Former psychic spy claims parapsychology is off course. Suffers from Stockholm Syndrome |296|

#21
Also, as this has been raised here, I too have noticed over the years the forum has become less active sadly.

I noticed it was around when we moved from the old forum, to this newer iteration, a lot of people seemed to drop away then. I remember there were a lot more back and forths between pseudo skeptics (card carrying religious materialists) and the rest of us (true skeptics?).

I have always thought this podcast episode really needs a much greater presence on YouTube. I love YouTube, and subscribe to many channels, Skeptiko needs a YouTube channel that is updated along with the website, and podcasts should be posted there when they are released. I cannot encourage you enough to really look into having a YouTube presence Alex, as I feel you would reach so many more people (both undesirables AND serious thinkers).
 
#22
theAlso, as this has been raised here, I too have noticed over the years the forum has become less active sadly.

I noticed it was around when we moved from the old forum, to this newer iteration, a lot of people seemed to drop away then. I remember there were a lot more back and forths between pseudo skeptics (card carrying religious materialists) and the rest of us (true skeptics?).

I have always thought this podcast episode really needs a much greater presence on YouTube. I love YouTube, and subscribe to many channels, Skeptiko needs a YouTube channel that is updated along with the website, and podcasts should be posted there when they are released. I cannot encourage you enough to really look into having a YouTube presence Alex, as I feel you would reach so many more people (both undesirables AND serious thinkers).
I agree about youtube. One of the things podcasts on youtube can do now is put links to a forum in the video itself. You'll be watching a video and a bubble will pop up saying "join the conversation", when you click on it, you go straight to the forum.
 
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#23
It was interesting how when Alex brought up Courtney Browns research, that without seeing it, Dr Smith immediately began to volunteer the possibility of experimental bias, poor methodology, Courtney's credentials being less established than his own, courtney having "strange" notions about what is going on, mars etc. This to me was very enlightening, because until now, I had just kind of assumed that once one makes the crossover from "Materialist" mind-set to another that is "non-materialist" in some way, that we somehow had outgrown a more confined way of thinking, and were less susceptible to the influence of cognitive dissonance and the resultant cherry picking of information to reinforce what were are comfortable with.

This interview woke me up to the fact that we all still need to be on out toes, and that no matter how far we come, and how radical a change we may implement in our world view, we may still have deep cognitive bias that is protecting us from uncomfortable truths either by denying them outright, or by avoiding looking at them with any real effort. We are all still susceptible - (What ME? Never! I'm a Buddhist! LOL)
I'm totally with you on this and have been thinking about the shadow of materialism... and how it can creep back into things.

[/QUOTE]
Trying also to get used to the new skeptiko jingles lol. I am used to the guitar riff, but I actually like the occasional change in musical intro.[/QUOTE]
I'm just playing around with it :)
 
#24
Also, as this has been raised here, I too have noticed over the years the forum has become less active sadly.

I noticed it was around when we moved from the old forum, to this newer iteration, a lot of people seemed to drop away then. I remember there were a lot more back and forths between pseudo skeptics (card carrying religious materialists) and the rest of us (true skeptics?).

I have always thought this podcast episode really needs a much greater presence on YouTube. I love YouTube, and subscribe to many channels, Skeptiko needs a YouTube channel that is updated along with the website, and podcasts should be posted there when they are released. I cannot encourage you enough to really look into having a YouTube presence Alex, as I feel you would reach so many more people (both undesirables AND serious thinkers).
I agree... and am working on it... but need more time in the day... or more help from listeners.
 
#25
I watched Courtney Brown's films on RV 911 and found them fascinating. Especially the techniques they used (which were inferred by me...something about receiving an overall gestalt at first). How they could have received similar information, without any mention of the subject other than there was a "target", was very convincing, at least to me. I found it fascinating that they could even describe what things smelled like.
 
