How do you feel about this forum?
1. It’s all been said before. Now it’s boring!
12.50%
2
2. I look forward to visiting the PsiQuest forum but rarely post.
56.25%
9
3. I don’t really care that much.
0%
0
4. The hidden forums put me off.
0%
0
5. I’m a regular poster on the forum.
18.75%
3
6. Other (please expand in comments)
12.50%
2
16 vote(s)
* You voted for this item.

How do you feel about the PsiQuest Forum?

24 Replies, 2050 Views

Feel free to expand on your thoughts by commenting below. 

Thanks. 
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
(This post was last modified: 2021-05-23, 09:06 PM by Stan Woolley.)
I come and have a squizz every so often to see if there's any new info come out. Parapsychology is a slow endeavor, so I don't mind only the occassional posting. There's no point retreading old ground.
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I put down number 5 in the poll, as that most accurately fits, however, I have some support for number 1 too. 

I like to use the phrase ‘zombie tennis’ to describe some of the threads that I read, where sceptics and proponents hurl their often worn out old arguments at each other across no man’s land. In truth, boredom & entertainment may be a large part of why this happens, combined with tribalism of course. Have I ever ‘enjoyed’ such mud slinging contests? Of course, after all, I am only human.

The forums ‘glory days’ seems to have past for now. Everything seems to have its/their day in the sun, then we all dip into the shadows again. I miss the times when I could look forward to reading a handful of fresh posts from multiple sources every time I logged in. Will the forum ever be the same? 

I think there is plenty of interesting stuff around that we can learn from, but PSI is not at present in the spotlight. I’m interested in finding out where the interesting people that have moved on from this forum are now spending their time? Have they given up and bought a nice comfy pair of slippers which they wear reading Sci-Fi novels while drinking wine in an armchair in front of an open fire?
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
I've a long tradition of disliking polls, luckily Stan has provided the "Other" option just for me. Thanks for that. (or am I reading too much into things? Smile )

Anyway, my beginnings of posting on these topics had a very specific single focus. The AWARE study was just starting out, it was intriguing, and I wanted to join in, posting links to articles I'd found and giving my two penn'orth on things too. Clearly that specific topic has become a very long-term project and could outlive my own existence here! In the meantime I post occasionally on things which interest me.

As to the forum as a whole, I think perhaps people come here to read the news, what's happening. In my opinion there are other places such as twitter feeds and so on which are better at getting fresh (and not-so-fresh) news. Sometimes when I spot something out there which catches my attention then I share it here.

Though I think it's a good thing for members to post stuff here, we all have our own interests and it probably requires a certain minimum size group for things to spark a discussion.

Overall though, mostly the general public is/are tending to spend time on global giants of social media these days, and that isn't something we can or should expect to compete with.
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New scientific findings might be interesting to discuss but they are few and far between.  This forum is now a mess of confirmation bias and ultra-gullibility and regardless of that, it's the same old anti-sceptic rhetoric over and over and over again.  When religion is approved of, it's always eastern or neo pagan; trendy beliefs that do not challenge anybody's personal ethics.  The validity of such things as reincarnation and mediumship is never in question and if anybody dares to question such, they are frowned upon.  Debate is pointless because nobody is really interested in the truth.  That is why the sceptics disappeared from the forum.
(2021-05-24, 11:02 AM)Typoz Wrote: I've a long tradition of disliking polls, luckily Stan has provided the "Other" option just for me. Thanks for that. (or am I reading too much into things? Smile )


No, I’m glad that you’ve responded as I put the ‘other’ option there specially for you.  Thumbs Up

I have been on social media and I think it definitely has a place, but it’s also where the screaming is loudest, nuance and informed opinion is in short supply. However, I also think that mainstream media are simply better actors carrying a veil of respectability that the vast majority desperately cling to. I roll my eyes when people say with an air of smugness, “a couple of hours on google and now you’re an expert!” As to whether we should compete? I’m not so sure. I would always prefer to scurry back to my quiet little asylum rather than the huge ones like Facebook and Twitter. 

I very much miss the thoughtful posts of former Skeptiko members, the likes of Bucky, Craig Weiler, EthanT, gabriel, Michael Patterson and many more besides. I didn’t always agree with them, but I did surely listen to them respectfully, as they always had intelligent, interesting things to say. That many of them didn’t join PsiQuest, at least for a while, is a shame imo. In fairness many had outgrown Skeptiko and already said their piece by then.

I have been guilty of ‘living in the past’ recently, as you might have gathered.
Oh my God, I hate all this.   Surprise
(This post was last modified: 2021-05-24, 02:05 PM by Stan Woolley.)
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I like it and wish I could comment and post more.
"The cure for bad information is more information."
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(2021-05-24, 12:49 PM)Brian Wrote: New scientific findings might be interesting to discuss but they are few and far between.  This forum is now a mess of confirmation bias and ultra-gullibility and regardless of that, it's the same old anti-sceptic rhetoric over and over and over again.  When religion is approved of, it's always eastern or neo pagan; trendy beliefs that do not challenge anybody's personal ethics.  The validity of such things as reincarnation and mediumship is never in question and if anybody dares to question such, they are frowned upon.  Debate is pointless because nobody is really interested in the truth.  That is why the sceptics disappeared from the forum.

What is a good challenge to the entire body of evidence for reincarnation and mediumship? One can make an a priori argument for their impossibility but it seems really hard to dismiss the cases as a whole if you accept supernatural events can happen?

I hope this comes across as nicely as possible, but it seems you are convinced there is some true religion that would challenge people's "personal ethics"?

