The Believer

The following short story was submitted by E-Cat World Reader Kelley Trezise

You, Ogg, squat at the entrance of your cave. It is the early dawn of humankind and you sit upon your haunches, feeling neither contented nor discontented as you stare blankly into a late afternoon sky. There is a man approaching, slowly, carrying a bundle slung over his back. You believe him to be a cousin and so watch un-alarmed as he makes his way, toward you along the trail. For a brief while, he disappears at the base of your hill then reappears, suddenly very close. Too late you realize he is a stranger. But he is smiling. Had it not been for his disarming smile you would have not allowed him to close the distance, but would have risen to threaten and drive him off. Now, here he is before you, with a bundle of wood in a sling on his back. Being a civilized cave-man you feign you are disarmed by proffering your hand, all the while you think of the spear hidden under the skin that brushes your right ankle.

He speaks. “I am Zog, and I bring you happy tidings and the hope of a bright future. I bring you fire!”

“Fire?” you echo quizzically, you’ve never heard that word. “What is fire?”

Zog smiles knowingly. He nods and understands your station as one of the new, the uninitiated. “Fire is good,” he explains. “It makes light, it makes heat, it makes smoke, it makes meat tasty. And, I will demonstrate it to you.”

Well, you think, that it new. Light, heat, smoke, tasty meat. It all sounds to promise an entertaining end to the day. “Please, yes, do show, here,” you prompt Zog, sweeping your hands before you like a good host inviting a stranger into your home.

Zog dumps the bundle of kindling and fagots on the ground, quickly arranges them into a pyramid, draws rocks from a pouch and proceeds to sing, chant and clack the rocks together as he dances about the wood. He dances a long, long time and works the rocks furiously. At the first wisp of smoke, Zog falls prostrate upon the ground, blows kisses and breathes breathy chants into the base of the heap of wood. Then it happens!

There is a glimmer of light and with a small pop and crack, a living, glowing genie springs from the center, tentatively at first. It grows quickly, so quickly you are startled by this new, never before seen life. It reminds you of a snake as it hisses and writhes. It glows and throws heat. It snaps and cracks and grows louder and louder. The stink of smoke alarms you as it pinches at your nose. But the flames mesmerize and fascinate. Finally the pile is alight, and bright with FIRE!

Zog, quickly lifts the large joint of raw meat you were gnawing and lays it atop the growing flames and the scent of cooking flesh seduces. “This is FIRE! Enjoy.” He packs up his rocks and departs.

The fire makes light, and it is good. The fire makes soothing heat, and it is good. The fire makes smoke and drives away the buzzing, biting insects, and it is good. The fire makes meat tasty and it is very, very good. You, Ogg, watch the fire late into the night as it dies down into a twinkling small echo of the winking sky above. As fire dies, you settle into a tired but excited sleep, looking forward to a new, and more hopeful day.

But when you rise, you find fire is gone. In its place lies a mockery of what was once the flaming pyramid of sticks and fagots, that crumbled before your eyes into a heap of black and glowing red worms. Fire lies now, only a gray powder. You poke your fingers into the center of the fluffy mass and spread it about in a vain search for the evidence of light…of heat. But fire is gone. You hold your fingers to your nose and sniff. A light puff of wind sends the friable remains away. Fire is no more. Though the man who brought it is gone and fire is gone, you know that you have seen it.

You too, want to make fire. And so you gather together wood. You collect rocks. You dance about the bundle and clash the stones and chant in pantomime of Zog’s performance as best you can recall. Much time passes and you give up but you try again the next day, and the next, and next. You witnessed fire’s brief, fantastic event and hold dear the memory. You anxiously await fire’s return.

Others inquire as to your behavior and you tell them of the arrival of Zog, the building of the pyramid, the chanting, the clacking, the ritual and the fantastic event of fire. Fire is good, fire is great, fire is a wondrous thing. It took only one spectacular event to convince you of the reality of fire. The people listen but do not understand and your attempts to bring forth fire only amuse them. They leave, tittering and laughing.

You insist upon repeating the story with greater and greater insistence and the others begin to look upon you with less interest and less amusement. Finally, those who first listened patiently to you become soured on your story. Eventually you are cast out of the tribe. You lose your position, your friends and your cave and are compelled to live on the perimeter.

But through the obscuring fog of scoffery, laughter and invective of the non-believers you hear rumors of others who, like yourself, also had a visitation from Zog and they too have witnessed the fire and they, like you, have after one brief spectacular event, become believers in and strivers after fire.

