1. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    What books/authors have influenced you, or do you recommend ?
    .......related to "debunking" or of the understanding of science, and related human tendencies - to believe ??
     
  2. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013
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  3. hemi

    hemi Active Member

    Nice list Stupid. I'll dust off my Audible subscription and have a listen to some of those.

    I already listen to the You are Not So Smart podcast that comes out intermittently, and, for other fellow listeners, you might like to try...

    * Guardian Science Weekly
    * Science Talk (Sci. American)
    * BBC Science in Action
    * Stuff to Blow Your Mind
    * The Infinite Monkey Cage

    Nearly all of them, at some point, touch on topics that are directly relevant to the sorts of things that get discussed around here. And even when they don't, they're still interesting. ;-)
     
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  4. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    A section of my bookshelf, although I have several books on Kindle now.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2013
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  5. Pete Tar

    Pete Tar Moderator Staff Member

  6. Alhazred The Sane

    Alhazred The Sane Senior Member

    Just finished "The Quantum Universe" by Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, before that it was "Ignorance: How It Drives Science" by Stuart Firestein, and "Five Billion Years of Solitude" by Lee Billings.

    Can't say I read too much on conspiracy theories.
     
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  7. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    5 credits on my Audible acct.
    I've taken 4....not read (listened) yet....


    "The Moral Animal: Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology" Robert Wright
    "Them: Adventures with Extremists" Jon Ronson
    "Proust Was a Neuroscientist" Jonah Lehrer
    "What Einstein Told His Cook: Kitchen Science Explained
    " Robert L. Wolke

    ...the last one is because I like to cook.
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2013
  8. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    Here's my two recommendations on CT:
    Mark Fenster "Conspiracy Theories"
    Jack Z. Bratich: "Conspiracy Panics. Political Rationality and Popular Culture", while I would not agree with everything in there, I think debunkers should read this book to reflect on the meaning of debunking practice.
     
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  9. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    "Them: Adventures with Extremists" Jon Ronson...
    ....seems quite good, starts off with the author following David Icke on tour. Then jew and homosexual hating Muslim extremists hell-bent on disrupting British gov't, then Randy Weaver of "Ruby Ridge", Alex Jones.....then....(more).
    (There's an interesting part on a KKK member personality test.)

    It is an interesting chronicle of a real "embedded" witness journalist.

    I'm trying to decipher what is the dirty truth in this book, vs. what is poetic embellishments of factual circumstance.

    EDIT: Spoiler alert........conspiracies continue despite inner reporting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  10. Alhazred The Sane

    Alhazred The Sane Senior Member

    Jaysis, what a way to earn a living. Bad enough to have to continually listen to the man, but to be surrounded by people who take him seriously ...

    I couldn't do it.
     
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  11. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

  12. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    Also conspiracy related: Cass Sunstein's new book (due next march) deals with conspiracy theories. As it is a collection of essays, it will probably feature the infamous cognitive infiltration article.

    Definitely getting that.
     
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  13. Alhazred The Sane

    Alhazred The Sane Senior Member

    If you're looking for that essay in particular, you can download it here.
     
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  14. Strawman

    Strawman Active Member

    I know. But still, I'm interested in the rest of the book.
     
  15. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Two new books will enter my brain soon....
    "Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think" by Viktor Mayer-Schöberger , Kenneth Cukier
    and a not-yet released book by Richard Powers, titled, "Orfeo" (fiction)
    Plus one more.....http://www.audible.com/pd/Bios-Memo...Audiobook/B00H58TEF2?ref_=a_mycart_fi_c2_2_23
    Undiluted Hocus-Pocus: The Autobiography of Martin Gardner
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2014
  16. Gavriel

    Gavriel Member

    The Skeptic's Dictionary - A Collection of Strange Beliefs
     
  17. Geezer

    Geezer New Member

    Them: Adventures with Extremists. Pretty good, humanizes the extremists while showing how encompassing their beliefs are.
    Abominable Science. A pretty complete look at several popular cryptids, going back to their first "appearance". Very entertaining and some great one star reviews, from true believers, on Amazon.
     
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  18. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    "Countess Dracula" by Tony Thorne - An attempt to rewrite history by arguing Elizabeth Bathory was the victim of a conspiracy.
    "Abominable Science" - History of selected cryptids.
     
  19. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    great read.....recommended for Metabunk readers.
     
  20. Critical Thinker

    Critical Thinker Senior Member

    Okay... so I am not posting about a book I am reading, but since there was no thread about what movies you are watching....

    12 Angry Men is a great film classic and provides a look at how evidence ought to be examined and the various biases that may prevent someone from objectively weighing facts and their relevance.
     
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  21. Bruno D.

    Bruno D. Senior Member

    Actually there are lots of Sherlock Holmes' books and stories with fantastic quotes, like:

    'It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data. Insensibly one begins to twist facts to suit theories, instead of theories to suit facts.'

    'I never guess. It is a shocking habit,—destructive to the logical faculty.'

    'Eliminate all other factors, and the one which remains must be the truth.'

    'The emotional qualities are atagonistic to clear reasoning.'

    "The world is full of obvious things which nobody by any chance ever observes."

    'You see, but you do not observe. The distinction is clear.'
     
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  22. NoParty

    NoParty Senior Member

    I remember being impressed with The Assault on Reason by Al Gore
    Anyone who led you to think I'm getting cash for these comments is "false profit."

