Month: November 2009

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(image by spike55151, used under a Creative Commons license) The Birthers, Truthers and Teabaggers may be getting the headlines, but for pure unadulterated lunacy they don't hold a candle to the new wave of anti-semitic conspiracy theorists. Don't believe us? Take a gander at this... Rummaging around in conspiracy theories can be a testing thing. You try to keep a calm head, try to remain objective and, above all else, make no judgements: retaining what Keats called a condition of 'negative capability': '...when man is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.' But, as recently discussed in my talk 'Blather, Rinse, Repeat: An Ethnography of Conspiracy Theory', this is proving increasingly difficult in recent times. But why? Have the Birthers, the Truthers and other right-wing US-based lunatic fringes jumped the shark so spectacularly that you just want to scream until your head...

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(image by Aaron Escobar, used under a Creative Commons license) This is the video of the talk I did at the Dublin Paracon 2009 on the subject of 9/11 and conspiracy theories. This talk resulted from a course called Digital Cultures, part of the MsC. in e-learning at the University of Edinburgh, where we were encouraged to carry out a 'virtual ethnography' on a community of our choice. I chose, for reasons passing understanding, the 9/11 conspiracy theorists, choosing some of the recent 9/11 films as a field site. Press play. And this is the presentation with all of the materials. Press the play button, let it load and the choose the full screen option in the bottom-right corner to properly view all the embedded materials. For some context on how this all came about, you can rummage through my blog for the university course. Hat-tip Thanks to Mark Guerin...