0373: "The Data So Far"

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MissingDividends
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0373: "The Data So Far"

Postby MissingDividends » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:04 am UTC

Image
Alt: But THIS guy, he might be for real!

I'd be more willing to bet he'd fall in the category with more data though..

--MD

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athelas
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby athelas » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:09 am UTC

All your Bayes are belong to us.

ICDB
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby ICDB » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:10 am UTC

DAMN STRAIGHT
Yeah Randall!

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby hoffmanbike » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:11 am UTC

i might be for real

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The LuigiManiac
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby The LuigiManiac » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:11 am UTC

Hmm...I'd say the chances of "THIS guy" being for real could be affected by the sample size of the survey which gave the results depicted in the bar graph...
Spoiler:
THE CAKE IS A 3.141592653589...!

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GusPatsy
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby GusPatsy » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:11 am UTC

In case anyone is wondering, yes psychic abilities count as supernatural, no quantum physics does not in any way suggest a rational explanation for them or other similar "phenomena", and no "What the Bleep Do We Know" is not a valid source of information. Hail Xenu.
Alisto wrote:
GusPatsy wrote:I would like a title that references something I don't get, and would take hours to figure out, eventually leaving me disappointed.


"Sex"

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Pathway
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Pathway » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:11 am UTC

Label your damn axes! There are children about!
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Cavalcadeofcats » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:11 am UTC

It hurts, because it's so true.
woo

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby MotorToad » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:12 am UTC

I'm kind of sad the Y axis doesn't have a scale. :)

I'm also sad that this blows X-Files out of the water. I so wanted to believe!

BTW, you might want to link to the comic as I think the rules state.
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OneLess
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby OneLess » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:14 am UTC

You know they're discontinuing the Randi Million Dollar Challenge? Too many nutjobs and deluded fools were applying for it and it got to be too much work. Apparently people were even (I kid you not) forgetting to fill out the forms to be sent in, except for their names.

And I don't know if anyone else agrees, but I think this needs to be slapped on a T-shirt, non-labeled y-axis and all :)
Last edited by OneLess on Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:14 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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eurleif
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby eurleif » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:14 am UTC

I'm not sure I really like this one. Everything can be considered "supernatural" (which is kind of a stupid term) until it's accepted.

Magnetism? Rocks that have the power to repel and attract each other using an invisible force? If we didn't know about it already, it would be considered quite strange. Witchcraft! Supernatural craziness!

Now, I'm not saying that I'm anywhere even close to believing the people claiming to see dead people, or to have telepathic powers, or whatever. They're almost definitely crazy. But plenty of things once considered supernatural are accepted facts now, and the claim that nothing "supernatural" has ever been confirmed seems false

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby william » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:16 am UTC

Magnetism has been pretty well-known for a while.
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Rysto » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:17 am UTC

That's only because as soon as it's confirmed by experiment, it becomes a "natural phenomenon." :D

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Cabhan
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Cabhan » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:19 am UTC

Well, except that supernatural, by its very definition, means outside of the natural. Magnetism was once labeled supernatural, until we learned that it wasn't. Such is the way of science: nothing is known until it is known (for sufficiently liberal definitions of "known"). But I think we can probably assume that claims of telepathy and telekinesis can be appropriately labeled as supernatural without a huge fear of reversal (though, of course, if evidence was to come forward, we would).

Having said that, this comic is so very true. Bah! When will the crazies learn basic statical analysis!?

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biolution
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby biolution » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:21 am UTC

Surprised no one has linked to this....quite a fitting example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFBZ_uAbxS0

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby masher » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:23 am UTC

Pathway wrote:Label your damn axes! There are children about!



and also the fact that the bar is bigger (taller?) that it's axis...

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OneLess
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby OneLess » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:24 am UTC

And the axes aren't even straight lines! What's up with that?!
“Observation: Couldn’t see a thing. Conclusion: Dinosaurs.” –Carl Sagan

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GusPatsy
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby GusPatsy » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:24 am UTC

eurleif wrote:Now, I'm not saying that I'm anywhere even close to believing the people claiming to see dead people, or to have telepathic powers, or whatever. They're almost definitely crazy. But plenty of things once considered supernatural are accepted facts now, and the claim that nothing "supernatural" has ever been confirmed seems false

What if we just take the claimants at their words? There are plenty of people who claim to have abilities they themselves refer to as supernatural. People who claim that science will never be able to understand or explain what they do, that their abilities come from another realm. I think it's fair to call those claims supernatural. Certainly if we find out they're using some natural law we aren't yet familiar with that still refutes the claim.
Alisto wrote:
GusPatsy wrote:I would like a title that references something I don't get, and would take hours to figure out, eventually leaving me disappointed.


