Those Damned Invisible Moons of Jupiter!

Posted By on October 23, 2011

Some of those formerly invisible moons of Jupiter, as depicted by modern artists. What will we find when we turn the telescope of modern speech act theory on Shakespeare's plays? Keep reading my blog and find out.

Hank Sanders, a regular on the two most active authorship Facebook pages, Edward de-Vere Shakespeare and Shakesvere, just posted an apt analysis of the  “state of the debate”  as currently conducted in the comments sections of many blogs and online news commentaries about Anonymous, especially the fanatically dumb ones like Stephen Marche’s New York Times editorial.

One of the predictable Stratfordian refrains is “I’ve seen no evidence that….” or “You haven’t shown that….”

As  Sanders suggests, such arguments  turn ignorance into a virtue, performing their critical function only

because the statement, “What I do not know does not exist” – is unassailable from their point of view, and logically sound. It is particularly strong in this case because the things they “know” are arbitrary and have all been decided upon before hand.

Sanders goes on to quote the remarkable but apparently true statement of the “scientist” Francisco Sizzi regarding Galileo’s discovery of the moons of Jupiter.

As reported in Bruce Felton’s What Were They Thinking? Really Bad Ideas Throughout History, Sizzi  dismissed the discovery  on the grounds that — I’m not making this up, and neither did Sanders —

Jupiter’s moons are invisible to the naked eye and therefore can have no influence on the Earth, and therefore would be useless, and therefore do not exist.

This is the best synopsis of the Stratfordian argument I’ve ever read. As someone, I think it may have been Randall McLeod (aka Random Clod, Random Cloud, Ana Mary Armygram, etc.) once said, “teleology wreaks all sorts of mischief.” Or words to that effect.

This is not to deny that sometimes traditionalists are making rational points, deserving of a thoughtful hearing and response. But more and more, desperation is giving way to the ridiculous as smart observers adopt a more nuanced position and leave the true believers to their own misguided devices.

Well done, Hank! — and many thanks, Dr. Sizzi.  We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

About the author

Roger Stritmatter is a native liberal humorist who lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Contrary to rumor, he does not live on North Avenue. He does, however, work on North Avenue. A pacifist by inclination, one of his heroes is John Brown. But he thinks that Fredrick Douglass, another of his heroes, made the right decision. Stritmatter's primary areas of interest include the nature of paradigm shifts, the history of ideas, and renaissance literature, the latter a field in which he has published extensively

Comments

2 Responses to “Those Damned Invisible Moons of Jupiter!”

  1. Lurking Ox says:

    Great Article. That Hank Sanders guy sounds pretty smart.

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In "From Crackpot to Mainstream"Keir Cutler, PhD, takes down the recent Shakespeare Beyond Doubt (OUP, 2013)

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