Akbar’s Retraction

Recently we had a discussion concerning crop circles, and I found the circles so impressive as to immediately deduce that they could not be man-made.  After further reading at the following article, I realized that this deduction has been made too soon:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crop_circle

Also, after some discussion with Globatron earlier, he referenced:

http://www.circlemakers.org/

which makes clear that a human technology devoted to this practice exists.  i do not know enough about the science to make any judgments concerning ‘differing’ types of crop circles.  I will say this.  There is easily an incentive for crop circle creation, financially speaking.  The concentration of crop circles in one place is unsettling, and the documented intent of some people to create a hoax makes the whole thing too messy.

my point is this, the presence of hoaxes, untruths, makes any interest in such phenomena illegitimate.  it occurred to me, on some level, that the creation of crop-circles with the intent to mislead people into believing in extra-terrestrial influence is a kind of terrorism, a conscious intent to arouse uncertainty in the lives of people looking for meaning.  because such events engage very large social structures, we must take seriously the legitimacy of such activity.  In a world that is struggling with understanding how to share legal systems and floating notions of morality, such hoaxes add very potent fuel to a growing fire, and make an interest in such phenomena very difficult to defend.

This notion of terrorism as an umbrella term, i like it.  i like the idea of subverting it for a larger progressive project, with uncertainty as its core principle, uncertainty in terms of secrecy, of procrastinated leadership, pseudo-science, etc.  more coming on this idea.

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9 Comments

  1. globatron
    December 14, 2009

    I take issue with this line:

    “makes any interest in such phenomena illegitimate”

    I take issue with this line because there is an numerous religious dogmas built up upon far less evidence than crop circles and there is actual physical evidence of crop circles. Things you can actually touch, not just believe in.

    So I don’t find interest in such phenomena at all illegitimate. I find interest with them as legitimate as interest with anything really. String theory has no real proof. Nothing you can touch and yet there are thousands of physicists all over the world that would bet their careers on the existence of it.

    The only real way I can explain this away is that there are satellites burning these into the crops. Having worked with vector based graphics for years now I know there is know way you could do the precision based graphics that these images are built upon without the guidance of some sort of laser or computer.

    On top of that add the scientific evidence (of which I know adds even more skepticism – since we can’t even agree on climate change) about how the crops take on a genetic change where they are bent and that the ground has 170 times the electromagnetic energy than the fields surrounding them and I’d say you have a very strange anomaly. Add to that the fact that crop circles have been reported for hundreds of years and within 130 countries and I truly doubt a couple of blokes or even scores of them could do thousands all over the world without being detected while hundreds of farmers are waiting with shotguns on their front porches for them to ruin their crops.

    Call me a skeptic of skeptics. I’m a bit tired of skepticism.

    Reply
  2. globatron
    December 14, 2009

    No wait. I did all the crop circles. I’m doing one now as we speak. Everyone is nuts for thinking that they are real. I’m in a field as we speak texting from my smart phone which is burning one into the ground. God bless Google Earth.

    Reply
  3. Akbar Lightning
    December 14, 2009

    all i’m saying is that after looking at some of the images of how such images could be marked out using basic triangulation made me less able to assume that they were not man-made. the leap from man-made to alien made is a HUGE leap, one that should not be taken without direct evidence. the science that was explained on that video is not within our range of direct knowledge to be critical of, that means we have to trust those people. i am all for being given more evidence, but the initial enthusiasm i had from the video, given the wiki information as well as the fact that there are many people who have made very precise crop images, cannot be justified completely. i must remain somewhat skeptical until that scientific theory is backed up a bit more.

    string theory is a fascinating theory, but it is just a theory, it has not been proven. belief cannot be projected onto something. science, still does mean something to me. i do not like an overly zealous faith in science any more than I do in crop circles.

    the videos are compelling, but when i googled for world maps i could not find anything but repeated maps of a small cluster in England, and that seems far too coincidental for me, given the possibility of financial benefit, as well as the documented presence of hoaxers.

    i think these issues should be taken seriously, but from a wide perspective, not one with an agenda. the truth is my interest, and if there are aliens around, i think it best to be critical of mixing hoax with reality, that was the point of this post.

