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Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

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

Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 12 Apr 2010, 23:16

Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 12 Apr 2010, 23:23

In July of last year a dowser tried for the preliminary. I had no idea so much testing was happening. What happened is shown here:
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 12 Apr 2010, 23:32

Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Azrael » 12 Apr 2010, 23:38

Believers of paranormal always try claim Randi has an excuse to not pay out, seems the testeees have plenty of their own excuses.
I'm always very skeptical of any situation where someone's notability hinges on their connection to another notable person
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 13 Apr 2010, 01:33

I did find a person named Karen Sellers that applied for an MDC test for a claim of TK. Her application did not go through because they could not agree on a protocol. She claimed to be able to move a key on a string in a sealed jar, but wanted to actually touch the jar or place the jar on a table she could touch. She did produce a video she sent in showing what she could do. The video clearly showed here touching the table. She said she was not rocking the table. It was suggested that she place two identical jars on the table and move one key but not the other. Both keys swung indicating that she was indeed moving the table.
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 13 Apr 2010, 01:43

There was another TK person that could not agree to a protocol. He claimed he could use "gosts" to move a needle or pointer. The email chain between this person and JREF was quite funny. At one point he changed his message to use a light gray font that he called "gost proof "ink" grey" because it decreased the chance of gosts reading it. This guy wouldn't comply with any requests so nothing took place.
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 13 Apr 2010, 03:15

After a bit of searching I found a number of comments on the Yellow Bamboo issue. The following list of failures in the protocol occurred in the test, which was done after the JREF and YB had broken off negotiations. This test was not an official preliminary test. The YBs claim it is, but the fact is that they can't show the signed final document because negotiations never got that far. So here are the complaints from JREF on the unofficial test with YB.

1. A continuous video tape was to be made and only a 12 second video was made.
2. The JREF instructions were for the attacker to walk up to the YB master and tap him with a short piece of bamboo, not run with a long piece
3. He was supposed to be alone, not accompanied by other YB members
4. It was supposed to take place at 10AM, not at night using 3 cars for lighting

The rules were simple and were not followed.

In a follow up some Aussies did some severe ass kicking. The YB masters lost out every time.

Read here
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Azrael » 13 Apr 2010, 05:43

I'm always very skeptical of any situation where someone's notability hinges on their connection to another notable person
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby ciscop » 17 Apr 2010, 01:48

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: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby ProfWag » 18 Apr 2010, 20:53

What skeptics of the MDC fail to recognize is that there are at least 2 dozen other challenges that people could turn to for showing their evidence of paranormal abilities. Why is it that it's just the JREF that they want to bash? Not sure, but as I said, if I believed I had paranormal abilities but didn't like Randi's rules, I'd go to one of the other 20+ organizations that offer a prize as well.
Why is it that no one has succeeded at any of the challenges? My belief is that there is no one who has paranormal abilities. I guess it's possible that there are people out there who actually do have paranormal abilities but wouldn't want to prove it. I kind of doubt that the majority feel that way though. I know if I had it, I would want to prove it. Again, that's just me though.
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby NinjaPuppy » 19 Apr 2010, 19:28

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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby really? » 19 Apr 2010, 21:31

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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby NucleicAcid » 19 Apr 2010, 23:26

The thing is, most people that go into practicing psi do enough to prove it to themselves and probably a few close friends. They will self-titrate and determine the right amount of provability they need for themselves and how much confirmation bias they're willing to accept, and determine for themselves. Some will settle for a twitchy psiwheel or knowing who will call before the phone rings. Others, like myself, need much higher standards of evidence. So of the subset of the general population, the people that go into psi, a subset of that strives for indisputable evidence, even if it is just inside their own home. Of those, some will have more success than others. Of those, maybe only a handful will excel, and be able to do it on demand. So you have a small group of psi adepts, now you have to factor for those who can overcome their performance anxiety and prove it to people in a casual setting (which is tricky because a lot of these people are of the nervous type), and then under very strict conditions. Of those, only some of them will actually know about the existence of skeptical tests, and of that subset, only a few will apply, get noticed by the skeptical group and go through actual testing. Phew.

So whatever fraction of the 6+billion people of the world that is, those are the only people who have a legit shot at one of these tests.

Looking at the general feedstock of the Randi applicants (via the JREF Forum listed applicants), I would say about 1% of those people actually know what they are doing. I haven't really sat down and poured through all of them to find how many people actually had a fair chance at winning the contest by experience of how psi works (mainly cause I get bored of crap like Paranormal Urination and homeopathy and astrology and fecal magicians and more dowsers than you can shake a stick at (LOL!) that make up the bulk of applicants, yes even parapsychologists have the right to call things woo), so it's not the end-all, but I've only seen maybe 2 applicants that I felt could have actually had psi abilities (and those I doubt had the confidence to do it reliably on demand). Everyone else has convinced themselves of having something (usually pretty absurd) by confirmation bias, and wouldn't even be able to prove it to someone like myself.

I'm not at all surprised that the number of legitimate applicants to the Randi test is as low as it is.

Of the legitimate people who have the ability to produce their effect on demand that apply for the contest and get it, then it's a matter of demonstrating it to the most skeptical people on the planet, and you get into theory of whether skeptics have mental influence and all that nonsense. But I haven't seen any people make it to that level at all.

I should start my own contest. The Nucleic Acid Relatively Easy $100 Challenge. Doesn't have to be 100% watertight, that's the whole point of a low bar. Just enough to show that the effect was not due to coincidence, and can do it on demand in front of me.
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If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby Nostradamus » 19 Apr 2010, 23:38

Scimitars were not available - beware January 19, 2038 is upon us.
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Re: Succesful applicant passes JREF prelimanary

Postby NucleicAcid » 20 Apr 2010, 01:51

Hey, you there. Yes, you.

If what I say sounds like the teacher from Charlie Brown (Wah wahh woohh wuh waah), then you should try college. It's fun, and only costs you your soul and several tens of thousands of dollars. :)

“I agree that by the standards of any other area of science that remote viewing is proven“ - Richard Wiseman

Let's make directional hypotheses, test them repeatedly, replicate experiments, and publish results! Yay, science!
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