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Zazen
QUOTE (Fahr)
but I did once do a physics experiment that would be decent evidence.
the experiment was set up like this, a board with evenly spaced nails in it (checked out of UT austin physics lab - ie. I didn't make it and is was identical to 30 others) kinda like the old plinko game from price is right. andyway, me and my (also magicaly active) lab partner dropped washers from a predetermined spot repeatedly. this experiment was supposed to show a bell curve distribution of data points.
After we did the experiment 3 time, with three different boards, we could not get anything close to a bell curve, in fact we actually got a reverse bell curve. every other pair in the class was able to get a bell curve. we tried different boards, different washers and different desks.

Sounds like as objective a test of probability manipulation as I can imagine. You ought to claim that million bucks.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (krishkane)
The best stuff has been internal changes to my state of mind [...]

I feel I should warn you that internal changes to your state of mind are not considered "magical", "paranormal" or "occult" by most people. It's a great ability to have, there is no doubt, but it is normal.

QUOTE
I contacted Mr. Randi a few years ago to arrange a demonstration of blind attack-sensing as we practice it in my martial arts system.

Since it's required for practitioners of some martial arts beyond some point, then there are loads of people around who can do that, correct? Then it should not strike you as weird that someone else has already tried to convince Mr Randi with that particular ability before. And considering just how acute human senses are, that ability is almost certainly based on very normal senses, even if you are unconscious of that.

Predicting an attack when blind is nothing compared to what some people have already claimed that can do. It can be done with your senses of touch and hearing, without anything paranormal about it whatsoever. Predicting the future cannot. Changing the pH value of a liquid in another room with a thought cannot. It is experiments like the pH value changing that Dashifen mentioned that should be brought to the JREF.

In general:
The whole thing about comparing the extremely slight (more or less) paranormal powers and events witnessed by people here to the magic system of SR is much like if I compared my time in a physics lab with a laser pointer to the ANDREWS system in R3, and claimed that the ANDREWS shouldn't really use much electricity because the laser pointer didn't.
rlemansky
Austere Emancipator: I said 'RL magic'-as in, what is practiced by most Kaos mages, witches/Wiccans (trying to be PC here), kabbalists, Thelemics, ad nauseum. As far as I know, no one in REAL LIFE ever claims to be able to hurl fireballs.

It seems that krishcane has taken a run at Randi, and with results like that, I can see why anyone would be loathe to try. Nice way of handling things-set up an unattainable prize (due to the judges' bias) and then use lack of success to 'prove' that something doesn't work. How 1984.
Isn't it almost impossible to 'prove' a negative statement-I'm thinking the logic puzzles regarding Black Swans...

Still, I think I've two possible avenues for Randi. I'll have to try a couple double blinds on my own to see which nets more successes (a very SR concept) and fill out that application. As things develop, I'll post, if anyone's interested. (As pointed out, this is more Lounge material, anyway).

R
Dashifen
extinguish.gif

Edit -- I have decided to remove this post myself.
krishcane
Thanks, folks. I think I've gathered sufficient information to PM a few people, and Pistons has requested that we keep the topic SR focused. In support of that, I'll refrain from commenting further in this topic on real-life issues. I'll follow up on PM with a couple people, and others are invited to do the same for me, or suggest another chat-site venue if they like.

Thanks to Pistons for her gentle nudge toward staying on SR themes... it was quite polite and even coupled with a contribution. smile.gif

--K
Dashifen
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
You are probably talking about The Veil's Edge: Exploring the Boundaries of Magic , the Amazon Synopsis of which says:
[...]including [...] Scientific proof that magic works, backed up with case-by-case evidence [...]

Because it seems 90%+ of the book is about Wicca techniques "for the more experienced witch", I rather not get it just because of a few references. If you could be so kind as to provide those (the references), as well as a shortened version of the "case-by-case evidence", I would be most grateful.

You are correct sir. The book's first chapter is on the subject matter that I illuded to above. The rest of the book does deal with Wiccan techniques. I'll try to get together a list of the information included in the first chapter and PM it to you. The two examples I listed above are the two I remember off the top of my head. A quick google for "water ph lower ritual" got me nothing, but that doesn't surprise me too much.
lodestar
Jebus! I though I was crazy! biggrin.gif
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (rlemansky)
It seems that krishcane has taken a run at Randi, and with results like that, I can see why anyone would be loathe to try. Nice way of handling things-set up an unattainable prize (due to the judges' bias) and then use lack of success to 'prove' that something doesn't work. How 1984.

Like I mentioned, there seems to be a very solid reason why using the "blind attack sensing" ability to prove paranormal abilities wouldn't work. And as long as the judges stick to logic and science, bias doesn't matter. If you can scientifically explain whatever someone claims to be paranormal, then it obviously isn't.

QUOTE
Isn't it almost impossible to 'prove' a negative statement [...]

True that. This, combined with Burden of Proof, and the possible ramifications, is why so many people want someone to prove the opposite positive statement.

QUOTE
As far as I know, no one in REAL LIFE ever claims to be able to hurl fireballs.

That's great then. If no one claims to be capable of any magic that in any way resembles anything that goes on in Shadowrun, then things are settled. Nothing that goes on with the SR magic system can be compared to alleged RL magic, so whether the alleged RL magic causes Drain or not does not matter when considering SR magic. Much like John Campbell and Cray74 already stated.
Fahr
Ok, so in SR terms, I can cast Fix at force 2. I have experienced drain from doing this. (making broken things work with no tools and no parts, I drove my RX-7 from houston to austin with no float in the carberatour. while not physically impossible, it took a lot of magic to pull it off.

-Mike R.

p.S. I would like to suggest that it might have been a weaker version as it required me to sustain it, which I might add was distracting.

and please stop asking people to prove stuff to Mr.Randi, he wouldn't beleive in anything magic if someone DID blow him up with a fireball. some people are never going to believe it. and those of us who experience it as part of our lives, we don't need to prove it to him, any more than a christian can prove any of the miracles that they believe.
Siege
I suppose it's the Devil's Advocate theory of arguing -- something that is "true" should be able to withstand the most vigorous assault. Which is a tenuous idea at best and subject to abuse.

I tend to agree with you Zaz -- but unethical or immoral doesn't mean illegal. And it's a fine line between fraud and faith.

-Siege

Edit: I don't know Randi personally, but I'd pay good money to watch the expression on his face just before the fireball hit. grinbig.gif
Fahr
that is not the devils advocate that is the scientific process. which is great for some things, but not everything.

take Traditional Chinese Medicine. does it work, Yes, provably and regularly and consistantly. enough that china decided it was easier , cheaper and just as effective as Biomedicine for many diseases, and the statistics prove them out. Science does not know HOW it works, only that it does (recent studies in Stroke victims being a good example). the scientific process can't figure it out either, cause there is no underlying grand theory to disprove, only a masive amount of reproducable evidence that if you do this, it does that.

in many ways magic has a similar problem. are you disproving what I am doing, or how I am doing it?

-Mike R.
Nikoli
Well, I just had to chime in on this thread.

A few years ago, when I was actively practicing on a regular basis, an aquantence of mine had a rather bad run in with a particular mind altering substance in the parking lot of a Waffle House. I wanted to quiet him down because we were wierd kids that the local police didn't much care for when we weren't actively breaking the law.
Without telling him what I was doin, I looked into his eyes and willed him to sleep, withing a few seconds he was unconscious, I have a witness to this, 1 second he was jittery and scared, the next he was dozing. While I concede he might have passed out, he was back up and seeming normal a few seconds later. most people pass out for quite some time. He does not remember the bad trip. I had a nasty migraine shortly after this episode.

On several occaisons I have dropped rather fragile glassware, obviously not wanting to break the glass I panic and the item bounces. Shortly after I have a nasty headache. So, yes, I have experienced something that could be described as drain.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Fahr)
he wouldn't beleive in anything magic if someone DID blow him up with a fireball.

Is this based on something else than krishcane's blind-attack thingy? If there's some actual reason to discredit the person, you really should share (linkage is always good -- doesn't take much space from other discussion).

In any case, if you don't believe Mr Randi is up to any good, just go to any old university. Any decent university will certainly take you up for proof of paranormal powers or events. I'm sure there are university professors in the US with an open mind and a couple of hours of spare time to check the proof.

QUOTE (Siege)
I suppose it's the Devil's Advocate theory of arguing -- something that is "true" should be able to withstand the most vigorous assault. Which is a tenuous idea at best and subject to abuse.

The thing is, science works. Scientific proof, when done correctly, is absolute, and will withstand the most vigorous assault. It's a bit difficult to discredit science with something that cannot withstand any manner of assault.

QUOTE (Fahr)
take Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Has nothing to do with magic -- neither RL magic nor SR magic. Acupuncture, herbal medicine, massages, exercise, etc, all have more or less obvious physical effects which can be recorded and scientifically examined. None of it reproduces effects in any way similar to SR magic -- you might want to add some figures to the Expanded Doctoring Tables in M&M instead.
Fahr
science cannot "prove" anything. it can only dis-prove things. if you have a theroy that cannot be disproved yet, than it becomes a law, like the law of gravity. but that is defenitely not absolute, ask any quantum physicist.

and as for mr. randi, it's a personality type thing, I don't know him personally, but his faith in his own version of the world is such that he would not allow himself to be convinced otherwise, even if presented with proof. i run into people like this all the time. his faith is science. anything that challenges that faith is to be ignored or ridiculed. there are such fanatics in every religion.

