Author Topic: Moonlight  (Read 16604 times)

ju4o

  • scout
  • Posts: 284
Moonlight
« on: 25 August 2015 03:40:44 PM »
The idea of this thread is to suggest an analogy between (1) exploration of radioactivity, in terms of:

  • 1A: the weak and not very useful fizzing of natural (terrestrial) radioactivity
  • 1B: the barely imaginable intensity of the energy released by the nuclear chain reaction

and exploration of psi, in terms of:

  • 2A: the weak and not very useful anomalous correlations of natural psi
  • 2B: the life-changing potential of trained clairvoyance



On 12th September 1933 The Times newspaper quoted from an address given the previous day by Ernest Rutherford in Leicester, at the annual meeting of the British Association ("A review of a quarter of a century's work on atomic transmutation"):

Quote
The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine.

'Talking moonshine' is English idiom for talk that is foolishly unrealistic.

The literal sense of the word may not have been in Rutherford's mind, but there is a way in which moonshine is exactly the right description.

Reading Rutherford's quote now, a luminous correspondence between 'moonshine' and the faintly gleaming glow of the wristwatch hands of those heroic decades of the early twentieth century is unmissable.  But moonshine is the reflected glow of sunlight, which comes from the 'transformation of atoms'.

Anyway, see what happened next ... on the very same day, according to some accounts:



~Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, 1987

Very atmospheric!  It is surely worth looking at in more detail.  From the same book:



This story is now famous and as such it's interesting to note that it could be quite inaccurate.  One minor detail is that, according to the British Newspaper Archive, Rutherford's address to the British Association was reported not only in The Times but in the Nottingham Evening Post.  Also in the Gloucestershire Echo, the Aberdeen Journal, the Hartlepool Mail, the Derby Daily Telegraph, the Portsmouth Evening News and the Sunderland Daily Echo and Shipping Gazette.  I think the author's confident assertion that it was necessarily in The Times that Szilard found the spark may be taken with a pinch of salt.

And I would be more than slightly doubtful about the traffic light which Szilard waited for to turn green.  It seems very unlikely that it would have been a pedestrian traffic light.  The first pedestrian traffic light was installed in San Fransisco in 1929.  It is scarcely believable that such a thing would have existed in London in 1933.  But if it was an ordinary traffic light, Szilard should have been waiting for red, not for green.

Anyway, here is a much more plausible version:



~The Collected Works of Leo Szilard: Scientific Papers, Bernard T. Feld and Gertrud Weiss (eds)

Now, psi.  Like with radioactivity, the key fact, and historically difficult to establish, is that it exists at all.  It doesn't matter that in its natural state it may be weak, unreliable and pretty much useless (except for glowing watch hands in the case of radioactivity, or forum games in the case of psi).  What is important is if it exists at all.  If it exists then, as a second step, it would make sense to discuss how it might possibly, sometimes, in the right and perhaps rare conditions, be intense and become awesome.

ju4o

  • scout
  • Posts: 284
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #1 on: 26 August 2015 12:06:52 PM »
 
"I never knew Szilard to stop for a red light."

~Jacob Bronowski, The Ascent of Man, 1973
 

Mr G

  • Posts: 156
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #2 on: 26 August 2015 07:55:25 PM »
Thanks J4 looks like you've done the hard work for us. Would you like us to try and contribute here or would you like to keep this thread relatively neat? I'll try not to make a mess.

I tried to think of definitions but it occurred to me that we're probably not the first to think of it. So if you don't mind a cheap google search effort, the question "what is psi?" (besides 6.895 kPa) points us to the site of the Parapsychological Association:

Quote
It is the term parapsychologists use to generically refer to all kinds of psychic phenomena, experiences, or events that seem to be related to the psyche, or mind, and which cannot be explained by established physical principles.

In their FAQ sections, they kindly explain what parapsychology is, and what it is not:

http://www.parapsych.org/articles/36/76/what_is_parapsychology.aspx

http://www.parapsych.org/articles/36/75/what_is_not_parapsychology.aspx

(It's not long reading)

Without going into questions or affirmations of the credentials of this association, do you think these are fair outlines for discussions in your thread?

Perhaps The Rt Hon. Lord Rutherford meant to say "Moonshine", which I'm sure you'll agree is a different kettle of fission... Ahem :-X

Master X, if it so behoves our learn'd host I suggest that we wander hither...

