Tuesday, March 31, 2020

ZenerCards

Here's a little 'stupid pet trick' to help keep you occupied during the COVID-19 quarantine.

ZenerCards

From Wikipedia:

"Zener cards are cards used to conduct experiments for extrasensory perception (ESP) or clairvoyance. Perceptual psychologist Karl Zener (1903–1964) designed the cards in the early 1930s for experiments conducted with his colleague, parapsychologist J. B. Rhine (1895–1980).[1][2] The original series of experiments have been discredited and replication has proved elusive."
The original experiments were rightly discredited for a number of reasons. For instance, the deck had only 25 cards. As you move through the deck, it becomes more and more easy to predict what's left. Also, a physical deck exhibits wear and tear, eventually making it possible to determine which cards are which by touch alone. Finally, it's possible to 'read' the body language of an associate giving the test.

This program addresses most of these concerns. The cards are randomly chosen as if from an infinite deck. Shuffling is not a concern, and the psuedo-random number generator of a computer is truly unpredictable. There are no physical cards to read. The only thing left is the body-language of a tester administering the telepathy test, and that can be done by putting a barrier of some sort between the tester and the subject.

ZenerCards performs three kinds of test:

  1. Predictive. You select a card (via single-click) and the program then selects a card. They're then compared.
  2. Clairvoyance. The computer first selects a card, then you select one, trying to match what the computer's already. They're then compared.
  3. Telepathy. This requires two people. The computer selects a card and shows it to the tester. The subject (who is positioned as not to see the computer screen) then tries to read the mind of the tester. He announces his choice and the tester records the answer.

This program doesn't log results or anything of the kind. If anything, casual experimentation with the program will reveal that such features would be overkill. Scientists typically categorize these abilities as "pathological science", as there has been no solid evidence of their existence. But who knows? You might be the first. Try it.

It should look OK on your computer, but you can make it look better by installing the following fonts:

  • Arial
  • Santa's Sleigh Full
  • URW Chancery L

Here's how it looks in Linux with the suggested fonts.



DOWNLOAD

For now you can just grab it from my Dropbox.
There is no setup. It's only a single executable file.

LINUX: 
ZenerCards_linux_bin_1-0-3.tar.gz

WINDOWS (64-bit): 
ZenerCards_win64_bin_1-0-3.zip

SOURCE CODE:
ZenerCards_source_all_platforms.zip


Of course, this is free software licensed under the GNU General Public License.

Enjoy!


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