Are conspiracy theorists wrong about almost everything?

#41
Related - I was saying earlier today that the problem with idiots is that they are too stupid to know they are stupid. Thus they strut about overconfident in their "knowledge" (such that it is) and fearlessly go where intelligent people, recognizing their own limits, understanding unintended consequences and that there are a host of costs and benefits that must be assessed, are cautious and perhaps even too timid to rashly enter. While the intelligent person pauses and assesses deeply, the idiot dauntlessly hurries forth.
I don't disagree, I'd just add that we're ALL idiots at some point in our lives, in some contexts. I'd even posit that being overly confident could confer an advantage in the learning process (beginners mind). Ideally you're not putting others at risk or impinging on other's civil liberties in the process, of course
 
#42
You are missing the desire to understand how the world works.

Perhaps you don't fully appreciate the benefits of that, or don't need them.
I'm definitely not missing the desire for understanding, it's what brings me to Skepiko in fact. I am extremely skeptical of people who seem to think they "know how the world works", however...as others have pointed out in this thread, such self-certitude is apparently the hallmark of a "midwit". I'm not saying you are, in fact I'm certain you're not, but what gives me pause (and the reason why I started the thread) is the complete lack of doubt that accompanies the argument, at least in its presentation. I.e. "of course covid-19 is a plandemic and you're a midwit if you don't see it". When it comes to Skeptiko, I guess contentious wins out over the conscientious in a podcast context as far as entertainment value is concerned, I just see Skeptiko as being much more than entertainment.
 
#43
...what gives me pause ...is the complete lack of doubt that accompanies the argument, ..."of course covid-19 is a plandemic and you're a midwit if you don't see it".
I think you mistake Previous Conclusions we already arrived at for "Lack of Doubt".

You have not read the year's worth of previous forum conversations on Covid-19 wherein we systematically examined almost every aspect of it. In current conversations we take those things for granted.
 
#44
Ah, well that an astute observation and probably one reason for my general aversion to conspiracy theories. The more important reason however is that I haven't found the credible in my (admittedly limited) explorations. I'm fully willing to accept whatever brute facts are on offer, I just don't see most theories (including the ones I mentioned) clearing that bar. That said, I'm open to be convinced. @Charlie Primero I'm curious, what is your favorite conspiracy theory and could you point me to references that I could consume in less than, say, a few hours?
Please understand that the vast majority of Conspiracy Theories are utter Bull Crap.

I have studied Conspiracy Theories for 30 years. The sad truth is that one must wade through MOUNTAINS of garbage to find a few interesting nuggets of amazing information. It's a tedious, frustrating hobby I don't recommend for most people.

It's similar to hunting for rare, collectable LP vinyl records in second-hand shops. The more you do it, the faster and more adept you become at skipping the garbage and locating those rare finds.

I do it because it helps me learn to predict the future. That ability helps me fufill my duty to provide physical and financial security for my family, which is very important to me.

My current favorite conspiracy theory I'm sorting is trying to figure out why CIA agents at the To The Stars Academy are promoting the idea that space aliens may be visiting our planet.

I'm getting rich from speculating financial markets. What the TTSA is doing could endanger my wealth. I need to understand them.
 
#46
I'm definitely not missing the desire for understanding, it's what brings me to Skepiko in fact. I am extremely skeptical of people who seem to think they "know how the world works", however...as others have pointed out in this thread, such self-certitude is apparently the hallmark of a "midwit". I'm not saying you are, in fact I'm certain you're not, but what gives me pause (and the reason why I started the thread) is the complete lack of doubt that accompanies the argument, at least in its presentation. I.e. "of course covid-19 is a plandemic and you're a midwit if you don't see it". When it comes to Skeptiko, I guess contentious wins out over the conscientious in a podcast context as far as entertainment value is concerned, I just see Skeptiko as being much more than entertainment.
Why not both? I think it's a decent way of getting at the truth, certainly not the only way of course. I know you are not really criticising it too much, but I'd just like to add that perhaps Alex's style just resonates with people who also go about their life in a similar manner and that is why many enjoy his podcast too.
 
#47
Why not both? I think it's a decent way of getting at the truth, certainly not the only way of course. I know you are not really criticising it too much, but I'd just like to add that perhaps Alex's style just resonates with people who also go about their life in a similar manner and that is why many enjoy his podcast too.
Yeah, style aside I have to say that Alex has pulled apart the materialist paradigm brilliantly over the years by engaging with the actual data and having meaningful deep-dive discussions with no-nonsense guests. And it's probalby the case that his bold confrontative style is an important component of that success--I don't see any other podcasts having that kind of laser beam focus on the critical contention points nor the ability to generate the force required to actually move the discussion forward...makes for good theater too!

OTOH, I want to say that I don't see him applying the same rigor to the conspiracy theory discussions that have become commonplace on the show, but I'm starting to suspect that my perception could be due to the fact that I'm not as familiar with the subject matter. I'll be checking out some of the old threads here on the forum to bone up.
 
#48
...I don't see him applying the same rigor to the conspiracy theory discussions that have become commonplace on the show
This is because, as on this forum, "we already did that".

