A catalogue and history of one of the most pervasive subcultures — UFO believers


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/02/15/a-catalogue-and-history-of-one.html



Considering National Geographic reported that 77% of people believe we have been visited by extraterrestrials, doesn’t that make non believers the sub culture?


I want to believe.


Amazingly, no. Just a really really spooky zeigeist.


Yeah? If zeitgeist is the dominant set of ideals and beliefs and subculture is a group within a larger culture having beliefs or interests at variance with those of the larger culture then what makes non-believers the primary culture and believers the sub-culture?


No, because it’s not a matter of opinion.


That’s a weird statistic. What about the people who believe that there is intelligent life outside of Earth, but it has never made any kind of contact with us? Because I definitely fall into that category.


subcultures, plural, and not singular or binary, as they overlap.

Dominant culture is more like the median, zeitgeist more like the mode, to me.


What isn’t a matter of opinion. Also, what does objective reality have to do with primary culture and sub-culture? The primary culture believes magic man in the sky made everything but we don’t call them a sub-culture because they operate without evidence.


I had intended that to be understood as “and subculture is defined as a group”. Since I was providing the common definitions of those terms, I made the mistake of thinking it was obvious.


You also made the mistake of thinking this is a competition. Sorry about your ego!


My ego is fine thank you. So you replied to me

And I gave some common definitions of the terms being used and asked what makes believers the sub-culture. Do you have any response beyond baiting and pedantry or are you just taking a piss here?


My butt has been probed. Not by aliens, they had visas and medical degrees.

Nothing of interest was found.



If you, perchance, wanted to dial down the aggression you’d likely see less here.


This is the stuff I used to love growing up, when UFOs and the paranormal still felt bizarre, and it was possible to imagine that you’d stumbled upon something “hidden.” It’s disappointing that that sense of wonder is almost entirely absent from the scene today. It’s become increasingly ideological and virulently anti-science. It’s believers arguing with skeptics and not a whole lot else.

Yeah. UFOs are mainstream now, and UFO buffs haven’t really come to terms with that. I like joke about fringe archaeologists who believe that the Egyptians build the pyramids, but can’t get the truth out because the mainstream dogmatically rejects any evidence that doesn’t fit its ancient aliens paradigm.


It seems illogical (and incredibly arrogant) not to believe in U.F.O.'s…


‘Chariots of the Gods’ was one of my favorite books growing up. It stirred my imagination and turned me on to things that make one go Hmmmm.

Alien astronauts hanging out with the Mayans? Yeah sure! Ancient computers existed before the wheel? Yeah sure Ok and on…


I wish the Nat Geo survey covered that as well. I would have loved to known the difference in the numbers from the same survey group. I’m kind of a by the numbers person on this topic. Chances are that intelligent life has at some time developed outside of our solar system. How far they got, when that happened, and if it is still the case are completely different questions.

The only aggression here is yours. Responding to your reply to me by asking you what makes believers the sub-culture using the common understanding of the terms zeitgeist and sub-culture is not aggression and neither is explaining myself when misunderstood.

That’s perfect. I had a moment like that with D&D. Back in the early 80’s D&D players were looked at like satanists and cult members. It kind of made us feel like a group under siege. Even when the D&D Saturday morning cartoon was released we felt that way. 30+ years later and I still feel like it’s a small group when the truth is that it is quite mainstream these days.