Brian Dunning, Is the “Skeptical Thing” Over? |363|

#21
It's not over yet, but I've seen plenty of internet people punching back and defending their right to believe or enjoy the testimony of others or even to make their own declarations about things that have happened to them. ("Who you going to believe, me or your lying eyes?") Even in places like reddit where skeptics and herd mentalities rule, instead of cowering when scolded by a skeptic, people will send it right back if the person seems to be a knee-jerk reductionist who can't escape their own worldview. Even the argument, "if you don't believe in UFOs, why are you on the UFO subreddit?" is pretty damning and can shut someone up right quick. The skeptics rose up and overthrew the religious bullies, became science bullies, now they're almost pitied because more and more people can see how they've basically chosen to all agree to a belief system (and it's a Newtonian one at that! i've been watching quantum discoveries and stuff like this lately... the chance that we perceive reality exactly as it is is scientifically ZERO. We might possibly live in a simulation/probability matrix that has redundancy and built in self-correction codes? Honestly it's difficult to even take reality seriously anymore. I've been feeling really floaty. This podcast with Joseph Cambray applying a self-organizing systems model to synchronicity also intrigued me greatly.)

What's the skeptic motivation? They are addicted to telling other people that they're wrong. (Do we have the same motivation from the other side of the issue? Well I refuse to even look at that possibility. NEXT SUBJECT PLEASE!)

The only really interesting thing I took away from this podcast was how many skeptical people still had weird stuff happen to them! Also, that they really seem to want it to be true they just can't allow themselves to care about it until it hits mainstream. Honestly it kind of reminds me of discovering in middle school that "being cool" was bullshit and it was just an arbitrarily decided public agreement that could easily be side-stepped or overwritten.

(How do they not understand that these discoveries are being suppressed in the public conversation? Is there no other example/metaphor we can show a skeptic of the mainstream downplaying something scientifically evident that they now know in hindsight is true? -- I'm drawing a blank on a science example, but for example, the media and our education system will never criticize capitalism. It can get proven over and over that capitalism is unstable, but the media won't touch it and you will never get a 'mainstream consensus' when they control the megaphone.)

We all know that Shermer article with the radio, I was so excited that day I couldn't believe it. That was the greatest thing to happen to skepticism since Phil Plait, Bad Astronomer, gave a speech to skeptics called "Don't Be a Dick."

During the argument about precognition I just wanted Alex to say, "what if we scientifically discover some evidence of a type of retrocausality sending messages to the brain?" but I'm pretty sure Brian would say, "well then I will happily report that when it is accepted by the mainstream."

I don't trust the mainstream as far as I can throw it. Hey, isn't that part of their shtick? Don't trust mainstream science articles, the masses collectively know nothing about science, masses get things massively wrong, but only collectives of scientists will have the real answers to what is and what is not approved science? Something off there.
I loved the Donald Hoffman video: it's a slight pity he seems to avail himself, in part, of a neo-Darwinistic model of evolution, but apart from that, his "desktop" metaphor for what science usually takes to be reality is a memorable one. Wish I'd thought of it, but never mind: now I know about it, I'll be able to use it in future.
 
#23
One of the tendencies I've noticed with sceptics, is if you keep pointing out logical fallacies and don't allow them to get away with sloppy thinking, they'll either implode in flaming and cussing, or crumble before your eyes. People who half an hour earlier were confidently dismissing counter claims as gross stupidity, go on to say things like "you don't know anything about my life", and "why do you hate people so much?" even when there's been no personal attack whatsoever.

This has happened a number of times in internet discussions when I've kept playing a straight bat, avoided provocation but wouldn't be deterred from the issue. Beneath the bravado and hive mentality there are a lot of very insecure individuals using materialism as a life raft. It's a pretty miserable metaphysic, and none of its bombast changes the nihilism at its core.
 
#24
One of the tendencies I've noticed with sceptics, is if you keep pointing out logical fallacies and don't allow them to get away with sloppy thinking, they'll either implode in flaming and cussing, or crumble before your eyes. People who half an hour earlier were confidently dismissing counter claims as gross stupidity, go on to say things like "you don't know anything about my life", and "why do you hate people so much?" even when there's been no personal attack whatsoever.

This has happened a number of times in internet discussions when I've kept playing a straight bat, avoided provocation but wouldn't be deterred from the issue. Beneath the bravado and hive mentality there are a lot of very insecure individuals using materialism as a life raft. It's a pretty miserable metaphysic, and none of its bombast changes the nihilism at its core.
Yes, I noticed that Dunning kept gravitating towards the "you don't like us" theme rather than providing an adequate counter-argument to what Alex had been stating.
 
#26
Yes, I noticed that Dunning kept gravitating towards the "you don't like us" theme rather than providing an adequate counter-argument to what Alex had been stating.
The us thing. An embattled community of well disposed individuals fighting prejudice with logic, and keeping the barbarians at bay. Or the standard model that makes people of alternative views outcasts in research, promotes pharmaceuticals on an industrial scale, refuses to accept any connection between the body count of institutionally atheist regimes and their variety of atheism, and adopts a toxic approach to social media interaction. The Man rewritten as cottage industry.
 
