"There's an old saying; just because you're paranoid, that doesn't mean they're not out to get you. I have my own variation: just because you're insane that doesn't mean that things aren't slipping in unnoticed through dimensional gateways..." ~ Christopher Knowles (h/t to The Daily Grail for quote.)
Sunday, December 28, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
The uber-skeptic curmudgeons are discussing Santa. I don't do Christmas as Christmas, being as how I'm not a Christian. But the lights, the spirit of the season, goes back pre-Christianity anyway, so I'm good. As far as Santa goes, he's not Christian either. Telling kids about Santa isn't going to warp their little pre-skeptibunny minds.
There's one skeptic over there who posts that he told his daughter, when she was two, --- when she was two! -- there was no Santa. Christ, I'm Jewish for crying out loud and wouldn't do that! Someone else says it's "lying" and why lie to your kids? Oy. And so on.
Some of the posters are teachers, which is a bit scary. I've worked with students in many different capacities, for over twenty years. It's interesting as hell to listen to kids talk amongst themselves about Santa, Christmas, God, Jesus, ghosts, . . . when they ask me if it's true, I redirect them. I stay neutral. I don't inject my opinions and beliefs onto them. (7th and 8th graders, depending on the context, sometimes.) I
To be fair not all the skeptoids agree with this view; point is, someone just had to get up a thread about it. It's like it's genetic or something.
Raising your kids to be an uber-consumer like many Americans; bad. Ignoring those in need, now or at any time of the year, bad. Santa and elves and colored lights? Small gifts given in the spirit of love? Not bad at all.
I "believed" in Santa (mixed household) and I don't remember when I realized he wasn't real. It didn't make me mistrust adults or throw me into an existential abyss of gloom.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Dean Radin, on his blog Entangled Minds, writes about a negative article in the L.A. Times about "intentional chocolate" a study Radin was involved with. In that study, Radin found that chocolate that was positively focused on by "experienced meditators" had a beneficial effect. Among other things, Radin asks why it is that some are so intent on disbelieving, even when data doesn't support the disbelieve? Instead of looking at the data, the Times writer does what many an uber-skeptoid does; simply trivialize such data and the people doing the studies as unimportant. And if they can't believe such a thing is possible because it can't be figured out how, and why, it doesn't exist. Even though it does. (for example, psychic or precognitive events: you can't see what hasn't happened yet is the assumption, so therefore you're: lying, fooled yourself, cherry picking, a victim of confirmation bias, and so on.)
Friday, December 19, 2008
Instead of getting narcotics for pain relief, wounded soldiers are being stuck in the ear with little needles.
So it's better to put narcotics in your system, rather than use something that isn't a drug? This is rational? I ask you. Oy. Even if acupuncture is nothing more than the "placebo effect" (which it isn't but I'm not going there) so what?
Monday, December 15, 2008
By the way, just what is "Bigfootery" anyway? Is that like UFOlogy?
Beware the Bigfooters, for they are ignorant, and will lead you into their cults when you least expect it.
The JREFers are at it again, pondering the thing they don't believe exists -- Bigfoot. This is something like Bigfoot thread number forty. On this thread: Bigfootery -- Is It Totally Harmless? they're seriously discussing the harm "belief" in bigfoot can cause. Aside from equating Bigfoot research with the often questionable psychic Sylvia Browne, which is supernatural in itself, the skeptoids put forth their arguments on why thinking Bigfoot could exist, does exist, and worse, actually doing research and going out in the woods looking for the creature, is nuts. More importantly, it's harmful. Yes, Bigfoot researchers are harming humanity by willfully continuing to "believe in" Bigfoot, talk about their experiences, study and research.
While Bigfoot research, or even a "belief" in Bigfoot (one can't "believe" in Bigfoot; you don't see anyone praying to a giant chainsaw sculpture of a Sasquatch, do you?) might seem harmless, it's not. Because before you know it, the same people that, er, "believe" in Bigfoot will succumb to creationism and book burning and psychic scams and a whole long list of worrisome woo.
For example, one member on the JREF calling himself (or herself)EeneyMinnieMoe, explains this fear for humanity if Bigfoot belief continues:
Even if no one is hurt by it in and of itself, the wide-spread existence of these beliefs help foster an atmosphere of ignorance, unquestioning acceptance and credulity. Lack of questioning and scrutiny is never good, even if it's about something as silly as a creature in the woods or in the lake. This goes for an individual- who believes in something wacky but mostly benign but might and often will gravitate towards more harmful beliefs- as well as for society as a whole.
Today, it might be about a big monkey. Tomorrow, it will about something much more serious.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
UFOs are everything! From ancient times they wail and sing. Through the years they've shown themselves, we've pictures, film we've stacked on shelves. Anecdotes abound in waves, from Presidents without disgrace, to airline captains coming clean — these craft are NOT a specious dream!
Indeed! Alfred does it again; I really liked this one. For more visit the UFO Magazine blog, The Green Room, and read the rest of Alfred's post.