I am not saying all scientists are like this, nor is this an insult to people who beleive like Mr. Randi. just pointing out that I have nothing to gain from convincing him, or anyone else of what I already know to be true for me. If you don't agree, no problem, it's no skin off my back. but I don't have to agree with you either.

anyway, back on topic, i think this might be better as a poll, with options:
I have experienced drain,
I have not experienced drain
I do not believe that magic exists.

that way you can see what the coinsensus is.

-Mike R.
Reaver
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Fahr)
he wouldn't beleive in anything magic if someone DID blow him up with a fireball.

Is this based on something else than krishcane's blind-attack thingy? If there's some actual reason to discredit the person, you really should share (linkage is always good -- doesn't take much space from other discussion).

In any case, if you don't believe Mr Randi is up to any good, just go to any old university. Any decent university will certainly take you up for proof of paranormal powers or events. I'm sure there are university professors in the US with an open mind and a couple of hours of spare time to check the proof.

QUOTE (Siege)
I suppose it's the Devil's Advocate theory of arguing -- something that is "true" should be able to withstand the most vigorous assault. Which is a tenuous idea at best and subject to abuse.

The thing is, science works. Scientific proof, when done correctly, is absolute, and will withstand the most vigorous assault. It's a bit difficult to discredit science with something that cannot withstand any manner of assault.

Yet there are those who will try to discredit the supposedly sound "scientific thoery." Scientists do it to each other all the time. wink.gif

Bottom line. There's always a skeptic who won't believe what he doesn't want to believe. Well, that and Wizard's First Rule. wink.gif biggrin.gif
Zazen
QUOTE (Fahr)
and please stop asking people to prove stuff to Mr.Randi, he wouldn't beleive in anything magic if someone DID blow him up with a fireball. some people are never going to believe it. and those of us who experience it as part of our lives, we don't need to prove it to him, any more than a christian can prove any of the miracles that they believe.

The thing is, it's not about belief. Real proof isn't arguable. If you can make an otherwise inoperable car run, then do it in front of him. If he doesn't "believe" what he saw with his own eyes, address his concerns and do it again! If it's real, there's no amount of hassle he can give you that cannot be overcome, and the million dollar prize at the end of the rainbow is worth it.


I only wish I could get a million dollars for my personal abilities! I can prove that I can juggle, I can prove that I can save the princess in Super Mario Brothers, I can prove that I can solve a Rubiks Cube, I can prove the Pythagorean Theorem, I can prove that my penis is seven inches long, etc. etc. I can do them pretty easily, and if someone thinks I'm using trickery and is willing to give me a million bucks to go through some hassle, then I'm sold! I'll juggle out in the desert where there can be no wires while wearing a special grounding tin foil suit if necessary.
Fahr
sure there is, he lives to dis-prove people, and he would never allow anyone to claim that prize no matter how hard you try'd.

he's a scam artist too, scamming those who think that he can be convinced. after all, that is the "objective" test for that money. you have to convince him that you did it with magic.

even if he can not explain what happened, he will never let the answer be magic. it becomes:
I can do this, he says Ok, but it's not magic because of HOW you did it. as long as Mr. Randi can put forward a theory to how it might have happened that is different from magic, he can keep his game running. and like any good scam artist, he can always come up with a new theory. so chasing that money is futile.

besides, I can make a million dollars much faster by persuing my dreams.

-Mike R.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Fahr)
science cannot "prove" anything.

OK. Let's end that discussion right there, then.

"Oh don't get me started on gravity!"
"You don't believe in gravity?!"
"It's just that lately I've felt that I'm not being pulled down as much as I am being pushed."

QUOTE (Reaver)
Yet there are those who will try to discredit the supposedly sound "scientific thoery." Scientists do it to each other all the time.

This is why there's a clear distinction between theory and fact. Not to be mixed with each other.
Reaver
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Fahr)
science cannot "prove" anything.

OK. Let's end that discussion right there, then.

"Oh don't get me started on gravity!"
"You don't believe in gravity?!"
"It's just that lately I've felt that I'm not being pulled down as much as I am being pushed."

QUOTE (Reaver)
Yet there are those who will try to discredit the supposedly sound "scientific thoery." Scientists do it to each other all the time.

