Why has this forum become so slow?

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I am extremely concerned that this forum has become so very quiet. I saw this as a place set to replace Skeptiko as it has drifted off-topic in recent years under Alex's control.

I am happy to accept the greater control applied here to exclude off topic subjects - but where is everybody?

Obviously there are a lot of interesting threads here, but I find it useful to swap ideas with people - not just read books on the subject of psi in its most general sense.

Sci seems to tempt people into discussions - and his contributions are invariably interesting - and yet sometimes nobody replies to him, or the conversation rapidly peters out.

I hope this didn't start when I arrived (yes I know a few people dislike me strongly) but my only reason for being here is the same as most of you - a recognition that the materialist worldview simply does not make sense.
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Maybe each person has his or her own reasons. For myself, I made a conscious decision to pause for a while around Christmastime. For some, Christmas is a one-day flash-in-the pan. For me, it has always been something starting late December and extending for about three weeks or so - very loosely speaking. I posted less from that point on, and didn't really gather any fresh momentum.

More recently, I refer to my own previous post:
(2022-03-14, 11:12 AM)Typoz Wrote: Ordinarily I would comment a lot more in this thread. Right now there are other things taking my time. One of them is folk music, it seems important right now to spend time and be involved in that. It fills a lot of time, practising stuff, trying to get it right, getting out and playing among other people too.

That is to say, I've not abandoned this forum in order to start posting elsewhere. It's just that I'm not actively posting online anywhere - the outside world is calling.
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(2022-03-22, 05:48 PM)David001 Wrote: I am extremely concerned that this forum has become so very quiet. I saw this as a place set to replace Skeptiko as it has drifted off-topic in recent years under Alex's control.

I am happy to accept the greater control applied here to exclude off topic subjects - but where is everybody?

Obviously there are a lot of interesting threads here, but I find it useful to swap ideas with people - not just read books on the subject of psi in its most general sense.

Sci seems to tempt people into discussions - and his contributions are invariably interesting - and yet sometimes nobody replies to him, or the conversation rapidly peters out.

I hope this didn't start when I arrived (yes I know a few people dislike me strongly) but my only reason for being here is the same as most of you - a recognition that the materialist worldview simply does not make sense.
I can say for myself I haven't had the time or inclination to make more of my bigger posts recently as I have other things to do. Though I have been working on a couple slowly in the background. But I will say that we've had some instances where we've scared off new people, I'm guilty of this too and I regret it. So far its seemed to come down to people disagreeing on others interpretations of evidence, generally around NDE's. Or general mistrust of the intentions of others, until those people feel incredibly unwelcome and attacked and just leave. this likely has created a reputation for the forum as being a closed echo chamber where you need to interpret things a certain way or the existing community will attack you. We also had an exodus around teh time the whole Covid thing was starting up and starting to peak, generally those who were "pro mainstream narrative" decided those of us who were "anti mainstream narrative" weren't worth hanging around with. I personally decided to not even bother witht eh conspiracy side of this forum after awhile because that's not what this forum is about. Though given how many of those "conspiracy theories" have turned out to be right over and over and over again with skads of evidence behind them, even according to the mainstream at this point, I don't actually know what aspects of it are still considered "conspiratorial" these days.

Certainly there's been a couple of psuedo-skeptics who showed up, talked out their ass, then left soon after. I don't miss them. But We as a community could have done better to accept new people, so I would say our quietness is ultimately our own fault and doing.
"The cure for bad information is more information."
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I've mentioned this before but part of the issue is we are sort of at a turning point compared to when Skeptiko was started.

Articles about not just UFOs, but apparitions and reincarnation are showing up in general publications rather than just places like New Dawn. 

Panpsychism and Idealism, once thought of as "fringe" views for the unserious, now also have advocacy or at the least discussion even with atheist podcasters.

As a movement the skeptics are largely scattered for varied reasons, while proponents have more and more mainstream acceptance/exposure. 

It's possible that what a layperson could accomplish in terms of advocating parapsychology has largely been done at this point and time?
'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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(2022-03-22, 10:50 PM)Mediochre Wrote: We also had an exodus around teh time the whole Covid thing was starting up and starting to peak, generally those who were "pro mainstream narrative" decided those of us who were "anti mainstream narrative" weren't worth hanging around with. I personally decided to not even bother witht eh conspiracy side of this forum after awhile because that's not what this forum is about. Though given how many of those "conspiracy theories" have turned out to be right over and over and over again with skads of evidence behind them, even according to the mainstream at this point, I don't actually know what aspects of it are still considered "conspiratorial" these days.

Thanks for your comments,

When I came here I more or less decided to go along with the tighter focus on things psychic, because like a lot of people here, we say what had happened to Skeptoko - though strangely enough, the last two Skeptiko podcasts have been spot on - one is about shared death experiences, the other a very interesting interview with Dean Radin.

