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 Ghosts of Facebook

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C. James Fagan



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PostSubject: Ghosts of Facebook   Wed 23 Jul 2008, 7:33 am

hi my name is c. james fagan

i am currently engaged in researching the possibility of using the internet to conduct a seance in particular social networking sites such as Facebook. If you have any ideas regarding this experiment or will be willing to hold such a seance (espically if you live in Newport South Wales) please get in touch!!

thanks
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matt.h



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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Wed 23 Jul 2008, 8:03 am

Hi,

What's the idea behind the seance? Do you want to test whether there needs to be a physical connection for the alleged phenomena to take place?
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Wed 23 Jul 2008, 11:45 am

I'm not really sure how this could work James. Are you suggesting that someone gets a message, posts it and see how many thousands of people can accept or relate to it?

How do you see this working?

Quote :
If you have any ideas regarding this experiment

Have you got a basic hypothesis in mind James or figured out what sort
of controls you want in place, or how many people you intend to involve?

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C. James Fagan



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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Thu 31 Jul 2008, 2:27 pm

Hi there

I imagined it in part as a traditional seance, where people form a 'circle' by using there computers and the Ghosts of Facebook group page and if they do feel they get a message during the seance they post it to the group, so there could be a large number of people can take part,

My thinking behind this is that if holding hands around a table enables you to contact spirits then surely using a network like the internet can be used in the same way.
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Fri 01 Aug 2008, 5:54 am

The most important prerequisite of a traditional (according to the customs of Spiritualism) seance is to have a "medium" among the presents. Also Spiritualists invented the traditional circle as a simple safeguard to make sure nobody left the the table to cheat (though you can still knock on the table using your feet but that's another matter completely).
Joining hands to "gather power" or whatever are modern inventions: Spiritualists firmly believed (and believe, though their numbers are shrinking) that without a medium to "channel" the spirits you can sit around a table for hours and nothing will happen.
Though I personally find Spiritualists to be quite naive, I cannot but appreciate their efforts to ensure against trickery: of course a very clever hoaxer or a skilled stage magician will probably trick most of us but you get the idea.
In a traditional Spiritualist way I hence find two problems in this approach. One, you have no way te ensure that you'll have a medium among the presents. Unless a medium of renown (and to be honest I have no clues who they are right now) volunteers his/her services and gives proofs of his/her identity every claim of mediumship is as good as the next one. Two, there would not enough safeguards against hoaxing. Anybody could simply type: "I am hearing rappings on the walls" or "the ghost of my grandmother just appeared on the screen". How can you ensure against this? How can you check these claims? And some people will go to incredible lengths to pull your leg.
Therefore if you are only planning an Internet seance to have some fun friends, go ahead and have a good time. But do not expect it to have any validity in the world of paranormal research.
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Fri 01 Aug 2008, 6:12 am

I would have to agree with Mauro here, I don't think you could get sufficient controls in place. Even webcams wouldn't work I fear.

Also wasn't spiritualism founded by people who were found to be fakers? I don't know of any seances that have been scientifically proven to work and actually make contact with the dead. You might want to try it in small limit groups but as Mauro says, approach it a bit of fun to begin with, not a scientific experiment.

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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Fri 01 Aug 2008, 11:35 am

Ian, I think you are referring to the Fox Sisters, widely aknowledged as Spiritualism founders. Treating their case would require a huge tome and that would not be enough. The faking part you are referring to comes from the fact that one of the sisters, Margaret I think, revealed that they had faked everything. Though modern hard-core debunkers have of course embraced this story wholesale, more balanced researchers take it cum grano salis. Margaret at the time had quarreled furously with her sisters and had been cut off from their widely popular (and well-paid) seances. hence she took her little revenge: whatever she revelead the true tricks used by the trio or (more likely, since many of her "tricks" could be picked even by an half-witted layman, let alone an experienced stage magician) she was simply trying to ruin her sisters' careers. The Fox Sisters may well have faked everything but surely not using Margaret's poorly executed cantrips.
As for Spiritualism and Science I have an half finished piece on Florence Cook and Sir William Crookes, the celebrated physicist and chemist, which I will take back into hand.
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Fri 01 Aug 2008, 12:29 pm

The Fox sisters, that's right. Don't get me wrong, I know a few spiritualists that I think may have some genuine ability in terms of a kind of clairvoyance, or more to the point I believe they are having some very strange experiences whether it be real contact with spirit or not I do not know. But I feel these Victorian parlour tricks are a dodgy area open to be exploited by con artists.

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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Fri 01 Aug 2008, 2:29 pm

Somewhere I must have some pictures of a Victorian-era catalogue with everything you need to ensure your seance... to be successful! Laughing
Very weird and ingenious material to be honest: the even had fake hands made out of wax activated by compressed air to mimick a "disembodied" hand rapping your table! Shocked
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DJP

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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Fri 01 Aug 2008, 3:29 pm

We have to be careful here as spiritualism is a recognised religion.

I have to agree with Ian and Mauro's concerns with controls about the experiment.

However, if you wish to get publicity for the event it might be an idea to approach the tabloids, as this sort of event may well be what they are looking for as a news piece.


Brgs

DJP
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Sat 02 Aug 2008, 1:59 am

About the religious side of Spiritualism: didn't there use to be a Spiritualist Church somewhere in North London? I haven't been to London in years, is it still there?
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C. James Fagan



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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Sat 02 Aug 2008, 3:57 am

This is interesting stuff, it now seems obivious why there hasnt been a number of mediums using the internet as it has always been useful to take what you see with a pinch of salt....

but I also wonder why we havent seen something akin to the John Titor posts (in late 2000 early 2001 on a few message boards there appeared posts by John Titor who claimed to be from the year 2036, some people believe he was telling the truth some dont johntitor.com) so has there ever been a post to a site like this with someone claiming to be a spirit/ghost or is it the nature of how you use these site (ie you have to sign up have an email and why would a ghost have an email!!) which stop people from trying..

i am sorry for that rambling statement but behind this exploration is to look into how we form our beliefs and how the internet provides a platform for these beliefs.
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: Ghosts of Facebook   Mon 04 Aug 2008, 1:32 am

How about having three or more seperate seances going on simultaneously, each covered by a webcam. These can be done in different parts of the country or or world even. However, just before they start you give them each the same question to answer and tell them you are not interested in anything else. Maybe you could provide them with something to focus on, like a picture of item relating to the question (a fake one even). Don't tell each seance group that they are just one of several going on. Sit back and watch each seance as it unfolds. If you asked about for example The Little Big Horn, how many of the groups would be speaking to Custer? You could check something like this for historical accuracy. Not what you had in mind I know but a way of incorporating a little seance test using the internet maybe.

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