THURSDAY, MAY 27, 2021
...when the Post dealt with UFOs: We were struck by an array of offerings in this morning's New York Times.
On page A1, the paper continued to serve as the PR arm for one participant in the Gates / French Gates divorce. Meanwhile, on the front page of Thursday Styles, Vanessa Friedman penned a lengthy cri de coeur concerning a topic dear to her heart:
Why are moguls from the fashion industry demonized in Hollywood films?
Friedman's anguished cri de coeur ("cry of heart") goes on and on and on. Meanwhile, on the op-ed page, a guest essay appeared beneath these headlines:
We Aren’t as Selfish as We Think
Americans are individualists, but not self-centered.
The essay describes some research findings which sound a bit far-fetched. And yes, we even clicked through to review the way this judgment had been reached:
For our research, we gathered data from 152 countries concerning seven distinct forms of altruism and generosity. The seven forms included three responses to survey questions administered by Gallup about giving money to charity, volunteering and helping strangers, and four pieces of objective data: per capita donations of blood, bone marrow and organs, and the humane treatment of nonhuman animals (as gauged by the Animal Protection Index).
Had data been gathered from 152 countries concerning the humane treatment of nonhuman animals, as gauged by the Animal Protection Index? We undertook to find out.
When we clicked through to examine that index, we seemed to find that only 50 countries had been evaluated and ranked. Nor were we completely convinced by the criteria which had been used, all of which had helped a group of researchers draw some rather fuzzy conclusions.
There's almost always something in the Times which doesn't quite seem to make sense. That said, an editorial insertion in this morning's Washington Post took the cake for this particular day.
In print editions, a guest column appears today beneath this apparently anodyne headline:
We need to put science at the center of the UFO question
In the essay, a planetary scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and a research scientist at a different space institute discuss the forthcoming government report on UAPs (unidentified aerial phenomena). To make a short story even shorter, the authors end their essay with this:
KOPPARAPU AND HAQQ-MISRA (5/27/21): We need to frame the current UAP/UFO question with [a high] level of active inquiry, one involving experts from academia in disciplines including astronomy, meteorology and physics, as well as industry and government professionals with knowledge of military aircraft, remote sensing from the ground and satellite observations...
Without robust, credible data mined by mainstream scientists, UAP studies will always be viewed as fringe science. With a systematic collection of new data, and access to all existing data, we can apply scientific rigor to what has been observed and documented.
Ultimately, understanding UAP is a science problem. We should treat it that way.
"Understanding UAP is a science problem," the pair of scientists wrote. "We should treat it that way."
That's the way their essay ended. Amusingly, editors at the Washington Post then added this disclaimer:
The views expressed are the authors’ own.
Seriously—that's what it says. You can look for yourself!
"Do I amuse you?" Joe Pesci once asked. Turning to the analysts, we gave them permission to laugh.