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My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby Scepcop » 18 Aug 2009, 04:52

That's good advice ciscop. I was already planning on focusing on ESP, ghosts and UFO's, where the evidence is the strongest. Of course I'm going to stick to my strengths in my side.

And yeah, I can pull stats out from Parapsychological journals of course. But the problem is, I'm not much of a numbers person. I'm more right brained. I prefer ideas and concepts. So I would have to work on that.

But a public debate doesn't usually get too deep into scientific details anyway. I've heard Shermer speak a lot and he makes very simple generalized statements. Nothing I can't handle.

Ninjapuppy, which skeptics say that the paranormal is nearly proven? Which contradiction are you referring to? The only contradiction I can prove is when they say that something doesn't exist, but then turn around and say that they never said that cause you can't prove a negative.
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby NinjaPuppy » 18 Aug 2009, 05:05

Scepcop wrote:Ninjapuppy, which skeptics say that the paranormal is nearly proven? Which contradiction are you referring to?


I have no idea. I scrolled back along this DragonCon topic to see what I may have written in reference to your question but I couldn't find anything by me that fits your questions. Perhaps my comment was taken from another topic or another member?

I'll be darned if I can find any skeptic that will admit that the paranormal even exists. :cry:

The only contradiction I can prove is when they say that something doesn't exist, but then turn around and say that they never said that cause you can't prove a negative.


Well, you have about a year to prepare for DragonCon. Perhaps some of us can work together to prove or disprove that you can't prove a negative? Now think about what I just said....How deluded does terminology have to get before some headway can be made in the area of the paranormal?
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ciscop » 18 Aug 2009, 05:21

Look scescop
you know i am on the other side of the fence since i am a skeptic
but i will always support David against Goliath (i just think is funnier if the bigger guy loses, and by bigger i mean popularity wise by the way)
so you have my support.

And yes you do your debate as you wish
i only recomend numbers since thats how skeptics think

so.. here is a link of data you might find useful
from the university of San Diego

Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal
About three in four Americans profess at least one paranormal belief, according to a recent Gallup survey. The most popular is extrasensory perception (ESP), mentioned by 41%, followed closely by belief in haunted houses (37%). The full list of items includes:


Believe in


%

Extrasensory perception, or ESP 41

That houses can be haunted 37

Ghosts/that spirits of dead people can come back in certain places/situations 32

Telepathy/communication between minds without using traditional senses 31

Clairvoyance/the power of the mind to know the past and predict the future 26

Astrology, or that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives 25

That people can communicate mentally with someone who has died 21

Witches 21

Reincarnation, that is, the rebirth of the soul in a new body after death 20

Channeling/allowing a 'spirit-being' to temporarily assume control of body 9

A special analysis of the data shows that 73% of Americans believe in at least one of the 10 items listed above, while 27% believe in none of them. A Gallup survey in 2001 provided similar results -- 76% professed belief in at least one of the 10 items.


i know you have a ton of knowledge in paranormal
but focus on your favorite areas (or the ones you are more experienced debating)
and then write all down.. have a power point presentation.. (they use power point on debates in dragoncon right?)
and good luck!

this forum will be a huge training ground for you and eteponge
i trust you can get in.
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby NinjaPuppy » 18 Aug 2009, 05:37

Witches 21


???

Ciscop - What do the numbers mean after the topics? Does this translate as only 21 percent of the people polled believe in Witches?
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ciscop » 18 Aug 2009, 06:06

yep!
sorry for the sloppy copy paste
here is the link http://home.sandiego.edu/~baber/logic/gallup.html

and yes 21% of people in united states
according to the university of San Diego poll (in 2005)
believes in witches!
.. and by the way.. what do you mean with ¨only¨? thats like 1 out of 5 people beliving in witches!.. i find that quite interesting.
i guess that by witches they also include mediums and psychics (perhaps?).

and 73% of Americans believe in at least one of the 10 items listed above
so 3 out of 4 americans believe in paranormal stuff
fun facts :D
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby NinjaPuppy » 18 Aug 2009, 06:17

ciscop wrote:and yes 21% of people in united states according to the university of San Diego poll (in 2005) believes in witches!
.. and by the way.. what do you mean with ¨only¨? thats like 1 out of 5 people beliving in witches!.. i find that quite interesting.


