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BS: Are you aware when you are being stared

Ed T 26 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM
Liz the Squeak 26 Aug 09 - 10:42 PM
Tangledwood 26 Aug 09 - 11:07 PM
Ebbie 26 Aug 09 - 11:56 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 01:57 AM
mauvepink 27 Aug 09 - 08:49 AM
Donuel 27 Aug 09 - 09:50 AM
Mooh 27 Aug 09 - 10:02 AM
TIA 27 Aug 09 - 01:45 PM
Paul Burke 27 Aug 09 - 02:06 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 02:41 PM
Ebbie 27 Aug 09 - 03:10 PM
gnomad 27 Aug 09 - 03:11 PM
Paul Burke 27 Aug 09 - 03:39 PM
Will Fly 27 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Aug 09 - 03:42 PM
olddude 27 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM
Ebbie 27 Aug 09 - 03:51 PM
Ed T 27 Aug 09 - 06:46 PM
Ed T 27 Aug 09 - 06:49 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,leeneia 27 Aug 09 - 08:00 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 08:14 PM
Joe_F 27 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM
Little Hawk 27 Aug 09 - 08:37 PM
Ed T 27 Aug 09 - 10:18 PM
Ebbie 27 Aug 09 - 11:02 PM
GUEST,leeneia 28 Aug 09 - 12:11 AM
Bryn Pugh 28 Aug 09 - 06:01 AM
TIA 28 Aug 09 - 08:07 AM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 09:59 AM
TIA 28 Aug 09 - 10:24 AM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 10:42 AM
freda underhill 28 Aug 09 - 10:52 AM
mauvepink 28 Aug 09 - 11:39 AM
gnu 28 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM
Little Hawk 28 Aug 09 - 02:56 PM
Joe_F 28 Aug 09 - 09:48 PM
robomatic 28 Aug 09 - 10:00 PM
Little Hawk 29 Aug 09 - 01:51 AM
Ed T 29 Aug 09 - 10:54 AM
GUEST,Wolfgang 29 Aug 09 - 11:14 AM
Ed T 29 Aug 09 - 01:09 PM
Paul Burke 29 Aug 09 - 01:42 PM
Ed T 29 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM
Paul Burke 29 Aug 09 - 02:58 PM
VirginiaTam 29 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM
Art Thieme 29 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM
gnu 29 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM
Ed T 29 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM
Tangledwood 29 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM
Ed T 29 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM
gnu 29 Aug 09 - 07:34 PM
Peace 29 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM
Tangledwood 30 Aug 09 - 05:04 AM
Paul Burke 30 Aug 09 - 05:49 AM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 09 - 11:15 AM
Ed T 30 Aug 09 - 11:55 AM

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Subject: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 10:33 PM

While riding urban busses for many years, I have frequently stared at pedestrians to see if I get a response. Quite often they turned their heads and looked directly back at me. Why? My gut feeling is that these people are somehow aware that they are being stared at. Have you had a similar experience, or do you know when you are being stared at? If so, do you have any theories as to why one would know this? Anyone familar with Rupert Sheldrakes theories on this and related topics?

http://www.newscienceideas.com/page/UT/CTGY/Albert


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 10:42 PM

I'm forever watching people on public transport... and yes, sooner or later, they all look around as if aware that they are being watched. Of course, it could just be that they are also people watching and our gazes have just coincided.

I can't honestly say that I'm aware of being observed, unless I'm doing something that I wish to be observed. But then I live in my own little world and go my own sweet way!

LTS


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Tangledwood
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 11:07 PM

Ummm . . . . how would I know if I'm not aware of being stared at?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ebbie
Date: 26 Aug 09 - 11:56 PM

For 12 years I lived in a house museum on top of a hill. The caretaker's apartment was on the top floor.   Outdoor staircases led past me down five streets. These hills are steep. Standing at my living room window, for instance, my feet were approximately level with the flat roof of a 13-floor apartment building three blocks down.

All this to say that, depending on the time of day, there was a stream of people going past the house and trooping down - or up - the stairs. The people who knew they were being watched, even though they could not surmise where the gaze was coming from, were the people I knew I would be interested in meeting.

Anyone can "send", not everyone "receives".

