Sunday, August 02, 2015
Quassim Cassam’s Self-Knowledge for Humans [Oxford University Press] is reviewed by Richard Moran for the 7/10 issue of the Times Literary Supplement.
The book deals with how “blind we are to ourselves” pretty much and that it “should not be surprising about our error or ignorance concerning our own attitudes and feelings.”
Moran writes, “ … forms of ignorance of oneself are more consequential for a person’s rationality than ignorance of the world around us”; that is, “knowing what we believe or what we want is just as much based on inference and observation as is knowing what another person may believe or want, even if the bases for such inferences in one’s own case will often be sources of evidence … which are not available to another person. This position is known as ‘inferentialism.’”
“ ‘Transparency Condition’ [is a topic] in recent discussions of self knowledge. This is the idea that in ordinary cases a person can answer a question about their own belief by reflecting on the object of their belief – what the belief is about – rather than needing to consult evidence about themselves of the sort they would rely on in reporting the beliefs of another person.”
Cassam takes the tack, in his book and in his belief system (I think) that philosophy is a lot of hokum (or woo, as Eric Wargo might have it), but Mr. Moran sees this position as flawed. He writes, “Philosophy is not obliged to vindicate every hope or expectation that may lead someone to it …”
Cassam, in his book, clarifies, or tries to, the idea that self-knowledge is just as dependent upon the vicissitudes of thought and introspection that is required to know what another is thinking or believing; that is, a personal transparency must be rendered just a stringently as that we require about (from) others.
When skeptics challenge believers, as is the case in ufological arenas, skeptics have got to know what their belief systems are composed of and infected by just as vibrantly as they expect believers to know their constituent elements of belief.
There are self-deceptions, complicated by philosophy’s ruminations about self-knowledge and practical wisdom, as Mr. Moran opens his review with, going on to note “the ‘immediate certainties’ of subjective experience in Cartesian meditations, or in the unifying role of self-consciousness in Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy” exacerbated by the extent of “governing egoism” reflected in "the themes of Christian meditation, as well as La Rochefoucauld and the later French moralistes.”
He [Moran] states, ruefully (I think) “ … we are blind to ourselves in many ways, about our deeper convictions, about what really moves us to act as do, about our own capacities and their limitations.”
Get the book or read, at least, the erudite review by Richard Moran [TLS, 7/10/15, I’ll have to get back to you. Page 28].
You’ll, then, no longer be able to pretend your views are unsullied by pristine self-knowledge, and you shall then be able to assess your opponents' views objectively and with intellectual bonhomie.
Ufologists distancing themselves from UFOs!
It’s blatant and obvious; UFO enthusiasts are turning away, in droves, from the UFO topic: The Anomalist, our friend Nick Redfern, Above Top Secret, and almost every other UFO web-site that we’ve used, along with you, to keep abreast of UFO sightings and stories.
Now, Kevin Randle, at his blog is still sticking with UFOs, even going so far as to resurrect hoary Roswell muck, flogging it for all its worth, but not stemming the tide of UFO abandonment.
But, for all intents and purposes (as they say), UFOs are over, certainly for cognoscenti of things worthwhile.
The Paranormal has reared its ugly head, in the hope of filling the UFO void now extant on the internet.
That too will go the way, eventually, of all the flotsam and jetsam of pathological detritus.
So, if you’re among the renouncers, good for you.
And if you persist in thinking UFOs remain pertinent or worthwhile of human time and interest, hie yourself to a psychiatrist. You’re nutty.
Saturday, August 01, 2015
The Universe is a computer game?
Friday, July 31, 2015
Saturn's moon Tethys has been doodled by God?
Thursday, July 30, 2015
When you’re gone, you’re gone….
Reading various book review periodicals, often noted here, I find it surprising how many talented human beings have died, unappreciated and often unremembered.
In ufological circles, who is remembered and who will be remembered when their time here is up, when they have passed on to that great, blank void?
