Reading LENR Forum, categories of participants become apparent. As could be expected, categorization may vary with the experience and understanding or belief of the categorizer. Some of this is really and routinely obvious, though. This is explicitly my categorization, what occurs to me, and objections may be made to these in comments below.
Generally, a Planet Rossi trait is objection to the identification as “Planet Rossi.” However, “Planet Rossi” is a term invented by Dewey Weaver to describe a category of people who have taken what Rossi Says as fact, and who, as well, commonly attack whatever Rossi has attacked or might make him look bad, and argue against what others consider fact, sometimes very strongly established, as if it were preposterous. Merely thinking that “Rossi has something” doesn’t necessarily create the mantle of Planet Rossi.
Human beings vary, and the use of categories does not imply otherwise. Those who are identified as being in a category may only be so in some ways — and this could even be a simple error. But if we cannot talk about what we see, we will be hampered. Nobody is “wrong” because they are identified as “Planet Rossi.” This is not an ad hominem argument, in itself, because it is not an argument, it is an impression, an occurring.
IH Fanboy (Anonymous)
See our page studying IH Fanboy.
Ele (Anonymous) (possible Rossi sock)
Peter Gluck (retired chemical engineer, blogger)
Rionrlty (retired real estate broker)
Formerly MrSelfSustain, identity as Planet Rossi not necessarily fixed.
In this category I will include those who may support LENR research, but who apparently take a “scientific-skeptical” approach, overall. I hope this is my personal position, actually. I hopefully base whatever might be called “belief” in cold fusion on specific evidence. That is rebuttable.
THHuxleynew (Anonymous, though known)
Pseudoskeptics (may be sincere, but fixed in belief and position)
Mary Yugo (Anonymous)
(… though known to be a physician. The profile says “Female.” That is deceptive.)
kirkshanahan (Kirk Shanahan) chemist, published critic of LENR
Henry (Anonymous) also Troll
Anyone who uses the cover of Park’s Voodoo Science as his Avatar in a forum dedicated to LENR is trolling (in the classic sense).
Believers (in LENR, not in Rossi)
This category is to emphasize a balance toward belief rather than skepticism. These people may be skeptical about this or that, and the belief may be based on knowledge, but they may express personal conclusions as fact. (This category may blend into Skeptics.)
Jed Rothwell librarian, lenr-canr.org
Eric Walker LF moderator ?
Alan Smith LF moderator
AlainCo (Alain Coetmeur), LF administrator
This is a nearly useless category because it has only one member. The term was invented, as I recall, by Peter Gluck as a reaction to “Planet Rossi,” but there is nobody who treats Industrial Heat claims with the high level of deference that is seen routinely on Planet Rossi, beyond arguably the following, who is actually an investor in and contracted consultant to Industrial Heat, responsible for outreach to scientists. Not legally, but practically for those on lenr-forum, he is Industrial Heat, the only insider who is open to discussion.
Dewey Weaver formerly nckhawk
I’m using this name because it is short and expresses the effect these users may have on others. Some of these are Aspies, who may be very intelligent and knowledgeable in some ways, but may be socially disabled in some ways.
Sifferkoll (Torkel Nyberg) (inactive)
Paradigmatic, actually Aspie (wrote a book about it), and highly abrasive, manic in the sense of creating fantastic conspiracies from very thin evidence. Also Planet Rossi.
Wyttenbach PhD in mathematics.
Axil (Anonymous) long-term participant in many fora
[This has been challenged in comments below.]
I’m starting this post, which I intend to update extensively, especially as users appear prominently in discussions on lenr-forum or elsewhere. Many claims are being made about personalities that sometimes don’t match the observable histories. People matter. Some people are reliable, some are not. Some carefully check what they write, and correct errors if found, some do not.
21 thoughts on “Who’s on first?”
Having read the article on IHFB now, I should add to the definition of a troll as someone who jumps on a small error in an otherwise-correct general statement and then worries it to death to gain a “win” on that point while ignoring the general point/information.
