Talk:TM-Sidhi program/Archive 2

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He doesn't give a reference for this on the cited page?[edit]

I'm uncomfortable with "Park questions the validity of the study by saying that during the weeks of the experiment Washington D.C.'s weekly murder count "hit the highest level ever recorded." He doesn't give a reference for this on the cited page."

AFAIK it's not proper to make such a comment about a quote. I propose that we take out "He doesn't give a reference for this on the cited page." Tanaats 01:24, 31 December 2006 (UTC)

Thanks, Tanaats. You're correct. That should be deleted. I propose we delete the whole paragraph. The link is defective. It originally referenced Park's blog. According to the guidelines, blogs aren't acceptable as reliable sources. Plus, the quote was taken out of context. TimidGuy 12:31, 1 January 2007 (UTC)
For now, I've taken that particular sentence now and updated the broken cite. I think that blogs of notable people are admissible, but I have to search the WP law library :) to make sure. Then we can discuss it all. Tanaats 06:15, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
WP:EL says to avoid "Links to blogs and personal webpages, except those written by a recognized authority." That, for example, is what makes Dr. OJ's website admissible, I think, since it's really a personal website. Let's discuss it though. Tanaats 06:17, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
But isn't it problematic that he doesn't give a reference for this claim? David OJ cites research for his claims. He develops ideas. Park seemingly just inserts short opinionated statements. I'm actually reluctant to use David's site. Sethie inserted one of the links, and he forced me into a second when he deleted my reference in the cult section to the Harvard research. And I think David's direct rebuttal of Denaro is appropriate, since he has direct knowledge. Also, David's site fits WP:RS in a manner that Park's doesn't: "When a well-known, professional researcher writing within their field of expertise, or a well-known professional journalist, has produced self-published material, these may be acceptable as sources, so long as their work has been previously published by credible, third-party publications." Park is outside his field of expertise. He showed in his critical article in Skeptical Inquirer that he didn't seem to understand time series analysis. TimidGuy 12:38, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Dunno'. AFAIK even the unsupported opinion of a notable professional, if it meets wp:v and wp:rs, is admissible. The information is presented in the appropriate "he says" context. People can follow the link and see that it is uncited. It is more than adequately counterpointed in the sentence immediately following, IMO the sum total is merely to convey to the reader that there is a dispute over the study, which is in fact true. Tanaats 16:04, 2 January 2007 (UTC)
Oops. My mistake. Apologies. I assumed that you'd found the original blog item. I see now that you've referenced the item in the Skeptical Inquirer. My comments about blogs don't apply to this reference. I removed the quotation marks, since I couldn't find that exact phrase.TimidGuy 12:37, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Thanks! Tanaats 15:39, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

Value of TM-Sidhi© Program[edit]

Since there is currently little explanation of why thousands of people have gone to the trouble of learning and practicing the TM-Sidhi Program, other than to improve the environment selflessly through the putative Maharishi Effect, I propose adding to the article: "The point of practicing the TM-Sidhi Program is not in the hopping per se, but in the experience of bliss in the mind of the practitioner, and the consequent release of stress, that accompany the hopping." I suspect that the wording of this can be improved a lot, but it is a start. David 02:07, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Hi David. In terms of "what is true" I think that you're headed in the right direction. However, per Wikipedia rules the "truth" of a statement actually has nothing whatever to do with whether or not the statement actually makes it into the article. You can't get statements into the article because they are "true", and you can't get statements out of the article because they are "false". The only thing that determines whether something is in the article is whether it is from a reliable source and is also verifiable.
What you might want to do is to find relevant quotes from an official TM website such as this one. You are then limited to either quoting directly, or else faithfully summarizing without adding any of your own personal knowledge or opinions at all. Tanaats 02:40, 8 January 2007 (UTC)
By the way, I'm sorry if you already know all of this and so this turned out to be nothing more than a condescending lecture. :) Tanaats 02:49, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

Change of levitation to Yogic Flying[edit]

