There is a decent video by Jed Rothwell
Unfortunately it repeats some common tropes that can make an approach to understanding cold fusion more difficult (as they did from the beginning). Rather than take this apart, what would be a better introduction? I’m using a recent post by Jed Rothwell as a seed that may create one.
On LENR Forum, Jed Rothwell wrote:
So how do we establish that LENR has been replicated? We are surrounded by hyperskeptics, whom I have no real interest in appeasing because their standard, if it were applied to any other branch of science, would send us back to some kind of stone age.
I recommend you ignore the hyperskeptics. I engage with them here only to keep in practices, as an exercise in rhetorical target practice.
Great excuse! Someone is wrong on the internet! There goes countless hours. This is useful if one actually hones literary and rhetorical skills, but, too often, there is no genuine feedback, no objective standard or measure of success. What, indeed, is success? What I’ve gained from the engagement is familiarity with the issues. It enables me to speak cogently, off-the-cuff. We’ll see how effective that is!
We are not, however, “surrounded by hyperskeptics.” Where does Kev live that he thinks this way? Planet Rossi? If someone new is not skeptical about cold fusion, they don’t understand the problem.
I recommend you concentrate instead on trying to persuade open minded people who are sincerely interested in the subject. There are apparently a large number of such people. Although the numbers seem to be dropping off. See:
I’ve been writing for years about this. A goal of “persuading” people can be disempowering. How about “inspiring” them? Short of that, “informing” them. Of what? Our opinions?
Aiming for an ordinary skeptic, it seems reasonable to me to accept the first hundred or so replications by the “who’s who of electrochemistry” as accepted, those >150 peer reviewd replications collected by Britz, > 180 labs, and the 14,700 replication
Putting on my skeptic hat, or taking off my believer hat — and does it matter which it is? — the word “replication” is being used very sloppily here. The figure from a Rothwell analysis of Britz data, as I recall, as of a certain date, was 153 peer reviewed papers that Britz considered “positive.” These reported many different effects and experimental protocols. Actual replication is relatively rare, and pointing to that figure, inflated as presented, is misleading.
[Jed Rothwell has commented below, giving a link to the paper. The compilation was of heat effect papers only. To address this more carefully will take more study, which is possible and which could be useful.]
I remember encountering that He paper with the high success rate; in fact, I think I pointed it out to Britz and Rothwell, it had been missed. I’m not quite sure what he was talking about, and the high numbers actually will put an ordinary skeptic off. “Believers” often have little skill at communication. Here, Kev shows he can’t — or at least doesn’t — think like a skeptic, and to communicate with people, one needs to be able to think like them, or at least to use their language.
Basically, if he thinks he is surrounded by “hyperskeptics,” he is probably pushing way too hard. Most people dislike someone trying to argue them into a belief.
People do not like to be told they have to read many papers to evaluate cold fusion.
Yes. One of the problems with the 2004 DoE review is that reviewers were given a large pile of papers to read. Without some careful guidance, and probably interactive education, in a live conference that included plenty of feedback, this was predictable to backfire.
(Instead the review paper was probably written to convince. How well did that work? A major problem is that those within the field are convinced by facts that leave someone outside cold. How can we find the possible connections?)
So I usually suggest they read McKubre, starting with his review, then one of his publications:
So I am creating a page here to study that paper. Cold Fusion (LENR) One Perspective on the State of the Science
These are well-written, and they are understandable.
Some readers may find parts of them difficult. We will address that.
They are easier to understand than, say, Fleischmann. Fleischmann presents stronger evidence of more dramatic effects at higher power, but his methods are harder to understand.
Definitely. His calorimetry may have been he best ever, but then he complicated it (at least in appearance) by the boil-off work, but that will take a separate study. The point here is simply that Fleischmann can be difficult to approach.
As I often say, McKubre presents the best evidence. If this does not convince you, the other papers probably will not convince you either, so you might as well drop the subject. I am not hiding any better evidence. I am not holding back more convincing papers.
