Re: Actually, Psychological Bulletin is a mainstream publication

From: justin corwin (
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 18:49:56 MST

On 12/31/05, Damien Broderick <> wrote:
> Incidentally, even supposing that you had the capacity to know perfectly
> and easily in advance *by ordinary means* the winning numbers of a lottery,
> I'm pretty sure there's no way to become a billionaire by using that
> knowledge. A millionaire, sure, eventually.

Winning the top ten lottery jackpots in the US would net you a quarter
of a billion dollars, looking at

Not a billionaire, perhaps, but well on the way.

> The Mega Millions lottery requires you to identify five numbers out of 56
> and an additional one number out of 46. Quickly now, tell me your brilliant
> protocol for achieving this aim given a phenomenon that manifests itself as
> an excess of (at best) one extra correct guess in a hundred. It takes you
> 100,000 guesses to attain one standard deviation, which is hardly enough to
> instil confidence. True, you're only risking a dollar, so you might be
> prepared to stop after 100,000 guesses.

I can't imagine that you weren't paying attention, this very subject
came up once on the Extropians list, and Spike Jones rather cleverly
devised an error-correcting code using guessors of a given accuracy,
to produce any information, however unlikely. I can't find the post at
the moment, but I recall it being well within the realm of

It is possible, using various approaches, to devise a code to error
correct for any amount of noise in a communications channel, given
some success rate of communication above randomness. The amount of
extra effort, redundancy in communication required, is ideally shown
by Shannon's Theorem, although current systems (with the exception of
the Turbo Codes used by satellites and 3G phones) are usually very far
short of that ideal.

If the effect is real, and above chance, then you can construct error
correcting codes using it. And you can use an error correcting system
to output data of any level of implausiblity, given enough time(or
enough parallel guessers).

> I used to think it would be very easy: all you need to do is translate a
> sequence of decimal numbers into binary form and encode a binarized image
> from it as the target: dark versus light for the first one/zero, male
> versus female for the second one/zero, inside versus outside for the third
> one/zero... The problem here is that a single mistake throws the whole
> thing out. Okay, so we invoke redundancy. But now new hazards arise, not
> least the necessity to find not just one but two or even 56 or 132 ace
> remote viewers.

The real question is, if you have the remote viewer working on the
same problem, does he output the same answer? Because if he doesn't,
you can just iterate him over the same question, and pick the output
that rises out of the noise floor. You can reframe the question in as
many ways as you like to make it a fresh attempt, of course.

If a mistake is forever, then indeed you need more than one Remote
Viewer, unless you can stack them( i.e. "What is the binary value of
this digit?" "Now were you right about the binary value of that digit"
"Was your last statement about the value of the value of that digit
right or wrong?")

> I've bored you all, I can tell. Killfile the gullible idiot. Such
> incredible horseshit. Don't look, don't look.

Damien, this is very tiresome. Do you really believe that people's
opinions about this sort of thing are controlled by some kind of
aversive skeptical reflex? How many people have gone looking for psi?
It's an industry, a community, a huge dream for all peoples since the
beginning of time. You can't claim it's for lack of looking that no
one has confirmed it. All kinds of people are looking at it at any
given moment. No one has devised a replicateable experiment, however
simple, which has sufficiently challenged mainstream scientists to

The question is whether this implies something about all scientists,
or about all psi effects in experiment. The rewards in ignoring
something in science do exist, but so do rewards for investigating
something unfashionable and getting something cool named after
yourself. The fact that I've not found anything, and no one I have
heard about has found anything, is evidence I just tend to go with.
Occasionally I do look at referenced psi experiments, and they are
all, modestly unlikely results, as yet unreplicated, in ambigious
domains. I remain interested enough to check it out, mostly out of
whimsy, but I do not expect great things.

Justin Corwin

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