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The conspiracy theories aren’t working
Posted: 23 March 2018 08:04 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Some of you have probably noticed my “fascination” with conspiracy theorists. I’ve tried to get to the motivations of people like MikeY, and meanwhile continue to be entertained by the machinations he goes through to maintain his logic.

It’s a bigger problem than just one guy though. It started getting less funny a few years with “crisis actors” and “false flags” and a guy coming into a pizza parlor with a gun because of something he read on reddit. And worse, I can see the direct connection from that to electing Trump. Once you distrust the structure that is protecting you and letting you have that mistrust, it’s hard to pull back and return to the reasonable society.

This meme sums it up perfectly. It’s from a friend who I first met when he hosted a drum circle. He was all about the environment and meditation and healing and all that. Now he supports gun rights. He went down the rabbit hole of Deep State, so he sees the Parkland kids as part of it. He stopped using evidence to make judgments, so everything is a conspiracy now, so “they are taking away our guns” was an easy step. I don’t think he even has guns, but he’s convinced it’s a right that the government doesn’t want him to have. The secret government I guess, since actual representatives are voting his way, or maybe it’s the mainstream media, it’s hard to tell what he really thinks.

Thinking is not really happening here. What the meme (see attached) tells me is, he’s not really interested in what’s true, he’s interested in being right. He’s actually happier with conspiracy theories that have little visible evidence and can’t be disproved. That way, he is always the one who is awake, and anyone who questions him is part of the conspiracy, or someone who has been hypnotized by “them”. He gets to have his cause without needing to actually work on any real solution or develop any real logic or learn anything. Just listen to the next YouTube and pass along the ranting.

[ Edited: 23 March 2018 05:43 PM by Lausten ]
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Posted: 25 March 2018 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Lausten - 23 March 2018 08:04 AM

Some of you have probably noticed my “fascination” with conspiracy theorists. I’ve tried to get to the motivations of people like MikeY, and meanwhile continue to be entertained by the machinations he goes through to maintain his logic.

It’s a bigger problem than just one guy though. It started getting less funny a few years with “crisis actors” and “false flags” and a guy coming into a pizza parlor with a gun because of something he read on reddit. And worse, I can see the direct connection from that to electing Trump. Once you distrust the structure that is protecting you and letting you have that mistrust, it’s hard to pull back and return to the reasonable society.

This meme sums it up perfectly. It’s from a friend who I first met when he hosted a drum circle. He was all about the environment and meditation and healing and all that. Now he supports gun rights. He went down the rabbit hole of Deep State, so he sees the Parkland kids as part of it. He stopped using evidence to make judgments, so everything is a conspiracy now, so “they are taking away our guns” was an easy step. I don’t think he even has guns, but he’s convinced it’s a right that the government doesn’t want him to have. The secret government I guess, since actual representatives are voting his way, or maybe it’s the mainstream media, it’s hard to tell what he really thinks.

Thinking is not really happening here. What the meme (see attached) tells me is, he’s not really interested in what’s true, he’s interested in being right. He’s actually happier with conspiracy theories that have little visible evidence and can’t be disproved. That way, he is always the one who is awake, and anyone who questions him is part of the conspiracy, or someone who has been hypnotized by “them”. He gets to have his cause without needing to actually work on any real solution or develop any real logic or learn anything. Just listen to the next YouTube and pass along the ranting.

As long as we can keep the “separation of powers”, I doubt that any grand conspiracy will take hold.

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Posted: 26 March 2018 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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The purpose of creating conspiracy theories may wary.

1. Attempt to rationalize strange experience.
A dream or hallucination turned into belief requires a rationalization if its not completely dismissed.

2. Attempt to bring something interesting into debate.
Those people may, or may not believe it the created or share, but they hope to find new friends.

3. Disprove scientific theory or political movement by creating a strawman
I am currently trying to disprove one such which is called “The Gender ideology”. Ultra-conservatives in Slovakia came out of ideas or reasons how to oppose gay rights movements and certain other EU policies. So they twisted a book which dealt with philosophy of feminism and created a strawman. What follows is an attempt to dehumanize and demonize sexual minorities as a sort of sinister organization.

This conspiracy theory spread from Slovakia in late 2000s, first to Russia, and recently i heard a report that some preacher in USA.

4. Attempt to rationalize irrational fear
Anything what can be described as phobia can be subjected to attempts of rationalization.

