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Showing content with the highest reputation since 02/20/2019 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    One of the general differences between those on the left and right is that the right understands the left's views... You can see this with their parody and satire. Leftist characters are portrayed accurately, and sometimes, right-wing media creators can even explain the left's views better than actual leftists. The parody and satire created by leftists, though, is consistently egregious--like the description of Jussie Smollett's attackers, for example (pretty much every right leaning person knew it was bullshit immediately). Again, it's a generalization. Obviously not all right-wingers understand the left's talking points, but for the most part, they get it... while for the left, the opposite is true. They can't even conceive of what they are arguing against. So what you end up with is ignorant, and possibly stupid, people who the right is gently trying to point out as ignorant and stupid... which reaffirms the leftist's belief that people on the right are immoral (mean). Obviously accusing someone of being immoral is worse than accusing someone of being stupid... so it's insane. This is pretty much just venting... but it's really annoying that this is the case. Politics has become a chore where people with good ideas have to hold the hands of their attackers to help them see what they're missing.
  2. 2 points
  3. 2 points
    Vote fraud in Texas and Illinois elected the Kennedy-Johnson ticket in 1960. Massive vote fraud has made California a state completely dominated by the Democrat Party. If not for the Electoral College California would have made that criminal bitch Hillary President. Whether the Electoral College will do the same next time is problematic. It could give the Senate to the Dems. I find your naivete hard to get my brain around. ---Brant
  4. 2 points
    Jonathan, It's funny. When you ask for repeatable scientific results re Climate Change, you always get blah blah blah and they never use the term "repeatable results." It's like going into a small eatery and saying, "Do you have an ice cream cone?" And the person says, "Here's some tasty steamed octopus." You ask, "What about an ice cream cone?" The person says, "Look at these green beans and mashed potatoes. How big a portion do you want?" "But I want an ice cream cone." "Well, you've come to the right place. Our mac and cheese is amazing." "Don't you have ice cream cones?" "Only stupid people think we don't have hamburgers." "You really don't have ice cream cones?" "True believer idiot. The dinner rolls are right in front of you. God, some people..." He throws a stack of menus in your face--ones that do not list ice cream cones... And on it goes. It's amazing to watch. Michael
  5. 2 points
    I love "on the sidelines" of #TrumpKimSummit. He's negotiating peace with a nuclear—armed country, ending a state of war that has existed between us for the last 70 years. While doing that he scores a deal for $12.7 billion of planes, then goes out for a smoke break with Phu Trong and a few of the Bamboo guys and returns with an additional $2.9 billion dollars. Best President ever.
  6. 1 point
  7. 1 point
    Altruism was appropriated by the totalitarians for moral justification for their idiological snarmniness and Rand countered with "selfishness" thereby justifying in her own way tyranny if tyranny be a value to whomever. The major flaw in her philosophy is its center in morality instead of politics and it's implicit and explicit morality. She was not wrong about rational self interest but she never recognized the nature of self interest in altruism. Of course, the religionists used altruism the same way the totalitarians did, to justify themselves and to control the subjugated and to subjugate. What has been obscured in this ideological warfare by its sheer bilateralism is actual human nature. The irony of the world of Atlas Shrugged is the sheer human destruction by the men of the mind going on strike is exponentially greater than anything the totalitarians have managed to achieve too date. Now I know I am mixing up my categories, fiction and non-fiction, and Rand declared she was trying to prevent a socialistic America, but Rand too was always mixing up those categories. However, man the individualist was also and always man the provider and man (man and woman, of course) the protector. Man and his (her) family. The irony is the Atlas bad boys were the heroes who let the other bad boys play just to practically illustrate in every way Rand could imagine how bad the bad boys and their policies could be to the USA. Not included, though, were anything like the Nazi and Communist genocides. Just good old Mr. Thompson and naked John Galt on the rack. That was essentially the end of her magnum opus. In her previous novel naked Howard Roark laughed. Roark led straight to Galt. This is why there is no Objectivist movement. The Objectivists are in Galt's Gulch. --Brant
  8. 1 point
