Re: testing psi

From: David Picon Alvarez (
Date: Tue Jan 03 2006 - 14:52:31 MST


First, I haven't, that I remember, participated in this psi thread until
now, so if you've been up reading don't blame it on me.

I did make a few points about free will, and the consciousness thesis you
advance, but that's orthogonal here so I won't raise any of that.

From: "Phillip Huggan" <>
> How is "having a modality at all to make sense of all of this" weird in
any way. It is the only thing we can be 100% sure of, that our own
consciousness is real. The ONLY thing. The fact that psi cannot be
reproduced using pseudo-random # generators proves we are not psychic.
Consciousness is an EM phenomenom. So is a RNG. This is more weird than
believing in ghosts (which I assume is your explanation. If not, what is?)?
David, I have just told you what psi is. Why can't this thread die?

I'm very happy for the thread to die, I don't have much of an interest in
psi myself. Until now, I thought like most people who are educated (?) that
psi phenomena could be discounted, but since there seems to be experimental
evidence to the contrary maybe I was wrong, I don't care much one way or the
other. The only reason why I intervened in this thread is because your
mechanism is totally implausible. I don't have a better theory, but no
theory is better than the wrong theory.

> I was supposed to be reading about crystal formation patterns and
carbon nanotube defect densities last night. Instead I spent a few hours
"researching" psi. I figure it out and you tell me my explanation is too
weird? You know whats really weird? Cosmology. Particle streams emitted
by stellar and other cosmic bodies. EM brain waves. Electrical surges.
Earth's magnetic field. All too weird to be true I guess. And
consciousness? A figment of our "unconsciousness imaginations" I guess.
Someone refute my hypothesis plz. It is the most reasonable explanation of

If you want to read about nanotechnology instead of arguing with me, I won't
have a problem with that, in fact, very likely it would be a wise choice,
you know where the delete key lies.

That said (if you're still reading) I don't see how you can seriously
postulate that we can have a modality for some EM anomaly that causes
randomness on RNGs, and I'll give you a few reasons for this.
1. Psychological theory on absolute judgement. It is pretty much
demonstrated by several experiments in psychology in different modalities
that the human mind is very limited in its capability to make absolute
judgements of things it perceives, such as distance, colour, tone, loudness,
etc, to about 3 or 4 bits of depth (iirc). The exception, perfect pitch,
might be attributed (or not, not conclusive stuff about this, iirc) to
overlearning. In sum, the input channels of the brain aren't good enough to
sample stuff at big depths, which means that the minuscule perturbations
that might affect an RNG are extremely unlikely to be perceivable by
absolute judgement faculties.
2. Have you ever played with a magnet around your head? Has it made
appreciable differences in your thinking? thought not.

Let's postulate we have a modality somehow though, and the same influences
that create perturbations on an RNG give rise to perturbations we can
perceive at some subconscious level. Fine. We have a modality for sight, can
we determine the luminescence, frequency, etc, of an image? No. Could we
train to get close to the frequency? Possibly, depending on the value of
close. The point is though, that frequency is arbitrary, in the sense that a
second is arbitrary. We couldn't be in agreement with a frequency metre
produced by a culture with a different value for the second. The way an RNG
produces numbers is influenced, among other things, by very specifica and
arbitrary things, such as the units of physics of its builder, the way it
samples whatever source of randomness, etc. To postulate a coincidence in
the design of the RNG that somehow gives similar data to that of a brain
modality would be like finding we can hear a sound and call its frequency in
hertz, innately, not even knowing what a hertz is, not knowing how long a
second is, etc. Needless to say, I find this hypothesis completely

Feel free to go back to another area in which you are hopefully more
qualified to make judgements, or try to understand why your hypothesis
doesn't make sense, I don't care which.


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