the mistakes.

What is more difficult to understand is why they then stonewalled all questions. Krivit did get some answers at first, then they clammed up. Krivit is a yellow journalist, always looking for scandal, and almost all CMNS scientists have stopped talking to Krivit; however the “independent professors” stonewalled the whole world. They talk to Mats Lewan, perhaps. Why? Mats does not ask difficult questions and does not follow up. Krivit quotes Essen: (my emphasis)

On July 15, 2011, New Energy Times telephoned Essén.

Krivit: What do you know about the calibration of the amount of steam coming out of Rossi’s device?
Essén: The steam amount was not measured. It was taken for granted that it all became steam.
Krivit: In either your experience or your efforts to inspect perpetual-motion claims, has anybody tried to claim anything on the basis of steam before?
Essén: No, I can’t recall that. I’m new at steam, unfortunately.
Krivit: Do you have any training in steam quality or steam enthalpy?
Essén: Just general thermodynamics.
Krivit: For example, like knowing the 1,600 times expansion rate?
Essén: I’d come across that before. I was aware of that.
[Note: Essén wrote nothing about the steam expansion rate in his and Kullander’s April 3, 2011, trip report.]
Krivit: When you pulled the hose out of the wall and saw the steam, did you think about the expansion rate?
Essén: No, I must admit I was thinking that I must check that the water is not draining out. I had this vague feeling that the water inlet flow wasn’t that fast, that the steam could be consistent with it, especially after some condensation in the hose. But we should have looked more into that, obviously, but there was not enough time. When we came, the setup was already there. To make any further studies, it was not possible.

“It was not possible” is a classic excuse. The problem was not that it was impossible to do a better job, but that Essen was inexperienced. Scientists are specialized, and often, operating out of their specialization, they are clueless. The problem was much larger than the humidity meter issue, which would only make a relatively minor difference in the heat measurement. The problem was twofold: there was not nearly enough steam for the claimed evaporation rate, and there was no check for overflow water. At 7 liters per hour, the hose could readily be pulled and checked and it might appear that there was no water flowing. Rossi, for Krivit, pulled the hose. We saw him walk the hose back to the drain, a maneuver clearly designed to drain any water from the hose. There would then be a few minutes in which to display the hose before putting it back.

But the lack of that high steam flow rate was utterly obvious. An electric steam kettle would show far more steam, with far less power than was being claimed to have been generated (about a tenth).

This is similar to the Lugano test: if the device had actually been running at 1400 C external temperature, it would have been blindingly white-hot. Instead, it was dull red. Yet the “scientists” trusted the IR camera and the setting of that camera, probably by Levi. Levi continued to argue that he had done it correctly, when many who have studied the issue know that it was a gross error, and the direct eyewitnessing should have been enough, but … it wasn’t. People can be fooled, sometimes, in ways that later seem impossible. Couldn’t they see?

Consider the Doral test, it’s much the same. Rossi was claiming that the Plant was producing a megawatt. Okay, where was that power going? The problem was out there for about a year, because a megawatt should have killed everyone in the Plant, unless there was a major heat exchanger taking the heat outside. Rossi eventually claimed that, indeed, he had built a heat exhanger, but it would have been noisy and the piping would have been very visible. Nobody reported having seen anything, and the warehouse was comfortable, far from what a megawatt would have done (and there still would have been a lot of heat in the building, unless Rossi could somehow convey the heat with very high efficiency to that upstairs room. Boiler rooms get very hot!)

Any observer who saw that demonstration and who had some idea of what a megawatt means, one would think, would be suspicious. We don’t know the reactions of those who visited during the “test.” Rossi’s original explanations, when asked about the heat dissipation, were completely inadequate, and that was clear. Even his own expert acknowledge that it would have been fatal without the heat exchanger. But when he was first asked, he mentioned no heat exchanger. He claimed the heat was “used” in the secret endothermic process. Then he claimed that it went out the back doors and through a vent in the roof. He mentioned no heat exchanger. Rossi lies. But many people who, we might think, should know better, have believed the lies.

