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Old 11-07-2019, 07:28 AM   #16
Baron Samedi
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Originally Posted by PatsFan09 View Post
Pinker .
That’s Steven Pinker. MIT/Harvard linguistic psychologist.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

Correct. He's also in the Lolita Express Mile High Club. As is Lawrence Krauss.

Pinker was a key figure in helping Epstein skate the first time he was charged.

Kind of makes sense why he would be very motivated to debunk conspiracism, doesn't it? Especially Epstein conspiracism.

EDIT: My bad on the "Pinkerton"...not sure where that came from. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 11-07-2019, 08:04 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by O_P_T View Post
Not sure I'd characterize that article as a "counterpoint", at least the stronger definition of that term.

For me, the key aspect of Shermer's article was his discussion of the "hardwiring" of human's to be predisposed to develop and believe conspiracy theories.

I've mentioned many of these concepts in the past in discussions on these topics, the nature of pattern recognition, how humans inherently try to 'connect the dots", etc. all lead to people seeing connections where there really are none.

This is likely why The baron thought I had posted this article before. I haven't.

Your article does not really address this idea, but describes an intellectual response to conspiracy theories.

So my article is more of an "origin" discussion and your's is more of a "response" discussion.

---------- Post added at 06:20 PM ---------- Previous post was at 06:16 PM ----------



I consider epistemology an ontological necessity
Care to follow up with your thoughts on the article you posted with a quoted contributor then, whoa and behold, he’s front and center in one of the most recent and disgusting and revolting conspiracies?
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Old 11-07-2019, 12:22 PM   #18
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Old 11-07-2019, 01:28 PM   #19
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In the interests of furthering discussion, let me present a counter article....from, of all places....the NYT.


Jeffrey Epstein and When to Take Conspiracies Seriously

Sometimes conspiracy theories point toward something worth investigating. A few point toward the truth.

The challenge in thinking about a case like the suspicious suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, the supposed “billionaire” who spent his life acquiring sex slaves and serving as a procurer to the ruling class, can be summed up in two sentences. Most conspiracy theories are false. But often some of the things they’re trying to explain are real.

Conspiracy theories are usually false because the people who come up with them are outsiders to power, trying to impose narrative order on a world they don’t fully understand — which leads them to imagine implausible scenarios and impossible plots, to settle on ideologically convenient villains and assume the absolute worst about their motives, and to imagine an omnicompetence among the corrupt and conniving that doesn’t actually exist.

Or they are false because the people who come up with them are insiders trying to deflect blame for their own failings, by blaming a malign enemy within or an evil-genius rival for problems that their own blunders helped create.

Or they are false because the people pushing them are cynical manipulators and attention-seekers trying to build a following who don’t care a whit about the truth.

For all these reasons serious truth-seekers are predisposed to disbelieve conspiracy theories on principle, and journalists especially are predisposed to quote Richard Hofstadter on the “paranoid style” whenever they encounter one — an instinct only sharpened by the rise of Donald Trump, the cynical conspiracist par excellence.

But this dismissiveness can itself become an intellectual mistake, a way to sneer at speculation while ignoring an underlying reality that deserves attention or investigation. Sometimes that reality is a conspiracy in full, a secret effort to pursue a shared objective or conceal something important from the public. Sometimes it’s a kind of unconscious connivance, in which institutions and actors behave in seemingly concerted ways because of shared assumptions and self-interest. But in either case, an admirable desire to reject bad or wicked theories can lead to a blindness about something important that these theories are trying to explain.

Here are some diverse examples. Start with U.F.O. theories, a reliable hotbed of the first kind of conspiracizing — implausible popular stories about hidden elite machinations.

It is simple wisdom to assume that any conspiratorial Fox Mulder-level master narrative about little gray men or lizard people is rubbish. Yet at the same time it is a simple fact that the U.F.O. era began, in Roswell, N.M., with a government lie intended to conceal secret military experiments; it is also a simple fact, lately reported in this very newspaper, that the military has been conducting secret studies of unidentified-flying-object incidents that continue to defy obvious explanations.

So the correct attitude toward U.F.O.s cannot be a simple Hofstadterian dismissiveness about the paranoia of the cranks. Instead, you have to be able to reject outlandish theories and acknowledge a pattern of government lies and secrecy around a weird, persistent, unexplained feature of human experience — which we know about in part because the U.F.O. conspiracy theorists keep banging on about their subject. The wild theories are false; even so, the secrets and mysteries are real.

Another example: The current elite anxiety about Russia’s hand in the West’s populist disturbances, which reached a particularly hysterical pitch with the pre-Mueller report collusion coverage, is a classic example of how conspiracy theories find a purchase in the supposedly sensible center — in this case, because their narrative conveniently explains a cascade of elite failures by blaming populism on Russian hackers, moneymen and bots.

And yet: Every conservative who rolls her or his eyes at the “Russia hoax” is in danger of dismissing the reality that there is a Russian plot against the West — an organized effort to use hacks, bots and rubles to sow discord in the United States and Western Europe. This effort is far weaker and less consequential than the paranoid center believes, it doesn’t involve fanciful “Trump has been a Russian asset since the ’80s” machinations … but it also isn’t something that Rachel Maddow just made up. The hysteria is overdrawn and paranoid; even so, the Russian conspiracy is real.

A third example: Marianne Williamson’s long-shot candidacy for the Democratic nomination has elevated the holistic-crunchy critique of modern medicine, which often shades into a conspiratorial view that a dark corporate alliance is actively conspiring against American health, that the medical establishment is consciously lying to patients about what might make them well or sick. Because this narrative has given anti-vaccine fervor a huge boost, there’s understandable desire among anti-conspiracists to hold the line against anything that seems like a crankish or quackish criticism of the medical consensus.

But if you aren’t somewhat paranoid about how often corporations cover up the dangers of their products, and somewhat paranoid about how drug companies in particular influence the medical consensus and encourage overprescription — well, then I have an opioid crisis you might be interested in reading about. You don’t need the centralized conspiracy to get a big medical wrong turn; all it takes is the right convergence of financial incentives with institutional groupthink. Which makes it important to keep an open mind about medical issues that are genuinely unsettled, even if the people raising questions seem prone to conspiracy-think. The medical consensus is generally a better guide than crankishness; even so, the tendency of cranks to predict medical scandals before they’re recognized is real.

Finally, a fourth example, circling back to Epstein: the conspiracy theories about networks of powerful pedophiles, which have proliferated with the internet and peaked, for now, with the QAnon fantasy among Trump supporters.

I say fantasy because the details of the QAnon narrative are plainly false: Donald Trump is not personally supervising an operation against “deep state” child sex traffickers any more than my 3-year-old is captaining a pirate ship.

But the premise of the QAnon fantasia, that certain elite networks of influence, complicity and blackmail have enabled sexual predators to exploit victims on an extraordinary scale — well, that isn’t a conspiracy theory, is it? That seems to just be true.

And not only true of Epstein and his pals. As I’ve written before, when I was starting my career as a journalist I sometimes brushed up against people peddling a story about a network of predators in the Catholic hierarchy — not just pedophile priests, but a self-protecting cabal above them — that seemed like a classic case of the paranoid style, a wild overstatement of the scandal’s scope. I dismissed them then as conspiracy theorists, and indeed they had many of conspiracism’s vices — above all, a desire to believe that the scandal they were describing could be laid entirely at the door of their theological enemies, liberal or traditional.

But on many important points and important names, they were simply right.

Likewise with the secular world’s predators. Imagine being told the scope of Harvey Weinstein’s alleged operation before it all came crashing down — not just the ex-Mossad black ops element but the possibility that his entire production company also acted as a procurement-and-protection operation for one of its founders. A conspiracy theory, surely! Imagine being told all we know about the late, unlamented Epstein — that he wasn’t just a louche billionaire (wasn’t, indeed, a proper billionaire at all) but a man mysteriously made and mysteriously protected who ran a pedophile island with a temple to an unknown god and plotted his own “Boys From Brazil” endgame in plain sight of his Harvard-D.C.-House of Windsor pals. Too wild to be believed!

And yet.

Where networks of predation and blackmail are concerned, then, the distinction I’m drawing between conspiracy theories and underlying realities weakens just a bit. No, you still don’t want to listen to QAnon, or to our disgraceful president when he retweets rants about the #ClintonBodyCount. But just as Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s network of clerical allies and enablers hasn’t been rolled up, and the fall of Bryan Singer probably didn’t get us near the rancid depths of Hollywood’s youth-exploitation racket, we clearly haven’t gotten to the bottom of what was going on with Epstein.

So to worry too much about online paranoia outracing reality is to miss the most important journalistic task, which is the further unraveling of scandals that would have seemed, until now, too implausible to be believed.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/13/o...n-suicide.html

It also occurred to me another "conspiracy theory" that involved huge numbers of people in power coordinating to cover up crimes against the innocent, and remained secret for decades upon decades.

The Roman Catholic Church pedophile network.

If there was ever a shining example of meeting all the criteria of "paranoia" and "too many people involved to be true", the Vatican exploiting children and protecting the rapists is it.

And, how would THAT one rate on the "Top Ten Ways to Test a Conspiracy Theory" from Skeptic?

Incidentally, I read the report referenced in the article...it can be found here;

https://poseidon01.ssrn.com/delivery...025029&EXT=pdf

"Bullshit receptivity"

What's funny, is the entire "study" is bullshit! There was no study, there is no science in it, and no scientific methodology whatsoever. It's just circular reasoning..

Basically, they ask a bunch of generic conspriatorial questions like "Do you think there are groups in the world that wield more power than governments"? The person may answer "yes" or "no".

If they answer "yes", they are assigned a series of personality traits related to paranoia. If they answer "no", they are considered to be lacking paranoia.

Then they conclude that paranoid people are more prone to believe conspiracy theories.

Talk about "bullshit receptivity".

Funny thing about all these "Studies"....they never weigh the influence of information supporting the beliefs. They just seek to classify the tendencies of belief and non belief as if all "conspiracy theories are equal".

Odd, isn't it?

Like, believing that there are alien lizard men running around the world, posing as humans, and taking over the world, is as equally valid as, say, rich and powerful world leaders and businessmen operating a worldwide child rape network and being protected by governments and media for decades, whether it is Epstein or the Vatican, are both equal in validity.

See the false equivalency there? See the fake science?

Then this fake science is presented as real science by others, who reference the report, knowing that 99% of the readers will never actually read the report themselves, they will assume it is legitimate science, because they have confirmation bias...they don't apply the same skepticism to their own shit as they do to other people's shit.
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Dude, Baron has been a valued member of this forum for quite some time.
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Old 11-08-2019, 07:49 AM   #20
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Here is a very timely and very typical gaslighting article about "conspiracy theories"...from one of the very typical gatekeeper publications..."Salon", which is basically a deep state establishmentarian marketing firm.

As her presidential campaign sputters, Tulsi Gabbard pushes a 9/11 conspiracy theory

The congresswoman accused the government of actively covering up "Saudi ties" from Americans and 9/11 families

Democratic presidential candidate Tulsi Gabbard on Tuesday continued to promote the conspiracy theory that the United States government is covering up Saudi Arabia's role in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Gabbard, a congresswoman from Hawaii, sent an email to supporters with the subject line, "We deserve all the information on 9/11."

"The American people still don't have access to the truth about Saudi Arabia and who helped Al Qaeda carry out these deadly attacks," Gabbard wrote in the email. "It is absolutely unacceptable that our government's investigation into Saudi ties has been kept from these 9/11 families and from the American people."

The email also included a link to a video on Gabbard's website, which is featured alongside a petition that calls on President Donald Trump to "declassify and release all information regarding the 9/11 attack."

Gabbard, the founder and co-chair of the Post-9/11 Veterans Caucus, didn't specify what information she wants publicly released. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied involvement in the 9/11 attacks, though 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Gabbard, a four-term congresswoman, served two tours of duty in the Middle East with the Hawaii Army National Guard. The first female combat veteran ever elected to Congress, she is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and previously sat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

She has made her military experience and foreign policy credentials the focus of her presidential bid, which has struggled to gain momentum; the Washington Post notes that she is currently polling at or below 3 percent in most polls. Her stances on foreign policy issues have come under intense scrutiny from some 2020 Democrats — though have been glorified by the far-right and conservative media.

Gabbard, who describes herself a "hawk" on terrorism, most recently faced accusations that she is a "Russian asset." The claim, made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was denounced by her 2020 rivals, including Trump.

Last week, Rep. Gabbard advocated for relatives of 9/11 victims who filed a lawsuit seeking the release of documents that they believe link the attackers to Saudi government officials.

"We are 18 years removed from this terrible crime, and the victims of this crime, the families who are here today, the American people deserve all of the evidence to fully come to light," Gabbard said at an event in New York City with the plaintiffs. She added she was looking not for "a highly redacted version of this information that makes no sense but a declassified version that actually speaks the truth of what led to the attack on 9/11."

On that same day, Gabbard introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that calls on the government to release documents related to 9/11. A similar resolution was introduced by former Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., in 2017.

"The truth is being withheld from the families of those who were killed on 9/11, and from the American people," Gabbard claimed. "Full disclosure of these facts is not only necessary for these families, it is essential for our national security and to keep the American people safe."

https://www.salon.com/2019/11/06/as-...piracy-theory/

You know, cause the Saaudi's had nothing whatsoever to do with 9/11, and the government is keeping the 28 pages of the 9/11 Report about the Saudi's secret for no particular reason, not to mention whatever else they are keeping, like the hijacker's being funded and kept in safe houses by the CIA prior to the operation, or the fact that the hijackers were Saudi Intelligence operators..
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Who is this self-important instigating douche-bag, anyway?
Dude, Baron has been a valued member of this forum for quite some time.
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Old 11-08-2019, 06:41 PM   #21
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Baron,

I'm shocked, shocked that you completely misunderstood my post and the article I quoted.

It was not an argument claiming all conspiracy theories are invalid nor against any given conspiracy theory.

I posted it simply to show that people are predisposed to "connect the dots" and believe "conspiracies" regardless of the data for or against said conspiracy.

The fact that you tried to support the concept of 'conspiracy theories" by showing that some things that were called that turned out to be true is a classic Fallacy of composition. The fact that any given one was true says absolutely nothing about any other one.

You want to "prove" a conspiracy to me?

Provide me "real" evidence.

By "real" I point to the Russian Arctic expedition you linked to here.

You think they said they found the WWII stuff, et al, on the newly discovered islands, but the article doesn't say that.

You are assuming they meant that, when Occam's Razor says they didn't.

The other material is in a different paragraph and they specifically cite Novaya Zemlya as the location these items were found.

Why would they specifically state Novaya Zemlya if the items were found on as yet unnamed islands?

You are making a connection (i.e., finding a pattern) here, that doesn't really exist.

IMHO, the same can be said for most of your "conspiracy theories".

So bring it on, just be willing to listen when someone points out what they see as the failings of your analysis.
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