Topic: Skepticism

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๐Ÿ”— A True Story

๐Ÿ”— Ancient Near East ๐Ÿ”— Novels ๐Ÿ”— Novels/Science fiction ๐Ÿ”— Science Fiction ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Literature ๐Ÿ”— Classical Greece and Rome ๐Ÿ”— Greece ๐Ÿ”— Comedy ๐Ÿ”— Assyria

A True Story (Ancient Greek: แผˆฮปฮทฮธแฟ† ฮดฮนฮทฮณฮฎฮผฮฑฯ„ฮฑ, Alฤ“thฤ“ diฤ“gฤ“mata; Latin: Vera Historia or Latin: Verae Historiae) is a novel written in the second century AD by Lucian of Samosata, a Greek-speaking author of Assyrian descent. The novel is a satire of outlandish tales which had been reported in ancient sources, particularly those which presented fantastic or mythical events as if they were true. It is Lucian's best-known work.

It is the earliest known work of fiction to include travel to outer space, alien lifeforms, and interplanetary warfare. As such, A True Story has been described as "the first known text that could be called science fiction". However the work does not fit into typical literary genres: its multilayered plot and characters have been interpreted as science fiction, fantasy, satire or parody, and have been the subject of much scholarly debate.

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๐Ÿ”— Brandolini's Law

๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Psychology

Brandolini's law, also known as the bullshit asymmetry principle, is an internet adage which emphasizes the difficulty of debunking bullshit: "The amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

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๐Ÿ”— John Titor

๐Ÿ”— Internet culture ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Alternative Views ๐Ÿ”— Paranormal

John Titor (May 5, 6 or 7, 1998) is a name used on several bulletin boards during 2000 and 2001 by a poster claiming to be an American military time traveler from 2036. Titor made numerous vague and specific predictions regarding calamitous events in 2004 and beyond, including a nuclear war, none of which came true. Subsequent closer examination of Titor's assertions provoked widespread skepticism. Inconsistencies in his explanations, the uniform inaccuracy of his predictions, and a private investigator's findings all led to the general impression that the entire episode was an elaborate hoax. A 2009 investigation concluded that Titor was likely the creation of Larry Haber, a Florida entertainment lawyer, along with his brother Morey, a computer scientist.

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๐Ÿ”— Project MKUltra

๐Ÿ”— United States/U.S. Government ๐Ÿ”— United States ๐Ÿ”— Human rights ๐Ÿ”— Military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/North American military history ๐Ÿ”— Military history/United States military history ๐Ÿ”— Medicine ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Psychology ๐Ÿ”— Military history/Intelligence ๐Ÿ”— Alternative Views ๐Ÿ”— Psychoactive and Recreational Drugs ๐Ÿ”— Drug Policy ๐Ÿ”— Science Policy

Project MKUltra (or MK-Ultra), also called the CIA mind control program, is the code name given to a program of experiments on human subjects that were designed and undertaken by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, some of which were illegal. Experiments on humans were intended to identify and develop drugs and procedures to be used in interrogations in order to weaken the individual and force confessions through mind control. The project was organized through the Office of Scientific Intelligence of the CIA and coordinated with the United States Army Biological Warfare Laboratories. Code names for drug-related experiments were Project Bluebird and Project Artichoke.

The operation was officially sanctioned in 1953, reduced in scope in 1964 and further curtailed in 1967. It was officially halted in 1973. The program engaged in many illegal activities, including the use of U.S. and Canadian citizens as its unwitting test subjects, which led to controversy regarding its legitimacy. MKUltra used numerous methods to manipulate its subjects' mental states and brain functions. Techniques included the covert administration of high doses of psychoactive drugs (especially LSD) and other chemicals, electroshocks, hypnosis, sensory deprivation, isolation, verbal and sexual abuse, as well as other forms of torture.

The scope of Project MKUltra was broad, with research undertaken at more than 80 institutions, including colleges and universities, hospitals, prisons, and pharmaceutical companies. The CIA operated using front organizations, although sometimes top officials at these institutions were aware of the CIA's involvement.

Project MKUltra was first brought to public attention in 1975 by the Church Committee of the United States Congress and Gerald Ford's United States President's Commission on CIA activities within the United States (also known as the Rockefeller Commission).

