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(SacBee)   "The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true"   (sacbee.com) divider line 117
    More: Obvious, necessarily true, natural explanation, areas water, water well, underground river, divining rods, deep underground, West Sacramento  
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2847 clicks; posted to Main » on 02 Mar 2014 at 4:53 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-02 04:25:03 PM  
Normally you run a story like this on a slow news day. When the Ukraine is imploding and Russia's about to invade against the wishes of the international community possible sparking a hot cold war? Not a slow news day, Sacramento Bee.

So, because the story itself is woefully out of place like a turd in a punch bowl, I shall comment upon the article's contents with an equal measure of "Wat?"

nomnommonster.com
 
2014-03-02 04:37:52 PM  
I am very, very not woo woo, but I have seen this work and experienced it myself.

Long time ago I was working a summer in Iowa and we needed to dig up a water pipe but we only had the roughest of ideas where it was.

An old guy who worked there came up, pulled some flag sticks out of his pocket, bent them each 90 degrees about four inches up, held them in his hands and started walking. When they crossed, he told us to dig there. We did and found the water pipe. He said it wasn't the water, but the fact that the pipes were PVC and the flags had a PVC coating on them.

I'm a natural skeptic, so I tried it myself, and the sticks damned sure crossed when I walked over the pipe.

Now, any number of things could have happened there. Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe. Maybe a hundred other things, but I'll tell you what, it sure didn't feel like anything but real at the time and in my memory. I dunno.
 
2014-03-02 04:40:39 PM  
I'd call $500 a call pretty damned successful
 
2014-03-02 04:56:12 PM  
Now I have an urge to re-watch "The Thing That Couldn't Die."
 
2014-03-02 04:56:39 PM  

Calmamity: Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe.


This.
 
2014-03-02 04:57:24 PM  
It's called the ideomotor effect. Very cool stuff.
 
2014-03-02 04:58:26 PM  
Forget that. I use dowsing tools to find embarassing photos and loose change.
 
2014-03-02 05:01:30 PM  

FunkOut: Forget that. I use dowsing tools to find embarassing photos and loose change.


Why don't these magicians dowse up some ancient gold coins instead of wasting their time with boring stuff like water, rocks, and dirt.
 
2014-03-02 05:05:06 PM  

nytmare: FunkOut: Forget that. I use dowsing tools to find embarassing photos and loose change.

Why don't these magicians dowse up some ancient gold coins instead of wasting their time with boring stuff like water, rocks, and dirt.


You ever been treasure hunting? You don't get to keep it. Treasure is property of the state. If you could pull up gold coins, you'd learn to truly fear the tax man.
 
2014-03-02 05:05:19 PM  

nytmare: FunkOut: Forget that. I use dowsing tools to find embarassing photos and loose change.

Why don't these magicians dowse up some ancient gold coins instead of wasting their time with boring stuff like water, rocks, and dirt.


Same reason psychics that use their skills to cheat at cards don't tell everyone. If you really could do it, why would you tell everyone?
 
2014-03-02 05:08:03 PM  

nytmare: FunkOut: Forget that. I use dowsing tools to find embarassing photos and loose change.

Why don't these magicians dowse up some ancient gold coins instead of wasting their time with boring stuff like water, rocks, and dirt plants and birds and rocks and things.


FTFY
 
2014-03-02 05:09:06 PM  
I was skeptical as well but had to find a sewer pipe in my backyard and had no idea where it was. I used a couple of different tools working on induction theory and dug 3 feet down by hand twice with no luck.

My neighbor who works for Verizon came over with some 10AWG copper wires, bent them 90 degrees and walked back and forth a few times in my backyard. The wires continually crossed at a line where the pipe probably was. Dug down and there it was. I tried it a few times and without fail they crossed over the pipe.

I can't explain the effect going on but it does work. My neighbor from Verizon says when all the other equipment fails to find a pipe they use the rods and that usually works. Just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't happening.
 
2014-03-02 05:11:45 PM  

Calmamity: I am very, very not woo woo, but I have seen this work and experienced it myself.

Long time ago I was working a summer in Iowa and we needed to dig up a water pipe but we only had the roughest of ideas where it was.

