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Old 27th June 2010, 11:05 PM   #1
wardenclyffe
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"Live Challenge Event"

OK, so I'll ask. Is Anita Ikonen going to be at TAM8 in a re-test of the test she failed at the IIG?

For those who don't know, Anita Ikonen is the (now banned) member of this forum called VisionFromFeeling. She claims she has X-ray vision and was tested last year by the IIG (www.iigwest.org).

Now she's claiming on her website (www.visionfromfeeling.com) that she will be performing some kind of demonstration coming up.

Meanwhile, the TAM8 schedule says there will be a "Live Challenge Event" at the end of Sunday with Banachek.

On her website, she says that she wishes someone would ask her about this because she's got answers. I'm unconcerned with her answers and far more concerned with the answers of JREF.

The rumor mill is grinding away (partially driven by me), but the only name that keeps coming up is Anita Ikonen.

Are they testing her? Should they be testing her?

Ward
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Old 27th June 2010, 11:28 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
OK, so I'll ask. Is Anita Ikonen going to be at TAM8 in a re-test of the test she failed at the IIG?

She claims she has X-ray vision

Are they testing her? Should they be testing her?
Doh! You really need to ask?!
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Old 27th June 2010, 11:46 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Southwind17 View Post
Doh! You really need to ask?!
Which question: are they or should they?

Ward
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Old 28th June 2010, 12:12 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Which question: are they or should they?
Either/both
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Old 28th June 2010, 01:59 AM   #5
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Wardenclyffe, VfF is not worth this kind of attention.

If you care so much whether she'll be tested/demonstrating at TAM, shoot her an email and ask her and see what kind of response you get.

Otherwise, simply wait for TAM to take place, you'll defenitely have your answer then.
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Old 28th June 2010, 11:22 AM   #6
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If she does show up for a demonstration at TAM8, she will get far more attention than I could ever give her in this thread. Although we are now 10 days away from the beginning of TAM8 and neither Ikonen nor JREF have committed to anything.

She is not worth asking because she's already said she can't tell anything about it (and she's not worth that kind of attention).

JREF should be able to talk about this "Live Challenge Event" as much as they want to. I'm just wondering why they don't want to. I don't remember this kind of secrecy surrounding Connie Sonne last year.

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Old 28th June 2010, 11:44 AM   #7
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I should also point out that no one would be happier than I if I were proven to be an ill-informed gossip about all of this. But here is my prediction: She either shows up at TAM8 or the "Live Challenge Event" is cancelled without explanation or the "Live Challenge Event" turns out to be some hastily thrown together lecture about the MDC.

Ward
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Old 28th June 2010, 01:26 PM   #8
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She has also written that she has answers.

Anyways, we'll know in just a little while.
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Old 1st July 2010, 11:15 AM   #9
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A non-update. We are now a week away from TAM8. JREF updated the schedule this past Tuesday. It still includes the half-anonymous "Live Challenge Event." We know Banachek will be there, but we don't know the identity of the other challenger.

Ikonen has been silent about this. She has made updates to her website, but nothing new about her upcoming "demonstration." She says she has answers if only someone would pay attention to her and ask. She's made it clear already that the answer is "I can't say anything until the 'credible skeptical organization' announces it." I actually respect her for being able to keep her mouth shut for once. Of course, if she'd kept it completely shut on this topic, I never would have grown suspicious in the first place.

Daylightstar is right. We will just have to wait. Who is sticking around for this surprise party at the end of TAM8?

Ward
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Old 1st July 2010, 11:35 AM   #10
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Some more speculation, if you like that kind of thing:

As has been pointed out in this most excellent thread, something "exciting" is allegedly happening concerning the challenge as we speak, and an announcement of exactly what that might be is a few months overdue. Now, a semi-cryptic statement about a live event is on the TAM program.

Coincidence?

Check out that thread to see how much of it matches up. Come on, you know you want the truth about this conspiracy. Can the prophecy have been misleading?

I HOPE that speculation is closer to the truth than the OP.
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Old 1st July 2010, 12:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
Some more speculation, if you like that kind of thing:
You know I do. Bring it!

Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
As has been pointed out in this most excellent thread, something "exciting" is allegedly happening concerning the challenge as we speak, and an announcement of exactly what that might be is a few months overdue. Now, a semi-cryptic statement about a live event is on the TAM program.
Oh, yes I know that thread well.

Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
Coincidence?
Perhaps.

Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
Check out that thread to see how much of it matches up. Come on, you know you want the truth about this conspiracy. Can the prophecy have been misleading?
It has been, so far.

Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
I HOPE that speculation is closer to the truth than the OP.
Me too. However, here is further speculation that makes me doubt it. Of course the phrase "Live Challenge Event" can be interpreted to mean just about anything, so it could simply mean an announcement about new rules or something. But I think such an announcement would receive more fanfare and would not be buried on Sunday evening when everyone's catching a plane home.

The same could be said for an actual MDC test, though. The Connie Sonne test last year was a much ballyhooed event which happened earlier in the day if I recall correctly.

Ikonen calls her upcoming thing a "demonstration" and definitely not a "test." That might be the type of thing JREF would bury at the end of Sunday afternoon. It's not for the million, she might not show up, JREF might not be able to find a bunch of kidney donors. Remember with Connie Sonne, all they had to do was get some cards and envelopes.

Reliable sources are claiming that the whole thing's a bust. I'd like to believe that, but Ikonen has not said it's over and JREF still has the "Live Challenge Event" on the schedule.

Let's hope you're right, Ririon. Even if it's not the "Live Challenge Event," let's hope that JREF announces some time at TAM8 what the updated MDC will look like.

Ward
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Old 2nd July 2010, 03:49 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
A non-update. We are now a week away from TAM8. JREF updated the schedule this past Tuesday. It still includes the half-anonymous "Live Challenge Event." We know Banachek will be there, but we don't know the identity of the other challenger.


Naming Banacheck as half of the event tends to suggest to me that it's going to be something fairly small, perhaps on the same physical scale as the Connie Sonne event. As those of us who followed the IIG not-having-xray-vision-after-all demonstration are aware, Vision from Failing's events require a cast of thousands (well, dozens).


Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Ikonen has been silent about this. She has made updates to her website, but nothing new about her upcoming "demonstration." She says she has answers if only someone would pay attention to her and ask. She's made it clear already that the answer is "I can't say anything until the 'credible skeptical organization' announces it."


What she has promulgated though doesn't sound much like something that can be easily dealt with in the time frame that the JREF is indicating for the TAM8 event.
Originally Posted by VfF
At the IIG test I found out to my surprise that larger persons are harder for me to feel through. No larger persons will be involved as subjects at this demonstration. And three 27 minute trials one after another, with two 10 minute breaks in between, all in one day, was far too much for me and led to the exhaustion which is why I was unable to finish trial 3 at the IIG test. The demonstration will be organized differently timewise. I am considering having the demonstration half on one day and the other half on the following next day.

Given her drive to find bigger and bigger audiences to captivate, I can't see her being content to squish her next extravaganza into a mere afternoon session in the final stages of TAM.


Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
I actually respect her for being able to keep her mouth shut for once. Of course, if she'd kept it completely shut on this topic, I never would have grown suspicious in the first place.


I think you're being too charitable, Ward. I think the main reason she's being quiet is that there's nothing in the pipeline at all.

I also think that creating, or at least feeding, the suspicion that you (and I) feel is intentional on her part.


Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Daylightstar is right. We will just have to wait. Who is sticking around for this surprise party at the end of TAM8?

Ward


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Old 2nd July 2010, 02:16 PM   #13
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Apologies to Mr Banachek for misspelling his name in the previous post.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 08:43 PM   #14
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I don't know exactly what's going to be happening Sunday, but I do know that Alison is working on it.
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Old 2nd July 2010, 09:19 PM   #15
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SkepticScott,

Thanks for the info. When did you last hear anything about it? Last I heard (a day or so ago), it was definitely supposed to be Anita Ikonen, but then something threw a monkeywrench into the business and it was definitely NOT going to be her. I look forward to what they come up with.

Ward
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Old 3rd July 2010, 06:27 PM   #16
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I'm sorry, I can't say anything more than vague generalities. Alison swore me to silence.
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Old 3rd July 2010, 11:56 PM   #17
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Well, not complete silence. You've let us know that (last you heard) something was still in the works.

