Category: General

Everything old is old again…

This blog is fallow. It has not been updated since 2020, and even then it was only being updated as a vehicle to advertise the podcast I co-host with my friend, Josh Addison. I’m not likely to resurrect the blog anytime soon, so this “final” post will have to do… at least for the time being.

Keep swatching the fleas!

The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy’s entry on ‘Conspiracy Theories’

So, I’ve made it into an encyclopedia; notably the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, which is hosted by the University of Tennessee, Martin. It’s a good overview of the topic, but from my perspective, it’s the final paragraph which is the best thing about it:

To get an overview of the philosophical thinking about conspiracy theories, the best works to start with are Dentith (2014), Coady (2006a) and Uscinski (2018).

You can read the entry here.

Over at Colloquium…

I have a new piece publicly available over at Colloqium, Taking Account of Conspiracy Theories, in which I claim things like:

“Conspiracy theory” refers to a broad church. There are stories about alien, shape-shifting reptiles in control of our political elites, chemtrails and fluoride turning the population into docile drones, and rumours of Cultural Marxism forcing children to change gender. But claims of alien bloodlines secretly controlling the world’s governments are not the only conspiratorial game in town. There are also tales of hidden “pee-tapes” relating to a sitting U.S. President, dirty politics behind the Leave Campaign in the U.K., and historical cases of conspiracy like the Watergate Affair or the Moscow Show Trials. As such conspiracy theories range from sensible, upright members of the community to something akin to those weird relatives you regret sitting next to at a family dinner. Yet this particular fact is not something which is paid much heed by many conspiracy theory theorists.

The Iniquity of the Conspiracy Inquirers

A piece over at the Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective that is not likely to make me many friends in a certain part of the French Academy:

I was even more surprised by the incoherence of the piece in question, in part because of internal contradictions in their own arguments, but also because they mischaracterised my own work (and not for the first time). If I was a suspicious person I would have put this down to malice. Yet not being suspicious I also cannot fathom how serious academics as themselves would fail to check their own work before committing it to publication.

More here.

Conspiracism – What is a conspiracy theory?

Episode 3 of “Conspiracism,” wherein I discuss what a conspiracy theory is, and how our definitions affect our conspiracy theory theories. If you want to play the “Conspiracism” drinking game, drink whenever I say “conspiracy theory theory” or “conspiracy theory theorist.” Not that I advise such foolishness…

Bucharest, the Rapture, and Me

I send weekly emails to my friends and family back home. Sometimes I am going to post them here. They have been edited to ensure that certain private details never see the light of day!

At some point starting with the beginning of Spring in Bucharest, the Rapture commenced.

In certain strands of Christology the Rapture is an Endtimes event, where the Chosen of God will ascend to Heaven and the Damned will live out their time on Earth (or, Hell on Earth). No longer a believer in such things, I was surprised, then, to find that the Rapture is real and is a slow, piecemeal process. It is slowly raising up the good Romanian Orthodox people of Bucharest, and leaving many of us uncertain as to whether we will be next, or whether we will not…

Now, I can already imagine many of you will be saying “But why do you believe this?” (as well as “Are you on drugs?” with a subset thinking “Where can I can a similar substance back home?”). Worry not; this is an entirely evidence-based position. I have seen the signs.

The signs being large amounts of discarded clothing on the pavement and fences of my (almost) daily running route along Matei Basarab and Bulevard Unirii. Almost every day there are random shoes in the middle of the sidewalk, cardigans and jerseys strewn on benches or fences, and sometimes whole suits of clothes just stranded in the middle of the road. These are obviously the remnants of the clothing worn from by the Chosen, who upon discovering they are ascending to Heaven, start to discard the detritus of their Earthly lives. I had entertained the idea that perhaps the Rapture renders people immaterial, thus leaving their clothes behind by default, but that would suggest some people wander the streets of my neighbourhood only in their shoes, and a) I’ve not noticed that and b) that is a disturbing thought I do not want to entertain.

Now, I have not heard reports of similar evidence coming out of other nations (although I have heard of similar signs being found in other parts of Bucharest) so I have to assume that there is something special about Romanian Orthodoxy. Either they are the only Christians to have got it right, at which point the Pope is going to be very, very embarrassed, or Romania is a kind of testbed for the coming Endtimes. Perhaps, even, Romania has been given control over the entire process.

Which makes sense. Traditional accounts of the Rapture indicate it happens instantaneously across the entire Earth, but here it is happening piecemeal from week to week. Given the bureaucratic nature of Romania, if the Rapture is being run out of a government or even religious office here, there will be a lot of paperwork before any given individual can be granted access to ascension.

Now, given the random nature of where the discarded items of the Chosen appear, I can only surmise that either they are not informed ahead of time what is going to happen, or some of the paperwork is a little obtuse about the how and when. Otherwise, why choose to ascend to Heaven outside the local Mega Image (a supermarket) rather than in the presence of your family? This would also explain the rather odd nature of what people shrug off as they are taken up; if you started to levitate without prior warning you’d probably try throwing a few things around to see if that stopped the process.

So, yes, the Rapture has started, and it is taking place in Bucharest. I can think of no other reason as to why items of clothing would be so casually discarded. I mean, it’s not as if alcohol is cheap here (although it really is); it’s all a (religious) mystery.