- The Vintage UFO blog has an absolutely brilliant entry on the Contactees of yesteryear. The section 'I believe them, I just don't take them literally' seems especially on the mark. (And by that I mean, I suppose, that it agrees with my own thoughts on the subject.) The Contactees were not charlatans (not wholly so, anyway), but neither are they to be taken on face value:
We need to take them seriously, not just reject them for being quaint kooks... their reports of what it was like on these planets were clearly fantastical, not meshing in any way with what we know. I don’t take them literally, but I believe them. I don’t believe them in this sense: I don’t believe they literally went to Venus, or Mars, or any other planet. In fact, I don't think they ever left the desert. However, I believe they thought they left the desert.
...If one remains stuck in the opinion the UFO phenomena is pretty much just nuts and bolts -- literal ETs from a literal planet -- we’re not going to get anywhere. And that goes for understanding the Contactees as well.
Quite so. And, apart from anything else, the Contactees are such an fascinating crowd. It's a pity that our alien brothers seemed to give up on the messages of hope and light and started in on the anal probes.
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Sunday, December 23, 2007
- I have a large postcard collection (>1100), all of which are unused. I have quite a few that people have sent me too, and hang on to those and treat 'em with loving care.
Although internet social networking sites are a better tool for keeping in touch these days, I still use postcards for this also. Every sunday I throw my trusty multisided dice (actually, I have a few sets of those too) and pick a random friend from my list. Then I pick a random postcard using the dice again, or, since I have so many damn postcards, the internet random number generator.
Of course only out of town contacts are on my postcard list. Sometimes the postcard comes back with "no forwarding address on file" and then it is time to search the person down and get an updated address, or sigh and remove them from the list. But I don't really like doing that.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Sunday, December 16, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
- Following my mention yesterday of the Atlantic piece on primary loyalties and current warfare, also worth mentioning is Robert Charette's article 'Open-Source Warfare' in IEEE Spectrum. (I'm not really that fond of the term 'Open-Source Warfare', but it seems like an adequate descriptor.) Mentioned in the article are John Robb, originator of the term, as well as Eric Raymond, open source software theorist.
- Matisyahu interview: leaving Lubavitch, but staying Hassidic.
- Bibliography of Role-Playing Game studies.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
- I wouldn't want to be this Stutter guy.
- I was about to write that Robert Kaplan's Atlantic piece, It's the Tribes, Stupid, with its analysis of the tribe as the unit of primary loyalty, sounded awfully similar to the arguments set forth in Brave New War. But it looks like John Robb himself has already blogged about it.
- It was a chilly day in Portland today, but nothing compared to what this poor Russian trucker was going through.
- This seems rather odd: a small town Arkansas mayor resigns, claiming that in the past he had been kidnapped by a Satanic cult.
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