Friday, August 31, 2012

Those who know everything about Extraterrestrials.


We want to know about Extraterrestrials, ok? So, we look for the right people to tell us something about alien visitors. No…forget about NASA, astrophysicists and astronomers. How about some lawyers, sergeants and ex-psychotherapists condemned by abuse of female patients? How about contactees that read a couple of old New Age books? And don’t forget Laura, the Cosmic Alchemist, right?
Now we are in contact with individuals who know all about aliens. People who are challenging the monstrous conspiracy whose mission is to keep us ignorant about Life in Mars, giant Paleolithic animals in the red planet, human colonies, aboriginal Martians, and monuments older than the pyramids.
So, we read and pay attention to the Exo-scientists and time-jumpers and we learn from a judge, about galactic civilizations put our planet in quarantine because of our bad behavior. This gentleman knows all about Universal legislation. He doesn’t need telescopes, satellites, and programs like SETI. He just knows.
We are happy now and want to know more, so we go to Hawaii and learn from an Exopoliticians who learned everything in the Internet that manipulative extraterrestrials belong to the sinister military-industrial-extraterrestrial complex. (Dolphins confirmed this.)
We want to read more about the Cosmic Visitors, and ask Richard, self proclaimed Councilor of Earth and female patients’ abuser, what he knows about the Extraterrestrials.
First he reads our energy to learn if we are disguised Cabal operatives.  If we are OK, the ex psychotherapist tells us that the Hawaiian and the Judge are disinformers, and that the Extraterrestrials belong to the Star Nations, and only want to save us from ourselves.
But how about visiting a doctor who will teach us to invoke interstellar crafts in the comfort of our living-room? This man is a full time disclosure activist..!
We bought his videos, we give money for his documental film, but we learned nothing at all about the ETs.
But all these experts have something in common. They have Universities that will give you a diploma of Galactic Diplomat. They also sell books and give lectures. (Money makes the world go round…)
Now what we learned from these experts in extraterrestrial life?
We learned that each one of the ET descriptions contradicts the others. Good old logic tells us that they know nothing about ETs, simply because the ET of DR. A has nothing to do with the Alien of Dr. B, and the Cosmic Visitor of Lawyer C.
They are not speaking about something factual, but about a product of their own imaginary world.
Our research failed: the Experts in Extraterrestrials know absolutely nothing about ETs.
In our Society of the Spectacle, the Show is more important than the real world. We don’t need the thing itself if we are hypnotized by the image of the thing. In the end, we cannot find the difference between representation and reality.

Tomas Scolarici

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Ufology in the Society of the Spectacle.


Perhaps we do not live in the Era of Communication and/or Information. Maybe we live in the society of the spectacle, where the events exist only as representation, and news are a promise of the big show.

Adorno and Horkheimer in their book called “Dialectic of Enlightenment, The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception” writes:
 “ The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endlessly prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu.”
In this environment we should understand the UFO subculture as spectacle, as the promise of a bad defined enlightenment. The whole manipulation of the disclosure activism is not directed towards a solution of the UFO enigma, but kept as mass media marketing where the important thing is how the statements and conspiratorial delusions have only real value as commodities.
The society of the spectacle is also the world of the simulacrum. The picture is more important than the real thing. In photos and videos showing a touristic attraction, the representation is paradoxically more real that the thing itself.
The postmodernist critics of the rational thought turn the evidences unnecessary for a world that looks for the image instead of the event and where the artificial and the simulacrum are passed for real things.
Of course in the society of the spectacle, existence and inexistence are seen from a relativistic perspective. Guy Debord, the French activist who wrote the book Society of the Spectacle in 1967, says that “All that was once directly lived has become mere representation,” he is referring to the central importance of the image in contemporary society. Images, Debord says, have supplanted genuine human interaction.
Debord’s thesis is this : "The spectacle is not a collection of images; rather, it is a social relationship between people that is mediated by images.”
In the rhetoric of the Cosmic Gurus we see this phenomenon in action. Nonsense replaces the real world  and balloons are transformed into big ET spacecrafts. Contactees give us New Age talk as Extraterrestrial messages, ex rock musicians become Aliens and lawyers time jumpers.
However all this must be considered and analyzed in Ufology. We must recognize the impact of the UFO phenomenon in our society. We must recognize also that the great absents are the presumed entities behind the unknown 6 % of UFO sightings that remain unexplained. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Disclosure: where are the "overwhelming evidences?"


Let us believe for a moment that some of the Exopoliticians and Cosmic Gurus have overwhelming evidences about the Extraterrestrial presence in our planet.  The Cover-up conspiracy theorists, also know the fact that Earth authorities are in contact with these ETs and are in possession of Alien advanced technology.
This is, with little differences, what the Disclosure advocates proclaim inside the world of the UFO subculture.
Some of these conspiracy theorists have a professional and academic background.
The question is this: what would you do if you have all that overwhelming evidence?
Of course you would make contact with the big media, right? You would meet with executives of Newspapers, TV channels and even legislators. This is more than obvious.
Logically the media would be more than interested in what you say you have: The overwhelming evidences of ETs visitors and contacts with the powers that be would become the news of the Century, perhaps the biggest information of our whole Human history.  
Now, let us consider two alternatives:
The first one is that there was not such meeting between Media executives and Disclosure advocates.
If this is true, obviously the Disclosure activists don’t have such overwhelming evidence at all.
The second alternative is that there was such meeting between Media executives and Disclosure advocates.
Since there was not a special programs and information about the ET presence in our planet, it’s rational to think that Disclosure activists didn’t have convincing evidences to show to the Media executives and publishers.
There is a third alternative that is not rational: the control of the authorities and scientific establishment over the media is absolute. Preventive censorship was applied.  
We know that this is impossible. The United States and other democratic nations have no such dictatorial control over the media at all. Nobody has such control in the democratic world, because such dictatorial power requires a soviet style repressive apparatus that simply doesn’t exist in USA.
Therefore, the Disclosure activists do not have such evidences at all.    
The overwhelming evidences of the ET presence on our planet are inexistent. 

Disclosure, Cognitive Dissonance and Insanity.

One of the oldest myths in Ufology is the opposition between Cover-Up and Disclosure. If you do not belong to the UFO subculture, most probably will not know what these people are talking about.

Basically, those who presumably know about the presence of Extraterrestrial civilizations in our planet and secret ET contacts with the government demand the "powers that be" to end the cover up.

There is a small trick here: IF the cosmic pundits are right, cover up must include not only the governments but the whole scientific establishment. So, the mystery here is how they manage to keep such thing secret. 

