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Tags statistical analysis , statistical methods , telekinesis

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Old 20th August 2018, 05:47 AM   #1
Buddha
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Is the Telekinesis Real?

“Those gifts paid for a small staff and a gallery of random-motion machines, including a pendulum with a lighted crystal at the end; a giant, wall-mounted pachinko-like machine with a cascade of bouncing balls; and a variety of electronic boxes with digital number displays.
In one of PEAR’s standard experiments, the study participant would sit in front of an electronic box the size of a toaster oven, which flashed a random series of numbers just above and just below 100. Staff members instructed the person to simply “think high” or “think low” and watch the display. After thousands of repetitions — the equivalent of coin flips — the researchers looked for differences between the machine’s output and random chance.”

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/02/10/s...princeton.html

This article is intended for general audience.

Here is the link to the original article which is intended for the professionals with engineering and scientific background.

https://www.cia.gov/library/readingr...00010004-6.pdf

There are several objections to this research; I am going to go over them:

1. Incorrect statistical methods were used to analyze the data.

2. The methods of analysis are correct, but the results were interpreted incorrectly

3. The results of the experiment are irreproducible.

The first two objections are nonsensical, people who raised them do not know what they are talking about. As a data analyst, I use similar, although not exactly the same, methods to analyze stock market data, manufacturing data, advertisement campaigns data, etc., (I work for a consulting company)

The third objection deserves more attention. Statistical methods are used to analyze experiments that cannot be reproduced exactly the way they happened. Take, for example, the famous two-slit experiment with a beam of electrons coming out of the electron gun and forming interference pattern on the screen. If you run this experiment for some time, then stop, recharge the gun, change the screen and run second experiment, the results won’t be exactly the same. However, the interference pattern will remain unchanged.

The same applies to this telekinetic experiment, so its data and the scientists’ conclusion are valid.
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:49 AM   #2
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Enough with goddamn "Is this random nonsense with zero evidence that's already been debunked a million times real?" threads.

No. We need to add Betteridge's Law of Headlines to the MA in regards to thread titles.
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:51 AM   #3
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Telekinesis isn't real, but it would appear that JayUtah is clairvoyant:
Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Buddha v. Popper, since that seems to be where all his threads head -- with due acknowledgement that his choice of user name makes conversation awkward. Since the telekinesis thread is guaranteed to hit PEAR@Princeton heavily, and since the decades-old debunking of that nonsense requires understanding the ins and outs of practical empirical methods, I'm sure "But I think Popper is garbage" is probably going to be a fairly common deflection.

For those who don't want to read the previous threads, PEAR was one guy's labor of love at Princeton, largely privately funded but using Princeton's facilities and prestige to maintain altitude for that guy's useful career. It purported to show a weak statistical significance for a hypothesis of telekinesis. Most of that unraveled when meta-analysis showed the purported effect was attributed almost entirely to one subject, thought to be one of PEAR's staffers. When that subject was eliminated, the "telekinesis" effect shrank back into the statistical noise. Further criticism pointed to papers that were long on hype but short on descriptions and validations of its methodology and controls -- stuff that Buddha the Claimant would find familiar.
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:51 AM   #4
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Why do you post this on a skeptic board when you plan ahead of time to ignore criticisms of your argument and then declare victory and move on?
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:52 AM   #5
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He's just trolling, guys ..
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
He's just trolling, guys ..
Oh well that makes it okay.
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:57 AM   #7
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Anyway, I'm, like, a super busy business person who is also an expert in multiple fields and widely liked for both his sunny demeanor and slightly above average beard, so you see, that's why I can't really respond to any of the issues you've raised. I'll look at the thread tomorrow and I'll respond to the posts that I think I can use to further inflate my ego are worthy of my time, because I'm so busybusybusy.

