“I’m not a real doctor, but I have a Masters Degree, in science!”
As the blog rapidly approaches it’s 7th anniversary, I am reminded that at one time there was a page on this site with a list of absurd-sounding degrees for Dr. Conspiracy, one degree I remember was from the Universidad de Motor Taxi in Lima, Peru. The page was lost in the reorganization of the site long ago, but it represented the whimsical nature of the “Dr. Conspiracy” character’s name. (Today the “About Dr. Conspiracy page” has a straightforward statement of my academic and professional history in real life.)
While I respect academic achievement, I also know that there are some with advanced degrees who lack the good sense that God gave rocks. Credentials amount to a presumption of competence in my book, but I expect more if I am going to adopt what someone says into my “store of facts.” And of course someone with a doctorate in one field, may not know squat about another field. Dr. Ben Carson comes to mind, as does investment advice from Dr. Jerome Corsi. I take a dim view of someone who uses an unearned or irrelevant “Dr.” in front of their real name in order to make them seem more credible.
Michael Shermer writes in his book, The Believing Brain, that the popular notion that smart people are less prone to believing “weird things” than dumb people, is a myth. He says:
…smart people believe weird things because they are skilled at defending beliefs they arrived at for nonsmart reasons.
When I was in high school, a fellow preached at our church saying something about some strain of influenza being a Chinese Communist plot. So afterwards I asked him for some evidence. He took my name and address, ostensibly to send me the proof, but what I got was his newsletter for years, addressed to Rev. N. W. Davidson.
For two decades I participated in the graduation ceremonies at Clemson University, where I led the singing of the school’s Alma Mater, at least twice a year. During that time I saw a great many honorary degrees bestowed with words about lifetime achievement, although most didn’t sound that impressive. The closest I ever got to an honorary degree was when one of the newly-installed Clemson presidents introduced me as “professor of music.”
I used to get pizza a rather good place near where I lived, Real Pizza. I’d call in the order and leave my name. The owner who was operating the drive through window always called me “Dr. Davidson.” I asked him why he did that, and he said that I looked like a professor. Later when I went by and talked to someone else, they said he called everybody “Doctor.” 😆
According to Barry Soetoro, Esq., I may actually be a medical doctor whose real name is Chris Kaufmann, and in addition I could be William David Sanders, who died at the Columbine shooting. (I was once denied credit because I was deceased, but that is another story.)
I downplay my own very real honorary juris doctor degree. One of the reasons that I have done so is that up until now is that I couldn’t find the darned certificate. Heh, I should have looked in the filing cabinet in the folder labeled “Certificates.” 😳 So here are a my credentials, and you can click on it to get the official PDF version.
And in all honesty, I will stack that degree up against any honorary degree from a non-accredited school in the country. It represents (well I hope it does) recognition by my peers of my body of work online. I have learned a lot about the law since I began this blog, and I have also gotten a glimpse of how much I do not know about the law, so I take this opportunity to congratulate Mike Dunford who just recently took his oath as a real attorney in Hawaii. Well done Mike, well done! Mike’s achievement should be an object lesson to what can be accomplished in the time birthers that have wasted on trying to remove an elected President for spurious reasons and by unconstitutional means.
I don’t think that “Dr. Conspiracy” misleads anyone about my real-life credentials. It’s supposed to be just a snappy character name, like “Dr. Doom, ” “Dr. Horrible”, “Dr. Demento,” or “Dr. Evil.” In the beginning I posted under the default WordPress user name, “admin,” but that seemed so “generic” that I cast about for some nom de Internet as a substitute and came up with “Dr. Conspiracy,” inspired by Dr. Science of the Ducks Breath Mystery Theater, who always gave the disclaimer: “I’m not a real doctor, but I have a Master’s Degree… in science!”