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James Randi is an idiot!!

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posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 06:56 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by Off_The_Street
And I don't have any problem with Randi. He may be a bit pretentious at times, but the fact that he insults people who belive that kind of thing doesn't mean he's lost all credibility as a researcher, it just means he's not playing nice.


I think when a researcher "insults people who believe that kind of thing" it demonstrates that they have lost objectivity and therefore definitely have "lost credibility as a researcher". How can you objectively 'research' something with your mind already made up and firmly closed?

Randi isn't objective. His mind is closed IMO. He's a "professional skepetic', which means his ego and sense of identity is heavily invested in skepticism and disbelief, much as a clergyman's sense of identity is invested in the teachings of his religion.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]


I think it's interesting how we try to impose our own moral values on the behaviour of others. In this case, why does it even matter if someone resorts to insults and what bearing does that have on the objectivity of one's work? You do realize his style includes egging people on that refuse to be tested by Randi or any other scientific organization. Of course once the test is complete or they have proven the person to be a fraud, why hold back?

If you want to hold Randi to your morals, why stop there? Why not chide those that are being insulting here as well? What about the paranormalists, New Age gurus, etc that insult Randi, other skeptics, or even science?

[edit on 14-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]




posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:06 PM
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reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


You must of not read the part where I mentioned that it was also an allegorical story. The part where I said I had personal experience with the challenge and the organization.

They do use stall tactics.

They do not use independent judges to judge the claims but instead the members offering the prize judge the challenge. And as it is their money I would say that is a vested interest... If anyone ever wins the challenge they would have to pay...That is called a conflict of interest not a straw man argument.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:09 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by Off_The_Street
And I don't have any problem with Randi. He may be a bit pretentious at times, but the fact that he insults people who belive that kind of thing doesn't mean he's lost all credibility as a researcher, it just means he's not playing nice.


I think when a researcher "insults people who believe that kind of thing" it demonstrates that they have lost objectivity and therefore definitely have "lost credibility as a researcher". How can you objectively 'research' something with your mind already made up and firmly closed?

Randi isn't objective. His mind is closed IMO. He's a "professional skepetic', which means his ego and sense of identity is heavily invested in skepticism and disbelief, much as a clergyman's sense of identity is invested in the teachings of his religion.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]


I think it's interesting how we try to impose our own moral values on the behaviour of others. In this case, why does it even matter if someone resorts to insults and what bearing does that have on the objectivity of one's work? You do realize his style includes egging people on that refuse to be tested by Randi or any other scientific organization. Of course once the test is complete or they have proven the person to be a fraud, why hold back?

If you want to hold Randi to your morals, why stop there? Why not chide those that are being insulting here as well? What about the paranormalists, New Age gurus, etc that insult Randi, other skeptics, or even science?

[edit on 14-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]


The type of insult may show impartiality or lack thereof, and that would, indeed, have bearing.

As Chris Rock put it about the OJ trial: If Jerry Seinfeld was on trial and the person that found the glove was Louis Farrakhan then Jewish people might suspect that Jerry wasn't going to get a fair trial.

When you have a bias, when you show your bias, when it is your money that will be lost if someone passes the evaluation then the fair (as one poster put it) thing to do is remove yourself from the evaluation and let others take the reigns.

If Randi put the money in a trust and handed it over to MIT I would be the first one on board with the contest.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:15 PM
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Originally posted by titorite
reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


You must of not read the part where I mentioned that it was also an allegorical story. The part where I said I had personal experience with the challenge and the organization.

They do use stall tactics.

They do not use independent judges to judge the claims but instead the members offering the prize judge the challenge. And as it is their money I would say that is a vested interest... If anyone ever wins the challenge they would have to pay...That is called a conflict of interest not a straw man argument.


Stalling? They're a busy organization that receive hundreds of requests for testing. Try examining each and every one with limited resources and not be accused of "stalling".

