Tag Archives: electrical

Idiotic vs. Stupidity in Electrical Generation

Banter can sometimes be a terrible thing.  Today many of us slosh hurtful words around without really contemplating what they are.  The word “idiot” is a good example.  Today’s dictionaries define the word “idiot” as someone who is very stupid, or senseless.  But the Greek origin of the word meant something quite different.

The Greek origin of the word “idiot” defined it as someone who was not trained in a particular field.  In the mildest form it was synonymous to “layman,” and at it’s most egregious it was recognized as someone who was ignorant of a particular training or set of knowledge, as “John the baker was not a doctor, therefore healing people would have been idiotic for him because he had no knowledge of the medical field.”

But the word “idiot” filtered down today to being just plain stupid.  And “stupid” implies the inability to learn, which is totally incorrect for the word idiot.  In the above paragraph I used the word ignorant to describe the state of idiocy.  I didn’t simply choose that word at random, nor was it used without extremely careful consideration.  Because  “ignorant” has become yet another slur to represent stupidity in our current culture.  And again it could not be more incorrect.  Ignorance only means lacking certain information.  It doesn’t mean that a person is incapable of getting that information, which is what “stupid” might seem to imply.  Conversely, “stupid” has nothing to do with intelligence.  Very intelligent people can be stupid for various reasons.  That only means they refuse to accept knowledge that is there for the taking.  So they may be ignorant of certain facts, meaning they don’t have the information pertaining to those facts, but it might be due to their own choice of refusing to acknowledge them.  It has nothing to do with their intelligence or cognitive ability.

I want to make a distinction between these words because  I’m going to be using these words below and I don’t want there to be any misunderstanding.

Our scientists and engineers currently working on electrical generation are stupid.  They are also idiotic.  And I’m not using these words as slurs or in any way attempting to demean their intelligence.  It’s simply that they choose not to search out information because they have developed rules for their current knowledge base that perpetuate the idea that no new information is possible now or ever.  They believe that they already know every possible thing about electrical generation that can ever be known, and that their system of generating electricity can not be improved upon.  They systematically choose to ignore new information or to research it.  That is the very definition of an idiotic system.  Their own system forces them to be stupid, or rather gives them the inability to learn new facts due to the faith in their current knowledge.  And whether they have genius IQ’s or even just normal IQ’s, they are stupid nonetheless because they have an inability to learn new facts.  The inability to learn new facts does not always come from low IQ’s, sometimes it comes from systematic conditioning.

Have you ever held a car alternator or generator in your hand and tried to turn it’s rotor?  If so then you know it is really dog-gone hard to turn that thing.  It takes a lot of force – like the engine of your car turning the alternator by a belt – to make it turn.  Why is it so hard to turn?

Although the answer is generally in depth with a lot of scientific principles regarding coils and electro-magnetism, the simple answer is that thin electric wires are wrapped into coils to pass through magnetic fields in order to create electricity.  So when a coil passes a magnetic field, although a current is induced in that coil from the magnetic field, and although that coil is the initial generating point of current, it is still nonetheless turned into an electro-magnet by the current inside it.

The thing about coils and elecro-magnets is that they create little things called eddie currents and other phenomena within themselves.  So the basic action of a coil with current in it is to RESIST CHANGE.  Therefore when that charged coil continues to move onto the next magnetic field of opposite poles – it resists changing for the new magnetic field.  That’s why it’s so hard to turn a generator or alternator.  It’s not rocket science.  It’s simply coil science.

Well then, you might ask, why do we use coils to generate electricity?  I don’t know.  I suspect it is because of confusion.  Because the laws of thermodynamics were built around the coil resistance that it takes to turn the generator.  The laws of thermodynamics then tell us that we will never get more power out of a generator than the power we put into turning it – Because it’s so dog-gone hard to turn it.  And it’s like a circle.  Scientists teach young aspiring scientists that they can never create more energy from a generator than the energy it takes to turn it, therefore they tell the young students to never try to find a better solution.  In addition, those young aspiring electrical scientists/engineers spend their entire lives not doing the research, not trying to find a better way, and remaining stupid (systematic inability to accept new ideas or technology)until they become the teachers themselves who now teach new aspiring young students the same bull-crap.  As the Lion King would say, “Acuna Matada.”  The circle of life!  For several hundred years the same systematic idiocy was used to retain the idea that the earth was the center of the Universe.  Or that fire was magic.  Those geniuses were wrong too.

