COUNTERKNOWLEDGE DAMIAN THOMPSON PDF

Vote for the next cardinal Damian Thompson: The only indication I can find of what this false logic might consist in occurs later in the book, where Thompson quotes Michael Shermer: Some conspiracies have been discovered before execution, some planned in secret but carried out openly, others discovered only after some time. Another area which Thompson counterknowledgf around — the pharmaceutical industry — is surely guilty of disseminating counterknowledge. So, how does a modern Don Quixote challenge the windmills of superstition, nonsense and lies of zealots, crackpots, frauds and government bureaucrats? Review: Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson Books The Guardian In this unique case, the equivalence between supernaturalness and essential untestability breaks down: But he could do so only on the assumption that the supernatural lies entirely outside the temporal, causal order. Dec 16, Nicole Daley rated it liked it.

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Thompson defines "counterknowledge" on the first page, after listing off a bunch of popular kook theories: This is counterknowledge: misinformation packaged to look like fact-- packaged so effectively, indeed, that the twenty-first century is facing a pandemic of credulous thinking.

Ideas that, in their original, raw form, flourished only on the fringes of society are now being taken seriously by educated people in the West, and are circulating with bewildreing speed in the developing world.

We are lucky to live in an age in which the techniques available for evaluating the truth or falsehood of claims about science and history are more reliable than ever before. Yet, disturbingly, we are witnessing a huge surge in the popularity of propositions that fail basic empirical tests.

The essence of counterknowledge is that it purports to be knowledge but is not knowledge. Its claims can be shown to be untrue, either because there are facts that contradict them or because there is no evidence to support them. It misrepresents reality deliberately or otherwise by presenting non-facts as facts.

Thompson goes on to give brief summaries of three classes of kookery: creationism, pseudohistory, and quackery, with multiple examples of each. Thompson pulls a wider than usual range of things together, though, and presents them in a brisk and compact style. The entire book not including endnotes and recommended reading is barely pages.

Really, the most interesting things about this book are that the author is 1 British and 2 what passes for a right-winger on that side of the Atlantic. This might work well paired with The Republican War on Science , if you wanted to teach a class on the various ways the public is led to believe untrue things.

Tags Log in to post comments More like this This is counterknowledge: misinformation packaged to look like fact-- packaged so effectively, indeed, that the twenty-first century is facing a pandemic of credulous thinking.

Is this a throwaway line, or a strongly developed claim? If Thompson goes to some effort to back up claims like the above, that would make the book much more interesting to me. Log in to post comments By cisko not verified on 02 Dec permalink Cisko, have you not noticed the phenomenon of propaganda? Advertising is as slick as it has ever been, political types mainly on the right in this country routinely proclaim that up is down and black is white, and there are many quasi-scientific organizations dedicated to sowing doubt without actual evidence about the scientific facts underlying such varied ideas as evolution, anthropogenic climate change, and the fact that autism does not result from heavy metal poisoning.

Log in to post comments By Eric Lund not verified on 02 Dec permalink Three specific counterknowledge products? Log in to post comments By Michael I not verified on 02 Dec permalink Is this a throwaway line, or a strongly developed claim? Three specific counterknowledge products? I listed three: The book The Secret, the various activities of British nutrition crank Patrick Holford, and the book By Chad Orzel not verified on 02 Dec permalink Two other books to consider along with this one.

The book is short, entertaining, and insightful as to the motives of the people involved. Surprisingly, creationism is not mentioned at all. The title of "Doubt Is Their Product" was taken from a tobacco company memo proposing strategies to minimize the impact of studies linking smoking to cancer. The theme concerns efforts by chemical, drug, and other industries to obfuscate and minimize the impact of science negative to their products.

Log in to post comments By Olorin not verified on 02 Dec permalink Chad 4.

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COUNTERKNOWLEDGE

Young-earth creationists in the US have built a museum containing mechanised tableaux showing dinosaurs and humans in Flintstone-style coexistence. Meanwhile, postmodernist literary and cultural theorists take it upon themselves to develop ill-conceived philosophical doctrines about the nature of truth and reality - and even in some cases to offer criticisms of such specialised fields as quantum physics. Damian Thompson criticises all these trends, with copious footnotes and some theoretical discussion. He alerts the reader to many other putative instances of "counterknowledge" - glossed: "misinformation packaged as fact" p1 - and decries the "casual approach to the truth" pp12, 44 that underlies and sustains them.

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Counterknowledge

Shelves: sociology You think all of this Aztec calendar stuff is bizarre? Its just a U. Damian Thompsons Counterknowledge: How we surrendered to conspiracy theories, quack medicine, bogus science, and fake history has an amazing number of them. Malachy p. Of course, it appears that last document was itself forged in the 16th century p.

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Thompson defines "counterknowledge" on the first page, after listing off a bunch of popular kook theories: This is counterknowledge: misinformation packaged to look like fact-- packaged so effectively, indeed, that the twenty-first century is facing a pandemic of credulous thinking. Ideas that, in their original, raw form, flourished only on the fringes of society are now being taken seriously by educated people in the West, and are circulating with bewildreing speed in the developing world. We are lucky to live in an age in which the techniques available for evaluating the truth or falsehood of claims about science and history are more reliable than ever before. Yet, disturbingly, we are witnessing a huge surge in the popularity of propositions that fail basic empirical tests. The essence of counterknowledge is that it purports to be knowledge but is not knowledge.

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