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PostSubject: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 2:35 pm

The 2010 Demonstration
To come with a paranormal claim of the unexplained is a very provocative thing to Skeptics, who are dedicated to rationality and often in the search for absolute truth. Unlike most claimants, first of all I do not claim to be psychic, I just say I have something interesting that I am investigating. And instead of practicing this claim, or being convinced of its authenticity as it is claimed, I am investigating it and with Skeptics alone. I do not engage with the pseudoscientific community at all, and any approaches made by them with interest in my claim, I have quite abruptly dismissed and with referral to the skeptical method of approach.

I have been very persistent to stay with the skeptics, and in investigating this, and regardless of the many and also persistent attempts by several internet-based at-home skeptics to trample me down and destroy even the very last fragment of my paranormal claim, and sometimes even myself and my personal life in the process, I can not give away this claim until it has reached a final conclusion. A conclusion not made prematurely that it must be true, as the proponents of pseudoscience might say, and equally not a conclusion made prematurely of impossibility, also often made by the most one-sided and aggressive of at-home skeptics, but a conclusion that takes neither sides, but just looks at the evidence and is tolerant and humble to finding things that may both be within the already known, or be found in the unknown.

The blindness which many woos, as we lovingly choose to call them, are often afflicted with, which makes any glimmer of the woo seem true and believable, I do recognize the same blindness in many of those at-home skeptics who see woo as nothing than that which must be instantly destroyed, without showing any tolerance to my continued curiosity and in the things that we may learn.

I am not a threat, and my claim and the way that I handle it, and what my intentions are for it, are not dangerous in any way. I make no money off my claim, in fact by the end of this year I will have spent in excess of $2,500 in investigating this claim, having earned none. My career will be in conventional science, and I have no greedy or selfish interests in my claim, which otherwise plague the pseudoscientific community and its many claims.

I present my claim as an investigation, as something which has shown itself to be interesting, but I do not call myself a psychic, and I do not describe my claim as a true paranormal ability. Instead, when those who are curious in the pseudoscientific on occasion do contact me, I am always happy to share my love of skepticism with them, even if it often quickly withers their hopes and expectations of woo.

If I were to discuss my claim with proponents of woo, I would most likely find myself in the most pleasant and agreeable of conversations, but I am a Skeptic. I am a Skeptic with a paranormal claim. It burdens me that already before this 2010 Demonstration has been officially announced by the organization who is testing me, there is already some very hostile and negative conversations taking place without me and about this. I will choose to remain as friendly and open as I always have, trying to engage with these hostile at-home skeptical persons. It is sad that they see the need to take out the collective of all of their frustrations regarding the many wrongs of pseudoscience, against the one woo who decided to approach her claim in the skeptical way, and together with skeptics.

Oh well, let the pillow fights begin. Again.
Pillow fight
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:08 pm

This 2010 Demonstration is already being discussed in the JREF Forums at the discussion thread Will we be seeing Anita Ikonen (VisionFromFeeling) again very soon? As a persistent paranormal claimant trying to discuss these topics with internet skeptics some of who do nothing but fight me it was bound to happen that I get banned from the JREF Forums sooner or later. In the heated discussions many Forum members there and eventually including me were getting in trouble. So I will post my comments to it here. But this VFF Forum also has Forum rules and is also governed by an Admin and Moderators.

LightinDarkness #5
Quote :
As we all know, this is pure BS. A rigorous test was held by the IIG and
debunked Anita's claims to have paranormal abilities. The issue is
settled. The only reason to continue going through this charade is that
Anita wants attention. If it the standards involved in this demonstration
are so low that the protocols are not rigorous enough to be deemed a test
that means the results either way are meaningless.

Nothing productive can come of this. If she fails (again), it will mean
nothing because the protocols were bad and will not falsify her already
falsified abilities. If she succeeds, it will mean nothing but she will
trumpet it a success as proof that she has her claimed abilities.

Anita has used the skeptic community to perform her act and has put on a
three ring circus with her in the middle ring. We need to stop
attending the show.
A rigorous test was held by the IIG and debunked Anita's claims to
have paranormal abilities.

In my attempt at objective evaluation of the IIG test results, a result that represents the odds of 3.8% does not debunk the claim which was tested. Commonly in science such as chemistry, results that fall below 5% are considered interesting and worthy of further consideration, in which the test protocol may be improved upon based on what was learned previously, and another test carried out. Real research is iterative and tedious as that.

