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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Dec > Dec 10

Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 12:02:35 -0500
Archived: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 06:59:52 -0500
Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>From: Jerome Clar"<jkclark.nul>
>Date: Fri, 9 Dec 2011 08:59:40 -0600
>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>From: William Treurniet<wtreurniet.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Thu, 08 Dec 2011 17:44:08 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>>From: Jerome Clark<jkclark.nul>
>>>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 10:13:06 -0600
>>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>>>From: Steven Kaeser<steve.nul>
>>>>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 10:14:14 -0500
>>>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>>>>From: Gerald O'Connell<goc.nul>
>>>>>Date: Thu, 8 Dec 2011 11:35:55 -0000
>>>>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List


>>>Expressed this way - and I'm sure it's not your meaning, Steve -
>>>this comes across as intellectual relativism. In fact, there
>>>_are_ quacks in this field, and I think a great many are
>>>recognizable as soon as they open mouths or attack keyboards.

>>Usually it's the proponents of the norm in any field who decide
>>how facts should be interpreted. But the same set of facts can
>>often be interpreted in different ways, depending on the
>>implicit or explicit assumptions that are held. So when someone
>>is labeled a quack, it may be because of a mismatch in the
>>underlying assumptions rather than a fault in that person's

>This is precisely the kind of thinking that has always hobbled
>ufology and anomalistics: the notion that, really, one person's
>opinion is as good as another's and all views, however seemingly
>far-fetched and logic-deficient, merit an equal hearing. Are we
>then to believe there are no quacks, only differing opinions and
>assumptions? If so, then no progress is possible, and our
>enterprise will die of its own fatuousness.

So it's progress only when opinions and assumptions correspond to
your own? Anything else is the opinion of a quack. Do you know
how that sounds?


>>The point is that labeling someone a quack as soon as they open
>>mouths or attack keyboards may be a little premature - maybe
>>even lazy.

>When you have matched my publication and research record in this
>field, _then_ we can decide who's "lazy" here.

Your publication record is not questioned here. It was your
professed ability to jump to conclusions based on little evidence.

>It is true, of course, that not all quacks are instantly
>recognizable. The quackery of a few becomes apparent only over
>time. (An excellent discussion of crankery in anomalistics -
>actually the most thorough and perceptive I've ever read - can
>be found in Henry H. Bauer's 1984 book Beyond Velikovsky: The
>History of a Public Controversy.) But many fall into instantly
>recognizable, and drearily unoriginal, ways of thinking which
>any sophisticated and knowledgeable observer of this field will
>have no trouble spotting. That observer will also be spared the
>folly of apologetics.

>>It would be more honest to take some time first to
>>understand the context of what that person is trying to
>>communicate. Then one could disagree either with the assumptions
>>or with the logic or both.

>I suspect I have read a whole lot more of ufology's crank
>literature than you have. I have a fairly keen grasp not only of
>its content but of its history in pre-ufology occult traditions.
>My last book (Hidden Realms, Lost Civilizations, and Beings from
>Other Worlds) explored some of it in detail. I also have written
>about it at length in my encyclopedia and elsewhere. I have
>spent, I am certain, a whole lot more time with it than you
>have. So please spare me the lectures.

Again, I appreciate your publication record, and do not question
most of the opinions you have expressed now and then. But it
does not spare you from potential rigidity in you thinking. In
fact, it might even predispose you to it. And I do not mean to
lecture, so how then should I disagree with you? Would a joke or
two help?

Unlike you, I like much of the chaos that the internet
encourages. After all this time, it seems the solution to the
UFO mystery is in dire need of novel ideas. Even if the ideas
are half-baked or silly, they add to the conversation and may
contribute to a better understanding of what's going on. I
accept the responsibility to separate the signal from the noise.
But what is signal for me may be noise for someone else, and
vice versa.


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