    This guy Josh of https://kiwifarms.net is one who apparently hosted or posted links to the video and is exchanging love letters with NZ police ... On 3/17/2019 6:12 AM, MICHAEL, John (JP) wrote:Good afternoonI am hoping that you can help us with an investigation the New Zealand Police are working on.On 15 March 2019 there was a shooting in New Zealand with multiple fatalities at two mosques in the city of Christchurch.The alleged offender in this matter is a Brenton TARRANT.At around the time of the shooting there were a number of posts and links posted on kiwifarms.net <http://kiwifarms.net> relating to the shooting and TARRANTWe would like to preserve any posts and technical data including IP addresses, email addresses etc linked to these posts pending a formal legal request .Could you please advise what legal process you require for this request and also confirm preservation of the data requested pending legal process.Kind regardsJohnJohn Michael__Detective Senior Sergeant**E-mail: john.michael@police.govt.nz <mailto:john.michael@police.govt.nz>===============================================================WARNINGThe information contained in this email message is intended for the addressee only and may contain privileged information. It may also be subject to the provisions of section 50 of the Policing Act 2008, which creates an offence to have unlawful possession of Police property. If you are not the intended recipient of this message or have received this message in error, you must not peruse, use, distribute or copy this message or any of its contents.Also note, the views expressed in this message may not necessarily reflect those of the New Zealand Police. If you have received this message in error, please email or telephone the sender immediately--- Is this a joke? I'm not turning over information about my users. The person responsible for posting the video and manifesto PDF is myself.I feel real bad for you guys, you've got a quiet nation and now this attack is going to be the first thing people think of for the next 10 years when they hear the name New Zealand, but you can't do this. Tell your superiors they're going to make the entire country and its government look like clowns by trying to censor the Internet. You're a small, irrelevant island nation barely more recognizable than any other nameless pacific sovereignty. You do not have the clout to eradicate a video from the Internet and you do not have the legal reach to imprison everyone whose posted it. If anyone turns over to you the information they're asking for they're not only cowards, but they're fucking idiots.My name is Joshua Moon, I'm a US Citizen living overseas. My company is contained within a Florida company. If you need an address to send physical documents to this works.Lolcow LLC913 Beal Pkwy NWSuite A-1017Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547If you're wondering, no. Kiwi Farms has nothing to do with New Zealand. Our name is a pointed jab at some of the mushmouthed autistic people we make fun of. Absolutely nothing about our community is NZ oriented.And I don't give a single solitary fuck what section 50 of your faggot law say about sharing your email. Fuck you and fuck your shithole country.- Josh--- Hi JoshAppreciate your quick response.Will definitely consider what you have said.RegardsJohnJohn MichaelDetective Senior SergeantE-mail: john.michael@police.govt.nz
  9. 1 point
    Here is how Chelsea Clinton is seen on the true progressive left: It's not pretty. Just look at the hatred. Riffing off of Rush, in Chelsea Clinton's defense, she married a Jew, thus has Jew kids--to put it in the most blunt manner possible to highlight the part her protesters don't want highlighted. In other words, a Jew going to a Muslim event like this... Guess what happens? Can anybody say bigotry meets crony corruption? Michael
  10. 1 point
    You're not supposed to wear a hat in Congress. It takes guts to say that these days. Michael
  11. 1 point
    I find this to be a slippery slope. Hiroshima was a product of humans. Just because we evolved in nature and utilize parts of isn't a safe implication that what we are doing isn't destructive. Human history is quite frequently filled with humans acting as if there were no repercussions for their actions when in hindsight we realize how ignorantly we acting. I absolutely agree that adding to the shared knowledge base is key to human growth. Seems a bit pointless to do so, however, when given access to the information individuals simply disregard the warnings in favour of their own whims.
  12. 1 point
    Actually they don't. When one looks at the adjustments, they are equally weighted up and down. Some one could then say that their is a temporal shift in the adjustements, ie early ones shifting down, late shifting up, as a means to exaggerate the trend. The issue there is this is completely opposite of what is seen. The net sum of all adjustments reduces the total trend: https://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=3280 As for the rest of everything you have to say, it's all conspiracy. Not going to waste my time disproving your teapot in orbit that you can't validate by your own will.