I have changed the term levitation to Yogic Flying throughout the article:

  • As far as I know the TM organization has never officially used the word levitation and
  • the terms are intermixed in the article, and I hope this will create consistency.(olive 20:15, 19 June 2007 (UTC))

Square root of 1%[edit]

This question has come up a couple times. The hypothesis is indeed that the square root of 1 percent of a given population is the number necessary to have a coherent effect in society. For example, the U.S. population is 300 million. Type this into Google: square root of (1% of 300,000,000). It returns a value of 1,732. That's the number of people practicing that TM-Sidhi program in a group that's hypothesized to have a coherent effect on this U.S. Here's a page that explains the hypothesis.[1] TimidGuy 10:59, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

To clarify: Amusingly, the square root of 1% is 10%. But the square root of (1% of some quantity) equals 10% of (the square root of the quantity). The wording used in this and other similar articles actually does not make it clear which result is being referred to! The reason for the ambiguity is probably the "intiutive" assumption that taking the square root of something always makes it smaller. Not so, but in an odd way, intuition is actually correct here, more or less. (Unless, of course, there's a secret agenda to steer one tenth of the population towards a religion, using the mysterious power of ambiguous mathematics. . . "If you can do Math, you can do Anything!") Parsiferon 17:10, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks! Great explanation. I now see the potential problem. TimidGuy 19:07, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Could you cite the calculations used by the Maharishi to arrive at this figure? How exactly did he conclude that "the square root of 1% of the population" would be the figure required to initiate the Maharishi Effect? Or did he just pull it out of the end of his thumb? ermadogErmadog (talk) 08:37, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

I think that a citation will be hard to find. Maharishi first postulated that 1% of the population of a city practising TM (1 in a hundred) was enough to make a change, or basically and in less mathematical terms, he proposed the idea that when one meditates the 99 people around get affected) as the TM-Sidhi programme was supposed to be far more powerful a 'square root' approach (as far as I was told, by some of the physicists at Maharishi's university, this was inspired by some aspect of quantum physics related to superconductivity and such)seemed logical. I don't think it was ever explained, it was just served as fact by Maharishi.

conflict of interest[edit]

Regarding the research on the Sidhi techniques, I believe it should be mentioned that the cited researchers are all affiliated one way or another with the TM program and/or MUM. Judyjoejoe 01:38, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Its a good point, and very true that the researchers cited have had or have affiliations with Maharishi University of Management. However, these researchers are not involved in editing this article, which they, I guess would have to be for there to be a conflict of interest. The research studies cited with one exception have been published in well-accepted publications such as International Journal of Neuroscience, Experimental Neurology, and Psychosomatic Medicine. In other words, this material is peer-reviewed, in acceptable publications so these are good references given Wikipedia guidelines. As well its not uncommon for the experts in a field to be cited as references. What is important, I believe, is that the research be published in peer reviewed publications. If this wasn't peer-reviewed material, one could question the source.Perhaps that is what you are referring to. That said, one paper is not peer-reviewed from what I can see, and that could possibly be removed if editors find it objectionable.(olive 03:05, 28 August 2007 (UTC))
Perhaps the most controversial study, the Washingtonn DC experiment, was coauthored by the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department’s statistician, who provided the FBI crime data. (The study was published in the peer-reviewed journal Social Indicators Research.) TimidGuy 11:29, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

However, there are indications that the accuracy of the research is questionable. See, letter from former professor at MIU http://web.archive.org/web/20050313200054/www.trancenet.org/personal/roark.shtml Judyjoejoe 02:01, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Please realize that critic sites have a lot of incorrect information. According to university records, Dennis Roark wasn't dean of faculty or head of the physics department 1975-1980, as he states. These sorts of critic sites are disallowed as sources on Wikipedia for good reason. None of the 600 studies related to Transcendental Meditation or the TM-Sidhi program has ever been accused of being fraudulent. This research has been conducted at hundreds of universities and research centers around the world. If there is any evidence of fraud regarding a particular study, the particular institution should be notified. They have mechanisms for investigating this. Roark's claim that negative results are suppressed is belied by the published studies themselves, some of which show equivocal or negative results. See, for example, two of the studies by Alexander that are cited by Canter & Ernst's metaanalysis of studies on cognitive function which show negative results. TimidGuy 10:53, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough. So the guy is lying about being head of the physics department? Judyjoejoe 22:46, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

