KorbenDallas

Conspiracy theories and Conspiracy theorists

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

From 2013, Bilderberg's and more:

Korben,

I didn't watch this entire video, nor did I track down the info in it because I'm not going to play the game of defending Alex Jones on all issues when the intention is to mock him (he talks goofy, we know, we know), but it seems like the Bilderberg papers about the euro are on WikiLeaks.

You may think WikiLeaks is credible or not, but they have a pristine record of non-fraud (over 10 million leaked documents so far without one case of fraud). And they just help destroy the candidacy of Hillary Clinton.

See the Infowars article: Leaked 1955 Bilderberg Docs Outline Plan For Single European Currency for discussion and links. (There are other articles out there about this that are not from Infowars, but I'm feeling contentious. :) )

I don't know about the Nazi plans for a single European currency, but I'm pretty sure Alex wasn't making it up. Since Nazi Germany was trying to conquer all of Europe, it makes sense the Nazis wanted to make a single currency.

As to running down the links or getting into the weeds on this topic, you are on your own. Do your own homework and, frankly, I don't even care much about it right now. (I'm busy with other stuff.) There are plenty of links in the article and even more when you start Googling. Click and read. Or don't read anything and mock along with the British snoots in the video.

btw - Too many people opting for "don't read anything and mock" when they see someone acting goofy like Alex is one of the reasons Trump got elected. Probably why Brexit went straight up the butts of the British snoots in the video, too, and surprised the hell out of them. :) 

Actually, it's unfair to say people don't read. It's more like they read only stuff that is authorized by bubble experts, and adopt attitudes only approved by bubble experts, within the bubble they live in. 

Life does not boil down to the opinions of TV pundits.

When I think of Alex Jones, I think of an ancient archetype, the Holy Fool. People in the mold of this archetype have been the ruin of many corrupt elites throughout history. 

I am very fond of this archetype...

:) 

Michael

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Christopher Thresher-Andrews is a PhD Researcher and Associate Lecturer for the Anomalistic Psychology Research Unit at Goldsmiths, University of London, studying conspiracy belief and persecutory delusions.  Here is his article from 2013, "Alex Jones and the 'Monological Belief System'":

In the recent weeks following the tragedy of the Sandy Hook shooting, we have seen many different viewpoints expressed regarding the fiercely debated issue of US gun control. In particular, one of the most controversial and volatile interviews came from CNN’s Piers Morgan, who invited conservative conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to discuss gun control, and a petition to get Morgan deported from the US for attacking the 2nd Amendment.

The interview revealed some interesting insight into the types of conspiracy that Jones propagates. As one of the (self-proclaimed) founders of the 9/11 truth movement, Jones broadcasts a radio show syndicated to over 100 stations across the US, and boasts over a million and a half listeners. In his show and associated website, infowars.com, he discusses a vast array of theories ranging from governments tracking citizens with microchips and raw milk controversies, to Bin Laden’s faked assassination and more traditional 9/11 conspiracies.

Watching the interview, it demonstrated how often political and conspiracy ideology overlap, and it could be argued that conspiratorial ideas are a form of political process, especially from those who consider themselves alienated or deserted by the traditional political methods. Consider the ‘Birther’ movement that suggests Barack Obama was not born in the US and thus cannot legally assume the position of President. People unhappy with the original political outcome (the election) could feel exposed or betrayed, and thus turn to alternatives. This also helps to explain why a substantial amount of conspiracies have government at their heart, with their participation (or inaction) key to many of the world’s injustices.

In the fifteen minutes Jones has on air with Morgan, we see a perfect example of what psychologists have termed a ‘monological belief system’. This is the where an individual can build and maintain a view of the world that is ruled by conspiracies, they are seen everywhere and anywhere, and explain many of the surprising, uncontrollable, or deadly events that happen. As this system develops, people become closed-off and reluctant to believe in alternative explanations, spotting conspiracies in increasing amounts of events and situations.

This system has been demonstrated by research that suggests that belief in one particular conspiracy theory strongly predicts belief in others, even unrelated or contradictory ones. These views are not driven necessarily by theories supporting each other, but instead a general overarching belief that supports conspiracy in general.