Thanks,
Ward
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Old 4th July 2010, 03:52 PM   #18
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I can't believe you guys are getting so excited[?]/uptight[?] about something that's a foregone conclusion. It's like getting excited about watching a game when you already know the result.
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Old 4th July 2010, 04:44 PM   #19
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Well, it's not entirely certain. Who knows, some day some claimant may fail the challenge and decide they never had special powers in the first place.
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Old 4th July 2010, 07:58 PM   #20
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One can only hope that the "live challenge" has nothing to do with Anita Ikonen (VfF) because if it did, that would only serve to undermine the JREF and give a delusional whackjob more of the attention that she craves.

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Old 4th July 2010, 08:54 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by LashL View Post
One can only hope that the "live challenge" has nothing to do with Anita Ikonen (VfF) because if it did, that would only serve to undermine the JREF and give a delusional whackjob more of the attention that she craves.
I completely agree, she's been debunked and any person/organization that gives her a chance for a "demonstration" will lose a great deal of credibility if they claim to be a skeptic or a skeptical organization.
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Old 4th July 2010, 10:12 PM   #22
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Well, even if one fails the MDC, one can always come back in a year and try again. It's not inherently bad to retest someone. I have confidence that the results are reproduceable. I just don't understand what all the secrecy is about in this case. We're less than a week away from whatever it is. If JREF wants people to show up, I don't know that this is the way to go about it. Some will show up out of curiosity, but the house won't be packed the way it was last year when the Connie Sonne test was announced ahead of time. This is all just kind of weird.

Ward
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Old 4th July 2010, 11:16 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
If JREF wants people to show up, I don't know that this is the way to go about it. Some will show up out of curiosity, but the house won't be packed the way it was last year when the Connie Sonne test was announced ahead of time. This is all just kind of weird.
I think this way they will be able to avoid any claimant stating that their test has been either sabotaged by or that they have been harrassed by the forum members here analysing it and usually being pretty scathing in the process.
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Old 5th July 2010, 12:08 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
I think this way they will be able to avoid any claimant stating that their test has been either sabotaged by or that they have been harrassed by the forum members here analysing it and usually being pretty scathing in the process.
The Forum? But we're a bunch of barking dogs as regards the mission of the JREF. What would it matter how much analysis we do in this area? The test is/was the test and it was failed. The Forum conversations that I've seen have pretty much been on the subject of her whinging about having been cheated (with no proof offered, but that's yet to come, in Danish, any day now, I'm sure).
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:02 AM   #25
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Ikonen says she's attending TAM8. According to the comments at this blog post (from July 3):

http://skeptopia.wordpress.com/2010/...ting/#comments

Ikonen says:

"I will be attending my first TAM this year and am excited to mingle with the skeptical community and absorb some skepticism, through osmosis if not otherwise. So far I have received an overwhelmingly positive welcome from its other attendees, making it more pleasant as a paranormal claimant to put the fate of my paranormal claim into the hands of skepticism, hoping that the outcome be based on skepticism, not personal agendas or personal opinions."

That paragraph is buried between the comments labled #7 and #8. It's a little hard to find and I don't know how to create a URL that will take you directly to it.

This, as far as I know, is the first time that Ikonen has said that she is attending TAM8. I have been guessing all along that she would be attending and that she was participating in the mysterious "Live Challenge Event."

This is by no means proof that this is what's going on, but it's a giant step in that direction.

Ward
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:16 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by chillzero View Post
I think this way they will be able to avoid any claimant stating that their test has been either sabotaged by or that they have been harrassed by the forum members here analysing it and usually being pretty scathing in the process.
That may be why they are not saying anything, but then why do it at TAM, then? If it's not going to be a big event that they can promote, then why not just do it some other time. In the 6/21 installment of the podcast "Rational Alchemy" (http://rational-alchemy.com/), Ikonen's champion within JREF, Jeff Wagg, says that he's going to be running around the whole time trying to keep the lights on. I'm sure this is true of most everyone on staff at JREF.

Why, then, would they take on the burden of putting on this show as well, if they couldn't even promote it as a TAM event? Wouldn't it be easier to run TAM as best they could and then set up some test/demonstration/event with Ikonen at a later date? Why bury it in the final hours of TAM unless they can use it to help promote TAM?

I love a mystery, but I hate it when the answer ends up making no sense.

Ward
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:46 AM   #27
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Assumption:

Anita wants to be at TAM for some extra attention.