I'm going to have to check out your link to see what on earth they are talking about here.

i guess that by witches they also include mediums and psychics (perhaps?).


Exactly. What do they mean by witches? I'll get back to you on this one.
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby NinjaPuppy » 18 Aug 2009, 06:46

Ciscop - May I suggest we take this discussion here: viewtopic.php?f=14&t=345

I'd hate to derail SCEPCOPS DragonCon discussion.
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ProfWag » 18 Aug 2009, 21:38

Scepcop wrote:
> It's too bad you weren't able to get the best authors in Parapsychology such
> as Dean Radin, Charles Tart, Rupert Sheldrake or Dr. Gary Schwartz to debate.
> They are probably too busy. But how were you able to get Randi and Shermer to...

Or, it could be that they know that their studies and experiments have so many flaws and holes in them that a serious debate would do more harm than good to their reputation. But yea, I'm sure you are right that they are probably just too busy... ;-)
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ProfWag » 18 Aug 2009, 21:53

Scepcop wrote:But a public debate doesn't usually get too deep into scientific details anyway. I've heard Shermer speak a lot and he makes very simple generalized statements. Nothing I can't handle.

Scepcop, I have to be honest with you, I spit out my coffee and pee'd my pants when I read this I laughed so hard. So, thanks for that. But seriously, I totally applaud your enthusiasm in wanting to debate Randi, Shermer, et.al, but it sounds as though you have no idea what you would be getting yourself into. Michael Shermer is THE foremost debater in the United States on the paranormal, god, etc. he has experience out the wazzoo and there is absolutely NOTHING he hasn't heard before and doesn't have a sound argument to counter any theories presented. I'll criticize myself here and admit that Dr. Shermer has forgotten more about the paranormala than I will ever know. I would love to see it though and if it does go forward, I would highly encourage you to prepare for it like you've never prepared for anything in your life.
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ciscop » 19 Aug 2009, 00:36

yep, i also think
confidence is good
but that was overconfidence on your side Scescop

shermer is like the michael tyson of debating paranormal
that guy is always around the country debating creationism or ufos or whatever... (i heard he was arguing with a vending machine once)
so.. do prepare like anything you have prepared before
the good thing is you have like a year and a half i guess..
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby Scepcop » 24 Sep 2009, 14:55

Here is my next response to Derek, the organizer of the Skepticism programs at Dragoncon:

Hi Derek,
Thanks for responding again. Sorry for the delay in my response. We are on a road trip through the Southwest now and my internet time is irregular.

And thanks for explaining about DragonCon.

So if I'm not a "big name in the media" do I still have a chance of being approved by the panel? Also, is the panel, which I assume is pro-skeptic, just looking for an easy pin to knock down? What if they perceive that I might be able to win a debate against the media skeptics or outshine them with facts, evidence and solid reasoning? Would they still welcome that?

What percentage of the crowd is pro-paranormal?

So I take it that the less my travel needs and expenses are, the more likely I will be accepted as a guest, unless I'm a big name media person, right?

What if I have endorsements from big name media paranormal researchers? Will that count? For example: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/endorsements.php

Also, is there room for me to bring a partner from my SCEPCOP committee? I have someone in mind. He is very knowledgeable, objective and level headed about the issues. Is it usually a 2 on 2 debate, like I saw with the last one?

I was also thinking, in addition to a debate, could a program or panel be created where me and my partner present evidence and supporting data for certain types of paranormal phenomenon, where we can talk uninterrupted? Then let the skeptics do theirs, so the audience can judge?

If you want to see an example of a skeptic running away, see this well discussed one on my forum. A skeptic named Linzee said there was no evidence, then asked for it, then when given plenty of evidence, info and links, she said it was overwhelming and didn't have time for it. In other words, she asked for something, then when she got it, she didn't want it. Is that open minded logic to you? I don't think so. She eventually confessed to her mistake too. For full story and details, see this thread:

viewtopic.php?f=2&t=230

I've seen them do this time and time again. There is a very knowledgeable skeptic on my mailing list named Dr. H for example. He is a lot like Cecil Adams from www.straightdope.com, like a human encyclopedia. Yet he is very closed minded and dismissive of anything outside his paradigm. One time, when he dismissed all "electric universe theorists" as all bunk, we showed him a newspiece from Wired.com that revealed that studies of a passing comet, verified some predictions of the electric universe theorists, a major point for them. Yet Dr H did not apologize or give them credit. He just ignored the whole thing altogether. I've caught them lying when they can't win an argument either.

