[extropy-chat] Cold Fusion

Ben Goertzel ben at goertzel.org
Tue Jan 30 14:39:59 UTC 2007


It would be more interesting if you would read "EXCESS HEAT"
and respond to the particular research results and published
research papers described there.

Simply spouting invective without reference to the actual data
about the situation -- which is what you have been doing --
is not very informative to anyone.  It does
have some entertainment value, but that wears thin after a
while, at least from my point of view....

It seems pretty clear that the excess heat generation labeled
"cold fusion" is a real phenomenon without explanation in
terms of known physics.  It has been replicated in a bunch of
different labs now by a bunch of different people using a bunch
of different specific experimental methodologies.

One reason progress has been slow is that experiments
can take months to run, and the success depends sensitively
on the particular batch of ingredients used, for reasons that are
not currently well understood.

Another reason progress has been slow is that the scientific community
has, by and large, reacted irrationally in its rejection of the
results.  Pons and Fleischmann made some political errors
in their initial presentations of their results, but this does not
justify the extent to which their actual data has been ignored.
It is not very surprising that progress has been so slow since
funding for the area has been so scant.  Progress in hot
nuclear fusion has also been slow for a long time, in spite of
vastly greater funding.

However, the fact that their research is gradually being
replicated and rehabilitated is an indication that the
scientific community **does** functon rationally, albeit sometimes
slowly and erratically and with bouts of collective

As for the pleasant-ness of thinking about cold fusion and
related topics, I have a mixture of pleasure and displeasure
in reaction to the cold fusion phenomenon, but that is not the
point.  [The displeasure comes from the fact that it makes the
terrible incompleteness of our current understanding of physics
all to clear.  Which makes it seem extremely likely that shortly after
a superhuman AI is created, it will understand new physics that
we do not.  Which makes the notion of guaranteeing the
benevolence of superhuman AI's even more farfetched than it
would be otherwise.  If the universe were a well-understood
machine, then the Friendly AI problem would be tough enough;
given that it's apparently a quite poorly understood machine,
that means it's even tougher...]

-- Ben G

On Jan 30, 2007, at 3:54 AM, John K Clark wrote:

> "Damien Broderick" <thespike at satx.rr.com>
>>  Martin  Fleischmann was one of the world's leading experts [.]
> Expert in what, writing incompetent papers?
>> he was an elected fellow of the Royal Society
> And I'll bet you dollars to donuts that happened BEFORE he had a  
> brain fart
> and wrote that moronic paper. And I'll also bet you that not a day  
> passes
> that the Royal Society is embarrassed to have such a man as a member.
> Damien let me ask you a question, if it were not pleasant to  
> believe in this
> crap would you believe it?  No need to respond I already know the  
> answer, of
> course you wouldn't.
>> solid credentialed scientists have indeed replicated the early  
>> results
> BULLSHIT! Extra virgin, triple distilled, premium grade, BULLSHIT.
>  John K Clark
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