Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Brain Trust Speaks

Said on Eschaton this afternoon:

when someone tells you they have intriguing results, that means the study crapped out, but they believe their idea anyway.  

Skeptic Tank 

What I happened to look at just the other day at "Inside Science" 

Particle Physicists Report 'Intriguing Hints' of Higgs Boson

.... Together, these two groups have independently found intriguing collision events between 124 and 126 GeV, suggesting that the Higgs may have been produced at the LHC.

Originally published: Dec 13 2011

Update 2:  Also said at the "Brain Trust"

Steve Simels, blog malignancy  Moe_Szyslak • 17 hours ago

Twain was satirizing the truthers, not agreeing with them.

Steve Simels, blog malignancy  mp • 14 hours ago

Twain was one of the smartest guys who ever lived.

That was part of the talk around Simels' falling for my pushing his buttons when I used the term "the author of the Shakespeare plays".   Knowing he is a slave of conventional thinking, as most ignorant people whose college degree isn't matched by extensive reading but TV viewing are, I suspected that would set him off on another topic of his massive ignorance.  I was a bit surprised that "Moe Slyzak" got involved, pushing the erudition he got from a BBC podcast upholding the "Bard of Avon" line, inventing an educational history for the guy when there is absolutely no evidence, at all, that his literacy extended past him being able to draw the letters of his name, to an extent, varying the spelling, when required to do so in business.  Not uncommon among illiterates of his time or after.  Other than the handful of signatures on legal documents there is no evidence that he could read or write, never mind to write even sign his own name as consistently as someone comes to do when they write hundreds of thousands of intelligently chosen words, by hand.  

Having actually read Mark Twain's "Is Shakespeare Dead?" instead of pretending I did, it couldn't be more obvious that he was one of many quite brilliant folk calling attention to the fact that virtually every item in every Shakespeare biography is fictitious, then, in the 19th century, as it is now. It has to be because, unique among literary figures of his stature from that period and after, there is virtually no evidence of anything about the man set up as the greatest writer of the English language and a number of others, beside.  There is not even convincing evidence that he was literate.   Here is the 4th section of Twain's long essay 


The historians “suppose” that Shakespeare attended the Free School in Stratford from the time he was seven years old till he was thirteen.  There is no evidence in existence that he ever went to school at all.

The historians “infer” that he got his Latin in that school—the school which they “suppose” he attended.

They “suppose” his father’s declining fortunes made it necessary for him to leave the school they supposed he attended, and get to work and help support his parents and their ten children.  But there is no evidence that he ever entered or retired from the school they suppose he attended.

They “suppose” he assisted his father in the butchering business; and that, being only a boy, he didn’t have to do full-grown butchering, but only slaughtered calves.  Also, that whenever he killed a calf he made a high-flown speech over it.  This supposition rests upon the testimony of a man who wasn’t there at the time; a man who got it from a man who could have been there, but did not say whether he was or not; and neither of them thought to mention it for decades, and decades, and decades, and two more decades after Shakespeare’s death (until old age and mental decay had refreshed and vivified their memories).  They hadn’t two facts in stock about the long-dead distinguished citizen, but only just the one: he slaughtered calves and broke into oratory while he was at it.  Curious.  They had only one fact, yet the distinguished citizen had spent twenty-six years in that little town—just half his lifetime.  However, rightly viewed, it was the most important fact, indeed almost the only important fact, of Shakespeare’s life in Stratford.  Rightly viewed.  For experience is an author’s most valuable asset; experience is the thing that puts the muscle and the breath and the warm blood into the book he writes.  Rightly viewed, calf-butchering accounts for Titus Andronicus, the only play—ain’t it?—that the Stratford Shakespeare ever wrote; and yet it is the only one everybody tries to chouse him out of, the Baconians included.

The historians find themselves “justified in believing” that the young Shakespeare poached upon Sir Thomas Lucy’s deer preserves and got haled before that magistrate for it.  But there is no shred of respectworthy evidence that anything of the kind happened.

The historians, having argued the thing that might have happened into the thing that did happen, found no trouble in turning Sir Thomas Lucy into Mr. Justice Shallow.  They have long ago convinced the world—on surmise and without trustworthy evidence—that Shallow is Sir Thomas.

The next addition to the young Shakespeare’s Stratford history comes easy.  The historian builds it out of the surmised deer-stealing, and the surmised trial before the magistrate, and the surmised vengeance-prompted satire upon the magistrate in the play: result, the young Shakespeare was a wild, wild, wild, oh such a wild young scamp, and that gratuitous slander is established for all time!  It is the very way Professor Osborn and I built the colossal skeleton brontosaur that stands fifty-seven feet long and sixteen feet high in the Natural History Museum, the awe and admiration of all the world, the stateliest skeleton that exists on the planet.  We had nine bones, and we built the rest of him out of plaster of paris.  We ran short of plaster of paris, or we’d have built a brontosaur that could sit down beside the Stratford Shakespeare and none but an expert could tell which was biggest or contained the most plaster.

Shakespeare pronounced Venus and Adonis “the first heir of his invention,” apparently implying that it was his first effort at literary composition.  He should not have said it.  It has been an embarrassment to his historians these many, many years.  They have to make him write that graceful and polished and flawless and beautiful poem before he escaped from Stratford and his family—1586 or ’87—age, twenty-two, or along there; because within the next five years he wrote five great plays, and could not have found time to write another line.

It is sorely embarrassing.  If he began to slaughter calves, and poach deer, and rollick around, and learn English, at the earliest likely moment—say at thirteen, when he was supposably wrenched from that school where he was supposably storing up Latin for future literary use—he had his youthful hands full, and much more than full.  He must have had to put aside his Warwickshire dialect, which wouldn’t be understood in London, and study English very hard.  Very hard indeed; incredibly hard, almost, if the result of that labor was to be the smooth and rounded and flexible and letter-perfect English of the Venus and Adonis in the space of ten years; and at the same time learn great and fine and unsurpassable literary form.

However, it is “conjectured” that he accomplished all this and more, much more: learned law and its intricacies; and the complex procedure of the law courts; and all about soldiering, and sailoring, and the manners and customs and ways of royal courts and aristocratic society; and likewise accumulated in his one head every kind of knowledge the learned then possessed, and every kind of humble knowledge possessed by the lowly and the ignorant; and added thereto a wider and more intimate knowledge of the world’s great literatures, ancient and modern, than was possessed by any other man of his time—for he was going to make brilliant and easy and admiration-compelling use of these splendid treasures the moment he got to London.  And according to the surmisers, that is what he did.  Yes, although there was no one in Stratford able to teach him these things, and no library in the little village to dig them out of.  His father could not read, and even the surmisers surmise that he did not keep a library.

It is surmised by the biographers that the young Shakespeare got his vast knowledge of the law and his familiar and accurate acquaintance with the manners and customs and shop-talk of lawyers through being for a time the clerk of a Stratford court; just as a bright lad like me, reared in a village on the banks of the Mississippi, might become perfect in knowledge of the Behring Strait whale-fishery and the shop-talk of the veteran exercisers of that adventure-bristling trade through catching catfish with a “trot-line” Sundays.  But the surmise is damaged by the fact that there is no evidence—and not even tradition—that the young Shakespeare was ever clerk of a law court.

It is further surmised that the young Shakespeare accumulated his law-treasures in the first years of his sojourn in London, through “amusing himself” by learning book-law in his garret and by picking up lawyer-talk and the rest of it through loitering about the law-courts and listening.  But it is only surmise; there is no evidence that he ever did either of those things.  They are merely a couple of chunks of plaster of paris.

There is a legend that he got his bread and butter by holding horses in front of the London theatres, mornings and afternoons.  Maybe he did.  If he did, it seriously shortened his law-study hours and his recreation-time in the courts.  In those very days he was writing great plays, and needed all the time he could get.  The horse-holding legend ought to be strangled; it too formidably increases the historian’s difficulty in accounting for the young Shakespeare’s erudition—an erudition which he was acquiring, hunk by hunk and chunk by chunk every day in those strenuous times, and emptying each day’s catch into next day’s imperishable drama.