Remember, I never make baseless accusations. I base them always on specific examples and facts. The skeptics (who are not even real skeptics anyway since they do not follow the scientific method and only apply skepticism to what they disbelieve, and are not nonjudgmental) are the ones who deny and run away and accuse others of what they are guilty of doing.

I have many specific examples, not just empty rhetoric. See this "Ebay test" that revealed them lying red handed, to a complete certainty.

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Page5.htm#Ebay

Yes, just cause the JREF challenge is a "publicity stunt" doesn't mean it's not real or fair. However, it also holds true that the JREF challenge does not erase from reality all the paranormal and psychic experiences that at least half the population of the world have experienced. For example, real cases such as this, documented by Dr. Larry Dossey (MD) are not erased by Randi or his challenge, and exist regardless:

"Amanda, a young mother in Washington State, was awakened one night by a horrible dream. She dreamed that the chandelier in the next room had fallen from the ceiling onto her sleeping infant’s crib and crushed the baby. In the dream she saw a clock in the baby’s room that read 4:35, and that wind and rain were hammering the windows. Extremely upset, she awakened her husband and told him her dream. He said it was silly and to go back to sleep. But the dream was so frightening that Amanda went into the baby’s room and brought it back to bed with her. Soon she was awakened by a loud crash in the baby’s room. She rushed in to see that the chandelier had fallen and crushed the crib -- and that the clock in the room read 4:35, and that wind and rain were howling outside. Her dream premonition was camera-like in detail, including the specific event, the precise time, and even a change in the weather."

Also, even if the JREF challenge is controlled and scientific, that doesn't change the fact that many other experiments that show positive results for psi are also done under strict controls too. For example, Ganzfeld, PEAR, the Rhine studies long ago, and the modern telepathy studies by Rupert Sheldrake and medium studies by Dr. Gary Schwartz are all done under strict controls. Randi and the skeptics don't think so, but they have no proof, all they have is speculation and denial, since the results do not support their belief that all paranormal phenomena is bunk and impossible.

You gotta consider that as well, that the reverse is true too. A true skeptic does that. What's key to remember about media skeptics, is this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vks49Bfn544

* "What skeptics fail to understand is that skepticism involves being skeptical of your own position, it does not mean just being skeptical of that which you do not believe in, otherwise we are all skeptics and that renders their use of the term "skeptic" meaningless. A true skeptic casts skepticism on their own position as well. Since the Randi crowd do not employ skepticism in this respect then they are fairly termed pseudo skeptics and demean the term skepticism."

Also this:

* "The original definition of skeptic was a person who questions ALL beliefs, facts, and points-of-view. A healthy perspective in my opinion. Today's common definition of skeptic is someone who questions any belief that strays outside of the status quo, yet leaving the status quo itself completely unquestioned. Kind of a juvenile and intellectually lazy practice in my opinion."

That makes sense. After all, only being skeptical of what you don't believe in makes you the same as everyone else. There's nothing special about that, since everyone is like that. Likewise, taking materialism and the views of the establishment as gospel truth, applying zero skepticism to them, but treating them as infallible, is NOT skepticism either, but fanaticism.

Makes perfect sense eh?

This is the meaning of a true skeptic:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Skeptic

* In classical philosophy, skepticism refers to the teachings and the traits of the 'Skeptikoi', a school of philosophers of whom it was said that they 'asserted nothing but only opined.' (Liddell and Scott) In this sense, philosophical skepticism, or Pyrrhonism, is the philosophical position that one should suspend judgment in investigations.[1]

Are debunkers and those who say all paranormal phenomena is bunk, considered "nonjudgmental"? Obviously not.

So you see, every action of these media skeptics contradicts logic, skepticism, and every sound principle, including the scientific method, since they reject data that doesn't fit into their hypothesis, rather than update their hypothesis to fit the data, which they never do.

A truly logical person will update the above info. A fanatic will simply erase it from memory. That's the real test, you see.

Hope you consider all that carefully.