It has been my observation that one can 'turn off' the receptive component; conversely at any given moment one can become consciously extremely sensitive to a gaze or thought.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 01:57 AM

Yes, I think people often do become instinctively aware of being watched. It's probably through some form of telepathy, I would think...or kind of like radar picking up a blip...or a radio picking up an unidentified signal coming in.

Animals are, I think, far more aware of it than people. They almost always become concerned at some point that they are under observation, although they don't yet know by whom or from where. They get nervous and begin looking all around. I've seen this many times while watching animals and focusing strongly on them. I think this is mainly because their heads are not as full of idle and distracting thoughts as people's heads are. Your own inner "noise" or mental static can block the awareness of an incoming signal, and it often does so with people.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: mauvepink
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:49 AM

I have had many good discussions about this kind of thing with various folks: behavouralists, biologists, theologians, teachers, patients and colleagues. Some seem to totally agree that such a phenomena exists while others totally deny it. It is a facinating subject by ways it is agreed or denied.

My own ideas are hardly 'stable', as I cannot tie it down to a single answer, but I think it may be a combination of a number of things. For the record I am often aware of being stared at. It's a kind of radar and I have no idea where it comes from or what it is. I am certainly not clairvoyant in any way that I know of.

I am not a great believer in ESP but that means nothing. Because I do not believe totally does not mean it cannot exist so I have an open mind on that. There is much we still do not know or have an explanation for.

I believe we are all connected in some way and that a collective kind of memory /awareness could exist as every atom in the universe is in touch with the next one along. I cannot explain it more than that. I am not clever enough. But I do think that maybe we should never discount a kind of 'atomic connectivity' an a very base level. If we consider that our own minds and memories may be no more than chemical interactions then why can the universe, which is made of the same things we are, not have a 'memory' of sorts?

I listened to a programme a couple of weeks ago in which someone was described as "Emotionally spiritual but iintellectually skepitical". That's me to a tee!

Behaviourally and instinctually, of course, we are just plain animals. Evolutionarily we would have needed to know when something was looking at us and to be able to assess the threat level and intention of whatever it was that was staring. Maybe it is THAT which now allows us to KNOW when someone is staring at us. But quite what it could be that we pick up on, non-visually, to know someone is staring is way beyond our known sense of sight, touch, hearing and smell. That many people do it all the time - some much better than others - is definintely worthy of more investigation as I really do think that something is being 'picked up on'. But what?

There is much anecdotal evidence for this, 'women's intuition' and 'trusting instincts', which I think could be connected somewhere in our make-up. I believe some answers will be found in the study of other animal's behaviours and innate actions. Maybe fear is also connected to some very subtle 'lost sense'.

What the heck do I know? I do know you have been staring at what I have written for a couple of minutes ;-) At least I have a sneaky suspicion you may have been lol

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Donuel
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 09:50 AM

I remember this discussion from 2 years ago. It was in the context of ESP we accept without judging.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Mooh
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:02 AM

I don't know if I am that aware, but Rosie The Wonder Dog sure is. She raises her head and opens her eyes to look at me wonderingly, "What?". It would be creepy except that she's otherwise so dotingly loyal.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: TIA
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 01:45 PM

It's a concept easily tested. In fact we do it in middle school science club every year. Put several people in front of the room with their backs to the class. They are to write down the time on the wall clock when they fell they are being stared at. The rest of the class then stares or puts their heads down for three minutes at a time according to a randomized schedule they have been given. The teacher monitors to make sure all students are staring or not on schedule, and the "receivers" are not peeking.

Match up the times when receivers felt stared at with the actual intervals of transmission, and calculate a simple correlation coefficient.

We get the same result year in and year out, but the kids love doing it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Paul Burke
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 02:06 PM

Actually testing? That's cheating.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 02:41 PM

There's always a certain amount of faith involved in people's opinions about stuff that can't be (or hasn't yet been) proven.

But it works like this:

The person who thinks that there may be some sort of subtle awareness involved in animals or people feeling that they are being observed bases it on 2 things:

1. Direct observation (of others) and experience (of self).
2. Faith that it may be so that there is some additional sense involved. The faith, in this case, is based on past direct observation and experience...although it cannot be proven yet. It is informed faith, however, because it arises out of experience. It's not absolutely conclusive, but it is based on actual experience.