#27
This was a really interesting podcast, after I listened I found the one with Joe Rogan, googled Brian Dunning and was surprised he was still around after a fraud case. However, I must admit I am still not sure about Urli Geller having watched the TV programme where he couldn’t perform at all after James Randi had made some suggestions about the props. Can someone explain this to me, I don’t think Alex should give him wholehearted support if he does sometimes resort to trickery.
 
#28
One of the tendencies I've noticed with sceptics, is if you keep pointing out logical fallacies and don't allow them to get away with sloppy thinking, they'll either implode in flaming and cussing, or crumble before your eyes. People who half an hour earlier were confidently dismissing counter claims as gross stupidity, go on to say things like "you don't know anything about my life", and "why do you hate people so much?" even when there's been no personal attack whatsoever.

This has happened a number of times in internet discussions when I've kept playing a straight bat, avoided provocation but wouldn't be deterred from the issue. Beneath the bravado and hive mentality there are a lot of very insecure individuals using materialism as a life raft. It's a pretty miserable metaphysic, and none of its bombast changes the nihilism at its core.
Can you give a link or two to examples of this phenomenon?

David
 
#29
Can you give a link or two to examples of this phenomenon?

David
I could but then everyone would know the dives I hang out. Seriously though, it's something I've noticed repeatedly, along with "leave it M8, this idiot int worth it" when the logic they see as their own becomes inescapable (abandon ship!). Also industrial levels of sock puppetry. In fact I sometimes think the entire sceptic phenomenon is 5 fanboys cutting and pasting stock answers. I know of one individual who's responsible for about half the sceptical replies on YouTube, and he's gone from supremely confident, reasonably lucid and aggressively adversarial, to rambling and incoherent whenever I reply to a thread containing each of his numerous guises.

The problem is you need time and patience to get through their stock moves to the nitty gritty. I try to spend less time on the internet nowadays.

edit: I should add that I get very little satisfaction from such exchanges, especially as they're so stereotypical, but I am fascinated by the phenomenon of internet scepticism, the disparity between its beleaguered image of itself and the reality and the way in which a small group of suitably motivated individuals can shape an agenda.
 
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#30
This was a really interesting podcast, after I listened I found the one with Joe Rogan, googled Brian Dunning and was surprised he was still around after a fraud case. However, I must admit I am still not sure about Urli Geller having watched the TV programme where he couldn’t perform at all after James Randi had made some suggestions about the props. Can someone explain this to me, I don’t think Alex should give him wholehearted support if he does sometimes resort to trickery.
seems like separate issues to me... Geller's metalist stage act, and performance on the Tonight Show, has no bearing and the parapsy lab tests done on him.

more on Randi and the SRI tests here: www.skepticalinvestigations.org/Examskeptics/Prescott_Randi.html
 
#31
It's interesting that Dunning is still a fan-boy of the skeptical community, which seems to have disowned him since his fraud conviction.

http://skepchick.org/2014/08/brian-dunning-sentenced-to-15-months-in-prison-for-fraud/

As I mentioned in a previous post, Brian Dunning, creator of the Skeptoid podcast and the world’s worst “science” rap video, pled guilty to wire fraud that had allowed him to collect more than $5 million. Sentencing has finally occurred, and the result is 15 months in prison starting on September 2, 2014, followed by three years of supervised release.

This is great news for the skeptic community at large, since it may be a long enough sentence for Dunning to fade from memory and stop publicly representing the very people who are supposedly trying to stop people from defrauding others.
http://skepchick.org/2014/02/the-worst-thing-brian-dunning-has-done-for-skepticism/

Remaining a prominent face of skepticism while awaiting sentencing for fraud is not the worst thing Brian Dunning has done for skepticism. And no, it’s not how he repeatedly gets the science wrong on his podcast, or his casual sexism. No, this is the worst thing Brian Dunning has done for skepticism:

 
#32
Skeptics have low IQs what do you expect, like said poster mentioned, they have stock responses it get boring and wasteful of energy even talking to them
 
#34
On the Scole phenomena that Brian Dunning comments on ... Ref. is The Scole Report (1999). Available from the SPR and Amazon.

"Brian Dunning: It was a big project and they even invited people with expertise in magic. Stage magicians, like Richard Wiseman, came in and observed some of these ..."

No Brian. Wrong. Wiseman was never present in the Scole cellar. In fact from here ... The Scole Report Five Years Later
by Montague Keen and David Fontana
http://www.thescoleexperiment.com/david-fontana-the-scole-report-five-years-later.html


"Those who were present at the Study Day on Scole will remember that Dr (now Professor) Richard Wiseman, who is an experienced magician as well as a rigorous and well-informed critic of psychical research, went on record at the time with the judgement that the Report is 'very impressive', and offered no suggestions as to how the phenomena could be replicated by normal means (which must not of course be taken to imply that he necessarily accepted their paranormality)."