He had to acquire a knowledge of war at the same time; and a knowledge of soldier-people and sailor-people and their ways and talk; also a knowledge of some foreign lands and their languages: for he was daily emptying fluent streams of these various knowledges, too, into his dramas.  How did he acquire these rich assets?

In the usual way: by surmise.  It is surmised that he travelled in Italy and Germany and around, and qualified himself to put their scenic and social aspects upon paper; that he perfected himself in French, Italian and Spanish on the road; that he went in Leicester’s expedition to the Low Countries, as soldier or sutler or something, for several months or years—or whatever length of time a surmiser needs in his business—and thus became familiar with soldiership and soldier-ways and soldier-talk, and generalship and general-ways and general-talk, and seamanship and sailor-ways and sailor-talk.

Maybe he did all these things, but I would like to know who held the horses in the meantime; and who studied the books in the garret; and who frollicked in the law-courts for recreation.  Also, who did the call-boying and the play-acting.

For he became a call-boy; and as early as ’93 he became a “vagabond”—the law’s ungentle term for an unlisted actor; and in ’94 a “regular” and properly and officially listed member of that (in those days) lightly-valued and not much respected profession.

Right soon thereafter he became a stockholder in two theatres, and manager of them.  Thenceforward he was a busy and flourishing business man, and was raking in money with both hands for twenty years.  Then in a noble frenzy of poetic inspiration he wrote his one poem—his only poem, his darling—and laid him down and died:

Good friend for Iesus sake forbeare
To digg the dust encloased heare:
Blest be ye man yt spares thes stones
And curst be he yt moves my bones.

He was probably dead when he wrote it.  Still, this is only conjecture.  We have only circumstantial evidence.  Internal evidence.

Shall I set down the rest of the Conjectures which constitute the giant Biography of William Shakespeare?  It would strain the Unabridged Dictionary to hold them.  He is a Brontosaur: nine bones and six hundred barrels of plaster of paris.


And that includes just about all of the stuff that such august, TV based institutions like the BBC put out today in support of the great British Shakespeare industry, one of the more profitable lines of business of their "blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England" these post-empire days.   "Moe Slyzak," who, as someone who actually does reporting of fact in his day job,  should have known better than to rely on what they'd put out, not even on a broadcast but a podcast, with all of the non-assurances of fact checking that implies.  

There is absolutely no more evidence that his guy had a knowledge of Italian than there is much of anything other than the handful of entirely non-literary items in the sparse documented history that can be securely tied to him.  It is the total absence of any evidence that he so much as owned a book that led more than one person into their skepticism about the commonly  received "Shakespeare" who most educated English speaking folk believe in with all of their heart and so little of their head.   By the way, "Shakespeare in Love" was complete fiction too, sorry to break it to you movie goers.   It won't even be real if you clap your hands real hard. 

Moe, I'm surprised that a cynical newspaper guy like you would fall for that line of tripe like some patsy in a hard boiled detective who-done-it.   See, you are proof that TV has a deleterious effect on the minds of even real journalists, reporters.  Where does your trade-craft go when you stare at the screen?   And here I counted you as among the handful of smart Atriots who still bothered with the place. 

The "biographies" of William Shakespeare, which is the stuff of an enormous industry in academics, in second rate theater and movies and the tourism industry, are mostly junk built on previously produced junk.   It is most useful as evidence in how easy it is to build and maintain a semblance of scholarly knowledge which is no more than mere conjecture, proof that we're not that much more advanced than the ridiculed scholastics in resting on the authoritative, in its turn resting on nothing more than earlier authority which rested on nothing but purposeful invention.   And we think we're so beyond that kind of thing because we've got modern media and the internet and live in the "information age".    That is what interested me in it, after I'd read the case against all of that tripe I'd been fed from about the 9th grade on.  It's like finding out decades after I should have that they were lying about the Communist Party all that time, that Gus Hall and so many others were, actually, paid agents of the Soviet government as we were supposed to figure that was a lie as well  as and a million other lies we were sold on as credulous youths.  That Julius Rosenberg and almost certainly Ethel were, actually, trying to give one of the most ruthless mass murderers in history the bomb.   Only, in this case, since there is nothing actually important about who wrote the plays and poems,  without having to disgracefully ignore the mountains of bones,  just pretending that most of the bones in this case are, actually, as Twain noted, fakes, too.   

Note:  I've got to go to a family event so this is the end of the entertainment for the Labor Day weekend.   I've got to say, having also read a number of those "Shakespeare" plays that you don't get around to reading, Loves Labours Lost is, if anything, worse than Titus Andronicus, which is, at least, a spectacle.   Pericles pretty much sucks too, though Timon of Athens has its interesting points.  I don't think I'd pay to see any of them except Titus.  

This Is Your Mind On Pop Kulcha

According to one of the Brite Lites of the Eschaton Brain Trust  "MAD MEN. BREAKING BAD. THE SOPRANOS" are the equals of Hamlet, MacBeth, Othello..... 

Hey, I saw some of The Sopranos and I also saw Omerta, La Loi du Silence from Canada, which The Sopranos copied and Omerta was, by far, better.  And it waren't no MacBeth, never mind Hamlet.  And August Wilson was better than either of them. 

Update:  Now I've really pissed him off because I contradicted the wisdom of Raymond Chandler who claimed to know what the author of the Shakespeare plays would have been doing, writing for TV.  Well, Chandler was speaking from the vantage point of TV before 1959, when he died, back when they were still going through the motions of putting on live dramas and commissioning composers to write stuff, something that wouldn't outlive Chandler by more than about five years.  And I saw some of that "golden age of TV" stuff,  a lot of which is embarrassing to look at now.   He had no idea what he was talking about, then, and had no idea of just what a nose-dive TV would take.  Less that two years after he died, Newton Minnow gave his famous "vast wasteland" speech, in which he said.

Like everybody, I wear more than one hat. I am the chairman of the FCC. But I am also a television viewer and the husband and father of other television viewers. I have seen a great many television programs that seemed to me eminently worthwhile and I am not talking about the much bemoaned good old days of "Playhouse 90" and "Studio One."

I'm talking about this past season. Some were wonderfully entertaining, such as "The Fabulous Fifties," "The Fred Astaire Show," and "The Bing Crosby Special"; some were dramatic and moving, such as Conrad's "Victory" and "Twilight Zone"; some were marvelously informative, such as "The Nation's Future," "CBS Reports," "The Valiant Years." I could list many more -- programs that I am sure everyone here felt enriched his own life and that of his family. When television is good, nothing -- not the theater, not the magazines or newspapers -- nothing is better.

But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.

You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly, commercials -- many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you'll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.

And that was 1961, before Ronald Reagan got rid of any vestiges of public service requirements.   And the year after Playhouse 90 was canceled.  

If the author of the Shakespeare plays had worked on TV while Chandler was alive he'd have gotten canned about the same time that hack died. 

Update 2:  It's so funny how outraged my antagonist is that I referred to Raymond Chandler, the inventor of Philip Marlowe, as a "hack".   I can certainly imagine Marlowe calling someone who wrote for hire, on deadline, as his creator did, a "hack".  That's what the term means and all Hollywood writers were hack writers, by definition.  So funny how those fans of cynical, hard-boiled, tought-guy who-done-its are the first to get all outraged by someone poking fun at the inventors of the genre. 

Update 3:   No, this is me writing hepped up on high power cold meds.  I got the beginning of the school year cold first thing, been running a fever all day, otherwise I'd be doing something productive.  I don't drink.  

Update 4:  It's a holiday weekend, that's my excuse, I know all the buttons to push and I'm pushing them all at once.  I suppose if I hadn't given up the boob tube I could be rewatching all of The Twilight Zone for about the fourth time. The one with Billy Mumy kind of makes me think that it was Simels' childhood fantasy, the one he never got over.   Or maybe it's why he's OC about me. 

It's all right, Sims, I wasn't an only child. 

Update 5:  No, I called Chandler a "hack" because a. he was a hack writer, b. I knew it would piss you off, c. I knew it would piss you off and you'd say how pissed off it made you and I could then make fun of someone who mistakes Raymond Chandler as a great auteur who gets pissed off at calling him what Philip Marlowe would call him, a hack writer. 