Anyway, stay tuned for my thread about OOBEs, UFOs and Intelligent Design!
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Old 20th August 2018, 05:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by The Sparrow View Post
Why do you post this on a skeptic board when you plan ahead of time to ignore criticisms of your argument and then declare victory and move on?
If you think really hard he might move on now.
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:01 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
There are several objections to this research; I am going to go over them:

1. Incorrect statistical methods were used to analyze the data.

2. The methods of analysis are correct, but the results were interpreted incorrectly

3. The results of the experiment are irreproducible.
And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou look up the Holy Hypothesis. Then, shalt thou choose three counter-arguments. No more. No less. Three shall be the number thou shalt argue, and the number of the arguing shall be three. Four shalt thou not argue, nor either argue thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy dismissal of thy counter-arguments towards thy foe, who, being constrained to follow the script, shall snuff it."

Dave
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:03 AM   #10
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It is real, you just have to believe.

So sit down and concentrate on moving something. The first time it might take a few months, but whatever you do, don't move or break concentration. Not even for an instant.

Report back on your success.
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by sphenisc View Post
If you think really hard he might move on now.
I'm straining so hard that I am sweating blood.
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:20 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
1. Incorrect statistical methods were used to analyze the data.

2. The methods of analysis are correct, but the results were interpreted incorrectly

3. The results of the experiment are irreproducible.

The first two objections are nonsensical, people who raised them do not know what they are talking about. As a data analyst, I use similar, although not exactly the same, methods to analyze stock market data, manufacturing data, advertisement campaigns data, etc., (I work for a consulting company).
Rather than pulling the argument from authority (misplaced authority at that), describe the methods that were used and explain how they are correctly used in this instance, rather than simply handwaving away the criticism.

Your statement here simply comes across as bloviating, rather than rebuttal.
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:22 AM   #13
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Would you generate positive interest if you put it on your CV/resume?
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:24 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
The first two objections are nonsensical, people who raised them do not know what they are talking about.
Yes, they do.

Quote:
As a data analyst, I use similar, although not exactly the same, methods to analyze stock market data...
I'm sure you do, but you have established a history of exaggerating or outright fabricating expertise you do not have and cannot demonstrate. The people who rightly criticized PEAR for statistical shenanigans demonstrated themselves to be far more proficient about statistical methodology than you give them credit for.

So no, you don't get to sweep this under the carpet. If your argument is that PEAR's methods were statistically valid despite the well-supported criticism to the contrary, you will have to put your money where your mouth is. That means explain in detail why the criticism is wrong. Show your work. No gaslighting. Assume your audience is capable of understanding as much statistics as you can possibly bring to bear. If you read the attempt of the last guy to prove reincarnation, you will see that this is not an audience you can simply call ignorant and bluff your way past.

Put up or shut up, Buddha.

Quote:
...the results won’t be exactly the same. However, the interference pattern will remain unchanged.
No, that is not what is meant by reproducibility in empirical study.

Quote:
The same applies to this telekinetic experiment, so its data and the scientists’ conclusion are valid.
No, that is not how logic works. You don't get to speculatively attribute unexplained error to some imagined cause because some error in some other experiment was uncontrolled.

Also -- since you have a habit of restating your purpose at the end of a debate -- please confirm that your purpose in this thread is to prove that PEAR's conclusions are valid. We don't need to proceed if you're simply going to attempt this, fail as usual, and then redfine your purpose to save face.
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Old 20th August 2018, 06:31 AM   #15
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Hey, what luck!
Telekinesis is my one area of expertise where I can impress professors with my knowledge and practical demonstrations.
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Last edited by Cheetah; 20th August 2018 at 07:19 AM.
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:01 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Hokulele View Post
Your statement here simply comes across as bloviating, rather than rebuttal.
Indeed, his attempt to prove the existence of God devolved into trying to show he knew more about logic and philosophy than everyone else -- which, it was shown, he didn't. His attempt to prove reincarnation empirically devolved into trying to show he knew more about empirical methods than everyone else. And, true to form, he didn't. Predictably, this attempt to prove telekinesis immediately took the form of claiming to know more about statistical methods than everyone else. The outcome is equally predictable.
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:05 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
In one of PEAR’s standard experiments, the study participant would sit in front of an electronic box the size of a toaster oven, which flashed a random series of numbers just above and just below 100. Staff members instructed the person to simply “think high” or “think low” and watch the display. After thousands of repetitions — the equivalent of coin flips — the researchers looked for differences between the machine’s output and random chance.”
That's... that's it? That's what you're bringing to the table? This has been thoroughly looked at, many times. They're bad studies. You don't have anything new, or anything more convincing?

