eCatNews is a single focus site. I understand that many people want to discuss a range of topics and as long as it does not distract us from the main theme, I let it go. I have ignored frequent references to Steorn. This subject (ECat) has nothing to do with that simply because they both involve an as-yet unproven new energy claim. While I suspect it is sometimes brought up to derail the conversation (but not always) there are lessons relating the two that are worth noting. That is the intention of this post. Please feel free to discuss as you will but in the future, if I see its mention in a context unrelated to the subject in the headlights, I will delete it without comment. This is not intended to suppress or hide anything but as a determination to maintain the true focus of this site.
One of the hardest things to do is to look inward and force yourself to see what you’d rather not. Absolute honesty can be tough but ultimately rewarding. Pathological sceptics hopping from case to case or the uncritical believers they shadow, often repeat the same pattern as though tramping a circular treadmill going nowhere. I understand the motive of the believer who lives a life of hope but, unless it is a job, I cannot fathom the pathological sceptic who spends thousands of hours working on something they do not believe in. Thus, in trying to fend the often monotonous (and frequently intellectually dishonest) arguments from this camp, it can seem to others that I disagree with everything they say. The best of liars use truth as a powerful weapon and the biggest truth the pseudosceptics have on their side is that, when it comes to the only result that matters, so far, they have been proven correct.
I am not a free energy activist, but a writer interested in our future and in science. Prior to Rossi’s eCat, I was intrigued by an advert the Irish company (Steorn) placed in The Economist. Why would they do such a thing (at around $17K) when what they were saying was obviously crap? I visited their site, expecting to spot the real motive quickly. I did not.
This was no alternative gimmick for a movie or a viral seed for some non-science product. They really were claiming a new energy device and they had convinced others to invest over fourteen million Euros in the tech. Curious, and expecting the truth to be revealed soon, I followed events on the forum and broke a trip to Spain to hop over to a party in Dublin in an attempt to figure out these crazy people. Despite the insults from the likes of Maryyugo and Thicket (at the time) I can assure you that the people behind Steorn were real and experienced engineers. After signing an NDA, I was privy, along with others, to many of the technical details behind the technology and the related device; the Orbo. The ideas were interesting, inventive and really, pretty damned clever.
Getting to know the main players and the technical details behind their claims led me to wonder if they had truly discovered something new. The effect of one cycle was tiny but the promise of high output at increased speed was tantalising. That said, the precision engineering required to harness that tiny amount put replication beyond the reach of most people. Thus, proof was always just around the next corner.
Having approached the subject as a sceptic, I was slowly drawn in. I genuinely liked the people behind Steorn and admired their obvious skill and intelligence. As a member of the closed forum, I met (virtually and in person) many amazing people. Some were scientists and engineers and others were driven by a belief in the people alone. I find this hard to criticise without admitting that it became an element in my psyche and approach to Orbo.
Despite my initial disbelief, I jumped over and back again from one side of the believers’ fence to the other. I never understood the CEO’s insistence that they were breaking the laws of thermodynamics or that energy conservation did not apply. Even in my most optimistic mood, I argued against this and put it down to their lack of scientific experience. All that mattered were the results they reported. Maybe they were tapping a previously unknown reservoir. To me, it was a side-show I could ignore.
I have no intention of breaking confidences and so everything I say is public knowledge viewed through the prism of my experience.
Steorn recruited a ‘jury’ of scientists (20 of them and all sceptics). The company would give them unrestricted access to Orbo and let them announce their results to the world. They organised a demo in London and then one in Dublin. I attended both.
The pseudosceptics were infuriating. They said that there would be no demo. Excuses would be made on the day. They said there was no jury. At various stages they said that the company did not exist and a whole heap of stuff that I can say for a fact was utter nonsense. Looking back over four years of broken promises however, I can also say that, on the subject of real and provable results, so far, they have been absolutely correct.
As the London demo approached, I asked myself why the company would set up something so elaborate if it was not true. And yet, on launch day, the device ‘broke’ and all those people who came from various parts of the globe, spending thousands of dollars on fares and hotels, had to be happy with a few beers with Sean. I had a great time. Steorn abandoned that version of Orbo and moved to a new design. I gave them the benefit of the doubt with renewed scepticism and a little unreasonable hope. After all, despite the pseudosceptics’ accusations, I knew the jury was real. Why would the company give the tech to a group of twenty genuine scientists if it was not real?
When the jury reported that they found no effect, my reaction was publicly negative. My scepticism was back in force and the only reason I retained any interest was because of the people involved – those in the company and those beyond.
Steorn is not dead. Even after the poor jury verdict, they held another confident demo (this time in Dublin) that convinced no-one that mattered (as far as I know).
I truly have no idea what was going on with Steorn. If I knew at the beginning what I know now, I would have had no interest in them at the outset. I find it instructive to view my own behaviour at various points on the Steorn journey and realise that there is a part of all of us open to hope beyond sense. I thought I steered a savvy path between that tendency and dispassionate logic. I now believe that I was not always successful. I still hold out a sliver of hope because I think that the engineers working there are talented and that they believe in what they are doing. I like them but unless they put a device on the market that defies expectations, I will remain a true and hard sceptic.
This has been a cautionary tale. eCatNews is not intended as a focus for a range of free energy efforts. I fully expect mankind to move beyond oil and I find it astonishing that a Manhattan-style project has not been actioned to solve our problems. It is irrational to believe that, as our planet screams across the Universe, we will never be able to scrape a tiny fraction of its energy as we go. So far, apart from a few pioneers fighting against the grain, our efforts have been dismal.
I do not have a specific interest in this field but Steorn made me aware of what is going on and that dance led me to Rossi’s eCat. I know the pitfalls. I’ve seen the signs. I understand that we cannot rely on incredulity relating to the actions of others as a reason to think one thing over another. I will not believe that Andrea Rossi’s claims are true until he proves them according to his schedule. Neither will I fall prey to the often irrational arguments of the pseudosceptics. As surely as they bask in the correct but sad glory of past ‘victories’, their single-track vision will eventually fail them.
As you weigh the evidence one way and another, distrust certainty of any flavour without proof – especially if it comes from within.
Distrust your hope if it involves your wallet but do not destroy it. Rossi is different. He is doing many of the things Steorn merely said it would do. He is worth watching.