Kelley Trezise, a.k.a. Steve Robb, a.k.a. Zedshort

  • Roger Bird

    The Greeks called Zog by the name of Promethius. Will Promethius II be called Rossi, or perhaps Defkalion or Fleishmann or Pons?

  • Dsm

    Jake – that may be true but Rossi has decided to go better than that he will sell low end no risk versions in volume so cheap anyone can buy one.

    Then the extraordinary proof will be plug it in & see it work !

    But you are spot on when it comes to a theory of how it works 🙂

    Cheers

    Doug M

    • Jake

      “I’ll prove something in a year” has no value whatsoever.
      Factually, we saw nothing. That makes one who ‘buys’ his claims a pure believer.

  • Kim

    Sterling Allen is in Greek Athens as we speak
    The people are in full riot mode (Buildings Burning)

    Sterling is there to check on Dekalion ect…

    Respect
    Kim

    • clovis

      Hi. guys
      Hazardous duty pay should be payed.working in a war zone. not funny, though.

  • clovis

    Hi,Guys.
    Just found this thought you might like a look see,

    http://cdsweb.cern.ch/record/912062/files/0511092.pdf
    Here is the .Introduction

    F.A. Gareev, I.E. Zhidkova
    New Mechanism of Low Energy Nuclear Reactions
    Using Superlow Energy External Fields
    Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna, Russia
    e-mail:[email protected]
    1 Introduction
    The review of possible stimulation mechanisms of LENR (low energy nuclear reaction) is presented in [2]. We have concluded that transmutation of nuclei at low energies and excess
    heat are possible in the framework of the known fundamental physical laws – the universal
    resonance synchronization principle [1] and based on it different enhancement mechanisms of
    reaction rates are responsible for these processes [2]. The excitation and ionization of atoms
    may play the role of a trigger for LENR. Superlow energy of external fields may stimulate
    LENR [3]. Investigation of this phenomenon requires the knowledge of different branches of
    science: nuclear and atomic physics, chemistry and electrochemistry, condensed matter and
    solid state physics,… The puzzle of poor reproducibility of experimental data is the fact that
    LENR occurs in open systems and it is extremely sensitive to parameters of external fields and
    systems. The classical reproducibility principle should be reconsidered for LENR experiments.
    Poor reproducibility and unexplained results do not mean that the experiment is wrong. Our
    main conclusion is: LENR may be understood in terms of the known fundamental laws without any violation of the basic physics. The fundamental laws of physics should be the same in
    micro- and macrosystems. Let us start with the description of the hydrogen atom structure in
    different models

  • Mumtaz

    The inventor wants to keep his invention safe an away from burglar’s hands speceially the big thief NASA.
    We did not see any thing from NASA regarding to this issue except their claim they applied for patent rights.

    • Robert Mockan

      I doubt very much that once a method of making “fuel” is published, that can be made by any person, that patents are going to prevent people from making their own fuel(s), and using them. Rossi wants to make cheap, but quality and quantity, product, to capture the market. But people want to power their cars (like in RVs), their boats (like in live-aboard ocean going), and planes ( as in fly anywhere, anytime, and distance).
      LENR is any anarchists dream. Like said in “Back To The Future”, “roads? who needs roads”, except now also we can say, “governments? who needs governments?”.

  • Robert Mockan

    Ogg, being an above average Neanderthal, notices during a lightening storm many moons later that sometimes there is fire in the sky. He knows it is fire because he had seen it once before, when Zog had shown him. Fire, but he could not see Zog. And then he had a thought. They did not happen very often, but he was, after all, above average. His thought was that Zog must live in the sky!

    • Robert Mockan

      This parable reveals there is still a LOT of work to be done.

  • Tony
  • http://www.nickelpower.org Bruce Fast

    Kelley Trezise, excellent! You hit the proverbial nail on the head. And I think we will find that once LENR is tamed, getting it going will require a whole lot less dancing, just like with fire.

  • clovis

    Nice one Kelley.
    enjoyed it, also good analogy.–smile

  • sapain

    enjoyed the story, well done.

    after reading the comments, ask urself-how many people in the world (now) can make a fire like zog did.

  • Steve Robb

    I suppose once a piece of writing is out there people are free to interpret it as they see fit. The story can be read simply as a bit of fun fiction but even that perspective requires the suspension of judgment for a while to enjoy the story in the light manner it was intended.

