The Secret [movie]

Discussion in 'Art & Culture' started by S.A.M., Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    And according to this article religion and spirituality were not the most important factor in why northern european people rate as the happiest people on the planet. Rather the common denominator in the countries that scored highest were the social welfare programs.

    SANTA MONICA, Calif. (MarketWatch) -- Northern Europeans are the happiest people on the planet, according to a new survey.

    The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development says people in Denmark, Finland and the Netherlands are the most content with their lives. The three ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the OECD's rankings of "life satisfaction," or happiness.

    There are myriad reasons, of course, for happiness: health, welfare, prosperity, leisure time, strong family, social connections and so on. But there is another common denominator among this group of happy people: taxes.

    Northern Europeans pay some of the highest taxes in the world. Danes pay about two-thirds of their income in taxes. Why be so happy about that? It all comes down to what you get in return.

    The Encyclopedia of the Nations notes that Denmark was one of the first countries in the world to establish efficient social services with the introduction of relief for the sick, unemployed and aged.

    It says social welfare programs include health insurance, health and hospital services, insurance for occupational injuries, unemployment insurance and employment exchange services. There's also old age and disability pensions, rehabilitation and nursing homes, family welfare subsidies, general public welfare and payments for military accidents. Moreover, maternity benefits are payable up to 52 weeks.

    Simply, you pay for what you get. Taxes in the U.S. have taken on a pejorative association because, well, we are never really quite sure of what we get in return for paying them, other than the world's biggest military.

    Healthcare and other such social services aren't built into our system. That means we have to worry more about paying for things ourselves. Worrying doesn't equate to happiness.

    Another by the University of Leicester rates Denmark at the top of the list and it states "Happiness is found to be most closely associated with health, followed by wealth and then education."
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
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  3. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    So far I've read through the first 15 pages or so, not full details but skimmed it. Looks like the usual junk science that gets published in alternative journals but never in a journal affiliated with the mainstream science community. They think if they throw in some math and a bunch of scientific-sounding jargon, it will enhance the validity of their paper. It's not well-presented or organized (i.e. some things could be easily condensed into convenient tables of data), but one should expect a long-winded paper full of boring explanations and qualifications, since they are trying to fudge data in their favour, after all.

    They claim the DC police department had representatives monitoring or at least aware that this "experiment" was taking place. How come none of them seem interested in calling these guys back and seeing if they can come do more? Why should I have any faith whatsoever in anything the TM reports in their own publications, when they themselves stand to benefit from positive results? So far it looks like even the methodology is very suspicious. The part I'm reading seems to be attempting to model how crime should rise as temperature rises and how DC crime didn't rise as a result, during certain select periods of the "experiment". Oh f*ck me, I didn't realize temperature was the only thing that changed in day to day DC life.

    In conclusion, the methodology sucks, and the lack of independent, qualified peer review is even worse. The criticism you quoted even mentioned how ridiculous the study's conclusions seem: murders went up, but brutal crimes went down, so I guess people were being killed in a more humane fashion. But if you want to give the Maharishi (or his heirs) your money, by all means go right ahead. The Beatles couldn't even trust the guy not to have sex with his female students, but whatever it's all water under the bridge, right?
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Is this still true? Haven't the Danes cut back on social welfare because of immigrants who were not like them?
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  7. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member

    Well it is still true. Cutting back isn't the same as getting rid of. If they didn't apply some guidelines to the system it could have gone bankrupt yet Denmark continues to be a very generous people.

    It makes sense doesn't it? Are your possibilities created by religion or provided by education and wealth? Religion is a joy in your life from what I understand but are not many of your privileges in life from access to a good education and fulfilling work and money which you use to explore the world and enhance your life?
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  8. Lori_7 Go to church? I am the church! Registered Senior Member

    i watched it. seems like it's how prayer works.
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Russians are (and have always been) very strongly theistic, as people - as we have seen in the aftermath of the officially atheistic government's collapse. The resurgence of overt theistic religion has been matched by an erosion of all measures of human well-being, as if the whole place were reverting to the days of dominance by the Tsars and the Russian Orthodox Church.

