Paradise ponders: twilight zone edition... I'm not sure if I've blogged about Kickstarter before, even though it's a place I frequent. I've never put a project up there, but I have backed quite a few of them over the years. Amazingly, my experience has been uniformly good so far – every single project I've backed delivered what they promised. Often, in fact, they over-delivered. I do choose carefully, though: I only back projects that are something interesting to me and that look practical and competently led. There are many that I review and dismiss because their goals look unrealistic or the project leaders look flaky.
But ... last night I ran across a new Kickstarter project that has set a new bar for both of my red-flag triggers. To my surprise, investigating this project was like walking through a portal to another world: one populated with (if I'm being charitable) a large number of astonishingly under-informed people.
My first clue was the title of the project: Gabriel Device - Free energy for everyone. That seems to over-promise a bit, no? The photo at right is a screenshot of the device itself, taken from the video on the project home page. It appears to be a simple toroidal transformer, a common enough device in modern electronics and electrical gear – one without any magical properties that I'm aware of.
My second clue was the first bit of the project description. I'll just quote it:
How to change the world, Changing the world in of itself is a undertaking only most dream about and bicker about in early morning rush hour or afternoon coffee-shops, The United states is hapless says a Englishman, the new world is destroying our faith says a Muslim, why does my country seem to be in free-fall all the time, says a American.I think Nicola Tesla may well be dancing in his grave, though perhaps not for the reasons this fellow thinks!
Most of these issues are brought about by the media and propaganda that aspire to enrich or enslave a mind, but what if, the core issue to all of our problems stems from a power-source that just either hasn't been developed or needs to be fully developed,
If power was a source that could be transported and established across a well, a farm, a school, a vehicle, a hospital, all without moving parts and the only need to make it work is to get it initialized, that would even make Tesla himself dance in his grave.
Further along in his description, he calls his device a “nested bi-toroidal transformer” – something I'd never heard of. So I googled it. It was when I started following the links that I felt like I'd entered that portal into another universe: the Universe of Perpetual Motion. The current phrase in vogue is “above unity”, referring to devices with a ratio of output power to input power that is greater than one. In the short intervals of coherency I found in the posts and videos, I think I figured out why the bi-toroidal transformer has entranced these folks: it's because they don't understand power factor, and this has fooled them into believing they're creating power from nothing. This wouldn't be the first time that power factor has been a perpetual motion factor.
But ... this project is certainly the first time I've seen something so plainly loony on Kickstarter. People are being asked to pledge a half million dollars (for what, I have trouble imagining, and the project doesn't actually say). I'm somewhat relieved to see that as of this morning there is just one backer who has pledged $40. I'm reasonably confident that this fellow won't get a half million dollars in pledges – but what if he did? Would Kickstarter actually give him the money? Kickstarter's guidelines and prohibited items list don't seem to rule out perpetual motion schemes. Kickstarter and Stripe both make money from funded projects, so clearly both have an incentive to actually follow through with the funding, should there be sufficient pledges. Gulp. Part of me says “Yikes! That shouldn’t be allowed!” Another part of me – dominating at the moment – says “If there are enough fools willing to donate to an obviously hopeless cause, then … it’s on them. ”
But still ... oh, my!