Dr. Gregory Shushan, Making the Case For Cross-Cultural NDEs |422|

#82
@superqualia and @Michael Patterson - this may sound bizarre, but I think Blackmore views NDEs from her own "theological" commitments. It's debatable as to whether you can call Buddhism a theology, but as a Buddhist she holds beliefs that happen to coincide with materialism - especially the idea of no-self, that the self is an illusion. If there is no "self" there is nothing to die and have an NDE, so Blackmore is able to see even her own NDE as illusory.
I think Blackmore's notion of self is intellectual BS. Its the kind of Zen you get when you don't get Zen. Its like not getting DT Suzuki when he said 'For God to be God he must be not God". Its the 'paradox' that the One has to be Many. Of course self in 'an illusion' in the great scheme of things - but so are cups, chairs, dogs and garbage collections on Wednesday mornings. We have to accept the 'reality' of 'illusions' in order to have an ordered functionality in the functional illusion we call reality. Blackmore's failure to grasp this tells me she hasn't learned much from Buddhism.
 
#83
Interesting series of thoughts.

First up so many psi phenomena don't replicate under controlled conditions - its like getting Pandas to mate successfully. Its not the psi, its the circumstance, experiencers of natural psi are not porn stars.

The first fully conscious OOBE I had happened without intent. Ditto my (then) partner's multiple OOBES. See Robert Monroe's Journeys Out of the Body for a definitive expression of this.

OOBEs are often induced by sort guides -and blocked. You get to go consciously OOB when it is determined its time.
I've read about half of that book 5 years ago.

You recognize the problem about the notion of repeatability and the IAC (international academy of consciousness)? Its been long enough. Where are their publications? Or is it another failure to replicate? I remember Luis Minero talking to the society for science exploration...but did it lead to anything?

https://www.iacworld.org/portfolio/iac-research-campus/
 
#84
Yes, but you see normal science doesn't work by arguing that if you can't build a working generator, the field is bunk! The generator is the ultimate fruit. Using that criterion, hot fusion would be long dead.

Now in the case of LENR, I have seen papers that show that a variety of nuclear bi-products are detectable after these experiments are run - this is itself a remarkable discovery. For my money, a refutation of LENR would start with the most basic experiments. There is a quantum mechanical argument against LENR, which calculates the probability of two nuclei coming close enough to fuse at normal temperatures - which is hopelessly small. However, others point out that cold fusion is a solid-state phenomenon and so doing calculations based on two isolated nuclei isn't necessarily relevant.

However, I haven't followed this subject in anything like the detail to comment further, but I hope someone else on the forum might jump in.

David
You might be ignoring the a priori. It turns out measuring tiny changes in heat is very hard. People assumed they could do basic science well, but actually its really hard, or that's my social-sciency conclusion.

Googles latest foray into lenr is interesting and lends some support to my pov. Google got two opposing experts to talk to each other and run experiments.

Like what i would love to see accomplished with OBE research! Isn't it true the phenomena isn't very objective / repeatable?
 
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#85
You might be ignoring the a priori. It turns out measuring tiny changes in heat is very hard. People assumed they could do basic science well, but actually its really hard, or that's my social-sciency conclusion.

Googles latest foray into lenr is interesting and lends some support to my pov. Google got two opposing experts to talk to each other and run experiments.

Like what i would love to see accomplished with OBE research! Isn't it true the phenomena isn't very objective / repeatable?
Do you have any links?

Remember that Fleischmann and Pons were well respected electrochemists before they kicked off the cold fusion debate. Despite that, a team was assembled in Culham Labs to perform a rushed assessment of their claim. I remember at the time that that appeared really odd - I mean why not give the job to an electrochemistry laboratory, rather than a lab that was working on plasma fusion - theoretically related, but experimentally utterly distant from electrochemistry.

There is more to the LENR claims than just excess heat, there are also claims that various radioactive bi-products can be found in some of the experiments.

It is important to remember that a source of cheap, practically unlimited energy would have vast economic consequences. It would have also rendered all the hot fusion research obsolete. There was - sadly - all too many reasons to bury this research if true. So if that wasn't the motive, why rush the research and make it extremely hard for others to explore this area?

David
 
#86
You recognize the problem about the notion of repeatability and the IAC (international academy of consciousness)?
No. I think repeatability is a physical thing, and of limited value - in that it serves a certain purpose only. I have had experiences that were not repeated, and I long ago decided that I was not going to value my experiences based on whether other people had the same, or similar. I was going to be responsible for my own experiences - because they happened to me, regardless of whether they happened to others.

In important ways we collectively decide an individual's experience is invalid or a sign of madness if it does not fit, or conform to, what other people experience. I had my own very real struggle with a sense of my own sanity. I made a choice I do not regret.

