Saturday, November 26, 2011

Rossi is not a threat to the 99%, but is a threat to the 1%

Before anybody jumps all over me for the title to this post, let me say straight up that I don't approve of Occupy Wall Street. I know I'm using their terminology and maybe even some of their thinking, and no, I have not turned Commie pinko.

It is a simple observation and logical conclusion based upon fact. Rossi claims he has a cold fusion device that works, but the US Patent Office will not grant a patent to his device or any other cold fusion device. Those are the facts. It is also a fact that the efficacy of the device doesn't matter at all. Cold fusion has been proclaimed to be impossible, no matter what evidence there may be to the contrary.

Cui bono? Who benefits from this? Lets take the two possibilities- that Rossi is a fraud, and the other- Rossi is not a fraud.

Let's take the fraud case first. If Rossi is a fraud and he gets a patent anyway, what happens? He sells a few devices that don't work and everybody will find out that he is a fraud. Who is harmed? There are a few people who can be harmed in this case, but on the whole, only a few people will be harmed. There's a process that may enable them to redress their harms, but let's say that not all harm can be made whole. At the worse, a small minority will be harmed. The amount of harm to each of these people will be relatively small. The device is not terribly expensive. It is true that it isn't cheap either, but at the worse, it won't bankrupt the buyers, in all likelihood. Therefore, the threat to the public is small and manageable.

On the other hand, let's look at the possibility that Rossi is not a fraud. Who benefits? Rossi does of course. But in addition to Rossi, millions, or perhaps even billions of people can benefit from his device. Who is harmed? The people who have a stake in the status quo. Those people are most likely rich and powerful, and will not be happy to have this new competitor who will take a significant amount of market share from them. Their properties will no longer be as valuable. Their harm will be permanent and irreversible in terms of their current situation. The only way for them to benefit is to stop Rossi. Or buy him out. In this case only a few are harmed and a great many people stand to benefit.

The ratio may not be 1% vs the 99%, but the principle is the same. The great majority are being denied an opportunity to better themselves and it is the "powers that be" who stand in the way of progress. The risk is small and the potential benefit is huge. So why not grant a patent?

I leave the answer to that question to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment