Author Topic: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists  (Read 95876 times)

Offline Bob B.

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 10:02:38 AM »
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It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. ~H. L. Mencken

HBs justify lying due to of the belief that all people in power lie, which follows from the knowledge that they, themselves, would be deceitful if they actually had any power.

Inherent dishonesty, I think, is part of what makes an HB an HB.  If a person is themself dishonest, it's easy for them to believe that others are dishonest as well.  Hence they see conspiracies everywhere.

Offline Echnaton

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #16 on: January 23, 2013, 10:36:25 AM »
It's a vicious little circle. 
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett

Offline cjameshuff

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #17 on: January 23, 2013, 08:33:32 PM »
I don't recall the details, but I remember once being accused of "not having a sense of fun" for not just accepting some claim without evidence. They seemed to value how spectacular or exciting ideas sounded over how much evidence there was for them...and to not understand why one would do otherwise.

Offline Noldi400

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2013, 02:18:27 AM »
Is it just me, or do you seem to never hear from anyone whose belief in a conspiracy theory is confined to a single topic?  That is, if they believe that Apollo was a hoax, it's almost certain that they subscribe to many, if not all, of the popular CTs around.

And a sort-of related question: how much do you ever seem to hear about conspiracies that aren't centered around the government of the USA, or at least directly related, such as the joint US-USSR space travel hoax?

Edit: I have seen that Anders has questioned the investigations of, well, pretty much every maritime disaster of the last hundred years as being a cover-up of some kind, but this is his rice bowl and I don't recall seeing them discussed anywhere else.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 02:25:35 AM by Noldi400 »
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline Andromeda

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2013, 03:19:17 AM »
Is it just me, or do you seem to never hear from anyone whose belief in a conspiracy theory is confined to a single topic?  That is, if they believe that Apollo was a hoax, it's almost certain that they subscribe to many, if not all, of the popular CTs around.

Yes, I've noticed that too.


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And a sort-of related question: how much do you ever seem to hear about conspiracies that aren't centered around the government of the USA, or at least directly related, such as the joint US-USSR space travel hoax?

Good point - never, in my experience.  Naturally CTs always assume I am American.


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Edit: I have seen that Anders has questioned the investigations of, well, pretty much every maritime disaster of the last hundred years as being a cover-up of some kind, but this is his rice bowl and I don't recall seeing them discussed anywhere else.

Reminds me of the History Channel's "I don't know, therefore aliens" guy.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.

Offline ka9q

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2013, 03:58:43 AM »
That is, if they believe that Apollo was a hoax, it's almost certain that they subscribe to many, if not all, of the popular CTs around.
Yes, definitely. This phenomenon has been called crank magnetism; see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crank_(person)#Crank_magnetism.

I probably would have coined a different term; "crank magnetism" sounds like charismatic cranks attracting a crowd of followers, or maybe cranks seeking each other out.


Offline Echnaton

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2013, 07:04:35 AM »
Is it just me, or do you seem to never hear from anyone whose belief in a conspiracy theory is confined to a single topic?  That is, if they believe that Apollo was a hoax, it's almost certain that they subscribe to many, if not all, of the popular CTs around.

Someone a while back, perhaps Steven Novella, coined the term "syndromism" to describe this.  The taking of an array of related unsupported beliefs together as a whole in a "I bet you can't swallow just one" manner.  Some of the  commercial hoax promoters may be more restrained in conspiracy beliefs, for instance I don't remember Bill Kaysing caring much about any other conspiracy.
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett

Offline raven

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #22 on: January 24, 2013, 07:29:19 AM »
It can be fun to watch conflicting theorists, for example CT who claim we went, but edited the photos since we found aliens, and those who claim we didn't go at all squabble.
Another example is those who claim even orbiting the Earth is impossible, or that descent from orbit is impossible, and those who claim we faked we faked it in LEO.
In any case, grab the popcorn!

Offline Bob B.

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #23 on: January 24, 2013, 08:37:18 AM »
Is it just me, or do you seem to never hear from anyone whose belief in a conspiracy theory is confined to a single topic?  That is, if they believe that Apollo was a hoax, it's almost certain that they subscribe to many, if not all, of the popular CTs around.

