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Old 16th August 2004, 06:10 PM   #11
SY is offline SY  United States
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It's useful to read his protocols and experiences with a close analogy to goo-goo high end audio, dowsing (Randi says that, alone among paranormalists he deals with, dowsers tend to be quite honest and sincere). He set up a very fair trial in cooperation with the dowsers and had them run through it unblinded. He then blinded the tests, the dowsers did their thing, and before scoring, heasked each of them how they thought they did. They were all quite confident in their results. Unfortunately, the results were just as random as one might predict based on the known laws of physics.

He is less kind to the spoon-benders and card-trick guys.
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Old 16th August 2004, 07:22 PM   #12
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I am surprised that Randi has chosen 'Shakti Stones' as an example. As SY knows, I have a small collection of Shakti Stones here in my lab. I have found that they appear to be ineffective at audio and near audio frequencies. I tried to use them for shielding, but tin foil, suggested by SY, actually worked.
However, the Shakti Stones have measured performance characteristics at RF frequencies. Is this important? Apparently in some situations.
However, let me give you my impression of Randi, from 'Right Where You Are Sitting Now' by Robert Anton Wilson pp 81-82: "You see, The Amazing Randi is of that school of thought which holds that he and his friends have the only 'real' reality-labyrinth on the planet. All proponents of alternative reality-labyrinths are therefore, BY DEFINITION, a bunch of SNEAKS, CHEATS, AND LIARS." ... " Randi's presentation consisted of saying five different ways that the heretics are a bunch of dishonest *******s who lie morning, noon and night, and lie in their sleep just to keep in practice."
Do you want audio evaluated by this guy?
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Old 16th August 2004, 07:29 PM   #13
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John, to this day I'm kicking myself for not calling the aluminum foil "molecularly coherent electromagnetic stress-aligned cable treatment" and selling it for $100 a square foot. We coulda been rich.
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Old 16th August 2004, 09:58 PM   #14
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Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by sam9
If you search his site a little further you will find the actual letter he sent the reviewers and manufacturers. He does not leave himself that out for the Shakti stones. He states the requirements quite clearly. It doesn't matter whether the claimed functionality of the stones derives from the paranormal or quantum physics.
How about basic mechanics.

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Old 16th August 2004, 10:03 PM   #15
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Konnichiwa,

Quote:
Originally posted by sam9
Surely, with a potential pay-off of $1Million, TAS or the makers of Shakti's could round up 20+ test subjects. I'm quite sure Randi would not object.
Maybe, maybe not. Why don't you round up the people. The main reason why I would not bother with Charlatans of the ilk of Randi, Nousiane and the ABX people is that they already set out to prove me wrong and will do so by any means available. I don't need that sort of proverbial.

I have better things to do with my time than to convince people who are convinced their illusion is the only true one of their error. i gave that up after an encounter with the spanish inquisition. Even comfy chairs get boring over time.

Quote:
Originally posted by sam9
BTW, calling Randi a "charlatan" is, in my mind, a bit like calling Elliot Ness a bootlegger.
Hmm, I don't know.... Let's see what webster has to say.

"Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Definition: \Char"la*tan\, n. [F. charlatan, fr. It. ciarlatano,
fr. ciarlare to chartter, prate; of imitative origin; cf. It.
zirlare to whistle like a thrush.]

One who prates much in his own favor, and makes unwarrantable
pretensions; a quack; an impostor; an empiric; a mountebank

I think the shoe fits, based on "One who prates much in his own favor, and makes unwarrantable pretensions".

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Old 16th August 2004, 10:06 PM   #16
sam9 is offline sam9  United States
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Quote:
How about basic mechanics.
Don't ask me, ask Randi ! If you've seen his website you know how to contact him. I sense a reluctance (on AA as well as here) to risk an approach - as far as I can tell he is respectful, polite and physically harmless.

He has lecture tours all over the world. I'm sure he will be passing your way before long. I think he is Europre this summer/autum and I know he has travelled extensively in Russia on tour as well.
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Old 17th August 2004, 03:27 AM   #17
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Well, if nothing else is settled on this thread, at least one of us found out what a "mountebank" is.
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Old 17th August 2004, 03:40 AM   #18
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Just for the sake of discussion, and to move this thread away from what is clearly a head-on collision, I wonder is anyone is willing to own up to believing in something that many other people would label hocus-pocus.

For instance, I am not averse to the concept of ESP, in fact sometimes I think I sense an idea sweeping around a room. Maybe it's just a lot of people making the same deduction simultaneously, but it doesn't seem like it.

For another, considering that there were several early versions of manlike creatures, if I had to wager I would say that there really are a few left over which we call Bigfoot. They say two competing species cannot coexist for long, but the Neanderthals just died out 30,000 years ago-why couldn't there be declining numbers of a similar species? 30,000 years is really an instant in the general scheme of things.
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Old 17th August 2004, 03:55 AM   #19
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Randi is a charlatan by virtue of the fact that he almost certainly cannot pay out the $1 million he is promising. I cannot think of a reinsurance company that would underwrite this kind of policy.
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Old 17th August 2004, 04:35 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by Wodgy
Randi is a charlatan by virtue of the fact that he almost certainly cannot pay out the $1 million he is promising. I cannot think of a reinsurance company that would underwrite this kind of policy.
That turns out not to be the case.

From the prize rules:

Quote:
The prize is in the form of negotiable bonds held in a special investment account.
Randi has given details for anyone who wishes to verify this account and, in special circumstances like the challenge to the repugnant Sylvia Browne, put it into an escrow account. A few minutes browsing through his archive of weekly columns will satisfy the curious.

Quote:
Originally posted by kelticwizard
I am not averse to the concept of ESP
Nor am I. I'd just like to see one piece of hard evidence.
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