An old guy who worked there came up, pulled some flag sticks out of his pocket, bent them each 90 degrees about four inches up, held them in his hands and started walking. When they crossed, he told us to dig there. We did and found the water pipe. He said it wasn't the water, but the fact that the pipes were PVC and the flags had a PVC coating on them.

I'm a natural skeptic, so I tried it myself, and the sticks damned sure crossed when I walked over the pipe.

Now, any number of things could have happened there. Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe. Maybe a hundred other things, but I'll tell you what, it sure didn't feel like anything but real at the time and in my memory. I dunno.


There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

I don't understand why you wouldn't do this if you had the ability.
 
2014-03-02 05:12:01 PM  

Calmamity: I am very, very not woo woo, but I have seen this work and experienced it myself.

Long time ago I was working a summer in Iowa and we needed to dig up a water pipe but we only had the roughest of ideas where it was.

An old guy who worked there came up, pulled some flag sticks out of his pocket, bent them each 90 degrees about four inches up, held them in his hands and started walking. When they crossed, he told us to dig there. We did and found the water pipe. He said it wasn't the water, but the fact that the pipes were PVC and the flags had a PVC coating on them.

I'm a natural skeptic, so I tried it myself, and the sticks damned sure crossed when I walked over the pipe.

Now, any number of things could have happened there. Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe. Maybe a hundred other things, but I'll tell you what, it sure didn't feel like anything but real at the time and in my memory. I dunno.


That's called the ideomotor effect.  It's not unknown to science.  Basically, your brain is fooling you.
 
2014-03-02 05:13:21 PM  

cowsaregoodeating: I was skeptical as well but had to find a sewer pipe in my backyard and had no idea where it was. I used a couple of different tools working on induction theory and dug 3 feet down by hand twice with no luck.

My neighbor who works for Verizon came over with some 10AWG copper wires, bent them 90 degrees and walked back and forth a few times in my backyard. The wires continually crossed at a line where the pipe probably was. Dug down and there it was. I tried it a few times and without fail they crossed over the pipe.

I can't explain the effect going on but it does work. My neighbor from Verizon says when all the other equipment fails to find a pipe they use the rods and that usually works. Just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't happening.


It isn't happening because it's the ideomotor effect.  Dowsing has been tried time and time again in a scientifically controlled setting.  And time and time again it fails.  The only reason people think it works is because of confirmation bias.
 
2014-03-02 05:14:38 PM  
I'll also take a moment to quote Tim Minchin:  "In all of human history, every mystery ever solved, has turned out to be... NOT magic."
 
2014-03-02 05:15:03 PM  
After about 40 feet, the rods quickly crossed and Mondavi - a popular dowser in the world famous wine region- stopped. "This is the edge of our underground stream," he said during the demonstration.
 It's amazing! I can make the rods cross exactly where I know the water is! There's no possible explanation for it except that I am a water witch!  And now that I've shown you where the water is, it will work for you too! It's beyond belief!


...if you're unaware of how powerful suggestion really is.
 
2014-03-02 05:16:07 PM  

cowsaregoodeating: I was skeptical as well but had to find a sewer pipe in my backyard and had no idea where it was. I used a couple of different tools working on induction theory and dug 3 feet down by hand twice with no luck.

My neighbor who works for Verizon came over with some 10AWG copper wires, bent them 90 degrees and walked back and forth a few times in my backyard. The wires continually crossed at a line where the pipe probably was. Dug down and there it was. I tried it a few times and without fail they crossed over the pipe.

I can't explain the effect going on but it does work. My neighbor from Verizon says when all the other equipment fails to find a pipe they use the rods and that usually works. Just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't happening.


Well dowsing was found to be occasionally effective for certain individuals in a 1980's study.

