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.
. (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:
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