Comfortable Paradigm

Sometimes I misread things. I’ve heard more EVP than most, but I still manage to draw the wrong conclusions way too frequently for comfort. Occasionally, the most outstanding learning opportunity is staring right at me, but I just don’t see it. That’s how it is with my recordings around small children. I have been so busy trying to figure the identity of the EVP voice, or trying to discover great significance with every comment, that I totally missed a fascinating trend.
 
Since I’ve finally wised-up, it looms rather monumental to me, and even though I’m a little ashamed to admit my dereliction of duty, I have to share with you. When I have recorded around children, while spending most of my time observing, there are a lot of EVP recorded. They are engaged with the child, speak to him directly, or discuss his activities. They even seem to be looking out for his welfare – a comforting thought, actually. 
 
However, when I spend time playing or interacting with the child instead of merely watching, there are noticeably less EVP. Additionally, the nature of the voices change from protective, playful, and intensely interested to uninvolved and typical. To put it another way, the voices seem to reflect a guardian attitude when I am not devoting my complete attention to the child. As I become more actively involved, the spirit comments have reverted to familiar and more ordinary response patterns. It’s almost as if they no longer feel responsible within the situation; they don’t feel obligated to pick up my slack.
 
Of course, as of now, this is conjecture on my part, but it has been consistent over a substantial number of sessions, so I realize specific tests now need to be done. I also understand that this conclusion is based on some pretty flimsy circumstances, and there’s not nearly enough data to support it, but it kinda makes sense – it fits with what we know about human nature. Still, it seems surprising to me, and at the same time, I wonder why it took so long to notice the trend. 
 
There are two lessons for me to learn here, the first of which is obvious, but the second stands as a bonus. Simply put, I need to focus a little more on the bigger picture. We spend so much time proceeding with our preconceived notions and comfortable paradigms that we sometimes miss large chunks of the puzzle. It’s amazing what we can learn from children.
 
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Also visit The Voices Blog at http://thevoicesblog.wordpress.com

 

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Colossal Dork

Last entry I discussed the values of employing a naming convention for EVP clips, and here I am, back again, to add to the confusion. What a colossal dork, right? Not only do I think your EVP clips should be organized, instantly recognizable, and consistently named, I think this nerdfest needs to prevail over the entire disorganized mess you’re loosely referring to as your “evidence.”

From my limited observation, paranormal investigators love to brag about how neat and orderly their stuff is. Hmmm. If that’s accurate, why is it frequently so difficult to find anything? I’m not talking about the equipment cases – those are almost always staunch representatives of a well-oiled machine ready to pounce at a moment’s notice. I’m talking about your results. Can you find investigator Joe’s personal video masters for around 2:15 am from three years ago? You know, where you claim to have captured that free floating mist on the stairs. So, find the original and let’s make absolutely certain we’re seeing it right. Three years later? Of course. Can you put your hands on it – like now?

That never happens, right? Not three years later. Well, it will. How quickly and easily can you find the footage? And while we’re at it, hopefully no one will question that super cool EVP; hopefully you won’t have to compare Bonnie’s audio with Bill and Ted’s. Hopefully, your excellent adventure in search of the authentication won’t cost you half a day digging through 12 years of poorly labeled DVDs. Fingers crossed…

This isn’t like back issues of Superman Comics – it’s proof of the afterlife – the hereafter. Eternity! Have some respect! And every last piece of evidence contributes to the universal collective understanding. Dude, it’s not just Jason and Tango who get to prove that eternity exits. Plus, your EVP are frequently better than their’s – you just have to be able to prove it. There are thousands of us on the case, you know – not just Zak and the boys. And in my book, our evidence is more valuable because we help people directly and don’t have to answer to ratings.

So shape up. Get organized. Show some pride in yourself and your very valuable work. We are the keepers of an awesome thing – paranormal validation. Being organized isn’t so tough – you can figure out how to do it, and then you too can be a colossal dork. It’s easy, and I guarantee you’ll feel better for it.

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Also visit The Voices Blog at http://thevoicesblog.wordpress.com

It’s All in the Name

In the overly-organized place that is my world, everything has a place and everything is properly labeled. That includes EVP. There have been occasions where I’ve been equally mystified and horrified by the way others store and label their EVP. I swear, if I were king of the world, my first royal action would be to insist that a proper EVP naming convention be immediately installed. So, you’re in luck – I’m not king of the world, but I am going to tell you how my EVP are tagged.

Primarily, I like to look at the file name and be able to instantly know everything about the clip without having to guess or listen. With a single glance at the name, I am immediately aware of the following things: EVP classification, date of capture, what recording device was used, investigation location, name of original file, where the clip can be found on the original file, what time the EVP occurred (optional), and what the EVP is alleged to be saying. Sound like a lot? It is, but with the help of abbreviations, it’s definitely doable. Here’s a sample name:

Including time: A-031713L-03SFH1134-0314am-get out.wav
Or without including time: A-031713L-03SFH1134-get out.wav

Okay, I know it’s long, but all that valuable information is right in the name. You may choose not to save the actual time, but everything else is pretty standard. Lets break it down using the first name above. The letter “A” tells me that this is an A-class voice – it could also be a B, C, or D. The numbers that follow the first dash are the date. In this example, the date is March 17, 2013. The “L” that follows is the letter code I selected to represent my Olympus LS7 recorder. After the second dash, the “03” indicates the clip came from the third master file recorded on the investigation. The “SFH” is a three-letter location description. In this case, it stands for the Smith Family Home, and the following numbers “1134” tell me that the clip was taken 11 minutes and 34 seconds into the original file. Next comes the actual time of day – that’s pretty obvious, as is what follows – the alleged words spoken by the voice on the clip.

After a while, it becomes second nature, and you’ll be able to find everything there is to know about an EVP clip just by reading its name. Of course, you may not like the way I do it – that’s okay, create your own system; something that makes sense to you. But keep in mind that the whole point is to be able to visually spot any audio file without having to hear it. I like being able to store all this info right in the name – saves me paperwork and time, and it allows me to sort and filter them as well. Most of all, my confusion is minimized and I am confident that all is organized and right with the world. Best of all, it works.