Simon writes long, thoughtful comments. Another. My comments, thoughts, reactions are in italics, indented.
Abd – it’s been obvious for a long time that Peter ignores evidence he doesn’t like. I’ve tried to show him that the evidence for 1MW doesn’t exist except for what Rossi’s metering shows, and I’ve given him calculations of how much water would be required to put that much energy down the drains (to both keep the locked room suitable for life and to avoid a heat-plume being visible and measurable by an IR survey), yet he still thinks that Rossi will provide an explanation that will be physically possible. As an experienced industrial engineer, he should be able to do the calculations himself and recognise that the claims are absurd as they stand. There comes a time when it’s not worth the time spent analysing the claims since Peter will not accept the results if they show that Rossi does not have LENR+. Of course, that’s what any sober analysis will show.
Based on the evidence we have, yes. While the balance of evidence could shift, there is little sign that it will, and plenty of support for the basic issues. What I’ve called the “room calorimeter” is easily analyzed, and Peter, except for one problem, should be able to do that. The problem: Peter may have lost his chops long ago. I was a printed circuit designer, routinely solving certain kinds of problems. I could probably still do it, but it would take me far, far longer, and would not be economic. (Instead, I effectively hired a highly skilled engineer to do what I’d have done myself, once upon a time, long, long ago.) Peter asserts his belief that Rossi will provide an explanation, which ignores clear evidence of Rossi incompetence or worse (such as the Hydro Fusion episode as seen by Mats Lewan and then as reported by Rossi to Industrial Heat in a 2012 email.)
Peter developed a fervent belief in “LENR+” (obviously out of a hope for breakthroughs, that part is easy to understand) and is still clinging to it. While I called this Plan A, the idea that a commercial product would change everything by hitting the market, thus demolishing skeptical opposition, and I never opposed Plan A except to point out its possible unreliability, which was not to oppose it (I could still hope for it), but prudence suggested an alternate plan, just in case, “Plan B,” basic scientific research. The involvement of Darden, with his Cherokee Investment Partners reputation and actual financial risk, made it seem like Plan A might work! And then Rossi sued Darden and all hell broke loose. The main reason to postpone judgment — the support of real money and real investors — vanished, killed by Rossi, and then requiring a vision of an evil Sifferkollian conspiracy to continue belief.
I’ll take Jed’s word that he’s acquired a diagram, but though it agrees with the Penon description there’s no guarantee that it is correct. Though Jed’s story fits the evidence, we really don’t know for sure how everything was connected and the only thing we can say for sure is that the stated measurements were wrong. Arguing about the pipe layout is not useful, since unimpeachable evidence isn’t available.
What is possible is to point to and lay out the existing evidence. As the discussion with Peter showed, the demanded diagram would do nothing, because we have, now, two reports showing the necessary information, i.e., Jed’s claimed diagram from Rossi, as he reveals that necessary information, and the Penon proposed protocol description. That description was provided in February, 2015, after the plant was already in reported operation, per the “Final Report” excerpt we saw.
Yes, I can image that Penon’s language was clumsy and conveyed a misleading impression. However, Peter’s objections are not coming from reason and logic, as he imagines. They are coming from a fervent hope and belief that “something is wrong” with the objections. I’ve seen this many times, having known some famous fanatics. The human mind is endlessly ingenious at inventing reasons to think this or that. Peter hardly even bothers with any kind of sane reason. He rapidly converts the conversation to ad hominem arguments. His objection to “Planet Rossi” would be valid if “Planet Rossi” were being used as an ad hominem argument, but, outside of pseudoskeptics, I’ve not seen it used that way. “Planet Rossi” is simply a reference to an obvious body of memes and arguments and reasons, common among Rossi supporters. It does not negate any one of those arguments, in itself. Peter is not “wrong” about the location of the flow meter because he “belongs to Planet Rossi.” Even a stopped clock is right twice a day….