Here, educate yourself:

http://www.skepdic.com/pear.html

https://www.csicop.org/si/show/pear_...act_or_fallacy

Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
There are several objections to this research; I am going to go over them:
Okay cool, when are you planning on doing that? Or was that it? Do you consider listing off a few oversimplified bullet points and then dismissing them without actually refuting them "going over them"?

Here's what that would look like if you were a Flat Earther:

Quote:
1. Methods of measurement used from the surface of the earth confirm it is not flat.

2. The flat earth model does not explain observable phenomena in a satisfactory way.

3. The Earth has been observed to be roughly spherical

The first two objections are nonsensical, people who raised them do not know what they are talking about. As someone who has studied geometry and uses many forms of measurement in my daily life, I use similar (though not exactly the same) steps to determine the size and shape of things.

The third objection deserves more attention. Things can sometimes look rounder than they are from the wrong angles or through distorted viewing apparatuses. For example, if you go to a funhouse at a carnival you may find mirrors that distort your shape and size.

The same applies to this "round earth" observation, so the flat earth theory is still valid.
Do you see why this is totally worthless analysis? You didn't actually address the specific complaints, complaints which are valid and detailed and which are available with around 30 seconds of Googling.
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:12 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, lobbest thou thy dismissal of thy counter-arguments towards thy foe, who, being constrained to follow the script, shall snuff it."
Amen. It is such a very predictable pattern, isn't it?
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:38 AM   #19
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The Telekinesis is the name of my Sugarcubes cover band.
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
The Telekinesis is the name of my Sugarcubes cover band.
But is it Real ?
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Old 20th August 2018, 07:48 AM   #21
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We really should start asking for script approval for these threads.
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Old 20th August 2018, 08:19 AM   #22
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Why is this question n SMM&T?
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Old 20th August 2018, 08:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Why is this question n SMM&T?
Because, according to Buddha's announcement in his last thread, this is actual science done by real scientists at Princeton, hence it's a scientific question and not an attempt to prove the paranormal, spiritual, or supernatural (like all his other threads). He attempted to prove the existence of God using a deductive formula. He believed he ended up proving the necessity of a creator, which could be, but doesn't have to be, the creator god in Christianity. He attempted to prove the reality of the Buddhist formulation of reincarnation. Funny how telekinesis, his latest attempt, is yet another concept that relates to one of the religions he professes. Buddhism believes that telekinesis is possible once one reaches a suitable stage of spiritual development. So it's hard to shake the the impression that Buddha the Claimant (as distinct from Buddha the avatar of Vishnu) is following a well worn path of claiming his religious beliefs have objective scientific proof.
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Old 20th August 2018, 08:35 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Dr.Sid View Post
But is it Real ?
The Telekinesis Real is the name of my Tito and the Tarantulas cover band.

It's pronounced "rey-AL".
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Old 20th August 2018, 08:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Porpoise of Life View Post
Anyway, I'm, like, a super busy business person who is also an expert in multiple fields and widely liked for both his sunny demeanor and slightly above average beard, so you see, that's why I can't really respond to any of the issues you've raised. I'll look at the thread tomorrow and I'll respond to the posts that I think I can use to further inflate my ego are worthy of my time, because I'm so busybusybusy.

