Community Suggestion Box

Who absolutely must be invited to appear on Skeptiko? Let us hear from you :)
I wouldn't go so far as to say she "must be invited", but I think you might like to interview neuroscientist Dr. Caroline Leaf PhD. I searched the forums and didn't find her mentioned anywere:


https://drleaf.com/blog/what-happens-when-we-truly-understand-and-use-our-minds/
The mind does not emerge from our brain activity. Brain activity, rather, reflects mind activity. Even though the mind controls the brain, the brain feeds back to, and influences, the mind. The brain seats the mind, and therefore the mind influences the physical world through the brain. The mind controls the brain—the power of the brain lies in how we use our minds to change the brain.​

https://drleaf.com/about/
Dr. Caroline Leaf is a cognitive neuroscientist with a PhD in Communication Pathology and a BSc in Logopedics and Audiology, specializing in metacognitive and cognitive neuropsychology. Since the early 1980‘s she has studied and researched the Mind-Brain connection and did some of the initial research back in the late 80s showing the neuroplasticity of the brain.
...
Her passion is to help people see the power of the mind and the link between science and God as a tangible way of controlling their thoughts and emotions, learning how to think and learn and finding their sense of purpose in life.

She frequently lectures to both Christian and secular audiences worldwide, linking scientific principles of the brain to spiritual, intellectual and emotional issues in simple and practical ways.

https://store.drleaf.com/collections/frontpage/products/switch-on-your-brain
What you think with your mind changes your brain and body, and you are designed with the power to switch on your brain. Your mind is that switch. You have an extraordinary ability to determine, achieve, and maintain optimal levels of intelligence, mental health, peace, and happiness, as well as the prevention of disease in your body and mind. You can, through conscious effort, gain control of your thoughts and feelings, and in doing so, you can change the programming and chemistry of your brain.

Science is finally catching up with the Bible, showing us the proof that “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim. 1:7). Breakthrough neuroscientific research is confirming daily what we instinctively knew all along: what you are thinking every moment of every day becomes a physical reality in your brain and body, which affects your optimal mental and physical health.

I imagine you would want to discuss with her the article by Schwartz, Stapp, and Beauregard...
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1569494/?tool=pubmed
Quantum physics in neuroscience and psychology: a neurophysical model of mind–brain interaction
Jeffrey M Schwartz,1 Henry P Stapp,2 and Mario Beauregard3,4,5,*​
 
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Jim,

From a very brief glance at her website, she seems a bit lightweight - all about self help, I mean one of her books is "Switch on your Brain - a 21-day brain detox"!

We definitely do need some better interviewees however - people who really have something interesting to say, and don't want to cloud it all with vagueness!

We also desperately need well prepared interviews that don't just ramble!

David
 
Jim,

From a very brief glance at her website, she seems a bit lightweight - all about self help, I mean one of her books is "Switch on your Brain - a 21-day brain detox"!

We definitely do need some better interviewees however - people who really have something interesting to say, and don't want to cloud it all with vagueness!

We also desperately need well prepared interviews that don't just ramble!

David
David I am sorry you think Skeptiko needs better interviewees but when I make suggestions, I do it to try to help Alex find the kind of people he likes to interview. If you had a podcast, I would do the same for you.

Why don't you start a thread on what you think is going wrong with the podcast?
 
David I am sorry you think Skeptiko needs better interviewees but when I make suggestions, I do it to try to help Alex find the kind of people he likes to interview. If you had a podcast, I would do the same for you.

Why don't you start a thread on what you think is going wrong with the podcast?
Well look don't take what I said so personally - I mean I am willing to be persuaded otherwise, but Caroline Leaf 's website seemed to read too much like self help, and not enough like someone exploring the frontiers. I'd rather hoped you would bounce back in her defence with something like, "Yes but she is the one who proposed X, or developed experiment Y" I definitely want to help Alex maintain Skeptiko, and I can see that part of the problem is that he has already interviewed many of the best thinkers.

