On desperation, genius, and developmental disorders

Learn something every day. Yesterday, I encountered Miles Mathis, from a post on LENR Forum.

I think Mathis is way cool, for the same reason my daughter, at 14, thought Donald Trump was way cool, or something like that. (And then she actually met Bernie face-to-face). Mathis is definitely thinking and investigating out-of-the-box. This is actually the evolved task of many or most teenagers, and some of us never grow up. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is considered a developmental disorder. It can also be seen as a genetic variation, an adaptation more successful in hunter-gatherer conditions than for a settled, agricultural and centrally structured society. From the post of Eli on LF:

The world desperately needs a new source of energy. (Governments, banks and energy companies, ARE AGAINST).

I already know where this is going from the first sentence. Desperation creates very poor thinking, where the associative power of the cerebral cortex is reduced to supporting the immediate demands of the amygdala, which routinely will confine that vast power to figuring out how to justify the emotional reaction, in this case, a sense of desperation and the wrongness and animosity of “governments, banks, and energy companies.” In other words, the collective; yet there is a paradox here, a different collective that is not organized, it’s fuzzy. Elisha wrote:

We need to unite us, share what we have, and open business opportunities to all!, United we are Strong!

Obviously. We would be strong if united. However, we are already united in some ways, and this unity is manifest through governments and other organizations, but the writer here doesn’t see that; rather he sees and is talking about something else, an unorganized unity. Unity of what? Well, all right-thinking people, of course! People who think like us!

When such a unity does manifest, with sufficient motivation, it can and has created vast social tragedy. I immediately think of China and the Communist revolution there, which replaced the “bad people” — landlords — with “good people,” right-thinking, the “vanguard of the proletariat.” and then which purged all defective elements within itself, and on and on until the society finally vomited and began to actually create synthesis, i.e., what Marx would have predicted, instead of fixing itself in opposition. Or I think of Adolf Hitler, who appealed to the sense of some terrible conspiracy behind every perceived disaster, or, say, Donald Trump. And I am not comparing Trump to Hitler, except to note that both were populists, appealing to what was called the “silent majority.”

On the internet, it becomes easy to find others with whom we will agree, and thus the “social test of reality” becomes possible, putting off the “ultimate test,” allowing us to believe in a reality without substance, merely created by what is called “conspiracy,” in my training. Example of conspiracy: “My wife doesn’t understand me.” Conspiracy: “Yeah, women are like that!”

If science is simple, common, and accessible to all, that they can not suppress it. That is the advantage for the world, but the disadvantage for manufacturers, since anyone can copy it.

Again, I notice the polarization that does not characterize true inspiration with genuine transformative power. This is not Mathis writing, this is Elisha, who has apparently attached himself to Mathis-as-authority, which is ironic. The teenage me didn’t and doesn’t attach to anyone as authority, but … I did actually meet and spend substantial time with Feynman, and what Feynman inspired in me was not belief in his conclusions, but excitement over his approach, and his writing still does that for me.

Mathis is approaching physics, in some ways, like Feynman, but with something else that contaminates his work. It shows in his “polemic.” Feynman loved people, you can see this in, for example, his imitation of Italian, and many other stories. At the same time as he recognized and confronted “institutional stupidity,” he loved the people and maintained a high sense of humor.

The SECRET of LENR is this.

Nickel with monohydrogen, excited with Electrical current in one direction and Magnetic stimulation at Larmor frequency at or below 90 deg.

Aw, hogwash. Sure, there could be some effect, but the conditions described do not apply to the most basic and most confirmed LENR phenomena. First of all, there is, in gas-loaded work, no “electrical current in one direction” and how one would get “magnetic” Larmor frequency stimulation in a conductor (nickel and hydrogen) without induced AC current is beyond me. Larmor frequency stimulation is apparently used in the Letts dual-laser work, involving a teraherz beat frequency, but Letts dual-laser has not been confirmed and is clearly not related to the basic confirmed LENR results — and IH did apparently attempt to confirm Letts, and the Murray deposition implies that they had no success — except that they may have considered low XP findings “only low level,” which is scientifically irrelevant, if the XP correlates with a much lower laser power (as I think it does in Letts’ reports)

Elisha is not standing on science, but wants us to unite in science? What is wrong with this picture?

(Mathis is not responsible for the fawning extension of his idea into LENR.)

