Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Harsh light shines on free energy

hairykrishna directs us to the latest edition of Physics World, which includes an article on Steorn's failed demo. Here are some interesting quotes:

The device consisted of a CD-sized plastic wheel adorned with 16 neodymium magnets that can rotate about two stationary magnets. After being given an initial push, the wheel was supposed to spin freely at about 250 revolutions per minute - not only overcoming air resistance and mechanical friction, but also lifting a small 10g mass.
Sean McCarthy is also quoted as saying:
"If we were in the business of doing tricks," he says, "then the demonstration would have worked."


49 comments:

Magister Ludi said...

Whether or not Steorn has something of note it certainly can be said that they have tiger by the tail.

I would say in hindsight but I think this was expressed very early on in the game that Steorn should have never had the forum, never had the demo, never has a CEO that blabbed so much, never made statements that were misleading or obfiscating and never started the SPDC.

What they should have done to keep this thing from spiraling out of control was to focus on the jury process and keep their website updated with its progress in an open manner.

It is said that everyone can be given the benefit of the doubt on being intelligent until they open their mouth and remove all doubt. Sean has opened his mouth way too much, shown too much unfounded bravado and basically shot his company in both feet. All of which was totally unnecessary and counter productive. And considering how vocal he had been prior to the failed demo his tacitness now only creates more unnecessary mystery as to their claims and motives. This is just not how successful businesses operate anywhere. Regardless of how much they spent on Marketing and PR the cumulitive effect has been to make Steorn full fledged members of the pseudo science community. Considering that if what they have is real then this is clearly a business disaster. If the claim is not true and they have other motivations it is still a disaster.

However, having said that I do not even believe the jury was necessary at least from a purely business standpoint. First of all, all lawyers know how fickle juries can be and if possible avoiding a trial is the first choice. I cannot see how 22 scientists will agree on anything especially if it is dealing with something completely unseen before that defies easy explanations.

However, having said that I do not believe that a company like Steorn has discovered anything that will rock science on its head. Steorn is the least likely company to accidentally come up with anything useful at this level of physics and the stories they have spun for the past year are so suspicious, murky and at best obtuse.

If none of what they say is true or they are deluded then I think that despite ALL of the push back by skeptics they will have really besmirched anybody who might be honestly be investigating arcane alternative energy sources. This is the last time the free energy "wolf" can be called with even a modicum of impunity.

Personally, I believe Sean should be fired if this thing is legitimate. I cannot imagine how a company this small and fragile can sustain this much damage when the highest manager acts the way this man has done and the decisions he has made remains in charge.

I think any reasonable person that was either a businessman, an engineer or a scientist would want so much publicity when it would be better to have kept things as low key as possible until such time as a mature product or technology could be attained.

In short, I have lost all interest in this claim and this company. How they extricate themselves from now on cannot be good. I think that if attention is diverted away from Steorn then it is because Steorn has done everything in their power to come across as out of control.

No one can tell me that things are going well for these guys. No one can tlel me that everything that has happened is part of some master plan. No one plans for outcomes like validation or not.

maryyugo said...

@magister ludi

"What they should have done to keep this thing from spiraling out of control was to focus on the jury process and keep their website updated with its progress in an open manner."

That would have been interesting but I disagree that it's necessary and here's why. Testing free energy with an efficiency as claimed of 485% and a power density of 0.5 watt/cc requires no jury at all (you say that below but for the wrong reason). The correct reason is that such testing can be done by virtually any competent scientists in less than a week -- a screening test to rule out overunity can probably be done in ONE DAY.

What Steorn should have done, if it could, would have been to build an overunity device, pretest it adequately, and present it to some competent physicists and engineers for testing. No scientist in his or her right mind would refuse to test any device that showed that sort of efficiency or power density in even a casual demo.

" I cannot see how 22 scientists will agree on anything especially if it is dealing with something completely unseen before that defies easy explanations."

That demonstrates that your understanding of science isn't very good. The issue with science isn't who agrees but what the evidence is. It took a lot of evidence to demonstrate that Einstein's equations worked-- the ultimate evidence was the atomic bomb. It took a lot of evidence to demonstrate that neutrinos are real (try googling if you're not familiar). But it is simplicity itself to test large overunity claims. And it doesn't take long.

