The hilarity of ITC

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Cabaret Voltaire
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The hilarity of ITC

Postby Cabaret Voltaire » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:20 pm

Hey, folks. I'm new around here as you can tell. I've been interested in all things paranormal for as long as I can remember and used to take it all at face value, but my skepticism has gotten stronger and fierce through the years and it would like to learn more and get some perspective from other, more experienced skeptics.

I recently stumbled upon this video of a news report on the ITC phenomena from the very late 90s and found it absurd and amusing. I wonder what you guys make of it.
Either Konstantin Raudive was a literal robot in his lifetime or somebody decided to screw around with the gullible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NmQIYyPX9Ts

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby bobbo_the_Pragmatist » Sat Jun 17, 2017 9:58 pm

Anyone with a continuing interest in Woo............is no skeptic, much less a strong one.

I think................... you aren't quite telling the truth. If you are: stop wasting everyone's time. Hint: that includes your own.
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Cabaret Voltaire » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:13 pm

Huh?

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Hex » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:22 pm

Hi Cabaret, welcome to the forum. :)

All I can give you is my perspective on this topic.

One of the more useful tools a skeptic can use is Occam's Razor. Not a perfect tool that will reveal the correct answer, view it more as a skeptical tool for initial impressions without much evidence to go on.

The first thing I thought of when watching this older video if this ITC had any kind of scientific merit and is being held up as positive proof, then why decades later there has been no corroborating evidence, no one else has been able to replicate the experiments and it hasn't sent shockwaves through the scientific community?

The second thing I thought was the only people who seem to be able to do these things also seem to have a very vested interest in this being real. Human beings are human beings and everyone has biases and when your biases are also tied to finance and fame, well it isn't beyond the realm of possibilities that you'll do dishonest things to make those things come true.

So using Occam's Razor, what seems more plausible given the little information you have. That these people have really contacted the dead through electronic means, or they are pulling a fast one for financial gain and notoriety?

I personally think the latter to be more true. It doesn't mean I've totally discounted the former, nor have I made a claim that it isn't true, I'm just using logical thinking, what I know about reality and skepticism to just not believe the claim until there is sufficient proof.
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sat Jun 17, 2017 10:48 pm

Cabaret Voltaire wrote:Hey, folks. I'm new around here as you can tell. I've been interested in all things paranormal for as long as I can remember and used to take it all at face value, but my skepticism has gotten stronger and fierce through the years and it would like to learn more and get some perspective from other, more experienced skeptics.
Hi, CV...welcome to the forum! Is your continuing interest because you wish rational explanations for phenomena in which you used to believe?
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Cabaret Voltaire » Sun Jun 18, 2017 12:49 am

LunaNik wrote:Hi, CV...welcome to the forum! Is your continuing interest because you wish rational explanations for phenomena in which you used to believe?


Thank you very much! And yes. The paranormal intrigues me to this day, but so does the ways in which the brain works, which plays a part in most paranormal cases. So it's something I'm deeply interested in and am always looking for and coming up with rational explanations for what is deemed to be "paranormal activity".

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Jun 18, 2017 2:57 am

Hi, CV. Welcome to SSF. You might be interested in this (and other pages) from Skeptic's Dictionary in regard to Konstantine Raudive

...I don't think wishful thinking sufficiently explains EVP. There's been no suggestion of fraud, so that remains a dubious explanation. Most likely, some of the "voices" were snippets of radio broadcasts or recordings of noises or living persons. But many of the "voices" were probably not snippets of anything: the listener was hearing things that weren't there and turning white noise into intelligible sounds. In some cases, the listeners were turning nothing into something, i.e., having auditory hallucinations. How does this happen? Ellis did an experiment that demonstrates that it does happen. He had a group of people listen to a recording of white noise, but he told them they were listening to a poorly recorded lecture. Their task was to try to transcribe the lecture. "The subjects offered dozens of phrases and even whole sentences they'd managed to make out" (Roach, p. 186). Some people probably hear intelligible words while listening to the flowing waters of a stream or the wind whistling through the pines. There is nothing extraordinary about this...

...

In 1997, psychologist Imants Barušs conducted a series of experiments attempting to replicate Raudive's work. His results were published in 2001 in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. He did over 80 recordings of radio static...but "none of the phenomena found...was clearly anomalous, let alone attributable to discarnate beings."* In short, the only significant attempt to replicate Raudive's work failed to replicate it.
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:50 am

scrmbldggs wrote:Most likely, some of the "voices" were snippets of radio broadcasts or recordings of noises or living persons. But many of the "voices" were probably not snippets of anything: the listener was hearing things that weren't there and turning white noise into intelligible sounds.

Auditory pareidolia. I've read that too, and it makes the most sense. Humans like order, and it's human nature to seek patterns in chaos.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby ElectricMonk » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:57 am

Anything about contacting the Dead should be regarded with the highest of suspicion, since so many people desperately hope that it is possible. People have gone bankrupt paying charlatans for the fake chance to speak with their loved ones in the afterlife.
Heck, the Pentagon might pay a billion to be able to talk to von Neumann or Teller when necessary.
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Jun 18, 2017 4:10 am

ElectricMonk wrote:Anything about contacting the Dead should be regarded with the highest of suspicion, since so many people desperately hope that it is possible. People have gone bankrupt paying charlatans for the fake chance to speak with their loved ones in the afterlife.
Heck, the Pentagon might pay a billion to be able to talk to von Neumann or Teller when necessary.

Or Tesla, although he wouldn't tell them anything useful.

