[extropy-chat] Precognition on TV

Jef Allbright jef at jefallbright.net
Fri Mar 16 00:17:47 UTC 2007

On 3/15/07, Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> wrote:

> But there's no point citing "holistics fairs" and "tachyon water"
> when I've already denounced "psychic" crap as irrelevant.

But my point was that I *have* made the effort to read and investigate
parapsychological claims, even to the extent of what borders on what
we agree is obvious "crap".  This in response to your statements here:

> He declined on the grounds that he wouldn't waste his time reading
> such rubbish. I now pose the same question to Sondre and Jef.

and here:

> ...which I assume nobody here watched because everyone knows
> in advance that it's all MEGA BULLSHIT.

> Tell me
> what's crucially and killingly fallacious in the McMoneagle RV
> experiments, for example.

Damien, when I've said I see "little or no evidence" for psi, it
doesn't follow that I believe I can prove that it's false or prove
that it doesn't exist.  I tried to make it clear that my position on
psi is based on relatively probability mass, being a necessarily
subjective, but willing assessor of the evidence before me.

> Or the growing number of controlled
> "presponse" measurements, which physiological sensors register
> significant responses not only in advance of a stimulus having been
> generated but in advance of its being chosen at random from a
> possible set of stimuli. I would not be surprised if this latter
> protocol is what will finally establish the reality of some kinds of
> reverse causality in perception, and will be published in the
> heavy-duty scientific literature. It's sufficiently simple and
> elegant that it edges toward resembling classic probes of visual or
> acoustic acuity.

With the links you provided, I started with the page by Utts and
Josephson at http://anson.ucdavis.edu/%7Eutts/azpsi.html:

"In one type of experiment, a "target" photograph or video segment is
randomly chosen out of a set of four possibilities. A "sender"
attempts to transmit it mentally and a "receiver" is then asked to
provide an account either verbally or in writing of what she imagines
it might be. She is then shown the four possibilities, and selects the
one she thinks best matches her perception. By chance alone, a correct
match is expected on average one time in four, whereas the experiments
typically show the considerably higher success rate of around one in

These are wonderfully significant results, published since 1996,
backed by the prestige of Brian Josephson!  Why in the last 10+ years
has this not been reproduced to the satisfaction of the scientific
community?  I will say that my own impression is that Ms. Utts is
quite enthusiastic about promoting this field (elsewhere she explains
that it has received only two months of resources, proportionate to a
century for standard psychology.)  I feel compelled to wonder at this
point whether this isn't an (unintentional) example of cherry picking

I'm looking forward to reading more of the references and will get back to you.

- Jef

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