KorbenDallas

Conspiracy theories and Conspiracy theorists

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

He's getting some.

From Donald Trump, the president-elect of the United States.

:)

Michael

Well, that does nothing to validate Jones.  I don't see the Trump-Alex connection as you do..

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On 11/12/2016 at 5:14 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Here's another conspiracy theory:

 

 

But... but... but... 

Co-relation is not causation! 

It's only a coincidence that Hillary Clinton voters live in high-crime areas. 

:)

Michael

Another conspiracy theory debunked, Snopes saves the day, "Population Dense-ity":

A few misleading maps were circulated after the 2016 presidential election insinuating that areas with a high population of democratic voters also had higher rates of crime.

[...]

The top map in the image above does not show the "electoral map 2016 election." This map was created by Business Insider in 2013 and shows the 146 counties that contain half of the United State's population:

"Using Census data, we've figured out that half of the United States population is clustered in just the 146 biggest counties out of over 3000.

Here's the map, with said counties shaded in. Below the map is the list of all the counties, so you can see if you live in one of them."

The map on the bottom of this graphic also doesn't chart the "crime rate." This map was created with U.S. Census data from 2009 and shows the "murder rate in major cities." As both maps deal with large population centers in the United States, it isn't surprising that they highlight the same geographic areas. However, neither of these maps represents voting patterns or the results of the 2016 presidential election.

While neither of the above-displayed graphics accurately compares the 2016 electoral map to the crime rate in the United States, there is at least a morsel of truth to the claim that areas with high Democratic turnout have a higher crime rate. That phenomenon, however, has more to do with population density than it does with politics.

 

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53 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

I am hoping Ellen takes it and scores lower than our matching 1.2. That'll show me.

Here is another thing that credits Ellen's interpretation, and even -- with an Alex Jones big breath -- an expectation of manipulation. Listen to "the list" study author in a conversational essay at a website/blog at conspiracypsychology.com. In the right light, it is creepy, so I take that point.

Quote

On a scale of 1 to 7, do you think JFK was killed by the C.I.A.? The moon landing was faked? The Queen is an alien reptile? That might sound trite, but it’s how most psychological research into conspiracy theories has measured belief. Is this the best way to go about it?

Measurement is an important issue. To understand why people believe conspiracy theories, first we need a good way to measure the extent to which different people accept or reject them. It’s not simply a matter of belief and disbelief. Few people reject or accept conspiracy theories with complete certainty. Most people are somewhere in between, varying in their degree of uncertainty. A few different scales have been created to measure these individual differences. Most scales list about 10 or 15 different popular conspiracy theories – usually things like JFK’s assassination, 9/11, the moon landing – and ask people to rate how likely they think each theory is likely to be true on a scale of 1 (meaning definitely not true) to 7 (meaning definitely true).

In many ways, this is a sensible approach. One of the most consistent findings from psychological research is that a person who believes one conspiracy theory probably believes many others. That might not surprise you – we can probably all think of someone who believes that literally everything is part of a conspiracy. But it ought to be surprising. The question of whether the footage of Neil Armstrong’s giant leap for mankind was shot on the surface of the moon or in a terrestrial film studio is unrelated in any obvious sense to the question of whether Queen Elizabeth II, George W. Bush, and other powerful figures from throughout history are in fact descended from shape-shifting alien lizards. These separate issues each deserve impartial evaluation of the relevant evidence, and presumably an individual might assign each claim a different degree of plausibility. Yet people who buy into one conspiracy theory tend also to accept many others – even theories with no logical relationship, or which directly contradict one another.

The good thing about this, at least for psychologists, is that it means we can treat belief in conspiracy theories as a personality trait. We don’t have to ask someone what they think about every conspiracy theory under the sun (which is lucky, because otherwise our experiments would take all day to complete and nobody would take part!). Instead, if we know someone’s attitude towards a few conspiracy theories, we have a pretty good idea about what their attitude is towards all conspiracy theories. This trait – a person’s tendency to evaluate all conspiracy theories similarly across the board – is called conspiracist ideation.

