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Author Topic:   Conspiracy Theories: It's all in your mind!
Percy
Member
Posts: 18004
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 3.1


Message 1 of 110 (699874)
05-27-2013 10:23 AM


From today's New York Times:

Why Rational People Buy Into Conspiracy Theories

Here's a brief excerpt:

New York Times writes:

While psychologists can’t know exactly what goes on inside our heads, they have, through surveys and laboratory studies, come up with a set of traits that correlate well with conspiracy belief. In 2010, Swami and a co-author summarized this research in The Psychologist, a scientific journal. They found, perhaps surprisingly, that believers are more likely to be cynical about the world in general and politics in particular. Conspiracy theories also seem to be more compelling to those with low self-worth, especially with regard to their sense of agency in the world at large. Conspiracy theories appear to be a way of reacting to uncertainty and powerlessness.

Economic recessions, terrorist attacks and natural disasters are massive, looming threats, but we have little power over when they occur or how or what happens afterward. In these moments of powerlessness and uncertainty, a part of the brain called the amygdala kicks into action. Paul Whalen, a scientist at Dartmouth College who studies the amygdala, says it doesn’t exactly do anything on its own. Instead, the amygdala jump-starts the rest of the brain into analytical overdrive — prompting repeated reassessments of information in an attempt to create a coherent and understandable narrative, to understand what just happened, what threats still exist and what should be done now. This may be a useful way to understand how, writ large, the brain’s capacity for generating new narratives after shocking events can contribute to so much paranoia in this country.

--Percy


Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by roxrkool, posted 05-28-2013 12:02 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
 Message 4 by vimesey, posted 05-28-2013 1:00 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply
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roxrkool
Member (Idle past 879 days)
Posts: 1493
From: Nevada
Joined: 03-23-2003


Message 2 of 110 (699892)
05-28-2013 12:02 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
05-27-2013 10:23 AM


Interesting.

The ones I'm seeing from ONE of my friends:

Chemtrails are toxifying the atmostphere and poisoning the planet
U.S. West Coast completely contaminated with Fukushima radioactivity
The Feds are intercepting cellular and online communications
Monsanto = Death
Fluorinated water kills
Vaccinations kill
Mermaids are real (see YouTube)
Collecting rainwater is becoming illegal across the U.S.

Other friend:

GMO Cloned Babies
Luciferian Agenda
Existence of transhumans
Illuminati children are sacrificing their classmates
Technocratic Revolution is happening
Feds are stockpiling bullets and coffins
Muslim Brotherhood wants to control our schools

I don't know which ones, if any, are true or have a hint of truth (Monsanto?, Fukushima?), but most sound pretty crazy and I don't bother to read about them at all.

For the most part, it seems the people who spend most of their day at home, online, and prone to supernatural belief, are the ones who start believing the craziest conspiracies.


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 Message 1 by Percy, posted 05-27-2013 10:23 AM Percy has acknowledged this reply

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Phat
Member
Posts: 11652
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.4


Message 3 of 110 (699893)
05-28-2013 12:37 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by roxrkool
05-28-2013 12:02 AM


But it IS real
Conspiracy theories also seem to be more compelling to those with low self-worth, especially with regard to their sense of agency in the world at large.

quote:
The ones I'm seeing from ONE of my friends:

Chem-trails are toxifying the atmosphere and poisoning the planet

I hear this a lot!

U.S. West Coast completely contaminated with Fukushima radioactivity
The Feds are intercepting cellular and online communications
seems logical, but why monitor every call?

Monsanto = Death
this one is true

Fluoridated water kills
Vaccinations kill
Mermaids are real (see YouTube)
Collecting rainwater is becoming illegal across the U.S.

Other friend:

GMO Cloned Babies
Luciferian Agenda

There is an evil force.

Existence of transhumans
Illuminati children are sacrificing their classmates
Technocratic Revolution is happening
Feds are stockpiling bullets and coffins
Muslim Brotherhood wants to control our schools

I don't know which ones, if any, are true or have a hint of truth (Monsanto?, Fukushima?), but most sound pretty crazy and I don't bother to read about them at all.

For the most part, it seems the people who spend most of their day at home, online, and prone to supernatural belief, are the ones who start believing the craziest conspiracies.


Yes. I'll admit to supernatural belief. Jesus is alive.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Admin, : Fix quoting.


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vimesey
Member
Posts: 916
From: Birmingham, England
Joined: 09-21-2011
Member Rating: 5.4


(1)
Message 4 of 110 (699894)
05-28-2013 1:00 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
05-27-2013 10:23 AM


You also need to factor in the influence of 24 hour news and its appetite for something, anything, to fill the airtime.

Few channels will actually promote any conspiracy theories, but they will broadcast enough alarmist, poorly researched and unbalanced crap to feed the theories.


Could there be any greater conceit, than for someone to believe that the universe has to be simple enough for them to be able to understand it ?

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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1769
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 5 of 110 (699896)
05-28-2013 1:49 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Percy
05-27-2013 10:23 AM


How can you tell?
The problem is that with so many ridiculous conspiracy theories floating around it has become much easier to actually get away with a conspiracy.