    Personally, I was trying to pose the question as to when it is reasonable to believe in the report of an event. We are presented mountains of news each day, only a fraction of which we review. We give a believability and an importance weighting to each news item according to our biases and personal tastes and educational background. Under what circumstances do you accept as fact the report of an event? If you were to personally witness some spectacular event, you would likely become a believer. Your belief might fade with time if the event could not be witnessed repeatedly. But the rumor of other such events by other people would brace the your belief. A person who did not directly witness the event would have to rely on the good faith of reporters of said event and if there are many reported from many reliable sources the event might be finally accepted as fact.

    So, I am a believer whose belief is based not on having personally witnessed the e-cat in action but on circumstantial evidence, my skepticism, my educational background. My belief is based on the reports from many people (some reliable, some not so) and the continued stream of rumors/news about the development and promises of a world altering product. It also rests to some degree on my lost faith in the community of scientists who by their behavior repel me and force me into the camp of the believers. I am eighty percent of the way toward fully believing and await with abated breath further evidence one way or the other.

    • sparks

      Skepticism is fine and becoming convinced is fine too. But the repulsion motivation (“lost faith in the community of scientists who by their behavior repel me and force me into the camp of the believers”) is not a valid mechanism for adjusting one’s beliefs.

      If it were, I’d have extra motivation to disbelieve Rossi, based on the attitudes struck from day to day by some of the posters on this website (!!).

      • Steve Robb

        How does one lose faith in the abilities of people you never had faith in in the first place?

        • sparks

          That was your quote, so feel free to answer the question you just posed for us.

  • andreiko

    Wel geloven in een “god” en niet in LENR ???

  • Brad Arnold

    No theory, no fire!

    Five Stages of Idea Acceptance
    1. It is irrelevant to this situation.
    2. It’s relevant, but it’s unproven.
    3. It’s proven, but it’s dangerous.
    4. It’s safe, but it’s not saleable.
    5. It’ll sell, what a great idea!

    Stuck on #2.

    “The white man often scoffs at things he has never seen or does not understand.” -Master of Sinanju

    • Joe

      Its tradition that cold fusion claims of success wither and die when exposed to the harsh light of the scientific method. Its underpinnings for legitimacy rests entirely on popular faith and hope or through tenuous associations with reputable
      people. Defamation is the reward to any that would question on its veracity.

  • daniel maris

    Good prose, but I am not sure what point the analogy is making. We haven’t seen the fire, we’ve only heard about people who have seen the fire, whereas Ogg saw the fire! Confusing…

    • Steve Robb

      There are a great many phenomena of science and technology that I have not tested, demonstrated or witnessed personally but with a foundation in science and technology (am I an initiate or brainwashed) I accept those facts as facts if some reliable persons will attest to their repeatability.

      • Jake

        Well, given the complexity of the subject and high probability of making honest mistakes, the number of people and experiments involved count.
        This is why extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. AR falls short in this manner.

        • http://www.nickelpower.org Bruce Fast

          Jake, if you think that Rossi stands alone as he makes his extraordinary claims, then you are badly misinformed.

          Please let this link inform you a bit: http://nickelpower.org/2012/02/02/extraordinary-claims/

        • Knighthawk

          Jake you summed it up nicely.

  • Brian

    Next thing you know, our caveman asks his fellow cavemen and -women to fork over food and resources, and support him while he works at recreating fire.
    Some in the group might even suggest picking up a different lifestyle, like forgoing hunting for warm fur before Winter – because Fire will soon be here!
    At the point where Rossi’s claims start having an impact on decisions of others, it becomes prudent to ask him for a little demo.
    Especially since he is so busy making 1000000 fires just out of sight, that he can’t be bothered to show just one little fire in our cave.

    • sapain

      is rossi ogg-no
      is rossi zog-no
      rossi is zog`s apprentice

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  • björn

    Where is Zog, fun GWAR-song, chec it our its a hoot.
    The return of Zog promises negotiations, he wants women, fur, weapons etc in exchange for the secret of fire. And he must be cautios not to be kilked by tbose whos powers he challenge.
    The beginnings of politics.

  • Stephen

    This is not religion or love: we don’t need believers… we don’t need unreasonable skepticism… we don’t need story tellers… we do not need tribe exiles… we do not need myths. We just need to be serious and face reality with a honest eye. Period.

    Hopefully, thousands of years have passed since the cave age.

    Don’t mix up things. Keep poetry for the good times with your partner: this is the place it belongs to. And it’s a nice and worth place 😉 don’t waste poetry with technology.