He is wrong about it, from the preponderance of the evidence, because of that evidence, not because of the alleged opinions or bias of the reporters and commentators. And then, because human beings are of high interest to some of us, we comment on the sociology and psychology, as we have long done with regard to the rejection cascade (and mirrored phenomena among the “believers.”) The rejection of cold fusion was a sociological issue, an “information cascade,” that that has long been obvious to social scientists. That does not make it wrong, by the way. Cold fusion is not real because of Kitty Hawk or continental drift. It is to be considered real, on the preponderance of the evidence, because there is conclusive, confirmed, direct experimental evidence, and that debate actually belongs in the journals, to the extent it still exists, but we support it socially.
The interesting point for me is that Rossi obviously made no provisions to be able to remove 1MW of heat (at around 100°C) from the locked room. Such cooling would be visible, audible and very obvious (and also would have shown on an IR survey).
Yes. We don’t have IR survey results, other than as rumor through Dewey. It is conceivable that there is IR satellite imaging from that time that should show a megawatt, Dewey’s comment that it would be visible from space is probably accurate (though ridiculed at the time), but I’d think that IH would have done something more direct, more impressive for a jury than something merely missing from an image where interpretation is not familiar. IR imaging from an aircraft has routinely been used to detect, say, 10 KW of heat from marijuana grow-lamps. 100 KW would be, I’d think, highly visible, very difficult to conceal, and why would anyone want to conceal it? A megawatt in a small space? Easily shown.
The room had no roof, by the way. Rossi’s claim was explicitly that the “unused heat” was simply vented out the roof, with no analysis of how that would actually happen and at what rate.
The “industrial process” that went on in there also seems to not have needed any deliveries of raw materials or the export of finished product since again that ought to have been visible and noticed, and also JMP would have had invoices and bills for the materials sold and bought. It also did not need human supervision, since no employees of JMP turned up to work each day and JMP did not employ any such staff.
This is relevant on this issue, but only peripherally. Rossi has implied that the heat was “used,” i,e., “used up” as in running an endothermic process. Again, the consequences of this seemed to have been ignored. It was an argument that was enough to satisfy believers, not anyone actually informed in the issues and on the nature and practical realities of endothermic processes. Again, Peter should have the knowledge to see this, but has never commented, to my knowledge. He would know that Rossi was being misleading, but … if Rossi is the Savior of the World, saying anything that might make him look bad would be betrayal of Higher Good, and this has apparently become, for him, a religion. Not the good kind, the abusive, cult kind. (Functional religion unites people, the dysfunctional creates hatred and division.)
The inescapable conclusion from these observations is that Rossi didn’t expect to need to remove 1MW of heat at the time he designed the test, and that the metering was designed to produce inflated figures when it was set up. This is not a simple error in measurements, but was designed that way. JMP was simply a shell company that didn’t have a secret process or a product, and did not sell anything that was worth the power bill. With all that evidence of fraud, it’s very hard to keep believing that Rossi has LENR+ and will Save The World, but somehow Peter keeps his faith.
Yes. I have seen people, especially certain older people, who will go to their graves with fervent belief, even when the evidence to the contrary became overwhelming, even when they personally suffered high losses out of their belief, because they rationalize all of that with justifications, and the selective cognition all supports what they already believe. In order to understand this obvious dysfunction, we need to understand the survival function of such attachments. Survival instincts dominate ordinary thinking; when they are active, the cerebral cortex, which normally functions as a deep and largely neutral association engine, are directed, probably hormonally, into emergency response which does not allow depth, it does not tolerate ambiguity. It needs answers NOW!
And when answers actually exist that threaten developed identity (Peter is a Loyal Supporter of Rossi!) the argument developed is that “we don’t know enough, wait to the trial.” Watch! If there is a trial, it won’t change anything for Peter, he will accept the story that this all depended on who had the fanciest lawyers, who had the most money, etc. He will believe that the evidence was based on lies and fabrications by greedy manipulators. Sifferkoll.
Bob – discussions here are much more civilised. It’s true that you may get your response dissected but that does help you in considering the basis of your opinions and thus change them if needed. In the end what matters is the truth, and whether the truth agrees with what RossiSays or not is another matter. If ECW wants to be an echo-chamber that insists that Rossi Is Right no matter what the evidence says, that is their right, but it is a good reason not to spend much time there.
