John K Clark (
Fri, 8 May 1998 23:11:05 -0700 (PDT)


On Fri, 08 May 1998 Damien Broderick <> Wrote:

>First I normalised the guesses at each of the numbers in the
>range 1-45, because populations hold different preferences and
>biases toward each of these options - 7 and 13 always get a
>markedly enhanced vote, e.g., whereas all the `non-birthday'
>numbers over 31 get a reduced vote.

I don't understand why you did this. If people pick birthday numbers then
they must have had a hunch that these numbers will win, in general their
hunch was wrong but I'll bet many, perhaps most, who picked birthday numbers
and won are convinced there is some sort of mystical connection. I don't
think it's justified to throw out a hunch because its illogical, it's no more
illogical than a hunch that a non birthday number will win.

>I did locate a very weird effect in which the *most drastically
>deviant positive residuals correlated with targets to a far greater
>extent than one would expect by chance*.

It seems that no matter how large the study is this is where psi is always
hiding, at a few very rare events at the very extreme of the statistical
distribution, and it is here where it's the most dangerous to make far
reaching conclusions because error is so easy to make.

>I assume that each guess is independent, and therefore each perfect
>entry requires 6 `psi-mediated events'

If it's difficult to predict the winning lottery number that are determined
by only 6 simple events then how can it predict earthquakes , the rise and
fall of empires, the weather, and the stock market, they're caused by a lot
more than 6 simple events.

>There's a kind of pyramid generated, in which almost all the fairly
>infrequent psi events you'd expect in such a population will be
>wasted on people who would otherwise by chance get only zero, one,
>two, or three right.

In the USA you can win about 10$ if you guess 3 out of the 6 numbers in any
order, the number of these small winners is in the millions and the number is
just what you'd expect if the psi effect was zero.

My basic problem with ESP is that we could be having this same conversation a
100 years ago, and in fact people did. I don't demand that the psi effect be
explained, I just want it proven to exist, and after a century of trying to
do this the progress has been precisely zilch, the evidence stunk then and it
stinks now. I think it's time to move on to more promising areas of

John K Clark

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