In a study in Munich 1987-1988 by Hans-Dieter Betz and other scientists, 500 dowsers were initially tested for their skill and the experimenters selected the best 43 among them for further tests. Water was pumped through a pipe on the ground floor of a two-storey barn. Before each test the pipe was moved in a direction perpendicular to the water flow. On the upper floor each dowser was asked to determine the position of the pipe. Over two years the dowsers performed 843 such tests. Of the 43 pre-selected and extensively tested candidates at least 37 showed no dowsing ability. The results from the remaining 6 were said to be better than chance, resulting in the experimenters' conclusion that some dowsers "in particular tasks, showed an extraordinarily high rate of success, which can scarcely if at all be explained as due to chance ... a real core of dowser-phenomena can be regarded as empirically proven."[26]



But some smarmy coont had to piss on everyone's parade with math.


Five years after the Munich study was published, Jim T. Enright, a professor of physiology who emphasised correct data analysis procedure, contended that the study's results are merely consistent with statistical fluctuations and not significant. He believed the experiments provided "the most convincing disproof imaginable that dowsers can do what they claim",[27] stating that the data analysis was "special, unconventional and customized". Replacing it with "more ordinary analyses",[28] he noted that the best dowser was on average 4 millimeters out of 10 meters closer to a mid-line guess, an advantage of 0.0004%, and that the five other "good" dowsers were on average farther than a mid-line guess. He further pointed out that the six "good" dowsers did not perform any better than chance in separate tests



But when I see phrases like "proper data interpretation" I hear "fudging the numbers" making the actual study more believable.
 
2014-03-02 05:16:37 PM  
rustypouch
There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

controlled means you didn't believe going in and thats why it failed.
 
2014-03-02 05:18:42 PM  

Prank Call of Cthulhu: Calmamity: Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe.

This.


No maybe about it.
 
2014-03-02 05:23:36 PM  

doglover: cowsaregoodeating: I was skeptical as well but had to find a sewer pipe in my backyard and had no idea where it was. I used a couple of different tools working on induction theory and dug 3 feet down by hand twice with no luck.

My neighbor who works for Verizon came over with some 10AWG copper wires, bent them 90 degrees and walked back and forth a few times in my backyard. The wires continually crossed at a line where the pipe probably was. Dug down and there it was. I tried it a few times and without fail they crossed over the pipe.

I can't explain the effect going on but it does work. My neighbor from Verizon says when all the other equipment fails to find a pipe they use the rods and that usually works. Just because I don't understand it doesn't mean it isn't happening.

Well dowsing was found to be occasionally effective for certain individuals in a 1980's study.

In a study in Munich 1987-1988 by Hans-Dieter Betz and other scientists, 500 dowsers were initially tested for their skill and the experimenters selected the best 43 among them for further tests. Water was pumped through a pipe on the ground floor of a two-storey barn. Before each test the pipe was moved in a direction perpendicular to the water flow. On the upper floor each dowser was asked to determine the position of the pipe. Over two years the dowsers performed 843 such tests. Of the 43 pre-selected and extensively tested candidates at least 37 showed no dowsing ability. The results from the remaining 6 were said to be better than chance, resulting in the experimenters' conclusion that some dowsers "in particular tasks, showed an extraordinarily high rate of success, which can scarcely if at all be explained as due to chance ... a real core of dowser-phenomena can be regarded as empirically proven."[26]

But some smarmy coont had to piss on everyone's parade with math.


Five years after the Munich study was published, Jim T. Enright, a professor of physiology who emphasised correct data analysis procedure, contended that the study's results are merely consistent with statistical fluctuations and not significant. He believed the experiments provided "the most convincing disproof imaginable that dowsers can do what they claim",[27] stating that the data analysis was "special, unconventional and customized". Replacing it with "more ordinary analyses",[28] he noted that the best dowser was on average 4 millimeters out of 10 meters closer to a mid-line guess, an advantage of 0.0004%, and that the five other "good" dowsers were on average farther than a mid-line guess. He further pointed out that the six "good" dowsers did not perform any better than chance in separate tests

But when I see phrases like "proper data interpretation" I hear "fudging the numbers" making the actual study more believable.


You aren't claiming the "smarmy coont" is the one "fudging numbers" are you?

Which even were he playing games, that isn't really fudging numbers to begin with.
 
2014-03-02 05:24:29 PM  
I am going to have to be a dowsing Thomas here.
 
2014-03-02 05:26:45 PM  
"The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report.