The use of independent judges is asking a but much given the usual sort of people they are dealing with. If they used "independent" judges they would have to train them to look out for certain tricks of the trade and once again you would have issue with that. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't isn't it?

P.S. - Allegory...Straw man. Same difference in terms of your argument.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:28 PM
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Originally posted by A Fortiori

The type of insult may show impartiality or lack thereof, and that would, indeed, have bearing.

As Chris Rock put it about the OJ trial: If Jerry Seinfeld was on trial and the person that found the glove was Louis Farrakhan then Jewish people might suspect that Jerry wasn't going to get a fair trial.

When you have a bias, when you show your bias, when it is your money that will be lost if someone passes the evaluation then the fair (as one poster put it) thing to do is remove yourself from the evaluation and let others take the reigns.

If Randi put the money in a trust and handed it over to MIT I would be the first one on board with the contest.


You're really splitting hairs saying the type of insult matters and one type can show how impartial one is. You would then need to take into account whether it was made in jest only or with a hint of sarcasm and maybe even cynicism. Perhaps over-complicating things a bit much? The fact remains that given someone that could be construed as impartial and properly designed methodology, they would be forced to be impartial due to the strict methodology applied. This could easily be verified and if issues did arise, the methodology corrected and tests redone. Once again, science presents the proper way to handle this situation. The legal sense here does not apply so I will not respond to that part.

About the fair part, I will remind you that there is a scientific definition of fairness and also a statistical usage. I would imagine that is the type of fairness the other poster meant. Randi does not own the money. See for yourself: www.randi.org... Section 3.1 in particular will answer your question about the type of fund it is. Also keep in mind that Randi does not personally test many of the applicants anymore and don't forget there are other organizations that do similar testing such as the IIG: www.iigwest.com...

[edit on 14-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:30 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

Stalling? They're a busy organization that receive hundreds of requests for testing. Try examining each and every one with limited resources and not be accused of "stalling".

The use of independent judges is asking a but much given the usual sort of people they are dealing with. If they used "independent" judges they would have to train them to look out for certain tricks of the trade and once again you would have issue with that. It's damned if you do and damned if you don't isn't it?

P.S. - Allegory...Straw man. Same difference in terms of your argument.


I get it now.

You ARE and apologist for the JREF

It took me close to a year to get referred to another group so I could get tested. I was willing to go to the Florida head quarters but they delayed and delayed. Eventually they referred me to a smaller skeptic organization in my state that would test me on their behalf.

When I informed the smaller organization about the JERF correspondence they informed me that they knew nothing of it and had nothing to do with the JERF

BUT

They did have their own challenge and if I felt so inclined I could apply to it...

The correspondence from this bomb shell went on and on but I went through all the hoops and in the end it was for naught.

I was judged by the folks who had money on the line.

And asking for independent judges is not asking for a bit much. They could even use members of their own organization.... but when the folks who put the money up are directly responsible for judging the out come nobody will ever win..... Not unless they just want to burn their money.


My point is that the challenge is fraudulent because those that run it judge it and are not inclined to lose it even if they have to lie to keep their cash.


And just in case you do not know the definition of the word allegory

HERE IS A LINK

From the link: figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.

In this case "the throwing of a football through the hole in a tire swing": was used as a guise for my own challenge when I accepted.

If I do not want to go into what I applied to do it may have something to do with the BS they put me trough. They could of ran the test with in the confines of a week especially when I was ready to meet them at any time...instead they dragged it along for 2 years. That is me every day writing them..phoning, and letting them know I could go anywhere to meet them on their terms at any time.

Oh and being cussed at at belittled does not help my perspective either.

I mean if these were civilized folks would the really need to cuss people who are polite most time, Tactful at others...... I never cussed them but they cussed me... They put all my info online... They put me through a trial...for their entertainment....

It is not a big deal to be told I think you are a normal dude.... To be made fun of and ridiculed for the entertainment of other is exploitation....

THE JREF are intellectual frauds!



[edit on 14-10-2009 by titorite]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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Originally posted by titorite
I get it now.