Anyway, stay tuned for my thread about OOBEs, UFOs and Intelligent Design!
...could we have a useful one like the best ways to prepare unicorn for stews?
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Old 20th August 2018, 08:53 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
Because, according to Buddha's announcement in his last thread, this is actual science done by real scientists at Princeton, hence it's a scientific question and not an attempt to prove the paranormal, spiritual, or supernatural (like all his other threads). He attempted to prove the existence of God using a deductive formula. He believed he ended up proving the necessity of a creator, which could be, but doesn't have to be, the creator god in Christianity. He attempted to prove the reality of the Buddhist formulation of reincarnation. Funny how telekinesis, his latest attempt, is yet another concept that relates to one of the religions he professes. Buddhism believes that telekinesis is possible once one reaches a suitable stage of spiritual development. So it's hard to shake the the impression that Buddha the Claimant (as distinct from Buddha the avatar of Vishnu) is following a well worn path of claiming his religious beliefs have objective scientific proof.
Nice synopsis. So Buddah the Poster is trying to give scientific credibility to a General Skepticism and Paranormal claim, so as not to seem silly. He's a clever one, that Buddah.
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Old 20th August 2018, 08:54 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Buddha View Post
3. The results of the experiment are irreproducible.

[...]

The third objection deserves more attention. Statistical methods are used to analyze experiments that cannot be reproduced exactly the way they happened. Take, for example, the famous two-slit experiment with a beam of electrons coming out of the electron gun and forming interference pattern on the screen. If you run this experiment for some time, then stop, recharge the gun, change the screen and run second experiment, the results won’t be exactly the same. However, the interference pattern will remain unchanged.
No. You're conflating the well-known essential probabilistic nature of quantum mechanics with uncontrolled statistical variance masquerading in PEAR studies as significance. Be assured that your audience here understands quantum mechanics at least as well as, and probably better than, you do. You can see already that they are not fooled by your vague handwaving dismissals. To be considered reproducible for empirical purposes, a double-slit experiment does not have to land particles in exactly the same places every time. It merely has to land particles in groupings that show statistical affinity for the quantum effect more so than an effect that can be modeled with a single random variable. Be assured that your audience here understands statistics at least as well as, if not better than, you do. You are not the unimpeachable master of all topics you choose to bring up.

Your critics are not talking about reproducibility in terms of statistical variance. The critics of PEAR noted the lack of empirical controls in the design of experiments, and the lean descriptions of the experiment design in their papers. Reproducibility in an empirical study means the ability to describe the experiment in enough detail that another experimenter, using only the description of your experiment, can build his own experiment according to the specified design and reach the same results as you did. If you don't describe your experiment in sufficient detail, it is not considered reproducible. It is assumed in that case that sources of error and uncontrolled variance may very well lie in the parts you left out of the description. That's what reproducibility means -- a standard of disclosure. You're trying to foist the layman's common misconceptions of reproducibility, wrapped in an irrelevant ribbon of unrelated effects.

You demonstrated in your reincarnation proof that the notion of empirical controls is entirely foreign to you. That means you don't have the wherewithal to accuse your audience of misunderstanding different causes of variance. Once again your argument boils down simply to pretending you're smarter than everyone else and browbeating or gaslighting everyone else to accept that they are ignorant and stupid.

You are in the section of the forum that includes science and mathematics. So make with the science and the math. You seem to be well aware of the criticism against PEAR in terms of their method. Your argument is that that criticism is naive and incorrect.

Prove it.

Don't just say it is, prove it is. Use your purported expertise in statistical analysis and show, using appropriate formulas and mathematical proofs, that the criticism is ill-founded as you claim. No punting. No deflection with, "Well, this is over your head," or "I don't have time to get into the details." You're in the section of the forum that's all about the details, so make with them.
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Old 20th August 2018, 09:06 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Nice synopsis. So Buddah the Poster is trying to give scientific credibility to a General Skepticism and Paranormal claim, so as not to seem silly. He's a clever one, that Buddah.
Jabba tried to do the same thing. He started out his proof for reincarnation in the mathematics section because it used Bayesian inference to arrive at its conclusion. His argument was that since he was using math it should be in the math section, not that it should be in the religion or paranormal sections because the conclusion he was trying to prove was the factual reality of a religious tenet or paranormal belief.