(I often opine that Rossi is not necessarily “lying” in his own world. Rather, he’s insane. If not insane, he would know that he didn’t have a heat exchanger, just an idea for one! My guess, though, is that Rossi does know about the heat exchanger, that he didn’t actually make one, and, instead, he justifies the lies to himself (and some of his followers also invent justifications.)

One more item I came across. This was from Essen to Krivit.

On March 8, 2012, New Energy Times asked Essén for an update: “Considering all that has and has not transpired since [last year] and considering your failure to look for 11,200 liters of steam exiting from the Energy Catalyzer when you were there, is there a revised comment you would like to make on this matter?”

Essén wrote back the next day.

“Considering all the tests (apart from Kullander-Essén) I am aware of, at least two other, rather different, independent tests that give consistent results, either not involving steam or measuring it quantitatively, and other information that I have had since I first came across the Rossi E-Cat, I find it more interesting than ever.

“I am not aware that there have been any measurements of the amount of steam that contradict Rossi’s basic claims. Visual inspection cannot determine amount of steam since only condensed steam is visible.”

This is face-palm stupid. It is not terribly uncommon in people but less common in scientists that when it begins to appear that they made some mistake, they will scramble to invent possibilities that could make them right in the end. So … the Kullander and Essen test was not an “independent test,” and it was clear in Krivit’s earlier interview that Essen claimed the reason he had not made certain checks because it had all been “set up” and they were just observers. In fact, Essen could have noticed certain things and could have checked others, but didn’t, because he really wasn’t familiar with steam. However, perhaps that was harmless, because perhaps the E-Cat really works, and after all, others have confirmed it. However, there is only one substantial body of actually independent tests, those done by Industrial Heat, which was highly motivated to confirm, and, in the end, failed … or we could say, correctly showed that the devices were not working. All other tests were dominated by Rossi, just as was the Kullander and Essen observation.

It’s been noticed that Rossi kept changing the test methods. So with the Kullander and Essen test, there was a possible artifact from overflow water. Instead of setting up the same testing to then confirm that there was no overflow water, the system and test procedures were changed. Magicians do this all the time, they keep changing the tricks, so that one cannot confirm suspicions — or they use an earlier suspicion against the observer, who thinks he knows what is being done, but then the magician turns the hat over, or whatever. It’s different this time, and there are an unlimited number of ways to create false appearances.

Essen is desperately holding on to the idea that the E-Cat he witnessed actually worked. Then he falls into total preposterousness.

Yes. Of course, dry steam is invisible. Yet when dry steam hits room air, it immediately condenses and becomes visible. It does not appear that Essen ever did become familiar with steam. Dry steam is not nailed to the boiling point; if the measurements showed a temperature that was very close to boiling (even if it appears slightly above), the steam is now not at a controlled temperature. Wet steam must be at exactly the boiling point for the pressure (and steam exiting through a hose at some significant rate will be at an elevated pressure, though it might not be much. Just enough to nudge the temperature up slightly.) Dry steam would be very unlikely to be stable at that temperature. Making dry steam involves “superheating” it. So the temperature indications are that the steam, if it was steam, would be wet. And it would immediately condense when it hits the air,

One can readily estimate steam volume by observing the plume from a hose with the same diameter — by comparison. And that has been done. There wasn’t the level of steam flow that was claimed, not even close, and Essen could have confirmed this himself, by looking at how that much steam would appear. He didn’t because he is not looking for the error, he just wants to be right.

For a scientist, sad. Tragic, actually. Unless he wakes up and cleans this up. I can hope.

(Dry steam would also condense quickly, just not as quickly. If we look at the spout of a steam kettle, vigorously boiling, we can see the plume of steam coming out of the spout. It will be invisible as it comes out, for a short distance. If a steam generator is designed to superheat the steam (which isn’t easy, and it takes after-heating, generally, missing from the E-Cats, and this was an issue raised in Rossi v. Darden), that distance would increase, because the steam must cool before condensing. Live steam (the invisible stuff) is very dangerous. Never pass your hand through live steam, major burns would be instantaneous; you can do it with the visible fog kind of steam (though it’s still hot, it is not carrying nearly as much energy).

