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Old 5th February 2008, 02:11 AM   #401
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Question

Would the letters have to have been written in Swedish ? Or any other "Western" language ?
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Old 5th February 2008, 07:00 AM   #402
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Is she going to get to actually look at the handwriting? Would typewritten letters be OK?
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Old 5th February 2008, 08:54 AM   #403
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Will there be a clause in the protocol saying something like: "The chosen letters were accepted as valid test material."?

To prevent Ms. Landin from saying afterwards: "The submitted letters did not meet the criteria. They were too old, too young, too whatever."

Or the worst possible comment: "They were written by a skeptic who did not leave any imprint because s/he did not believe in it."

Last edited by GzuzKryzt; 5th February 2008 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 6th February 2008, 12:08 AM   #404
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Originally Posted by GzuzKryzt View Post
Will there be a clause in the protocol saying something like: "The chosen letters were accepted as valid test material."?

To prevent Ms. Landin from saying afterwards: "The submitted letters did not meet the criteria. They were too old, too young, too whatever."

Or the worst possible comment: "They were written by a skeptic who did not leave any imprint because s/he did not believe in it."
The Landin Challenge Applicants section has been updated again. Apparently when she said she could use letters written by live individuals, it was a translation mistake.

The writers must be deceased, the receivers must be alive.
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Old 8th February 2008, 04:05 PM   #405
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Originally Posted by Jackalgirl View Post
Buzz, why do you put the word "objective" in quotes when you use it?
I know this isn't entirely on topic, but it is relevant.

You seem to be stuck on the validity of this "objective" testing thing Jackalgirl.
Look at this way,
In the middle ages the good folk devised a "objective" test to ascertain if the kindly local herbalist was a witch or not. This, up to date, cutting edge piece of technology was a "dunking stool".
Gave a clear yes/no result, if she drowned she was innocient, if she survived she was guilty. No ambiguity, nice and objective.

The law courts were similar.
If you, or your appointed representative could beat the other bloke in combat you were innocent.

Fortunately we have moved on to a system where a panel of your peers weighs up the evidence presented and delivers a verdict possibly closer to the truth.

So , with the knowledge that we have at the moment, to use the protocols formulated in the MDC, is akin to the old "dunking stool".

It gives a good clear cut result, but its validity is questionable.
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Old 8th February 2008, 04:50 PM   #406
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
The writers must be deceased, the receivers must be alive.
Well, that will narrow it right down, won't it?
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Old 9th February 2008, 01:27 AM   #407
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
I know this isn't entirely on topic, but it is relevant.

You seem to be stuck on the validity of this "objective" testing thing Jackalgirl.
Look at this way,
In the middle ages the good folk devised a "objective" test to ascertain if the kindly local herbalist was a witch or not. This, up to date, cutting edge piece of technology was a "dunking stool".
Gave a clear yes/no result, if she drowned she was innocient, if she survived she was guilty. No ambiguity, nice and objective.

The law courts were similar.
If you, or your appointed representative could beat the other bloke in combat you were innocent.

Fortunately we have moved on to a system where a panel of your peers weighs up the evidence presented and delivers a verdict possibly closer to the truth.

So , with the knowledge that we have at the moment, to use the protocols formulated in the MDC, is akin to the old "dunking stool".

It gives a good clear cut result, but its validity is questionable.
Buzz, you should be awarded a prize for deliberate misunderstanding.

It has been repeatedly pointed out to you that success and failure are agreed upon beforehand to eliminate any judging.

Using the parameters of the MDC, which testing procedure - and what success/failure scenario - would you suggest?
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Old 9th February 2008, 12:10 PM   #408
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
I know this isn't entirely on topic, but it is relevant.

You seem to be stuck on the validity of this "objective" testing thing Jackalgirl.
Look at this way,
In the middle ages the good folk devised a "objective" test to ascertain if the kindly local herbalist was a witch or not. This, up to date, cutting edge piece of technology was a "dunking stool".
Gave a clear yes/no result, if she drowned she was innocient, if she survived she was guilty. No ambiguity, nice and objective.

The law courts were similar.
If you, or your appointed representative could beat the other bloke in combat you were innocent.

Fortunately we have moved on to a system where a panel of your peers weighs up the evidence presented and delivers a verdict possibly closer to the truth.

So , with the knowledge that we have at the moment, to use the protocols formulated in the MDC, is akin to the old "dunking stool".

It gives a good clear cut result, but its validity is questionable.
Um, I'm sorry, but I don't think that your examples of witch-hunting and judicial combat are really relevant. They were not scientific. They may have /appeared/ to be a legitimate method of fact-finding to the people of the time, but we now know that they weren't, thanks in large part to the scientific process.

