Telepathy experience

  • Thread starter Dwalaine
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  • #51
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quite frequently. not always. and, yes (it sounds like such a cliche) there were times when i'd be at work, the phone would ring, and i'd know (by a feeling in my guts) it was her (note: i received many calls at work, at these calls came in at various times during the day).
Think of how many times you'd "know" it was her and it actually wasn't, and then forget that you "knew". To state that you knew it was her means that you would have taken any odds on a bet in that second. If I bet 100:1 on a dollar that it wasn't her would you have taken the bet, right?

My point is that you would only commit it to memory when you successfully guessed that it was her.
 
  • #52
Deveno
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Think of how many times you'd "know" it was her and it actually wasn't, and then forget that you "knew". To state that you knew it was her means that you would have taken any odds on a bet in that second. If I bet 100:1 on a dollar that it wasn't her would you have taken the bet, right?

My point is that you would only commit it to memory when you successfully guessed that it was her.
quite possibly this is true (i mean, certainly, the "times i was wrong" i might have forgotten). it just happened enough that i was right, to be noticeable (whereas i had no such luck with anticipating a call from an engineering firm, or one of our firm's regular customers).

i only mention it, to say that this bond with my wife, wasn't entirely a function of proximity. i'm sure there are several plausible explanations, i never made any attempt to notify the local press (or even my circle of friends) of some "amazing ability".

perhaps it is just (in some way) that human patterns of behavior are predictable. i'll admit that's one answer. i remain unconvinced it's the only answer.

i would hesitate to say that i was "guessing". the feeling was more akin to fear, than anything else (or perhaps apprehension is a better word). i don't recall a sizeable number of times i felt the relief i would have felt, had i been wrong (of course, there's the whole bit of how reliable memory is, in the first place).

these are just some of my personal experiences. i'm not so silly as to think these can be extrapolated meaningfully to "how things are, for everyone". these personal experiences have led me to believe that some kind of indirect information transfer could be involved. coincidence is a "non-explanation", it basically asserts "strange things happen" they aren't significant. this might be true, it might not be. i don't have a broad enough view of the totality of human experiences to make that kind of assessment. i'm not sure anyone does (or to turn it around, i would be suspicious of anyone who claimed such).
 
  • #53
Evo
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LOL, it reminds me of calls from my ex husband. The phone would ring and I'd ask the girls to get it because it was their dad. I was never wrong. They asked how I knew and I told them that his ring sounded different. Of course it could have been an unusually long lucky streak, but I had the girls convinced that I was Psychic. :devil:
 
  • #54
Deveno
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i can bend spoons with my fingers. i just say "bend" as i'm bending them. it really works!

oh...and...you're thinking of making a reply to this post right now! (how did i know that?)
 
  • #55
Ryan_m_b
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Telepathy and other spooky bonds that people recall are brilliant examples of confirmation bias. Just the other day I was walking with a friend and from out of the blue both of us started at the same time talking about the same topic that had nothing to do with what we were doing nor what we were previously talking about. Some sort of mystical energy pattern or unexplained phenomenon? Whilst I, nor anyone else, cannot rule it out it is far more likely that this is just a product of chance. Throughout our friendship we have spent thousands of hours together, considering the huge abundance of times that we haven't immediately started saying the exact same random thing it diminishes the credibility of this event being special.

It's an inherent faculty of humans to notice the out of the ordinary and the seemingly ordered. Thus we naturally forget the 99.99% of events that are perfectly normal and focus on the 0.01% of weird ones. I had a statistics lecturer who once addressed the "I was thinking of them and then they rang!" phenomenon. He encouraged us that the next time it happened we should make a note of it. The time after that when it happens we should look through our call history and see just how many calls we received where we didn't have some sort of premonition. And that's before we get into the confounding factors of how often you think about certain people, the unconscious/automatic knowledge you have of the most likely time they will call, attaching extra significance to when two coincidences coincide (e.g. a premonition about a bad phone call from Alice before getting a phone call from Alice saying that Bob is in the hospital) etc.
 
