About fooling ourselves – and getting fooled

Ethan Siegel writes in his article [1] about how we cannot be experts in everything and how we are easily fooled by others and by ourselves.

As examples of fooled minds, bad science and scientific fraud Siegel uses for example Em-Drive and Cold Fusion.

“We like to think, as human beings, if we can only keep an open mind, that anything is possible. That if we put our minds to it, buckle down and do our research and apply ourselves 100%, we can not only understand what’s going on as well as any expert, but that we ourselves can make valuable contributions to whatever field we’re interested in. “… http://www.forbes.com/sites/startswithabang/2015/11/08/the-em-drive-nasas-impossible-engine-highlights-our-greatest-failing/

I don’t have much to add to what he says. I just wish people would understand, that while positive thinking may be important, it is equally important to practice skeptical thinking.

To avoid being fooled, if you care.

The reader comments of Siegel’s article highlight very clearly, that people actually often prefer fooling themselves, than thinking straight.


[1] The EM Drive, NASA’s ‘Impossible Engine,’ Highlights Our Greatest Failing

Cold fusion theories and the return of the nutty professor

There seem to have been a busy fall for cold fusion supporters. At least three new theories to explain LENR/Cold fusion have emerged, one from France and two from Sweden.

That is excellent, I think it is time for the cold fusion crowd to finally explain the phenomena they seem to think are actually happening.

An Air Bus employee, Jean-Francois Geneste, announced earlier this year, that he will have ‘major theoretical breakthrough’ in cold fusion in October [1]. He has now made his theory public and it is available here [2].

Well, I did read part of it. Sorry to say, but if this is his breakthrough, then with supporters like him, cold fusion does not need debunkers like me.

In Sweden, we have Carl-Oscar Gullström, who earlier published a paper about his cold fusion theory [3], that was praised by Dottore Rossi himself, has now published an other one [4].

I haven’t had time to read Gullströms new paper, but the first one was quite simple practice of WBK approximation and I don’t think it has any credibility in explaining the hypothesized LENR phenomena. I have to admit though, that my physics has long ago rusted, so I could always be wrong.

An other Swedish paper, by Rickard Lundin and Hans Lidgren, claims to explain LENR by Ponderomotive Forces [5]. The “breakhtrough” has been covered by Mats Lewan in his blog:

Untitled

Well, ponderomotive forces are nothing new and they should be well understood. Again, maybe I am wrong, but it looks like to me that this paper, which seems to be using classical electromagnetic theory only, is taking a shortcut to explaining a phenomenon, that is very controversial and cannot be reliably replicated.

Of course you are allowed to study anything, great things have been found by accident before. But what worries me, is that Lundin and Lidgren do explicitly mention the sleight of hand performed by Andrea Rossi in Lugano.

Sweden seems to have an abundance of cold fusion scientists (*). And it looks strange to me how they seem to think it is somehow necessary to device a theory; just to explain physically an Italian investment fraud.


[1] J.F. Geneste’s announcement on E-Nut World
http://www.e-catworld.com/2015/08/14/airbus-scientist-announces-theoretical-breakthrough-in-cold-fusion-to-be-revealed-in-october/

[2] J. F Geneste: LENR from experiment to theory

[3] Carl-Oscar Gullström: Low radiation fusion through bound neutron tunneling
http://www.scribd.com/doc/244393652/Low-radiation-fusion-through-bound-neutron-tunneling

[4] Carl-Oscar Gullström: Gamma Free Nuclear Transition Through De-exitation of Spin 0 Strong Force Exited States
http://www.scribd.com/doc/284527542/Gamma-Free-Nuclear-Transition-Through-De-excitation-of-Spin-0-Strong-Force-Excited-States

[5] Rickard Lundin and Hans Lidgren: Nuclear Spallation and Neutron Capture Induced by Ponderomotive Wave Forcing
IRF-Scientific-report-305

[6] Ponderomotive Force in Wikipedia
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ponderomotive_force

(*)
I was going to write “Nutty professors”, but didn’t dare to.

Miracles, investments and public humiliations

A miracle has supposedly happened.

A big British investment company seem to have put a substantial sum to Industrial Heat LLC [3]. You know, the same company that funded Andrea Rossi’s [1] cold fusion gadget last year.

You should always remember, that it ain’t over until the fat lady sings: the LENR is real!

Well, it has been one hell of a ride of the valkyries and the pathoskeptics defeat will be complete, especially now that Andrea Rossi has his research lab of non-existing materials up and running.

I am soon to face my public humiliation in the stocks.

Oh well, so is life. To mitigate the damage to my reputation and personal life, I better put all my savings to Woodford Management [2].

On the other hand, how does the old saying go: A fool and his money are soon parted.


