Posts by interested observer

    Fair enough. If he got rid of the word "maybe" in this one selection, would that make the poll more legitimate to you?



    "Never! Maybe he had some small results initially, but what what he has been claiming in the last few years is essentially fraudulent."

    No, that would be even worse. The poll is supposed to ask for people’s view of Rossi. None of the options allow for the opinion that he has never had any legitimate results and no maybes about it. You may think otherwise and therefore that option is reasonable for you. However, if Mats really wants to sample all opinions, he needs an option that Rossi is and always has been a fraud. There are plenty of people who hold that view and this poll ignores them.

    “I read Mats selections again, and they cover all the options fairly well.“


    For you, perhaps. But there are many of us who would not say that Rossi may have had something legitimate at one point or another. As far as I am concerned, his big splash in 2011 was obviously a fraud and things went south from there. So if Mats actually wants to gauge the opinions of people, he needs an option that categorically states that Rossi never had anything real. I know that former believers can’t face saying that since it is embarrassing but if the shoe fits...

    If we are going to start pointing out logical fallacies, the fact that there are things that were widely thought to be false that ended up being true provides absolutely zero support for whether something else is true. In other words, it is really tiresome reading about the Wright Brothers in discussions of cold fusion.

    Your redefinition seems reasonable. I’m still not convinced that the people you discuss above should be branded as pathological skeptics, which in my thinking has a fairly specific meaning. But without a doubt the behavior you describe is quite pathological.

    @Jed: "There are a small number of pathological skeptics. They are people who have read the literature. Or at least, they have been told the literature exists, and invited to read it. This, they refuse to do. Or, they read it but they come up with an endless stream of preposterous reasons to ignore or dismiss the claims."


    In the Google thread (#156) you said that there were thousands of pathological skeptics with regard to cold fusion. That doesn't strike me a small number at all. But if your screening criterion is that if a person is told that the literature exists but hasn't read it, they are a pathological skeptic, then there are indeed oodles of them. As you say, most of us glean whatever it is we know and think we know about scientific topics from top-level media sources. There is little choice in the matter unless one has infinite amounts of time and infinite amounts of curiosity. Unfortunately, a substantial amount of what is written about every technical topic is at best not really correct and, quite often, dead wrong. Hard to know how to get out of that trap. Then again, the situation is not exactly limited to science these days.


    This brings back the topic I raised in the Convince a Skeptic thread: why should a skeptic care? Given that the background signal about cold fusion is rather negative, why should a skeptic burrow deeply enough into the subject to possibly change his opinion? The fact that there exists a body of literature is not really a compelling argument. There exists a body of literature on practically any topic you can name and the uninformed skeptic is hardly in a position to judge the quality or validity of such literature. It's a problem alright. But while it is convenient to label anybody who rubs you the wrong way as a pathological skeptic, marginalizing people who don't have sympathetic views in this way does not change the landscape in any useful way.

    I think the term pathological skepticism is frequently misused in these parts to the extent that it has very little meaning. Most LENR believers (I don't like that term but I don't know of a good replacement) seem to think that anyone who is not convinced that LENR is a proven phenomenon is a pathological skeptic. I can't help but notice that quite a few of these people do not accept that anthropogenic climate change is real. By my standards, that position is far more akin to pathological skepticism than not being convinced about LENR.


    Language is dynamic and the meanings of terms can change over time and not always for the better. The term pathological skepticism is aptly applied to Holocaust deniers, flat earthers, and moon landing deniers. Using it for not being convinced about LENR makes the term nearly meaningless. Of course, many of you will deny that vigorously and we can argue whether that in itself is pathological :)

    What percentage of "the LENR community" are actual researchers, practitioners, or others with an active involvement in the field? People like Shane talk about what "we" are doing in LENR as though they were in the thick of the effort. Off the top of my head, I can't think of another topic of scientific research that has a fan club that dominates the visible presence of the field. Perhaps this is what the Google-backed research team is struggling to cope with as they become visible. Pretty much uncharted territory.

    It seems to me that the more pertinent question is not how to convince a skeptic that CF/LENR is real but rather persuading them why they should care. That is not a nonsensical concept. The field has been around for 30 years and has involved hundreds of researchers around the world and thousands of experiments. Despite this fact, it remains a nearly subterranean topic of science, scorned by some and ignored by most. This state of affairs is widely attributed to suppression, career destruction of people pursuing the topic, lack of funds, dying researchers, and so on. Perhaps these explanations are entirely correct and comprehensive. But, as people are fond of saying these days, it is what it is.


