Since before I was born, elites have maintained a severe taboo against taking seriously the hypothesis that UFOs are aliens. As I’ve discussed, elite-aspiring UFO researchers have themselves embraced this taboo. They seem to figure that if we look carefully at all the other hypotheses, and see how inadequate they are, then the taboo against UFOs as aliens must collapse.
No one has ever accused me of being a member of any elite, anywhere. I want to be in the elite, any elite anywhere, but I never made it.
But this sentiment by Megan McArdle strikes me as daffy:
"Whether we’re being visited, and what they might be up to, is the most important question of anyone’s lifetime, because, if so, everything that currently obsesses us, including the pandemic, will retreat to a historical footnote. …"--MM
OK, say the Earth is being visited by aliens. Somehow proof is generated to back up that claim. Then what? So what?
Will the US dismiss woke politics? Will Latin American governments become less corrupt? Will Putin become a nice guy? The CCP all lightness and liberty? Labor share of income in the US begins to rise again? Pretty girls notice me?
Intellectually, alien visits are fascinating. I hope they are "real." But after a few weeks of media buzz, then....nothing will change.
Our plebeian, prosaic lives lives go on as before. Governments will waste money on military outlays The Shiites will hate the Sunnis.
And most importantly I will not be in an elite even if aliens land on the White House lawn, or in the pool at the Hugh Hefner mansion. Both places I have never been invited.
I suppose if aliens elect me as their spokesman, my lot in life would become elite. A slender reed, indeed.
Aliens! Listen! I can be your spokesman!
OK. Both of those are still pretty taboo-cagey, the first with the disjunction with mundane hoax/lie, and the second with 1000:1 odds. But I can see why you would still want to mostly respect the taboo even while complaining about how others aren't infringing it as much as you.
Also, the taboo isn't about assessing serious consequences given an unlikely antecedent (see, e.g. asteroid impact planning), but about the seemingly crazy belief that it's likely and the bad traits believers statistically tend to have. Taking consequences seriously is just one of several signals of high credence or belief that there are alien UFOs.
"taking seriously" here is about seriously considering the consequences. But these bets do express public opinions on degrees of belief: https://twitter.com/bigjosh...https://twitter.com/robinha...
I don't see those posts giving your degree of belief in alien explanations of UFOs either?
This recent fixation on UFOs benefits from being able to use "the elites" as a boogeyman that Hanson doesn't need to define. If he did, the gaps in his logic would be too large to ignore. And so the handwaving continues.
I eagerly await the next insightful post with textual evidence of how "the elites" also scorn expressions of belief in bigfoot, the flat earth, and the spirits that haunt old houses and battlefields.
I don't know if I agree that "elites" have an issue with talking about UFOs. That doesn't sound right to me. My feeling is that elites talk far too much about UFOs considering their probable significance. Harry Reid, Obama and other with similar status have all talked openly about UFOs recently. And anyone in Hollywood seems more than fine talking about UFOs.
As for the press, I think you have a point. I think it comes from the fact that UFOs are given the soft reporting treatment almost 100% of the time and if that changed, journalists would have a hard time adopting a new tone. I think that's the clear subtext in the Klein quote.
I don't know how many dozens of times I've scoffed in frustration when there's an interview with some local hiker about his bigfoot sighting. It never, ever gets the serious, critical coverage that local political stories might get. The reason is that bigfoot sightings are seen as "human interest" stories by the press. They don't care if the person they are interviewing is credible or lying or whatever. They just want to get a quirky column into the paper. A bigfoot sighting is like when a local kid wins the regional spelling bee. Human interest stories aren't news, they are seen more like the funnies by journalists.
Since that's how journalists are used to reporting on UFO and bigfoot sightings, it's tough for them to imagine finding a new voice to do actual credible reporting on the matter. This has caused me quite a bit of frustration recently. Because the press treats these UFO videos the same way they always have, "Here's a video of a green triangle and no one can explain what it is." They feel free from having to do any reporting on this subject, because it's "kooky". But we're at the point in this current mania where some real investigative journalism would be a public service.