Academia can be a rich source of weirdness. Personally, I’m fascinated by paranormalist physics-abuse as it percolates through popular culture, and, let’s face it, quite a few places outside of physics. Here’s a lovely example: somebody presented a paper at a conference called “The Semiotics of Time.” From the announcement on H-Net:
Some scientists believe that viral DNA dispatched from an alien cosmic civilization has been transferred into the DNA of earth’s organisms. In relation to this idea of ancient viral DNA, but not in support of its alien dispatch, a published paper presented at the 34th Annual Meeting (October, 2009) of The Semiotic Society of America (SSA), an interdisciplinary professional organization grounded in the logic of American philosopher and scientist Charles Sanders Peirce, is now available online at no charge at www.isisthesis.com.
. . . the Peircean theme of crystallized mind, the Egyptian transformation of the dead King into a hybrid pyramidal form of millions, and the four-faced ancestral transformation of the early Chinese Yellow Emperor may point to the polyhedral form of an ancient lambdoid virus, suggesting the possibility of afterlife horizontal gene transfer and viral lytic replication (cloning) from here to eternity. The semiotic approach also explores the backward-in-time aspect of quantum observations, as well as the ascent/fall ontological structure of consciousness as framed by Swiss psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger in relation to Heidegger’s thought. Put simply, mind may act as a cosmic unifying force.
Visit the web site; it’s thoroughly crazy. And fun. At least occult weirdness is a break from monotheistic varieties of mind-rot.