Legal points in patents require a lot of specialised knowledge that a juror pulled from the street would have no hope in understanding. I’d thus expect such legal challenges to validity of a patent to be undertaken by specialists, with a jury being required maybe when it comes down to producing an equitable solution or punishment. I’d thus have expected that Jed would have been right overall, even though taking the words at face value was obviously an error.
We need to confront the issue of possible IH lying about their results, even though I do not personally see the likelihood of that. As far as I am aware, IH built the Rossi reactors used for Lugano and Doral, and had full access to Rossi’s patent and his expertise in doing that and in producing the fuel for them. They did not stop at just making for Rossi, but also produced the same for themselves and ran them to Rossi’s specifications, and say that none produced excess heat significantly above experimental error. Please correct me if this impression is wrong. They thus had a lot of advantages over the PHOSITA who works only from the patent itself, and yet saw no reliable and repeatable operation as claimed in the patent after trying for a year with numerous (not specified as to how many) experiments.
What would be their reason for lying about the results? If they had a success then they stand to gain an enormous amount of money selling the devices (or more likely licensing them for others to make), and the odd $100M would be chickenfeed in relation to their profits in the first year or so. They’d make a lot more money by paying Rossi and going into production earlier, even if what Rossi told them was wrong in some detail and they’d found the error and corrected it themselves. Claiming that Rossi’s system did not work at all in this case would be shooting themselves in both feet, and I see Tom Darden as too intelligent and pragmatic to do that. You don’t get to be a rich and successful businessperson by being unaware of where the profit lies.
My opinion, therefore, is that IH are telling the truth about their failures to get Rossi’s technology to work as specified, even though others trying to attempt a Rossi replication without Rossi’s help (me356) may possibly have done so. Since IH have shown they are willing to bet a large amount of time and money in the hope of a much-larger payoff, I wonder if they’ll trace me356 and see exactly what his process is? It can’t be any worse than Rossi, after all.
IHFB uses the possible error as, then, an example of Rothwell unreliability. I have advised Jed to be careful about extreme assertions, but Jed is his own person and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My guess here is that Jed was not completely informed, his sources may have been talking about validity suits, not damage suits (which must have a jury if either party wants it.) IHFB was only thinking about damage suits. What is visible, however, is how IHFB then used what he saw as an advantage to full effect. Yes. Trolling.
I agree about the probabilities and IH. That they are lying about their inability to confirm is quite unlikely. If they had been able to confirm a genuine commercial-level effect, independently, they could have raised billion of dollars to bring it to market. If they were lying, hope to avoid paying the $89 million, planning to then covertly introduce it, this would be extraordinarily likely to fail, suspicion would be obvious. That is somewhat of an argument for them to avoid NiH entirely, though not necessarily a controlling one. Trying to suppress LENR to avoid losses in, say, solar power investments (the Sifferkoll theory, also probably following Rossi technology-suppression paranoia), would be penny-foolish in additional to pound-foolish. Giving up trillions to protect billions, Bad Idea.
Abd – I regard trolls as people who seem to be in the conversation purely for the opportunity to insult people and have an argument. (Is this the 10-minute argument or the full half-hour?) There’s not often much information there except disagreement for the sake of it. For this reason I don’t see Axil as a troll, since though he often says he’s right he doesn’t insult others for disagreeing. I haven’t currently got a better name for this category, though. Maybe Dreamer (as in Dreamer Fithp)?
