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Made in us
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USA

 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Speaking of Anti-Vaxxers?

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/news/anti-vax-facebook-twitter-instagram-vaccines-measles-mmr-a8841666.html?fbclid=IwAR3TzLS2HahixFa5YZQFlUy7CsYcHAcqQzxH5_MR_B4m2XFFmY69inlB8Bw

The U.K. may soon ban anti-vax stuff on social media. How they implement that? I dunno. But I’m guessing some colloidal-Silver and mms flogging cretins will soon be seizing on this.

Never mind that the main claim behind anti-vax is ‘big pharma want munneh’, and that a vaccine injection is a limited cost prevention, compared to weeks of hospitalisation in many cases....


I wish the incident in American Somoa last year had gotten more press coverage. Flat earthers don't really offend me cause they're quite harmless. Anti-vaxxers on the other hand are actively causing human deaths.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/05 23:04:47


   
Made in gb
Last Remaining Whole C'Tan






Even nonsense like Goop really irritates me, as they serve as the start of a lunatic, anti-science rabbit hole.

Drivel like ‘viruses don’t cause diseases - when they clearly effing do.

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I actually think LordofHats illustrated the answer to the OP quite well:

Conspiracy theories exist because they're easily summarized in a attractive package to appear intuitive. The refutation of the theory is much more complex and takes time to analyze.

It's easy for someone to latch onto "9/11 was an inside job", it's much more time consuming to break down why all the assumptions in the conspiracy theory are flawed.

Then once someone latches onto it the other elements discussed - the narcissism, the cherry picking of evidence, etc etc really cements it and makes it much harder to convince the person otherwise.
   
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 ScarletRose wrote:
It's easy for someone to latch onto "9/11 was an inside job", it's much more time consuming to break down why all the assumptions in the conspiracy theory are flawed.


Even more so when the refutation requires specialized knowledge or training most people won't have. By the time you've even refuted the initial claims, the theorists will have a dozen new ones because making stuff up is faster than explaining why it's wrong.And that's assuming the claims are trying to pass themselves off as logical or scientific. Not all conspiracy theories are.

Another good example is the Sovereign Citizens movement. Just try and make sense of this;

citizens have civil rights, legislated to give the freed black slaves after the Civil War rights comparable to the unalienable constitutional rights of white state citizens. The benefits of U.S. citizenship are received by consent in exchange for freedom. State citizens consequently take steps to revoke and rescind their U.S. citizenship and reassert their de jure common-law state citizen status. This involves removing one's self from federal jurisdiction and relinquishing any evidence of consent to U.S. citizenship, such as a Social Security number, driver's license, car registration, use of ZIP codes, marriage license, voter registration, and birth certificate. Also included is refusal to pay state and federal income taxes because citizens not under U.S. jurisdiction are not required to pay them. Only residents (resident aliens) of the states, not its citizens, are income-taxable, state citizens argue. And as a state citizen landowner, one can bring forward the original land patent and file it with the county for absolute or allodial property rights. Such allodial ownership is held "without recognizing any superior to whom any duty is due on account thereof" (Black's Law Dictionary). Superiors include those who levy property taxes or who hold mortgages or liens against the property. ~ borrowed quote from Wikipedia


You literally can't make sense of it. It's hard to even fathom where to begin to refute the consequent nonsense sovereign citizens spout and espouse. It's so out there even experts in the field of law struggle to come up with cohesive refutations, cause when something is basically just word soup it can be hard to even figure out where to start refuting it. Then try to imagine that this insanity is actually being exported to other countries that don't have a constitution or a federal government.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/05 23:44:19


   
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West Michigan, deep in Whitebread, USA

People cling to conspiracy theories because they can't reconcile with themselves that some things in the world just suck, and that random things just happen.

It's their safe place to make it feel like they personally have an understanding of things, and that they aren't just adrift like "those other sheep".



"By this point I'm convinced 100% that every single race in the 40k universe have somehow tapped into the ork ability to just have their tech work because they think it should."  
   
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 LordofHats wrote:
Conspiracy theorists don't actually know what research entails.


This is the thing about conspiracy theorists in a nutshell.

I can sit here and go, 'Hmm, did 9/11 happen as popularly described?' I can follow that up with investigating stuff by several dozen people; all of which claim to be accredited or to understand what they're talking about. They'll build models, talk about laws of physics, how it had to happen one way or the other. They'll scoff at people saying something different to them and say very intelligent sounding things about subjects I know nothing about; leading me on with carefully chosen facts in a carefully constructed way until I have no choice but to agree with them.

The thing is though, I've no fecking idea. I'm not a materials engineer, or a skyscraper architect, or a demolitions experts. Whoever they chuck up on that screen? I've no idea if they have any idea what they're talking about and my base of knowledge is so very very low that I cannot distinguish between someone who knows what they're talking about, and someone who sounds like they do.

So what can I do? Well, I could turn to the computer, and spend a few days googling. What I read might match well enough with what one of the 'experts' says that I believe them. But really, it's just confirmation bias. Whatever I tap in to the search bar will be guided by what I want to read. And whatever I think sounds right will be whatever goes best with what I thought I understood from all those experts babbling at me.

The problem is, what if I misunderstood one of them? What if one side was bull gaking, but did it more convincingly? I haven't got a clue and wouldn't detect it, I don't know anything about this stuff. My 'research' is based on the entirely flawed idea that a few days on google will educate me well enough to discern the arguments, mechanical laws, and physical properties involved and make a rational judgement. But that makes no provision for me not understanding something or missing relevant facts due to my inexperience in the field.


Take Sqorgar above, for example. Unless he is a highly trained architect with direct experience in demolitions and materials management (if he is, I withdraw this remark); he has no idea if what he's seen or read people saying was accurate or not. But he's convinced that he does. And therein lies the root problem for all conspiracy theorists and the wider population more generally.

The mistaken widespread belief that nothing is so complicated a layman cannot comprehend it well enough to sort fact from fiction after a few days of self-led 'research'.



Me? I have no idea of 9/11 happened as is commonly postulated. But then again, I never will. Just like I'll probably never really know the recipe for Marmite or if the British Admiralty was aware of the profits of the armour plate ring in 1910. I'm happy to say the world is full of things that have happened, are happening, and will happen that I will never really comprehend or irrefutably 'know'. And....that's okay. I can deal with that. I have no choice when operating in this world but to take the assumed majority opinion for most things; why should 9/11 be any different in that regard?

The more one does actual research, the more one comes to terms with one's own ignorance in the cosmos.

This message was edited 10 times. Last update was at 2020/04/06 01:23:20



 
   
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Generally i do cut the antivax crowd a little slack because they believe that vaccines are an evil corporate conspiracy to profit themselves at the expense of the public.

I do not support antivaxxers and agree that vaccines save a lot of lives and are generally good, get that straight right now.

But i do have some sympathy for antivaxxers as I can understand their inability to see corporations as anything good and as doing anything without a profit motive. I give them a little tolerance for that as I can relate to that view but still see parents who don't vaccinate children as nearly criminal.

One problem with conspiracy theories is that they often do have some plausibility to them, yet that plausibility could also be a natural, non conspiratorial thing too.

Take covid. Some claim that it's spreading so rapidly because it was deigned to with it's 2 week eclipse phase period where people do not appear infected or infectious but are. Yes, that could be part of a conspiracy...

Or it could reflect the fact we've gotten good at dealing with routine transmission model pathogens and if one was going to spread rapidly it would have to be something different, and by definition anything spreading would be different than the normal viral model.

Which explanation do you prefer?





I've never watched a whole episode of Firefly. 
   
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 LordofHats wrote:

PizzaGate is a specific narrative of events. It isn't some vague claim about the wealthy and their ability to get away with murder that can be turned around like "see, I was sort of right." This is just naked apologism for something that harmed people's lives.
PizzaGate started happening around the same time I started researching conspiracy theorists (during the 2016 election), and it initially started off based on some weird phraseology in the Podesta email leaks (pizza related hankerchief, something about walnut sauce). I think it then moved to Comet Pizza from there - I forget the exact way they got there, but I guess somebody noticed that the logo of the place had the boy lover symbol from some FBI report from a while ago. People started noticing that everything on that block had these symbols and were owned by the same people. They did digging into underground tunnels that went nearby and so on. This was about the time that Reddit banned the pizzagate community and they moved to voat and 8chan.

But they didn't stop digging there. They kept looking up all sorts of connections on political leaders, digging up stuff from the past like the Dutroux Affair, Bohemian Grove, and the Finders. Epstein came up repeated, as did Jimmy Saville. They found compounds in Nevada which they reported to the police, and tracked potential cult activity. There were people that found kindergartens that apparently had no children coming or going and barred windows, and all sorts of stuff. Articles about the FBI running the largest child porn website on the internet were posted. Every time there was a bust that resulted in arrests, this news was posted. I do think the pizzagate community is what laid the grounds for QAnon.

I think it is unfair to say that the pizzagate community was just about comet pizza. That's just when the community was forced off reddit. They kept going. They might even still be going, honestly.

Conspiracy theories function like 'the god of the gaps." There's nothing extensive about them. Their lack of verifiability and internal incoherence is a self-feeding loop. Extensive, yes in the sense that they usually try to cover all their bases on the most basic of levels. Not so much in their ability to stand up to basic scrutiny.
That's what I thought about Sandy Hook too, initially. The purpose of my research was not really to go into the conspiracies themselves, but to get a handle on the mindset of a conspiracy theorist - and the main guy for Sandy Hook (Wolfgang Halbig) made a quintessential model.

This guy was an ex-cop from Florida who, for some reason, made it his life's mission to disprove Sandy Hook. The amount of effort he put into it was rather substantial. For instance, to prove that Sandy Hook was not a functional school at the time of the shooting, he went and procured the financial records for the company that supplies food to school cafeterias to show that no food had been sent to the school in the previous year. He do FOIA requests to get documents that should be public record, and then when he was denied, he physically went to city hall personally to get them (where he was escorted off the premise).

At least for Sandy Hook, which your quote was talking about, it is not the lack of verifiability of the conspiracy theory which drives it, but rather the lack of verifiability of the the event itself. Halbig was relentless in his efforts to verify even basic information of the event, and upon getting stonewalled or threatened arrest, went even harder. He's been trying to verify his theory for years, and if I'm being honest, I feel like he should've found conclusive evidence one way or another by now. I wonder what's been going on there. Most likely, he's still in a legal battle with that Leonard Pozner guy.