 

Krivit did very thoroughly cover the issues on this.

Trolling avatar, trolling tagline, writes like a troll. Troll?

The user Henry on LENR Forum is consistently a troll. His avatar is ripped from a book easily expected to irritate anyone at all attached to LENR as a reality, Voodoo Science by Robert Park. He’s change the author name on that image to “Henry Truth” and added E-CAT in large letters below Voodoo Science.  His tagline, shown with every post, is

JoNP means Journal of Null-Physics (the house of hoax,trickery, junk and psychopathological science).

This pushed me over a bridge too far: 

SSC wrote:

What problem do you have with Mr.Cook? Do you think he can not formulate a valid theory for the fact that he is affiliated with the Department of Informatics? Do you think that only a Nobel can deal with science? It is difficult to seriously consider your way of judging Rossi and his associates if these are your judgmental parameters. In addition, Cook has formulated a theory. If you think that every time someone presents a theory should also make an experiment that validates it, then you are showing all your ignorance about these themes. And not just on these issues: what peer reviewed magazines would have buried the TPRs? Tell me their names, please, I’m just curious to see what you invent!

Context: Discussion of the topic “Rossi vs. Darden aftermath discussions.” This is radically off-topic. SSC is making claims that are, to those who know the field, based on assumptions that competent scientists can’t make mistakes. They do. In particular, scientists are not generally trained to detect fraud. They will assume that testimony is true unless controverted. If a scientist presents fake data, and if this is discovered, that is the end of their career, because this can do tremendous damage. In medical or nutritional research, it can cost lives, in this field, it can waste many millions of dollars.

But errors and misinterpretations are not fake data. The best scientists will be open to correction, and will respond with sober defense or correction. Some don’t, and this is a defect in their practice of science, but is not fraud. Nor is it necessarily “Voodoo Science.” It’s just a normal human response to what may be thought of as shaming. Nobody has claimed that the “Swedish professors” or the “Third Party Professors,” which includes Levi and Foschi, faked data, though there are some suspicions about Levi. My own opinion about Levi is that he was duped, himself, and is reactive and unwilling to neutrally consider the matter. We can see his character in his “unsigned deposition” to the Rossi v. Darden court. He is paranoid, like Rossi.

SSC routinely promotes Planet Rossi memes. He is so consistent in this that some have suspected him of being a Rossi sock or “meat puppet.” His language is different from the very likely Rossi socks, the faux commentators on JONP, which, for future readers, is Rossi’s blog, effectively.

JONP was an “alternative journal” that Rossi started with the support of some Names. However, in practice, it is a very undisciplined blog, where the comments generally have nothing to do with the post or paper under which they are placed, they are all communications to or by Rossi. Rossi claims that papers are peer-reviewed by experts. Maybe they are, I have never reviewed this. But JONP is not the journal involved here.

Trolls turn every discussion into their Favorite Topic, which is generally a variation on You Are So Stupid. Some trolls have some redeeming value, and will actually raise issues of interest from time to time. Some are a complete waste of disk space and bandwidth. Henry continued:

In his “paper” (where published? on Nature ? No?) Cook even ignores how works the nuclear fusion he invoked. He wrote a fusion equation for Li+p is:

73Li4 + p → 84Be4* → 2α + 17.6 MeV (Equation 10).

claim the absence of Gamma Rays and Neutrons emission

Henry does not cite the paper. It would be this, published on arXiv, “On the Nuclear Mechanisms Underlying the Heat Production by the E-Cat,” Norman D. Cook, and Andrea Rossi. arxiv papers are not peer-reviewed, but must have an endorser, which is generally someone with a scientific reputation. In theory, Cook could be an endorser, he has the reputation or institutional affiliation, but arXiv says he is not, for this paper.