#26
I agree about youtube. One of the things podcasts on youtube can do now is put links to a forum in the video itself. You'll be watching a video and a bubble will pop up saying "join the conversation", when you click on it, you go straight to the forum.
IIRC YouTube was how I discovered Skeptiko. I read Dr Eben Alexander's book and searched him and the Skeptiko podcast of his interview came up on YouTube.

I agree, getting the YouTubes out is key.
 
#27
Please can everyone continue the discussion about the level of forum activity in a new thread in "Other stuff" - "Thoughts about the popularity of this forum".

Let's leave this thread for a discussion of what I feel was a very valuable podcast.

If anyone would like their thoughts on this subject transferred to the new thread, let me know - but I am still fairly green regarding the tools available to me, so I can't promise not to lose your post! Alternatively you can cut/paste your post into the new thread, and maybe delete it from this one.

David
 
#28
Please can everyone continue the discussion about the level of forum activity in a new thread in "Other stuff" - "Thoughts about the popularity of this forum".

Let's leave this thread for a discussion of what I feel was a very valuable podcast.

If anyone would like their thoughts on this subject transferred to the new thread, let me know - but I am still fairly green regarding the tools available to me, so I can't promise not to lose your post! Alternatively you can cut/paste your post into the new thread, and maybe delete it from this one.

David
Agreed
 
#30
On the issue of the new Skeptiko site and the forums link:
In my opinion the forums link ought to be a distinct button at the top of the main page
It ought not to be buried in a drop down menu with the meaningless title 'more'
Surely the forums are more than merely more

The podcasts should also have their own button at the top of the site

All in all I think the new site design needs some work to be user-friendly; especially to newcomers
As it is it is ambivalent and vague and all the important options and resources are buried in poorly labelled drop down menus.
 
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#31
Agreed about a proper large forum button - I did mention it months ago.

Re RV - I know a little about it because I did a course once with one of Paul Smith's colleagues.

I remember being drilled about AOL - analytical overlay - the dangerous practice of assuming what you've viewed psychically is something you're familiar with - two circles, oh this looks like two coins when in fact it's a bicycle.

And it is this which does make me uneasy about the remote viewers used by Courtney Brown when it is said the viewing is totally blind.

It may be blind to start with but if they are anywhere near on course it can cease to be blinded very quickly.

I think Courtney's two viewers recently looked at the history of the Great Pyramid. Well as soon as they hit on the right target shape, then a lifetime of AOL ideas can come flooding in about what they've been told or imagined about ancient Egypt and that could deflect against any real new information coming in. The same goes for the Kennedy Assassination - pretty soon the viewers could surely guess the target they are on.

I think there's a famous incident of was it Ingo Swann who viewed rings round Jupiter before they were actually discovered so Courtney's Mars remote views of technology might be validated one day as might Paul Smith's moon anomalies.

Maybe the RV community is no different from other groups where there is in-fighting politics. Yesterday I came across a YouTube with remote viewer Dick Allgire - one of Courtney's two viewers - this link
where some you tube commenter suggests Dick is no longer an official of their group which he left 'in disgrace'....
I've written to him to ask what it's all about.

Good for you Alex in highlighting Smith's ignorance about 911 - certainly his fixed mindset would make him a bad remote viewer of that subject, a sure victim of analytical overlay!
 
#32
Implicit in the whole podcast (and in thinking about this subject) is the idea that RV is a "skill" or a "gift". Paul Smith clearly sees it as a teachable skill which is why he has his course on it. Is, however, this a reasonable position?

Consider a hard disk on a computer. It contains information - lots of it. How can I find what I want? There is 500GB of the stuff on my drive (that 500000000000 characters like a-z). The answer is three fold: i) I go looking by digging around in the operating system ii) an index exists at a low level which knows where everything is iii) hardware and software exist to lift that information from the disk. If Paul Smith is gaining extraordinary information then these processes must be going on. We can give away point iii and just say that our brains have hardware to lift information. We don't understand the brain so it is a possibility. But what about point i and ii. Paul isn't digging around in a celestial OS. The information just "comes" to him. Point ii is actually the most interesting one - an index must exist. Who created it and who maintains it?