This is why there's a clear distinction between theory and fact. Not to be mixed with each other.

The distinction between theory and fact is often missed. Usually it's not just mixed... it's shaken, not stirred. wink.gif
Fahr
I actually agree with you here, AE, it's just that people mistake the facts of the circumstances for the theory.

in my car example. the fact is that I drove the car from houston to austin with no float in the carbeurator. I have a theory that I was able to will the mechanism to work. I cannot empirically test my theory (car is long since sold and repaired), but I have a number of data points that make my theory valid. are there other sound theories, yes. what really happened? we have no way of knowing.

that is all, no more from me. though I am intrested in a poll of the people who do believe in magic to see the split as far as drain...

-Mike R.
Austere Emancipator
QUOTE (Reaver)
The distinction between theory and fact is often missed.

That, then, is proof of extremely poor scientific practice.
Reaver
QUOTE (Austere Emancipator)
QUOTE (Reaver)
The distinction between theory and fact is often missed.

That, then, is proof of extremely poor scientific practice.

I agree. smile.gif
Zazen
QUOTE (Fahr)
sure there is, he lives to dis-prove people, and he would never allow anyone to claim that prize no matter how hard you try'd.

This is a catch-all excuse I hear from everyone who tells me that they can't show me their magic powers. Whatever my beliefs, I do have eyeballs. I can't possibly argue with a floating penny or a car running without a necessary part.


I'm gonna follow everyone else and leave this alone for a while.
krishcane
QUOTE (Fahr @ Mar 1 2004, 12:44 PM)

I can do this, he says Ok, but it's not magic because of HOW you did it.  as long as Mr. Randi can put forward a theory to how it might have happened that is different from magic, he can keep his game running. 

This is exactly what happened in our conversation. He said, "Obviously, you hear him coming." I said, "No, we wear earplugs and blast the stereo in the room." "Then you felt him in the floor movement." "I doubt it, because if he's not trying to smack me in the head, I can't detect him. Besides, it's a solid, non-creaking, hardwood floor." "Then you had pre-arranged timing." "No, we're very careful to make it random, and I'm more than happy to have him attack me on your signal." "Then you picked up some other subconscious, very subtle sense cue. That's highly honed senses, but not magic. Perhaps you felt the air shifting behind you."

...it went on and on. As Fahr alluded to earlier, the issue is the distinction between the mechanism (which must be grounded in physical reality, because otherwise it doesn't exist!) and the method that a person uses to do it. Sure, maybe I am feeling the magnetic field of his heart in my nervous system, feeling micro-changes in air pressure, or tapping into a subconscious electromagnetic brainwave rhythm that all human beings follow. That's fine -- my point with Mr. Randi was that human beings have vast untapped potential and powers beyond what they normally acknowledge. His point was that all of human experience takes place in physical reality. Actually, we both agree with each other's primary points! What we disagree with is the implications -- I feel that people should pursue these powers and open themselves up to a totally new experience of life. He feels that people are suckers and being taken in by charlatans and should focus on only things they already understand, in order to avoid being taken for a ride.

We couldn't disprove each other's actual points, because both of them are obviously true. We equally couldn't disprove each other's opinions of what it means for the human race, because those are generalized opinions of what's good for everyone.

--K

Edit: Sorry, Pistons... that's actually my last non-SR comment. smile.gif Promise.
Fahr
the difference Zazen, is that I think If I showed you that I could fix things with magic, you might actually be willing to believe me (with sufficient examples).

but someone like Mr. Randi has staked his life on not believeing it. so he is not accurately representing the objective scientific researcher that he needs to be in order to make this reasonable. he cannot allow someone to claim that prize or his life's work would be ruined.

additionally, my argument was actually, that Mr Randi would never agree to the theory that explained the How of the event, not the what. even in the example for blind-fighting, the dispute was not about whether or not so and so could do it, but on the HOW it was done. and as long as he is able to make a competeing theory he will never give out the money.

I have experienced magic, and science will eventually make some sort of resonalbe theory to cover the how, than it won't be called magic, but until then I don't want to waste my time chasing fools gold.

-mike R.
rlemansky
Easy come, easy go, I suppose.

I was thinking that pendulum dowsing to determine the outcome of a coin toss'd do it. If I am right more than statistically average over an extended number of runs (how extended would depend on the observer), would that qualify as magic or just a fluke of chance?

Or determining the gender of an unborn child with a wedding ring (actually, at this point in my career, I'm at 100% accuracy)-again, if I score statistically higher than average, am I just a lucky guesser or is it magic?

