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Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

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Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines
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QuanSaiPosts: 39Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:17 pmLocation: Bronx, New York

Post Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

I'm going to be very bold and very brief in this presentation of this idea. Feel free to correct me where I'm wrong. I'm very huge on learning, and I'm very open-minded.

I am one who is huge on cognitive science. In fact, I am because of my undying interest in artificial intelligence. In a nutshell, my studies have been and will be in the subjects that revolve around how to systematically approach and imitate decision-making methods humans use perpetually throughout their lives.

We, in my strongest opinion, are very advanced machines. In regards to our design, we are computers capable of performing many, well within the million-billion range of, detailed calculations per second. With this in mind, we can safely say that how we move and how we think are direct results of these very accurate (or inaccurate) calculations, driven by neurological stimuli. This is no different from how robots move or how computers display output, more or less; although, the mechanics are much different at this point for most man-made imitations of such human operations.

Consider tossing a ball above you with the intent of catching it when it reaches the relative maximum height of your shoulders. While you toss the ball, you are responsible for many movements. These movements must be very close to precise in order for you to complete your task of successfully catching the ball. Although these meticulous calculations are necessary, the calculations are performed very intuitively in that they are not meditated. Once you catch the ball, you may conclude that you knew everything that your body was doing, including your brain, in performing such a task. However, you did not. It's nearly impossible, even with our current technologies, to track such calculations down to the neuron. We can, up to this point (to my knowledge), only trace sudden changes in scalars such as, but not limited to, heart rate, informing us of possible movements as a result. However, we have yet to completely discover how each neuron is moving in order for certain reactions to come about. We just know that variants like the speed of neurons play huge roles in these situations.

With that in mind, duly note that we are creatures that thrive off of observations of detail, even if those observations were made unintentionally. We are slaves of our environment. One of our largest advantages over other animals is that we are able to logically put things together better than other animals. But there are some humans that are much better at processing information than other humans in terms of speed and deductive grouping.

I propose that psychics are humans who are more prone to performing very accurate calculations (given a particular scenario) than normal humans. This, to me, is somewhat loosely analogous to how savants are in nature.

What do you think about this? Are psychics just great calculators?
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:13 am
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PhotolysisPosts: 25Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:49 am

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

Most if not all 'psychic' displays can be attributed to a combination of cold reading, confirmation bias, manipulation, illusion, showmanship or even fraud.

As for people with a true understanding of psychology (which is what I believe you mean to refer to here, instead of 'psychics') , they are merely people perceptive of the cues people give out, and knowledgeable enough to understand the meanings of these cues in the various contexts; people tend to give away a lot more information about themselves than they might imagine, especially to the trained eye.
Tue Sep 01, 2009 11:54 am
QuanSaiPosts: 39Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:17 pmLocation: Bronx, New York

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

Photolysis wrote:Most if not all 'psychic' displays can be attributed to a combination of cold reading, confirmation bias, manipulation, illusion, showmanship or even fraud.

As for people with a true understanding of psychology (which is what I believe you mean to refer to here, instead of 'psychics') , they are merely people perceptive of the cues people give out, and knowledgeable enough to understand the meanings of these cues in the various contexts; people tend to give away a lot more information about themselves than they might imagine, especially to the trained eye.



Right. This is what I was thinking about. But how about in regards to psychic predictions that are made for situations like murders? I think that the same deductions apply. It all comes down to putting things together in my opinion.
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:00 pm
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PhotolysisPosts: 25Joined: Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:49 am

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

But how about in regards to psychic predictions that are made for situations like murders?


Same thing. The people making the psychic predictions are either well-meaning but self-deluded in to thinking they have special abilities, or outright frauds who just want some money. Several high profile cases have even resorted to this desperate tactic, yet have gotten nowhere; I've never heard of a single peer-reviewed example of any case of this being successful. I've never heard of anyone 'psychic' putting anything together.

The highly trained criminologist on the other hand uses their understanding of psychology to combine typical criminal and normal behaviour with their understanding and knowledge of the suspect to make deductions about motives and suchlike.

Basically I'm getting a bit confused here. Psychics don't get meaningful results and attribute them to special powers; they don't get meaningful results, period. Making extremely vague and generic statements on useless matters, hoping for the uninformed person involved to bridge the gap, and declaring success when they're suckered in (even after many failed attempts to get a hit) is not figuring anything out.