  13. 1 point
    Yes, I agree there is uncertainty. The most recent work is looking like the total feedback is positive. That's why I specifically quoted their work (saying 'likely positive') as well as provided a link to their paper (albeit paywalled) and provided the key diagram that supports their assertion.
  14. 1 point
    Any changes in the system are driven by changes. This seems obvious but there is an often overlooked implication of that statement. Even though an aspect of the system might have a large factor in the energy balance (albedo) it isn't relevant to changes unless it is changing as well. Albedo is made up of 3 main components scattering by the land and surface, clouds, and reflection from ice and snow. Of these 3 factors, the first and last are changing the most. Land use changes (clearing of forests) creates an increase in albedo while melting of snow and sea ice creates a decrease in albedo. Clouds overall aren't changing from much to none. I've seen some reports putting them at a slight decline, but currently can't find that. So as to whether or not they are impactful to albedo, I'd have to say no. What is referred to as the wild card, or uncertainty with clouds is what kind of feedback clouds will be. Everyone recognizes without issue that clouds reflect sunlight, but they also trap heat. How a cloud impacts the system not only depends on the cloud type that forms but also the timing of them. Obviously nighttime clouds are rather lousy at reflecting incoming light but do a wonderful job of trapping heat. Overall, the feedback effect of clouds is currently considered 'likely positive' (https://www.nature.com/articles/nclimate3402). Clouds are what will bring the system back into equilibrium eventually. As I see it, the simplistic explanation is: Warming causes a decrease in relative humidity -> causes a decrease in cloud production -> less cloud production means a gradual buildup of specific humidity -> this eventually restores the hydrologic (cloud) cycle The hydrologic cycle can't really be fully restored though until the system has stopped warming. Current observations are specific humidity is increasing but relative is still in decline. https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/2013-state-climate-humidity Good general link about clouds https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/earth-and-planetary-sciences/cloud-cover
  15. 1 point
    How integral or statistically significant is the albedo value to the overall maths or modeling? The first link you provided describes cloud formation predictions as a ‘wildcard’, what was the albedo value in the 2500 yr span that you have compared to the post industrial span and consequent temperature ‘spike(s)’ and if indeterminate, does any of that affect your confidence in predictions?
  16. 1 point
    I can't say precisely when all of these hypothesis were made, but these are the staple hypothesis of AGW: (https://scied.ucar.edu/longcontent/predictions-future-global-climate) 1. First and foremost - burning fossil fuels increases atmospheric concentrations of co2. Seems like a no-brainer but I've crossed paths with individuals who dispute that the current rise in atm co2 is not due to human burning of fossil fuels. 2. As a consequence of #1, Increasing non-condensing greenhouse gas concentrations will cause the system to warm 3. As a consequence of #1, pH of the ocean will shift to a more acidic pH as they absorb more co2 4. Along with #2, increasing ghg will simultaneously cause the stratosphere and on up to cool 5. As a consequence of #2, there will be some positive feedbacks triggered, ie reduced albedo due to loss of sea ice, increased water vapor in the atm 6. As a consequence of #2, there will be sea level rise (SLR). There are 2 reasons for this. 1 - warmer water takes up more volume and 2 - melting glaciers To me, those are the key hypothses of AGW, each of which has now been observed. See below for simple responses to each point, starting with #2. If I need to cover my bases on #1, let me know: 2. https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2015-whats-warming-the-world/ 3. http://www.whoi.edu/OCB-OA/page.do?pid=112157 4. https://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/strato_cooling.asp (contains links to supporting papers) 5. https://www.nature.com/articles/nature06207 6. https://www.pnas.org/content/115/9/2022 For those wanting to read papers that might be behind a paywall, there is a chrome (maybe firefox as well) extension called unpaywallme. It will give you a lock icon that changes to color when you reach a paywalled paper that has a free version available. It's not 100%, but it will get you most papers for free.