As soon as you say 'It's a conspiracy!' about 98% of your audience completely tunes you out. So even if you have a valid point like 'why can't I see a picture of a jetliner flying into the pentagon?' it can be dismissed as just part of a crazy conspiracy theory.

How is it that they can identify the Boston bombers in a matter of hours and they can not produce a single picture of jet plane colliding with the pentagon? The pentagon has to be one of the most heavily CCTV'd buildings in the world. How is that possible?

Take roxrcool's suggestion,

The Feds are intercepting cellular and online communications

What is so hard to believe about that? There is certainly a motive for the gov't to monitor the people. There is certainly the capacity to do so. What would it take...$50M/yr and a couple of warehouses? $150M? Pocket change.

The world used to change every generation or so. Now it is changing a couple of times a year. I mean....the army has invisibility cloaks ffs. Real ones that really work. Laser beam weapons and quantum computers. Do you really think that you know about all of the machinations that are underway? I know that I don't have nearly a clue.

How do you spot the real conspiracies? How hard would it be for 20 billionaires to get together and influence the world?


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Replies to this message:
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caffeine
Member
Posts: 1561
From: Prague, Czech Republic
Joined: 10-22-2008
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 6 of 110 (699905)
05-28-2013 6:35 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by ProtoTypical
05-28-2013 1:49 AM


Re: How can you tell?
How is it that they can identify the Boston bombers in a matter of hours and they can not produce a single picture of jet plane colliding with the pentagon?

Is my memory really that bad, or didn't it take them a few days to identify the Boston bombers?

As for this one, however:

The Feds are intercepting cellular and online communications

Intelligence services do intercept a lot of communications, but I think the image that many people have of this is a bit misleading. It seems to be presented as some kind of sinister room full of spies who know everything about everyone, but the fact remains that not all data can be intercepted, and the vast majority of intercepted data can never be read, from a simple logistics point of view.

I've heard it suggested that 'key words' are searched for, but I think people aren't considering the sheer scale of global communication. How many millions of times a day is the word 'bomb' transmitted via internet or cellphone?


This message is a reply to:
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Straggler
Member
Posts: 10276
From: London England
Joined: 09-30-2006
Member Rating: 3.3


(4)
Message 7 of 110 (699907)
05-28-2013 7:38 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by ProtoTypical
05-28-2013 1:49 AM


Conspiratorial Conspiracy Theory
Dogma writes:

The problem is that with so many ridiculous conspiracy theories floating around it has become much easier to actually get away with a conspiracy.

I have a theory that the sheer number of conspiracy theories around is part of a conspiracy to divert attention from conspiracies. I call this the conspiratorial conspiracy theory.

What I can't work out is whether or not by highlighting this conspiracy I am in fact assisting the conspiritors by adding to the number of conspiracy theories such that their main conspiracy falls under the conspiracy radar.

My head is spinning.


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Dr Adequate
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Posts: 16073
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


(2)
Message 8 of 110 (699908)
05-28-2013 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by Straggler
05-28-2013 7:38 AM


Re: Conspiratorial Conspiracy Theory
I have a theory that the sheer number of conspiracy theories around is part of a conspiracy to divert attention from conspiracies. I call this the conspiratorial conspiracy theory.

That's just what They want you to think.


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Dr Adequate
Member
Posts: 16073
Joined: 07-20-2006
Member Rating: 4.4


(2)
Message 9 of 110 (699913)
05-28-2013 9:55 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by ProtoTypical
05-28-2013 1:49 AM


Re: How can you tell?
How is it that they can identify the Boston bombers in a matter of hours and they can not produce a single picture of jet plane colliding with the pentagon? The pentagon has to be one of the most heavily CCTV'd buildings in the world. How is that possible?

But they did produce the pictures. They were exhibit P200022 in the Moussaoui trial, consisting of footage of of Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon as taken by two security cameras in the Pentagon parking lot.

---

Another question would be, if there weren't any pictures, would that be more consistent with (a) the hypothesis that no cameras were pointing in that direction (b) a vast conspiracy of evil?

Image the scene at Evil Headquarters.

Evil #1 : So, how can we make it look as though terrorists have flown a plane into the Pentagon?

Evil #2 : I have an idea ... let's fly a plane into the Pentagon, and then blame the terrorists.

Evil #1 : No, no, that wouldn't work.

Evil #2 : Why not?

Evil #1 : "Why not?" he asks. Well, that's why I'm Evil #1 and you're just Evil #2. No, we have to fake it.

Evil #2 : We'll need to blow a hole in the Pentagon with something, though.

Evil #1 : Naturally.

Evil #2 : And we'll need props. Bits of a destroyed plane to scatter hither and thither, charred bodies strapped into plane seats, that sort of thing.

Evil #1 : Yes, well, I'm sure even you can manage to kill a few people and set fire to their bodies.

Evil #2 : And we'll need to transport all this stuff to the Pentagon without being seen doing so ... and the Pentagon has quite good security ... are you sure we just can't fly the plane into the building, rather than wrecking a plane somewhere else and then transporting the parts to the site.?