[ Edited: 26 March 2018 01:38 PM by Offler ]
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Posted: 28 March 2018 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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The problem with conspiracy theories is that sometimes they’re right. It’s like the saying “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you”.

With conspiracies, sometimes the evidence doesn’t come out until many years after the thing that inspired it. And then it seems like plain old history, even though at the time it wasn’t. Gulf of Tonkin comes to mind.

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Posted: 28 March 2018 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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CuthbertJ - 28 March 2018 10:12 AM

The problem with conspiracy theories is that sometimes they’re right. It’s like the saying “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you”.

With conspiracies, sometimes the evidence doesn’t come out until many years after the thing that inspired it. And then it seems like plain old history, even though at the time it wasn’t. Gulf of Tonkin comes to mind.

Those are the kind of things that this guy and others point to. Usually when I’ve asked a bunch of questions they can’t answer. It’s a fallback position. If you can’t prove today’s theory, point to a theory that was proven and claim that as evidence. It’s completely illogical however. Instead, you should be using those historical facts to help determine if the one you are looking at now is true or not.

For example, how did the theory start? Was it discovered by investigative reporting that found some documentation or is it just a list of unanswered questions? How long have the unanswered questions been open? Like the Contras killing Nuns in Nicaragua, there were few witnesses and they weren’t easy to get to and their facts couldn’t be verified, but it wasn’t that many years before forensics was able to be done. Conspiracies rarely survive an administration. Reagan got caught, Nixon got caught. It’s worse now with so many living ex-Presidents. Does anyone believe that Obama would have passed along secrets to Trump about false flag operations or HAARP or whatever?

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Posted: 29 March 2018 12:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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CuthbertJ - 28 March 2018 10:12 AM

The problem with conspiracy theories is that sometimes they’re right. It’s like the saying “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean people aren’t out to get you”.

With conspiracies, sometimes the evidence doesn’t come out until many years after the thing that inspired it. And then it seems like plain old history, even though at the time it wasn’t. Gulf of Tonkin comes to mind.

You can clearly say, if the person isnt just asking questions (which is ok), or is making a ton of assumptions.

I would take as an example 9/11 truthers movement. Initial question is “how can a building collapse in such manner?”.

Once you dont like the answer, and you start to make assumptions and then to prove them, while they are getting disproved over and over again, you are most likely not looking for true answer. The best example in disproved assumption was a test with explosives on steel beam, which did not damaged the beam. The conspiracy theorist then came with another theory that there has to be a much stronger and better explosive.

The gap which remained in his theory after failed proving, was filled with yet another theory without any reevaluation even when he was already proven wrong.

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Posted: 29 March 2018 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I guess you guys missed the forest for the trees. The fact is, things that were thought to be conspiracies in the past have turned out to be true. At the time of course anyone calling it a conspiracy could easily be thought of as a “truther”, a conspiracy nut, etc. At the time! It’s only in hindsight that we sometimes know that in fact the so-called truthers were correct, and then it’s too late. And I believe governments know that getting something labelled as a conspiracy is the best thing to do, then everyone will launch into the “truthers”. It’s a temporary solution and it works like a charm and they know it.

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Posted: 29 March 2018 11:59 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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CuthbertJ - 29 March 2018 10:20 AM

I guess you guys missed the forest for the trees. The fact is, things that were thought to be conspiracies in the past have turned out to be true. At the time of course anyone calling it a conspiracy could easily be thought of as a “truther”, a conspiracy nut, etc. At the time! It’s only in hindsight that we sometimes know that in fact the so-called truthers were correct, and then it’s too late. And I believe governments know that getting something labelled as a conspiracy is the best thing to do, then everyone will launch into the “truthers”. It’s a temporary solution and it works like a charm and they know it.

In that case those are theories, not conspiracy theories.

You put some of its points to the test, and those are either proven right, or proven wrong, or inconclusive.

If its proven wrong, and the guy who pushes his idea, immediatelly come with new explanation - thats for me is a sign its not a viable theory.

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Posted: 29 March 2018 04:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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CuthbertJ - 29 March 2018 10:20 AM

I guess you guys missed the forest for the trees. The fact is, things that were thought to be conspiracies in the past have turned out to be true. At the time of course anyone calling it a conspiracy could easily be thought of as a “truther”, a conspiracy nut, etc. At the time! It’s only in hindsight that we sometimes know that in fact the so-called truthers were correct, and then it’s too late. And I believe governments know that getting something labelled as a conspiracy is the best thing to do, then everyone will launch into the “truthers”. It’s a temporary solution and it works like a charm and they know it.

