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

Discussion in 'Skeptiko Shows' started by Alex, Oct 3, 2017.

  1. Psiclops

    Psiclops Member

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    Never mentioned this before Alex but I always see your profile picture as you trying to type on a car tyre!
     
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  2. David Bailey

    David Bailey Administrator

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    I know exactly what you mean!

    David
     
  3. fredpierce

    fredpierce Member

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    Does anyone know of a support group that focuses on precognitive experiences and how to stop or cope with them?
     
  4. "Is the “Skeptical Thing” Over?"

    In the video below, Scott Adams, who is a trained hypnotist and writer on the psychology of persuasion (in addition to being the author of the comic strip Dilbert), says people are 90% irrational and 10% rational. We make decisions based on emotions not facts. He says you can't be a hypnotist if you don't understand that because otherwise nothing about hypnotism would make sense. He also brings up the argument that evolution selects for reproductive success not rationality. Adams says because people are fundamentally not rational, it is normal for different people to have widely different world views. He gives the example of people who are pro and anti Trump, but it seems to me that it is also true of materialists and non-materialists. So I think we can infer the disagreement between materialists and non-materialists is normal and we should not expect reason (evidence) to make it go away.

    Personally, I find this notion that the existence of differing world views is normal to be somewhat comforting because it indicates the need for acceptance and tolerance rather than conflict and frustration in questions of philosophy and politics.

    I'm pretty sure Adams is a materialist and I think it would be interesting to have him on the podcast to discuss whether he thinks belief in materialism is rational. (I'm pretty sure he will say believe in the paranormal is not rational). Adams says that knowing the techniques of persuasion doesn't necessarily protect you from their effects. He gives the example that pricing things at $9.99 causes more sales than pricing them at $10.00 even though it is obvious to everyone that the price difference is negligible. Adams says even though you can't tell directly if you are suffering from mass hysteria, you can tell indirectly when someone is suffering from it because the signs of cognitive dissonance are inappropriate reactions . He gives the overreaction (name calling, bullying, crying etc) of some anti-Trump voters as an example. According to this logic Adams should also agree that the the name calling and bullying tactics (more here) of pseudo-skeptics are a sign of cognitive dissonance. So I think Adams ought to be willing to acknowledge the possibility that materialism is not rational and might be a form of mass hysteria even if he believes materialism is true.

    Adams also discusses global warming and says that even if CO2 is causing an increase in temperature, long range economic models are worthless so predictions of catastrophe are also worthless.

    When Facts Don't Matter | Scott Adams and Stefan Molyneux
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2017
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  5. KindaGamey

    KindaGamey Member

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    I can't stand Stefan or his economic beliefs (lie-bertarian) or his weird cult and misogynism so even though that sounds like something I'd be really interested in I can't do it. :(

    > He also brings up the argument that evolution selects for reproductive success not rationality.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I realized recently that skeptics exist for a reason. Like, they are a tool that the universe uses to achieve a different sort of things than the navel gazing type. They might need to not be distracted with other matters in order to intently focus on a particular problem/idea/thing, like the mating habits of shrews or whatever. They need to really *invest* in material reality, you know? (Hypnosis: I just said the same thing three times.) It's a magical spell like any other, it just binds them to the illusion harder (not to dismiss the illusion, it's still an expression worth having) and if, like minecraft, the rest of the world isn't really fleshed out until you walk toward it, maybe they're just filling in the finer details. I mean, somebody's got to do it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017
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  6. dpdownsouth

    dpdownsouth Member

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  7. I recommend this facebook group. It is about the afterlife but any discussion about psychic phenomena is welcome. There are many psychics in the group so it is a good place to ask questions.
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/evidenceforafterlife/
     
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  8. I wanted to understand more about this so I looked into some references on persuasion to see how people are influenced by factors other than facts and logic. Adams has a list of recommended books on persuasion and I tried to find information online about what those authors wrote. What I found is that the vast majority of the techniques of persuasion identified by experts are based on psychological or rhetorical "tricks" that have nothing to do with facts and logic. I think that is what Adams means when he says people are not rational.

    Here are some excerpts from Adams reading list on persuasion. I did not list all the books, just examples that help convey what a category is about. See the link for the full list. The full list includes books on skepticism including books by authors such as James Randi that show people are poor judges of objective reality. It also includes books by authors such as Sam Harris that support the belief that we are biological robots "moist robots" .
    http://blog.dilbert.com/2015/09/24/the-persuasion-reading-list/
    Here are some of the techniques of persuasion I found discussed by some authors on the list (Blair Warren and Robert Cialdini) and by some authors not on the list (I have a link to web site about NLP but the page I quoted from does not mention the NLP authors on Adams list: Grinder and Bandler - I don't know if the quote does or does not reflect their views.) Notice that these methods of persuasion do not rely on facts and logic, that is what I think Adams means when he says people are not rational. And there is a difference between not using reason and using faulty reasoning. But even when people are not using reason, if you ask them why they did something, they will give reasons. Our experience is that we think we are rational even when we are not using facts and logic ie reasoning. And by "we" I mean materialists, non-materialists, new-agers, and self identified super-rational "skeptics".
    The subject of persuasion is related to the subject of how internet applications are designed to make you use them compusively which also shows how we are influenced by factors other than facts and logic. In particular we will unconsciously do things that cause the brain to produce chemicals like dopamine that are involved in experiencing pleasure. Here are some links and excerpts on that subject:
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  9. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Try signing up on meetup.com. Loads of groups in your area to look for
     
  10. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Hypnotists practice poor witchcraft
     
  11. cross-posting...
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
  12. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    In what way?
     
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  13. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Its well documented if you care to do the research, that Hypnosis, Reiki, etc are pagan practices
     
  14. malf

    malf Member

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    I’ve been under the impression the hypnotism trades on suggestion and expectation, but I’m keen to look into any links you have. Hopefully those links will also define “pagan practices”. :eek:
     
  15. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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  16. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    Hypnotism is more than suggestion and expectation, I've been to many conferences check them out sometimes
     
  17. malf

    malf Member

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    Thanks. I am well read around the subject. What specifically is the ‘more’ that you refer too?
     
  18. malf

    malf Member

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  19. LetsEat

    LetsEat Member

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    They have been and are in some areas, sure. But I thought we were talking specifically about how hypnosis is Poor witchcraft. By the way I'm a trained hypnotist under HMI, so it's interesting you linked my college.
     
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  20. Baccarat

    Baccarat New

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    I have a friend who is a certified hypnotist got certified in New York by some lady....name is not ringing a bell, hypnosis has been practiced by pagan/witches for a long time

    ladies name might be melissa?
     

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