Henry has misrepresented Cook’s “claim.” Cook is stating that reaction as a possible one which could explain the reported depletion of 7Li, from the Lugano test. Rossi’s co-authorship was a puzzle, because, supposedly, that test was independent of Rossi. In fact, Rossi took the sample, so it might have been fraudulent.

Is Cook correct? I.e., is that reaction possible?

Of course it is! It’s a known reaction. There are two other possible 7LI + p reactions, which Henry hastens to point out:

This is his dream… in nuclear Science (it’s not my invention, LOL) it’s s well known and proved that kind of fusion it’s a lot more complex, just to summarize:

Henry shows no competence in nuclear science. Cook is a published author. He was known for early comments on cold fusion that were, at worst, neutral, as I recall. He knew enough to know that we did not know that an “unknown nuclear reaction” was not impossible. He is also the author of Models of the Atomic Nucleus, Unification Through a Lattice of Nucleons. 2010: Springer. Springer is the world’s largest scientific publisher. Henry is a random troll. So Henry thinks he has found a contradiction. His displayed  image of reactions does not exactly match the file links, but this is what he intends to show:

73Li + 11H → 84Be* [decays through three branches:}

84Be* → 2 84He Q=17.4 MeV

84Be* → 84Be + λ Q=17.4 MeV

84Be* → 74Be + n Q=-1.64 MeV

This is a great example of how a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. First of all, the third branch is endothermic, the Q is negative. This reaction requires that the proton be quite energetic, essentially impossible in the environment being studied. What about the second reaction?

It, like the helium branch for ordinary deuterium fusion, is very rare. The standard argument is that if helium is produced, the gamma is required. In this case, that’s not essential, because, one might notice, Rossi always shields the reactor, and has been paranoid about anyone measuring gamma radiation near it. But he has allowed some. The levels of gammas from his claimed reaction might not be significant outside the reactor. With the helium branch, only about one out of 107 reactions emits a gamma from the 4He*. I don’t know the ratio with 8Be*. Henry does not even realize it’s an issue.

Cook is author of a more recent paper, published in JCMNS. Henry went on.

and the fusion paths are overlapped, the fusion results depend by the proton energy and value of CS.

These are called branches, they are not “fusion paths” but outcomes, and, here, they may be fusion-condition sensitive, particularly the last branch.

What is “CS”? I don’t know. Henry, again, it’s common with trolls, does not cite his source. But, yes, the proton energy is significant. In the Cook proposal, that energy would be very low, far below the level that would allow ordinary fusion, so Cook is proposing an alternate mechanism, and it is also possible that an alternate mechanism would produce a different branching ratio. This argument is often made by cold fusion theorists, but my opinion is that it’s unlikely, rather, the reaction itself is by an unknown mechanism with unknown intermediaries, 8Be being one not-uncommonly-proposed possibility.

The problem with the Cook arXiv paper is that he is using Rossi-touched data without appropriate skepticism (not uncommon with scientists, they are not generally “debunkers”). In his more recent paper, he is speculating on theory based on unconfirmed reports (less shaky ones), it’s common with cold fusion theorists, and I wish they would stop it! But theorists want to suggest theories, it’s what they do!

Could Cook be a good “Informatics” ? Maybe… but a Nobel (ROTFL) for his funny “nuclear theory” is absolutely out of discussion, that’s paper is ticky-tachy.

Cook is a Professor of Informatics, whatever that is. But he has long had a major interest in and publication with regard to models of nuclear behavior. Henry is completely unqualified to review any of this.