I hustled you just like I hustled your buddy last week.   You guys are such push-overs. 

Update 6:  I had a request.  Apparently someone finds it funny when I make fun of you guys.  And it's a holiday weekend, nothing much gets done on holiday weekends.   I'll entertain requests on major holidays and Flag Day.  

Update 7:  I don't take what the BB frickin' C says in an entertainment program, especially a frickin' podcast, not even a broadcast,  as being any more reliable than what the Wikifrickin'pedia says.   I take their news programming with a grain of salt since the Hutton Inquiry reigned them in.   The glory days of the BBC are gone, and they always were. 

Update 8:  Geesh, I must have hit that button one time too much, it's stuck and if I keep laughing this hard I'll get a stitch, I'm taking a break. 

Update 9:  Ha, ha, the joke's on you.  I'm not a shitty writer, I'm not any kind of a writer.  I don't pretend to be.   I'm a musician and a math tutor, that's all. 

Max Reger - Träume am Kamin Op. 143 (1-3) - Konstantin Semilakovs

Dreams by the fireside, some of the first pieces by Reger I ever looked at.  They convinced me that, despite what some idiot critics have said,  Bela Bartok, Paul Hindemeth, Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Serge Prokofiev and a host of great performers, including such discerning folk as Albert Schweitzer and in the next generation Rudolph Serkin concluded, that Max Reger was a great composer whose music was of the highest quality.   When you've got folks like those on your side who needs a critic who has never done anything?

Update:  S. T. , keep your day job, you know nothing about music.  That never kept your BBF from hacking about it, though. But the paid scribbling racket got too dicy for a hack like him to make a living at it.

There Are Real And Serious Reasons That Trump Could Be President And If Not Him The Insane Dr. Carson

What care I who makes the laws of a nation
Let those who will take care of its rights and wrongs
What care I who cares for the world's affairs
As long as I can sing its popular songs

Irving Berlin

I am old enough to remember when people had a hard time believing that a rather lousy movie and TV actor like Ronald Reagan could become the governor of a state, never mind a two-term president who was given the power to begin the whole-sale demolition of the legacy of Franklin Roosevelt and democracy.  I still couldn't believe he would become president in 1979 and we'd already had Richard Nixon to show how easy it was to dupe the American people into electing a mentally disturbed liar with some clear fascistic tendencies.

Now, thirty-five years after that we see the country is in danger of getting the likes of Donald Trump or the insane Dr. Carson, and if you don't think that's a danger, consider what I said about 1979. Thinking about how the bizarre Trump has risen and how another scion of the Bush Crime Family is considered among the few non-insane members of the Republic pack who are being seriously promoted by the billionaires as the next leaders of the United States has made that old Irving Berlin song seem a lot more insidious to me than it ever did.

The United States is in full blown decay-of-the-Empire decadence and it has been brought there by what is found in the collective mind of the nation.   The only difference between what elected a Franklin Roosevelt and Reagans and Bushes is both the moral and the intellectual mindset of a majority of the voters.   Roosevelt faced economic disaster of the kind that sent Germany into Nazism and Italy into Fascism.  The difference wasn't based on economic conditions, the difference wasn't a result of any kind of material factors and forces, it was based in how the American people thought. It's hard for us, looking back from our electronic and media saturated popular culture to consider how much more what people read, learned in school and from religion and from their parents counted back then.  We all, individually, have only so many hours in a life, so many hours of those to devote to gathering information and absorbing influences and when TV and other electronic media become the primary influence, accounting for the overwhelming majority of what goes into peoples minds, what informs their thinking what that thinking uses as material, what that media says is of the greatest importance.

The idiotic luxury of pretending that what lies and malicious content people get from entertainment and infotanement didn't really matter because, you see, on some shelf, somewhere, a book had letters in it that contradicted that is the ultimate in denial of reality.  Words on pages in books, in magazines only become politically important if they are put into peoples' minds in large numbers and the only way that gets done under a regime of electronic media is through the electronic media.   The medium isn't the message but it is the only way that the message becomes a message.   The class of people who read those books certainly have not been politically effective as compared to the most ignorant, vulgar and corrupt scribblers of slogans and lines.  They have been the ones "making the laws of the nation" and they certainly don't intend to encourage what is right since what is wrong profits them.

The reason we have Trump as a serious contender instead of the joke he should be is because he was on TV, exactly the same reason that Ronald Reagan became president.  It's been thirty-five years since the left should have learned that lesson and it is still denying it because, well, Madison and Jefferson who never saw a single TV show in their lives and couldn't have imagined anything like that.  Today, more than sixty five years after TV began to brain wash the world our alleged intellectual class can't imagine it and it's been there, right in front of them for the entire time.

The only reason for the voices of the alleged left to deny the danger that media released from an obligation to truthfully inform the public in the absolutely serious matters of public life in a way so as to effectively inform the political choices of an effective majority is that they either don't care about the results or they are in on the con-job.  As can be seen from the actual behavior of those who defend the media libertarianisim we have today, their actual briefs and who those are filed on behalf of, they are in on the con-job.  The ACLU other media libertairans are the ones who brought the United States into the insanity of having the Republican field having a real shot at ruling the country. I include Barack Obama in that, I think he was part of the con job.  We know that because of what he did and didn't do in office, by the people he appointed.

The People have a massive consciousness of commercial, pop culture, they have that because it is what the freest media in the history of the world has put into their minds, has taken up their time with and, through planned PR tactics, has enticed them into wasting their lives on.   And the free-speech, free-press industry had one of the more crucial lines to sell on that count.  It came up with the enabling slogans that greased the skids on the clown car to the bottom.

Update:  I am told that "if here was alive today Shakespeare would be writing for television".  Oh, yeah, you can tell that from how Tennessee Williams, Edward Albee and August Wilson spent their careers writing for TV.   I doubt Rod Serling could get work on TV, today.

Update 2:  Well, James Ellroy is a better writer than I am too and he said this, "I think [Raymond] Chandler is the most overrated genre writer of the century. I think the guy was a bad writer, frankly. I often find his books engaging and humorous, but I think he knew jack shit about people. He kind of gave away the game when he said that in real life someone with Philip Marlowe's attitudes could no more be a private detective than he could flap his arms and fly to Milwaukee. He all but admitted that Marlowe was bullshit. I'm tired of Big Ray. I wish he'd go away."

Friday, September 4, 2015

First Week Lessons

I take it back, the Eschatots aren't 12.   After spending too much time with 12-year-olds this week, they're more like 11.

Update:  Well, assuming Thunderboy is not the same person as "Skeptic Tank" I'll make him the same offer, he sends me a link to his publications list and CV with proof that it's really his, I'll post the links.   I have a hard time believing that someone who spends even more time than "Skeptic Tank" gossiping with the Tots of Eschaton is a top flight sci-guy.   In the absence of that, he's just another blog fly with a propensity to misrepresent what other people say.  

Update 2:  I had no idea what this "Stargate" you talk of was until I looked it up just now.  Unlike the brilliant scientist, Thunderboy, I don't have any interest in the absolute crappiest level of sci-fi TV in between attention getting sessions on Eschaton.    

My offer still stands, if he's so dismissive of the publications histories and CVs of Sheldrake and Radin, let's see his.   All any of us knows about him is that he wants to get attention on a blog that passed its sell-by date about seven years ago.   If not earlier.

You have to wonder what kind of trolls I'd have gotten if I'd gone with another of the blogs out there.  I'll bet I'd have gotten a higher class of them if I'd hung out at Daily Kos in the early days. 

Update 3:  The History of Eschaton: From leftish blog to personality disorder. 

Max Reger - Fünf Stücke op. 82. Christoph Keller

Such a great and neglected composer.  Another one whose music makes me think of the last part of summer and the earliest part of fall.

