Archive for the ‘Marcello Truzzi’ Category

Canadian Director Of CSICON

March 23, 2007

Gluttony, Groucho:50, 6006 YD (later)

As I stumbled out of the Head Temple of the Esoteric Order Of Eris last night, hiccuping to myself, and cursing the rather cheap ale which had been pushed upon me, a figure lurched from the shadows and asked if I was one Baron Verulam von Hoopla. Pulling my coat closed tighter around my throat, to close out the chill in the air, I looked around before answering: “Who would like to know?”

The man stepped into the light of the streetlamp and took his hat off. “My name, sir, be Seamus O’Riordan, and I come from the Committee For Surrealist Investigation Of Claims Of The Normal. Are you the Baron von Hoopla who penned the weblog concerning Psuedo-Skepticism?”

“Well,” I stuttered. “I really mostly cribbed it from other sources. I mean, it was Marcello Truzzi’s list after all.”

“Aye,” said Seamus. “We know all about Truzzi. But we’re talking about Hoopla. Are you he?”

“Gulp.” I gulped. “Yes.” I said. “I’m Hoopla.”

“A pleasure, Mr. Hoopla.” Seamus said, extending his hand.

I extended mine back, saying: “Baron.”

“Ah, yes. Sorry.” Seamus coughed. “A pleasure . . . Baron.”

“So, what can I do for you -hic- Mr. O’Riordan?”

“Dr. O’Riordan.” he corrected.



“Dr. O’Riordan.”

“The Committee For Surrealist Investigation Of Claims Of The Normal has been watching you for some time, Mis- ah, Baron von Hoopla, and we’ve been pleased with your sense of agnostic zeal when dealing with patapstchology. A sense lacking in all too many these sad days. We are in the process of branching out to other countries and need people who will work for us in certain regards, or act on our behalf . . . we were hoping you might be able to be the person who would act on our behalf here in the area of land which is commonly referred to as ‘Canada’.”

“I see,” I said. “Does the position pay?”

“Ah, no.” said Dr. O’Riordan.

“I see,” I said. “Alright, I’ll take it. So, what do I have to do?”

O’Riordan had already turned away. He moves fast. But, he turned back. “Eh, nothing much, really. You wait until someone tries to proves something is perfectly normal, then you investigate. It doesn’t come up much, and it’s usually fairly obviously NOT normal, so . . . uh, you let them know how it isn’t normal, and, eh . . . so on. See you.” and he walked away into the chilly night air. I decided to celebrate by having another drink.

So, yeah, I’m the Canadian Director of CSICON.

Are You A Psuedo-Skeptic?

March 22, 2007

Envy, Groucho:49, 6006 YD

Marcello Truzzi was one of the founding co-chairmen of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and editor of their journal “The Zetetic”, but was voted out because he wanted to include pro-paranormal people in the organization and pro-paranormal research in the journal, but CSICOP felt that there were already enough organizations and journals dedicated to the paranormal. Kendrick Frazier, instead, became the editor of CSICOP’s journal and the name was changed to “the Skeptical Inquirer”.

After leaving CSICOP, Truzzi started another journal named: “the Zetetic Scholar”. He popularized the term ‘Zeteticism’ as an alternative to ‘Skepticism’, because the term ‘Skepticism’ -he thought- was being usurped by what he termed “pseudoskeptics.”

In a 1987 issue of “the Zetetic Scholar” Truzzi offerred this list of the attributes of the pseudoskeptics:

-The tendency to deny, rather than doubt.

-Double standards in the application of criticism.

-The making of judgements without full inquiry.

-Tendency to discredit, rather than investigate.

-Use of ridicule or ad hominem attacks.

-Presenting insufficient evidence or proof.

-Pejorative labelling of proponents as ‘promoters’, ‘pseudoscientists’ or practitioners of ‘pathological science.’

-Assuming criticism requires no burden of proof.

-Making unsubstantiated counter-claims.

-Counter-claims based on plausibility rather than empirical evidence.

-Suggesting that unconvincing evidence is grounds for dismissing it.

-Tendency to dismiss all evidence.