Thanks, Simon. There is deliberately a more focused structure here. Nobody has yet requested author privileges, which would allow the creation of more diverse structure, but it will happen, the need for this is far too obvious. Blog posts are for discussion, opinion, and news, — and fun! — relatively transient. Pages are for developing content, and discussions can be refactored into pages that deeply consider issues, seeking — as my goal — the discovery and reporting of consensus, including measures of the degree of consensus. High consensus is power. Watch! Pitch in, if so moved!
I don’t mistake consensus for “truth.” High consensus is, however, the most reliable guide to truth that we have. I don’t like to use the word “truth” much, because it too often means some set of words presumed to accurately represent reality. Rather, I use Reality as the goal and standard, and it is nothing other than existence itself, including the entire realm of possibility. I find the exploration of reality, without demanding immediate understanding, to be fascinating, inspiring, and rewarding beyond measure.
Of late, I’m exploring entoptic phenomena. These are routine, apparently, accessible to everyone, but only rarely noticed. How about the blue field phenomenon, and “sprites”? That Wikipedia article claims that the phenomenon is “rather weak.” Let’s say that I would no longer agree with that. It is quite clear, not weak at all, once one learns to set aside the expectation that they don’t exist, there isn’t anything “really” there. Apparently, this is actually seeing individual white blood cells, but there is much more that can be seen, if one looks.
Abd – I’m not one for short snappy comments, but instead something that I hope is useful to people reading it. That takes more time and more words. It also invites challenges if I’m wrong, and if I’m wrong I want to know it. In previous jobs a lot of money depended on getting it right, and being thin-skinned was not an option.
Yes. Learning to listen carefully to criticism is a crucial skill for powerful project development. It was enlightening to give a presentation and have a room full of coaches tell me what they saw, and when I tried to say something, they told me to shut up and listen. No “explanations.” No “I know.” No attempt to avoid careful listening, period. One of the tragedies of cold fusion is that some of the old-timers (not all) seem to have lost that ability to listen without reaction, to extract value from even “wrong-headed” critique.
Plan A still has a chance if the rumours of IH investing in Brillouin are correct, or if their other investments in LENR that we don’t have rumours about (but some speculation) pay off. The Rossi part of Plan A looks to be toast, though.
Yes. As to Brillouin, IH denies having any major investment there. They have plenty of money at the moment, if I’m correct. I suspect that there more recent work was a Rossi distraction and may not be as solid as some other possibilities. But I don’t know. I hope to visit them, perhaps this year. I am not counting on Brillouin for Plan A, and my intentions are still to promote basic research, so s to give the field a solid acceptance as a background, which should raise all boats. No longer can Plan A depend on secretive, paranoid inventors, unwilling to provide clear evidence. We don’t need more of that.
In my current task as moderator and occasional writer for R-G I’ve seen a lot of fervent belief in things that were simply non-working ideas dressed up with big claims. In one case I know we’ve managed to persuade a supporter that the measurements were wrong, and thus saved him money and time, but that was unusual. Most seem to prefer to believe that their version of Perpetual Motion is real and that the sceptics are paid to suppress such wondrous boons for mankind.
I’ve communicated at length with many skeptics. None of them were paid. A few — very few — may make money from writing books and speaking, but it’s limited. Pseudoskepticism is rather easily visible, it has characteristic marks, but genuine skepticism is also clear. As an example of someone who appears to be — or to have become — a genuine skeptic, there is the engineer who currently is using the name THHuxleynew. The man actually examines evidence and doesn’t rush to condemn, displaying personal certainty. The fact is that anyone genuinely interested in science must be a skeptic, and especially a skeptic of their own ideas and impressions, attempting to prove them wrong, not prove them right. That does not mean that a skeptic cannot present the positive side, but would always be open to considering possible errors or failures.