The UFO notables have and will to continue to have a remembered legacy: Arnold, Keyhoe, Adamski, the Hills, Keel, Moseley, the Lorenzens (perhaps), Ruppelt, Friedman (for a while), Vallee, and others who have nicked a spot in the history of flying saucers, and UFOs.
Some contactees and those who’ve created a sighting/event sensation (Fry, Angelucci, Zamora, the Pascagoula fellows, Walton, the Rendlesham guys, et al).
That is, a few UFO notables, witnesses and participants in significant UFO events, will have notations or footnotes in the future arcane archives but they, too, will go the way of unrecalled memory.
Some have already become invisible in the UFO existence: Richard Hall, my friend Bruce Duensing (despite his ongoing obit at Paul Kimball’s blog), Mac Tonnies, and the still living Bruce Errol-Knapp, once a presence because of UFO UpDates but now relegated to an obscure Facebook page.
You can name a few, of course.
But what about us UFO peons?
We bloggers will find our meager “legacies” – our blogs – passing on with little or no notice, and our efforts destined to be turned into digital dust.
The persons who comment only will disappear even faster and more thoroughly, their missives, irrelevant and banal now, will be ignored or overrun by other comments, until all are submersed by time and commentary that infuses the cobwebbed corner of the UFO rooms that will exist in musty corners of the internet by hangers-on who think ufology is worthy of an extant existence.
But that’s just an insanity which will persist by the efforts of a pathological few.
But that’s just an insanity which will persist by the efforts of a pathological few.
I can think of no one in the UFO community, besides Nick Redfern, maybe Kevin Randle, and a few others because they’ve written books (their books gone too in the not too distant future, unless replaced by digitization) who will remain noteworthy for any long period of time, most already gone from UFO consciousness, some already a depleted memory.
Splashing commentary all over the UFO-based internet, and creating blog posts, like this, provides no legacy whatsoever, the content feeble and meaningless in the great scheme of society’s cultural output.
So, you can keep wasting your time, as I do, but know that it’s all quite futile and pointless….really.
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Levitation….of people, not UFOs
In the Times Literary Supplement for July 17, 2015, Brian Stanley reviews the Liam Matthew Brockey book The Visitor: André Palmeiro and the Jesuits in Asia [Belknap Press].
Mr. Stanley quotes from the book:
“Some readers may … take exception to Brockey’s apparently unquestioned acceptance of a distinctly premodern form of Catholic piety: he records, without so much as an arching of a scholarly eyebrow, Palmeiro’s testimony that he [Palmeiro] had seen one of the saintly scholars at the Colégio de São Paulo, when absorbed in ecstasies of prayer, levitate ‘two or three palms high.’” [Page 28, TLS]
Palmeiro, about whom the book is written, was the under-appreciated (according to the author, Brockey) Visitor of the [Jesuit] Society’s mission in Asia, 1617 on.
Palmeiro’s stature allows acceptance by Brockey that what Palmeiro reported was true, which I’d also see as credible, having been taught by staunchly religious and honest Jesuits in seminary.
But there is this: there is a [apocryphal] tale that fellow Dominicans saw St. Thomas Aquinas, the great Catholic theologian and saint, also levitate while saying mass, having what Richard Bucke claims was a “Cosmic Consciousness” experience, that took Aquinas away from his writings [Summa Theologica and Summa contra Gentiles]:
“ On 6 December 1273 at the Dominican convent of Naples in the Chapel of Saint Nicholas after Matins, Thomas lingered and was seen by the sacristan Domenic of Caserta to be levitating in prayer with tears before an icon of the crucified Christ. Christ said to Thomas, "You have written well of me, Thomas. What reward would you have for your labor?" Thomas responded, "Nothing but you, Lord." After this exchange something happened, but Thomas never spoke of it or wrote it down. Because of what he saw, he abandoned his routine and refused to dictate to his socius Reginald of Piperno. When Reginald begged him to get back to work, Thomas replied: "Reginald, I cannot, because all that I have written seems like straw to me" (mihi videtur ut palea).” [Wikipedia]
Then there are the alleged levitations of swamis in India.