Absolutely!  I don't know if I've ever come across a hardcore moon landing HB who didn't also buy into to the other CTs.  There's just something in these people's interior wiring that makes them susceptible to such nonsense.  They're not normal in my opinion.

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And a sort-of related question: how much do you ever seem to hear about conspiracies that aren't centered around the government of the USA, or at least directly related, such as the joint US-USSR space travel hoax?

I remember some hubbub a while back about the Chinese faking their EVA, but agree these CTs usually involve the USA in some way.  I think it's just a matter of the CTs going after the biggest, baddest kid on the playground.  Many of them seem to see the USA as some sort of a bully, and CTs are their way to strike back.

Offline Chew

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2013, 10:36:05 AM »
Is it just me, or do you seem to never hear from anyone whose belief in a conspiracy theory is confined to a single topic?  That is, if they believe that Apollo was a hoax, it's almost certain that they subscribe to many, if not all, of the popular CTs around.

It's called Crank magnetism.

Offline Noldi400

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #25 on: January 24, 2013, 12:34:52 PM »
Some of the  commercial hoax promoters may be more restrained in conspiracy beliefs, for instance I don't remember Bill Kaysing caring much about any other conspiracy.
True, but I've never been entirely convinced that Kaysing believed the nonsense he was spouting. I'm more inclined toward the notion that he initially wrote it up to be a pain in NASA's behind, then it sort of outgrew him.
"The sane understand that human beings are incapable of sustaining conspiracies on a grand scale, because some of our most defining qualities as a species are... a tendency to panic, and an inability to keep our mouths shut." - Dean Koontz

Offline Andromeda

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #26 on: January 24, 2013, 01:03:45 PM »
I read a great quote today.

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One is known by the quality of one's enemies.  If good and honorable people hold you in low regard, then it's time for self examination.  But if this group/collective, led about by this small-souled person, hold you in low regard, then please know that it matters little to none.
"The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not 'Eureka!' but 'That's funny...'" - Isaac Asimov.

Offline Echnaton

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #27 on: January 24, 2013, 01:23:48 PM »
Some of the  commercial hoax promoters may be more restrained in conspiracy beliefs, for instance I don't remember Bill Kaysing caring much about any other conspiracy.
True, but I've never been entirely convinced that Kaysing believed the nonsense he was spouting. I'm more inclined toward the notion that he initially wrote it up to be a pain in NASA's behind, then it sort of outgrew him.
Let's have no special pleading after the fact now! 8)

In fact, I agree with the main point here.  Kaysing falls into the category of "the exception that proves the rule."  :o But I don't know enough about Benet and Percy to say what else they personally believed in.  Aulis.com is certainly a prime example of syndromism or crank magnetism. 
The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. —Samuel Beckett

Offline JayUtah

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #28 on: January 24, 2013, 02:08:21 PM »
True, but I've never been entirely convinced that Kaysing believed the nonsense he was spouting. I'm more inclined toward the notion that he initially wrote it up to be a pain in NASA's behind, then it sort of outgrew him.

That's almost certainly to be the case.  My producer buddy John scared up video of Kaysing saying pretty much that:  he simply made up that stuff to embarrass the government.  I think it got out of hand because there will always be people to believe that sort of thing and want more of it.

However, Kaysing also wrote on holistic nutritionism and Pearl Harbor conspiracies.  He expressed at least enough interest in other fringe subjects to make (something of) a living as an author on them.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2013, 03:08:33 PM by JayUtah »
"Facts are stubborn things." --John Adams

Offline nomuse

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Re: A few simple questions for conspiracy theorists
« Reply #29 on: January 24, 2013, 02:11:28 PM »
It can be fun to watch conflicting theorists, for example CT who claim we went, but edited the photos since we found aliens, and those who claim we didn't go at all squabble.
Another example is those who claim even orbiting the Earth is impossible, or that descent from orbit is impossible, and those who claim we faked we faked it in LEO.
In any case, grab the popcorn!

What's odd is how little they fight.*  Like the Monk Plus, they are capable of holding multiple competing beliefs simultaneously.

Which is not that strange, since any singular Apollo Denier has multiple threads to their spiel that are only rarely compatible with each other; heck, this often happens within a single sentence!



*Prime counter-example the Truthers, who spend most of their time calling each other disinfo agents and government plants.