Friday, July 13, 2007

Perpetual Nonsense

Along with so many others, The Economist felt it necessary to chime in on Steorn's failed demo. The article is light on any Steorn specific information. I wish these reporters would do more than quote each other, instead maybe they should try to get to the bottom of what is going on?

In many ways we are stuck here waiting again to see what Steorn's next move will be. Some have posted here saying that it's not worth our time to comment on the subject, and maybe they are right. I'm still intrigued. I want to get to the bottom of this, I want evidence one way or another showing us that this is a hoax, fraud, delusion, or real. Instead we have a company claiming the impossible, who is well funded and seeking publicity, and when they get it the whole thing seems to fall apart.

I just don't get it yet.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

The author is wrong to imply that there are 'laws' in science that distinguish an particular model from a theory. In reality there are no 'laws' of thermodynamics of higher proof than a 'theory' of thermodynamics.
In science, all is theory, nothing is law and any theory can be thrown out if the evidence disproves it. That said all the evidence we have to date, both experimental and mathematical suggests that the current thermodynamic 'laws' or 'theories' are the best to fit the circumstances.
On a slightly different note Steorn are a business and as such one should judge them on what businesses do - making money. If they have managed to drag in 14 million euro on the back of claims of inventing a perpetual motion machine then are they not a success ? By the way I just arrived in Dublin yesterday for a holiday and noticed Steorn are being completely ignored over here (I've been hunting in vain for a local newspaper story on their recent debacle).

Anonymous said...

@anonymous:

You have a lot to learn about business my friend. Ever hear of being 'in the black'? If a business never makes a profit and can't pay a return on the investments they have received, the business is 'in the red' and will fail. If the main (only) product fails, the business will fail even faster because of the bleak forecast that the business will never be able to pay a reurn on investments.

There is a difference between making money (earning a profit) and taking investors money and spending it all.

Taking investors money is NOT, "Making money," and is not an indication of being successful by any streach of the imagination.

I'm not even going to take a shot at your gross misunderstanding of science.

ezz said...

His understanding of science is more or less right. Laws are the same thing as theories, they just happen to be the best established theories we have.

But you're right, Steorn can't be viewed as a successful company. A successful hoax though, who knows? How much money has Sean siphoned off for himself?

Greg said...

This is clearly one of those cases which will become more frequent in the future where the blogsphere, and particularly this blog in this case, is providing much deeper analysis, comment and discussion that the collective of the traditional media.

All I have seen from the traditional media is just the same old story re-massaged.

Is it any wonder that advertisers are abandoning traditional media firms for the internet.

Anonymous said...

You really want an answer, to "get to the bottom of this"? I think you're missing one of the fundamentals of most free energy scams: delay, delay, delay, until all reasonable people stop questioning and go away. When will people learn?

maryyugo said...

@everyone

Please take a look at the illustration at http://depletedcranium.com/?p=54 -- please scroll down to the animated GIF illustration.

Question is: Is there in reality any such arrangements of magnets which will actually spin for a while? I'm just curious. It obviously wouldn't be overunity but I was wondering if that geometry would even work at all. Anybody know?

Also, I found a couple of interesting videos of Perendev motors like this blurry Youtube video. What makes that thing go around? I wonder how long it does. Just some interesting toys used mainly to fool people-- I was wondering if/how they "work" and how long -- because it occurred to me maybe the Kinetica "demo" was intended to be one of them.

drmike said...

@Mary - You can do much better without magnets. A really good bearing with a nice weighted gyro (large moment of inertia) will spin for a very long time. The magnets cause friction, both on the bearings from loading and from eddy current loss. Change one of the PM's to a coil, drive current in it, and you get a motor.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not even going to take a shot at your gross misunderstanding of science."

Indulge me.
Perhaps I have missed some major development in scientific philosophy superceding Popper's falsifiability hypothesis within the past few years and you could bring me (and others) up to date. Have I missed the fact that some discoveries have now been deemed unquestionable ? This is not to say that I think there is anything wrong with the current thermodynamic models or even that Steorn have a hope in hell of making a dent in them but I would like to see you try to enlighen us all in the new exciting developments you have eluded to.
By the way I would agree that in a traditional business model that Steorn are not a success however two or three years of their current salaries should probably not be seen as a disaster for a dotcom company about to go bankrupt.

maryyugo said...

