Re: testing psi

From: Thomas Buckner (
Date: Tue Jan 03 2006 - 05:04:40 MST

--- "Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <>

> Damien Broderick wrote:
> >
> >>
> >>
> >> I withdraw my "It takes money to psi make
> money" qualifier as well.
> >> This million seems pretty easy to reach,
> even allowing psi researchers
> >> to set the preconditions.
> >
> > No, sadly. Randi, unlike professional
> parapsychologists, is not a
> > scientist, he is a showman. If you think his
> offer is genuine, you're
> > more gullible than fudley's caricature of a
> parapsychologist.
> Although I'm pretty damn sure that psi is not
> real, I cannot claim
> Randi's unclaimed prize as support. Randi has
> crossed the line in his
> attempts to promote public disbelief in
> parapsychology:
> Randi is not an unbiased tester. I do not
> think anyone could claim
> Randi's prize even if they had medium-effect
> real psi. If they can
> levitate Randi, they *might* be able to claim
> the prize regardless - but
> apparently Randi is *not* cooperative with
> wannabe prize claimants,
> perhaps because they are presumed to be bad
> guys.
> CSICOP is a committee for skeptical
> investigation, not a committee for
> scientific investigation, no matter what they
> claim in the acronym. You
> can't be both; you have to choose one or the
> other. Good guys are
> rightly held to higher standards than bad guys,
> and CSICOP doesn't pass.
Robert Anton Wilson has a side project called
CSICON, or "Committee for Surrealistic
Investigation of Claims Of the Normal." He's been
down on Randi for decades for the very reasons
Elizer mentions, and his own life seems replete
with odd mental/psychic phenomena, which he
assumes someone will eventually explain

My hunch about such phenomena: occasionally real,
tamped down by extreme improbability, and
generally operating under a rule similar to that
of the Quantum Suicide thought experiment:
Under such a rule, a sincere experimenter can
experience events which outside observers do not!
Even accepting that the vast majority of reported
evens are hoaxes, this would handily explain the
remainder: the memory pattern of the sincere
experimenter records a true worldline in
Platonia, but the only trace available in our
worldline is in hir memory pattern. Anyone
familiar with the ideas of ritual magic can
regard those methods as a way of forcibly
altering one's own mental pattern until it
'clicks' into a slightly different worldline
where the intended result is true. To an
observing skeptic it may seem as though no result
was obtained.
If it really works that way, how can it be
Tom Buckner

Yahoo! for Good - Make a difference this year.

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