If the EXOcharlatans are right and there is aboriginal and human life in Mars, and cities and monuments and big animals, such a cover-up is impossible in this era of transparency and whistleblowers.

So, when some of these Disclosure friends tell you that the massive cover-up is working, they think that you are not only an ignorant but unable to understand the difference between the real and the imaginary.

Truth is that they have nothing more than words. Not a single, satisfactory evidence to proof what they say it's true.

Let's put things in context: these EXOfantasists appeal to a relatively small group of people. They know well that for the big media, the UFO phenomenon is trivia. 

But perhaps, behind the usual nonsense presented as truth, and behind the New Age rhetoric of the self proclaimed contactees, there is a serious personal problem. Some of these fantasists are intelligent and cultured individuals. What happens to them IF they do not believe in what they say?

If this is so, sooner or later they will pay a big price in mental health, self-respect and social recognition.

Cognitive Dissonance

Cognitive dissonance is an uncomfortable feeling caused by holding two contradictory ideas simultaneously.

The "ideas" or "cognitions" in question may include attitudes and beliefs, and also the awareness of one's behavior. The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Dissonance normally occurs when a person perceives a logical inconsistency among his or her cognitions.

The theory of cognitive dissonance proposes that people have a motivational drive to reduce dissonance by changing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors, or by justifying or rationalizing their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

I think however that in some cases, the contradictions are destructive enough and become a threat.

In other words the ultimate price to pay for a life of nonsense can be insanity.

 T.Scolarici

 

 

UFO and CHAOS THEORY



Why should we be open and also rationally detached concerning the Aereal and Spatial Unidentifiable Phenomena or UFOs ?  Because we THINK. See this:
The Uncertainty Principle in Quantum Theory denies the possibility of accuracy. Therefore, the initial situation of a complex system cannot be accurately determined, and the evolution of a complex system can therefore not be accurately predicted.
CHAOS THEORY studies precisely the complex systems (like the UFO phenomenon, by the way.)
We know that in the development of systems, large number of particles will display a pattern that is near equal to the initial possibilities of a single particle, consequently a complex system will follow this so called law of Self-Similarity.
But what is self-similarity? Self-similarity is the repetition of a shape, form or behavior on different levels of complexity. Not as an identical copy, but as a variation of the same basic shape.
Now, when we analyze a large complex system, we talk about  behavior, and this behavior shows : unpredictability, randomness and sovereignty.
The UFO phenomenon is a complex system; unpredictable and (for us) random.
 The nature of this  complex system  is unknown and probably unknowledgeable.

Tomas Scolarici

Monday, August 27, 2012

Conspiracy theories and Logic.


Most conspiracy theories don't make sense nor withstand any scrutiny. They usually involve operations so immense that it's basically impossible for them to be kept secret, and all the proof given by conspiracy theorists usually have a very simple explanation (usually much simpler than the explanation given by the theorists).

Yet conspiracy theories are very popular and appealing. Even when they don't make sense and there's just no proof, many people still believe them. Why?

One big reason for this is that some conspiracy theorists are clever. They use psychology to make their theories sound more plausible. They appeal to certain psychological phenomena which make people to tend to believe them. However, these psychological tricks are nothing more than logical fallacies. They are simply so well disguised that many people can't see them for what they are.

Here are some typical logical fallacies used by conspiracy theorists:

Appeal to the "bandwagon effect"

The so-called "bandwagon effect" is a psychological phenomenon where people are eager to believe things if most of the people around them believe that too. Sometimes that thing is true and there's no harm, but sometimes it's a misconception, urban legend or, in this case, an unfounded conspiracy theory, in which case the "bandwagon effect" bypasses logical thinking for the worse.

The most typical form of appealing to the bandwagon effect is to say something along the lines of "30% of Americans doubt that..." or "30% of Americans don't believe the official story". This is also called an argumentum ad populum, which is a logical fallacy.

Of course that kind of sentence in the beginning of a conspiracy theory doesn't make any sense. It doesn't prove anything relevant. It's not like the theory becomes more true if more people believe in it.

Also the percentage itself is always very dubious. It may be completely fabricated or exaggerated by interpreting the poll results conveniently (eg. one easy way for bumping up the percentage is to interpret all people who didn't answer or who didn't know what to say as "doubting the official story"). Even if it was a completely genuine number, it would still not be proof of anything else than that there's a certain amount of gullible people in the world.

That kind of sentence is not proof of anything, yet it's one of the most used sentences in conspiracy theories. It tries to appeal to the bandwagon effect. It's effectively saying: "Already this many people doubt the official story, and the numbers are increasing. Are you going to be left alone believing the official story?"

Appeal to rebellion

Conspiracy theories in general, and the "n% of people doubt the story" claims in particular, also appeal to a sense of rebellion in people.

As Wikipedia puts it, "a rebellion is, in the most general sense, a refusal to accept authority."

People don't want to be sheep who are patronized by authority and told what they have to do and how they have to think. People usually distrust authorities and many believe that authorities are selfish and abuse people for their own benefit. This is an extremely fertile ground for conspiracy theories.

This is so ingrained in people that a sentence like "the official story" has basically become a synonym for "a coverup/lie". Whenever "the official story" is mentioned, it immediately makes people think that it's some kind of coverup, something not true.

Conspiracy theorists are masters at abusing this psyhcological phenomenon for their advantage. They basically insinuate that "if you believe the official story then you are gullible because you are being lied to". They want to make it feel that doubting the original story is a sign of intelligence and logical thinking. However, believing a conspiracy theory usually shows, quite ironically, a great lack of logical thinking.

This is an actual quote from a JFK assassination conspiracy theory website. It's almost as hilarious as it is contradictory:

In the end, you have to decide for yourself what to believe. But don't just believe what the U.S. Government tells you!

(In other words, believe anything you want except the official story!)

Shotgun argumentation

"Shotgun argumentation" is a metaphor from real life: It's much easier to hunt a rabbit with a shotgun than with a rifle. This is because a rifle only fires one bullet and there's a high probability of a miss. A shotgun, however, fires tens or even hundreds of small pellets, and the probability of at least one of them hitting the rabbit is quite high.

Shotgun argumentation has the same basic idea: The more small arguments or "evidence" you present in favor of some claim, the higher the probability that someone will believe you regardless of how ridiculous those arguments are. There are two reasons for this:

Firstly, just the sheer amount of arguments or "evidence" may be enough to convince someone that something strange is going on. The idea is basically: "There is this much evidence against the official story, there must be something wrong with it." One or two pieces of "evidence" may not be enough to convince anyone, but collect a set of a couple of hundreds of pieces of "evidence" and it immediately starts being more believable.

