This round-up is fifteen days late. Rather than sit on it for another few days, I’m clearing it now so I can focus on something slightly more up-to-date at the end of the week.
Long term listeners to my various radio and podcasting efforts will know that i have a bit of a love/hate relationship with the theories of Noam Chomsky. This article on the bin Laden raid (published this week, so somewhat after the fact) is an interesting read about just how dangerous that raid was in re diplomacy (and the lack thereof).
In my forthcoming book, The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories, I spend quite a bit of time comparing and contrasting the process of peer review with political oversight. Now, one argument that might be leveled against me come the reviews of said book is that I’m too optimistic about the peer review process, as this article on some controversies in psychology ably demonstrates. I’ll probably have more to say on this at a latter point.
As we’ve known for a while, the CIA spied on the USA Senate’s committee that was investigating the spying activities of the CIA. It seems that no one is going to be punished, however. When people ask me why is belief in conspiracy theories about our governments so prevalent, I like to point them to reports such as these. After all, if people in positions of power can get away with knowingly acting in an illegal fashion, it seems reasonable to assume that there are instances just like these we don’t know about and instances like these which are known about but pooh-poohed for the sake of PR.
Vinnie Eastwood is Aotearoa’s most successful conspiracy theorist. He interviews Graham McCready, the person who successfully brought fraud proceedings against the former New Zealand MP John Banks, here (said link also features Ben Vidgen, who tried to get me on a radio debate a year or so back and didn’t like how I wasn’t willing to immediately accede to his every demand about it, which is why it never eventuated).
Adam Curtis, of “The Power of Nightmares” is no stranger to using conspiracy theory rhetoric in his documentaries. This article from the end of July, on systems of control is certainly interesting.
In lighter (?) news, want to visit a North American WWII-era Nazi compound? Here’s how.