Well, the problem with these web sites is that you don't really know where the information came from. Roark may not himself have claimed this but someone could have added it to make it sound impressive. Records don't show that he was both head of the physics department and dean of faculty during this period. Those who recall him speculate that there may have been a short period when the head of the physics department was out of the country and Roark was acting head. He was brilliant but he had a pretty low profile at the university and in the physics department.
His letter doubts whether the EEG can be measured during gross body movement because of the artifacts produced by movement. According to researcher David Orme-Johnson, Roark doesn't seem to realize that there are many EEG studies of runners, astronauts, etc., where the subject is moving. One approach to dealing with artifacts that many scientists use is to remove them with digital filtering. A more conservative approach, which the TM scientists used, was to eliminate from the data set epochs with artifacts in them. TimidGuy 11:16, 30 August 2007 (UTC)

Maybe I need to learn more about Wikipedia, but I don't understand why critic sites are disallowed. I have read criticism of TM research regarding methodology, self selection in subjects, lack of proper control groups, and researchers who are practitioners of what they are studying and affiliated with institutions that teach what they are studying. These are fair criticisms of the research and should appear in the article. Judyjoejoe 13:12, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Thanks, Judy, for asking. The problem is that these facts are incorrect. There are many randomized controlled trials in which subjects with no interest in TM were recruited. Almost all of the studies use control groups (except the neurophysiological studies). And the studies have been conducted by researchers at hundreds of universities and research centers worldwide. Principal investigators at major universities, such as Archie Wilson at U.C. Irvine, don't practice TM. You can maybe start by reading WP:V to see the policy regarding web sites. TimidGuy 14:58, 13 September 2007 (UTC)

Your sweeping generalization requires substantiation. There are dozens of studies and reviews at the Behind the TM Facade website that refute or question TM's claims. Can you provide me with a list of factual or methodological errors in these studies? ermadogErmadog (talk) 08:44, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

It appears that given the number of independent research carried out on TM and the Sidhis (as well that of the TM movement that has been peer-reviewed and published in established scientific journals) it would be foolish to 'assume' the whole batch is bad. conflict of interest works both ways; from those who have something to gain by promoting it and those who has something to gain by rubbishing it. The article should not be swayed neither by those pro-TM nor by those anti-TM. A reference to published studies needs no 'addendum', they have been published and accepted by the scientific community. There have been cases, in other informative groups about TM where individuals (amusingly, but I am sure not related to you Judy, mainly a Judy Stein, who was a master of argumentation, highly gifted at debating) who would not allow for open conversation on the subject and whose idea of critical was to assume everything was wrong,hence, no middle discussion could take place. These kind of contributions, I hope, would not get into Wikipedia, as neutrality means accepting the possibility for good and bad, both with a 100% chance. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Diabulos (talkcontribs) 19:08, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Does this make sense?[edit]

"Some of kings of the Himalayan kingdoms kept speed-runners from this tradition to carry messages over long distances"

Does this make sense? How would 'keeping speed-runners from this tradition' help them with their task? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 99.236.68.173 (talk) 13:43, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for bringing this up.Good point.I believe the tradition refers to the system for Flying maintained from Tibetan Budhism of which yogic-running noted in the preceding lines is a initial aspect. I'll try and clarify this in the article. I other words, as I understand it, these speed runners trained in this tradition from Tibetan Buddhism of which the first stage is called speed -running (where the runner covered the ground in long jumps) were kept by kings to carry messages.Any better.(olive 14:37, 4 October 2007 (UTC))