With this belief, it is not necessarily the specifics of a conspiracy that are important (often in sensitive cases such as mass shootings conspiracists “just ask questions”), but the fact that the perpetrators are lying, covering up, or misleading the public. This motivation to uncover deception leads to performances such as Jones’, who in his interview mentions between 8 and 12 distinct conspiracies, not all overlapping. These include:

a.    Megabanks either control the world already or are about to seize control in order to enact global tyranny
b.    Loose theories around large media groups controlling what is revealed to the public, including the Bloomberg group /AP/Reuters
c.     US Government plans to oppress the people once guns are removed
d.    Prozac and other ‘Mass murder/suicide pills’ responsible for mass shootings
e.    The UK as a police state
f.     Morgan (and others at CNN) are ‘Hatchet men’ of the NWO
g.    First person shooter style video games responsible for mass shootings
h.    Most of the recent mass shootings are false flag events setup by  government to control the population
i.      More specific conspiracies surrounding Building 7 (WTC attacks)
j.      “Criminal elements of the military-industry complex” responsible for 9/11
k.    Other general false flag conspiracies through history including Gulf of Tonkin, Operation Gladio and the Reichstag fire.

American politics in particular suffers from a underlying amount of paranoia, and Mike in his recent article discussed how any mass shooting is politicised by default because of the thorny issue of gun control. The leap, however, in taking a set of tragic shocking circumstances, and maintaining that it was orchestrated for a more sinister purpose, is difficult for some to comprehend.

 

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12 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

I didn't watch this entire video, nor did I track down the info in it because I'm not going to play the game of defending Alex Jones on all issues when the intention is to mock him (he talks goofy, we know, we know)

It's not that he talks goofy, which I wouldn't say that about him, it isn't my identification.  Mocking him?  Alex is not an advocate for Reason or Rationality, seeing that he keeps showing up on a site dedicated to Reason and Rand is the contradiction.

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Another article about conspiracy theories and theorists, "What suspicion tells us about beliefs in conspiracy theories".  This one is by Michael J Wood, from the University of Kent, a public research university based in Kent, United Kingdom:

Have a look at the statements below, and think about how much you agree with each of them on a 1-5 scale (1 = strongly disagree, 5 = strongly agree).

  1. The real truth about 9/11 is being kept from the public.

  2. People need to wake up and start asking questions about 9/11.

  3. Legitimate questions about 9/11 are being suppressed by the government, the media, and academia.

  4. Reporters, scientists, and government officials are involved in a conspiracy to cover up important information about 9/11.

  5. An impartial, independent investigation of 9/11 would show once and for all that we’ve been lied to on a massive scale.

Add up your scores, and you have a measure of how suspicious you are that there’s some kind of ongoing conspiracy surrounding 9/11. Now, do the same with these statements.

  1. The real truth about the moon landings is being kept from the public.

  2. People need to wake up and start asking questions about the moon landings.

  3. Legitimate questions about the moon landings are being suppressed by the government, the media, and academia.

  4. Reporters, scientists, and government officials are involved in a conspiracy to cover up important information about the moon landings.

  5. An impartial, independent investigation of the moon landings would show once and for all that we’ve been lied to on a massive scale.

That looks familiar! This is called the FICS – the Flexible Inventory of Conspiracy Suspicions. It’s a sort of fill-in-the-blanks, conspiracy theory Mad Libs thing – a new innovation in measuring conspiracy theory beliefs. You can put nearly* any topic of public interest in there, and end up with a valid measure of suspicions that there’s a conspiracy to do with it. I’ve written an article proposing and validating this approach, and was fortunate enough to have it accepted to the British Journal of Psychology. It went up on Early View this week, so you can check it out if you have access to the journal. More info about it after the jump – including how this tells us something about the way that conspiracy beliefs are structured.

We know that people’s opinions on conspiracy theories tend to hang together. Conspiracy theories are something that people tend to be generally into or not, to varying degrees. If you ask someone for their opinion on whether 9/11 was an inside job, you can use that information to predict (pretty accurately) what they think about whether Princess Diana was assassinated, whether the moon landing was faked, and whether the media is programming us with subliminal mind control. Current thought says this is because people’s worldviews are more or less “conspiracist” – that is, people have a general opinion on how common conspiracies are, the degree to which powerful people tend to conspire against the common good, how easy it is to cover up conspiracies, and so on. You can measure this tendency with questionnaires like Rob’s Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale, or Bruder et al.’s Conspiracy Mentality Questionnaire. People who score high on these scales tend to believe a lot of conspiracy theories; people who score low tend to believe relatively few.