Finally, yes I showed your email in my forum, with no editing, and the folks are excited about a possible public debate in the future.

Thanks for your attention and for answering my questions.

Regards,
Winston


--- On Sat, 8/15/09, Derek Colanduno <derek@colanduno.com> wrote:

> From: Derek Colanduno <derek@colanduno.com>
> Subject: Re: Dragon-Con: Dragon*Con: Offer to debate skeptics, from SCEPCOP
> To: "Winston Wu" <wwu777us@yahoo.com>
> Date: Saturday, August 15, 2009, 12:18 PM
> Winston,
>
> Dragon*Con is held in Downtown Atlanta each Labor Day
> weekend. It fully uses
> every ounce of meeting/convention space in four of the
> largest downtown
> hotels; The Hyatt, Marriott, Hilton, and the Sheraton.
> Draws around 50,000+
> people each year.
>
> Dragon*Con is not a 'science fiction' convention, it is a
> culture
> convention. We have about 50 sub conventions inside the one
> big convention.
> There are sub-conventions for things like; Science, Space,
> Fantasy, Games,
> Movies, Asian Cinema, Paranormal Issues, etc, etc... In the
> past 5+ years
> quite a few major conventions like this have started to
> have Skeptic based
> programming. I know we were one of the first, but it has
> spread to Balticon,
> Comic-Con, etc... So it is not a rare thing actually.
>
> When I said 'Registered Guest' those are people who are
> actual guests of the
> con, ones who come and are 'big' names for one reason or
> another, book
> authors, scientists, movie actors, etc... I said
> 'registered guests' because
> I have no way of knowing who is or isn't coming to the con
> and nor do I know
> their actual resume contents.
>
> I have NEVER once actually seen a skeptic just 'run away'
> or ignore real
> evidence when it is presented. What I HAVE seen, over, and
> over, and over,
> again is people who claim they have some mystic 'proof'
> that the paranormal
> exists. But, all the 'evidence' is flat when looked at by
> anyone with some
> background in logical thinking. Many of the times I've
> heard little tales of
> a big name skeptic 'running away' it was basically a
> Michael Moore type
> story without any of the real facts but spun to sound
> 'convincing'. <shrug>
>
> If you want to apply to be a 'real' guest at Dragon*Con for
> next year, wait
> until around January when they put the Guest Application
> back up online. It
> is currently down because it is far past the deadline. You
> then just have to
> read over and fill out the application online, the guest
> committee will get
> back to you in a month or two with an answer. When you fill
> out the guest
> application you indicate what you 'need' or want to be a
> guest, stuff like
> hotel room, travel, etc... It is all taken into account
> when they are
> choosing guests based on the budget for that year.
>
> Randi, Shermer, Ben Radford, and others have been coming
> for the past 3-4
> years to do presentations or sit on debates or panels. They
> started to come
> as part of the Science Track, but any event they were on
> was so crowded that
> the fire marshals' had to make tons of people leave to keep
> the fire codes
> in check. After 2007, when an event had even one of the big
> name skeptics on
> it the room was over packed. So, I was asked in 2008 to be
> the director for
> the new full sub-convention just for Skeptic issues. This
> year Randi was a
> guest again, but due to his current health issues, his
> doctor grounded him
> from coming, so he is going to do a live video feed into
> the con since he
> enjoyed it so much last year. But, we have some new names
> coming this year,
> folks like Joe Nickell, Adam Savage, Eugenie Scott, and
> such.
>
> As for the Million Dollar Challenge being a 'publicity
> stunt', depends on
> what you are implying there. Sure it is a publicity stunt,
> but that doesn't
> make it in any way fake, or un-trustworthy. The challenges
> are done to
> strict scientific methods and are very well documented. Any
> claim otherwise
> is just bitter apples, or the typical type of statement
> someone makes when
> they are caught believing in the tooth fairy once again.
>
> Sure you can show my e-mail if you want, just don't edit it
> for content or
> length in any way. :)
>
> Derek C.
>
>
>
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby Scepcop » 24 Sep 2009, 15:00

ciscop wrote:yep, i also think
confidence is good
but that was overconfidence on your side Scescop

shermer is like the michael tyson of debating paranormal
that guy is always around the country debating creationism or ufos or whatever... (i heard he was arguing with a vending machine once)
so.. do prepare like anything you have prepared before
the good thing is you have like a year and a half i guess..