What is further interesting, is that I encountered two unforeseen obstacles with the IIG test procedure, one being that larger persons are harder for me to feel into, and the other being that three 27 minute trials with two 10 minute breaks in between, all consecutively and in one day, was far too much and made me exhausted and blocked the claim from performing. I made these two excuses during the test and well before the results were established, making them valid excuses to make, and not the case of ad hoc.

I correctly predicted inaccuracy in my answers when I encountered each of these obstacles, and I was tremendously confident in the other answers which turned out to be correct, during which I had experienced no difficulties. These two issues with the protocol can be corrected for in a future test protocol, and with still a 3.8% result in spite of these two valid excuses, an additional test is not only allowed, but will reveal whether the correction of these issues will render the improvement in performance which I now expect it to have.

Acchieving the odds of 3.8% demands for another test, and the fact that all of the answers which I beforehand of the results announced as very confident and highly representative of the claim were 100% correct, in my opinion this does not debunk the claim but warrants for further testing. And, if this claim is destined for falsification, then the fact that I acchieved a result which happened to fall into the good 3.8% this time, I would be 96.2% likely to fall into the lower bigger portion next time. A result at 3.8% odds is not a clear falsification, but the much lower results thus expected at a future test if this was only statistics at play, would produce the clear and undisputable falsification that we all want before we can conclude at that.

Anita wants attention
I am not doing my investigation for attention. I share my investigation openly and I engage with skeptics in this investigation, but not for personal attention. This is an interesting topic of inquiry, and not only benefits from insight and contribution from others, but even requires it. In fact, I was hoping for a next test or demonstration which would take place entirely behind the scenes and out of the public's eye, with only the results announced by the skeptical organization after it was all over. And before the IIG test was about to begin, I was behind the stage feeling nervous about all the people, and both James Underdown and Mark Edward had to encourage and comfort me before I was brave enough to get on stage. I am equally uncomfortable about the possible attention around the next demonstration.

If I were interested in attention, there are numerous ways of acchieving that. I am clever and innovative enough to figure something better out than the highly uncomfortable and negative attention I am getting from this. There are many ways of becoming the center of attention in positive and pleasant ways and that win the admiration of others. You might also see a different choice of career for me, if it were attention I was after, than the life of a research scientist working in the laboratory, which is what I am headed to.

If it the standards involved in this demonstration are so low
that the protocols are not rigorous enough to be deemed a test that means the results either way are meaningless.

Once the details around the demonstration are announced, it will become evident why this is only a demonstration, and not a test.

If she succeeds, it will mean nothing but she will trumpet
it a success as proof that she has her claimed abilities.

Did I claim to have the ability after the IIG test? I acchieved the highest score of any paranormal claimant and at any other paranormal test before, yet I am definitely not claiming to have this ability! It will require remarkable results and repeatedly, before I can feel comfortable concluding that I'd have this ability.

Anita has used the skeptic community to perform her act and has put on a three ring circus with her in the middle ring. We need to stop attending the show.

I am using the skeptical community for what it offers for paranormal claimants. Skepticism makes itself available to share of its critical thinking and willingness to investigate claims of the paranormal to help reach reliable and objective conclusions in those claims and to illustrate those results and what their significance is.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:37 pm

UncaYimmy #6
Quote :
The only thing exceptional about Anita is her ability to manipulate
seemingly rational minded skeptics into giving her the attention she
craves. After being banned from here, she set about posting provocative
comments on various blogs trying to get people to come to her discussion
board. Nobody bit, and the only posts on her board are her replying to
herself (rather sad, actually).

Now she announces yet again some undefined event - this time it's
a demonstration rather than a survey, study, informal test or formal
test - to be performed at an undefined time in front of an undefined
audience, and somebody immediately jumped on this and posted speculation
here. She's truly gifted in her ability to get attention.

It's pathetic. Let it go.
This is not for attention. I have a paranormal claim, and it acchieved results in the previous test that mandate for another test. That is all.

A survey is when I study my claim by writing down the observations I make, what perceptions, and during what circumstances, in order to learn more about the claim. I call it a survey, since it does not have the means to obtain the accuracy of my perceptions, but simply make note of what the perceptions are.

A study is various exercises I do with the claim in which the accuracy can be obtained. A study tries out various test conditions and tests the limit of each, to define the claim more clearly and to assist in designing the best possible test protocol, both for the purposes of acchieving a higher quality test, but also to best enable the claim to perform during the conditions that it needs. A study may produce inaccuracy yet still not provide evidence against the claim, when new test conditions are tried out and taken to the extreme limits in the process of defining the claim.

An informal test, is a preliminary test, or sometimes called a demonstration. It is simply a test which can falsify the claim if the results are low enough, but an informal test can never verify the claim even if passed successfully at 100%. This is because as an informal test, it is still only one of the very few first, and because the test protocol has not been evaluated well enough to ensure that passing of such a test would really lean toward the claim being verified. An informal test, if passed successfully, can only lead to the formal test, which is more rigorous and dependable in determining what to make out of a positive result. The purpose of an informal test, is pretty much to give the claim an initial evaluation, and to falsify the majority of claims at an early, and not too elaborate stage without as much work required as in arranging of a formal test.

A formal test is given for claims that have passed one or several informal tests. The test protocol must have been thoroughly revised and analyzed before permitting for a formal test, because the point is that the positive results of a formal test should be able to conclude on something verifying about the claim. A formal test may also involve the awarding of a prize, if it be the IIG formal test, or the JREF MDC formal test. As it currently stands, no formal paranormal test has ever taken place, as no paranormal applicant has passed an informal preliminary test to a sufficient extent as required.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:41 pm

JoeTheJuggler #8
Quote :
[...] Another thing I've been saying for months is this:
There's nothing special about Anita at all. There's nothing unusual in
someone making an outrageous claim of paranormal abilities, agreeing to
be tested and then refusing to admit, as promised, that failure means
her claimed abilities don't exist. There's nothing special about such a
claimant craving lots of attention. [...]
I had no ways of expecting to do as well as I did. I expected to either fail "miserably", or to do very well. Instead I acchieved results that were somewhere in the middle, and I feel unable to drop the claim when I reached a result at 3.8% odds, or at 100% accuracy in the answers which I clearly announced as very confident and highly representative of the claim well in advance of the results being in, therefore not ad hoc.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:52 pm

JoeTheJuggler #9
Quote :
[...] She's not exceptional even in garnering attention. Look at what the likes of Uri Geller achieved back in the days before the interwebs when you had to get on national TV to get any kind of widespread fame.

Anita's not even exceptional among these types of paranormal frauds.

What she shares with them is an utter lack of shame.
If it were attention I was after, I would find more clever ways of finding it. I would also seek out places where the attention I would receive would be entirely benevolent and pleasant, and how about based on mutual respect and kindness. I also think that there is nothing to be ashamed of when investigating a genuine paranormal claim in a manner that is highly moral and aligned with the skeptical method. Your resentment of pseudoscience and its claims in general, does not make the work I am doing an example of the woo which you despise, just because I do choose to call myself a paranormal claimant, and this a paranormal claim. It is not all the same.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:05 pm

JoeTheJuggler #11
Quote :
[...] The IIG thing was pass/fail, and she agreed to those terms ahead
of time. There was no partial credit for being only partly right
(another way of saying "wrong"), or for showing her work (even though
she tried that as well).

Her performance was a 100% failure to do what she claimed she was able
to do.

And by the way, "not quite statistically significant" means
"statistically insignificant", doesn't it?

(ETA: But to be clear, there was no question of statistics in this test.
A success was defined as 100% correct, and a failure was defined as
getting any wrong. This setup was appropriate for her claimed ability.
Her ability wasn't about guessing or have a fuzzy idea of something.
She claimed she could immediately see people's insides. In fact, her
methodology of multiple looks and totalling up checks and pluses or
whatever was not consistent with her claim. [...]
The IIG test was a test to see if my claim would hold up to the requirements of the IIG Challenge, kind of like the marathon of paranormal claims. It does not mean that intermediate results can not yield significance and information that suggest that an additional test be recommended. Also, real research in the laboratory is rarely all or nothing. It typically yields intermediate results, which are repeated in a series of trials and under several different test procedures with the careful analysis of test parameters, to produce graphical and statistical understanding of the behavior of the central hypothesis and the effect of parameters on its performance, and to identify the optimal testing conditions that best enable it to manifest.

