I was just recently observing discussion about latest announce of Blacklight power and about the credibility of Hydrino theory.... and I put Randell Mills in perspective with Huizenga, Lewis Larsen, me, skeptics, supporters, believers, entrepreneurs...
BLP, like the others pet-theories (even WL,Rossi), and the skeptics show a tragedy of "STORYTELLING".
By talking to skeptics, hearing believers, hearing old stories, observing my own evolution I start to understand the cause of that GENERAL FIASCO : Storytelling...
Contrary to the myth, human brain cannot manage really the evidence; like a bad cop, a bad CSI, a bad Coroner, human brain start by creating a story and arrange the evidence around that story (Track and Lock pathology as plane security diagnose it). Only when it is too hard (and nothing is too hard for intelligent people), does a human brain abandon his storytelling. At best it might jump on another storytelling, or get depressive .
When F&P make their show, they have a naive storytelling for Chemist.. they have solid calorimetry, and as chemist they were trusting more the experiments than the theories... so they have a cloudy physics theory, and a clear experimental storytelling...
This story was not acceptable by nuclear physicists, who asked for a story with a strong theory, and for them theory is proving experiments are wrongly done everyday.
So not trusting chemist more than cookers, they made a storytelling were cookers were crooks, and theory was right...
It worked very well : all dissenting experiments could be explained by this story, provided you did not read the data, nor used psychology... as Physicist are weak in psychiatry, incompetent in calorimetry, disdaining chemist, they accepted that Cold Fusion conspiracy theory, like tinfoil hat accept Alien Conspiracies, because it explain a world they cannot accept as-is.
The people who observed cold fusion and could not follow the tinfoil conspiracy of Huizenga mostly needed a story telling , so many of them invented a "once upon a time, far far away there was ..." pet-theory. Like Mallove they also added some storytelling with Oil conspiracies, Hot fusion conspiracies, to explain the observation that Nobel scientist were behaving like tinfoil-hat.
This story telling made them able to accept facts and directed their efforts. Randell Mills for me is among of the most visionary, thus the less rational. Lewis-Larsen is one of such too, and is good like Mills on public relation, because they have a story.
I was greatly disturbed for long time since 1993 because I could not find a story to match my experience and my observations...
today I have a story that I'm telling...
- F&P published good experiments on long time observed electrochemistry "big foot" anomalies, hidden in many drawers.... They made many mistake out of chemistry which killed their credibility.
- Physicists rejected their story, preferring their own story where the clown were chemist, and theory was right.
- 6 dishonest dogmatic non-powerful incompetent outspoken scientists were exploited by that community as the leader of opinion to tell the desired story : Lewis,Hansen,Morrison,Park,taubes,Huizenga. they needed no evidence, tried, but failed to give any, so repeated old lies and unfounded claims with a high voice.
- It convinced the planet because the story match the prejudice of many scientists, many journalists, and because chemist are not respected. It spread like a flu.
On my side the mainstream story did not convince me because of many absurd point in the story, that were not credible :
- Criticizing lack of reproducible, considering failures as evidence... absurd for someone knowing the story of semiconductors, and first order logic.
- Criticizing experience on the basics of theory, for someone knowing scientific history
- Applying free space physics inside a lattice, for someone aware of semiconductors and superconductors quantum physics.
I start to build good story when I fall on Groupthink model by Roland Benabou after the Subprime crisis I observed from few meters, after the Internet bubble I lived from inside...
And the story match the fact, the history of science since the beginning, the history of financial bubbles, the work of Benabou, Taleb, Kuhn, the history of microelectronics, hot and cold superconductors, radioactivity, medicine, even nanotechnology and aircraft invention.
Forget hot-fusion, or oil conspiracy... just storytelling, or Paradigm as Thomas Kuhn says...
Now if you want to convince someone, forget the arguments, we have too many evidences and arguments.
Make a nice storytelling of what your auditor practice everyday.
For me the theory of groupthink is everyday proven. QM in lattice, lack of reproducibility, paradigm change impediment, pathology of peer-review, are self-evident in history.
What are your knowledge in physics, in epistemology, history, psychology ? the storytelling that can convince you should be compatible with the stories you can understand... I'm afraid that given the weak historical and technical knowledge, and the respect given to scientists, most people need a conspiracy theory to accept cold fusion. Not me.