Speculation:

Somebody at JREF wants to be nice and says:

-Since we are all in the same place at the same time anyway, let's have a look at this right after TAM has ended while we pack up and leave. Maybe some of the attendants would like to see it, too. But since it is only a "demonstration" (whispers under breath: and since you're a - ) let's not make a big deal of it. Sure hope those frequent posters in the Million Dollar Challenge section of the forum don't blow this all out of proportion.
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Old 5th July 2010, 01:55 AM   #28
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Ririon,

That's fairly reasonable speculation, but this does not seem to be something that can be done while everyone packs up and leaves. Remember, for the Connie Sonne test, JREF just had to buy some playing cards and envelopes. Easy. For this, they are going to have to find people who are missing internal organs. Not (as) easy.

And JREF could try to keep me (and others) from blowing it all out of proportion by putting it into proportion themselves. They could say that all this speculation is nonsense and that there is no "event" with Ikonen or they could explain what the event is with or without Ikonen. They have it listed on the schedule which invites speculation.

And besides, in case you haven't noticed, I like gossip.

Ward
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Old 5th July 2010, 02:22 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Ririon,

That's fairly reasonable speculation, but this does not seem to be something that can be done while everyone packs up and leaves. Remember, for the Connie Sonne test, JREF just had to buy some playing cards and envelopes. Easy. For this, they are going to have to find people who are missing internal organs. Not (as) easy.
I further speculate that for a simple "demonstration" they may have agreed on something easier.
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And JREF could try to keep me (and others) from blowing it all out of proportion by putting it into proportion themselves. They could say that all this speculation is nonsense and that there is no "event" with Ikonen or they could explain what the event is with or without Ikonen. They have it listed on the schedule which invites speculation.

And besides, in case you haven't noticed, I like gossip.

Ward
At least for the last year, the JREF have kept quiet about all details about any protocol negotiations. If indeed there have been any. It has just been quiet on that front. So this is in line with the current JREF standard operating procedure.
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Old 5th July 2010, 02:34 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
I further speculate that for a simple "demonstration" they may have agreed on something easier.
Perhaps, but Ikonen has always refused to be tested with anything simpler. Many posters in this forum, perhaps even yourself, have suggested many different tests that would be much easier than the IIG test, but would test her claim just as well. She has refused them all. JREF has more experience at this than we do. Maybe they have found a different avenue.

Originally Posted by Ririon View Post
At least for the last year, the JREF have kept quiet about all details about any protocol negotiations. If indeed there have been any. It has just been quiet on that front. So this is in line with the current JREF standard operating procedure.
I've kind of assumed (perhaps wrongly) that it's because there are no currently active applicants. I don't know who is still in any kind of negotiation with JREF. I'm not aware of anyone who has met the requirements and filled out an application in the last year. Perhaps there are many and, as you suggest, JREF has been keeping quiet about it.

But if that's the case, why even announce half a show with Banachek and some unknown party? If it's going to be done quietly as everyone's packing up, why announce it at all? Also, I can't imagine Ikonen agreeing to do anything quietly.

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Old 5th July 2010, 03:00 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
But if that's the case, why even announce half a show with Banachek and some unknown party?
It's a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, slow cooked in a conundrum. Served with a side dish of perplexing problems and cryptic puzzles on a bed of secrecy.

What? It's not recipe time, yet?
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Old 5th July 2010, 04:02 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
The Forum? But we're a bunch of barking dogs as regards the mission of the JREF. What would it matter how much analysis we do in this area? The test is/was the test and it was failed. The Forum conversations that I've seen have pretty much been on the subject of her whinging about having been cheated (with no proof offered, but that's yet to come, in Danish, any day now, I'm sure).
Strikeouts added!


Excuse my stupidity - writing posts and attending a boring conference call at the same time. Confusing Connie Sonne with VFF.

Never mind, then.
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Old 5th July 2010, 04:23 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
The Forum? But we're a bunch of barking dogs as regards the mission of the JREF. What would it matter how much analysis we do in this area? The test is/was the test and it was failed. The Forum conversations that I've seen have pretty much been on the subject of her whinging about having been cheated (with no proof offered, but that's yet to come, in Danish, any day now, I'm sure).


Strikeouts added!


Excuse my stupidity - writing posts and attending a boring conference call at the same time. Confusing Connie Sonne with VFF.

Never mind, then.