Despite the fact that you are attempting to dismiss my point (by labelling me as "hung up" on it), you fail to understand that it is absolutely the most critical and central point of trying to find out whether psychic phenomena are, in fact, real.

Do you think that reality itself is subjective, and therefore there is no such thing as an objective test? Is that the problem here?
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Old 9th February 2008, 01:02 PM   #409
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Originally Posted by GzuzKryzt View Post
...
Using the parameters of the MDC, which testing procedure - and what success/failure scenario - would you suggest?
I'm referring of course to the new Carina Landin test protocol.

You have repeatedly criticised the MDC. Now you have the chance to offer your input to work out a protocol for one of your peers. Are you up to it?

I dare ya.
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Old 9th February 2008, 06:53 PM   #410
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Originally Posted by Jackalgirl View Post
Um, I'm sorry, but I don't think that your examples of witch-hunting and judicial combat are really relevant. They were not scientific. They may have /appeared/ to be a legitimate method of fact-finding to the people of the time, but we now know that they weren't, thanks in large part to the scientific process.

Despite the fact that you are attempting to dismiss my point (by labelling me as "hung up" on it), you fail to understand that it is absolutely the most critical and central point of trying to find out whether psychic phenomena are, in fact, real.

Do you think that reality itself is subjective, and therefore there is no such thing as an objective test? Is that the problem here?
No Jackalgirl, I was not attempting to dismiss your point of "objective" tests. My purpose was to draw your attention to previous "objective" tests that were flawed.

The people were using the best knowledge that they had at the time, just as the JREF possibly does. Although personally I believe that the JREF already have their mind made up and are just looking for verification.
Just as the witch dunkers did.

To ascertain the validity of psychic phenomena will take science of a type that is yet to be formulated. To even call the 'TV type' quiz show tests that JREF uses "science", is a misnomer.

And yes, reality is subjective.
Every thing in your world is a past tense subjective experience.
By the time your brain has collected the incoming information processed it, it is all over.
What you believe just happened is a collection of comparisons, judgements, and emotions.
Not a video tape of what just happened.

So if we are to make sense of the experiences that people call "psychic" it will require much more than a 15 minute "objective" test.
It will require years of detailed and open minded research. All taboos, laws, prejudices, and beliefs will have to be discarded and so that the required clean slate for this new science can be obtained.
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Old 9th February 2008, 07:24 PM   #411
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
No Jackalgirl, I was not attempting to dismiss your point of "objective" tests. My purpose was to draw your attention to previous "objective" tests that were flawed.
Of what relevance is that? Is the current protocol flawed? If so, how? I'm only talking about the protocol here -- not its implementation (which didn't go as planned during the first test).

What is your suggestion for an objective protocol for this second test of Carina Landin? So far, everything you've suggested has been subjective which, once again, leads me to the conclusion that you don't really understand the scientific method. I don't mean this as an insult, mind you. It's just important that you understand what it is before criticising protocols for not being proper protocols.

Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
The people were using the best knowledge that they had at the time, just as the JREF possibly does. Although personally I believe that the JREF already have their mind made up and are just looking for verification.
Just as the witch dunkers did.
Except that with a properly-designed protocol, this is not possible. A good protocol controls for operator bias as well as for trickery -- this is the purpose of a protocol being double-blind. It is OBJECTIVE. That means it's not subject to expectations or judgement. If there is a flaw in the protocol -- that is, some means for subjective judgement or expectations to throw the results -- do please point it out, and give a suggestion as to how to tighten it up.

Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
To ascertain the validity of psychic phenomena will take science of a type that is yet to be formulated. To even call the 'TV type' quiz show tests that JREF uses "science", is a misnomer.

And yes, reality is subjective.
Every thing in your world is a past tense subjective experience.
By the time your brain has collected the incoming information processed it, it is all over.
What you believe just happened is a collection of comparisons, judgements, and emotions.
Not a video tape of what just happened.

So if we are to make sense of the experiences that people call "psychic" it will require much more than a 15 minute "objective" test.
It will require years of detailed and open minded research. All taboos, laws, prejudices, and beliefs will have to be discarded and so that the required clean slate for this new science can be obtained.
Please understand that even though we -- perforce -- observe the world through the subjective filter of our consciousness, there are still things that happen that can be observed objectively. The real world, which we share, might very well be a shared delusion, but it operates consistently on very reliable and robust rules regardless of our desire or belief, and these rules can be measured and tested. For all intents and purposes, that is reality. You might claim all kinds of philosophical explanations of how we all really do live in a jar of Tang, but that's all semantics.