I don't think so. It wasn't overconfidence on my part, just my honest opinion. I've heard him speak many times on TV, and I know all his arguments. I have a card for each one. He doesn't debate knowledgeable people that often. He is not an imposing figure anyway, so nothing to fear. He is actually a very mellow guy for a skeptic.

I do not consider him to be the king of debate or the mike tyson of debate. lol I consider him more like Britney Spears, in that he's only popular cause the media has hyped him and pumped him up to be, not cause of any extraordinary talent on his part. lol

I'm just being honest. Why should I consider you skeptics to be the stronger side, when you aren't?
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby Scepcop » 24 Sep 2009, 15:04

ciscop wrote:Look scescop
you know i am on the other side of the fence since i am a skeptic
but i will always support David against Goliath (i just think is funnier if the bigger guy loses, and by bigger i mean popularity wise by the way)
so you have my support.

And yes you do your debate as you wish
i only recomend numbers since thats how skeptics think

so.. here is a link of data you might find useful
from the university of San Diego

Three in Four Americans Believe in Paranormal
About three in four Americans profess at least one paranormal belief, according to a recent Gallup survey. The most popular is extrasensory perception (ESP), mentioned by 41%, followed closely by belief in haunted houses (37%). The full list of items includes:


Believe in


%

Extrasensory perception, or ESP 41

That houses can be haunted 37

Ghosts/that spirits of dead people can come back in certain places/situations 32

Telepathy/communication between minds without using traditional senses 31

Clairvoyance/the power of the mind to know the past and predict the future 26

Astrology, or that the position of the stars and planets can affect people's lives 25

That people can communicate mentally with someone who has died 21

Witches 21

Reincarnation, that is, the rebirth of the soul in a new body after death 20

Channeling/allowing a 'spirit-being' to temporarily assume control of body 9

A special analysis of the data shows that 73% of Americans believe in at least one of the 10 items listed above, while 27% believe in none of them. A Gallup survey in 2001 provided similar results -- 76% professed belief in at least one of the 10 items.


i know you have a ton of knowledge in paranormal
but focus on your favorite areas (or the ones you are more experienced debating)
and then write all down.. have a power point presentation.. (they use power point on debates in dragoncon right?)
and good luck!

this forum will be a huge training ground for you and eteponge
i trust you can get in.


Thanks ciscop. I already posted that study though, and will refer to it. It's part of my argument of overwhelming anecdotal evidence.

Here is a presentation outline of a speech I did long ago. This is an example of how I argue, and the types of evidence I bring up:

http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Presen ... sm_Psi.htm

BTW, a presentation might be in powerpoint, but a debate is usually just sitting at the table and talking, at least that's what I saw on youtube of the debates.
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ProfWag » 24 Sep 2009, 20:48

Scepcop wrote:BTW, a presentation might be in powerpoint, but a debate is usually just sitting at the table and talking, at least that's what I saw on youtube of the debates.

Okay, so just to be sure I'm straight on this--you've never actually participated in a real debate, but you firmly believe that you can out-debate one of the foremost authorities on skepticism in the world?
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Re: My correspondence with DragonCon re: participating next year

Postby ciscop » 25 Sep 2009, 00:42

ProfWag wrote:
Scepcop wrote:BTW, a presentation might be in powerpoint, but a debate is usually just sitting at the table and talking, at least that's what I saw on youtube of the debates.

Okay, so just to be sure I'm straight on this--you've never actually participated in a real debate, but you firmly believe that you can out-debate one of the foremost authorities on skepticism in the world?


Profwag im not sure if you didnt know but.. EVERYBODY KNOWS DEBATING ON THE INTERNET IS THE SAME AS DEBATING WITH AN EXPERT IN FRONT OF A LIVE AUDIENCE
:lol:
i think it will be a lot of fun if every time he gets to talk he tries to plug his manifesto like he does here
For every person who reads this valuable book there are hundreds of naïve souls who would prefer to have their spines tingled by a sensational but worthless potboiler by some hack journalist of the paranormal. You who now read these sentences join a small but wiser minority. Martin Gaardner (Psychology of the Psychic)
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