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The Loud and Clear Message that the TED Controversy is Sending

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  • The Loud and Clear Message that the TED Controversy is Sending

    My newest blog post:

    The Loud and Clear Message that the TED Controversy is Sending | The Weiler Psi

  • #2
    Well written and energizing! I think, though, that you might benefit from removing the phrase, "In other words, they see the universe as a giant thought"; it might chase away some moderates.

    - Johann

    Comment


    • #3
      The article appears to suggest that scientific rigor be damned, the public ought to decide the truth. I'm not sure if that's what you believe, but it sounds like truth by popularity.

      "In a word, this particular area of science is being crowdsourced. While people obviously aren’t out conducting experiments en mass and publishing them in scientific journals, they are able to substantially verify scientific claims such as “there is no evidence for psychic phenomena.” "

      Is that what you meant to say? Anyway, that's just what I want: Crowdsourced truth. Even better than crowdsourced justice.

      ~~ Paul

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Johann View Post
        Well written and energizing! I think, though, that you might benefit from removing the phrase, "In other words, they see the universe as a giant thought"; it might chase away some moderates.

        - Johann
        I understand where you are coming from, but it's important to dumb things down, even is some of the meaning is lost, so that things can be understood at least partly in simple phrases.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Craig Weiler View Post
          I understand where you are coming from, but it's important to dumb things down, even is some of the meaning is lost, so that things can be understood at least partly in simple phrases.
          I see - science to be decided by the public, but only with dumbed down concepts.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Paul C. Anagnostopoulos View Post
            The article appears to suggest that scientific rigor be damned, the public ought to decide the truth. I'm not sure if that's what you believe, but it sounds like truth by popularity.

            "In a word, this particular area of science is being crowdsourced. While people obviously aren’t out conducting experiments en mass and publishing them in scientific journals, they are able to substantially verify scientific claims such as “there is no evidence for psychic phenomena.” "

            Is that what you meant to say? Anyway, that's just what I want: Crowdsourced truth. Even better than crowdsourced justice.

            ~~ Paul
            I think you guys are missing the point. This is about breaking the oligarchy of science, not by deciding the truth or falsity of an idea by popular consensus, but by demanding fair, just evaluation of cross-cultural, ubiquitous phenomena that challenge our preconceptions, and are endemic to the human experience.

            - Johann

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Johann View Post
              I think you guys are missing the point. This is about breaking the oligarchy of science, not by deciding the truth or falsity of an idea by popular consensus, but by demanding fair, just evaluation of cross-cultural, ubiquitous phenomena that challenge our preconceptions, and are endemic to the human experience.

              - Johann
              I am also not impressed with the skeptical comments.

              Comment


              • #8
                Look -the scientific community is filled with scientists competing for both recognition and limited funds. Perhaps that's not how it would be in an ideal world, but that's what we have. Scientists have to fight for their ideas. Sometimes the fight comes easier after awhile. Other times its an uphill battle.

                One can bemoan how unfair it all seems that one's ideas are not accepted and come up with all sorts of unfair reasons why it may be that way - or one can fight for their idea against all obstacles and seek to carry the day. I'll bet their ideas will benefit from it as well.

                Whoever said it should be easy? And honestly, who said it should be fair? Or rather - what does it mean for it to be fair? What I mean by that is that the funding of science has always been prioritized in one way or another. There are always more grant proposals that get refused than accepted. Surely there are a plethora of proposals that had merit but for one reason or another didn't get the green light.

                Fight for your ideas - for sure. But don't worry about the greater paradigm - the goal is not to change paradigms - that's just the label for the current general consensus. The paradigm change will follow the ideas. It is a much more realistic task to fight for one idea than to attack an entire system and who knows, one of those ideas might just change the paradigm!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Arouet View Post
                  Look -the scientific community is filled with scientists competing for both recognition and limited funds. Perhaps that's not how it would be in an ideal world, but that's what we have. Scientists have to fight for their ideas. Sometimes the fight comes easier after awhile. Other times its an uphill battle.
                  Those meddling idealists ... and their stupid dog.

                  One can bemoan how unfair it all seems that one's ideas are not accepted and come up with all sorts of unfair reasons why it may be that way - or one can fight for their idea against all obstacles and seek to carry the day. I'll bet their ideas will benefit from it as well.
                  Wake up, Arouet! The most pertinent and influential deterrent to the scientifc support of parapsychology is social, not scientific.