I think my own heat/helium paper from Current Science, 2015, is fairly convincing, if I say so myself. At least I’ve seen skeptics perk up their ears. I.e., actual and very specific science they can bite into. It’s not a perfect paper, but it was rewritten to engage a skeptic, the reviewer. It worked. That was fun. Maybe we will study that another day.
This is ordinary scientific research, published in peer-reviewed mainstream journals.
Jed is here talking about the second paper. The first is a conference paper.
If it were any subject other than cold fusion, no scientist on earth would question the validity of it. In my opinion, all opposition to cold fusion is either political or emotional.
Of course. Key word: “opposition.” It reeks of pseudoskepticism. “I’m not convinced” is ordinary skepticism, even though Richard Garwin took it to a hilarious extreme.
“They say there is no doubt. Well, I doubt.” No, Dr. Garwin, they actually say there is no reasonable doubt.
(Garwin’s “they must be making some mistake” was pure, unvarnished pseudoskepticism. But he was honest, that’s what he actually thought. I appreciate honesty, not as the highest value, but as a step toward it.)
There are no legitimate scientific grounds to doubt it. (I dismiss Shanahan as a crackpot for reasons I need not reiterate, except that for some reason he wants me to mention him every time I make this assertion, so I do this here as a courtesy.)
There is no need to dismiss Shanahan, and calling him a “crackpot” doesn’t impress genuine skeptics, even though the pot is obviously a little cracked. We will look in detail at Shanahan’s claims and objections, the last standing published skeptic deserves that.
Since there is no rational, scientific reason to reject cold fusion, we cannot hope that an appeal to rationality, science, evidence, replications, thermodynamics, or any other conventional evidence will convince the opposition. With regard to this subject, they are not playing by the rules, although they may when it comes to other subjects. So, I suggest we ignore them. Concentrate on convincing people who do play by the rules, and who do understand science.
To take this position is, unfortunately, tinged with arrogance, or at least may be seen that way. To engage deeply with skeptics, one must be skeptical, and examine the topic together to see what can be found. We must be ready to be in error, ourselves. Even if we think we are certain. The approach I recommend is to love reality, more than we love our ideas about it.
Based on the number and variety of readers at LENR-CANR.org, I believe there is “goodwill, and latent support” for the field, as I describe here, on pages 5 – 7:
I haven’t read that paper. But I like the title, except I would substitute “Is” for “May be.” Why not? I’m not afraid to be wrong, and my training is to declare a future worth living into. Long ago, “beyond our wildest dreams.” it works to do this, I’ll testify.
There is another good reason to start off by recommending the McKubre review, as I do on the front page at LENR-CANR and in the blurb for my video. It separates the sheep from the goats. It takes no great effort to read this paper. Anyone with a scientific education can understand it. You may not agree with it, but it is easy to understand. When you suggest this, a person who is sincerely interested will say “thanks” and read the paper. Whereas the hyperskeptics and trolls will not read it. The Real Roger Barker will dismiss it. Mary Yugo will kvetch and moan that it is too ha-a-a-a-ard so it must be wrong.
We will see. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. But what if you run the horse into the pond? What if you jump in yourself?
I’ll be inviting Mary Yugo and others to comment. Let’s see how they do when faced with specifics. Of course, they could stay away. Darn! “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn!” What I’m saying is that everyone is welcome to help us develop clearer resources here, and even stupid questions will help.
These people are either uninterested or incapable of understanding cold fusion, so you need not waste time on them. When they ask the same stupid questions again and again, and they keep demanding you “give them proof,” feel free to say, “read McKubre” and leave it at that. (In other words, blow them off by saying Read The F**** Manual.)
People who demand proof can’t see it when it is their own hand in front of their face.
I don’t suggest blowing anyone off. It’s rude. However, it is quite possible and even reasonable to decide that a conversation isn’t worth the time to write it and the space to store it. I can make those choices, and do, and without censorship; I have the right to organize content, and someone who doesn’t like my organization can do their own organization. I might even link to it.
Thanks for all your work, Jed.