If only Steorn had been taking bets

To the surprise of absolutely nobody - well, OK, maybe to the surprise of some of the more enthusiastic editors at PESWiki - perpetual-motion-machine-makers Steorn haven't managed to demonstrate that their machine is any better than the thousands of other useless perpetual-motion machines.

There's a little more to this story, though. Steorn did not follow the standard script of the perpetual-motion scam artist, in which you make sure, at all costs, that nobody ever gets to examine your machine.

Instead, Steorn for some reason allowed actual scientists to examine their gadget. Those scientists have, predictably, now concluded that it doesn't bloody work.

This won't make any difference, of course. Perpetual motion, like magic car-enhancing gadgets and pills, is an evergreen scam. There'll be another one along in a minute.

(I particularly like commenter adipocere's modest proposal, on that Metafilter page, that we should create a Hall Of People Who Thought They Were Smart. Oh, and see also Adam Savage's comment on their preparation for the "Free Energy" tests on MythBusters.)

10 Responses to “If only Steorn had been taking bets”

  1. Red October Says:

    It's been long known to learned people that you can't break the laws of thermodynamics to get free engergy. However it's been longer known that you can pull the wool over the eyes of the stupid to get free money.

  2. Jono4174 Says:

    But Red October, thermodynamics is ONLY A THEORY.

  3. reyalp Says:

    Ah well, there's still Blacklight Power. That one has to be legit, right ?!? ;)

  4. Popup Says:

    I'm wondering whether the Steorn people actually believed in their contraption. Why on earth would they otherwise have agreed to have their device inspected by engineers?

    At the time I thought it was a simple publicity stunt for an old dot.com bubble revival, and that the directors were drumming up enough interest in the company to be able to sell their shares without too big losses. But now, three years later, it's still the same people in the drivers seat. Weird.
    (Although I must say that I like the theory that it was a simple publicity stunt

  5. TwoHedWlf Says:

    That's a good question, Popup. If we assume they are, in fact, sane...The only options really are 1: That they are scammers that don't believe it works in which case they're idiots for letting it be genuinely tested. Or 2: They genuinely believed it works, but never properly tested it themselves to see if it would work. In which cares they're idiots.

    I guess you could say there's 3: They tested it themselves and it did work, but the engineers testing it broke it. Hahaha...

  6. Popup Says:

    (I suppose it's not surprising that I was served Free Elecricity ads by google...)

  7. Daniel Rutter Says:

    Oh, yeah - there are some corkers in the ads, aren't there?

    I picked one at random (and copied and pasted the URL, so as to avoid clicking on my own ads, which is a big no-no), and found myself reading all about the magnificently simple "Magniwork" electric generator. Which "creates 24 kilowatts of power per day on average", don't you know!

    You know you're looking at a quality perpetual motion machine when even PESWiki calls it a scam!

    (The PESWiki article currently says Magniwork is a scam mainly because it's a poor copy of a different system, which in turn has never been shown to work. But that different system is still "interesting science", according to PESWiki's eternal optimists...)

  8. byatch Says:

    I'm a big fan of the ad that goes on to say that their Free Energy System is, and I quote, "Best Free Energy Solution".
    It thrills me to know that not only is their product capable of producing free energy, but better still, they have tested and benchmarked it against other market leaders, only to come out on top!

    I would like to see their results, if they don't mind....

  9. corinoco Says:

    'Make a magnetic generator!' (What? You mean a magnet?) The picture is great - scientist-type in white coat (so you know he's smart) twiddles knobs on what looks like, well, an air-conditioning chiller plant. He rates his own site at 5/5 stars, by the way. It has a 'Certificate of Guarantee' right there on his site! Pay only $49! Save $150! Regular price $197! Umm... hang on, that's not right. Oh, of course, he's using overunity mathematics. My bad.

    More banner ads: "How I made $77 million in two years!" Yeah, and you're taking out pay-per-click ads because it's just a hobby? Reminds you of old times when you had to scam micro-payments?

  10. reyalp Says:

    Totally OT, but since I know Dan loves the homeopathy http://drboli.wordpress.com/2009/06/27/advertisement-365/

    It really works!

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