The people getting the results are the people that are specialised in a particular domain, and they are precisely the people who are not attributing it to anything magical.
Tue Sep 01, 2009 12:43 pm
scalyblueUser avatarPosts: 1417Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:02 am

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

Plus you don't see any faux news special reports of psychics failing to solve a murder.

To claim that psychics are more capable of interpreting observations than everybody else is an interesting idea, but how does it account for 'predictions' that can have no basis in observation. Psychics aren't sherlock holmes's, or greg house's, they're people who are so convinced they know things that they have no problem with making stuff up,®
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:43 pm
borrofburiModeratorPosts: 3527Joined: Sun Jul 26, 2009 5:27 pm Gender: Male

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

Wait, tl;dr, are you saying we may be able to eventually know what someone is thinking via imaging technologies or are you saying that psychics might actually be in a plain above normal people because they can read people better?
Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:06 pm
scalyblueUser avatarPosts: 1417Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:02 am

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

borrofburi wrote:Wait, tl;dr, are you saying we may be able to eventually know what someone is thinking via imaging technologies or are you saying that psychics might actually be in a plain above normal people because they can read people better?


What I took away from it is a hypothesis that the 'abilities' of psychics are a result of their minds being more capable of extrapolating conclusions from seemingly innocuous stimuli
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悪夢の王の一片よ
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 7:57 pm
QuanSaiPosts: 39Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:17 pmLocation: Bronx, New York

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

scalyblue wrote:Plus you don't see any faux news special reports of psychics failing to solve a murder.

To claim that psychics are more capable of interpreting observations than everybody else is an interesting idea, but how does it account for 'predictions' that can have no basis in observation. Psychics aren't sherlock holmes's, or greg house's, they're people who are so convinced they know things that they have no problem with making stuff up,®



Well, I imagine that being told of certain events enables the psychic to calculate accurate predictions.

borrofburi wrote:Wait, tl;dr, are you saying we may be able to eventually know what someone is thinking via imaging technologies or are you saying that psychics might actually be in a plain above normal people because they can read people better?


Imaging technologies will have the power to display thoughts or tell others what a person is thinking, I'm sure. It's quite complicated, and far from our time, but it's definitely technologically possible.

And yes, I am saying that psychics are on a plain somewhat higher than other people are in terms of particular medians of human logic.
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:06 pm
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ExeFBMUser avatarPosts: 169Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:39 pm

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

If psychics are on a higher plain, or are more capable at processing data, why is it that they have never produced any positive results in any test, under controlled conditions, that would be considered greater than random chance?
Tue Sep 01, 2009 8:26 pm
QuanSaiPosts: 39Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:17 pmLocation: Bronx, New York

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

ExeFBM wrote:If psychics are on a higher plain, or are more capable at processing data, why is it that they have never produced any positive results in any test, under controlled conditions, that would be considered greater than random chance?


Are you asking this in light of there being a possibility of them calling some sort of unnatural force to make such predictions? I'd like to know where you stand before I answer that so that I'm able to understand what you're asking better.
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Tue Sep 01, 2009 9:07 pm
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ExeFBMUser avatarPosts: 169Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 10:39 pm

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

QuanSai wrote:Are you asking this in light of there being a possibility of them calling some sort of unnatural force to make such predictions? I'd like to know where you stand before I answer that so that I'm able to understand what you're asking better.

I don't believe that there are any unnatural forces involved in psychic predictions. However, regardles of the source of their believed abilities, their predictions have never been verified under controlled conditions.
Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:01 pm
JacobEvansUser avatarPosts: 626Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:01 am

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

Perhaps we shouldn't think of our brains as computers, it seems far too narrow.
But then again, I know very little about cognitive science.
Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:13 pm
scalyblueUser avatarPosts: 1417Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 3:02 am

Post Re: Psychics: Since We Are Only Biological Machines

JacobEvans wrote:Perhaps we shouldn't think of our brains as computers, it seems far too narrow.
But then again, I know very little about cognitive science.


Brains are to computers as roads are to traintracks
_________________
悪夢の王の一片よ
空のいましめ解き放たれし
凍れる黒き虚無の刃よ
我が力 我が身となりて
共に滅びの道を歩まん
神々の魂すらも打ち砕き
Tue Sep 01, 2009 10:37 pm
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