THH – I put Ele firmly in the troll category, but it was TheDebateIsUseless (TDIU) who I was somehat agreeing with. For Rossi, I was not intending to infer that the “excess heat” he had seen was necessarily unexplainable by normal physics and thus LENR, but that he possibly thought it was and thus kept on truckin’. Your alternate explanations are just as likely, and I really can’t tell. The reason for my choice of explanation is that I try to put myself in that situation and see what I’d do. This may of course be totally unjustified, in that Rossi may have an illogical approach. The normal situation with a scammer is that they fade into obscurity after the blaze of initial publicity, since they can’t actually deliver the goods, but there have also been examples (see John Worrell Keely) where the scam was kept going for life and some people still think he really had a technology rather than a hidden power source. I’m thus not arguing strongly for my explanation. If however Rossi had seen things he couldn’t explain except by LENR (even if he was mistaken), it would explain the delaying tactics. With a bit more time he might find that Wabbit. I think that Rossi thinks he can find it, but I also think he’s wrong on that because he doesn’t measure things correctly or maybe know enough. Some weird things happen outside normal conditions – see recalescence, which was seen long before it was understood. Since Rossi started by extending Piantelli’s methods, and probably had a lot of individual experiments with relatively large quantities of material, it seems possible that at some point he may have had a real result. Then again, it may all be smoke and mirrors.
For Shanahan’s Calibration Constant Shift (CCS) I simply don’t know whether he is right. I haven’t the experience to say. Still, I don’t expect that either Fleischmann or McKubre would have made this sort of mistake and from what I’ve seen of the arrangements I can’t see it happening. It did however happen with Celani, where the Hydrogen had better heat conductivity than the Helium and thus shifted the calibration. Kirk thus has a point that needs to be addressed, but he’s maybe trying to apply it where it is not apt. I can’t see it applying to Miles heat/Helium correlation, and so Pd/D LENR remains confirmed as real, whereas Kirk is AFAIK applying it to all experiments and thus saying there is no LENR that is confirmed.
Conversation here is useful in that lapses in explanations are pointed out. I can thus improve my explanation or change my opinion based on a re-think of what I’m basing my opinions on. As you know, I’m working on other alternate energy ideas at the moment that are generally regarded as crackpot, and I’ve found that underlying beliefs are hard to counter with logic even for people whose logic is normally good. Because of this, I can also see why some people are rejecting the idea of LENR being possible in theory since they “know” what the Standard Model allows and disallows, and LENR is thus disallowed and must be all down to bad measurements and wishful thinking.
I regard theory as a useful guide to what will happen in the circumstances we’ve tested, and also useful in predicting what will happen when we exceed those conditions that have been tested. Sometimes, however, we find that when we go outside the tested conditions there’s something happens that is against the theory, and we need to change the theory. We have a good theory for nuclear reactions that tells us what will happen in plasma, and mostly what will happen for fission and nuclear decay. There are however unexplained variations in Beta decay rate, correlated to the seasons, that imply we don’t have a full picture yet. Those rules don’t necessarily apply inside a lattice, though, where we have multi-body interactions rather than just two-body (and rarely 3-body) interactions, and so there’s no good reason to insist that they do and that LENR is thus impossible. Faith in the theory is not justified, and rejecting experimental evidence is a bit silly. Questioning it and seeing if there’s an error in the experiment is fine, but insisting that the experiment must be wrong, because theory says it can’t happen, is not a good strategy.
This may sound crazy but if I where Rossi and had what he
he says he has I would get
Mary Yugo involved and show
him the Quark X.
With M.Y. Old style take no B.S
from anyone,his education and contacts he likely has he
would get things back on track.
Jed if you read this sorry I spelled your name wrong on
my last comment.
I created a page studying IH Fanboy’s recent argument with Jed Rothwell, over jury trials in patent cases, at http://coldfusioncommunity.net/ih-fanboy/ , and linked this from this whoson page.
And to try to give the reasons for my judgement above without yet fully understanding the matter myself. I’ve observed a number of arguments Kirk vs Jed or Kirk white paper vs Marwan rebuttal. Kirk responds to critiques more directly, and more usually with cogent argument, than those who critique Kirk do. That influences my perception of things, because for me direct response to critiques shows a better argument than when critiques are ignored and some indirect answer made instead.
I do at some point intend to get to the bottom of this. I’d have a more favourable view of the LENR community over this matter if I saw from them the type of analysis that I guess I will have to do myself.