Are such witness accounts to be dismissed, as UFO sightings are?
Because of the sincere religious psyche of the witnesses in the Palmeiro observation and that reported by Domenic Caserta, one has to be cautious if inclined to shrug off the reported levitations.
But what have we here, with such accounts?
I have no idea.
Alien skull found or just a big head?
10 lost cultures that disrupt history.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Ah, two resurrections, sort of…
The other night History 2’s Ancient Astronaut airing, listed as “new” with a 2015 production date, included comments by two Philips…
Philip Imbrogno, whom Lance Moody showed a while back as having faked his educational credentials:
And the wonderful writer, Philip Coppens, who died too soon and too young, two years ago:
With such cavalier use of “experts” – one a little loose with his academic achievements and one who hasn’t been with us for a while now – History 2 undercuts whatever journalistic cachet it pretends to have.
It’s depressing to find that such programming is often full of canards when there are so many odd and unusual things to look at, with experts, many living and many with authentic credentials available to be heard on the topics the Channel likes to air.
Pressure should be brought to bear on the owner(s) of History to get in line with truth and transparency before a whole raft of millennials take away (more) “facts” that aren’t and information that is corrupt and intellectually demeaning.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Paranormal elements are real, tangible (including the Men in Black)?
Kevin Randle, at his blog, noted a 2008 Fortean Times piece by Jerry Clark [Experience Anomalies] in which Mr. Clark speculates on various paranormal experiences implying that, maybe, those experiences are not intangible, evanescent events but, rather, manifestations with a touchable, tangible reality.
Mr. Randle provides an extensive excerpt, and also pointed his readers to the whole paper (sending me an internet copy to use here):
And Tim Brigham, at his Facebook page, promoted a video about Gray Barker, whose 1956 book, They Knew Too Much About Flying Saucers, where Curt Collins asked me to elaborate on my comment about Barker:
“A matter of controlled paranoidal schizophrenia or an actual meddling by government agents.”
Mr. Barker’s books introduced the idea of The Men in Black, with which you are all familiar and Nick Redfern’s books and internet postings have delineated and explored better than anyone else.
I happen to concur, somewhat, with Mr. Clark (and Jacques Vallee, among others) that there is a reality with paranormal experiences which indicates that reality is not hallucinatory or illusionary, even though usually transient.
Lewis Spence, in his book An Encyclopedia of Occultism [University Books, New Hyde Park, NY, 1960, Page 199-200] wrote, “ …the sensory nerves produce(s) an effect of sensory vividness – normally, a true perception – the impulses thus diverted give to the memory images an appearance of actuality, not distinguishable from that produced by a corresponding sense-impression.”
Neurological doctor and noted author Oliver Sacks has dealt with such “effects” in his many writings, but hesitates to say that such effects are tangible.
The topic is confused and convoluted by the ongoing debates about consciousness; what it is and what it isn’t.
My impression is that hallucinatory images, sounds, and manifestations, while usually ephemeral, have a reality that is absolute in the same sense as that reality we can touch, hold, or interact with on a daily, regular basis.
In the case of UFOs, I don’t think they are paranormal but actual physical entities, either an unusual phenomenon or an intrusion of something odd from elsewhere (another dimension or possibly, not probably, from other galactic cultures – extraterrestrial civilizations).
But those entities that show up, for witnesses, in an interacting UFO event, nay derive from a mental, neurological glitch, or hallucinatory contrivance caused by food, drugs, or biological malfunction.
However, some interactions that UFO witnesses have, such as The Men in Black confrontations may be actual contact by real agents or duplicitous individuals operating within the UFO framework, or …
The Men in Black may be paranormal intrusions that become bona fide realities for a moment in time – as Nick Redfern’s accounts of them seem to indicate.
That is, The Men in Black come from a reality outside our normal one (as Jerry Clark’s thesis might have it) or are created by the mind of those afflicted by their intense involvement in the UFO experience.
