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Anti-conspiracy articles (11 posts)

  1. truthmod

    These are predictable and come out fairly regularly nowadays. One thing particularly irksome about them are common subheadings like these. I would expect a little more careful language from a true journalist, but of course these people must signal their sureness in their own position and the ridiculousness of the opposition.

    >No, he was not carrying out an Illuminati “blood sacrifice” ritual.


    >No, there was not a second shooter

    Trump Supporters Are Promoting Insane Conspiracy Theories About the Vegas Shooter

    Posted 3 months ago #
  2. truthmod

    Why So Many People Believe Conspiracy Theories

    William of Occam would have hated conspiracy theories. A 14th-century philosopher and Franciscan friar, William is celebrated for developing the "law of parsimony," better known today as "Occam's razor." According to the razor principle, the simplest explanation for an event is almost always the best; shave away any extraneous assumptions, and what you've got left is usually the truth.

    That's not exactly the way conspiracy theorists think. Either Barack Obama was actually born in Hawaii, or an international plot unfolded over multiple decades to conceal his Kenyan birthplace and install him in the presidency. Either vaccines are safe and effective, or every major hospital and health organization in the world is covering up the fact that they actually cause autism. Never mind the razor — conspiracy theories are nothing but extraneous assumptions.


    Certainly, not all disgruntled members of the out-party believe or traffic in the prevailing conspiracy tales. A lot also depends on demographics, with belief in the theories generally inversely related to education and wealth. One survey showed that about 42% of people without a high school education believe in at least one conspiracy theory, compared to 23% of people with a post-graduate degree. A 2017 study found a household income average of $47,193 among people who were inclined to believe in conspiracy theories and $63,824 among those who weren't.


    In some cases, the very nonsense of conspiracy theories may actually be an attempt to make the world make more sense. After a national trauma — the assassination of President Kennedy, say — something called the "proportionality bias" may take hold, as the mind recoils at the idea of small causes leading to such massive effects. So the fiction of a CIA or Mafia conspiracy takes the place of a lone gunman who was able to get to the President. The more people who join the circle of believers, the less likely any one of them is to break away.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  3. BrianG

    Occam's Razor becomes a blunt instrument in the hands of the unskilled or confirmation-biased.

    Consider the case of a homicide squad investigating a corpse found in an alley with its head bashed to a pulp. There's blood and brain matter all over the brick wall.

    Invoking Occam, the detectives declare it a case of suicide by head-banging and go out for donuts.

    Posted 3 months ago #
  4. truthmod
  5. mark
    Member Not all conspiracies are created equal by John Judge 30 October 2002

    Not all "conspiracies" are created equal. The government did kill JFK, and they lied about it. That does not mean there was never a Holocaust, or that the world is run by the Illuminati. ....

    But in the end you can only get to the truth with hard work, comparing and sorting facts and rumors, and digging for the hidden reality as well as the obvious. We are paralyzed in America, says Martin Schotz in his great book History Will Not Absolve Us: Orwellian Control, Public Denial, and the Murder of President Kennedy (Kurtz, Ulmer and DeLucia, 1996), by the fact that we can BELIEVE anything but we are allowed to KNOW nothing.

    Until we know, we cannot act. And if we act on rumor and impulse then we are no less a slave than those who live in the denial that the propaganda machines promote. So, be cynical and question things, but be analytical and scientific so you can approach the truth when you speak. Three truths don't make a fourth just by mentioning them. All lies, in fact, depend on having elements of the truth in them for verismilitude as its called. Read, don't repeat what you last heard. And if you are going to be more than a theorist, then give conspiracy the respect it deserves, and prove it. Good hunting, and always come clean.

    "A honey pot, in intelligence jargon, is a tempting source of information or 'dangle' that is set out to lure intended victims into a trap. Ultimately the honey pot is violently and maliciously discredited so as to destroy the credibility of anything stuck to it by association." Michael Ruppert, "Crossing the Rubicon," p. 184

    "There's fool's gold because there's real gold." 13th-century Persian poet Rumi

    "The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments." Nietzsche

    "If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about answers." Thomas Pynchon, Jr.

    "Disinformation, in order to be effective, must be 90% accurate." Peter Dale Scott

    Posted 3 months ago #
  6. truthmod

    WaPost attacks the concept of a chart that shows conspiratorial connections. Yes, many of these have been created to deceive, but that doesn't invalidate the usefulness of a tool. And why no mention of Mark Lombardi.

    I remember this one being passed out at NY 911 Truth (I went searching for it and the one on Google images is actually hosted on our site):


    The brave new world of political conspiracy-theory illustrations

    “Powerful people can’t use conspiracy theories very well. They’re tools of the weak to attack the powerful,” he said. “But what we’ve seen in this instance is because Trump has built his entire machine on conspiracy theories, that’s why we have dueling conspiracy theories. That’s why we have a narrative on the right and a narrative on the left.” Had rival Republican Jeb Bush won the presidency, Uscinski argues, Hannity would spend his time doing something else.

