UFO Conjecture(s)

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Ufology and the Facebook debacle

As some of you know, Facebook has become the place for UFO reports and commentary.

Once lively bloggers and web-siters filled pages with astute material about UFOs, offering their observations and opinions on the topic.

But now, many resort to posting a line or two at their Facebook accounts, satisfied by the inane likes and comments from Facebook “friends.”

A few have eschewed the Facebook route: Kevin Randle, Eric Ouellett, Eric Wargo, and several others, but many former UFO biggies have taken to the instant and banal gratifications offered by Facebookers.

This is killing debate that once raged at places like UFO UpDates and other UFO venues.

(Facebook has killed meaningful and/or serious discussion of the phenomenon among UFO buffs and in other areas of societal interests, UFOs a sliver of what we Earthlings should be dealing with, intellectually.)

I have a MediaWatch area on Facebook. It is rife with astounding stupidities, even from media professionals: baby pictures, selfies, and pictures of food that “friends” eat.

I get a few inserts there from UFO aficionados, but those are curt and superficial usually, links to crazy postings on the internet or cutesy stuff that has nothing to do with UFOs per se.

Facebook is a bane for the intellectual evolution of society, which opens the door to my persistence that AI will take over the world and destroy humanity eventually (as others like Kurzweil and Bostrom have it).

And since I see UFOs as AI instruments from other galaxies, time, or dimensions, apparently Facebook-like obtrusions may have already ruined the future or long-time civilizations far, far away.



  • I have never used Facebook and am a bit old to start that sort of thing now. (Mostly for kids, isn't it?). However, why should it not provide a debating forum for those who want it? These blogs can get just as zany. It all depends on the intellectual caliber of the participants, whatever social medium you use.

    By Blogger cda, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • CDA:

    Kids have pretty much abandoned Facebook for Instagram and Snapchat (and other youth oriented venues).

    Facebook has become a senior citizens hangout.

    It could foster debates and long colloquies but it doesn't. The elderly like emojis (drawn facial expressions) and the ease of saying they like a thing. LOL is a staple of the pages online. (No one really laughs out loud but LOL is epidemic.)

    As a forum, Facebook stinks, and I'm surprised at how many intelligent UFO people -- many who are friends of mine, offline and there -- feverishly post crap and wallow in the slight, superficial attentions they get.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • It depends on the reasons for using Facebook in the first place. I use my Facebook page as a means to converse with family and old military friends.

    My blog is exclusively for UFO banter.

    By Blogger Tim Hebert, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • I agree with all that: I don't bookface, it's for kids or was. It's domestic.

    It's sophomoric, completely about vanity, and has a clunky gossipy interface.

    It's the CompuServe of recently without the high-minded Internet aspirations.

    And it's been predicted it will go away the same. How many places do we need?

    An instantaneous worldwide Internet consumed by cat, baby, and sleaze videos!

    I try to get away from this "UFO" nonsense, but they keep pulling me back in!


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • Zoam..



    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • There are privatre fb groups where intelligent discussions are taking place.

    By Blogger Yvan D., at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • I've spent a lifetime in the music business. Recorded music is now so easy to make, distribute, possess that it is now nearly commercially valueless.

    Today, you might have to wade through 300 recordings to find even one that you really, truly like.

    There is so much chaff, so little wheat.

    Same with internet 'content'. To my disbelief, re-tweeting what someone else has said is now considered legitimate opinion.

    So, the chaff of UFO internet content appears to eclipse any legit discussion.

    Thing is, when there is a proper forum with intelligent commentary it will find followers and hold readership. Its quality will set it apart, and raise it above the noise floor, repetition and regurgitation.

    I say ignore the noise and fight a good fight.

    If you are waiting for the 'self-education' part of the internet to spring to life in the minds of the world's citizens, I think you might have to wait a lot longer.

    Thanks for your efforts


    By Blogger Vince Ditrich, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • Rich,

    Oh, please... You lambasted the primary on-line discussion group on a regular basis when it was active (UFO Updates), and you have regularly pounded the free-for-all discussion at Randle's blog... and now you're dissatisfied with Facebook. A discerning reader will no doubt see a pattern - you'll never be happy with anything! :-)

    You also have been known to complain about how young people eschew the UFO topic, and yet here you are dumping on the type of tool that those very young people use to communicate these days.

    It's a social media world. Adapt, or perish.


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • Paul:

    Facebook is like a lumbering about-to-go extinct dinosaur.

    It's being fed by the aging baby boomers, who are sheer poison when it comes to ingenuity, as anyone can see from the content at FB.

    UFO UpDates came to its end similarly.

    Free-for-all discussion at Kevin's blog? It's a madhouse there.

    Young people don't communicate, Paul, they just howl....and they aren't on Facebook, as I've noted here.