I Remember Peace Pilgrim's Ministry

From 1953 to 1981 a silver haired woman calling herself only "Peace Pilgrim" walked more than 25,000 miles on a personal pilgrimage for peace. She vowed to "remain a wanderer until mankind has learned the way of peace, walking until given shelter and fasting until given food." In the course of her 28 year pilgrimage she touched the hearts, minds, and lives of thousands of individuals all across North America. Her message was both simple and profound. It continues to inspire people all over the world.

I never saw her or talked to her but I remember hearing about her for many of those years, I knew people who had met her and they were always impressed, even one who thought she was kind of naive.  I came across a site dedicated to her message, first of all, but also her testimony and memory. The site gives more biographical information about her than I ever remember hearing when she was alive, so dedicated was she to her ministry.   The implications of her and her ministry are intriguing to think about, it kind of reminds me of another ministry and what came of it.  Clearly she was doing what she intended, or her intention developed over the years and decades.  I think it deserves attention, now.  Especially as it is probably entirely out of fashion with the sophisticates and those who nervously wish to be mistaken for them.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

You Can't Brush Off Lies Without Devaluing The Truth

There is a widespread practice that existed before the internet but, reading internet commentary and writing, I've come to see it is a lot more common than I'd believed.

That is the intentional and pretended misunderstanding of what someone says in order to 1. avoid dealing with what they said, 2. pretending the point which was made was not made and 3. evading the issue because they can't deal with what was said and they don't like the reasonable conclusion that comes from what was said.

It was that go around on the issue of having sex with lots of strangers that got me thinking about this, The person dishonestly responding to what I said pretended to believe I meant that only "sluts" were infected with HIV.  I feel justified in assuming they wished to imply I believed "they" deserved it, as well .   Of course I said no such thing and, in fact, was clearly talking about men from the context of the post. Needless to say I pointed out that they were lying and restated what I said.  That kind of purposeful misreading of comment is typical of the kind of dishonest polemic that has become so widely practiced, it accounts for a majority of the comments this blog gets, one of the reasons I opted to moderate comments because I won't host comments lying about other people and I got tired of removing or answering lies about what I'd said.

In this past decade of thinking about atheism and the materialism which is the actual faith of most atheists, I came to understand that there really are consequences of believing that there is no such a thing as sin.  In this case not believing it is a sin to bear false witness and a sin to lie.  Refusing to believe that doesn't only allow you to lie whenever you figure you can benefit from it and you can get away with it, if you don't believe it's wrong to lie you can't help but start believing that the truth is of lesser value, that the good of truth isn't set against a lies opposite of good and that any temporary and contingent advantage gained in lying won't, eventually, have consequences that have to be paid.

The trick of pretending to not understand what someone meant when they sight an obvious truth such as that when you have sex with a lot of people you don't know you expose yourself to a greater risk of contracting serious STDs  is something we've come to be accustomed to.   It is a trick that is seen in the pathetic spectacles that the media sells as "debates" it's a staple of political campaigns and is, in a more rarefied and genteel form found in courtrooms and Supreme Courts.  Bush v. Gore was built of that form of dishonesty, it gave us the disaster of the Bush II regime, the illegal invasion of Iraq and the other disasters that came from five liars in black robes sitting on the high altar of secularism lying through their teeth to impose a president of their own party and their own ideology on us and the world.   And if you don't think that could happen again as soon as next year with the court we have, I'll bet a weeks paycheck that it could.

I am under the impression that when someone points out someone is lying like that it is the person who points out the lying who is held to have crossed some line, as if calling someone for lying is worse than lying.   I think in the case of blog owners who take that pose it is because they don't want to be bothered to take responsibility for what they host, pretending they don't, ultimately, decide that and who obviously care more about the volume of comments and clicks than they do to not be party to spreading lies.  They pretend to be hosting a serious blog on serious topics while degrading the level of discourse.I used to be confused when the corporate, commercial media seemed to have a ban on people pointing out that someone was lying.   Considering the number of lies that get told by politicians, by corporations, by people in public life, it is truly bizarre that there is a taboo on calling lies, lies.  But I think they have set the standard for dishonest discourse in which a lie is as good as the truth if it can get you what you really want,  commercial or political, which is the same thing for corporations.  That the alleged non-commercial alternative that the "new media" was supposed to be hasn't exactly been a boon for the truth is revealing.

This situation suppresses a lot of important discussion, it doesn't enhance it.  If someone saying that having sex with strangers in large number is dangerous, something which is as obvious and as scientifically validated as any health issue, can be intimidated into silence or assumed acquiescence with nonsense what issue can't be so suppressed?

Breaking that taboo and calling people for their purposeful misrepresentation of those points, of similar points is certainly necessary to the success of any political ideology that begins with a claim to value reality over the insane unreality that has become ubiquitious in the United States under a regime of lies.

The replacement of the truth with lies in public life was accelerated with the Sullivan decision in 1964, by the misguided thinking of the Warren Court on behalf of the New York Times with the full support of the ACLU.   That it was the judicial branch of government, the branch with the most explicit responsibility of judging FOR THE TRUTH as opposed to what was false and that there wasn't a rebellion against that is, I think, the result of an education in materialism such as William Jennings Bryan and a number of others warned would lead to all kinds of trouble.   If that is an inevitable result of the understanding of secularism which those same justices demonstrated in other decision - not the only necessary understanding of it, by the way - I don't know.  I do know that any secularism which doesn't also have the deepest and most profound respect for the value of truth over lies, which makes that difference a real factor in allowing the truth and forbidding and punishing lies, will turn any country into the republic of lies we have become.  The "honor" which the drafters of the Constitution seemed to think could replace religiously based morality hasn't proved to be especially effective, I don't see how it could rationally be expected to, especially when you look at the real lives of those slave holders, sharp dealers and hard businessmen.*

That the disastrous Sullivan decision came just as liberal politics reached its highest peak of achievement in the Voting Rights and Civil Rights acts which have been under attack under the regime of lies established by that decision and similar ones allowing broadcast media to lie with the most incredible abandon provides us with the most impressive real-life demonstration of why there is a difference between a lie and the truth in the most real of realities.   Four years later that champion liar, Richard Nixon would take office, setting a new standard for what was a common political tool before him.  In 1980 Ronald Reagan would head a government which set the media free of any vestiges of obligation to refrain from lying for profit and to corrupt the public mind.  And it wasn't only the Republican party which was influenced by the opportunities to lie, Democrats, even those not predisposed to, had to take into reality the political system as rigged by the Berger, Rhenquist and no Roberts courts, building similar thinking to that which produced Sullivan, downward to Buckely v. Valeo, Bush v. Gore, Citizens United and last years Susan B. Anthony List v. Driehaus decision. THAT LAST ONE A UNANIMOUS DECISION THAT A STATE COULDN'T MAKE IT ILLEGAL TO LIE IN A POLITICAL CAMPAIGN.  That the decision was written by one of the premier purjurers to have ever been appointed to that bench, Clarence Thomas, speaks volumes.

For any liberals keeping track, all of those later decisions favored right wingers, which should tell you something about how well that kind of permission of lies works for liberal politics.  And, lest anyone not notice, that "liberal" icon, the ACLU supported the decisions in all of those cases.   That certainly doesn't do anything to harm my contention that an addle brained concept of secularism that can ignore that lies are a sin that have to be forbidden is fatal to liberal politics.

*  The Letter of James, one of the less read of the books of the Second Testament comes to mind.

Update:  Well, it is about lying but technically it isn't a response to Duncan's truth-challenged trolls so I didn't break my resolution in writing this.  That they misrepresented things is old news, old business and old hat and just old.

Thanks for the heads-up, but I've got to deal with genuine Jr. high folk who can't help it because of their age, not their failure to mature.

Update 2:  Selves Emits.  Anagram

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Hard, long day, I'll post tomorrow. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Yeah, Of Course I Take What Radin Says Seriously or Get Back To Me When You've Mastered Elementary School Math, Bunky

I have posted just part of Dean Radin's CV before, so here is a selected list of his reviewed publications and other publications.  


Radin, D. I. (2014). Out of one's mind or beyond the brain: The challenge of interpreting near-death experiences. Missouri Medicine, 111(1), 22-26.