The problem is, how do we decide which few theories to ask people about? We have a virtually infinite number to choose from, yet we have to narrow it down to just 15 or so. Psychologists have generally just gone for the most popular theories at the time they created their measure. But this means that measures have a shelf-life. Conspiracy theories go out of fashion over time, and new theories take their place. One scale created in 1994 refers to a Japanese conspiracy to destroy the US economy – a popular theory at the time, but obscure and irrelevant now. It also means that a measure created in the UK might not be suitable for use in the USA, for example – conspiracy theories about the 7/7 London bombings are well-known in Britain, but not so much in the States.  It’s also hard to know whether the handful of theories you choose to ask people about really provide a valid measure of conspiracist ideation. There are different flavours of conspiracy theory. A good measure should represent them all.

So what can we do instead? 

[...] 

Then he goes on to explain his creepy study.

I am going to go do an independent diagnosis-at-a-distance of Alex Jones, and hope nobody beats me to posting it.

For those who can't be bothered, the author kindly put the entire routine interrogation as it is designed to be administered to its victims.  Without falling into its clutches.

Quote

Here’s what we ask people…

Beliefs About the World
There is often debate about whether or not the public is told the whole truth about various important issues. This brief survey is designed to assess your beliefs about some of these subjects. Please indicate the degree to which you believe each statement is likely to be true on the following scale: 1: Definitely not true; 2: Probably not true; 3: Not sure / cannot decide; 4:Probably true; 5: Definitely true.

1. The government is involved in the murder of innocent citizens and/or well-known public figures, and keeps this a secret
2. The power held by heads of state is second to that of small unknown groups who really control world politics
3. Secret organisations communicate with extraterrestrials, but keep this fact from the public
4. The spread of certain viruses and/or diseases is the result of the deliberate, concealed efforts of some organisation
5. Groups of scientists manipulate, fabricate, or suppress evidence in order to deceive the public
6. The government permits or perpetrates acts of terrorism on its own soil, disguising its involvement
7. A small, secret group of people is responsible for making all major world decisions, such as going to war
8. Evidence of alien contact is being concealed from the public
9. Technology with mind-control capacities is used on people without their knowledge
10. New and advanced technology which would harm current industry is being suppressed
11. The government uses people as patsies to hide its involvement in criminal activity
12. Certain significant events have been the result of the activity of a small group who secretly manipulate world events
13. Some UFO sightings and rumours are planned or staged in order to distract the public from real alien contact
14. Experiments involving new drugs or technologies are routinely carried out on the public without their knowledge or consent
15. A lot of important information is deliberately concealed from the public out of self-interest

giphy.gif

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3 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

Another conspiracy theory debunked, Snopes saves the day, "Population Dense-ity":

I tried to find out where this came from.

Probably this on Infowars (Nov. 10):

MAP SHOWS SANCTUARY CITY ISLANDS OF BLUE IN SEA OF RED
Democrats take advantage of immigrants to vote blue

11.13.2016-21.21.png

 

It looks to me like someone on Paul Joseph Watson's side riffed off this legitimate map from Infowars in order to make it look more dramatic. But rather than compare high rates of Hillary voters to areas of high rates of crime (which, incidentally, Snopes says is accurate), I kinda like looking at the blue-ass sanctuary city hue bettter...

:) 

Looks like Snopes is going to have to do some more work if it wants to gotcha this one. Or it could spin like it sometimes does...

Thank God we all have a conspiracy-theory busting mentality.

:evil:  :) 

Michael

 

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1 hour ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

compare high rates of Hillary voters to areas of high rates of crime (which, incidentally, Snopes says is accurate)

Snopes didn't say this.

...

2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Democrats take advantage of immigrants to vote blue

11.13.2016-21.21.png

In the video, Alex says this represents sedition.  He later says, "...if you look at it, every piece of blue in the sea of red is an admitted command base."   He says he had some secret maps that showed triangulation with military precision where They were going to take over the states.  And at the end he says these are brainwashing camps by the NWO:

 

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7 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

Snopes didn't say this.

sigh...

From Snopes:

Quote

... there is at least a morsel of truth to the claim that areas with high Democratic turnout have a higher crime rate... 

Take away the evaluative spin, and you get that Snopes actually did say that.

You even quoted it.

Which is it? Do areas of high rates of Hillary voters line up with areas of high crime rates or don't they? Snopes seems to say they don't except they do.

Snopes attributes this to population density, but that's irrelevant. Paul Joseph Watson did not attribute it to anything. He just said it makes you think.

