Extrasensory Situational Awareness

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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Bob on Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:47 am

Randi and "The Cult of Rationality":

http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org/i ... ndi-prize/

James Randi Reneges on the Randi Prize

James Randi is a Charlatan

by Dick Bierman

Dutch psychologist Professor Dick Bierman, University of Amsterdam, applied for the Randi Prize in 1998 for automated computerized tests of presentiment, following a procedure he had already used extensively with highly significant positive results.

In these tests, subjects showed physiological responses to emotionally arousing pictures about five seconds before the picture was selected at random and shown to them on a screen. This response did not occur in control trials with emotionally neutral pictures. The effect has been replicated by other researchers.

was approached by neuroscientist Stan Klein after a Tucson consciousness conference where I presented a paper on presentiment. He asked me why none of the serious psi researchers ever tried to get the million-dollar Randi Prize.

The obvious answer was that, as far as I knew, Randi was expecting his “challenge” to be decided on stage and to be completed within, say, an hour or so. Randi assured me that he would consider statistical experiments, but for the million-dollar prize he wanted odds against chance of a million to one.

I explained to Stan Klein that given the effect size of presentiment (assuming that was a real psi effect), to win the million dollars, I could obtain a results with produce a effect with a p-value of 10-6 within a year or so. I further explained that one could set up a presentiment experiment where Randi would produce the random “target” stimuli sequence (emotional or neutral) just before the stimulus exposure and more importantly after he had already received the physiological data through the internet. Thus he wasn’t obliged to be at our lab for one year in order to control the proceedings. He could have full control from Florida and I only wanted a second neutral person in between in order to prevent Randi “generating” targets after having looked at the physiological data.

Most of the initial communication went though Stan Klein, but then Randi invited me to communicate with him directly. He mailed me that he was at a point in his life (getting older) where he really wanted to know. He also assured me of his scientific expertise and told me he had experts on hand to help him. This is what he wrote in an email to me July 1998:

In general, I require million-to-one odds; I’m offering the JREF million dollars. Yes, I’m aware of the chance I’m taking.

I have experienced and dedicated statisticians and experts in experimental design who assist me at every stage, not that I usually need them. I wait, day after day, for these folks to advance to the starting line. Where are they? All I get is the amateur astrologers and abductees….

If anyone’s going to DO it, let’s get on with it. I’ll be 70 next month, and I figure I might have ten more reasonably active years to operate. Will that be enough time to have all the theorizing and arguing done with, and a REAL test under way? Yes, the million-dollar offer will survive me, but I’d really like to see a major response to the challenge mounted.

Please?

http://www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org/i ... oundation/

James Randi’s Foundation

“The James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF)”

From: Psi Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet: The Story of a Wild and Vicious Science Controversy… that Anyone Can Join!


by Craig Weiler

JREF is a skeptical organization supposedly devoted to promoting critical thinking regarding claims of the paranormal. In reality it is an advocacy organization, known in politics as a pressure group. They lobby media and science organizations to dissuade them from taking parapsychology and psychics seriously. Like other pressure groups, they occasionally perform high profile publicity stunts to attract attention.

In fact, they are a magnet for controversy and scandal. The president of JREF, D.J. Grothe, has recently been accused of “misogyny and disrespect for women coworkers,” and, “constant duplicity, dishonesty, and manipulation” by a female employee.[1] James Randi’s significant other, Deyvi Pena, was convicted of Identity Theft; a disgruntled million dollar challenge applicant put out a $100,000 reward to anyone who could prove that the challenge was legitimate, and there is a long list of complaints by people who have either applied for the challenge or taken it. The challenge itself is the subject of unending criticism:

“Psychic offered a million dollars to prove his abilities.” How many times have you seen that headline? James Randi, a magician, offers a million dollars to any person who can prove they possess psychic abilities. This is done through the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF for short), and is referred to as the million dollar challenge (MDC for short).

Every few months a story pops up in a prominent magazine about a prominent psychic who has been challenged to prove their abilities by taking the MDC. Celebrity psychics such as the late Sylvia Browne, James Van Praagh and John Edward have all been goaded at various times to apply for the challenge. All have declined.

Because the MDC is perceived in the media as a legitimate way to test psychic ability, declining to take the challenge is promoted as proof that the psychics are actually charlatans. Over the years, many people have applied for the challenge, a very tiny percentage has been tested, and no one has passed even the preliminary part. Skeptics point to this as proof that psychic ability does not exist.

Mr. Randi is a very popular skeptic and the million dollar challenge is easy to understand and seems to provide a clear and easy way to establish the truth about psychic ability. Because the MDC is rather popular in mainstream periodical literature, it merits serious investigation. . . . . . . .