As long as Buddha is willing to confine the discussion to statistical methodology and the structure of scientific empiricism, I'm content to leave it here. I would consider it on-topic to discuss how properly to design an experiment to test for an effect, even if the purported cause is supernatural. I would consider it on-topic to discuss statistical methods even if the variables relate to claims of the supernatural.

What I suspect is that this thread will devolve in the same manner as Buddha the Claimant's previous two threads. It will quickly shift into advocacy for those beliefs, as the thread title here implies. It will shift into a pissing match over whether our Buddha is as smart as he claims, or smarter than his critics. It will decay into an application of social-engineering techniques he has employed in the past to avoid having to address his critics. It will start to smell of the same ego-reinforcement motives that plagued his other threads. And it will end, I predict, in his abject failure to prove anything he has set out to prove, but then redefining the purpose of the thread as some sort of strengthen-my-argument exercise or data-gathering exercise that allows him to fail in the proof while still "achieving my goals." (That's why I'm asking up front for him to confirm what his goal in this thread is.)
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Old 20th August 2018, 09:21 AM   #29
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Why in the heck does a demonstration of telekinesis need a statistical analysis?

Show me something that moves by thoughts. Even if it's an undersea, unexplained mass sponge migration. Either something moved, or it didn't.
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Old 20th August 2018, 09:21 AM   #30
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It would be a treat for Buddah to have the intellectual honesty to address your criticisms directly, but I am not optimistic. He'd need some thus far undisclosed evidentiary silver bullets

Eta: replying to JayUtah. Damned cel phone
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Old 20th August 2018, 09:23 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by JayUtah View Post
.... (That's why I'm asking up front for him to confirm what his goal in this thread is.)
I'm guessing his goal is to be able to claim elsewhere in the future that he took his ideas to some 'hardcore skeptics' and they 'had no legitimate rebuttals'.
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Old 20th August 2018, 09:27 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by The Sparrow View Post
I'm guessing his goal is to be able to claim elsewhere in the future that he took his ideas to some 'hardcore skeptics' and they 'had no legitimate rebuttals'.
Virtually speaking, of course
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Old 20th August 2018, 10:02 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Why in the heck does a demonstration of telekinesis need a statistical analysis?

Show me something that moves by thoughts. Even if it's an undersea, unexplained mass sponge migration. Either something moved, or it didn't.
Yeah. Get someone going all Jean Grey and throwing cars with their mind, and nobody's going to be wondering 'what's the margin of error on that'?
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Old 20th August 2018, 10:36 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Cat Not Included View Post
Yeah. Get someone going all Jean Grey and throwing cars with their mind, and nobody's going to be wondering 'what's the margin of error on that'?
For some reason, I get the impression of that Yogi guy who used to claim he could "levitate" and totally suckered Doug Henning into believing it. Cool, levitation! Show us!

And all you see are guys with their legs crossed hopping around on mats.

Buddah is going to prove they are levitating by showing that they are spending a statistically significant more time in the air than would be predicted by physics and gravity.
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Old 20th August 2018, 10:55 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by pgwenthold View Post
Why in the heck does a demonstration of telekinesis need a statistical analysis?
Because telekinesis (really psychokinesis) is more broadly defined. It is defined as the ability of someone to influence a remote physical system using only thought. ("Remote" meaning, of course, not connected to the brain. Obviously thoughts control the physical system of the organism the thoughts arise in.)

Commonly we define psychokinesis as the ability to move things with the mind, but remote locomotion is not the only purported effect. Adding heat, for example. The PEAR experiments centered around a random number generator. That is, a random bit generator. This is a problem computer scientists should be familiar with, as a bottomless source of true entropy is an attractive goal for many applications. For purposes of understanding the experiment, just imagine it as a machine where you push a button and one of two lights comes on -- one for a 1-bit and the other for a 0-bit. Which light comes on for each trial is, it is alleged. completely random. It is said to be theoretically impossible to predict from any sequence of prior of outcomes, however long, what the next outcome will be.