The first mistake with conspriacy theorists is thinking you can change their mind with evidence. Their notions are not evidence based so much as faith based and then they cherry pick the facts that suit their conclusion. Just take Anti-Vaxxers. We're in the middle of a global pandemic and they're using it as evidence to support their claim that vaccinations are harmful because they causes disease and look at what disease is doing right now.
The vaccine thing was another thing that I went into thinking it would go one way and ended up coming out the other side totally convinced. The thing is, I never approached the subject from a perspective of whether vaccines worked - they do work - but the discussion about vaccines is so much larger than that. There are very serious concerns with how safe vaccines are (vaccines are not classified like other medicines and do not require the rigorous testing and human trials that most medicine does, largely as a result of wanting to get an anthrax vaccine out to the people as quickly as possible). There's human rights concerns (do we, as a society, have the right to tell the unvaccinated to stay out of public, like they did in New York a few years ago? Can we make vaccines mandatory? What right do people have to decide what goes in their children?). There's concerns over how Big Pharma makes these vaccines (because they have no liability for vaccine injuries, and because of near universal adoption, these become low risk, big money makers for them). There's concerns about effectiveness (vaccines wane over time, with the measles vaccine losing effectiveness after about 20 years). There's concerns about side effects (the HPV vaccine actually increases the chance of cervical cancer by 30% if the vaccine is given after the child has already been exposed to HPV). There's concerns about the history of vaccinations (check out the cutter incident, in which the original polio vaccine actually gave thousands of children polio, or how the polio vaccine was contaminated by SV-40, a simian virus which is highly carcinogenic).

Basically, even if you start from the position that vaccines work and prevent disease, there is a whole load of stuff beyond that, frankly, deserves some recognition. To sum up anti-vaxxers as a bunch of crazy middle class moms would be doing a disservice to the discussion that is desperately needed.

Case and point, you entered this thread with a link and you very evidently did not research it and don't even understand it. It is not a peer reviewed article. If it were it would be published as such, not as a project for public comment which is what it actually is.
I think you might have some outdated information. The initial version of this report was released in September 2019. The final version of this report, which added material to cover public comments, was released only ten days ago. I admit that I haven't read it, and not being a structural engineer, my ability to understand it might be limited. But I might make an attempt later.

I can not get into the rest of your commentary right now (and probably shouldn't as it would derail the thread), but I don't consider being a truther to be a particularly damning claim against somebody's credibility. But your comments about the fire model, I can't really dispute. I know it was a topic of debate during the initial public comment release, but I don't know if it has been addressed in the final report or not.

9/11 truthers, originally believed to be nutters of the highest order, eventually started to reverse public sentiment over decades by coming out with increasingly compelling evidence.


Source.
To which statement? The fact that public sentiment is starting to reverse or that there is compelling evidence? I admit that both statements are largely subjective. For public sentiment starting to reverse, I've definitely seen more people being open about being a truther in the past few years. For compelling evidence, I did mention a five hour documentary that I watched. I considered it to be compelling.
   
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 AegisGrimm wrote:
People cling to conspiracy theories because they can't reconcile with themselves that some things in the world just suck, and that random things just happen.

It's their safe place to make it feel like they personally have an understanding of things, and that they aren't just adrift like "those other sheep".


It's also impacted by the "town idiot" issue.

Pre-internet, if you were fething stupid...the impact of your stupidity was generally limited to your immediate family, friends, occasional people in your town, and co-workers. Short of writing in letters to editors of magazines and newspapers (which, thankfully are filtered), your ability to spread your stupidity was pretty minimal. When the internet arose, it allowed every person the ability to spread their nonsense and even worse...find communities of similarly stupid people with which to congregate. The old saying "None of us is as dumb as all of us." is particularly true certain communities where it's just a circle jerk of misinformation, ignorance, and desperation.
   
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 Sqorgar wrote:
it is not the lack of verifiability of the conspiracy theory which drives it, but rather the lack of verifiability of the the event itself.


Reliable source questioning whether or not Sandy Hook happened.

And feth you for even indulging the idea 26 people didn't die. Alex Jones is being destroyed by the lawsuit brought by the families for even suggesting it and I wish that destruction was visited on everyone who engages in it because it's inhumanly disgusting. Report me to the mods for rule violation. Don't give a gak. This nonsense should be shouted down at ever corner and given the only level of respect it deserves.

Basically, even if you start from the position that vaccines work and prevent disease, there is a whole load of stuff beyond that, frankly, deserves some recognition.


Source questioning the efficacy and safety of vaccinations and their value in preventing preventable diseases that isn't the one from the 90s.

disservice to the discussion that is desperately needed.


Indulging apologetic garbage is doing a disservice to the very notion of intelligent discourse.

The initial version of this report was released in September 2019.