The skeptic who believes that there CAN'T BE any extra or as yet unknown sense involved bases his or her opinion on ONE thing only.

1. Faith. Faith based on past assumptions.

He or she has absolute faith that it can't be so, because it just can't, that's all. Because it can't. And he or she knows it. Yessiree!

Impressive. Such people should form a faith-based religion all their own, based on not believing anything they don't already believe...and clinging tenaciously to anything they already DO believe, regardless of experience. ;-)

Matter of fact, I guess they've already done that, haven't they?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:10 PM

'Women's intuition', mauvepink, and 'men's hunches', I suspect, are the same thing. (I almost wrote 'haunches'. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: gnomad
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:11 PM

Ah. TIA, you dangle the bait, I'll bite.   What was the result of your testing?

For myself, I think we often are aware, but I suspect that this is because we are not aware just how much we are instinctively scanning our surroundings for threats when we believe we are concentrating on something else: that we scan, don't make even fleeting eye contact, perceive no threat, so return to task at hand. If we do make fleeting eye contact we still return to the task at hand, but rescan sooner, and are alert to the possibility of a specific direction of threat, if we then make eye contact again we lock onto it, and at this point become more consciously involved.

I see this as residual "prey species" behaviour, despite our vaunted role as man the hunter.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Paul Burke
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:39 PM

There's that guy who believes he has the peculiar telekinetic power of turning streetlights on and off. Because he quite often is passing by a streetlight when it changes state. I've tested it for myself. Quite often, when I'm passing a streetlight, around dawn or dusk, it will change state. Perhaps I have the power myself.

To test whether pedestrians turn round when stared at, you need to count all the ones who DON'T turn round as well as the ones who do.

Yes, evolutionarily it would be useful to be able to tell if a predator is watching us, just as it would be very useful evolutionarily to become invisible at will.

As for TIA's science club, if they've found any correlation at all (either way) they can become the first science club to get a Nobel prize. And despite what LH says, if they can prove a correlation, they WILL get one.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Will Fly
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:41 PM

Everyone stares at me - why wouldn't they? It's hard being so gorgeous, particularly at my time of life, but I've got used to it over the past 65 years. I understand other old 'Catters suffer from this problem... Kendall... Stringsinger... and many others...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:42 PM

Shops often have lifesize cut-outs standing round to keep an eye on people. The assumption is that people pick up that they are under observation, and are less likely to nick stuff. It seems to have that effect.

In this case there's presumbaly no question of telepathy from a cardboard cut-out, it's a matter of peripheral vision and the fact that, as gnomade said, "we are instinctively scanning our surroundings".


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: olddude
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:49 PM

I normally notice immediately but it is not because of ESP but because of some law enforcement training in a past life


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 03:51 PM

There is that element, for sure. I have noticed that we often react to a person's head being turned toward us, even though the eyes are focused on something beyond us.

However, standing in my window far above passerbys' heads doesn't figure in that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 06:46 PM

A female once told me that men cant get away with looking at a womans butt or boobs without her knowing it (even though she may not let you know that she knows).   Anyone interested in participating in a test of this theory?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 06:49 PM

Here is what Rupert Sheldrake has come up with, on the topic. It is listed as scienbtific research.

http://www.sheldrake.org/Articles&Papers/papers/staring/index.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 07:35 PM

I think it would be virtually impossible to set up an effective testing situation in TIA's class for this reason: the person being tested already knows that they are going to be stared at. Therefore they are already in an anticipatory state of mind...which will compromise the test. They're already anticipating being stared at...they're worrying about when it will or won't happen...and that confuses the mind, stresses it, and defeats the original purpose of seeing if a normally relaxed general awareness can pick up an unknown and unanticipated situation.

It's kind of like telling someone NOT to think about an elephant!

It automatically defeats its own premise.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:00 PM

When I was a young college student, I was sitting in the balcony of our chapel, waiting for some event to start. Another female student suggested we pass the time by selecting a boy below and staring at the back of his head. There were probably 4 or 5 of us, all female.