  17. 1 point
    Apologies for not interpreting your question as simply what did the GHE refer too. Apparently I've spent too much time arguing with deniers about basic founded principals that I saw your question as an attack on the existence of the greenhouse effect. In regards to your question about repeatable science, I'm going to go back once again to radiative transfer models(RTM or LBL for line-by-line). This is how we approx the GHE for the system. The RTM's demonstrate that we have a very solid understanding of how much energy the system emits when it's fed the proper inputs (as is the case for all models). This is demonstrated when we run models for a particular region and then use a satellite to take a snapshot of the upwelling infrared (IR) of that region. That is what the original image I linked you was demonstrating. Here's another prime example of how well MODTRAN matches satellite observations. For reference, the x-axis simply represents wavelengths (or wavenumbers) and the y-axis represents intensity.
  18. 1 point
    Michael, you wrote, in the linked post: "This event hasn't been the first rodeo over here about this topic. One of our members, for example, Ellen Stuttle is personal friends with Richard Lindzen and her husband is a scientist who works in the field. She doesn't post much anymore, though. She's been suffering from an illness that precludes her looking long hours at a computer screen. " Rats. I'm going to have to break down and post something on William's blog, which I'm very reluctant to do. But, Michael, since you made that statement publicly, I think I'd best publicly correct an implication and a fact. I'm not "personal friends with Richard Lindzen" in the way your statement might sound - the kind of relationship where one chats about personal things, etc. I know him, through my husband. I've had conversations with him a number of times at conferences, sat with him, and his wife if she was attending, at the dinners, been to his home in Boston once for a climatology-conversation-geared get-together. I like him and I think he's enjoyed his exchanges with me. I respect him enormously as a scientist. He has a mind for physics, he could have gone into one of the prestige fields and been a big name. Instead, he went into climatology, from love of the subject. It was not a prestige subject when Dick went into it, and he never had any expectation of ending up a limelight person in a battle against scientific corruption. Larry, my husband, is not "a scientist in the field," i.e., climatology. He's a full professor of physics, with special interests in mathematical physics, symmetry, and relativity. He started studying climate issues in 2004, out of concern about the scare prognostications. He didn't need long to discover how shoddily-based those were. He's become a minor expert on climatology, just through his own studies, but he isn't "in the field." The main draw for him, which keeps him involved in climate disputes, is hatred for the scientific corruption and the creeping erosion of scientific honor. (The selling out on scientific integrity spreads to other fields, even to unrelated fields where researchers look the other way and give lip service to climate alarm because their universities are getting climate-related research funding, also from PC motives which can affect scientists like other people.) As to the physical problem which keeps me from spending long hours at a computer, that's correct, I do have such a problem, but it isn't the only reason I hardly post these days. There are also some nefarious doings I'm involved in helping with trying to counter (things related to reducing human population). I'm kept busy with explorings - which I don't want to talk about publicly. As to the rest of your post: Bravo! I think you did a really good job of explaining to Brad the situation regarding William's OL activities. Cheers, Ellen
  19. 1 point
    Here is a perfect example of why I am not going to engage much with this person. I said I was not interested in him. I don't like his bullshit bullying manner of showing up out of nowhere, bossing people around and giving out homework. I refuse to talk to people like that. I never show up anywhere the way he did. He interprets my objection to him as not showing interest in science. Legend in his own mind and so on. It's just bullshit. No wonder these people are losing the climate change moral panic. (btw - I vote. Millions of people like me do, too. If we have any say about it, these jokers will never compel us to do or fund anything. There's an object lesson there, too, but I doubt it will be learned by these kinds of folks.) Michael
  20. 1 point
    As I said, can't make you drink. http://www.easterbrook.ca/steve/2009/06/getting-the-source-code-for-climate-models/ Did you badger your teachers for not answering the test questions for you too?
  21. 1 point
    How shall I respond to a comment that presumes I operate in bad faith? "Deflection and blah blah blah" ...
