This story caught my eye:
- Australian entrepreneur, philanthropist, skeptic, aviator and eccentric Dick Smith has offered $AU200,000 for proof that the Andrea Rossi “energy catalyzer” actually works.
- As a general rule, physicists would say that the production of an atom as heavy as copper is the kind of reaction that’s best done if you happen to have a supernova handy. The low-energy claims made for the E-Cat are the main source of skepticism about Rossi’s claims.
- Smith has a record of being careful with his prizemoney: as patron of the Australian Skeptics, he is also joint backer of an unclaimed prize for anyone who can demonstrate paranormal abilities
- Since the Herald won't say it, The Register will: do not invest any money in E-cat until someone can reproduce the experiment and explain the mechanism by which the fusion takes place, to the satisfaction of the scientific journals. Or until Smith signs a cheque for his $AU200k.
I wonder if the author ever really thought about this very deeply. It isn't about letting someone else do your thinking for you. This could be easy money if Rossi's device works. But who gets the money?
Smith isn't being as careful his money as this article suggests. It looks to me like he's decided that Rossi's E-cat is some kook device being pushed by kook. I suppose that is possible, but it is also possible that Rossi is on to something.
Conventional wisdom is easy because you don't have to think.