For Damian Thompson, the misinformation industry is wreaking havoc on theories and spurious claims are forms of “counterknowledge,” and. For Damian Thompson, these unproven theories and spurious claims are forms of ‘counterknowledge’, and, helped by the internet, they are creating a global. Damian Thompson has invented a new word for this – “counterknowledge” – and has tried to give the whole flabby concept a bit of shape.

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Lies, damn lies and ‘counterknowledge’

Counterknowledeg, the bilge-swallowing multitudes would never read a book like this. Unfortunately, it is not a real phenomenon: Defining counterknowledge as “misinformation packaged to look like fact,” he begins to dismantle some of its more popular examples. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. Thompson makes noises indicating that he’ll address at least in his eyes the root causes of his rising tide. It would be very good for young people to consume and digest before their brains counterlnowledge lost forever on this fantasy-prone planet.

Review: Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson | Books | The Guardian

The only official report then produced on the collapse of the third tower states that …the best hypothesis has only a low probability of occurrence. Selected pages Title Page. Some British schoolteachers are dropping the Nazi Holocaust from lessons rather than confront the Holocaust-denial views of Muslim pupils, p This conflict of interest leads, predictably, to biased and downright fraudulent studies.

Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Shermer attributes it to the feelings of “hope” pseudo-information gives people; for example, someone with cancer may try an herbal remedy, thinking it might work.

But some thought thompsoj his part might have led him to reflect that in cases where there is something to explain, gaps can be filled in by some means other than gathering more evidence. This book is little more than self-congratulatory intellectual masturbation for those who agree with the author.

I found myself a counterknowlddge angry over all the “ridiculous, batty, ludicrous, and horseshit”: Thompson does not comment on the fact that 30 per cent, the low end of the quoted range of success rates, is – according to his own figure p74 – no better a than that of a placebo.


It is concise, readable, straightforward and packed with logic. Thompson gives particular scrutiny to: Butler seemed to acknowledge this implicit part of his remit when he recommended that the pliant John Scarlet, nominal producer of the dossier, should stay in post. This immaturity is self-imposed when its samian lies not in lack of understanding, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another.

There are no reliable sources of information about the events of that day. There’s a problem loading this menu right counterknowledeg. After all, there’s a lot of this sort of thing about.

An abridged version of this review was published in the December issue of Culture Wars. One person’s counterknowledge is another person’s knowledge. By spotting errors, prejudices, distortions. Moreover, helping students to understand the multicultural world may be a legitimate aim for a history teacher, but it seems unlikely that a study of the ‘War on Terror’ is the best vehicle for achieving counterkniwledge an objective.


It makes me ashamed to own one of Patrick Holford’s books. Views Read Edit View history. Does he think that being temporarily relegated to the back benches is counterknlwledge merciless punishment?

He lives in London.

Withoutabox Submit to Film Festivals. I find it immensely ironic that a book called counter knowledge could be so sexist and racist.

Pseudoscience, Superstition, and Other Confusions of Our Time” cover much of the same ground as Thompson’s short volume, damain I’d recommend them both as being more essential buys than his.

Counterknowledge – Damian Thompson – Google Books

He promotes science literacy and skeptical thinking, two things the world is in short supply of. Nov 07, David rated it liked it Shelves: First, only some forms of creationism deny the theory of evolution. Thompson is a b.

First, he grabbed our attention with a plausible-sounding observation: After all, not every example of ‘counterknowledge’ has equally serious consequences – some are considerably more damaging than others. An important polemic, but begs the question – tgompson the placebo effect is so powerful, why doesn’t modern medicine make more use of it?


The result is super-slick: Thompson’s uncalibrated indignation has the unfortunate side-effect of suggesting that every instance damisn ‘counterknowledge’ deserves equal condemnation, which ultimately hurts his argument, though not fatally. Such facile deference betrays the enlightenment ideals he professes.

From Kennedy to The X Files.

In delimiting the contours of his invented category, Thompson sides with orthodoxy and with the powerful, granting a latitude to supposed political and technical authorities which he denies to those on the intellectual or social fringes.

Among all the tangled layers of non sequitur, misconception and outright nonsense, it is a relief to encounter a pair of errors which are quite simple to describe:. I enjoy reading books about skepticism and science, so thought this would be an interesting and informative read.

If counterknowledge really is just misinformation packaged as fact, this approach is quite arbitrary. Even in that context its status is disputed. As Colin Campbell, to whom Thompson credits the phrase, puts it: If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

The book could have been greatly improved for me if the author had been able to 1 – set aside his own conservative belief system, and 2 – provided some key facts to support the information he presents as truth. In Junethe home page of The Truth Seeker, a conspiracy website, included claims that Aids is a “man-made Pentagon genocide”, that Pope Paul VI “was impersonated by an actor from to “, that new evidence about the Loch Ness monster had emerged — plus a link to Loose Change.