I have analyzed Kirk in many places, in substantial detail. Few do that. An independent analysis would be great!
PS – otherwise I’d mostly agree with Abd. I would not put KirkShanahan in the PS category because I’ve followed carefully his arguments for CCS and the counter-arguments. I agree that Kirk tends to dismiss criticism of CCS, and suppose it has almost no limits, when the limits are interesting. However he has not been much tested because the arguments against CCS that I’ve heard or read are either obviously wrong, or unproven, when with greater care ifbthey were true they could be proven. This makes CCS from my point look like a plausible hypothesis, not necessarily for all excess heat eletrolysis experiments, but for many of them.
That is only a preliminary judgement because I have not gone into the details. But nor have the people who claim to have shown kirk’s arguments obviously wrong. So I don’t think Kirk is tested for his PS/S status re LENR. He is reacting to PS-style argument against CCS with Believer-style (in parts) and skeptic-style (in other parts) argument. And the extent to which he seems a Believer wrt CCS is partly excused by the poor quality critiques he gets from the LENR community – they would annoy the hell out of me.
Remember, THH, this is stated as my occurring. I have been discussing LENR with Kirk Shanahan since 2009. I have gone over these issues with him many times. I have attempted to understand CCS and have attempted to explain it to others. Yes, he is often misunderstood. My intention is that we actually examine the science here. There is no question but that Kirk uses “skeptic-style arguments,” but he is also heavily attached to the story that he’s right and nobody from the “CFer” side — that language is pseudoskeptical in itself — has understood him. Hmmphh! What am I, chopped liver? Kirk seizes on any errors and misunderstandings of his work, but who communicated it such that those errors might be likely?
Remember, this post is not about some binding conclusion. And “pseudoskeptic” does not mean “wrong.” You are free and will remain free to advocate for Kirk’s ideas or to seek neutral consideration. I have often pointed out that Kirk is the last standing published skeptic (i.e., published under peer review). I also walked up to Steve Jones at ICCF-18 and congratulated him for having critiqued Miles. Even though I think his critique totally missed the point (in much the same way as Shanahan).
Well, in that case Abd, you may be able to fill in the missing pieces to allow me to understand this. I’m not going to open a science conversation on this thread, but I’ll happily do it elsewhere here or on LF with the proviso that it will require me to have enough spare time, maybe in one week that will be so.
I intend to write a page that refers to and organizes or annotates prior discussions, so that we don’t re-invent the wheel, which may already have been invented a dozen times. What you have been seeing, THH, is the product of perhaps twenty years of interaction with Shanahan. (I only became involved with him in 2009.) People stop responding. Shanahan became unable to get his critiques published, which is ironic, don’t you think? The pseudoskeptics argue that no sane scientist would even give the time of day to cold fusion, to explain the lack of critique of cold fusion articles in mainstream journals. Shanahan’s Letter to JEM, I suspect, was published because it was the best response they got, and the editors wanted to CYA themselves. The only response to Storms in Naturwissenschaften was Krivit, pushing his own favorite theory. I’m pretty sure that if a good mainstream response had been presented to NW, they’d have published it. No responses to the 2015 Current Science Special Section yet. Responses can be written on Wikiversity to any of those 34 papers, easily. No takers.
I’d agree with others about Axil, he is not a troll. But, Abd has a point. Axil reads papers and constructs English paragraphs of scientific terms that make sense, as English, and correspond superficially to things said in papers. But he has no sense of the maths and quantitative science behind this stuff so is very divorced from reality. Such isolation can in theory be creative, but in science things are so strongly structured and constrained that this is highly unlikely. I find the assurance with which Axil proposes things that don’t make scientific sense but are superficially (qualitatively) difficult to contradict intensely annoying, but I leave him alone because my feelings in this matter are not the issue here. Occasionally he talks numbers and then I can fact check his stuff and invariably (so far, on a small sample because he hardly ever talks numbers) show it incorrect.
