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Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul>
Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 22:35:13 -0500
Archived: Sun, 11 Dec 2011 07:09:23 -0500
Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>From: Jerome Clark<jkclark.nul>
>Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2011 09:10:47 -0600
>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List

>>From: William Treurniet<wtreurniet.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Fri, 09 Dec 2011 12:02:35 -0500
>>Subject: Re: Essential Read From Current Encounters List


>If you had read my actual words, you would know that I
>specifically stated my criticisms _are not about_ particular
>conclusions (on which reasonable persons will continue to
>differ) about the nature of the phenomenon, but about the
>intellectual grounding that ought to guide our thinking and
>analysis. Is this controversial to you?

No , not if the intellectual grounding is not limited to a
particular kind. Different intellectual groundings would be
expected to give different perspectives on the problem. For
example, the thinking and analysis offered by a folklorist would
likely be different from those offered by a physicist.


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

>Does this even merit a response? This is less an accusation than
>a clumsy rhetorical maneuver from someone who apparently has no
>idea of what's actually in my publication record.

What started our talking past each other was your comment that
"I think a great many [quacks] are recognizable as soon as they
open mouths or attack keyboards." So, no, it's not a clumsy
rhetorical maneuver.


>As one who has offered up novel ideas (beginning with those
>proposed in my first book, published in 1975) sufficient to have
>influenced the history of UFO theory, I can only assume you
>intended to address these remarks to somebody else named Jerome
>Clark. Either that, or I can only infer you are unfamiliar with
>the theoretical framework - a novel one, I suppose I am forced
>to add - to which I came in my later adult life, expressed in
>writings that have subsequently affected discussion of the
>nature of extraordinary experiences. I sought to resolve some of
>the issues that have led to centuries of stalemate about what's
>often called the "supernatural," including some kinds of
>ostensible UFO encounters.

>>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.

>In short, as I complained at the outset, to some it's no problem
>that one UFO buff's opinion should be received as if it
>effectually is as good as another's. The reason, in other words,
>that ufology will continue to stand paralyzed as it awaits its
>inevitable demise on the far fringes.

As I said before, we need to filter the signal from the noise,
and one person's noise may be another person's signal. So I hope
you are not implying that I said that one UFO buff's opinion is
as good as another's. I agree that a mere unjustified opinion
should generally be treated as noise, although it may still be
useful if it triggers an avenue of investigation.

Your presentation to the SSE, available online, is an example of
what I would call a signal in the noise. You proposed the
concept of experience anomalies as a different way of thinking
about anomalous events. As I understand it, the experience of an
anomalous event is real and exists in its own right. Also, while
the event is real during the experience, it may not exist by
itself in the real world.

Although this theoretical framework raises many questions, it
gives a perspective that someone else can use to attempt to
devise a more complete cosmology. That person may have a very
different set of knowledge and skills than you, in which case,
you may find the resulting cosmology to be incomprehensible.
Perhaps your comment that started this exchange was more extreme
than you intended, but it suggests that you might be tempted to
label that person a quack.


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