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There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Discussions about the James Randi Educational Foundation and its Million Dollar Challenge.

There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby Franc28 » 26 Jul 2009, 12:38

The paranormal proponents on this board seem to be operating under the illusion that the JREF MDP exists in order to award money to a successful performance of a paranormal skill.

That's what they claim to the public. But based on what is said on the forum, by JREF members between them, this is clearly not correct. The JREF MDP exists in order to publicize the existence of the JREF. That is the sole reason for the MDP's existence: padding Randi's wallet, and he makes a great deal of money from the JREF (I remember once seeing the JREF financial statements, the man lives a pretty rich life). They do like testing people because it's a high-profile activity, and because it happens so few often, kinda like a baby shower.

(this is also, BTW, the reason for the constant rule-changes: as regards to well-known celebrities, less barriers must be put in their way, so the publicity can come more easily)

So all these complaints may very well be valid (I make no claim to judge either way), but they're missing the point. Randi doesn't give a damn about any unfairness in the process. Seeing some of the real kooky people who have applied throughout the years, I have to agree with him a bit on that issue.

That being said, I really admire Randi, although not for the MDP, obviously. The MDP is just another magician's trick, and you've all been fooled by the misdirection. You expected a fair process, when fairness is besides the point.
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby skeprogue » 26 Jul 2009, 13:17

Franc28 wrote:
The paranormal proponents on this board seem to be operating under the illusion that the JREF MDP exists in order to award money to a successful performance of a paranormal skill.


... under controlled conditions agree to by both parties, this is my understanding.

Franc28 wrote:
That's what they claim to the public. But based on what is said on the forum, by JREF members between them, this is clearly not correct.


Do any of those members speak for the JREF? No.

Because a member here claims Randi is a child molester, does this make that the official position on SCEPCOP. No.

Franc28 wrote:
(this is also, BTW, the reason for the constant rule-changes: as regards to well-known celebrities, less barriers must be put in their way, so the publicity can come more easily)



To what "constant rule changes" do you refer -- with documentation, thank you very much.

Franc28 wrote:Randi doesn't give a damn about any unfairness in the process.


To what "unfairness" do you refer -- with documentation, thank you very much.
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby highflyertoo » 26 Jul 2009, 15:17

Exactly, the MDC is a gimmick designed to have more members on the JREF. The more members results in more ''donations'', book sales,etc...

James fails to realize that he is damaging people's minds when he challenges certain people , saying that they never had or are not having supernatural experiences.( James should not call ''all people'' delusional kooks and woo woo retards )

Randi's skills as a ''stage magician'' does not entitle him to be an Authority of the unexplained phenomenon, Yet that's exactly what he's selling.
Randi was no researcher of the paranormal even though he tried half heartedly.... Shows over.
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby skeprogue » 26 Jul 2009, 15:56

highflyertoo wrote:James fails to realize that he is damaging people's minds when he challenges certain people ,


You can document such damage, can you?

highflyertoo wrote:saying that they never had or are not having supernatural experiences.


Of course, your next post will contain a direct quote from Randi to this effect?

highflyertoo wrote:( James should not call ''all people'' delusional kooks and woo woo retards )


Where has he done so?

highflyertoo wrote:Randi's skills as a ''stage magician'' does not entitle him to be an Authority of the unexplained phenomenon,


Do please post a citation where Randi makes this claim?

highflyertoo wrote:Yet that's exactly what he's selling.


No more than his claiming that his beard "entitles him to be an Authority of the unexplained phenomenon."

BTW, he's never made that claim either.

But speaking of making claims, it is now well after 14 May 2009, and the Bunbury Library has been open for more than half a year -- when *are* we going to see that TK you promised? Why didn't the War Statue move of its own volition? And where the heck is that tornado?
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby Franc28 » 26 Jul 2009, 16:59

Do any of those members speak for the JREF? No.


I've never claimed that the members "speak for" the JREF. And I certainly never said it was an official position of any sort. But such a goal makes a lot more sense.


