Discussions about Psychics and Psychic Phenomena, Extra Sensory Perception, Telepathy, Psi, Clairvoyancy, 6th Sense, Psychokinesis, etc.
As one who reads two hundred page books in one sitting, I enjoy long blogs. People do complain about it (even Craig, if I remember correctly)
You can skip everything but the LAST POINT if you want pithy.
I hope I am quoting properly.
The catch is however, the psychics involved typically try to avoid any kind of media attention -- they are not in it for "personal gain or glory" but because they wish to help as they can and where they can.
This, it seems to me, sums up both Craig's and Ninja's points of view.
Saying that true psychics don't seek the limelight does not fit with my education in Marketing 101. Sorry. I will continue to disagree with you on this subject without outside evidence rather than the lone opinion of a magician.
This sums up Prof wags point of view, including the ad hominem attack, as if a magician was inherently unqualified to talk about his field. Prof, If marketing told me piss was salty, I'd doubt it. I do not see how looking at the world from the point of view of a marketing is better psychology than looking at from the point of view sold by a priest or a conman, or a cop or lawyer.
Okay, that was an ad hominim attack on marketing, based on guilt by association. Unfortunately, due to their love of polling, marketers tar the rep of scientists.
Toulman, a 20th C philosopher, distinguished between the Cartesian “experimental” world view exemplified by David Hume, who would have believed Voltaire was lieing if Voltaire claimed to see a ghost, and Thomas Jefferson, who preferred “to believe two Yankee professors lied rather than that stones (meteors) fall from the sky,” and the opposing “Shakespearean” world view, which is "experiential".
Those who believe only in experiment will want something to be “proven,” preferably by replicable “experiments.”
The majority of the human race is experiential in their approach to life. In Shakespeare's time, the words “experiment” and “experience” were homonyms, both meaning “what happens.” Likewise, “prove” was nothing more than a variant spelling of “probe.”
I am Twain. With my rational mind, I have great respect for those who refuse to be fools and hypocrites, but I am also Shakespeare, and both experientially and experimentally, I know that not all that happens in the lab applies to the world, and some things inherently resist, or fall to fit with the model. And as for the notion of “proving,” as my namesake said, “there are lies, there are damned lies, and there are statistics.”
As a buddhist who grew in in the relativistic universe, and immigrated to the quantum multiverse, I suspect we may be fooled by it, and we may even be wise to it, but we never perceive the thing in itself.
Sorry, getting off subject. The point is, Craig knows that not all experience is replicable, or even properly documentable, and that the voice of the scientific expert is not speaking ex cathedra. I love you, Prof, but I strongly suggest that, if you see a damned thing that was never dreamed of in your philosophy, go with it. As CS Lewis said, “If you see ghosts, it is better to believe in them.”
Let me add that, when it goes away, and is okay to lapse back into agnosticism, but disbelieving what happened entirely can lead to madness. (As can believing. This is a tricky world)
LAST POINT Craig's lasts two posts were perfectly clear to me.
I'll try to be brief.
Based on “anecdote”, I suspect that there are real phenomenae that have been observed by “shamans” since before recorded history. Everything I have learned that seems to relate to “the real thing,” and not the fakery or selfish delusion, indicates that it is based on empathy, and the kind of person who would believe marketing 101 is sound psychology lacks that basic empathY.
Pithy enough at the end there?
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
On target on the subject.
Craig, Ninja, a friend of mine named Sharon Zelinsky, aka Sarah McCullogh, disappeared in the mid eighties and was presumed murdered. We had promised each other the living one would try to contact the first to do. Since there was data I wanted from her as to the whereabouts of her body and/or the identity of her killer, I rationalized the "experiment". I had one disastrous experience attempting it, including a message from YHWH that I would find out what happened to her if I went to the Seige of Waco.
This is a test. Got anything for me? I have very little additional info.
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
I'm nowhere as trained or as educated as Craig. In my world, I get these fleeting moments of flashes. To try to explain it, in a few instances it's been kind of like a short movie trailer that plays in my head. They don't happen on command, nor do I have any idea of what most of it means. Most of my moments have come during normal conversation where I have blurted out information as if I have tourettes syndrome. It was a real problem when I was a kid. I was always in trouble for something I said or knew that I shouldn't have ever known. I actually didn't "know" jack shit. Half the time I didn't even know what the hell I said that made people think I "knew something".
Now, to get to your 'test'. I can tell you what came to mind as I was reading your post. The name Sharon Zelinsky seems to ring a bell but I got nothing. The name Sarah McCullogh doesn't fit in at all. Mid eighties came to mind as when I was in mommy mode and to be specific, a woman holding a baby. Reading it a second time, "presumed murdered" said to me that she wasn't murdered. It doesn't mean she's still among the living but not some classic TV version of what we think of when the word is used. However, the name Sharon Zelinsky read as 'serial murder' but I've been reading up on a case with the name 'Zarinsky' (who is a serial murderer) and the two names are very close so it seems that would be the reason. "Seige of Waco' was like WTF? as it doesn't fit in at all.
