Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ghosts in the Salon

Ghost world | Salon Books

Its politics are always predictable, but some of the reviews and cultural articles in Salon can be OK.

This article, a review of a book about the founders of the Society for Psychical Research (in England in the late 19th Century), is a good one.

Years ago, I read some other accounts of the Society and its early investigations, and have always felt that it is a story that could make good movie material. The founders of the society were well intentioned scientists and academics, and it was really the first attempt to take science to the issue.

The results were ambiguous, but I admire the open mindedness displayed. As for at least one Salon reader, his reaction to the review was:

What a crock of shit.

And that's just Laura Miller's writing. The SPR's particular brand of excrement deserves its own scatalogical label.

Please stop publishing intelligent interviews with people such as Michael Shermer if all you're going to do a few days later is "balance" fact with this pathetic fiction.

As a local sidenote: Many people know that Arthur Conan Doyle became a (rather loopy) believer in spiritualism and all things mystical. In fact, there is a spiritualist church in Brisbane that was opened by ACD during a visit here. This is recorded on a plaque on the church. (Perhaps he just laid the foundation stone, I can't remember for sure, and Google has come up a blank.)

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