The only thing you can say about the JREF million dollar challenge is that it is a publicity stunt that does not do what it claims to do: legitimately test for psychic ability. Because of the poor way that testing is managed, the tests themselves are not indicators of anything, much less psychic ability. In its present form this challenge is, for all practical purposes, unwinnable.

It begs the question: if JREF is so sure about psychic ability not existing, why do they have to resort to this deceit?
Last edited by Bob on Sun Oct 11, 2015 4:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Tue Oct 13, 2015 7:10 pm

Excellent observations, Bob, regarding Randi's so-called 'test'. The final question in your post is, imo, the Million Dollar Question which needs to be answered by Randi about his supposed Million Dollar Test! :/
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:43 am

https://scontent-dfw1-1.xx.fbcdn.net/hp ... e=56C932CA

How did they know he had died? Hmmm! Very interesting. ;)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Dmitri on Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:29 am

Bob, you would do well to pick your sources better.

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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Bob on Wed Oct 14, 2015 10:40 am

Dimitri, that is a pretty arrogant suggestion to give. LOL

People can read the articles on the site and believe what they want to believe.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Dmitri on Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:36 pm

Bob wrote:Dimitri, that is a pretty arrogant suggestion to give. LOL

Didn't mean to offend. Let me rephrase: "Your source choice for that sort of argument is laughable" :P

It's like quoting from Randi's website to refute an anti-Randi sentiment; it's just silly.

People can read the articles on the site and believe what they want to believe.

That's generally the way people interact with internet. So... yeah. Duh.

It's the specific choice of "the site" that's the problem in this particular case, and that's what I've tried to point out. It's like quoting from National Enquirer.
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Bob on Wed Oct 14, 2015 1:46 pm

Oh well! Randi is indeed THE man! LOL Long live the Cult of Rationality - What a following :-*
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Dmitri on Wed Oct 14, 2015 3:09 pm

gotta love labels... and assumptions...

carry on... :-X
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Bob on Wed Oct 14, 2015 4:04 pm

Always do! 8-)
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What If ESA Actually Does Exist?

Postby Doc Stier on Sat Oct 17, 2015 8:44 am

Life is filled with an ongoing series of 'what if' considerations. And so, what if an extrasensory awareness does in fact actually exist? During the five year long duration of this thread topic, a variety of insights have been offered regarding the nature of such awareness and how to tap into its use, both as a self-defense tool and as a general advanced warning system tool in any situation or circumstance. Thus, the simple question remains.....what have YOU done, if anything, to seriously explore the ESP phenomenon and to personally experience it in your own day to day life? Again, you can't realistically expect to benefit from something which you inwardly believe doesn't exist! Like martial art techniques, you won't know whether extrasensory situational awareness really exists and works until you empirically test it personally and repeatedly in a variety of ways. Just saying! -shrug-
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Dmitri on Sat Oct 17, 2015 9:25 am

I respect people's beliefs. I'm just not feeling that this is a reliable "path" to follow, for me personally. As Ken Fish's signature aptly notes, "a casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything" :)

you can't realistically expect to benefit from something which you inwardly believe doesn't exist

I would argue that there are infinite number of things of that nature, from pharmaceuticals to running. I will undoubtedly benefit from the dentist's injection of anesthetic into my nerves (by experiencing no pain from subsequent oral surgery) regardless of whether I believe in it. I will most certainly benefit from bicycling for 30 minutes (by improving my general health) regardless of my belief in exercise. The list goes on forever.

IME any system that requires belief has an inherent problem where the willing participant is conditioned toward a specific outcome simply by the mere fact of their belief and desire in such outcome. And of course there are various and numerous tools to help maintain such conditioning. I have therefore very little reason to trust any such system, be it martial arts, religion, a political doctrine, or what-have-you.
A couple of good friends of mine are exploring things like binaural beats meditation and similar things; I respect their choice, but IMO they are willingly conditioning themselves to feel and believe a certain way. I see the attraction of it, but I don't see the "overall" value of it. It's not unlike taking some LSD and thinking you can actually, physically, fly, just because of how very real that experience might appear to you under the influence. Which brings us to:

Doc Stier wrote:until you empirically test it personally and repeatedly in a variety of ways


Any good religion will have some required (or at least heavily promoted) rituals that embed and ingrain certain ideas into people's minds on a repetitive basis, day after day, years after year. Chants, recitals, continual reading and study of the same religious texts, same passages within same texts, etc. over and over again. After a while you effectively become what you have been making yourself, in a way; your brain will actually "change who you are" (to a certain degree anyway).