The polarization of nuclear spin axes with static magnetic field does not affect nuclear beta “decay” rates, but the addition of a perpendicular high frequency alternating field at the Larmor frequency, does. With maximum stimulation, does not occur exactly at 90deg nuclear spin precession, but at some angles a little below and a little above 90deg ….

This is the source: http://milesmathis.com/main2.pdf

This does not establish any connection with cold fusion. That’s Elisha’s idea. The source is Mathis’ praise of himself, reflecting his assessment of his communications with genuine scientists. Any genuine scientist is likely to appreciate and benefit from out-of-the-box thinking, it can be hard to find. However, that does not translate to “Mathis is right,” though Mathis himself seems to be promoting that idea. And what does he seek?

My new solutions to old problems are being talked about and seriously considered by working physicists. Do you know any other “internet crank” that can say that? I don’t.

Mathis’ ignorance of the range of human experience and behavior is not a proof of anything, it is hardly even evidence. Mathis is obviously an internet crank, which does not mean he is wrong on any particular idea.

If you want the real numbers applied to specific experiments, I guess you will have to hire me.

And someone might, and that will not prove anything other than possible curiosity and willingness to invest some resources in investigation (money or time). However, seeing this has the effect on me of suppressing interest in his ideas about physics. Caring about being paid is not what I’m accustomed to seeing from the real vanguard; rather, that arises with frauds and a certain kind of self-obsessed crank.

Our own joshg (Josh Guetzkow) wrote an article on “Mathisian physics.”

What will the advent of cold fusion mean for establishment physicists? Will they be able to bend over backwards with ad hoc band-aids to patch up the same theories that keep telling us cold fusion is “impossible?” Or will it require a massive overhaul of our understanding of the physical universe? In that case, we will need a new paradigm and new theories to rebuild it from the ground up. As it happens, someone already has rebuilt physics from the ground up. His name is Miles Mathis, an independent, self-taught polymath. I believe his revolutionary theories hold the key to a comprehensive explanation of all LENR processes, and I am writing this to explain why.

In the “believer community,” which overlaps the “cold fusion community” and the “CMNS community,” there is a concept that is shared with the “skeptical community,” they actually agree on it — and it is, rather obviously, false, and has been known to be false, by the best scientists, since 1989. This idea is that “known theory” somehow proves that “cold fusion” — what’s that? — is “impossible.” We see this idea over and over in Huizenga (1992 and 1993), and it is clearest in his second edition. Huizenga clear has a concept of what process must be occurring if “cold fusion is real.” Yet the actual claim, from the first FP paper, is of an “unknown nuclear reaction.” The analysis that Huizenga applies is to, not an unknown reaction, but a known reaction, or some alternative known reactions, such as d+d -> 4He, the direct and simple fusion by overcoming the Coulomb barrier between two deuterons.

Looking at the Miles results on the heat/helium correlation, he says, in the second edition that this result is amazing, and, if confirmed, would solve a major mystery of cold fusion (i.e., the ash, which was unknown until then, with only a few speculations that it might be helium). Then he says that he expects it will not be confirmed, “because no gammas.” The conversion of deuterium to helium almost certainly requires a high-energy gamma, known to be produced when this conversion occurs as a rare branch of normal hot fusion. The gamma appears to be required by conservation of momentum; but that is only true under two conditions: first, that this is the specific reaction, for if some unexpected catalysis allows, as an example, the fusion of four deuterium atoms to form one 8Be atom, this would generate no high energy gamma (which is what Huizenga expects, low energy photons, if nuclear in origin, are called “gammas” but those are not known to be missing, and would be difficult to detect, leading us to the second condition: that there are no halo states capable of storing the energy for what may only require something in the femtosecond range.

The point is not that multibody fusion is the explanation, but that the impossibility argument fails, as it must, and as was well-known in 1989, being well expressed by Schwinger and others.

What we call “cold fusion” is an “unknown reaction,” now known by a preponderance of the evidence, with very little contrary evidence, to be the conversion of deuterium to helium with no other major persistent products other than heat. (So tritium and transmutation evidence, which may relate to rare branches and secondary effects, can confuse).

There is no violation of “existing physics,” in this, other than the general idea, easily in error — and in error many times in the history of science — that if an “unknown reaction” possibility existed, it would have been observed. In fact, such phenomena are observed, often, but the observations can be missed because they are unexpected. There is a great example of this in Mizuno’s book, a major PdD heat event, before the Pons and Fleischmann announcement, that he passed over as one of those unexplained things that will never be understood.