You ARE and apologist for the JREF

It took me close to a year to get tested. I was willing to go to the Florida head quarters but they delayed and delayed. Eventually they referred me to a smaller skeptic organization in my state that would test me on their behalf.

When I informed the smaller organization about the JERF correspondence they informed me that they knew nothing of it and had nothing to do with the JERF

BUT

They did have their own challenge and if I felt so incline I could apply to it...

The correspondence from this bomb shell went on and on but I went through all the hoops and in the end it was for naught.

I was judged by the folks who had money on the line.

And asking for independent judges is not asking for a bit much. They could even use members of their own organization.... but when the folks who put the money up are directly responsible for judging the out come nobody will ever win..... Not unless they just want to burn their money.


My point is that the challenge is fraudulent because those that run it judge it and are not inclined to lose it even if they have to lie to keep their cash.


And just in case you do not know the definition of the word allegory

HERE IS A LINK

From the link: figurative treatment of one subject under the guise of another.

In this case "the throwing of a football through the hole in a tire swing": was used as a guise for my own challenge when I accepted.

If I do not want to go into what I applied to do it may have something to do with the BS they put me trough. They could of ran the test with in the confines of a week especially when I was ready to meet them at any time...instead they dragged it along for 2 years. That is me every day writing them..phoning, and letting them know I could go anywhere to meet them on their terms at any time.

Oh and being cussed at at belittled does not help my perspective either.

I mean if these were civilized folks would the really need to cuss people who are polite most time, Tactful at others...... I never cussed them but they cussed me... They put all my info online... They put me through a trial...for their entertainment....

It is not a big deal to be told I think you are a normal dude.... To be made fun of and ridiculed for the entertainment of other is exploitation....

THE JREF are intellectual frauds!

[edit on 14-10-2009 by titorite]


I figured you would resort to the usual accusations and conspiratorial nonsense. Once again I am not affiliated with the JREF or even a member of their forums. I've spent more time gathering information on their methodology thanks to people like you and this particular topic.

You can see in my above reply that there are small organizations set up with their own challenges that are used to pre-screen for the JREF. Why is this such an issue? You can always wait a few years for JREF to get back to you since they are so busy.

Who do you expect to be judged by? You want this small organization that is probably a non-profit to secure "independent" judges just for you or every other person that wants to have a go? They then would have to spend time training those judges so they could be on the lookout for nefarious activity. Once again that training would be questioned. Oh and what about the fact that the judges get paid from the organization itself, wouldn't that be a problem for you as well? You see, we can sit here and come up with excuse after excuse as to why YOU think their methodology is wrong. If you have particular problems with the organization that tested you, then please contact them and work it out instead of sitting here making one accusation after another. I imagine if you gave a good case any lawyer would jump at the chance to aid with your lawsuit.

P.S. - The other commenter linked to the definition of Straw Man. Have fun reading it.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:45 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471
I think it's interesting how we try to impose our own moral values on the behaviour of others. In this case, why does it even matter if someone resorts to insults and what bearing does that have on the objectivity of one's work?


I don't think it has anything whatsoever to do with morals. I'm not suggesting that he 'shouldn't' insult people who believe or ridicule certain beliefs, I'm saying that doing so logically demonstrates that he has already reached a conclusion and is not open to new findings regarding these subjects. That makes any stance as an open-minded researcher bogus.

As an extreme example, to demonstrate the idea: if someone said they were going to head up a new research team of experts to categorically determine of the Sphinx was built by Khufu, or built long before his time, and the leader of this team began the investigation by saying: "Of course, the idea that the Sphinx predates Khufu is absurd and there is not the slightest evidence for this, it's clear already that Khufu built it, and the idiots who believe this theory really need to question their mental health", would you consider him fit to lead this research team and would you trust that he was objectively and open-mindedly examining the evidence in order to reach an unbiased conclusion?

No.

Again, it has nothing to do with morals and everything to do with credibility.

