Re: Psi and Science Fiction

Eliezer S. Yudkowsky (
Wed, 04 Aug 1999 22:19:25 -0500

Damien Broderick wrote:
> Then Eli wrote:
> >I'd read a couple of "science fact"
> >articles from people I later found out were lunatics, but they were very
> >plausibly written. No exclamation points, just the reporting of
> >experimental results and personal experiences.
> I don't doubt it. I've visited several parapsychological research centers
> in the USA and found more lurking loons than I'd wanted to see. But which
> names would you cite in support of your own contention, Eliezer? You have
> evidence that, say, Prof Jessica Utts is a lunatic? Other than, circularly,
> her peer-reviewed-published conviction that psi is effectively proved by
> her meta-analyses of `good' experimental results?

Actually, I was thinking of the guy who wrote a perfectly reasonable-sounding article on psychic healing in a compendium called "Science Fiction, Science Fact". Later I found a book about Uri Geller, written by the same guy, in which he claimed that Uri Geller was owned and operated by nine orbiting alien supercomputers. This cast a somewhat different complexion on the psychic-healing article. I don't recall the name of the author, though.

           Eliezer S. Yudkowsky
Running on BeOS           Typing in Dvorak          Programming with Patterns
Voting for Libertarians   Heading for Singularity   There Is A Better Way