                  A useful essay to get a historical perspective on this debate is Rhetoric over Substance; the Impoverished State of Skepticism (Honorton, 1992), written by Charles Honorton in reply to Susan Blackmore’s critique of psi research in the Italian organization, CICAP. Honorton summarized more than a century of parapsychology research, and wrote:

                  "....[critics] no longer claim that the results of the major lines of experimental psi research are consistent with the null hypothesis (mere chance fluctuation) [...] they no longer claim to have demonstrated a relationship between methodological flaws and study outcomes. These concessions [...] did not come quickly or easily and the critics are obviously not eager to advertise them [...] they have been forced to admit that parapsychology has demonstrated anomalous effects that need to be explained and they have run out of plausible conventional explanations [...] instead, they offer a caricature of the history of parapsychology and present polemical arguments designed to convince us that there is really nothing in parapsychology that warrants scientific interest, except, perhaps, for the motivations of those who persist in studying it."

                  As Honorton argued, in the face of these types of critiques, it is easy to see that the dilemma of parapsychology is not purely one of data. It is one of society. Each generation of parapsychologists has produced research that not only met but exceeded the scientific standards of their era, yet today their legacy lives on only in the persistence of the field to which they devoted their time and effort, which itself remains relegated to less than .03% of academic institutions worldwide (Radin, 2008); deprived of funds and support; gratuitously listed as a pseudoscience by the National Science Foundation alongside “astrology, alien abductions, yogic flying, therapeutic touch, and voodoo magical thinking” (Kelly, 2000); while its primary detractor, CSICOP, is recognized as a “scientific and educational organization” for the “investigation of paranormal claims and the dissemination of factual information” (Kelly, 2000)

                  Whoever said it should be easy? And honestly, who said it should be fair? Or rather - what does it mean for it to be fair? What I mean by that is that the funding of science has always been prioritized in one way or another. There are always more grant proposals that get refused than accepted.
                  Arouet, people are spending billions to make ever more specific, and perhaps even trivial, maps of the brain. Psi is a game-changer; if science would quit making these types of overrated excuses (excuse me, I have to invest another hundred thousand in athletic shoe technology), it could discover, and display to the world, properties of mind that might rocket us into a new age of self-understanding.

                  Additionally, if major universities would quit stealing money that has been legitimately conferred upon parapsychology, maybe psi researchers would complain less. Like if the million dollar sum at Stanford were given back to its legitimate owners, and a parapsych research lab opened under its auspices.

                  - Johann
                  Last edited by Johann; April 3rd, 2013, 12:24 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Arouet View Post
                    Look -the scientific community is filled with scientists competing for both recognition and limited funds. Perhaps that's not how it would be in an ideal world, but that's what we have. Scientists have to fight for their ideas. Sometimes the fight comes easier after awhile. Other times its an uphill battle.

                    One can bemoan how unfair it all seems that one's ideas are not accepted and come up with all sorts of unfair reasons why it may be that way - or one can fight for their idea against all obstacles and seek to carry the day. I'll bet their ideas will benefit from it as well.

                    Whoever said it should be easy? And honestly, who said it should be fair? Or rather - what does it mean for it to be fair? What I mean by that is that the funding of science has always been prioritized in one way or another. There are always more grant proposals that get refused than accepted. Surely there are a plethora of proposals that had merit but for one reason or another didn't get the green light.

                    Fight for your ideas - for sure. But don't worry about the greater paradigm - the goal is not to change paradigms - that's just the label for the current general consensus. The paradigm change will follow the ideas. It is a much more realistic task to fight for one idea than to attack an entire system and who knows, one of those ideas might just change the paradigm!
                    What an unbelievably depressing picture of life you paint where no sense of justice or fairness exists and there are no boundaries for bad behavior because fairness is relative and can be explained any which way. Under your reasoning we can count on the meanest, nastiest pricks to have the greatest chance of success.

                    Not on my planet.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Johann View Post
                      Wake up, Arouet! The most pertinent and influential deterrent to the scientifc support of parapsychology is social, not scientific.
                      With all due respect, you might wake up and realise that the most pertinent and influential deterrent to the scientific support of parapsychology is money. Everyone is battling over the same investment dollars. Investors want a return on their investment. Governments too.

                      Each generation of parapsychologists has produced research that not only met but exceeded the scientific standards of their era, yet today their legacy lives on only in the persistence of the field to which they devoted their time and effort, which itself remains relegated to less than .03% of academic institutions worldwide (Radin, 2008); deprived of funds and support; gratuitously listed as a pseudoscience by the National Science Foundation alongside “astrology, alien abductions, yogic flying, therapeutic touch, and voodoo magical thinking” (Kelly, 2000); while its primary detractor, CSICOP, is recognized as a “scientific and educational organization” for the “investigation of paranormal claims and the dissemination of factual information” (Kelly, 2000)
                      The problem is that parapsychology hasn't moved much beyond statistical anomalies - and not the easiest statistics either.