Perhaps I am thinking about this in the mind of a chemist, and not with the impatience of a skeptical community that wants to get claims debunked and overwith quickly and brutely.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Mon Jun 21, 2010 6:39 pm

RossFW #20
Quote :
[...] What would be the statistical probability of a trained Radiologist
detecting a missing Kidney using a fully servicable CT scanner?

VFF claimed her ability was analogous to this. If she was unable to
match that level of accuracy, she was unable to do what she claimed to
be able to do.

Achieving slightly more than guessing might be educated guessing, but
it is still a complete failure to demonstrate the claimed ability.
What every critical skeptic likes to omit from discussions is that I presented two valid excuses during the IIG test. These excuses were made well before the results of the test were established with the ultrasound, meaning that they were not excuses made after the fact.

I had very limited experience with the claim before the test, as I only do readings on skeptics and the opportunity rarely comes by. So I had no way of knowing that larger persons would be harder for me to feel into. Immediately after trial 1, I was complaining to all IIG members who were near about how certain I was that my answer in trial 1 would be wrong.

Trial 2 went very well. I encountered no problems and was able to produce an answer which I was highly confident in. So confident, in fact, that I was sure I could never under any other or future circumstances ever be able to produce a more confident answer, which is why I said several times that if my answer in trial 2 is wrong the claim would be falsified. This was the very best of what I could do, and it was correct. None of what I say here about my confidence is designed after the fact, but is exactly as I expressed it immediately after trial 2 during the test.

For trial 3 I was exhausted and was experiencing headaches and nausea and the claim had stopped working. I made careful note of this in my papers, again, it is not an excuse made after the fact. I very nearly cancelled the third trial because I was not feeling well and because the claim had ceased to work.

Skeptics often have wonderful skills of, well, skepticism. But not all are scientists. I consider encountering an unexpected disturbing test parameter, and the occurrence of fatigue, to be similar flaws in procedure as would be accidentally knocking over glassware in the chemistry lab, or adding too much of the reagent. These two excuses are valid, and will be corrected for in the next demonstration. And even with inclusion of the inaccuracy which was produced by these two issues, the results were still at 3.8% odds.

Partial credit for choosing the correct person yet wrong side should also be allowed since it truly is a two-step process when I choose the answer. First I feel into the person to find the imbalance, and then I narrow down to which side the kidney feels to be missing. To do this repeatedly, in six people at a time, during a 27 minute trial and three times is very exhausting, with constant and intense concentration, it is not quick or easy. Nor should it have to be, if truly one could do this kind of thing.
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PostSubject: Re: 2010 Demonstration   Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:51 pm

LightinDarkness #27
Quote :
Rodney well knows the problem with his statistics. He knows that, when you actually do it correctly (and don't count the correct person/wrong side case as a "partial hit" BECAUSE IT WAS NOT AN ACCURATE HIT ACCORDING TO THE ABILITY ANITA IS SUPPOSED TO HAVE), that the P value is no where near significant. When including only correct person/correct side as a hit, since that is the only case in which Anita accurately demonstrated the ability shes claimed, its simply guessing or educated guessing (body language reading) at BEST. He has been told this 25+ times by various people. Like Anita, he simply does not want to embrace the facts and would rather embrace the woo.

In Rodney's world, Anita claims that she can somehow use her MRI like vision to find kidneys but is inaccurate about which side, so finding the right person gets credit. In reality, Anita's claims of being a human MRI means that she can detect both the right person and right side of a missing kidney - as such, getting the right person but wrong side is not a hit.
I feel that LightinDarkness is demonstrating bias clouding his or her judgement.

First of all, it isa two step process when I attempt to detect which of persons is missing a kidney and then which kidney is missing. The IIG officially also supports the notion that it be a one-step process, and as IIG's Jim Newman likes to say, "being presented with six persons and having twelve slots for kidneys there it is like being presented with 12 identical shoeboxes and asked to say which one is empty". As an idealized, simplified model, perhaps, but in practice and best modeling how it actually takes place, it truly is a two-step process.

Even with only one person to look at at a time, I start out by feeling into the person as opposed to other persons who may be around and the surroundings. I then feel toward the kidneys to search for the sense of imbalance that is due to one kidney being there and the other one not, and if I feel this imbalance I then need to figure out which side the kidney is missing.

