“The absence of alternatives clears the mind marvelously”
As a former citizen (captive) of a communist regime I am very indebted to the author of this popular quote for his political activity. The authoritarian regimes have collapsed and I am free today and he has contributed to this.
The Kissinger quote is appreciated as something wise – and, in many circumstances- as life or death situations it indeed is.
However in more normal and less stringent situations, exactly the contrary of what he has told is true:
“The absence of alternatives blocks the mind completely”
(Hostile Pragmatic Reality)
Later in retrospective, after the disaster, many times, you will see that actually there were alternatives but you had no idea about their existence. You had no proper information about the possibilities, about the ways to escape, the saving solution or, simply the correct explanation; the circumstances have forced you to act or answer what you could - and you lost or failed. The response was a forced error due to lack of information- or knowledge, wisdom.
This has happened in 1989 with the Fleischmann Pons discovery: lots of excess energy- it cannot be chemical being too great – than it MUST BE nuclear. Due to our inherited love of certainty and simplicity- we (the collective mind, a splinter of Zeitgeist actually) have called the new source of energy Cold Fusion. In a sense it was both a blessed and a cursed moment of the history of science and technology. I still consider justified calling Cold Fusion a “miscovery” http://egooutpeters.blogspot.ro/2012/05/concept-of-miscovery-and-what-it-means.htm - and a misname. Only now so many years later we start to see and understand that the process is nuclear only partially and it is nuclear of a special kind- a new reality appears, it is much more than a new theory.
However Cold Fusion gave the creative opportunity to Ethan Siegel to write a third cold fusion paper- I have dis/miscovered it today:
Throwback Thursday: the Foolish Fallacy of Cold fusion
Nasty, aggressive title the content is very similar with the other two Siegel papers presented here recently…
Probably to suggest that Rossi is a scammer, Siegel re-tells us the story of the chess automaton of Kempelen Farkas (1734-1804) Hungarian inventor and scientist, kind of Dean Kamen of his age. The chess automaton- with a very talented dwarf player inside was more a joke, a challenge however this player inside was a formidable talent. See his games: http://www.chessgames.com/player/the_turk.html
Siegel re-demonstrates that Cold Fusion cannot be fusion.
I don’t remember when exactly has told Arthur C Clarke “it is probably not cold and not fusion” The founding fathers have also spoken about an “unknown nuclear process” quite early.
Speaking about the Sun- as a model for fusion energy we are not warned that it is a lousy weak source of energy- very low energy density- we cannot use such weaklings. Our patent specialist, David French has written an intellectually enchanting paper about this:
Our Universe is the most interesting of all possible Universes but it is not a model of efficiency. For long time I have complained that the speed of light, the absolute maximum is snail-like if we take in consideration the huge distances between the material formations, galaxies stars, whatever. Not a model of promptness, not in the spirit of “bis dat qui cito dat”
But Siegel will not give; in the name of Science he will take our new source of energy away. Dear Ethan, you are right that cold fusion of the productive sort is not fusion, so please join the efforts to find out what it is. Learn together with those who have started the job.