From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> Date: Wed, 9 Mar 2011 09:40:02 -0600 Archived: Thu, 10 Mar 2011 08:46:27 -0500 Subject: Re: The Assassination Of Hopkins & Cortile >From: Kathy Kasten <catraja.nul> >To: <post.nul> >Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 21:03:43 +0000 >Subject: Re: The Assassination Of Hopkins & Cortile >>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul> >>To: <post.nul> >>Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 13:16:57 -0600 >>Subject: Re: The Assassination Of Hopkins & Cortile >>>From: SMiles Lewis <elfis.nul> >>>To: post.nul >>>Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011 10:37:41 -0800 (PST) >>>Subject: Re: The Assassination Of Hopkins & Cortile >>One of the cited critics, incidentally, tried to have me >>arrested for something or other. (No officer of the law showed >>up at my door.) I guess that's one way to "improve" the field: >>have ufologists with whom we disagree locked behind bars. Can >>we look forward to more of that? >>I guess that in 2011 this is what ufology has come to. No wonder >>we're getting nowhere. How truly, truly sad. >Good grief, ufology can't have it both ways. >What I mean is that if the field wants to be taken seriously >challenges to standing theories will be made. Then, the recourse >is to refute the challenges. That is the 'scientific way'. I >understand most UFO researchers see their research as a 'new >baby' needing to be protected from the perceived threats of the >real world. As informed Listfolk are aware, I have a long history of advocacy of debate and internal criticism. I've practiced it, too. I've even eliminated some reports, including what was once a major one, from ufology's data base after I've determined them to be invalid, and I've written critical deconstructions of theories and approaches I judge flawed (see, for the most recent example, the latest issue of IUR, where I critique the ideas of an especially prominent, influential figure in the field). You would know that if you knew anything about me. For all its faults, moreover, ufology has a rich tradition of internal criticism. Ufologists don't walk in lock step, nor should they. Unfortunately, on occasion - we are witnessing such a lamentable diversion now - debates devolve into, or at times commence with, witch hunts which depend less on the airing of issues than on the demonizing of particular individuals. (Sometimes it's the demonizing of an entire field. See, for example, the weirdly excessive, hate-laced rhetoric of "psychosocial" theoretician/UFOphobe Peter Rogerson quoted in Nigel Watson's recent post.) In my long history in this field, I have observed a range of human behavior, sometimes admirable, often foolish, just as frequently merely plodding and unimaginative. Of course, the same could be said of _all_ human behavior, and though its critics would like to believe otherwise, nothing distinguishes ufologists from human beings. In the 50 years I've interacted with ufologists, the number of ostensible colleagues I would count as genuinely bad people (as opposed to, say, genuinely irritating, misguided, incompetent, ill-informed, or unintelligent people) is one I could count in no more than single digits. The conflict that erupted nearly 20 years ago, at heart a witch hunt, operated as first principle on the presumption of corrupt hearts and conscious venality. (To put it simply; there's much else I could go into about the background, but will not. This long-sleeping dog ought to be let lie.) In my understanding of the way it works, scientists debate issues, not personalities. Error is something we encounter every day of our lives. We often practice it ourselves. Error does make us evil, any more than the holding of one unfounded belief necessarily makes us crackpots. In the specific instance you're learning about for the first time now but others of us have lived with for nearly two decades, I had no choice but to be suspicious of the critics' broader charges. To start with, I knew the ones directed at me were false, based (I could only infer) in a failed attempt at mind-reading. Those charges were deeply personal, and so over the top that one of the critics tried to have me arrested. If I were to cite an instance of how not to conduct oneself while attempting to construct a counter-narrative to an alleged UFO case, this would be it. The scientific way? I think not. I _hope_ not. >A very cute and cuddly stance to take. But, isn't it time for >the baby to learn to walk? And it's time for debates to conform to the scientific way (no scare quotes), not to the way of the Inquisition. Kathy, I have no doubt that you mean well, which is to say I have no reason whatever to demonize you as a corrupt, malicious individual. On the other hand, in your many posts on UpDates, I see no evidence, I'm sad to say, that you know a whole lot about this complex field: its history, its body of evidence, its controversies, its approaches, its literature, its personalities. Still, God knows you have no shortage of opinions about just about everything that manages to find its way to this List. I feel no need to pay a whole lot of attention to them not because I think you're a bad person; it's just that often you don't seem to know what you're talking about even while, inexplicably to me, you betray every evidence of being impressed with your own iconoclastic genius. If you really are concerned with the scientific way - the kind without scare quotes - in a more than rhetorical sense, I would strongly encourage you to educate yourself and, armed with a broader range of knowledge, to think harder before putting half- baked assertions, accusations, and speculations out there with such dizzying abandon. There are individuals on this List with whom I have profound differences, but they come by their views from knowledge, experience, and long reflection. To call upon the hoariest of clich=E9s, they've paid their dues. Yours looks, on the other hand, more like a free ride. Jerry Clark BTW - To anticipate the inevitable: _of course_ your right to post here whenever you wish to do so is not the issue. It's the content of those postings. And if you want to dish it out - and you do at every opportunity - you're going to have to take it in return. That, after all, is the scientific way. Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |
UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp