Friday, August 15, 2008

Remote Viewing: Frontloaded-Genre Focus-Viewing

My best friends and I wax on about RV all the time. What I'd give for a transcript, given all the things we've thought of spur of the moment, that fall out of my brain when I hang up the phone. One night we were talking about focus-viewing.

I often use basketball as an analogy to remote viewing. Not because it's a good one, just because pretty much nothing is a good one so it's not much worse than any other.

In basketball, you need a lot of practice in 'live games' and that's the best thing. But really, if you want to work on layups, shooting hoops, passing, whatever, then you don't expect a person to play five 2-hour games a week and learn everything they need from that experience. You also practice specifically your layups and passing and free throws and so forth. Because without some focused-skill in those areas, your games are going to kind of suck, and there's too much "else" going on in games to know that you will personally get lots of practice on that one specific thing.

As a general norm, folks don't do a lot of that in RV until they get some experience and decide they want to focus on something and make their own target pool for it and so on.

In RV a lot of it's about learning theory and the "promptness of feedback." Now, we never get it as rapidly as actual learning theory says matters most--that is a matter of microseconds--but it's generally agreed that "the sooner, the better" for feedback. But you have to take into consideration that "30 seconds after session" is not nearly as 'soon' for most the session if it was a 2 hour session, as it would have been for a 15 minute session.

The length of a session determines the amount of experience a person has to wade through when feedback arrives. When you do a 2 hour session, there is usually so much more data, so much more experience, than when you do a 15 minute session, that when you get feedback, there is not always a clear path to comparing a clear memory of your fleeting, ultra-rapid 'impression' from two hours ago, with what turned out to be that part of the target. And the stronger experiences or any 'drive' cycles in there tend to overshadow the early or subtle things. The shorter the session, the more immediate and likely clear your recall of your experience. For the purposes of practice (vs. occasional full-out targets or applications work), short sessions serve as layup drills, to return to our basketball analogy. You want to do a brief focused activity and get immediate feedback on it, and do a lot of that.

We were talking about the "layup drills" concept. Then we were talking about "real world" stuff-- as if every decent target feedback photograph is not something in 'the real world' of course-- but stuff that is current like right-now, or even future.

I started thinking about the fact that much of that viewing, such as on news, becomes "concept" viewing. Although there can be physical data, most of the focus is more a matter of dynamics, process, situational, conceptual, contextual -- not so much "a stone castle on the cliff overlooking the sea" (to ref an archetypal sort of RV target). In other word, news (with rare 'tech' exceptions) almost never reports so much on physical things so much as events or situations, which usually either a person or a physical thing or both are involved with.

So I got to thinking, what if you could do layup drills -- focused RV practice -- on concepts?

On contextual targets, and the news is a perfect example. News stories can be nearly anything, so even if you are describing tomorrow's paper, unless it's the eve of the presidential election, and unless it's the front main page or political section, you're not really going to be able to predict what will show up there. If you increase the number of potential news sources, each with different major 'sections' of the newspaper which could be the focus, this complexity or probability grows exponentially. When you're using online news which actually can change many times a day, its even more unpredictable.

Some kind of software setup that helped a viewer with this kind of practice, by randomly choosing from one of many sources, either present-time or in the future at the viewer's whim, would be great. The target would be "what you get feedback on for this session/task" which makes it a wildcard tasking1, even though one fully set up for feedback ahead of time. (Reason: because the top news story on any news web page could change between the time you got the task and got feedback. So your target is not 'what's there' but 'what you get as feedback'. If you couldn't get feedback until 3 days later, that would be fine too. This works perfectly well by the way, although many viewers' initial belief systems stubbornly refute it. You have to just do it for awhile to see.)

(1) Wildcards is a term used in futurist work, to indicate a 'low-probability but high-impact event in the future'. It's also a term used in computers, where it represents 'a variable', e.g. it could be anything. Prudence Calabrese applied the term to Remote Viewing, when the target was undefined at the point of session except as being, "Whatever you get feedback on for this session."

You could do as much practice as you wanted, and the targets might range from abstract to technical, from crime to business, from Latino to Women's Issues to Special Reports. In short, they'd be double-blind in detail even though you are frontloaded to the "genre" of target -- in this case, "the news." (The word genre in this context can be a subject-matter, such as 'finance', or a target-source, such as 'news'.)

Now I am rather against frontloading in application settings, unless it is impossible to avoid (I'm willing to make concessions that functionality is a priority over perfection in that case, but it's still seldom good; an intermediary who can privatize the tasking is critical). But I am not against frontloading only to the degree of genre -- "the target is a building" is not frontloading, it is telling you the target, ok, people really need to consider basic logic when it comes to this subject -- for focused practice.