    i, as much as anybody, want these answers, i do, but the presence of complexity and the frustration that arises as a result, cannot be a reason to throw away a rational relationship with our experiences. it is my desire to get to the bottom of such things that drives my effort to eradicate false positives. these hoaxers have created a sub-culture, one that preys on the fantasies of people. now aliens might be mixed in with those people, but that is a hard call to make given the presence of the fakers. there are a lot of claims out there, but i do believe in the importance of strong facts.

    as a globatron agenda, from my perspective, it would be better to advocate for a more narrower skepticism that we can all share, than to be so open that we lose the ability to collect this knowledge into anything clear. a lot of these ideas and superstitions come from different aspects of culture and history. they are all very different, the 2012 myth is different from the alien myth, the religious myths, the prophecies….and string theory is a scientific theory with a foundation in mathematics, it is not a mystical theory, these are very separate worlds. so even though, in theory, they are all connected, they are, right now, so far from being defined, that we would be really fooling ourselves to think it were even possible to make connections.

    akbar

    Reply
  4. Byron King
    December 14, 2009

    I think the reason I took issue with that line was that all around me was that the media showcasing this extreme skepticism of science from the recent Climate Gate incident.

    I find it odd that many can completely deny climate change because of a few emails taken out of context. Stolen at that. No one is even asking why and who hacked into folks computers and stole their emails?

    The reason I take issue with this huge conspiracy theory of scientists faking climate change data just so they can continue to get their research money and in the same time make money for Al Gore and the green movement who is hell bent on cleaning up the world of carbon pollution and other environmental poisons.

    It seems so tragic to me that the population drives around in cars built by engineers and scientists and checks their email and watches their Tivo every night but takes all of the technology given to them by scientists for granted and then say that scientists have an agenda of deception.

    It saddens me because these scientists are not making a ton of money. Most of them have struggled for decades and making money is usually of little interest to academics. The ones I know at least. People don’t go into science to become millionaires. They usually go into science to help humanity.

    So when something as large as climate change can be rebuffed so easily when thousands of scientists all over the world in many different fields have made it their lifes work, it is just a bit unsettling to me.

    So when I see “scientific” evidence being presented that the ‘real’ crop circles have a different cell structure and the energy in the fields is off the charts I think about what do these scientists have to gain for doing this work? Generally any scientists who takes crop circles or UFOs serious is castigated and shunned from the scientific community. So they’ve even taken themselves out of their own field usually to pursue this work. Chances are they are not getting rich off of it. There are not huge grants being given out for crop circle research I would make a bet.

    And then I think about what if many of these are real and we are denying the most obvious signs of another form of intelligent life humanity has ever received as a hoax just because a group has gotten into the mix and decided to turn a genuine phenomena into a big game so that truth seekers like yourself can not even entertain the idea of looking at crop circles legitimately.

    Not sure if any of that made sense. But I do feel our world is filled with an abundance of skepticism right now. I’m in a place in my life where I’m looking for miracles. If the image of Jesus appeared on a wall of my house in my backyard I’d touch it and ask to be healed. See what I’m saying. I know many would say that isn’t Jesus on that wall and it would most likely be just a water stain, but I don’t care anymore. I’m willing to take that gamble.

    (I think this adds a bit to the conversation)
    Dr. Michio Kaku On Aliens On Physics …
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kw8dcb8iKSM
    We are the fish.

    Reply
  5. Akbar Lightning
    December 14, 2009

    scientists are as guilty as any group, like artists or doctors, who are motivated by money. of course, there are some who have more pure motives, but many, like those in the defense industry, use their scientific knowledge to buy more carbon emitting cars and have a ‘good time.’ science is based on skepticism, it is the driving engine of that field, so if we are to think of ourselves as people who respect science, then we must practice the principles that make science respectable.

    as far as miracles go. i too, think that we have reached a philosophical boundary where the existence of miracles is an important aspect of future work. however, the intensity of the miraculous can only be measured by the depth of skepticism that it overcomes.

