Cryptographer beats psychics in remote viewing challenge

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SGT
James Randi offered his million dollar prize for any psychic that could discover what was hidden in a safe.
No psychic dared to take the challenge, but a cryptographer, using only his mind power arrived to the solution.
See at http://www.crypto.com/blog/psychic_cryptanalysis/ how science beats woo-wooism.
 

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  • #2
Ivan Seeking
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He also concludes that there is no way to assure that [this version of] Randi's challenge is honest.

... There's also another problem. Because the exact procedure for performing the encoding was not fully specified as part of the challenge, the commitment string is also subject to collisions. With a little creativity, anyone can use the published string to "prove" that the box contains almost anything. For example, if we interpret the "14" a little differently, we might use the 1st column, 4th entry of the same page to assert that the box contains a copy of the Communist Manifesto. Randi, for his part, could exploit this ambiguity to disavow a valid psychic claim, should one happen to come along. [continued]
And, as he points out, Randi is a magician.
 
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  • #3
SGT
The important is that no psychic tried it.
 
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The important is that no psychic tried it.
Randi already owes that money to others that he weasled out of- why would anyone try? not that Randi's 'challenge' has anything to do with demonstrating real psi phenomology [he is trying to debunk 'psychics': but isn't debunking con-men a bit redundant? and how does debunking 'snake-oil' debunk pharmacology as a whole? ] - anyone who is seriously interested in the reality of psi is involved with real peer reviewed experiemnts [ http://www.deanradin.com/NewWeb/EMbiblio.html http://www.parapsych.org/pa_convention_proceedings.html [Broken] http://noosphere.princeton.edu/]- [Broken] not in toppling some angry magician's cartesian straw-man-
 
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  • #5
SGT
Randi already owes that money to others that he weasled out of- why would anyone try? -
Can you cite one of those weasled(sic) out?
 
  • #6
Ivan Seeking
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The important is that no psychic tried it.
With the understanding that I too think many or most "psychics" are frauds, esp the ones that we hear about, why in the world would they trust their reputation to a known trickster and slight-of-hand expert who has a million bucks on the line? I certainly don't trust him, and I have nothing to lose.

setAI, you need to start providing factual information from reputable links that support your claims.
 
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Ivan Seeking
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For that matter, why doesn't Randi have every Dick and Jane in the country taking a stab at this? One would think that anyone who plays the lottery would be willing to take a stab at Randi's challenge. It is curious when you think about it. In this case, being that they are so common, I would imagine that at least one out of a hundred people might guess that a CD was in the safe. Does Randi claim that no one even tries, or does he reject applicants based on some sort of criteria?

Also, would he consider a potentially lucky guess to be proof of the supernatural? That sounds pretty crackpot to me.
 
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  • #8
SGT
With the understanding that I too think many or most "psychics" are frauds, esp the ones that we hear about, why in the world would they trust their reputation to a known trickster and slight-of-hand expert who has a million bucks on the line? I certainly don't trust him, and I have nothing to lose.

setAI, you need to start providing factual information from reputable links that support your claims.
Let´s put aside the CD in the safe case. It was ill designed, as demonstrated by the cryptographer.
For Randi´s million dollar challenge the testing protocol is established in common by the applicant and the James Randi Foundation. Once the protocol is established it is notarized and the judges are chosen outside the Foundation with the approval of the applicant.
The million dollars are in escrow. So, unless you doubt the US legal system you must assume that the prize will be given to any person who demonstrates above chance the existence of paranormal powers.
 
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setAI, you need to start providing factual information from reputable links that support your claims.

I assumed the Emoto debacle was still fresh in everyone's minds- Randi offered Dr Emoto a million if a double-blind experiment showed results for his water crystal experiments: "I'll risk the JREF million-dollar prize on that statement. If Dr. Emoto wants to win the prize, let him agree to perform his tests in a double-blind fashion, and I predict he'll get fuzzy results that prove nothing." http://www.randi.org/jr/052303.html [Broken]

then double-blind results were published and now triple-blind experiments are under way http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2006/10/effects-of-distant-intention-on-water.html- [Broken] yet we hear only a little grumbling from Randi- no million
 
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Ivan Seeking
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Let´s put aside the CD in the safe case. It was ill designed, as demonstrated by the cryptographer.
Well, that was the op. And I have to wonder where all of Randi's experts were when the challenge was designed.

For Randi´s million dollar challenge the testing protocol is established in common by the applicant and the James Randi Foundation. Once the protocol is established it is notarized and the judges are chosen outside the Foundation with the approval of the applicant.
The million dollars are in escrow. So, unless you doubt the US legal system you must assume that the prize will be given to any person who demonstrates above chance the existence of paranormal powers.
So again, one has to wonder why everyone doesn't take a shot.
 
  • #11
Ivan Seeking
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I assumed the Emoto debacle was still fresh in everyone's minds- Randi offered Dr Emoto a million if a double-blind experiment showed results for his water crystal experiments: "I'll risk the JREF million-dollar prize on that statement. If Dr. Emoto wants to win the prize, let him agree to perform his tests in a double-blind fashion, and I predict he'll get fuzzy results that prove nothing." http://www.randi.org/jr/052303.html [Broken]

then double-blind results were published and now triple-blind experiments are under way http://deanradin.blogspot.com/2006/10/effects-of-distant-intention-on-water.html- [Broken] yet we hear only a little grumbling from Randi- no million
Published results are not what Randi requires. But this does bring up an interesting point. If it were published in the Journal Nature, or Science, would that qualify, or is only Randi qualified to test properly?

More to the point, what defines "supernatural". I think it is fair to say that entanglement qualifies since we don't have a model that explains how this can happen, only that is does...that it must. Or is it no longer supernatural if it actually happens?

When I suggested that blind sight qualifies, [there is a blind man who can detect facial expressions], it was argued that since we might have an idea how it works, it doesn't qualify.
 
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Published results are not what Randi requires. But this does bring up an interesting point. If it were published in the Journal Nature, or Science, would that qualify, or is only Randi qualified to test properly?
I thought what was required is any protocol agreed to by both the foundation and the claimant. The foundation would of course reject claims of what is already known and documented by the scientific community since this is not the purpose of the challenge. I think the drive behind the challenge is to help people be more critical of frivolous claims. A lot of people call themselves psychic and swindle gullible victims. Randi is just doing his part to keep a few of them from being swindled by charlatans.

Or is it no longer supernatural if it actually happens?
Ah yes of course, if it happens then it's not supernatural. The supernatural becomes abruptly natural through a clear explanation or demonstration. But proving what is widely known to happen doesn't do anything to debunk deceivers.
 
  • #13
SGT
Published results are not what Randi requires. But this does bring up an interesting point. If it were published in the Journal Nature, or Science, would that qualify, or is only Randi qualified to test properly?
If it was published in a scientific magazine it would certainly not qualify. The JREF prize is not intended for scientists, since Randi believes in science.
Corroboration by Dean Radin is hardly evidence of scientific correctness.

More to the point, what defines "supernatural". I think it is fair to say that entanglement qualifies since we don't have a model that explains how this can happen, only that is does...that it must. Or is it no longer supernatural if it actually happens?
Does entanglement really happen? I don´t know enough physics to discuss it. If it happens, the fact that science has no model to explain it does not make it supernatural, it only makes it a still unexplained phenomenon.
When I suggested that blind sight qualifies, [there is a blind man who can detect facial expressions], it was argued that since we might have an idea how it works, it doesn't qualify.
Well, I have no idea how it works and I don´t believe it works. But if it works it clearly qualifies.
 

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