1. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member


    I recently finished reading Sebastian Junger, Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging (New York: Hatchett Book Group, 2016).

    One of the points made late in the book brought our discussions in Metabunk to mind (my emphasis):


    And, just to clarify, I don't mean our contempt, but the attitudes that tend to influence discussions of conspiracies in general.
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2016
  2. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    In my opening post, I should have included "films you've watched".
    Well two films stood out this week, as they are now on subscription cable.....

    One, a documentary by Werner Herzog, "Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World"

    ...and a scripted feature based on a true story... "The Man Who Knew Infinity"
  3. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    I love Herzog. I watched this again the other night
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  4. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    An interesting mix of history, legend and folklore
  5. qed

    qed Senior Member


    As a noir-freak, I was overjoyed to discover Perfidia (2014), an Ellroy novel that I had not read. While written last, sequentially it becomes the first book in the Dudley Smith quartet. Set over the days of the Pearl Harbour attack, the novel traces the roots of the quartet's main protagonists, namely Dudley Smith (fictional) and William H.Parker (non-fictional).

    When I started "reading" two weeks ago, I found the repeated use of the term "fifth column" unnatural and jarring. I had never heard it used before (Ellroy had to explain it to us in a quote). It is used like "red" was in the 80s.

    That however changed for me over Christmas 2017. I am now hearing the term "fifth column" (and "deep state") in mainstream US discourse for the first time in my lifetime : (
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
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  6. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member


    An interesting read (if your a transport buff). In effect its the history of locomotive development on the Great Western Railway and on into British Railways (Western Region) days 1837 - 1980. But it does delve into the realms of railway related conspiracy. Eg, When William Stanier left the GWR for the LMS in 1932 was it as a snub to the GWR directors and did he take some of the GWR's new boiler technology with him as a two fingered salute to his boss Charles Collet after Collet rejected his 1931 proposal to develop a high pressure compound version of Collets Castle locomotivess? Did F.W. Hawksworth really intend to develop a 4-6-2 pacific version of the King Class 4-6-0's or was it just a publicity stunt to undermine the choice of Robert Riddles as the CME of the newly nationalised British Railways? Did the GWR's long term relationship with the state German Railways lead to the Western Regions decision to develop diesel hydraulic traction when the rest of British railways were developing diesel electric locomotives as planned for in the 1955 Modernisation plan?

    Interesting stuff, Mr Summers has researched the whole thing very well and it is well penned making for a gripping read. But above all it goes to show you can find conspiracy - real or imagined - wherever you care to look. :)
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  7. sitarzan

    sitarzan Member

    The book I'm recommending these days is UFOs, Chemtrails, and Aliens: What Science Says:


    To get an idea of the book, check out this really neat video with Michael Shermer and the two authors, Donald Prothero & Timothy Callahan, discussing it in a recent lecture sponsored by Skeptic Magazine's Science Salon.

    Though it's not included in the book itself, one particularly rare nugget in the video is at the 32:00 mark where Shermer shares an interesting story about the time he was "captured by aliens".

    He describes a hallucination where he was surrounded by crooked-pinky-fingered 60s era alien Invaders that had taken on human form as his friends and family.

    I wonder. Does that mean Shermer has unfulfilled subconscious longings to be an overly paranoid architect which he's suppressed all these years? Just kidding. Michael Shermer is my guy.
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  8. Peter Perry

    Peter Perry New Member

    So far this has been a nice read.

    Attached Files:

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  9. qed

    qed Senior Member


    Not to be missed. Audio book available.
  10. Jeremy

    Jeremy Active Member

    I'm reading The Cold Six Thousand right now.
  11. David Fraser

    David Fraser Senior Member

    Admittedly this is late to reply but I was brought up with the term "Fifth Column". It was used along terms like "Quisling" (who was a Norweigan) to describe what you posted. I am 50 and through my childhood the only 3 channels at home would show all the old WW2 films.
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  12. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    An interesting and challenging exploration of humanities relationship with firearms. has some insightful sections on the US gun lobby and related 'Obamas try'na get our guns' conspiracies and other topics like their reactions to events like Sandy Hook and Columbine.

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  13. Twoulted

    Twoulted New Member

    Atm reading "Conspiracy Theories" by Mark Fenster :s
  14. qed

    qed Senior Member

    Keep your (Metabunk) tongue firmly in your cheek while reading:rolleyes:! It is a novel.
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
  15. qed

    qed Senior Member

    Of course, no literary exploration of "the JFK incident" is complete with out the grandmaster's Libra.


    I have just begun re-"reading"...
  16. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    Hillbilly Elegy.
    I just finished J.D. Vance Hillbilly Elegy (New York: HarperCollins, 2016). It is a complex book that talks about the breakdown of parts of American society in the last two generations.

    On pages 190-195, Vance talks about the conspiracy theories that have filled in the vacuum, from Alex Jones to the usual tropes about Obama's birth certificate, false flags, etc.

    A thoughtful work. Definitely work reading for the sake of context.
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  17. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    A study in rise of hate (racism, homophobia, transfobia etc) speech in the internet age. Looks into legal aspects of hate speech, mainly in the US, but in the rest of the world as well. Debanks a lot of 'free speech' mythology and most interestingly to us, has several sections linking the growth of internet bigorty with the growth of internet conspiracy bunk and fake news. Worth a read if you have a few hours to spare.
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  18. Mauro

    Mauro New Member

    I've just read "The Jesus Puzzle" by Earl Doherty.
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  19. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    Attached Files:

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  20. Whitebeard

    Whitebeard Senior Member

    May 11th 1812, Spencer Perceval, British Prime Minister was shot, at very close range, in the lobby of the palace of Westminster by disgruntled Liverpool business man John Bellingham. Like the JFK assassination some 150 years later, the incident was surrounded by controversy at the time and gave rise to a number of what we would now call conspiracy theories.