Was that LENR? From his description, probably.

To examine the vast body of work by Mathis would be tedious. I watched two videos of his on the “Pi = 4” trope. He is crazy, that’s really obvious. That isn’t coming from a belief that pi is not 4, but rather from his redefinition of pi. Pi is used in certain calculations, and may then generate some incorrect results if the calculations do not take into account all relevant conditions. Mathis’ demonstration is blatantly flawed, which is covered over with poor explanation; essentially he assumes that two ball bearings with the same initial velocity, rolling in two tubes on a flat surface, will continue to move with the same velocity, when one tube is straight while the other is curved into a circle. What he finds, summed up, is that the ball bearing in the circular path takes longer than that in the straight path. This is utterly unsurprising and the unstated assumption underneath his argument is obvious: that the ball bearings will move with the same velocity in each case. What he does is only to show that the circular motion slows the ball bearing, as it must, from some simple physical arguments. But he assumes constant velocity to “measure” distance travelled. This is so obvious that I wonder about Mathis’ sincerity.

His explanation of the circularity of a rainbow is more interesting, and less easily punctured. His presentation of rainbows as being images of the Sun is interesting and supported by photographs. It is entirely possible to find long-standing explanations of things that are unreal. If anyone might do this, it could be Mathis. He’s smart, he actually is a polymath, but his conclusions, his personal attachments to being right, if he has them, as appears, are no more likely to generate wisdom than what he’s rejecting.

Feynman did what he did, often, by examining problems ab initio, not looking first for explanations from others. Doing so, he invented new approaches, he found things that had been overlooked. But he did not fix on himself always being right, and warned about attachment to being right. Mathis, if he could recognize his personal psychology as being rooted in a developmental “disorder,” — a misleading characterization for a possibly genetic variation that is called a developmental disorder because it can be disabling in some ways, but that also creates an ability to do things that “normies” don’t seem to be able to do — might be able to make far more progress, and might be far more useful for the development of science as a social phenomenon.

Ratwiki — as it is affectionately known — has an article on Mathis.

Rational wiki is a site dominated by pseudoskeptics, originally organized to ridicule Conservapedia.

Ratwiki is dominated by adolescent psychology, polemic, and the kind of pseudoskepticism, “scientism,” found among, say, “modern atheists” and those who came to dominate CSICOP, the “debunkers,” highly sarcastic and supremely sure of self. One will not find articles there that are overall, “objective,” and “rational.” They are having fun, ridiculing others. That’s the goal, not objectively and neutrality, which they strongly dislike.

I have admin privileges there, which is completely useless except it will allow me to read deleted content. They grant those privileges to almost anyone that any administrator likes in any way, and any admin can grant or remove admin privileges. It’s a formula for vast waste of time, if anyone is interested in confronting the “community point of view.” Been there, done that! Mostly, what I found useful there was in seeing how certain prominent Wikipedians actually thought, what they actually believed, which was much more visible there than on Wikipedia, where they would pretend to be neutral.

I just checked, I still have the sysop privilege, I could still waste my time at great length. Once in a while, I make an edit there. I haven’t in three years.

In any case, joshg ignores the Pi fiasco. His idea is that Miles may make some mistakes, but that his “physics” may contain the clues to LENR reality that the world needs. Joshg is free to discuss this here, but …. this isn’t what the CMNS community needs, to be associated with the radical fringe. It needs the opposite: it needs synthesis, integration, genuine and effective communication. If you believe that an entire community is wrong, you will be, almost certainly, unable to communicate with them. Effective communication requires understanding and sympathy, and that is why this blog welcomes genuine skeptics. Skepticism is rational, to a point. As is pointed out on Ratwiki, “Rational wiki is not rational.” It is almost a parody of itself (that’s the best thing about it.)

I just now went to Mathis’ mathematical “proof” that Pi=4. Proofs like this are familiar to anyone with substantial math experience, I was looking at these before I was a teenager. If anyone is tempted to accept this argument, comment and I’ll look at it and explain it in more detail, but the flaw is completely obvious, and that Mathis still defends it speaks worlds about his psychology, if he isn’t just pulling our chain.

Mathis assumes that a zig-zag path, with an obvious and stable path length, independent of step size, equal to the sum of the two directions, will approach the path length along the circle. In fact, the nifty videos linked below avoid something obvious: if you lay out the circular tubing along the straight tubing, it will not extend to four diameters, but to pi diameters. That is the ordinary meaning of path length along a circle. How much tubing is needed to create a circle with diameter D? Not 4 D, for sure.

