Author: Micah Hanks

Micah Hanks is a writer, researcher, and podcaster. His interests include areas of history, science, archaeology, philosophy, and the study of anomalous phenomena in nature. He can be reached at

One Reply to “Tech of the Times: Tracking the Unexplained in the 21st Century”

  1. At the risk of treading over familiar and unpleasant ground (and, of course, being a spoilsport), with great power (in this case, the power of gathering and filtering huge amounts of information very quickly), comes great responsibility. Yes, I’m talking about the responsibility to avoid the Daily Me phenomenon.

    A fortean researcher, presumably dabbling relatively even-mindedly in those affairs that others conciously filter out, is perhaps most damaged by the Daily Me. The ability to normalize all your input and filter out conflicting perspectives is dangerous for anyone, but this echo chamber is even more dangerous for someone who already works on the fringe. The tendency to be attracted to the fringe is perhaps one of the reasons why many people take up the study of the fortean, but the temptation to automatically silence all dissenting voices is what turns level-headed people into (otherwise level-headed) crackpots with no connection to consensus reality — and consensus reality is, of course, the only thing that could potentially give this study any kind of social or economic legitimacy.

    We’re already on the losing end of the culture war — there’s the understanding that there are a few good and level-headed analysts who want to rationally research and understand that which is currently not sufficiently explained, but even that is popularly marginalized. We can’t lose any good researchers to the temptation of an echo chamber, and all the loss of perspective that brings. Don’t give a sword to a man who can’t dance, and don’t give a wand to a man who can’t deal with reality — and don’t let either keep holding their weapon when they’re too drunk to see straight.

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