I sent you an email about my version of this miracle. The main thing about a claim, though, is whether the evidence hangs together or whether some of it negates the claims. One bit of negative evidence (for example it needs plugging into the wall to work) outweighs a lot of meter readings. I know how easy it is to fool a meter.
Indeed. A genuine skeptic, seeing something considered impossible, claimed by others, has two basic skeptical responses: ignore or investigate. “Believers” often imagine that a skeptic would have an obligation to investigate. If there is a “skeptical obligation” it is to avoid conclusions when they are not necessary, and, further, even if conclusions are necessary, to avoid substituting belief in impossibility for actual evidence. When the first U.S. DoE panel concluded that evidence was inadequate to support cold fusion, that was not the actual problem. It was inadequate at that time. The panel did *not* reject cold fusion, rather it considered it unproven. The process was flawed, to be sure, there was a rush to judgment, but, accepting the time assigned (a political decision), the conclusion was fair enough and quite correctly encouraged further research, merely not a major crash program!
Since the name “cold fusion” rightly belongs to muon-catalysed fusion, I prefer to use the term LENR. We know it’s nuclear because of Miles and the heat/Helium ratio. It’s low-energy relative to normal nuclear reactions, at least as far as we know from the number of eV put in, though it’s just about possible that there is a high-energy particle produced internal to the reaction that we haven’t detected. Experimentally it’s a real effect even if we don’t know why, but then superconductivity had the same status for a long time.
Yes, the Miles work, as confirmed, is direct evidence, not merely circumstantial. It is actually evidence of fusion, though not fully conclusive and it is often misstated. I argued for calling what is known “the conversion of deuterium to helium,” rather than “the fusion of two deuterons to form helium,” because the positive evidence does not distinguish mechanism, and “two deuterons” may not be the initial condition, and the immediate product might not be helium. However, in the end, the evidence is strong that the effect converts deuterium to helium, and just about nothing else happens at high levels, as far as we know. There must be some kind of radiation — unless the energy is released with phonons — but … it has not been clearly detected and measured. The conversion of low-Z nuclei or atoms to a higher-Z nucleus is called “fusion,” so that name is appropriate, and there is also a political element that involves accepting the term used to condemn, and being proud of it.
For Rossi and IH, there was an astronomical amount of money depending on the results. Not just the $10M or $89M that are talked about, but the profits that IH would make if it was real. It’s difficult to conceive that IH would sit on their hands and wait a year for the results from Rossi, and that they wouldn’t spy on the building to see who and what went in and out, or that they wouldn’t have ordered an IR survey.
Once they suspected “GPT,” definitely, and once Rossi refused entry to Murray, I agree. They might possibly have suspected a GPT trick early on, but assumed that, since they had not signed onto it, it couldn’t happen, legally, and, besides, maybe it would work, and they could send their engineer to check it out. At that early point, they might not have dreamed that Rossi would blatantly violate the Terms Sheet.
Even if they had no results from their copies of the reactors, and thus had little hope of Rossi producing heat, the remaining uncertainties should have forced them to gather as much data as they could without breaking the agreement. If the technology existed, they wanted it and were prepared to pay for it.
I assume so. It would be worth far more than a mere $100 million. Planet Rossi imagines that Rossi figured out that $100 million wasn’t enough…. However, something is actually only worth what others are willing to pay for it, anything else is fantasy, unless one can make it real, i.e,. creating a situation where there are buyers. IH, at the level of the Agreement, was the only buyer willing to take a risk, to accept Rossi’s conditions.
Axioms are the basis of thinking, and on which we raise a logical structure. In the case of a religion, attacking the axioms is a risky business since people inherently know that they are a matter of belief and cannot be proved in a scientific way. Peter is reacting that way when we question Rossi’s truthfulness, even though some lies are on record. You can’t question the measurements, since otherwise the whole edifice of LENR+ will come crashing down and it will be the end of the human race. As you point out, the trial will not be the end for Peter, since he’ll be saying the court got it wrong and Rossi was robbed. Robbed, I tell you!