    Discourse is Neanderthalian: grunts and gestures of a primitive kind.

    You've succumbed, of course, as have a few others, but I forgive you.

    After all, you're up there in quiet, remote Halifax. What else is there?

    Luv ya, nonetheless, buddy boy...always have, always will.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Thursday, January 21, 2016  

  • You're obviously hanging out with the wrong kind of young people. You should try to get out more -broaden your horizons. Join the 21st century.

    It's all about communication. Facebook, Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Reddit... they're just tools. Complaining about them is like complaining about the railway in the 19th century.

    And I'm pretty sure that someone who lives in a middle-American backwater like Fort Wayne shouldn't be casting aspersions on anyone else's home. ;-)


    By Blogger Paul Kimball, at Friday, January 22, 2016  

  • Paul....

    Hahaha. You have it right about Fort Wayne.

    Can anyone communicate via Facebook, Twitter, et cetera? (Who's listening, rather than posing?)


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, January 22, 2016  

  • I think it is largely a matter of choosing the right tool for a particular function.

    Facebook is great for quick and easy communication of brief thoughts, with an excellent notification system to let you know about relevant new messages. However, I find it more difficult to use Facebook for in-depth discussion with a group of people. The format on Facebook encourages brief posts. It can also be painful to try to find a particular old post.

    (Within the Roswell Slides group on Facebook, we were able to have near real-time discussion when a few of us were online, which was very useful to bounce ideas around and look into some issues at the same time as other members, but then some of us struggled to quickly find relevant posts from a few weeks/months before because of the way Facebook archives are organised with limited search options).

    Different modes of communication seem to incentivise different depths of analysis.

    Facebook's presentation of replies (e.g. cutting off the number of lines displayed without clicking on another button to reveal more) incentivises posts which are generally kept within that limit of about 3 lines.

    There is still a heck of a lot of discussion of UFO sightings etc on the Internet - it now just seems to be very fragmented, spread over numerous different forums, email Lists (some public, some private), blog comment sections, numerous Facebook pages etc etc. Some of you know that I am bothered by the time wasted reinventing the wheel within ufology, partly as a result of this fragmented nature of online discussions, with researchers not becoming aware of research/investigations already done by others...

    By Blogger Isaac Koi, at Friday, January 22, 2016  

  • Isaac.....

    You hit the Facebook sore spots that drive me crazy.

    The Facebook [Twitter too] fragmentation has afflicted internet conversation and dialogue across the board.

    We've all become infected by the discursive nature of the venues we use....it's creeped up on us, and most of us don't know that we have adopted the bizarre nature of online "conversation" -- accepting it as the norm.


    By Blogger RRRGroup, at Friday, January 22, 2016  

  • "I am bothered by the time wasted reinventing the wheel within ufxlogy," says Isaac.

    I am bothered by the fact that intelligent educated people use a word for something that does not exist: there is no science of the inherently irrational IDEA "UFO;" and there is no science in the journalistic pseudoscience which addresses the myth.

    There is a very good reason that there is no "UFO" research being done at Caltech. Let's get real!

    Words not only have meanings, they are ideas, thoughts in the heads of speakers; and the use of words to represent them exposes those thoughts--or the absence of real thought. Quite unlike "UFO" fairy tales, words have consequences, and referring to things that do not exist as if they do is a huge part of the problem! It helps perpetuate the myth and delusion.

    For decades I've criticized online believers use of the word "phenomenon" when referring to the mass of "UFO" reports: "What phenomenon?" I've asked, "You can't show that there is an unknown phenomenon of any kind as the ambiguous stimulus for even one report, much less that there is some grand mysterious unknown phenomenon behind the whole mass of reports, the mere myth and social delusion."

    Which is all it is. Now finally--after a lifetime journey from naïve childhood belief in "flying saucers" to "UFO" skepticism and Psychosocial theorist and author--David Clarke proclaims, "There is no "UFO" phenomenon!" There never was.

    You want progress in this hobby--which is all it can be--for yourself--which is all you can ever have--start thinking about it in a new way, and begin that by speaking about it a new way--in the language of scientific reality, not in the terms of the fossilized pseudoscience.


    And your basic complaint, wasting time, is of a fundamental aspect, a hallmark of this and every other pseudoscience: Lack of Progress! This subject has not advanced since the 1950s, changed but not advanced. I'd even go far as to say that not only is nearly every aspect of the "UFO" myth found in the Shaver mystery, every significant aspect is found in the Great Airship mania of 1896-97. Even newspaper stories of little mummies that could be space aliens!



    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Friday, January 22, 2016  

  • Sorry, Mulder!

    Equation shows that large-scale conspiracies would quickly reveal themselves


    By Blogger zoamchomsky, at Tuesday, January 26, 2016  

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