Investigative efforts were hampered by CIA Director Richard Helms' order that all MKUltra files be destroyed in 1973; the Church Committee and Rockefeller Commission investigations relied on the sworn testimony of direct participants and on the relatively small number of documents that survived Helms's destruction order. In 1977, a Freedom of Information Act request uncovered a cache of 20,000 documents relating to project MKUltra which led to Senate hearings later that year. Some surviving information regarding MKUltra was declassified in July 2001. In December 2018, declassified documents included a letter to an unidentified doctor discussing work on six dogs made to run, turn and stop via remote control and brain implants.

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๐Ÿ”— List of unsolved problems in physics

๐Ÿ”— Physics ๐Ÿ”— Philosophy ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— History of Science ๐Ÿ”— Science

Some of the major unsolved problems in physics are theoretical, meaning that existing theories seem incapable of explaining a certain observed phenomenon or experimental result. The others are experimental, meaning that there is a difficulty in creating an experiment to test a proposed theory or investigate a phenomenon in greater detail.

There are still some deficiencies in the Standard Model of physics, such as the origin of mass, the strong CP problem, neutrino mass, matterโ€“antimatter asymmetry, and the nature of dark matter and dark energy. Another problem lies within the mathematical framework of the Standard Model itselfโ€”the Standard Model is inconsistent with that of general relativity, to the point that one or both theories break down under certain conditions (for example within known spacetime singularities like the Big Bang and the centers of black holes beyond the event horizon).

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๐Ÿ”— List of Unexplained Sounds

๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Paranormal ๐Ÿ”— Cryptozoology

The following is a list of unidentified, or formerly unidentified, sounds. All of the sound files in this article have been sped up by at least a factor of 16 to increase intelligibility by condensing them and raising the frequency from infrasound to a more audible and reproducible range.

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๐Ÿ”— Wow signal

๐Ÿ”— History ๐Ÿ”— Physics ๐Ÿ”— Telecommunications ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Astronomy ๐Ÿ”— History of Science ๐Ÿ”— Physics/History ๐Ÿ”— Paranormal

The Wow! signal was a strong narrowband radio signal received on August 15, 1977, by Ohio State University's Big Ear radio telescope in the United States, then used to support the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. The signal appeared to come from the direction of the constellation Sagittarius and bore the expected hallmarks of extraterrestrial origin.

Astronomer Jerry R. Ehman discovered the anomaly a few days later while reviewing the recorded data. He was so impressed by the result that he circled the reading on the computer printout, "6EQUJ5", and wrote the comment "Wow!" on its side, leading to the event's widely used name.

The entire signal sequence lasted for the full 72-second window during which Big Ear was able to observe it, but has not been detected since, despite several subsequent attempts by Ehman and others. Many hypotheses have been advanced on the origin of the emission, including natural and human-made sources, but none of them adequately explains the signal.

Although the Wow! signal had no detectable modulationโ€”a technique used to transmit information over radio wavesโ€”it remains the strongest candidate for an alien radio transmission ever detected.

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๐Ÿ”— Spaghetti-Tree Hoax

๐Ÿ”— BBC ๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— Food and drink

The spaghetti-tree hoax was a three-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current-affairs programme Panorama, purportedly showing a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the family "spaghetti tree". At the time spaghetti was relatively unknown in the UK, so many British people were unaware that it is made from wheat flour and water; a number of viewers afterwards contacted the BBC for advice on growing their own spaghetti trees. Decades later, CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled".

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๐Ÿ”— The Sokal Hoax

๐Ÿ”— Skepticism ๐Ÿ”— History of Science ๐Ÿ”— Sociology

The Sokal affair, also called the Sokal hoax, was a scholarly publishing sting perpetrated by Alan Sokal, a physics professor at New York University and University College London. In 1996, Sokal submitted an article to Social Text, an academic journal of postmodern cultural studies. The submission was an experiment to test the journal's intellectual rigor and, specifically, to investigate whether "a leading North American journal of cultural studiesโ€”whose editorial collective includes such luminaries as Fredric Jameson and Andrew Rossโ€”[would] publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions".

The article, "Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity", was published in the Social Text spring/summer 1996 "Science Wars" issue. It proposed that quantum gravity is a social and linguistic construct. At that time, the journal did not practice academic peer review and it did not submit the article for outside expert review by a physicist. Three weeks after its publication in May 1996, Sokal revealed in Lingua Franca that the article was a hoax.

The hoax sparked a debate about the scholarly merit of commentary on the physical sciences by those in the humanities; the influence of postmodern philosophy on social disciplines in general; academic ethics, including whether Sokal was wrong to deceive the editors and readers of Social Text; and whether Social Text had exercised appropriate intellectual rigor.

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