Often psychologists are interested in general conspiracy mentality, but will still ask about specific theories, because they’re interested in specific topics. Dan’s study of vaccine theories asked about a laundry list of specific dangers of vaccines – do they cause allergies? Do they have microchips in them? – because the point of the study is vaccines, not general conspiracy theories. It occurred to me, though, that there’s something in between the very general (conspiracies are common) and the very specific (they’re putting microchips in vaccines). That something is relatively vague suspicion about a particular topic – “there’s something fishy about vaccines” or “they’re not telling us the truth about 9/11” or “the Jews are up to something.”

model

Of course it’s a pyramid.

What I propose in the paper is a three-level model. Conspiracy mentality is at the top: your opinion on whether the world is a conspiratorial place pretty much governs how you think about conspiracies in general. It’s influenced by your personality and a variety of other individual-difference variables. The next level is suspicion about particular groups or topics. That’s influenced by the top level, of course, and each suspicion has its own influences – your left-right orientation might determine whether you think there’s something awfully suspicious about Barack Obama’s history, for instance. Alternatively, you might distrust a specific person or group, so you’re suspicious about things they’re involved in. The bottom level is beliefs in specific theories. Your opinion on theories that Obama was born in Kenya will be influenced by your suspicions about his history, but so will your opinion of the conspiracy theory that his years at Columbia University were fabricated, that he was never really involved with the things at Harvard he claimed to have done, and so on. Those individual theories aren’t that important – they sometimes might contradict one another, and you could still find them plausible because they all stem from a common suspicion.

So that’s what the FICS is for – measuring that middle level of suspicion. I think a lot of the time, when psychologists measure beliefs in specific conspiracy theories, suspicion is really what we’re interested in. We don’t care specifically about whether someone thinks that vaccines cause autism versus cause allergies versus contain microchips: we’re interested in the general suspicion that those theories reflect.

*One of the findings was that the FICS doesn’t work for climate change, because it captures very conflicting conspiracy theories – “climate change is a hoax,” and “oil interests are conspiring to make people believe that climate change is a hoax.” Unlike many contradictory conspiracy theories about the same thing, these don’t tend to be correlated positively, because they don’t really share any common assumptions – it may also be relevant that the second theory is really a meta-conspiracy-theory, that the first conspiracy theory is itself the result of a conspiracy.

 

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22 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Alex is not a proponent of Reason or Rationality, seeing that he keeps showing up on a site dedicated to Reason and Rand is the contradiction.

Korben,

Alex Jones will probably keep showing up when he identifies things that have to do with reason (and sometimes Rand).

Alex Jones is not an academic. He is an activist.

Different language tactics.

The way you just framed this is a perfect example of the ad hominem fallacy.

The idea's the thing to look at, not the man...

That's called reason...

Michael

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3 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The way you just framed this is a perfect example of the ad hominem fallacy.

The thing about the ad hominem fallacy is being able to differentiate whether it is an actual ad hominem or an identification of an actual contradiction.

5 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

The idea's the thing to look at, not the man...

I haven't fallen for the accenting fallacy.

8 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Alex Jones is not an academic. He is an activist.

Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist.

 

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2 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

The thing about the ad hominem fallacy is being able to differentiate whether it is an actual ad hominem or an identification of an actual contradiction.

Korben,

I'm talking about your propensity to dismiss EVERYTHING Alex says because, as you say, he's a "conspiracy theorist."

You committed the same kind of fallacy with Trump, too, after the potty mouth tape. 

That's ad hominem, not reason.

Michael

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18 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

I'm talking about your propensity to dismiss EVERYTHING Alex says because, as you say, he's a "conspiracy theorist."

Alex deals deception, not reason.

18 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

You committed the same kind of fallacy with Trump, too, after the potty mouth tape.

It was the potty mouth tape along with the CNN compilation that I posted in another thread, but I haven't rejected Trump totally.  I reject his person, but not all of his policies.

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Here's another article, an important one on conspiracies.  I've bolded some text.  It's by Steven Novella, an academic neurologist at Yale University School of Medicine, "Anomaly Hunting":

[...]

One of the most common and insidious bits of cognitive self-deception is the process of anomaly hunting. A true anomaly is something that cannot be explained by our current model of nature – it doesn’t fit into existing theories. Anomalies are therefore very useful to scientific inquiry because they point to new knowledge, the potential to deepen or extend existing theories.

For example, the orbit of Mercury could not be explained by Newtownian mechanics – it was a true anomaly. It and other anomalies hinted at the fact that Newton’s laws of motion were incomplete in a fundamental way. This recognition eventually led to Einstein’s revolution of relativity theory.