If you could find water anywhere you punched a hole in the ground, why would anybody...ever...hire a dowser?
 
2014-03-02 05:30:17 PM  

starlost: rustypouch
There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

controlled means you didn't believe going in and thats why it failed.


Interesting.

Why does it matter if you believe or not? If there was any truth to it, it would work regardless of one's personal opinions.
 
2014-03-02 05:34:06 PM  

TheOther: "The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report.


If you could find water anywhere you punched a hole in the ground, why would anybody...ever...hire a dowser?


Because it costs up to $15k to dig  a well whether you find water or not. Facing that kind of expense, many will grasp at straws to "ensure" they are not wasting their money. You can't just drive a stake in the ground and start pumping, even in the best areas for wells. There could be water under 40% of your land....but that doesn't mean you're going to drill in that 40% the first time.
 
2014-03-02 05:34:08 PM  
One time I called the plumber for a broken pipe under the foundation at the business.  They came in with a camera and tried to find the break.  They couldn't.  Then they used a device called a sonde locator and found the break.  It was a damn miracle!
 
2014-03-02 05:35:52 PM  

rustypouch: starlost: rustypouch
There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

controlled means you didn't believe going in and thats why it failed.

Interesting.

Why does it matter if you believe or not? If there was any truth to it, it would work regardless of one's personal opinions.


If you are attempting to measure the results of the test, it fails. This is quite scientific. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_%28physics%29
 
2014-03-02 05:37:49 PM  

rustypouch: Calmamity: I am very, very not woo woo, but I have seen this work and experienced it myself.

Long time ago I was working a summer in Iowa and we needed to dig up a water pipe but we only had the roughest of ideas where it was.

An old guy who worked there came up, pulled some flag sticks out of his pocket, bent them each 90 degrees about four inches up, held them in his hands and started walking. When they crossed, he told us to dig there. We did and found the water pipe. He said it wasn't the water, but the fact that the pipes were PVC and the flags had a PVC coating on them.

I'm a natural skeptic, so I tried it myself, and the sticks damned sure crossed when I walked over the pipe.

Now, any number of things could have happened there. Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe. Maybe a hundred other things, but I'll tell you what, it sure didn't feel like anything but real at the time and in my memory. I dunno.

There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

http://www.randi.org/site/index.php/1m-challenge.html

I don't understand why you wouldn't do this if you had the ability.


THIS.  Prove it, guys - in a controlled experiment where you can't talk people into believing you.
 
2014-03-02 05:39:21 PM  

rustypouch: Why does it matter if you believe or not?


Why does solid rocket fuel have to be a slurry of rubber and aluminum?

Why can't we just shove some silica in the tube and fire that thing to the moon?
 
2014-03-02 05:39:46 PM  

doglover: making the actual study more believable.


Are you suggesting out of five hundred people six of them would not have greater than chance ability to make correct guesses? Because from the sounds of the initial study, the conclusion was six people made correct guesses on an unspecified amount more than the number of tests divided by the number of possible directions of the pipe.

rustypouch: Why does it matter if you believe or not? If there was any truth to it, it would work regardless of one's personal opinions.


I think  starlost is providing the common excuse many folks have for not testing claimed powers, abilities, phenomenon, and whathaveyou in controlled environments or why testing in controlled environments has failed. This one I have heard for those who are no better than chance in the James Randi Challenge.
 
2014-03-02 05:42:10 PM  

Calmamity: I am very, very not woo woo, but I have seen this work and experienced it myself.

Long time ago I was working a summer in Iowa and we needed to dig up a water pipe but we only had the roughest of ideas where it was.

An old guy who worked there came up, pulled some flag sticks out of his pocket, bent them each 90 degrees about four inches up, held them in his hands and started walking. When they crossed, he told us to dig there. We did and found the water pipe. He said it wasn't the water, but the fact that the pipes were PVC and the flags had a PVC coating on them.

I'm a natural skeptic, so I tried it myself, and the sticks damned sure crossed when I walked over the pipe.

Now, any number of things could have happened there. Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe. Maybe a hundred other things, but I'll tell you what, it sure didn't feel like anything but real at the time and in my memory. I dunno.


