Psi

Parapsychology, psi, ESP, auras, NDEs, anomalous cognition, psychic research. A load of woo! Nothing to see here!

Can we ignore the testimonies of those who claim to have had a near death experience, people who demonstrate blindfolded vision or who seem to have other psychic abilities?

Here and here, are videos about the work of Nicola Farmer, a woman who works with children and seemingly teaches them to see while blindfolded.

She’s either a heartless con merchant who uses children to fool the public or someone who sincerely believes she is enhancing their lives and what you see is genuine. What are your thoughts on this.

225 thoughts on “Psi

  1. OMagain:
    CharlieM: Do you believe this report? How is this way of “seeing” possible in the total absence of light?

    OMagain: Do you believe the reports of Vibravision failing their scientific test very badly?

    Yes.

  2. DNA_Jock:
    CharlieM: I thought you were proficient at mathematics, yes? But, very few=0 ? Do you think that’s a legitimate equation?

    DNA_Jock: “Very few” may well equal “not above random” or “auditory leakage”. You might want to ease up on the condescension, and, if you are claiming that it is “third eye vision” rather than simple synesthesia, provide your explanation for why it should matter at all whose hand it is.

    Do you agree that according to what was written in the Rochester article it would appear that some people can indeed perceive other hands apart from their own?

    You wrote, “you cannot track someone else’s hand”, who is this “You”?

    DNA_Jock: I have tried to explain to you previously that some degree of cross-talk between the different sense modalities is the norm, that what we visually “perceive” is a confection created by our brains, and the people that we call “synesthetes” are merely outliers along a continuum. Your ongoing ignorance supports Corneel’s observation that you are not interested in the physics.
    You just like the story.

    And how does the brain create these confections? I would put it another way. We use the inputs received by our brains to recombine an external reality that our individual senses had separated out in the first place. If you want to call it a confection it is the thinking individual who creates it, not the brain. It is meaningless to isolate the brain from the individual in the way that I very often see it being done in explanations such as you have written above.

    What is it that forms specific pathways and connections in the brain?

  3. Charlie, you wrote:

    So he had enough confidence in them to invest in spite of the Randi trial. And also for them to be scrutinized while competing in “America’s Real Deal”.

    It’s truly sweet that you think Adam ponied up any cash in exchange for his 20% stake in Vibravision. But you tell me, how obvious was it that Adam was trying to drum up retail investors for a company that he had a $1.4M stake in? Could you give me the timestamp in the video for when he disclosed this key fact?

    And you’re sure that her main interest is in making money and not for the love of the children?

    No, what a silly strawman. Are you sure that she is just in it for the love of the children, and not the £70/hr for ‘readings’?
    I just have my suspicions that she has a financial motive for not exposing the kids to any no-cheating tests.

    CharlieM: Do you agree that according to what was written in the Rochester article it would appear that some people can indeed perceive other hands apart from their own?

    Nope. That’s what ‘auditory leakage’ was meant to convey.
    I do enjoy your asserting that it is the ‘thinking individual’ rather than their CNS, that does all the processing.
    And we know that it is not “combining an external reality that the senses had separated”, because we study ways to fool it into combining to produce a perception that does not correspond to any external reality.
    Sheeesh.
    Why does it matter at all whose hand it is?

  4. CharlieM: But do you honestly see an image as they represent here? Or do you have a very good idea of its position but see nothing until you open your eyes?

    I am not a good example. I can bring complex visualizations to my minds eye that approach actually seeing things if I concentrate enough. I can “see” my body when I get close to sleep. Things are blue. So I can already “do” far beyond what is claimed here, and I consider it a mere trifle. It’s nothing. I’ve never mentioned it before this.

    It’s how we work. It’s not supernatural. I live inside and simultaneously am my body and my body and mind are inside each other yet separate.

    And yet at the same time, so very very stupid and easily fooled into believing almost anything at all!

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep18345

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwn1w7MJvk

    You are a conscious being riding on a sea of unconscious filters. It’s why we have to work so hard to not be fooled!

    About 12% of people manage to fool Penn and Teller: https://www.looper.com/177614/the-untold-truth-of-penn-teller-fool-us/

    And they are professional slight of hand magicians of long standing.

    Scientists have no training in being fooled. It’s why a more rigorous setup is needed then the standard “trust” model. Trust has to be removed from the equation.

    CharlieM: I don’t believe the atmosphere and the procedures required in the Randi trial were conducive to achieving a fair performance. I can’t see how they were expected to perform with all the distractions and stipulations made at short notice.

    I’m sure they learned from the experience and have been, and continue to be, much more wary of partaking in experiments as biased.as that one.

    And yet we can find not a single example of a fair trial under controlled circumstances giving a fair performance.

    Unless you know of such?

  5. So what I suppose I’m saying is that to me it “feels” like I’m “seeing” even though I know for a fact that I am not! It was quite confusing at first! The same part of the brain seems to be activated as when I really am seeing, or at least enough of it so it feels like seeing.

    So I can 100% believe that these people are “feeling” like they are seeing. But they are not, at least if my experience is at all relatable. And I think we both know it is.

  6. DNA_Jock: CharlieM: I thought you were proficient at mathematics, yes?

    It’s not that Jock is proficient in mathematics, it’s that he believes he is proficient in mathematics. But his memory is faulty. He is not lying, just mistaken because his memory is fallible. Not his fault.

  7. phoodoo: It’s not that Jock is proficient in mathematics, it’s that he believes he is proficient in mathematics.

    So far, as far as I can tell, he really IS proficient in mathematics. Perhaps it would help your argument if you could cite examples showing that this is not so. I don’t recall offhand anyplace you demonstrated enough proficiency to make this claim.

  8. CharlieM: Did you actually read the link? They write:

    “The study seems to confirm anecdotal reports that spelunkers in lightless caves often are able to see their hands. In other words, the “spelunker illusion,” as one blogger dubbed it, is likely not an illusion after all.”