We did this several times, and it was remarkable how a boy who was sitting silently, looking forward, would suddenly wriggle his shoulders, then turn and survy the room behind him. I don't remember if they looked up to the balcony or not.

(We were supposed to call them 'men,' but we didn't. We knew them too well.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:14 PM

(chuckle)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Joe_F
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:31 PM

You know, when you are staring at a person, that means that a little of the light that would be reflected off that person anyway is entering your eyes & being processed by your nervous system in such a way as to keep the image of part of that person on your foveas. Your eyes do not send out tendrils that feel the shape & color of the back of the person's neck. Everybody is supposed to know that these days, but it seems a lot of people don't really believe it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 08:37 PM

Cosmic, Joe. ;-) Have you considered writing a book about that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 10:18 PM

A diversion<. But< I could not keep from sharing this, as an extra five years of life is significant thing:

http://news.softpedia.com/news/10-Minutes-Of-Staring-Boobs-Daily-Prolongs-Man-039-s-Life-by-5-Years-72490.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ebbie
Date: 27 Aug 09 - 11:02 PM

Good god. What the- it would seem impossible- or at least it should be impossible... Why doesn't that woman's skin tear?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 12:11 AM

Joe F., you are overlooking that fact that those were 4 or 5 reasonably attractive young females sending vibes to young males with no companionship, either male or female, at hand. In other words, it might have been pheromones at work.

I don't think I even want to know what foveas are.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Bryn Pugh
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 06:01 AM

Yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: TIA
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 08:07 AM

Didn't intend to be a tease or dangle the bait. Just wanted to point out that many assertions are testable. I will also add editorially that I personally believe that all testable assertions should be tested. Since gnomad asked - we find the "hit" rate to be exactly what one should expect from random chance. That is - exactly zero effect. BUT - LH makes an excellent point about the effects of experimental controls on experimental results. Sorry for the long cut and paste, but here is Feynman's version of what LH said above:

"...there have been many experiments running rats through all kinds of mazes, and so on — with little clear result. But in 1937 a man named Young did a very interesting one. He had a long corridor with doors all along one side where the rats came in, and doors along the other side where the food was. He wanted to see if he could train rats to go to the third door down from wherever he started them off. No. The rats went immediately to the door where the food had been the time before.
The question was, how did the rats know, because the corridor was so beautifully built and so uniform, that this was the same door as before? Obviously there was something about the door that was different from the other doors. So he painted the doors very carefully, arranging the textures on the faces of the doors exactly the same. Still the rats could tell. Then he thought maybe they were smelling the food, so he used chemicals to change the smell after each run. Still the rats could tell. Then he realized the rats might be able to tell by seeing the lights and the arrangement in the laboratory like any commonsense person. So he covered the corridor, and still the rats could tell
He finally found that they could tell by the way the floor sounded when they ran over it. And he could only fix that by putting his corridor in sand. So he covered one after another of all possible clues and finally was able to fool the rats so that they had to learn to go to the third door. If he relaxed any of his conditions, the rats could tell.
Now, from a scientific standpoint, that is an A-number-one experiment. That is the experiment that makes rat-running experiments sensible, because it uncovers the clues that the rat is really using — not what you think it's using. And that is the experiment that tells exactly what conditions you have to use in order to be careful and control everything in an experiment with rat-running."

So, we need to do a lot more staring experiments to find what clues the rats...I mean kids are really using. I suspect that those clues exist because as olddude mentioned above, a bit of law enforcement training enhances the effect.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:59 AM

Yes, you have to know ALL the factors involved in a situation before you can set up a control experiment that works properly and secures a meaningful and enlightening result.

People very seldom DO know all the factors involved...but the world is full of those who are quite convinced that the very small measure of knowledge they already have about the situation is "quite enough, thank you very much". ;-) It is those people who make the most marvelous skeptics, armoured as they are by their own utter certainty that they already know ALL they need to know....and it is those people who succeed in preserving various archaic orthodoxies (such as the one-time common notion that the sun rotates around the Earth) and considerably delaying the discovery of many new and wonderful things.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: TIA
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:24 AM

And I would add that the true scientific skeptic is completely aware of, and quite comfortable with, uncertainty. Feynman has a great speech on this as well....but my hero worship is showing. No more cut-n-paste.

