[ExI] Sigh

Ben Zaiboc bbenzai at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 5 15:14:05 UTC 2010

Damien Broderick <thespike at satx.rr.com> asked:

> If one draw has 2 million entrants and the next (a jackpot
> week) has 10 
> million, adding the raw votes for winning numbers skews the
> analysis in 
> favor of the larger week. The interesting question is
> whether a larger 
> *proportion* of votes goes to, say, 17 when 17 is a winning
> number than 
> when it is not.
> Is there anyone else here who doesn't understand this
> elementary point?


But that's probably because I don't understand the jargon, don't know how a lottery works, and am a bit dim when it comes to maths and especially statistics.  
To be honest, I haven't a clue what you're talking about.

I feel sure there must be more straightforward, less confusing ways of testing the existence or not of psychic powers?  I expect they've been tried, though.

This whole thing reminds me of the 'mobile phones cause cancer' meme:
Studies are done, show absolutely no correlation, so the proponents of the hypothesis conclude that the studies weren't big enough, rigorous enough, long enough, done properly, analysed properly, or were compromised or faked or they were just the wrong studies, etc., etc. (or they argue with the interpretation of the studies, and claim they DO show a correlation).

Meanwhile, everyone else continues using their phones as normal, with no ill-effects.

I should think the 'atheist test' applies here:  Ask the psi-positives (i.e. the people who are positive that there is such a thing) what it would take to convince them otherwise.  Compare this with the answers of the psi-atheists* to the inverse question.

By their answers shall ye know them.

And in answer to John Grigg (I think), or whoever said 'who wouldn't wish that psychic powers were possible?', I reckon I'd have to say me, because it would mean we've got our physics theories /badly/ wrong, yet somehow managed to make it work remarkably well so far.

We'd have to start all over again, reconstructing the theories of physics to completely preserve all the practical results that we see now, but allow for the psychic stuff as well.  A very tall order, I reckon.  Of course, this probably applies to biology too, and maybe lots of other things.

Ben Zaiboc

* using this term deliberately, instead of 'psi-negatives', for obvious reasons> 


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