There's a combination of essential oils that, when worn and combined with what is called a 'Moon gaze', allows a man to, uhm, 'successfully seduce' a woman. If, when doing the gaze and wearing the potion, I run a blood pressure, ECG, and body temperature reading and get elevated levels (typically meaning 'receptive' or 'aroused'), is it magic? Sure, the essential oils MAY be part of it, or my own pheremones (or roguish good looks and demeanor), but in a a statistically higher than average percent of the tested, female population (even I'M not attractive to EVERYONE). Skip the essential oils if you want to state that they have a physiological impact (and that way justifying much of aromatherapy).

I guess the outcome can be viewed, but sceptics will still debate the mechanism-which will put me out of the running for randi.

r
sable twilight
QUOTE (Nikoli)
A few years ago, when I was actively practicing on a regular basis, an aquantence of mine had a rather bad run in with a particular mind altering substance in the parking lot of a Waffle House.  I wanted to quiet him down because we were wierd kids that the local police didn't much care for when we weren't actively breaking the law.
Without telling him what I was doin, I looked into his eyes and willed him to sleep, withing a few seconds he was unconscious, I have a witness to this, 1 second he was jittery and scared, the next he was dozing.  While I concede he might have passed out, he was back up and seeming normal a few seconds later.  most people pass out for quite some time.  He does not remember the bad trip.  I had a nasty migraine shortly after this episode.

Your friend went into trance state (be it hypnotic or otherwise). People can enter trance for any number of reasons, even from starting into another person's eyes. And it is possible to exit out of trance just as easy. There are some very good informaiton on hypnosis and trances out on the web if you are wanted to look into it further.

QUOTE (rlemansky)
Or determining the gender of an unborn child with a wedding ring (actually, at this point in my career, I'm at 100% accuracy)-again, if I score statistically higher than average, am I just a lucky guesser or is it magic?

I have a friend that can do that without even having to handle anything or do anything to actively sense it. She can just meet the expectant mother and itís sort of like the baby just tells her what gender it is, is how she explained it to me.

All this talk on what is magic and what is not got me to thinking about a saying by Arthur C. Clark, writer and investigator of paranormal phenomena "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

The same thing applies with magic as well. Any sufficiently advanced magic is indistinguishable from science. They both operates on the same methods (observation, hypothesis, experimentation, revision), even if the foundations are different.

In other words, as my Wicca 101 teacher explained, magic is simply science that science has not been explained yet. Tens of thousands of years ago, writing, mathematics, and fire were magic, a thousand years ago it was chemistry and physics, and just a few hundred years ago it was electricity and magnetism. Today we have people doing things with wave manipulation without having really any idea of what or how what they are doing works. The universe is a very intricate and complex thing. Nothing that happens in the universe can violate the laws of the universe. This is why no one will ever be able to prove something violates the physical laws of the universe. The effect may not be explainable by what science theorizes about the universe, but it still does not exist outside it.
Req
QUOTE (sable twilight)
All this talk on what is magic and what is not got me to thinking about a saying by Arthur C. Clark, writer and investigator of paranormal phenomena "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

...and Req's First Corollary: Any technology distinguishable from magic is not sufficiently advanced.
John Campbell
QUOTE (rlemansky)
Try this-start writing down the times when a song pops into your head and you turn on the radio to that song-or when a person comes unbidden to your mind and you hear from him/her out of the blue, or the unusual re-occurence of a particular number combination-it can be staggering.

An excellent idea. I'm always in favor of collecting actual data to support or disprove people's assertions.

Just remember, while you're doing this, make sure you write down every time a song pops into your head and you turn on the radio to a different song, or a person comes unbidden to your mind and you don't hear from them any more frequently than you usually do, and make sure to record every number combination you encounter, not just the ones that draw your attention by being "particular".

Anything can start looking excessively coincidental if you record the times it happens and ignore the times it doesn't.

QUOTE (krishcane)
But in terms of external world-powers... I can fairly reliably alleviate pain in myself, and sometimes in others. I can focus on my body to improve strengh, agility, or endurance (not to superhuman levels -- just to the levels that it would ideally operate at). I can banish fatigue and to some degree overcome hunger, thirst, and temperate extremes. I can blind-sense fairly well, and especially in the case of heavily-charged emotional subjects. That's useful in martial arts.

With one exception (which I'll get to in a minute), none of those are external world-powers. Most of them are simple matters of exerting your will to cause your body to do things. While I suppose it could be argued that the human will is itself magical, which view I'm not going to touch because it looks to me to be a matter of unprovable (either way) faith, doing these things is, at any rate, not any more magical than sticking your hand out and picking something up. The human brain is an extremely complex organ, and it ultimately controls pretty much everything your body does, so it's hardly surprising that it affects the body's internal operation.

