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Author Topic: Conspiracy Theory Debate  (Read 255 times)

Funt Solo

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Conspiracy Theory Debate
« on: 10 April, 2020, 07:24:20 PM »



Here you go Sharkey. Here’s an academic pamphlet on the definition of conspiracy theories and theorists.

https://www.climatechangecommunication.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ConspiracyTheoryHandbook.pdf

I read that - at least, I did if it's the one you posted earlier. I thought it contained a lot of good advice, advice which should be applied to every source. It did, however, imply that anyone who questions "reputable" sources is somehow bound to believe in every conspiracy there is. Still, a useful little book, thanks, SM.

The term 'conspiracy theorist' is, to me, a pejorative term used to describe anyone who doesn't believe an official account either partially or in its entirety. The paragons of example would be David 'Lizard Man' Ike or Alex 'They'll Kill Us All!' Jones. Whilst the information people like this often present is based in reported and even verifiable facts, the conclusions (or theories) they come to based upon them seem, at best, unlikely. I view this end of the spectrum in the same way I viewed Erich von Däniken when I was growing up - interesting, even thought-provoking, but ultimately probably wrong. Like von Däniken, these people turn their efforts into a business - and good luck to them, I say.

At the other end of the spectrum we have people like James 'The Link's In The Show-Notes' Corbett and Jon 'No More Fake News' Rappoport.  The information people like this often present is also based in reported and even verifiable facts, but the conclusions (or theories) they come to based upon them seem, at worst, incomplete - which some freely admit. I view this end of the spectrum in the same way I viewed newspapers when I was growing up - interesting, even thought-provoking, but ultimately probably on the right track. Like old-fashioned newspapers, these people seem to have a general thirst for the truth, whether it agrees with the official account or not - and good luck to them, I say. Most rely on donations to fund their work, so are ultimately businesses too.

Then there are the chattering masses in between - of which I am one - who latch onto 'TRUTH!' with unshakeable faith, or try to make sense of it all, or just go with the flow, or deal with the madness any way they can.

It seems unfair, to me, to lump all these disparate voices and perspectives together under a single, dismissive umbrella. And, technically, a conspiracy theory is just what the words themselves say - a theory to explain an ostensible flaw in an account, which may or may not involve conspirators, a theory meant to be explored and tested, a theory which provides evidence and not, as some believe, proof. Police, insurance companies, and courts investigate conspiracies all the time, working on their theories until they provide credible evidence. Yet we would not call these people "conspiracy theorists," even though it's part of their job.

Then we have the mainstream media and governments. The information people like this often present is also based in reported and even verifiable facts, but the conclusions (or theories) they come to based upon them seem, at worst, political - bending facts to fit agendas. I view this field in the same way I viewed comics when I was growing up - interesting, even thought-provoking, but ultimately probably just entertainment. Like John Wagner, these people seem to have a general thirst for projecting TRUTH! through a lens, bending it to agree with the official agenda - and good luck to them, many say.

This is why I say question everything.

It doesn't mean dismiss everything or disbelieve everything you don't like - that's what religion is for. It doesn't mean attack the opposing view or win the argument - that's what sport is for.

It simply means what it says, question everything - because nothing is entirely as it seems, and anyone who tells you otherwise is either in error or lying.

Question everything I've written, too, of course. I may be wrong about lots of things, I'm just as human and flawed as everyone else. Question Ike and Jones, question Corbett and Rappoport, question the msm, question me, question each other but, ultimately, question yourself as well.


TL;DR

A wise man once said to me, "Listen to everyone. Take what you need and discard the rest."

"Why?" I asked.

He shrugged and said, "Find out."

1. Wall of text doesn't mean you're correct in your assertions.

2. You were given a PDF that relatively cleanly defines the difference between a "conspiracy theory" and a "theory", but spent most of your post redefining "conspiracy theory" to just mean a "theory". Why?

3. "Question everything" is too broad and sweeping. It's insane. We don't have time. We have to rely on (peer-reviewed) experts.