So think if you like.

Or don't think if you like.

After all, as you say, Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist. And Snopes, for you, debunked a conspiracy theory.

Who needs to think?

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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7 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

He says he had some secret maps that showed triangulation with military precision where They were going to take over the states.  And at the end he says these are brainwashing camps by the NWO.

Korben,

Man, imagine kooks like Alex thinking that the ruling class wants to move toward a one world government and break down local borders to get there.

Oh, wait. They tell you themselves...

Well that doesn't count unless it does.

After all, as you say, Alex Jones is a conspiracy theorist. He likes him some CIA jargon for hyperbole, so that means we can ignore everything he says, huh? If you want a hoot, you should see him get on a roll about MKULTRA and other governmental mind control stuff. It's a real hoot so long as you don't check his facts.

:)

Michael

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Here's another conspiracy theory from the Alex Jones crew:

REPORT: THREE MILLION VOTES IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAST BY ILLEGAL ALIENS
Trump may have won popular vote
by Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars
November 14, 2016

Imagine that. Some kook thinks the Hillary Clinton people would cheat in an election.

My God, what planet is he on? Hillary Clinton is the most honest person to ever run for office.

And this Greg Phillips dude of the VoteFraud.org organization is even joining with others to go to court over it.

Man, wait until Snopes gets done with those folks.

Who needs courts?

:evil:  :) 

Michael

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

sigh...

From Snopes:

"While neither of the above-displayed graphics accurately compares the 2016 electoral map to the crime rate in the United States, there is at least a morsel of truth to the claim that areas with high Democratic turnout have a higher crime rate. That phenomenon, however, has more to do with population density than it does with politics."

4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Which is it? Do areas of high rates of Hillary voters line up with areas of high crime rates or don't they? Snopes seems to say they don't except they do.

They expressed the coincidence fallacy.  So to rephrase, it is coincidence that areas of high rates of Hillary voters line up with areas of high crime rates.

4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Paul Joseph Watson did not attribute it to anything. He just said it makes you think.

Here is the context:

On 11/12/2016 at 5:14 PM, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Here's another conspiracy theory:

 

 

But... but... but... 

Co-relation is not causation! 

It's only a coincidence that Hillary Clinton voters live in high-crime areas. 

:)

Michael

Paul Joseph Watson is telling people to draw the inference between the two images, and you're saying it's not a coincidence.

 

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:
11 hours ago, KorbenDallas said:

He says he had some secret maps that showed triangulation with military precision where They were going to take over the states.  And at the end he says these are brainwashing camps by the NWO.

Korben,

Man, imagine kooks like Alex thinking that the ruling class wants to move toward a one world government and break down local borders to get there.

Oh, wait..

Only he didn't say that.  He said this:  Alex says this represents sedition.  He later says, "...if you look at it, every piece of blue in the sea of red is an admitted command base."   He says he had some secret maps that showed triangulation with military precision where They were going to take over the states.  And at the end he says these are brainwashing camps by the NWO.

...

Scalia’s Death Linked to Bohemian Grove, Illuminati

Hyperbole?

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I answered the questions as if I were Alex Jones.  It looks like his 'conspiracy ideation' is more advanced than mine and Korben's ...

genericALEX.png

-- on a subsidiary topic, some folks got to thinking about a Joseph Paul Watson tweet retweet, which featured two maps. 

What did JPW tell us the maps were?  Crime rate and red/blue counties. As if the first map corresponded to the 2016 presidential election results, and as if the second map showed 'high crime'  localities. 

As indicated by Korben's research results, both labels were mistaken, in error, wrong, incorrect -- and thus misleading. Using the 'data' in the two maps to eyeball a relationship is what human beings are fitted to do: we are vigilant for 'patterns.'  In the case of the tweet-retweet, the pattern is apparent.  Big city murder rates roughly 'map to' Democratic voting patterns in our minds.  It makes you think, doesn't it?  

(a slightly more sophisticated pattern matching algorithm comprises more comparison 'mapping' recursions and logical traps:  one looks for a more precise 'map' and one interrogates the underlying data. One probes for the same 'pattern' in other data sets. One checks the details for confirming and disconfirming evidence of a 'fit.'