I'd sort of agree with the remainder of what you said except that it is so unlikely that Sean's claims are real, you don't have to worry much about it.

--------------

Different topic:

Frank Grimer posted links on the Steorn Forum here and here to images of a "Metro" article (from Ireland, I think). Although it's dated today, Aug 15, it doesn't seem to contain anything new.

Mitch said...

Sean McCarthy is a wonderful person. He looks so charming in that photograph. He belongs in the pantheon of Great Figures in Human History.

Anonymous said...

Well, would you Adam and Eve it. A physics magazine debunking free energy?? Duh. Of course they're debunking free energy, what do you expect.

It's just meaningless noise, what do they know about Steorn's IP apart from what they've read in the newspapers?

Sour grapes and job fears from a few eggheads with white coats.
LOL

Anonymous said...

What is that thing in the center of the wheel ? A small motor and some batteries could easily fit inside it. I think they put in a too heavy battery for the demonstration and the axel was bent.

Are there any investors out there that would like to tell us how much money they gave to Steorn before the demonstration ?

Anonymous said...

Planets for sale :

I tried to demonstrate the creation of a new planet the other day, but my demonstration failed.
The size of the planet is about the size of the sun.
If I had been a scammer my demonstration would certainly have succeeded. Since the demonstration failed I have proved that I am not a scammer and I claim that I am able to produce my own planets.
Do you want to invest in my company or buy your own planet ?

Anonymous said...

>That demonstrates that your understanding of science isn't very good, The issue with science isn't who agrees but what the evidence is.

I suppose that is why people are encouraged to get second and third opinions when diagnosed with a serious disease because the evidence is so clear cut, right?

epal0pal said...

Bump?

maryyugo said...

@anonymous (nice name, btw)

"I suppose that is why people are encouraged to get second and third opinions when diagnosed with a serious disease because the evidence is so clear cut, right? "

Not surprisingly, you miss the point entirely and your analogy is entirely irrelevant. Second opinions in medicine are usually not needed because more often than not, the evidence about what ails the patient is clear. When, as rarely happens, the conclusions to be drawn from the evidence are uncertain because the evidence is sparse or weak , then it's appropriate to ask experts to evaluate what evidence there is.

The point you and the believers in Steorn keep missing, in my opinion because of ignorance about science and physics, is that Steorn's claims aren't subtle. If what they claim were true, the evidence would not be vague. Unlike something subtle like cold fusion, Steorn's claims if true would have exceedingly obvious consequences which could be rapidly and easily tested and require no "jury".

As I noted before, Steorn's own claim for power density, 0.5 w/cc is favorably comparable to commonly used alkaline "flashlight" AA batteries. I doubt anyone needs a jury to determine that AA batteries produce about 0.5W/cc. All you need is a load resistor, a voltmeter an ammeter and at most an hour in a quiet lab. A "free energy" device with that same power density would be almost as easy to test-- and it would not take much longer.

I say again: it requires no jury, no appreciable time, and a minimal effort. Testing the device does not need to jeopardize secrecy in any way because it can be tested as a "black box" with no knowledge of how it works.

It is completely idiotic to say scientists would not test this. Given a simple *working* demo, any scientist would jump at a chance to make those simple measurements that are required. How much proof do you need of this? As established and accomplished a physicist as Dr. Mike travelled from mid USA to London to do just that. The problem has never been as Steorn dishonestly claimed, that scientists won't test their device. It's that they have never been able to provide a device worthy of testing! Kinetica was proof of that.

I hate to be repetitious but since you didn't seem to grasp the simple facts the first time, maybe saying it again and again will instruct you. Then again, maybe not. It won't matter either way. I'm pretty sure the company is running out of hats and rabbits and the tricks that go with them. Steorn's claims and their overelaborate, misdirecting, dishonest and unnecessary "validation process" will soon die with the ignonomy and contempt they deserve.

Anonymous said...

>It's just meaningless noise, what do they know about Steorn's IP apart from what they've read in the newspapers?

And you probably know about physics from what you read in the comics.

Frank Grimer said...

The Metro picture of Aug 15th 2007 was from the London, England, edition, not Ireland as was suggested earlier.