The scientific method is the filter by which we determine what's happening soley within the confines of our minds and what's actually touching the world outside the limits of our skulls.

If we are to make sense of the experiences that people call "psychic", we have to START with something like a 15-minute objective test. This, at least, establishes that there is something going on OUTSIDE of the minds of the persons involved, something that actually does have a real effect on the world (and its measurable and testable rules).

One could certainly claim that a shared belief, even in something not real, has as real effect on the world: tigers are close to extinction in part because millions and millions of people believe that ingesting their ground-up bones will cure impotence. But that kind of claim is not what is going on here: Ms. Landin is claiming to have an actual ability -- something that allows her to obtain information in a previously unproven way. So we do have to start with the objective test, and move on from there.

With more objective tests. Because that is how science works.

Last edited by Jackalgirl; 9th February 2008 at 07:25 PM.
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Old 10th February 2008, 02:48 AM   #412
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
No Jackalgirl, I was not attempting to dismiss your point of "objective" tests. My purpose was to draw your attention to previous "objective" tests that were flawed.

The people were using the best knowledge that they had at the time, just as the JREF possibly does. Although personally I believe that the JREF already have their mind made up and are just looking for verification.
Just as the witch dunkers did.

To ascertain the validity of psychic phenomena will take science of a type that is yet to be formulated. To even call the 'TV type' quiz show tests that JREF uses "science", is a misnomer.

And yes, reality is subjective.
Every thing in your world is a past tense subjective experience.
By the time your brain has collected the incoming information processed it, it is all over.
What you believe just happened is a collection of comparisons, judgements, and emotions.
Not a video tape of what just happened.

So if we are to make sense of the experiences that people call "psychic" it will require much more than a 15 minute "objective" test.
It will require years of detailed and open minded research. All taboos, laws, prejudices, and beliefs will have to be discarded and so that the required clean slate for this new science can be obtained.
And how would one verify the validity of the (generalised) statement "I am psychic."? With years of research?

If one says "I can speak Spanish" this is easily verifiable by simply having one do it.
According to some of its proponents, psychic abilities are far more complex but shouldn't they allow for a relative simple test to see if they're there or not?

Buzz, how would you (as objective as possible) test for Carina Landin's claimed ability to identify the gender of a deceased person?
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Old 10th February 2008, 06:39 AM   #413
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
I know this isn't entirely on topic, but it is relevant.

You seem to be stuck on the validity of this "objective" testing thing Jackalgirl.
Look at this way,
In the middle ages the good folk devised a "objective" test to ascertain if the kindly local herbalist was a witch or not. This, up to date, cutting edge piece of technology was a "dunking stool".
Gave a clear yes/no result, if she drowned she was innocient, if she survived she was guilty. No ambiguity, nice and objective.

The law courts were similar.
If you, or your appointed representative could beat the other bloke in combat you were innocent.

Fortunately we have moved on to a system where a panel of your peers weighs up the evidence presented and delivers a verdict possibly closer to the truth.

So , with the knowledge that we have at the moment, to use the protocols formulated in the MDC, is akin to the old "dunking stool".

It gives a good clear cut result, but its validity is questionable.
Y'know, I think the dunking stool analogy actually makes sense. The problem with it was that people were defining witches wrong: they float or they don't. Well, we know that's silly.

I'd say a "witch" is a member of the Wiccan religion, which admittedly I don't know much about, but like any religion, there are all sorts of subjective ways to figure out if someone is a member. You could ask them. You could ask their friends if they're telling the truth. You could look for objective records, but lots of people claim to be Christians, for example, without actually belonging to a specific church. And everybody's got a slightly different definition of who's a "real" Wiccan or Christian or Buddhist anyway, so one man's hypocrite is another man's faithful adherent.

And in the end, it really doesn't mean anything. Wiccans or Christians or Buddhists or Hindus or atheists are really no different than anyone else. They have no supernatural powers, no physical differences or genetic encoding (when we're speaking of religious beliefs, for example, not familial Jewish heritage), nothing that can be tested so simply as "float or sink." It's all subjective.

But here's the irony: Believers in the paranormal are generally the ones making claims that can be decided by objective testing. "I can read minds." Okay, tell me what someone is thinking, that you couldn't learn otherwise. "I can douse for water." Okay, find water that you couldn't know about otherwise. On and on.

That's the point that skeptics are making. Claiming that there are objective tests that can show people have these skills is silly, because there are no such skills. Just like witches have no special attribute that makes them float or sink.

That's why candidates keep failing the tests and why skeptics expect them to continue to do so, as much as we'd be thrilled to find someone with superpowers.