    Posted 2 months ago #
  7. truthmod

    Secrets and lies: The psychology of conspiracy theories

    Belief in conspiracy theories can influence politics, health, the environment, and even job satisfaction. So what makes people believe them and what can we do about it?

    What can we do about them? Psychologists are now starting to turn their attention to what, if anything, could or should be done to combat the potentially negative effects of conspiracy theories.

    Some research suggests that people often remain convinced by conspiracy theories, even when they have been given information that refutes them. However, exposing people to counter-arguments before they read about conspiracy theories has been shown to ‘inoculate’ them against the conspiracy theories.

    Other research suggests that exposing people to rational arguments, or even framing the very idea of the conspiracy theory as ridiculous might reduce beliefs in conspiracy theories.

    Posted 1 month ago #
  8. truthmod

    Study: Educating news consumers about the media can curb conspiracy theory appeal

    THE MORE CONSUMERS UNDERSTAND the news media and how journalists do their jobs, the less likely they are to buy into conspiracy theories—even ones that might be “politically tempting,” a new study by a trio of journalism professors has found.

    People who believe conspiracy theories are not “the proverbial nut job,” the study notes. Instead they are news consumers, both liberal and conservative, who may not understand how information is reported, what goes into writing a headline, or why some stories get more attention than others.


    Craft and her colleagues surveyed 397 adults of different demographic backgrounds. Participants identified as some degree of “liberal,” “conservative,” or “moderate.” Each participant was presented with “a number of possible conspiracy narratives” that researchers classified as “liberal” or “conservative”—examples include the relationship between childhood vaccines and autism, and whether global warming is a hoax—and then asked “the extent to which they believed those narratives to be true.” News media literacy was measured by assessing thought process, how much control an individual perceives to have over media influences, and how much individuals know about the media institutions that produce the news.


    THE FINDINGS ARE PART of a growing body of academic research that examines how knowledge of the media ecosystem drives believability. Other recent studies have looked at whether people who better understand the news media engage in higher-level political discussions; the effectiveness of news media literacy public service announcements in political programming; and which audiences are most receptive to attempts to educate them about the media.

    “News literacy tends to focus on content, trying to critically read an article, but we believe that people need to understand the industry side and the larger relationship between news structure and democracy,” says Melissa Tully, an assistant journalism professor at the University of Iowa.

    News organizations often devote time and space to explaining data journalism and big investigative projects. When the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported in November that TripAdvisor removed warnings about rapes and other crimes at Mexico resorts from its site, the paper’s Raquel Rutledge explained in a video how she got the story. The Chicago Tribune routinely runs an explainer with its big investigative projects, as it did in the first part of its series on dangerous drug interactions, meticulously detailing the science behind a project that ultimately exposed how pharmacists miss the problematic combinations.

    Don't worry about that alt-left / alt-right narrative about corporate media or fake news, just have some respect and trust us.

    Posted 4 weeks ago #
  9. truthmod

    Conspiracy theories: Here's what drives people to them, no matter how wacky

    Wake up, sheeple.

    Right now, there are networks of passionate and committed people across the world working to subvert some of our deepest-held beliefs and upend the established world order.

    They're called conspiracy theorists. They walk among us. They could be your friends, neighbors or loved ones. Who knows? You may even be one yourself.

    There seems to be a conspiracy being "uncovered" all the time these days, and no matter how outlandish they may be they seem to have no trouble drawing in ardent believers.

    Despite the prevalence and pervasiveness of conspiracy theories, the reasons people are drawn to them is a relatively new area of study for psychologists.

    Jan-Willem van Prooijen, an associate professor at the Department of Social and Organizational Psychology at VU University Amsterdam, said research into the phenomenon has really only taken off in the last seven years.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  10. BrianG

    The psychiatric criticism of conspiracy theorists is very comfortable for people who want an excuse to focus on their own selfish interests (and of course their very "altruistic" interests in the welfare of their children).

    This is why I think the physical evidence is a productive line of inquiry. The laws of physics can not be written off as a conspiracy theory.

    The idea that bin Laden was a CIA asset is a conspiracy theory. No matter how supportable you think that proposition is, it's still a conspiracy theory.

    When you say the official reports did not adequately explain the behavior of the towers in collapse, you will be accused of advocating conspiracy theories. But that won't be true.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #
  11. mark

    The controlled demolition claim is not a "theory," it was just a hoax. Lots of sincere people got snared but it wasn't real. There's nothing about so-called physical evidence rhetoric that supports that falsehood. Sorry. Long past time to move on.

    The firefighters who were there watched the towers buckle before they fell down. It's fortunate they stayed standing as long as they did, which allowed most of the people below the impacts to escape. It's not true that they "fell into their footprints" as surrounding buildings were destroyed or damaged.

    In 1992, a 747 crashed into an apartment building in Amsterdam, causing part of it to immediately collapse. It was an accident, and going slower than the 9/11 planes, but still ruined the building. And almost a year ago, a skyscraper was felled in Tehran, Iran due to fire. It doesn't happen often but it's not an impossible outcome. Obsessing over this is like hyper focus on where the bullets came from in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963, without checking claims for accuracy.

    Posted 3 weeks ago #


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