Edit: erratum - he did say "moonshine", I had it confused with the thread title.
« Last Edit: 26 August 2015 08:12:08 PM by Mr G »

Mr X

  • unpinged
  • Posts: 306
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #3 on: 27 August 2015 03:03:16 AM »
hello,

i too found myself looking up psi, and also ended up on an page from that website :
http://archived.parapsych.org/what_is_psi_varvoglis.htm

first things first, mr j, when you say psi what is your definition. what is the working definition of psi here in moonlight that we can all refer to ?

x.

ju4o

  • scout
  • Posts: 284
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #4 on: 27 August 2015 03:54:41 PM »
"What is psi?"  Here is an example.

Quote
There is a wonderful story (circa 1990, which was written up in an Australian newspaper and later made into a movie) concerning an Australian medical student who was lost in the Himalayas on a trek for about six weeks.

Thrangu Rinpoche had been consulted by the sister of the Australian medical student, because she had met someone in Boudhanath, who recommended she ask a lama. She had nothing to lose, for she had exhausted every other possibility without success, in her attempt to locate her brother. She visited Rinpoche and told him her woeful story.

Rinpoche asked for her map of the Himalayas and did some kind of contemplation and went over the map with his mala (using it as a kind of divining rod), and he told her that she would find him in a certain area on the map. Because she feared the worst --her brother had been lost for over four weeks in the snowy Himalayas without food or shelter-- the woman asked Rinpoche if her brother was dead. And Rinpoche replied that she would find him alive.

Unfortunately the woman did not have faith in Rinpoche's visionary talent and she did not begin the search immediately in the area he recommended. All the people leading the search were of the opinion that it was impossible for him to have made his way into the area outlined by Rinpoche, the so-called hidden valley, for there was no path leading into it.

Another two weeks of precious time went by before the sister decided --as the final flight-- to have the helicopter pilot fly over the so-called "hidden valley"; not because she expected to find him alive, but only because she wanted to return to Australia knowing with certainty that she had exhausted every possibility in her search for her brother. Well lo and behold, when the helicopter flew over the hidden valley, who should come out from his shelter under a rock: none other than the medical student himself, still alive after six weeks without food. If only the sister had listened to the recommendation of the Great Visionary, Thrangu Rinpoche, they would have found him within four weeks instead of six, and chances are he would have been in much better shape than he was.

~http://www.rinpoche.com/stories.htm (http://www.rinpoche.com/stories.htm)

If that story is true, it would be an example of the intensified form of psi and of how psi can be actually useful, in contrast to the weakly fizzing forms of it that we may have been glimpsing in the exploration thread.

But, according to the analogy which I am suggesting, the weakly fizzing forms are a crucial first step.

Mr X

  • unpinged
  • Posts: 306
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #5 on: 28 August 2015 02:18:27 AM »
hello j,

i was hoping for more a list or range of what psi covers in your view, that is a start. before looking up psi, i thought it meant esp/telepathy, and maybe telekinesis. i did not know and was an bit surprised it also relates to the strongest and most interesting parts of ghostly things. although thinking about it, it makes sense to be included (that there is more to us than the physical). to get started :

  • 2A: the weak and not very useful anomalous correlations of natural psi
  • 2B: the life-changing potential of trained clairvoyance
If it exists then, as a second step, it would make sense to discuss how it might possibly, sometimes, in the right and perhaps rare conditions, be intense and become awesome.

briefly, if i rambled my methods for trying to see a real apparition, you would notice not much of it would have to do with ghosts. it would be like transparent wax on wax off series of distractions/focuses. training is essential even if doesnt seem to be having much effect. as you really need your mind to be on point when it comes to it.

this leads to what we could call "simulation". it could perhaps help towards discussion of rare conditions for awesomeness.

basically - a lone security guard is doing his rounds in silence in a well lit building, sees an apparition.
paranormal investigators come to find the ghost, they turn off all the lights, use night vision cameras, fill the building with people and talking and electricity, wifi and radio signals that are normally not there. they dont see the apparition.

what is the difference in conditions. for one the witness is not tightly focused on the ghost. they are at work, doing something else. they are also familiar to the location.
so the simulation would be to be alone, be focused on something else, be familiar to the location.  but think how hard it would be to simulate the conditions of a poltergeist in a family home. the ghost finder would have to live with the family for months, and by being there would disrupt the original conditions. simulation is not easy but it is not without merit.

mr x.

ju4o

  • scout
  • Posts: 284
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #6 on: 30 August 2015 02:28:03 PM »
"transparent wax on wax off series"

As often happens, I don't feel very confident that I know what you mean.  But it seems interesting anyway, especially how it suggests that initial training in this kind of thing involves, as much as anything else, training the imagination.

