The Play is ‘The Thing’

I’m a Fortean rather than a Skeptic. I’m a sceptic rather than a believer and I’m, above (or below) all an epistemologist.

It is with some trepidation that I read the JREF ‘Swift’ blog; it presents a rather tiresome view of American skeptics as boring, curmudgeonly old men who do not understand the world. I thought this entry took the biscuit, but the latest missive from my (former) masters at the JREF really is something else1

(Just to clarify, the title of this post is only vaguely related to the post itself.)

Notes

  1. By something else I mean ‘Appeals to the terrible moral high-horse Skeptics often try to sit on, not knowing that’s really an Ass.’

About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.

2 comments:

  1. I don’t understand what bothers you about these two items. The first strikes me as a typical misunderstanding of how ‘targeted advertising’ works on the internet, common to many otherwise intelligent and well-educated people. The second is about a play in which the Thorp clearly admires the skill that went into making the play – but is upset that it repeats the tiring kook message of the 9/11 ‘truthers’. (However – given the whole ‘moon rock from the … invisible moon upon which the Apollo astronauts actually landed’ , I can’t help but wonder if the play was a parody of a too subtle nature.) (Note: it’s been a few years since I read Swift regularly.)

  2. Well, the first piece really shouldn’t have been newsworthy (as the commentators to that post pointed out). The second… Well, it’s the “I can only see one interpretation to this play’s ending” comment that goosed my gander. Frankly, given the description of the play the fact that a character goes missing seems to play into the ‘The characters in the play are paranoid’ rather than supporting the notion that there is anything to the ‘Inside Job’ hypothesis in re 9/11.

    Maybe I read too much SWIFT but the whole ‘I can’t believe stupid people exist’ mentality it espouses worries me, especially when the reviewer of the play goes ‘What if those stupid people see the play and get convinced by it?’ To me it screams of “The hoi polloi can’t be trusted to know that it’s just a play.”

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