Heh heh. That's pretty funny. The only thing I thought you had wrong was confusing Danish whinging with Swedish whinging and that, after all, seems a pretty easy mistake to make.

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Old 5th July 2010, 06:08 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Akhenaten View Post
Heh heh. That's pretty funny. The only thing I thought you had wrong was confusing Danish whinging with Swedish whinging and that, after all, seems a pretty easy mistake to make.

Naaaah! I don't mess around. When I go for stupid, I go for the whole ball of stupid.
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Old 5th July 2010, 11:04 AM   #35
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Easy to get confused. All those Scandinavians are the same (sorry Ririon).

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Old 5th July 2010, 01:27 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Easy to get confused. All those Scandinavians are the same (sorry Ririon).

Ward
Hehe. I was going to make a comment, but there are a few too many militant Danish people here. They seem to outnumber the Swedish easily. But then again, if I lived in Sweden, I wouldn't write that as my location. Who would take me seriously?
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Old 5th July 2010, 05:46 PM   #37
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Okey doke. Now, on her own website, Anita Ikonen has posted that she will be at TAM8 this weekend. She has also added a lot of (non)updates to the page about her upcoming demonstration. This certainly makes it seem like it will be this weekend. Of course, still no confirmation from JREF.

Here is my conjecture (like the rest of this hasn't been my conjecture):

Ikonen's coming to TAM. She is the second party in Banachek's "Live Challenge Event." While the Connie Sonne test last year was a huge event, JREF for no apparent reason wants to keep this under wraps. That's the part I don't get.

Still speculating. Ikonen only just recently committed to showing up. JREF has to scramble to try and put something together in less than a week. But maybe JREF has an ace up its sleeve. Someone close to the organization (perhaps on the JREF staff) is missing a kidney or more likely a uterus.

I base this on the fact that Ikonen has never really claimed to be able to detect a missing uterus, but now that's on the table along with missing kidney. I surmise that JREF made the uterus suggestion.

So the "demonstration" will probably be a line-up like the IIG test was, but it will be a single trial. There'll be a line-up of maybe six people and Ikonen will have to identify who's missing a uterus or a kidney or maybe both. Obviously, if uterus is involved, they'll have to have only women in the line-up.

This single-trial-theory is based on Ikonen's assertion that the probablitity of her getting the correct answer by luck alone is pretty good.

Assuming that someone very close to JREF will be in the trial, I see a potential problem. Ikonen will be at TAM for the entire weekend. One assumes that she will be meeting everyone and hanging out with her skeptic boyfriend who will be introducing her around. Unless the demonstration subjects are sequestered from Ikonen (or vice versa), I don't see how this could work in any meaningful way.

Does JREF really think this is worth doing? And if so, why are they not announcing it?

Speculation over until my next post.

Ward
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Old 5th July 2010, 07:19 PM   #38
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Because I enjoy gossip as much as the next person...

The difficulty of double-blinding "tests" like this is that it involves people who know what the testee is looking for. If I'm missing or not missing a kidney/uterus/brain/whatever, I probably know it, and there's no way of getting around that.

So one possibility is not letting out all the details of the test ahead of time, so each person doesn't know if they're the target or not, because they don't know what the target is. Kidneys? Uteri? Something else?

Wasn't that a debated point in the previous test--how much information should be released beforehand and was it a weakness if the blindness of the test depending on the protocol not being thoroughly announced beforehand? Maybe the same thing is being attempted again.
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Old 5th July 2010, 07:35 PM   #39
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Perhaps that's what's going on, but Ikonen has already announced that her demonstration will involve looking for kidneys and uteruses. So, the cat's out of the bag. The testing organization will also have to round up people who are missing some internal organ and the only way to round those people up is by asking who's missing a kidney, uterus, etc..

Ikonen can't keep her mouth shut and JREF has given half a clue that it's happening in less than a week.

And it's not like JREF is keeping details of the test a mystery, they are keeping the entire "Live Challenge Event" a mystery. That's the weird part.

Ward
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Old 5th July 2010, 09:26 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by wardenclyffe View Post
Ikonen says she's attending TAM8. According to the comments at this blog post (from July 3):

http://skeptopia.wordpress.com/2010/...ting/#comments
Wow, I had forgotten how Liz really went off the deep end on the whole Skepchick brodello party. She unfriended several people on Facebook because they poked holes in her argument. That's her definition of bullying.

Carry on.
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