"Sex"

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby masher » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:26 am UTC

I must second the call for a t-shirt...

Herr Mors
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Herr Mors » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:27 am UTC

He isn't for real.

I am though
Really
Try me.

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby aerojad » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:27 am UTC

this comic > religion
Image

gormster
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby gormster » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:29 am UTC

biolution wrote:Surprised no one has linked to this....quite a fitting example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZOU8GIRUd_g


Ah yeah that Tom Cruise is a crazy motherfucker. Um, seriously. Get help, Tom.
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby hoffmanbike » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:30 am UTC

no, i really am perhaps, maybe not could be for reals.



ehh?

b hythloday
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby b hythloday » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:36 am UTC

oh, come on; this is ridiculous

so long as we define "supernatural" to mean "something which cannot occur," then the conclusions he derives from his graph are tautological at best. However, we have documented many cases of people performing actions which have been in the classic western tradition thought to be impossible. An easy example I can pull is the tummo, a type of meditation in which Buddhist monks drastically increase their body temperature; wikipedia says:
An attempt to study the physiological effects of Tummo has been made by Benson and colleagues (Benson et al., 1982; Cromie, 2002) who studied Indo-Tibetan Yogis in the Himalayas and in India in the 1980s. In the first experiment, in Upper Dharamsala (India), Benson et al. (1982) found that these subjects exhibited the capacity to increase the temperature of their fingers and toes by as much as 8.3°C. In the most recent experiment, which was conducted in Normandy (France), two monks from the Buddhist tradition wore sensors that recorded changes in heat production and metabolism (Cromie, 2002).


This example should serve as enough to demonstrate my point: Either the chart is false, or it is truistic, and neither can provide us with any useful information.

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby hthall » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:39 am UTC

Based on the prevalence of the theme/meme "Randall Munroe get out of my head" in this forum, "THIS guy" must be referring to himself, right?

EDIT: There is a precedent: http://xkcd.com/about/
Last edited by hthall on Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:53 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby SolkaTruesilver » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:44 am UTC

As it has been said before, when you manage to actually PROVE the existence of a "supernatural phenomena" in a scientific way, you take out the "super" part. It becomes an unresolved natural phenomena. (I don'T think that we called the absence of more than 50% of the universe's mass "supernatural")

It's a self-defeating labeling. There will NEVER be any proved supernatural phenomena. Oxymoron, bitches!

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby LassLisa » Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:52 am UTC

GusPatsy wrote:In case anyone is wondering... no "What the Bleep Do We Know" is not a valid source of information. Hail Xenu.


I actually snarled aloud when you mentioned "What the Bleep Do We Know". I'm a senior majoring in physics with a quantum focus, and during the vacation after that movie appeared on TV most of my classmates encountered it independently (in most cases, well-meaning family thought it was really about quantum mechanics). We returned to our classes after break and as soon as one person mentioned the movie the outpouring of disgust and rage continued for a good five minutes. Our professor had also encountered it, which might explain why he made no move to silence us.

When watching it myself, after about ten minutes, I started to wonder when it was going to get past the teaser introductory part to the title screen and real movie. About five minutes later I began to seriously suspect that there wouldn't be a "there" there... it was only a few more minutes before the show began to make very clear that its true subject wasn't "what is" but "what if".

"What if time travel were possible? What if someday you walked around the corner and saw yourself?" What if all the people involved in the production of this movie came to their senses and committed ritual hara-kiri? *hissssss*

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby RAPTORATTACK!!! » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:01 am UTC

Image

Fix'd. This scale is 100% accurate.
Image
Team 246 OVERCLOCKED!

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shoyer
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby shoyer » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:25 am UTC

This comic strikes me as rather lame. Not funny, unfortunately, or even very clever. Not even right, perhaps. What's the point? Randall seems to be off his game.

But I'll forgive him (this once) :).

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby 3.14159265... » Mon Jan 21, 2008 6:33 am UTC

He should have included a graph of "People who still claim 'But THIS guy, he might be for real!'" and included of course the major religions in there.

I think that may have been the point, but he chose not to offend anyone.
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Pathway
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Pathway » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:01 am UTC

3.14159265... wrote:He should have included a graph of "People who still claim 'But THIS guy, he might be for real!'" and included of course the major religions in there.

I think that may have been the point, but he chose not to offend anyone.