Brian Dunning: "The few people who were there, who were familiar with séance performances, basically came out laughing and saying, “These are silly tricks that have been familiar to séance performers for a hundred years."

No Brian. Wrong. Read in the above link the Magicians' verdict ... "The result is that the magicians' verdict on the Scole phenomena must rest with the three magicians who have already commented upon them. The first of these is James Webster, who has the advantage of actually having been present at three sittings with the Scole Group. It is interesting that although magicians were welcome to attend sittings at Scole only James Webster availed himself of the opportunity."
He actually contributed to The Scole Report.

Also from the link

"A more extensive verdict, and the third of those delivered on the Scole Report by magicians, is by Professor Arthur Hastings of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California, USA. In addition to being a leading psychologist with a long-standing interest in psychical research, Professor Hastings is a highly accomplished magician who has worked professionally in that capacity and continues to give talks and demonstrations on the subject. In his written verdict submitted to us he insists that the phenomena at Scole could not be produced by sleight of hand or trickery. In his own words: 'The behaviours described in the Report are not ones which can be produced by magicians under the close conditions of the Scole investigation, and some can't be produced under any conditions'."

Do your research Brian. It's out there. I mean, it's just ... easy.
 
#35
On the Scole phenomena that Brian Dunning comments on ... Ref. is The Scole Report (1999). Available from the SPR and Amazon.

"Brian Dunning: It was a big project and they even invited people with expertise in magic. Stage magicians, like Richard Wiseman, came in and observed some of these ..."

No Brian. Wrong. Wiseman was never present in the Scole cellar. In fact from here ... The Scole Report Five Years Later
by Montague Keen and David Fontana
http://www.thescoleexperiment.com/david-fontana-the-scole-report-five-years-later.html


"Those who were present at the Study Day on Scole will remember that Dr (now Professor) Richard Wiseman, who is an experienced magician as well as a rigorous and well-informed critic of psychical research, went on record at the time with the judgement that the Report is 'very impressive', and offered no suggestions as to how the phenomena could be replicated by normal means (which must not of course be taken to imply that he necessarily accepted their paranormality)."

Brian Dunning: "The few people who were there, who were familiar with séance performances, basically came out laughing and saying, “These are silly tricks that have been familiar to séance performers for a hundred years."

No Brian. Wrong. Read in the above link the Magicians' verdict ... "The result is that the magicians' verdict on the Scole phenomena must rest with the three magicians who have already commented upon them. The first of these is James Webster, who has the advantage of actually having been present at three sittings with the Scole Group. It is interesting that although magicians were welcome to attend sittings at Scole only James Webster availed himself of the opportunity."
He actually contributed to The Scole Report.

Also from the link

"A more extensive verdict, and the third of those delivered on the Scole Report by magicians, is by Professor Arthur Hastings of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in California, USA. In addition to being a leading psychologist with a long-standing interest in psychical research, Professor Hastings is a highly accomplished magician who has worked professionally in that capacity and continues to give talks and demonstrations on the subject. In his written verdict submitted to us he insists that the phenomena at Scole could not be produced by sleight of hand or trickery. In his own words: 'The behaviours described in the Report are not ones which can be produced by magicians under the close conditions of the Scole investigation, and some can't be produced under any conditions'."

Do your research Brian. It's out there. I mean, it's just ... easy.

Research? From a fraud? He justs wants traffic to his blog and website. Oh wait I can't prove that in a lab
 
#38
Beats me how Alex resisted putting the phone down on such an ignoramus.
So Dunning runs a podcast for people who dismiss paranormal abilities, asks about their psychic experiences and then claims the result is evidence that precognition doesn't exist!
So that's how to do science?!
Contrasted against Alex's knowledge of real science done on the subject, Dunning appeared as bright as a worm - and just as wriggly.
 
#39
So I've been posting about this on another thread, but the skeptical thing is NOT over.
Here's a teaser for a full length strawman documentary they're making:

This lady is not nor was she ever a mystic. You have to be pretty old and well dedicated to receive a title like that (think Gandolf) , she might of been the leader of a new age cult. What I am being taught looks down severely at the watered down "love and light" new age.
 
#40
Beats me how Alex resisted putting the phone down on such an ignoramus.
So Dunning runs a podcast for people who dismiss paranormal abilities, asks about their psychic experiences and then claims the result is evidence that precognition doesn't exist!
So that's how to do science?!
Contrasted against Alex's knowledge of real science done on the subject, Dunning appeared as bright as a worm - and just as wriggly.
thx, then again, that's where it gets interesting. I mean, Brian might be this willfully ignorant, but it's hard to believe folks like Wiseman and his co-conspirators were. makes you wonder what game is really being played.
 
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