Re: testing psi

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Jan 03 2006 - 15:38:53 MST

At 01:10 PM 1/3/2006 -0800, Phillip wrote:

>The fact that psi cannot be reproduced using pseudo-random # generators
>proves we are not psychic....
> 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

No cigar. Go back and reread Richard's early post on this topic, where he
described his shock at obtaining a significant deviation from chance in an
experiment where the single degree of freedom was the choice of a seed
number for a pseudorandom number generator run.

This was not the first or only time anybody had thought of doing this, and
got positive results. In fact, using pseudorandom number generators is (or
at least used to be) quite typical in experimental parapsychology.

On quasi-theoretical grounds derived informally from many worlds QT, I have
published the suggestion that genuinely stochastic events ought, in
principle, to be more difficult to precognize than deterministic (but
masked, double-blind) targets. That's precisely because events such as the
next solar eclipse are highly accurately predictable by ordinary means,
assuming one has the knowledge and the algorithm in hand, whereas knowing
where and when the next killer earthquake will occur is far less
scientifically predictable, for chaotic reasons. If the winning numbers in
most lotteries are not fixed in advance, they might be more difficult to
predict by psi, if I'm right, than those in lotteries or casinos that are
crooked (assuming there are any, heaven forbid). But so far, I have not
seen enough evidence to support either view.

This has been a wildly emotional religious rant.

Damien Broderick

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