Pseudoscientists – those pretending to do science (maybe even sincerely believing they are doing science) but who get the process profoundly wrong, use anomalies in a different way. They often engage it what we call anomaly hunting – looking for apparent anomalies. They are not, however, looking for clues to a deeper understanding of reality. They are often hunting for anomalies in service to the overarching pseudoscientific process of reverse engineering scientific conclusions.

What this means is that pseudoscience almost always works backwards – that is its primary malfunction, starting with a desired conclusion and then looking for evidence and twisting logic to support that conclusion.

With regard to anomalies the logic often works like this: “If my pet theory is true then when I look at the data I will find anomalies.” The unstated major premise of this logic is that if their pet theory were not true then they would not find anomalies. This is naive, however. Another component of this line of argument is the broad definition of anomaly.

In real science an anomaly is only declared so after exhaustive efforts to explain it within existing theories fail. Astronomers checked and quadruple checked their calculations of Mercury’s orbit. They hypothesized that there were other bodies in the solar system exerting gravitational effects on Mercury. They did everything they could to explain Mercury’s orbit within Newtonian physics. This process didn’t really end until Einstein explained the orbit of Mercury.

What pseudoscientists do is look for “apparent” anomalies – things that cannot be immediately explained, or (even worse) are just quirky coincidences. Often they also look at the edges of detectability where data becomes fuzzy and anomalies are easier to imagine. Think of the fuzzy pictures of Bigfoot or UFOs, with believers looking at details smaller than the resolution of the images and declaring the presence of anomalies.

They imagine that if they can find (broadly defined) anomalies in that data that would point to another phenomenon at work. They then commit a pair of logical fallacies. First, the confuse unexplained with unexplainable. This leads them to prematurely declare something a true anomaly, without first exhaustively trying to explain it with conventional means. Second they use the argument from ignorance, saying that because we cannot explain an anomaly that means their specific pet theory must be true. I don’t know what that fuzzy obect in the sky is – therefore it is an alien spacecraft.

What pseudoscientists often fail to recognize is that if you take any complex natural phenomenon, historical event, object or process and you look for apparent anomalies (broadly defined), you will find them. Humans are great at pattern recognition, and so if you look for coincidence in the data you will detect them. You will also find features that resulted from a complex interplay if unique events and therefore will be impossible to prove a specific explanation.

The JFK conspiracy theorists are masters of anomaly hunting. The events of that day were confused and panicked, on all sides. It would be amazing if you couldn’t find many unusual features.

Richard Hoagland

But the absolute king of anomaly hunting must be Richard Hoagland. He can turn anything into a conspiracy – and not just any conspiracy, but his specific bizarre belief system in alien civilizations, NASA cover ups, and tetrahedrons.

I was recently pointed to this essay by Hoagland on the Saturnian moon Iapetus. Iapetus is genuinely a cool world, with very unusual geology. We are still in the process of exploring this moon, generating hypotheses as to what processes could have created its unique features, and then testing those hypotheses.

But at this point in our exploration of the solar system and the universe it should be expected that most new things we discover will be new an interesting, not familiar and explained. There is no reason to think that earth geology should explain the features on other planets and moons that are experiencing and resulted from very different forces and processes than those at work on earth. We also have a very limited data set, with close robotic exploration of a few planets and a few dozen moons. We should expect that we are very far from anything approaching a thorough science of exogeology.

For Hoagland this means that NASA images of other bodies in our solar system is a rich source for anomaly hunting – a hobby he engages in with utter enthusiasm. His essay is just chock full of anomaly hunting -he even uses the term often. Most of his anomalies are not really anomalies, they are not terribly interesting coincidence, or just his favorite tactic of using low-res images and an active imagination.

For example, about one low-res image of Iapetus he writes:

Note (close-up, below) the string of bright, reflecting objects — hanging (somehow …) well above the satellite’s limb ….

iapetus-architecture6There are two explanations for these “floating” objects that would need to be excluded before concluding that they are anomalies requiring the introduction of a new element to explain. The first is that it is just pixelization artifact. Again – this is at the limits of resolution, where Hoagland thrives. But perhaps a more likely explanation is that this is just the peaks of mountains catching the sunlight, while the base is in shadow. Isn’t that exactly what we would expect at the rim of the lighted side of a moon?

That is about the level of Hoaglands anomalies. But the central anomaly of this website is the “wall” of Iapetus.