                      Arouet, people are spending billions to make ever more specific, and perhaps even trivial, maps of the brain. Psi is a game-changer; if science would quit making these types of overrated excuses (excuse me, I have to invest another hundred thousand in athletic shoe technology), it could discover, and display to the world, properties of mind that might rocket us into a new age of self-understanding.
                      Sure - but they need to show the goods. I've often said you get one good success in developing something that makes money, the floodgates will open. So for now, the investors go with better bets. Parapsychology needs to make the pitch that they are a good risk. Hire some good PR people and lobbyists and go for it!

                      Additionally, if major universities would quit stealing money that has been legitimately conferred upon parapsychology, maybe psi researchers would complain less. Like if the million dollar sum at Stanford were given back to its legitimate owners, and a parapsych research lab opened under its auspices.

                      - Johann
                      Right - its about the money.

                      It may not be lofty - but that's the way the system works at present. It's a by-product of having limited resources.

                      Or maybe some RVrs can raise the money through the stock market and pony races? Its touted often enough that these studies were successful. No-one is fundraising this way? No-one willing to volunteer their time to this cause? No parapsychologists interested in developing that skill themselves and raising the money themselves? Why aren't they taking advantage of one technique that purportedly can be lucrative? I know paqart thinks that's immoral - but surely they can't all think that!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Craig Weiler View Post
                        What an unbelievably depressing picture of life you paint where no sense of justice or fairness exists and there are no boundaries for bad behavior because fairness is relative and can be explained any which way. Under your reasoning we can count on the meanest, nastiest pricks to have the greatest chance of success.

                        Not on my planet.
                        Fighting for your ideas doesn't have to be mean and nasty. I'm in a business that is adversarial at its core - but that doesn't mean everyone is mean and nasty. Fighting for your ideas can be filled with energy, passion, humour and wit. In fact, I personally find that much more effective for me in my job than trying to be mean and nasty. I don't pull off mean and nasty very well - most of the time I get along very well with the other side. We can joke, share a meal, tell stories, but still passionately represent our sides.

                        I'm describing the system as it is. Again - you can not like it and wish it were different - but its not different at the present time. So what are you going to do? Just complain? Or figure out how to get your ideas across? How do you think paradigms changed in the past? It wasn't by bitching about how the current establishment doesn't like them! They got their ideas recognized!

                        You also missed my point about fairness - it was not that we should have a system that is unfair. It is that we can't have a system that gives everyone the means to pursue their experiments. We have limited resources. It means that some people are going to be left out - and some people are going to hit the jackpot. Again remember, your pet project getting funding will mean necessarily most of the time that someone's else's pet project loses funding or gets rejected.

                        You're a contractor right? When you bid on a project and you get it, that means someone else didn't get it. Perhaps you got it over someone else who had a better project than you, and little does the homeowner know but they would have had a nicer deck at a cheaper price if they had gone with the other guy - is that fair?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Arouet View Post
                          It is that we can't have a system that gives everyone the means to pursue their experiments. We have limited resources. It means that some people are going to be left out - and some people are going to hit the jackpot. Again remember, your pet project getting funding will mean necessarily most of the time that someone's else's pet project loses funding or gets rejected.
                          And yet the debunkers (I won't call them skeptics.. as I'm an actual skeptic) take great pleasure in using these lack of "scientific studies" as their argument for pushing their beliefs... knowing full well that the reason for this has NOTHING to do with lack of evidence... but with lack of funding due to a corrupt industry full of dogmatic political materialistic beliefs and in part funded by pharmaceutical companies who's best interests it is in you being sick.

                          They don't want you to know about the benefits of meditation or that acupuncture or homeopathy work... or that emotional freedom technique may reduce the need for taking anti-depressants... or the power of the human consciousness to help heal the body.

                          And that's not even a conspiracy.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Johann View Post
                            I think you guys are missing the point. This is about breaking the oligarchy of science, not by deciding the truth or falsity of an idea by popular consensus, but by demanding fair, just evaluation of cross-cultural, ubiquitous phenomena that challenge our preconceptions, and are endemic to the human experience.
                            Okay, so it's "pick the subjects scientists will study" by popular opinion. You agree that scientists are under no obligation to listen, right? But sure, no reason people can't urge scientists to take up all areas of investigation. It might help if they coughed up some funds.

                            ~~ Paul

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Johann
                              Arouet, people are spending billions to make ever more specific, and perhaps even trivial, maps of the brain. Psi is a game-changer; if science would quit making these types of overrated excuses (excuse me, I have to invest another hundred thousand in athletic shoe technology), it could discover, and display to the world, properties of mind that might rocket us into a new age of self-understanding.
                              Yup, a giant wad of cash would be nice. No private investors available? If there was a wad, would a bunch of fresh faces jump on the subject? Perhaps.

                              The parapsychology research community should select a paradigm and focus their attention on it for awhile.

                              ~~ Paul

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