When I find the imbalance, I produce in my mind a rough draft of what the vibrational shape of left kidney there right kidney missing feels like and superimpose it with the vibrational information that is there in the person. If it is a match there is resonance as these two vibrational pictures, the one that I constructed and the one that I feel from the person, overlap and agree with each other. It feels like the weight of the image of the kidney there becomes even heavier and the image of the kidney missing becomes even lighter. If however there is dissonance, it is not a match and in fact the two images, mine and the one felt from the person, are opposites, which gives a strong feeling of repulsion between the images that I am trying to overlap.

A hypothesis of reality is often simplified and approximated to make it easier to test and to hypothesize about in the laboratory setting, but it must not be done at the expense of the accuracy in the interpretation of results whose intent was to depict the hypothesis. Care must be taken to not simplify away crucial parameters, or aspects of the behavior of the hypothesis. To say that my detection of a missing kidney in a group of six people is a one-step process, is a way of simplifying the task, but it does not correctly depict the process that is actually used. I do use a two-step process, not because it allows for partial credit in trial 3, but because that is the way I do it.

All of the vibrational information that depicts health in a person is centered around and contained within that person, and is not dispersed evenly and borderlessly across the row of six people.

It is not like sweeping your eyes across a line of twelve identical sheets of paper one on which is written a large, black X for missing kidney. Rather, it is like opening up six books one at a time, to then read the contents of each, to search for the heading that says "missing kidney", and to then read closer to find the side it is on. This is Vision from Feeling, not Vision. And says who it has to work as well as MRI or in the same way as having visual access to transparent bodies? I feel the information, and the images then build up gradually.

And sorry to say, the two shoeboxes of each person come in pairs. The setup is not at all like twelve identical and continuous shoeboxes in a row, but more like six chests with two shoeboxes in each.

It is like the Taylor expansion, which is a mathematical trick used in physics to simplify complicated equations. Equations in physics are sets of variables and parameters which together act to describe some behavior in the world and how this behavior is affected by its various parameters. Sometimes the Taylor expansion does a nice job of stacking up a physics equation in neat little rows of terms of ever decreasing sizes, where the littlest ones can be shunned aside to obtain a simplified, yet functional version of the behavior, but sometimes we find that we have to go back and take back some more terms because we simplified too far.

We must not let any bias regarding our hopes and expectations around any paranormal claim affect our judgement in its testing or analysis of results. It is a two-step process when I work to find the person and side in which a kidney is missing and that is why I appropriately deserve partial credit in trial 3, which makes the odds I acchieved not 25%, but 3.8%.

And we must not forget, that by trial 3 I was feeling tremendously exhausted, with headaches and discomfort and the claim had ceased to function. I very nearly cancelled that trial and had to take some time to relax and gather my strength during that trial. I managed to choose the person with good confidence, but as I say in the video of the test, I was tired and ran out of time and had to guess which side it was on (not ad hoc, ie. statement made after the fact), and with a 50% chance at guessing, I got it wrong.

My claim, if it were the case of a genuine ability, would not be required to perform under time pressure and fatigue, and the complaint of fatigue must be taken into consideration for a future test.

LightinDarkness' dismissal of it being a two-step process, seemingly to acchieve the reduction of the score, is quite similar to how proponents of woo often like to twist the results after the fact but in favor of the claim. If it were that a two-step process were to yield a reduction of the likelihood leaning toward verification of the claim, I am quite sure, that LightinDarkness would be a proud supporter of the two-step version.

Being convinced of an end result and already having made up one's mind, leads to bias and to interpreting data in a manner that tends to lean toward one's own beliefs. It can happen either consciously, or subconsciously. Of course we do not expect here to verify a paranormal claim of extrasensory perception or MRI feeling in this investigation, but the point here is an exercise in the fair treatment of a hypothesis.

LightinDarkness also says that I am "SUPPOSED TO HAVE" an ability that in effect processes the row of six subjects as a line of twelve identical shoeboxes. Since when does the Skeptic define the claim for the paranormal claimant?

It being a two-step process, I acchieved a result at statistical odds of 3.8%. No woo can come and claim that this is enough to verify a supernatural ability. And no internet-based at-home Skeptic like LightinDarkness can make the claim into something which it is not and describe the outcome in a way that has been oversimplified and interpreted into alignment with his or her own predetermined views that this claim be destined to falsification. I am also expecting to falsify this thing, but in this exercise of a paranormal investigation according to the skeptical method, which this investigation is, both woos and skeptics alike are asked to treat the process objectively and in a way appropriate to scientific investigation.
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