And this is just where I'm going to stop pretending. This has nothing to do with the criticism I leveled at the project. I also have read the public comments. There's 4 of them and all of them were clearly not written by engineers and two of them I don't think even relate to projects analysis. No one read this, lest of all the 300+ engineers, chemists, and architects who produced the consensus view on why the tower went down. I doubt most people went past the summary, where they immediately decided what they thought about it and didn't bother to even read the first few dozen pages. I would in fact not be shocked if I were the first person on Earth to do it. And that still has nothing to do with my actual criticism, which is that conspiracy theories are not research or evidence based. They in fact fall apart when subjected to real scrutiny, and their flimsy attempts at trying to appear as scientific and "peer reviewed" are transparently empty to anyone with actual experience in academia and subject expertise.

don't consider being a truther to be a particularly damning claim against somebody's credibility


It in fact is, especially if they happen to be from the field of engineering and they have no real evidence to back up their claims. This is not Galileo pushing a fringe view on scientific methods in an era of academic oppression. It's holocaust denial with extra math.

Now, I suspect that project was just a grad-student project. It looks like one. It reads like one, at least to me but I'm not an engineer. Lots of STEM courses require grant-based or similar research for students to earn their PHD, so the people who did that project might just have taken the grant they could get and ran with it (which would explain why the whole thing reads like an overview of structural models more so than an analysis of a building's collapse). In that case, Husley would just be their advisor and it would not be right imo for him to stifle his students on the basis of topic and he should do his job in helping their academic pursuits. It would also conveniently explain why someone who clearly should have some subject expertise would make such a glaring error. His students probably couldn't research the full analysis in the first place and picked the two floors because that's what they could do with the time had.

Robert Korol on the other hand has been pushing 9/11 crap most of his career and indeed it should be (and has been) damaging. Outside of being a truther he really has no career. That guy has been doing this since I was in high school. I have no idea who the other guy is, but he's credited as a consultant, which is pretty frequently code for "didn't read it, has no idea what the subject is about but we're gonna sell his name to go on it to lend it an air of credibility" in academics, especially garbage academics.

To which statement?


It's a self explanatory request.

I admit that both statements are largely subjective.


So you don't have a source and you're engaging in literal faith based reason (making stuff up) to make that claim? Well, it serves as a wonderful example of what I'm talking about at the very least, which is probably where this should end.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/06 02:19:56


   
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Under the couch

 Sqorgar wrote:
That's what I thought about Sandy Hook too, initially. The purpose of my research was not really to go into the conspiracies themselves, but to get a handle on the mindset of a conspiracy theorist - and the main guy for Sandy Hook (Wolfgang Halbig) made a quintessential model.

This guy was an ex-cop from Florida who, for some reason, made it his life's mission to disprove Sandy Hook. The amount of effort he put into it was rather substantial. For instance, to prove that Sandy Hook was not a functional school at the time of the shooting, he went and procured the financial records for the company that supplies food to school cafeterias to show that no food had been sent to the school in the previous year. He do FOIA requests to get documents that should be public record, and then when he was denied, he physically went to city hall personally to get them (where he was escorted off the premise).

At least for Sandy Hook, which your quote was talking about, it is not the lack of verifiability of the conspiracy theory which drives it, but rather the lack of verifiability of the the event itself. Halbig was relentless in his efforts to verify even basic information of the event, and upon getting stonewalled or threatened arrest, went even harder. He's been trying to verify his theory for years, and if I'm being honest, I feel like he should've found conclusive evidence one way or another by now. I wonder what's been going on there. Most likely, he's still in a legal battle with that Leonard Pozner guy.

More likely, the evidence all points to the outcome that doesn't fit his narrative, and so he can't very well tell everyone.


The problem with these sorts of cases is that you generally wind up taking this one guy's word for it that all that shady stuff was going on. Is there corroboration for his 'research'?

This is where most of those who buy into conspiracy theories come unstuck. Unless you can point to actual, verifiable evidence that is backed up by multiple sources, you don't have proof, you just have 'this guy says'... and you're believing it because it fits the narrative in your head, not because it's actual evidence.


 
   
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 LordofHats wrote:

And feth you for even indulging the idea 26 people didn't die....I wish that destruction was visited on everyone who engages in it because it's inhumanly disgusting. Report me to the mods for rule violation. Don't give a gak.
Yeah, I'm out. I think we could've had an interesting discussion, but I'm not interested in whatever this is.
   
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 Sqorgar wrote:
...I think we could've had an interesting discussion, ...

No, I don't think you could.

People have strong feelings about kids being massacred. When even the most cursory reading of the 'evidence' of the supposed staging of Sandy Hook shows it to be blatantly absurd, you're pretty much guaranteed to elicit an emotional response if you present it as something worthy of actual consideration.


 
   
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 Sqorgar wrote:
Yeah, I'm out. I think we could've had an interesting discussion


I knew we wouldn't from your first post.

I'm going to spell this out, not because I think it'll get to you but in the hope that people who aren't shills might take a note.

It's one thing to peddle truther gak like it's worth anyone's time, especially when I can spend a few hours reading and researching names to make a half-effort what it is. It's another to act like the ruining of already ruined lives deserves anything but the deepest of scorn and immediate dismissal for the human filth that it is. Truthers might be ignorant fools pissing on the dead so they can feel special about themselves or turn a quick buck on ignorance, but they're not actively ruining anyone's life. They're just insensitive. At Sandy Hook children died. Their parents and families were immediately bombarded afterwards by 'researchers' mailing them death threats, stalking them, and proclaiming on national television that their dead children never existed. Family photos were put up with little red circles for pure donkey-caves to point at and scream it was photo shopped.

feth that, and the shills who defend it. It's not worthy of respect or consideration and it sure as hell doesn't make of interesting discussion.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/06 04:46:43


   
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I think anti-vaccination stuff is probably my biggest hate in the world.