So saying "I can douse" or "I have telepathy," is like saying "I'm a Christian" or "I'm a Republican." It means you believe certain things, behave in certain ways, interpret events differently from others, have a certain outlook on life, but it doesn't really mean you or anyone can do, objectively, what dousers or telepaths claim they can do.

Objective tests are silly. I wish believers would realize that. But they keep making claims...
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Old 10th February 2008, 11:35 AM   #414
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Originally Posted by Pup View Post
Y'know, I think the dunking stool analogy actually makes sense. The problem with it was that people were defining witches wrong: they float or they don't. Well, we know that's silly.

...snip...

But here's the irony: Believers in the paranormal are generally the ones making claims that can be decided by objective testing. "I can read minds." Okay, tell me what someone is thinking, that you couldn't learn otherwise. "I can douse for water." Okay, find water that you couldn't know about otherwise. On and on.

And this is precisely why Buzz's analogy doesn't hold up. In the sort of trial by ordeal he's alluding to the test criteria are not set by the person being tested, but by the accusers or the authorities.
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Old 10th February 2008, 07:56 PM   #415
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
Well Jackalgirl, since we seem to be talking around in circles about ability that you don’t understand, see if you could create an "objective" test for this experience. It is similar to what Carina Landin would feel “IF” she can do what she claims.

<snip>
I'd be happy to discuss the development of protocols with you; protocol development is something I enjoy. However, I suggest that you repost your message in a new thread, since this would be a significant derail of the Carina Landin thread. If you repost your message as a new thread, I'd be happy to hop on over and answer.

Back on topic: since you're the one who has challenged the Carina Landin test as being unsuitable, it is up to YOU to come up with a protocol that is suitable. I have explained why that test has to be objective (i.e., requiring no subjective judgement or interpretation). Either you understand why this is so and can come up with a suitable test, or you do not understand and cannot. Which one is it?

Last edited by Jackalgirl; 10th February 2008 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 11th February 2008, 01:28 AM   #416
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Originally Posted by Jackalgirl View Post
I'd be happy to discuss the development of protocols with you; protocol development is something I enjoy. However, I suggest that you repost your message in a new thread, since this would be a significant derail of the Carina Landin thread. If you repost your message as a new thread, I'd be happy to hop on over and answer.

Back on topic: since you're the one who has challenged the Carina Landin test as being unsuitable, it is up to YOU to come up with a protocol that is suitable. I have explained why that test has to be objective (i.e., requiring no subjective judgement or interpretation). Either you understand why this is so and can come up with a suitable test, or you do not understand and cannot. Which one is it?
I guessed your trip was "protocol development" from our previous encounters, Jackalgirl. That is why I wrote you that little story.

In our last interaction you were presented with evidence of something unusual and couldn't devise a protocol to test it.
Again I present you an aspect of "psychic" phenomena along the lines of what we are discussing and again you are unable to devise a protocol.

Doesn't this tell you something about "testing" psychic phenomena?

It can not be done with the knowledge we have at the moment.
You can concoct all manner of sideshow tricks to satisfy the supporters of the JREF, but if you want to get serious you are going do some break some new ground altogether.

In my previous posts I have indicated the way I would test Carina Landin for evidence of psychic ability.
Perhaps, as well as your "is it a girl/is it a boy" thing you could, just out of interests sake, give it a go.

And Paul2.......... 1yes 2yes 3yes and 4, for me to have a Japanese "encounter" is totally out of character as I think they suck for killing the whales.

Last edited by buzz lightyear; 11th February 2008 at 02:08 AM.
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Old 11th February 2008, 03:18 AM   #417
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
I guessed your trip was "protocol development" from our previous encounters, Jackalgirl. That is why I wrote you that little story.

In our last interaction you were presented with evidence of something unusual and couldn't devise a protocol to test it.
Please refresh my memory. I don't recall it, though I suspect that my being unable to devise a protocol probably had to do with the phenomenon not being testable. A link would be handy.

Fortunately for us both, however, Carina Landin's claim is testable: she claims to be able to discern the gender of a deceased person by the psychic imprint left on personal items (if I recall correctly). So my being unable to devise a protocol for some other untestable phenomenon has nothing to do with her claim, or with your inability to do the same.

Originally Posted by buzz lightyear
Again I present you an aspect of "psychic" phenomena along the lines of what we are discussing and again you are unable to devise a protocol.
At what point did I say that I was unable to devise a protocol for your latest topic? I merely stated that getting into a protocol discussion about that would be a massive derail of this thread, and suggested that you start a new thread. That is in no way an admission that I am unable to devise a protocol.

