Blog Archives

Lutz = Biedny?

Is it just me or does Kerry Lutz at the Financial Survival Network, sound a whole lot like David Biedny from the original Paracast podcast?

biedny

So they don’t really look the same, but if you already know what Biedny sounds like, listen to the link.

 

You can listen to his podcast free here: The episode linked Lutz talks with his guest about Japan and their high levels of debt and how that will become an issue in the future. He sounded so much like David Biedny that I kept expecting him to talk about his experience living through the Venezuelan currency crisis in the 70’s, and I don’t even think they had a crisis in the 70s.

So its basically the voice that I’m listening to, and the way he talks in terms of tone and such.  I don’t think they are actually the same people, but man if they don’t sound the same.

 

Kerry Lutz from the Financial Survival Network.

Kerry Lutz from the Financial Survival Network.

David Biedny, formerly of the Paracast.

David Biedny, formerly of the Paracast.

 

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Art Bell is Back! #Bell&Binnall!

Ok, so I never actually heard Coast to Coast when he hosted it, but I hear he’s good.

I suspect he’ll need a producer or two.

I’d like to nominate Tim Binnall for that job. He’s obviously got the background in the paranormal. He’s been organizing interviews for years. I think his schooling is in media production or something along those lines. I suspect he’d like a better paying job than whatever he currently is doing, although I’m not really sure what it is.

so how about it? Care to start a twitter trend with me? Maybe something like:

#Bell&Binnall

#B(inna)ell

#Binnell

#BinnallforBell

I don’t know if Binnall wants to move to Nevada or wherever Bell is currently, but he’d be closer to Bishop and Redfern than up in Mass.

 

Skeptiko #119

I’m listening to the current episode of skeptiko. Outstanding intro section. Alex lays out what is at stake in the whole material v. Paranormal argument. He also makes the point that I don’t hear often enough that the skeptics are very much aware of what the consequences are if the various non-material phenomena are true. In the end I think that is why they are so determined in their cause. So if you just happen to be new to the whole thing (UFOs, PSI, NDE, OBES) this show is worth a listen.

Wishlist #5 — Philosophy 101

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a little while. After seeing this interview with Chris Carter a while ago, linked through Anomalist.com, I thought it was finally time to hit the keyboard again.

If there’s one thing that we need is education. As a community (paranormal community) we don’t even seem to ask the right questions. For the most part, it doesn’t seem like there’s a decent foundation to work from. Normally someone has an experience, or hears about someone else’s experience,  and tries to combine it into their own view of the world. And from what I read on the Internet,  their view of the world is probably pretty uninformed and unexamined. What might be really helpful is a better foundation in philosophy.

I’ll admit, I’m no philosopher, but I’ve found the subject a lot more interesting since I left college, especially since becoming interested in anomalous topics. But it seems to me that people have been dealing with these subjects for thousands of years.  A lot of good minds have come to bear on the subject, not that you would know it from the discussion in the current ufological/paranormal community.

So what I would like to see, item #5 on my wishlist, is a an educational outlet devoted to the philosophy of the paranormal. I would love to hear philosophers talk about dualism as it relates to what we call the paranormal. What do Hindu philosophers have to formally say about UFOs? There’s a ton of material that can be tapped, and related directly to this crazy world in the ether that we all seem to be fascinated about, but so few have any idea about what’s already been said.

And the other thing is that this would be an area where skeptics (or whatever pejorative you’d like to use) could actually find some common ground with the believers (or whatever pejorative you’d like to use) because it doesn’t necessarily have to have anything to do with the current landscape, just some talking about what some dead guys said a long time ago.

I wrote an email to Paul H. Smith a few months ago asking him to think about doing a subscription podcast on the philosophy of the paranormal.  I’m happy to pay for a little education, and I hope you are too, because honestly, whatever you’re paying for cable tv is too much. The format of the Philosopher’s Zone podcast is pretty good, maybe Alan Saunders could take a stab at it. How about the folks at the Teaching Company? They do some nice educational audio work, maybe they could put something together?

Well, that’s my wishlist item #5. I hope you think the idea has some merit. And lets be honest, we’ve all heard the same people on the podcast circuit over and over and over, so a new approach might be useful.

Is Physicalism "really" true? Paul Smith's Dissertation is finally out…

I’ve been looking forward to reading Paul Smith’s dissertation for a while.

The University of Texas at Austin finally has his doctoral dissertation up on their website. All 432 page of it. The title is:

Is physicalism “really” true?: an empirical argument against the universal construal of physicalism

For those that don’t know, Paul Smith was one of the remote viewers in the Army’s program.