Of course the fallacy here is that the amount of "evidence" is in no way proof of anything. The vast majority, and usually all of this "evidence" is easily explainable and just patently false. There may be a few points which may be more difficult to explain, but they alone wouldn't be so convincing.

Secondly, and more closely related to the shotgun metaphor : The more arguments or individual pieces of "evidence" you have, the higher the probability that at least some of them will convince someone. Someone might not get convinced by most of the arguments, but among them there may be one or a few which sounds so plausible to him that he is then convinced. Thus one or a few of the "pellets" hit the "rabbit" and killed it: Mission accomplished.

I have a concrete example of this: I had a friend who is academically educated, a MSc, and doing research work (relating to computer science) at a university. He is rational, intelligent and well-educated.

Yet still this person, at least some years ago, completely believed the Moon hoax theory. Why? He said to me quite explicitly that there was one thing that convinced him: The flag moving after it had been planted on the ground.

One of the pellets had hit the rabbit and killed it. The shotgun argumentation had been successful.

If even highly-educated academic people can fall for such "evidence" (which is easily explained), how more easily are more "regular" people going to believe the sheer amount of them? Sadly, quite a lot more easily.

Most conspiracy theorists continue to present the same old tired arguments which are very easy to prove wrong. They need all those arguments, no matter how ridiculous, for their shotgun argumentation tactics to work.

Straw man argumentation

A "straw man argument" is the process of taking an argument of the opponent, distorting it or taking it out of context so that it basically changes meaning, and then ridiculing it in order to make the opponent look bad.

For example, a conspiracy theorist may say something like: "Sceptics argue that stars are too faint to see in space (which is why there are no stars in photographs), yet astronauts said that they could see stars."

This is a perfect example of a straw man argument. That's taking an argument completely out of context and changing its meaning.

It's actually a bit unfortunate that many debunking sites use the sentence "the stars are too faint to be seen" when explaining the lack of stars in photographs. That sentence, while in its context not false, is confusing and misleading. It's trying to put in simple words a more technical explanation (which usually follows). Unfortunately, it's too simplistic and good material for straw man arguments. I wish debunkers stopped using simplistic sentences like that one.

(The real explanation for the lacking stars is, of course, related to the exposure time and shutter aperture of the cameras, which were set to photograph the Moon surface illuminated by direct sunlight. The stars are not bright enough for such short exposure times. If the cameras had been set up to photograph the stars, the lunar surface would have been completely overexposed. This is basic photography.)

Another straw man, still related to stars, which I have seen is simply "they claim that you can't see stars in space" (referring to some kind of notion that stars are too small and far away to be seen directly, and that they are visible from Earth only because the atmosphere scatters their light making them look bigger). This is simply a lie. I don't think any debunker has ever said that a person cannot see stars in space. (Even if someone has, he is obviously wrong. However, that's irrelevant to whether the explanation for the lack of stars is wrong or not.)

Citing inexistent sources

There's a very common bad habit among the majority of people: They believe that credible sources have said/written whatever someone claims they have said or written. Even worse, most people believe that a source is credible or even exists just because someone claims that it is credible and exists. People almost never check that the source exists, that it's a credible source and that it has indeed said what was claimed.

Conspiracy theorists know this and thus abuse it to the maximum. Sometimes they fabricate sources or stories, and sometimes they just cite nameless sources (using expressions like "experts in the field", "most astronomers", etc).

This is an actual quote from the same JFK assassination conspiracy theory website as earlier:

Scientists examined the Zapruder film. They found that, while most of it looks completely genuine, some of the images are impossible. They violate the laws of physics. They could not have come from Zapruder's home movie camera.

Needless to say, the web page does not give any references or sources, or any other indication of who these unnamed "scientists" might be or what their credentials are. (My personal guess is that whenever the website uses the word "scientist" or "researcher", it refers to other conspiracy theorists who have no actual education and competence on the required fields of science, and who are, like all such conspiracy theorists, just seeing what they want to see.)

Citing sources which are wrong

A common tactic of conspiracy theorists is to take statements by credible persons or newspaper articles which support the conspiracy theory and present these statements or articles as if they were the truth. If a later article in the same newspaper corrects the mistake in the earlier article or if the person who made the statement later says that he was wrong or quoted out of context (ie. he didn't mean what people thought he was meaning), conspiracy theorists happily ignore them.

Since people seldom check the sources, they will believe that the statement or newspaper article is the only thing that person or newspaper has said about the subject.

This is closely related to (and often overlaps with) the concept of quote mining (which is the practice of carefully selecting small quotes, which are often taken completely out of context, from a vast selection of material, in such a way that these individual quotes seem to support the conspiracy theory).

Sometimes that source is not credible (because it's just another conspiracy theorist) but people have little means of knowing this.

Cherry-picking

Cherry-picking is more a deliberate act of deception than a logical fallacy, but nevertheless an extremely common tactic.

Cherry-picking happens when someone deliberately selects from a wide variety of material only those items which support the conspiracy theory, while ignoring and discarding those which don't. When this carefully chosen selection of material is then presented as a whole, it easily misleads people into thinking that the conspiracy theory is supported by evidence.

This is an especially popular tactic for the 9/11 conspiracy theorists: They will only choose those published photographs which support their claims, while outright ignoring those which don't. The Loose Change "documentary" is quite infamous for doing this, and pulling it out rather convincingly.

The major problem with this is, of course, that it's pure deception: The viewer is intentionally given only carefully selected material, while leaving out the parts which would contradict the conspiracy theory. This is a deliberate act. The conspiracy theorists cannot claim honesty while doing clear cherry-picking.

Just one example: There's a big electrical transformer box outside the Pentagon which was badly damaged by the plane before it hit the building. It's impossible for that box to get that damage if the building was hit by a missile, as claimed by conspiracy theorists (the missile would have exploded when hitting the box, several tens of meters away from the building). Conspiracy theorists will usually avoid using any photographs which show the damaged transformer box because it contradicts their theory. They are doing this deliberately. They cannot claim honesty while doing this.

Argument from authority

Scientists are human, and thus imperfect and fallible. Individual scientists can be dead wrong, make the wrong claims and even be deceived into believing falsities. Being a scientist does not give a human being some kind of magic power to resist all deceptions and delusions, to see through all tricks and fallacies and to always know the truth and discard what is false.

But science does not stand on individual scientists, for this exact reason. This is precisely why the scientific process requires so-called peer reviews. One scientist can be wrong, ten scientists can be wrong, and even a hundred scientists can be wrong, but when their claims are peer-reviewed and studied by the whole scientific community, the likelihood of the falsities not being caught decreases dramatically. It's very likely that someone somewhere is going to object and to raise questions if there's something wrong with a claim, and this will raise the consciousness of the whole community. Either the objections are dealt with and explained, or the credibility of the claim gets compromised. A claim does not become accepted by the scientific community unless it passes the peer reviewing test. And this is why science works. It does not rely on individuals, but on the whole.

Sometimes some individual scientists can be deceived into believing a conspiracy theory. As said, scientists do not have any magical force that keeps them from being deceived. Due to their education the likelihood might be slightly lower than with the average person, but in no way is it completely removed. Scientists can and do get deceived by falsities.

Thus sometimes the conspiracy theorists will convince some PhD or other such person of high education and/or high authority, and if this person becomes vocal enough, the conspiracy theorists will then use him as an argument pro the conspiracy. It can be rather convincing if conspiracy theorists can say "numerous scientists agree that the official explanation cannot be true, including (insert some names here)".

However, this is a fallacy named argument from authority. Just because a PhD makes a claim doesn't make it true. Even if a hundred PhD's make that claim. It doesn't even make it any more credible.

As said, individual scientists can get deceived and deluded. However, as long as their claims do not pass the peer review process, their claims are worth nothing from a scientific point of view.

Argument from ignorance

In this fallacy the word "ignorance" is not an insult, but refers to the meaning of "not knowing something".

Simply put, argument from ignorance happens when something with no apparent explanation is pointed out (for example in a photograph), and since there's no explanation, it's presented as evidence of foul play (eg. that the photograph has been manipulated).

This can be seen as somewhat related to cherry-picking: The conspiracy theorist will point out something in the source material or the accounts of the original event which is not easy to immediately explain. A viewer with no experience nor expertise on the subject matter might be unable to come up with an explanation, or to identify the artifact/phenomenon. The conspiracy theorist then abuses this to claim that the unexplained artifact or phenomenon is evidence of fakery or deception.

Of course this is a fallacy. Nothing can be deduced from an unexplained phenomenon or artifact. As long as you don't know what it is, you can't take it as evidence of anything.

(In most cases such things have a quite simple and logical explanation; it's just that in order to figure it out, you need to have the proper experience on the subject, or alternatively to have someone with experience explain it to you. After that it becomes quite self-evident. It's a bit like a magic trick: When you see it, you can't explain how it works, but when someone explains it to you, it often is outright disappointingly simple.)

It might sound rather self-evident when explained like this, but people still get fooled in an actual situation.

Argument from (personal) incredulity

In its most basic and bare-bones from, argument from incredulity takes the form of "I can't even begin to imagine how this can work / be possible, hence it must be fake". This is a variation or subset of the argument from ignorance. Of course conspiracy theorists don't state the argument so blatantly, but use much subtler expressions.

Example: Some (although not all) Moon Landing Hoax conspiracy theorists state that the Moon Lander could have not taken off from the surface of the Moon, because a rocket on its bottom side would have made it rotate wildly and randomly. In essence what the conspiracy theorist is saying is "I don't understand how rocketry can work, hence this must be fake", and trying to convince the reader of the same.

The problem of basic rocketry (ie. how a rocket with a propulsion system at its back end can maintain stability and fly straight) is indeed quite a complex and difficult one (which is where the colloquial term "rocket science", meaning something extremely complicated and difficult, comes from), but it was solved in the 1920's and 30's. This isn't even something you have to understand or even take on faith: It's something you can see with your own eyes (unless you believe all the videos you have ever seen of missiles and rockets are fake).

Pareidolia

Pareidolia is also not a logical fallacy per se, but more a fallacy of perception.

Pareidolia is, basically, the phenomenon which happens when we perceive recognizable patterns in randomness, even though the patterns really aren't there. For example, random blotches of paint might look like a face, or random noise might sound like a spoken word (or even a full sentence).

Pareidolia is a side effect of pattern recognition in our brain. Our visual and auditory perception is heavily based on pattern recognition. It's what helps us understanding spoken languages, even if it's spoken by different people with different voices, at different speeds and with different accents. It's what helps us recognizing objects even if they have a slightly different shape or coloring which we have never seen before. It's what helps us recognize people and differentiate them from each other. It's what helps us reading written text at amazing speeds by simply scanning the written lines visually (you are doing precisely that right now). In fact, we could probably not even survive without pattern recognition.

This pattern recognition is also heavily based on experience: We tend to recognize things like shapes and sounds when we have previous experience from similar shapes and sounds. Also the context helps us in this pattern recognition, often very significantly. When we recognize the context, we tend to expect certain things, which in turn helps us making the pattern recognition more easily and faster. For example, if you open a book, you already expect to see text inside, and you are already prepared to recognize it. In a context which is completely unrelated to written text (for a completely random example, if you are examining your fingernails) you are not expecting to see text, and thus you don't recognize it as easily.

Pareidolia happens when our brain recognizes, or thinks it recognizes, patterns where there may be only randomness, or in places which are not random per se, but completely unrelated to this purported "pattern".

As noted, pareidolia is greatly helped if we are expecting to see a certain pattern. This predisposes our brain to try to recognize that exact thing, making it easier.

This is the very idea in so-called backmasking: Playing a sound, for example a song, backwards and then recognizing something in the garbled sounds that result from this. When we are not expecting anything in particular, we usually only hear garbled noises. However, if someone tells us what we should expect, we immediately "recognize" it.

However, we are just fooling our own pattern recognition system into perceiving something which isn't really there. If someone else is told to expect a slightly similar-sounding, but different message, that other person is very probably going to hear that. You and that other person are both being mislead by playing with the pattern recognition capabilities of your brain.

Conspiracy theorists love abusing pareidolia. They will make people see patterns where there are none, and people will be fooled into believing that the patterns really are there, and thus are proof of something.

 

Fwd: Truth in Mephisto's words.



---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <ad.maiorem.dei.gloriam@nyms.net>
Date: Mon, Aug 27, 2012 at 2:38 PM
Subject: Truth in Mephisto's words.
To: fso2604@gmail.com



Dear Friends, perhaps you will find this unusual, but for me, and old priest, there is no better definition of Hell that the one given here by Mephistopheles to Dr. Faustus in Christopher Marlowe's version of this opus.
So, my advice is this: read carefully what Mephisto says, because there is more truth in his words that in the whole corpus of Demonology.

