Lee Corbin lcorbin at rawbw.com
Tue Sep 16 04:56:20 UTC 2008

John Clark writes

> Suppose the Extropian list existed in 1870 and we were having
> this same conversation. What would be difference? Well, we'd be
> using Morse Code and a telegraph key instead of the Internet
> (with a lot less quoted material I'll bet).


> Also, some names have
> gone in and out of fashion in that time. Spiritualism became ESP
> which became PSI, but other than that the substance of our
> conversation would be virtually identical. The only change from
> that day to this happened in the 1920's where instead of saying
> that Harry Houdini was being mean in the way he debunked
> charlatans they now say that The Amazing Randi is being mean
> in the way he debunks charlatans. Fooling a scientist is easy,
> fooling a professional magician is hard, damn hard.
> This entire field is like a fly frozen in amber that hasn't moved
> a nanometer in centuries;

I think you are exaggerating a bit. It was in the late
1840s, the Fox Sisters in upstate New York started
the whole thing, didn't they? So nothing seems to have
happened since *then*, but that's not, like, centuries
or anything  :-)


> I don't expect anything about this to 
> change anytime soon, nor does anyone else on this list.
> I add that last part because it is the only explanation I can 
> think of to explain why nobody has accepted the bet I first 
> made on this subject and on this very list about a decade ago. 
> Not one person has accepted it even with my very generous 10
> to 1 odds. Not one person! I just wish all of you who preach the
> wonders of Psi had accepted my bet; if you had I'd be a very 
> rich man by now. 

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