Randi has none IMO.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:47 PM
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reply to post by titorite
 


One other thing, titorite. I would be interested in hearing what phenomenon you applied for. Of course you say you don't want to talk about it and that's your prerogative, but I think it would interest many. It's understandable that after going through a long ordeal you would be upset but you're conspiratorial as can be seen in your responses, you choose to lash out instead of analyze and work things out. If you truly believe you have some paranormal ability then it's in your best interest and the interest of mankind to develop it and work on getting it tested. Lashing out like this really does nothing except make you feel a bit better and keeps you from adjusting your world view.

[edit on 15-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:55 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by 1llum1n471
I think it's interesting how we try to impose our own moral values on the behaviour of others. In this case, why does it even matter if someone resorts to insults and what bearing does that have on the objectivity of one's work?


I don't think it has anything whatsoever to do with morals. I'm not suggesting that he 'shouldn't' insult people who believe or ridicule certain beliefs, I'm saying that doing so logically demonstrates that he has already reached a conclusion and is not open to new findings regarding these subjects. That makes any stance as an open-minded researcher bogus.

Again, it has nothing to do with morals.


I'm having trouble understanding how one relates to another. Perhaps you can explain why there is a logical connection between the two? As I said, even if one was biased, if proper methodology was followed and both parties agreed to such, then there should be no problem. Even if Randi is making jokes, that does not mean that everyone in his organization has some sort of bias or are you implying that they do? Are you saying thta everyone that has been tested are so dimwitted as to not realize the methodology agreed upon and agreement they are signing? Randi and the JREF must be gods among men to be so intellectually superior to fool everyone that has come their way


As I said, Randi is Randi. He had to step down from his post at CSICOP which he helped to found thanks to his incessant joking about Uri Geller. Randi still enjoys a healthy relationship with CSICOP however and has written many articles for them. Maybe he doesn't know when to shut up but how that affects his work is something I am still not seeing.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by 1llum1n471]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 07:57 PM
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reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


No... I am not lashing out...

And no...you do not get any ammo from me to use for your own personal amusement.

The JREF is a foundation of intellectual fraud. More than paranormal people their are paranormal spots. HOT SPOTS where demonstrable weirdness can not be explained away with mundane explanations...

And when I accuse you of being an apologist it is because that is what I see you doing. Defending their unscientific methods and apologizing for their busy schedule or my personal feelings of the out come.

Let me give you another elementary example of the conflict of interest.

I challenge you jump as high in the air as you can for one million bucks The string is that I shall be the judge of your ability to Jump. Now you jump. Since it is my money I will never admit that was as high as you could jump. Case closed I keep my money.

THAT WAS A STRAW MAN but it was also an example of the conflict of interest. As long as those with something to lose are judging the outcome that challenge will forever remain unwinnable.

Just ask the men who stare at goats.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:06 PM
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Originally posted by titorite
reply to post by 1llum1n471
 


No... I am not lashing out...

And no...you do not get any ammo from me to use for your own personal amusement.

The JREF is a foundation of intellectual fraud. More than paranormal people their are paranormal spots. HOT SPOTS where demonstrable weirdness can not be explained away with mundane explanations...

And when I accuse you of being an apologist it is because that is what I see you doing. Defending their unscientific methods and apologizing for their busy schedule or my personal feelings of the out come.

Let me give you another elementary example of the conflict of interest.

I challenge you jump as high in the air as you can for one million bucks The string is that I shall be the judge of your ability to Jump. Now you jump. Since it is my money I will never admit that was as high as you could jump. Case closed I keep my money.

THAT WAS A STRAW MAN but it was also an example of the conflict of interest. As long as those with something to lose are judging the outcome that challenge will forever remain unwinnable.

Just ask the men who stare at goats.


You're really just wasting my time now. I did try to reach out to you but you see that as an attempt to "get ammo". Paranoid much? You have my responses to everything you've repeated here already. Take it or leave it.

