Evolution of the blue book

2nd January 2023. Reading Time: 5 minutes General, Stuff paranormal investigators need to know. 1148 page views. 0 comments.

Researchers from 100 years ago speculated there was a network of mediums that collated and shared information in the 'Blue Book' to assist their readings. In the modern world, our digital imprint is much easier to find. What happens when you have AI and machine learning in the mix?

If you haven't already, check out my article: Predictions and hopes for the paranormal field in 2023 where I talk about the technology I see the paranormal field using in 2023.  One of these items which is already being used to some degree is  AI (Artificial Intelligence).  While used as a shortcut for many people, I wondered if perhaps it could aid us with paranormal research by getting it to help research locations and history to help tailor paranormal investigations as one typical example.  It hadn't really occurred to me that this kind of technology could be exploited until I went through old articles I had written.  One of the articles was about the rumoured Blue Book that was used during the spiritualist era amongst a network of psychic mediums with personal information of locals which was used so the mediums could deliver a reading that provided personal information that supposedly the reader could not have known. 

I am wondering, R. C., if you ever heard of the "Spirit Blue Book? It is one of the most Important properties of the mediumistic profession in the world. International in scope, it lists hundreds of thousands of names, addresses and the most searching information. What is not in the book is in the form of data gathered through a co-operative plan.
Special attention is paid in the listings to persons interested in spiritualism, its advocates and its opponents. The means by which mediums know who is coming to see them are too numerous to mention. Once inside, however, the work is easy. I know that a favorite trick of the medium who is confronted by an absolute stranger is to say, "The spirits are not with me. Come again tomorrow." As the person leaves, the medium signals to a confederate outside. This latter follows the stranger and obtains, in divers eways, all necessary information. It may be necessary in some cases to telegraph out of town for the desired data. I know for a fact that this is done. I have tricked some mediums in this way, through my knowledge of their methods: Going to their rooms, I would be purposely on my guard for any question they might ask me that would give them a hint of my identity. Then the medium, perhaps a little worried, would go through a stock performance, telling me who, in the spirit world, was very happy; In other words, attempting to cover the fraud by generalities. When the seance was over. I would reveal myself and the medium would say, disgusted: "Why didn't you tell me you were Houdinl when you came in?"

Harry Houdini August. 26th 1922 in the Washington Times (Houdini's Answers on Psychic Phenomena)

Image Source: Cover Photo by Pavel Danilyuk via Pexels

You can read more about this here: The blue book

What we must consider is that right now as we speak, AI can potentially be used to gather information for the purpose of psychic readings.   

In 2019, the NY Times ran an expose about psychic mediums allegedly using social media to gather information about people who are attending gallery readings and whether this information was used in the readings they received.  Here is a link to the full article: Inside the Secret Sting Operations to Expose Celebrity Psychics

I can't say it is something I haven't wondered about and I am sure you have too.  There are a lot of things we will tell each other before attending a reading.  Don't give any information, try not to tell a story with your face or reactions and try not to be led.  I specifically remember on the Netflix series Surviving Death, Mike Anthony is featured visiting several psychic mediums from a skeptical position hoping to make contact with his father who has passed away.  There was one scene where during the reading there was something mentioned that they felt was something that no one had known until he realised it was in the background of a social media profile picture so he had doubts.  It is always healthy to ask questions and we should look at things with a little bit of skepticism.  With all this being said, I myself have had a few psychic readings during my time.  There were some that were clearly reaching and fishing for things they could hold onto and they were so far off the mark it was not funny.  I have however had a handful of very specific readings that made me think that maybe that medium was the real deal.  So I am certainly not saying there are not genuine mediums out there because I believe there are.  Sadly, however, there are also those who deceive.  So instead of going through social media profiles and even google searches of people they are going to be reading, AI could potentially be used to do this job for them and this is kind of scary.  Think about ancestry sites with family trees that have birth dates, causes of death etc.  Think about that social media post from 10 years ago.  The AI can potentially find and use them all to give someone enough information to give a personal detailed reading.  All they need to do is type a simple command and the work is done for them.

Similar to how the human brain gains knowledge and understanding, machine learning relies on input, such as training data or knowledge graphs, to understand entities, domains and the connections between them. With entities defined, deep learning can begin.

The machine learning process begins with observations or data, such as examples, direct experience or instruction. It looks for patterns in data so it can later make inferences based on the examples provided. The primary aim of ML is to allow computers to learn autonomously without human intervention or assistance and adjust actions accordingly.

https://www.expert.ai/blog/machine-learning-definition/

Whether it is 1903 or 2023, people are always going to find ways to deceive people if they want to.  Technology has just evolved to a point that makes it easier or more accessible.  What are your thoughts on AI and psychic readings?

Cover Photo by Tara Winstead via Pexels

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