> The foundations of his theory have been criticized in the scientific press.
> One attempt at replication published in the scientific literature reported a failure to reproduce Persinger's effects and the authors proposed that the suggestibility of participants, improper blinding of participants or idiosyncratic methodology could explain Persinger's results.
> Other groups have reported no effects at all or have generated similar experiences by using sham helmets, or helmets that are not turned on, and have concluded that personality differences in the participants explain these unusual experiences.
What a joke. Why is this in HN? There are better examples of suggestibility out there.
I used one of these at a psychedelic science conference in SF but they wanted $25k to buy it. So I set out to build an open-source version for under $100.
The LSD (Light Stimulation Device) can be built for under $50 and is being used for therapy, relaxation and inducing psychedelic like experiences.
Current version is made with ski googles, lith ion USB rechargable battery, Arduino with Bluetooth and can pair with a terminal program on IPhone.
The whole project is on GitHub and can be found here:
The software could use some help as it’s just a few basic sequences now.
Next phase would be a nice iPhone app that you can program sequences with.
I’d also like to sync with an EEG headband so you can adjust based on current brain wave state.
Please send me a photo of your build!
Interestingly, the effect was discovered by the neuroscientist purkinje while at the beach as a boy. He noticed that waving his open fingers over his eyes produced geometric hallucinations and later published his drawings -- back in the mid 1800s.
"The first phenomenon described by Purkinje was novel: He produced flicker, while
looking at the bright sky, by waving his fingers in front of one eye and reported seeing
checkerboards, zigzags, spirals, and ray patterns (see Fig. 3.2, Figs. 1–4). They were
called shadow figures by Helmholtz (1867, 2000b) and are now referred to as
stroboscopic patterns (Smythies, 1957), although they were described before the
stroboscope was invented."
Just below ... "Anti-Gravity" :-)
Of course, it’s still a dumb product since you can just check whether written text changes when you’re not looking at it, but it’s not necessarily as dumb as it sounds.
I haven't tried, but I can imagine blinking lights always present would be a much bigger clue to me.
I'm not really sure what I'd do differently in a lucid dream anyways, my subconscious seems to have a better imagination than I do. Remembering more details from dreams would be more important for me I guess.
To throw an anecdote into the bucket, I've had a dream where I read a word, and it didn't seem to change on closer inspection, and I remembered it when I woke up. But it didn't cue any lucid dreaming.
But I'm also out of the habit of checking.
Endorsed by founder of bulletproof coffee, which says something.
It was very pleasant. Like an idle dream. An hour went by in a few minutes. I’ve tried replicating it a few times but never had the same success as the first time I went.
I’d be curious to know what other states of consciousness exist (and how to consistently trigger them).
I’d pay good money for some experiences I can do in the comfort of my home.
Alas this and the overview effect are two things I'll probably never experience.
If a human-made device could produce sensation of God presence, it would diminish all the holy visions reported by saints. Dawkins denied feeling any such sensation, so it doesn't seem like he is lying to defend his beliefs?
Maybe cleanroom believes that the helmet induces accurate visions of religious phenomena, so they think Dawkins did see something, but denied seeing it to support his worldview?
Of course there's something to be gained; you don't have to follow any rules and can live however you want without expecting punishment after death.
> If a human-made device could produce sensation of God presence, it would diminish all the holy visions reported by saints.
Maybe, but not obviously; if a human-made device can produce a sensation of (touch|vision|sound), does that diminish reports of (touch|sight|hearing)?
I would say that widespread occurrence of sensation that was previously considered rare and sacred would significantly diminish foundations of most religions.
As we enter the age where it is easy to fabricate visual and audio recordings, people will become increasingly wary of believing it. I would think same would apply to sense of supernatural presence?
The God Helmet is an objective thing you wear (with magnetic property on/off), with a linguistic component (the story of what it will do), and a subjective component (the unique experiences the person brings to it and from it). If the resulting experience has no measurable/repeatable effects across all people, then it is by definition not admissible as an objective phenomenon (i.e. it does not fit the lowest common denominator of experience).