Right and wrong at the same time

may be subject to copyright

The cold fusion horizon

Is cold fusion truly impossible, or is it just that no respectable scientist can risk their reputation working on it? — Huw Price

I’ve been reading about Synthestech, blogged about it, and now Deneum, more of the SOS, but a step up in professional hype.

Steve Krivit was right about Rossi, he was — and remains — , ah, how shall I express it? The technical phrase is “liar, liar, pants on fire.” But Krivit’s evidence was weak on the subject, mostly raising obvious suspicions, and Tom Darden and  his friends knew that they needed much better evidence, which they proceeded to obtain.

They found quite enough to conclude that if Rossi had anything, it was so certainly useless and so buried in piles of deceptions and misleading information that they simply walked away, it wasn’t worth the cost of completing the trial in Rossi v. Darden in order to keep the rights, which they could rather easily have done.

Krivit was “right,” certainly in a way, but his claims were obvious, in fact. He was right to report what he found, but it was misleading, and useless, to label everything with approbation and contempt, the habits of yellow journalism.

It is not clear that Industrial Heat could have avoided the cost of their expedition. What I find remarkable is how few have learned anything from the affair, and some of those who clearly have learned, have learned how to better extract money from a shallow, knee-jerk public.

The post today is inspired by a photo I found on the Deneum twitter feed. I will be writing about Deneum, there is a real scientist behind Deneum, but is there real science as well? That’s unclear, but what is very clear is the level of hype, that Deneum is representing itself in ways that will lead a casual reader to imagine they already have a product and merely need to start manufacturing it. So $100 million, please. Here is where to send it.

It’s a rich topic for commentary, but today, I’m following some breadcrumbs found, a blogger who was right and wrong, in a different way, more or less from the other side. The photo above, and the headline is from a post by Huw Price, 21 December, 2015

That date is important. At that point, Thomas Darden had been interviewed at ICCF-19, and had made some positive noises. By that time, Darden knew that something was very off about Rossi, and some — or all — of his positivity may have been about technology other than Rossi’s. At the time, I noticed how vague it was. In early 2016, Rossi claimed to have completed the “Guaranteed Performance Test” and was billing Industrial Heat for $89 million. And it was all a scam, a tissue of lies and deceptions. So, now, because of the lawsuit Rossi filed,  we know, to a reasonable degree of certainty, how the Rossi affair worked and did not work. How does Dr. Price’s essay look in hindsight, and has he ever commented?

I’m using hypothesis.is to comment on that essay, because I don’t want to pay $500 to syndicate it, though it is an excellent essay, in the general principles brought out. I may also, later, copy some excerpts here.

The annotations

. (To see them, one must install a tool from hypothes.is, which I highly recommend. Hypothes.is is not intrusive. To start.)

Having written that, I now find that Huw Price also blogged this himself, as

My Dinner with Andrea. Cute title.

A few months later, Huw Price wrote another essay for Aeon:

Is the cold fusion egg about to hatch?

His speculations were off. Has he followed up?

I’ve been unable to find anything, so far. Will the real Huw Price please stand up?

 

 

 

 

Impressive, eh? How could that be a scam?

But it was. So how was

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Author: Abd ulRahman Lomax

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

26 thoughts on “Right and wrong at the same time”

    1. That first comment appears to be orphaned. It is not. Rather, the annotation coloring is hidden underneath a “display more” tag, and it is also behind the annotation display. All seven annotations are visible. Click on the annotation, and the display of the page moves to the post containing the annotation. Three annotations are hidden in the Kevmo post. (one of them, the first, sort-of shows above the display notice)
      So no links are broken here.
      There are two ways to view a post on LF, two different URLs that access the post. So for the Kevmo post:
      the basic full page of comments. This shifts whenever comments are moved, because displays readjust (terrible design).
      the link under the date.
      The “share link” which is the same as the link under the date.
      I suspect that hypothes.is uses the URL that I was reading to show the annotations. They do not show from the individual post link. The implementation on LF sucks. It was designed solely for chat, not for building content. But this works well enough that I may continue, on occasion.