The demons that afflicted or afflict Christians, removed exorcism(s), are similar in nature as The Men in Black, but removed ceremoniously whereas the MIB often go away with documents or substantive materials in a less vivid departure,
Those having a MIB contact may unconsciously remove or misplace documents and other materials as part of their created “reality” or the MIB actually take with them such “evidence” that subcontracts their reality.
Gray Barker’s experiences were a product of “insanity” by his intense association with UFOs or he was an actual recipient of visits by “agents” from his id or the government or some other concrete, hidden agency,
Either way, Jerry Clark’s “manifesto” should be read and dialogue exacerbated by it.
I thank Kevin Randle for generating links to Clark’s paper and thoughts.
Thursday, July 23, 2015
Alien “Ants” pilot UFOs?
I didn’t catch the “ant” comments at Kevin Randle’s blog after the May 5th debacle, so this has nothing to do with that I hope.
Myrmecology has always fascinated me, and the two books pictured here have been instrumental in maintaining that interest.
But a week or so ago, while I was sitting on the back balcony of our office, I noticed that holding something in front of ants walking the balcony, or swiping them off, caused a serious, rather immediate diminution – actual halt – in ants roaming the balcony and deck, for a prolonged period of time.
It seemed to me that the blocked or swept ants had communicated with their colony of ants, letting them know that something was blocking or stopping them from roaming the balcony area.
As you can see from this photo, the balcony is high off the ground and about half an acre away from our ground’s ant hills (colonies) which exist at the far sides of the office and in the front grassy area.
This means, to me, that the ants had “telepathically” communicated my barriers to their ant societies. (There were several species of ants involved.)
Wilhelm Goetsch in his book (The Ants, above) tells how he experimented with ants’ intelligence (mental faculties) and communication [Page 98 ff.] which he posits come from their sense of smell via their antennae.
He varnished antennae and mixed various species, which evinced a distrust of intermingled species. Using scents from each he tried various scenarios, noting that when the scents of one species was lathered on another species, things were rather fine but as the scent wore off, the ants “engaged in the wildest battle.” [Page 99]
He also noted how ants tried to escape from a concocted nest, but always tried to return to that nest foregoing their seeming desire to escape and be free, subject to their desire to work and construct more territory. [Page 123 ff.]
Rémy Chauvin, in his book (The World of Ants: A Science-Fiction Universe), deals with brain sizes and the senses of ants and other insects. [Page 163 ff.]
Chauvin provides various experiments, of elaborate kinds, showing that ants transmit sounds and messages and work their way through mazes with alacrity and skill, the behaviour of the ant [resembling] that of the ‘maze machines’, crude robots constructed about 1930, before the cybernetics era.” [Page 181].
(Chauvin also presented the similarities of ant behavior to that of bees, which were suggested by Gerald Heard, in The Riddle of the Flying Saucers, as the pilots of the flying disks reported in the 1950s, and noted at Kevin Randle’s blog by CDA but dismissed by Mr. Randle, who prefers the nonsense of Roswell to the idea that an insect species on another planet might have evolved to the point of intergalactic travel.)
Okay, I’ve gone a bit too far into the possible “thinking” of ants, whether it stems from instinct or actual thought.
But, in my observations of the ants at our office, I can’t discard the feeling that the ants were, somehow, communicating that they were being blocked or swept away by something, and got that message to the colony mates, which, by their measurement, quite out of the range of smell or sensory output.
The ants got messages to their colony instantaneously, halting the activity of roaming for periods of hours, only resuming, somewhat, after a duration that indicates to me that the ants became cautious or warned by way of thought transmission.
So let me consider that an alien society, an extraterrestrial culture/society, while not insect-like itself necessarily, might have been able to determine the ability of their planets insects to transmit thought over long distances, via the quantum models of Bell’s Theorem.
They could, this alien society, have inserted their insects “DNA” into members of their society or constructed automatons, using algorithms derived from the “minds” of their “ants” or other viable insects with the ability to transmit thought, telepathically.
This extraterrestrial society would then send out scouts to scour their galaxy or the Universe itself, much in the way that Earth’s ant colonies (or bee colonies!) do.
