Oh dear Mr Randi

Other news items of interest (aka Ian's Corner).
Paul Mellor
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Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Paul Mellor »

Oh dear ......


Has "David" brought down the little "Giant" with one stone?

Randi's Partner Arrested for Identity Theft

TDG - Science, Magick, Myth and History

"Interestingly, when asked by a reporter if he knew about the alleged identity theft, Randi responded by saying his lawyers had told him "not to comment on our knowledge or lack of knowledge.
The irony in this arrest (beyond the alleged fraudster being the Amazing Randi's partner) is that Alvarez first came to public notice when he pretended to be a channeler of the spirit 'Carlos' in Randi's much-vaunted (not least, by Randi himself) 'sting' for Australian television in 1988. "


http://www.dailygrail.com/Skepticism/20 ... tity-Theft
(mod - fixed broken link- GG)
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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Grahame »

I think it's worth also posting this link from the same site here, just for reference:

The Myth of the Million-Dollar Challenge.
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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

Randi's Partner Arrested for Identity Theft
He didn't see it coming...

:mrgreen:

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

Ian

I cannot read anything?

Tom
Yup - that'd be right. There's nothing there - only silence...

Can you think of one major news broadcaster that has mentioned the story?

Has it even been mentioned in the British tabloids?

Asside from the original reports in the Sun Sentinel all I can find are forums and blogs and the odd podcast. Most of those are not produced by skeptics!

I did find one skeptical podcast that mentions it though...CLICK HERE (link broken)


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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

more on this, from the Sun Sentinel...
Celebrated Plantation artist to plead guilty in identity theft case

The celebrated Plantation artist known as Jose Alvarez, who lived and worked under an assumed name stolen more than 20 years ago, will plead guilty either to passport fraud or aggravated identity theft, his attorney told a judge Thursday.
CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by ledgehammer »

Ahhhh

Thanks Ian :-)

Best wishes

Tom
The universe is a soul, trying to understand itself.... We each have the power to look inward at its immense beauty....
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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

A recent blog post from Steve Volk...
JAMES RANDI—SKEPTICISM'S GREAT ACHILLES

I have long felt that the skeptical community has a James Randi Problem.

At one time or another, seemingly every professional skeptic offers thanks and praise to Randi, lauds his Million Dollar Challenge and/or joins his self-named foundation (JREF). They applaud him for forty years spent debunking all things paranormal, line up in droves to attend his annual Amazing Meeting—“a celebration of critical thinking and skepticism sponsored by the James Randi Educational Foundation”—and they rarely, if ever, engage in any critical thinking about Randi himself.
CLICK HERE to read the rest of it.

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

You might find this post from the JREF forum interesting...
TsarBoma wrote:According to the pacer.gov website, Alvarez/Pena entered a guilty plea today. Sentencing is set for May 17, 2012 at 1:15 p.m.
CLICK HERE to read the whole post.

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

And a recent article from the Orlando Sentinel...
Artist pleads guilty to passport fraud

WEST PALM BEACH — A celebrated local artist who lived for 24 years under a stolen identity pleaded guilty Wednesday to a passport fraud charge, leaving him to fight deportation to his native Venezuela.
CLICK HERE to read the article.

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

from the Sun Sentinel...
Plantation artist avoids prison for stealing man's identity two decades ago

The judge had wanted to give celebrated South Florida artist Jose Luis Alvarez two years in prison for stealing a New York man's identity more than two decades ago to obtain a fraudulent passport, calling it a serious crime that deserved punishment.

But by the end of a dramatic and lengthy Tuesday court hearing, U.S. District Judge Daniel T.K. Hurley was convinced that a life of good works unblemished by other run-ins with the law merited a break for Alvarez, longtime companion of world-renowned magician and skeptic James "Amazing" Randi.
CLICK HERE (link broken)
to read the article.

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

An interesting blog from Steve Volk...
The Unstoppable Woo of The Fantasist James Randi
...
Randi remains a legend in skeptical circles, though the net effect of his high reputation in that crowd is to create an opening for someone like me to point out how little critical thinking skeptics actually engage in when they happen to like the story they’re being spoonfed.
CLICK HERE (link broken) to read the blog.

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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Grahame »

Astrologer Matthew Currie has posted an open letter to Mr. Randi complaining about the lack of critical thinking in the JREF's booklet challenging astrology, and it makes for some quite entertaining reading:
Matthew Currie wrote:t bothers me though that you at JREF claims that your “mission is to promote critical thinking by reaching out to the public and media with reliable information about paranormal and supernatural ideas so widespread in our society today,” when your booklet entitled “Astrology: Superstition Or Science” is, to be honest with you, the biggest load of hogwash I’ve read in a long time… and I say this having recently read both The Institute for Creation Research web site and David Icke’s site lately, so you’re in some pretty hogwash-y company there.
Click Here for the full article (and don't forget page two).
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The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Grahame »

An interesting article about Randi in the Telegraph (thanks Tom):
The Telegraph wrote: James Randi: debunking the king of the debunkers
James Randi, star sceptic and subject of the documentary An Honest Liar, is dedicated to exposing magicians and spoonbenders. Is he guilty of a little sleight of hand himself?
A phrase used by the late, great Robert Anton Wilson, "reality is what you can get away with" certainly seems to apply here. :lol:

CLICK HERE for the full article.
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The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Ian Pegler »

My Oxford Concise Dictionary (seventh edition) defines "paranormal" as follows:
Oxford Concise Dictionary wrote:paranormal a. lying outside the range of normal scientific investigations etc. ...
It seems to me that Western Scientific method is ideal for looking at the subset of real phenomena in the Universe that kautau to the demands and rigours that the framework of Western Science imposes upon it.

But can the paranormal be scientifically investigated? And if it can, how is it different from the normal? Going by the OCD definition above, it would seem to me that the answer is no, it can't be done, by the very definition of the word.

The question then remains as to how we know that there is anything outside of the subset of scientifically analysable phenomena. Science is a tool for exploring reality, but you can't use science as a way of defining reality.

As for Randi, he may just have spent a lifetime proving something that is true by definition. What a waste of time.

Ian
Last edited by Ian Pegler on Tue Dec 23, 2014 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Oh dear Mr Randi

Post by Grahame »

Good point, Ian. I am reminded of a quote by Niels Bohr: "It used to be thought that physics describes the universe. Now we know that physics only describes what we can say about the universe."
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The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it - Terry Pratchett.
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