Be Reasonable: Episode #001 – Anita Ikonen


Anita Ikonen, a Swedish national, describes herself as a medical intuitive, claiming to be able to detect medical information about a person by simply looking at them. She runs a website called Vision From Feeling which documents her abilities, and her attempts to test them.

Anita also describes herself as a skeptic. As a result of her skepticism Anita agreed to have her abilities tested by the Independent Investigations Group – a test that she didn’t pass after failing to name the person missing a kidney out of a number of volunteers. She also failed a similar test conducted by the James Randi Education Foundation at The Amazing Meeting 8 in Las Vegas. Hayley and Marsh spoke to Anita to find out more about her alleged abilities, the tests, and whether her past failures have made her reconsider whether she has supernatural abilities or not.

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  1. #1 by Murff on January 28, 2013 - 18:11

    I really like the tone of this interview. Putting relevant questions to a person without being argumentative or condescending. Made me feel as though she was more open in the discussion.

    Teasing the next subject is quite cruel since we have to wait a month to hear it!

    Thanks for yet another interesting podcast!

  2. #2 by Gold (@unifex) on January 28, 2013 - 18:41

    I agree with Murff’s points. Really good first episode.

    The local SitP group has started doing a little more than sitting around chatting at the pub on Fridays. We’ve got a couple of guys that are exploring church events. They recently extended the invite to the larger group and picked an astrology open day. I quickly came to the conclusion that this sort of investigation isn’t my thing. I decided to remove myself from the actual event rather than point out everything that was wrong with what they were doing. When you got down to it, these people actually believe what they’re saying and I didn’t want to be the one to ruin the mood.

    I have a lot of respect for those that can actually bite their tongue long enough to actually get through an investigation like this. Well done.

    And yeah… Regarding the next subject, this will be interesting. :)

  3. #3 by Winky on January 29, 2013 - 14:11

    Hi, will Be Reasonable make it to iTunes? Hope so, your other podcasts are great! Ta

  4. #4 by NickT on January 29, 2013 - 14:40

    I think that was a very open discussion, which was really good to listen to.

    It was really interesting to hear Anita talk about her interest in science, and falsifying her claims/abilities/experiences. For me it really drove home the fact that it is essential to make sure we aren’t fooling ourselves before we worry about satisfying others, and the quote which Marsh gave to that effect really was perhaps more important than maybe Anita realised.

    Thanks to Marsh, Hayley, and of course Anita for a really open, and pleasant conversation about some extraordinary claims.

    I look forward to the next installment!

    NickT

  5. #5 by Soren on January 29, 2013 - 16:27

    I was wondering about Anitas description of the virus. She said it was blue.

    I know next to nothing about vira, but when I checked, the wavelength of blue light is 450-495 nm, and WHo says that a hepatitis virus is 42 nm. I am not sure you can meaningfully assign a colour to something that small

  6. #6 by InvincibleIronyMan on January 30, 2013 - 02:08

    I don’t know how you resist going in for the kill in these interviews. Anita Ikonen seemed very nice, but it really made me cringe to listen to her. She provided a textbook list of things people who think they have powers do to deceive themselves, and as a science student she really ought to know better. It’s almost like she thinks her science training allows her to discard good experimental procedure because she’s clever enough to compensate for any potential biases on the fly, when the lesson she should be taking away is that she should be as rigorous as possible because that is exactly the kind of thinking that leads to error. Nobody is immune to cognitive biases, it’s really the height of arrogance to think that you are.
    What kind of fool thinks it’s okay to throw away results because she “knew it was wrong” at the time she was doing the trial? What if she’d turned out to be correct, do you think she would have still thrown away the results because it felt wrong?

  7. #7 by Aaron on January 30, 2013 - 07:12

    I really like the concept of your show, and I enjoyed the podcast. One thing I noticed that she seems to have in common with the many pseudo-scientific people I have witnessed over the years is that she seemed honestly caught off guard by the most basic questions. Just my two bits. Looking forward to the next episode!

  8. #8 by Qayin on February 2, 2013 - 23:04

    As I thought, it is like good old RI podcast interview section.
    Well done as always guys.
    Waiting for more.
    I just wonder if you find more people like Anita. If not the podcast schedule will be similar to inkredulous ;-)

  9. #9 by Wok from Canberrra on February 3, 2013 - 00:32

    Hi guys,

    Firstly kudos on the podcast. I totally agree with the supportive comments above. It’s a great format and I really hope you continue.

    Further to the Shermer/Hep C claim, would not an interesting follow up to that be “was it true”? Either he has it or he doesn’t. And if he does, was this publically known prior to her meeting him?

    Just a thought.

    Love your work

    W

  10. #10 by Brandon on February 11, 2013 - 02:24

    Hi guys. I’d love to be on your show.

    If I run really fast and imagine that I’m flying, sometimes feels like I’m actually flying (kind of).
    But with a B.S. in computer science I can verify that I’m flying on command.
    No, I’ve not actually proven it in any way against any resemblance of a control (including to myself). But I think that’s just because my legs get too tired to go into, what I like to call, experiential quantum overdrive. You’ve got to understand, all that eyeball / camera / laser / sonar / gps / whatever-else-is- used-to-verify-I’m-actually-flying energy counteracts with my sensory-projection and adds just enough friction to keep me grounded.

    I’m not biased, btw.

    -Boy who can fly on command, it just hasn’t been verified yet.

    P.S. I’m scientific because I used the word ‘quantum’. Not that science even matters; it doesn’t know how I feel.

  11. #11 by Brandon on February 11, 2013 - 02:29

    Brandon :
    show.
    If I run really fast and imagine that I’m flying, sometimes feels like I’m actually flying (kind of).

    Sometimes ‘it’ feels like I’m actually flying. (The ‘it’ is included in my original message, you probably just can’t see it, because physics.)

  12. #12 by David on February 22, 2013 - 19:44

    Was anyone else thinking about Little Fluffy Clouds by Orbital all the way through the interview.

    I cannot wait to hear the flat earth one.

    Keep up the good work.

  13. #13 by Olov L on February 28, 2013 - 17:57

    I personally think she should move on to discussing her alleged abilities with psychologists and neurobiologists. There might be a really fascinating phenomenon behind this, though it probably takes place in her brain rather in the bodies of her “test subjects”.

  14. #14 by Bipolar bear on March 4, 2013 - 21:56

    So her method is to spot the ailment but not mention it to the patient “because it might be unethical if she’s mistaken” Then when the patient reveals the diagnosis she says “yes, that’s what I thought it was”. She needs to accept that she has sufficiently demonstrated that she can’t do what she claims! All this “I’m not going to count that result because I was tired”. I’m also pretty sure that virus are too small to have colour

  15. #15 by Fredrika on March 15, 2013 - 13:11

    I can not find the right name for it now but you know some people feel that mondays are blue or that words have tastes. I think she has a variation of this.

  16. #16 by Jack Lewis on March 18, 2013 - 02:40

    Sorry guys and gals, I love listening to Sketpics with a K, Inkredulous and the old now defunct righteous indignation but seriously this one … I just don’t get it.

    What’s the point of talking to a deranged and thoroughly debunked person like her and give her any kind of respect when she is clearly out of her fucking mind. It is sheer torture to listen to both of you be all nice and polite to this creature with no morals or scruples. I don’t see what you are trying to accomplish by throwing a few respectful softball questions at a lunatic. Seriously, what is this all about?

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