As everyone knows, it stems from a single, discredited and withdrawn study. The conclusion of which was that a single vaccine (combined MMR) was less safe than three separate vaccinations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. And who paid for that study? The firm selling, you guessed it......the three separate vaccinations.

Since then, it’s become utterly twisted. It also confuses correlation with cause. Autism isn’t on the rise because ‘medicine’. It’s on the rise because we’re getting better and better at recognising it’s traits.

And the thought that some parents would prefer their child dies, rather than be autistic frankly turns my stomach :(

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This is a recent classic for anyone who might be interested in one particular type of conspiracy-peddling.



 
   
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Holocaust Deniers are a special kinda evil.

We know it happened. There are stacks of evidence to support the numbers murdered.

Ugh.

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Holocaust Deniers are a special kinda evil.

We know it happened. There are stacks of evidence to support the numbers murdered.

Ugh.


knowing that it happened isn't enough though.
Knowing that occupied countries and satelite states (even neutral countries) have participated in it and the correct depth of it are an even deeper and greyer /darker area.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/06 11:18:18


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 Daedalus81 wrote:

In the 41st millennium there is only overpriced hamberders.

 
   
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There is a thing about people drawn to believe conspiracies, and another for those who make them.

I believe they are two different things : for the first category, to me it is more about validating your opinion by having something that conveniently builds into your narrative, and making you feel you're the smartest one in comparison to others "not seeing the truth". For the second, I think it's more about a tool being used for their own interests - not especially always about actually believing it and making it a principle, but also as a way to make money (youtube channels that can attract a lot of views / memberships that way) or just spread confusion and doubt for their own political interests.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/06 11:35:33


 
   
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I think conspiracy theorists have benefitted from the internet more than many other groups. Previously, some random guy down the street who believed the Earth was flat was just mildly ridiculed as the local crazy guy and they'd often come to realise they were wrong after much peer pressure and ridicule or they'd withdraw into the crazy old hermit stage of conspiracy theorists. In either case it was difficult for their particular theory to gain any traction outside of a small group. The internet allows these groups of people that one thing they lacked previously: social acceptance for their ideas. Now you get these people thinking they are part of some greater movement because they can see people form all over the world sharing their beliefs in a self-sustaining web of confirmation bias. Often these groups are still very small but people can make themselves well known within these small groups and attain some level of power even in a very limited way. Conspiracy theorists often also seem to like the idea that they know something nobody else does, often also believing they've "figured it out" themselves, thereby elevating them above the rest of society. Again, this self-congratulatory state of affairs is then backed up by communities online.

I knew a 9/11 Truther (God how I hate that term) at uni. He was intelligent and persuasive but essentially uneducated in the sciences - having no real grounding in any science and engineering discipline and also no real appreciation for how research worked in those fields. One thing he was very good at was finding information that seemingly didn't match the official narrative. This would then be presented as proof of a conspiracy, which always seemed really odd to me. As others have pointed out, there's a huge difference between something not quite lining up with established facts and being proof that everything was orchestrated by the government. Combine that with confirmation bias and you end up with multiple "facts" being regurgitated over and over, often with no way to really disprove much of anything on the spot. That's another common thing with conspiracy theorists, they'll pose a question or present some evidence to be refuted and if you can't do it there and then they seem to count that as a victory. They seem to equate volume of data with quality of data which skews their "research". So instead of thinking about what any data means they just gather it up like some sort of conspiracy magpie and try to make as much of it fit into their narrative as possible. For example, I remember my friend arguing that a picture of a steel beam in the WTC wreckage that had been cut at a 45-degree angle was proof that the towers had been demolished using thermite. There were two problems with this which I found out literally by doing a 1-minute Google search. Firstly, that's not how thermite works (turns out the thermite thing was adapted from a whole different set of conspiracy theories about the WTC, which is interesting in itself - these theories tend to mutate and consume each other to form vast, often mutually exclusive sets of theories that people somehow believe simultaneously). Secondly the picture was actually taken during the clean-up of the site and showed a beam that had indeed been cut rather than destroyed in the initial attack. It had been cut by the clean-up crews themselves. You'd think that presenting this evidence would make my friend then question his own evidence, but instead it was just met with various attempts to fit this new information into their pre-conceived ideas. Ultimately, anything that didn't fit into their theory was too difficult to disprove just became something "they wanted you to believe". I note that "they" is often a difficult group for conspiracy theorists to define. It's a very powerful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect at work, which is even more obvious if you ever encounter any flat earth "proofs" online.

There's also an element of not being in control and not realising the world is complicated that many conspiracy theorists refuse to accept. It's been mentioned elsewhere in this thread but understanding something like the series of events in the WTC collapse is not a simple thing and the layman is not going to comprehend all of it. The same applies to a lot of the more complex physics surrounding the globe/flat earth "debate". The consequence of this is often that people misinterpret or misunderstand one thing and extrapolate that to a whole host of bullgak. The most dangerous word in conspiracy theories is probably "therefore" because it's almost invariably preceded by an unsupported assumption. This lack of understanding of how the world actually works and the expectations of some people that everything can be fully explained to even the most ignorant observer has even led to problems in law courts. I remember reading a while ago about some research that showed juries were possibly failing to convict people who perhaps would have been found guilty in other circumstances because shows like CSI made it seem like you could definitively link a person to a crime using "science" and if the prosecution failed to do that it must be because the person was innocent.