  • #56
Deveno
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Telepathy and other spooky bonds that people recall are brilliant examples of confirmation bias. Just the other day I was walking with a friend and from out of the blue both of us started at the same time talking about the same topic that had nothing to do with what we were doing nor what we were previously talking about. Some sort of mystical energy pattern or unexplained phenomenon? Whilst I, nor anyone else, cannot rule it out it is far more likely that this is just a product of chance. Throughout our friendship we have spent thousands of hours together, considering the huge abundance of times that we haven't immediately started saying the exact same random thing it diminishes the credibility of this event being special.

It's an inherent faculty of humans to notice the out of the ordinary and the seemingly ordered. Thus we naturally forget the 99.99% of events that are perfectly normal and focus on the 0.01% of weird ones. I had a statistics lecturer who once addressed the "I was thinking of them and then they rang!" phenomenon. He encouraged us that the next time it happened we should make a note of it. The time after that when it happens we should look through our call history and see just how many calls we received where we didn't have some sort of premonition. And that's before we get into the confounding factors of how often you think about certain people, the unconscious/automatic knowledge you have of the most likely time they will call, attaching extra significance to when two coincidences coincide (e.g. a premonition about a bad phone call from Alice before getting a phone call from Alice saying that Bob is in the hospital) etc.
one wonders how much confirmation bias lies underneath our scientific inquiries. i suspect we have a preference for data that confirms our existing theories as being "better" than data that contradicts it (so much so, that when such data is reported, often the first task is to see if the data can be discredited, somehow).

to phrase it loosely: skepticism is fine, but we should, in all fairness, be somewhat skeptical of our own skepticism.
 
  • #57
Ryan_m_b
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one wonders how much confirmation bias lies underneath our scientific inquiries. i suspect we have a preference for data that confirms our existing theories as being "better" than data that contradicts it (so much so, that when such data is reported, often the first task is to see if the data can be discredited, somehow).

to phrase it loosely: skepticism is fine, but we should, in all fairness, be somewhat skeptical of our own skepticism.
Well a big part of the scientific method is eliminating things like confirmation bias and other fallacies. We do that with rigorous methodology and a good understanding of statistics.

As for the data that doesn't fit with theory, the reason that this often is treated as probably wrong is because a well established theory has already been shown to make multiple, correct, testable predictions. Occam's razor would suggest that the single piece of data is wrong rather than the already tested theory. However if further review shows that the methodology that produced the data is sound then much more work has to be done to elucidate the meaning of this anomaly.
 
  • #58
phinds
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one wonders how much confirmation bias lies underneath our scientific inquiries. i suspect we have a preference for data that confirms our existing theories as being "better" than data that contradicts it (so much so, that when such data is reported, often the first task is to see if the data can be discredited, somehow).
.
Yes, possibly, BUT ... the crucial factor here is that reputable scientists DO try to discredit the data whereas the nut cases and overly credulous do not.
 
  • #59
DaveC426913
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There is no proviso about "all other aspects of the theories being equal".
It is not in Occam's razor; it is about invoking it.
One does not resort to Occam's razor until one has two theories that are similar competitors. If they are not similar in plausibility, it's because they have better merits to weight them on - such as one theory falls well within statistical likelihood, while the other has precious little evidence or mechanism to support it.

In fact, I don't think telepathy even qualifies as a theory. It does not have a proposed mechanism by which is could occur. It is merely an hypothesis.

Theory versus hypothesis? No need for Occam's Razor.


The fact remarkable coincidences are statistically common is a very good reason to prefer that explanation over telepathy, on which we have no data whatever.

That fact, though, does not constitute proof that it wasn't telepathy. Because, strictly speaking, there's been no proof it was a coincidence,
just proof of the high probability it was coincidence.
No one is talking proof here.
 
  • #60
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Hi Dwalaine. Welcome to the Physics Forum and thank you for your post.

Unfortunately, even though your experience is interesting, may have really happened just as you described, and similar experiences have been reported by many others, it cannot be accepted as evidence of telepathy, certainly not according to the rules of this forum as I understand them. It must remain a charming anecdote.

