Thread: Invoke the Randi!
5/13/2006 12:03am, #1
Invoke the Randi!
I have two more pieces of James Randi memorabilia for you to paste in your Skeptic Skrap Book.
First is a spattering of remarks he has made about the martial arts:"Whenever a far-away or long-dead culture can be invoked, a mystery or an entire mystical philosophy can be generated."Second is a video where Randi talks about his history of debunking pseudoscience and the paranormal, including his investigations into alleged psychic Uri Geller and faith healer Reverend Peter Popoff. Spoon and key bending, reading hidden drawings and psychic surgery explained.
"The martial arts have long been a favorite arena for promoting nonsense. There are some schools that depend on their "mysteries" to survive, much to the dismay of the genuine teachers who put their hearts into the task of instructing students what really works — and how it works — only to be eclipsed by the bamboozlers who are selling costumes, chants, stunts, and theories, but no real facts."
"Finally, and this involves martial arts: he went into methods to defend oneself against an attacker. I must confess I wish to rely on methods that do not depend on the time of day, on whether or not the attacker is a "non-responder," or is a skeptic, or is relaxed, et cetera."
"The proclaimed "lineages" in martial arts, particularly the esoteric menagerie of "kung-fus" based on animals that never existed, can make particle physics appear straightforward. That's the point: anyone can claim whatever lofty expertise and instruction from tongue-twisting oriental masters they wish, in one great appeal to ignorance and authority. "You never heard of Grand Master Poo?!!! Well, clearly you do not deserve to even question my greatness . . . blah . . . blah.""
"If these debates had remained in the realm of "weekend warriors" who enjoy dressing up in snazzy uniforms with multicolored belts while addressing one another by various titles, it would remain merely an embarassing joke. However, people do think they can apply such flim-flam in real situations. Faith healing is funny until one realizes that victims become hurt. Students who practice these "techniques" in the "real world" can, and do, get hurt."
"It has come to my attention that a proponent of the pressure-point-knock-out sells a video on knife defenses. Try to imagine, for a moment, an attacker armed with a knife coming at you with every intention of committing malice aforethought. You will now lightly touch a combination of points on his body to knock him out.... I've been informed that it works very well on student-attackers who have learned how to react..."
Last edited by Aesopian; 5/14/2006 12:11pm at .
5/14/2006 12:08am, #2
You should've put this on the front page.
5/14/2006 1:05am, #3
**** like this should be put up permanently somewhere, a list of bullshido references or something. same goes for that thornton video.
5/14/2006 4:24am, #4
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- Nov 2005
Do people really get hurt in faith healing?
5/14/2006 5:26am, #5
Read his book, The Faith Healers.
It will piss you off.
It will cause you to write in short sentences.
5/14/2006 5:39am, #6
1. faith healing is pretty wacky and vigorous live
2. They delay real medical treatment to try faith healing, and faith healers usually actually only work on plants in the audience...so the people that go there get nothing out of it. . .
3. They donate money to the faith healer that they've essentially been flim-flamed out of.
5/14/2006 2:00pm, #7
5/14/2006 4:10pm, #8
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5/14/2006 4:19pm, #9
Originally Posted by TheSparrow
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The average cancer survivor, for example, can tell you that a lot of things helped him/her go through the shitstorm of chemotherapy, pain and what-not, among them family support, a support group, and a lot of time, faith. Faith in one's strenght, faith in God, faith in living. So, faith, or any emotional anchor that allows you to go on, that in itself has therapeutic properties.
But, then you have some wacky ideas that put faith above and beyond practices of modern or traditional medicine. Examples of those are the refusal to allow blood transfussion on the basis that they are forbidden by God. Or that you chose not to amputate a rotten limb or take your madicine, that your prayers to God are sufficient (*hhh*, God does not help the fool *).
So yeah, faith-based healing can **** people up if they get in the way of administering proper medicine to people.Read this for flexibility and injury prevention, this, this and this for supplementation, this on grip conditioning, and this on staph. New: On strenght standards, relationships and structural balance. Shoulder problems? Read this.
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The street argument is retarded. BJJ is so much overkill for the street that its ridiculous. Unless you're the idiot that picks a fight with the high school wrestling team, barring knife or gun play, the opponent shouldn't make it past double leg + ground and pound - Osiris
5/17/2006 12:58am, #10
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- Dec 2004
Randi is an absolute genius
I once met James Randi after a show at my undergrad college. The guy is unbelievably intelligent and an amazing speaker. He will really give you food for thought if you ever get the luxury of seeing him speak. I talked to him once after a show and asked him how he was able to found out so many of these things and be so insightful. He basically talked about how people can be convinced of things so skeptically and want to believe that things are the way they are. The guy was so intelligent that his teachers allowed him the opportunity to study on his own in the local library as a child and read the books while school was in session at times (he was way ahead of everybody in his class anyway). He displayed supreme intelligence at such an early age. He is a really nice guy and very clever and honest about his opinions, which is really nice. I remember him telling me about the Amityville story being a hoax, that the guy who made up the story about it revealed the truth at his deathbed. James Randi was able to show how people can use the power of the mind to forecast events quite accurately if you refine certain techniques. During his speech, he picked a guy from the audience to pick a random word from a newspaper article. Then he asked the undergrad to open a letter in Randi's front pocket. The guy opened the letter and read something like, "On this day (blah blah blah) and this time, (the guy's name) will pick this word from this article." It was pretty amazing, but Randi said picking the right word and time was something he's practiced for awhile, based on random guesses, and he wrote the letter the night before. He practiced forecasting like this and challenging his mental faculties. Probably nothing special, he just got a lucky guess, but it's basically using parts of your brain that you don't normally use. I guess Dr. Randi was explaining how people can practice that intuitive sense that people have.