    The same type of phenomenon is “likely not an illusion after all”!

    Yes I read and understood the text. Did you understand the text behind the link? They explain quite clearly that the perception of form and movement is real but not based on optical input. This is phenomenology in action. You should love it.

    As you appear to be taking issue with their explanation, will you please tell us what you believe to be going on? Can you also explain how it fits the observations that synesthetes experience the phenomenon more strongly and that it seems mostly limited to self-movement?

  9. Corneel: Can you also explain how it fits the observations that synesthetes experience the phenomenon more strongly and that it seems mostly limited to self-movement?

    *butts in*

    I often find, when I think about it, that I have an idea where my arms and legs, hands and feet are without looking Then I look just to check…

    And there they are!

  10. Alan Fox: And there they are!

    In his book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” Oliver Sacks famously described a case where a woman has disrupted proprioception. The consequences are devastating.

  11. Corneel: In his book “The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” Oliver Sacks famously described a case where a woman has disrupted proprioception. The consequences are devastating.

    Wasn’t the film Awakenings based on his career. I got the impression (I think there was previous discussion at TSZ) he was fascinated by conditions like locked-in syndrome but not particularly interested in finding cures.

    ETA: the case is briefly described here. Looks like the patient was eventually able to recover speech and movement to some extent.

  12. Corneel,

    Thanks for that. Disturbing story without a really happy ending. Life changing events, especially very rare random ones coming from a clear blue sky, seem so unfair. But it reinforces my impression of Sacks as fascinated by the condition but seeing the patient as a study rather than a person.

  13. That’s two hits against Sacks on one page.

    I think, sometimes, the perfect is the enemy of the good.

  14. OMagain:
    CharlieM: I don’t believe the atmosphere and the procedures required in the Randi trial were conducive to achieving a fair performance. I can’t see how they were expected to perform with all the distractions and stipulations made at short notice.

    OMagain: How surprising.

    CharlieM: I’m sure they learned from the experience and have been, and continue to be, much more wary of partaking in experiments as biased.as that one.

    OMagain: In what sense was it biased? Be specific

    The first thing I will say that it is clear Randi’s intention was to debunk claims of psi or the paranormal. So from the outset their position is biased. And their is the matter of the loss of a great deal of money that would have to be given away. It is in Randi’s interest for them to fail.

    John Sohl, one of Randi’s representatives takes pride in challenging paranormal claims. An entry in his CV reads:

    Have scientifically reviewed and challenged several groups making paranormal or extraordinary claims. This includes a detailed analysis of AVibravision@ for the James Randy Educational Foundation. A publication is currently in preparation for either Skeptic Magazine or Skeptical Inquirer. The results are available online at the JREF site

    From Randi’s report

    Though the “Master” performer of the group simply refused to be tested, a student with “over 20 years of Vibravision experience” did submit to examination.

    In the preliminary test, done under the conditions chosen by the claimants, the results for 100 percent correct. At that point, proper blindfolds were applied to conduct the formal preliminary tests. To quote Professor Sohl, the “subject voiced repeated concern about the blindfold and was clearly concerned about it. After over 45 minutes of delays, he managed to free the blindfold enough to see (which is caught completely on video tape). The clearly-loose blindfold was reapplied at which point the subject became distressed again. Finally, after many more delays the subject ran the test . . .” After a series of delays totaling over an hour, the results were three correct out of 19 trials, while the odds by chance alone would have called for 3.2 correct.

    There were obvious problems with the way the blindfolds were being fitted and the language barrier prevented proper communication.

    One of Randi’s representatives, KRP, in an e-mail exchange with Nate Zeleznick, wrote:

    I must say that I was not skeptical of the testing methods we used,
    nor am I now. I recognize that you — I think it was your
    correspondence with one of our group — stressed before the test that
    the blindfolds should only cause minimal discomfort. I apologize for
    the discomfort experienced by your athletes, as you explain it, but
    again, I cannot speak for the Amazing Randi, I can only speak for
    myself. I will try the alcohol on my own eyes, so that I can have
    some impression about the matter.

    In organizing the demonstration, arranging for the Indonesians to come over for the test, and through all the preliminary liaisons with Randi’s team, the Zeleznick brothers must have been really confident that they could successfully demonstrate these abilities. It’s no wonder that Nate was distraught after the trial.

    I think the subjects suffered more than just minimal discomfort to their eyes prior to the test and it should have been postponed or abandoned altogether. But after all the time, effort and money expended on this event it would have been extremely difficult to do this.

    The Vibravision team learned a hard lesson by partaking in this affair, but perhaps they are stronger for it. The Indonesian master made a wise decision in refusing to be tested.

  15. OMagain:
    CharlieM: So he had enough confidence in them to invest in spite of the Randi trial. And also for them to be scrutinized while competing in “America’s Real Deal”.

    OMagain: It’s entertainment!

    Zeleznick received SEC approval to sell shares of Vibravision ® LLC on America’s Real Deal TV show, to reach upwards of 10 million viewers.

    They are trying to make money! They have no product nor evidence it works at any level and yet they are trying to sell shares!

    Look I know you want to see the best in people but these money grubbing bastards don’t deserve a moments attention except to debunk them.

    Ultimately, he said, they can read and draw without using Braille.

    https://www.deseret.com/platform/amp/1999/9/4/19464034/blind-who-see-intrigue-their-audience-br-demonstration-of-martial-art-is-a-little-eerie

    That was said over 20 years ago. Now, in all that time I suspect an actual blind person who can read without Braille would have made the news in all that time.

    Find them! Find a single person who has achieved that!

    Patti Ehle, a legally blind Ogden resident (she has no peripheral vision and sees out of one eye) who attended at Glidden’s request, came away intrigued but not necessarily a believer.

    “When I watch this I think these people have practiced really hard,” she said. “I don’t mean to write them off. They know something that I don’t know or don’t understand.”