MEPHIST. Now, Faustus, ask what thou wilt.
FAUSTUS. First will I question with thee about hell.
Tell me, where is the place that men call hell?
MEPHIST. Under the heavens.
FAUSTUS. Ay, but whereabout?
MEPHIST. Within the bowels of these elements,
Where we are tortur'd and remain forever:
Hell hath no limits, nor is circumscribed
In one self place; for where we are is hell,
And where hell is, there must we ever be:
And, to conclude, when all the world dissolves,
And every creature shall be purified,
All places shall be hell that are not heaven.
FAUSTUS. Come, I think hell's a fable.
MEPHIST. Ay, think so still, till experience change thy mind.
FAUSTUS. Why, think'st thou, then, that Faustus shall be damn'd?
MEPHIST. Ay, of necessity, for here's the scroll
Wherein thou hast given thy soul to Lucifer.

Blessings
Father O'Donnell J.P



--
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rationalufology
http://ufoculture.blogspot.com/

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Dr. Michael Salla's illogical statements.


Dr. Michael Salla wrote the following statements in his Exopolitical site:

“Exopolitics is the study of the key individuals, political institutions and processes associated with extraterrestrial life. Information concerning extraterrestrial life and technology is kept secret from the general public, elected political representatives & even senior military officials. The supporting evidence is overwhelming in scope and shows that decision making is restricted on a strict 'need to know' basis.
As we know, a statement is a communication or declaration in speech or writing, setting forth facts, particulars, etc. “

The first question is this: what key individuals, political institutions and processes are associated with extraterrestrial life? Since there are no evidences of extraterrestrial life in our planet or in any other part of the universe, this statement obviously refers to those individuals, institutions and processes associated with the search of extraterrestrial life.

But the purpose of Dr. Salla becomes clear in the following statement which says that Information concerning extraterrestrial life and technology is kept secret from the general public, elected political representatives & even senior military officials.
Of course, since there are no evidences of any kind of ET life, also there are no evidences that any information concerning ET life and technology is kept secret from the general public, elected political representatives & even senior military officials. Given that the writer doesn’t give any kind of evidence about the presumed cover up, the statement is logically invalid.
The supporting evidence however is overwhelming, but if this is so, where is that evidence? It doesn’t exist, so this “overwhelming supporting evidence” is unsubstantiated.
Presumably the writer of this statement has information sources which are credible, unbiased, and accurate.
We have at least two rational questions:
1. Does the information source have the necessary qualifications or level of
understanding to make the claim?
2. Does the source have a reputation for accuracy?
Most of Dr. Michael Salla’s claims are derived from whistleblowers (informants) or 'experiencers' (individuals who claim to have contacted extraterrestrials) who, while arousing much debate in the UFO field, are alleged by Salla to be primary sources of reliable information. In conversation with the Washington Post, Salla pointed to evidence widely available on the internet as a source for his research on extraterrestrial visitation: "There's a lot of stuff on the Internet, and I just went around and pieced it together."
See

The fallacious statement shows clearly why the so called Exopolitics is a pseudo-science without any substantial value.

Andrew Basiago has no friends.


Let us do some time-jumping but just in the common way: reading old news.
On December 7th, 2008, Andrew Basiago a lawyer, made his discovery. “I was astonished by what I found,” he said. “There, on the Red Planet, were beings in blue bodysuits and the abstract artwork of a Martian civilization. I was looking at the first evidence of life beyond Earth!”
In his letter to the National Geographic Society, the lawyer writes that careful evaluation of PIA10214 reveals “a cosmic treasure trove of pictographic evidence of life on Mars, including humanoid beings, animal species, carved statues, and built structures.”
Of course you can check the original and see with your own eyes the “ cosmic treasure trove of pictographic evidence of life on Mars, including humanoid beings, animal species, carved statues, and built structures.”
But please, if you only see a Martian desert, don’t worry because everybody sees the same thing: nothing at all. 
Of course Andy Basiago tried to convince the National Geographic Magazine to publish his fantastic discovery, but for the publishers of the prestigious magazine, this was pure nonsense.
Remember that until that moment, the story of the CIA time-jump experiment was inexistent.
Something happens in the mind of the lawyer, and the whole thing becomes what is now: a massive, conspiratorial nonsense.
By the way, those who “promote” this delirium are not helping Andrew Basiago to come back to the real world. 
Tomas Scolarici

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Time-jump and the consequences of the Butterfly effect.


Do you believe that Andrew Basiago as a whistle blower, and want to know more about time-travel technologies?

No, of course not, and I’m sorry about the question. Nobody can believe the fantasies of Andy and his followers, and let me tell you why.

A country that could go back and forward in time, would be in total control of the whole world.

That country would also be the richest nation on earth and in addition, free from any kind of economical crisis.

Yes, I know that we are talking about the worst science-fiction, but let us go on with this.

The time travel whistleblowers want also the disclosure, so the world can enjoy the possibility of jumping to the past or the future.

Many Christians would love to see Jesus face to face, right? And Jews would love to see how Jehovah helps with the Exodus opening the Red Sea.

  "He rebuked the Red sea also, and it was dried up: so he led them through the depths, as through the wilderness. And he saved them from the hand of him that hated them, and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy. And the waters covered their enemies: there was not one of them left."

Psalm 106 verses 9-11 (c. 1023 B.C.)

I must recognize that this free jumping back in time, would be dangerous for many if not all religions but…there are even worst things that could happen.

Nobody could deny the right of Israel to go back in time and destroy National Socialism in time to prevent the Holocaust, right?

Obviously, Armenia would also time-jump to stop the massacre of 600.000 to 1.800.000 men, women and children by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.  

Aboriginal populations of the American continent would demand the same right to jump in time and stop the natives’ genocide in the bloody hands of the European conquerors.

Given that the history of Humanity is a history of blood, crime and abuse. I will not give more samples, but let us see what would happen after those noble and justified expeditions to the past.

We must consider the possibility that the Israel commando would not find any State of Israel.

Many members of the expeditionary would find that they were never unborn.

Armenian perhaps will not be Armenians in the post-jumping world, and we cannot even imagine what kind of America would the Native Americans find (if any.)

Of course we need to talk about the Butterfly Effect: In chaos theory, the butterfly effect is the sensitive dependence on initial conditions, where a small change at one place in a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences to a later state. The name of the effect, coined by Edward Lorenz, is derived from the theoretical example of a hurricane's formation being contingent on whether or not a distant butterfly had flapped its wings several weeks before.