  1. Yeah
    You probably learn as much about
    the presentation by watching the
    lazy way on the internet.
    Maybe I just long for the old style
    news man that tracks down the story.
    Like you did with Rossi vs Darden
    and Frank showing an effort to
    attend the presentation.

    1. I am not covering the Ongoing Saga of Dottore Rossi, but of cold fusion, and Rossi was a part of that. He is not any more a figure in Condensed Matter Nuclear Science. That’s over. The field has moved on to reality, from some segue, for some, into false hopes or naive trust.

      Hundreds of researchers have worked for years, carefully and at high personal cost, and organizing and presenting what they found is my task.

      It came out in the lawsuit that, contrary to what Rossi claimed, IH had lined up $200 million to pay him and to proceed with commercialization, and they could have raised more. But they sure were not going to put that money into a fake megawatt reactor. Instead, they are funding people with a few watts, because a real watt is worth far more than a fantasy megawatt.

    2. By the way, I also have no plan at all to watch the demonstration on the internet. I may or may not review videos of it, but I’m more likely to see commentary, and I will view it if I find something comment-worthy in the commentary. From the Upsalla video I could tell that there was no reason to think Rossi had something of interest, and the problems with that demonstration were obvious, more obvious than past incidents. Yet there are people who eat it up. There is an excuse for everything.

      The problems with the Rossi claims were obvious from the beginning, but IH was not actually “fooled.” That there were serious problems with Rossi claims was not a proof that he had no technology of interest, and IH very much wanted and needed to find out for sure, to “crush the tests.” They got about as close to that result as possible, and the lawsuit shared the facts and claims with the world. It does not depend on “Rossi Says” or “Darden Says.” If it matters to us, we get the benefit of factual information, something that is not available from Rossi and the Dog and Pony Shows.

      1. The part that I.H. and you have
        missed is the QX that Rossi
        researched at Doral.
        It has now turned into the more
        efficient EcatSK that is ready for
        market.

        1. Why should I waste my time and that of my readers responding to this? You have been trusted to make reasonable posts without approval. Why should I continue that? If I don’t see a good reason to allow these evidence-free assertions, based on claims from Rossi, who is known, beyond a reasonable doubt, to be a persistent liar (or insane), next post will be disapproved

          1. Just calling it the way I see it Abd.
            With limited knowledge I look
            at myself as the child that sees
            what the adults miss.

            Regards
            Sam

            1. I follow links and find nothing worthy of the time it takes to read it. I intend to junk these recent Sam posts if not dissuaded by readers. Otherwise, it’s continuing to allow Sam to fill up comments with uselessness, to waste my time and clutter the space. What will happen if I do junk them is that Sam’s right to post without approval will vanish. Use it, considering the community, welcome. Abuse it, not.

              1. Abd – almost by definition any post with a title like that is not going to be worth reading. Nobody knows what principles it is supposed to use, and given the history and the “demonstrations” we’re pretty certain it doesn’t work anyway. If Rossi ever has a real customer who buys a second one as well, then that’s the time to sit up and take notice.

                Incidentally, the name and email required to post are now no longer pre-filled even though once start to fill them in it does remember them. Forgetting to fill them in results in the comment being irretrievably lost, which happened to me a couple of days ago but I didn’t have the time to re-enter the whole thing since I’m a slow typist. Nice if you can find what settings have changed and put them back to autofill the name if the cookie-read has the data. I do generally remember to check, but the wiping of 30 minutes or more typing is a bit harsh if I forget.

                1. Some of the pro-Rossi “arguments” are amazingly obtuse. I’ve commented a little on lenr-forum using hypothes.is. I don’t know that anyone is paying attention. Hypothesis.is can be extraordinarily useful, if anyone uses it. Comments can be tagged, and can be filtered not just by author and web site, but also by tags. To be useful, a site like LF would need organization that does not exist, and filtering that also doesn’t exist. The practice of administrators moving posts to junk threads is quite damaging. Much more useful would be “deprecation” of some kind, where a post becomes only barely visible. What happens with moving posts is that context can be completely lost, it’s being done without leaving a means of tracking posts back.