Cool story bro. Now try it blindfolded.
 
2014-03-02 05:44:27 PM  
I worked at a glass plant. We had to find a water line under a concrete floor in a warehouse. One of our old plumbers used bent brazing rods to locate the line. It was right where he said it would be. Still there were doubters. So I mounted the rods on an acetylene torch dolly and, using some rope, pulled the rig across the floor at several different locations. Still, even without the human component involved, our results were 100%. We were even able to locate a 45 degree ell by plotting out the points where the lines crossed. I can't say why it worked, but I do know it worked for us that time.
 
2014-03-02 05:44:27 PM  

untaken_name: TheOther: "The natural explanation of 'successful' water dowsing is that in many areas water would be hard to miss. The dowser commonly implies that the spot indicated by the rod is the only one where water could be found, but this is not necessarily true," the survey said in its report.


If you could find water anywhere you punched a hole in the ground, why would anybody...ever...hire a dowser?

Because it costs up to $15k to dig  a well whether you find water or not. Facing that kind of expense, many will grasp at straws to "ensure" they are not wasting their money. You can't just drive a stake in the ground and start pumping, even in the best areas for wells. There could be water under 40% of your land....but that doesn't mean you're going to drill in that 40% the first time.


If I was running a well-drilling business, I believe I would hire an anti-dowser.  I would never hit water until at least the 3rd try or the sucker farmer's money was running out.

The cash must flow.
 
2014-03-02 05:46:18 PM  
I can't attest to the validity of this but the old timers in my hometown area swore by this when it came to finding water. Now supposedly there is an old native American fellow in that area that doesn't water witch but he can go out on someone's property and "smell" the ground and rocks and when the ground is tested, they have found oil and gas. (and no it isn't like he is doing this in an area surrounded by producing wells)
 
2014-03-02 05:48:48 PM  

friedo: Cool story bro. Now try it blindfolded.


Not necessary. You simply do it under conditions where the dowser doesn't know where the water is, nor do the people actually administering the test and recording the guesses. The people who know where the water is aren't present (to avoid unconsciously providing cues). That's all that double-blinding means.

Then you repeat the test often enough for actual results to be statistically distinguishable from random chance.
 
2014-03-02 05:49:37 PM  

untaken_name: rustypouch: starlost: rustypouch
There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

controlled means you didn't believe going in and thats why it failed.

Interesting.

Why does it matter if you believe or not? If there was any truth to it, it would work regardless of one's personal opinions.

If you are attempting to measure the results of the test, it fails. This is quite scientific. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Observer_effect_%28physics%29


I don't know if you're trolling, or just lack a fundamental understanding of how the world works.

Isn't every time someone attempts dowsing a test? Isn't giving a location of whatever substance the dowser is searching for a measurement?

Why does dowsing always fall apart when held up to scrutiny?
 
2014-03-02 05:51:23 PM  

Calmamity: An old guy who worked there came up, pulled some flag sticks out of his pocket, bent them each 90 degrees about four inches up, held them in his hands and started walking. When they crossed, he told us to dig there. We did and found the water pipe. He said it wasn't the water, but the fact that the pipes were PVC and the flags had a PVC coating on them.


The Law of Contagion was tossed out at the same time as alchemy.  That's not how PVC works.
 
2014-03-02 05:51:37 PM  

acad1228: I worked at a glass plant. We had to find a water line under a concrete floor in a warehouse. One of our old plumbers used bent brazing rods to locate the line. It was right where he said it would be. Still there were doubters. So I mounted the rods on an acetylene torch dolly and, using some rope, pulled the rig across the floor at several different locations. Still, even without the human component involved, our results were 100%. We were even able to locate a 45 degree ell by plotting out the points where the lines crossed. I can't say why it worked, but I do know it worked for us that time.


Without even guessing, was the floor newly laid? Did you allow for the fact that an older floor tends to sag over cavities in the ground, which tend to form where old water lines were placed? So your rods would have tended to dip as the dolly was pulled across the floor when they hit that sag, even if it was slight enough that you couldn't see it. Absent a leveling device, this proves nothing one way or another.
 