Radin, D. I., Michel, L., Johnston, J., Delorme, A. (2013). Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: Six experiments Physics Essays, 26(4), 553-566.

Shiah, Y-J & Radin, D. I. (2013). Metaphysics of the tea ceremony: A randomized trial investigating the roles of intention and belief on mood while drinking tea. Explore, 9(6), 355-360.

Schlitz, M., Hopf, H. W., Eskenazi, L., Vieten,C., Radin, D. I. (2012). Distant Healing of Surgical Wounds: An Exploratory Study, Explore, 8(4), 223-230.

Radin, D. I., Michel, L., Galdamez, K., Wendland, P. Rickenbach, R., Delorme, A. (2012). Consciousness and the double-slit interference pattern: Six experiments. Physics Essays, 25, 2, 157-171.

Radin, D. I., Vieten, C., Michel, L., & Delorme, A. (2011). Electrocortical activity prior to unpredictable stimuli in meditators and non-meditators. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 7, 286-299.

Radin, D. I. (2011). Intuition and the noetic. In M. Sinclair (Ed)., Handbook of intuition research. London: Edward Elgar Pub

Radin, D. I. (2011). Seeing and not seeing eternity. In J. Kripal (Ed)., Seriously Strange. (Forthcoming.)

Radin, D. I. (2011). Predicting the unpredictable: 75 years of experimental evidence. In D. Sheehan (Ed)., Frontiers of Time: Quantum retrocausation. American Institutes of Physics. (Forthcoming.)

Radin, D. I. (2010). Beyond the boundaries of the brain. In E. Perry, D. Collerton, F. LeBeau & H. Ashton (Ed)., New Horizons in the Neuroscience of Consciousness (Advances in Consciousness Research). London: John Benjamins Publishing Company

Radin, D. I. (2010). The critic’s lament: When the impossible becomes possible. In S. Krippner & Harris Friedman (Ed)., Debating psychic experience: Human potential or human illusion? New York: Praeger .

Tressoldi, P. E., Storm, L., & Radin, D. I. (2010). Extrasensory perception and quantum models of cognition. NeuroQuantology, 8, S81-87.


Radin, D. I. & Atwater, F. H. (2009). Exploratory evidence for correlations between entrained mental coherence and random physical systems. Journal of Scientific Exploration, 23 (3).

Radin, D. I., Borges, A. (2009). Intuition through time: What does the seer see? Explore.

Radin, D. I., Lund, N., Emoto, M. & Kizu, T. (2009). Triple-blind replication of the effects of distant intention on water crystal formation. Journal of Scientific Exploration.

Radin, D. I. (2008). Superpowers and the stubborn illusion of separation. Subtle Energies & Energy Medicine, (19) 1, 29-42.

Radin, D. I., Stone, J., Levine, E., Eskandarnejad, S., Schlitz, M., Kozak, L., Mandel, D., Hayssen, G. (2008). Compassionate intention as a therapeutic intervention by partners of cancer patients: Effects of distant intention on the patients' autonomic nervous system. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. 4(4), 235-243.

Radin, D. I. (2008). Testing nonlocal observation as a source of intuitive knowledge. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. 4(1), 25-35.

Radin, D. I. (2007). A brief history of the potential future. In T. Pfeiffer & J. E. Mack (Eds)., Mind before matter. Washington, DC and Winchester, UK: O Books.

Radin DI, Hayssen G, Walsh J. (2007). Effects of intentionally enhanced chocolate on mood, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. , Volume 3, pp. 485-492

Radin, D. I. (2007) Finding or imagining flawed research? The Humanistic Psychologist, 35(3).

Radin DI, Lobach E. (2007). Toward understanding the placebo effect: Investigating a possible retrocausal factor, Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Volume 13, Number 7, pp. 733–739.

Schlitz, M. & Radin, D. I. (2007). Prayer and intention in distant healing: Assessing the evidence. (Chapter 9). In A. Serlin, K. Rockefeller & S. Brown (Eds). Whole person healthcare. Volume 2: Psychology, Spirituality, and Health, pp. 177-190. Westport, Connecticut: Praeger.

Mason, LI, Patterson, RP, and Radin, DI. (2007). Exploratory study: The random number generator and group meditation. Journal of Scientific Exploration. 21 (2), 295-317.

Radin, D. I. (2006). Entangled minds: Extrasensory experiences in a quantum reality.  New York: Simon & Schuster (Paraview Pocket Books).

Radin, D. I. (2006). Psychophysiological evidence of possible retrocausal effects in humans. In D. Sheehan (Ed)., Frontiers of Time: Retrocausation Experiment and Theory. American Institutes of Physics.

Radin, D., Nelson, R. D., Dobyns, Y. & Houtkooper, J. (2006). Reexamining psychokinesis: Commentary on the Bösch, Steinkamp and Boller meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 529–532.

Radin, D., Hayssen, G., Emoto, M. & Kizu, T. (2006). Double-blind test of the effects of distant intention on water crystal formation. Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, 2 (5), 408-411.

Radin, D. I., Nelson, R. D., Dobyns, Y. & Houtkooper, J. (2006). Assessing the evidence for mind-matter interaction effects. Journal of Scientific Exploration. 20 (3), 361-374.

Radin, D. I. (2006). Experiments testing models of mind-matter interaction. Journal of Scientific Exploration. 20 (3), 375-401.

Schiltz, M., Wiseman, R., Watt, C. & Radin, D. I. (2006). Of two minds: Skeptic-proponent collaboration within parapsychology. British Journal of Psychology, 97, 313-322.

Radin, D. I. (2006). Becoming mindful of consciousness. Shift (IONS magazine), 10.

Radin, D. I. (2005). The sense of being stared at: A preliminary meta-analysis. Journal of Consciousness Studies, 12 (6), 95-100.

Radin, D. I. (2005). The cutting edge. Shift (IONS magazine), 7.

Radin, D. I. (2005). Telepathy, inside and out. Shift (IONS magazine), 8.

Radin, D. I. (2005). Social parapsychology. Shift (IONS magazine), 6.

Radin, D. I. (2005). Dishing up entanglement. Shift (IONS magazine), 9.

Radin, D. I. (2005). Commentary on May et al.’s “Anomalous Anticipatory Skin Conductance Response to Acoustic Stimuli.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 (4), 587-588.


Radin, D. I. (2005).  What’s ahead?  In M. A. Thalbourne and L. Storm (Eds.) Parapsychology in the 21st Century: The Future of Psychical Research, McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers.

Radin, D. I. & Schlitz, M. J. (2005). Gut feelings, intuition, and emotions: An exploratory study. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 11 (4), 85-91.

Radin, D. I., Taft, R. & Yount, G, (2004).  Possible effects of healing intention on cell cultures and truly random events.  Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10, 103-112.

Radin, D. I. (2004). On the sense of being stared at: An analysis and pilot replication.  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research.  68, 246-253.

Radin, D. I. (2004). Creative or defective? Shift (IONS magazine), 5.

Radin, D. I. (2004).  The future is now. Shift (IONS magazine). 4.

Radin, D. I. (2004).  The Emperor’s new media. Shift (IONS magazine). 2, 34-37.

Radin, D. I. (2004).  Sixth sense or nonsense? Shift (IONS magazine). 2, 46-48.

Radin, D. I. (2004).  I feel your pain. Shift (IONS magazine). 3, 46-47.

Radin, D. I. (2004).  Event related EEG correlations between isolated human subjects. Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 10, 315-324.

Radin, D. I. (2004).  Electrodermal presentiments of future emotions.  Journal of Scientific Exploration. 18, 253-274.

Radin, D. I. & Nelson, R. D. (2003).  Meta-analysis of mind-matter interaction experiments: 1959 - 2000.  In Jonas, W. & Crawford, C. (Eds.), Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine.  London: Harcourt Health Sciences..

Schlitz, M. & Radin, D. I. (2003).  Telepathy in the ganzfeld: State of the evidence.  In Jonas, W. & Crawford, C. (Eds.), Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine.  London: Harcourt Health Sciences.

