Thursday, February 17, 2011
Counterknowledge: How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science, and Fake History
In Counterknowledge: How We Surrendered to Conspiracy Theories, Quack Medicine, Bogus Science, and Fake History, Damian Thompson takes us through a quick trip through all the things around us that make people like me irritable. From Creationists trying to push their way into science classrooms to 9/11 "Truthers" and every ire inducing bit of idiocy in between.
While reading this book I found myself frequently shouting things like 'idiots', 'science doesn't work that way', 'my species is doomed' and other such inspiring lines. This is not because what Damian Thompson has written is absurd or wrong. No, it is because he has collected so many sources of disinformation together to be put on display. It is almost like a natural history of so many stupidly wrong and stubbornly pernicious ideas.
If you have ever wondered how that blunt force head trauma of a book The Secret ever got to be so popular or how rampant Islamic Creationism is and just how it is affecting the world, then you have found your one stop source of willful ignorance. While many of the topics may be familiar to those who are more familiar with the ways of the gullible masses, it is still nice to be able to see how such masses of ignorance could form.
Thankfully Damian Thompson has quite the sharp wit and has no qualms about using it on his chosen subjects. As this gives the reader that sense of not being alone in the vortex of idiocy that is our modern world. And with all the stupid he guides you through, you are going to need it.