The Internet has made it too easy to be a quack.
In my desk drawer at work, I have a wonderful collection of old UFO nuttiness from the early 1990s. It’s wonderful stuff – wildly imaginative zines full of poor writing, even poorer graphical presentation and absolutely wonderfully muddy thinking. Back in the day, you used to have to really take your nuttiness seriously to publish this stuff.
Today, it’s easy. Far too easy, which means there’s an absolute flood of poor quality nuttiness, and no real way to distinguish the dross from the gems. Which is why I embrace Arnd Bernaerts, the author of the thesis that naval warfare is behind climate change. Or something like that. I’m not entirely clear on the hypothesis. But in my mailbox the other day, I got a copy of Bernaerts’ book on the subject, which has all the hallmarks of the best UFO work I so enjoyed back in the day: poor graphics, (but lots of them!), a wonderfully self-consistent collection of strange anecdotes and an absolutely impenetrable thicket of argument that seems so obviously clear to the writer and absolutely incomprehensible to me.
Back in the day, I had a good deal of journalistic fun debunking nuttiness, but I’ve come to realize it’s rather like destructive hurricanes: bad in principle, but impervious to journalistic assault. So I largely ignore the field these days, leaving the battle against the forces of weirdness to others. Instead, I choose on occasion to simply embrace the nuttiness. And as a connoisseur, I suggest Arnd’s fine work is worthy of the embrace.