To me, that looks like a willful self-delusion, but I understand the need for it and its attraction, and respect people's choice to do it. I'm still good friends with all of my good friends, religious or otherwise. :) It's just that I personally have my own arguments (very good and strong ones IMO) to not (have to) follow that route.

But in the end, it's all good. Life's diverse, and that's just how things are in this world. Change is everywhere. 8-)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Doc Stier on Sat Oct 17, 2015 1:08 pm

Dimitri: The focus of this thread topic has nothing whatsoever to do with religion or blind faith, which I realized long ago that you are vehemently opposed to in any form. If you don't believe that extrasensory awareness is a viable reality, it most certainly never will be for you personally. So Be It! Please feel free to completely and totally ignore everything presented here as you wish. ;)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Michael on Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:50 am

Dmitri wrote:
you can't realistically expect to benefit from something which you inwardly believe doesn't exist

I would argue that there are infinite number of things of that nature, from pharmaceuticals to running. I will undoubtedly benefit from the dentist's injection of anesthetic into my nerves (by experiencing no pain from subsequent oral surgery) regardless of whether I believe in it. I will most certainly benefit from bicycling for 30 minutes (by improving my general health) regardless of my belief in exercise. The list goes on forever.

How predictable are local anesthetics for dental pain or pharmaceuticals for curing disease? Are these not tested for the so-called placebo effect? Are there not unpredicted effects that result in at least 100,000 deaths per year in the USA under optimum conditions (this is from an FDA report around 2012 of people who died in hospital and under full doctor's care).

These are not merely ranges of physiological effects, from high to low, but these are yes's and no's that anything at all happened, whether it was the actual drug or the placebo were administered. Of course this is a small percentage, but to me that means the greatest variable is the mind and it has enough control over the body to dictate reality, to a certain extent, within that person.

So my point is that I think you're using some examples to prove that belief is irrelevant and I think there are enough examples of exceptions to your rule in order to require a very large enough asterisk* on what you've said to allow for the discussion about ESA to be enjoyed here. :)
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Michael on Mon Oct 26, 2015 8:52 am

meeks wrote:well said. Skepticism is a huge wall in the path of discovery that prevents even the most rudimentary clues to be overlooked. Unfortunately, discussing energy or the ability to sense energy is an experiential discussion. Either you have or you haven't experienced it and one's opinion is too often based solely upon that aspect. Unfortunately the 'have nots' are all to quick to put down the 'haves' and write it off as imagination, psychological conditioning or simply psychological imbalance.


Great post!
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Re: Extrasensory Situational Awareness

Postby Dmitri on Mon Oct 26, 2015 9:47 am

Michael wrote:How predictable are local anesthetics for dental pain or pharmaceuticals for curing disease?

You're tweaking things away from my point... I.e. focusing on things that are irrelevant to the point I'm making.

My reply was to these statements: "you can't realistically expect to benefit from something which you inwardly believe doesn't exist", and "until you empirically test it personally and repeatedly in a variety of ways"
I thought I'd refuted it with enough substance and clarity, -- but apparently not so, at least for you...

OK then, let me try and make it so bluntly straightforward that there should be (I hope?) no "wiggle room" left.

How about this.

If I drop a 16-ton weight on top of you, you will die instantly. How predictable is that? I would dare say it's 100% predictable. You will die instantly regardless of your beliefs. No need to "empirically test it personally and repeatedly in a variety of ways", either.


(Whether, upon your unequivocal demise in the above scenario, you shall ascend to heaven, descend to hell, be reincarnated into a prince, cross the Styx, join Odin in Valhalla, get to hang out with a bunch of virgins, take a trip to the Summerland, be swallowed by Cthulhu, or, like all the "less-special-than-humans" living things tend to do, just decompose like a fallen autumn leaf, -- that'll be for you to find out at that particular time. [Or not, if it's the last option. :P] But that, again, is beside the point here.)


meeks wrote:Either you have or you haven't experienced it and one's opinion is too often based solely upon that aspect. Unfortunately the 'have nots' are all to quick to put down the 'haves' and write it off as imagination, psychological conditioning or simply psychological imbalance.

Actually I've experienced quite a bit of strange phenomena, up-close and personal, and healed some people without touch (in my younger days), and "viewed remotely", and was otherwise "passively" exposed to a truly great deal of really strange things that seemed to have no explanations, other than the esoteric ones.
...and then I stepped out of the forest, and thought about it critically.
So I don't fall under that "too often" umbrella there, even though I agree that yes, too often that IS indeed the case.
I HAVE been there, however. And ALL of my bizarre experiences (and ALL others I've seen or read about thus far) can be explained with simple explanations based in common sense, psychology, etc.

Anyway...
Carry on & enjoy!


P.S.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51B8MzcxOX0
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