There is nothing to be lost in these sort of tests. Only something to be gained, for the good of all mankind. Losing a petty $1 million from this sort of test compared to the proceeds that would come their way for finding the world's most amazing spoon bender or what have you is your answer to the allegory/straw man you provide. Now take care and try not pop a blood vessel while raging on in this world.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:08 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471

I'm having trouble understanding how one [bias] relates to another [objectivity].


No doubt. Which is why you are able to defend the likes of Randi.


Perhaps you can explain why there is a logical connection between the two?


You don't understand how bias compromises objectivity? It's amazing how skeptics have no difficulty seeing the problem with this when it comes to the conclusions of 'believers'.


As I said, even if one was biased, if proper methodology was followed and both parties agreed to such, then there should be no problem.


Extreme bias and vested interest in a certain conclusion would cast serious doubt on 'proper methodology' being followed.



Even if Randi is making jokes, that does not mean that everyone in his organization has some sort of bias or are you implying that they do?


Frankly, they imply it by 'hitching their wagon' to someone like Randi.


Are you saying thta everyone that has been tested are so dimwitted as to not realize the methodology agreed upon and agreement they are signing?


Again, you presume that was is "agreed upon" is actually followed and that a hostile attitude and bias leaves would in no way affect the conducting of experiments, the way the data is collected and collated, and the conclusions reached. That's a lot of faith.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:11 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471


You're really just wasting my time now.


Now you make a baseless accusation.

How can I waste YOUR time?

You choose to read this.... You choose to respond. You choose how to spend YOUR time.

And then you blame others for how your spent your time.

It sounds like you have the problem but lack the responsibility to own up to it.



You are addressing this all from the Pseudo Skeptic point of View... People have given links to the Randi Detractors. Like the prize being in Bonds and not Cash. And link how Randi failed at cold reading himself...And other tid bits that point to Randi being less then intellectually honest.

You have ignored all those links and pointed out again and again Your links to Randi sites that support your world view....Did you even investigate the links counter to your POV presented by others in this thread...

Or would that be a waste of your time that I would Again be responsible for?

[edit on 14-10-2009 by titorite]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:14 PM
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I should say that if any members of JREF or similar organizations found this post they would be wincing at my pitiful attempt to bring a bit more rationality to this debate. As is always the case when encountering those with a superstitious mindset, any attempt to provide logic is only met with resentment. I've probably only managed to stir up the embers and started a few new fires. For that I must apologize. For those that understood the few points I have tried to make, thank you



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:18 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by 1llum1n471

I'm having trouble understanding how one [bias] relates to another [objectivity].


No doubt. Which is why you are able to defend the likes of Randi.


Perhaps you can explain why there is a logical connection between the two?


You don't understand how bias compromises objectivity? It's amazing how skeptics have no difficulty seeing the problem with this when it comes to the conclusions of 'believers'.


As I said, even if one was biased, if proper methodology was followed and both parties agreed to such, then there should be no problem.


Extreme bias and vested interest in a certain conclusion would cast serious doubt on 'proper methodology' being followed.



Even if Randi is making jokes, that does not mean that everyone in his organization has some sort of bias or are you implying that they do?


Frankly, they imply it by 'hitching their wagon' to someone like Randi.


Are you saying thta everyone that has been tested are so dimwitted as to not realize the methodology agreed upon and agreement they are signing?


Again, you presume that was is "agreed upon" is actually followed and that a hostile attitude and bias leaves would in no way affect the conducting of experiments, the way the data is collected and collated, and the conclusions reached. That's a lot of faith.

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]


Yes, it is agreed upon and signed by both parties prior to testing. You've not really read up on how the JREF works have you? You failed to provide me with proper evidence or reasoning as to why your presumption of bias on Randi's behalf would affect the testing from JREF itself or similar organizations. Might as well throw the baby out with the bath water.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:19 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471
I should say that if any members of JREF or similar organizations found this post they would be wincing at my pitiful attempt to bring a bit more rationality to this debate.