Schlitz, M., Radin, D. I., Malle, B. F., Schmidt, S., Utts, J. & Yount, G. L. (2003).  Distant healing intention: Definitions and evolving guidelines for laboratory studies.  Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 9 (3), A31-A43.

Radin, D. I. (2003).  Thinking about telepathy.  Think, 3, 23-32.

Radin, D. I. (2003).  Mysteries of causality. Shift: At the frontiers of consciousness. 1, 36-38.

Radin, D. I. (2003).  For whom the bell tolls: A question of global consciousness,  Noetic Sciences Review, 63, 8-13 & 44-45.

Nelson, R. D. & Radin, D. I. (2003).  FieldREG experiments and group consciousness: Extending REG/RNG research to real-world situations.  In Jonas, W. & Crawford, C. (Eds.), Healing, Intention and Energy Medicine.  London: Harcourt Health Sciences.

Radin, D. I.  (2002).  A dog that seems to know when his owner is coming home: Effects of geomagnetism.  Journal of Scientific Exploration. 16 (4), 579-592.

Radin, D. I.  (2002).  Exploratory study of relationships between physical entropy and global human attention.  Journal of International Society of Life Information Science, 20 (2), 690-694.

Nelson, R.D., Radin, D. I., Shoup, R., Bancel, P. (2002).  Correlation of continuous random data with major world events.  Foundations of Physics Letters, 15 (6), 537-550

Radin, D. I. (2002).  Exploring relationships between random physical events and mass human attention: Asking for whom the bell tolls.  Journal of Scientific Exploration. 16 (4), 533-548.

Nelson, R. D. & Radin, D. I. (2001).  Statistically robust anomalous effects: Replication in random event generator experiments.  In Rao, K. R. (Ed.) Basic research in parapsychology. Second edition. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

Radin, D. I. (2001). Forward to Atwater, F. H., Captain of my ship, master of my soul. Charlottesville, VA, Hampton Roads Publishing Co.

Radin, D. I. (2001).  Seeking spirits in the laboratory.  Chapter in Houran, J. & Lange, R. (Ed.), Hauntings and Poltergeists: Multidisciplinary Perspectives.  Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.

Radin, D. I. & Rae, C. (2000, August). Is there a sixth sense? Psychology Today. 44-51.

Bierman, D. & Radin, D. I. (2000).  Anomalous unconscious emotional responses: Evidence for a reversal of the arrow of time. In S. Hameroff, A. Kaszniak, & D. Chalmers (Eds.) Towards a science of consciousness III: The Third Tucson Discussions and Debates. Boston, MA: MIT Press.

Radin, D. I. (2000). What’s ahead?  Journal of Parapsychology, 64, 353-364.

Radin, D. I. (2000).  La conscience invisible: Le paranormal à l’épreuve de la science [French]. Paris, France: Presses du chátelet.

Radin, D. I., Machado, F. and Zangari, W. (2000). Effects of distant healing intention through time and space: Two exploratory studies.  Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 11 (3) 207-240.


Radin, D. I. (1999).  The conscious universe [Korean].  Seoul, Korea: Yangmoon Publishing

Bierman, D. & Radin, D. I. (1998).  Non-conscious processes and intuition: Is there an anomalous component?  Consciousness Research Abstracts, Tuscon III: Towards a science of consciousness.  University of Arizona, Tuscon, April 1998.

Radin, D. I. (1998).  Moving mind, moving matter.  Noetic Sciences Review, 46, 20-25.

Radin, D. I. (1998).  Extrasensory statistics (letter).  Nature, 394, 413.

Radin, D. I. (1998).  Between the fringe and the mainstream.  Oxymoron: The Arts and Sciences Annual, Volume 2, New York City: Oxymoron Media.

Radin, D. I. & Rebman, J. M. (1998).  Seeking psi in the casino.  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 62 (850), 193-219.

Bierman, D. J. & Radin, D. I. (1997).  Anomalous anticipatory response on randomized future conditions.  Perceptual and Motor Skills, 84, 689-690.

Radin, D. I. (1997).  Unconscious perception of future emotions: An experiment in  presentiment.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 11 (2), 163-180.

Radin, D. I. (1997).  The conscious universe.  San Francisco: HarperCollins.

Radin, D. I. (1997).  Review of The Lotto Effect.  European Journal of Parapsychology, 13, 134-135.

Dalton, K. S., Morris, R. L., Delanoy, D., Radin, D. I., & Wiseman, R. (1996).  Security measures in an automated ganzfeld system. Journal of Parapsychology, 60, 129-147.

Nelson, R. D. & Radin, D. I. (1996).  Evidence for direct interaction between consciousness and physical systems. Consciousness Research Abstracts, Tuscon II: Towards a science of consciousness.  University of Arizona, Tuscon, April 1996.

Radin, D. I. & Rebman, J. M. (1996).  Are phantasms fact or fantasy?  A preliminary investigation of apparitions evoked in the laboratory.  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research,  61 (843), 65-87.

Radin, D. I. (1996, April).  Unconscious perception of future emotions. Consciousness Research Abstracts, Tuscon II: Towards a science of consciousness.  University of Arizona, Tuscon, April 1996.

Radin, D. I. (1996). Towards a complex systems model of psi performance.  Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 7, 35-70.

Radin, D. I. (1996).  Geomagnetic field fluctuations and sports performance.  Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 6 (3), 217-226.

Radin, D. I., Rebman, J. M. & Cross, M. P. (1996).  Anomalous organization of random events by group consciousness.  Journal of Scientific Exploration.  10 (1), 143-168.

Rebman, J. M., Wezelman, R. Radin, D. I., Hapke, R. A. & Gaughan, K. (1996). Remote influence of the autonomic nervous system by focused intention.  Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 6, 111-134.

Radin, D. I., Taylor, R. D. & Braud, W. (1995).  Remote mental influence of human electrodermal activity: A pilot replication.  European Journal of Parapsychology, 11, 19-34.

Radin, D. I. & Rebman, J. M. (1994).  Lunar correlates of normal, abnormal and anomalous human behavior. Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 5 (3), 209-238.

Radin, D. I., McAlpine, S. & Cunningham, S. (1994).  Geomagnetism and psi in the ganzfeld.  Journal of the Society for Psychical Research, 59 (834), 352-363.

Radin, D. I. (1994).  Psi hits and myths.  (Presidential Address).  In E. Cook & M. Schlitz (Eds.), Research in Parapsychology 1993, Metheun, NJ:  Scarecrow Press.

Radin, D. I. (1994).  On complexity and pragmatism.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 8 (4), 523-534.

Radin, D. I. (1994).  Beyond high tech.  Proceedings of the IV International Conference on Science and Consciousness, January 4 - 9, 1994, Uxmal, Yucatan, Mexico.

Radin, D. I. (1993).  Neural network analyses of consciousness-related patterns in random sequences.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 7 (4), 355-374.

Radin, D. I. (1993).  Environmental modulation and statistical equilibrium in mind-matter interaction.  Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 4 (1), 1-30.

Radin, D. I. (1992).  Beyond belief: Exploring interactions among mind, body and environment.   Subtle Energies and Energy Medicine, 2 (3), 1 - 40.

Radin, D. I. & Ferrari, D. C. (1991).  Effects of consciousness on the fall of dice: A meta-analysis.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 5, 61-84.

Radin, D. I. (1990-1991).  Statistically enhancing psi effects with sequential analysis:  A replication and extension.  European Journal of Parapsychology, 8, 98 - 111.

Radin, D. I. (1990).  Testing the plausibility of psi-mediated computer system failures. Journal of Parapsychology, 54, 1-19.

Radin, D. I. (1990).  Putting psi to work.  Parapsychology Review, 21, 5-9.

Radin, D. I. (1990).  On “pathological science.” Physics Today, 43, 3, 110.


Radin, D. I. & Nelson, R. D. (1989).  Evidence for consciousness-related anomalies in random physical systems.  Foundations of Physics, 19, 1499-1514.

Radin, D. I. (1989).  Searching for “signatures” in anomalous human-machine interaction research: A neural network approach.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 3, 185-200.

Radin, D. I. & Utts, J. M. (1989).  Experiments investigating the influence of intention on random and pseudorandom events.  Journal of Scientific Exploration, 3, 65-79.