From prior behavior, I’d predict that. My hope is that at some point Peter will wake up and recognize what he’s done. He certainly has plenty of signs. Multiple people that he used to trust have told him.
I need to be in the workshop, and not in front of the computer putting the world to rights. The previous few years of more time with the computer and (much) less in the shop were because of the needs of the time, and the analysis time did result in some insights that I’m now free to make into reality. For sure, you need some more authors but it’s really another full-time job if you want a good result, since there’s a lot of information to gather together and make sense of. The facility exists for people to have deeper conversations, but it takes time to do that as well as the wish to listen as well as talk.
It need not be a full-time commitment, nor anything burdensome. It’s an opportunity to have some fun without a heavy obligation. Unless, of course, one decides to be obligated. It’s a choice, and I prefer to keep my choices as open as possible, while at the same time, learning to say No — while avoiding the fantasied problems that I think would make it into something harmful. The real idea here is to have many participants. It’s about full-time for me at this point, but it is obvious that if this is to become what it could be, it’s going to take more people, and my training suggests turning projects over as soon as possible.
Consensus is a guide to truth, but where people have the same underlying background it may not correspond to reality.
Of course. But “consensus” means seeking “full consensus” as an ideal. Not merely majority rule. Majority rule is great for certain decision-making processes, but it can miss the power of insight that might be available only to a minority. How to balance this kind of power with efficiency is a trick that I’ve been working on for over thirty years. Let’s just say that I’m confident that it can be done, it’s possible.
We’re missing something in LENR because we’re not using the right theory of fundamental particles, maybe.
That is all about theory and we don’t know bleep about LENR theory. Okay, “bleep,” but not much more. The “rejection cascade” as a social consensus wasn’t a scientific consensus and obviously excluded experts and others. It was a mass phenomenon that included some experts. Ironically, Gary Taubes has written a great deal relating to information cascades and scientific consensus. I think Taubes will come around, but the information to create that turn must be presentable with high efficiency, and we are not quite there yet. We might be by later this year.
There are other things, for example http://physicsfromtheedge.blogspot.fr/ which seems crazy enough to be true and a much cleaner explanation than Dark Matter. The breakthrough on LENR may come from something like this, out of the left field and initially seeming unconnected.
I took a brief look. To assess this would take more time than I have. Bottom line, my stand is that people should be free to explore ideas that others might call pseudoscience. Science itself doesn’t reject pseudoscience; the strong rejection of “pseudoscience” is itself pseudoscientific, in general. There must always be, in science, a path that allows new discoveries and ideas, even as, routinely, most of those will be ignored; this is a benefit of having seven billion people on the planet. Key, then, is creating social structure that allows wild ideas to be vetted and to expand as appropriate, to gain the necessary consideration. How can this be done? That could be considered my major work, for decades.
On the other hand, if I have any criticism of Mallove, it would be that, with Infinite Energy, he opened the same door to many ideas that were far less grounded in experimental reality than cold fusion. This, then, supported the opinion of “the mainstream” that the whole thing was bogus, an effect of “diehard belief.” It was not politically sophisticated, my opinion. However, he did it, and that magazine has been and remains useful. I am concered, however, about poor research appearing in JCMNS, about a general lack of strong critique within the field. That keeps the field from maturing, it is as if it believes it must be protected against criticism.
The blue field phenomenon is not something I was aware of before, though I’ve seen odd moving structures in my vision since I was young. We can’t rely on our senses for being accurate, though, since the brain produces an analogue of reality that filters out black spots in the vision and interruptions from blinking to give a rendering of reality that isn’t quite correct. That’s a whole ‘nother discussion.
Studying the blue field phenomenon and other entoptic phenomena, I can see the “filter” operating. It is not actually a filter, rather it compensates for certain phenomena. Great example is the central scotoma. We normally don’t see it. But can it be seen? My answer, tentatively, is yes. I can see it as a dark region in vision under certain lighting conditions. When I first started to see it, it would pop up, when I’d first open my eyes under those conditions, and I could actually see it disappear in a fraction of a second, as if being dissolved from the outside. More recently, under some conditions, I can see it continuously. It is, under those conditions, highly active, there is intense movement in it. I’m still exploring that. (Strictly speaking, this is unlikely to be entoptic; rather it is an activity further back toward or in the optic lobes.)