It was the same free commuter paper as published the article and photo of McCarthy with his Orbo in his hand just prior to the aborted Kinetica demo.

15-India-Street said...

One by one the bugs and holes in the Steorn forum software are being fixed. Banned users can no longer be used to login. Next time the forum is closed it's members only. Welcome to my cult.

The censoring moved from changing post content to removing whole posts into removing whole threads by making them private. There is one step left: remove the whole forum from the public view. That would be a real lost ;-)

15-India-Street said...

Sidequestion, am I the only one that has an IP ban on the steorn domain? Something personal?

"Error Code: 403 Forbidden. The server denied the specified Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Contact the server administrator. (12202)"

Frank Grimer said...

Mary Yugo is quite right about Steorn's claims being easy to test if they are genuine and not gross exaggerations. In retrospect the warning signs were there for all to see in the early days of the forum. Steorn were asked if they had ever connected a generator to their device which is an obvious thing to do if one had what was claimed. They never gave a satisfactory answer as to why they hadn't done just that.

The trouble with the stop start claim is that it is easy to deceive oneself - as in fact the CEO of Kinetron did with his Kinetica "toy". His claim of 400% odd increase in energy was clearly ridiculous and simply a one off contribution from the magnetic potential. The way McCarthy dismissed the toy and said it had been binned shows that he must have realised the fallacy. Nevertheless, he used the video of the engineer's "discovery" to boost belief of the audience which was dishonest to put it mildly. Let's face it. If it were THAT easy to get energy from offsets from the ambient magnetic potential it would have been done years ago.

Also, when some people in the SPUD spent considerable experimental effort to simulate the Kinetica "toy", McCarthy tried to steer them away from that endeavour towards a continuous motion device but never revealed that their efforts were futile. I suppose he might justify this to himself by thinking that it would be a good learning experience for them.

windbringer said...

@ping
I found a file with all of Seans posts
here
and added a simple but fast search feature.

The file can be downloaded here.
It's a HTML file and it takes a little time(up to 30 seconds) for the browser until
it's ready but after that the search results appear as you type.
It worked with Firefox and Safari.

Mitch said...

Sean McCarthy strikes me as a deeply dishonest person.

Anonymous said...

magister ludi,

Couldn't have said it better myself.


maryyugo,

You make good points, however, your constant snide characterizations and conclusions about the person whose points you disagree with is distracting and detracts from your own points.

Overall, you create an air or atmosphere around yourself that tends to decrease the force of your own arguments.

Of course, I realize you aren't here to make friends or converts, but, rather to scoff, so, my words will probably fall on deaf ears.

In any case, it seems I've been telling you this for a very long time. Perhaps if I continue to repeat myself you might get the message someday. Then again, considering the depth of your fear and anger and need to 'win' by invalidating others on a personal level rather than thean focusing on the subject matter in a wholly objective fashion to compensate for your clear and present inherent lack of self-esteeem ...

I understand that you have spent your life working around men who you perceive as trating you with, or merely having, less repsect for you than you KNOW you deserve ... well ...

I hope for your sake that you get over yourself and get out of your own way someday ... before it is too late for you to find some personal enjoyment in life.

Cheers

Thicket said...

Anonymous said

"Then again, considering the depth of your fear and anger and need to 'win' by invalidating others on a personal level rather than thean focusing on the subject matter in a wholly objective fashion to compensate for your clear and present inherent lack of self-esteeem ..."

Psychological drivel! May I suggest that you stop pathetically analyzing others. You thinly veil personal insults with meaningless psychobabble comments.

maryyugo said...

@anonymous

"You make good points, however, your constant snide characterizations and conclusions about the person whose points you disagree with is distracting and detracts from your own points."

You're right about that and wrong about everything else in your post. As a psychic, you wouldn't get far. The reason I mix insults with facts is that I don't suffer twits and their silly rot gracefully. Guilty as charged on that score.

Now, try to get past the nonsense and answer the issue:

Why is it anyone believes that it's difficult, time consuming, or hard to find people to test claims of overunity as large as Steorn's?

Why do you believe obvious lies like Sean tells-- that he: a) had a working device for "several hours" before the demo b) it stopped working because of bearing failures c) it could be made in three days but not repaired in ten d) Mike wasn't shown it because engineers don't like people over their shoulder when they are working e) we can't discuss any aspect of the so-called jury f) we will have another demo but we can't tell you when and where (??)

