Re: Re[2]: This is not The National Inquirer

Lee Daniel Crocker (
Mon, 28 Apr 1997 18:01:17 -0700 (PDT)

Kennita Watson <>:
> The point is that saying that something "violates the laws of physics"
> doesn't convince people -- being open to input that seems to violate the
> known laws is what allows people to discover new ones. And calling the
> people names *certainly* doesn't convince them...

Having just checked many of the usual sites I use for good debunking
info, I must admit that there is very little on the old water-power
scam. I had assumed that such info would be plentiful; such good
resources like the Skeptic's Dictionary,, and others
have lots of good rational analyses of such claims, but this specific
one is under-documented, so I suppose I do bear some culpability for
assuming that our proponent had more resources than he actually did.
I'm sure a more thorough search might turn up something better, but
I doubt our particular reporter would have been swayed by calmer heads
anyway, as his credulity seemed unswayed by any of the replies, and I
didn't think a suggestion to read the whole set of Feynmann Lectures
on Physics would be very welcome, although that's really all there is
to say.

Guru George:
> Well put, Kennita. I would just say, to balance it back the other way
> just slightly from where you leave it, that this is a list in which
> *critical thinking* is important. I think Mike offered the car thing in
> a spirit of critical (political) thinking, and while that's great, and
> while I think his critics were a bit rude in a human sort of way, still,
> he's got to take the criticism seriously if he wants to participate in
> that critical spirit. (The thing is, I'm sure his critics would have
> some sympathy with his political point in itself, to some extent -
> perhaps that might be a more interesting topic?)

Actually I find the political claim--the idea that some unnamed agency
of government might be capable of supressing a spectacularly valuable
invention, that it would be in their interest to do so, and that the
effect on the economy would be anything but positive--even more ludicrous
that the pseudo-scientific claims, and strong evidence that the author
is not merely a harmless crackpot but trying to perpetrate a deliberate
fraud upon his readers for some purpose I can only speculate. And while
I might have some sympathy for innocent dupes, I have none for criminals.

Lee Daniel Crocker <>  <>
"All inventions or works of authorship original to me, herein and past,
are placed irrevocably in the public domain, and may be used or modified
for any purpose, without permission, attribution, or notification."--LDC