Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Recently an irritated reader made this astute observation: "Cosmic America does not use footnotes." Thank you master of the obvious. It is true, I do not use them. Culminating in an attack on my academic integrity, the reader asked why I "refused" to supply proper citations. First of all...relax. Second, the answer is simple. I want to keep this cite as informal as possible. The colloquial nature of the blog format allows for a low key exchange of ideas. I reserve the formal citations for work written with the intention of publication in the traditional (print) sense.

Much of the primary evidence presented here is fairly common knowledge. Prominent individuals' speeches and publications, for example, which are readily available on any number of websites, need not be cited. But I make a rule of identifying my sources if they are not immediately recognizable. I will always make note of the origin of any historic newspaper articles, passages from lesser known or out of print books, individual private testimony and correspondence, or other sources as they come up.

But if none of this is satisfactory - please send me a note in the Contact section of this cite. I will happily supply formal citations (as I did for the irritated reader....and he didn't even say thanks - ingrate).

Well...you're welcome anyway,



  1. Citation is nice, but with a blog like yours it is hardly necessary except in the cases you mentioned. Some folks though just will not take a person seriously without the citation, hence the loathing in some circles of Shelby Foote and his work. It is nice to see that you are willing to supply the citation upon request and glad you pointed that out. I might want to dig deeper into one of your subjects and now know all I gotta do is ask!

  2. I have to wonder if footnotes are even necessary in the digital age when you can link to the original document or book.

  3. Steve - thanks for the comment - if you ever need the real deal, let me know.

  4. Richard - thanks for the comment. For the most part, I think you are correct. I occasionally find something that has not yet made it to the digital world. In such a case, I try to provide the relevant information.

  5. Fully footnoting would make high speed blogs like your unsustainable.