Thursday, March 11, 2010

Zeitgeist, my dad the proto-skeptic

Last evening my wife and I, with our dog and cat in tow, enjoyed the return of our weekly dinners with my parents at their place. My retired parents are back from two months of snow birding in Florida. Anyway, they discussed a ghost tour of some small central Florida hamlet, and my dad was not impressed. One alleged bit of evidence of a haunting of an old hotel was the front door on a grandfather's clock would just mysteriously open. It has be a spook, specter, or ghoul, right?

My dad pointed out to the guide that is a ridiculous conclusion when it could be a tilt in the floor, vibrations from the clock, or a bad lock. Yes, he probably put a damper on the tour in his brusque manner, but it struck me as clear evidence of where I get my "skepticism." While I doubt the old man would ever call himself a skeptic, I clearly have no moving conversion tale from a woo to a rational world view like many a skeptic because of his (and mom's) influence.

I was glad to hear of my dad poking a hole in a woo balloon. It is a shame there were not more parents like them when I was a kid.


I am in the middle of "Reasonable Doubts" which has suddenly begun downloading from iTunes again after a few weeks break. I have no idea why it stopped, but maybe Steve Jobs is distracted by launching the iPad to care. I am about half way through the latest episode and its critical review of "Zeitgeist" the internet conspiracy documentary movie. Also, Brian Dunning recently covered "Zeitgeist" on "Skeptoid." What rock have I been under that I have missed the latest internet conspiracy movie? I need to get a copy of "Skeptic" magazine as there is an article about the film in the latest issue. (Sadly, my local news stand stopped carrying it late last year.)

Maybe, the conspiracy skeptic will cover this film in a future episode with a sage guest who is chock-full-knowledge? The film apparently makes claims of a conspiracy reaching back to the Roman Empire to hoist Christianity upon everyone, and somehow lead to the attacks on 9/11 and the much maligned Federal Reserve. It all sounds almost to good to be true, so I'll risk being put on a government kook watch list and watch it on line.

Just a random lunch time update from finally warming Pennsylvania.
Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T


  1. The zeitgeist guy is apparently releasing a new version. According to Brian Dunning he's backed off some or all of his 9/11 claims but he's leaving them in the new release.

    The Conspiracy Science site did what I did with only one of Alex Jones' movies in spades:

    He tracks down most contentious quotes, double checks them, and finds they're wild eyed fantasies. I've got him thumbed in for a guest in the not too distant future.

  2. I did some Google sleuthing yesterday. Apparently, a third movie is in the works. He has backed off some of his comments up to the point of backing off. I look forward to a CS treatment of the movie. Why don't actual skeptical documentary films go viral?


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