Which of Alex's conspiracy assertions irritate you the most?

My guess is: Pizzagate, Global Warming Fraud, and Satanic Ritual Abuse. Those are the ones which usually shock new people.

Did I guess correctly? :)
 
#50
This is because, as on this forum, "we already did that".

Which of Alex's conspiracy assertions irritate you the most?

My guess is: Pizzagate, Global Warming Fraud, and Satanic Ritual Abuse. Those are the ones which usually shock new people.

Did I guess correctly? :)
Good guess, yes certainly those :). I'd also add plandemic to the mix, although thankfully it seemed that Alex was leaning away ever so slightly from that one and appearing to reserve judgement. The "physicalist agenda" one I don't buy but at least I'm aware of the factual underpinnings. Regarding the others, I'd disagree on the assertion that "we already did that", at least on the podcast. I've listened to most of the episodes and I haven't heard any of these conspiracies being addressed at the level of scrutiny they require, at least not for someone like myself who isn't already intimately aware of all the arguments/evidence.
 
#51
I've listened to most of the episodes and I haven't heard any of these conspiracies being addressed at the level of scrutiny they require
Upon further reflection, ...you are right and I was wrong.

Alex has not gone into great detail about those conspiracies. He usually refers to the work of other Researchers he trusts who have done the deep dive. Then he uses the conspiracy to illustrate a point he is making.

Pizzagate, Global Warming Fraud, and Satanic Ritual Abuse are indeed some of the worst. The amount of disinformation one must sort through to confirm them is hideous. It took me many years.
 
#52
Pizzagate, Global Warming Fraud, and Satanic Ritual Abuse
OK - Pizzagate. I went to WikiLeaks to check on the relevant emails, and these do exist and they look extremely odd to me. I mean they were discussing at length exactly what sort of pizzas they would order for some planned meeting. Having attended far more lowly meetings in the US, I know that what really happens is that a catering firm comes in, puts on a spread of food and people graze this as the fancy takes them. The rest probably gets trashed - which I find pretty gross.
Thus I would say there was certainly come sort of code in use in those emails.

I became very suspicious about the global warming claims back in 2009. To me, one of the most striking (and I guess uncontroversial) facts, is that the claimed global warming since 1880 (a period of 140 years) is approximately 1.0 C. I would say this is extraordinarily small, given that so much damage is supposed to have been caused by Climate Change (the new, and vaguer alternative to 'global warming'). Also, the older measurements were made using quite crude equipment, and many of these thermometers are located in areas that have been urbanised over this time interval - so the raw data is subject to computer corrections that are supposed to remove this effect! 'Global warming' seems to me to be an excellent example of science gone bad.

As regards Satanic Ritual Abuse, what I can say is that as a young man I used to assume that this vice was exclusively practised by lone predatory men men. Then came the endless revelations about the Catholic Church (plus other denominations to a lesser degree), the revelation that the BBC new about and tolerated the entertainer Jimmy Saville for many years, hiding his activities. Then there was Jeffrey Epstein, who ran a huge operation from a private island. When he was caught originally, he only got 13 months jail, and no proper search was made of his island - so he could resume activities after he was released! Clearly, and sadly, there is a lot of abuse of this kind around, it only remains to show that some of it is performed for occult purposes to prove Alex's contention.

David
 
#53
OK - Pizzagate. ...David
Thanks for the reply, that's helpful. I don't dismiss any of that, I think it's a good start. But, I'm sure we could also agree that none of this evidence is compelling enough to stand on its own as incontrovertible. Even if all of this evidence is 100% legitimate (and I have no reason to think otherwise), there might be equally plausible alternative hypotheses that also fit the data. I guess what I'm saying is, we can build our own strong personal opinions but we can never get to any significant degree of confidence about this stuff, not really.

To me this lies in sharp contrast with some of the other topics that Skeptiko tackles like remote viewing, NDEs, telepathy, mediumship, consciousness, etc. where we're building opinions informed by decades of meticulous scientific research, often carried out by professionals who have dedicated their lives to the endeavor, often using the best techniques that the scientific method has to offer like peer review, double and triple blind protocols, replication, etc. When, the dialogue moves from a discussion supporting a class of subject matter for which scientific evidence is extremely strong directly to an affirmation of pizzagate (for example), the argument for the former is vastly cheapened.

Anyway, I think I'm done whining about this incredible (and free) source of knowledge and entertainment that I couldn't imagine being without :)
 
#54
Thanks for the reply, that's helpful. I don't dismiss any of that, I think it's a good start. But, I'm sure we could also agree that none of this evidence is compelling enough to stand on its own as incontrovertible. Even if all of this evidence is 100% legitimate (and I have no reason to think otherwise), there might be equally plausible alternative hypotheses that also fit the data. I guess what I'm saying is, we can build our own strong personal opinions but we can never get to any significant degree of confidence about this stuff, not really.
That is true, but there is a fair amount of additional information that I don't recall off-hand. Don't forget however, that a genuine conspiracy isn't going to be presented like that, except in history books.
To me this lies in sharp contrast with some of the other topics that Skeptiko tackles like remote viewing, NDEs, telepathy, mediumship, consciousness, etc. where we're building opinions informed by decades of meticulous scientific research, often carried out by professionals who have dedicated their lives to the endeavor, often using the best techniques that the scientific method has to offer like peer review, double and triple blind protocols, replication, etc. When, the dialogue moves from a discussion supporting a class of subject matter for which scientific evidence is extremely strong directly to an affirmation of pizzagate (for example), the argument for the former is vastly cheapened.