    This book by historian Andro Linklater re-examains the events around the shooting and its aftermath. It looks into some of the conspiracies, debunks some and labels others as 'possible but not proveable'. Over all an interesting read and investigation into a part of British history that isn't well known in this day and age, and proves that there will always be folks who look at 'official' naratives and claim its all a cover up and the truth is that THEY did it for 'reasons'
  21. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    Listening to some Steven Pinker books.
    His newest one "Enlightenment Now" explores the many reasons people fail to see or recognize good events, and instead gravitate toward sudden bad events -- and that these negative events will somehow tell a story on where we are as a species. Pinker uses graphs and statistics to help grasp how we are advancing, not declining.

    (I was never good at high school book reports, but maybe I've gotten better over the years.)
  22. Tedsson

    Tedsson Member

    As a believer (for it is only a belief) in extraterrestrial life (but categorically not UFOs) I just read these books in order.
    • The Eerie Silence: Are we alone in the universe. Paul Davies (who works for Seti.)
    • Rare Earth - Peter Ward & Donald Brownlea
    • If the Universe Is Teeming with Aliens ... WHERE IS EVERYBODY?: Seventy-Five Solutions to the Fermi Paradox and the Problem of Extraterrestrial Life - Stephen Webb. (snappy title)
    Rather depressingly, they seriously challenged my belief in ET.

    I had always assumed the development of life was part of the natural history of a planet. All the stages of gas clouds, star formation, creation of planets etc can be observed elsewhere in the galaxy. These processes are, errh, universal. We know there are countless stars with planetary systems. We know there are rocky planets. Some of them will have water and be in Goldilocks Zones. And so on.

    So the foundations for life must exist in abundance. It’s not going to happen everywhere but play the Drake Equation and it ought to be likely. So where is it?

    So I became a bit agnostic about ET.

    However, I thought about it for a bit and realised that we are basically in Universe V3.
    • V1.0 was only stars and gas giants for about 4.5 billion years (as the universe consisted of only hydrogen with a bit of helium)
    • V2.0 was a combination of stars, gas giants and rocky planets for a similar period. The higher elements that constitute the planets were formed in supernovae.
    • We are at the tail end of V3.0 where there are substantial numbers of rocky planets formed out of the products of supernovae.
    So I think the process of life being part of the natural history of a planet might be true but both rare and recent.

    Or maybe that’s just me trying to shoehorn some facts into a belief. Self delusion is easy.
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  23. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member


    We just got this book. It looked like an interesting take on deliberate attempts to manipulate information on the internet.

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  24. Tedsson

    Tedsson Member

  25. tadaaa

    tadaaa Active Member

    thanks for the tip Tedsson
  26. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

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  27. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    I just uploaded the audio version of Niall Ferguson's newest book,
    "The Square and the Tower".

    It's perhaps irresponsible of me to mention it here, when I have not yet read or listened to it.
    Has anyone read it ?
    https://www.audible.com/pd/The-Square-and-the-Tower-Audiobook/B078PT8T2G?ref=a_author_Ni_c9_lProduct_1_1&pf_rd_p=e9e52ec0-c05e-4911-8746-2586073224ad&pf_rd_r=ZV6WN8RCSRDWWTJ8NG4Y&f r

    Interesting.... Fareed Zakaria's weekly CNN show (last week) did have a: Niall Ferguson and Steven Pinker "mini-debate".
    It can be seen here....
    Source: https://www.cnn.com/videos/tv/2018/12/21/exp-gps-1223-pinker-ferguson-debate.cnn
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  28. Leifer

    Leifer Senior Member

    In the meantime, I'm listening to a book on a different non-fictional subject.... America's largest fire (Yellowstone) during the time of Teddy Roosevelt. The book is ....

    "The Big Burn: Teddy Roosevelt and the Fire that Saved America" by Timothy Egan


    It's full of detailed accounts of a 1910 fire so large, of which people said, "nobody had ever seen anything like this before"....plus the politics of why and how it happened, the theories at the time, America's forests, and is also a biography of Roosevelt.
    Sound like a familiar topic ?.... the recent California fires.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
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  29. MikeG

    MikeG Senior Member

    Denying to the Grave.
    An interesting take on conspiracies. I particularly liked the chapter "Charismatic Leaders," which talked about the appeal of emotion and the limits of education.
  30. itsthematrix

    itsthematrix New Member

    This is currently what I have on my kindle, not many conspiracy books, kind of :). hope you don't mind.

    Over 50 percent completed reading.

    Everything Gets Out Eventually - Stephen Brennan (Horror)
    I'll Be Gone in the Dark: One Woman's Obsessive Search for the Golden State Killer
    The Martian Chronicles

    %10-%25 read just started
    Magicians of the Gods: Sequel to the International Bestseller Fingerprints of the Gods
    Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Using Facts
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  31. mudr0

    mudr0 New Member

    The Story of Life.

    Essential reading for those that think transitional fossils do not exist.
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2019