Word salads for citizen journalists

A word salad is a mash-up of words strung together to make something sound credible, intriguing or authoritative.

“Can I ask how much it costs to learn how to encode signatures for the evolution of consciousness by using a gong? Does the gong really need to be tuned to the frequency of the planet or can I just use my own set of gongs for this?”.

This is a question that came up on social media and, yes, the questioner was being serious. So, can anyone explain what this gobbedlygook is all about? How does one “encode signatures” (which are what, exactly?) and affect how consciousness evolves? With a gong. Or maybe a set of them if they are suitably tuned.

And what about tuning to “the frequency of the planet?”. Well, turns out it might be a bit hard pinning that down. Skeptiod puts it like this:

The atmosphere has its own radio equivalent of someone blowing across the top of the bottle: lightning. Lightning is constantly flashing all around the world, many times per second; and each bolt is a radio source. This means our atmosphere is continuously resonating with a radio frequency of 7.83Hz, along with progressively weaker harmonics at 14.3, 20.8, 27.3 and 33.8Hz. These are the Schumann resonances.

“It’s nothing to do with the Earth itself, or with life, or with any spiritual phenomenon; it’s merely an artifact of the physical dimensions of the space between the surface of the Earth and the ionosphere. The amount of resonance fluctuates as the ionosphere becomes more or less dense, which depends largely on the amount of solar radiation striking it.

“Our major point today is that you should be very skeptical of any product, service, article, website, or merchant who uses the Schumann resonance, in any way, as part of a sales pitch. The Earth does not have any particular frequency.

”But, furthermore, the Earth probably doesn’t even have a resonant electromagnetic frequency. Each of the Earth’s many layers is a very poor conductor of radio; combined all together, the Earth easily absorbs just about every frequency it’s exposed to. If you’ve ever noticed that your car radio cuts out when you drive through a tunnel, you’ve seen an example of this”.

It’s a salad

What we have here is a word-salad, a sciency-sounding mashup designed to look impressive to the scientifically illiterate and gullible. It’s New Age magical thinking and, look closely enough, and somewhere you are likely to find someone selling something. Like a workshop on how to change the evolution of consciousness (an especially dangerous experiment, perhaps), a process that normally takes millions of years. With a gong.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence…Carl Sagan.

This sort of stuff is for those who cannot comprehend how strange, how incredible the world and the universe we inhabit really is. The best way we’ve found to understand it is through scientific process, for, unlike having to tune a gong to a frequency that might not exist and maybe even use your own set of gongs to do it, science questions its own findings and amends errors accordingly.

As cosmologist, the late Carl Sagan said, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.” The intervention in evolutionary consciousness afforded by banging gongs lacks that extraordinary evidence. Sagan wrote a book about this stuff. He gave it the very appropriate name of The Demon-Haunted World.