Message for proponents

#1
Hey guys

Before I say anything else - I wanna say how much I like this forum and how friendly, interesting, helpful, intelligent and open minded everyone is.

I have always noticed how well organised the skeptical community is - it gives it an air of credibility that is probably doesn't deserve at times and I think contributes to those not involved properly in these debates/discussions to think that the skeptical stance is the one of truth and objectivity, when the truth is probably more balanced.

I also saw that for example Julie Beischel's research only has two small financial contributors! For work as important and as interesting as that that's a crazily small amount.

So basically, the proponent side is derided, doesn't get the research, doesn't get the financial support and doesn't get the coverage. I think we need to do something about this - it's in everybody's interest even the Skeptical side as it will lead us closer to the truth.

So, are any proponents in this forum interested in aiming to get more organised, get the research out there, maybe help some of the researchers financially even if it's just a little bit, try to remove the psi taboo and make people who have had experiences feel like they can be open about them, share them and if needed get support for them?

Skeptiko is a great resource but I feel like I could do more, but the more people that do something the better!

Let me know what you guys think :).

Cheers!
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#2
Ah sorry I missed this.

In talking to people there is a slow but steady (I hope?) attempt to mobilize some proponent advocacy.

Maybe we can use this thread to at least track fundraising efforts for studies?
 
#3
There is an effort to create a sort of online psi database or encyclopedia, but I haven't read anything about that in months: http://monkeywah.typepad.com/paranormalia/

So the information is being moved. The money... Not so much. I would say that if we are going to go the crowd funding way, we should begin with better equipment. Most Skeptics are backed up by their universities which have a deep pocket and a cyclical system that keeps the cash flowing, while parapsychologists are often freelance or backed by organizations that have to split their budget into several projects, resulting in underfunding and a "Jack of all trades, master of none" situation.
 
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#4
Hey guys

Cheers for the replies, tell any Skeptiko users who you think might be interested about this thread, for me the most important things to do are:

1) Get organised, there's a lot of interested people out there who only hear the skeptical side. We need to counter this in the media, on social media, Wikipedia, and so on.

2) Create a more active and engaged community online. A few of the blogs have slowed or stopped posting really, we could maybe start a couple more blogs and try to reach out to more people? The taboo is the biggest issue, I feel like we could be especially helpful in creating a space for people to talk about and process their weird and anomalous experiences.

3) As Sci and E.Flowers said - funding! We could maybe decide one place a month to donate say, twenty dollars/pounds to?

4) We all have our skills, we can talk about what skills we have and how that can be used to help?

Let me know what you guys think and let's get active and maybe go out of our comfort zone a little :).

Oh and I spoke to Robert McLuhan, the encyclopaedia is still happening and still moving - just taking longer then expected as these things always do!
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#5
Good to know the encyclopedia is still happening!

I like the idea of keeping up to date with funding possibilities. Maybe we can also use this thread to post about experiments looking to recruit participants?

On creating a community...I've wondered about that myself. Not sure how to go about it?
 
#6
Good to know the encyclopedia is still happening!

I like the idea of keeping up to date with funding possibilities. Maybe we can also use this thread to post about experiments looking to recruit participants?

On creating a community...I've wondered about that myself. Not sure how to go about it?
Sure but that doesn't seem to be where psi research is struggling! It struggles with funding and publicity. That's where we need to concentrate on IMO.

Well this is a community here, we could maybe start another blog on this general subject and a different member could post every week? I'd say we need to talking to people about this subject who are unaware, try and get interviews with people on this as we are doing, advocate as proponents on social media and when the media does an article on this subject or something related we should post it here and comment, as other relatively fringe communities I'm involved with do. Say there's an article about mediums, bring up Beischel's work for example!

What dya think Sci?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#7
Not sure about blogs - there actually a few sites gathering people interested in the paranormal - TechGnosis, Reality Sandwich, Prescott's blog, Chopra's various sites, Science & Nondaulity, this site, etc. Some board members have had blogs, not sure how maintained they are?