To what "constant rule changes" do you refer -- with documentation, thank you very much.


I am referring to the seemingly erratic waiving of rules for certain people (such as the need for a media presence or "professional" approval).


To what "unfairness" do you refer -- with documentation, thank you very much.


The unfairness documented on this board, that is.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby skeprogue » 26 Jul 2009, 17:40

Franc28 wrote:
Do any of those members speak for the JREF? No.


I've never claimed that the members "speak for" the JREF.



So, by
That's what they claim to the public. But based on what is said on the forum, by JREF members between them, this is clearly not correct.
you meant to make clear that you *don't* believe that these statements carry more weight than the official statements?

Pull the onther one -- it has a bell on it.



Franc28 wrote: And I certainly never said it was an official position of any sort.



So, by
this is clearly not correct.
you meant "it Is clearly not the official position?"

Is that your final answer?


Franc28 wrote:But such a goal makes a lot more sense.



To whom? Someone who has not actually read the terms and conditions of the Challenge?


Franc28 wrote:
To what "constant rule changes" do you refer -- with documentation, thank you very much.


I am referring to the seemingly erratic waiving of rules for certain people (such as the need for a media presence or "professional" approval).



So, by
constant rule changes
and
erratic
you mean "a very few exceptions being made under clearly explained circumstances?"

Tell you what -- give us some examples, totalling at least one-third of applicants who *were* required to submit these affidavits, and explain why you do not find those exceptions reasonable.


Franc28 wrote:
To what "unfairness" do you refer -- with documentation, thank you very much.


The unfairness documented on this board, that is.



Such as? Give us three examples of an applicant being treated "unfairly" ***by JREF*** and what specifically was unfair? Don't forget to link to their challenge application and the correspondance from JREF detailing such unfairness...

I shan't be holding my breath...
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby Franc28 » 27 Jul 2009, 02:51

skeprogue wrote:So, by
this is clearly not correct.
you meant "it Is clearly not the official position?"

Is that your final answer?


What is the relation between these two phrases? The fact that I believe the REAL purpose of the MDC, which you know very well, is shown by the forum members, doesn't mean I think it's the OFFICIAL position. Since the MDC is a big trick, why would they make the OFFICIAL position the REAL one? Randi is smart enough not to do that. It's a standard misdirection.


To whom? Someone who has not actually read the terms and conditions of the Challenge?


To anyone who looks at the behaviour of Randi and the MDC. And I did read the terms and conditions.


So, by
constant rule changes
and
erratic
you mean "a very few exceptions being made under clearly explained circumstances?"

Tell you what -- give us some examples, totalling at least one-third of applicants who *were* required to submit these affidavits, and explain why you do not find those exceptions reasonable.


That's a ridiculous demand. You are not in a position to request anything, let alone that I gather hundreds and hundreds of "examples." Get over yourself.


Such as? Give us three examples of an applicant being treated "unfairly" ***by JREF*** and what specifically was unfair? Don't forget to link to their challenge application and the correspondance from JREF detailing such unfairness...


Another skeptic that doesn't know how to act like a human being. I can see why paranormal advocates would get tired of this after a while.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby skeprogue » 27 Jul 2009, 07:17

Franc28 wrote:
skeprogue wrote:So, by
this is clearly not correct.
you meant "it Is clearly not the official position?"

Is that your final answer?


What is the relation between these two phrases? The fact that I believe the REAL purpose of the MDC, which you know very well, is shown by the forum members, doesn't mean I think it's the OFFICIAL position. Since the MDC is a big trick, why would they make the OFFICIAL position the REAL one? Randi is smart enough not to do that. It's a standard misdirection.


But since you have yet to support your assertion that the MDC "is a big trick," with anything other than unsupported whining, why should your need to trash the MDC be accorded any more weight than "the Professor's?"

Franc28 wrote:
To whom? Someone who has not actually read the terms and conditions of the Challenge?


To anyone who looks at the behaviour of Randi and the MDC. And I did read the terms and conditions.