So, which is more reasonable:
-Paul Smith has a special skill/gift that lets him have some success at remote viewing.
or
-A supernatural intelligence is spoon feeding certain information to Paul Smith some of the time.

To me the second hypothesis makes much more sense. It also explains why the line of plausible deniability is never crossed.
 
#33
I find this very interesting (from http://quakerphilosopher.blogspot.co.uk/2007_05_01_archive.html):

"God does not seek to overwhelm us with proof that would force us to submit to him. Instead he offers advice and guidance in a still, small voice that we can choose to listen to or choose to ignore. For those who do choose to listen and live within a community of mutual support, there is a gradual accumulation of evidence which makes this way of life seem more and more reasonable as time goes on. To the skeptic who scoffs at this I do not have enough evidence to force them to agree. It seems to me that the search for "irrefutable proof" is a kind of mental violence that is contrary to the spirit of a loving God who wants us to be his friends and not his slaves. The evidence that I have been given is sufficient for me to live my life and that is enough for me."

I think remove viewing proves that God has a sense of humour.
 
#34
So, which is more reasonable:
-Paul Smith has a special skill/gift that lets him have some success at remote viewing.
or
-A supernatural intelligence is spoon feeding certain information to Paul Smith some of the time.

To me the second hypothesis makes much more sense. It also explains why the line of plausible deniability is never crossed.
wow, great question... and a great example of how impossible it is to really understand this stuff in a scientific way.

BTW I agree with you, some form of the second hypothesis seems to be a better fit for the data we have.
 
#35
So, which is more reasonable:
-Paul Smith has a special skill/gift that lets him have some success at remote viewing.
or
-A supernatural intelligence is spoon feeding certain information to Paul Smith some of the time.

To me the second hypothesis makes much more sense. .
I saw this because Alex quoted it.

To me the first is reasonable though not fully accurate. The second seems (to me) silly at face-value. I mention "at face value" because if one realizes that Smith like everyone else is simply one aspect of a non-physical intelligence then it becomes reasonable. IOW Smith taps other aspects of himself.

So:- Smith has honed the ability to tap into other aspects of Self in a way that most still do not.
 
#36
I saw this because Alex quoted it.

To me the first is reasonable though not fully accurate. The second seems (to me) silly at face-value. I mention "at face value" because if one realizes that Smith like everyone else is simply one aspect of a non-physical intelligence then it becomes reasonable. IOW Smith taps other aspects of himself.

So:- Smith has honed the ability to tap into other aspects of Self in a way that most still do not.
Two things here:
-What is the nature of the non-physical intelligence? Is it a "blob" like the force in Star Wars or some Buddhist interpretations? Or, is it like a person. A separate intelligence that makes decisions. It chooses to do x but doesn't do y. To me this is far more likely and to me a better name for this intelligence is God (but, of course, in our culture that name is loaded with lots of Judeo-Christian stuff which I don't necessarily mean).

-I don't really reject the idea of Smith tapping other aspects of his self but it raises the question: Why doesn't he get anywhere? Remote Viewing is nowhere. It is fringe stuff ignored by 99% of people. Personally, I think there is something to it but there isn't enough to it to bring it in from the fringe. Why? If it were a "natural ability" then somebody would have enough talent at it to break the bank in Vegas and then that really would get people's attention. If you could remote view horse races even 20% of the time you could clean up.

I think the intelligence at the other end is maintaining plausible deniability.

PS all that said, I do buy the idea that, in a way, we are all aspect of God or have little bits of God in us or God is experiencing himself through us etc. That idea makes sense to me at the very lowest level but at the level of remote viewing it doesn't make sense to me. How is Smith interacting with the "OS". Who is maintaining the index?
 
#37
T


PS all that said, I do buy the idea that, in a way, we are all aspect of God or have little bits of God in us or God is experiencing himself through us etc. That idea makes sense to me at the very lowest level but at the level of remote viewing it doesn't make sense to me. How is Smith interacting with the "OS". Who is maintaining the index?
The points you raised are, to me, still based on assumptions about how things are/ "should be." In the manner you are speaking of here there is no "separate intelligence." Certainly sometime people extend and do end up interacting with other intelligences.

