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 Post subject: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:10 pm 
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The Ferryman
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I've put this in sceptics as I couldn't think of anywhere else to put it .. Its not anti-sceptic, anti-science or a piss take - its an analogy or a thought experiment and highlights the limitations we place upon ourselves .. maybe I should create another section on the forum for stuff like this .. maybe

--------------------------------------------------------

I have a darkened room and I have X number of people stood outside the room. Whats going to happen is that I enter the room and inside, place a little ball of black cotton on the floor - somewhere. Each person is then going to enter the room, one by one, and tell me if they see the cotton.

I'm also going to set up a video camera in the room without night vision or stuff like that so it perfectly mimics the average human eye and which covers the entire room. Afterwards, one by one, people will look at the camera and say if they can see the cotton now.

What will, roughly, the results of this little experiement be?

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:24 pm 
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dunno til you've done it!!!!!!!!!!!

and yeah get another section on the webby for stuff like this!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:26 pm 
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Well, thought experiment it! Work it through in your head .. what would you expect? What would you think will happen? Thats the point of it! Once you've done that - yeah, experiment it - but at this stage - do the experiement in your head.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:31 pm 
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yes but if I stick what I think will happen on here it might influence the outcome of the experiment if not for other maybe for myself and this sounds interesting!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:36 pm 
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hahaha .. this is going to be difficult! Its just a thought experiment!

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 02, 2009 7:43 pm 
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yeah I gathered that but I reckomn it will be interesting to do too so we should do it then we can all write donwn in sealed envelopes just before what we expect to happen and see what actually does happen hehehe!!!

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Wed Jun 03, 2009 9:06 am 
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Jay wrote:

--------------------------------------------------------

I have a darkened room and I have X number of people stood outside the room. Whats going to happen is that I enter the room and inside, place a small piece of black cotton on the floor - somewhere. Each person is then going to enter the room, one by one, and tell me if they see the cotton.

I'm also going to set up a video camera in the room without night vision or stuff like that so it perfectly mimics the average human eye and which covers the entire room. Afterwards, one by one, people will look at the camera and say if they can see the cotton now.

What will, roughly, the results of this little experiement be?


It would depend on several things,

What colour is the flooring? If the floor is black and the cotton is black and its a dark room, there would be little chance of seeing it.

Are the subjects being kept in a well lit room prior to entering the darkened room?

How long will they be given to re-adjust the vision?

have all the subjects been tested and certified to have "normal" or within acceptable parameter vision?

As for setting up a video camera without nightvision, they are crap, they cannot see anywhere near as far as a human can in low light, the human eye re-adjucts focus continuosly and we have differing parts of our eyes that enable us to see sufficiently in the dark. A camera lens does not.

I'd expect that providing the flooring was light and the cotton dark, then with reasonable time to adjust your eyes then yes the cotton could be found.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Thu Jun 04, 2009 7:36 pm 
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yeah those factors would stand for me too, will you be limiting time in the room? also what would this test prove?


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 7:53 am 
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I'm not being deliberatly awkward, its just theres so many factors that would make the viewing of such a piece of cotton impossible or possible that we have to have a level playing field.

I just try to point out what others might think also, yes I have some belief in ghost etc, but I also have a scientific background and so far everyhting I understand (which is a lot more than I dont understand I hope) is easily explained by that science and has been proven.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 12:23 pm 
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This "test" as Trips call it is something that works on a couple of levels. As I say in the opening post : its an analogy or a thought experiment and highlights the limitations we place upon ourselves

The conditions are as they are in the opening post. If you perceive variables, then there are variables. You perceive it as you wish. I for one am not going to add anything else to it. If you want to, thats up to you.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 2:02 pm 
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Jay wrote:
This "test" as Trips call it is something that works on a couple of levels. As I say in the opening post : its an analogy or a thought experiment and highlights the limitations we place upon ourselves

The conditions are as they are in the opening post. If you perceive variables, then there are variables. You perceive it as you wish. I for one am not going to add anything else to it. If you want to, thats up to you.



Then as I originally said:

I'd expect that providing the flooring was light and the cotton dark, then with reasonable time to adjust your eyes then yes the cotton could be found.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:23 am 
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ah so the variables are there if you allow them to be.. so to speak?



i like it!! :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 1:27 pm 
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to me i dont no if i would see it ,, as i would be feeling more than seeing :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 8:57 pm 
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i would be on the floor hunting for it like :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:38 pm 
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I shall reveal the method behind this madness shortly .. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Sun Jun 07, 2009 9:41 pm 
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its just the madness jay ... but interesting little thing you got going :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:58 pm 
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i have an idea what your doing but i won't say, i'll pm you see if im right big man! :D


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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 3:37 pm 
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-As was said up the top :

me wrote:
its an analogy or a thought experiment and highlights the limitations we place upon ourselves


This is the key line.

Ultimately, its not important how many people would see the cotton .. what it does tho is it shows how we limit our own perception.

There is nothing in the "rules" up top that defines how long people can stay in the room, what colour the floor is, how "dark" is darkened, the dimensions of the cotton or any other factor people may have included.

The only thing said was " .. I have a darkened room and I have X number of people stood outside the room. Whats going to happen is that I enter the room and inside, place a little ball of black cotton on the floor - somewhere. Each person is then going to enter the room, one by one, and tell me if they see the cotton."

No limits, no conditions, no rules, no difficulties. A simple excercise. How many would see the cotton?