Originally Posted by buzz lightyear
Doesn't this tell you something about "testing" psychic phenomena?
Again with the quotation marks. You are aware, aren't you, that the use of quotation marks in the way that you're using them means "so-called", right? In other words, you're stating that psychic phenomena can't be tested. Is this what you mean? How can you possibly claim that psychic phenomena have an effect on the material world and also claim that this effect can't -- in any objective way -- be measured?

What is your suggested protocol for testing Carina Landin, with the understanding that for her ability not to be a delusion or hallucination or outright lie, that she has to pass a test that leaves no room for interpretation and is controlled so that the only possible explanation is that she has the powers she claims?

Once again, your previous suggested protocol is NOT SUFFICIENT, because you specifically call for people to judge whether an effect occured or not. There must be NO JUDGEMENT -- either she does it or she doesn't. Why are you so insistent on fudging a test and denying yourself the absolute proof that psychic powers are real (if they are)?
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Old 12th February 2008, 10:32 AM   #418
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
However, some of the journals weren't journals, precisely. As I understand it, there was one that was a pig farmer's records and another that was a recipe book.
I realize this is all water under the bridge now--and Buzz has mostly hijacked this thread to off topic discussion of the MDC in general.

However, I don't understand why it took us from October of '06 (when she did the first test) until November of 2007 to learn that the problem wasn't merely that some of the journals were too old, but also that some of them weren't journals in the intended sense (like personal diaries).

For over a year, we discussed the issue of the age of the diaries and the relevant clause in the protocol ("as much as possible"), and then learn that the problem was that some were recipe books and such?


So. . .on to the new protocol. Is there any way to be certain that letters collected (written by a person who died within the last 10 years to a still-living recipient) will still be valid by the time of testing? Seriously, the way things have moved on this, we can expect 2 years to pass before testing happens. Letters written by someone who died 9 years ago will "expire" and living recipients may also expire in the meanwhile. The time since death of the writer is easy enough to keep track of, but will someone need to telephone each recipient the day of the test to make sure they're still all alive? (Maybe Ms. Landin will agree if the recipients were alive at the time the letter was collected by the testers, or at least alive as of a specified date.)

Also, what exactly counts as corresponding roughly to A4 size? (US Letter size is similar, but definitely different. Paper from a spiral notebook is a similar dimension, but clearly different. You could argue that a tiny piece of paper that is 2.1 cm X 2.97 cm corresponds--by being in the exact same proportions--to an A4 sheet.) I think a size range should be specified. Say between 19 and 22 cm wide and between 26 and 31 cm tall. Then there won't be 2 years debate after the fact as to whether a given letter qualified as "roughly corresponding to A4 size".

Also, she should agree that the letters are acceptable regardless of the content of the letter. Does a handwritten receipt from a landlord to a tenant count? What about a letter that's only partly handwritten? Does it have to be a personal letter to friends or relatives?

I trust too that the protocol will make sure she can't see any of the writing, or color of paper, and none of the letters can be perfumed, etc. Can they be sealed in uniform outer envelopes thick and opaque enough to hide these characteristics? Perhaps a large 9" x 13" manila envelope?
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Old 12th February 2008, 11:56 AM   #419
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
No Jackalgirl, I was not attempting to dismiss your point of "objective" tests. My purpose was to draw your attention to previous "objective" tests that were flawed.

The people were using the best knowledge that they had at the time, just as the JREF possibly does. Although personally I believe that the JREF already have their mind made up and are just looking for verification.
Just as the witch dunkers did.
I don't think the dunkee in your example was given a chance to agree on the test protocol beforehand. That particular testing flaw is not relevant to the JREF objective testing. Of course JREF minds are made up to the extent that seeing no evidence of paranormal abilities ever can make up a mind, but in addition JREF is willing to put up money to be proven wrong, so get over it.
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Old 12th February 2008, 07:19 PM   #420
RemieV
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Originally Posted by JoeTheJuggler View Post
I realize this is all water under the bridge now--and Buzz has mostly hijacked this thread to off topic discussion of the MDC in general.

However, I don't understand why it took us from October of '06 (when she did the first test) until November of 2007 to learn that the problem wasn't merely that some of the journals were too old, but also that some of them weren't journals in the intended sense (like personal diaries).

For over a year, we discussed the issue of the age of the diaries and the relevant clause in the protocol ("as much as possible"), and then learn that the problem was that some were recipe books and such?