As many of you know, I also post on a medical blog run by an NHS doctor. The limitations on discussions there are almost a mirror image of those here. Thus the concept that many aspects of medical science are extremely suspect is taken almost as given! OTH posters there have a hissy fit is I mention how valuable acupuncture has been to me and a number of others that I know IRL, and every now and again I tease them with the fact that the psychic Sylvia Browne predicted COVID with truly remarkable precision in a book in 2008! I just hope none of them choke to death over my comments! The author of the blog, Dr Malcolm Kendrick, is remarkable tollerant, however. OTH on that medical blog, all the COVID conspiracies are discussed quite openly!

I don't really object to the restrictions here, but I suppose your response makes me wonder if discussing psi within tight limits really works. I mean a lot of psychic things spread into everyday life.
(2022-03-23, 09:35 AM)David001 Wrote: I don't really object to the restrictions here, but I suppose your response makes me wonder if discussing psi within tight limits really works. I mean a lot of psychic things spread into everyday life.

I agree about everyday life. The only reason why I ever became interested in topics such as telepathy or precognition and later in past lives as well as NDEs, was because of my own personal experience of some of these (not had an NDE though).

But still, the online world is a big place, there are lots of options on where to post, such as facebook, instagram, twitter, and numerous others. Its interesting that Dr Sam Parnia's team have recently started using instagram as a main platform, supported by twitter, and soon to be joined by a new youtube channel.

To an extent - and I see it in other forums as well, discussion activity has shifted more towards those other platforms, rather than dedicated forums such as this. Or possibly in some cases to a blog, where an article is posted, followed by related comments/discussion.
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(2022-03-23, 12:41 AM)Sciborg_S_Patel Wrote: I've mentioned this before but part of the issue is we are sort of at a turning point compared to when Skeptiko was started.

Articles about not just UFOs, but apparitions and reincarnation are showing up in general publications rather than just places like New Dawn. 
Yes, but such accounts are treated as beneath contempt by science.
Quote:Panpsychism and Idealism, once thought of as "fringe" views for the unserious, now also have advocacy or at the least discussion even with atheist podcasters.
Well I'd describe it as semi-serious advocacy. I mean if a scientist REALLY wanted to advocate PS, wouldn't he start by outlining some research to explore the concept further? For example I would need a scientist to explain just exactly which 'bits' of physical matter are aware. I mean if he postulates awareness at the molecular level, then he would need to either explain why awareness starts there and not at the particle level. If the awareness starts at the particle level, he'd need to explain how that squares with QFT, where particles don't exist as things, but just as excitations of a field!
Quote:As a movement the skeptics are largely scattered for varied reasons, while proponents have more and more mainstream acceptance/exposure. 

It's possible that what a layperson could accomplish in terms of advocating parapsychology has largely been done at this point and time?

I suspect science needs to engage with psi a lot more before it can be trusted not to drift back to its old way of thinking.
(2022-03-22, 10:50 PM)Mediochre Wrote: Certainly there's been a couple of psuedo-skeptics who showed up, talked out their ass, then left soon after. I don't miss them. But We as a community could have done better to accept new people, so I would say our quietness is ultimately our own fault and doing.

I have a good deal of sympathy with what you say here. It isn't my intention to revisit the past and dwell on it too much, but I do think mistakes and mishandling has occurred from time to time. It has pained me, I tend to see each departure as a loss and a failure on our part. However, being aware of this doesn't necessarily change much. We can only make the best of what we have.
I'm sorry for my own absence of contributions in the past two weeks. I've developed some severe neck and shoulder pains from too much Zoom, probably, and bad ergonomics, so I've been staying away from the computer for as much as I can in the past two weeks. I'm working on those injuries and will be back when I'm better.
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(2022-03-23, 11:08 AM)David001 Wrote: Yes, but such accounts are treated as beneath contempt by science.

When you say "by science" it seems you are talking about the atheist-faithful who get a lot of air time. But they are using the same outlets for dissemination as proponents yet not getting the same interest.

Quote:Well I'd describe it as semi-serious advocacy. I mean if a scientist REALLY wanted to advocate PS, wouldn't he start by outlining some research to explore the concept further? For example I would need a scientist to explain just exactly which 'bits' of physical matter are aware. I mean if he postulates awareness at the molecular level, then he would need to either explain why awareness starts there and not at the particle level. If the awareness starts at the particle level, he'd need to explain how that squares with QFT, where particles don't exist as things, but just as excitations of a field!

I think we're just in the infancy of consciousness research. I do think overtime we will start to see experiments in this direction just as there are a variety of experiments that suggest more Idealist interpretations of reality.

Quote:I suspect science needs to engage with psi a lot more before it can be trusted not to drift back to its old way of thinking.

Well who knows the way the winds of the future will blow, but not sure there's much more to be done on the layperson side of advocacy? I mean we could try to get more people aware of parapsychology but I think that is largely being done by all the documentaries on streaming platforms. 

I've mentioned it before but the number 1 show in summer 2020 on Netflix was the actor Zac Efron traveling and one of his travels brought him to the healing site Lourdes. They discussed with a doctor at least one investigated case of healing the doctor believed to be good evidence. This show was probably seen by more people than have ever been reached by the pseudoskeptic materialist evangelism.
'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: 2022-03-23, 08:21 PM by Sciborg_S_Patel. Edited 1 time in total.)
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