Once I heard learning the skill of aura-seeing explained something like this:

Quote
to develop the skill of aura-seeing, you develop a strong wish to do it, and you try to do it, and you keep trying, and perhaps you start catching glimpses of auras, and you go on trying (but it has to be a relaxed, non-fraught kind of trying), and the glimpses become gradually more sustainable.

This provides an opening for skeptics to say how it just goes to show that this skill (and similar ones) is purely imaginary.

And it's worth noting at this point that some of the explanations which dJ gave to Castaneda are rather of the same kind.  For example, the first one of all, about finding the 'sitio', is

Quote
the proper thing to do was to find a 'spot' (sitio) on the floor where I could sit without fatigue

[...] I had no idea how to begin or even what he had in mind. Several times I asked for a clue, or at least a hint, as to how to proceed

[...] The general pattern was that I had to 'feel' all the possible spots that were accessible until I could determine without a doubt which was the right one.

[...] I deliberately tried to 'feel' differences between places, but I lacked the criteria for differentiation. I felt I was wasting my time, but I stayed. My rationalization was that I had come a long way just to see don Juan, and I really had nothing else to do.

Then in J2I the description of how to learn the 'gait of power' is somewhat similar:

Quote
He urged me to try it myself

[...] I tried various times without any success. I simply could not let go. The fear of injuring my legs was overpowering. Don Juan ordered me to keep on moving in the. same spot and to try to feel as if I were actually using the "gait of power."

The question which interests me is, with this kind of training, how does one validate that one is learning a real and not an imaginary skill.

Mr X

  • unpinged
  • Posts: 306
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #7 on: 01 September 2015 11:31:05 AM »
hello mr j,

i am aware of "don't feel very confident that I know what you mean" and i am actively trying to be more clear (spellcheck on overdrive). however i think even perfect english would not be enough to bridge the differences of our minds.

training the imagination, i agree. it is totally possible for ones mind to become limited in range.

"with this kind of training, how does one validate that one is learning a real and not an imaginary skill."

that is a good question. one we should continue to ask ourselves. no matter what direction things go in, let us check we are tethered to reality.

i also dont want to make a mess in this thread, or ramble about ghosts unless that is welcome. but if you want an exercise that relates to the gait of power quotes but is more useful for the strange quest of finding apparition psi events, i would be happy to type up the assignment. you are going to need a tree. then you could decide as you are doing it if you are learning a real skill or not.

mr x.

ju4o

  • scout
  • Posts: 284
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #8 on: 01 September 2015 09:06:33 PM »
 
Great but aren't we still gearing up for your previous challenge which was something about never being addicted to nicotine, or was it never not being addicted to nicotine, I can't remember which way round it was now but I remember trying to work out if I would qualify and thought I probably would but decided to wait for further clarification.
 

Mr X

  • unpinged
  • Posts: 306
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #9 on: 02 September 2015 07:10:12 PM »
hello j,

we are gearing up for an nicotine challenge ? i did not know that. in post 173 of part 1 of the general thread nicotine was mentioned, i didnt know we were preparing for that.

the nicotine thing related specifically to dreams. i dont think psi or general super threads covers dreams. at some point f4 is going to have to address the topic of dreams. (i am usually uninterested in that topic but after part 1 it is really hard to ignore that dreams exist).

very simple - if someone has never been addicted to nicotine they are very qualified. although anyone is qualified, it would just be an bad idea to accidentally get anyone re hooked on nicotine for and very simple dream experiment that is essentially meaningless.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/will-a-nicotine-patch-make-you-smarter-excerpt/

not worth rambling about but it was interesting you brought up the nicotine things of all things, as speaking of things that stopped before they started, i recently had an strong experience with accidentally quitting smoking, due to trying to train myself to try to find a ghost again (not an clean cut story, but that unexpected thing did not lead to psi training, it was quite an distraction). completely out of no where. (have relapsed on the nicotine since).

x.

ps.
so if you have a tree, on your property, 100 meters at least from your house, go an touch it, and smell it.

Mr G

  • Posts: 156
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #10 on: 02 September 2015 08:39:33 PM »
I was thinking this whole time about formal ways of describing the variables in psi, without much luck. Do you think it's possible to reduce it to something like a science with quantities and units and such or do you feel it needs a completely different approach, e.g. shamanism?

