I don’t think Fludd was looking to start a company for his perpetual motion machine. In any case, the inventors who followed him would never admit a little thing like “setbacks.”
I picked up Voodoo Science at a used bookstore the other day. There’s plenty of inventors in it claiming to have discovered miraculous new energy sources, people like Joe Newman, Randy Mills and James Patterson, but my favorite guy from the book has to be Dennis Lee of Better World Technologies for his innovative use of tent revival techniques in pitching a perpetual motion device of the second type.
The audience, already exhausted by the long wait in the sun, had to struggle to keep up. if there was a momentary break in the action as they raced from one miracle to another, Dennis Lee would plug the gap with antigovernment, anti-industry, antiscientist, pro-God harangues. No form of authority was spared. He even made references to his jail time-naturally, his incarceration had been part of a plot by greedy polluters to supress the technologies that might save the world. ‘I never took a course-I’m really not a very bright man-but I’m God’s man.’ People stood and cheered.
Now, don’t expect to get your generator installed right away. Dennis Lee explained that if they bring out this technology too quickly it will wreck the economy. They love America too much to do that-unless the polluters try to block them. ‘The scientists do whatever the government tells them to do. We want what’s best for America, but if it comes to war, the Fisher engine will destroy them. A war with us could be a very bad thing for the United States.’
I’m not sure what Lee is up to these days, but this was in 1997, so either he’s still being kept down by the running dogs of capitalism or the economy is just too fragile to roll out the Fisher Engine.
From the book I also found out about the NIH’s National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Looks like they might get the axe. Tom Harkin must be despondent.