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Friday, April 26, 2013

Michael Johnson on conspiracy theories

Michael Johnson takes on conspiracy theories and the Illuminatus! trilogy in a new post, and refers the reader to a number of books on conspiracy theories that he's read. (How does he find the time to read so many serious books?)

Michael suggests that one reason for the persistence of conspiracy theories is that they are fun: "With further and further connections and deeper, hidden orders uncovered, there's a quite-human neurobiological buzz of adrenaline...and "wonder and awe." And let's face it: delight. Conspiracies are exciting."


michael said...

Thanks for the bump, Tom!

If anyone would like to chime in with some possibly underrated book about philosophy/sociology/anthropology of CTs, please feel free to chime in here, or over at the Overweening Generalist.

PQ said...

Haven't read it yet but I've come across a book called "Cryptoscatology: Conspiracy Theory as Art Form" by Robert Guffey which sounds very fascinating.

Drew said...

Sounds like a title that would appear in one of Rabelaise parody lists of books.

I have never come across any that are particularly interesting that are not already in the satple conspiracy reading list. There is a book called mimesis: the represtantion of reality in western fiction, this I think has some valuable insights into religious writing, which I think can also be extended to certain conspiratorial musings (I wrote about this a few years ago in a blog post I have now taken down).

Drew said...

I was well sceptical of that books existence. It exists! haha. Nice find.

michael said...

I had never heard of Cryptoscatology and now I must check it out. On Amazon the two blurbs for it are by Jim Marrs and PKD's Tessa. Not sure what to make of it, but it smells like it's not of the R. Hofstadter School.

Not that I seek to diss RH. His Paranoid Style is a landmark for a certain rationalistic style of considering CTs, but he's spawned a ton of pretentious academic assholes in his wake.

Drew said...

I agree with your opinion on RH. I disagreed with him about a few things. Maybe pointing out that I thought RAW was the best commentator on these things is redundant, but genuinly I think so, and I think academic world misses out on a lot by ignoring what he writes about. I think they also miss out a lot of RAWs attitude to these things. His humble attitude (though I do not think he was modest). I especially like the fact that he actually explored and practice the occult, because that has so many links with conspiracy theory, its kind of silly to view it as a purely political phenomena. It would also be nice if some kind of hilaritas was brought to bear in the academic world. Much like what is done in a lot of he earlier ETC articles ,during the period before the best writers slowly passed away.