Fact or Fiction...Good reading!

Rick Knight (rknight@platinum.com)
Thu, 17 Jul 97 11:41:51 CST

Recently there have been some subjects that have popped up of
questionable, genuine scientific value (Roswell, pole shifting, and
maybe psychedelic-driven evolution). It's intriguing to see the
rather intense reactions from the more academic members who wish not
to have the sanctity of their digest polluted with unproven or highly
improbable subjects.

What's fascinating is the *effect* these discussions have. One
reader, upon visiting the pole shift web sites declared "Aw shit!" (as
if he was already committed to his cryonics agreement but fat lot of
good it was gonna do him now because a world calamity is due by
century's end), While the mental tug of war about the physics versus
the circumstancial evidence plays out, some go into flame mode at
having to be subjected to drivel, others wax mildly concerned about
the possibility of such a thing occurring.

There is pre-millenial fever brewing in us all but isn't the current
time frame our own invention? 2000 means something because somewhere
way back when, we decided it did. Does 2000 mean anything to the
Orthodox Jew or the Chinese? Or maybe it's because 2000 is the mark
of a dominant world culture that makes it more special.

Sure, it'd be nice for something a little novel to occur. I was in
tears watching Contact just because it connected with the childhood
pain I felt of not belonging on this pretty fucked-up planet,
beautiful and pristine as it can be at times.

Hypothetically, if the evidence started pouring in, the pole shift is
a definite, I wonder what actions the devoted Extropian might pursue
in increasing the assurance that s/he won't be crushed, drowned,
incinerated etc.. Entertain this notion if you will, suppose you have
a little less than 3 years before it's "the end of the world as we
know it". What's your plan of action?

Hypothetically, all the scientific lack of substantiation aside, what
if aliens crashed in New Mexico 50 years ago and the government knows
about it. How does that alter your perception?

If psychedelics open up a conduit in your chemical makeup to receive
information from another dimension (yes, I'm introducing this concept
that has heretofore not been mentioned), what of that?

So much thrashing about on the details, the facts, the proof or lack
thereof. You may ask, do I *believe* in Roswell? When I was younger
I liked the idea. The details are so pureed though, who could tell
and who has TIME to dig that deep when ultimately you have to make a
decision on faith (or as one reader said about pole shifting "belief

It's a security-based phenomenon to focus one's attention on empirical
proof so one doesn't have to deal with the emotions of what to make of
the unknowns. You can keep it all left-brained and quite tidy. If
that doesn't work, you can make some intelligible static as you look
down your nose at the quaint naive ones who have dashed the other way
like Chicken Little running around in hysteria that the sky is going
to fall (or the pole is going to shift <G>).

These tabloid-worthy stories are myths but I don't regard them as such
to dismiss them. Myths are valuable. Their archetypal impact brings
out a wide range of emotion and it's quite interesting to observe that
in others and in ourselves.

I'm certainly not advocating that the scientifically-minded spend
overt amounts of time mollycoddling the more impulsive members of this
digest. I am suggesting that when someone brings up something that
occurs for you like a matador's cape to a bull, you might want to
drill down into what's triggering the response of judging, controlling
and flaming.

Personally, I like the fact that this digest covers the map from the
viability of food replicators to ancient evidence of Atlantis BEING
Antarctica (that's where that thread could possibly go..). It's
entertainment and as memes go, it's a nice distraction, sometimes a
thought-provoking one. And of course, it doesn't take much reading
between the lines to see that my red flag is control-meisters who want
to get the Animaniacs out of the studio lot (sorry, I have to plug
those guys at least once).