Then there's the question of both how and why a conspiracy exists in the first place. For example, if 9/11 was some kind of government conspiracy there'd be an astronomical number of people involved, up to and including the various scientists writing the reports. If the conspiracy were true there is precisely zero chance that not a single one of those involved would have blown the whistle by now. Then there's the why. Flat Earth is my big "why?" conspiracy. Apart from being obviously complete bullgak it's also a conspiracy without any reason. I don't understand who benefits from claiming a flat Earth is actually a globe other than a bunch of vague assertions that "NASA does...for some reason".

Finally, another +1 for pointing out anyone who believes in a Sandy Hook conspiracy is worthy of the deepest scorn and ridicule. If your little pet theories mark you out as a bit weird and eccentric then fair enough, you do you, but when they encroach on the very real grief and suffering of families going through the devastation of losing their children you can feth right off.
   
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Dunning-Kruger Effect, for those new to the wonderful world of the Conspirasphere.

Wikipedia - yes, I am aware wrote:
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In the field of psychology, the Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability. It is related to the cognitive bias of illusory superiority and comes from the inability of people to recognize their lack of ability. Without the self-awareness of metacognition, people cannot objectively evaluate their competence or incompetence.[1]

As described by social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger, the bias results from an internal illusion in people of low ability and from an external misperception in people of high ability; that is, "the miscalibration of the incompetent stems from an error about the self, whereas the miscalibration of the highly competent stems from an error about others."[1]


Felt it useful to provide a snippet of info. Feel free to follow up with your own searches


Automatically Appended Next Post:
And on ‘why no whistle blowers’? Add in the sheer, vast amounts of money one could make if you had genuine, verifiable insider evidence that a given Conspiracy was true?

Consider how many rival governments would offer you safe haven for embarrassing and seriously undermining the integrity of a rival on the world’s stage?

That appeal only grows as the impact grows. I mean, 9/11 was and is still used as a justification for war, and even local Islamophobia. How many lives have been wrecked and upended by the aftermath?

Yet? Not. One. Person. Has. Squealed.

Given people report all sorts of trivial nonsense to the press that no-one in their right mind particularly cares about (OMG I SAW SLEBS AND THEY WAS HOLD HAND!, thank you that’ll be £299, invoice enclosed)...yet total silence and solidarity? Sorry, that’s simply not how human beans work!


Automatically Appended Next Post:
For a very, very modern Conspiracy Theory?

5G is the cause of Covid-19.

OK. Let’s run with that for a brief moment. Let’s assume there is something to it.

Except....I live in Royal Tunbridge Wells ( just off The Historic Pantiles. Oh yes, its a-very nice!). People in town have contracted and even died with Covid-19.

Yet......the town is not covered by 5G. Towns nearby? Let’s say Tonbridge, East Grinstead, Crowborough. They’re the main ones.

Tonbridge?Nope.

East Grinstead? Nope.

Crowborough? Nope.

So how could 5G have any possible link? I don’t need scads and scads of ‘research’. I don’t need to quote possibly unverifiable reports from ‘a scientist who’s chosen to remain anonymous’, or even A Quack. This was the work of mere seconds, and I’ve reasonably debunked it.

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/06 12:53:29


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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
Holocaust Deniers are a special kinda evil.

We know it happened. There are stacks of evidence to support the numbers murdered.

Ugh.
If you get the chance watch Confronting Holocaust Denial with David Badiel.
   
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 Sqorgar wrote:
Yeah, I'm out. I think we could've had an interesting discussion, but I'm not interested in whatever this is.


I hate to break it to you, but you aren't "researching conspiracy theories." You are a conspiracy theorist.

 Sqorgar wrote:

This guy was an ex-cop from Florida who, for some reason, made it his life's mission to disprove Sandy Hook. The amount of effort he put into it was rather substantial. For instance, to prove that Sandy Hook was not a functional school at the time of the shooting, he went and procured the financial records for the company that supplies food to school cafeterias to show that no food had been sent to the school in the previous year. He do FOIA requests to get documents that should be public record, and then when he was denied, he physically went to city hall personally to get them (where he was escorted off the premise).

At least for Sandy Hook, which your quote was talking about, it is not the lack of verifiability of the conspiracy theory which drives it, but rather the lack of verifiability of the the event itself. Halbig was relentless in his efforts to verify even basic information of the event, and upon getting stonewalled or threatened arrest, went even harder. He's been trying to verify his theory for years, and if I'm being honest, I feel like he should've found conclusive evidence one way or another by now. I wonder what's been going on there. Most likely, he's still in a legal battle with that Leonard Pozner guy.


You know that Halbig was arrested for somehow having Leonard Pozner's ID, who is not some guy, but a father of a victim. Halbig has also repeatedly doxxed Pozner. This isn't some petty legal spat. This is exactly the sort of highly stilted presentation of facts which is classic conspiracy theorist behavior.

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 Mad Doc Grotsnik wrote:
I think anti-vaccination stuff is probably my biggest hate in the world.