PS
I do object to uncertainty being used as an excuse to accept all kinds of wild things...e.g. (I will duck and run after saying) "if science can't explain the phenomenon of sensing being stared at, then it must be a psychic force"


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:42 AM

Agreed, TIA.

One must, to be objective and sensible, avoid 2 basic errors....

Error # 1. Using uncertainty as an excuse to accept all kinds of wild things.

Error # 2. Being so uncomfortable with uncertainty that you automatically reject anything that is new and seems unusual to you.

In case # 1 you have the tinfoil hat wearer who is in love with wild a bizarre theories.
In case # 2 you have the most dogmatic and inflexible skeptics and conventional minds.

Both stand at the extreme end of their particular approach to life.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: freda underhill
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:52 AM

I've told this story before, but one afternoon i was sitting on my sister's back verandah, in an old cane chair, reading in the late afternoon. Their farmhouse was very isolated, surrounded by bush, and down the bottom of the back yard was a lovely river.

I'd been sitting quietly, for about an hour, reading, and having a cup of tea. I got that funny feeling you get when someone is watching you..

I looked up, and wound around the verandah post was a huge, long, diamond python, eyeballing me. I froze, and did not move, absolutely paralysed with fear.

It was rubbing its head against the post, and i just sat there, not moving, watching it rubbing its head & chin against the post, as if it had an itch. after about ten minutes i could see what was happening, it was shedding its skin, slowly,as it rubbed, like taking a long glove off an arm. my sister Rosie came out with a cup of tea. "Don't move".. i said hoarsely.. "snake"...

Rosie looked across and laughed.. o, thats just Fred, she said, he's fine, he lives in the roof and keeps the rats and possums away...


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: mauvepink
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 11:39 AM

I think much of the fun in science, and coming up with curious questions of all sorts, is in the actually not knowing. I cannot help but wonder how many more greater discoveries have been made because a scientist has been skeptical of their own results and so kept asking further questions (as in the rat experiment above)?

Part of the wonderment is in actually wondering what is going on when something is unexplained. My scientific head tells me that there HAS to be an answer to every unanswered question BUT I do believe there are some things that will reamin a mystery for a long time yet to come. Sometimes being skeptical, even of the answer when it is, can be useful.

Of course, something that is operating outside of defined natural laws (psychic forces) only means that if they do exist then those laws have yet to be defined (found, demonstrated and thereby answered). If true psychic forces exist then they exist within nature nevertheless surely?

John Steinbeck wrote in Camery Row, "The remarkable thing... isn't that they [stink bugs] put their tails up in the air - the really incredibly remarkable thing is that we find it remarkable. We have only ourselves to use as yardsticks." How true that often is in natural history and many behavioural things. Finding answers outside of our own sphere of senses and behaviour is often difficult but...

The answer is out there (X-Files) ;-)

mp


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: gnu
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:34 PM

You lookin at me?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 02:56 PM

LOL!


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Joe_F
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 09:48 PM

Vibes! That is short for "vibrations", which used to be part of the jargon of mediums.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: robomatic
Date: 28 Aug 09 - 10:00 PM

Tangledwood had it right. Freda's snake story was very nice. I don't believe it is a valid scientific phenomenon. But I behave as if I believe it, both as starer and staree.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:51 AM

Given that everything in existence does vibrate, right down to the atomic level, vibrations are not something limited merely to "the jargon of mediums" they are something found throughout the Universe, and the mediums may have been partially onto something in any case...something real, I mean...but that doesn't mean that everything they thought about it was correct and accurate.


When does something become "a valid scientific phenomenon"??? Well, it becomes that (supposedly) when someone in the science community says that it is. ;-) It's a matter of opinion, in other words, whether something is a "scientifically valid phenomenon" or not. One scientist may feel that it is, while another feels that it isn't. They each have their opinion about it. The one who thinks it IS will generally put plenty of time and effort into proving so, while the one who thinks it isn't will busy himself with something else instead, because he's not interested. ;-)

What we know (or what we think we know) at any given time is a very tiny amount of what we potentially could know about the Universe, and the rest is a matter of opinion.