Evil #1 : Yes, I'm quite sure. There are reasons for this which I sha'n't explain because no-one, including Dr A, has ever been able to imagine any.

Evil #2 : And speaking of the security at the Pentagon, how about we fake up a few CCTV images of the plane crashing into the Pentagon?

Evil #1 : No, no, we can't do that.

Evil #2 : Why not?

Evil #1 : Because that would be fibbing.

---

So how is this a "valid point"? A false premise is being used to support a version of the conspiracy theory which is patently ridiculous.

Edited by Dr Adequate, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
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Replies to this message:
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NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 10 of 110 (699914)
05-28-2013 10:30 AM
Reply to: Message 5 by ProtoTypical
05-28-2013 1:49 AM


Re: How can you tell?
As soon as you say 'It's a conspiracy!' about 98% of your audience completely tunes you out. So even if you have a valid point like 'why can't I see a picture of a jetliner flying into the pentagon?' it can be dismissed as just part of a crazy conspiracy theory.

The missing video is a part of a crazy conspiracy theory. I'm not going to imbed the video, but yes the jetliner was photographed flying into the Pentagon.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzFqXbfv_yg

When I was working in DC (2004-2011) I used to ride public transportation that stopped at the Pentagon on it's way downtown. I have heard about dozens of conspiracy theories during my commute. People working at the Pentagon were generally amused by the stories. My impression is that it takes little to no real information to trigger conspiracy theorists into concocting some of the wildest nonsense.

There was also a member of the church I attended who actually worked at the Pentagon on the side on which the jet struck. At the time I met him, which was about 10 years after 9-11, he was still exhibiting some trauma about the event which visibly worsened on each anniversary of the event.

The 9-11 conspiracy stories that claim that no jet hit the Pentagon are rightly mocked and ridiculed. Quite frankly, they would be rightly mocked even if no video were available. It's not the implausible that there weren't any undestroyed video cameras to capture the crash.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I would say here something that was heard from an ecclesiastic of the most eminent degree; ‘That the intention of the Holy Ghost is to teach us how one goes to heaven, not how the heaven goes.’ Galileo Galilei 1615.

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1769
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 11 of 110 (699933)
05-28-2013 1:02 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by caffeine
05-28-2013 6:35 AM


Re: How can you tell?
It seems to be presented as some kind of sinister room full of spies who know everything about everyone, but the fact remains that not all data can be intercepted, and the vast majority of intercepted data can never be read, from a simple logistics point of view.

They don't have to read all of it as most of it is innocuous chatter. The challenge is catching the bits that they want to read and to do that you just record everything. So the vast majority of information [u]will never[/u] be read but any bit of it could be read. Record everything and keep it for future reference. At $2/GB it is not even hard or expensive. See here. How many of the worlds communications do not go through a satellite?

So a great many outlandish sounding things are actually quite simple to do if you are a billionaire or a shadowy gov't agency. The technology gap between a middle class citizen and the spy agency of his govt is vast. The ability is there and the fact that it is likely happening gets thrown out with the notion that it is some kind of elaborate conspiracy. I find it harder to believe that they are not doing it. If you were charged with protecting the people wouldn't you do it?


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1769
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


(2)
Message 12 of 110 (699934)
05-28-2013 1:04 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by Straggler
05-28-2013 7:38 AM


Re: Conspiratorial Conspiracy Theory
My head is spinning.

I think that they are on to you man. Its the confusion beam. Quick, down to the store and get some organically grown tin foil.


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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1769
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 13 of 110 (699936)
05-28-2013 1:05 PM
Reply to: Message 9 by Dr Adequate
05-28-2013 9:55 AM


Re: How can you tell?
But they did produce the pictures. They were exhibit P200022 in the Moussaoui trial, consisting of footage of of Flight 77 crashing into the Pentagon as taken by two security cameras in the Pentagon parking lot.

This is exactly what I mean. There is no airplane in those videos.

So how is this a "valid point"? A false premise is being used to support a version of the conspiracy theory which is patently ridiculous.

It is a valid point because there is no airplane in those pictures.


This message is a reply to:
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ProtoTypical
Member
Posts: 1769
From: Ontario Canada
Joined: 08-04-2010


Message 14 of 110 (699937)
05-28-2013 1:17 PM
Reply to: Message 10 by NoNukes
05-28-2013 10:30 AM


Re: How can you tell?
It's not the implausible that there weren't any undestroyed video cameras to capture the crash.

I don't know but it seems like a stretch to me. It is like saying that all of the bank cameras were coincidentally down for repair when the robbers came in.

The answer offered as to why there is no picture of a plane colliding with the pentagon is far more patently ridiculous than the question.


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1.61803
Member
Posts: 2804
From: Lone Star State USA
Joined: 02-19-2004
Member Rating: 3.6


Message 15 of 110 (699938)
05-28-2013 1:28 PM


Here is a conspiracy theory I recently heard.

" Sandy Hook was staged by the Obama administration as a means to take away our guns."


"You were not there for the beginning. You will not be there for the end. Your knowledge of what is going on can only be superficial and relative" William S. Burroughs

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