    So it's difficult to find a proper comparison, with such a situation: that the rise and fall of Russian well-being has been inversely correlated with the dominance of their country by institutional theistic religion is undeniable, but what other country would compare?

    You could try Mexico, maybe. Strongly theistic, not taken over in the same way - never had an overtly atheistic government. Mexico has not recently had such powerful enemies as the Russians had, but that advantage can be allowed for - how about a comparison of Russia under the atheistic regime with Mexico at the same time? We could check all the normal well-being stats: average height, child mortality, disease prevalence, lifespan of the elderly, etc.
  10. Gustav Banned Banned


    the perfect sample to test the proposition would theoretically be a sets of identical twins raised in similar environments. one theist, the other not

    given a proposition that is shaky at best, i guess you must like a challenge

    go for it


    i suggest a special control for vodka and tequila with the latter assigned more weight

    Last edited: Jul 23, 2009
  11. Gustav Banned Banned


    the 1st 9 explain the concepts, propositions, priors, background etc.

    some propositions....

    *crime is prevalent in us
    *social stress a factor in crime
    *meditation reduces stress

    page 6 brings us on topic with the collective consciousness shit with the rest of the paper attempting to justify through a controlled experiment

    page 10-15 explains methodology (box-jenkins, AIC) and additional propositions (higher temps > more crime) in the form of controls

    now i am no statistician but it appears these are standards protocols in data collection

    you however beg to differ
    all of the above has been characterized as junk science
    thus i accord you with very little credibility

    you may however clarify if you wish

    /nice like that

    what specifically is your beef with the dutch journal?

    why do you emote?
    is it necessary?
    you sound like a disingenuous debunker

    show me the fudged data

    ridiculous strawman
    besides, civil servants wanting to do more?

    who is asking you to have faith?
    can you not read for yourself?

    Orme-Johnson, D. W., Clements, G., Haynes, C. T., & Badawi, K. (1977). Higher states of consciousness: EEG coherence, creativity, and experiences of the sidhis. In D. W. Orme-Johnson & J. T. Farrow (Eds.), Scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program: Collected papers, Vol. 1 (pp. 705-712). Rheinweiler, Germany: Maharishi European Research University Press.

    that is a self publication
    this study is not

    what other factors influence crime rates?
    the relevance as a control in the study?
    what did they miss?

    It is true the murder rate did not drop during the course — as we acknowledged in the initial research report and in the published study — but the facts were very different. For six weeks ending the month before the experiment, from mid-March through April, homicides in Washington averaged ten per week. Beginning one week after the course and for twelve weeks thereafter, homicides also averaged ten per week. During the eight weeks of the experiment, in June and July, the average was again ten per week — except for one horrific 36-hour period in which ten people died. Apart from this brief episode, which was a statistical outlier, the level of homicides during June and July of 1993 was not significantly higher than the remainder of the year.3

    According to his article, Park apparently took his lead on the murder issue from a Washington Post reporter who had been impressed that the one 36-hour period had led to a sudden doubling of the murder rate that week. The reporter, and Park, did not notice that the very next week the murder rate dropped from its common rate of ten by more than twice — that is, the totals went up to 20 one week and down to 4 the next. This is precisely the type of sporadic fluctuation one must account for when total numbers are small. The average incidence of murder in Washington was little more than one per day, and with numbers as low as this, as Park and all scientists know, random fluctuations can appear extremely high when listed as percentages. (link)

    thank you
    i will and ......yes
  12. Gustav Banned Banned

    my gut feeling regarding the study are .....spurious correlations
    unfortunately facts rather than feelings are held to be more fitting for a science board
  13. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    You don't seem to understand the difference between using the language of science and using the actual methodology of science. You don't have to consider me credible, I'm not the one complaining as to why these studies get laughed at by the scientific community.

    All I see is that it's a journal edited by one A.C. Michelos. Never heard of this man, nor am I aware of any contributions on his part to the scientific community at large.