  • Alexvs

    You can assign Ogg or Zog roles to Mr. Rossi. From the thread story or from the Alain’s story it is clear that Mr. Rossi is behaving wrongly, neither as a scientist, nor as a philantrop, nor as a business man. I do not want to qualify Mr. Rossi, simply I mean that it is difficult to understand him.

    • Steve Robb

      Someone suggested that Mr. Rossi lives more in the future than in the present and only weakly in the past. To a great degree I envy such people. If they have monetary resources they can create businesses, if they have artistic talent great works, if mathicatically/scientifically inclined they can push the boundaries of our knowledge of our universe. But if too unconstrained they may fly too high and come crashing to dust.

  • Rhys

    I have seen this before as an argument for religion, as I assume that this is being used as an argument for e-cat (not existence of god) and I think that the same arguments against it apply for this application of the fable.

    • Tom

      Why would you try argue with a fictional story? I think the analogy fits nicely.

  • DSM

    Enjoyed the effort that went into the story. 10 points 🙂 – the fun side of it gets the message across.

    BUT being the techie self is, must add some comments & perspectives 🙂 🙂 🙂

    The person Ogg would almost certainly have seen fire before as fire has been with us long before we (man) could trigger it independently. Fire was pretty common on most continents and would happen typically from lightening which was a quite common phenomenon across all the world.

    The issue for Ogg and his people was knowing where to run when fire struck – and you can bet they were also capable of looking at it as it burned itself out around them.

    The mystery in the story is why anyone with a ‘magical’ power would randomly show it to people he knew could not make any sense of it. A gaping hole in the moral of the story. That is actually criminal.

    But, if you wrote this whilst being well versed in the people known as the ‘Cargo Cult’ esp from Papua New Guinea (others can google it) then the above anomaly may be ameliorated. BUT, the Cargo Culters didn’t have a random person wandering into their space to tantalize them with ‘goodies’ just for the hell of it. They were observing modern technology deploying for military-political purposes.

    BUT, as can be seen repeatedly in LENR blogs – there are masses of people who will step in and post strongly worded comments about LENR and Rossi and others, who clearly know nothing of which they speak. Shoot from the lip is the expression.

    Rossi is not Zog. He has not set out to tantalize ordinary man. He set out to get attention from eminent professors and researchers (the witch doctors of the tribe not the plebs at all). But Rossi does intend to deliver to the plebs & common man because he knows there is no other way for him to achive his goals & glory.

    But, the tribal elders regional convention (corroboree) would probably want Zog arrested, and jailed – but then most likely handed over to the regional council of witchdoctors.

    The learned gathering of witchdoctors might want to go further. Expel anyone from any tribe who believes in self starting fire as anyone ‘knows’ *only the gods can start fires* (meaning: only witch doctors should have such power if it could be obtained). They would probably have Zog killed once they could learn his secret of fire starting (try a bit of torture & intense attacks etc: – as we all know – just like Krivit and him doing his number on Rossi ).

    BUT, Thanks for starting a great thread – there are so many paths people (like me) who could take it down different paths (biases) in a reflection of our so called modern civilized world 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Doug M

  • morse

    Nice fairy tale, but I don’t think this is the way LENR should be treated. It deserves a strong scientific/mathematical theory that describes the process in order for people to really believe ! We live in the 21st century, not in prehistoric times.

    • DSM

      LOL – Do we ???

      I hadn’t noticed 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Cheers Doug M

  • Heh

    Prometheus and the caveman.

  • Luca Salvarani

    This is almost poetry! Congratulations!

    • Steve Robb

      Thank you. People have told me that I wax poetic in my stories. Generally I feel the need to restrain the poetic licence as it comes across as trite if too obvious but in a story such as this it is possible to put it on display.

  • Alexvs

    Very nice and educational story. Ogg has not understood the essence of the phenomenon and he is not able of replicating it. The tribe has not fire.
    If you want to establish a paralell between Mr. Rossi and Ogg, I might agree.
    As always, unfortunately, beliefs are not reality.