Like I said, I got nothing of value as far as 'abilities'.
Based on Twain's comments of me, perhaps I should have been more distinct in my opinion. It is my understanding of Craig's post that he believes that true psychics don't seek the limelight, show disdain for those that do, and generally do not seek outside attention. If I am incorrect on that, then please read no further.
What I meant by Marketing 101 is that if one has a business, then the business has a difficult time growing if they don't let anyone know what their services are. If a person were to just show up at police headquarters without a history of solving, their legitimacy would be (or should be) questioned immediately. If, on the other hand, one DID have a history of solving crimes, then their assistance would be more acceptable and greater gains in this area could be made. Hence, if a psychic really had interest in being helpful AND their services are genuine, then their success rate should be advertised. In my humble opinion, if I were recognized as the best carpenter in the state but did not want recognition, then I would be missing out on a ton of business. If, on the other hand, I was a full-time lawyer (or whatever) but I had this "gift" of solving crimes and didn't need the money, then I could see not seeking any financial gain from it, but if I had the ability and the desire to help people, I could only do that with continued recognition (as I instruct in my Marketing 352 class), regardless of financial gain or loss.
Hope that helps clarify my stance.
I had to zero-in on this line in that it is EXACTLY what I use to explain to others what it’s like to get a “premonition” on the visual level; try to describe a 2 hour movie you just saw in under 3 seconds. You must be no less than 85% accurate in every detail including chronology of events and specifics about locations, dates, etc.
The “Rationalists” culture insists on 100% accuracy, being able to replicate that demonstration both, repetitively and at the flip of a switch, which is far from realistic when it comes to what is known and has always been claimed by mystics & shaman, when it comes to PSI ability.
I can more than identify with this as can the typical psychic-child that’s raised in a “ignorant” household in which such phenomena isn’t understood either due to religious phobia, general lack of experience around such things (typically, cultural or religious by nature) or, in the worst case scenarios, religious zealotism in which such abilities are viewed as being demonic.
When it comes to the “challenge” there is something I’m amazed skeptics haven’t realized by now; the more you demand proof the less likely you are at finding it. Not because something is not “real” (whatever that means), but from what I call the Oiled Water Weenie Effect – if you have a water-weenie and squeeze it, it will shift position and try to get away; oil it and the challenge of holding on to it becomes even more difficult in that the more pressure you apply in order to hold/control it, the greater momentum it has for eluding you. In order to hold on to it, you have to stop trying to confine it and forcing it to conform to your will and your demands.
We likewise have the “Doubting Thomas” Condition when it comes to so-called rational thinkers; it’s not until Thomas placed his fingers into the wounds of Christ that he was able to accept the idea of the risen master. While this might be a matter of legend, the moral of the tale is still legitimate in the fact that some people simply will not accept something until they can touch it and experience it for themselves. Sadly, there is nothing that will ever change that fact about them.
I’m inclined, in this particular scenario, to disbelieve the entire claim. I feel it is a set-up, but then I’m always suspicious when it comes to such things for the very fact that they are offered by those that doubt or admittedly disbelieve. For no other reason than this, I feel that the characters in this particular play probably don’t exist or if they do, the plot as described, isn’t exactly spot on – something is askew whether deliberate or otherwise. But there is another reason for my hesitation when it comes to such “challenges” – it goes back to that fine-tuning things mentioned previously and the fact that accurate insight around such things will only come to the psychic that is able to pick-up that particular “channel”, so to speak. Not all people that have strong psi ability discern such things. . . especially on demand, such as a trained puppy would do his tricks.
Certainly, given the right conditions I or any other psychic could ATTEMPT to glean information, but certain requisites are involved so as to create a psychometric connection to the “target” and even that’s not a guarantee. But bloodhounds must get a scent in order to track. . . even they don’t get their prey each time they go out. Yet, I don’t see their abilities being doubted or constantly tested, challenged, argued. Nor do I notice people mocking the handful of dogs that don’t display these traits. It’s the kind of duplicity that kind of makes you go, “Hmmm”.
Sharon Zelinski was her birth name, McCullogh her husband's name, and Sarah her self-picked name. The actual story as I was told by her step-mother some five years later was, she left for work in Austin and never arrived. Her car was found abandoned a couple of weeks later over fifty miles away, and hidden about a 100 yards to the side of the road.
Two other pieces of data. She always picked up hitch-hikers, and her route to work took her past a mental hospital, but I never heard anything about escapees, so that might be a red herring.
