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Posts Tagged ‘conspiracies’

Of all the theories of what UFOs might be—optical illusions and misperceptions, hallucinations (solo and mass), hoaxes, et al—the one that raises the most epistemically troubling questions is not the Extraterrestrial Visitation Hypothesis (EVH) but the Inter-Dimensional Hypothesis (IDH), popularized by astronomer, computer scientist, and venture capitalist Jacques Vallée. Once you open up to the possibility that there are other dimensions that interpenetrate with ours, all epistemological hell breaks loose… Not only do all religious and folk beliefs become plausible, so do all manner of interaction between the imagined and the real: from human-experimenting reptilians and human-reptilian hybrids (like those Hollywood personalities and high-level Democrats that QAnons go on about) to time-traveling benevolent and malevolent forces, Pleiadians and other star people, and anything else that might pop out of anyone’s cognitive closet. All they need is the technology to “materialize” and “dematerialize” in and out of our reality. Lordy mama help us then.

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The following distills the essence of my responses to questions from a vaccine (and Covid) skeptical friend. I share it in case it’s useful for others (and because it updates a few things I’ve written before on the topic). I’m not an epidemiologist and the comments on the science of the pandemic are those of […]

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Shoshana Zuboff’s analysis of “The Coup We Are Not Talking About,” published in today’s Sunday New York Times, is an essential follow-up to her book Surveillance Capitalism, applying that book’s analysis to the situation we are living through. This other coup is the “epistemic coup” which, she writes, “proceeds in four stages”:

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Conspiracy movements like QAnon are a kind of cultural virus that spreads rapidly and widely in the new global media environment. Like invasive species, they spread into diverse cultural ecosystems, colonizing them even as they take on new forms that mimic each environment’s original inhabitants. To understand how they do this, we need to understand […]

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As I’ve been preparing to cover QAnon in my media course (and trying to keep up with it, since it’s really been ramping up ahead of the election), I’ve seriously begun to think of it is a work of evil genius. Let me explain why. For starters, it’s worth reminding ourselves that QAnon was designated […]

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At a time when the U.S. itself appears on the brink of collapse — with riots in the streets, a pandemic crippling the country’s heath care system and wreaking havoc on its economy, a president tweeting out nods of recognition to his QAnon fan base and hinting at “the Storm” that is coming — the sense-making apparatus of digital media is rife with opportunities for disinformational entrepreneurs to make headway in various directions. […]

The internet is like a huge instrument — a hyper-complex, Robert Fluddian monochord, that works by allowing for an infinity of connections through which flow the sounds and vibrations of human emotional and affective contagion. When protests erupt across the country over the senseless killing of a black man in Minneapolis, the time scale in which large-scale action occurs speeds up and become affect-driven time, not a time in which collective deliberation is really possible. This means that informational, and therefore “disinformational,” bursts into that monochord become all the more powerful.

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The global pandemic of Covid-19 has been accompanied by a proliferation of competing narratives of what the crisis is and means, and how it should be addressed. The UN and the World Health Organization have called this an “infodemic,” that is, an epidemic (or pandemic) of information that, in its confusing diversity, has made it […]

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One of the silver linings about the coronavirus pandemic is that it has made some people, and even institutions, more generous (at least temporarily). Among them are popular and academic journals that have removed their paywalls and offered their publications for free. (I shared one of my own articles in that category yesterday. The irony, […]

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Last updated on November 11, 2018 Immanence sometimes dips into areas of controversial or “boundary” science, which means areas of science whose interpretation is both publicly and scientifically contentious. While I don’t consider climate science to be all that scientifically controversial (though it is certainly politically controversial), and the general topics of “fake news,” “information war,” and […]

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[Note: This post has been edited slightly since it was first published, to clarify the difference between sound waves and radio waves.] Everything new under the sun begins as an anomaly; but not everything thought to be new is genuinely new. Everything new and anomalous, if studied in the right way, can be explained; but it may take years […]

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