[extropy-chat] Elvis Sightings (was: cold fusion warms up)

Robert Bradbury robert.bradbury at gmail.com
Wed Dec 27 01:12:25 UTC 2006

On 12/26/06, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

> I haven't stopped beating my wife either.

Ok Damien, this one doesn't fly.  (For those on the list I "know" Damien
personally at least a little bit.)  To the best of my knowledge you don't
currently *have* a wife.  So claiming to beat or not beat something which
doesn't exist involves debating chicanery.  You are discussing wouldas,
couldas and shouldas and we have better things to do with our time.

Now, pardon me for sticking my 2cents into this discussion (I thought that I
would *not* get involved but you are dragging me into this...), but it seems
to me that any arguments, bets, facts in evidence, etc. are going to be
lacking unless there are hard numbers on the table (and I haven't seen the
parties proposing hard numbers).

Just as there is some probability that all of the atoms of oxygen in the
room I am sitting in might decide to migrate to the side away from where I
am sitting for a sufficiently long period that I would suffocate, there is a
probability that two nuclei could fuse *at room temperature* due to the
random distribution of velocities that the many moles of atoms (& nuclei)
present in this room happen to have as I type this.  So it would seem to me
that the *real* discussion needs to focus not upon whether "cold" fusion is
possible, but whether one can skew the probabilities such that cold fusion
happens sufficiently frequently that there is a net production of useful
energy.  And just as there is a popular show on American TV now-a-days
(hosted by William Shatner) where the key phrase is "show me the money".  I
would argue, "show me the numbers".

You have several degrees of probability to resolve... "Cannot happen while I
am sitting in this room,", "Cannot happen in my lifetime," "Cannot happen in
the time it took primates to evolve to our level of development," "Cannot
happen in the current age of the universe," "Cannot happen in the estimated
longevity of the universe," "Cannot happen in the number of years equivalent
to the number of photons the universe is capable of containing were all
matter converted into low energy IR radiation," etc.

I am an open minded individual simply requesting that the facts be placed on
the table.

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