4. "Nothing is entirely as it seems" is too broad and sweeping. It's insane. The sky is blue.

5. Shouting "fire" in a crowded theater when there's no fire is potentially harmful. (This is a reference to the fact that you are willing to throw entirely unsubstantiated theories around as if they have equal weight with actual evidence. And then you say "What did I do?" as if you sincerely don't understand the difference. Why can't you tell the difference?)


Summary: that PDF you were given explains the difference between conspiratorial thinking and conventional thinking, and I don't understand why you remain apparently confused as to the difference between the two.
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The Enigmatic Dr X

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Re: Conspiracy Theory Debate
« Reply #1 on: 11 April, 2020, 10:45:02 AM »
Ain't that the truth?
Lock up your spoons!

Rately

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Re: Conspiracy Theory Debate
« Reply #2 on: 11 April, 2020, 10:51:56 AM »
I am toying with the idea of sharing that PDF with my cousin, because I am literally at the stage where I feel like creating a new Whatsapp group for myself and my friends, and excluding him as I am at my wits end at the videos and articles he continues to share - Q, Wuhan Lab, Clintons murdering over 70 people.

I'm not angry at him, but I despair of a world where people target someone like my cousin, who hasn't a bad bone in his body but seemingly now being groomed, and I can't think of a better word, to have negative views on the world and its people based on their race, beliefs etc.


sintec

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Re: Conspiracy Theory Debate
« Reply #3 on: 11 April, 2020, 11:43:48 AM »
I think grooming is precisiely the right word Rately.  As an anecdotal example I watched this happen with an old contact from my DJing days.  Over the course of a few months he seemed to go from relatively normal human being to being radically anti-Islam, anti-EU and pro-Trump and Nigel Farage.  It was genuinely quite scary to watch.  He's since unfriended me as I think he got sick of me challenging his bullshit "news" posts about muslim refugees from weird new sources that usually seemed to end up linked back to Russia or the Ukraine if one did some digging. I think Gamergate was his entry point to the whole mess but by the end he was parotting Alex Jones and Breitbart and sharing articles about eugenics. Presumably he's still shouting them out to his echo chamber of true believers. It was a really scary view into just how dark that little world of paranoia and conspiracy gets.

Rately

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Re: Conspiracy Theory Debate
« Reply #4 on: 11 April, 2020, 11:47:09 AM »
I think grooming is precisiely the right word Rately.  As an anecdotal example I watched this happen with an old contact from my DJing days.  Over the course of a few months he seemed to go from relatively normal human being to being radically anti-Islam, anti-EU and pro-Trump and Nigel Farage.  It was genuinely quite scary to watch.  He's since unfriended me as I think he got sick of me challenging his bullshit "news" posts about muslim refugees from weird new sources that usually seemed to end up linked back to Russia or the Ukraine if one did some digging. I think Gamergate was his entry point to the whole mess but by the end he was parotting Alex Jones and Breitbart and sharing articles about eugenics. Presumably he's still shouting them out to his echo chamber of true believers. It was a really scary view into just how dark that little world of paranoia and conspiracy gets.

It is horrendous to think that people fall down that rabbit hole. The saddest thing, that no matter how well reasoned or researched your rebuttal, it is just brushed aside as "fake news."

We have literally all just asked my cousin to stop sharing the memes, links etc. In the world, such as it is, I haven't the patience for conspiracy bullshit.



sheridan

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Re: Conspiracy Theory Debate
« Reply #7 on: 11 April, 2020, 12:53:23 PM »
Tip for forum discussion stay within the two three layers of this pyramid (and be careful on the third level).  Stay well away from anything below that.



As for the "good luck to them" - as mentioned, it's difficult to discern a point from the wall of text, but it appears to end up justifying those who spread lies and misinformation about (for instance) vaccination that leads to deaths, but it's fine if the perpetrator can turn a profit on the deaths?

anti vaccine propaganda is profitable
anti-vaccination kills