    It seems the legally blind have better vision then CharlieM…

    Nicole has been a participant for a few years and she has a youtube channel which gives a very brief documentary of her progress. This video from “Nicole’s Vision Voyage” is the latest of a series of videos summarizing her journey on her “Vibravision” course.

    She has three other blind friends who also participate, Michael Armstrong, who I’ve previously linked to, his wife, Tiffany, and Lily Vu. Nicole’s video shows how slow her progress has been, but nobody said it would be easy. She is obviously very determined and unless she is in league with her friends to deliberately fool everyone, her hard work is paying dividends.

    I say good luck to her and her mates.

  16. OMagain:
    CharlieM: The same type of phenomenon is “likely not an illusion after all”!

    OMagain: Yes, it’s not an illusion because it’s real! It happens.

    Then tell that to Corneel.

    OMagain: It’s just not “seeing” at any level, it’s an awareness of your body location that produces a “visual” representation. There’s nothing “supernatrual” going on.

    If it’s not seeing at any level why do their eyes track the movement and why do they report having an indistinct but obviously visual image?

    Who is claiming anything supernatural?

    OMagain quoting DNA_Jock: “Very few” may well equal “not above random” or “auditory leakage”. You might want to ease up on the condescension, and, if you are claiming that it is “third eye vision” rather than simple synesthesia, provide your explanation for why it should matter at all whose hand it is.
    I have tried to explain to you previously that some degree of cross-talk between the different sense modalities is the norm, that what we visually “perceive” is a confection created by our brains, and the people that we call “synesthetes” are merely outliers along a continuum. Your ongoing ignorance supports Corneel’s observation that you are not interested in the physics.
    You just like the story.

    Can’t you read Charlie?

    Fucks sake!

    In what way does the physics of the senses explain the consciousness of sense perception.

    According to Rudolf Steiner we have, not five, six or seven senses, but twelve. And one of those involves a sense of our bodily position in space. But those people being tested seemed to be having some sort of visual experience. The experimenters claimed that their eyes were tracking as if they were following an external moving object and this does not happen when ones eyes move while tracking an imaginary object.

    Synesthesia is quite understandable. The senses give us a disconnected impression of the world and with our minds we are constantly trying to return it to its unified whole. Combining sense impressions is a perfectly natural human trait.

    I’ll repeat, I have never claimed anything about “third-eye vision”. If bats can use vibrations to visualize their environment, why is it difficult to understand that humans might have similar abilities but in a very reduced and fleeting form which is normally drowned out by the bright light of our normal vision.

  17. OMagain pasted from here:
    “STEP 3

    Next, creating a 3-D playback of the EEG playback model to analyze the brainwave voxels, 5mm x 5mm x 5mm cubes in the brain. The video playback of the brain allows for unique analysis of the brainwave activity in different areas of the brain, in different frequency ranges under different conditions makes it ready for the neuroscience interpretation of brainwave activity. From this analysis protocols can be created so that the brain of an individual can be trained to perform the functions accurately.

    STEP 4

    Once analysis has been completed, protocols for training the individual’s brain seeking to utilize Vibravision ® techniques and reaching higher states of consciousness are developed and are ready for teaching.

    The Vibravision Foundation plans on increased research into the Vibravision ability with other neuroscience and vision specialists in the near future so that this can be not only be best understood, but replicated with the highest degree of efficacy.”

    OMagain: That’s apparently how they do what they do. So that all sounds very “scientific”. So who has reached these higher levels and what powers can they now demonstrate?

    Oh, of course, we can’t ask them to demonstrate their “powers” in any kind of controlled manner. Oh no. We just have to take it on faith that they are really doing it because there’s no real way to actually test them and they can go on their merry way making their un-testable claims and banking all that $.

    That you support these people is despicable. I imagine there were excited people out there thinking they could regain some sight and have been left out of pocket and bitterly disappointed.

    I’ve given links to testimonies of blind people who endorse the course. Do you have links to complaints by people that you are imagining are out there?

  18. OMagain:
    If we had such powers evolution would have leveraged those instead of costly and easily damaged eyes. Case closed!

    If evolution cared about cost and fragility, prokaryotes would be the only life forms on the planet.

    I think you are taking the power of ocular vision for granted.

    I find it strange that people promote the standard account of evolution by jumping on the smallest hint of it by pointing to such things as beak shape or insect colouration. But if they are asked to consider that humans might become capable in the slightest of developing additional ways of sensing, they don’t consider it in evolutionary terms. Could this be because they are fixated with quelling anything their beliefs tell them has to do with “supernatural woo”? What if it is a perfectly natural advancement in the realm of the senses? Are we allowed to consider this or would it be better to believe that evolution has come to a standstill?

  19. CharlieM: There were obvious problems with the way the blindfolds were being fitted and the language barrier prevented proper communication.

    To be clear, you just quoted this: After over 45 minutes of delays, he managed to free the blindfold enough to see (which is caught completely on video tape). The clearly-loose blindfold was reapplied at which point the subject became distressed again.

    The person being tested was cheating! The “obvious problem” with the blindfold was that it was working!

    CharlieM: This video from “Nicole’s Vision Voyage” is the latest of a series of videos summarizing her journey on her “Vibravision” course.

    It’s a video of someone talking, not demonstrating. It means nothing.

    CharlieM: She is obviously very determined and unless she is in league with her friends to deliberately fool everyone, her hard work is paying dividends.

    Desperation leads to a lack of judgement. It’s preyed upon by the sort of people it turns out you are a fan of. For shame.

  20. CharlieM: Then tell that to Corneel.

    “Real” in this sense means I experience it. Whatever you experience is “real”.

    That may or may not concord with external reality in an objective fashion.

    When I can visualize my own body directly and “see” it that’s “real” insofar as it’s happening to me but I know it’s not “real” in the sense that e.g. photons are not being exchanged etc.

    Cornell, you got that from what I’ve said already?