  22. 1 point
    I don't see how Facebook is going to avoid the MySpace effect and tank to a ghost of its former self. When the stampede starts (actually it has started, but it's way early in its early stage), it's going to be quite a show. Get this: Facebook Bans Zero Hedge and this: Facebook takes down Elizabeth Warren ads calling for breakup of Facebook Rather than refute, Facebook is banning. And it thinks banning will work to silence major figures in our culture. And once the people at Facebook get into this habit, I predict they will go haywire. They are pissing off people of all persuasions. Man oh man... Michael
  23. 1 point
    I'd think if the secretary didn't burn them they weren't burned (destroyed). But I don't think anybody was Hoover's master. I do think he was PR oriented, however, and he didn't mess with the Mafia or the drug trade. I sent him a letter once and got a nice reply. --Brant now you've got me wondering
  24. 1 point
    btw - I am no fan of Corsi. I actually read Killing the Deep State: The Fight to Save President Trump. This could have been a very good book, but was basically a rehash of stuff from online discussions and videos without much improvement. I know because there is nothing in the book I hadn't seen before back when I read it. And, don't forget, most of the stuff one gets online needs a lot of improvement. This didn't happen in Corsi's book. Whether I like Corsi or not, agree with him or not, consider him to be sloppy and speculative or not, think he does more bad than good for spreading a pro-Trump message or not, even think his QAnon stuff that he promoted up to getting in trouble with Mueller is credible or mostly made up to promote himself and sell his book, that does not excuse what the Mueller people did to him. I get tickled by people who think Corsi was a kook until he said a message they agree with (his apology stuff). Then he becomes a credible source. L O friggin' L. In other words, to these people, Corsi lies until he doesn't. And they'll decide when he doesn't and becomes a sage. To me, Corsi is a kind of scholar for the fringe of the pro-Trump people. And he's not a very good scholar. In fact, at times, he's awful. To get value out of his work, you have to use him in the same manner you use all the major conspiracy folks. He's a blunt instrument to crack open topics that the powerful want buried, but he's not reliable for the details. And all of his conclusions need to be taken as a batch of uneven opinions--some spot on, some wacky and everything in between--that need further research. There's a trick to using these fringe folks correctly. See where the powerful get the most agitated and do the most damage to the fringe folks and right there will be the stuff to look at. (For a real good example, remember when they threw everything they had at a rather mediocre YouTube video maker to cover up the Benghazi mess? Or when they railroaded Dinesh D'Souza over campaign finance? Etc.?) Since Mueller came at Corsi with guns blazing, that's where the rot is. It doesn't matter what Corsi says from that point on. What he was talking about is what they want silenced. In my opinion, starting with Seth Rich... Michael
  25. 1 point
    I think that Benjamin J.S. al-Haddad [b.j.al.haddad@gmail.com] is the corresponding author. Generally-speaking, one can request a 'reprint' directly from a corresponding author -- and they are happy to send one to you. There has been a bit of 'looky here' in mainstream reporting . LINK
  26. 1 point
    This is President Trump. Read more here. I got choked up seeing this. Michael
  27. 1 point
    "Discussion was his main interest. Even 'difficult' disputes were in his wheelhouse. We will never forget his contributions to rational debate and disagreement."
  28. 1 point
    Changed your mind, have you, genius?
  29. 1 point
    To leave another person alone, and not bothering them, does not in my unhealthy obsessed mind, include occasionally quoting their public posts. Something like leaving multiple obscene voicemail abusive threats would be bothering them, or seem obsessive maybe to the recipient.... but we rational beings don't do that, do we?
  30. 1 point
    Seth Rich leaked the DNC emails and they murdered him for it. The feelings of his friends and family have nothing to do with anything, and so, people who cite those feelings are full of shit.
  31. 1 point
    Let's hum the hymn, "There will be peace in the valley." I stopped reading Jon for a while but now I am back at it. Jon, just for the record (what a bs saying) if I am drinking alcohol and posting I will stick in a "hic" somewhere otherwise my obtuseness is coming from a clear head or is that oxymoronic? It's great having Ed post here.