2014-03-02 05:56:33 PM  
rustypouch:

Why does dowsing always fall apart when held up to scrutiny?

Performance anxiety.

/got nothin'
 
2014-03-02 06:00:11 PM  
You guys are acting like I'm some con man trying to sell you something or a proselytizing believer. I'm not. I'm just telling you a thing that happened to me.

So back the fu*k up.
 
2014-03-02 06:01:59 PM  

Gyrfalcon: acad1228: I worked at a glass plant. We had to find a water line under a concrete floor in a warehouse. One of our old plumbers used bent brazing rods to locate the line. It was right where he said it would be. Still there were doubters. So I mounted the rods on an acetylene torch dolly and, using some rope, pulled the rig across the floor at several different locations. Still, even without the human component involved, our results were 100%. We were even able to locate a 45 degree ell by plotting out the points where the lines crossed. I can't say why it worked, but I do know it worked for us that time.

Without even guessing, was the floor newly laid? Did you allow for the fact that an older floor tends to sag over cavities in the ground, which tend to form where old water lines were placed? So your rods would have tended to dip as the dolly was pulled across the floor when they hit that sag, even if it was slight enough that you couldn't see it. Absent a leveling device, this proves nothing one way or another.


Yeah, a 2" line, 6 feet down buried 40 years before the floor was laid? Sag wasn't going to be an issue. The area had to be filled and leveled before the warehouse was built.
 
2014-03-02 06:02:06 PM  

Vangor: Are you suggesting out of five hundred people six of them would not have greater than chance ability to make correct guesses? Because from the sounds of the initial study, the conclusion was six people made correct guesses on an unspecified amount more than the number of tests divided by the number of possible directions of the pipe.


Lies.
Damn lies.
Statistics.

You tell me statistics, your credibility drops to negative 50%. The original study basically said "Six people were getting better results." All kinds of conclusions you can draw from that. Dowsing doesn't work, but maybe they had really good hearing or the pipe was slightly visible as they entered the barn. Perhaps they were really good at guessing what "random" was going to be based on reading the experimenter. Maybe one was Gandalf. Whatever there was, there was something, even if that something was nothing.

But you tell me some kind of statistical mumbo jumbo? You're lying, even if you are doing so in an accurate fashion that is useful in many ways. Four milimeters off of ten meters? Those meters never existed! *BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP* Ontological foul! A priori ex recto! Non passium go, non collectum two hundred dollars! And that's assuming you're operating in good faith and not fudging the data to support pre-drawn conclusions, which is a thing that happens a lot when money's on the line. If that's the case, purveyors of statistics are even more untrustworthy.

Basically what I'm saying is dowsing only works in proximity to hookers and marijuana and I can prove it in Amsterdam with a three week expenses paid study and you can sign on right now as a co-author and help me conduct the "study" for a few weeks, but first we gotta make some pre-existing data look promising enough to get us booze money.
 
2014-03-02 06:02:43 PM  

rustypouch: starlost: rustypouch
There's a prize of a million bucks if you can do it in a controlled environment.

controlled means you didn't believe going in and thats why it failed.

Interesting.

Why does it matter if you believe or not? If there was any truth to it, it would work regardless of one's personal opinions.


Nope, lots of paranormal crap is said to only work with positive thinkers practicing it.
Bad vibes destroys the magic.

See Russian healing water.
 
2014-03-02 06:02:54 PM  

Calmamity: Now, any number of things could have happened there. Maybe the old guy knew where the pipe was all along and was messing with us. Maybe I subconsciously manipulated the sticks when I walked over the pipe. Maybe a hundred other things, but I'll tell you what, it sure didn't feel like anything but real at the time and in my memory. I dunno.


Given that what he did isn't just scientifically infeasible, it violates the rules of how  dowsing is ostensibly supposed to work, I'm going to go with yes, he helped lay the line back in the day or had access to the charts and was farking with you.