    CharlieM: If it’s not seeing at any level why do their eyes track the movement and why do they report having an indistinct but obviously visual image?

    I’d be interested to hear the results if you also blocked their ears….

    And I’ve already explained why they have a “indistinct but obvious visual image” in my opinion. We hallucinate our reality, it appears: https://www.businessinsider.com/neuroscientist-explains-why-reality-hallucination-meaning-2018-3?r=US&IR=T

    So we annotate where we can.

    CharlieM: If bats can use vibrations to visualize their environment, why is it difficult to understand that humans might have similar abilities but in a very reduced and fleeting form which is normally drowned out by the bright light of our normal vision.

    Honestly, this is shocking. What organ do we use for this then?

  21. CharlieM: I’ve given links to testimonies of blind people who endorse the course. Do you have links to complaints by people that you are imagining are out there?

    As a matter of fact, yes, there are review sites with negative reviews for their course. Go do your own research if you really care about the truth of this.

  22. CharlieM: But if they are asked to consider that humans might become capable in the slightest of developing additional ways of sensing, they don’t consider it in evolutionary terms. Could this be because they are fixated with quelling anything their beliefs tell them has to do with “supernatural woo”? What if it is a perfectly natural advancement in the realm of the senses? Are we allowed to consider this or would it be better to believe that evolution has come to a standstill?

    It’s in fact your ignorance that is holding you back. You inability to differentiate woo from actual science has left you ignorant in many respects.

    Learn to “see” polarized light: https://theconversation.com/polarised-light-and-the-super-sense-you-didnt-know-you-had-44032

    We have many more then five senses: https://www.considerable.com/health/healthy-living/humans-five-senses/

    People have been claiming to have all sorts of powers and nothing ever comes of it:
    https://www.nytimes.com/1964/03/15/archives/we-have-more-than-five-senses-most-people-take-the-faculties-of.html

    Our own scientists received the news with skepticism. But such first impressions soon turned to wonder with the revelation that an American psychologist, Dr. Richard P. Youtz of Barnard College, had tested an American woman who can identify colors by touch alone. Meanwhile, the Russians claim to have turned up two more cases of fingertip seeing, and have had their leading scientists doublecheck the earlier findings. There seem to be strong indications that certain human beings may indeed possess this “sixth” sense.

    Since 1964 you’d think this would have developed into an actual science.

    Did you know that until recently there was a person whose job it was was to detect imperfections in metal spheres? His fingertip sensitively could detect imperfections that the machine tools at the time could not (I believe it was in reference to the standard weights).

    The difference is that we can test his claim by checking the surface directly. We can test the claims of those who claim they can detect color with their fingertips easily (and that’s why we hear nothing about them today).

    So in short, only one of us has a closed mind and it’s not me. It’s you, as you reject the very notion that such abilities can be tested! And as such you are prey to every con man out there with snake oil to sell…..

  23. OMagain: So we annotate where we can.

    I vividly remember (irony noted) watching a hypnotist’s performance at a May Ball many years ago. He told two hypnotized women that the glasses he was giving them gave them X-ray vision, such that they enabled them to see people as if they were naked.
    The effect was hilarious. The first gal very casually put the glasses on, did a MASSIVE double take, lifted them, put them on, lifted them, and put them back on, jaw on the ground. Then she pointed at a member of the audience 40 feet in front of her, pointing at his groin and enthusiastically elbowing her friend. They both had a good laugh at his genitals, much to his (and his date’s) chagrin.
    At the time, I thought “but how can they know what his genitals look like?”, then I realized: it doesn’t matter — whatever they hallucinate will be consistent with their expectation — no correlation with reality is needed, in this situation.
    This is just an extreme example of how perception (especially visual and auditory) works.
    Cue Charlie copypasta some deepity about hypnosis.

  24. DNA_Jock: This is just an extreme example of how perception (especially visual and auditory) works.

    I have many books full of optical illusions of all sorts.

    Color constancy is one of the strangest as we experience it constantly but never really notice. One example is when we leave a dark room and enter a sunlit area. All the color is washed out but our brains fill it in while our eyes adjust.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight is another very strange thing that illustrates the many things that can go wrong with normal visual processing.

  25. OMagain: Cornell, you got that from what I’ve said already?

    Yes, Charlie appears to get hung up on the word “illusion”, but it should be clear what is meant: a visual perception without optical input.

  26. DNA_Jock:
    Charlie, you wrote:

    CharlieM: So he had enough confidence in them to invest in spite of the Randi trial. And also for them to be scrutinized while competing in “America’s Real Deal”.

    DNA_Jock: It’s truly sweet that you think Adam ponied up any cash in exchange for his 20% stake in Vibravision.

    Someone can invest other things besides money. How about time and effort. And don’t you think there was a financial cost in setting up ISM (Independent Stock Market)?

    But you tell me, how obvious was it that Adam was trying to drum up retail investors for a company that he had a $1.4M stake in? Could you give me the timestamp in the video for when he disclosed this key fact?

    And if he had made obvious the details of his stake in any of the companies don’t you think that would have biased the competition?

    CharlieM: And you’re sure that her main interest is in making money and not for the love of the children?

    DNA_Jock: No, what a silly strawman. Are you sure that she is just in it for the love of the children, and not the £70/hr for ‘readings’?

    Nothing is so black and white. What does the figure of £70/hr have to do with the ICU Academy (Inspiring Children Universally) and her children’s lessons?

    DNA_Jock: I just have my suspicions that she has a financial motive for not exposing the kids to any no-cheating tests.

    How would the children benefit from such tests?

    CharlieM: Do you agree that according to what was written in the Rochester article it would appear that some people can indeed perceive other hands apart from their own?

    DNA_Jock: Nope. That’s what ‘auditory leakage’ was meant to convey.