 

Although the butterfly effect may appear to be an esoteric and unlikely behavior, it is exhibited by very simple systems: for example, a ball placed at the crest of a hill may roll into any of several valleys depending on, among other things, slight differences in initial position.

 

The butterfly effect is a common trope in fiction when presenting scenarios involving time travel and with hypotheses where one storyline diverges at the moment of a seemingly minor event resulting in two significantly different outcomes.


My question is now this one: why Andy Basiago and his friends and promoters believe that we are total and absolute idiots and ignorant?  

I have no idea, but we can play with some answers. They are puppets of someone of something, or they want to contact a few borderline personalities.  

Tomas Scolarici

Friday, August 24, 2012

DEMONS, UFOs and METAPHORS


We can say that the Abrahamic Religions demonized the demons. The Greek term does not have any connotations of evil or malevolence. In fact, eudemonia means happiness and even benevolence.
The term first acquired its negative connotations in the Septuagint translation of the Hebrew Bible, which drew on the mythology of ancient Semitic religions.
Demonic activities were prioritized by institutional Christianity, because the Pauline version of the Christian faith needed an active Adversary (Satan,) to justify the brutal repression of dissidents, heretics and the remains of older forms of religion that were strong in peasant communities.
The gentle and inspiring demons of the Greeks became the fallen angels, whose function was multiple and always negative.
In some way, demons become also metaphors and the myth of possession was applied to insanity and illness.
We must not forget that in some way the rebel angels gave some kind of solution to the contradiction Evil in the world created by an infinitely benevolent God.
 In some way the idea of the Ufonauts as possible demons reproduces the same metaphoric concept.
Aliens-Demons become the responsible for this Evil World of us. They are secret manipulators, and we, humans, once more, are just innocent. The Aliens-Demons could be the next scapegoats.
Rational Ufology must follow this possible development. 

Lilith, a female Demon.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

ANDREW BASIAGO, TIME-JUMP and EXISTENCE COLLAPSE

Dear fellows let me tell you that I would like to share with you some ideas and even doubts, and as usual, your own contributions will be welcomed.
Andrew Basiago, the Lawyer, proclaims that he not only found life in Mars but also visited the red planet several times and even met with President Barack Obama when both were kids working for the CIA time-space jump program.
The time-jumper who knows more about Mars than the whole NASA, travelled in time and was in Gettysburg in 1863, listening the famous Abraham Lincoln’s discourse.
Basiago, called just Andy by his friends, brought a picture that shows him there, in Gettysburg, in 1863. (Pic.included below.)
  Now, I did some research and learned that Photography is the art, science and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film, or electronically by means of an image sensor. Typically, a lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. The result in an electronic image sensor is an electrical charge at each pixel, which is electronically processed and stored in a digital image file for subsequent display or processing. The result in a photographic emulsion is an invisible latent image, which is later chemically developed into a visible image, either negative or positive depending on the purpose of the photographic material and the method of processing. A negative image on film is traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.
This learning however, brought some conflicting ideas to my mind. Let me try to explain these doubts.
The camera who took Basiago’s picture in 1863 was “recording light …from an object,” so, Basiago was there in corpus, right?
However, Andy was born more than a hundred years after the Gettisburg event, so the camera is recording the image of an object that doesn’t exist…yet.
This of course is impossible, but Andy Basiago assures us that CIA time-jumps were effective and even easy, so he was sent back in time to Gettysburg, and the Camera took the picture of someone that both exist and also doesn’t exist.
I recognize that this blows up the second Law of Logic that says that something cannot be existent and also non-existent.

In addition, it seems obvious, following the lineal sequence of events, that Basiago was not there and was there, but there is more, because the camera also recorded other people in Gettysburg, and all of them are already dead, so the people in Gettysburgh in 1963, including President Abraham Lincoln, exist and do not exist in some kind of semi-existent limbo that floats in the space-time.
Now,  you will recognize that this contradictory situation creates some unsolvable or at least unsolved mysteries.
My conclusion is that if it is true that Basiago was and was not in Gettysburg in 1863, neither of us can be sure about our own existence=inexistence.
Sorry about this and have a great weekend.
Fraternally
Tomas Scolarici

                                

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Extraterrestrials, Demons and Angels.


Here we have some statements from UFO researchers that deny the extraterrestrial origin of the Unidentified Flying Objects Phenomenon.
We believe that there is no evidence that justifies the ET hypothesis and I agree with Gordon Creighton who wrote: "There seems to be no evidence yet that any of these craft or beings originate from outer space."-Gordon Creighton, Official 1992 Flying Saucer Review Policy Statement
 
However, to deny the extraterrestrial origin of the UFOs, in any way justifies the demonic hypothesis that suggests some kind of satanic scenario for the UFO Phenomenon.
Once more the few facts and personal experiences are twisted and falsified to provide a religious interpretation.
Read below the biased perception of the abduction scenario. The presumed events are modified to serve the beliefs of the narrator.

"A recurring theme in the abduction scenario is the delivery of detailed messages to abductees. The messages delivered to abductees are typically done by telepathic (mind to mind) conversation....In some cases, abductees report being shown scenes or messages on large screens within the alien craft. These messages are usually horrific prophetic scenarios about impending cataclysmic events on Earth and the destruction of Earth due to environmental degradation. In some cases overt religious messages are given to abductees. These messages can include the notion that the aliens are our creators, that they are trying to advance our evolution through these breeding experiments, and that mankind must unify-with their assistance-into a system of global governance and religion in order to survive the future cataclysms." - Missler & Eastman, Alien Abductions, pp. 108-109

Here we have another example of partisan interpretation:


"...Further, in light of the messages given by the UFO entities, how credible is it to think that literally thousands of genuine extraterrestrials would fly millions or billions of light years simply to teach New Age philosophy, deny Christianity, and support the occult? Why would they do this with the preponderance of such activity already occurring on this planet? And why would the entities actually possess and inhabit people (as in Walk-ins and channeling) just like demons do if they were really advanced extraterrestrials? Why would they consistently lie about things which we know are true, and why would they purposely deceive their contacts?" - John Ankerberg & John Weldon, The Facts on UFOs and Other Supernatural Phenomena, 1992 .p13.

It’s true that the messages given by the contactees are a blend of New Age and spiritualistic nonsense, but I don’t think that these self proclaimed channelers have an Antichristian agenda.
Also, the suggestion of “possession” is used here to link the presumed satanic possessions to the UFO phenomenon. The authors write about demonic activity as a fact. They say “just like demons do…”
The only Demonic possession we saw, comes from a couple of class B. films.

