Sleight-of-Mouth

Important Things in Science

December 7, 2016

These are the same as in the new theology in the time of my direct ancestor Caradog, King of the Silurians, two thousand years ago, purity of purpose and scholarship, in our case accurate comparison with data, and in our time, archiving and our own methods of distance teaching at the best universities and similar in the world. The result has been the complete rejection of ancient dogma. The naive standard modellers underestimate the intelligence of ordinary people. As we say in middle distance athletics, the opposition to the new science has been burned off, and physics will never be the same again. If things were left to the physics establishment one could win a five thousand metre race by fifty metres, and they would give the gold medal to the runner up, or the first string theorist to finish. We just do not take heed of things like that, and the latest UFT364 on the replication of the Ide circuit is already a great success. So congratulations once more to all staffs.”

Physics is notoriously counter-intuitive and the ‘intelligent man-in-the-street’ cannot ‘get his head around’ even its simplest aspects. Some laymen still insist (as did the crackpot Tesla)  that the Moon does not rotate. Others think that it is bigger when near the horizon. Some cannot understand why the illuminated crescent of a day-time Moon does not ‘point’ towards the Sun. In particular, laymen cannot seize the difference between energy and power. This is often exploited by journalists, who invite the lay reader to marvel at the power of a lightning-bolt and quickly compare it to the power consumed by a small town. The journalist fails to mention (assuming that he knows it at all) that the relatively paltry  energy of a bolt would not power the town for more than a millisecond. The power/energy confusion is enthusiastically  exploited by perpetual-motion conmen. A crook named Garabed Giragossian came very close to getting the US government to buy his gadget, which worked by speeding-up a flywheel over a long period and then expending the energy in a short sharp shock. Gullible senators were suitably impressed, but some spoilsport crackpot-watcher pointed out that the energy had been conserved, or slightly diminished; not increased. Hill-of-Beans pulls the same trick on his et3m website, and talks of ‘power multiplication’. In a 2015 paper which Ideotic presented to the ACS, he writes of ‘power-doubling’.   So, either these conmen cannot seize the difference between power and energy, making them stupid, or they do know the difference, thus making them … mere criminals.

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