Showing posts from February, 2006

Confirmation bias

From a recent reader review of The Conscious Universe . This review provides a nice demonstration of the confirmation bias: If you believe that psi does not exist, but then you encounter evidence indicating that psi does exist, the confirmation bias will cause you to find reasons to reject the positive evidence, which in turn will make you more convinced -- and hence confirms -- that your original hypothesis was correct. Because this bias is rife throughout science, I discuss it and other biases in The Conscious Universe . Incidentally, I doubt that the reviewer read the book carefully, because I never, ever use the term PSI. The correct word is psi. The reviewer writes (excerpt): The main reason why I found this book unconvincing is that if PSI existed it would be easy to demonstrate. No meta-analysis of a huge number of studies is needed, one good experiment suffices. This argument might seem appealing, except for one very important problem: Human performance is highly

A Turkish translation

This is the cover of the Turkish translation of The Conscious Universe , published in 2005. Someone must have forgotten to inform me that this edition was out, as I discovered it by accident. I ran across the book jacket image while surfing, and thought it looked familiar. Then I looked more closely and saw that my name was on the cover!

New Down the Rabbit Hole poster

This is the new marquee poster for the Bleep movie, emphasizing that it's an extended director's cut, and not -- as some people apparently thought -- an entirely new movie.

Who should see "Down the Rabbit Hole"

Certain kinds of people shouldn't see the movie, What the Bleep: Down the Rabbit Hole . If you have no interest in questions like "Who am I," "What is consciousness," or "What is the nature of reality," then don't waste your time seeing this film. If you think meditation and yoga are New Age nonsense, then don't waste your money. If you are devoted to a traditional religious doctrine, then don't even think about seeing this film. If you are a scientist who believes that the current scientific picture of the universe is essentially complete, then avoid this film as it will make you angry. If you believe that psychic and mystical experiences are completely explanable as the delusions of the ignorant, don't waste your time. In short, if you are a devotee of orthodoxy, do not see this film . On the other hand, if you are interested in the big philosophical questions, practice meditation or yoga, are naturally intuitive, do not believe that

ESP for kids

Here's a children's book on ESP that I was a consultant for, published in January 2006. Click on the image to jump to it at Barnes and Noble.

What the bleep

I attended the San Francisco premier of Down the Rabbit Hole last night. The theater was at maximum capacity (about 400 people). The movie itself is long (2 hours 40 minutes) and is essentially an extended version of the original What the Bleep, with some very good new animation and nearly all new interviews. Those expecting an entirely new film will be disappointed, but if you're looking for a more in-depth version of the first film you'll be satisfied. For those who still can't get enough, a 5 hour DVD version is in the works. Realistically you're not going to learn quantum mechanics from watching this film, or for that matter the biochemistry of addiction, or the mystical foundations of religion, or the ontological implications of living in a holistic universe. But it's an entertaining introduction to very some complex and fascinating topics. After the show, Mark Vincente (the director), Fred Alan Wolf and I did a Q&A with the audience for about an hour. This