"But the UFO phenomenon simply does not behave like extraterrestrial visitors. It actually moulds itself in order to fit a given culture."-John Ankerberg, The Facts on UFOs and Other Supernatural Phenomena, p. 10
 
The UFO phenomenon doesn’t moulds itself in order to fit a given culture.  The UFO Phenomenon belongs to the Human Culture, and the same thing happens with demons, angels and fairies. 

The following statements read like the declaration of an Inquisitor. As usual here, the forbidden word is EVIDENCE.

"UFO behaviour is more akin to magic than to physics as we know it... the modern UFOnauts and the demons of past days are probably identical."-Dr. Pierre Guerin, FSR Vol. 25, No. 1, p. 13-14
 
"The UFO manifestations seem to be, by and large, merely minor variations of the age-old demonological phenomenon..."-John A. Keel, UFOs: Operation Trojan Horse, p. 299
 
However Demons, Extraterrestrials, Gods, Angels and Fairies have something in common: They are the Others. The “something else”.
All of them are masks, mirrors that we use to deny the simplicity, the natural economy of Life.
We need to believe that Life must have a transcendental purpose.
But no, I don’t think so. The purpose of Life is life itself.

Tomas Scolarici

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Analyzing Mars mythology and Time-Travel nonsense.


Let me do some analysis of this nonsense concerning CIA,  Mars visits mythology, time travel lies and unbelievable degrees of nonsense.
The Alfred Webre-Andrew Basiago text reads:

“In this new interview Alfred Lambremont Webre and Andrew D. Basiago talk about the nature and implications of remote time sensing technology developed by the CIA, as well as the converging studies which seem to imply a DoD, CIA, and/or US Intelligence psyop flase flag operation involving the fabled “Nibiru” or planet X flyby scenario.”
Please pay close attention to this: Webre-Bassiago disinfo-texts, including images, written words and sound, the CIA is always named first.
Now, please let me suggest you something, and tell me if you think I’m right or wrong.
During my whole adult life, many decades of course, I thought that perhaps you can reveal CIA and other Intelligence agencies only if you have the big media with you, and/or the Congress.
In other words you should NOT believe that after you retire from a sensitive job in the government, you go back home and tell your wife that now you will write and publish about things learned inside your clearance included job.
No, let me suggest to you people, that things are not so easy.
Remember that Intelligence is always closely related with National Security, so things will never be so easy
If I am right, you will be able to talk so openly about presumed Intelligence-Security secrets, IF those secrets do not exist outside of your imagination, OR someone is into an authorized disinformation campaign.
Let me give you also my opinion:
No, probably there is no such disinfo campaign. Probably the whole thing is so ridiculous and absurd that in the Intelligence word the Basiago-Webre time-jump nonsense is just stupid enough to be self destructive.
Remember that your ideas are always welcome.

Tomas Scolarici


Sunday, August 19, 2012

FWD: David Wilcock Exposed

Here we have more information about Wilkcock's background.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <who.is.who@nyms.net>
Date: Sun, Aug 19, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Subject: David Wilcock Exposed -
To: fso2604@gmail.com



On the contrary, David Wilcock is not a fresh face in the "show" but an experienced charlatan. In the year 2000 David was trying to sell the "ascension secrets" but he failed, because his prophesies never worked, and particularly because the expected Y2K meltdown never happened.
These failures forced the impostor to shut down for a while. Wilcock try his hand in Virginia Beach presenting himself as the reincarnation of Edgar Cayce, but the Edgar Cayce Foundation kicks him out.
David Wilcock moved to Kentuky where Carla Rueckert was channeling Ra and his other book about The Law of One.
Wilcock tried again to ride a horse he didn't owned. In the first channelings, Ra assured that he would speak only through Carla.
The channeler of course threw Wilcock out and the failed prophet went into a convenient period of  "vacations" . By the way he wrote a couple of short books that no publisher wanted to touch. These are the books he tries to sell in his site. The pathetic snake oil seller tried to do dream reading in the internet but his readings were so disastrous that everybody was asking for refund.
After some tours with the ET researcher Scott Madelker, things went wrong again and Scott kicked him out of the curb.
Now the pathetic individual is trying his hand with the Divine Cosmos thing. There was already a scandal with a faked contact with ET in the British hosted Olympiads.

The Watchers



--
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rationalufology
http://ufoculture.blogspot.com/

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Divine Cosmos and a fresh guru: David Wilcock.


Divine Cosmos and a fresh guru: David Wilcock.


Now we have this thing called Divine Cosmos, and a young gentleman called David Wilcock with a funny shirt, doing his best to look elegant and a little “alien”.
The secret of this Divine Cosmos?  Same old. New Age recycling with those words you know, like “Consciousness, Old World Order, the ETs as Gods who are back to defeat the evildoers. This is Jacques Vallee with some mysticism added and without the honestly of the French researcher.
David Wilcock promises thousands of pages on science… and similar things like soul-growth. Isn’t nice? You will be happy with a biggest soul. (Yes…I know that you have no idea about the size of your soul my friend. Between us, there is no such thing, and you don’t need any soul, believe me.)
You can buy the short, tacky illustrated books of David, a new cosmic guru who is trying to make some money since 2011. He must compete with several heavy weights like Michael Salla and Alfred Webre, both Exopoliticians, and Andy Basiago, time jumper and mars visitor. Also he will need to defeat several Cosmic Alchemists as Laura Eisenhower.
In his site, (he also believes that he is handsome. Plenty of pictures.) you will find things to BUY…that is the real thing right.
Stupid and presenting the Aliens like super-heroes.
…Wilcock ONLINE STORE, you will find the usual silly books full of colored nonsense at different prices.
My advice of course : DO NOT BUY . Let them try another trick. IF YOU DO NOT BUY, perhaps these gentlemen and their gangs will try something different.
Do not give your money to these MARKETING PROPHETS.
Perhaps if you do that, you will meet them again in some street of New York or any other city, playing the three cards trick. (Do not play…you will always loose.)

-- 
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rationalufology
http://ufoculture.blogspot.com/

Mind-Control now.

Deconstructive Considerations on Mind-Control.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Dr. John Mack, Alien Abductions and Death.


The closest star, except our Sun, is so far away from Earth that travel between the two would take more than a human lifetime. The fact that it takes our Sun about 200 million years to revolve once around the Milky Way gives one a glimpse of the perspective we have to take of interstellar travel. We are 500 light-seconds from the sun. The next nearest star to Earth's sun (Alpha Centauri) is about 4 light-years away. That might sound close, but it is actually something like 24 trillion miles away. Even traveling at one million miles an hour, it would take more than 2,500 years to get there. (Or to come from there.) To get there in twenty-five years would require traveling at more than 100 million miles an hour for the entire trip.