Perhaps making a single site dedicated to funding different projects would make sense. That way these different sites can link back to such a central location?

I think if there was a blog associated with that funding tracker it might be nice, though I don't know if there's enough people to have posts. What do you think the posts would be about?
 
#8
Not sure about blogs - there actually a few sites gathering people interested in the paranormal - TechGnosis, Reality Sandwich, Prescott's blog, Chopra's various sites, Science & Nondaulity, this site, etc. Some board members have had blogs, not sure how maintained they are?

Perhaps making a single site dedicated to funding different projects would make sense. That way these different sites can link back to such a central location?

I think if there was a blog associated with that funding tracker it might be nice, though I don't know if there's enough people to have posts. What do you think the posts would be about?
In that case - I think we should definitely focus on reaching out to those who don't know about the research in this area, the taboo, and those who have had experiences but don't have a framework for them or anyone to talk to. So have a site or area to organise on social media, Wikipedia etc?

We could say vote every month on which place/person of a list of projects/organisations that people could donate to, whoever wins we say that's who we're donating to that month.

What dya think?
 
S

Sciborg_S_Patel

#9
Wikipedia's overrun by skeptics. It might be worthwhile to draw people's eyes to the Psi Encyclopedia when it comes out.

I think there's a certain issue called the "boggle threshold". It's possible to get people to accept consciousness isn't materialist based, but psychic powers and communications from the dead is harder.

There are probably people who do think such things are possible yet don't know about the research involved, not sure where to find them though?

I think just gathering a list of projects in need of funding makes sense. Not sure how many people would want to have a vote decide?
 
#10
Wikipedia's overrun by skeptics. It might be worthwhile to draw people's eyes to the Psi Encyclopedia when it comes out.

I think there's a certain issue called the "boggle threshold". It's possible to get people to accept consciousness isn't materialist based, but psychic powers and communications from the dead is harder.

There are probably people who do think such things are possible yet don't know about the research involved, not sure where to find them though?

I think just gathering a list of projects in need of funding makes sense. Not sure how many people would want to have a vote decide?
The or gel is a lot of people think of Wikipedia as an authoritative source and assume it's true. I've had it used against me in a debate actually.
That's true - there's a stigma attached. People think it's a case of 'believe' or 'disbelief'. It's up to us to try to break this boggle threshold.

One simple thing is every time there's an article, tweet or post on social media about a subject related, we post it here and invite people to put forward our POV - one not many people will have heard before. That way we'd easily reach interested people, and skeptics unfortunately.


I think it's the only fair way - and it's just a way of organising funding. I still can't believe Beischel's research only has two regular funders!
 
#11
Roberta, the only reason I didn't immediately respond enthusiastically to your OP is that I do not feel that I can personally commit to your project, even though I think that it's a very worthy one. I've sometimes thought that the parapsychological community needs a counter organisation to the "Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia" group. I've toyed with various names, including "Gorilla Skeptikos on Wikis", playing a bit with words and poking a bit of fun at the existing GSOW, but that name probably doesn't cut it and would need more work. In any case, we proponents seem to be letting the pseudo-skeptics get away with murder when it comes to propaganda, but as for whether we should fight that war on the same terms, I cannot say.
 
#12
Roberta, the only reason I didn't immediately respond enthusiastically to your OP is that I do not feel that I can personally commit to your project, even though I think that it's a very worthy one. I've sometimes thought that the parapsychological community needs a counter organisation to the "Guerilla Skepticism on Wikipedia" group. I've toyed with various names, including "Gorilla Skeptikos on Wikis", playing a bit with words and poking a bit of fun at the existing GSOW, but that name probably doesn't cut it and would need more work. In any case, we proponents seem to be letting the pseudo-skeptics get away with murder when it comes to propaganda, but as for whether we should fight that war on the same terms, I cannot say.
Hey Laird/fellow Vegan

Thanks for the reply, I'll drop you a message and we can discuss? Any time to help is better then no time!
 
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