But we've looked for problems that could exist to prevent us seeing the cotton before we even go into the room. We've brought up the issue of the floor, peoples eyes won't adjust, assumed a time limit etc

We've assumed "Darkened" means a dark room .. no, daylight could be streaming in and a filter is merely placed over it, we've assumed the floor might not be a good colour for spotting the cotton, we've assumed that people are let in the room and then quickly pushed out the door when they could spend hours in there even getting on their hands and knees and inspecting every square milimeter, even if the room is dark - we've assumed we can't take a torch - or turned the fecking lights on! We've even applied our own "normal" definition to the world "little" and no doubt thought the cotton ball was a centimeter across when, if the room happens to be the size of the Albert Hall - "little", by comparison, could be 2 meters in diameter!!

There isn't anything in the original post that set any rules or any limits or set any definitions. We've done that ourselves.

We've read the original post and filled in the blanks with difficulties and problems to overcome - that don't or might not exist to limit - rather than seeking solutions or opportunity.

We've invented the reasons why we're not going to see the little ball of black cotton before we even enter rather than just walking in and looking for the frigging cotton!! Is it any wonder why we don't see it? And remember - this is with a little ball of black cotton that definitely exists, is fully asumed to exist and is definitely and physically in the room - yet we still look for reasons why we won't be able to see the damn thing! Just go in the room and open our frigging eyes ffs!

But we've made assumptions based on the "rule book" we've been supplied, we've applied our own definitions and filled in the blanks with what we expect rather than what is. As a result - we've made and passed judgement before we've even entered the room to look for the cotton.

The way we limit our perceptions defines how we see the world. As I've said on a quote somewhere around here :

We are limited by our perception of what is possible rather than what actually is possible.

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 5:46 pm 
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Jay wrote:
-As was said up the top :

me wrote:
its an analogy or a thought experiment and highlights the limitations we place upon ourselves


This is the key line.

Ultimately, its not important how many people would see the cotton .. what it does tho is it shows how we limit our own perception.

There is nothing in the "rules" up top that defines how long people can stay in the room, what colour the floor is, how "dark" is darkened, the dimensions of the cotton or any other factor people may have included.

The only thing said was " .. I have a darkened room and I have X number of people stood outside the room. Whats going to happen is that I enter the room and inside, place a little ball of black cotton on the floor - somewhere. Each person is then going to enter the room, one by one, and tell me if they see the cotton."

No limits, no conditions, no rules, no difficulties. A simple excercise. How many would see the cotton?

But we've looked for problems that could exist to prevent us seeing the cotton before we even go into the room. We've brought up the issue of the floor, peoples eyes won't adjust, assumed a time limit etc

We've assumed "Darkened" means a dark room .. no, daylight could be streaming in and a filter is merely placed over it, we've assumed the floor might not be a good colour for spotting the cotton, we've assumed that people are let in the room and then quickly pushed out the door when they could spend hours in there even getting on their hands and knees and inspecting every square milimeter, even if the room is dark - we've assumed we can't take a torch - or turned the fecking lights on! We've even applied our own "normal" definition to the world "little" and no doubt thought the cotton ball was a centimeter across when, if the room happens to be the size of the Albert Hall - "little", by comparison, could be 2 meters in diameter!!

There isn't anything in the original post that set any rules or any limits or set any definitions. We've done that ourselves.

We've read the original post and filled in the blanks with difficulties and problems to overcome - that don't or might not exist to limit - rather than seeking solutions or opportunity.

We've invented the reasons why we're not going to see the little ball of black cotton before we even enter rather than just walking in and looking for the frigging cotton!! Is it any wonder why we don't see it? And remember - this is with a little ball of black cotton that definitely exists, is fully asumed to exist and is definitely and physically in the room - yet we still look for reasons why we won't be able to see the damn thing! Just go in the room and open our frigging eyes ffs!

But we've made assumptions based on the "rule book" we've been supplied, we've applied our own definitions and filled in the blanks with what we expect rather than what is. As a result - we've made and passed judgement before we've even entered the room to look for the cotton.

The way we limit our perceptions defines how we see the world. As I've said on a quote somewhere around here :

We are limited by our perception of what is possible rather than what actually is possible.



Yes but the one thing we have done is look at what might prevent us from seeing it.

Because there are no rules, it means its not like life at all really. We cant approach an expermient without thinking what might prevent us from realising the end result. And if after all of that thought the scientific way would draw conclusions and analyse events that we had not previously thought of.

Remember school Chemistry?

Hypothesis, Method and results?

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 Post subject: Re: The Little Ball Of Black Cotton
PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 6:15 pm 
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Your missing the point tho Anth - I never asked for a Hypothesis or a method - I asked how many would see the cotton. Not why 1 would or 1 wouldn't or why we could or couldn't.

But, in every aspect of life - not just the paranormal or with little balls of black cotton - we always put obstacles in front of ourselves, use our own definitions and fill in the blanks with what we expect based on a rule book that doesn't provide any answers instead of just going out and seeing whatever is out there.

In the above example, we've taken the incomplete "rulebook" and added clauses to it, made assumptions, applied incorrect definitions, set "ideal" conditions and pre-judged whether or not we'd see the cotton instead of just going into the room and looking.

We've taken a rule book that obviously wasn't up to the job of describing the scenario, rigidly abided by it and tried to force the conditions of the enviroment into the assumed confining limits of that rulebook.

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