While I understand the fascination with the possibility of an afterlife or reincarnation, to me, the idea of either seems automatically hellish. "You mean I have to do it all over again?! @#$%!!"
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby scrmbldggs » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:37 am

Ah, but "they" will tell you you won't see it like that on "the other side" and will gladly dive into another "adventure"... :paper:
Hi, Io the lurker.

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Flash » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:57 am

LunaNik wrote:
While I understand the fascination with the possibility of an afterlife or reincarnation, to me, the idea of either seems automatically hellish. "You mean I have to do it all over again?! @#$%!!"

Yeap and this time as a worm.
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Poodle » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:59 am

Hi Cabaret.
I wish you a satisfactory outcome to your search. But I strongly suspect you'll find nothing. I find it telling that in an afterlife which is (as claimed) not physical but resembling this Earth, some (at least) 'reception' examples are from old men. My own opinion is that the whole thing is based in the fear of extinction and the well-known tendency of finding what you want to find in a 'research' program based upon wishful thinking.
However, enjoy the forum.

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Phoenix76 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:06 am

The only thing I can see as true on this subject is the "Hilarity".

See I'm not only a Skeptic, but very much an Atheist. So I don't believe in an "afterlife", therefore I can't believe in communicating with said "afterlife".

Dust to dust, ashes to ashes, I think that might be in the story book called "The Bible", but that much I can accept as the truth. I accept it as truth because nobody has shown or proved that an afterlife, or reincarnation for that matter, is true.

But Cabaret, please don't let me put you off what must be a very interesting and absorbing subject. Although I'm an atheist, I still read the history of religions and various gods etc, because whilst very intriguing at times, it only serves to re-inforce my belief, or rather lack of it.

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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Gord » Sun Jun 18, 2017 10:22 am

Cabaret Voltaire wrote:Hey, folks.

Hello! :wave:

I recently stumbled upon this video of a news report on the ITC phenomena from the very late 90s and found it absurd and amusing. I wonder what you guys make of it.

Looks like a load of hogswallop.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electroni ... n_interest

The term Instrumental Trans-Communication (ITC) was coined by Ernst Senkowski in the 1970s to refer more generally to communication through any sort of electronic device such as tape recorders, fax machines, television sets or computers between spirits or other discarnate entities and the living. One particularly famous claimed incidence of ITC occurred when the image of EVP enthusiast Friedrich Jürgenson (whose funeral was held that day) was said to have appeared on a television in the home of a colleague, which had been purposefully tuned to a vacant channel. ITC enthusiasts also look at the TV and video camera feedback loop of the Droste effect.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Droste_effect

The Droste effect...is the effect of a picture appearing within itself, in a place where a similar picture would realistically be expected to appear. The appearance is recursive: the smaller version contains an even smaller version of the picture, and so on. Only in theory could this go on forever; practically, it continues only as long as the resolution of the picture allows, which is relatively short, since each iteration geometrically reduces the picture's size. It is a visual example of a strange loop, a self-referential system of instancing which is the cornerstone of fractal geometry.

So basically they look at randomness and attempt to discern a pattern to it. That's simply begging to experience pareidolia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pareidolia

Pareidolia...is a psychological phenomenon in which the mind responds to a stimulus (an image or a sound) by perceiving a familiar pattern where none exists.

Common examples are perceived images of animals, faces, or objects in cloud formations, the man in the moon, the moon rabbit, hidden messages within recorded music played in reverse or at higher- or lower-than-normal speeds, and hearing indistinct voices in random noise such as that produced by air conditioners or fans.

I agree with the Skeptic's Dictionary in this case: http://www.skepdic.com/itc.html

instrumental transcommunication (ITC)

ITC is the alleged communication of spirits via various instruments such as the television, computer hard drive, fax machine, tape recorder, video camera, digital camera, and the like. Skeptics consider these communications to be hoaxes or due to liberal interpretations of natural phenomena.
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Re: The hilarity of ITC

Postby Nikki Nyx » Sun Jun 18, 2017 5:39 pm

Cabaret Voltaire wrote:
LunaNik wrote:Hi, CV...welcome to the forum! Is your continuing interest because you wish rational explanations for phenomena in which you used to believe?


Thank you very much! And yes. The paranormal intrigues me to this day, but so does the ways in which the brain works, which plays a part in most paranormal cases. So it's something I'm deeply interested in and am always looking for and coming up with rational explanations for what is deemed to be "paranormal activity".
Well, you're in the right place! Some phenomena have fairly simple rational explanations. Others aren't as cut-and-dried, but Occam's Razor generally provides a working theory that makes sense.

In the case of ITC, as you can read from everyone's posts, the likeliest explanations are:
1. deliberate hoaxes, and
2. auditory pareidolia.

In the first case, given the large number of people who believe in an afterlife, it's clear there's profit in manufacturing "evidence" of communication with the dead. In the second case, it's human nature to perceive patterns in chaos, whether it's constellations, Jesus' face on a piece of toast, subliminal messages when music is played backwards...or in white noise. Case in point:
Image
Click bait headline: "You Won't Believe How This Dog's Soul Became Trapped in a Tree!"
Yeah, or it's just a random arrangement of knots that our brains recognize as a familiar pattern.
Which is more likely?

Or this:
https://youtu.be/TvhCThWWy3Q
Click bait headline: "Famous Singer Tried to Indoctrinate Youth into Drug Culture!"
Sure, or it's just coincidence that "another one bites the dust" in that scansion, when played backward, moderately resembles not only other words, but a complete sentence. What would be Mercury's motive?

It's human nature to perceive patterns; that doesn't mean that the cloud that looks like a turtle is a turtle.
What are the facts? Again and again and again-what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history”--what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!
—Lazarus Long, from Time Enough for Love, by Robert A. Heinlein


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