Spectacular news – IH support for basic research

Ahlfors typically provides teasers on LENR Forum. Here’s one, four images. I have not yet found the originals for other than the first, but, looking for the fourth led me to this:

Development of a System to Measure Trace Amounts of Helium in Air, Nitrogen, Hydrogen, or Deuterium

Malcolm Fowler. McFarland Instrumentation Services, Inc.
Thomas Claytor. High Mesa Technology
12th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen
Loaded Metals, 5-9 June 2017

Why is this such good news? That’s twofold. First, the only truly conclusive and very direct evidence that the FP Heat Effect is nuclear in nature is the heat/helium correlation. That work was first done and reported in 1991 by Miles, using order-of-magnitude helium measurements. The work was later confirmed with increased precision, but not the precision that is reported here, if I’m correct. They were working with 50 cc. samples, and if a decent sampling protocol can be developed and an analytical service is provided, this could drastically accelerate PdD cold fusion research.

The other news from the document:

We would like to acknowledge the continued support and encouragement for this work by:
Industrial Heat, LLC [address]
Mr. Thomas Francis Darden II, J.D., Manager, President, and Director
Mr. J.T. Vaughn, Vice President
Mr. Dewey Weaver

This is the support Industrial Heat has provided from the $50 million Woodford investment, obviously. This work is not being published for commercial purpose, this is for scientific progress, and the possible commercial value is very long-term.

Dewey Weaver is famous here as the inspiration for the Cold Fusion Community Official Watch-Weasel.

Now, I need to go out, but I intend to look for the other documents.

The source source of the first image: Claytor (1998).

As to the remainder, my guess it is from “Summary of Tritium Evolution from Various Deuterided Metals,” Thomas N. Claytor, Malcolm M. Fowler, Edmund K. Storms, Rick Cantwell, which is listed in Egely’s review of the June 2017 Asti Conference.

That is a very interesting list of authors! But I have not been able to find the paper yet. From Ahlfors’ quotation of the acknowledgements, this was also work supported by Industrial Heat, and from what little I’ve seen of it (from the Egely report and Ahlfors’ hint) this could also be of high interest. Congratulations to Industrial Heat for supporting productive research.

Ahlfors came back with his sources.

Tritium with IH:
ClaytorTsummaryoftri.pdf

Tritium without IH:
ClaytorTNsearchfore.pdf

He4 with IH:
FowlerMdevelopmentof.pdf

None of these are the paper I found mentioned in Infinite Energy. It is apparently the slide presentation for the talk (because I find it not easy to understand.) It’s hosted on the ISCMNS site. I had looked to see if I could find files in that directory, but the directory contents would not display without a filename. Those slides for it are shown by Ahlfors as hosted on lenr-canr.org, but it is not yet shown in the index. It is shown in the full listing of hosted files on lenr-canr.org.

In that directory I found a pdf with Claytor, Fowler, Cantwell and others as co-authors, also not yet in the lenr-canr.org library index. It does not have a date, but was given at a 2012 conference.

Kevmo toast on E-Cat World?

Well this was a wild-goose chase. Most of what is below about ECW is incorrect, because the software is … misleading. Contrary to what I found, Kevmo has not been blocked on ECW, AFAIK, and his posts have not been deleted. He did change accounts, apparently, creating some of the confusion. I’ll explain below. Meanwhile, I’m leaving this because there are tidbits of value. When I’m wrong, I’m happy, because I learn things! I’m also glad I caught this before publishing it. Continue reading “Kevmo toast on E-Cat World?”

Winning by losing

Somtimes I think of a catchy or snarky title, then write the blog post. Here, I’m just writing and will figure out a title later.

I was again mentioned on LENR Forum.

SSC wrote:

Dewey Weaver wrote:

Of course now SSC thinks there was a trial.

There was a judge, a jury, a courtroom, lawyers ……… but maybe you are right, I’m probably the one who understood bad ….. they were all there to play a joke on Abd, right?

Little does he know! The entire universe is here to play a joke on Abd. The best part of the game is getting it. Continue reading “Winning by losing”

Sifferkollamity

Sifferkoll has been active on LENR Forum, arguing for the right to insult. Not surprising. His blog has skated around the edge of libel, which is criminal in Sweden, and one might think that libeling billion-dollar corporations would generate some caution, but … No.