    A small percentage of people were able to see the motion when the experimenters hand was moving. It doesn’t matter how the sensory input reached their consciousness, they reported seeing an image. And so if it was through the auditory channel then the signal must have been going to the visual cortex or that whatever area of the brain it is going to is acting like the visual cortex. Does this make it less real than receiving visual inputs through the eyes and optic nerve? This inner visual perception is matching an actual external event.

    I do enjoy your asserting that it is the ‘thinking individual’ rather than their CNS, that does all the processing.

    And you talk about strawmen! There is a difference between physical processes and the instigation of these processes. What happens if I see an image that upsets me? If I close me eyes and turn my head away, is that purely because of physical processes?

    DNA+Jock: And we know that it is not “combining an external reality that the senses had separated”, because we study ways to fool it into combining to produce a perception that does not correspond to any external reality.
    Sheeesh.

    Fool what? Two separate signals from the optic nerve arrive at the brain. We see what is taken to be a three dimensional external reality. It could be a set up such as the room with angles that just give the appearance of receding perspective but the corners are not actually right angles. Can you tell me, at what point does this become a deception?

    DNA_Jock: Why does it matter at all whose hand it is?

    Because that rules out proprioception.

  27. CharlieM: Because that rules out proprioception.

    Oh oh, this almost sounds like science!

    What else can we rule out CharlieM and how can we do it? What about playing loud white noise at the same time?

    How could we rule out that people are seeing though badly fitting blindfolds, for example?

    Did you know that the eye can respond to a single photon? But that neural filters only allow a signal to pass to the brain to trigger a conscious response when at least about five to nine arrive within less than 100 ms.

    So it might be dark but is it totally dark?

    The point here is that there are many avenues to explore before we go “oh, people can see without their eyes”.

    That you want to blindly throw money at these people right now is amusing.

  28. CharlieM: A small percentage of people were able to see the motion when the experimenters hand was moving. It doesn’t matter how the sensory input reached their consciousness, they reported seeing an image. And so if it was through the auditory channel then the signal must have been going to the visual cortex or that whatever area of the brain it is going to is acting like the visual cortex. Does this make it less real than receiving visual inputs through the eyes and optic nerve? This inner visual perception is matching an actual external event.

    So, are you trying to say that Vibravision is basically sonar for blind people and they can reconstruct a visual image, or close enough, using essentially sound “vibrations”?

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2145962-this-is-how-some-blind-people-are-able-to-echolocate-like-bats/

    Old news.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_echolocation

    Blind from birth, Juan Ruiz lives in Los Angeles, California. He appeared in the first episode of Stan Lee’s Superhumans, titled “Electro Man”. The episode showed him capable of riding a bicycle, avoiding parked cars and other obstacles, and identifying nearby objects. He entered and exited a cave, where he determined its length and other features.

    https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x17009d

    Nobody is denying that senses can be used in unexpected ways. It’s just the relentless deference to “woo” and dismissal of those people trying to put those claims on a solid footing that’s so awful.

    Not a single objection to “woo” is valid for you or phoodoo. What good company you are in!

  29. OMagain:
    CharlieM: But do you honestly see an image as they represent here? Or do you have a very good idea of its position but see nothing until you open your eyes?

    OMagain: I am not a good example. I can bring complex visualizations to my minds eye that approach actually seeing things if I concentrate enough. I can “see” my body when I get close to sleep. Things are blue. So I can already “do” far beyond what is claimed here, and I consider it a mere trifle. It’s nothing. I’ve never mentioned it before this.

    So would you be able to have a visual image of the hand of another person moving in total darkness?

    OMagain: It’s how we work. It’s not supernatural. I live inside and simultaneously am my body and my body and mind are inside each other yet separate.

    I’m glad we agree that it’s not supernatural. I’ve mentioned this already but it’s good to stress that point.

    OMagain: And yet at the same time, so very very stupid and easily fooled into believing almost anything at all!

    https://www.nature.com/articles/srep18345

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sxwn1w7MJvk

    People can be stupid, brains can’t.

    OMagain: You are a conscious being riding on a sea of unconscious filters. It’s why we have to work so hard to not be fooled!

    Hence the maxim, “Know Thyself”>

    OMagain: About 12% of people manage to fool Penn and Teller: https://www.looper.com/177614/the-untold-truth-of-penn-teller-fool-us/

    And they are professional slight of hand magicians of long standing.

    They may be fooled as to how it is done, but they are not fooled when it comes to knowing that trickery is involved.

    OMagain: Scientists have no training in being fooled. It’s why a more rigorous setup is needed then the standard “trust” model. Trust has to be removed from the equation.

    But how can the observer effect be removed?

    CharlieM: I don’t believe the atmosphere and the procedures required in the Randi trial were conducive to achieving a fair performance. I can’t see how they were expected to perform with all the distractions and stipulations made at short notice.

    I’m sure they learned from the experience and have been, and continue to be, much more wary of partaking in experiments as biased.as that one.

    OMagain: And yet we can find not a single example of a fair trial under controlled circumstances giving a fair performance.

    Unless you know of such?

    I’m not sure what you mean by a fair performance. There have been reports of people being able to get visual information from their fingers for some time. Here is a video showing a research assistant from Birtbeck College, London demonstrating a test he has performed on himself. He says there is a mystery to be solved. I don’t know if he published any of his results.

    There seems to be a lot of closed minds around who think that this is impossible. But what do we actually know? We know that some synesthetes perceive colours or shapes along with other sense impressions. We know that there are photoreceptors in the skin. We know that there can be “crosstalk” along neural pathways. We know that some people report visual images matching external events in total darkness. All of this suggests that the ability should not be dismissed offhand.

  30. OMagain:
    So what I suppose I’m saying is that to me it “feels” like I’m “seeing” even though I know for a fact that I am not! It was quite confusing at first! The same part of the brain seems to be activated as when I really am seeing, or at least enough of it so it feels like seeing.

    So I can 100% believe that these people are “feeling” like they are seeing. But they are not, at least if my experience is at all relatable. And I think we both know it is.