    So the question skeptics who have no axe to grind still have to ask is: what reason is there to expect that this situation will change? According to Jed and others, we have all the verification of the phenomenon that one could reasonably demand and yet the status of the field is largely unchanged. What will be the state of affairs in this field five years from now? If it is materially different from where it is today, what is going to make that happen? What are we all waiting for? Heading back to the topic of this thread, I strongly doubt that changing the viewpoint of people like THH or SOT will make the slightest difference.

    What exactly does convincing a skeptic entail? What would like a skeptic to hold to be true? For that matter, Shane, what is it that you beiieve? (By that I mean something more detailed and specific than “LENR is real”, which is sufficiently vague to include all sorts of things and exclude others.)

    What exactly does convincing a skeptic entail? What would like a skeptic to hold to be true? For that matter, Shane, what is it that you beiieve? (By that I mean something more detailed and specific than “LENR is real”, which is sufficiently vague to include all sorts of things and exclude others.)

    Well, you seem to know quite a bit. You visited IH. So they have a physical location. So are they an actual operating company or just an investment source? This is what has remained murky to date. Or perhaps, like pretty much everything in the whole Rossi saga, it must remain a dark secret.

    Actually, Jed, I think we mostly look at this the same way. The only factual information I have seen about IH is that they are incorporated, have officers who are also principals in Cherokee Investments, raised a bunch of capital much of which they handed over to Rossi, and the only address associated with them is the offices of the investment fund. As far as I am aware, everything else claimed about them is unsubstantiated hearsay. I commented because people here hold all sorts of beliefs about IH with regard to their activities and capabilities and I was wondering if any of them had any basis in fact.

    Unless you have inside information, you have no verifiable facts. So you should stop speculating and stop making assertions about them. You should say "I don't know" and leave at that.


    I do not understand why people feel a need to discuss things they know nothing about.

    My post did not make a single assertion about IH nor did it speculate about them. What in the world are you talking about?


    I brought up something I know nothing about strictly for the purpose of trying to learn something about it.

    And so I asked for information based only on verifiable facts without speculation or assertions. Since IH is a major topic of discussion here, I am curious to know something about them stripped of all the speculative and unverified assertions that run rampant here.


    So, what is your problem with that?

    Evidently your experience was different from this car magazine journalist's. Perhaps I read the article some time ago, and things have improved. Or perhaps he deliberately selected long distance routes to places off the beaten path. Anyway, I defer to your real-world experience.

    The key thing about real-world experience with the cars is that it encompasses multiple events over an extended period of time. A magazine article reports on a specific test which may or may not be representative of what is typical for any number of reasons. Of course, my own results may not be typical either although at least they are based on a far larger and more diverse data set. Talking to other Tesla drivers, I find that my experience is widely shared.


    As for the availability of Superchargers to non-Tesla vehicles, the technology to do this has been offered to other carmakers for years but none of them has taken Tesla up on it. Presumably, this is because the other companies believe it would “look bad” if they were dependent upon Tesla infrastructure. I find this to be quite foolish since it would immediately make other cars (Bolts, Leafs, iPaces, etc) far more practical for road trips and therefore more attractive for purchase. The other manufacturers all claim to be developing their own fast-charging intrastructure (Electrify America, for example) but Tesla has been building out the Supercharger network since 2012, so doing this will not happen overnight.


    In any case, the next few years should be quite interesting in the electric car space.

    I wonder what percentage of households have two cars? And then what percentage of those ever need both cars to over 200 miles a day?


    I would suggest that a significant percentage of households could survive very well with one electric and one gas car.

    I would suggest that a significant percentage of households could function (not just survive) very well with two electric cars.


    How often do most people drive more than 300 miles in a day? I would guess not more than a few times a year. And you can quite easily drive 500 or 600 miles in a day with at least some electric cars in case you really needed to do that. The key phrase here is "most people". Yes, there are people who drive from New Jersey to Florida in one day. Actually, some guy just did that with a Tesla last week. But that sort of behavior is way out on the fringes. I'm sure there are statistics out there somewhere about what most people do with their cars and I strongly suspect that today's leading electrics (not to mention forthcoming cars with increasingly favorable performance) can satisfy not just a significant percentage but rather a dominant percentage. One statistic that pops up in all sorts of analyses of the future of cars is that the average automobile spends 95% of its life parked. Something to think about.