His website is http://www.rviewer.com

The dissertation can be found here:

http://repositories.lib.utexas.edu/bitstream/handle/2152/ETD-UT-2009-12-682/SMITH-DISSERTATION.pdf

You can hear him on the Skeptiko podcast below, talking about the Men Who Stare at Goats movie:

http://www.skeptiko.com/87-remote-viewing-fact-and-fiction-paul-h-smith/

Wishlist #3 — Funding Mechanism — Kickstarter.com

A while ago I did a post on a new item for my wishlist.

The post described an idea for a funding mechanism that would enable people working on paranormal projects to seek funding from outside sources. Ideally it would provide a way for people to make contributions that are tax deductible and provide a mechanism for funds to be returned if enough money for the project isn’t raised or if a portion of the money remains unspent at the end of the project.

Well, I was reading my most recent issue of Make Magazine and found a mention of a website that accomplishes some of these goals and its called Kickstarter

Basically it allows people or groups seeking funding to post a project proposal online and then collect funds from interested parties. In this case, if the desired amount is not raised, all the funds get returned to the donors.

According to the FAQ, non-profits can use their tax-deductible status.

The program uses Amazon.com’s payment system. They also mention in their faq that Paypal is working on a system that Kickstarter might consider using as well, to process contingent payments. I thought a company like Paypal would be ideal because they already have much of financial infrastructure to deal with relatively small payments. I guess Amazon is close enough.

I recently came across another instance where this sort of program would be very useful. Billy Cox did a posting on an event that is being organized by Robert Salas and Robert Hastings. The post talked about how they need money to get the people to D.C., to put them up in hotels, and to rent the space. Sounds good to me, as they seem to be more reasonable than some other presenters (your opinion may vary) so I sent in some money via paypal.  I couldn’t help wondering though, that having a more community oriented portal for solicitation would be helpful. Something where they could make a presentation, contributors could get updates, and then potentially have refunds if excess (haha) funds were raised. Kickstarter accomplishes most of these things.

I hope people looking for funding for projects will at least give Kickstarter a look.

Flatland vs. Gravity

I’m always somewhat annoyed by the Allegory of the Cave (flatland) analogy for paranormal events. That what we’re seeing is actually just three-dimensions of something in a higher demensional space, impinging on our space, and we can only see the the projection of that higher dimensional thing in our paltry 3/4-d space.

The following clip explains the flatland concept. Sorry, I’m not really sure who to credit this as I don’t think the youtuber I am linking to actually created it, although I think it’s basically from the What the Bl*?!p creators.

It always seems like its something that’s too far out. Like we’ll never get to understand these crazy projections, because they’re just beyond our dimensional understanding. It also gives denialists an easy out because it places the phenomenon outside our current existence.  Well, maybe its something like that, but I prefer a gravity analogy. I don’t know if its been talked about before, but I was thinking about it, and thought I’d put it down here.

Imagine a family. The family has been stuck on a spaceship for many generations. They are out in deep, deep space, so there are no planets or stars that would have a significant gravitational effect on them. Now, forget about the problems of food, muscular atrophy, astroids, and all the radiation that they would likely be subjected too.

Because they are so far out in deep space, if you told them about gravity, they would probably laugh at you, because they have no direct experience with it. There may be legends and myths, passed down from generation to generation about some strange attractive force, but they are just floating around this spaceship, bouncing from here to there, bumping their heads on pipes, just like you floating around in a swimming pool.

In their experience, gravity may exist, but in such a small way, that they never notice it. They don’t ever think to try to do an experiment. Why the hell would two objects attract each other? Just because? Extraordinary claims, yada yada yada.

As I’ve been following paranormal topics over the last few years, I’m sort of coming to the conclusion that the whole thing has as much, or more, to do with consciousness as anything else, whatever consciousness turns out to be. The thing is, I’m getting the impression that consciousness will turn out to be something normal, at least having a significant component, within our normal universe. No need to go into higher dimensions, it’s all around you in this dimension. Our space faring family didn’t have the immediate experience with gravity, and somehow we don’t have that immediate experience with significant portions of our consciousness. Some of us (not me yet) have had experiences, but unfortunately, they’re normally laughed at when they talk about it.

Eventually the space family will run across some planet or star, and get quite a rude awakening. Will we ever find something similar that makes us see our consciousness differently, on a broad scale? I don’t have any idea, so all I can do is read, begin to practice meditation, and hope that I stumble upon some of the truths of the myths and legends passed down from previous generations, and listen to the madmen around me now.

Comments are welcome.

Red Ice Radio– no zorgy love?

I’ve also got to wonder why Red Ice Radio wasn’t nominated for a Zorgy in any category. Henrik and Fredrik Palmgren have put together a show that can be pretty good. Although the latest episode wasn’t paranormal, it very often is, and their production value is always quite high.

Anyway, I’d nominate them to at least be considered for next year’s proceedings.