What is an alternative to wire coils?  Could we just use a solid sheet of copper with the same weight as the copper in the coil to generate electricity?  We could do that but it wouldn’t be efficient.  Plus it would have almost similar but much smaller eddie current problems as the coil.  What we learned is that it’s not the amount of copper that induces electric current efficiently through a magnetic field, but rather the length of the copper wire.  However, the wire must be thick enough to handle what ever current is expected to pass through it.

So the question is – how do we build a block of wire – equal to the length of a coiled wire – that isn’t coiled?  I know how to do it.  But I am not trained in electric generation.  Therefore I’m an idiot.  But I’m not stupid.  And I’m not stupid because I’m ignorant of Thermodynamics.  Acunah Matada!

I’ll bet you could figure how to pass a bunch of wires that aren’t coiled past a magnetic field too.  Unless you’re a scientist.

The Bystander Effect and the Moon’s Poles

Recently I engaged in a scientific debate with engineers over the possibility of neutrinos being related to electrons.  Unfortunately the only comments it stirred were that I – apparently as a known nobody – am not able to make any advancements in the field of electricity and that we should all put our faith into the “experts.”  The most verbal of them actually told me that we already know everything that we ever will know about electricity.  It takes a while for that to soak in.  A human being, in full awareness of the history of science and chain of discovery and technology, in fact, a quasi-scientist himself in the role of electrical engineering – believes that we are at the end of our discovery chain – that we already know everything that we ever will know.

But let’s talk about something else for a moment.  The bystander effect is a social phenomenon common to the human animal.  It is part of group dynamic studies and it purports that groups of people are more likely to sit on their laurels and allow some fictional other person to solve the problem for them.  Most of the tests involved people falling in front of single individuals and also groups of individuals.  Then time was measured to see how fast anyone responded to help the falling person.  When the fall took place in front of individual people the tests showed the mean results as less than 30 seconds.  But when the fall took place in front of groups of people the mean results were well over two minutes.  Why do groups of people hesitate to help the fallen person?

The theory is that they believe someone else from the group will stand up and help the person.  And that makes sense to me since the individual person can see that there is no other help coming, he is more likely to help the fallen person.

And so, as I return to the scientific conversation with engineers, I quickly correlated most of their comments to the bystander effect.  Here are some of the comments I’ve heard:(paraphrased)

“Average people can not make advancement in science.  It has to be people who are more intelligent.”

“We already know everything we are ever going to know.  There is nothing left to discover.”

The correlation is obvious to me.  The one gentleman may not understand that Einstein and Tesla were just as average as anyone else until they followed their studies into perfection.  And I would add that I’m sure they believed themselves to be average as well.

After some befuddlement and examination I came to a suspicion that these engineers were so certain that others are correct that they have put too much faith in theories, making them facts instead.  But there are no facts in the scientific world.  And every scientific report is presented in a way that makes this simple reasoning true.  Scientific observations are reported as facts.  But conclusions on why those facts exist are theories.

Here is an example of a scientific report that follows the general scientific rule.  It involves the Moon’s changing north and south magnetic poles.  The reason they are believed to be changing is that there are possibly hydrogen atoms accumulated at two different spots for each pole, presumably the current pole and the previous ancient pole.  One theory offered by the scientists to explain this phenomenon is that the molten core of the moon shifted significantly during a volcanic eruption.

If you read the story (linked below) please notice that everything is reported as possible, or probable, but not actual fact.  (As I presented it in the above paragraph with words like “believed”, “possibly”, “presumably”, and “theory offered.”)  There are no “actual facts” in science because science is constantly changing.

So I am beginning to believe that the human psyche is so affected by trust in others that it allows the words “probable” and “possibly” to melt into the word “actual.”  And these engineers are so imbibed with this phenomenon that they are arguing well beyond their own areas of expertise to protect their beliefs.  On several occasions they resorted to Wikipedia and other online sources to prove that other peoples in fields way outside of their own already have the facts and that we needn’t pursue them ourselves.  That is absolute bystander effect.

So what is the lesson?  Teachers, encourage your students to break the mold of bystander effect.  Teach that all science is fleeting and changing and at best probable.  The entire generation of engineers in that conversation have been robbed by the system of ingenuity – and like cancer they continue to sprout the same message: “We already know everything.”  But we so don’t.