telophase: (Gin waves byebye)
This is a slightly edited version of a couple of comments I posted on another LJ, on an entry talking about paranormal shows like Ghost Hunters and Paranormal State.

I love watching these shows even though I'm a hardline skeptic. I find it fun to shriek "OF COURE THE EMF READINGS ARE GOING OFF THE SCALE! YOU'VE GOT THE METER NEXT TO A WIRED-UP LIGHTBULB AND ARE FILMING IT WITH A CAMERA ATTACHED TO A HUGE BATTERY PACK YOU NITWIT!!" at the TV. And my basic love of puzzle-solving and interest in culture and psychology lead me to spend the time working out how they're getting the results they're getting, and what it means to the people involved, and what it says about our society and our beliefs.

As most skeptics will say, I'd love to find evidence that various paranormal things are true, which is why it drives me nuts when people who don't know much about the equipment they're holding point to the results they're getting as evidence.

Here's a basic rundown of what I know about equipment and what can happen, so you can sort out a lot of the stuff that's due to mistakes from stuff that's actually unexplained:
Cut for equipment )

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