Do I have to go on or are you starting to get the picture?

15-India-Street said...

@windbringer
Nice tool. The man did talk a lot indeed, just did't say a lot.

G. Norman said...

Here here! I agree 110% with Mary.

Woo-woo believers have gotten a free ride for too long now; I think it's our responsibility to speak out and ridicule them, hopefully to prevent future generations from being fooled by deluded, faith-based thinking by irresponsible elders of the community.

Anonymous said...

"Psychological drivel! May I suggest that you stop pathetically analyzing others. You thinly veil personal insults with meaningless psychobabble comments."

Did you have a point to make about Steorn today?

Or just more meaningless drivel about meaningless drivel that doesn't concern you?

Shut up and mind your own business old man.

---------------------

mary, let me be clear ... i see the landscape same as you. i completely agree with your points.

that said ... the person you attacked might not have the scientific knowledge and experience you have but is obviously of the same mind and basically on your side and makes plenty of good points based on HIS experience.

clearly he should have known better than to respond to your digs that accomplished nothing but to draw an ally into a defensive poition to try and save face. wtf?

so, although i went a bit over the top to make it, my point is merely that you seem to be looking for a fight, an opportunity to bash anyone even if they are on your team.

so, i take back the psychic psycho-analysis. i have no idea what the circumstantial root of your lack of clarity wrt your communication goals might be. but, generally, the inability "to suffer" is a "poor me" card used to justify an intimidation game.

you can call it psycho-babble if you want to, it matters not to me. but .. i am only trying to help you stop getting in your own way. the attitude only emphasizes your emotional state about the whole affair. it does not strengthen your point. the truth speaks for itself. and at the end of the daqy is strongest when spoken for its own sake.

vardan1899 said...

Yawn...

Sleepy, but ready to "spring like a wild panther" when/if the prey shows its dumb head again :o)

Ready to play "vulture" too if is is just only a very dead carcass left :o)

@ G. Norman

"hopefully to prevent future generations from being fooled"...

youtube.com/watch?v=RjU39AWM8qM

Or,

http://tinyurl.com/24q3ul

Vardan1899

Thicket said...

Anonymous said

"i am only trying to help you stop getting in your own way. the attitude only emphasizes your emotional state about the whole affair."

Zante, you're a pathetic nitwit. You stroke your own ego by 'helping' others with your insults.

You're also someone who likes to dish out the insults, but can't take them when they are thrown back.

Maybe you'd want to analyze why you relish posting anonymously. A couple of months ago you proudly wore your 'anonymous' handle on this blog.

Perhaps you haven't had your quota of 'out-of-body' experiences and this has you feeling ornery. Your tales of OOB were very entertaining, and provided a good insight on the kind of whack-job you are.

If you're going to post here, at least be man enough to name yourself. Stop being a coward.

maryyugo said...

I have no interest in discussing people's personalities or styles.

The only relevant issue is this:

If Steorn had discovered an overunity device based on magnets and if they had, as they claim, accurately measured 485% overunity and a power density about the same as AA batteries, you can be sure that they could have produced a simple demo or device by now.

It's been about a year since their ad in The Economist. Since then, NOTHING has been shown, leaked, or proved. THAT ALONE is not compatible with the existence of what Steorn claims. It doesn't matter whether you say it sweetly or by calling the believers idiots. The facts are still the same. There is no credible possibility that Sean MacCarthy and Steorn have anything except a lot of silly words. That's all.

Is there a jury? Probably not but it doesn't matter. A jury for testing Steorn's claims is nonsense-- it isn't and never was necessary except in Sean's fertile imagination.

Anonymous said...

It's been about a year since their ad in The Economist. Since then, NOTHING has been shown, leaked, or proved. THAT ALONE is not compatible with the existence of what Steorn claims. It doesn't matter whether you say it sweetly or by calling the believers idiots. The facts are still the same. There is no credible possibility that Sean MacCarthy and Steorn have anything except a lot of silly words. That's all.
-----------------------
What you say is of course, ostensisibly true. What I don't unerstand is where ya'll get the energy to keep coming back and repointing it out, over and over.
I'm just at the point where it's, meh.. whatever, this is boring. What is it in your personal life that requires your rapt attention to the free energy tracker website and all things steorn?
Me thinks you are exhibiting a 13 year olds fanboy behaviour. Except it's not fan boy but hater, whatever the name for that is nowadays? Mary? I really don't get it. Loser

Anonymous said...

zante...lol.

try again thicket.

maryyugo said...