I’d agree with [Ele] there, in that I think Rossi must have seen some unexplained excess heat (meltdowns, explosions) in order to keep going (and stringing people along with delaying tactics) until he’d found out how to repeat them. The failures in the lead-up to the Ferrara test may have been real, but also may still have been mismeasurements because Rossi didn’t understand what he was measuring.
I can’t agree with Simon here. Rossi could easily keep going without unexplained excess heat. There are two ways this can happen, both plausible, and we don’t need to decide which or even suppose they are exclusive:
(1) He is deliberately making money and gaining adulation from a career making devices that he knows require trickery to work.
(2) He deceives himself that because his devices (with tricks) appear to work, they do in fact work. This is a definite departure from sanity.
Both of these fit Rossi’s actions and statements, as seen from the outside, and neither would require partially working devices. Indeed even a sane and competent and honest researcher would require care to know whether a device was actually partially working when tested in the flaky ways that Rossi uses. Rossi is documented not competent, documented not honest. This analysis does not preclude the possibility that Rossi’s devices work, but I see no evidence for this from Rossi’s sum total of actions.
THH and Abd,
Of course Axil diverges sometimes (ok often) but he brings something to the table.
(Abd do you not think I have had out of band communication wondering why you were banned without some TOS? I specifically ask them to post it. The ban is wrong, they need to get their collective shaite together and get with how open communication works. I am a major pain the the tookus) How much more can I say? As you can guess I do not mumble well.
THH- to me alone (I am saying this to you directly)… you have an obligation (based on your background) to help others and to educate them. This is a compliment.
I have directly benefited from Adb, TTH and Simon and aXil. I have been able to discern what is important. Not to argue the small shiate. I understand that Abd and TTH need to continue on the Rossi saga. This is not related to my quest to educate people. It is an obligation, if you are willing. We need to start looking at other venues. What a waste of time it is to prove Rossi wrong, after it has been proven… I can understand the point though. So carry on. You are all good folks, please help others.
/adb=absolute debugger. 🙂
I was curious if it is possible
for I.H. have someone like
Jed Rotheell to testify in
Court on there behalf.
Or say someone like Mats
Lewan on Rossi behalf.
I’d agree to that deal all day long. I’d like to ask Mats who actually wrote the Aug 7, 2012 “Hotcat” report that was signed by Penon but claimed by Mats to have been written by someone else after his Sept 2012 interview of Penon.
[date correction per request — Abd]
I think you got that date wrong, let me know the correct date and I’ll clean it up. I would think more of asking him about the Hydro Fusion test. For myself, I’d love to know what happened in the Dominican Republic with Penon! I was fascinated to read, in the hearing transcript recently released, that Rossi was also trying to subpoena Penon and couldn’t find him. And then DE 88 is a duplicate, clerk error? A waste of $6. Grrrr….
Abd – got the date way wrong – with apologies. I was referencing the Aug 7, 2012 report
that Penon purportedly wrote on a repeat of an earlier Hotcat test. Mats later claimed in an interview from Sept 2012 that Penon signed a report mostly written by someone else.
This might be a pattern and more information from Mats on why he said what he said about those two would be helpful in understanding how Rossi and Penon actually work together.
They would have to show relevance. They could certainly depose anyone. I have no idea, though, what testimony Rothwell would have that would be sufficiently relevant. Mats Lewan would probably be useless to Rossi. Mats does know about one thing that could conceivably be relevant, the Hydro Fusion test; he was there and this is brought up. These details, though, are not central.
I’d agree with Rigel that Axil is not a troll. He’s always finding new ways that LENR may work, and the latest one each time is the way that is bound to work this time. He obviously spends a lot of time reading scientific papers, and points to them as justification for his explanation, which can be very useful sometimes though not often in relation to LENR. Where we haven’t any decent explanation of why it works, someone who chucks wild ideas into the air is useful and may find a key point that no-one has considered before. Axil’s main “problem” is that he believes What Rossi Says and generates ideas based on the assumption he’s being told the truth. Give him reliable data and he might squirrel out something really useful.