This is pure confusion and fog, and Elisha apparently believes it. Zephir_AWT pointed to the Pi confusion, with photos he believed to be Mathis. He wrote:

Miles Mathis suffers with macromanic inventory delusions. He thinks Pi equals 4.0 and other crazy stuffs. This is what disease does with talented people.

The first source is a video by DraftScience, who is implied to be Mathis. (In fact, DraftScience is a critic of Mathis.) The second source does not explain “macromaniac inventory delusions,” whatever they are, but is simply the RatWiki article. The third link is to an article by Miles Mathis on Stephen Hawking being an imposter, fake, (and the original deeper source would be on milesmathis.com.) The last link is to Mathis’ art from google images, and that points to a mathis art page where one can find, for example, a bio of Mathis with photos.

Elisha was unfazed:

First, What is your contribution ?, since emotional critiques serve to entertain us, but they do not serve to advance in science.

There are relatively objective critiques on or linked from the RatWiki page.

Second, this man in not miles mathis. He is a follower of him.

Miles Mathis can be seen at the RatWiki article, taken from a book cover. This image is claimed to be roughly 17 years old. The image on LF is recent. Mathis writes this about the “man”:

ANNOUNCEMENT, added 8/25/16, some of my readers have been confused by a guy on youtube with a channel called DraftScience. They think that is me. It isn’t. He links to me and discusses my stuff a lot, apparently, although I haven’t watched more than a couple of minutes. I don’t know him, have never talked to him, and have no links to him. Although there is some resemblance, since he is about my age and blond, that is about it. His hair is much longer and less curly, he doesn’t sport a goatee, and he smokes. I don’t.

Here is Mathis’ “extended biography,” and it includes more photos of him. Unless these are fake — hey, if Stephen Hawing is fake, why not Miles Mathis? — Mathis is right, and so is Elisha, on this point. However, being right on one point doesn’t rub off on other points, even though the opposite, being spectacularly wrong on a point, and persistently so, does color everything.

Third, there is a experiment that confirm that pi is 3.14 and 4 this depend of the use case.

Now, first of all, we see these sweaty claims, frequently, and often from people whose English is extremely poor. What does the command of English have to do with one’s cogency? In theory, not at all, but in practice, poor English is associated with lack of care and caution, lack of concern for accuracy, lack of clear thinking, all that. When it is combined with arrogance, it’s ugly.

Elisha points to a video of the “experiment,” which does not do what it purports to do; rather it gives a result that will confuse those who make a basic unstated — and incorrect — assumption, that if a ball rolls with a particular velocity in a level straight path, it will roll with the same velocity in a circular path. That assumption would not, by itself, generate “pi = 4,” but no analysis is given of how linear momentum is converted to angular momentum, but it’s quite clear that converting the motion to circular would slow the ball, yet for the video to make any sense at all, the ball velocity must remain the same, since distance is being measured (marked off) by time.

This is not “skepticism,” it is straightforward and clear analysis, easily done by a careful child. The discussions on that video are appalling.

DraftScience comments on the proof video, imagining that the difference in velocity is due to friction. At least he understands that the velocity is different, but I doubt that the difference is from friction, even though friction would also slow the ball. His argument is incorrect, so if one understands it, that’s a clue one is confused.  Joshg shows up commenting there.

Listening further, DraftScience does recognize that the friction argument is missing something: bottom line, he’s “explaining” off the top of his head, a video blogger, and in this is like many bloggers who just blabber on without developing coherence. Further, DraftScience is not a “follower” of Mathis. Quite the opposite. So this whole conversation was bonkers. Rather, DraftScience realizes, at least in some ways, the error. However, he does not address the math, AFAIK.

The original math summary, again. RatWiki points to an allegedly clear exposition. It’s not wrong. The writer’s frustration is apparent. This is not coming from “belief in the mainstream” or any other such nonsense. It is coming from grounded common sense, easily verified experimentally. Mathis redefines words to confuse himself and/or readers. Instead of the “circumference of a circle” being a distance — representing, in practical terms, how much material one would need to build the circle, how much ink it would take to draw it using a compass, etc., like ordinary distance, it becomes a vastly complicated entity. Reality, ordinary reality, is much less complex than Mathis’ world, and that is why children can understand it. I derived most of this stuff as a child, I disliked memorizing formulae and wanted to understand directly.

