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Flim-Flam! Psychics, ESP, Unicorns, and Other Delusions Kindle Edition
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It's hard to feel slighted by missing the last three decades of his experiences, though, because the content of this book is compelling on its own. Randi's occasionally humorous, occasionally invective, and always straightforward retelling of some of his more prominent and a few of his more obscure investigations makes for fascinating reading. Being born after this book was published, I did not appreciate either the work put into or the ultimate benefits of investigating and exposing pseudoscientific and paranormal charlatans. This book provides a sometimes visceral perspective of the harms of magical thinking in the faces of those who would exploit it for personal gain. To live at a time when such hucksterism is on its back foot is owed to Randi and all of those who helped make skeptical inquiry a more socially acceptable position, however infrequently represented at present. The book also serves, then as now, to serve as a call for vigilance against uncritical thinking and exploitative manipulators.
I deducted one star for technical failings of the e-book. There are numerous errors in the scanned text, and the photographs are terrible for viewing in any detail (though I suspect the latter gripe may be the case with the print version as well).
The Cottingly Faries have never been raked over the coals so thoroughly. Levitation has never been brought down to earth so deftly. Even Stanley L. Wojcik, who is lauded in a historical post about The Old Spye Inn as a parapsychologist, in a blog posting at [...], gets a drubbing for sloppy handling of dowsing rods made out of clothes hangers. The von Daniken books are held up to justifiable question -- although it must be noted that this book was originally published in 1982, and other writers have come forward to answer with proper scientific research, some of von Daniken's questions.
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There should more people like him. An open minded skeptic.. looking the root of the question.. curious.. courageous.. scientific.