Month: January 2010

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(image by Thristian, used under a CC license) If the internet were a town on a map, what would it look like? Alfred Korzybski said that 'the map is not the territory'. That said, sometimes a 'notional map' might help us visualise that which defies classification. This is a map showing four 'towns' in cyberspace - Cyberia: a place of infinite possibilities and anarchic fun, Cyburbia: a landscape of twitching curtains, paranoia and suspicion and Deadwood: a lawless outpost where the rules of 'netiquette' simply don't apply. Finally, we have Disturbia. Well, you'll figure out what that's about... We suggest that you click on the view larger map option so that you can see all the embedded content. View The Map Is Not The Territory: Visual Artefact in a larger map Related The Haiti Conspiracy Theories Tracking the Protocols of the Elders of Zion Blather.net's Map of the Weird

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(image from the UN Development Programme, used under a CC license) Would-be ethnographers of the web such as ourselves are often advised to try to take a neutral stance on conspiracy theories, seeking to take a position of 'negative capability', resulting in the publication of posts which take a reasonable, balanced and calm approach to the issue at hand. This is not one of those posts. 'If you think you know what the hell is going on, you're probably full of shit' - Robert Anton Wilson It took less than a week for the Haiti conspiracy theories to gather a head of steam, culminating in a series of claims so bizarre, random and clearly bonkers that they make the 9/11 Truthers and the Birthers look like an emminently reasonable bunch. Contrary to what the foaming-at-the mouth fundies are saying, the Haiti earthquake was not the result of the Haitians doing...

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.... with photographs by Dave Walsh, music by Dacianos. There is something unnerving about watching reality bend before one's eyes. There is what one "knows" to be true, and that which one can see through a telephoto lens or binoculars - with Fata Morgana, the two are difficult to reconcile. Something is happening on the horizon. Icebergs twist and change shape, move, disappear, elongate. Islands rise from the sea. The earth warps. The 18 images of Fata Morgana, or complex "superior" mirages, in the slideshow below were made between July and September 2009, off the coasts of both northwestern and northeastern Greenland, while I was part of a Greenpeace expedition to investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic. Some of these photographs show the landmass of Canada's Ellesmere Island in the distance - the air is incredibly clear in the Arctic, and the only way to capture the...

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Secret societies, alleged grave robbing, little black books, Thor, the possible skull of Geronimo, grizzly human remains, shadowy establishment figures, ex-Presidents, conspiracies, the CIA and supreme court judges. While these may certainly sound like the frustrated ramblings of DeCount O'Blather on a wet-wristed Wednesday wankathon (TM) , they also happen to be involved in an upcoming lot for sale at Christies which has quite a few people in a bit of a tizzy. Sale em's Lot Lot 157 contains memorabilia from the infamous Skull & Bones secret society, based at Yale University. Home of America's elite, the societies members have included a veritable 'who's who' of establishment figures throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, including both George Bush's, and John Kerry. Founded in the 19th century, the society owns its own windowless fortress property, as well as a 40-acre Island in upstate New York, where members can get away from...

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 (Henry Ford - one of the Protocols most ardent supporters and publishers) The Protocols of the Elders of Zion has often been called the 'original conspiracy theory' - a known anti-semitic forgery which, despite an abundance of research showing that it is a fake, continues to replicate and spread. The following map is part of a project (for a course at the University of Edinburgh) which attempts to understand how poor research, multi-located narratives and the 'will of the web' can ensure that dangerous, patently false ideas can continue to thrive and thrive. This map attempts to track the spread of the 'Protocols' - a forgery which purports to be the 'secret agenda' of the Jewish people and their plans for global domination. To properly view the embedded content, I suggest you click this view in a larger map option:View Tracking the Protocols of the Elders of Zion in a larger map