The one possible exception is alleviating pain in others. I'd tend to chalk that up to you using the mystical powers of social interaction to influence them to use their own internal abilities, though.

It's also worth noting that I can and have done all of those things myself - with the exception of alleviating pain in others, which I've not attempted except via gross physical means (I'm told I give a wicked massage) - and don't attribute any of them to magical effects. It's a matter of knowing how to use your body efficiently (see my last post about Pathwalker's claim), of ignoring things that are happening only in your mind anyway (pain and hunger), of picking up on subtle cues your perfectly mundane senses are feeding you (blind sensing), and so on.

I'm very good at blind sensing, incidentally... back in the day when I used to play with boffer swords, I was a holy terror in melee combat, regularly took on five-to-one odds without difficulty, because I was not only fast and agile, but could sense what people behind me were doing and dodge blows that I never saw coming. But that's not magical... it's a matter of peripheral vision, of hearing, of more subtle cues like air movement. The proof of that is that as good as I am at it normally, I can't do it at all with my armor on. My helm blocks my peripheral vision (and entirely too much of my regular vision.. I really need a better one), interferes with my hearing (especially to the rear), and fifty pounds of mail and steel plate and a half-inch of padded gambeson don't allow sensing of air movements. I get most of it back if I just take my helm off. Unfortunately, that's not really an option in combat... I like my skull uncracked.

That's one of the harder ones to quantify, though. In Shadowrun terms, it's like trying to tell the difference between your usual Combat Pool dice, and the dice gained by use of a Combat Sense spell. We can do it in Shadowrun because we can look at the character's stats and count up how many dice he should have and watch to see how many he's actually using. In real life, we don't have access to our stats. For myself, I tend to think it's just the couple of dice that my Int contributes to my Combat Pool, plus the effects of having a totally silly number of dice (again, a simple high Int) to throw at "noticing someone behind me" Perception tests.

QUOTE (rlemansky)
I was thinking that pendulum dowsing to determine the outcome of a coin toss'd do it. If I am right more than statistically average over an extended number of runs (how extended would depend on the observer), would that qualify as magic or just a fluke of chance?

Probability math can determine exactly how unlikely any given fluke of chance is. The point at which that unlikeliness turns a coincidence into a systematic phenomenon is a matter of personal opinion, but if you can run the odds up high enough, it should convince most people that something unexplained is going on. Whether your explanation of it as "magic" is valid is another question.

Again, consider my Shadowrun sorcerer. He's provably capable of levitating, of throwing lightning bolts, and a number of other readily observable phenomena. He also believes that Odin and his brothers created the universe from the corpse of the giant Ymir, and that his powers derive from the (mental... physical runes are a crutch for crippled sorcerers) manipulation of rune symbols, the secret of which was discovered by Odin as he hung from the World Tree. Does the indisputable fact that he does possess these abilities indicate that he's right about where they come from?
limbodog
On top of that, I shot my friend with an SMG and for some reason he never got his body roll! He just took maximum damage!

Has anyone else experienced that in real life?
Siege
QUOTE (limbodog)
On top of that, I shot my friend with an SMG and for some reason he never got his body roll! He just took maximum damage!

Has anyone else experienced that in real life?

Uh...no. Sorry, never felt the need to empty a mag into a friend.

New enemies, maybe -- but never old friends.

To start the fireball rolling -- anyone want to discuss the parallels between Jesus on a Cross and Odin hanging on a tree?

-Siege
Req
There was a group that called themselves the Druids at my college. Big back-to-nature, magick-is-alive folks. Nice kids. But they got it into their heads to test their magick through a double-blinded experiement. A buddy and I were some of the more open-minded science majors they brought in to make sure it was testable and statistically significant. My buddy, who was good friends with the head of that group, repeatedly warned them that it could go either way, but here you are testing your faith, and are you sure you want to take the risk? He was sure.

They experiment consisted of some magick-working types applying a "charge" of "positive energy" to a group of objects, I think they were pebbles or coins or something, and then having other magick types pick out the charged ones. They'd decided on this because they'd done it before and it was a really easy test, and also the sort of thing that lended itself to scaling-up to statistically significant levels. We wrote the experiment out, revised and etc etc, and eventually performed it.

Long story short - the kids picked out enough of the charged ones to feel that they'd accomplished something, but when we did the stats it was well below a statistically significant fraction. So all of you who've experienced things of this sort, have you done the stats? A few occurrances don't mean a significant conclusion.

QUOTE
To start the fireball rolling -- anyone want to discuss the parallels between Jesus on a Cross and Odin hanging on a tree?