But that’s not how it happens. A conspiracy that is uncovered, like the tobacco industry lies, lead in gasoline, Nixon, those were a slow uncovering of evidence, and if you were one of the people doing the investigating you could see you had a valid argument. It just takes time to get proof that can change laws and to educate the public to change opinion. But something like chemtrails doesn’t have that. It only takes a few minutes to figure they are putting together facts that don’t go together. Or, like Offler’s story, if you respond to a question using experimentation and adding data, they change the question, or introduce something non-factual.

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Posted: 30 March 2018 03:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Since we are dealing a lot with russian internet trolls in Slovakia I give you an example how i handle different theories.

a) “Why are people protesting Trump? There were no protests against president Obama”
So I linked best source i found
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obama-hatecrimes/election-of-obama-provokes-rise-in-u-s-hate-crimes-idUSTRE4AN81U20081124

b) “But the protests were not that big or hateful”
Now he suddenly admitted there were protests.

So i linked a video of a guy burning a puppet with sign “Obama” on his neck.

He made third statement, changing his position yet again, then i immediatelly called him a liar, pointing out I already proven he did not said the truth for two times before.

Now… there is a ton of claims how wine is healthy, or how coffee is healthy, obviously pushed by people who sell those products. I can rely on

1. Advertisment which is not linked to any scientific research.
2. To my personal experience.
3. To a scientific examination which was independently funded.

I dont trust advertisments

First of all I dont drink alcohol. When I did, i felt sick after quarter of glass of wine. Beer tastes like piss (even really good czech beers) to me… Thats where i relied on my personal experience. Does not “taste well” and “does not make me feel good” is all i know.

I do drink coffee. It helps me to fix a bit low blood pressure (unless i drink them 5 cups a day).


Those opinions are my own and when someone confronts me why i dont drink alcohol, i say its a personal decision and that I dont like that feeling. The difference is I am not saying that all alcoholic drinks should be banned because of my personal experience.

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Posted: 30 March 2018 10:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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True comments but the fact remains that in many cases things are so clear cut. And evidence not so available as in cases like JFK assassination, Gulf of Tonkin, 911, etc. Especially in a case like 911 there are plenty of forces out to muddy the waters so as to make serious investigation impossible. And not all investigation is of the a scientific nature. 911 I think is a case in point. Regardless of whether or not the physics of the collapses are accurate or not, there are a million other pieces of evidence that have nothing to do with the buildings. And just like tobacco companies, there can be so-called scientific researches bought and paid for who churn out false evidence, again to muddy the waters. Don’t want to get into a big discussion of that. I’m just pointing out that not everything is cut and dry. Yes sometimes a CT is easily debunked, so you can’t just believe everything. But oftentimes that’s not the case.

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Posted: 30 March 2018 10:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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CuthbertJ - 30 March 2018 10:06 AM

True comments but the fact remains that in many cases things are so clear cut. And evidence not so available as in cases like JFK assassination, Gulf of Tonkin, 911, etc. Especially in a case like 911 there are plenty of forces out to muddy the waters so as to make serious investigation impossible. And not all investigation is of the a scientific nature. 911 I think is a case in point. Regardless of whether or not the physics of the collapses are accurate or not, there are a million other pieces of evidence that have nothing to do with the buildings. And just like tobacco companies, there can be so-called scientific researches bought and paid for who churn out false evidence, again to muddy the waters. Don’t want to get into a big discussion of that. I’m just pointing out that not everything is cut and dry. Yes sometimes a CT is easily debunked, so you can’t just believe everything. But oftentimes that’s not the case.

There is available evidence in case of assasination of JFK, and in case of 911, but people tend not to trust them. What you call “to mud the water” - its on you to prove the claim that the collected evidence is either incomplete or otherwise wrong. If you say “I dont trust the investigation” its your opinion and you are perfeclty entitled to it.

I am not familiar with Gulf of Tonkin event.

Its nothing new that tobacco indurstry paid milions for their science like advertisment, but i am familiar about tests when minister of health of USA in the 50s announced the results of some smoking-cancer related tests, and when he was asked when did he stopped to smoke, he answered “5 minutes ago”.

