Psi Wars: TED, Wikipedia and the Battle for the Internet: The Story of a Wild and Vicious Science Controversy . . . that Anyone Can Join!by Craig Weiler
In journalistic fashion, Craig Weiler relates what began as a seemingly harmless attempt to make sure that TED talk videos maintained a high standard and how this exploded into a wild scientific controversy. When the nonprofit company took down one of their YouTube videos by scientist Rupert Sheldrake, who had given a speech on the philosophy of science, they ignited a fierce discussion that eventually grew to include hundreds of people spanning the globe. For a while, ordinary folks, distinguished scientists, Internet trolls and even a Nobel Prize winning physicist all got together to hash out the greatest scientific controversy . . . ever.
What is reality?
The controversy pitted an assortment of bloggers, scientists, futurists, philosophers and other intellectuals against TED and a small army of reactionaries, desperate to keep new scientific ideas out of the mainstream. This book explores the basis for the controversy and why so many intellectuals support major changes in scientific thinking.
The book also explores the question: What's up with these science reactionaries? It also examines the people and the organizations who lobby the mainstream media, universities, and scientific organizations, and who work together to bend Wikipedia to their point of view.
The controversy over the nature of reality has a profound effect on our society. Chances are that some of the science you read about in Wikipedia, and popular magazines and newspapers, has been altered to reflect the views of these skeptic reactionaries who have organized to "protect" you from "crazy" ideas.
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Eye-Opening Expose of Censorship on the Net PSI WARS tells the true story of what happened when Rupert Sheldrake and Graham Hancock were summarily banned from inclusion in an upcoming TEDx talk due to unspecified anonymous complaints, and the subsequent warfare that transpired on Wikipedia pages and behind the scenes at TED. One might presume that on a free internet, ideas from all branches of science are being fairly heard, yet such a naive assumption turns out to be completely wrong. We're alive at an extraordinary time in history, as the long-held material paradigm begins to crumble in the face of a new quantum paradigm and the Information Age slowly but surely gives way to the dawning of a new Quantum Age. Author Craig Weiler shares reports from the front-lines between self-appointed guardians of material realism and authors and experts expressing new ideas. With juicy excerpts from emails and internet posts in the sequence in which they occurred, Weiler's book describes the behind-the-scenes shenanigans as they played out between zealous guardians of material realism and scientists and experts in the field of psi. As it turns out, Wikipedia pages are not created by experts, nor is the information carefully updated from source documents, nor are Wikipedia editors required to learn effective ways to negotiate without resorting to personal attacks. As a writer who has written and edited Wikipedia articles, I have gone on record as finding edit/revert wars disruptive, and voiced support for requiring registration for editing articles, and improving policies reducing and preventing personal attacks. I am keenly aware that most people have absolutely no idea how incomplete and slanted many Wikipedia pages have become, due to self-appointed page squatters... but Weiler's book gets straight to heart of this debacle, illustrating some truly horrific misuses of Wikipedia editorial power. Perhaps even more disheartening is the real-life account of just what went wrong when TED chose to buckle to public pressure from a vocal minority, rather than standing up for the goal of "ideas worth spreading" they purport to support. If TED sought to avert controversy, they made a muddle of it, and if they thought they were leaning toward the side destined to eventually "win," they made a mess of that, too. While the recent events described in PSI WARS do not paint a pretty picture, it does show us a true image of just what people look like when paradigms begin to fall. As physicist Max Planck once said, "A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it." The scientific truth Planck was referring to has to do with understanding the new quantum paradigm, which is slowly but surely assuming its place and introducing consciousness as it does so to all branches of science, from astronomy to biology, chemistry and statistics. Highly recommended!