Not sure what this even means as it IMO people here seem to have rather different sets of ethics. Even on the question of, say, The Problem of Evil, some people here think there are wiser beings - maybe even a god - who set this life up in order for us to learn and others who think it's all impersonal systems shifting souls...and even still others who think the universe is something like a prison.

The skeptics left because they lost - no one cares about their hardliner talking points, you can see that even in mainstream media . Simple as that AFAICTell.
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


(This post was last modified: 2021-05-25, 12:27 AM by Sciborg_S_Patel.)
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(2021-05-24, 08:30 AM)Stan Woolley Wrote: I like to use the phrase ‘zombie tennis’ to describe some of the threads that I read, where sceptics and proponents hurl their often worn out old arguments at each other across no man’s land. In truth, boredom & entertainment may be a large part of why this happens, combined with tribalism of course. Have I ever ‘enjoyed’ such mud slinging contests? Of course, after all, I am only human.

The forums ‘glory days’ seems to have past for now. Everything seems to have its/their day in the sun, then we all dip into the shadows again. I miss the times when I could look forward to reading a handful of fresh posts from multiple sources every time I logged in. Will the forum ever be the same? 

I think there is plenty of interesting stuff around that we can learn from, but PSI is not at present in the spotlight. I’m interested in finding out where the interesting people that have moved on from this forum are now spending their time? Have they given up and bought a nice comfy pair of slippers which they wear reading Sci-Fi novels while drinking wine in an armchair in front of an open fire?

I do feel like that as well in regards to the skeptic discussions. That's why I only post if I find something that's legitimately challenging. But there's not a lot of that nowdays, it's a lot of the same old addressed points and everything else is kind of goes on within parapsychology itself. 

I think the forum might pick up again, at least in regard to certain topics that come up. People seem plenty keen to talk, it's just finding something interesting to talk about which is the thing. Honestly even if there's not so much going on I'll still stick around here. I was so happy to find this forum because it was somewhere to talk about these topics. Otherwise I just have to dwell on it all myself. And that's not very fun to do ALL the time.

(2021-05-24, 11:02 AM)Typoz Wrote: As to the forum as a whole, I think perhaps people come here to read the news, what's happening. In my opinion there are other places such as twitter feeds and so on which are better at getting fresh (and not-so-fresh) news. Sometimes when I spot something out there which catches my attention then I share it here.

I mostly follow some of the official twitter pages myself, like the Society for Psychical research. They're pretty active and always posting stuff. Very little discussion though, which is why I stay around here. You need people to talk to about stuff like this, otherwise you'll just start going crazy since you can hardly talk to anyone else.

(2021-05-24, 12:49 PM)Brian Wrote: New scientific findings might be interesting to discuss but they are few and far between.  This forum is now a mess of confirmation bias and ultra-gullibility and regardless of that, it's the same old anti-sceptic rhetoric over and over and over again.  When religion is approved of, it's always eastern or neo pagan; trendy beliefs that do not challenge anybody's personal ethics.  The validity of such things as reincarnation and mediumship is never in question and if anybody dares to question such, they are frowned upon.  Debate is pointless because nobody is really interested in the truth.  That is why the sceptics disappeared from the forum.

Hmmm what to say. I think that research occurs all the time, but we're now merely experiencing the fun side of the scientific process. Boring repetition and confirmation. I also think the ultra-gullibility claim is a bit of a leap and I wonder if you'd have any examples.

In regards to religion, I'm an atheist so yknow I don't give much of a shit either way. I kind of like neo pagan beliefs since they can sometimes be more believable, but that's about as much I'll give them.

I try to keep a healthy amount of skepticism towards things such as reincarnation and mediumship, but I trust the evidence from the studies surrounding the topics. More so modern studies with mediums, rather than the old popular famous medium accounts. I think debate is also welcome but people mostly agree with each other on stuff, or at least don't care enough to get in a long winded debate about it. As for the skeptics, reading back I feel like there's more hostility towards them than what there should have been, and that's at fault of some of the members here. Skeptics are important, and in their absence we need to be more critical of what info we get. But at the same time, like Stan said up there, a lot of the time nothing new was being brought to the table. A lot of zombie tennis. The only time I ever saw any new skeptical points I never heard of was when there was a report about how an NDEr potentially saw a target in an old report, but the colour was so inconclusive that it couldnt be said whether it was accurate or not.
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(2021-05-24, 08:30 AM)Stan Woolley Wrote: I think there is plenty of interesting stuff around that we can learn from, but PSI is not at present in the spotlight. I’m interested in finding out where the interesting people that have moved on from this forum are now spending their time? Have they given up and bought a nice comfy pair of slippers which they wear reading Sci-Fi novels while drinking wine in an armchair in front of an open fire?

I think this is the case to some extent. Proponents basically won, in the sense that the larger cultural shift is toward our side to a degree that seemed impossible a mere decade or so ago.

The BBC is talking about dream Psi, Vice is talking about the "Hard Science" of reincarnation, Scientific American is publishing articles about Idealism and the Simulation Hypothesis, the NYTimes is talking about the importance of UFO reports.

The streaming sites seem to have some documentaries about the paranormal, presenting the research in at least a neutral if not positive light. Even shows that aren't directly about the paranormal, like Zac Efron's travelogue, have a segment like that show talking to a doctor who confirmed a set of healing cases at Lourdes.

Then there is the rise of astrology and witchcraft in the general public, sites that are the equivalent of local papers talking about topics like Panpsychism and Orch-Or.

All to say...what's left for proponents to do other than wait for more research? Basically wait for the current campers on Wikipedia to die off so we can remove the bias from those articles?
'Historically, we may regard materialism as a system of dogma set up to combat orthodox dogma...Accordingly we find that, as ancient orthodoxies disintegrate, materialism more and more gives way to scepticism.'

- Bertrand Russell


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