At 07:15 AM 5/24/2005, you wrote:
Richard M writes

> I remember Plaga's original post on the Los Alamos
> archives way back when the server there was a 386.
> Most of the methods I've seen--Plaga's, Fred Alan
> Wolf's, and others involve tweaking the mortar, so
> to speak---prying apart the wallboard to obtain
> evidence of the next room over.

> Since all I'm interested in is whether behavior systems
> incorporate knowledge of clearly defined probabilities
> that may exist in the next lane over (so to speak)--I
> would like to make a modest proposal---

> Assemble a hundred college a double-blind
> experiment to determine their awareness of occult but
> clearly defined probabilities.

> Here's how: set up a random number generator that will
> return a value on a screen--say 1 through 50 (or whatever
> object set you'd like).  Tell the students it's a random
> number generator that will return a perfectly random
> result, and you'd like to see how good they are at
> guessing a value just before it appears.  Pay the
> student a nominal sum each time she gets the value
> correct.  Debit the student a small amount each time
> she gets it incorrect--so they'll have something
> invested in the outcome.

How, essentially, does this differ from the casino game of

Because we don't have a finite set of probabilities to compare the responses against. Hypothetical: We watch a roulette player at Monte Carlo. Then, we reach down into our case and bring out our QM probability viewer and switch it on. Now, in addition to the central scene, we see ten versions of the same player (and roulette) each differing only in probability from the original. As a result, each scene shows a different number winning. Luckily, we have the newest model QM viewer, so with each version a number flashes on the screen that shows the probability of this win being the one we saw originally. Of the ten, some would likely have a lower probability of occurring and some would have a higher probability.

Since we have no QM viewer, we have to stack the deck (so to speak) and limit the number of probabilities per run to a set quantity. Of course, it could be fairly argued that MW is far more resilient and pervasive and that some version of us (or the machine) would choose different values and sets--thus muddling the results. But on the off-chance that MW is somewhat more stable, I think we may see subjects that can accurately assess hidden probabilities. As before, if it is found that we routinely sample "probability space" this might involve brain processes that developed through evolution---but would also suggest that consciousness exists as an object in probability space. Hilgard's experiments can be interpreted to suggest that. His book, incidentally, is "Divided Consciousness" by Wiley Interscience. reprinted in '88, I believe.

As for the latter, roulette has been played so very much
that by now there would have been almost enough time to
evolve people who were good at it.

And there are people who are good at it. Everyone calls them "lucky" which really doesn't explain much. Some of us routinely choose the wrong queue, others get the correct one (queuing theory and probability offer good explanations for this sort of thing, but other factors may simply involve an ability to sample alternate worlds.


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