    • Alain

      another tale…

      on day on a beach, called palladium, one fisherman find a diamond in a pebble (they name it deuterium in that village).
      He goes to the village, to see the stone-carver syndicate and ask for a conference.
      He show his diamond. since he is a fisherman, he break it badly, but there are some hint it was a nice diamond…

      the chatting women (Mrs Press, Miss TV) are enthousiatic, dreaming of jewelry…

      the stone-carver feel upset and decide to send an inquiry and try to replicate the experiment.

      they sent 10 stonecarver pupils to check the facts on the beach.
      most look only 5 minute hoping they find nothing, bring 2 pebble each… some do it seriously, curious, but not knowing what to look for… black pebble, grey pebble, big, small, round or square…

      anyway they bring back their pile of pebble.
      one hundred exactly
      they break them and look…
      only 30 diamond, small, and darky…
      70 pebble with no visible diamonds.

      the council of stone-carver say that the diamond are false, that it is not reproducible anyway.
      that fisherman did not know how to cut stone, that they lie, fraud, just to seduce the catting girls to have a chance to seduce them.

      the chatting girls, are sad, and chat that the fisherman is a looser…

      anyway some kids, fishermen, even some stonecarvers, one soldier (call Mr SPAWAR, and his wife Pam Mosier-Boss)look for diamond on the beach…
      Pam and Mr SPAWAR have method. they are square, and methodologically understand which kind of stone to look for, the invent small tools to filter the sand, and finally find small gem 100% of the time. they even lend their tools to friend so they can do it them selves, and it works.
      then they talk to the chatting girls, and instantly the chief of the village ask them to stop, otherwise they are fired from the army.

      but nobody dare in the village.
      the chatting girls don’t wan to talk about that, not to look ridiculous.
      the husband neither, because they are afraid of their chatting wife.
      the Stone-carvers don’t want to look at the diamond found no to see that they lose their chance to rule the world… except a few, but their are banned instantly from the syndicate if it gone public.
      some stonecarvers start to look for other places that the beach. some find that in the river , called nickel, there are different stone, the squary “hydrogen” rocks…

      finally one italian homeless, ruined for having sold distilled alcohol (and make the other village boss drunk to vomit), ridiculized for having tried to sell a big pan to make pancake for all a village in one time (an too incompetent to understand the problem of heat transfer on a pan), pass by the village.
      he is alway looking for occasion to make a revolution and get famous and usefull…

      he hear about that crazy gem storry.
      her of the story of the river gems, look himself for the “squary rocks” in river nickel…
      use a big shovel, a big bucket, mix, sort, filter and obtain a bucket of diamond…

      anyway his isntallation is loosen in wood… regularity it beaks becufe of the water flow, the flood, the wind…
      he want to make demonstration, but afraid people guess his technics… nobody believ, and they thing that he simmply have a bucket of broken glass…
      he ask to the local mechanic, (call national instruments), who moan , and keep silent to work on the installation…
      the italian always talk, dream of when he will offer a diamond to every girl in the village… some believe in what he says, a bit cautious anyway, because they know the storry of MrMrs Spawar & al…

      meanwhile the italian try to convince the local greek smith (call Defkalion).
      the smith see the loose installation, ask for a demo, see the good idea but very bad design in wood, and many uncontrolled factor.
      he is upset by so much amateurism.
      the demonstration fails because the wood installation crash in the middle…
      he break the contract, for non respect of conditions.
      he goes on the river, try to find a new place (here they call the place the “catalyst”), find a good one, where you can filter many diamond.
      he build all the installation in iron and stone, so it can resist the flow, the wind.
      he add some automatic system, so that it works without effort (because like any smith engineer, he is lazy, and proud of it)…
      when he have a bucket of diamond, have seen when it can work and when it fails, he call the village for a public independent test of his machine…

      the chatting girls don’t care, afraid to look ridiculous again, the village chief neither afraid of his wife reaction…
      anyway some stone carvers, wood cutter, baker, and fishermen, agree to go to test the machine…

      meanwhile the italian promiss a diamond for every girls in the village for the price of a fish…
      He says that he learn much from the local mechanic, and plan to make a huge installation… he looks sincere, but some, even believin in diamonds, don’t trust him much… anyway few doubt he found diamonds, they doubt he can make a factory.

      meanwhile the fisherman, is old and have lost memory…
      He tried to look to find diamond, but his Japanese sponsor never allow him to visit the around, so he could not go to the river and stayed on the beach

      • Alain

        all is true, name replaced

    • Colin Connaughton

      It’s not Ogg’s fault. Zog didn’t show Ogg how to make fire or explain it. Instead he went through a ritual of singing and dancing, like religious hocus pocus, to mystify.

      I think it parallels Rossi very well in that respect. But fire is real. I don’t think that the ecat is, and I won’t until it is proven in a proper scientific way. Like using a calorimeter, as I recall from my school physics class many years ago, instead of an opaque black rubber hose going into a hole in the wall or into a bucket, for a start.