Friday, September 23, 2011

Paranomal Categories ~ SGU 24-Hour Show

Steven Novella and the Skeptics Guide to the Universe tonight begins a 24-Hour Podcasting Show.  He states that critical thinking is at an all time low (he even has a meter to prove it!)  He wants to try and raise the level of science and skepticism during the next 24-hours to at least the yellow level.  I'm challenging anyone listening the next 24-hours to listen in, and really DO SOMETHING to raise the level of critical thinking in the public.  Edit Wikipedia for skeptical content. 

Join me, sign into your Wikipedia account and help edit.  I'm going to be giving updates in the comment section of the edits I do tonight. 

Heres a great place to start...

I love the category function on Wikipedia.  I've talked a lot about this on earlier blogs about using the Skeptics by country page as a way of finding skeptic pages that badly need work.  Putting them in the category has been discussed as well.

As you know from reading the last few blogs, I'm on this kick to find more paranormal pages that are making claims like "medium XYZ has solved many missing person cases" and "the police call in ABC whenever they have a mystery to solve".  You know that kind of thing.  Then when you look at the citations you discover that the citation might not even be there, or is a bad cite (dead link, or links to the psychic's website ect...).

Well trolling around Wikipedia does give you all kinds of strange pages, but I thought why not just go to the psychic's pages from the category page that someone put them in?  Great idea.  I've collected a few of the category pages and pasted them for you below. Remember there might be a lot more, I just haven't found them yet. 

American Spiritual Mediums

Spiritual Mediums

People by Paranormal Abilities


Paranormal Stubs

Paranormal Investigators


  1. Updated the Cold-Reading page.

    According to James Underdown from CFI and IIG "In the context of a studio audience full of people, cold reading is not very impressive." Underdown explains cold-reading from a mathematical viewpoint. A typical studio audience consists of approximately 200 people, divided up into 3 sections. A conservative estimate assumes each person knows 150 people. When a psychic asks the question "“Who’s Margaret?” he is hoping there is a Margaret in the 10,000 people in the database of that section. If there is no answer, they open the question up to the whole audience’s database of over 30,000 people! Would it be surprising for there to be a dozen Margarets in such a large sample?"

  2. Recited a link on psychic Sally Morgan's page.

    You'll love this article of a psychic getting caught by people sitting in the back row of the audience.

  3. Added Daniel Loxton's Junior Skeptic Magazine as a reference to the Cold-reading page.

  4. Added ebook link to JREF "The Truth About Uri Geller"

  5. I just added information regarding a recent class action lawsuit against Boiron (accusing them of false advertising) to the "Criticisms of Marketing" section I made this week. I added it to both the Boiron page and the Oscillococcinum page (since that's the product the lawsuit is with regards to.) I also added a bit to David Attenborough's page yesterday about the British Humanist Association anti-creationism campaign that he has lent his support to. :-)

  6. Dustin has just updated the Boiron and Oscillococci's pages with information on the class action lawsuit against them.

    Just tweeted this also to the SGU audience.

  7. LOL Dustin! We are on the same page. I don't know how you are staying up there in Kentucky? I'm yawning here in California. I have a very busy day at work tomorrow. I hope other people are editing as you and I are going to crash soon.

  8. The JREF and Tim Farley have already retweeted some of the twitter posts I've left for the #SGU24.

    In a day or so we need to take a look and see if all the sites we are updating (and tweeting) are getting more hits.

  9. Those SGU folks are real troopers. 24 hours! They are so awesome.

    I think I might need to crash soon too! I've been digging up more info on the Blogger Zero case, and I'll see if I can possibly clarify that section better on the Boiron wiki page. I've also been digging for more info on the GT200 case, but the wikipedia page on that actually looks fairly up to date. I'll continue monitoring the issue for any new developments. I have some more ideas on other alt med topics that I can work on...but first...time for a lil sleep. :-)

  10. Awesome! Thanks so much for tweeting about our work! :-)

  11. Updated Peter Popoff Wiki page to include Debt Relief Scam. Gods plan is mail fraud!

  12. Time for bed for me too. I could do a few more hours but I have a really busy day at work tomorrow! We did a lot in a couple hours. JREF retweeted your post to 9,000+ followers. I did gain 3 new Twitter followers tonight. Maybe I can do something tomorrow morning while eating my oatmeal?

  13. Lei finished the Vashti McCollum page today! Beautiful work Lei.

    (before) (current)