The automatons or “re-engineered” alien beings could be flying what have been reported as flying saucers or UFOs since before mankind awakened from its primitive sleep.
I thought my hesitation to accept alien infestations (by way of UFO or space vehicles) because of the plentitude of “things” seen over the years would prevent me from allowing extraterrestrial visitation.
But seeing how a colony of ants (or bees) send forth its members in mass, one can envisage an alien society doing likewise.
The ant brain is more than instinct it seems to me and, thus, I can see an advanced insect society, or one attuned to insect proclivities, as possible pilots of UFOs.
Tuesday, July 21, 2015
A Canticle for Ufology
Most of you are familiar with (or should be) Walter M Miller Jr.’s A Canticle for Leibowitz.
That three-part sci-fi novel should be a template for what to do with the dying, sloppy discipline, ufology.
Ufology is moribund, and virtually dead as far as the public is concerned, but a coterie of UFO die-hards insist and maintain interest in UFO lore (Roswell, in particular).
The reports and tales of UFO visitations (sighted and interacted with) need to be held in “sacred archives” not unlike the manuscripts detailed in Walter Miller’s book.
The reason? UFOs may be a harbinger of a necessary phenomenon that elucidates the devolving human condition, exemplified by such things as the ISIS onslaughts, Facebook, and Twitter, and the diminution in the arts: music, literature, and painting for instance.
Science isn’t prepared to salvage the edifices of humanity; science is protective of its domains, and cares not whit about human beings, as such – beings.
Ufology is rife with dolts, admittedly, but those few who understand the ramifications of the lore, its mythos too, know that UFOs, which have been with us since time immemorial, may offer a kind of salvation to humanity, once the phenomenon’s mystery is unlocked.
I’m not saying that UFOs contain aliens (extraterrestrials) ready to offer aid and comfort to a declining humanity, far from that.
I am declaring that UFOs harbor a secret or secrets that may keep humankind from descending into a kind of Neanderthalian extinction.
While “social media” has taken the soul of humanity and divested it of intelligence and dignity, UFOs, explained, might offer a come-back, even if for only a few.
As Miller described "The Pope's Children" (an affectionate name for the people who have been so severely affected by the genetic mutation caused by radiation that they are subhuman in both intelligence and capacity for reason),” Ufology could be the way, which it isn’t now by a very long shot, that leads a small component of human society back to a significant core to revive humankind’s purpose for being.
Scrap your understanding of ufology as it exists now, and see it as a “discipline” that could offer help and hope for a species that is not-so-slowly slipping into a bestial, stupid existence.
Ufology is scorned, by me and others, but it needn’t be, if it’s removed from the clutches of “The Pope’s Children” – and we all know who they are in the UFO community.
Sunday, July 19, 2015
I’ve written this so many times that it’s become a redux redundancy, but it now is clear that scientific endeavors, such as the Pluto fly-by and Mars probes, have captured the public’s imagination and interest, whereas UFOs and ufology are now relegated to the alley of disgraced subject matter or topics, one so debased that to bring it up in polite society will get you laughed out of the room.
Take a look at the comments at blogs and sites – I suggest Kevin Randle’s blog, where the postings by Mr. Randle are sensible (but passé to the point of irrelevancy) but the comments show a readership that is desperate to foist nonsense on everyone who tunes into the blog, and even evinces aspects of insanity.
The babbling is embarrassing, and examples how low ufology and UFOs have sunk into a miasma of effluvia.
The topic stinks, and is as dead as our recently deceased friend Bruce Duensing, a man hoping to elevate UFOs (or UAPs, as he liked to title them) to some degree of scholarly discussion.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to achieve that aim and died before he saw that the May 5th debacle and current scientific endeavors have killed UFOs and ufology that he hoped to redeem from the crazies who’ve captured the topic(s).
Even Anomalist is struggling to hold UFOs in its queue of paranormal topics of interest.
So, ufology and UFOs, friends, are over, all but the dying gasps of some psychotic die-hards. (Need I name them, my name on that list also?)