As everyone knows, it stems from a single, discredited and withdrawn study. The conclusion of which was that a single vaccine (combined MMR) was less safe than three separate vaccinations for Measles, Mumps and Rubella. And who paid for that study? The firm selling, you guessed it......the three separate vaccinations.

Since then, it’s become utterly twisted. It also confuses correlation with cause. Autism isn’t on the rise because ‘medicine’. It’s on the rise because we’re getting better and better at recognising it’s traits.

And the thought that some parents would prefer their child dies, rather than be autistic frankly turns my stomach :(


Not just discredited, the guy who wrote it lost his medical license because of it. In addition to the better diagnosis (part of which is also stricter diagnosis - I'm fairly sure that were I to go to school today I too would be pegged as heading to the autism side of the scale and might need testing), the age at which children receive vaccines is about the age at which the first symptoms of autism start to appear - regardless of vaccinations. It's the absolute perfect model case for correlation \= causation.
There may be an actual rise in autism as well (I'm no expert), but it's not due to vaccines. Autism is an information processing error in the brain to use a fairly unclinical term. How much more information (and I'm talking pure volume of data) is being thrown at people (and children especially) now than a generation ago? I can easily believe that the sheer volume is overwhelming more still-developing brains now than a generation or so ago. But I'm not a medical professional or a psychologist, so this is all speculation on my part.

Which is another disadvantage science has in these debates. Science is by its very nature never absolute, and tends to point out the weak points in its structure (because that's literally how the scientific method works). People, on the other hand, like absolutes.

All the other stupid arguments against vaccines (and indeed, conspiracy theories in general) are similar in that they sound reasonable, but are often factually incorrect, or the underlying data is true but does not in any way support the conclusions being drawn and nevertheless sounds very scary or, respectively, reasonable (but held together by may bes, what ifs, and possiblys - with the next sentence subtly changing "may be" to "is" - and an assumption has now magically become a "fact"). A very common tactic in all conspiracy theories, going all the way back to Erich von Daniken in the 70s and 80s, and if you're anti-religious, all the way to the beginning of that.
In addition, they have a very disturbing habit of making all these outlandish claims, and then reversing Russell's Teapot and say "prove me wrong". Which is a logical impossibility, you can't prove a negative. At best you can disprove a positive. Plus, the burden of proof in any scientific debate always lies with the person making the claim, not the person refuting them.

There are whole studies devoted to logical fallacies (which conspiracy theorists make more than liberal use of), and many arguments on these boards are rife with them - strawman fallacies, ad hominems, and circular reasoning being particularly common, but reversing the burden of proof happens a lot as well.

"There's mercury in it." No, there used to be an organic compound with a mercury atom in its atomic structure (the technical term is organo-metallic complex, and they exist with all kinds of metals) in the solvent, and even that is no longer in use. (Factually incorrect.)
"But sometimes it goes wrong." 1) That very, very rarely happens. 2)Even with the best of safeguards, things can and will still go wrong, because, well, people make mistakes, and the universe is a harsh and uncaring place. 3) When something does go wrong with for example a vaccine, it gets pulled, and fast. If it doesn't, that's a problem with industry regulation, not vaccines themselves. Looking over the approval system, it looks pretty solid and robust to me. (Alarming fact with a perfectly logical explanation which is never mentioned.)
"Forcing parents to vaccinate is infringing on their freedoms". Forcing your unvaccinated health hazard on someone who's immunocompromised or simply too young to be vaccinated is infringing on not only their freedom (they can't go anywhere anymore), but also their right to live. Guess which one I rate higher? (False equivalency)
"Pyramids all over the world are the same shape. They must have been inspired by the same independent outside source." Well, yeah I guess, but that outside source was not "aliens", it was basic math. A pyramid is a very stable structure - to the point that the first structure many toddlers manage to build succesfully with (lego) blocks is often a pyramid-like pile. (Basic fact is true, but in no way supports the conclusion being drawn.)
"Some studies disagree with man-made climate change." Some studies always disagree with something, but when the overwhelming body of studies points one way, disagreeing studies are probably flawed in some way - or worse, funded by people with a vested interest in denying said body of evidence. Since climate science has a very large statistical component, and statistics are easy to manipulate by for example massaging the underlying data or choosing incorrect selection parameters, I'd start by looking at that.

Entire books have been written on basically each these claims, a final tactic being to obscure the holes in the arguments by way of word soup and using long, important sounding words, and throwing so many unverifiable claims or arguments in there it would take peer review process literally decades to unravel them all - and serious scientists have much better things to do with their time.

And Doc, I've been using your final sentence myself for years now whenever the debate comes up prefaced by "even if vaccines did cause autism, and they don't". Couldn't agree more.

Well, this turned out to be a much longer post than I intended. I've always disliked disingenuous reasonings, and I guess this one struck a nerve, especially since stupid arguments like this keep invading the public debate on some very serious matters - like vaccinations, creationism vs evolution in schools and climate change.
   
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MN

Conspiracy Theorists remind me of this old chestnut about the American Civil War....

1. Those who know nothing about it think it is about Slavery

2. Those who know a little about it think it was about State's Rights

3. Those who know a lot about it know it was about Slavery.

Conspiracy Theorist never get beyond knowing a little, because they skip so much stuff they can never get to knowing a lot.