That graph would just be a list of major religions and a count of their adherents. They did that already. I think it was more anti-superstition in general, than anti-the-particular-subset-of-superstition-called-religion.
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby GreatWizard » Mon Jan 21, 2008 7:38 am UTC

The thing I found amusing (or rather not amusing) is not the natural VS supernatural semantic discussion that preceded my post but the fact that it reminded me of a very prevalent error of thinking. The difference between science and belief is not in charts but rather in study, so drawing a chart based on knowledge you don't have isn't more scientific that saying "but this guy is for real"(sorry for the paraphrase), and it's something that many don't realize sadly. Science has long become a new religion of the uninformed, so instead of "because god says so" we see lots of "because science says so". (Prelevant in cheap commercials etc.)

Before someone says that, I realize this is a comic, but , as I said, the current topic has touched me in a non comic fashion.

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Kles » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:01 am UTC

I really, really, dislike this one.

I suppose the people here think the cumulative data collected by parapsychologists is just outright wrong?

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madjo
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby madjo » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:09 am UTC

Kles wrote:I suppose the people here think the cumulative data collected by parapsychologists is just outright wrong?

Everyone knows that 95.5% of all statistics are made up... :)
:)

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Orp » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:27 am UTC

If the word "SUPERNATURAL" bothers you, just read it as "SUPERHUMAN." The comic becomes more specific while staying true to it's original intention and avoiding that uneasy 'circular?' feeling.

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xqby
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby xqby » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:27 am UTC

Kles wrote:I suppose the people here think the cumulative data collected by parapsychologists is just outright wrong?


Marred by confirmation bias, poor methodology, and irreproducibility by independent researchers; yes, as outright wrong as anything ever gets in science. What exactly are you implying, that mainstream scientists are ignoring legitimate research just to be cantankerous?

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby StarLite » Mon Jan 21, 2008 8:52 am UTC

madjo wrote:
Kles wrote:I suppose the people here think the cumulative data collected by parapsychologists is just outright wrong?

Everyone knows that 95.5% of all statistics are made up... :)

You just made that up, didn't you!?


;)

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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Zohar » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:13 am UTC

I didn't like this comic... I don't believe in anything supernatural, because I've seen no evidence to the contrary and I don't have a reason to believe it. Though I'm guessing I'm similar to most of the people here who would want their own superhuman powers.

I just think it's kind of mean and unlike xkcd... The last comic was so perfect and this one just seems a bit petty... Still love Randall, though. :-)
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby Yla » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:27 am UTC

I prefer calling these phenomena as "phenomena that canonical science can not YET explain". OK, there is no generally accepted proof for the existence of energies (or beings) called whatever. But there is also no proof for its non-existence. I know that it's considered science only to claim existence for sure of what is proven, and I don't argue that. But firmly denying the existence of everything else I don't call science, I call superstition. Those things should be able to be taken in such a way that we don't make claims over it's existence or non-existence. We cannot turn down the possibiliy (its probability is dependant on personal opinion) that these energies (or beings) are discovered one day and there will be evidence for their existence. Or, the other way, for their non-existence. Up to this day, imo we can make assumptions over attributes of these energies (or beings) but knowing (and stressing) that nothing is proven, nothing is sure, and being able to give up our assumptions for other ones.

So it returns to a matter of belief. I know that my point of view allows people to assume or belief in things the rest of humanity would call "really crazy"(complicated way to say "really crazy things"). But they believe firmly in it and I don't really try to persuade them to my opinion. I accept that there is a slight possibility they are right and I am wrong. Maybe I'm discussing with them for questioning and developing my own belief. Also, I feel free to ignore them.
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Re: The Data So Far Discussion

Postby gormster » Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:32 am UTC

I can travel so fast that I literally slow the passage of time.

Of course, I'd need to be in an aeroplane, and the passage of time will not slow very much; but still, think how 'supernatural' relativity is. It's only supernatural until it's science. So, yeah it's a self defeating graph.

That said, I hate most of this supernatural bullshit; my dad's all into the Secret and this Law of Attraction thing (I'm almost certain the *real* law of attraction says that opposites attract, at least in terms of EM) and I just can't stand to hear him talk about it and try to force it on me. The problem is he's basically a man of science (database designer!) but What The Bleep and The Fucking Bullshit Secret That Is Bullshit have brainwashed him.

Anyway, this strip is essentially a rehash of Science: It Works, Bitches. A bit on the simple side but RM was probably tired from the effort of the previous strip yeah?

Yla wrote:OK, there is no generally accepted proof for the existence of energies (or beings) called whatever. But there is also no proof for its non-existence.

Holy shit, you must work for the Republican party.
Last edited by gormster on Mon Jan 21, 2008 9:35 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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