"What you say is of course, ostensisibly true."

"ostensisibly"[sic] true? Uh no. It's just plain true.

"I don't unerstand is where ya'll get the energy to keep coming back and repointing it out, over and over. "

Obviously you don't get it. And that isn't all you don't get starting with spell checkers.

" What is it in your personal life that requires your rapt attention to the free energy tracker website and all things steorn? "

Gee, I don't know. What is it in your personal life that makes it impossible for you to grasp some simple scientific ideas? Oh and by the way, what is it in your personal life that keeps you here-- writing idiotic irrelevancies instead of addressing the issues?


"Me thinks you are exhibiting a 13 year olds fanboy behaviour. Except it's not fan boy but hater, whatever the name for that is nowadays? Mary? I really don't get it. Loser "

What is it about my disliking time-wasting money-grubbing, thieving scammers that you don't get? Are you really that stupid by nature or are you making a special all out effort?

Father Luke Duke said...

" have no idea what the circumstantial root of your lack of clarity wrt your communication goals might be. but, generally, the inability "to suffer" is a "poor me" card used to justify an intimidation game."
--
Little tip: if you are going to have a go at someone for their poor communication skills then you should ensure that you use intelligible sentences when doing so.

drmike said...

Well anonymous
"I'm just at the point where it's, meh.. whatever, this is boring. What is it in your personal life that requires your rapt attention to the free energy tracker website and all things steorn?"

Time to look in a mirror maybe?
:-)

Quanten said...

quote "I'm just at the point where it's, meh.. whatever, this is boring. What is it in your personal life that requires your rapt attention to the free energy tracker website and all things steorn?"

Pot , kettle, why do you have so much a rapt attention in what Mary says, her behavior and what not ? If her comment were really as you define them, then you could simply ignore them. I don't think anybody put a weapon to your temple and said "read or die".

Anonymous said...

" have no idea what the circumstantial root of your lack of clarity wrt your communication goals might be. but, generally, the inability "to suffer" is a "poor me" card used to justify an intimidation game."
--
Little tip: if you are going to have a go at someone for their poor communication skills then you should ensure that you use intelligible sentences when doing so.

Jeez, I guess I better inform the folks who pay me money to write intelligible sentences of your opinion.

Which word or concept did you not understand? What part did you not follow? I will be glad to clarify it...if you have the courage to actually do something other than make vague unfounded characterizations.

You need merely to ask. Of course, then you run the risk of looking stupid. It's so much easier to simply call someone else stupid when you aren't smart enough or educated enough to follow what they say.

FYI: I just sold another article to a major trade. That makes two this week alone and tomorrow is only Thursday.

At this rate, I could practically quit my day job!

Idiot.

maryyugo said...

"At this rate, I could practically quit my day job!"

You could, but then, who would shovel all the horse manure down at the stables?

Thicket said...

" have no idea what the circumstantial root of your lack of clarity wrt your communication goals might be. but, generally, the inability "to suffer" is a "poor me" card used to justify an intimidation game."

Just when things were getting quiet, a fractured missive like this makes things entertaining. It would have slipped by, but then you maintain that you are a professional writer!! Hilarious!

As a professional writer (LOL), you should be familiar with Gunning's Fog Index. If you apply the Fog Index, you will learn that your paragraph is ranked as unintelligible. Surprise, surprise.

Note: Your "stable" response had me snickering all day, Mary.

Anonymous said...

" "At this rate, I could practically quit my day job!"

You could, but then, who would shovel all the horse manure down at the stables? "


That only takes about an hour between 6:30 and 7:30am before I go to my day job.

Of course, I don't mind at all. I love my horses.

Anonymous said...

Check out the thread "Nothing New" on www.steorn.com.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: "Check out the thread "Nothing New" on www.steorn.com."