"By the way I would agree that in a traditional business model that Steorn are not a success however two or three years of their current salaries should probably not be seen as a disaster for a dotcom company about to go bankrupt. "

True. Unless, as is likely, they get sued personally and charged criminally. In the US, if principals of a corporation commit fraud, they can be held financially liable personally -- the corporate structure does not shield them if they can be shown to be dishonest. The question then becomes the traditional one-- what did Sean and company know and when did they know it-- compared to what they said to investors and when they said it. That should be fun in court. If Sean hangs around, it will be the lawyers having the fun and the money, not him. Of course, he could try going to a non-extradition country but I think with his family, a house and such, his mobility is not exceptional! (I almost said "perpetual")

Anonymous said...

I could drop 14 million euro in the bank and earn at least a million euro a year in interest alone. Probably more. Certainly more if invested anywhere at low to moderate risk. That would certainly be enough to keep the lights turned on, don't ya think?

Assuming Steorn didn't bury the cash in Walshe's backyard or hide it in McCarthy's mattress, sounds pretty successful to me.

Has anyone tracked down the profits from McCarthy's sale of Fraudhalt to Microsoft?

Anonymous said...

OK, while I await the new enlightenment in scientific philosophy I can perhaps throw a little illumination on the investment background, namely the Irish situation - since that is apparently where all or the majority of the investors are based. Due to the huge economic boom in Ireland over the past decade there is a huge amount of cash floating around looking for investment. Most of it goes into property but the greed induced by the promise of untold wealth if the perpetual motion machine works could push just a little of this investment money in Sean's direction - which I guess was what happened. Quite frankly part of me wishes the sort of people stupid enough to invest in this sort of scheme to get their just deserts yet at the same time I would not like to see Steorns directors rewarded for such a dastardly scheme.

Anonymous said...

Assuming the investors cash is stuck in a low to moderate risk/yield fund, they are already reaping benefits at around 15% per annum.

Or about 2.1 million euro a year while they sit on the origianl 14 million.

Or is my math wrong?

Could you cover the payroll for 12 people and rent/utilities and a few mangets for 2.1 million euro?

(that's almost $3 million US dollars at the current exchange rate).

I figure Steorn are showing a 2 million euro/year real profit for the investors based on the interest on the 14 million euro right now.

Where am I mising something?

Why does steorn even need 14 million euro right now???

What the hell are they doing?

Twiddling with magnets?

And why would these folks park their cash with Steorn when they aren't doing anything with it but collecting interest???

Thicket said...

You're missing quite a few things.

You won't average 15% on any low/medium risk investment. If you hit 8%, you're doing well.

Steorn is spending 5+ million Euros a year.

Investors don't put their money in a free-energy company just to have them reinvest it in some other investment.

Anonymous said...

"but I would like to see you try to enlighen us all in the new exciting developments you have eluded to."

I don't recall having "eluded to" anything to do with any scientific developements.

Please read this again and try to comprehend, "I'm not even going to take a shot at your gross misunderstanding of science."

I will however, say one thing on the subject. I suspect most every scientific law, theory and dogma will be modified as they have been in the past, but CoE will NEVER be disproven, you simply can't get something for nothing including $14M Euro. There is a price that Steorn & company are going to have to pay and it's not going to be pretty.

maryyugo said...

Well... COE applies to systems where there is no net loss of mass -- systems not involving nuclear energy (fission or fusion). Einstein's equation applies where there is loss of mass -- not the same sort of COE there but instead, predictable generation of energy from converting mass.

One can certainly suppose that there could possibly be other mechanisms for extracting useable energy from the universe than increasing entropy or converting mass to energy however so far, none has been found.

Screwing around with magnets is highly unlikely to be one of those methods because magnetism has been so extensively studied and characterized, starting with now mundane devices like electric motors, controllers and generators and culminating in sophisticated modern ones like superconducting magnets and MRI machines.

It's important not to stifle creativity while also not being gullible as so many proponents of Steorn have been.