As might be the bit about Waco, which I was told by a psychotic psychic who pulled me into a mutual delusion called Christian marriage for ten years. However, I had another friend who had joined a cult in the 80's. I could see Sarah doing that, and it would be one of the few circs in which I could imagine her not contacting her family (If she'd run off with another man, she have still let them know where she was).
I have tried to find a list of the names of those killed at Waco, but she could have had a third name.
PROF I hope you didn't take offense. I did not realize that, like my father, you TEACH marketing. My father was also a career army officer. He sees all human relations in terms of force or deception. I have spent a lot of my life trying to think like Dad, and even more trying not to think as he thinks, and some of that spilled over into my jeremiad about marketing. If it was personal, it was Dad I was dissing, and Freud's nephew Bernay's who put the advertising industry into the form satirized by Huxley in Brave New World (in which Ford and Freud were taught to have been the same person, the founder of the consumer state) More and more these days, every movie and song seems to me to be just a subtext to an effort to sell me a car.
CRAIG. I hope you are not referring to my scenario as a set-up. I admit you might tend to classify me as a “Doubting Thomas” He is my favorite Apostle, since he did have half a brain. I also respect the evidence of what is and what happens in my experience, even if I believe why and how are mysteries.
I was in no way attempting to trick you. My hope against hope was that one of you would have a”flash” as both you and Ninja described, even if the odds against it were so high that such a thing would only happen once a year in Shanghai.
(I have had myself “flashes” when one gets “a 2 hour movie ... in under 3 seconds”, although not as far as psychic experiences go, aside from three experiences which where probably hallucinations (two visions of former lives, one of being sent to Hell by Aslan) I have also had such flashes in remembering, or reliving the memory, of episodes of my own life, at the mention of certain stories (I had a amazing sensation the first time I saw a copy of “The Lord of Rings”) and upon having certain concepts become clear to me)
My motives were, first and foremost, to keep my word to Sarah, second,curiosity, both scientific and personal, and lastly, closure. I was making no demands, and am not surprised that you felt there was far too little information for you to “tune in”. But “if you don't bet, you can't win.”
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
Have you tried Googlin' Sarah and different spellings of Zalinski and then checking out the image files? That may sound like some really piss poor suggestion but hey, you never know.
Naw, no offense taken. I would hope no one takes this board too seriously. For the record, I haven't taught marketing or management (my primary class) in over a year now. I got fed up with students getting pissed off at me because I would mark them down on their papers for grammar and formatting, but hey, shouldn't students about to graduate college know how to write a paper?
In any event Twain, I'm sorry you aren't the same fan I am of marketing, but getting at the core of it, marketing is little more than sociology/psychology.
It hasn't been that many years since lawyers have been allowed to advertise on TV. It used to be taboo. They had to rely on word of mouth and their reputation to build their clientel. I think the same was true for doctors but I'm not too sure about them. Big Pharma also had restrictions with advertising. There may have been other professions that had restrictions but I am unaware of them. On the reverse side, we no longer see the millions of dollars spent to advertise cigarettes. Tobbacco companies were major players back in the day when it came to marketing their product.
The way I look at it is that a psychic is only a part of the overall product. The product being a solved crime of some sort. There is very little public or mass marketing of parts that go into a final product. Many comsumer products are made up of 'parts' that can come from numerous corporations no one has ever heard of, other than the producer of the final product.
In my humble opinion, the best carpenter in the state usually gets the highest price for their work based on his/her past performance but I doubt he gives much credit to the company who produces the wood that he uses. Even I know how hard it is to find a basic 2x4 that isn't warped, full of knots, etc. at many lumber yards and forget what's available at most home improvement stores. All lumber is not created equal and it's just one part of the total renovation or project. Where and how it will be used and what a skilled professional can do with it will vary. So called psychic are also not created equal and the same applies to how they or their information will be used. Neither part in either instance is marketed to the general public.
TS, my statement is rather generic; how I look at most all challenges and not just yours alone. As you might imagine given my background and association with professional magic, I get hit almost constantly by would be intelligent youngsters that think they can stump the old bear. Not only are they proving their lack of intelligence when it comes to challenging a guy that's been around magic for most of the past 5 decades, much of that time tied to the side-show & carnival world and similar fast-talking arenas, but likewise an old psychic that knows the ropes in that world as well. In other words, one would really have to know a lot about both of these worlds as well as that of the "investigative skeptic" to back a person like me into the proverbial corner. It's not impossible, but one would have to be seriously polished and up to snuff. . . and I'm not alone when it comes to my qualifications, while a minority in the magic community there's an amazing number of us working in and around the Shut-Eye market, most under an alternative identity while a handful of us don't conceal a thing when it comes to our ties to show biz.
Because I tend to be a tad bit "outspoken" I seem to get targeted more than most, when it comes to that handful of pseudo-Einsteins out looking for the ego boost they'd have when stumping the old bear and "proving" him a big fake. . . I guess I'm a victim of my own creation
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