I’d have put Ele in the troll category, though. TDIU seems to me to be not Planet Rossi but more Believer who thinks that some of what Rossi Says has a basis in truth. I’d agree with him there, in that I think Rossi must have seen some unexplained excess heat (meltdowns, explosions) in order to keep going (and stringing people along with delaying tactics) until he’d found out how to repeat them. The failures in the lead-up to the Ferrara test may have been real, but also may still have been mismeasurements because Rossi didn’t understand what he was measuring.
The big problem with Rossi is that we can’t believe anything he says, or any data he produces. Whether he has had any real successes is indeterminate until *someone else* we can trust replicates it, and even then we can’t be sure that that would be a true replication or just a lucky guess as to the right method that Rossi did not in fact use. If that replication is done open-source (like MFMP) then of course Rossi could also claim that that was what he was doing all along, and hope that his patent survives for the sake of all those children with cancer.
Some facts are emerging from the court case, but I see those as pretty bad for Rossi. Scientifically there’s no case – the Doral test did not produce the claimed heat. The data appears to be fabricated since it does not match what we could expect for a long-term series of measurements in an uncontrolled environment, and of course there’s no evidence-trail for 1MW of heat exiting the locked room. I expect the court-case to be inconclusive on the science, though, and to pivot on the lack of performance to the contract. Rossi was meant to tell IH how to make a working E-Cat, and he didn’t. Whether that E-Cat sometimes worked or not is a whole ‘nother question that the court won’t be addressing.
Thanks, Simon. You wrote:
Because the general meaning of “troll” is not adequate to define people like Wyttenbach and Axil, I did define it for this usage. It may be that there is a better word for the usage. Any suggestions?
Consider: people with very high expertise and believing that the reported FP effect is or could be real, have long attempted to develop theory, this includes Nobel Prize winners, etc. They have failed. No theory is adequate, probably the closest is Takahashi theory, which remains highly speculative. Yet Axil presents his ideas as if obvious, standing on very thin evidence, taking unconfirmed results as if solid. This then provokes extensive useless discussion, often. Provoking useless discussion, ungrounded, that resembles trolling. In addition, he is anonymous, meaning that he is not willing to stake his real-life reputation on what he writes.
It was not my purpose here to thumb-tack these categories to anyone’s forehead. As I pointed out with “Planet Rossi,” nobody is wrong or to be banned on the basis of being tagged. Rather, I’m doing what humans do: categorize, link together observed patterns through language. This can be a source of error or of understanding, it depends on how it is used.
All these people are potentially members of the cold fusion community if they say they are. The pseudoskeptics may deny it, and so may exclude themselves.
Rossi has the right to defend himself, but not the right to do so through socks, which is deceptive (per the original meaning of “sock puppet.”)
I have not attempted to document and prove the classifications. They are subjective, though I could think of examples. In some cases, pages may be created to examine the behavior of specific users.
Process matters to human society. The subject here is not merely “science,” but also “society.” Cold fusion is still somewhat “in the cold” because of sociological factors, the collective behavior of human beings. The pretense that it is purely a scientific matter is one factor that has kept cold fusion under suppression. A far more sophisticated approach is necessary to break the rejection cascade and transform mainstream opinion into real science.
Axil is not a troll. I do not know else how to phrase this. Neither you or I can judge this subjectively. He does not have sockpuppets- other than he would bolster and enforce his own ideas. If you read him carefully he does not dispel someone that disagrees with him so easily. I wish I had the conviction sometimes that he has. To grow this CFC, we need people that put themselves out there.
Disagree with him if you want to but to be credible do not waste time calling him a troll. Reserve the word for some person that has multiple ids, and I am pretty sure you know who has multiple ids. Sorry I did not mean to be blunt.