I had seen the blue field phenomenon, before, but never identified it as entoptic, and that is because I had never carefully examined it and its conditions. It is visible because the sprites are moving, they defeat the compensation process, and that is probably why they appear as bright spots (i.e., what is being seen is the effect of the compensation when what is being compensated is missing). What is being compensated is a capillary filled with red blood cells. A white blood cell is too large to fit in the capillary unless it is extended, so what is seen are the extended white blood cells, which are transparent to blue light. Once these are seen, one may then see a dark area following them. That’s the piled-up red blood cells. At least this is the known explanation and it fits what I’m observing. The image in the Wikipedia article is a good example of what it looks like, though it’s incomplete.
There is more. I can see the dark blood vessels themselves, they appear under some conditions, in locations where the sprites can be seen following that path. What looks like a full map of the retinal blood circulation can be seen using a moving pinhole. It is astonishing to see it for the first time, because it is actually there all the time! When the pinhole stops moving it instantly disappears and only the surface junk is seen (i.e., floaters, little bubbles in tears, etc.) We normally compensate it out, and what is being compensated out is not small or faint, as we have imagined. However, to be sure, I see this far more strongly and clearly in my left eye. In my right eye, it’s quite different, but … I’m suspecting a nuclear cataract.
Now that I know to look for it, I can see the blood vessels — and my pulse — in the sky and in any fairly uniform illuminated field.
Now, the ontological significance: all we have as “knowledge of reality” is the sensory, everything else is constructed as a model, and we learn to “disappear” deviations from the model. The senses are not “unreliable,” what we see is what we see, what is not reliable is how we interpret it. There are people who claimed the sprites were “prana beings” in the air. They were actually seeing sprites, they were “real,” but not “real” out there, in the air and “the air” is imaginary, it’s a model we constructed as children as well as socially.
If I see a sprite, I see a sprite (they are unmistakeable, nothing else looks like them). But that does not, in itself, tell me what they are. It looks like they are “out there.” There is no binocular sighting of them, however, they are seen one eye at a time. I can see the sprites in both eyes (but many more in the left). To check my right eye, I closed the left, looking at the computer screen. I see a few sprites — quite few. When I close the right eye and open the left, what I see immediately, is the vasculature, the blood vessels. That quickly disappears, and then I see the sprites, many. And then sometimes, I can see a particular blood vessel, that some sprites have been following. There is far more activity in my vision than I’d noticed. The sprites I had occasionally seen, they seem familiar. Not the blood vessels! The larger blood vessels also appear as a bright after-image when I close my eyes after seeing them as dark, when they have “disappeared.”
There are still many mysterious behaviors.
Here is a simple experiment. Punch a pinhole in a piece of cardboard, I used thin cardboard from a food box. I’d been using a very fine hole punched with a hypodermic needle, but I just used a paper clip to make a larger hole. It produces a brighter effect. Look through the hole at some distance with an extensive bright light behind it. I have a flourescent light above my desk, so I look at it through the hole. I can also look at the sky outside. Bring the pinhole close to the eye. If I am not moving the pinhole, I may see floaters and “eye junk.” When I move the pinhole, it is as if a new world is seen, a world of a network of dark lines, and between the lines dark points. When the pinhole is moving, the regular image, the illuminated outside object, is relatively weak. Stopping the movement, immediately I see the other view, no dark lines, but then sprites are seen. Moving the pinhole, no sprites, just this surface that looks somewhat like parchment, but I suspect the tiny dark spots are nerve cells, which are in front of the rods and cones.
Welcome to Planet Lomax.
Now, children, here is an interesting page. Is this sarcastic? What do you think? Can the blue field phenomenon be seen when the color blue is absent? Do we need special wisdom to see if this is true or not? Does what is real depend on what we say about it? How does what we say affect what we see?