Ancient Aliens, modern obsessions

I'm really enjoying Jason Colavito's reviews of The History Channel's hilarious/infuriating hit show Ancient Aliens. What makes them better than the average blog? Colavito is an author who has written extensively about the anthropology of pseudoscience, and the connections between pseudoscience, religion, and science fiction. So his recaps are less about debunking the claims made on Ancient Aliens (because, really, that's just too damn easy) and more about exploring where those claims come from, pop-culturally, and what makes them so appealing, to begin with. Fascinating stuff.

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  1. Yeah, I hate it. I hate the "reality" shows too.

    History Channel, I have an idea. How about having programs about history, actual history.

  2. One of those things is substantially less batshit-crazy than the others. I'd say there's a strong probability of aliens, somewhere—it's a pretty big universe. Just not aliens who stop by evert so often to build pyramids and probe our rectums.

  3. And if SETI was getting 10% of my tax dollars I'd lobby to shut them down in a heartbeat, but $2.5 million a year doesn't even amount to a rounding error when you're talking about Federal spending.

  4. And like much pure research, there's a decent chance of unexpected spin-off results.

  5. We do spend hundreds of millions of dollars looking for dark energy and quantum strings, which is really, really easy to know if you really gave a shit. And I bet if you added up all the woo-spend, you'd find 9-figures for aliens.

    But to your point, considering we're now up to, what, a couple of thousand confirmed extrasolar planets, bitching about checking them out for life for a complete drop in the bucket figure like 2.5m sounds like the sort of asshole that complains about someone on food stamps buying potato chips and soda while ignoring that, say, Wells Fargo paid a negative tax rate for the last 5 years.

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