That style of thing is a pretty common way for engineers to troll the newbies, where they make a big show of "picking the right thing completely at random" like they have some sort of magical engineer intuition when they actually just read the manual they "couldn't find" a couple minutes ago.  I've pulled it on the new folk in the lab a couple of times myself, albeit they're not quite as dumb as you (are claiming to be) and picked up on the joke pretty easily after about an hour of everyone straight-facing it.
 
2014-03-02 06:06:15 PM  
I work for a sewer cleaning contractor and I have run into a couple of different people who try and find lines by dowsing, and they've never succeeded.  I'd be willing to believe if there was a good reason to, but this is some serious witchery and I'm shocked that so many people fall for it.

BunkyBrewman: One time I called the plumber for a broken pipe under the foundation at the business.  They came in with a camera and tried to find the break.  They couldn't.  Then they used a device called a sonde locator and found the break.  It was a damn miracle!


Sonde locators are pretty awesome, in my opinion, even though they're not foolproof.  If a line is too deep, or there is too much rock or cast iron pipes over it, it can be a little tricky.
 
2014-03-02 06:07:10 PM  

Calmamity: You guys are acting like I'm some con man trying to sell you something or a proselytizing believer. I'm not. I'm just telling you a thing that happened to me.

So back the fu*k up.


No, people are just laughing at some goofus who believes in rubbish.
 
2014-03-02 06:08:44 PM  
I grew up in a small town in farm country.  No one I ever heard of ever used any kind of dowsing.They used maps of the terrain and nearby watercourses and USGS studies of the local water tables.

I worked for a couple years doing environmental testing and remediation.  In the field, no one I ever heard of used dowsing.  They called USA (or equivalent service), who came out and flagged all the pertinent underground cables and pipes.

I have no idea where all you you crazy kooks are living.  Middle Earth I guess.
 
2014-03-02 06:10:48 PM  

acad1228: So I mounted the rods on an acetylene torch dolly and, using some rope, pulled the rig across the floor at several different locations.


Wait... you did this test several times while working at a glass plant? I am sure your supervisors were thrilled.
 
2014-03-02 06:11:39 PM  

doglover: Vangor: Are you suggesting out of five hundred people six of them would not have greater than chance ability to make correct guesses? Because from the sounds of the initial study, the conclusion was six people made correct guesses on an unspecified amount more than the number of tests divided by the number of possible directions of the pipe.

Lies.
Damn lies.
Statistics.

You tell me statistics, your credibility drops to negative 50%. The original study basically said "Six people were getting better results." All kinds of conclusions you can draw from that. Dowsing doesn't work, but maybe they had really good hearing or the pipe was slightly visible as they entered the barn. Perhaps they were really good at guessing what "random" was going to be based on reading the experimenter. Maybe one was Gandalf. Whatever there was, there was something, even if that something was nothing.

But you tell me some kind of statistical mumbo jumbo? You're lying, even if you are doing so in an accurate fashion that is useful in many ways. Four milimeters off of ten meters? Those meters never existed! *BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP* Ontological foul! A priori ex recto! Non passium go, non collectum two hundred dollars! And that's assuming you're operating in good faith and not fudging the data to support pre-drawn conclusions, which is a thing that happens a lot when money's on the line. If that's the case, purveyors of statistics are even more untrustworthy.

Basically what I'm saying is dowsing only works in proximity to hookers and marijuana and I can prove it in Amsterdam with a three week expenses paid study and you can sign on right now as a co-author and help me conduct the "study" for a few weeks, but first we gotta make some pre-existing data look promising enough to get us booze money.


Did anyone else read this as, "i dont understand statistics, so clearly everyone using them is lying to me".
 
2014-03-02 06:12:04 PM  

noitsnot: I grew up in a small town in farm country.  No one I ever heard of ever used any kind of dowsing.They used maps of the terrain and nearby watercourses and USGS studies of the local water tables.

I worked for a couple years doing environmental testing and remediation.  In the field, no one I ever heard of used dowsing.  They called USA (or equivalent service), who came out and flagged all the pertinent underground cables and pipes.

I have no idea where all you you crazy kooks are living.  Middle Earth I guess.


I live and work in the Boston area and I've seen dowsers twice.  They found nothing either time.  It's weird
 
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