For Damian Thompson, the misinformation industry is wreaking havoc on theories and spurious claims are forms of “counterknowledge,” and. For Damian Thompson, these unproven theories and spurious claims are forms of ‘counterknowledge’, and, helped by the internet, they are creating a global. Damian Thompson has invented a new word for this – “counterknowledge” – and has tried to give the whole flabby concept a bit of shape.

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In northern Nigeria, Islamic leaders have issued a fatwa declaring the polio vaccine to counnterknowledge a US conspiracy to sterilise Muslims: This book is a first-class debunking of today’s popular bunk and bunco artists. In fact many of these claims are demonstrably wrong, betraying a casual disregard for accuracy and analytical rigour.

For these reasons, the methods by which the safety and efficacy of new drugs are often tested can without exaggeration be described as pseudo-science – counterknowledge on an industrial scale [3]. This aspect of the book is thrown into relief when Thompson criticises Francis Wheen’s wittier and less pretentious bunkum-buster How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the Countterknowledge.

Share Speed Bumpan e-book by James G. Vote for the next cardinal Damian Thompson: Apr 22, Steve Duffy rated it it was ok. Admittedly, it is with the producers rather than the consumers of counterknowledge that Thompson is primarily concerned, and it appears that the research on which the initial suspicions about MMR were based was seriously faulty in a number of ways.

But from a purely pragmatic point of view, Thompson would be more persuasive if he didn’t wax quite so white-hot indignant about each and every example he cites. After all, there’s a lot of this sort of thing about. Also, his conflation of Homeopathy with other traditional forms of medicine like Chinese or Ayurveda is simplistic. I think Thompson should have delved into this psychology more to give personal meaning to his book.

For instance, Thompson claims that “Islamic Creationism is turning into a serious problem for british sixth-form colleges and universities”, but fails to substantiate this claim with anything but the flimsiest of anecdotal evidence.

: Counterknowledge (): Damian Thompson: Books

The Mail is likely to select those concerning Muslims – especially those which can be assimilated to the increasingly vague category ‘political correctness’. The author discusses pseudohistory and pseudoscience, and how they seem to have grown in the past several decades. Among all the tangled layers of non sequitur, misconception and outright nonsense, it is a relief to encounter a pair of errors which are quite simple to describe: Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web.

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May 19, Kim rated it it was ok. I do not claim that Thompson is wrong to object to pupils’ prejudices being allowed to dictate the curriculum, only that his approach to the story manifests a lack of critical thinking and basic counterknowlege. If you refuse to acknowledge the awesome explanatory power of the theory of evolution, you can never properly understand astronomy First he grabbed our attention with a plausible-sounding observation.

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No one who disagrees with anything written here will be dissuaded from their beliefs, and those who counetrknowledge agree will find no new information to battle counterknowledge. Thompson doesn’t give this prescription nor does he give any sort of approach to making science available to everyone, beyond the halls of academia. To ask other readers questions about Counterknowledgeplease sign up.

This legacy of distrust by official sources is why some people trust quacks and charlatans more than experts for simple answers to counterknolwedge issues. An important and counternowledge book on the viral dissemination of misinformation in today’s world. Admittedly, no major newspaper or TV station has endorsed a September 11 conspiracy theory. But it is no more essential to assessment of probability that any propositions be proved false than it is essential to assessment of weight that any objects be proved to have zero mass.

Clocking in at a slim pages, this book just didn’t have much content. As Damian Thompson demonstrates, unless the defenders of enlightenment values fight back soon, the counterknowledge industry has the potential to create new political, social and economic disasters.

Nov 30, Mark rated it really liked it Shelves: Yes, the Left has helped to spread counterknowledge by insisting on the rights of minorities thompsln believe falsehoods that make them feel better about themselves.

Thompson does an especially good job throughout the middle of the book on choosing his topics well: If Thompson damuan espouses the best of enlightenment values, he should heed the words of Immanual Kant: Also, even though the book as little to no politics in it, the writer felt the need to point out if any person or publication he quoted was “left-wing”. Counterknowledge received a number of positive reviews.

Bogus science which denies the link between HIV and AIDS, or which makes unwarranted claims about a putative link between MMR vaccination and autism is clearly actively dangerous, as it can cause people to avoid therapies proven to be beneficial.

Counterknowledge is a slim book about a big problem: At a dozen or so places, he characterizes the gullible vectors or malicious originators of counterknowledge as ‘left-wing’ or ‘left-wing liberals. In fact, according to the report, it was an optional coursework topic which was simply not chosen.


Review: Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson | Books | The Guardian

Actually, the desire for simple solutions goes back at least to the legend of Alexander the Great and the Gordian Knot – – the ultimate simple but irrelevant solution to a complex problem.

Newspaper stories are riddled with supposition and tend uncritically to reproduce official statements of dubious provenance. Butler seemed to acknowledge this implicit part of his remit when he recommended that the pliant John Scarlet, nominal producer of the dossier, should stay in post.

The section on conspiracy theories begins: He has written two books about apocalyptic belief and one about conspiracy theories or “counterknowledge”, which he describes as “misinformation packaged to look like fact”. One only has to scan the media for all sorts of accounts of crazy ideas without a shred of scienti This is a quick read that clearly reflects the dismay that many people feel about the retreat from rationalism – a retreat that seems to be on the increase.

The next president of the US might be creationist Mike Huckabee, or, before he stood down, could have been Mitt Romney, who as a Mormon presumably believes that in BC the American continent was colonised by folk from the suburbs of the Tower of Babel; the proof is in gold tablets revealed in by the Angel Moroni.

Unproven theories and spurious claims are forms of “counterknowledge,” and, helped by the Internet, they are creating a global generation of misguided adherents who repeat these untruths and lend them credence. Miracles are conceived as embodied in observable events, which is what enables them to be certified. First, the political or religious agenda of an author or even of his work does not disqualify the work from being good history.

To take one example, when almost any critical examination of the detail of Holocaust history is met with undifferentiated accusations of anti-semitism and Holocaust-denial from organisations such as the Anti-Defamation League, the subject area is left largely to hardened fanatics like the Hitler-admiring David Irving.

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