So. . .on to the new protocol. Is there any way to be certain that letters collected (written by a person who died within the last 10 years to a still-living recipient) will still be valid by the time of testing? Seriously, the way things have moved on this, we can expect 2 years to pass before testing happens. Letters written by someone who died 9 years ago will "expire" and living recipients may also expire in the meanwhile. The time since death of the writer is easy enough to keep track of, but will someone need to telephone each recipient the day of the test to make sure they're still all alive? (Maybe Ms. Landin will agree if the recipients were alive at the time the letter was collected by the testers, or at least alive as of a specified date.)

Also, what exactly counts as corresponding roughly to A4 size? (US Letter size is similar, but definitely different. Paper from a spiral notebook is a similar dimension, but clearly different. You could argue that a tiny piece of paper that is 2.1 cm X 2.97 cm corresponds--by being in the exact same proportions--to an A4 sheet.) I think a size range should be specified. Say between 19 and 22 cm wide and between 26 and 31 cm tall. Then there won't be 2 years debate after the fact as to whether a given letter qualified as "roughly corresponding to A4 size".

Also, she should agree that the letters are acceptable regardless of the content of the letter. Does a handwritten receipt from a landlord to a tenant count? What about a letter that's only partly handwritten? Does it have to be a personal letter to friends or relatives?

I trust too that the protocol will make sure she can't see any of the writing, or color of paper, and none of the letters can be perfumed, etc. Can they be sealed in uniform outer envelopes thick and opaque enough to hide these characteristics? Perhaps a large 9" x 13" manila envelope?
As I understand it, and this was before my time, the Swedish Skeptics stopped responding to e-mails regarding the Challenge tests. We were unaware there was an issue of any kind until we were contacted directly by Landin. In fact, one of my first tasks when I began handling Challenge e-mails was to write to the Swedish Skeptics. It took some months to get a response. I am sure they are busy, so I understand. I'm right there with them!

But now we are in contact once again and working together. So the process should speed up somewhat - so long as we can find acceptable letters.

The letters should be personal ones. In order to bar confusion, they should be either male to male or female to female. Ms. Landin will have a screen obstructing her view that will be treated and give off a strong scent. The letters cannot be in envelopes as Ms. Landin needs to touch the writing directly.

Now, if anyone can find some letters, we'll be all set.
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Old 13th February 2008, 12:20 AM   #421
GzuzKryzt
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Originally Posted by RemieV View Post
As I understand it, and this was before my time, the Swedish Skeptics stopped responding to e-mails regarding the Challenge tests. We were unaware there was an issue of any kind until we were contacted directly by Landin. In fact, one of my first tasks when I began handling Challenge e-mails was to write to the Swedish Skeptics. It took some months to get a response. I am sure they are busy, so I understand. I'm right there with them!

But now we are in contact once again and working together. So the process should speed up somewhat - so long as we can find acceptable letters.

The letters should be personal ones. In order to bar confusion, they should be either male to male or female to female. Ms. Landin will have a screen obstructing her view that will be treated and give off a strong scent. The letters cannot be in envelopes as Ms. Landin needs to touch the writing directly.

Now, if anyone can find some letters, we'll be all set.
This might be very pedantic but here goes:
Will the JREF need documentation of the date of decease for the person having written the letter?
And for the receiver?

I consider the JREF able to handle the privacy issues and I seriously think the dates should be documented, accompanied by the obituary.

No excuses this time.
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Old 20th February 2008, 02:09 AM   #422
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Originally Posted by Jackalgirl View Post

Again with the quotation marks. You are aware, aren't you, that the use of quotation marks in the way that you're using them means "so-called", right? In other words, you're stating that psychic phenomena can't be tested. Is this what you mean? How can you possibly claim that psychic phenomena have an effect on the material world and also claim that this effect can't -- in any objective way -- be measured?
Well Jackalgirl, it has been a long drawn out affair getting to this "revelation" but you got there.........well done.

The thing with psychic contact is that it is "given" not "taken".
And then you have to be in the correct frame of mind to actually detect it.
Most people would have experienced some degree of "contact", but without some understanding of what happened, would not recognise it.

My guess is that Carina has had this type of experience and now believes that she can achieve it at will. I would dearly love for someone to be able to do this, but I am pretty sure it doesn't work that way.

You have to get over the "measuring" thing if you are going to make any progress in understanding the spirit world.
It is an internal personal thing, that can only be understood in that way.