The surreality of this just goes on and on. An anonymous unauthenticated poster tells of "famous inventer", an anonymous "physicist", that "we almost got it working". All rumors 3 levels removed. And all vague, kind of hush hush wrapped up in pseudo honor ("I really wish I could tell give you the details, but I must honor my NDA").

Just keep the faith.

Believe.

(suckers!)

dux7a36n said...

'hdeasy' is the poster. He is a long-time member of the forum.

The evidence is mounting that Steorn has the goods and that the London demo was just a screwup.

A few more days, maybe weeks, and validation day will be here.

John Kinsella said...

We are still waiting for alsetalokin to "share the juror info".

I suspect we will be waiting indefinitely.

Surprising that no-one on Steorn forum has followed up on this?

I'm still curious to see what the end game is... but it wont be free energy...

It will end in tears - for the investors at least.

John

maryyugo said...

"The evidence is mounting that Steorn has the goods and that the London demo was just a screwup.

A few more days, maybe weeks, and validation day will be here. "

Sorry but there is no "evidence mounting". Someone saying stuff about unknown people and what they said, all anonymously, is not evidence by any standard. Even in a court of law where "evidence" is nowhere near as hard to establish as in science, this would be thrown out as useless "hearsay".

It is highly unlikely that Steorn will show anything (except their back end vanishing in the distance) in the next days, weeks, months, or years.

@dux7a36n
How long should we wait until you (and hdeasy) think it reasonable to admit that Steorn has nothing to show? A week? A month? Ten years? Please: how long exactly seems reasonable to you?

kux7a36n said...

@dux7a36n
How long should we wait until you (and hdeasy) think it reasonable to admit that Steorn has nothing to show? A week? A month? Ten years? Please: how long exactly seems reasonable to you?

I'm Don's brother Ken, but I think I can speak for him when I say that it is hard to say but my guess is a demo within a month (first of many) and validation day before April of 2008.

If no demo within a month, I'll cry.

Anonymous said...

An interesting thread on Steorn's forum has just been deleted. The thread included a discussion of a scientist who has supposedly checked Steorn's claim:

Luckily I copied and pasted a few things before it was removed...


Frank Grimer: As for the physicist, he was definitely kosher.

Speccy: Without trying to give too much away, what sort of institution was he from? A UK University?

Frank: Prior to 1921 it would have been.

riterX:You are talking about this guy?
http://www.tcd.ie/Physics/Magnetism/CINSE/Profiles/mazhar.php

Frank: Am I ? :wink:


And then for some reason the thread was deleted.

Anonymous said...

HAHA, the failed demo was the last chance to buy in for cheap. Just imagine the value of Steorns nonexistent patents. Trillions, I say!!! Harhar!

Anonymous said...

No worries. After some background info was filled in about the original post on the "Nothings New " thread, it was deleted.

maryyugo said...

"I'm Don's brother Ken, but I think I can speak for him when I say that it is hard to say but my guess is a demo within a month (first of many) and validation day before April of 2008. If no demo within a month, I'll cry. "

Well Ken, think over Steorn's long history of claims with absolutely no shred of evidence, not even the smallest, leanest, bit. So far, nobody has independently been able to duplicate their claimed anomaly. They have shown no overunity device of any sort. It is the wildest (and in my view entirely irresponsible) optimism to suggest that they will do better in a month but hey, please come back in a month and tell us what you think. I think you'd better have that crying towel ready.

maryyugo said...

"Check out the thread "Nothing New" on www.steorn.com. August 23, 2007 3:26 PM"

Hmmm... maybe I'm blanking out but I can't find that thread on the Steorn forum! Did some addlebrained self-styled moderator decide to censor it? Anybody remember the Randi forum link?

By the way, overmoderation of forums and outright censorship of links to other sites and dissenting opinions is an obvious hallmark of total insecurity in the moderator's beliefs.

Anonymous said...

The Randi link:
Link

Someone posted the name of Mr. Knapen, the CEO of Kinetron, who is said to be the person that built the k-toy.

Anonymous said...

Randi thread:

http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?p=2900926#post2900926

Anonymous said...

hdeasy is a full of sh*t.

the physicist may be kosher, but he hasn't confirmed anything and nothing has been explianed.

what a bunch of hooey.