One also asks about the Dog That Did Not Bark. In other words, are there unconsidered variables ... a second set of correlation that offers food for thought?)

But back to basics ...

The first map was not from 2016, and did not represent election results at all. The second map did not show crime rates.  The first map was actually a representation of the smalllest number of counties that would account for half the USA population (as of 2013). The second map represented 'murder rate in major cities (as of 2009).

But it occurs to me that what PJW was encouraging was 'thinking.'   Thinking about it. Thinking about a correlation.  Thinking about a plausible linking mechanism between crime and electoral results.   Thinking about why so-called blue localities (major cities/counties) have such high murder rates. Or ... thinking in terms of investigation and analysis.

Before moving on to that excellent adventure in rational inquiry, we have to discard the two PJW maps as misleading at best -- since neither one represents a comparable metric. We need to discover more cogent maps, and then think on that.  

Little-known to me until this year is a national mapping project called Policy Map. Tools on the site let you create your own maps from data collected on a wide range of measures. I invite OLers who are interested in all the ways one can slice and dice national statistics to explore the site. 

Here is what I made, a map** that simply exposes a rate of "Murders per 100,000 people" to counties:

murdermap.png

 -- you don't need a full subscription to use the tool, but it requires you register if you want to save or share a map of your own devising. Below is an "embedded" map that retains some functionality -- you can zoom in to a local region. If anyone wants a quick lesson on how to find the data for crime, just shout.

Back to 'thinking' ... here is what I shared backstage with The Watchers:

The variable is city, I bet.  Or urbanization.  And the correlation to Democratic voters is a function of urbanization. The cities that 'go liberal' usually have universities and some 'tech' and so that means almost all cities in the US go liberal -- but here only if you measure in absolutes.  The actual graphic comparison invites you to map a high-crime area into a Hillary Area ... and leaves analysis pending. Implied is one thing means the other, they correspond.  

It's a kind of fuzzy logic, I guess.  You aren't inclined to drill down to precinct and county-level data or the level of purplehood here and there.  And so the comparison Crime rate map is a poorer data source than the first.

However, grant the premises, show that educated white Democratic voters as well as minority high poverty voters (or demographic) are in more crime-ridden neighbourhoods taken together [by county/city], and make an unwarranted conclusion.  

Still, the other choice is by segregation, by socio-racial grouping, by neighbourhood. This is a fact of America -- the most tolerant/liberal places [aggregated into an urbanized centre] are the most relatively cosmopolitan. And those metropolitan regions have inner cells of relative crime.  Why not smoodge it all together.

More telling is how you get to checking one's assumptions, either way. I think the tweet invites jumping to conclusions. 

Of course, I haven't entertained the conclusions taken yet. I am still digging.  Has anyone concluded their 'thinking' about the two maps and the artless tweet-retweet?

Perhaps a newish informal fallacy in action: Argument by Meme?

After I dig up a comparatively detailed electoral map (at least by county/city), I will tackle the laziness of the Infowars mindset, the incuriosity, the ease of slipping into accepting misinformation without at least a fact-check.

That would set off with "What is PJW peddling" with his gotten woke "Made You Think!"

_____________________________________
** 

Data mapped by PolicyMap, an online GIS mapping tool.

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Dear Abby. What should I do about the mayor in San Fran?

Signed, DJT

Sanctuary Cities? Stop all federal money to that state. Work through the governors, the House and the Senate. Rarely if ever, respond to a mayor. You won. They need to accommodate you. They need to come to you, DJ. As Congressman Paul Ryan just said, “We must deliver!” And if some silly college kids are fearful of you, let them talk to their left wing counselors. Arrest the professional protesters who travel from city to city to make trouble. And heck, couldn’t Hillary and Obama have a word with them too?

Abigail Van Buren can be reached though the newspaper but she had nothing to do with this advice.   

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4 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

REPORT: THREE MILLION VOTES IN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAST BY ILLEGAL ALIENS
Trump may have won popular vote
by Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars
November 14, 2016

From the article:

If true, this would mean that Donald Trump still won the contest despite widespread vote fraud and almost certainly won the popular vote.

<sigh>

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1 hour ago, KorbenDallas said:

Paul Joseph Watson is telling people to draw the inference between the two images, and you're saying it's not a coincidence.

Korben,

Actually, I was being sarcastic.

