Those of us who have been following the development of Andrea Rossi’s E-Cat are in the doldrums right now. This is in the truly literary sense, as “doldrums” is an ancient nautical term that refers to a hot, energy-absorbing, windless sea. When sailors crossed the equator, they would often be trapped in the doldrums until severe weather finally filled the sails and moved them on to more dynamic climes.
Ironically enough, according to Wiki, the term comes from “dold”, which means “stupid”, and “-rums”, meaning “tantrum”. This literal translation of the term is quite appropriate for this waiting game. The third party report – the all important third party report – is still secreted away by that infernal third party, as we find ourselves raging against the injustice of the wait. I can imagine ancient sailors getting cabin fever as they ride out their time in the doldrums, in an oppressive climate, inactive, and with no change on the horizon. Their stupid tantrums, while creating a stir onboard the ship, bounce right off of the unyielding sky, producing no energy in the lethargic, inactive trade winds.
On the Journal of Nuclear Physics, Steven Karels has mentioned the wait, stating:
“It seems like little is going on the eCat world…You are waiting for the independent report/evaluation of the eCat by scientists not under your control…This report may never see the light of day…your critics say the eCat is false…(it) will be hard to demonstrate self-sufficiency (in the industrial E-Cat) as it must perform its industrial function…”
We all know, and Karels mentions, that Andrea Rossi and his teams are working as hard as ever, but as there’s no new breakthrough made public every day, we enter the doldrums. Karels suggests that perhaps Mr. Rossi could perform another demonstration. This is for those who are following the technology since, as Karels points out, the detractors won’t be convinced by anything.
It is somewhat humbling to realize that we are in very good company, as we play the waiting game. Besides ancient mariners, other people who found themselves losing their vision were the ancient Jews as they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness. Ancient Christians asked for more miracles to prove the truth of Christ. Modern Christians have been waiting for 2000 years for the Second Coming.
It’s not that comparing E-Cat technology to religious beliefs is necessarily the right way to go. But the trial of hope and waiting in something we can’t see occurs often enough in science and religion alike. And waiting is something that humans don’t do well, isn’t it?