Anyway, I think I'm done whining about this incredible (and free) source of knowledge and entertainment that I couldn't imagine being without :)
I think the key is to use Skeptiko selectively - I certainly agree that NDE's etc are more intrinsically interesting. But politics butts into real life, as we are all discovering.

My personal take on all this, is that science has become extremely corrupted over time. This has turned it into a tool for all kinds of extremists (if they have money and influence) and made it extremely conservative - just reject any new ideas. I think in former times, the evidence that life could not have happened by accident, would have excited biologists and scientists in general. Now it is seen as a dirty little secret. Ditto regarding evidence of genuine mediumship, NDE's, reincarnation, etc etc.

All evidence of corrupted science - such as 'Climate Change' is relevant in that sense.

David
 
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#55
...we can build our own strong personal opinions but we can never get to any significant degree of confidence about this stuff, not really.
I disagree.

Visit your local County Courthouse next Monday and watch government Prosecutors confirm all manner of Conspiracy Theories based upon limited evidence, then, destroy human lives by sending people to prison for decades based upon that evidence.

Standards vary. Criminal cases require "beyond a reasonable doubt" for a conviction. Civil cases only require a 51% "preponderance of the evidence".

It's the same with our investigations. We can only acquire degrees of certainty.
 
#56
Taking a mainstream position/aligning with scientific consensus in any given subject doesn’t guarantee one’s correctness in that position.

However, consistently taking that position over every subject will guarantee one’s correctness way more often than not.

Be wary of those who always take the contrarian role.
 
#57
Taking a mainstream position/aligning with scientific consensus in any given subject doesn’t guarantee one’s correctness in that position.

However, consistently taking that position over every subject will guarantee one’s correctness way more often than not.

Be wary of those who always take the contrarian role.
You simply don't notice the areas where we agree with the mainstream. Of course we don't disagree with them on everything.

However,, think for a moment about the MSM. Sadly it has become owned by a small number of ludicrously rich individuals - the same goes for hi-tech. Journalists used to get to the truth because they were competing with each other for stories - they played a huge part in exposing the Watergate scandal.

If the Watergate scandal were replayed now, the big boys holding the money would go along to Nixon and cut him a deal - you make us all even richer, and we will force our journalists to smooth over this embarrassing incident.

Note that Nixon was a republican president - republicans and democrats have sort of changed places since then.

David
 
#58
I disagree.

Visit your local County Courthouse next Monday and watch government Prosecutors confirm all manner of Conspiracy Theories based upon limited evidence, then, destroy human lives by sending people to prison for decades based upon that evidence.

Standards vary. Criminal cases require "beyond a reasonable doubt" for a conviction. Civil cases only require a 51% "preponderance of the evidence".

It's the same with our investigations. We can only acquire degrees of certainty.
Yes, and it is really the same in science itself (at least done correctly). The only thing that can be literally proven is maths. Once you get to physical matter, the big leaps in understanding involve guessing what laws might apply, and then doing experiments to see how well those guesses work. That process is not so very different conceptually from what goes out in a court house. When physicists talk of proof, what they are really saying is, "starting from the assumed laws of physics" we can take the equations and prove that this will happen.

If Einstein is right about Special and General relativity, and assuming QM, then all the science done up to say 1910 was technically 'wrong'. The proofs were done using equations that ultimately turned out to be wrong!

David
 
#59
The only thing that can be literally proven is maths.
I was shocked to discover a few years ago that even Mathematics can only provide Degrees of Certainty.

At the extreme edges of the Math regarding things like quantum physics, the math becomes so convoluted and esoteric it devolves into airy-fairy philosophical opinions of quibbling Physicists, no more reliable than our speculations regarding who or what the heck sits at the apex of power over our Prison Planet.

If you've never absorbed this lecture, Dr. David Harriman's The Philosophical Corruption of Physics it is a must-know.

He comes from the Ayn Rand / Leonard Peikoff school of azzhole Uber-materialism, but his perspective is one every educated man like yourself should be familiar with.


I will convert this to .mp3 for listening on your phone if you wish. I focus best while I'm in the mud pulling weeds in my garden for hours with my phone in my pocket and earbuds in. :)
 
#60
I was shocked to discover a few years ago that even Mathematics can only provide Degrees of Certainty.
Not to mention that Godel proved long ago that mathematics isn't even internally consistent (or at least that it can't be proven to be so)

Thanks for sharing that lecture, looks very interesting. It's quite a commitment though, wish there was a Ted Talk version ha ha

Looks like the full 6 hr talk is available here (talk starts ~1:20:00 mark)
 
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