[1] Pathoskeptic on Andrea Rossi
https://pathoskeptic.com/?s=andrea+rossi&submit=Search

[2] https://woodfordfunds.com/how-to-invest/

[3] http://www.fusenet.eu/node/991

Banned again

Recently, I have been trolling on LENR Forum [1]. Don’t know why, but these guys drive me crazy. Probably it is all that “not even wrong” stuff the site is all about.

But I gotta give them credit for resilience: I had to turn real nasty until got banned.

First, they started to delete my messages without any apparent reason,  greetings to David Nygren and Barty. Other posts, more evil in tone, where allowed to stay, and that is what I hate the most in forum moderation.

The moderation incoherence made me still nastier, and finally they threw me out.

Now I get a funny message:

Untitled-1

It seems, I have insulted them. Shame on me.

http://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/index.php/Thread/1850-Pathoskeptic-banned-for-one-month/?postID=6295#post6295

Serves me well. My time is better used elsewhere. And my Big Oil check is late again, so why bother.

Meanwhile, LENR zombification is spreading. New victims in Iceland [2].

But this time LENR seems to cause radiation [3]. Now, this is a totally new breed of LENR, in sharp contrast with Andrea Rossi’s fairytale gadget, that is supposed to produce no radiation what so ever (which I actually do believe).

Scientist Sveinn Ólafsson. Photo: Árni Sæberg

Scientist Sveinn Ólafsson. Photo: Árni Sæberg

Of course, this guy seem to be more credible than Rossi, but I still call bullshit on this one. As a pathological skeptic, that is my duty.

What next?


[1] Forum of the LENR zombies:
http://www.lenr-forum.com/forum/

[2] Icelandic scientist may have found solution to global energy crisis
http://icelandmonitor.mbl.is/news/news/2015/07/17/icelandic_scientist_may_have_found_solution_to_glob/

[3] Spontaneous ejection of high-energy particles from ultra-dense deuterium D(0)
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0360319915016018

Excess heat

Very many LENR acolytes have a need to tell, that they “believe” in LENR/cold fusion [1]. This is weird to me, because actual reality exists without believing. We believe in god, in fairies, in pink invisible unicorn.

acolytes-1

And some believe in LENR, the “new light”, as they call it. Somehow It seems to me that LENR requires believing, in order to exist at all.

But actual technologies do not require believing, if they are real. They just work or they don’t.

Biggest Norwegian newspaper, Aftenposten, wrote recently about our favorite topic; the wonderful e-cat of dottore Andrea Rossi. Though the article expresses some skepticism, it has the same naive viewpoint as most similar articles: it assumes LENR fairytale may be true and then  goes on to speculating with it’s world saving potential [2].

LENR resembles e.g. paranormal phenomena: there is only anecdotal evidence.

And sadly, small pieces of crap do not add into convincing evidence; they only add to a bit larger pile of bullshit.

And the bigger the pile of bullshit, the more “excess heat” can you expect.

spock


[1] http://www.sifferkoll.se/sifferkoll/?p=746

[2] http://www.aftenposten.no/fakta/innsikt/Er-kald-fusjon-losningen-pa-klimakrisen-8056195.html

Senile science

For some weird reason, cold fusion won’t die away. Nor are we yet seeing revolutionary LENR reactors, which were supposed to change the world as we know it.

Go figure.

To accompany A.G. Parkhomov [3] and some others, we now have a successfull Andrea Rossi “replicator” from China, retired professor Songsheng Jiang, we hear. We are told also, that he works for Chinese Institute of Atomic Energy.

Do you think, that if he actually worked for Chinese government focusing on revolutionary technology, he would contact a LENR blogger Franck Acland with his findings. Really? [1]

I know I am turning nasty, but this is how fraud and stupidity combined makes me feel. I am a little bit worried though, if I have a mental problem. Why would I otherwise be concerned of these fraudsters and ignoramuses?

Oh well.

Magic Man, Andrea Rossi have published a picture, where he listens the hummmm..m.. of his reactor. That is hilarious. I wonder why they call these things “reactors”, anybody? In a reactor, you would expect something to happen, opposite to what is happening inside these LENR devices.

rossi

I wonder, looking at this picture, if Rossi is actually insane rather that just a fraudster.

Actually, I have no idea if some mysterious effect they call LENR exists. I would say no, if anybody asks.

But nevertheless, cold fusion/LENR seems the be the science of confused old men. Followed by blind mice [2]. Not to forget the ones who try to take advantage of the confusion.


[1] E-Cat World Nonsense
http://www.e-catworld.com/2015/05/30/new-result-of-anomalous-heat-production-in-hydrogen-loaded-metals-at-high-temperature-new-report-by-songsheng-jiang-of-the-china-institute-of-atomic-energy-ciae/

[2] Blind mice on facebook
https://www.facebook.com/MartinFleischmannMemorialProject

[3] A.G. Parkhomov, in addition to being a LENR ” scientist”, have previously known to have attempted to communicate telepathically with fish