                  As to your loss of data, sorry. I know how irritating that can be.

                  This is a standard WordPress installation, with the plug-in Simple Comment Editing enabled. Pre-filling probably relates to your browser and browsing history. I am not sure how WP identifies you, normally, without a log-in, Nothing was changed in settings that I know of. Sometimes data like that can be recovered in browser history. Sometimes not. I suggest developing the habit of marking sure you are logged in, which would then automatically handle those fields, I think. You haven’t commented for quite some time, the information may have timed out.

                  1. Abd – Hypothes.is allows you to comment where the policy of the site would disallow you, but fails for LF where the comments get moved often. As such, probably that flaw could effectively make the effort of commenting not worth it. I’m not sure of the benefits of hidden comments where the person subject to such commenting has no notice of the comment and cannot really reply or restate the argument to address the criticism. To me, it seems too much like swearing at a stupid comment on the TV. Only certain people will hear and it won’t affect the program in progress. Yep, at times I do swear at the TV, and the air goes a bit blue when I have to use Windoze on one of my boxes here because the program won’t run on Linux, and Windoze keeps asking me “are you sure you really want to do that?” or otherwise decides not to do what I’ve told it to. The swearing however doesn’t affect the way the OS works or the annoyance in confirming that yes, I really do want to do that. As such, I think a comment here that is visible to all (and can be answered/refuted easily) is probably a better strategy. Links suffer from bit-rot. YMMV…. Still, I see the object of commenting is to change things, and if the person concerned doesn’t see the comment then no change will happen.

                    You had a fairly long interval where there were no new items on the blog, and were obviously deeply into something else, which it seems was part of the documentation process. Meantime, WP auto-updates, and even if you’ve changed nothing on your setup, things break as WP decides to do things a different way. Here, too, the browser gets updates, which can mean things break. If you’ve not changed things, then I’ll just need to be more careful.

                    1. It does not “fail.” By the way, the habit of moving comments on LF damages the usefulness of that site. Some time back they changed the number of displayed comments per page, and so most links were broken.

                      Anyone can set up a watch for comments, and I can link to H comments, and do. If anyone feels that they are worth attention, they can link to them.

                      Sure, I can and have commented here, but H comments are also “visible to all.” All you need is a link. For comments here or there, the possible ignorance of the original author would be the same. You can also find them, and I’ve given URLs showing how to do that. Checking now, I see that some of my recent comments no longer refer to an active post. LF is doing something very weird. I am going to start archiving pages when I comment on them. I might then comment on the archive. What I’m seeing is that a comment I made two days ago is divorced from context, the “annotation” marker is gone but the original post is still there. I’m going to track this down.

                      Previously, an LF administrator set htaccess to disallow all incoming referrals from this blog. A confederacy of dunces. (My first response was to announce what they were doing. Then I realized I could shut off referrals, so the problem went away. Then, eventually, they removed that. They were cutting off their nose to spit their face. We have rank amateurs involved with LENR, as Dewey pointed out two years ago. Emphasis on “rank,” sometimes.

                      Yes, I have been creating study resources. Hundreds of hours of work. I can’t imagine a more educational activity, though. It’s beginning to pay off.

                      Attempting to change an author’s mind or expression by commenting is only one function of many. And LF explicitly rejected and made that very unwelcome.

                      My WP installation is not set to auto-update. The comment facility looks for your identification information, maybe a cookie, I don’t know. But your browser can easily lose it. I know that auto log-in works until it doesn’t. Something changes and I need to log in again. Usually when I’m using an editor on a site and the page is lost, I can get it back with the back button or from browser history, but sometimes not.

                      https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/thread/5597-atom-ecology/#annotations:IJFvMNrBEeiR7vcgBsXe1w was my last comment on LF. That is only visible to me when I have hypothes.is running. The share link for that. As you can see with the share link, the original text is crossed out, as if it was removed.
                      Here is that LF post as now archived: https://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/thread/5597-atom-ecology/?postID=96348#post96348 The plot thickens. That URL accesses the post with the comment. I think I commented on the raw thread, not a single-out post. I’m pretty sure that H would store the viewed page.