People's opinions are based on memory, habit, culture, and their own prejudices (for or against various things). That's why I take most people's opinions with a grain of salt, and I rely mainly on one thing: my own direct experience...plus my ability to reason and to draw reasonable conclusions based on probabilities.

What I KNOW is either what I have directly experienced and observed...or what appears irrefutable through the power of reason.

What I suspect or consider "probable" is what seems most probable to me, given available evidence, testimony of many witnesses, etc.

What I recognize immediately is the blind prejudices of people who either believe in something...or disbelieve in something...simply because they want it to be that way....but not on the hasis of any actual evidence or direct experiences of their own. Merely on the hasis of their prejudice.

And that's a very common problem in this world. It is the problem of both the naive believer and the inflexible and cynical skeptic.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 10:54 AM

It is logical to be skeptical, given opportunities for other cues and chance as   factors in many such observed incidents. But, is it logical to dismiss such possibilities, because they seem to defy current beliefs,knowledge and prejudices in the current laws of science? After all, science frequently find new cosmic occurances way out in the Universe, and some that go against classical scientific thinking.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: GUEST,Wolfgang
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 11:14 AM

When does something become a valid scientific phenomenon? Mostly if it has often been repeated successfully under controlled conditions. Experiments on detection of staring are in principle very easy (and quite difficult in detail, see for instance TIA's example from Feynman).

The co0ntrolled/manipulated variable is obvious: someone is either staring or not, all other things being equal. The dependent/measured variable is not much more diffcult: counting successes and failures, something everyone can do. Scientists too can count with great accuracy.

When this procedure is done with due care the result is unequivocal: no surplus of successes when all perceptual information is taken away.

The only remaining interesting question is why so many people have the feeling they can do it better than chance. This question has a very interesting answer. There are two different neural paths to the "upper" parts of the brain.
Path 1: Using the "old" neural circuitry, very quick, triggering action(s) but without awareness; this path makes us do things like turning our head withour awareness of what has triggered the head turning.
Path 2: slow and with awareness, leading (or not) to voluntary actions.

So, what happens in these cases is easy and the answer of science is in a way quite similar to what people say with the usual exception that lay people (not all, look at McGrath's post for instance) have the wrong theory for a correct observation:

Someone is behind me, perhaps even staring at me. Something barely perceptible changes in my environment: a very small sound behind me, radiation of body heat, some movement picked up by extreme peripheral vision, slight changes in front of me in other people/animals. Nothing of this sensory information is strong enough to reach my self conscious aware brain, but a bit of this information is strong enough that my unconscious attention free neural path proceeds the information "something worth looking at, better turn round" to a motor part in my brain. So I turn around and, see, there was someone watching me, AND I HAD NO SENSORY INPUT (I am aware of). So I might call "a feeling" or "extrasensory perception" what in fact was sensory perception using a path I am not aware of.

That's why Little Hawk's appeal to "direct experience" falls short of what can be known by superior, scientific methods. Noone has "direct experience" of what happens in own's own brain. We have no receptors telling us about what goes on in which part of the brain. We only see/feel the result and try to find a word for it. So if someone has "a feeling" and turns around to see why, quite often this feeling turns out to be right. Only the additional "direct experience" or inference of having had no sensory information available is simply wrong, because it overlooks intrasensory (not: extrasensory) information that has triggered action without being processed so far as to lead to awareness of why one has acted.

A book chapter telling what I have written here with many more words and some pictures (in German)

Wolfgang (who has written that book chapter)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:09 PM

Peripheral vision provides the ability to detect movement, separate from normal sight. Some people, expecially those with compromised hearing have enhanced peripheral vision abilities. So, it is logical that people with extreme
peripheral vision may distinguish slight movement changes bya starer. This could be a factor in boosting a reaction to being stared at beyond chance?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:42 PM

Or perhaps, in the case of looking from a bus, that people become aware of a fairly big and not entirely silent object behind them, look round to check it out, and become aware of someone's eyes fixed on them? Eye contact is something we lock onto.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 01:55 PM

? But, why would only the person being stared at become aware of "a fairly big and not entirely silent object behind them" and turn around and look? If over a number of experiments a greater number of the persons being stared at looked around than those not being stared at (if it were the case), I suspect there would be some factor in play, whatever it be.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Paul Burke
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 02:58 PM

We're talking about what counts as success here. People are very good at deceiving themselves: example: you decide you can turn streetlights on. You concentrate on a streetlight, and another one turns on nearby. Is that a success?