Some of the most damning evidence against Steorn (apart from COE itself) has been the passage of so much time. As I've said many times, subtle energy production, like supposedly happens in low energy nuclear reactions (LENR) also known as "cold fusion" can be frustratingly difficult to measure and demonstrates. But the type of power density Steorn claims is about the same as alkaline AA batteries! That would be *trivial* to test and demonstrate. A device that can achieve even a small fraction of the claimed power density of Steorn's "technology" can be tested in a day with an average quality commercially available calorimeter. And a spinning or start-stop "Orbo" could be properly tested by any decent university lab in less than a week, using only graduate students! :-)

Why this farce has continued so long is very hard to understand.

Anonymous said...

"Please read this again and try to comprehend, "I'm not even going to take a shot at your gross misunderstanding of science."

I take it to read that you believe I have grossly misunderstood science.
Should I read something different into your words ?
You are clearly not a scientist.
It is in fact you who grossly misunderstands the basis for the modern scientific method. Nobody in our profession works under the assumption that there are dogmatic laws that can never be questioned. Models of thermodynamics, like gravity or evolution, are theories, not dogmatic unquestionable law and should be open to refinement IF evidence suggests otherwise.
However, I don't think evidence does suggest currently otherwise for any of these models despite Steorns woo-woo claims and I said that in the initial post and I actually agree with you that the evidence suggests that the COE is unlikely to be overturned in the future.
It still doesnt make it a 'law' - as suggested by the journalist, apart from in purely semantic terms.

Anonymous said...

my funds have averaged over 12% for years

if i had more to invest, i could surely do better.

maybe you need a new broker thicket

how do you know Steorn spent $5 million euro in the past 12 months?

and what did they spend it on?

Quanten said...

Quote Well... COE applies to systems where there is no net loss of mass -- systems not involving nuclear energy (fission or fusion). Einstein's equation applies where there is loss of mass -- not the same sort of COE there but instead, predictable generation of energy from converting mass.

You are meaning CoM apply to non nuclear system. CoE Does indeed apply to all system including nuclear fusion or fission. CoE was amde as amodified version of CoM when nuclkear reaction were discovered.

Furthermore I can tell you from where the 5million $ comes from. Simple calculation of people participating in their own firm accounting. I do not know the english term, but here around we have a value called ILV, which is the sumation of cost of people, building, instrument, etc... all summed together and divided by the number of people and hours worked. In other word this is the cost to a firm of 1 hour of work of somebody in average. Most of us assign a value to roughly between 60 and 70€ ILV for Steorn. Counting the number of people that comes up to 3 to 3.5 million € thus the 5 million $ of thicket are a bit exagerated, but in comparison to any "interrest" way higher.

Especially that your 15% interrest on investement, as far as I know, will have what, 40% tax ? 55% tax ? I do not think you get paid to you without being taxed...

Anonymous said...

WEll, in the USA , we have wonderful devices called tax ahelters. Don't know about Ireland. But the point, is that this is why I ask, where is the money? Where is Steorn keeping it?

In any case, you willneed to demonstrate your math fully before anything you say makes sense wrt ILV. All you have provided is a final figure with no details.

I recall 12 employees and varios contractors.

I cannot imagine overhead more than 1 million euro per year.

The overiding major expenditure is the salry of the principals. What do you think Sean pays himself? What do you think he deserves?

What is common for a man with a company that produces nothing?

Even if the pricipals take home an outrageous salary of 100k euro, that leaves another 700k for the other 9 divided to another 200-250k. Now we have 450k to pay the lectric bill. If steron have a brain,m they own the building, If no, rent at what 25-50k MAYBE...?

400k left for operating costs if the principals make an outrageous salary for doing nothing.

how do you figure you ILV number?

Anonymous said...

Ladies and gentlemen... a word to the wise... from a 'legitimate' Irish business professional.... who has alked with Steorn... and unknown to them has a degree in physics and is not a stupid moron.


SteornHAS NOT invented a perpetual motion machine (which IS actually possible... well... perpetual in the sense that it would outlast humanity)

They are simply running a scam in running off capital into marketing cost.... simple as that... ALL the videos on youtube were made in London and Dublin... there is NO truth in any of them... its slight of hand..(or camera)

Sean is happy enough... he earned over a million at this point and certainly NOT deluded... ecstatic might be a more apt phrase....

Personally I think its discraceful... but as Sean says himself... 'what is the probelm... nobody gets hurt here... the investors aren't stupid enough to have themselves sue me... they'd look real stupid... '... Sean will be living elesehere by October 2008 anyway... so see if he cares...