Monday, December 27, 2010

A (very little) bit more on that "psi" woo junk...

So I've been reading a bit of the "Bern article" mentioned before here.  There's a few items that I have thought of in response to them:

  • In at least the first reported one (on "erotic stimuli") it is not clear to me that the results are in fact, statistically significant.
  • It is not clear to me that all variables in fact were isolated; for example, were there really no other cues available?  I don't know if all other explanatory effects were removed.
  • Finally, there's a bit of electrical engineering/physics problems associated with this whole thing, namely, that if such anti-causal behavior in fact happened, it would necessarily imply that infinite energy was available.  I'm sorry, I didn't make the laws of physics.  This phenomenon is easy to explain by way of analogy: imagine an "anti-causal" tuning fork, that is, one that responds to being hit before  it's hit.  Well, if such a beast existed, one could simply tap off the energy before the impulse was input and then ...simply don't hit it.  Since we have no such mechanisms, we can pretty safely assume they don't happen in nature.
And frankly, I'm also kind of bored with the question, because  it stems from a desire to want something more than what's around right now.   It's greed, folks.

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