Friday, July 17, 2015
Pluto and Charon continue to mystify
Thursday, July 16, 2015
Science Fiction and UFOs: Compare and Contrast
What's striking is that, in perusing Sci-Fi covers and stories, one finds (as depicted above) a more bizarre representation of alien (extraterrestrial) contact and other-worldly things than one finds in UFO lore, which is rather bland and mundane by comparison.
The imagination of UFO witnesses and flying saucer observers is boring and prosaic when set alongside the tales created by sci-fi writers and their ilk.
What does this tell us?
That observations and reports of UFOs are either true, because they suck, in a literary sense, or the persons reporting UFOs and flying saucers don't have the imaginative acumen of sci-fi writers, and thus tell a tale lacking in truly alien configuration; that is, UFO witnesses, Roswell among them, saw something rather ordinary and can't endow it with anything like that found in the sci-fi genre or alien visitors are from benign worlds (or dimensions) devoid of the exotic wonders that some of mankind conjures up, from its own mind.
I don't see the pre-1947 stories as predestined to cause UFO sightings by the great unwashed. The sci-fi aliens are creepier that what UFO witnesses say they've encountered and UFOs are nowhere near, as reported, as those fabricated by the mind of sci-fi writers.
One would expect actual extraterrestrial visitors to be stranger than strange, which vehicles odder than anything we humans might imagine.
This hasn't been the case, so one might discard the UFO sightings we keep contending with as a kind of mental fluke or phenomenon that is ordinary in the context of what should be visitations of of alien cultures or examples of the paranormal that come from places that do not exist in our reality.
Nick Redfern on "The Invaders"
Wednesday, July 15, 2015
Mankind’s art and rare moments of [extraterrestrial] insanity?
E.H. Gombrich’s The Story of Art [12th edition, Phaidon, London, 1950/1972] provides an erudite panoply of art from primitive eras to (relatively) modern times.
Cave art from Altamira, Spain and Lascaux, 15,000 years ago, shows that primitive man created what is known as representational art: art depicting things as they were:
Egyptian art depicted “reality” often using animal and human body parts co-joined [1400 B.C.:
But generally depicting “reality” as it was [1350 B.C. and 150 A.D.]:
The Greeks provided reality beautified, as seen here [from 25 B.C, and the 2nd Century B.C.]:
During the Middle Ages reality was still being depicted, even though that reality was allegorical [1000 A.D., 1255 A.D., 1508, 1628]:
Artists in the 1800s started to get imaginative but reality still prevailed:
Then there’s Picasso:
Art always stayed within realistic parameters, or did it?
How can we account for these depictions (some from Pearltree.com)?
One might attribute such odd paintings or sculptors to an insanity or pathological whim of primitive man, but neurology doesn’t allow that.
Schizophrenics or mentally afflicted humans can only depict (paint or draw) what they have received mentally via the senses; that is, a person cannot draw something that lies totally outside their experience.
Even wild drawings and paintings are rooted in symbols and images that stem from actual perception, no matter how distorted the original perception has become, unless….
… those drawings and painting derive from mystical or psychical images out of the unconscious, but early man had no unconscious or collective unconscious. [Jung ‘s Man and His Symbols, Dell/Laurel, NY, 1964, Page 31]
Some will say that psychedelics were involved, but even then the images have to come from experience – what is visually and mentally known or perceived beforehand (before the psychedelics took effect.
Bizarre visuals cannot come ex nihilo; they need a root reality.
So, while artists, through the ages, generally provided works showing, in essence, real perceptions, we have a few that indicate something not quite real.
Why? What did they see?
Was early man intruded upon by strange beings from portals outside the Earth. Or was early man subject to extraterrestrial visitations as the Alien Astronaut theorists suggest?
Or is mankind sometimes afflicted by images and experiences thrust upon them by something not Earthly but connected to this planet for reasons yet to be discovered?
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Isaac Koi's web-site
Monday, July 13, 2015
How UFO stories used to be discussed, just four years ago
What has happened to UFO dialogue since then?