It's astounding, simply astounding, that there are still those who deny the fact of UFOs. Worse, are the ones who acknowledge the reality of UFOs, but play disingenuous head games around the fact. Those pathological skeptics who shrug and say "UFOs, lights in the sky, so what?" or yawn after hearing a witness relate an incredible sighting, mumbling something about classified military craft. . .
One reason otherwise sane, reasonable, intelligent believe Bigfoot exists is because they've seen one. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, little mister. You can read more at my Bigfoot blog Frame 352: I Know It's Pointless, But . . .
Friday, December 12, 2008
Here's a bit from the article; in discussing skeptoid Phil Plait's attacks on UFOs, Friedman, and Chris Rutkowski:
Chris also points out that contrary to Phil's view - and that of most 'skeptics' - ufology is not made up simply of "true believers" who think UFOs are extraterrestrial spaceships:
First of all, no serious ufologist believes that the majority of reported UFOs are flying saucers. Neither Stan nor I nor anyone else involved in serious research has ever held that contention. In fact, we provide evidence to show that most reported UFOs are either misidentifications or have insufficient evidence for a conclusion. It's nice to see that Phil has arrived at the same view as we have, only 40 or 50 years behind.
It's a good point from Chris - the 'skeptics' have their straw man and they are happy to bash it good without looking at the entire topic in a scientific manner. Why not blog instead about this year's Channel Islands UFO investigation? It's too often about shooting fish in a pond for the skeptics - identify some whackos, generalise to the whole field, and write it off without letting science do its thing. Good for stroking your intellectual ego, not so great for investigating a topic objectively...
I've commented here and elsewhere that it's an intentionally dishonest meme the skeptics persist on repeating: that, to paraphrase, "everyone knows when talking about UFOs people really mean little green men from outer space." They know damn well that's not true, but push on anyway.
For entire article read the Skeptologists Attack Ufologists at The Daily Grail site.
McMinnville, UFO Fest and gossip
Sunday, December 7, 2008
The "scientist," Dr. Greg Boebinger, who was so deeply offended at the musuem's Roswell exhibit has all kinds of ideas about UFOs and various UFO events, but wasn't aware of MUFON's detailed research and findings about the Stephenville Lights. When informed of such by Billy de Void, Boebinger cut him off:
“I’m really not interested in getting into debates over specifics like these. I’m a busy man,” he says, “and I don’t have time to figure out whether one palm reader is better than another. I don’t see it as my job to debunk every single claim.”
I know, astounding, isn't it? But not surprising.
Saturday, December 6, 2008
I've been a fan of the CBS program NUMB3RS since the beginning. It's one of my favorite programs. I enjoy the crime/detective action, combined with the family and personal relationships, and, the math. I'm math phobic myself, and yet I love watching the characters explain theories and try to solve crimes using esoteric (well, to me anyway) math type stuff. It often verges on the mystical, and indeed, one of the characters -- a math genius professor/mentor played by Peter MacNicol in the role of Dr. Larry Fleinhardt-- is pretty mystical himself. One season had him going off to a monastery for awhile, and he's always grappling with musings about our purpose in the Universe that no doubt annoy uber-skeptics.
But last night's episode really disappointed me. While this season the character of Don Epps has been wrestling with spiritual matters, making visits to his rabbi, etc. they seem to not want to go too far off the deep end. Having a tension between Epps and his lover on his religious search is fine, though typically hackneyed. Having the kind of program they had on last night was mega-hackneyed,lazy and cheap.
One of the characters was a computer conspiracy geek. The character was over the top, a cartoon character that was overweight,wore glasses,dressed like a slob, and a conspiracy buff so off the wall bordering on mentally challenged it was laughable. Every word out of his mouth had something to do with some kind of conspiracy, from 9/11 to Roswell to JFK to. . .you name it. It's as if the writers were short handed or out of inspiration and did an all nighter on the internet looking for conspiracy sites, blended them all together in one big silly scenario, and there was their script.
A nod to more tension and giving voice to differing views; one of the FBI agents was well informed about the JFK assassination, believing it to have been the work of many, the other agent, also well informed, vehemently disagreed. For every point the first agent made, the other disputed. I suppose that was their way of balancing things.
In another scene, Epps' girlfriend comments that she might have "pissed him off" with her mocking attitude about his spiritual search. Then she quotes something about not being "afraid of God." Who said Epps was "afraid" of God -- that's more a goy thing anyway. Sheesh. Her way of making it up to him is to later buy two tickets to a lecture at the Temple between a lawyer/skeptic and a rabbi.
The main thing that irritated me about last night's program was the lazy, cheap caricature of the conspiracy geek. NUMB3RS can do better. Even their nod to UFOs a few seasons ago didn't tick me off so much. (In that episode, someone mentions the UFO that was seen in the L.A. area -- Epps replies with "We don't know what a UFO looks like, so how do we know it's a UFO" or something to that effect.)