Re: Actually, Psychological Bulletin is a mainstream publication

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Sat Dec 31 2005 - 20:12:15 MST

At 05:49 PM 12/31/2005 -0800, justin corwin wrote:

>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.

Yes, and I very roughly sketched in how one could do so, at enormous cost
in manpower.

>If the effect is real, and above chance, then you can construct error
>correcting codes using it.

One would hope so. Bearing in mind that we know how to train swimmers and
runners to perform very well, but still they sometimes fail to win gold
medals, even after they've just won three earlier in the day.

>And you can use an error correcting system
>to output data of any level of implausiblity, given enough time(or
>enough parallel guessers).

But this is exactly the practical consideration to which I drew attention.
Millions or hundred of millions of bits, all generated (ideally) in the
last couple of days before the draw. Pity we need humans in the loop. A psi
machine would be handy. Maybe an AI will do it.

>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.

Yes, of course. (With certain provisos, both theoretical and empirical,
arising from the very breaches in temporal order and locality required for
the effect to exist; that is, the possibility of a kind of contagion is
always there to fuck things up. I don't like that either, but it's not a
get out of jail free card, it's a logical consequence of the postulated effect)

> > 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.

Tell me about it.

>Do you really believe that people's
>opinions about this sort of thing are controlled by some kind of
>aversive skeptical reflex?

Largely, yes. That, and the appalling cultural pollution by crackpots and
halfwits and scoundrels.

>How many people have gone looking for psi?

Not very many, actually, if we're talking trained scientists. Funding has
always been low, compared with most sciences, even when the brief period of
(known) military funding is added in.

>No one has devised a replicateable experiment, however
>simple, which has sufficiently challenged mainstream scientists to

Largely, I think, because the effects are stochastic and weak. When more
startling and apparently replicable effects are found, such as presentiment
presponse spikes, mainstream folks tend to turn away with a shudder of
disbelief. No disproof needed; it can't be so, so it isn't.

>The question is whether this implies something about all scientists,
>or about all psi effects in experiment.

Both, I think, if we read "most" for "all" and add "at the moment".

Damien Broderick

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