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Two pages and 53 posts in, genuine pat on the back to the participants for keeping things pretty much civil. Heated, sure. But not flamey. Well done all. And double thanks for people entering into the spirit of the thread (though that’s probably easy to say when we’re all pretty much in agreement)

But despite the broad agreement, quite a lot of food for thought, even for someone who considered themselves an old hand when it comes to Conspiracy Theories.

Now I’d like to take the chance to ask people to nominate and link to their favourite ‘erm.....whaaaaaaaaaaa?’ Conspiracy Theory. Ideally, looking for the fringe of the fringe. One you suspect most people aren’t aware even exists. Because I want initial ‘yeah, but, what about X, Y, Z and Pigeon’ responses. I reckon that us essentially being a group of layman with different skill sets might prove an interest test group for such an endeavour.

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5G is the cause of Covid-19.

OK. Let’s run with that for a brief moment. Let’s assume there is something to it.


I just looked this up after you mentioned it and I have got to say this is easily the most WTF thing I've seen, and I've gone deep into the Sovereign Citizen stuff in the past for a research paper. That's taking the old yellow fear to a new level.

Heated, sure. But not flamey.


Technically I'm the only person who got snippy, so you know. Everyone else did great.

 Ketara wrote:
This is a recent classic for anyone who might be interested in one particular type of conspiracy-peddling.



Something I only appreciated many years after seeing it is the very first displays of the Holocaust Museum in DC. The first thing you see stepping off the elevator are pictures of the camps and a quote by Eisenhower:

“Get it all on record now - get the films - get the witnesses -because somewhere down the road of history some bastard will get up and say that this never happened.”

And Holocaust denial is a particular brand of conspiracy that has had a disturbing rise in prevalence over the past decade.

   
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UK

It gets easier to deny something like the Holocaust because the further from the event you get the fewer people directly were present until there's no one left alive. Information gets lost or missplaced; it becomes simpler to cast doubt upon record. It also becomes less of a major event in current lives so opposition gets a bit weaker at large. Attention shifts to more recent events which means any group denying it can get more strength under itself and establish itself before it gets a powerful counter action against it.

And this is even with more modern recording of history where archives and information can be stored and accessed more readily and degrades far less than old paper records stuffed in a building that rotted away. Or an old play that doesn't even have "the events depicted here are works of fiction" at the start. Many a history book was based on the plays of Shakespeare only later to be found that they were likely more propaganda works of their day and might well bare little to no resemblance to the reality of their time (much like Hollywood films are today for many real world events).

   
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Oh yeah, forgot to touch on ‘Sovereign Citizen’ stuff, or as they refer to themselves in the U.K., ‘Freemen on the Land’.

Same drivel, different name. And still no legal basis whatsoever. And thanks to my job, one I’m kinda familiar with (I stop short of claiming knowledge, but I say with some confidence that I know more about it than the next person.

A classic example? WeRe Bank.

This is just some nutter who claims to have started his own currency, called Re. The claim is that Re is a unit of energy, and as energy cannot be destroyed, therefore has value.

No. Really. I’m not the one making this up!

The theory then goes, not entirely inaccurately that any given debt need not be settled with actual Currency. Provided the payment is agreed between the two parties, the debt is expunged.

Example I’m familiar with is that a Gardener landscapes my front garden ( stop tittering, dirty sods). He involves me for say, £200.00. I agree that price, but instead, offer a hallmarked Gold Watch instead of cash. If he accepts, the debt is paid and everyone moves on.

But where WeRe goes wrong is confusing payment tendered with payment accepted.

So to go back to the first example? The Gardener is not obliged to accept the Gold Watch as payment. And their refusal of that payment does not end the debt. I’d still owe them £200.00

So when some crackpot comes up with a ridiculous, new, non-existent currency? Simply depositing a cheque for say, 50,000 Re, does not mean the bank has therefore accepted it, and the debt remains. Indeed, the entire fact they go ‘yeah, how about you pays us in proper munneh, yeah?’ Is a refusal of the payment.

With that established, oh my does WeRe nick off down a deep and utterly insane rabbit hole. Like, proper proper not just pants on head but tin foil pants you’ve been wearing for a month on head mental.

Absolute worst thing? Person behind this drivel will only provide the ‘cheque book’ once you’ve given him a Promissory Note for £150,000.

Why’s that bad? Promissory Notes are legally binding.

Yep, for his nonsense and drivel, you’ve genuinely, 100%, very hard if at all possible to get of, promise to pay him £150,000, whenever he wants to call it in....oh, and that’s on top of whatever debts still remain his insane promises utterly failed to pay off.....

This message was edited 2 times. Last update was at 2020/04/06 20:12:48


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 Overread wrote:
It gets easier to deny something like the Holocaust because the further from the event you get the fewer people directly were present until there's no one left alive.


I think people also just struggle to fathom the scale of it. There's holocaust denial, but there's also what I think is more appropriately termed holocaust doubt. I've encountered and observed a common thread where it's pretty common to meet people who don't deny the holocaust, but doubt its scale. I'm not convinced those people deserve to be lumped in with deniers because they often seem to have legitimate struggles to appreciate the event and I can definitely say my education glossed over it in a way that did not well contextualize the industrialized murder of millions. Its very easy to go from doubt to denial.

This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2020/04/06 15:14:17


   
 
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