Wht *specific* behaviour of Randi are you referring to?

Franc28 wrote:
So, by
constant rule changes
and
erratic
you mean "a very few exceptions being made under clearly explained circumstances?"

Tell you what -- give us some examples, totalling at least one-third of applicants who *were* required to submit these affidavits, and explain why you do not find those exceptions reasonable.


That's a ridiculous demand. You are not in a position to request anything, let alone that I gather hundreds and hundreds of "examples." Get over yourself.


Please note, all those who whinge about "psuedoskeptics": ask someone to factually support their crap is unreasonable now -- and no one should request that they do so.

"Hundreds and hundreds?" Just how many people do you believe have gotten to the affidavit stage?

Keep running, Franc -- it shows how confused you really are.


Franc28 wrote:
Such as? Give us three examples of an applicant being treated "unfairly" ***by JREF*** and what specifically was unfair? Don't forget to link to their challenge application and the correspondance from JREF detailing such unfairness...


Another skeptic that doesn't know how to act like a human being. I can see why paranormal advocates would get tired of this after a while.


Another "advocate" who cannot offer any factual support and so falls back on personal abuse.

And it only took two posts for you to show that you are not interested in adult discussion of the matter, but feel you should be allowed to smear your betters unimpeded
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby Franc28 » 27 Jul 2009, 09:50

skeprogue wrote:But since you have yet to support your assertion that the MDC "is a big trick," with anything other than unsupported whining, why should your need to trash the MDC be accorded any more weight than "the Professor's?"


I am not "trashing" the MDC, merely stating its true purpose and real function for the JREF.


Wht *specific* behaviour of Randi are you referring to?


I was not referring to any specific behaviour of Randi. I was referring to his behaviour in general regarding the MDC.


Please note, all those who whinge about "psuedoskeptics": ask someone to factually support their crap is unreasonable now -- and no one should request that they do so.


Your demand was unreasonable regardless of what I whinge about.


"Hundreds and hundreds?" Just how many people do you believe have gotten to the affidavit stage?


All it takes is to make your desire to be tested known, so I imagine the answer is, thousands and thousands, maybe even tens of thousands.


Keep running, Franc -- it shows how confused you really are.


I am not "running" from anything.


Another "advocate" who cannot offer any factual support and so falls back on personal abuse.


I am not a paranormal advocate, as I don't believe in the paranormal. As for factual support, I am certainly not going to spend all my time fetching information for you. If you reject my opinion, then simply reject it, instead of playing the skeptic and hassling me about it.


And it only took two posts for you to show that you are not interested in adult discussion of the matter, but feel you should be allowed to smear your betters unimpeded


You claim to be my better? How silly. Are we in the Victorian era or something? Are you a blank lord of the manor?

Should I genuflect? Should I kiss your ring?

You are a ridiculous little man.
Banned by the JREF Board for calling them on their "bullshit"...
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby skeprogue » 27 Jul 2009, 10:19

Franc28 wrote:
skeprogue wrote:But since you have yet to support your assertion that the MDC "is a big trick," with anything other than unsupported whining, why should your need to trash the MDC be accorded any more weight than "the Professor's?"


I am not "trashing" the MDC, merely stating its true purpose and real function for the JREF.


But since your pretended "true purpose" is supported by nothing more than your need to trash them, the point stands.

Unless you'd care to offer more than bald assertion?

Franc28 wrote:
Wht *specific* behaviour of Randi are you referring to?


I was not referring to any specific behaviour of Randi. I was referring to his behaviour in general regarding the MDC.


.. which behaviour you cannot actually make any verifyable reference to.

Sad, really...

I mean, saying something like "his behaviour justifies my lies" would mean (to a *rational* being) that you are aware of specific behaviours which combine to the "general."


Franc28 wrote:
Please note, all those who whinge about "psuedoskeptics": ask someone to factually support their crap is unreasonable now -- and no one should request that they do so.


Your demand was unreasonable regardless of what I whinge about.


Because you say so?

Hardly.


