Weâ€™ve all heard the stories. Rumours about government sanctioned attacks on its own people. Hidden military bases in Nevada. Terrorist training camps in the Ureweras. Sometimes these rumours are borne out, sometimes they become conspiracy theories. Drawing on recent work by CAJ Coady and David Coady I will develop a theory which foregrounds the distinction between the activity of Rumourmongering and the propositions (or collections of them) which qualify as Rumours. Whilst Rumourmongering seems to present a pathology of the testimonial process Rumours themselves can be examples of reliable testimony. Yet Conspiracy Theories, which arguably share many characteristics with Rumours, are not usually treated as being reliable. I will argue that this is because Conspiracy Theories exist in contrast to Official Theories and that Official Theories are more reliable, thus justifying our suspicion of Conspiracy Theories but leaving the reliability of Rumours alone.
Monthly Archives: October 2007
This has been sitting in my unfinished posts ‘drawer’ for a while now and is no longer current, especially since the author in question is about to not set the world alight with a book that resurrects the old chestnut that you can find the presence of god in just about anything if you look myopically enough. So, to bolster the post count and to make the thing go away, I present ‘Zombie Post #1.’
Ian Wishart is making mountains out of molehills out of legitimate criticisms from the people who run Richard Dawkin’s website (registration unfortunately required); perhaps Wishart should read ‘Historic Doubts Relative to Napoleon Bonaparte’ before he gets himself too ensnared in smugness.
There is a scene in ‘The Critic’ where Jay Sherman reads out an essay on the nature of American film-making on ‘English for Taxidrivers’ because it guarantees him a larger audience than he would get through traditional channels. In a like manner I’m going to direct you to this article here. If you have (recently) been made to think that the court case in the UK showed that Al Gore’s documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ contained factual errors then you probably need to read it, because you have been misinformed (the article also contains a list of other misinformed people; you can probably join a club or something). If you are true of spirit and mind (or some other such guff) then reading it will make you happier nonetheless.