Probably. As pseudoskeptics, rationality is not their forte. I doubt they'd approve. Still, you tried your best before falling into the familiar pattern. Speaking of which....



As is always the case when encountering those with a superstitious mindset, any
attempt to provide logic is only met with resentment
.


Tut, tut. Now you really are showing your hand.

I was logical in pointing out that bias is the antithesis of objectivity and you tried to pretend I was making a 'moral' judgement. Did you read my example of the Sphinx investigation?

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:24 PM
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Originally posted by titorite

Originally posted by 1llum1n471


You're really just wasting my time now.


Now you make a baseless accusation.

How can I waste YOUR time?

You choose to read this.... You choose to respond. You choose how to spend YOUR time.

And then you blame others for how your spent your time.

It sounds like you have the problem but lack the responsibility to own up to it.



You are addressing this all from the Pseudo Skeptic point of View... People have given links to the Randi Detractors. Like the prize being in Bonds and not Cash. And link how Randi failed at cold reading himself...And other tid bits that point to Randi being less then intellectually honest.

You have ignored all those links and pointed out again and again Your links to Randi sites that support your world view....Did you even investigate the links counter to your POV presented by others in this thread...

Or would that be a waste of your time that I would Again be responsible for?

[edit on 14-10-2009 by titorite]


It was a statement and not necessarily an accusation. Yes, I'm wasting my time reading what you have written and forming responses to them as they fall on deaf ears anyways. I take full responsibility for that as I've asked multiple times for evidence to back up your accusations an even tried to get you to open up a bit more about your experience. That's a huge failure on my part as you just prefer to fall back on conspiratorial thinking.

The issue of bonds can be read about in the FAQ I linked to above. In fact, let me link to it again since I know you won't look: www.randi.org... Please by all means follow the procedures mentioned in section 3 and if they cannot provide adequate information about the bonds and availability of funds then get the JREF shut down as a nonprofit organization. It's all detailed there clearly. Go for it and come back here with the victory speech. I will be first in line to shake your hand.

I've taken time to look at the links provided here and investigate further. What more would you like from me besides coming over to your position that those damned skeptics are evil and deserve to be shot. Everything that has been said here against Randi or other skeptics can be countered logically which is why the naysayers have to fall back to emotional appeals and false accusations. It's quite tiresome when someone i.e. me is trying to have a rational discussion.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:25 PM
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Originally posted by 1llum1n471
Yes, it is agreed upon and signed by both parties prior to testing.


Sigh. But is it followed as agreed? With that much bias in the mix, it seems unlikely, don't you think? At least, it casts serious doubt upon the credibility of those conducting the experiments/investigations.




You failed to provide me with proper evidence or reasoning as to why your presumption of bias on Randi's behalf would affect the testing from JREF itself or similar organizations.


Sorry, I should have been more clear. If they share Randi's bias and vested interests in reaching a preferred conclusion, which I believe there is abundant evidence they do, then that seriously undermines their credibility and the validity of their 'findings'. They become worthless, IMO.



posted on Oct, 14 2009 @ 08:43 PM
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Originally posted by Malcram

Originally posted by 1llum1n471
I should say that if any members of JREF or similar organizations found this post they would be wincing at my pitiful attempt to bring a bit more rationality to this debate.


Probably. As pseudoskeptics, rationality is not their forte. I doubt they'd approve. Still, you tried your best before falling into the familiar pattern. Speaking of which....



As is always the case when encountering those with a superstitious mindset, any attempt to provide logic is only met with resentment.


Tut, tut. Now you really are showing your hand.

I was logical in pointing out that bias is the antithesis of objectivity and you tried to pretend I was making a 'moral' judgement. Did you read my example of the Sphinx investigation?

[edit on 14-10-2009 by Malcram]


A nice play on my previous post but selective quoting really is a bit unfair isn't it? Why use yet another fallacy to to try to derail the bulk of my arguments? Even your argument tha "bias is the antithesis of objectivity" is really an appeal to motive.

Can you repost yout example? I can't find it. Thanks!



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