No. smile.gif
Pistons
Thank you, krishcane, for the attempt.

Guys, I'm going to ask this one more time: please steer the conversation toward a Shadowrun topic. It's an interesting discussion as-is, but does not belong here. Take it to PM, email, or another forum. I will check back later this evening, and if the change hasn't been made, I'll be closing this thread.
Glyph
You know, the discussion about Mr. Randi has started me thinking. In the Shadowrun universe, who do you think got that million dollar prize after the Awakening? It must have been like a sprinting contest to be the first one there. biggrin.gif
Zazen
It'd be pretty funny if he awakened, y'know.


QUOTE (krishcane)
But in terms of external world-powers... I can fairly reliably alleviate pain in myself, and sometimes in others. I can focus on my body to improve strengh, agility, or endurance (not to superhuman levels -- just to the levels that it would ideally operate at). I can banish fatigue and to some degree overcome hunger, thirst, and temperate extremes.


I just realized that I do this in the sack all the time. All this time I thought I was just good in bed, but apparently I've got magic powers! Awesome! wink.gif
Fortune
Zazen the Sex Adept!
Zazen
Damn straight, brother cool.gif
ShadowPhoenix
If the Admin doesn't mind, I am going to try and mingle smile.gif


in terms of RL, I think that prayer and what the magic casters refer to as magic are similar, same with having visions etc. Which makes me wonder, anyone have any cool home rules for making a Christian Mage? like certain limitations etc in terms of what spells they can use etc? As for that randi guy, I believe his test also includes prayer and other "supernatural" holy events as well. I think the Dragon that awoke in Japan would have to be the victor of his contest, since I think he was the first awakened creature of measure. Anyone else have different ideas?

Another interesting notion, it would seem the SR world has gotten over the misconceptions of religious preference in regards to magic, in fact, Shamans and such I think are a bit more accepted, at least I haven't heard of any inquisitions in the canon material. Anyone have any references? Maybe it's because at that point there is tangible proof so that doubters no longer doubt.

I imagine there are still wageslaves in SR that haven't seen mages, maybe heard of them, but probably doesn't believe the hype either. and I don't think that will go away, until something is seen first hand. such is human nature.

Anyone else have any thoughts on how much an average wageslave knows or believes in magic? just curious as to the basic level of arcane knowledge they would have.
Herald of Verjigorm
The R.C.C.'s official stance on magic is mentioned in MitS.
Book leanred sorcery only, they don't trust the totems. They see conjuring as a form of slavery at best, but they excel at banishing.
Magic and miracles are two drastically different things. Any claim of a miracle must now be proven as an actual event and inexplicable by both physical and magical means.

There's more info there and I think there's a spot in one of the Threats books about the R.C.C. special forces.
John Campbell
QUOTE (ShadowPhoenix)
Another interesting notion, it would seem the SR world has gotten over the misconceptions of religious preference in regards to magic, in fact, Shamans and such I think are a bit more accepted, at least I haven't heard of any inquisitions in the canon material. Anyone have any references? Maybe it's because at that point there is tangible proof so that doubters no longer doubt.

Inquisitions get kind of risky when the Inquisitors' intended victims can throw lightning bolts...

I actually tend to run Humanis as being not just anti-meta, but anti-magic in general. It's all Satan's work to them, and therefore evil that must be destroyed. They see the acceptance of magic by the Catholic Church and other religious organizations as a sign of Satanic corruption of those organizations. This means, obviously, that there are very few Awakened Humanis members in my world, and the few that do exist typically characterize their powers as miracles from God rather than magical abilities that they themselves possess. I don't think any of this is actually canon, but that's never worried me before...

QUOTE
I imagine there are still wageslaves in SR that haven't seen mages, maybe heard of them, but probably doesn't believe the hype either. and I don't think that will go away, until something is seen first hand. such is human nature.

Anyone else have any thoughts on how much an average wageslave knows or believes in magic? just curious as to the basic level of arcane knowledge they would have.

About one in a hundred people have some degree of magical talent. That's really not all that rare, if you consider the number of people you casually encounter every day. How noticable the handful of mages that your average wageslave runs across are going to be depends largely on how much you think they use their magic, and how flashy the magic they use is. And most of the spells that're actually useful day-to-day are fairly obvious.

I know if I were Awakened, I'd build myself a sustaining focus and keep a Force 2 Magic Fingers sustained at all times, just 'cause it'd be so damn handy. People'd see me using it in fast food joints to grab napkins from across the room and get refills on my drink because I was too lazy to get up, stuff like that.

