Doubt and About: Poking at nonsense with a sharp stick

I think that title is going to be my new tagline…

This sub blog (D & A) has become a semi-regular place for me to update what I’ve been doing for anyone who cares to follow. There are a few of you… thanks.

But occasionally I get too damn involved with other stuff to update my own site.

I’m in an odd place right now; I’ve taken to writing more in my handwritten journal or just to myself in order to vent or to think things through via writing, which helps. Also there are various reasons why I have cut back on social media and personal sharing. For one, every public post seems to have an unwritten invitation for criticism, often really uninformed opinions by people who don’t know enough about me to justify their two cents. That’s the online world – it makes people kind of assholey. So be it.

I’ve been working at the JREF mainly keeping the SWIFT feed going, but also helping to plan and thinking about goals, objectives, stuff like that. A few people (I could probably count on one hand) have been thoughtful in their comments, suggestion and support. The skeptical network these days is fractured, disconnected, consisting of islands of people with their own plans mostly not in communication with each other. Bridges have burned, harsh words have been said, poor judgments have been made, leadership is scarce. We could use an upgrade and reboot.

On the Doubtful News front, I’ve keep posting more than I thought I would and site hit counts remain high. That’s because I can’t NOT look at the weird news daily and share it. It’s what I do, what I love. Although, this time of year, the push up to Halloween, the media pulls their most gullible “human interest” reporters and write story after story about the local haunted buildings. The paranormal investigators act as “experts” and tell the audience that they want to “educate the public” about the paranormal. A funny trick to play on them is to ask them actual informed questions – How do you feel about the downfall of the ASPR? What did you think about the latest NDE research? Watch them squirm because they don’t know squat about research or paranormal history. They certainly shouldn’t be “educating” anyone.

I don’t get contacted about paranormal topics like the ghost hunters do. It’s not about the truth, it’s about the fun story. But when their unverified stories are told as truth, that makes me angry and reminds me that the majority of paranormal investigators can’t investigate themselves out of a paper bag.

Yet I am still reading a ton of stuff about ghosts. I often pause and wonder why but that’s for another post. And, I’ve been reading fiction for a change. (Someone could make a joke here.) I’ve given up on Bigfoot for now because it’s so insanely stupid. I’ll get back into it when Bryan Sykes’ book comes out.

People do send me their books to review, which is pretty cool. I usually post reviews on this blog.

Starting today, I’m going to try to post more on my public Facebook site. Maybe some new people will be interested in a thoughtful point of view about questionable claims. As I’ve said many times before, the audience is the public – those who don’t know that there is something out there called scientific skepticism. I’d like to share my opinion that we can still get very useful knowledge out of belief in questionable claims. So, visit my FB page and join in the comments on my contemplations.


About idoubtit

Fluent in science, animals, paranormal culture. Expert in weird news.