    You're saying that injecting "conspiracists wouldn't talk among themselves"
    as if that were Mr. West's position is somehow not a straw man? Please explain.

    As to the length, most posts don't require an ISBN :p
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
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  23. Hot Wing Conspiracy

    Hot Wing Conspiracy New Member

    A South Park joke clearly wasted you...

    Anyway I was talking about the books' content. And having read a similar book by a Canadian author, I'm pretty confident the argument isn't strawman. These books open themselves up to that criticism.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2014
  24. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    I love Carl Sagan, a great book about psuedoscience is "The Demon Haunted World-Science as a Candle in the Dark". Beautifully written, but then again I love all of his books....
     
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  25. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Even "Contact"?
     
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  26. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    I actually enjoyed it, but I read it after the movie. The movie was hard to watch, except for the last 20 minutes or so.
     
  27. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    The intro always struck me as rather timeless.

    http://pharmacy.auburn.edu/barkebn/2004/Spring/PYPC7820/7820/7820-The Demon-Haunted World.htm

     
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  28. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    I just read it ("Them - Adventures with Extremists"). Fascinating stuff - particularly his adventures with Alex Jones in the Bohemian Grove, and his discussions with the Bilderbergers.
     
  29. Hot Wing Conspiracy

    Hot Wing Conspiracy New Member

    Authors that have influenced me in relation to debunking, science, conspiracy etc...

    Louis Theroux - his adventures in weird American subcultures and trying to get themselves to exlpain/justify their ideas.
    Richard Dawkins - debunking God, pseudo science, alternative medicines, quacks
    Christopher Hitchens - debunking God, and on not being afraid to challenge the left
    Naomi Klein - debunking neo-liberalism
    Michael Parenti - challenging accepted historical narratives
    Noam Chomsky - challenging mainstream liberal media and politics
     
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  30. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    What do you mean by rather "timeless"?
     
  31. Mick West

    Mick West Administrator Staff Member

    Meaning it's the same now, it does not seem dated.

    It was published nearly 20 years ago, in 1995, and he was talking about something that had happened years earlier. But the hopeful credulity of "Mr Buckley" seems very familiar.

    And at the end he makes the ultimate comment on the timelessness of the issue by quoting Plato from 2,400 years ago.
     
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  32. deirdre

    deirdre Moderator Staff Member

    I liked this part. ; )
     
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  33. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    The word "rather" before timeless is what threw me off. I totally agree, and that's his brilliance. That's why this book hit me at my very core, because not that far off into the distant past, I could've easily been confused with "Mr Buckley". This book changed my life and how I perceived the world around me.
     
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  34. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I just listened (again) to the narrated audible book "Contact" (Carl Sagan)....read by actress Jodie Foster.
    Significantly different to the film.....
    I could hear Carl's ideas expressed in fuller detail than the film.
    While this was Carl's fiction novel......it incorporated the best reality of human responses to an alien contact, I have ever heard (or read).
     
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  35. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    For those of you who can remember the Cosmos by Carl Sagan, it will be airing on Fox this upcoming March, but with a twist. It's been updated to reflect modern times, and one of my favorite astrophysicist will be hosting the show; Neil deGrasse Tyson. Check it out, and if you have kids it will be a great opportunity for them to get familiar with the Universe and all its wonders.
     
  36. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

    Totally agree with you.
     
  37. Gary Cook

    Gary Cook Active Member

  38. Svartbjørn

    Svartbjørn Senior Member

    While this isnt a book (tho I will be getting the books)... I just sat through a documentary called Dirty Wars. Its.... interesting, to say the least. It takes a while to get started, and your first impressions will be that its just another anti-US, anti-Government type of deal. Its a bit different though and pretty thought provoking. Its one of those "this is a conspiracy but no one's listening" type of deals where it turns out there was something to it.. or at least thats what I took out of it. It's also good training material for all those OMG I TOLD YOU CT types.. shows you the lengths you really need to go to to prove your theory.. not just rely on Youtube Videos. Its currently on Netflix and worth the watch.
     
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  39. jaydeehess

    jaydeehess Senior Member

    Not conspiracy, but science nonetheless, I just began reading "Weird Life" by David Toomey

    The search for life very different from our own. Extremophiles and possible non-terrestrial life forms.
     
  40. meganix

    meganix New Member


    I have "Everyday Anarchy" and "Practical Anarchy" on my shelf at home and don't know honestly what to think of it's content. The inherent logic appeals to me, but there are really not any emprical evidence to back it up. It's about Anarcho-Capitalism and mostly about the ethical case for it. It's more thoughtfully put together, than the fear based type of Government conspiracy "NWO" that wants you to run from or fight every authority you meet and in so make you apporach the Libertarian Ideology instead. It use strict logic as a primary base but there are some false Dilemma/black and white fallacy in it.

    It's philosphical, kind of philsophical that reminds me most about the Old Greek's philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle. Moral Absolutism
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_absolutism
    instead of the more "modern" Moral Relativsm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_relativism
    That started with the decline of relligion and seperation of state and church. It would actually quite help people understand what is so "pervasive" about the Libertarian/Capitalist apporach to society, and why it's on the rise through the internet

    I think that holding this moral standard in your personal life is very healthy. If it can be used as a guide for society, I'm much more sceptical about
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2014
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