    a miracle is not something that we must take a leap to accept. it is the existence of an experience that defies all attempts to explain it away. this is why i take issue with those hoaxers, because they make the phenomena look like a big hoax. the concentration of these crop circles and my inability to find anything that counters that concentration means, as of right now, i am forced to conclude it is more likely a human phenomenon. there is so much to confront as an intellectual, that we must make choices about what is most relevant.

    as far as aliens go, i am completely interested, but i also know there are some key factors concerning the human imagination. first, there is the ability for human beings to create hoaxes, this has probably always existed. second, for most of our history, there has not been a scientific process, or proper skepticism to investigate these mysteries, thus we have a history of miracles, as a means for explaining things that were wondrous. and we have the desire individuals have to believe in something magical. we must take these things serious, if we want anything like a clear picture, because only with a clear picture can we hope to have an experience of something that is genuine.

    akbar

    Reply
  6. Globatron
    December 14, 2009

    So are you saying that because there are humans who are doing it as a hoax that the many crop circles that scientists validate as genuine can not be taken seriously?

    What type of scientific evidence would you need to accept them as genuine?

    Can you believe science? It would seem many don’t give scientists any credit for being truth seekers themselves. Even though at the root of the scientific method is truth seeking, I believe.

    Science is not about believing in miracles.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

    Scientific method refers to a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge.

    If the scientific method is followed is would seem it is specifically designed for investigating such phenomena.

    But back to your post. I too find it to be a bit of mental and spiritual terrorism that a group of artists, craftsmen would do these crop circles knowing very well the significance of these symbols to many and what they could mean for mankind. I would think at some point the scientific evidence would be irrefutable. At what point do you think that might be or if ever?

    I also thought this was interesting:

    http://www.circlemakers.org/rand.html

    Reply
  7. Akbar Lightning
    December 14, 2009

    that article is interesting.

    however, my point about science is this –

    we cannot just trust any scientists, as non-scientists we have two options.

    one- we can trust multiple verifications from many scientists on an issue, global warming for instance, seems like most scientists are in agreement, and because of this it is easy for non-scientists to get very organized information so that they can be rationally convinced of the arguments.

    two – we can develop a high enough level of knowledge to verify the depth of research into a topic. you and i do not have this in regards to these crop circles, we just don’t. we don’t know what microwaves do to wheat, those ‘popped nodes’, we would need years of study to know if that is anything unusual. i do know this, moist vegetation acts very differently to dry vegetation, so the presence of bent grains that are unbroken is not a fact that is conclusive for me.

    anyways, my point on miracles is that a strong science makes the presence of a miracle more powerful, because it defies the scientific process. science is founded upon the idea that without enough evidence we ought to be careful to make strong claims. and without enough evidence the claims that alien lifeforms are interacting with us is a huge claim, so it must be very well documented before we begin constructing responses to it.

    akbar

    Reply
  8. Globatron
    December 14, 2009

    Understood. A follow up question would do we know what science to trust? Do we only trust the science that the scientific community mandates as worth trusting?

    How does the scientific community choose what research topics are worth pursuing?

    It would seem that the scientific community like anyone else needs to eat, so if there is no research money in a field of study there is a reason for that. If a scientist chooses to study something that takes them outside the circle of influence of research grants, etc. then I would think they are taking a greater risk with their careers and are actually doing more to seek the truth than the scientists who only stick to topics that are heavily financed.

    For example, if UFO research blacklists you from the scientific community and yet there are thousands of sitings all over the world and have been since the beginning of recorded time why do we not take those sitings seriously?

    Why does the scientific community not take them seriously?
    The same could be asked for crop circles.

    Reply
  9. Akbar Lightning
    December 14, 2009

    i agree with the problem of the direction of scientific study, totally.

    however, since i am not a scientist, i cannot without some independent verification trust completely a few scientists who point at a phenomenon within a phenomenon as evidence for its reality.

    our interest in this issue will be exhibited by our willingness to get their data, and find out if their work has been validated, and check on that validation.

    the concentration of crop circles in one place is disturbing to me, however, that gives me reason to save my time on further research, but if you find an organized presentation of those scientists’ work, please let me know.

    akbar

    Reply

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