From: Ted Viens <email@example.com> Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 11:56:36 -0800 Fwd Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 14:19:22 -0500 Subject: Re: that ol' Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis > Date: Thu, 13 Nov 1997 12:11:46 -0600 (CST) > To: UFO UpDates - Toronto <firstname.lastname@example.org> > From: Dennis <email@example.com> > Subject: Re: UFO UpDate: Re: that ol' Extra Terrestrial Hypothesi > >From: Greg Sandow <firstname.lastname@example.org> > >To: "'UFO UpDates - Toronto'" <email@example.com> > >Subject: RE: UFO UpDate: Re: that ol' Extra Terrestrial Hypothesis > >Date: Tue, 11 Nov 1997 17:01:07 -0500 > >OK, Dennis....I'm starting to understand. > <snip> > >I think that, here and elsewhere, you're suggesting that the ETH > >-- or overenthusiastic belief in it -- can somehow soften our > >brains, and compromise our objectivity. Believe the ETH too > >uncritically, and next thing you know, you can't tell whether > >Gerald Anderson is lying. > I think we would both agree that ufology suffers from a public > relations problem. We could spread the blame around, but a good > deal of it still rests at the feet of ufology itself, for its > active promotion, not just of ETH as a viable hypothesis, but as > a given which encompasses and "explains" a whole raft of > phenomenon (from crop circles to cattle mutilations, even > chupacabras) that may or may not have anything remotely to do > with UFOs. But that's the public perception of us, nonetheless. > XXXX > Is it possible, shortly before or after the Millennium, say, that > a belief that alien invasion is imminent could cause a global > stock market crash? Especially now that we have a medium (the > WWW) capable of spreading a virus around the world in a matter of > minutes? > XXXX > Ufology is something that can be regarded across a wide spectrum, > from a subject matter merely to be thought about, to a source of > behavior and cause of action. One reason why I personally take > such a conservative course is that I think it's prudent to err on > the side of caution. I don't want some crazed militia type > camping on my front door some day, or maybe ambushing me one day > because he's become convinced that I'm part of the cover-up > conspiracy. > XXXX > It's no wonder to me that most scientists don't want to be seen > even in the immediate vicinity of the tent, let alone caught > peeping under one of the flaps. > XXXX > I simply don't see the fringe going away. If anything, we're just > going to have to put up a bigger tent. And I'm not sure how much > I'd want to be inside when one of the main poles, say, Roswell, > broke. > Actually, I think the Roswell pole did break this summer, but the > repair crews were pretty quick. > Dennis > The "XXXX"'s are snips... Dennis has done a good job of expressing his frustration with wide aspects of this UFO fascination. Still, I think his frustrations are misdirected. He complains about the fringe elements, the psychosocial babble, the constant infighting. He portrays the damage this does to any intelligent study of UFO reality. He wishes that our attempt to find some reasonable explanations for the experiences of some people could be lessened of the baggage of those elements that bring ridicule to the subject. Unfortunately, I think his hopes and expectations are unreasonable and unrealizable. By its very nature, the study of UFOs is a broad and public subject. It is the study of personal experiences with little supporting physical evidence from a broad and worldwide spectrum of people. And it is a subject uniquely devoid of common or casual public academic and scientific study. We can contrast this with quantum physics which is primarily an opaque subject deeply studied by only small number of cognoscente in unseen and unaffordable labs. Yet any view through the unmoderated physics newsgroups, both rigorous and alternative, reveals the same level of fringe and eccentric elements burdened by the same level of bulky catfighting. If, in these messages, you were to replace the word quantum with UFO, they would appear eerily familiar although they would be empty of the circus of exobiology. The problems addressed by Dennis seem to be strictly human problems. They are echoed these days in most all areas of casual human diversion and entertainment. And lets be honest, in the pulic forum, the study of UFOs is merely entertainment. This is not meant to be disparaging. This subject does not bear significantly on the livelyhood of the vast majority of those who discuss it. And for this, for them it is entertainment, recreational activity. How many people worldwide earn their principle income from the issue of UFOs, a thousand, a couple of thousand? As frustrating as these human foibles are for Dennis, his desired solution cannot be realized. It would be much more productive to expect most of us to hold our discussions and perceptions above the fringe and derisive elements with only a passing acknowledging that they are there. It is unfair to expect us to footnote every discussion with a dismissal of the unorthodox elements. Other issues are far more important. How can it be that an issue that is reported by over 3 percent of our population fails to be publically studied by some institutions or organizations? In the United States, why does the press keep this subject at the level of the circus sideshow, and minimize the reporting of international incidents? Sure, these questions can be easily discussed and dismissed. What is strange is that they persist. A couple of weeks ago, a syndicated TV news short was distributed showing night lights. Rather than being reported as UFOs with snickering and amusement, they were reported as earthlights and a fascinating new tool of earthquake study. Through a mere change in terminology, the tenor of the report reversed completely. Though I confess, I could think of no plasma mechanics that would allow four lights to float in a square formation when a tetrahedron would be expected. I am surprised that this report seen on many local news shows has not been discussed here sooner. Nevertheless, Dennis seems to be decrying a common human response to most issues. Can he ever find a resolution for this? If the most we can reasonably expect is individually focusing our discussions above the fringe elements, is Dennis only contributing to the problem he argues against? Bye... Ted..
[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |
UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp