MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

August 14, 2008

Children Playing Scientist

It seems like any kid with a digital camera and a near by cemetery is a "paranormal investigator" theses days. The paranormal field today, on the whole, is characterized by mostly younger people. Teens and 20'somethings mostly. Getting into the 30's, 40's and beyond is relatively less common. Not surprising. It does appeal to the mystery and excitement factor of young people. But with youth comes a grave (no pun intended) lack of understanding about science and discovery.

Right now it seems everyone and anyone is rushing head long into trying to make a ghost camera. Something new that will photograph a ghost better and more consistently than normal cameras today. A decent goal I grant.

But what is your basis in understanding the properties of light and the EMF spectrum? How much experience as a photographer do you have? A pocket digital camera or a disposable 35mm camera isn't experience. Not when creating a new device almost certainly will require the interaction of different kinds of light filters and lenses.

Too often some will come to a message board/form and say "I'm working on a new camera to use X, Y and Z for ghost hunting." Right away people lavish accolades on the person for having a great idea. Then – nothing. The person doesn't give any details on why they think this is a reasonable approach, why they think this is a better or improved approach, why this has a better chance of working than something else, how they plan on developing and testing it, etc etc etc. Worse, after dropping the notion and basking in the glow of mutual admiration for such a great idea months go by and no update on their progress or even if the project ever really got started!

You don't get credit for just tossing out ideas!

I'm not trying to stifle new ideas and creative thinking. I do believe that too often that formalized structure does inhibit creativity. A fertile mind needs to be able to run with a new idea immediately and not get bogged down in bureaucracy and paperwork.

But some level of documentation and reporting needs to be followed if you truly plan to make a contribution to the field. Otherwise it's just self promotion and parlor tricks.

It's a joke and an insult to the field.

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