    Are memory pictures real or are they an illusion? Why should images in the mind’s eye be “seen” as less real than images perceived through the eye?

    Here is an interesting finding. Some caterpillars can see through their skin The peppered moth gives us a further demonstration of its talents at hiding in plain site. 🙂

    They write:

    Peppered moth caterpillars are masters of masquerade. They look and act like the twigs in their environment, even changing colour to create a closer likeness. Remarkably, they can still do this when blindfolded. This ability is suggestive of colour-sensitive visual machinery outside of the eye that allows larvae to stay camouflaged in rapidly changing environments.

    Of course they could be cheating by peeking down their noses under the blindfold. 🙂

  31. Corneel:
    CharlieM: Did you actually read the link? They write:

    “The study seems to confirm anecdotal reports that spelunkers in lightless caves often are able to see their hands. In other words, the “spelunker illusion,” as one blogger dubbed it, is likely not an illusion after all.”

    The same type of phenomenon is “likely not an illusion after all”!

    Corneel: Yes I read and understood the text. Did you understand the text behind the link? They explain quite clearly that the perception of form and movement is real but not based on optical input. This is phenomenology in action. You should love it.

    If you mean that the perception does not arise from signals coming in from the optic nerves then I can believe that. Nothing I said is at odds with that.

    Corneel: As you appear to be taking issue with their explanation, will you please tell us what you believe to be going on? Can you also explain how it fits the observations that synesthetes experience the phenomenon more strongly and that it seems mostly limited to self-movement?

    Where exactly have I taken issue with their explanation?

    This is obviously a skill that not everyone has. But can it be developed through effort and practice? Some see nothing, others see their own hands, and a select few see the hands of other people.

    If we think about a skill like driving, some cannot drive, many can drive and a select few are world champion racing drivers. Some people are naturally good at it and others have to expend a lot of effort practicing. Why should this way of sensing be any different?

  32. Alan Fox:
    Corneel: Can you also explain how it fits the observations that synesthetes experience the phenomenon more strongly and that it seems mostly limited to self-movement?

    Alan Fox: *butts in*

    I often find, when I think about it, that I have an idea where my arms and legs, hands and feet are without looking Then I look just to check…

    And there they are!

    It’s now a well known phenomenon. Steiner described the inner senses over one hundred years ago:

    The sense of movement makes you aware of all these inner movements that entail changes in the position of separate parts of the organism.

    Coupled with the sense of balance and other senses this allows us to move around and function in the world without constantly falling over.

  33. CharlieM: A small percentage of people were able to see the motion when the experimenters hand was moving. It doesn’t matter how the sensory input reached their consciousness, they reported seeing an image. And so if it was through the auditory channel then the signal must have been going to the visual cortex or that whatever area of the brain it is going to is acting like the visual cortex.

    [emphasis added]

    CharlieM: Some see nothing, others see their own hands, and a select few see the hands of other people.

    Nope.
    Couple of problems with what you are claiming here.
    Firstly, in order to try to manage the effect of subject expectations, subjects were tested twice. They were told (in a deception protocol) that the study was about “visual sensitivity to motion under low lighting conditions” and that they would wear a blindfold that blocks all light in one trial, and a blindfold that “may allow a small amount of light to pass through” in the other trial. They were even shown two apparently different blindfolds, but did not know the order in which they would be applied. In this way, if they saw nothing at trial one, they might expect to see something in trial two, and if they saw something in trial one, they would expect to see nothing in trial two.
    With this protocol, when subjects were waving their own hands, 50% reported a visual sensation on the first test and, of those, 44% also reported a visual sensation on the second test, despite expecting a total blindfold.
    How did they do when it was the experimenter’s hand? On the first test ZERO out of 16 reported any visual sensation at all, and on the second test, with the “probably the leaky blindfold” encouragement, a stupendous 2 out of 16 *reported* a visual sensation.
    Not that it matters, but the experimenter called out “left” and “right” when his hand reached the endpoints, so the subjects KNEW where the hand was. Auditory leakage don’t enter into it.

    Now, according to you, these subjects “reported seeing an image”. No, they did not: one of the 16 reported ‘a visual sensation’ (but no motion), and the other reported ‘a visual sensation of motion’, neither reported ‘any discernable shape or form’.

  34. OMagain:
    CharlieM: There were obvious problems with the way the blindfolds were being fitted and the language barrier prevented proper communication.

    OMagain: To be clear, you just quoted this: “After over 45 minutes of delays, he managed to free the blindfold enough to see (which is caught completely on video tape). The clearly-loose blindfold was reapplied at which point the subject became distressed again.”

    The person being tested was cheating! The “obvious problem” with the blindfold was that it was working!

    Or another possibility was that he was in a state of discomfort and pain because alcohol had got into his eyes. And the Vibravision team say they have video evidence of his eyes being cleaned in a way which would have caused some alcohol to enter his eyes. I haven’t seen either video so I’m not in a position to comment on which is the more likely.

    CharlieM: This video from “Nicole’s Vision Voyage” is the latest of a series of videos summarizing her journey on her “Vibravision” course.

    It’s a video of someone talking, not demonstrating. It means nothing.

    It does mean that she is either lying about the experiences she had or they were genuine.

    CharlieM: She is obviously very determined and unless she is in league with her friends to deliberately fool everyone, her hard work is paying dividends.

    OMagain: Desperation leads to a lack of judgement. It’s preyed upon by the sort of people it turns out you are a fan of. For shame.

    So she could avoid poles because she fleetingly imagined she was having a visual sense of their position?

  35. CharlieM: Me: As you appear to be taking issue with their explanation, will you please tell us what you believe to be going on? Can you also explain how it fits the observations that synesthetes experience the phenomenon more strongly and that it seems mostly limited to self-movement?

    Charlie: Where exactly have I taken issue with their explanation?

    This is obviously a skill that not everyone has. But can it be developed through effort and practice? Some see nothing, others see their own hands, and a select few see the hands of other people.