Last edited by buzz lightyear; 20th February 2008 at 02:10 AM.
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Old 20th February 2008, 03:41 AM   #423
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
It is an internal personal thing, that can only be understood in that way.
Provided it is real. You cannot get past the "measuring thing" if you want to be sure that you are not fooling yourself.
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Old 20th February 2008, 07:13 AM   #424
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snip
Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post

So if we are to make sense of the experiences that people call "psychic" it will require much more than a 15 minute "objective" test.
It will require years of detailed and open minded research.
snip

Proc Irony ;
Set buzz lightyear3419018 ;
Reply='But... but... How would Mr Randi have pulled off Project Alpha if there wasn't years of open minded research going on?'
RUN;

If there wasn't well funded research seriously trying to find psychics happening, where would the Project Alpha moles have been placed?

Are you saying that US defence did not spend four years during the eighties trying to train its personnel in the art of staring goats to death?

Are you saying that all those people spending money and time on "open minded" research never existed?

(I can't post links yet, I'm afraid - Project Alpha has its own entry in Wiki and the men who stare at goats (Also a rather funny book by Jon Ronson)
under "Albert Stubblebine".)

What I'm trying to say is, to relieve you of the opportunity to misunderstand (if you read this far down that is):this field has actually been researched for decades, nay - dare I say centuries by now- by people whom I believe you would deem "open minded". I.e. their minds are completely closed to the possibility that what they are looking for does not, in fact, exist. That seems to be the going definition of open minded in those circles.
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Old 20th February 2008, 12:55 PM   #425
Jackalgirl
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
Well Jackalgirl, it has been a long drawn out affair getting to this "revelation" but you got there.........well done.

The thing with psychic contact is that it is "given" not "taken".
And then you have to be in the correct frame of mind to actually detect it.
Most people would have experienced some degree of "contact", but without some understanding of what happened, would not recognise it.

My guess is that Carina has had this type of experience and now believes that she can achieve it at will. I would dearly love for someone to be able to do this, but I am pretty sure it doesn't work that way.

You have to get over the "measuring" thing if you are going to make any progress in understanding the spirit world.
It is an internal personal thing, that can only be understood in that way.
So you're saying that "spiritual" things, or "psychic" things, happen only within the minds of those experiencing them and can't be measured. Fine. But understand that when you say that, you are also saying that there is no practical way to rule out that people are experiencing hallucinations or other mental/perceptual phenomena related to, say, brain chemistry changes. In other words, weird things that people experience that seem unreal and unusual are happening entirely in their heads and could a) be psychic phenomena or b) be the result of brain chemistry.

You believe in a). I personally lean towards b) -- it seems more likely to me.

Fortunately for us, however, Carina Landin has made a testable claim. She is not claiming some kind of experience that's limited to the confines of her head -- no, she claims that by simply touching items written by people (who have passed away), she can determine the gender of the people. She claims that she is not figuring this out by the style of handwriting, or the choice of paper, ink, or pen, or any associated scents. She claims to be able to do so reliably. This is a testable claim.

What would be your protocol for testing this claim?
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Old 21st February 2008, 12:47 AM   #426
GzuzKryzt
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Originally Posted by Jackalgirl View Post
...
What would be your protocol for testing this claim?
...and how would you verify the statement "I can identify the gender of a deceased person via touching a letter hence I have psychic/occult/paranormal/supernatural abilities"?

Last edited by GzuzKryzt; 21st February 2008 at 12:47 AM.
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Old 21st February 2008, 02:06 AM   #427
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As an aside (to RemieV), I think it should be clarified that when Carina is saying "I can tell whether a person is male or female" that she is, in fact, talking about the person's sex, as opposed to his or her gender. The two are quite different (speaking from a cultural anthropological point of view); the former is talking about a person's biological parts, whereas the other is talking about the person's identity.

If you claim to be able to determine a person's gender identity, then you have an out: sure, dead uncle Jimmy was a dude, but in his heart of hearts he really felt like he was a woman! How do you disprove that, if the person is dead? Even if the person were alive, if the person felt completely ashamed about a hidden gender identity (that was different from his or her biological sex) and would rather die than admit it, how could you disprove it?

So I think it would be important to clarify that she means "biological sex".

Edited to add: my apologies if this has been addressed before.

Last edited by Jackalgirl; 21st February 2008 at 02:06 AM.
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Old 21st February 2008, 10:00 AM   #428
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I think Buzz's contention is that psychic things happen so rarely and randomly that it can't be tested........ sort of like coincidences. Or, maybe he's saying that because psychic experience is all within the mind of the psychic, that it can't be measured. Sort of like thoughts. I guess there is no way to understand what a psychic is experiencing. Thus, if a psychic makes a claim, we can't objectively test it. I guess real psychics can not communicate their thoughts or experiences in any way, unlike the rest of us.
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Old 21st February 2008, 11:17 PM   #429
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You mention "real psychics." Do you have any evidence that they exist? Because I have never seen that evidence and would love to see it.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 08:02 AM   #430
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
I think Buzz's contention is that psychic things happen so rarely and randomly that it can't be tested........ sort of like coincidences. Or, maybe he's saying that because psychic experience is all within the mind of the psychic, that it can't be measured. Sort of like thoughts. I guess there is no way to understand what a psychic is experiencing. Thus, if a psychic makes a claim, we can't objectively test it. I guess real psychics can not communicate their thoughts or experiences in any way, unlike the rest of us.
I can understand your first point, and I agree that something like that would be next to impossible to test. And so, it becomes really a point of faith that it exists -- if it is so rare and so unpredictable as to be untestable, what's the basis for believing that it happens?