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Posted: 30 March 2018 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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CuthbertJ - 30 March 2018 10:06 AM

True comments but the fact remains that in many cases things are so clear cut. And evidence not so available as in cases like JFK assassination, Gulf of Tonkin, 911, etc. Especially in a case like 911 there are plenty of forces out to muddy the waters so as to make serious investigation impossible. And not all investigation is of the a scientific nature. 911 I think is a case in point. Regardless of whether or not the physics of the collapses are accurate or not, there are a million other pieces of evidence that have nothing to do with the buildings. And just like tobacco companies, there can be so-called scientific researches bought and paid for who churn out false evidence, again to muddy the waters. Don’t want to get into a big discussion of that. I’m just pointing out that not everything is cut and dry. Yes sometimes a CT is easily debunked, so you can’t just believe everything. But oftentimes that’s not the case.

At some point in a conversation like this, I’ll realize I am talking to a conspiracy theorist. “Too many questions” is logical fallacy. It is not an argument for anything. There are not a million pieces of unexplained evidence for 9/11. There aren’t “so-called scientific researches”. There is good science and bad science and ways to tell which is which. JFK doesn’t even belong in this category and Tonkin is history, we know who lied when.

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Posted: 30 March 2018 12:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Lausten - 30 March 2018 10:50 AM

At some point in a conversation like this, I’ll realize I am talking to a conspiracy theorist. “Too many questions” is logical fallacy.

Its a statement saying “I want to know more, i have more questions”, very similar to “God knows”. Its important to form the question(s).

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Posted: 31 March 2018 08:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Offler - 30 March 2018 12:51 PM
Lausten - 30 March 2018 10:50 AM

At some point in a conversation like this, I’ll realize I am talking to a conspiracy theorist. “Too many questions” is logical fallacy.

Its a statement saying “I want to know more, i have more questions”, very similar to “God knows”. Its important to form the question(s).

Sounds more like a statement saying, “I can’t figure it out so I’m done trying.” Or, “I don’t want you to answer my questions, it’s more fun to believe what I believe and not be bothered with facts and evidence.”

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Posted: 04 April 2018 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Lausten - 30 March 2018 10:50 AM
CuthbertJ - 30 March 2018 10:06 AM

True comments but the fact remains that in many cases things are so clear cut. And evidence not so available as in cases like JFK assassination, Gulf of Tonkin, 911, etc. Especially in a case like 911 there are plenty of forces out to muddy the waters so as to make serious investigation impossible. And not all investigation is of the a scientific nature. 911 I think is a case in point. Regardless of whether or not the physics of the collapses are accurate or not, there are a million other pieces of evidence that have nothing to do with the buildings. And just like tobacco companies, there can be so-called scientific researches bought and paid for who churn out false evidence, again to muddy the waters. Don’t want to get into a big discussion of that. I’m just pointing out that not everything is cut and dry. Yes sometimes a CT is easily debunked, so you can’t just believe everything. But oftentimes that’s not the case.

At some point in a conversation like this, I’ll realize I am talking to a conspiracy theorist. “Too many questions” is logical fallacy. It is not an argument for anything. There are not a million pieces of unexplained evidence for 9/11. There aren’t “so-called scientific researches”. There is good science and bad science and ways to tell which is which. JFK doesn’t even belong in this category and Tonkin is history, we know who lied when.

We know who lied NOW. But not at the time. Believe me, I’m as pro-science as you are. But you also need to admit that science isn’t everything when it comes to explaining events that have aspects out of the scope of scientific inquiry. If that were the case every single courtroom would have several scientists on staff to settle all matters. I would go so far as to say relying solely on science to find that one single smoking gun that proves everything is the easy way out. Things just aren’t that cut and dried. Sometimes they are, sure, but not usually. You could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that there’s no way for the towers to have been pre-rigged to go down. Doesn’t matter. That just proves they didn’t come down that way. Has nothing to do with the pilots who flew the planes. There’s pletny of other non-scientific evidence that can be used to argue those pilots were part of a US based plan. We could argue that all day of course, that’s not my point here. My point is that you seem to only include as “evidence” those things that are amenable to scientific scrutiny. And as much as we wish science had a godlike hold on all events that occur on our lil rock, it just doesn’t. And that’s not a failure of science. It’s just the nature of shizz that happens.

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