                      (The way that LF stores and references posts is brain-dead. And there is no audit trail, apparently. After being accustomed to Wikipedia, where everything is kept and all activity is logged, except when logs are specifically hidden by a high-level user, LF was truly primitive. LF is using an obscure software….)

              2. I would rather you delete them if they
                bother you Abd.
                One thing you have in
                common with Andrea
                Rossi is you are both
                very stubborn men.
                BTW even Shane D who dislikes Rossi as
                much as you is with
                Director on Lenr Forum.

                Shane D.
                Moderator
                9 hours ago
                +2
                Director,

                If your thread gains traction, I will try and make it a point to keep the non-believers out of it. You guys need a place to talk Rossi tech shop, without all the hassle. Enjoy.

                1. The issue for me is utility to the cold fusion community, by which I mean the community supporting real research in the field (as well as being engaged in outreach). Sam, you are a poor judge of people. I do not “dislike” Rossi, I rather like him. However, I also know that he either lies or is seriously deluded. To some, to point out someone’s misleading statements (perhaps worthy of “lie”) is proof of dislike, but that’s a fundamental ontological error. Like and dislike are human emotional reactions, and people who think primitively, believing that their reactions reflect reality, often confuse this and assume dislike from factual reporting. It is an assumption that others think as they do.

                  Shane is considering the function and role of Lenr-Forum, which is very different from coldfusioncommunity.net. I would agree with his decision there, or would at least consider it. I probably would not allow that “place to talk Rossi tech” here, in the sense of a walled garden. If someone wants to document and show evidence for alternate points of view about Rossi, that’s always been welcome. Just not useless commentary that builds no value. I would rather it be done by someone requesting author privileges here, so that they can create focused content, rather than scattered comments.

  2. Yep, Huw Price seems to have been fooled by Rossi. If it wasn’t for that, his arguments are pretty good, though. Big advances have been made by people who ignored the mainstream calling them crackpots, but on the other hand there are a lot of crackpots who don’t succeed either. It really boils down to looking at the experimental evidence and deciding whether it’s good enough to show what it is claimed to do.

    For Rossi, the question really is “what experimental evidence?” since for what he presents it’s necessary to first believe that he’s telling the truth. For anyone who’s read the court documents, that’s a difficult leap of faith. For anyone who’s really gone through the Doral data, and has seen it’s internally inconsistent (a nice way of saying it’s fabricated) then it’s also going to be hard to accept any of Rossi’s claims even if he’s only talking about the weather.

    The first attempts at making a new technology work are often not optimal. It took a while to get steam engines reliable and somewhat safe, and to design boilers that didn’t explode. I still think Bob Godes is telling the truth, though, even if he’s not having a lot of luck in scaling it up. He’s maybe a bit careful not to tell all the truth, though. Investors don’t like to hear that nobody knows how long it will take until it’s commercially viable, or that it may never become so. In reality, you can’t predict how long it’s going to take to solve a problem when there’s no good theoretical basis and no-one has done it before.

    Work continues, and it seems almost inevitable that someone will tame LENR and make it useful for something. It won’t however be Rossi.

    1. He took what he’d read at face value. That’s common. However, what is somewhat disturbing is that life moved on and more was revealed and I have seen nothing from Huw Price about that. Maybe he’s busy or distracted or whatever.

      Yes, his general comments were quite good.

        1. If someone offers to pay my expenses and negotiates permission with Rossi, I’d go. Now, suppose, Sam, that Rossi has what he claims to have. So what? The world will eventually have a power source that could last a long time. It makes no difference to that outcome if I go or don’t go. If Rossi has what he claims, he can pay for a dozen like me and not even break a sweat. What’s the purpose?

          Meanwhile the actual science of LENR is languishing, there are very few who actually study it. I’m doing what any serious student would do, organizing sources, reviewing the literature, in depth. Who else is doing that? I think we are very close to identifying the nuclear active environment, and there are clues as to how to make it reliably. Rossi guards his secrets, so why go? He is mot about to reveal anything important, other than red herrings that get fans excited.

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