Counterknowledge

Thompson, D. (2008). Counterknowledge: How wesurrendered to conspiracy theories, quack medicine, bogus science, and fake history. New York: Norton.

I know I shouldn’t be reading this stuff.  It’s a trashy book.  It purports to unveil and unmask the vast conspiracies that people around the world believe.  While it does expose a lot of widely believed conspiracies as the falsehoods they are, it does so with its nose in the air and such immense pretention.  I don’t believe in any of the quack theories that this book tears down like the Priory of Scion or 9/11 Truth.  But I don’t appreciate that this guy debunks them with the kind of smarmy self-righteousness that normal people hate from academics.  The reason people subscribe to bogus theories is that it feels better to be on the side of the conspiracist than the snooty know-it-all scientist sometimes.

Furthermore, this guy talks about the scientific method and proper science as if he were a scientist.  He’s a sociologist.  Soft sciences aren’t “real” science.  They simply aren’t.  Different skill set required.

I appreciate people that try to spread truth, but this is not how to do it.  Still, I read it.  And it’s kinda fun to read stuff that you can pick apart.

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