  32. 1 point
    Veritas is now getting the goods on Facebook. I just learned a new word: deboosting. Here's the written story on the Veritas site: Facebook Insider Leaks Docs; Explains “Deboosting,” “Troll Report,” & Political Targeting in Video Interview More... we need more... Michael
  33. 1 point
    Michael Just a blurt to make the blurter feel good, I apologize. It was a sarcastic remark in regard to the Trump-haters/MSM and what their reactions may sound like after reading the posts about the progress Trump and his administration have had toward Making AGA. TDS and their intellectual dishonesty will never allow them to admit any 'good' from Trump without trying to tie it to his personal advantage ( or that of his family and their business dealings) and or how he keeps somehow advantaging Russia and specifically Putin's designs for Russia. I'll refrain from posting until I cobble together more coherent ideas with at least 50 or more words. But blurting does feel good for the lazy, I suppose that is what emoticons/jis are for, and likes and trophies.
  34. 1 point
    The Art of the Deal
  35. 1 point
    I do NOT dislike you. ---Brant we just aren't best buds I do like Carol (we just aren't best buds)
  36. 1 point
    Jon, I frequently disagree with with your style of presentation and I'm having a hard time getting my brain around this "Q" stuff, but you're grounded. I can deal with that. Ed declines to be grounded, he says or implies by the likes of you. I can't take it further into a broader characterization like you did for that'd be unfair to him by me which is not to say you were unfair to him. Maybe you were and maybe you weren't. But he was unfair to you. That's because he does not participate here. He floats in and floats out. That makes his rudeness to you primary and your rudeness to him secondary. Sometimes with others here your rudeness might be described as primary to primary as with Carol. (She doesn't float in and out; she walks☺️.) --Brant
  37. 1 point
    Ooops, sorry, I just saw your post after what I posted what you see below. But I'll keep it up now for the record as we seek some understanding! ....... Michael - Assuming Jon is not a troll (you'd know better than I), he kind of make my point. Schultz sees far left Dems discrediting his party. Folks can point to the extremists and say "See these crazies! That's the Dems. I rest my case." So Schultz offers an alternative. David Kelley decades ago saw the dogmatic Objectivists discrediting the truly rational, open Objectivists. Folks could point to them and say "See these crazies! That's Objectivism. I rest my case." So David offered an alternative. Someone like Jon makes it easy for our opponents to say "See that crazy! That's Objectivist living. I rest my case." It is sad that after all these decades, these types are still infest Objectivist circles. I always appreciate Objectivist Living though I don't get here much anymore now that I'm doing more public policy. But keep up the example, Michael, of what Objectivism can be and should be!
  38. 1 point
    Ed, Who is Joe? btw - This is only tangentially related to your article, but you might find it amusing. The leftie propaganda actually does work on the young. I wonder if Schulz will speak at UCLA after this video reaches its peak of virality. I mean, according to the left, if anyone needs a reeducation camp, it's him. Michael
  39. 1 point
    If the lawyer knew of such a crime he would have called the cops, even if anonymously, and saying "I have suspicions that . . . ."
  40. 1 point
  41. 1 point
    Peter - Joe's not worth debating with. Reason won't reach him. Anyway, Schultz adds an interesting element to the Democrats' inter-party battles.
  42. 1 point
    Fake man. ---Brant
  43. 1 point
    And so is this, but it is sooooooooooooo wrong... Michael
  44. 1 point
    Jon, Well, they have put their biggest and best sleuth hound badasses on Q. They found that President Trump's pastry at Mar-a-Lago is full of Q. Seriously. Trump Employs QAnon Believer Elizabeth Alfieri as Pastry Chef at Mar-a-Lago Pastry chef Elizabeth Alfieri bakes cakes and posts about her belief in a conspiracy theory that Democrats are pedophiles. I stand in awe... I thought this was an Onion article at first, but it isn't. This is their grand gotcha. I can just see them snarking down their noses, "Take that Trump. We've got the pastry goods on you." LOL... Wanna bet the guy Will Sommer now expects a Pulitzer? Maybe write a follow up on Russian Bear Claws in the Trump administration? LOLOLOLOLOL... Oh, the pain... the pain... What a band of idiots these lefties are. Michael
  45. 1 point
    I was very born and raised in Tucson. I've been here continually since 1995. I know why it snowed in Tucson today. I SAW IT COME DOWN! A dreadful sight, but glorious! The record snowfall in this hot city is 5 inches, I've been told. Gone with the Sun. On nearby Mt. Lemmon is the southern most United States ski facility. But don't come here for the skiing, go to Flagstaff. Or, better, COLORADO! Next time ask the expert. ---Brant I didn't tell you why it snowed in Tucson, that takes money I don't have (yet) but you do--I hope we have a street in Tucson called "Tyndall"--I lived on it just west of the University of Arizona as a medium-sized boy (my old home destroyed by high-rised student housing--SOB!) in the early and mid-1950s I swear upon the altar of God (eternal hostility over every form of tyranny over the mind of man) that every word I've written here is true (My grandfather, Irving Brant, is responsible for that inscription inside the Jefferson Memorial)
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  48. 1 point
    Good god! You have been in a state of war for 18 years and under martlal law! Who knew? Soon though, I know you will conquer Eastasia, I mean Terror, and return to 1939, I mean normal.
