Ross 2

A little more. Because it’s hard to resist. Because there are just so many – um – interesting remarks.

To set the scene. Ross once attended what he calls a New Age trade convention, and gives us his thoughts on the subject.

The more official and centered voice of condemnation against the New Age community can be found in what are often charaterized as the witch-hunting activities of CSICOP…CSICOP is an international ‘inquisition’ of mostly academic ghostbusters, set up…to police the boundary between science and pseudoscience contested by a host of New Age alternatives to institutional scientific orthodoxies.

Same again. Official, ‘centered’ (huh?), witch-hunting (!!), inquisition, police, boundary, institutional, orthodoxies. All that in 1.5 sentences. Talk about over-egging the pudding (or over-egging the omelette, as the Alternative Idiom Community likes to call it). And then on the other hand (cue friendly music): community, contested, alternatives. That’s another way Ross is like Harding, despite the superficial differences in style: he’s what you might call insistent. He doesn’t have much to say, so he resorts to saying it over and over again. He says community, alternative, marginal, contested as often as he possibly can, and orthodoxy, official, authority, dominant, even oftener. Maybe one day we’ll get the point and change over from authoritative science to the New Age kind. Yupuhuh, gonna do that, fer sher.

But such exposés of paranormal activities, whether in dry polemics or showbiz, are always conducted through appeals to the kind of experimental certification that rationalist science has established as the single standard of truth and reason in our dealings with the natural world. In this respect, they might be seen as affirmations of faith in the world-view of a particular culture…

Well that’s wrong, for a start; ‘rationalist’ science has not established ‘experimental certification’ as the single standard of truth and reason; that’s just bollocks. And that tired crap about affirmations of faith – well, it’s tired crap, that’s what. Sure, they might be seen as that, because anything might be seen as anything. But that don’t make it true.

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