    It resides in the lengths they go to downplay data that contradicts their claims, and to try and explain it off using weak, poorly-developed models that attempt to account for other possible factors. The factors they want to account for to explain unfavourable data are too complicated to be properly accounted for the way they want. I.e. in cases where crime rises significantly, they can look for a cause such as humidity, make a very dubious model of how humidity should affect crime in Washington, and then draw an unfounded connection between humidity and crime. If not humidity, there are plenty of other factors to consider, such as temperature, just like I see them doing. Consider enough variables to choose from and you'll find something that helps make your case look good eventually. On the other hand, when crime drops substantially, TM can feel free to take full credit, and neglect any factors which could more plausibly explain the changes.

    And what makes the publication which printed this study any more reliable? Where are their credentials in the community? Do top-rated university science departments subscribe to this publication?

    Uhm, how about the economy just for starters? Especially the jobs situation in lower class neighbourhoods, where violent crime is by far most common. I'm a lot more likely to f*ck someone's shit up if I can't afford to eat.

    Why didn't they mention that in What the Bleep? Why'd they make it look like these guys turned Washington into Utopia? Please tell me The Secret doesn't also use this study as support. I'll bet it does.

    Yeah, I mean there's no shortage of spirituality-only boards for people who are interested in spirituality, right?
  14. Gustav Banned Banned


    i wish to learn about this difference and why my ignorance prevents me from agreeing with your characterization of the aforementioned propositions contained in the first few pages

    it appears it is then, your ignorance and illogic that is the obstacle.
    i provided a link to the publication.

    but you dont really care to find out, do you?

    is substantiation and citation one of your weak points? what fucking data? what fucking models? what fucking factors?

    you do however seem to have the art of prevarication down to a science

    they did not use humidity

    the heat index is a control variable that had to be taken into acct because it impacts crime rates. since it is accounted for in the study, tm cannottake the credit when temps drop (people stay indoors) and downward trend in crime is measured

    do you even understand what is being discussed?
    identifying and accounting for variables is a good thing. it helps to identify causative agents and make valid correlations

    another whacked out strawman
    show me where i assert reliability?
    why would i?
    it was a simple factual correction of your bogus assertion

    youse just punk ass kid aint ya?
    the fucking info has been posted
    put some fucking effort into it

    my uni, calstate, delivers the journal thru eric
    libraries subscribe, individual depts/faculty/students request
    nowadays with skyrocketing costs for subscription, most uni'do bundling deals with fuckers like springer, elsevier, oup and riley

    when do you graduate hs?

    this outta be good for a laugh

    well cptbork
    i ask again
    what is the relevance of poverty to this study. how would you integrate it with the central proposition of this study? would the siddhis hang around in pretzel formation breathlessly awaiting a goddamn recession?

    a tried and tested pseudoskeptic trap

    Hold claimants responsible for the production values and editorial policies of any media or press that reports their claim. If an unusual or inexplicable event is reported in a sensationalized manner, hold this as proof that the event itself must have been without substance or worth. (dresin)

    this poses a dilemma

    /beats bork mercilessly/pats head indulgently
  15. Gustav Banned Banned


    and destroy his career too, ja?
    smug little physics grad student

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  16. Gustav Banned Banned


    this hagelin character is all over this thread

    he is in the secret
    in the bleep
    when i brought up tm, i had no idea that eso had previously mentioned his name. it turned out it was his study

    spooky and weird
    i suspect the siddhis are up to something
    i urge caution
  17. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Gustav, you can either change your tone and debate me on the arguments and their reliability, or I'm not even going to bother. I went to the trouble of looking through a lot of the materials you and like-minded folks have been presenting, so don't make me feel like I just wasted my time on a bunch of crazies who will believe whatever they want at any cost. If you want to make this a shouting match about whether Hagelin is qualified enough to contradict the same quantum principles he claims to use as support, or whether I finished high school and know what I'm talking about, then I have no interest in discussing anything with you.
  18. Gustav Banned Banned

    all you have been doing is making vague, disconnected and unsubstantiated allusions. quote the points of contention and illustrate flaws
    get rigorous. focus

    i think you waste my time
    secondly, if you have something to say, say it. for others, for the historical record. i am merely incidental.
  19. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    All you've done is say "look, here's a study and the guy conducting it has a Ph.D. in physics". When I explain what's wrong with this physicist's assertions, I'm told he's smarter than me and I'm not qualified to criticize him (although it seems you and Esotericist feel 100% qualified to criticize the work of physicists much more famous than Hagelin). You point to different methodologies described in the paper, and think because these methodologies might be useful in certain cases for actual scientific studies, it must mean these methodologies were correctly employed in this study too.