  49. 1 point
    Michael, I do not understand words and sentences. Orange man bad. J
  50. 1 point
    I have excerpted some paragraphs from the article below. If you want a real hoot, read the comments at the bottom of the article, but not with a full mouth. THE INNER WORLDS OF CONSPIRACY BELIEVERS Those who subscribe to 9/11 conspiracy beliefs are generally suspicious and inquisitive, a new study suggests. By Bruce Bower June 20th, 2009; Vol.175 #13 (p. 11) Shortly after terrorist attacks destroyed the World Trade Center and mangled the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, conspiracy theories blossomed about secret and malevolent government plots behind the tragic events. A report scheduled to appear in an upcoming Applied Cognitive Psychology offers a preliminary psychological profile of people who believe in 9/11 conspiracies. A team led by psychologist Viren Swami of the University of Westminster in London identified several traits associated with subscribing to 9/11 conspiracies, at least among British citizens. These characteristics consist of backing one or more conspiracy theories unrelated to 9/11, frequently talking about 9/11 conspiracy beliefs with likeminded friends and others, taking a cynical stance toward politics, mistrusting authority, endorsing democratic practices, feeling generally suspicious toward others and displaying an inquisitive, imaginative outlook. “Often, the proof offered as evidence for a conspiracy is not specific to one incident or issue, but is used to justify a general pattern of conspiracy ideas,” Swami says. His conclusion echoes a 1994 proposal by sociologist Ted Goertzel of Rutgers–Camden in New Jersey. After conducting random telephone interviews of 347 New Jersey residents, Goertzel proposed that each of a person’s convictions about secret plots serves as evidence for other conspiracy beliefs, bypassing any need for confirming evidence. Goertzel says the new study provides an intriguing but partial look at the inner workings of conspiracy thinking. Such convictions critically depend on what he calls “selective skepticism.” Conspiracy believers are highly doubtful about information from the government or other sources they consider suspect. But, without criticism, believers accept any source that supports their preconceived views, he says. “Arguments advanced by conspiracy theorists tell you more about the believer than about the event,” Goertzel says. Conspiracy thinkers share an optimistic conviction that they can find “the truth,” spread it to the masses and foster social change, Goldberg asserts. Over the past 50 years, researchers and observers of social dynamics have traced beliefs in conspiracy theories to feelings of powerlessness, attempts to bolster self-esteem and diminished faith in government. Much as Swami’s team suspected, beliefs in 9/11 conspiracy theories were stronger among individuals whose personalities combined suspicion and antagonism toward others with intellectual curiosity and an active imagination. A related, unpublished survey of more than 1,000 British adults found that 9/11 conspiracy believers not only often subscribed to a variety of well-known conspiracy theories, but also frequently agreed with an invented conspiracy. Christopher French of Goldsmiths, University of London, and Patrick Leman of Royal Holloway, University of London, both psychologists, asked volunteers about eight common conspiracy theories and one that researchers made up: “The government is using mobile phone technology to track everyone all the time.” The study, still unpublished, shows that conspiracy believers displayed a greater propensity than nonbelievers to jump to conclusions based on limited evidence. “It seems likely that conspiratorial beliefs serve a similar psychological function to superstitious, paranormal and, more controversially, religious beliefs, as they help some people to gain a sense of control over an unpredictable world,” French says.