Mr X, I was just about to go to sleep and couldn't find a comfortable position, and I thought of you hurting your shoulder by sleeping on it... I'm afraid that's something you'll have to start getting used to... You know, the enemies of the warrior and all that. But perhaps like Carlos before you finding that special place on the floor, their might be a comfortable position in bed that will let you sleep in without injuring yourself...

I think experiments are in order...

Mr X

  • unpinged
  • Posts: 306
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #11 on: 04 September 2015 11:12:57 PM »
hello g,

formal ways and making categories and descriptions is good, and i agree, not easy. ive been thinking of it as a scale, like 0-10, 1 is the normal or natural (us and bigfoot), 10 is the highest possible supernatural idea, god. the afterlife is an close to god concept, say a 9. psi covers some afterlife things. where does psi fit on the scale. where do syncs fit. or in other words, i have no idea.

shamanism is not without value, but having a more scientific approach with quantities and units also has value. im thinking we could maybe make our own system ? not reinvent the wheel, take quality parts from other systems if they are functional. saving us decades of research. i dont want to pretend to be an scientist but i dont want to become a new age beliefer either, the right stuff is what we want.

after the sleep-in injury, that day was all about finding the right position. starting with figuring out a way to slide out of bed to get my legs on the ground and hoist my torso into an upright position. then figuring out the exact rules for being able to walk without alarming the injury. (all good now).

mr x.

ps. minor correction, psi discussion could cover dream things, but this thread or general thread shouldnt become a dream reporting thread.

mr j, can you think of an atmospheric pressure/sync test, that requires no guessing, say just cards being drawn. 5 minutes participation per week, just drawing cards and reporting. ongoing.

edit - ppss, g is there anything from your profession that could be of use to these sort of explorations. such as any insight into the process of learning, a person going from not knowing something to knowing something. or something simple like lesson plans or organizing the act of learning.
« Last Edit: 04 September 2015 11:33:27 PM by Mr X »

ju4o

  • scout
  • Posts: 284
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #12 on: 05 September 2015 03:50:57 PM »
" ... formal ways of describing the variables in psi ... something like a science with quantities and units and such ... "

What I would suggest, in relation to such a splendid appetite for formal methods and scientific ways as is implicit in your remark, is as follows.

Feynman wrote,

Quote
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum mechanics. ... Do not keep saying to yourself, if you can possibly avoid it, 'But how can it be like that?' because you will get 'down the drain', into a blind alley from which nobody has yet escaped. Nobody knows how it can be like that.

but if that is true, it is because we are not yet ready to understand quantum mechanics.

The mold of human cognition (this might sound better in German and should probably include some word like zeitgeist) has not yet developed to the point where it can possibly understand quantum mechanics.

But we get more ready to understand it by doing exactly what Feynman said not to do, which is to mull over the question, 'But how can it be like that?'

In previous centuries, the same thing applied to Newtonian mechanics.

At one time, humanity could not possibly embrace intellectually the idea that the universe is made of little billiard balls bouncing around and that was all there was to it.  It made no sense, the idea simply would not lodge in the human mind.

It's even unclear to what extent Newton himself was intellectually at home in a Newtonian universe.  According to Leibniz,

Quote
Sir Isaac Newton and his followers have also a very odd opinion concerning the work of God. According to their doctrine, God Almighty wants to wind up his watch from time to time: otherwise it would cease to move. He had not, it seems, sufficient foresight to make it a perpetual motion.

But gradually, over a long period of time during which people kept asking themselves Feynman's forbidden question, 'But how can it be like that?', the mold of human cognition developed to the point where eventually people really could feel at home in a billiard ball universe.  By about the twentieth century, vast numbers of people really did naturally feel that this is how things just are.  And those people, of course, could not possibly believe in psi.

Well, now the time has arrived for the next step.  Actually, that time arrived at least a hundred years ago, but these things move slowly.

Let the quantum question, 'But how can it be like that?', lodge well in our minds, and after a few hundred more years the answer will come.

It doesn't have to be only physicists who do this.  It doesn't even have to be primarily physicists who do it.  It is a matter of the common mode of cognition of humanity as a whole, to which everyone contributes.

Mulling the question, continually, 24 hours a day, dreaming and awake, is helping the development of the mold of human cognition.

Would you agree?