Radin, D. I. (1989).  The tao of psi (Presidential Address). In Henkel, L. and Berger, R. (Eds.), Research in Parapsychology 1988, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press., 157-173.

Radin, D. I. & Lubin, J. M. (1988). Neural network analysis of anomalous human-machine interaction data: Beyond person-unique “signatures.”  Technical Report, Human Information Processing Group, Princeton University.

Radin, D. I. (1988).  Effects of a priori probability on psi perception: Does precognition predict actual or probable futures?   Journal of Parapsychology, 52, 187 - 212.

Radin, D. I. & Nelson, R. D. (1988).  Repeatable evidence for anomalous human-machine interactions.  In M. L. Albertson, D. S. Ward, & K. P. Freeman (Eds.), Paranormal Research, Fort Collins, CO.: Rocky Mountain Research Institute, 306 - 317.

Radin, D. I. & Nelson, R. D. (August, 1987).  Replication in random number generator experiments: Meta-analysis and quality assessment. Human Information Processing Group, Technical Report,  Princeton University.

Ortony, A. & Radin, D. I.  (1987). SAPIENS:  Spreading activation processor for information encoded in network structures.  In N. Sharkey (Ed.),  Review of cognitive science.  Norwood, NJ: Ablex Press.

Nelson, R. D. & Radin, D. I. (1987). When immovable objections meet irresistible evidence. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 10, 600-601.

Radin, D. I. & Bosworth, J. L. (1987)  On statistics for “psientists” and skeptics. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 81, 277-290

Weiner, D. H. & Radin, D. I. (1986). Research in parapsychology 1985, Metuchen, NJ: Scarecrow Press.

Radin, D. I. (1985).  Human factors considerations in Jovian colony clothing design.  Journal of Irreproducible Results,  29.

Radin, D. I. (1985).  Pseudorandom number generators in psi research. Journal of Parapsychology, 49, 303-328.

Radin, D. I. & Bosworth, J. L. (1985)  Response distributions in a computer-based perceptual task: Test of four models. Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 79, 453-483.

Radin, D. I. (1984).  Weekend scientist:  Let's defend against cruise missiles. Journal of Irreproducible Results,  30 .

Radin, D. I. (1984). A possible proximity effect on human grip strength.  Perceptual and Motor Skills, 58, 887-888.

Radin, D. I. (1984). Effects of command language punctuation on human performance.  In G. Salvendy (Ed.), Human-computer interaction, Amsterdam: Elsevier.

Radin, D. I. (1983).  Weekend scientist:  Let's make a thermonuclear device.  Journal of Irreproducible Results,  26.  Reprinted in The Best of the Journal of Irreproducible Results (1984).

Goetz, E. T., Reynolds, R. E., Schallert, D. L. & Radin, D. I. (1983).  Reading in perspective: What real cops and pretend burglars look for in a story.  Journal of Educational Psychology,  75,  500-510.

Radin, D. I. (1982).  Experimental attempts to influence pseudorandom number sequences.  Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research, 76, 359-374.


Reynolds, R. E. & Radin, D. I. (1977).  Using evaluation in the classroom.  Champaign, IL: Stipes Publishing Company.


Of course, this is as nothing compared to your sci-guy, James Randi,  has done for science.  Only, unlike them, I'm not aware of anyone ever catching Dean Radin in a bald-faced lie, I can name many that came from Randi and have on this blog.

What Happens When You Subject The Claims of Extraordinary Mental Abilities Made By The Pseudo-Skeptics To Real Skepticism

That's not fair!

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Extraordinary Claims Of The Pseudo-Skeptics Are Held To Be Above Testing

Looking at that post at Dean Radin's blog that I linked to the other day,  I see it is a place I got into a tussle with someone over the alleged disqualification of the enormous number of card-guessing experiments that J. B. Rhine conducted due to "inadequate shuffling" of the cards.  This was an old one, what interested me in William Feller's 1940s era debunking of Rhine's research.  I doubt I'll have time to research it for a while but here is part of what I thought about it.

From what I can gather, there is supposed to be some "unconscious ability" to retain a phenomenally accurate memory of the orders of cards in a shuffled deck and, so, unless the next shuffling of a deck produces a quite mathematically improbable completely random ordering retaining no orders from the previous shuffle, that "unconscious ability" would invalidate any above chance results from a run of card-guesses.

The easiest answer is that if the subject of the test were never told the order of cards in any shuffle of a deck and never saw the cards, something which became a pretty standard part of such tests fairly early into the never ending process of researchers accommodating every reasonable and unreasonable objection, there would be no reasonable reason to believe such an ability would enter into it.   And, unless the subject is known to possess such an ability, bringing it up or believing it is relevant is also unreasonable.   Despite what you will read, J. B. Rhine was a very honest man, his reporting of his experiments is unusually revealing and above board.  His opponents, on the other hand, never hesitated to slander the man.  The idiots online who have never looked into it at all read the doctored "encyclopedia" entries and the well rehearsed lies and parrot those.

While the pseudo-skeptic will point to feats of stage mentalists and magicians as evidence of such a thing being real, the abilities of those people is not unconscious, it's the result of an enormous amount of practice and skill, practice and skill which I doubt one in a million people in the general population have ever tried or though of trying to master, never mind mastering it to the level of a professional stage magician who specializes in that kind of thing.  Not all of even skilled professional magicians have or probably could master that skill.  It is unreasonable to to think such a conscious ability which is the result of training exists as an "unconscious ability" in more than the rarest of persons who would probably be known.

The cards that Rhine used in most of the experiments I read about would tend to thwart any remembered order being an advantage because it used a 25 card deck of five suits of five identical cards with the same symbol on them, the famous "ESP cards".   Even if someone knew that, say, a square card was the card they were to have guessed, the likelihood would be that any retained order would have different cards after other square cards in the deck.  One square would be followed by a plus sign, another square would be followed by wavy lines, another would be followed by a circle.  The proposal that someone could successfully guess which of those orders was retained in an imperfect shuffling is absurd, not to mention which order retained would produce a correct guess of the next card.  If anything remembering a previous order would tend to drive up incorrect guesses as the likelihood of correctly guessing which order involving a square  is less than incorrectly guessing which order it was likely to be.  I would like to see the mathematical probability that the correct ordering in such a situation by chance is but I would think it would be less than plain chances of guessing five out of twenty five cards correctly.   I would, though, most like to see it experimentally confirmed to identify the ability that the pseudo-skeptics firmly believe in but which I find far fetched WITHIN THIS CONTEXT.

If the series of tests involved a number of shuffling of decks, the retention of the first order would, I imagine, also tend to drive up the number of incorrect guesses, though I'd think the chances under any circumstances would always favor the probability of chance being the result.   The mathematics of probability don't, as far as I'm aware of, take the human tendency to harbor incorrect beliefs into the mix.  I doubt that favors results being above chance, I would guess in something like this it would increase the likelihood of below chance results, if anything.   But that's a guess, I'd have to see it tested experimentally.

My opponent in the discussion brought up things like card counting at gambling tables which is an entirely different thing, there the guesses are based on extensive knowledge of cards that have already come up in a game and won't be somewhere in the cards which haven't been guessed.  And the ability to do that varies widely and is hardly a sure thing.  And, most of all, it is hardly an unconscious ability but, again, the result of conscious study and analysis in the context of the game.  It is not anything like the proposed ability in the context of Rhine's experiments.

I proposed a test to see how successful even a conscious and skilled mentalist or magician could do at that skill if 1. they didn't shuffle the cards or even handle them, 2. they didn't see the cards and 3. if they were not told anything about the order of cards in a previous ordering.   My guess is that they would not succeed in practicing their skill.  You could use reasonable though not theoretically perfect means of thwarting their getting information and, if reasonably well proctored, I'll bet all of their skill would not make the most skilled mentalist consistently guess above chance.