For example, let's say that John really wants to work on dowsing for lottery numbers, and Susan really wants to work on "situations" so she can improve her police work, and Jane really wants to work on "sounding-out" words.

These things are damn difficult in double-blind work, especially since the DB suggests you don't know the target and hence if you want to view "situations", you don't really even know that the target HAS any kind of "situation". Maybe it's a bleeping statue or something. Or maybe the situation is such a wide-scale tasking (eg Marilyn Monroe / Death / Cause) that you could fit data into anything and you don't have enough feedback to have any clear guidance.

What seems clear is that viewers could use a way to make target pools specific to a genre, that they could use for "focused-practice". One pool might have situations -- and maybe a "phrase" would be best for this, as it limits the situational elements. Or, it might have news sources -- that's a wider pool for sure but usually some degree of concepts and events (situations) are involved there, and they have the benefit of the psychological attraction to 'real-world-present' events. Maybe another pool has numbers 1-51 for John's local lottery, and Jane has a pool filled with tons of single words, each of which is a concept word or a name, that she wants to work on sounding out.

The problem is, in practical terms, that making a practice target pool is--not to be indelicate--a royal pain in the ass. I cannot tell you the hours I have spent gathering targets for practice, and that's with everything online in image format already. Let alone the hours to put copyright/copyleft info on them and make them look nice (for the TKR project) (I am not the only tasker there for the practice pool, but all the copyleft stuff, and stuff with nifty font descriptions, is mine).

And then you get into task distribution: the problem is that even if you use index cards and security envelopes, in theory the mnemonic 'memory' of the most subtle detail of a given envelope can play havoc with the 'validation of the double-blind'. I mean in your own head; I'm not worried about what others think, but about what my psychology thinks. I need the validation of the doubleblind to pound on my belief systems constantly. So for all intents and purposes, collecting targets, let alone making a physical pool, is just really, really time consuming.

So it seems like one would need a few things:
1 - A source of targets to collect that was rapid for targets in high quantity;
2 - A way to get those into a target pool rapidly and fairly easily
3 - A way to get them distributed to you randomly.

The reason for #1 is that the pool has to be a pretty good size (several hundred) if you're creating it or the AOL (analytical overlay--associations with targets you think it might be) will just kill you. (Learn vicariously from me on this.) It's like trying to play guitar on one with such bad action that your fingers are bleeding. There is simply no reason to cause yourself that much pain when the real point of the exercise was to learn a finger-picking pattern or a lead riff. It's a little like that in viewing. There's no reason to make yourself suffer. If you want to learn, you want the process to be clean as possible so you can focus on your learning, not your pain. The bigger the pool, the better.

So after some thought, and a good chunk of programming, I created two new modules in Taskerbot.

One is geared for any kind of target that uses an online URL (fixed URL) for a target source. It's called "News" and has a variety of features, but it isn't limited to the news. You could make a set/pool and fill it with links to many different websites' "picture of the day" and use that. Anything.

The other is geared for any kind of target which fits within 300 characters. Numbers; words; phrases; or brief taskings. It's called AlphaNum, and it also has a variety of features, but is not limited to numbers and letters, words, phrases; ordinary taskings (as long as you didn't need a ton of text, url, embed code, or photo -- or as long as your 'link to that' fit within 300 characters!) could be used in there too.

The idea is to make a business-type utility that makes it easy to spend most your time viewing, all of it in a nice clean protocol, and very little time out manually and laboriously making target pools. Most viewers are adult professionals. They don't have time for a big administrative component on top of having any time to view. This really limits their options, and that's too bad.

My theory is that a very small number of people are actually driven to view, or able to psychologically stay with it. By very small, I mean in terms of the larger population, nearly infintesimal. So as a result, making all the support and potential available for those viewers becomes more critically important. Because they are the only people who are going to carry remote viewing into the future.

When all the pathogen-in-a-can stories and comet-companions and You Must Use My Method Or You're Not Viewing or other crazy cultic stuff in the media and on the internet fades to a slightly humorous subnote of history, what's left are the people who are actual practitioners, and who are the only ones who can pass it on -- decently, that is -- to others. The more chance they have to improve themselves, to better understand, the better for the future of RV.

Since few folks truly have time to do a lot of administrative, protocol, set-up work and get any viewing done too, I think professional software that makes all those things as rapid and easy as possible for them, so they can spend what time they have viewing, is a big deal.

I'll talk more about the new tBot stuff on the Dojo Psi blog in the next couple of days.


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