I have not heard of the IAC.
 
#87
No. I think repeatability is a physical thing, and of limited value - in that it serves a certain purpose only. I have had experiences that were not repeated, and I long ago decided that I was not going to value my experiences based on whether other people had the same, or similar. I was going to be responsible for my own experiences - because they happened to me, regardless of whether they happened to others.

In important ways we collectively decide an individual's experience is invalid or a sign of madness if it does not fit, or conform to, what other people experience. I had my own very real struggle with a sense of my own sanity. I made a choice I do not regret.

I have not heard of the IAC.
A basic criteria of communicating knowledge is objectivity.
 
#88
Do you have any links?

Remember that Fleischmann and Pons were well respected electrochemists before they kicked off the cold fusion debate. Despite that, a team was assembled in Culham Labs to perform a rushed assessment of their claim. I remember at the time that that appeared really odd - I mean why not give the job to an electrochemistry laboratory, rather than a lab that was working on plasma fusion - theoretically related, but experimentally utterly distant from electrochemistry.

So if that wasn't the motive, why rush the research and make it extremely hard for others to explore this area?

David
It's hard to know why they did that. My very limited understanding is that it showed energy density in between nuclear and chemical yet had nuclear by products.

I really wish people would take expert disagreement seriously. I mean, as a non expert, all you can do is weigh the opinions and guess. This means to me no hard conclusions can be drawn from LENR or NDE research, though I have greater confidence LENR is not real now and less confidence there is not an afterlife.

I was nearly certain there was no afterlife. Now I realize how dumb i am and will remain. I don't understand Alex's confidence. I just know people smarter than me disagree on a lot of important topics so that leads me with dismay.

I once had a good LENR link. All i can find is skeptical reporting sadly. But that is my view, mostly. Ditto economically viable hot fusion. In other words, hot fusion will remain a future technology too. But that is a known consensus.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01675-9
 
#89
It's hard to know why they did that. My very limited understanding is that it showed energy density in between nuclear and chemical yet had nuclear by products.

I really wish people would take expert disagreement seriously. I mean, as a non expert, all you can do is weigh the opinions and guess. This means to me no hard conclusions can be drawn from LENR or NDE research, though I have greater confidence LENR is not real now and less confidence there is not an afterlife.

I was nearly certain there was no afterlife. Now I realize how dumb i am and will remain. I don't understand Alex's confidence. I just know people smarter than me disagree on a lot of important topics so that leads me with dismay.

I once had a good LENR link. All i can find is skeptical reporting sadly. But that is my view, mostly. Ditto economically viable hot fusion. In other words, hot fusion will remain a future technology too. But that is a known consensus.

https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-01675-9
Given the money to be made out of coal, oil, or 'renewable' sources of energy, I think it is extremely likely that LENR was squashed either because someone knew that it is possible, or someone feared that it might be possible. I guess another possible motive would be that LENR could form the basis for a very powerful bomb.

Incidentally, Rupert Sheldrake speculates that biology may make use of LENR, not so much to create energy, but to provide scarce essential elements.

As regards NDE's, I am much more positive. As Gregory has shown, this phenomenon is not new - i.e. it is not a New Age fad - and those who reported NDE's were often at some danger because the details do not really align themselves with orthodox religion.

These things are also reported by children, such as kids who fall through ice on open water. Interestingly, because their brains are rapidly cooled, they sometimes survive longer than would normally be the case. Children do not often think about death, nor were they likely to be thinking about death prior to the accident - yet they also report NDE's with many of the same features as adults report.

There is also a fascinating continuity with other phenomena, such as explicitly paranormal phenomena. If you are cynical about the most basic NDEs, such as those where a patient looks down from the ceiling on the teem trying to perform a resuscitation, wait till you are lying fully conscious with eyes open in a dentist's chair. How much of the procedure could you report, other than the sound of the drill?

Finally, NDE's do not seem to fit with conventional science without a lot of arm twisting. The mechanism creating an NDE would have to be quite elaborate, and how could it evolve, and what survival value?

David
 
#92
A basic criteria of communicating knowledge is objectivity.
Got to disagree here. Its disciplined subjectivity. Objectivity is a fiction best left to psychopaths. What is needed is the absence of inappropriate self-interest. If you accept the basic precepts of Quantum Science, objectivity is impossible. What we need is emotional and psychological maturity - something that rules a lot of practitioners of science out. Ditto politics, and, really, any human endeavour.

I have deleted objectivity from my personal dictionary. Its a term I never use.
 
#93
Got to disagree here. Its disciplined subjectivity. Objectivity is a fiction best left to psychopaths. What is needed is the absence of inappropriate self-interest. If you accept the basic precepts of Quantum Science, objectivity is impossible. What we need is emotional and psychological maturity - something that rules a lot of practitioners of science out. Ditto politics, and, really, any human endeavour.

