Free energy is one of those things that sticks around. I guess being able to get something for nothing is just one of those things people wish wasn't too good to be true.
Of course, since I grew up listening to Patrick Stewart speeches, I tend to have an underlying thought that if we're just clever enough, we could find just the perfect things to solve our problems. Of course, as a skeptic, I work to keep critical thinking dominant in my mind, even if it has to give my wishful thinking a swirly. I can imagine it's possible (if very unlikely) that we might find some way to get energy that doesn't require too much effort on our part.
Not quite the case with most free energy boondoggles I hear about: Most really are supposed to be something for nothing. Just spin the magnets the right way and energy will come from some fundamental part of the universe on a silver platter, with a pretty bow on top.
Aside from the raw wishful thinking, though, I wonder if the enthusiasm might also be powered with desire to give the finger to the scientists who posited the laws of thermodynamics. As some ray of sunshine phrased them:
Zeroth: You must play the game.It's kind of depressing, so I guess I can't blame the sentiment. Of course, another issue is the desire to give the energy companies the finger. Yeah, fossil fuels are bad, and we've got a lot of people dragging their feet on developing practical alternatives, so it's not surprising some amateurs would like to do something to take on the Eeeee-ville faceless oil companies.
First: You can't win.
Second: You can't break even.
Third: You can't quit the game.
There's certainly a lot of good intentions with the deluded (and no shortage of cynical con artists who like to cash in on them), but as hard as it is, critical thinking is more likely to help solve the energy crisis than wishful thinking alone. Just a message from a friendly neighborhood skeptic.