I think David Berlinski, a non-religious member of the Discovery Institute would make an absolutely excellent choice - assuming he would appear - I don't know about the internal politics within the DI. The DI is stuffed with people who have explored evolutionary theory in depth, and know it can't work. Around the edge of the ID movement, you also have scientists like J. Scott Turner, who don't believe the standard narrative, but don't know what exactly to replace it with. In a way I feel closer to them, because I don't really support the idea of Yaweh the biochemist!

After one or two interviews like that, Alex might be able to snare a scientist who wanted to try to support the conventional position. That would be both fun and informative, because part of my losing faith in materialism, was to discover just how poor its chief supporters perform in a probing interview.

I mean, this subject is mainstream Skeptiko - a huge part of the standard materialist explanation is simply breaking apart at the seams!

Another approach might be to pair interviewees to share a discussion. For example, Rupert Sheldrake is not keen on the concept of ID, and someone like Stephen Meyer obviously is, but neither is trying to cleve to the standard dopey line, so they would engage (I hope) in an interesting debate.

David
 
What needs fixing? What needs improving?

I am not sure if the mentions alerts are working right. Occasionally someone mentions me in a post in a forum by including @Jim_Smith and in my alert notification settings I have the box checked to receive alerts when I am "mentioned in a message"... But I don't seem to be getting an alert when I am mentioned.

Here is an example where I was mentioned but I never got an alert:
http://www.skeptiko-forum.com/threa...m-and-what’s-next-383.4169/page-3#post-124977

Is it supposed to work like that? Is it known not to work?

Thanks.
 
Suggestion for an Interview. www.jaronlanier.com

Jaron Lanier is a scientist, musician and writer best known for his work in virtual reality and his advocacy of humanism and sustainable economics in a digital context.



Quote from the above TED talk.

One of the very earliest computer scientists, whose name was Norbert Wiener, and he wrote a book back in the '50s, from before I was even born, called "The Human Use of Human Beings." And in the book, he described the potential to create a computer system that would be gathering data from people and providing feedback to those people in real time in order to put them kind of partially, statistically, in a Skinner box, in a behaviorist system, and he has this amazing line where he says, one could imagine, as a thought experiment and I'm paraphrasing, this isn't a quote -- one could imagine a global computer system where everybody has devices on them all the time, and the devices are giving them feedback based on what they did, and the whole population is subject to a degree of behavior modification. And such a society would be insane, could not survive, could not face its problems. And then he says, but this is only a thought experiment, and such a future is technologically infeasible. And yet, of course, it's what we have created, and it's what we must undo if we are to survive.
I think a discussion between Alex and Jaron would be very interesting to the Skeptiko audience. The guy has a number of books out there looking at the implications of technology and how it shapes us as a species.
 
What needs fixing? What needs improving? Who absolutely must be invited to appear on Skeptiko? Let us hear from you :)
It seems like the forums web server is not configured to support https correctly. When I connect to https://www.skeptiko-forum.com, I get a message:

This server could not prove that it is www.skeptiko-forum.com; its security certificate is from *.prod.iad2.secureserver.net. This may be caused by a misconfiguration or an attacker intercepting your connection.

NET::ERR_CERT_COMMON_NAME_INVALID
I don't know if this is imortant or not. I do think https has become standard for most web sites, if you start a connection with http the server will switch over to https.
 
It seems like the forums web server is not configured to support https correctly. When I connect to https://www.skeptiko-forum.com, I get a message:



I don't know if this is imortant or not. I do think https has become standard for most web sites, if you start a connection with http the server will switch over to https.
I second this. Been having this issue for months. Seems like a big security flaw.
 