Mathis creates a fractal, as pointed out, and then assumes that the length of a fractal is the same as the length of a curve that it seems to approach. However, fractals are imaginary structures that can have unlimited length in a confined space, and it would not be difficult to show this, by defining a structure (line) that zig-zags within that space which can be as small as one likes (i.e, as close as one likes to a defined curve).

This is diagnostic of Mathis’ delusions, and shows how dangerous belief in one’s own superior rightness can be. Again, that doesn’t mean that one is wrong, and I would never recommend that people give up what they think is correct, just because others disagree. Rather, what I recommend is an attempt to understand why they disagree, what’s the basis? For a nice little study of a kid who didn’t give up when ridiculed, I posted this early on: The Mpemba effect and cold fusion

Okay, I kept looking a little before publishing this, and found an actual child who demolished Mathis. Well, is an apparent high-school girl a “child”? Maybe not. Nevertheless, here it is: accurate, simple, easy to understand, and devastating.

Another video from her. Now, this young woman is going to change the planet. Or at least will continue to have fun, which, in the end, may be far more useful than being a sweaty, convinced he is right, “polymath.”

And another about Pythagoras. I’m in awe. There is hope for the planet, because she is the future.

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Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

See http://coldfusioncommunity.net/biography-abd-ul-rahman-lomax/

3 thoughts on “On desperation, genius, and developmental disorders”

  1. From Los Alamos daily post
    News paper June 15 2017.

    By MAIRE O’NEILL
    Los Alamos

    A Los Alamos scientist known for a modified cold fusion experiment in which he repeatedly got radioactive tritium produced in a low energy system, has been presented with the prestigious Giuliano Preparato Medal. Dr. Thomas Claytor, one of the first researchers to understand that low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) could be triggered outside an electrochemical cell and is primarily a near surface effect, received the medal June 8 at the 12th International Workshop on Anomalies in Hydrogen Loaded Metals in Castigliole d’Asti in Piedmont, Italy.

    The award recognizes Claytor’s initiation and further development of effects related to hydrogen anomalies in solids. His wife, Debrah, traveled with him to Asti for the workshop, which was attended by scientists from France, Italy, England, Japan, Hungary and the United States.

    The International Society for Condensed Matter Nuclear Science administers the Giuliano Preparata Medals and the Giuliano Preparata Award Committee decides who is going to receive them. Preparata was a renowned Italian physicist who taught at several American universities including Princeton, Harvard and New York University. From 1974 to 1980 he was a staff member in the theory division of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland.

    Claytor obtained his Ph.D. in Solid-State Physics from Purdue University. He was a staff member at Argonne National Laboratory from 1977 to 1986 and at Los Alamos National Laboratory from 1986 to 2012 when he retired. He now owns and is the principal investigator for High Mesa Technology in White Rock.

    Claytor has collaborated with investigators at other organizations to improve hydrogen isotope and neutron detection from solid state LENR cells. Since his retirement, he has maintained his connections to Los Alamos National Laboratory as a Guest Scientist.

    While at LANL, in addition to on and off research into LENR funded by Laboratory Directed Research and Development, Director’s Reserve and technology transfer funds, Claytor worked on various instrument and materials projects. He developed the first large area a-Si neutron tomography system at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE). This work eventually resulted in a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with Hi-Tek resulting in more than $20 million annually in sales for the company and royalties to LANL.

    Prior to his retirement, Claytor received five patents, a Department of Energy Defense Program Award of Excellence, a LANL Distinguished Performance Award and two R&D 100 team awards He has mentored some 34 graduate and undergraduate students and sponsored Ph.D. research at three major universities. He received NASA and Siemens awards for excellence in and sustaining mentoring in 2003 and 2004.

  2. I was not going to comment as it violates Thrumpers rule but I had a tab open to the link below. And I was closing links. Most of us have worked with intelligent people and some with gifted people. One of the things I have known personally is having your mind comeup with some great insight and think that whoa I am channeling Feynman, in fact that dumb bugger Feynman is wrong.

    This is why I can not condemn Skiff or anyone that I start to have concerns about. I have started a small campaign at LF to stop talking past each other. I just need to understand that some people will never accept logic or evidence.
    So far I have met with failure, but at the same time I am not trying to argue just understand how they can not be moved either by evidence or logic. People can talk somewhat logical but when they jump into the pool of WTF I just start to tune them out.

    This link is whoa.

    http://milesmathis.com/casimir.html

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