    If we think about a skill like driving, some cannot drive, many can drive and a select few are world champion racing drivers. Some people are naturally good at it and others have to expend a lot of effort practicing. Why should this way of sensing be any different?

    Charlie, you are all over the place again.

    I assume you brought this up because you thought it was relevant to the Farmer children reading books while blindfolded. Do you believe those kids experience visual sensations because of sensory leakage from kinesthesis? Then you’ll have to deal with the fact that this sense is limited to tracking self-movement. Perhaps you believe they use echolocation like bats do, yet I didn’t notice them screaming at Frank. They certainly didn’t look like caterpillars to me.

    If you have some other explanation please tell us what you believe to be going on. If you cannot come up with anything tangible, then I apologize but then I have no choice but sticking with the most parsimonuous explanation. Discoveries of completely new senses in humans are pretty rare, but charlatans are a dime a dozen. Also a word to the wise: If you refuse to accept the most plausible explanation while being incapable of formulating any sort of reasonable alternative, then it is you, not the critics, that has a closed mind.

  36. DNA_Jock: They were told (in a deception protocol) that the study was about “visual sensitivity to motion under low lighting conditions”

    Sweet, you found the paper. The link from the press release only leads to an abstract.

  37. I know for a fact that there are many things that people claim they can do which is actually not true. For instance, making a free-throw in basketball from the free-throw line. I am so confident it can’t be done, I am now offering 2 million instead of Randi’s measly 1 million if anyone can prove they can do it.

    Of course first I must rub alcohol into the eyes of anyone who tries, and possibly I my have to apply some apparatus to their arms and legs to make sure they are not cheating, and maybe I will burn their skin with some heating elements beforehand, and its going to take a few years to arrange, but hey, its my rules…

    Fucking hell, what an idiot.

  38. OMagain:
    CharlieM: Then tell that to Corneel.

    OMagain: “Real” in this sense means I experience it. Whatever you experience is “real”.

    That may or may not concord with external reality in an objective fashion.

    When I can visualize my own body directly and “see” it that’s “real” insofar as it’s happening to me but I know it’s not “real” in the sense that e.g. photons are not being exchanged etc.

    Cornell, you got that from what I’ve said already?

    Determining any “reality” is very difficult from a modern perspective. From this Owen Barfield website

    If we have imprisoned ourselves in the modern mind-set, we would do well to remember, Barfield observes in “Language and Discovery,” that there may be two equally confining cells from which we must free ourselves: “the ‘non-objectifying’ subjectivity, in which the humanities are immured, and the adjoining cell of subjectless objectivity, where science is locked and bolted; and maybe the first step toward escape for the two prisoners of language is to establish communications with one another”

    There can be no such thing as a totally objective onlooker, nor can there be a wholly subjective point of view. Subjective/objective are not a duality, they are opposite poles of a continuum which are never reached.

    And of course scientific advancements are beginning to discover that the onlooker cannot be entirely separated from the “object” under observation.

    CharlieM: If it’s not seeing at any level why do their eyes track the movement and why do they report having an indistinct but obviously visual image?

    OMagain: I’d be interested to hear the results if you also blocked their ears….

    So would I, and any further research along these lines.

    OMagain: And I’ve already explained why they have a “indistinct but obvious visual image” in my opinion. We hallucinate our reality, it appears: https://www.businessinsider.com/neuroscientist-explains-why-reality-hallucination-meaning-2018-3?r=US&IR=T

    So we annotate where we can.

    Anil Seth just transfers the problem of consciousness from the person to the brain. He says:

    Brain brings to bear its prior expectations about what’s out there in order to interpret this massive, noisy, and ambiguous sensory information that it continually encounters…

    It’s easy to assume that we see with our eyes. In fact, we see with our brains. Our eyes are of course necessary, but what we actually end up perceiving is much more a product of how our brain interprets all this information from the eyes than the eyes being this window into an objective external reality. And when the balance is disturbed between how the brain interprets sensory information and what the sensory information actually is, well, that’s when people start to see things that other people don’t, and that’s what we call hallucination.

    According to him the brain has “expectations”, it “interprets information”. He’s trapped in his subjective/objective dualism.

    CharlieM: If bats can use vibrations to visualize their environment, why is it difficult to understand that humans might have similar abilities but in a very reduced and fleeting form which is normally drowned out by the bright light of our normal vision.

    Honestly, this is shocking. What organ do we use for this then?

    The same organ that receives any signal transmitted by the senses, the brain. And I would hazard a guess that the point of entry of the incoming signal would be the skin.

  39. phoodoo:
    I know for a fact that there are many things that people claim they can do which is actually not true.For instance, making a free-throw in basketball from the free-throw line.I am so confident it can’t be done, I am now offering 2 million instead of Randi’s measly 1 million if anyone can prove they can do it.

    Of course first I must rub alcohol into the eyes of anyone who tries, and possibly I my have to apply some apparatus to their arms and legs to make sure they are not cheating, and maybe I will burn their skin with some heating elements beforehand, and its going to take a few years to arrange, but hey, its my rules…

    Fucking hell, what an idiot.

    Perhaps some actual examples of Randi’s unnecessary stipulations would be a more persuasive argument for the ax you want to grind.

  40. OMagain:
    CharlieM: I’ve given links to testimonies of blind people who endorse the course. Do you have links to complaints by people that you are imagining are out there?

    OMagain: As a matter of fact, yes, there are review sites with negative reviews for their course. Go do your own research if you really care about the truth of this.

    I have found a few with some overlap.

    bestprosintown.com

    Dustinmh23: All of my life I wanted to be a master pretender. Thanks to MP USA I earned my master pretender belt in 3 weeks. Their intense course of non training was one of the most difficult and fulfilling times of my life. I’m actually typing this with my eyes closed while walking through traffic

    Mikhabe F: This place is great i learnt to walk through walls and how to fly. Also I learnt to shoot lasers out of my eyes. I only gave them 1 star because they couldn’t cure my baldness.

