It was not with conscious intent. It evolved organically. I want to know how and why a group functions the way it does (or doesn’t). First, I studied paranormal investigators, or what I called ARIGs – amateur research and investigation groups. One particular aspect I focused on was how these activities appeared to enhance their lives. I’ve always been interested in why people believe weird things. I think I understand a bit about why religious, paranormal, and superstitious beliefs play such a dominant role in human society. Of course, there is much left to learn.
Regarding the skeptical community, I started noticing pathologies and problems, groupthink and misplaced focus. Why did this happen and what happens next?
In a Fortean group, I asked about sharing questionable “news” sites – does accuracy matter?
I’m afraid I may have turned into one of those annoying people who picks up the rocks and points out what’s underneath. That is, I might ask the “wrong” questions, the ones that can’t be answered very neatly, or point out an unpleasant observation, and that may end up in a bit of mess. Don’t misconstrue my intentions as if I’m there to deliberately stir up trouble. Really, I’m not. I want to understand so I have to ask a particular audience – whether that be paranormalists or Forteans or the general public. A skeptical approach is useful in digging deeper into a subject, from a new direction. It can obviously be an unwanted approach.
I wonder if I’d get the same responses were I male. *shrugs* Oh well.