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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2005 > May > May 3

Re: Barkun's 'A Culture of Conspiracy - Sparks

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


>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.


>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.


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

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