Iapetus is shaped somewhat like a walnut, with a ridge that goes around its equator. Something funky definitely happened to Iapetus to create this ridge, and astronomers are having fun trying to figure out exactly what that was. Hoagland, however, leaps (with some fancy pirouettes, a double twist and a flourish) to the conclusion that the ridge is a manufactured wall. He then uses his “low res” trick to imagine “anomalies” in the ridge, then uses the logical fallacy one-two punch (confusing unexplained with unexplainable and the argument from ignorance) to conclude that aliens not only constructed a wall around Iapetus, they constructed Iapetus.

But Hoagland’s enemy, his arch-nemesis, is the ever increasing resolution with which NASA images the solar system. This was his undoing with the infamous “face on Mars” photo that Hoagland championed. Later higher resolution images showed the face on Mars to be a natural formation. Hoagland recovered, however, by claiming (you guessed it) a NASA conspiracy. iapetus

His essay is largely built on the low-res pictures from the Voyager probes with some images from Cassini. He has not yet updated the site with the higher resolution pictures of Iapetus from Cassini. With these higher resolution images Hoagland’s wall look suspiciously like a natural mountain range – albeit one unfamiliar to earth-bound observers.

Of course these images are coming from NASA so Hoagland should have no difficulty dismissing them.

Conclusion

Pseudoscientists, like Hoagland, abuse the concept of anomalies in many ways. They look for apparent anomalies, then prematurely conclude they are true anomalies, and use them to confirm a conclusion they already had in mind.

They fail to recognize that finding apparent anomalies or coincidences is not predictive that a new phenomenon is actually at work. Life is full of apparent anomalies and coincidence, and we evolved the pattern-recognition software to find them and be compelled by them. That is the ultimate cognitive pitfall of anomaly hunting, and why we need science and skepticism [against those pitfalls] to ward against such pitfalls.

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Korben,

The length of the articles will not replace the fact that a fact is a fact, even when Alex Jones says it.

:)

btw - Sometimes real conspiracies happen. For example, there is a group called the Bilderberg Group that use to promote the fact that they didn't exist. :evil:  Council on Foreign Relations, ditto. I could go on and on. Go back in time to the beginning of these organizations and see what happened to people who publicly blew the whistle on them. Google is your friend. Look it up.

More recently, I even heard that the Democratic party itself was trying to screw Bernie Sanders during the primaries while making it look like a fair election, but that would never happen, huh? Only kooks would think that...

Oh... I forgot... WikiLeaks...

I tot I taw a puddy tat...

There was, there was, there was a conspiracy...

:)

Michael

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37 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

The length of the articles will not replace the fact that a fact is a fact, even when Alex Jones says it.

They are good articles.

I don't trust Jones with facts.  You can take facts and make something false out of it.  You can talk about real things in a non-real way.  You can make something resemble reality that isn't reality.

37 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

btw - Sometimes real conspiracies happen. For example, there is a group called the Bilderberg Group that use to promote the fact that they didn't exist. :evil:  Council on Foreign Relations, ditto. I could go on and on. Go back in time to the beginning of these organizations and see what happened to people who publicly blew the whistle on them. Google is your friend. Look it up.

There's a difference between conspiracy forming and people wanting to keep secrets.

37 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

More recently, I even heard that the Democratic party itself was trying to screw Bernie Sanders during the primaries while making it look like a fair election, but that would never happen, huh? Only kooks would think that...

Deceit, lies, conspiring against someone.  Conspiracy and conspiracy theories are different, conspirators and conspiracy theorists.

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2 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

You can take facts and make something false out of it.  You can talk about real things in a non-real way.  You can make something resemble reality that isn't reality.

Korben,

Well, then, if facts are so bad, maybe we should just trust people who don't speak in facts.

:) 

btw - You can check facts.

Unless you don't want to.

Google is your friend.

:)

Michael

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53 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

Well, then, if facts are so bad, maybe we should just trust people who don't speak in facts.

:) 

Don't trust people who don't speak in facts.

Alex Jones speaks about facts in a non-factual way.*  Don't trust Alex.

53 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

btw - You can check facts.

Unless you don't want to.

Google is your friend.

:)

Michael

But Reason is my bestest friend, :)

Edited by KorbenDallas
*..but often he doesn't speak about facts..

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2 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

But Reason is my bestest friend,

Fact!

Reason isn't an easy friend, being pretty picky and stern and dismissive of fake and sham inquiry, and just generally impatient with epistemological fudging and illogic.  

That's why I like OL. You can almost always get a reasoned and reasonably priced discussion going. Except at certain times of high emotion, you never get your rational arguments written off as unworthy or part of a personality defect, and any scorn for your pitiful naivete is delivered with a smile.

What brought me to OL (by way of the preceding sister-spawn) was disagreement with Objectivism in regards to emotion. I have had excellent disagreements on this subject, and excellent disagreements with Michael and other forum leaders -- on various subjects.  Sometimes scrappy, sometimes smooth. I make obvious exceptions for the clearly irrational and hateful argumentors, such as Moralist and JTS, who offer me nothing, no coherent disagreement.

No one person can dominate here, no one  'bias' is raised to the throne, no Arbiter is on duty. That, and the natural-to-the-Objectivish talent for dissent and dispute, is what keeps me around.

Shout-out to Korben!  Disagreeing with the Maestro and keeping it calm ...

 

 

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I have to agree with most of what he is saying. I'm all for America as a Republic; it's not nationalism. Globalism is a tricky issue, however, but if it's of and by the corporations what needs to be addressed eventually, if there's any logic in it, is the fact that the corporate structure is essentially fascistic. Otherwise the corporations--the huge multi-national ones--will continue to hold public sway even if beaten back a little. They are are basically amoral capable of the immoral--need some poison gas?--that need to be held to the same accountability as everyone else.

--Brant

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-- the list below is adapted from a table in a research article I found, linked from references in an article Korben Dallas noted above  ... 

The article is "Measuring Belief in Conspiracy Theories: The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale." 

  1. The government has employed people in secret to assassinate others
  2. Government agencies have been secretly involved in the assassination of their own citizens
  3. The deaths of certain high-profile public figures have been the result of covert, government-sanctioned operations
  4. Certain world leading political figures who died untimely deaths were in fact “taken out” by government operatives
  5. Some of the people thought to be responsible for acts of terrorism were actually set up by those responsible
  6. For strategic reasons, the government permits certain terrorist activities to occur which could otherwise be prevented
  7. Some acts of terrorism, which have resulted in the deaths of many civilians, have been secretly directed by government operatives
  8. High-level politicians have had certain people killed in order to prevent embarrassing events from becoming publicly known
  9. Government agencies secretly keep certain outspoken celebrities and citizens under constant surveillance
  10. The government keeps many important secrets from the public
  11. Some individuals thought to be responsible for the assassination of public figures were set up by the group responsible
  12.  The government lies about their knowledge of terrorist activities
  13. There are ongoing, hidden efforts to marginalize, control, or destroy certain groups of people through the use of political policies
  14. Certain celebrities and/or public figures actually faked their own deaths in order to escape the spotlight
  15. Viruses and/or diseases have been deliberately disseminated to infect certain populations
  16. The government has staged important societal events in order to manipulate voters
  17. The government fakes evidence relating to significant world events to deceive citizens
  18. Evidence of alien contact is being concealed from the public
  19. Evidence of alien presence on earth is being covered up
  20. Secret organizations communicate with extra terrestrials, but keep this fact from the public
  21. Some UFO sightings and rumors are planned or staged in order to distract the public from real alien contact
  22. Some existing technologies are the result of reverse engineering alien technology
  23. Space missions are deliberately sabotaged so that the public does not learn of existing alien activity in the solar system
  24. Movies and TV shows featuring aliens are a way of preparing the population for the news that aliens are real and have visited earth
  25. The power held by heads of state is second to that of small unknown groups who really control world politics
  26. A small, secret group of people is actually in control of the world economy
  27. Certain significant world events have been the result of the activity of a small group who secretly manipulate world politics
  28.  A small, secret group of people is responsible for making all major world decisions, such as going to war
  29. Members of a secret group have infiltrated governments and powerful organizations in order to 1?day bring their group to the point of global control
  30. Many well-known celebrities, politicians, and wealthy people are members of a secret society which has control over our lives
  31. Large, influential industries are in fact tightly controlled by a small, secret group of people
  32. Small groups of people are in possession of secret knowledge which would change our understanding of the world, and are deliberately keeping it hidden
  33. Secret organizations have access to large amounts of personal data on every citizen and sell it to the government
  34.  The rapid spread of certain viruses and/or diseases is the result of the deliberate, concealed efforts of some organization
  35.  Experiments involving new drugs are carried out on the general public without their knowledge or consent
  36. Cures for certain deadly and common diseases exist, but are being deliberately withheld
  37.  Certain natural disasters have in fact been the result of secret testing of powerful and advanced technology with unknown capabilities
  38. The pharmaceutical industry administers harmful treatments without people’s consent in order to keep people sick and boost drug sales
  39. Technology with mind-control capacities exists and is currently being used on people without their knowledge
  40. A lot of information about diseases and treatments is withheld from the public
  41.  The government withholds a lot of information about diseases and their treatments from the public
  42. Certain chemicals are put in the water supply in order to control the people
  43. Experiments involving advanced technologies are carried out on the general public without their knowledge or consent
  44. Groups of scientists deliberately attempt to create panic about future risks because it is in their interests to do so
  45. Advanced technology is secretly used to placate the people and suppress dissent
  46. The government deliberately permits certain terrorist activities to occur to keep the public in a state of fear
  47. Progress toward a cure for cancer, AIDS, and other diseases is deliberately being hindered
  48. Technology with mind-control capacities is tested on people without their knowledge or consent
  49. Some viruses and/or diseases which many people are infected with were created in laboratories as bio-weapons
  50. Family planning policies are part of a plot to control and limit certain populations
  51. Drugs are deliberately supplied to certain communities in order to marginalize or destroy them
  52. New and advanced technology which would harm current industry is being suppressed
  53. New and better technology is suppressed by those whose current business would be disrupted by it
  54. Groups of scientists ensure that only evidence which supports a pre-determined conclusion is made known to the public
  55. Technology is being concealed which is far in advance of what is known to the general public
  56. Government funded scientists manipulate evidence in order to support existing government policy
  57. The media ensures that only certain information is made known to the public
  58. Certain groups of scientists fabricate data in support of a particular scientific theory out of self-interest
  59. The government has a large amount of confidential data on every citizen without their knowledge or permission

