Here is a nice example of the silliness of rhetoric about conspiracy theories, this time in relation to Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks.
It is often pointed out, but less often heeded, that usually we have to decide between conspiracy theories. For example, “conspiracy theories” about 9/11 are really alternative conspiracy theories, since the “official story” is clearly constituted by a theory positing a conspiracy.
Interestingly, “conspiracy theories” and the rhetoric attacking them are the subjects of recent discussions by philosophers. Probably the most extensive work has been done by David Coady, who in addition to many publications of his own, has edited a volume on the subject. (I became familiar with Coady through the creepy cover on a different book.)
Here is one example (a pdf) of a discussion of the conspiracy theory I mentioned, by Stephen Clarke:
I should note that Clarke is less concerned than Coady (or me) about the misleading terminology surrounding conspiracy theories, but he doesn’t seem to use the term for rhetorical purposes.
Here is an interview with Michel Gondry about his interesting project of interviewing Noam Chomsky and putting the audio to abstract illustration in a documentary. The trailer is posted at the end of the interview, but I’ll also post it below. More importantly, here is a post from my brother’s travel blog, in which he translates an article about himself from a local paper. I should note that my brother is somewhat tall and, at least according to the article, quite happy.
There has been a series of hostile but entertaining exchanges, albeit indirect, between Žižek and Chomsky. It seems to have started here. Žižek replies here. The debate was titled “Atlantic Rim” (and given some weird commentary) here. Now there is a new, and more substantive, rejoinder by Chomsky here.