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Using the Scientific Method to Study the Paranormal
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
About the Author
Martin Kirk Ettington is an Engineer by training and has had multiple careers. These include technical sales for GE and HP. Owning his own software and consulting business. Doing software development as a developer and manager. He also provides IT Project Management expertise to Fortune 500 companies and large Defense Contractors. Martin's interest in the Paranormal and Occult goes back to his childhood. He has had many paranormal experiences and has been a student of Eastern Philosophies and Meditation for 35 years. Seeking Enlightenment; he knows that we are already all Enlightened. We just have to realize this deeply. His books are expressions of his creativity to help others understand what he has internalized through study, experience, and membership in different societies. Not many technical persons or scientists spend a lot of time in parallel studying the Metaphysical and have many spiritual or psychic experiences too. Therefore, Martin believes that he can provide a unique vantage point to integrate Western Scientific thinking with Eastern exploration of the mind and spirit. He also plans to write fiction books-probably with a teenager experiencing spiritual growth from an experienced perspective.
Top customer reviews
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If paranormal research is your subject area of interest and you are open minded enough to consider a book from someone on the Skeptic / Debunker side of the paranormal investigation line (the other side being the True Believer), you should consider getting Benjamin Radford's "Scientific Paranormal Investigation: How to Solve Unexplained Mysteries". The e-book version costs the same as this title being reviewed, and you will be getting something of value for your money.
I consider myself to be a Skeptical Believer, someone more or less riding the line between the debunkers and those who believe in any and all things. I am open to the possibilities, but really do seek evidence of a substantial nature, collected in an objective way. As such, I am open to books and ideas from both ends of the spectrum and those that also strive to "ride the line".
And so I was intrigued by the title of this book. I _wanted_ to like the book. I was willing to settle for merely finding a few interesting facts, observations, or ideas.
What I got when I received the Kindle edition of this book was, in fact, the worst e-book I have purchased so far. E-books like this are part of what is ruining the reputation of e-books as a viable alternative to printed books and further reinforcing the notion that most self-published books are dismal.
This book, "Using the Scientific Method to Study the Paranormal", by Martin K. Ettington, is not a self-publishing success story. It annoys me because I have read a couple of really decent self-published titles on the paranormal investigation subject in the last several weeks. I was so appalled by the poor quality of this book I was almost tempted to buy the paper version to see if it was as bad. Almost. I have seen some minor compromises in formatting with other Kindle and related e-book titles, but nothing this seriously bad. Either no one ever checked that the e-book conversion process for this book actually worked or they did check, but they just didn't care. I can actually forgive boring content as long as the book packaging is not misleading. But selling a book that is visually garbled to the edge of readability is unprofessional and unforgivable. That this is a second edition is simply mind-boggling.
Some of the technical problems:
- The table of contents is completed corrupted.
- The index is completely corrupted.
- One of the handful of marginally designed illustrations in the book is completely corrupted.
- Serious grammar gaffs and missing spaces between words can be found throughout.
- Nearly every page is poorly formatted, some seemingly random in their placement of text and white space. Pages go by with no consistent paragraph spacing and indentation. A plain ASCII text file, viewed in Notepad, would be more visually accessible.
As for the content itself, the book is a meandering exercise in personal exploration. The conclusion I came to about this book is that it started out as an essay that just got away from the author. Had he reined himself in to about twenty or so pages and stuck to his initial ideas, stayed away from unsubstantiated "facts", and then changed the title to match the content, this could have been a legitimate, perhaps even inspirational document, something of merit on the general subject of "the philosophy of reality in paranormal experiments". But by pretending to be more, this work became much less.
The opening line in the introduction reads as follows:
"A wise man once said that every person's life has enough interesting in it to fill at least one book."
This may be true, but it does not mean that every man can write an interesting book ... or that they should try, and then self-publish if no legitimate publisher will put their imprint on it. There are minor tidbits of potential inspiration to be found here and there, but they never meet their potential. And the conclusions are too off the cuff and disconnected from logic to be considered "scientific". Experiments that the author conducted or that his friends conducted are casually mentioned, but the methods for them are not explored and the results, if talked about at all, are not really explained. Substance is seriously lacking throughout.
The author's "Recommendations for Action" section, which is the sum total of the final chapter of this mercifully short work, begins with the truest statement of the entire book: "I've spent most of this book talking philosophy and generalities."
Yes, Martin, that you did.
and he didn't understand the theme of the book. There was nothing in his review on the actual theories the book
proposed on how to measure the paranormal using the scientific method. I've been actively trying to republish this
book to get rid of this awful travesty of a review. That is the problem with the modern day internet--it's hard
to get rid of any comment even when it's totally emotional and un objective.