It would be better if we weren't surrounded by fans. Then we wouldn't take them for granted. They seem so simple—an electric motor spinning a paddle wheel to throw air around. If we weren't used to have that old clunky oscillating fan to cool us off on those hot summer nights, we wouldn't think they were so simple. If we had never heard of electric fans; if, instead, we first encountered them, in a Ph.D. seminar on Rotational Aerodynamic Gas Acceleration Systems, we wouldn't make the blunders we do with them in cooling electronics. We would respect fans for the mysteries that they are.
It is tempting to think we can solve thorny thermal problems by introducing a fan or two. In reality, we are trading one set of problems for another, as the stories in this section illustrate.