Franc28 wrote:
"Hundreds and hundreds?" Just how many people do you believe have gotten to the affidavit stage?


All it takes is to make your desire to be tested known, so I imagine the answer is, thousands and thousands, maybe even tens of thousands.


Ah, so you *haven't* actually read the terms and conditions of the MDC, nor so much as skimmed the applications.

Because one has to do more than "make their desire known," they have to clearly state what their ability is, and define how it is to be objectively tested.

Do you really feel lying like this helps your credibility any?


Franc28 wrote:
Keep running, Franc -- it shows how confused you really are.


I am not "running" from anything.


... other than offering more than bald assertion to support your attempted smear.

Franc28 wrote:
Another "advocate" who cannot offer any factual support and so falls back on personal abuse.


I am not a paranormal advocate, as I don't believe in the paranormal. As for factual support, I am certainly not going to spend all my time fetching information for you. If you reject my opinion, then simply reject it, instead of playing the skeptic and hassling me about it.


Except you don't offer it as opinion, you offer it as truth which you assert has factual support -- and then run from posting those facts.

Franc28 wrote:
And it only took two posts for you to show that you are not interested in adult discussion of the matter, but feel you should be allowed to smear your betters unimpeded


You claim to be my better? How silly. Are we in the Victorian era or something? Are you a blank lord of the manor?

Should I genuflect? Should I kiss your ring?

You are a ridiculous little man.


Ooooo. Must have hit a nerve.

And yes, I feel that a rational human is better than an irrational one, all else being equal.

But you know, actually posting facts here would certainly show me my place...

That's what you should do.

But I'll give long odds that you don't.
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby Ozz » 27 Jul 2009, 11:47

highflyertoo wrote:Randi's skills as a ''stage magician'' does not entitle him to be an Authority of the unexplained phenomenon, Yet that's exactly what he's selling.


Hi highflyertoo,

I consider Randi to be an authority on deception, which has been his main point all along. Scientists and academics are as easily fooled as the guy on the street when it comes to the techniques used by the more consciously deceitful paranormal exponents. Magicians, whether anyone lies it or not, do have an eye for this kind of deception, and this has been proved time and time again. They are an invaluable asset when it comes to the subject of deception.

All the best,

-- Ozz
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby Franc28 » 27 Jul 2009, 12:03

Yes, I agree about Randi being an expert on deception, and that's basically the main element that a test of "paranormal powers" would need, if anyone was ever interested in such tests.
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby highflyertoo » 27 Jul 2009, 13:52

What would make most skeptics think Randi is an honest man?.... his past deceptions in illusion ? Can a man that tricked people become an Authority in ''HONESTY''. I myself am skeptical of skeptics who tell the people to trust them.
Randi was no researcher of the paranormal even though he tried half heartedly.... Shows over.
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby skeprogue » 27 Jul 2009, 15:11

highflyertoo wrote:What would make most skeptics think Randi is an honest man?.... his past deceptions in illusion ? Can a man that tricked people become an Authority in ''HONESTY''. I myself am skeptical of skeptics who tell the people to trust them.


The fact that those who think that he is dishonest cannot cite a recent example of dishonesty on his part. Yes. And when has Randi ever told the people to trust him?

And speaking of dishonest, when *are* we going to see that statue move of its own volition?
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Re: There seems to be some confusion regarding this topic

Postby highflyertoo » 27 Jul 2009, 15:27

skeprogue wrote:
highflyertoo wrote:What would make most skeptics think Randi is an honest man?.... his past deceptions in illusion ? Can a man that tricked people become an Authority in ''HONESTY''. I myself am skeptical of skeptics who tell the people to trust them.


The fact that those who think that he is dishonest cannot cite a recent example of dishonesty on his part. Yes. And when has Randi ever told the people to trust him?

And speaking of dishonest, when *are* we going to see that statue move of its own volition?


Randi's always telling people to trust him. Twice on Sunday's after BRUNCH
Randi was no researcher of the paranormal even though he tried half heartedly.... Shows over.
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