The "scientific" literature on Psi is very thin. If you are motivated to explore what little of it I am aware of, you might take a look at some of the books written by Dean Radin.

Respectfully submitted,
Steve
I wouldn't recommend Radin's popular publications for those that are serious about learning the field. His scientific publications are fine, but the meta-analyses that he provides in his popular books are not.

There are those that have a much wider search criteria (hence a larger N, perhaps because they've accounted for foreign publication) but also a stricter inclusion criteria (w.r.t. experimental methodology) that have shown significantly lower effect size that what Radin has reported.

Also, if you look at Dick Bierman's 2000 or 2001 paper, I forget the name, there are many experiments that have had perpetually decreasing ES, perhaps due to improving experimental rigor and decreased file drawer effect/publication bias, which means there's something that's really biasing results from this era but he's included them in his sample.

After reading the field for a long period of time, I've come to the conclusion that the results are disinteresting until there is a central body where the researchers report their intentions to experiment prior to the commencement of the experiment. Without this, there is no way of determining the extent of the file drawer effect. I came to this conclusion after seeing the N to ES plot of Ersby's meta-analysis, massive gap in bottom left (low N low ES). Conclusion: large file drawer problem that has not been accounted for and will not unless they form a central reporting body to eliminate it.

I'm sorry but I'm too lazy to properly reference these claims.
 
  • #61
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It is not in Occam's razor; it is about invoking it.
One does not resort to Occam's razor until one has two theories that are similar competitors. If they are not similar in plausibility, it's because they have better merits to weight them on - such as one theory falls well within statistical likelihood, while the other has precious little evidence or mechanism to support it.

In fact, I don't think telepathy even qualifies as a theory. It does not have a proposed mechanism by which is could occur. It is merely an hypothesis.

Theory versus hypothesis? No need for Occam's Razor.
Now, Dave, you are violating the Razor by inventing unsupported and overly complicated criteria about when it can be invoked.

"a scientific and philosophic rule that entities should not be multiplied unnecessarily which is interpreted as requiring that the simplest of competing theories be preferred to the more complex or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities"

-Merriam-Webster's

The razor can be invoked any time someone suggests an unnecessarily complex explanation or one that requires agents or phenomena we can't even prove exist. It can be used to guide you toward one of two competing theories if such exist, but does not require that two competing theories be in play before it can be used. As soon as someone says "telepathy" it's absolutely proper to invoke Occam's Razor to say "Let's stick to phenomena we can prove exist for potential explanations"

No one is talking proof here.
Good. At least that isn't in dispute.
 
  • #62
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Telepathy and other spooky bonds that people recall are brilliant examples of confirmation bias. Just the other day I was walking with a friend and from out of the blue both of us started at the same time talking about the same topic that had nothing to do with what we were doing nor what we were previously talking about. Some sort of mystical energy pattern or unexplained phenomenon? Whilst I, nor anyone else, cannot rule it out it is far more likely that this is just a product of chance. Throughout our friendship we have spent thousands of hours together, considering the huge abundance of times that we haven't immediately started saying the exact same random thing it diminishes the credibility of this event being special.

It's an inherent faculty of humans to notice the out of the ordinary and the seemingly ordered. Thus we naturally forget the 99.99% of events that are perfectly normal and focus on the 0.01% of weird ones. I had a statistics lecturer who once addressed the "I was thinking of them and then they rang!" phenomenon. He encouraged us that the next time it happened we should make a note of it. The time after that when it happens we should look through our call history and see just how many calls we received where we didn't have some sort of premonition. And that's before we get into the confounding factors of how often you think about certain people, the unconscious/automatic knowledge you have of the most likely time they will call, attaching extra significance to when two coincidences coincide (e.g. a premonition about a bad phone call from Alice before getting a phone call from Alice saying that Bob is in the hospital) etc.
Since I made a post in this thread yesterday with a reference to a zebra I seem to be running across mentions of zebras everywhere. Have you noticed that if you plant the idea of a specific animal in anyone's mind that they will find themselves apparently bombarded by external references to that animal in a short period of time? I've ignored and already forgotten a huge number of orangutans, leopards, pit vipers, elephants, hummingbirds, and goldfish I've had shoved at me on TV and in ads, but I remember every single zebra!
 