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1 hour ago, william.scherk said:

-- the list below is adapted from a table in a research article I found, linked from references in an article Korben Dallas noted above  ... 

The article is "Measuring Belief in Conspiracy Theories: The Generic Conspiracist Beliefs Scale." 

  1. The government has employed people in secret to assassinate others
  2. Government agencies have been secretly involved in the assassination of their own citizens
  3. The deaths of certain high-profile public figures have been the result of covert, government-sanctioned operations
  4. Certain world leading political figures who died untimely deaths were in fact “taken out” by government operatives
  5. Some of the people thought to be responsible for acts of terrorism were actually set up by those responsible
  6. For strategic reasons, the government permits certain terrorist activities to occur which could otherwise be prevented
  7. Some acts of terrorism, which have resulted in the deaths of many civilians, have been secretly directed by government operatives
  8. High-level politicians have had certain people killed in order to prevent embarrassing events from becoming publicly known
  9. Government agencies secretly keep certain outspoken celebrities and citizens under constant surveillance
  10. The government keeps many important secrets from the public
  11. Some individuals thought to be responsible for the assassination of public figures were set up by the group responsible
  12.  The government lies about their knowledge of terrorist activities
  13. There are ongoing, hidden efforts to marginalize, control, or destroy certain groups of people through the use of political policies
  14. Certain celebrities and/or public figures actually faked their own deaths in order to escape the spotlight
  15. Viruses and/or diseases have been deliberately disseminated to infect certain populations
  16. The government has staged important societal events in order to manipulate voters
  17. The government fakes evidence relating to significant world events to deceive citizens
  18. Evidence of alien contact is being concealed from the public
  19. Evidence of alien presence on earth is being covered up
  20. Secret organizations communicate with extra terrestrials, but keep this fact from the public
  21. Some UFO sightings and rumors are planned or staged in order to distract the public from real alien contact
  22. Some existing technologies are the result of reverse engineering alien technology
  23. Space missions are deliberately sabotaged so that the public does not learn of existing alien activity in the solar system
  24. Movies and TV shows featuring aliens are a way of preparing the population for the news that aliens are real and have visited earth
  25. The power held by heads of state is second to that of small unknown groups who really control world politics
  26. A small, secret group of people is actually in control of the world economy
  27. Certain significant world events have been the result of the activity of a small group who secretly manipulate world politics
  28.  A small, secret group of people is responsible for making all major world decisions, such as going to war
  29. Members of a secret group have infiltrated governments and powerful organizations in order to 1?day bring their group to the point of global control
  30. Many well-known celebrities, politicians, and wealthy people are members of a secret society which has control over our lives
  31. Large, influential industries are in fact tightly controlled by a small, secret group of people
  32. Small groups of people are in possession of secret knowledge which would change our understanding of the world, and are deliberately keeping it hidden
  33. Secret organizations have access to large amounts of personal data on every citizen and sell it to the government
  34.  The rapid spread of certain viruses and/or diseases is the result of the deliberate, concealed efforts of some organization
  35.  Experiments involving new drugs are carried out on the general public without their knowledge or consent
  36. Cures for certain deadly and common diseases exist, but are being deliberately withheld
  37.  Certain natural disasters have in fact been the result of secret testing of powerful and advanced technology with unknown capabilities
  38. The pharmaceutical industry administers harmful treatments without people’s consent in order to keep people sick and boost drug sales
  39. Technology with mind-control capacities exists and is currently being used on people without their knowledge
  40. A lot of information about diseases and treatments is withheld from the public
  41.  The government withholds a lot of information about diseases and their treatments from the public
  42. Certain chemicals are put in the water supply in order to control the people
  43. Experiments involving advanced technologies are carried out on the general public without their knowledge or consent
  44. Groups of scientists deliberately attempt to create panic about future risks because it is in their interests to do so
  45. Advanced technology is secretly used to placate the people and suppress dissent
  46. The government deliberately permits certain terrorist activities to occur to keep the public in a state of fear
  47. Progress toward a cure for cancer, AIDS, and other diseases is deliberately being hindered
  48. Technology with mind-control capacities is tested on people without their knowledge or consent
  49. Some viruses and/or diseases which many people are infected with were created in laboratories as bio-weapons
  50. Family planning policies are part of a plot to control and limit certain populations
  51. Drugs are deliberately supplied to certain communities in order to marginalize or destroy them
  52. New and advanced technology which would harm current industry is being suppressed
  53. New and better technology is suppressed by those whose current business would be disrupted by it
  54. Groups of scientists ensure that only evidence which supports a pre-determined conclusion is made known to the public
  55. Technology is being concealed which is far in advance of what is known to the general public
  56. Government funded scientists manipulate evidence in order to support existing government policy
  57. The media ensures that only certain information is made known to the public
  58. Certain groups of scientists fabricate data in support of a particular scientific theory out of self-interest
  59. The government has a large amount of confidential data on every citizen without their knowledge or permission

