UFO Conjecture(s)

Monday, May 18, 2015

Excellence and Ufology

Yes, a seeming oxymoron.

UFO blogs , web-sites, and books are, generally, god-awful when it comes to standards of excellence.

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, gave a commencement speech 5/17 that suggested graduates get into the arena (of life and business), be impatient with progress, and apply energy to whatever they do.

Also, employ excellence in what they do.

I don’t do excellent UFO posting, being a bit cavalier with topics and speculation, but I try, half-heartedly.

Kevin Randle’s blog postings are usually quite excellent, but undercut by comments from his flaky readers.

Eric Wargo’s site – thenightshirt.com – is inordinately excellent dealing with thought and ideas that encompass the UFO phenomenon and attendant peripherals that impact the UFO topic, sometimes in ways that are not obvious to most of us.

Jacques Vallee, despite what some see as a contrary view of the UFO ET explanation, has always offered cogent and thoughtful hypotheses and ideas also.

But the UFO community, over all, is a hodge-podge of sloppy thinkers and instigators of bile and vitriol rather than thoughtful comments about UFOs.

Recent events show that ufology is nowhere near a science or art-form. Ufology is a hotbed of incendiary poseurs and celebrity wannabes, research relegated to half-ass effort and duplicity.

Mr. Randle touches on this in his current posting about Trivia flooding the UFO topic.

And we all know that vulgarity and meanness overlie many comments and writings about UFOs and those who say they’ve witnessed them or who draw attention to the phenomenon via the internet or books.

Ufology is not a classy or dignified sub-class of paranormal investigation.

It’s an intellectual slum where not just a few engage in subterfuge of various kinds to gain a modicum of fame, for their sordid, useless lives.

I, and a few others, have allowed persons with ulterior, devious motives to saturate our blogs and musings about UFOs.

But that has got to stop, as Mr. Randle sort of suggests.

I’ll take down those who’ve used this blog to further their duplicitous purposes and I hope others, in the UFO community, will do the same.

Stay tuned…



  • Rich: like you (and Kevin) and other voices, I decry the low level of intellectual functioning on the average UFO blog. But what to do about it?

    Excellence implies filtering out contributions from the lower half of the intelligence and talent pool. Since we can't all be above average, whatever the standards imposed, they will inevitably result in a forum that is less democratic. The only thing that will work in principle is to set standards that will weed out some substantial fraction of those who would otherwise post.

    Normal academic programs face and solve this same problem, of course by setting entrance and exit standards. Maybe someone should have to have an IQ above a certain level? Academic degrees? (If so, in what field or fields?) A publication history? Demonstration of knowledge and avoidance of common logical fallacies such as ad hominem and argumentum ad ignorantiam, etc.?

    Comparing the UFO discussion to learned discussions in other fields, existing academic fields of study already benefit from having filtered out the bottom part of the distribution. If someone is accepted into and successfully completes a 4 year university degree in something, they are, statistically speaking, ipso facto in the top half of the population intellectually. With the UFO discussion, that is not so; the fraction of the main population that has some knowledge and interest (either "believer" or 'skeptic") in the subject is a pretty random selection in my experience (a few very bright people, a few idiots, and most people in the middle). So if someone imposed the same standards for publishing in the UFO field as are customarily imposed in the non-UFO world, there would not be enough participants to actually have a conversation.

    To some extent, I'm guessing you are probably already seeing this. You have made references in the past to the existence of a more selective group that you have formed to discuss this. I don't know how big it is, but I likewise have a loosely affiliated group of MD--PhD types (Physicists and other scientists, mostly, and with very high level security clearances) that I turn to when I want a high quality discussion on the matter. It amounts to no more than about 10 individuals.

    The trick is to somehow set standards that are higher than they are now (not difficult, in principle, since there are no standards now) but not to set them so high that there is no one left to have a conversation with.

    Good luck Mr. Phelps on this mission, should you choose to accept it.

    By Blogger Larry, at Monday, May 18, 2015  

  • Thanks, Larry...

    Your observations are premium as usual.

    We (my small group of media people) use a web-site that is engaged in by academics mostly, from U of M and a few from Indiana University, plus a retinue of journalists or news media folks who are intrigued by UFOs (and some paranormal topics).

    But they are not entrapped by the subject as much as I am.

    They look at it dispassionately, as an interesting curiosity.

    I keep them on edge (or try to) but inserting provocative items before them.

    And I try to bring their responses, filtered through me here, for the UFO enthusiasts that read this blog.

    (Interestingly, this group was not inclined to get enthused by the Kodachrome slides, even though I've paraded much about the slides before them.)

    The conversations and comments proffered are often esoteric and beyond me -- which is an easy thing to do.

    Yet I sometimes sneak those comments and conversations online here, under the guise of an quasi-intellectual.

    Response, here, is usually nil when at the private site, the offerings often provide juicy back-and-forths.

    The problem, as I note with this posting, is that UFO community, not unlike any other community populated by the rabble, is fraught with persons not inclined to be well-read or scientifically erudite (with a few exceptions that I sometimes cite).

    So, the problem of intelligence is exacerbated by the nature of the UFO community's make-up.

    I don't see any way out of the Neanderthalian demeanor of those who find UFOs entrancing.

    Thus, one can only hope to cull from the brutish masses those few who allow themselves to be enlightened by people -- not me, surely -- who have something worthy to impart; persons like yourself for instance.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Monday, May 18, 2015  

  • Honey -

    Continually deleting threads, in an emotional snit, that you've started youself, Richie Dear, thereby wasting the honest efforts of the readers you've tricked, is not dissimilar to the actions of early teen girls, or their male equivalent, gay guys, "not that there's anything wrong with that":

    Jerry: Y'know I hear that all the time.

    Elaine: Hear what?

    Jerry: That I'm gay. People think I'm gay.

    Elaine: Yeah, you know people ask me that about you, too.

    Jerry: Yeah, 'cuz I'm single, I'm thin and I'm neat.

    Elaine: And you get along well with women.

    George: I guess that leaves me in the clear...

    C'mon, sweetie, open up to us about your strong relationships with all those manly Roswell Researching Manly Hunks, OK???

    By Blogger Tony Stark, at Tuesday, May 19, 2015  

  • My dear "Tony Stark" ...

    I hesitated to delete my Anthony Bragalia posting, especially because comments were so edifying.

    But enough was enough.

    Mr. Bragalia's time as a prominent UFO "researcher" is over.

    Continuing to kick him seems a bit mean at this point, as a few regulars here suggested privately.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Tuesday, May 19, 2015  

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