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Discuss the note to the TED community on the withdrawal of the TEDxWestHollywood license.

For discussion: http://blog.ted.com/2013/04/01/a-note-to-the-ted-community-on-the-withdrawal-of-the-tedxwesthollywood-license


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    • Apr 6 2013: Oh, my God, Sandy. I can't believe they deleted that comment. Can't argue that had anything to do with tone or rudeness. It's blatant suppression of an idea TED just didn't like.
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        Apr 6 2013: In regards to your comment about Brian Weiss,

        I find that the more I open up about my own experiences, the more I find out how common they really are. The very people one might think would be least accepting are often the most open to psi: doctors, scientists, military personal.

        As a grad student struggling with these experiences, I went to a friend who was the director of Integrative Sciences at my university to talk to her about what I should do. She immediately suggested some experiments we could try! And that's what we did. It wouldn't have mattered to me if the results had been negative (they weren't), because I just wanted permission to study these experiences and put them to the test.

        It was then I realized that there was a taboo involved in doing experiments to study psi. Why should there be such a taboo? It makes no sense at all. Even if the results are null, so what? Null results still teach us something. But my education as a scientist had indoctrinated me into a POV in which curiosity about certain topics is taboo. Psi is taboo.
    • Apr 6 2013: Well then, we MUST set up shop here! Oh man, that is perhaps the most ludicrous moderator activity I've seen on any forum. I can hardly believe it.
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        Apr 6 2013: They are trying very hard not to allow that. I was even censored on another conversation for mentioning psi research that was very relevant to the topic:


        I didn't even use the word "psi". But TED doesn't want anyone to even know this research is being done.
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        Apr 6 2013: I couldn't reply directly to your comment about the growing sense of community among those interested in psi research, so I'll do so here.

        I think many people have psi experiences, and they are used to being told to deny those experiences. It's very much akin to what the LBGT community has gone through. There was a time when being gay was considered a mental illness. Today we know that's nonsense. People who have spiritual experiences are not mentally ill either.

        People have a right to be curious about psi. It's a normal part of human experience. They should have free access to information about psi,be able to read about research currently being done and have forums in which to discuss these topics. It's no wonder that people want to connect over these issues.
        • Apr 6 2013: Most people have experienced various kinds PSI effects in their own lives at some point or another, which is why some scientists have thought it an area worth exploring. My own introduction to the research was Koestler's "Roots of Coincidence", which summed up the research that had been done up until the early 70s. Now we have over 50 years of studies and when I see the kind of work being done by Radin, Persinger, Targ, and Sheldrake I just can't understand why their work should be suppressed by the mainstream. These are scientists, and I don't care how many times someone calls it pseudoscience, it's real science. What they really mean when they call it pseudoscience is impermissible science.

          It's worth noting that Koestler was an atheist who believed PSI effects were real based on the evidence he presented in his book. I think he'd be shocked to see the morphing of atheism with this absolutist skepticism we see today.
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        Apr 6 2013: I had no idea that there even was such a thing as psi research, until I had experiences I couldn't explain. I felt like a "bad scientist", because scientists don't have those experiences, right???

        Well, of course they do!

        Looking back, it makes me angry that the very kind of research that could have helped me was being suppressed. I'm not religious. I wasn't looking for a faith-based answer to my questions. I wanted quantifiable evidence. It took me a long time to find out that it was out there.
        • Apr 6 2013: Sandy, what your story makes me think of is Brian Weiss who accidentally regressed a patient to ancient Babylon and continued that course of treatment because it was the only thing that was working. Here he is, a secular Jew, Yale Med School grad, with no spiritual beliefs at all really. He stumbles into past life regression therapy and it works. He wrote Many Lives, Many Masters about the case study. He was so sure it would be met with nothing but contempt and derision from other doctors and psychiatrists. Instead he was deluged with letters from doctors who wanted to talk about all the phenomena they'd been seeing around life and death for years but were too afraid to talk about.

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