What is Statistical Telepathy?

Discussion in 'Parapsychology' started by davidelkins, Jul 27, 2016.

  1. davidelkins Registered Senior Member

    What is Statistical Telepathy? Although it is practically impossible to know what a specific person is thinking, it is possible to produce statistical arguments as to what large groups might be thinking about at different times of the day. For example, what percentage of the population of Earth is reviewing their memories of the 1990's on any given day? DE
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  3. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Sure. Except it has nothing to do with telepathy.

    If I look at this candy bar wrapper and surmise that it surely holds chocolate, can I now claim that I have X-ray vision? No. I've simply made a logical deduction.
    Kristoffer likes this.
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  5. Sarkus Hippomonstrosesquippedalo phobe Valued Senior Member

    I'm sure we can use Statistical Telepathy to help us establish just what people think of it, without us needing to say?
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  7. davidelkins Registered Senior Member

    Well, the term Statistical Thought Processes would come with less unknown and dubious baggage. Perhaps we could go with this? DE
  8. Seattle Valued Senior Member

    Why name it or come up with a new name when we already have deduction, educated guess, etc.?
  9. exchemist Valued Senior Member

    Apart from it having nothing at all to do with telepathy, I think this is quite wrong. How could you possibly set about collecting statistical data on this, in a way that would give researchers any confidence in the results?
  10. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    thoughts and feelings are finite and can be quantified and ordered.
  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    So are the words in a book. But no form of statistical predictivity is going to allow one to know what's in the book without actually opening the book.

    and it sure doesn't have anything to do with telepathy.
  12. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    How would you collect the data? If you take a poll, "What are you thinking about right now?" a lot of people are going to say, "I'm thinking about a ****ing stupid poll."
  13. spidergoat pubic diorama Valued Senior Member

    Just sample Twitter.
  14. Baldeee Valued Senior Member

    That's not statistical telepathy, that's simply statistics of what people think based on collected data.
    If you have a poll of 100 people and ask them if they have thought about the 1990s that day, and 23% say they have, it is possible to produce a rather elegant statistical argument that suggests that 23% of the larger population also thought about the 1990s that day.
    But you can't do statistics without collecting data to analyse.

    Statistics without data is guesswork.
    Statistics with data, even if data about what people are thinking, is still just statistics.
  15. kx000 Valued Senior Member

    The simplest telepathy tricks like writing down the message I send you on piece of paper, and I can do the same. There are variables like deception, fear, human error, or telepathic isolation all negative variables.
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Except that falls outside the definition of telepathy.

    Telepathy is communication by means other than the known senses or physical interactions.
  17. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    I actually would have expected "statistical telepathy" to be a slightly superstitious term for an extraordinarily obvious manifestation of a particular talent by which one can look at statistical tables and recognize trends much more easily than others. Statistically speaking, it's going to happen every now and then; whether one of those people finds their way into a statistical professional field or just becomes a baseball fanatic is its own question, but if some people can "see" the actual math describing the world around them just looking at things it doesn't seem so strange that one could look at the collated data set and know what the plots will say.

    And, yeah, the first time one sees it, perhaps it would look a bit like magic; in a more romantic age, we might even have called it telepathy.

    That, at least, would provide a framework for interesting discussion. To wit, how would it work? What are the odds that the person with the talent to recognize trends in a data set prepared for this or that particular script language will actually be working with that particular script language?

    As to the context we actually have? Well, there are a couple potentially fascinating aspects, or so says my obscure sense of focus. There is a general question, another general question, and a particular question that occurs in the overlap. General question one, as such, pertains to the sort of feelgood thoughtproduct presented as philosophy, psychology, enlightenment, or otherwise, and a seemingly prevalent subset in which the goal seems to involve inventing glossaries of obscure terms describing mundane ideas.

    General question two is even more obscure, having to do with the idea that "nothing ever begins"; Clive Barker argues that mythology is perpetually derivative, except "each age will want the tale told as if it were of its own making"; though I would posit there are ways in which we seem to be in a period of unanchored and unattached redefinition. One of my favorite examples is to recall when the word "meme" was supposed to have some profound definition that would redefine how we saw human behavior and all they were doing was rediscovering applied semiotics, and that description is probably a bit generous. My daughter only knows memes as dumb jokes primarily transmitted via the internet, a particular subdivision among viral sensation phenomena. It seems worth observing the downgrade. You might recall such notions as New Age pop psychology among various alternative and inchoate wellness philosophies; the funny thing was watching people try to redefine South American esoterica when they didn't have a clue what they were on about―it was even more embarrassing than the Gardenerian Revival of the early nineties, though at least I have the comfort of not having attended the Harmonic Convergence, and, in truth, I have greater affection for Gardenerian Craft than, say, Lutheranism.

    Oh, right, I digress.

    At any rate, there have of late been some of these psychomoral-philosophical reformulations that seem, like many recent generational reformulations―I wonder if it's statistically telepathically trending?―utterly detached from what precedes and continues to feed them.

    It's not just trying to invent feelgood; it's also branding feelgood with exclusive lexicon, which probably reasonably attends the particular derivative question.

    Baseball says no telepathy is required to call it a can of corn.


    Barker, Clive. Weaveworld. New York: Poseidon, 1987.
  18. trevor borocz johnson Registered Senior Member

    I remember one time when I was at a Radiohead concert I could feel the presence of what you're saying of a large group having a similar thought. I was thinking about shouting if they take requests, then I mentally thought of my favorite song by them "Everything in its right place" , then they played that song next. However that happens to me so many times I can't keep count anymore where I'm thinking of a song and its the next song played. I would have to say I don't believe thoughts can be transferred at all, but everyone who turns away from a horror movie in the theatre is thinking the same thing I suppose.
  19. sweetpea Valued Senior Member

    If you could know the answer to that...why do you want to use the word ''telepathy '' to go along with the answer? Are you saying, thoughts are somehow unintentionally transferred?
    On 6th june next, there will be lots of old people in the western world thinking the same thing.
    As for the first man on the moon, without looking-up the date or being told on the day, how many middle aged people will be thinking of that?
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2016

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