I have a confession to make. Before I started writing for Disinfo about a year and a half ago, I wasn’t really familiar with James Randi. I’d heard his name come up a few times on the internet in comments threads regarding fringe spirituality, but that was about it. Much like Carl Sagan’s utterly retarded book The Demon Haunted World (which I make fun of here), I wasn’t super familiar with his M.O., but the more I delved into this stuff, the more I realized I was always going to have to deal with superstitious idiots referencing his “work”. So finally, a couple of weeks ago I decided to spend a minor amount of time on the interwebs actually digging into who this loser is and how he convinced a bunch of seemingly at least semi-intelligent people to passionately raise their pitchforks at anyone insinuating the legitimacy of psi.… Read the rest
Tag Archives | Deepak Chopra
At this point, you just know that Chris Anderson and the gang at TED wish that they’d never messed with Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock. Following his earlier diatribe against TED for censorship of Messrs. Hancock and Sheldrake, Deepak Chopra assembles a cast of scientists to hammer away again at the TED establishment, at Huffington Post:
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Thank you for clearing up some issues, particularly the confusion surrounding TEDx’s decision to take down or shift the talks by Sheldrake and Hancock. Actions speak louder than words, and the talks were removed from the website, followed by your letter warning TEDx organizers essentially not to repeat the same mistake again by inviting similar talks. To underline the point, TEDx withdrew its brand name from a West Hollywood event that was by no means filled with “goofballs” or “questionable” figures.
TED has invited religious leaders to speak, but that’s not at issue.
The botched handling of the TEDx Whitechapel talks by Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock continues to cause waves, now via an open letter to TED by Deepak Chopra, MD. FACP, Stuart Hameroff, MD, Menas C. Kafatos, Ph.D., Rudolph E. Tanzi, Ph.D., and Neil Theise, MD, published at Huffington Post:
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One of modern science’s great strengths is that any questionable finding dies a quick death if it’s invalid. The safeguards are mainly two: Your new finding must be repeatable when other researchers run the same experiments, and peer review by qualified scientists subjects every new finding to microscopic scrutiny. So it surprised the millions of admirers of TED, whose conferences attract wide attention to new, cutting-edge ideas, when that organization decided to practice semi-censorship.
The flap is over two videos of TEDx talks delivered in the UK in January that were summarily removed from TEDx’s YouTube channel (TEDx is the brand name for conferences outside the main TED events that are allowed to use the TED trademark, such as TEDxBoston or TEDxBaghdad — so far, about 5,000 such events have used the name).
There was quite a strong reaction to the Foster Gamble post about THRIVE yesterday. Here at disinformation we try to expose our visitors to multiple views on the many topics we cover, so without taking a position for or against Mr. Gamble and his film, we thought it worth posting this piece by Eric Johnson at SantaCruz.com:
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Last fall, the acclaimed environmentalist and nutrition guru John Robbins was invited to the home of his friends Foster and Kimberly Carter Gamble, near Santa Cruz, to view the Gambles’ just-completed film, Thrive. Robbins, who makes a brief appearance in the film, says he was “overwhelmed” by what he saw.
“There were parts I liked, but there were other parts that I just detested,” he recalls. “I didn’t want to be rude—we were there with our families—so I just didn’t say anything.”
Thrive, which was released online in November and had its theater debut at the Del Mar last month, is an uncanny hodgepodge of pseudo-science, Utopian fantasy and veiled right-wing conspiracy theory.