Trolling on lenr-forum

One of the common afflictions of internet discussion is trolling. Trolling is behavior that generally seeks to irritate or enrage participants, it is a move in a social game that seeks to win by upsetting the opponent. It is possible, at least in theory, for a troll to be ‘sincere,’ but merely ignorant. Having no mind-reading crystal ball, I assess trolling by effect, both actual and inferred.

A characteristic of trolls is that argument is endless. No matter what has come before, the troll will assert that his points have been completely established, and that resistance is futile, and stupid.

When trolling is allowed, discussion quality declines. There is, however, a strong anarchist bent to internet communities, and so trolling may be permitted. There is an audience that loves to see the conflict.

Lenr-forum traffic appears to have declined, there are fewer comments than I was accustomed to seeing. However, today brought these, so far. I will examine them from the point of view of trolling.:
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Commentary: Details matter

Kirk Shanahan is the last critic of LENR to be published on the topic in a peer-reviewed journal. Jed Rothwell is a long-standing supporter of LENR, an editor of scientific papers and translator from Japanese.

A post on lenr-forum from THHuxley looks at conflict between Jed Rothwell and Kirk Shanahan and draws conclusions about LENR. First of all, the participants:
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I have been “permanently banned” on, a major LENR discussion site. I have already been commenting here on some issues raised there, this is now a necessity, if I’m to comment at all. Criticism and commentary is welcome here or there. I am continuing to watch at this time.

So this first post on will cover the ban. What preceded it?
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Discussion on C&EN

In Chemical & Engineering News, a publication of the American Chemical Society.

Cold fusion died 25 years ago, but the research lives on

Scientists continue to study unusual heat-generating effects, some hoping for vindication, others for an eventual payday

Original article and comments. … Krivit reaction. … And more from Krivit.

Reaction on lenr-forum … and more on lenr-forum.

My interest being community process, always, I decided to study the comments on this article as they stand today. I may update this. Italics indicate quoted material. I have quoted the comments in their entirety, because cherry-picking (even if motivated without intention to bias) could create bias.
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COP is a red herring – what matters is reality of an effect

This was written as a response on, but became long and I decided this is worth a post here.

AlainCo wrote: If you came with 1% error, and an anomaly of 10%, a skeptic will bash you as “you have unaccounted error sources”, which is probably right, but not by 10%.

I consider it necessary in this field to stop worrying about skeptics, be skeptical oneself, and design controlled experiments for testing hypotheses, including exploring the parameter space, not for proving things to skeptics.
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On Observation, Experiment, Theory, Trust and Belief

A discussion on lenr-forum led me to this musing. Eddington was quoted there.

“Never trust an experimental result until it has been confirmed by theory.”.

This led me to look at a 1978 New York times article, For a Nobel Math Prize, by Paul R. Chernoff, a mathematician, of course.

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All it takes to start a meeting is a resentment and a coffee pot.

— Alcoholics Anonymous saying.

I just built this and it’s quite a mess, but … I’m just going to sit and wait for someone to show up; until then I’ll just do what I feel like doing, but one thing is certain. Here, I’ll stay out of trouble. Or will I? Wanna help?

This domain is dedicated as a place for the community of interest in cold fusion to meet and discuss and perhaps even to cooperate and collaborate. All are welcome. This is a human community and will doubtless have some rules, but … don’t worry, be free, we will let you know if you break the as-yet-unwritten rules, and you’d have to try hard to get yourself kicked out. Or at least you would know you were doing it.
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