Did Woodford Recently Buy Industrial Heat Shares at a 87% discount?
Posted on 2017/07/23

This was based on two Ahlfors images from LENR Forum. Sifferkoll commonly doesn’t link to ready verification. Neither does Ahlfors, and commonly Ahlfors images are, ah, unclear in significance. In this case, Sifferkoll has a history of misinterpreting data from Industrial Heat. Continue reading “Sifferkollamity”

Straw houses and straw men

People who live in grass houses shouldn’t stow thrones.

I think I read that story in Astounding Science Fiction when I was in high school.

The occasion for this post is a thread started by the old standard, Mary Yugo, who created a LENR Forum thread entirely based on a possible overstatement by Jed Rothwell, I’m not entirely certain yet.

Is there evidence for LENR power generation of 100W for days without input power?

He starts with:

Jed Rothwell has repeatedly asserted that there is significant and credible evidence for an LENR device which sustains a 100W output for days without any input power.

I’ve been seeing this go back and forth for days. Mary says “you said,” and Jed says “something else.” Often there is no link to the prior discussion, a particular LF peeve of mine, users who don’t use the quote facility when responding, so tracking conversations back can be tedious.

Yes, a 100 watt power release for days from LENR without input power would be remarkable. Has this ever happened? I don’t have any example in mind, setting aside the claims of Andrea Rossi, which are, to say the least, unconfirmed, hence not answers to Mary’s question. Continue reading “Straw houses and straw men”

Lying with facts

On LENR Forum, SSC has been writing deceptive after deceptive post, sometimes with clear error, but other times reporting facts that SSC would reasonably know, if he were careful, would mislead.

(Fact, presented out of context, can be highly misleading. Rossi often used this in his legal arguments in Miami. Partial truth can be perjury, distinct  from “the whole truth.”)

Here is one from just an hour ago:

SSC wrote:

Shane D. wrote:

I am pretty impressed with TD’s comments Abd so kindly provided. He sounds sincere, and truly committed to the humanitarian first, money second aspect in his search for a working LENR tech. Definitely at odds with the unflattering picture IH haters here painted. By their depiction, the “greedy bastard” should have pulled his money out of LENR by now, and gone back to real estate. Instead, he is continuing on with his LENR quest. Good on him!

You base your judgment on the words that Darden said, while his detractors are based on the facts.

He is lying; if he believes what he wrote, he is being without caution in repeating the deceptive claims of others, so he can earn the reward of those who lie.

Darden can tell all the fables he wants, he can say that his first thought when he wakes up every morning is to save the world and he can even tell you that money does not matter to him. But are you really willing to believe him? Did you read the Cherokee – Zeneca case?

I certainly have. I have researched it in detail. First of all, as is common in the Cherokee libels, there is no discrimination between Darden and Cherokee Investment Partners and the various LLCs that are created for specific projects.

I will not be checking every fact alleged by SSC, but most of this appears factual; however, it simply does not show what he is claiming. What, in fact, is he claiming, exactly? He is presenting facts about this case as if they reflect on Darden’s sincerity. How? Continue reading “Lying with facts”

If it blew up, it must be LENR!

I’m writing this because I like the headline. It does bring up some more, ah, fundamental issues.

THHuxleynew wrote:

kirkshanahan wrote:

The results of doing this is to come up with an excess heat signal that is a) large and b) occurring when no current is flowing, meaning you essentially have an infinite instantaneous COP. The problem is that this comes out of applying the same calibration equation used for ‘normal’ operations. The steady state is so radically different in a ‘boiled-dry’ cell that everyone should know you can’t do that. But not the CFers…it shows excess heat…it must be real…and is certainly must be nuclear!

“The CFers.” Classic Shanahan. Classic ad-hominem, straw-man argument, one of the reasons he gets no traction with those who would need to understand and respect his arguments, if he has a real basis and actually cares about supporting science.

Below, I go into details. Continue reading “If it blew up, it must be LENR!”