What needs fixing? What needs improving? Who absolutely must be invited to appear on Skeptiko? Let us hear from you :)

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2020/5/8/21244090/pentagon-ufo-videos-navy-alexander-wendt
Alexander Wendt, [is] a professor of international relations at Ohio State University. Wendt is a giant in his field of IR theory, but in the past 15 years or so, he’s become an amateur ufologist. He wrote an academic article about the political implications of UFOs in 2008, and, more recently, he gave a TEDx talk calling out the “taboo” against studying UFOs.​
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So even though the Navy is now saying, “Hey, we’ve got UFOs on film, here they are,” the scientists are still not going to study them. So there seems to be something blocking the scientific community from engaging this phenomenon, even though anything else even remotely this interesting would generate limitless research dollars.​
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We argued in our 2008 academic paper that the modern state is what we call anthropocentric. Basically, that means human beings are sovereigns. In ancient times, it was the gods or nature that was thought to rule over everything. Now it’s human beings. And this principle is embodied in the state. And if you call that into question, if you call into question that the state is not the only potential sovereign here, the whole legitimacy of the state is called into question. So the whole worldview of the modern state is very vulnerable to the UFO question. You can’t even ask the question because it raises the possibility that there could be ETs here. And that would just blow everything wide open.
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I think there’s a hubris in the scientific community, a belief that human beings are the most intelligent species on this planet, and it’s very hard to come to grips with the idea that if there are aliens here, they’re obviously much smarter than we are.

I’ve received a lot of emails from individual scientists in response to my TEDx talk. And all of them said the same thing, which is, “Thank you, we wish we could study this, but we can’t because our lives depend on getting grants from the government and other research institutes, and if anybody gets worried that we’re interested in UFOs, boom, they won’t get a cent and their careers will be in the tank.” But I still think most scientists believe this is all nonsense anyway, and that’s frankly disappointing.
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Secondly, no one has bothered to actually look for UFOs. We’re looking for ETs around distant stars, we’re looking for comets, we’re looking at all kinds of other things in the atmosphere. No one, as far as I know, is seriously looking for UFOs.
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To me, the Occam’s razor explanation is ETs.
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I don’t see a competing explanation of any kind that would explain some of the stuff that we either have on film or the pilots have seen. And, again, why didn’t the military come up with these alternative explanations? They must have thought about them and concluded it doesn’t fit the data.
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But you’d have to explain why multiple instruments were all malfunctioning in the same way at the same time. You’ve got multiple jets up there, you’ve got radar on the ships down below tracking at the same time. You’ve got communications going on with people on the ships and the planes and the guys in the planes. So whatever explanations people do offer, they’ve got to fit the data.

It doesn’t look like that was a weather balloon that those guys were seeing. I assume professional fighter pilots are pretty good at spotting and recognizing weather balloons, and surely that’s a common occurrence.
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If it became known, it could be a very dangerous event in the sense that we might see a collapse of state authority. We might see chaos. The possibility of contact with a civilization that has vastly more knowledge than we do is exciting and terrifying and unpredictable.
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My feeling is that if they’re here, they’re almost certainly peaceful, because if they were not peaceful they would have wiped us out a long time ago. They can probably do it very quickly. So my assumption is they don’t mean any harm
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I worry less about poking around and getting conquered and more about the potential realization that these things are here and then an internal implosion of our society. So I worry about my fellow human beings more than I worry about the aliens.
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I think if they wanted to be completely secretive, they could. If they wanted to come out in the open, they could do that, too. My guess is that they have had a lot of experience with this in the past with civilizations at our stage. And they probably know that if they land on the White House lawn, there’ll be chaos and social breakdown. People will start shooting at them.

So I think what they’re doing is trying to get us used to the idea that they’re here with the hopes that we’ll figure it out ourselves, that we’ll go beyond the taboo and do the science. And then maybe we can absorb the knowledge that we’re not alone and our society won’t implode when we finally do have contact.
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For governments, there’s no real upside to talking about this. They can’t control this. If there are ETs, they don’t have the power to do anything about it. They’re helpless in the face of ETs. And there’s a big downside risk of social chaos, loss of authority, loss of control and all that. So I think governments have lots of reasons to let a sleeping dog lie, which is why the Navy’s thing is so surprising in a way.
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12:07
"In my view, the first responsibility of academics is to tell the truth."

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha! ROTF LMAO
 
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