    I must point out that from my recent readings, it seems there was a TM study done around the same period as this one, in which they claimed to have reduced the crime rate in Iowa. Apparently, upon checking with the local police department, it was found their crime statistics were totally fabricated. Looking back at this particular study, the graph labelled "Figure 1" in this example, I can't even see any evidence that any actual crime statistics from previous and subsequent years were used in making the claim "crime was reduced". It looks like the TM guys attempted to model what they would have expected the crime rate to be in their absence, then because actual crimes came in at a slightly lower tally than the model, they claimed that their experiment was a success. That's a load of podunk right there- if they're even using real crime statistics and not fake ones as in the other case, all this would prove is that the model they used to predict crime was a bad model and shouldn't have been used in the first place.

    I see also in Figure 1, it looks like they're claiming to have accurately predicted the crime rate in the presence of TM. Ok, this would have been a much easier claim to test. Let's see the TM guys work their magic, do a bunch of meditation and predict what the crime rate will be based on this meditation, before the police write up the actual tally. If these guys can demonstrate some solid predictive power over the crime rate, and they do a better job at it than the pros, then we can look at further details later on.

    Like I say, they can couch their claims in all the scientific language they want, but if they're not using the methods of science including standards of verifiability and reproducibility, it's all for nothing and won't change no matter how many statistical models they decide to crunch. Instead of pointing me towards these various terms and saying "Oooh, aaahhh, look they even used linear regression!", why don't you explain to me how these various techniques were used in the paper, and how it can be demonstrated that there was no bias in their selection and usage. You're the one trying to convince me of something, since for my part I don't really care what others believe when they can't give informed opinions to justify those beliefs.
  20. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Strangely enough, the religion and the money came together. Its the religion that has enhanced my life, I can always make what money I need. The education had little to do with the money [mostly free, except for my graduate studies, I saved up or worked for that]. I consider money as a tool to fulfil my wants, religion as a philosophy to fulfill my needs. Everyone can exist and I know people whose lives are spiritually empty so that they measure everyone and everything by their affluence and what they possess. I can sit in the most humble hut with the same ease with which I can debate my work at a press conference.

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    Nowadays, I work for myself and not very much. I don't want to spend my life pursuing things. I'm fortunate that I have the skills to be able to do so.

    Russia under an atheistic regime was not a third world country was it? Is everyone's opinion of Russia so poor that they can only find Iran or Mexico to compare it with? Why is that?
  21. Mrs.Lucysnow Valued Senior Member


    You don't need religion to have a personal philosophy of life that fulfills your life. You say the religion and the money came together. What do you mean by that? Please elaborate.

    You say your education had little to do with money? Is it that it was paid for by a society that offered free education? Your local mosque perhaps?

    There are also poor people who are empty Sam. Emptiness has nothing to do with materialism.

    You can sit in a humble hut? Yeah, hippies sometimes do the same so what.

    I don't know you will have to ask the person who compared russia with other countries in this thread.
  22. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Just that, I started examining my beliefs around the same time as I started making money.
    Education is free for girls and was very cheap in the private school I was in. We paid 60 rupees three times a year.
    Thats not an experience thats transferable and no its not like being a hippy.
  23. CptBork Robbing the Shalebridge Cradle Valued Senior Member

    Sometimes, I wonder why I even bother. So many people determined to justify their belief in religious and spiritual concepts, even in cases where these things fly up against proven facts. I should just do what Hagelin does and use my physics credentials to take all your money. I'll tell you all a nice bullshit story about how quantum physics justifies everything you ever believed in and wanted to be true, and how you can use this power if only you just buy my book and join my meditation sessions (only $100 per session to attend!). After all, I figure in the long run if you're going to throw your money away on these people, why not give it to me instead? At least I don't have malicious intentions, I'll either grow that money and give it all away when I die, or give it away before I die, but I won't waste it on fancy cars and houses like the other gurus do.

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