There is an inference to be drawn.

Population density is one of the components. The existence of sanctuary cities in these regions is another. There are other elements (government jobs, for instance, I mean, how many are there out in the suburbs?, and so on).

You inferred that I saw no causality. I see plenty of causality.

:)

Michael

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36 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

<sigh>

Korben,

And how, pray tell, do you plan to prove or disprove anything if you don't state the problem?

Are you sighing because the author stated the problem as not yet proven?

If you don't even want someone to point at a problem they believe exists, what kind of world do you want to live in?

Top-down mind control?

:)

And puhleeze, don't play gotcha with clickbait headlines. Not after the deluge of filth in logic that was dumped on Donald Trump in the media--headlines you seemed to like after the potty mouth episode.

Michael

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9 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

Actually, I was being sarcastic.

There is an inference to be drawn.

Yup, like when you have said you weren't going to use persuasion on your members on the forum?

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12 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

And how, pray tell, do you plan to prove or disprove anything if you don't state the problem?

Are you sighing because the author stated the problem as not yet proven?

If you don't even want someone to point at a problem they believe exists, what kind of world do you want to live in?

Top-down mind control?

:)

And puhleeze, don't play gotcha with clickbait headlines. Not after the deluge of filth in logic that was dumped on Donald Trump in the media--headlines you seemed to like after the potty mouth episode.

Michael

Strawman.

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10 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

Yup, like when you have said you weren't going to use persuasion on your members on the forum?

Korben,

Sorry.

I have to leave this discussion.

A discussion form is partially to persuade. What's wrong with persuading people?

I said I was not going to use the covert persuasion techniques I have learned here.

If you think a sarcastic comment is a covert persuasion technique, your gotcha motor is in overdrive and I find that boring.

I've got better things to do than pretend this is an intelligent discussion.

Have at it.

Michael

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2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Korben,

Sorry.

I have to leave this discussion.

A discussion form is partially to persuade. What's wrong with persuading people?

I said I was not going to use the covert persuasion techniques I have learned here.

If you think a sarcastic comment is a covert persuasion technique, your gotcha motor is in overdrive and I find that boring.

I've got better things to do than pretend this is an intelligent discussion.

Have at it.

Michael

It's a version of snipe hunting.  "Here's another conspiracy theory", I come back and you attack or express amusement with some nasty arbitraries or implications.  That's what it is in pattern, but if you say it isn't then it isn't.

2 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

I've got better things to do than pretend this is an intelligent discussion.

Derogations like this one are definitely a pattern throughout this thread.  But, whatever.

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Botched edit explanation excised. 

Michael, can you please delete my last post? I can't edit its garbled and hideous recursion away. It only grows if I touch it. 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by william.scherk
Botched edit.

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About the correlation (if it exists) between areas of Hillary voters and areas of high crime rate:

Hillary is a socialist. For evidence of this, search Hillary platform. What is socialism? It is the opposite of capitalism. What is capitalism? Capitalism is a social system based on recognition of individual rights including property rights. So capitalism is about individual rights. Socialism is not about individual rights.

Now here is a very easy puzzle to figure out. Who is more likely to commit crimes, people who respect individual rights or people who don't? Clue: most crimes are a violation of individual rights.

 

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13 minutes ago, KorbenDallas said:

That's what it is in pattern, but if you say it isn't then it isn't.

Korben,

I like you, so let me give you an explanation.

Banter is not covert persuasion. It's banter.

Gotcha qua gotcha is bickering. Without an idea behind it except to talk bad about someone, it's celebrity gossip and nothing more. And that's boring to me. (Actually, real celebrity gossip like who is sleeping with whom is more interesting. :) )

If you are interested in covert persuasion for real, which I don't think you are right now, start here. And for 20 bucks, you can still get this (one of the better ones). And if you want to see some of the neuroscience grounding this stuff, read this. If you can get through those three, you will have an initial understanding of covert persuasion. It's not a 101 level understanding, far from it, but you will be on your way. 

As for your disapproval of Alex Jones being discussed on OL, I'm not going to discuss it anymore. I will discuss Alex when I find his ideas merit discussing and his role (whatever it is) in the upcoming administration, but not your opinion of him. There's nothing in it for me to take seriously and the banter is going to a place I find boring.

Michael

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