The Things We Don’t Know

I saw this video a little while ago, and assuming it’s not totally faked, I was completely baffled by it.

It’s a video of a woman who claims to be psychic, who can outdo trained professionals and, in one case, a sniffer dog in how fast she can find a person hiding in the wilderness. Obviously, her explanation is that she uses her psychic powers. My explanation is – well, I don’t have one. I have no idea how she did that, but I am intrigued by the whole thing.

I found the comments on the video fairly disheartening.

this is absolute bullshit

I’ve seen this woman myself, Diane Lazarus, and i have another reading with her next month. If you ever want proof, go for a personal reading with a well known psychic. You’ll be blown away

Why wasnt this test a double blind, where neither party knew where the kid was. She could easy be reading his facial expressions, or other bodily hints hes not even aware hes giving off… the explinations outside of psychic abilites are far more convincing for me than she used esp. And why do they keep saying pschics and yet theres only one shown? Did all the others epic fail? Or is she more than one person (i know shes not but u know my point)… Point is its probably faked, nothing more

Basically, the comments seemed to fall into two camps. “This is wrong, clearly she – read their facial expressions/the reactions were fake/etc.” or “I’ve always known psychics were real, and this proves it!” (I’d like to note, there were many more in camp “this is fake” rather than camp “psychics are real.”)

And, here’s the thing – yes, the video could easily be fake. I have no idea who these people are, and they could have just *told* her where the kid was, then made a video about it. That is the most obvious possibility. That said, I read a lot of science that could easily be fake. Many studies I read about new drugs coming out that could improve Alzheimer’s, or cure cancer, or whatever have turned out to be fake because the scientists researching the data over-optimistically interpreted their results because they *wanted* to find drugs that cured cancer, or Alzheimer’s or whatever.

However, it’s still useful to keep up on these things, because every now and then something works, and then you may want to go get yourself and HPV vaccine, or update your AIDS anti-virals instead of just calling everything bullshit. But, you don’t want to take your open mindedness too far, or else you end up pulling a Steve Jobs and fail to meditate away your curable pancreatic cancer.

The one thing that really struck me about these comments was a complete lack of curiosity, on both sides. Nearly everyone came in with a preconceived notion of what they believed to be true, and then interpreted the video to suit their original viewpoint. That claim that new age hippies make, that science has become the new religion rings true, not because everyone believes in science now, but because people will abuse science to back up the beliefs they already have. The same way people in the middle ages ignored the “love thy neighbor” part of the bible to start the Crusades.

When it comes to that supposed psychic woman – assuming the test isn’t *totally* fake (i.e. they didn’t just tell her where the people were hidden) I still want to know how she does what she does. She can read the subconscious cues on people’s faces so accurately that she can find a child faster than a sniffer dog? That sounds like some talent, I wouldn’t mind having a bit of that next time I go into negotiate my salary.

Underlying the comments, there seemed to be fear on both sides. Fear that psychics were real, or fear that they were not. And, that’s a shame, because the fear blocked exploration and it blocked learning.

Even if this video is fake, I believe there are things in the universe that will blow your fucking mind. I believe humans will discover things so amazing, and remarkable it will cause our entire race to shift how we think about the universe. It’s already happened, the discovery of special relativity and with the discovery of quantum mechanics are the two most obvious examples that come to mind. But, there are so many unknowns – so many ways our story of the universe doesn’t quite stitch together, that it seems to me to be bound to happen again.

And, I hope if I ever see such a thing, I’m able to recognize it for what it is. I hope I don’t end up being one of those buffoons in the corner yelling “fake!”

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