Edited to add: by "believing that it happens", I mean "insisting that it is a real effect". It's one thing to simply suspect that something is going on "beyond the ken of mortal man." It's another to put oneself on a lofty pedestal and patronize people who dare to question that psychic powers exist.

As to your second point -- that is, that being psychic is all within the mind of the psychic -- if that's the case, how is it different from being delusional, or experiencing hallucinations? Or, more importantly, how could you tell the difference?

In Carina Landin's case, though, her claim is that a) her powers are regular and reliable and b) that they function outside the confines of her head (that is, she can actually obtain information about the real world using them). Plus, she is making a testable claim, in that she's claiming an ability that doesn't require post-diction or subjective judgment. So whatever kind of psychic Buzz is thinking of when he makes his claims that psychic powers are real but are somehow inherently untestable using objective means, Carina Landin is not that kind of psychic, and therefore his arguments are misplaced and off-topic.

Last edited by Jackalgirl; 22nd February 2008 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 11:24 AM   #431
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He's trying to apologize for the eminent failure of any psychic that tests under sound protocols, that's all.
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Old 22nd February 2008, 08:21 PM   #432
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Originally Posted by thaiboxerken View Post
He's trying to apologize for the eminent failure of any psychic that tests under sound protocols, that's all.
...while still trying to figure out a way to maintain that the psychics are actually psychic, yes. I agree.
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Old 23rd February 2008, 04:49 AM   #433
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Originally Posted by Blue Bubble View Post
Would the letters have to have been written in Swedish ? Or any other "Western" language ?
My prediction. It will end in tears.
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Old 24th February 2008, 03:39 AM   #434
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Originally Posted by buzz lightyear View Post
Perhaps Carina has heightened her perception to a level where she can actually do what she claims.
For the type of "science" that JREF undertakes, the "test" is probably as good as you will get. But as to the results................
If she can do what she claims, then it should be both measurable and testable. And the results should be self-evident. By the "rolling eyes" smiley, you seem to be indicating that you would not find the results believable. Is that correct? And if so, why not?
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Old 16th January 2009, 02:52 AM   #435
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So, almost a year later... did the claimant just go away, or what? If so, does she still haunt the 'net with her claims?
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Old 16th January 2009, 06:16 AM   #436
GzuzKryzt
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Originally Posted by Klaymore View Post
So, almost a year later... did the claimant just go away, or what? If so, does she still haunt the 'net with her claims?
The process seemed to have stalled because there was not enough test material - letters, rings, etc. - that met the qualifications.

However, information from the Carina Landin negotiations seems difficult to get. We may have to live with the fact that her claim can't be properly tested.
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Old 16th January 2009, 08:53 AM   #437
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Originally Posted by GzuzKryzt View Post
However, information from the Carina Landin negotiations seems difficult to get. We may have to live with the fact that her claim can't be properly tested.
I believe that her claim was properly tested, but because the protocol was unclear, she is allowed a second chance, which will not materialise for practical reasons.
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Old 16th January 2009, 10:07 PM   #438
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Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
I believe that her claim was properly tested, but because the protocol was unclear, she is allowed a second chance, which will not materialise for practical reasons.
So, that's a win for Carina.
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Old 17th January 2009, 04:32 PM   #439
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Originally Posted by Gr8wight View Post
So, that's a win for Carina.
In what way? I thought a win would somehow involve a million dollar?
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Old 17th January 2009, 04:39 PM   #440
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Originally Posted by Gr8wight View Post
So, that's a win for Carina.
Originally Posted by steenkh View Post
In what way? I thought a win would somehow involve a million dollar?
It's a win in that she gets to tell people that she would have passed the test had the protocol not been invalidated by the testers, and as long as the testers continue to drag their feet, the point cannot effectively be argued against. Seeing as we all know she cannot actually pass the test, she is in the best possible position. Her current situation is the woo-woo's dream. The Professor would be in heaven if he were in such a situation.
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