Over time, the law of large numbers says you should accumulate an equal number of ones and zeros. More precisely, this translates into an ability of a human predictor to predict the next outcome of the machine with an accuracy that, over a large number of trials, approaches 50 percent. But the law of pretty-large (as opposed to truly large) numbers says that there will be a statistical variance in the actual demonstrated ability. That is, if you do 10 trials at predicting a truly random binary event, you will most probably succeed five times, plus-or-minus some variance attributable to sampling granularity. And that granularity is most likely to give you four or six correct guesses if not five. You can't reckon fractions of guesses. The more trials you do, the more you can expect your performance to approach the true center of the distribution, with decreasing variance because the granularity increases.

So the null hypothesis here looks like a random variable that is the likelihood function of conflating the actual probability of the machine to exhibit a truly random bit with the statistical parameters of the sampling factors.

The psychokinesis variable comes from the subject being able to actually influence the machine to produce an outcome that she has predetermined regardless of what its mechanism or algorithm would otherwise have produced. That is, the pyschokinetic effect is assumed to arise when the subject can psychically compel the machine to produce a string of outcomes that are, naturally enough, predicted at a higher rate because the person predicting is the person psychokinetically influencing. One parameter of the model is the baseline performance of the machine. Another is the baseline performance of a non-psychokinetic subject. Also you have the suspected performance of the machine in a run of N trials, absent any external effect. And at the end you have the discrete set out outcomes, both from the machine and from the human subject.

The statistical methodology centers on properly computing likelihoods, properly accounting for these parameters for that trial. The result is a likelihood function that represents the null hypothesis quantitatively. The goal then, most simply put, is to determine whether the properly parameterized null hypothesis has a probability p < 0.05 of explaining the outcomes. Or more accurately stated, whether the subject truly has predicted more outcomes than chance would allow -- presumably because she affected the machine to do so. But because we have a finite number of trials, the question of whether the outcomes were anomalous is always that statistical question that includes a margin of error. Thus one way to fudge your numbers is to complicate the reckoning of the null hypothesis and thereby get a better P-value that you would have otherwise seen. It effectively narrows the expected outcomes such that small changes within the margin of error can be improperly attributed to changes in the variable.

Another way to fudge your numbers is simply to relax the empiricism so that other variables creep in, such as experimenter bias. We find that PEAR did all of that, but Buddha seems to want to talk about only the few straw men he's trotted out.
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Old 20th August 2018, 11:09 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Dave Rogers View Post
And the Lord spake, saying, "First shalt thou look up the Holy Hypothesis. Then, shalt thou choose three counter-arguments. No more. No less. Three shall be the number thou shalt argue, and the number of the arguing shall be three. Four shalt thou not argue, nor either argue thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then, thee thread shall bloweth up in thy face, again.lobbest thou thy dismissal of thy counter-arguments towards thy foe, who, being constrained to follow the script, shall snuff it."

Dave
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Old 20th August 2018, 11:15 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
He's a clever one, that Buddah.
Come on, there's already one poster filling the thread with unevidenced claims, that's not an excuse to join in.
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Old 20th August 2018, 11:17 AM   #38
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No.

But over the years I've run into a few folks who had bad breath to the point that I attempted to stay out of the stink zone.
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Old 20th August 2018, 11:19 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Thermal View Post
Why is this question n SMM&T?
Agreed, but the bad science involved might qualify for its inclusion.
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Old 20th August 2018, 11:23 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by Cat Not Included View Post
Yeah. Get someone going all Jean Grey and throwing cars with their mind, and nobody's going to be wondering 'what's the margin of error on that'?
A number of finely balanced 'targets' in an isolated container. One is selected at random and is moved within an agreed period, the others remain untouched. Designed properly the required force could be tiny, less than that required to change the course of a ball bearing for example.
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