For me, your statement that "remote viewing is nowhere" indicates that your thinking about is way off the mark. Whenever anyone opines about things in a way that shows that they see mainstream acceptance as some guideline to validity or actuality I opt out.

Cheers.
 
#38
So, which is more reasonable:
-Paul Smith has a special skill/gift that lets him have some success at remote viewing.
or
-A supernatural intelligence is spoon feeding certain information to Paul Smith some of the time.
If the psychic is trained in multiple disciplines, ie mediumship and remote viewing, he can tell when he is receiving a communication from another entity and when he is using his own powers of perception. It is much easier to perceive communications from another entity because the other entity is doing much of the work. But in either case, he could be limited by advanced beings in what he can perceive.
 
#39
For me, your statement that "remote viewing is nowhere" indicates that your thinking about is way off the mark. Whenever anyone opines about things in a way that shows that they see mainstream acceptance as some guideline to validity or actuality I opt out.
Cheers.
I am not saying that remote viewing is invalid. I don't honestly know if it is or isn't though my guess is that it is valid.

My point is that it does not progress. None of these topics do. They are "sterile". With a normal topic a leads to b leads to c and then things become clearer. They may still be confused but there is a progression of data and theory.

With "Skeptiko" topics, there is little or no progression yet there is real evidence to substantiate this stuff. How can this be? Some possible reasons:
- Because they don't really exist. This is the skeptic/materialist position.
- Because they are hard to study / non-reproducible / ephemeral / subjective etc. I think this is the mainstream belief among psi "believers". This is why we always need "more research".
- Because these topics are designed on purpose by some higher power to be this way. This is my view. God is a God of plausible deniability. See http://posthumanblues.blogspot.co.uk/2006/09/every-few-nights-i-get-out-my-laser.html. There is more in this vein in Mike Clelland's site Hidden Experience. This example is UFOs but it might as well be remote viewing or NDEs etc.

This may also be a reason for a potential decline in Skeptiko. Skeptiko has done all the really good shows... Also, declining forum participation is just exhaustion. People come, are interested, have some great conversations, become believers and then, well, that's it. So people lose interest and move on to other things. I feel this way sometimes. I have traveled a long, strange journey and worked hard to make up my mind about all this stuff. There is lots of this stuff and man, it is tough stuff but there is nothing new on the scene. Even NDEs which have their journal and scientific research stubbornly refuse to progress.

All that said, I have posted many times saying that things are progressing. So, I may be in two minds, but I feel the following:
- Certain researchers are pinning things down. Julie Beischel is slowly pinning things down among mediums. Dr. Jim Tucker is slowly pinning down reincarnation to some extent. To be honest, I don't know the details in any case but this is my feeling about it all. Things are very slowly being pinned down. The world will be different in 10/20/30 years.
- That said, the phenomena itself does not seem to be changing. There is nothing new in UFOs. There is nothing new in NDEs. It is sterile.

Anyway. Those are my thoughts.
 
#40
I am not saying that remote viewing is invalid. I don't honestly know if it is or isn't though my guess is that it is valid.

My point is that it does not progress. None of these topics do. They are "sterile". With a normal topic a leads to b leads to c and then things become clearer. They may still be confused but there is a progression of data and theory. .
That seems to me to be also confused. Of course there is advancement in the field. Though like any field it's not constant. But I do agree that most discussion (which is more often arguments) on Skeptiko is stuck in a loop. And for me that's because the forum attempts to cater to all. So person A1 states "that's not real" A2 states that it is. They both give reasons for their positions. Then person B1 comes along and states again what A1 has stated though with different reasons. Then B2 come along. But since the point being focused on is real/not real there is no movement into discussion of the details. And if there is, it's again met with opposition.

To me the only way there'll be "progress centered" discourse is if it's only the "yes of course it's real" people. Then energies and focus are on getting into the nitty-gritty.
 
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