    Altogether 14 revues, 11 five star, 1 four star, 2 one star.

    chamberofcommerce.com

    Total: 103 reviews: 92 five star, 1 four star, 1 three star, 9 one star.

    The two jokers quoted above also wrote the same reviews here.

  41. OMagain:
    CharlieM: But if they are asked to consider that humans might become capable in the slightest of developing additional ways of sensing, they don’t consider it in evolutionary terms. Could this be because they are fixated with quelling anything their beliefs tell them has to do with “supernatural woo”? What if it is a perfectly natural advancement in the realm of the senses? Are we allowed to consider this or would it be better to believe that evolution has come to a standstill?

    OMagain: It’s in fact your ignorance that is holding you back. You inability to differentiate woo from actual science has left you ignorant in many respects.

    Thankyou for pointing out my shortcomings, it’s much appreciated. 🙂

    OMagain: Learn to “see” polarized light: https://theconversation.com/polarised-light-and-the-super-sense-you-didnt-know-you-had-44032

    I’m sure that will come in very handy. 🙂

    OMagain: We have many more then five senses: https://www.considerable.com/health/healthy-living/humans-five-senses/

    True.

    OMagain: People have been claiming to have all sorts of powers and nothing ever comes of it:
    https://www.nytimes.com/1964/03/15/archives/we-have-more-than-five-senses-most-people-take-the-faculties-of.html

    “Our own scientists received the news with skepticism. But such first impressions soon turned to wonder with the revelation that an American psychologist, Dr. Richard P. Youtz of Barnard College, had tested an American woman who can identify colors by touch alone. Meanwhile, the Russians claim to have turned up two more cases of fingertip seeing, and have had their leading scientists doublecheck the earlier findings. There seem to be strong indications that certain human beings may indeed possess this “sixth” sense.”

    Since 1964 you’d think this would have developed into an actual science.

    I don’t think many researchers would want to get involved in that field in case they get labelled as purveyors of woo.

    OMagain: Did you know that until recently there was a person whose job it was was to detect imperfections in metal spheres? His fingertip sensitively could detect imperfections that the machine tools at the time could not (I believe it was in reference to the standard weights).

    The difference is that we can test his claim by checking the surface directly. We can test the claims of those who claim they can detect color with their fingertips easily (and that’s why we hear nothing about them today).

    So in short, only one of us has a closed mind and it’s not me. It’s you, as you reject the very notion that such abilities can be tested! And as such you are prey to every con man out there with snake oil to sell…..

    I’m sure they could be tested in the right conditions.

  42. DNA_Jock: to OMagain:

    OMagain: So we annotate where we can.

    DNA-Jock: I vividly remember (irony noted) watching a hypnotist’s performance at a May Ball many years ago. He told two hypnotized women that the glasses he was giving them gave them X-ray vision, such that they enabled them to see people as if they were naked.
    The effect was hilarious. The first gal very casually put the glasses on, did a MASSIVE double take, lifted them, put them on, lifted them, and put them back on, jaw on the ground. Then she pointed at a member of the audience 40 feet in front of her, pointing at his groin and enthusiastically elbowing her friend. They both had a good laugh at his genitals, much to his (and his date’s) chagrin.
    At the time, I thought “but how can they know what his genitals look like?”, then I realized: it doesn’t matter — whatever they hallucinate will be consistent with their expectation — no correlation with reality is needed, in this situation.
    This is just an extreme example of how perception (especially visual and auditory) works.
    Cue Charlie copypasta some deepity about hypnosis

    My wife and I went to a show once and the hypnotist took a group of the most susceptible onto the stage. He told them they were drinking their favourite tipple. Pretty soon they were all falling about the stage (except one woman who insisted that her favourite tipple was tea).

    At the interval after my wife had returned from the toilet, I asked her what had taken her so long. She said she couldn’t get near any of the cubicles because they were all occupied by women throwing up.

    Some people can’t hold their imaginary drink. 🙂

  43. OMagain: to DNA_Jock:
    DNA_Jock: This is just an extreme example of how perception (especially visual and auditory) works.

    OMagain: I have many books full of optical illusions of all sorts.

    Color constancy is one of the strangest as we experience it constantly but never really notice. One example is when we leave a dark room and enter a sunlit area. All the color is washed out but our brains fill it in while our eyes adjust.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight is another very strange thing that illustrates the many things that can go wrong with normal visual processing.

    Goethe noticed. From psychology.fandom.com
    Physicists have come to understand, however, the distinction between the optical spectrum, as observed by Newton, and the phenomenon of human perception of colour. Developments in understanding how the brain interprets colours, for example colour constancy and Edwin Land’s retinex theory, bear striking similarities to Goethe’s theory of colours—particularly his focus on brightness and contrast as the determining factors of colour perception.

  44. phoodoo: https://maccaboard.paulmccartney.com/forum/thread/34171

    It is conceivable velikovskys might not be persuaded by this guy. A little googling unearthed this piece on “The Visions of Robert Lindblad”:

    The whole thing just doesn’t pass the most basic smell test. To see if my instincts were right, I called the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM). Sergeant Ian Lafrenière, one of their press flacks, told me that the police don’t elicit help from psychics. If they receive information from a psychic, they’ll look into it, but it’s usually a waste of time. When I asked him if this information ever helped with investigations, he took a contemplative pause. Maybe, for a split-second, he was imagining a world where policing could be that easy — another pleasant delusion. But then he sighed and said, “Honestly, no.”

    Lindblad does not strike me as a reliable source.

  45. Corneel: to OMagain:
    OMagain: Cornell, you got that from what I’ve said already?

    Corneel: Yes, Charlie appears to get hung up on the word “illusion”, but it should be clear what is meant: a visual perception without optical input.

    I’ve come to the conclusion that there’s much confusion and delusion about what constitutes an illusion. 🙂

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