Wednesday, July 04, 2007

This ought to be fun.

Looks like those folks at Steorn are going to do a 'demo' of their alleged free energy machine. I think I can safely predict (a) Steorn will claim success; (b) the reporting will generally give them the benefit of the doubt and "report the controversy"; and (c) we will not cure all the world's energy needs with magnet-based machines that violate the first law of thermodynamics.

UPDATE: Wow - it turns out that I'd overestimated Steorn. They couldn't get their demo to work. Apparently they'd decided to ignore back-ups, rehearsals, and contingency planning in addition to the laws of physics. So, was this self-deception, the long con, a postmodern publicity stunt designed to show how effectively they could market vaporware, or something else?

7 comments:

Mark Knight said...

I dunno, Doug. From the article it clearly states that it isn't "even an outside possibility" that they haven't found a surefire method to circumvent the inconvenient limitations imposed by these so-called 'laws'. It's in writing, and online - it must be true, right?

Mark Knight said...

Their website amuses me - a machine based on "the principle of time variant magneto-mechanical interactions." (http://www.steorn.com/orbo/technology/)

I think I've seen those in museum gift shops. There's a plastic doohickey with a few magnetic-thingamabobs attached, and when you poke it the doohickey get spun by the things.

Cool, but no free power.

chad said...

I like the choice of words in that news story. Steorn is "challenging worldwide cynicism". I think they mean skepticism. And I don't think the scientific community's reaction was to cry "Heresy!" and try to have Steorn burned at the stake so much as it was to smirk and say "Good luck!" That was my reaction, at any rate.

chad said...

Sad about Rod Stewart's son, though.

Dan M said...

I vote for self-deception. If you wish hard enough, maybe it will be true...

Anonymous said...

This all reminds me of a favorite George Orwell quote:

"We are all capable of believing things which we know to be untrue, and then, when we are finally proved wrong, impudently twisting the facts so as to show that we were right. Intellectually, it is possible to carry on this process for an indefinite time: the only check on it is that sooner or later a false belief bumps up against solid reality, usually on a battlefield."

George Orwell, "In Front of Your Nose"

I agree with both you and with Dan; I think that they convinced themselves they were right for so long, that any data, theory, or naysayer could be rationalized away.

Mark Knight said...

http://www.engadget.com/2007/07/07/steorns-ceo-states-the-obvious-we-screwed-up/

Video interview showing that they realize they failed... but Sean still things they can make it work.

I'm voting for self-deception.