The more evidence that the deaths were accidental and coincidental  the more proof of the government conspiracy.  Lack of Evidence is Evidence  proving conspiracy. 

 

 I believe #59.   Modern technology has made  creating and keeping a dossier on each citizen  very inexpensive. 

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18 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

I believe #59.   Modern technology has made  creating and keeping a dossier on each citizen  very inexpensive. 

#44, #54, #56, #58 are true regarding the AGW scare except that the word "ensure" in #54 is well overblown; "attempt to ensure" would be accurate.

The list is horridly prolix and repetitive.

Ellen

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Alex posted this on Nov 11, 2016 (yesterday, as of this posting).  He talks goblins, starts around 2m 20s.  At 4m 09s he talks about Wolf Blitzer objecting to being denied press coverage about Trump, and at 4m 25s he says, "I hope [Trump] moves out of the White House.  It's too small, it's not safe [...]  Move out of that captured nest, move back in once we've recaptured Washington, but don't move into the middle of the enemy encampment.  Move out of there, [because] just spiritually you need to, and all the surveillance, all the spies, all the crap, it's just absolutely horrible [...]."

This is a conspiracy theorist at work.

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1 hour ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

#44, #54, #56, #58 are true regarding the AGW scare except that the word "ensure" in #54 is well overblown; "attempt to ensure" would be accurate.

The list is horridly prolix and repetitive.

Ellen

If a scientist is caught fabricating data  his reputation will be destroyed.   I think the problem is not fabrication of data but  inferring the worst case consequences  of data. 

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25 minutes ago, BaalChatzaf said:

If a scientist is caught fabricating data  his reputation will be destroyed.   I think the problem is not fabrication of data but  inferring the worst case consequences  of data.

It used to be the case - and probably still is in most areas of science - that the reputation of a scientist caught fabricating data would be destroyed.  In AGW, the reverse seems to be true.

Inferring worst consequences - largely from models - happens also.

Ellen

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3 hours ago, Ellen Stuttle said:

The list is horridly prolix and repetitive.

Ellen,

But... but... but... it's peer reviewed and written by English academics, fer goddsakes...

Don't you know your betters?

:) 

It would be cute to see a list of measurements of snooty condescending vain attitudes toward normal people by academics, especially academics who study society as if people were cockroaches in Petri dishes.

:evil:  :) 

Joe Duarte started the ball rolling (see here for an article by Jonathan Haidt on his political bias in academia paper, much to the chagrin of the tut-tut-tutters) and would be just the man for the job.

I don't know Joe except online, and even then at a distance. Let's just say I'm an admirer.

:) 

Michael

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