  • #63
Ryan_m_b
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Since I made a post in this thread yesterday with a reference to a zebra I seem to be running across mentions of zebras everywhere. Have you noticed that if you plant the idea of a specific animal in anyone's mind that they will find themselves apparently bombarded by external references to that animal in a short period of time? I've ignored and already forgotten a huge number of orangutans, leopards, pit vipers, elephants, hummingbirds, and goldfish I've had shoved at me on TV and in ads, but I remember every single zebra!
Ah now I haven't done that but now that you've pointed it out again no doubt I will!
 
  • #64
DaveC426913
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The razor can be invoked any time someone suggests an unnecessarily complex explanation or one that requires agents or phenomena we can't even prove exist. It can be used to guide you toward one of two competing theories if such exist, but does not require that two competing theories be in play before it can be used.
It can be, but it is premature to do so, because...

As soon as someone says "telepathy" it's absolutely proper to invoke Occam's Razor to say "Let's stick to phenomena we can prove exist for potential explanations"
.... it is a stronger case to say "Evidence please. Proposed mechanism please."

The lack of evidence and the lack of a proposed mechanism (and thus the lack of it constituting an actual theory) is a stronger case than the application of Occam's Razor.

Occam's Razor is a weak argument. It is a "usually" case (as in the simpler theory is usually the right one), whereas "lack of a developed theory" is an "always" case (as in, no theory, no service). A weak argument would be applied only after a stronger argument could not produce results.
 
  • #65
FlexGunship
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.... it is a stronger case to say "Evidence please. Proposed mechanism please."

The lack of evidence and the lack of a proposed mechanism (and thus the lack of it constituting an actual theory) is a stronger case than the application of Occam's Razor.

Occam's Razor is a weak argument. It is a "usually" case (as in the simpler theory is usually the right one), whereas "lack of a developed theory" is an "always" case (as in, no theory, no service). A weak argument would be applied only after a stronger argument could not produce results.
I can get behind this.
 
  • #66
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The lack of evidence and the lack of a proposed mechanism (and thus the lack of it constituting an actual theory) is a stronger case than the application of Occam's Razor.
It's like you can't read the definition of Occam's Razor I posted. Occam's Razor is what says the lack of a proposed mechanism makes an explanation moot:

"...or that explanations of unknown phenomena be sought first in terms of known quantities"

Telepathy is unknown. By Occam's Razor we are directed to look for the explanation in terms of Known Quantities.
 
  • #67
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Not taking sides but I had an experience that is difficult to explain.

At the behest of a friend I was at a talk at an old magicians house. Seriously! This was an old guy who was a parlor tricks kind of sort who was dabbilng in the occult. It was really corny and I was checking my watch by the second. After giving us his life history he said he wanted to try an experiment. he pointed out an envelope on a shelf said it contained a simple line drawing and asked us to concentrate and draw it.

I wanted out at this point and just quickly drew a child like sailboat with triangular sails on the classic wave pattern sea. Done, can we go..

Well he opens the enevelope and it is EXACTLY like my drawing. I don't show him right away and he starts to critique the others drawing stretching the credibility. One drew a horse so he was tuned into the transportation. He comes to me and his jaw drops! he didn't know what to say.

As we're leaving he's begging me to come back again but I never did.

I can't explain it and I believe it was so spot on it defies chance. Same size etc, clouds in the sky...like I cheated... I tend to doubt most of this kind of thing and haven't thought about this for years.

BTW I know what your thinking but it's true! :D

W

BTW 2 I have an uncanny knack for guessing the time. I can wake up in the middle of the night and guess say 3:49 and then look at the clock and it'll be 3:49! I can do this at all hours and 90% of the time am within a minute or 2 and right on more than half the time.

