Sunday, February 28, 2016

Carpe Diem #928 Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense)

Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,

Well ... this is it, our last episode of February, a last chance to sharpen your senses. This month was very special, we had our first Theme Week and we had all wonderful essays by Hamish, who also was our featured haiku poet this month.
I love to thank Hamish for his hard work and interesting essays for our Haiku Kai. Thank you Hamish.

Today our last episode Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense) is a nice one and I hope it will inspire you all to write new verses.

Hamish on Extra-Sensory Perception (and Common Sense)

Ever answer a phone call, only to hear the person you were just thinking of on the other end? Ever had a dream about something that later actually happened? Ever felt like somebody read your mind? Some people may interpret these sorts of experiences as extrasensory perception, or ESP. ESP is defined as an awareness of the world that occurs through some mechanism other than the known senses — mind reading, sensing when a far-off friend is in trouble, foreseeing the future, and other phenomena more commonly associated with illusion artists than with science. So what does science have to say about ESP? Though ESP might not seem like something scientists would examine, the results of ESP — knowledge of events in the world — are well within the realm of science, and so we can use the tools of science to study phenomena sometimes attributed to ESP.


Using these tools, scientists have studied whether ESP exists. Their experiments have explored all kinds of ESP, but most have focused on mind reading. In the most typical of these experiments, one person, the sender, goes through a deck of cards, each depicting one of five symbols (like a star or cross), while another person, the receiver, tries to determine what symbol the sender is looking at. To eliminate any tips from body language, the sender is often shielded from view. If the receiver were to correctly identify the symbol more often than could be explained by chance, it would suggest that ESP does indeed exist. However, researchers have found that receivers aren't particularly accurate in these experiments; no evidence of mind reading or any other sort of ESP has been found.2 Since science hasn't uncovered any evidence that ESP even exists, no scientific investigations of its potential mechanisms have been undertaken.

ESP itself is neither scientific nor unscientific — but it can be studied scientifically or unscientifically, and scientific studies. Those who ignore the evidence and insist that ESP is a real, natural phenomenon fail to meet one of the key aspects of scientific behavior: assimilating the evidence. But maybe these people are looking from the wrong direction, that of Common Sense, which although relies on facts and logical outcomes, misses much for many of the same reasons. Would it not be better to look at the prism of ESP with an open mind, given what we already know about the senses in nature?
So now, your hardest haiku yet, an ESP haiku! Focus on Carpe Diem. What kind of haiku do you think Carpe Diem Haiku Kai would like from you? Write it.

My response

This was really a challenging essay and Hamish's question at the end of his essay I didn't expect ...
I like to see all of your responses on this question, before I will respond myself ...

This episode is NOW OPEN for your submissions and will remain open until March 2nd at noon (CET). I will (try to) publish our new episode later on.

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