UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, August 01, 2013

The Digital Public Library

Launched April 18th, 2013: The Digital Public Library, a project to make the holdings of America's research libraries, archives, and museums available to all Americans.

Here's the link http://dp.la/

Use it, be smart, and/or edified.

RR

Kinds of [UFO] Truth

Copyright 2013, InterAmerica, Inc.
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The New York Review of Books [June 6th, 2013, Page 82] reprinted a February 1963 review by Susan Sontag about the “historian” Simone Weil, who was enamored of the Catholic Church and Gnostic Theology, and who excoriated the early Romans and their Jewish counterparts of the time. Weil also was soft on Hitler saying he was no worse than Napoleon, Richelieu, and Caesar. Sontag says Weil was “unpleasant[ly] silent about the Nazi persecution of the Jews.”

In Sontag’s review were asides about truth, which I suggest our resident skeptics and true believers absorb. (Paul Kimball’s Other Side of Truth approaches Sontag’s views.)

Sontag writes:

An idea which is a distortion may have a greater intellectual thrust than the truth. It may better serve the needs of the spirit….The truth is balance, but the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.

… we acknowledge the presence of mystery in the world – and mystery is just what the secure possession of the truth, an objective truth denies. In this sense, all truth is superficial; and some (but not all) unhealthiness, some (but not all) denials of life are truth-giving, sanity-producing, health-creating, and life-enhancing.

And this about history (for Paul Kimball):

… no one who disbelieves … fundamentally in the phenomena [sic] of historical change and innovation can be wholly satisfying as a historian.

Sontag allows for our approach here: ideas which beg at the door of truth (or reality) seemingly have value, as a “greater intellectual thrust than the truth.”

We think (I think) that the hard-core skeptics and entrenched true-believers who show up here and at other blog venues (Kevin Randle’s site in droves) are intellectually remiss, eschewing, out of hand, possibilities that may “better serve the needs of the [UFO] spirit.”

Hard-core skeptics wow the intellectual mind sometimes, while hard-core believers make us intellectually cautious; both provide “balance, but the opposite of truth, which is unbalance, may not be a lie.”

Persons entrenched in non-belief and those entrenched in belief roam the halls of UFO hypotheses trying to stifle views that diminish, or try to, their hard-core positions.

That’s not intellectualism. Rather it’s ignorance clothed in a patina of intellectual hubris.

We allow both intellectual reprobates commentary here, because that forces balance, as Sontag has it.

But we are often embarrassed by the close-minded or narrow-minded effusions that show up here and elsewhere.

That said, let’s try to keep open minds about the UFO phenomenon (or phenomena, if you will) and try to find the common denominator among all the sightings and accounts at our disposal.

Where is the truth about UFOs? Not in hypotheticals, but in a methodology which tackles the meaty substance, if any, in reports and/or data that derive from credible accounts, past and present.

Spewing invectives about Roswell takes us nowhere. Lambasting the Hills alleged abduction, as odd as it is, takes us beyond balance.

Inside UFO accounts lie some kinds of truth or truths. To inveigh against looking at such reports besmirches intellectual scrutiny, a non-philosophical stance that is unworthy of time spent or effort(s) expended.

UFOs may be ephemeral and/or meaningless in the great scheme of things, but once a person invests time on the topic, the phenomenon takes on a cloak of importance that belies a real reality but offers up a new, shallow reality, and in that resides something perhaps of value….perhaps.

RR