I also proposed a test in which an unspecified number of cards would be sorted in a way to not retain any orders from a previous shuffle, perhaps even one the magician knew and had memorized, and that those cards, arranged to retain not a single order from the previous shuffle be put at the top of the deck.  My guess is that such a thing would entirely thwart the mentalists abilities to correctly guess even an order they remembered, especially if the beginning of the previous order was selected as the cards to be reordered.

As it is, I doubt that any such a thing as the ability they cite exists, definitely; not in the context of the tests as they were conducted, certainly not after adequate isolation of the cards and the subject were taken.  I think it's just one of those things invented as extraordinary abilities by the pseudo-skeptics which they have never tested in the context they claim they can relevantly be used to discredit rigorously tested hypotheses.   As they were brought up, the pseudo-skeptics are making extraordinary claims which they don't ever expect to be asked to support with even ordinary proof.  It happens all the time in the materialist-atheist-pseudo-skepticism industry.

There are all kinds of ways to answer the objections of the professional debunkers, such easy things as never using the same deck of cards with the same subject twice would do that.  But when they don't have to prove that their invented flaws are real.  Which you would think would be as important in the methodology of debunkery as preventing information leakage is in experimental design.  The researchers have answered every rational objection of this kind and the effects have not gone away. Card-guessing is seldom used, today, from what I understand, as in all science experimental design evolves.   One of the reasons they may have given it up is that it is stultifying boring as compared to something that is more of a simulation of real life conditions.  I don't think I'd be able to stand doing it more than a handful of times.  But I think poker is pretty boring in a real game with real money on the table.   I never did see the attraction of it.  A game of checkers, that's another matter.  It's a game of skill and intelligence, not of chance.

Belated Birthday

A friend of mine e-mailed me to say that it had slipped her mind that one of our major influences, Marilyn J. Ziffrin had recently had her 89th birthday.   I knew her in the 1960s and 70s and, though we haven't kept in touch frequently, her influence marks everything in music I have done since then and will continue to do throughout the rest of my life.  She is also the biographer of Carl Ruggles, the person who introduced me to his music.   My friend kept in touch more, I always felt like I was interfering with her work when I got in contact with her.  One of the things I learned from her is the necessity of ignoring the telephone if I'm working,  I unplug mine, that was a more important lesson than you can imagine.  I don't have any idea how kids today get anything done being plugged into the world all the time.

Marilyn Ziffrin's personality, her no-nonsense approach to doing music, her identity as a composer with the values of a composer leave a permanent impression. I don't know how she is doing but I hope she is doing well and continuing to compose music which, no matter how much it might refer to the past, is always individually her own music.

Anyway, it's all about the music, another thing she taught me.


September, a new job and at least a month moratorium on monitoring moronic missives.  I simply won't have the time to pay attention to them and to read new things and I'd rather read and report new things.  I'll leave the same old, same old to them as don't like to learn. 

Meetings all day today, I'm expecting mostly useless.  I will post later.   

Sunday, August 30, 2015

César Franck - Sonate pour violon et piano - Jacques Thibaud Alfred Cortot (1929)

Jacques Thibaud's interpretation should certainly be taken as authentically in the style that Franck would have expected, he was a good friend of and, perhaps, a student of Eugène Ysaÿe, who the sonata is dedicated to.  Both of them among the greatest violinists ever recorded.

Alfred Cortot. as well, had a direct musical descent from Franck through his teacher, Louis Diémer, for whom Franck composed his Symphonic Variations.   So his style, as well, is probably close to what Franck would have done himself.

Thibaud died in a  plain crash ( along with his Stradivarius violin, perhaps the one he's playing in this recording ) in 1953,  Cortot had a different kind of crash, he was a supporter of the Vichy puppet government and performed at Nazi events and participated in an advisory council, though his wife was Jewish as were other members of his extended family.  No one has ever explained why he did what he did during those years.

Later in life he became quite erratic, despite continuing to perform, some of his recordings strike me as intensely neurotic and painfully tortured, though not as nutty as some of what Glenn Gould did. As I recall, my piano teacher told of seeing him being extremely strange in the post-war years, though he's not around anymore for me to confirm my memory of his stories.  One involved a cloak that belonged to Chopin which he would wear though it was never washed.  Another of his teachers had studied with Chopin.

I've always had a hard time listening to Cortot's recordings, perhaps knowing his wartime history. This is probably the best performance from him that I've heard.

This late 19th century French style feels like the end of summer to me.

César Franck - Prélude, Fugue et Variation Op. 18 for Harmonium and Piano

Joris Verdin, Harmonium
Arthur Schoonderwoord, piano

This is the original version of this piece which is more often heard in Franck's arrangements for organ and piano solos.  Here is the score.   I listen to it and wonder how many French film scores and a lot of the music of the Cirque de Soleil would have existed if he'd never written this.  Of course Franck didn't know that.   I could brain the producer for cutting that last note just a tiny bit short.  Show folk!

Hate Mail - Let Me Guess, You're Another Eminent Though Pseudonymous Scientist With A High "h score"

Well, bunky, look at this from what pseudo-skeptics might like to consider their very own Watch Tower, Nature.

A physics paper with 5,154 authors has — as far as anyone knows — broken the record for the largest number of contributors to a single research article.

Only the first nine pages in the 33-page article, published on 14 May in Physical Review Letters1, describe the research itself — including references. The other 24 pages list the authors and their institutions.

The article is the first joint paper from the two teams that operate ATLAS and CMS, two massive detectors at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, Europe’s particle-physics lab near Geneva, Switzerland. Each team is a sprawling collaboration involving researchers from dozens of institutions and countries.

I wasn't even mentioning the most extreme case, yesterday.  From what I gather, the person who contributed the least got the same amount added to their "h score" as the person who contributed the most to the production of that paper.  I would wonder if some of the unnamed janitorial personnel might not have actually contributed more to the effort than some of the scientists.

And, as I've pointed out before...

The combined 4.9 sigma result reported for the Higgs boson is hailed as a stunning achievement that took trillions of recorded events, billions of dollars, and thousands of scientists. 

By contrast, several classes of combined psi effects already provide empirical results that are much, much greater than 5 sigma, with hardly any funding and a few handfuls of scientists working the problem. 

I will bet the critical watching over every aspect of psi research, the number of eyes looking for any flaw in experimental technique and statistical analysis is probably as great and likely greater than that which watches over the work done at the LCH.  The critics of such research are so exigent that they are always inventing new and absurd standards for that research that no other science, so-called, social or the most rigorously physical, has ever been subjected to it.  As I've also pointed out, some of the scientists who have had parallel careers in pseudo-skepticism and neo-atheism have been among those who demand that their "science" be exempted from any kind of rigorous testing at all.  Entire sciences that can never have physical confirmation of any kind flourish like late medieval, Ptolemaic astronomy, some of which don't even achieve the level of physical verification that those derided folk believed they needed to be believed.  At least they knew what they were talking about, in a lot of cases, existed.

Update 2:   Hate Mail - Sophistication c. 2015 means denying the truths we were first told when we were between one and two years old.

It's easy enough to understand, we expect three year olds to understand it.    Feces and the anus inevitably and in every case contain some very pathogenic organisms in those without additional ones added by such things as hepatitis, HIV, and any number of other less typical members of the rectal flora and fauna.  That's one of the reason you were taught not to touch what was in your diaper, never mind not sharing it with other people.  Doing so during sex does not make all of those things go away, they are a FACT OF LIFE.

Are you people both stupid and crazy or is it all one or the other?   Anal sex endangers the health of those who engage in it, at the very least a condom lessens the dangers, even that doesn't reduce them to nothing but the history of the AIDs epidemic and what we've seen in its aftermath, where even before anti-retroviral combination therapy made the worst of it seem to go away for the affluent and educated people, there were those even in that group who were advertising unprotected sex, even within prostitution where the people involved were routinely involved with high-risk sex every day.

I have come to the conclusion that all high risk sex should be uniformly discouraged because people have proven too immature to use condoms and dental dams, even with prostitutes who are at the highest risk of infection.  There are other forms of sex that are virtually risk free such as frottage, you'd think that educated, sophisticated people would consider that to be the smart thing to do.  That they don't only goes to show how overrated both education and sophistication are in the real world.