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: VirginiaTam
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 03:15 PM

yes and I keep telling him to stop
but he doesn't listen

all eyes no ears


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Art Thieme
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 03:53 PM

For some silly reason, this feeling, as you say, that one KNOWS when and if they are being stared at -- only came upon me intensely whenever I was on stage doing my thing! I'd look out there and everyone in the damn room would be looking right at me! How weird is that? Nothing I could do would chase 'em away. Strangest of all, when I was done, someone ALWAYS came up to me afterwards and handed me money.

I can tell you all, from own empirical experience: It is enough to make you paranoid!!

Art


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: gnu
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 04:13 PM

hehehehehehe


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 05:09 PM

A sad tale of the stripper with Ophthalmophobia.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Tangledwood
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 06:43 PM

How sad! Maybe she should perform in the dark?


Peripheral vision provides the ability to detect movement, separate from normal sight. Some people, expecially those with compromised hearing have enhanced peripheral vision abilities. So, it is logical that people with extreme peripheral vision may distinguish slight movement changes by a starer. This could be a factor in boosting a reaction to being stared at beyond chance?

I have a vision impaired friend whose hearing, as is often the case, is very good. He will detect an approaching train long before I will by a hissing sound from the rails. However in a noisier environment he has trouble hearing an individual speaker while I have little trouble. Does my ability to visually focus on the speaker assist hearing, even though I can't lip read? We tend to think of each of our senses as individual abilities but is it true that they work together to create a total awareness greater than their individual sums?

A while back I used to scuba dive in a place with very limited visibilty. Most of the divers in the club agreed that sometimes they would get a slightly uneasy feeling for no apparent reason. Shortly after getting that feeling we would usually spot a wobbegong shark, relatively harmless, hiding among the rocks.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 07:25 PM

Could humans (some more developed than others) have a yet to be discovered sixth sense?

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/08/090828103932.htm


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: gnu
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 07:34 PM

Peripheral vision is, I believe, more to do with the eye and it's spatial relationship to the skull.

I have an almost perplexing range of peripheral vision, to some. I can detect movement up to 110 degrees from a straight ahead stare and at about 140 from looking to my extreme. When looking to my extreme, I can ID most anything up to 135, and movement to 160.

Now, I do have a problem. I have developed astigmatisms in both eyes due to "out of round". This is due to, I believe, the fact that my eyeballs protrude to the extent that they are pressured against my pillow when sleeping on my side. Indeed, if I sleep past dawn and bury my head in the pillow to stay asleep, I waken with a sore eyeball.

It's not sommat that one would notice... it's quite common. I wonder how common.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Peace
Date: 29 Aug 09 - 07:54 PM

"Are you aware when you are being stared [at ?]

Yes.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Tangledwood
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 05:04 AM

Gnu, your eyes sound similar to mine. I've had medical advice that it increases the possibility of glaucoma, so if you haven't already done so I'd suggest that you get some advice too. Apparently it is hereditry - my mother is close to blind as hers wasn't discovered soon enough.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Paul Burke
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 05:49 AM

6th or even more senses? Perfectly possible. Senses which other animals have include magnetic fields, electric fields, seismographic sense, electromagnetic spectrum outside the visible range, pressure gradient, chemical gradients of many sorts, in fact anything that produces a physical effect. I suspect we are sensitive to many of these, but vestigially such that the signal is lost in the noise and has in evolution not made sufficient difference to us to be pursued. Anyone is free to devise their own tests; it's only a few years since a fifth kind of taste was proven.

Also remember that sensations of all sorts are highly processed before we become aware of them. You probably NEVER have a raw sensation. Before you know what you've sensed, it's been catalogued, put in context, and loaded with meaning.


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 11:15 AM

Hey! Stop staring at me! Yeah, you know who you are... Just cut it out right now.

;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Are you aware when you are being stared
From: Ed T
Date: 30 Aug 09 - 11:55 AM

The roles of our two vision system:

http://www.wayfinding.net/visiontwo.htm


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