So I figure that there probably aren't very many people in SR who haven't ever encountered magic. It's probably not a daily occurance for most of them, but most will most likely have at least seen it a few times. There are probably people who deny that it exists at all (like psionicists), but they're probably seen as mostly harmless tinfoil hat nutballs.

And if you want to count the less blatant signs, the stuff that's magical but doesn't slap you in the face and go, "Hey! This is magic!", basically everyone will have met metahumans. Most people are probably related to some. Scientific explanations might hold up for elves and dwarves, and even born orks and trolls, but orks goblinizing is iffy, and the rapid mass change goblinizing trolls go through is pretty much biologically impossible.
krishcane
I think I read somewhere (wish I could find it now) that marathon runners in America are like 1% of the population -- or at least, people who have tried to run a marathon. That might be a good guide for whether SR people know magical types -- some people nowadays are surrounded by marathon runners if they work in a young and athletic environment. Other people probably don't know any. Everyone has at least heard of marathon runners, and many of us have seen them on TV. If you saw a guy running down the street, and then saw him still doing it 2 hours later, you'd probably think "Damn, he's one of them." You wouldn't ask for his autograph or anything, but he'd draw your attention for a couple of seconds. Then you'd say, "I could never do that." smile.gif

--K
Shanshu Freeman
QUOTE (krishcane)
I think I read somewhere (wish I could find it now) that marathon runners in America are like 1% of the population -- or at least, people who have tried to run a marathon. That might be a good guide for whether SR people know magical types --

There is no relationship between marathon runners and people who have magical skillz.

Dashifen
Depends, once again, of each person's definition of magical skills.

To put it in SR terms, an Adept with Enhanced Ability: Athletics and Centering is most definately using their magic to help their marathon running.

To put it in RL terms, a runner who uses rhythmic breathing and whatnot to reach that state of "runner's high" which I have heard discussed as being similar to a shaman's ability to trance themselves may believe that he or she is performing magic to help them finish their marathon.

If you're looking for people who can toss about fireballs and levitate, then you're probably not going to find one any time soon. It's not that I discount the possiblity of those event happening, it's just that I discount the probability of them happening -- kinda like having all of your electrons suddently decide to be on the other side of the chair your sitting in. It could happen (sort of -- it's an example, gimmie a break) but it probably won't.

But, if you're looking for a person who believes that through focus and will they can help to increase probability that a specific event will happen, then you're probably going to encounter one with out too much searching.

In fact -- you already have smile.gif

-----------------

Edit: Oh! and about marathon running, I have to be in a really weird category if your stats are correct, krishcane. My mother, father, and sister have all run marathons and finished! Me? I'd ride my bike.
Zazen
I recall hearing someplace (here, I think) that .5% of the population are doctors. Ever met a doctor outside of a medical environment? There you go, double that number of exposures. I got one living next door to me.

I know a few marathon runners too. I'm not a very outgoing guy.

I've read that less than 1% of the population has tried heroin, and I know a handful.

Then again I've also read that 1% of the population develops epilepsy by age 20 (but doesn't necessarily have a siezure). I don't know any epileptics, but they might not know themselves. Who knows.

I've read that, outside of communist governments, less than 1% of the population is classified as "radical athiest". I know a few, for damn sure.

I've read that 1% of the population is Schizophrenic, and I do know one guy, but I don't think it's fair to use that statistic since I imagine most of them are stuck in looney bins and generally out of normal life.


I figure they're not that rare, but hey, I'm just one guy. This is hardly scientific.
Fahr
wow someone remembered my doctor statistics!!

go go gadget Census data!

-mike R.
Fortune
QUOTE (Zazen)
I've read that 1% of the population is Schizophrenic, and I do know one guy...

Technically, you would know more than one guy. wink.gif biggrin.gif
John Campbell
QUOTE (Fortune)
QUOTE (Zazen @ Mar 3 2004, 04:18 AM)
I've read that 1% of the population is Schizophrenic, and I do know one guy...

Technically, you would know more than one guy. wink.gif biggrin.gif

Contrary to popular belief, "schizophrenia" is not synonymous with "multiple personality disorder".
Zazen
Do I count the guys who live in the walls and are always trying to harvest his organs? nyahnyah.gif
Fortune
QUOTE (John Campbell)
Contrary to popular belief, "schizophrenia" is not synonymous with "multiple personality disorder".

While this is certainly true, as you say, the common (mis)conception is that they are virtually identical.

Besides, it made for a good smart-assed comment. nyahnyah.gif
Kagetenshi
*The hairs on the back of Fortune's hand whisper to him* "Be a man, grow a beard, and buy a truck..."

~J

Postscript: yes, that is something that one schizophrenic man heard. That was what the voices told him to do.
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