Our spacecraft, Voyager travels at about 40,000 miles an hour and would take 70,000 years to get to Alpha Centauri.

Perhaps there are beings who can travel at very fast speeds and have the technology and the raw materials to build vessels that can travel at near the speed of light or greater. Have such beings come here to abduct people for some experiment?


The ET=abductions believers think that the answer is YES and some of these researchers suggest the following agenda:

The Aliens are breading hybrids and putting these hybrids between us, pure humans. This plan will end in the extraterrestrial control of our planet.

Harvard psychiatrist Dr. John Mack (1929-2004), wrote a couple of books about patients who claim to have been abducted by aliens. Many of Mack's patients had been referred to him by Hopkins a believer.)


Dr. Mack claimed that his psychiatric patients were not mentally ill and that he could think of no better explanation for their stories than that they were true. However, until this moment nobody produced any physical evidence that abductions have occurred, it seems more reasonable to believe that Dr. Mack and his patients were deluded. But there is something else.

Dr. Mack received a $200,000 advance for his first book on alien abductions. He won the support of Laurence Rockefeller who also funded Mack's non-profit research organization for four consecutive years at $250,000 per year.

 So, if you believe in alien abductions your belief is base on faith. Same happens if you believe in angels or demons.

Let us recognize however, that Dr. John Mack was a brilliant activist against nuclear arsenals, and a Pulitzer Prize winner.


DR. JOHN MACK DEATH


On Monday, September 27, 2004 while in London to lecture at a T. E. Lawrence Society-sponsored conference, Mack was killed by a drunken driver heading west on Totteridge Lane. He was walking home alone, after a dinner with friends, when he was struck at 11:25 p.m. near the junction of Totteridge Lane and Longland Drive. He lost consciousness at the scene of the accident and was pronounced dead shortly thereafter. The driver was arrested at the scene, and later entered a plea of guilty by careless driving whilst under the influence of alcohol. Mack's family requested leniency for the suspect in a letter to the Wood Green Crown Court. "Although this was a tragic event for our family," the letter reads, "we feel [the accused's] behavior was neither malicious nor intentional, and we have no ill will toward him since we learned of the circumstances of the collision."


Monday, August 13, 2012

The "new " Age of Cataclysm" and the Art of Baloney Detection.

Let me tell you this. If I buy this book I am in serious problems. 
If I buy this book I'm ready to buy Braco's healing look, Alfred Webre Universal Legislation, Basiago's time and space jumps, and snake oil that cures every known and unknown illness.
If I buy this book I know absolutely nothing about stars and planets.
Now, dear friends, the cataclysm will happen in 2013. Forget abut Mayan Calendars and failed prophesies. Forget about 2012. Next year will be the big one.
The prophets must know how to reschedule. Same can be said of those who never pay their bills. 
After the following exopolitical publicity, let me include Karl Sagan's Art of Baloney Detection. Perhaps you will read it before buying this or any other similar "book".
********************************************************************************************************************8
THE AGE OF CATACLYSM, prophetic 1974 book, now required reading about predicted impacts of a 2013 brown dwarf star flyby (eBook Download by donation)

Unusual update: ""To give you an idea of the real-world value of this book, on Friday July 27, 2012, a new copy of THE AGE OF CATACLYSM was going for $171.80 on Amazon.com."

INFORMATION & DOWNLOAD

*********************************************************************************************************************************************************************

CARL SAGAN'S BALONEY DETECTION KIT

Based on the book The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan

The following are suggested as tools for testing arguments and detecting fallacious or fraudulent arguments:

    • Wherever possible there must be independent confirmation of the facts
    • Encourage substantive debate on the evidence by knowledgeable proponents of all points of view.
    • Arguments from authority carry little weight (in science there are no "authorities").
    • Spin more than one hypothesis - don't simply run with the first idea that caught your fancy.
    • Try not to get overly attached to a hypothesis just because it's yours.
    • Quantify, wherever possible.
    • If there is a chain of argument every link in the chain must work.
    • "Occam's razor" - if there are two hypothesis that explain the data equally well choose the simpler.
    • Ask whether the hypothesis can, at least in principle, be falsified (shown to be false by some unambiguous test). In other words, it is testable? Can others duplicate the experiment and get the same result?

Additional issues are

    • Conduct control experiments - especially "double blind" experiments where the person taking measurements is not aware of the test and control subjects.
    • Check for confounding factors - separate the variables.

Common fallacies of logic and rhetoric

    • Ad hominem - attacking the arguer and not the argument.
    • Argument from "authority".
    • Argument from adverse consequences (putting pressure on the decision maker by pointing out dire consequences of an "unfavourable" decision).
    • Appeal to ignorance (absence of evidence is not evidence of absence).
    • Special pleading (typically referring to god's will).
    • Begging the question (assuming an answer in the way the question is phrased).
    • Observational selection (counting the hits and forgetting the misses).
    • Statistics of small numbers (such as drawing conclusions from inadequate sample sizes).
    • Misunderstanding the nature of statistics (President Eisenhower expressing astonishment and alarm on discovering that fully half of all Americans have below average intelligence!)
    • Inconsistency (e.g. military expenditures based on worst case scenarios but scientific projections on environmental dangers thriftily ignored because they are not "proved").
    • Non sequitur - "it does not follow" - the logic falls down.
    • Post hoc, ergo propter hoc - "it happened after so it was caused by" - confusion of cause and effect.
    • Meaningless question ("what happens when an irresistible force meets an immovable object?).
    • Excluded middle - considering only the two extremes in a range of possibilities (making the "other side" look worse than it really is).
    • Short-term v. long-term - a subset of excluded middle ("why pursue fundamental science when we have so huge a budget deficit?").
    • Slippery slope - a subset of excluded middle - unwarranted extrapolation of the effects (give an inch and they will take a mile).
    • Confusion of correlation and causation.
    • Straw man - caricaturing (or stereotyping) a position to make it easier to attack..
    • Suppressed evidence or half-truths.
    • Weasel words - for example, use of euphemisms for war such as "police action" to get around limitations on Presidential powers. "An important art of politicians is to find new names for institutions which under old names have become odious to the public"

Above all - read the book! (Sagan's book, of course,)

 

Ufology, Exopolitics, Conspiracies, Paranoia, Memes, Hoaxes, 2012, UFO, Aliens, Disinformation, Cultism, Brainwashing, Rational Thinking, ET, Xenopolitics, Contactees, Abductions, Disclosure.