I have deleted objectivity from my personal dictionary. Its a term I never use.
Overlaping subjectivity is objectivity. You dislike the materialist definition. There is no science of appropriateness.
 
#94
Lots of phenomena that are not repeatable, are recognised and analysed by science.

The origin of life, creation of the solar system, or of stars and galaxies, or the big bang itself (should it be real) - none of them are repeatable!

David
They create toy models. Sometimes even useful ones that are more than just description. Do you believe in agency and causal power?
 
#96
If you mean do I believe that we can use free will to cause things to happen - I certainly do. I don't conscious free will is accounted for by the laws of physics, however much sophistry is used to argue differently.

David
I asked this specific conjunction (agency and causal power) because I think its pretty obvious we don't understand how those two ideas work together without contradiction. I happen to believe its unsolveable.

We cannot even agree on how to test consciousness.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/neur...a-showdown-over-consciousness-ideas-20190306/

It might seem unrelated, but here are some biological robot 'true believers' ignoring their ignorance:

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6nb...-you-that-brain-emulations-would-be-conscious

Specifically, when yudkowsky says "I would not bother to think about alternative hypotheses because the probability..."

In short, we don't understand consciousness, yet he believes we can treat it like an engineering problem. How do you engineer something you clearly don't understand? By lying to yourself and saying you do. He'll never fail as he never allowed himself to be wrong. Oops.

There is no way to be wrong about causal power or free will or qualia. You can experience the colors bleeding away from your visual field by shutting off the right parts of your brain. Well, usually.
 
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#97
I asked this specific conjunction (agency and causal power) because I think its pretty obvious we don't understand how those two ideas work together without contradiction. I happen to believe its unsolveable.

We cannot even agree on how to test consciousness.

https://www.quantamagazine.org/neur...a-showdown-over-consciousness-ideas-20190306/

It might seem unrelated, but here are some biological robot 'true believers' ignoring their ignorance:

https://www.lesswrong.com/posts/6nb...-you-that-brain-emulations-would-be-conscious

Specifically, when yudkowsky says "I would not bother to think about alternative hypotheses because the probability..."

In short, we don't understand consciousness, yet he believes we can treat it like an engineering problem. How do you engineer something you clearly don't understand? By lying to yourself and saying you do. He'll never fail as he never allowed himself to be wrong. Oops.

There is no way to be wrong about causal power or free will or qualia. You can experience the colors bleeding away from your visual field by shutting off the right parts of your brain. Well, usually.
agreed. this is classic shut up and calculate. there are some really deep spiritual issues w/ this as well. hope we can explore on future episodes.
 
#98
agreed. this is classic shut up and calculate. there are some really deep spiritual issues w/ this as well. hope we can explore on future episodes.
I am game.

Yudkowsky loves evo. psych. Someone needs to introduce him to terror management theory. Maybe someone in the paypalmafia? Probably not Peter Thiel. You might think they are not connected, but they are sponsors. Thiel at least. Of yudkowsky (not tmt).

You have heard of miri right? They seem to have created a kind of spirituality out of creating a god like ai.

But that's way too hard. For the avaerage atheist, there is nothing more spiritual than terror management theory! Once you get TMT, nothing will be the same again. I tripple dog dare you to invite an advocate of TMT on skeptiko! You just might ban me after he or she comes on. Its that bad.

Or maybe you will find a chill, nice guy. Who knows? Ok after that a presuppositionalist!
 
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#99
I am game.

Yudkowsky loves evo. psych. Someone needs to introduce him to terror management theory. Maybe someone in the paypalmafia? Probably not Peter Thiel. You might think they are not connected, but they are sponsors. Thiel at least. Of yudkowsky (not tmt).

You have heard of miri right? They seem to have created a kind of spirituality out of creating a god like ai.

But that's way too hard. For the avaerage atheist, there is nothing more spiritual than terror management theory! Once you get TMT, nothing will be the same again. I tripple dog dare you to invite an advocate of TMT on skeptiko! You just might ban me after he or she comes on. Its that bad.

Or maybe you will find a chill, nice guy. Who knows? Ok after that a presuppositionalist!
I'm intrigued :) and I'm certainly up for it. who do you think would make a good Skeptiko guests?
 
I'm intrigued :) and I'm certainly up for it. who do you think would make a good Skeptiko guests?
Well, in all honesty I would love for you to talk to luke muehlhauser, who was / is an early follower of the cult of yudkowsky. But he has nothing to do with TMT. I stumbled upon a practitioner in Australia (via web forum, not in real life). I don't have any recommendations.

TMT is easy. You should face off against one of the robot cultists! Luke isn't hyper intelligent. He's super sophisticated :)
 
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