Fri. July 29 -- Paul Dunbar's critique of Joe's 'Tempest' post

Jerry Russell

Staff member


Apophenia is the human tendency to imagine patterns and see meaning in random data. If you see a human face in a rocky cliff, for instance, that’s apophenia. If you see the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in a stormy cloudscape, that’s apophenia.

And if you see nothing but a vast Jewish plot in the complete works of William Shakespeare? Joseph Atwill calls it typology, but don’t be fooled. This word is merely a mask for apophenia and rampant confirmation bias, unrestrained by any knowledge or understanding of the writer of the period.​

Jerry Russell

Staff member
Dunbar's critique is headlined with this photograph:

I dunno what's wrong with me, but I see four horsemen in those clouds. Or at least two for sure.

Marcilla Smith

Active Member
If you will excuse me for sounding like the internet, that looks 'shopped for sure, to me.

As for the debate over typology versus apophenia, I maintain a strict policy of official neutrality. Having said as much, I suspect a Jungian would propose a middle ground
Using one of my several noms de plume, I posted this comment on Dunbar's Wordpress article:

Mr Dunbar, may I humbly suggest that you read this book and tell us what you think of it?
“Shakespeare’s Dark Lady: Amelia Bassano Lanier the woman behind Shakespeare’s plays?” by John Hudson.

I would also suggest that you actually read Joe Atwill’s book, not just the article on “The Tempest”.​

Dunbar made two replies:

Paul Dunbar
August 2, 2016 at 5:11 am

You are kidding me, right?
Paul Dunbar
August 2, 2016 at 5:13 am

May I suggest that you read Shakespeare.

'Nuff said from me to this ignorant, impertinent, semiliterate... person. :eek:
I just have to say something else. I was very glad to hear Joe speak so highly of John Hudson and his work. I can understand how Joe would feel that John is rather ungrateful to Joe in his rather terse acknowledgement of Joe's invaluable and indispensable contribution by bringing up the whole idea of Shakespeare's Messiah. I just somehow wish that Joe would "let it go", knowing that history is already showing the value of Joe's scholarly work. I would like for you two to have John as a guest on your show some day.
My goodness, has it been that long? Could you please tell me how to get in touch with Joe? I wonder if he has any more books in him. I listen to him with Tim on Powers and Principalities, but that's not the same as the great discussions between Jerry and Joe back in the day.

I just discovered another "Prospera" (The Tempest with a female Prospero). The videos will be up until June 4, 2020.
They also have many other plays available for streaming on a schedule. I haven't watched yet.

The videos are on youtube. Right click to copy the urls.
You can download the videos on a PC by typing "ss" in front of "youtube" like this:
to download, adding the "ss":

This may give the pre-show discussion, as well - not sure.