I swear I just guessed 2:47 and it was 2:45..... totally weird!
 
  • #68
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BTW 2 I have an uncanny knack for guessing the time. I can wake up in the middle of the night and guess say 3:49 and then look at the clock and it'll be 3:49! I can do this at all hours and 90% of the time am within a minute or 2 and right on more than half the time.

I swear I just guessed 2:47 and it was 2:45..... totally weird!
Your first part is a magic trick.

The quoted part above isn't terribly uncanny at all, though I doubt your accuracy is as good as you believe it is. I suspect you're forgetting some of your misses. Most people can guess the time within about 10 minutes or so.
 
  • #69
DaveC426913
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Concur with Jack on both counts.
 
  • #71
DaveC426913
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How is it done?
Is it sufficient to say that, despite not actually knowing how it's done, it is enough to know that it is a common magic trick in many a magician's arsenal?
 
  • #73
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Sorry Jack et al... It wasn't a magic trick.

More information as I recall. This was an older gentleman who was offering a series of lectures of supernatural phenomena, minor occult etc. A friend was very interested and I was bored and it was free so I went. The entire talk (about and hour) was at his modest house in Encinitas CA and was his life story and an attempt to interest us (about 10-15 present) into meeting weekly. I was not interested in this at all. At the end of the talk he handed out paper and pencil and drew our attention to the envelope which had been there the entire time or at least he did not place it there at that moment. Point is is it was not noticed until that moment. From the mention of the envelope to my drawing was about 30 seconds. After about 2-3 minutes he opened the envelope and revealed the imaged (exactly as mine) and left it right where the envelope was. he then started at the opposite end of the group and critiqued the attempts at ESP.

I was last in line and did not show him until he got to me. As I said he was making excuses and stretching credibility down the line as there were drawings of horses and teepees what ever... As I recall he kinda begged me to come back but I never saw him again.

I can't explain it either but do know for certainty is was not a trick and the magician was the one who was most surprised!

I have had not other ESP events in my life aside from being able to predict the time...:D

I am going to take you "scientists" to task for quickly attempting to discount the facts and debunk instead of thinking analytically. Granted I have had a few more years to ponder this and compare notes and the only logical conclusion would be a suggestive scenario, where the "magician" was making subtle remarks about boats etc and betting the odds that some one will come close and he can sell his expertise on the matter, tutor and nurture the fledgling talent. I would search for scientific papers based on this if interested and see how successful such things have been.

At any rate you let your emotion overpower your reason...not good for a scientist...

Adios,

W
 
  • #74
Ryan_m_b
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Turn on your TV, log onto YouTube, walk down the street and you can find a magician doin fantastic things. I once had a magician do a similar trick to me, I had to write a name on a card that I'd pulled from a deck and put it in an envelope. He wrote a name and did the same. Then after some talking and handwaving he produced a card that had both the names on it and was a fusion of the two cards (I.e if the two cards were 5 of diamonds and 6 of hearts the card was 5 of hearts). The cards in the envelope became blank.

Now I have no idea how he did it, but does that mean that it was magic? No. I'm not saying it couldn't have been but with all the experience the world has with trickery supernatural explanations just get smaller and smaller.

Now you won't be able to read many scientific papers on the subject because investigating magic tricks is not what scientists do and it would be a waste of time and resources. If you want to figure out how to do it buy a magic book and take a few classes.
 
  • #75
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Google "drawing duplication."
Thanks. Apparently there's endless variations of this trick, and new ones always being developed. Different magicians develop their own version. You can buy magic packages to learn any particular version. (Kreskin did one once years ago on TV but I don't recall the train of events such that I could figure out exactly how it was done.)

Wahlstib, you, yourself, have to squarely face the fact you gave us:
"At the behest of a friend I was at a talk at an old magicians house. Seriously! This was an old guy who was a parlor tricks kind of sort who was dabbilng in the occult."
The "dabbling in the occult" baloney and his apparent surprise at your drawing were part of the act. He must have been very good, since you're still moved by the experience today.
 

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