From: Brad Sparks <RB47x.nul> Date: Mon, 2 May 2005 19:29:31 EDT Fwd Date: Tue, 03 May 2005 12:38:50 -0400 Subject: Re: Barkun's 'A Culture of Conspiracy - Sparks >From: Terry W. Colvin <fortean1.nul> >To: ufoupdates.nul >Date: Mon, 02 May 2005 09:27:38 -0700 >Subject: Michael Barkun's 'A Culture of Conspiracy' >From: T. Peter Park <tpeterpark.nul> >Date: Fri, 22 Apr 2005 21:21:22 -0700 >Subj: [forteana] Michael Barkun's A Culture of Conspiracy: > Apocalyptic Visions in Contemporary America <snip> >Conspiracy theories, Barkun observes, "purport to be empirically >relevant;" "testable by the accumulation of evidence about the >observable world." Their proponents "often engage in elaborate >presentations of evidence in order to substantiate their >claims." Thus, "conspiracist literature often mimics the >apparatus of source citation and evidence presentation found in >conventional scholarship" Even as "stigmatization is employed as >a virtual guarantee of truth," the "literature of stigmatized >knowledge enthusiastically mimics mainstream scholarship" by >"appropriating the apparatus of elaborate citations and >bibliographies." It shows "a fondness for reciprocal citation, >in which authors obligingly cite one another," so that "the same >sources are repeated over and over," producing "a kind of >pseudoconfirmation" where "if a source is cited many times, it >must be true" (A Culture of Conspiracy, pp. 6-7, 28). . This sounds like Salla, Greer, and Bassett, who mutually cite each other in elaborate displays of "pseudo-confirmation" as they sound their siren calls for us to leap off the cliff in a mass suicide of the critical intellect. <snip> >Indeed, Barkun found, "conspiracy theorists insist on being >judged by the very canons of proof that are used in the world >they despise and distrust, the world of academia and the >intelligentsia." For "all its claims to populism," conspiracy >theory "yearns to be admitted to the precincts where it imagines >the conspirators themselves dwell" [A Culture of Conspiracy, p. >29] <snip> Indeed, we see all the trappings of academia but without any real-world substance in many of the posts on UFO UpDates by certain purveyors of this factless, non-credible conspiracy theory.
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