Cool eCat Or Fake eCat
Some time ago, I wrote a piece trying to draw some of the evidence for and against the reality of the eCat. To someone convinced that the whole thing is a fraud, it probably looked like a believer’s charter. The reality is that it was a counter to the nonsense that stood for proof of fraud at the time. In that sense, we are exactly in the same place. There is an abundance of circumstantial evidence pointing to something of substance and this is balanced by a lack of proof for fraud.
That last statement can be turned on its head. There are a number of signals in the eCat tale that could be taken as circumstantial evidence for fraud and this is balanced by a lack of proof that it’s not.
Given the stakes in play and the emotive engagement the subject engenders, it is not surprising that there is blood on the floor. Recently, the bun fight in the comments’ section has got messy. I invite everyone to read the guidelines again or for the first time. If you cannot argue with respect then you will not command it. Despite accusations of censorship, I prefer we all act like adults without my heavy hand getting in the way.
It appears to me that warring factions are often closer to each other’s pov than they realise. As the mirroring views above demonstrate, if you were to label a box ‘Unsure’ 90% of those who visit eCatNews.com could go sit in it. There are technically trained people here (including me) who are happy to wait before judging. They set some weight to the people and events supporting Rossi. When they read repeated declarations of certainty from the other side and counter it by pointing to the supporting evidence, they are labelled believers despite their declared uncertainty. There is a world of difference between defending Rossi or Defkalion and pointing out the flaw in any argument that discounts the evidence leading to their wait-and-see stance. This is infuriating.
On the other side, why-oh-why the rush to accuse?
It is a sad fact that history is on their side. It pains me to recognise many of the patterns of past fraud in the genetics of this plot. Credibility by association, fuzzy proof, escalating claims as deadlines loom, unidentified entities, NDAs, promises for charity – all wrapped in a packaged concealing hidden deals with investors. I am sorry to say that statistics are on their side.
So; if I can see this pattern, why not stand with the hard sceptics?
Some of it comes down to an outlook on life. I default to the good in people. Some might label this the ‘sucker’ gene. We all have it to a greater or lesser degree. This is one of the reasons for the scientific method. To compensate for this trait, I trust science before belief and look hard at myself in matters of importance where trust can lead to disaster.
Alarm bells are ringing in eCat Land and this is why I have always advised against investment without private proof. I believe that most so-called believers here think roughly the same. I may bet a fiver but not my life. If I had a few million to spare I might hire the right consultants, stick something in escrow and go find out what is really behind the curtain. That would be my fiver. The stakes are so high it is worth a look.
The tendency to see what we expect to see does not lie solely with optimists. Like a policeman who finds a crook in everyone they meet, so the habitual pessimist can miss the forest for the trees. There are many factors in this story that do not fit the scam theory. This post would double in size if I paid them justice so consider this outline:
Rossi risked everything only after Focardi supported his ideas.
Focardi is a world expert in NiH cf
The notion that AR put all his money and time into a multi-year delayed-reward scam is silly. He almost certainly started out on his journey with good intent.
Working with Focardi on frontier science that is beginning to shake things up, it is not a stretch to imagine an Edisonian workaholic finding the prize he was looking for.
Real or not, Rossi’s apparent success spurred others in the field anew and Focardi’s old NiH partner Piantelli is among those who now reach higher yields and better control with the promise of commercially viable devices on the near horizon. If such a coincidence was negative it would be cited as strong evidence of fraud. It is important to recognise that Rossi stirred the pot. He is not responsible for the success of others but his inspiration energised the field. Despite following Rossi’s announcement Piantelli’s results are often discounted as irrelevant.
Rossi did not conduct one or two demos but many. He was not frightened to let people with the skills to debunk close to the device. Despite flaws, some of these were pretty impressive.
It appears that Rossi convinced Stremmenos and he then found the Defkalion crew. You have two choices unless you think their interest was blind: Stremmenos accidentally or deliberately brought in scammers who did a deal with Rossi to pretend it was real or that they believed it was real after seeing the goods. If you go with the former then you have to run with it all the way and imagine a staged fight to texture the story or a real fight over some part of the scam. If staged, then we now have one big group pretending to be two. That Stremmenos found the perfect fit for such a masterly role is quite astonishing. If the split is genuine then you have to then imagine that both parties are competing against each other for the spoils of the same fraud. The knots you get tied in to stick with the notion that the eCat story fits the textbook pattern of these types of scams is quite extraordinary.
The list is longer but I will stop there. Being a true sceptic involves questioning the evidence and examining your own tendency to bias. Going back to the alarm bells above, each and every point can be explained through the story of a man who has what he says, is rightfully reluctant to trust and determined to ride this tiger to the line.
At this stage, a critical thinker will wait. Anyone who sticks with the certainty that this is a fraud is doing so on belief and that belief is born by looking only at a subset of the facts available.
Do not expect answers tomorrow. It is a shame that Defkalion’s first test group is a government body as this lends itself to reasonable excuses for secrecy (in the manner of secret 1MW customers). I hope not but be prepared. If delay follows delay, secret follows secret then the alarms will sound louder still.
For those who think this has all dragged on for too long, I guess you have never worked on the front edge of technical innovation. This is not slow by a long shot.
Be patient and give Defkalion the shot they appear ready to take.
Oh, and stop spitting in the corridors.<< Previous Post -- -- Next post >>