Mr G

  • Posts: 156
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #13 on: 08 September 2015 09:35:51 PM »
I do agree. I think the German word might be gestalt or something, which really does sound better than mindmold. I don't really have an appetite for formal methods, but I think it might be interesting giving it a go. I agree that psi has aspects that are un-about-speakable, but I am interested in finding a substantial difference between "real" psi and superstition. I really do think that there is something like "real psi", but I'm not sure about newspaper ads that say "Professor Bala showed me my enemies in a mirror, he gave me magic herbs. After one week I hit the lotto and was promoted at work and now my husband came back. Thank you Professor Bala at his stylish surgery next to Spar only R300."

Mr X, my profession might be an example of how not to approach something complex. My field is "vocational education", and like its' friends "basic education" and "higher education", was something that was actually pretty well understood for thousands of years. It's often said that prostitution is the oldest profession, but I think teaching is at least as old as that. It's something that we do instinctively, we know quite well how to show someone how to do something, then make them do it over and over until they do it good. So imagine everybody's great surprise when it was announced that a new way of teaching people stuff has been invented. They called it "Outcomes Based Education". Great philosophers cracked the code to boil knowledge into nuggets of uniform mass and value, so that learners could ride a great conveyor, mouths open, and have qualifications rammed down their throat in a piecemeal fashion. These philosophers' stones, these golden nuggets of knowledge were in fact sentences, most importantly ones with verbs. By thus codifying a standard text into irreducible atoms of Thunk, it was believed that learners shall breeze through courses, steadfast in their determination to collect'em all!

String 5 or so in a row and you've got yourself a Unit Standard, that is a: "Registered statement of desired education and training outcomes and its associated assessment criteria together with administrative and other information as specified in the regulations."

As such, "Math 1, Chapter 1: Some Geometry and stuff" became "Describe, draw, analyse and construct planar shapes and patterns and spatial objects and describe, interpret and represent the environment geometrically "

See, they thought they were making it easier. Next you might learn how to "Measure, estimate & calculate physical quantities & explore, critique & prove geometrical relationships in 2 and 3 dimensional space in the life and workplace of adult with increasing responsibilities"

I
shit
you
not.

It's dead, Jim. They've killed it.

So perhaps I was a little premature with thoughts about units of psi. Google also tried to make units of knowledge, it was supposed to be called a "knol". What a dumb idea... who could think that  "A jiffy lasts 10 milliseconds" might have the same educational value as "In a right angled triangle, the square of the hypotenuse equals the sum of the squares of the other two sides." And who could think that students should spend the same amount of time on those two, or that lecturers should get paid according to how many factoids they've piped down the gullet?

WHO?

On a lighter note X, you still have time to listen to the audiobook of The Martian before the movie comes out... I cannot recommend it highly enough.

PS: I just had to share this little psi psync, on sunday after the GP at Monza, Lewis Hamilton was under investigation because his rear left tyre was 0.3 p.s.i. under the prescribed minimum... as he tried to keep a straight face as the interviewers told him, I thought I spotted a bit of schadenfreude in the German Vettel's expression... and it made me think of zeitgeist and I thought... I wonder if ju40's a Ferrari fan...
« Last Edit: 08 September 2015 10:25:09 PM by Mr G »

Mr X

  • unpinged
  • Posts: 306
Re: Moonlight
« Reply #14 on: 11 September 2015 02:30:54 AM »
hello,

prof. bala at least has something going for him. he has a system that works - he gets money for nothing. imagine if a system actually had any value, if it actually worked, not imagine the money side, but the effect that would have on the users.

it is something for another post, but i have been wading through some inner bullshit and i too really think there is some sort of real psi, just hard to settle down on an idea of what the real stuff is.

in the past week or so i became annoyed at the great system of modern education. looking at the parapsychology units of different universities around the world, trying to read the papers they had published, paywall after paywall. i understand people need funding, but it would be nice if research was available to people who want to learn. the idea of renting a published paper seems weird but i sort of understand. there must be a nice academic piracy scene.

i really like the teaching as oldest profession part.

it is friday, by sunday we will have section for experiments. starting with the nicotine one as an informal formal experiement.

trying to find a tree will remain informal. if you have a tree, and can identify it by touch and smell, pay attention to the starting point. the doorway of your house that you go through as you walk to the tree. be able to identify the door frame by touch, you can smell it if you want but not needed. every time you walk to the tree during daylight, pay attention to everything with your eyes.

ps.
looking up "collect'em all", witcher 3 ? i had been wondering of some of your mountains of work was witcher3.

the martian, have avoided all spoilers of book and movie so far, will get it on audible, awesome.

mr x.