The Infantile Psychology of Conspiracy Deniers

#21
I don't deny that there are conspiracies - some which have been uncovered, some which have not.

What I deny is that wildly fantastical flights of confirmation bias are a useful way to identify legitimate conspiracies.
How about confirmation bias in the opposite direction then? Always biased against the ruling class doing bad things. How many times does history have to teach humans that those in power, do not have our best interests at heart?

How would you identify a legitimate conspiracy?
 
#22
Perhaps it is a serious question, but the essay which opened this thread most certainly didn't give a serious answer. And neither have most posts in this thread. No surprise a person looking for a serious answer would object to what had been presented to that point.
Agreed, and I think that trying to answer any worthwhile question by introducing psychology - implying that those with an opposite position to your own are somehow mentally disturbed - immediately puts me off - it really is an illegitimate form of argument.

However, extending what I wrote above, I'd say that the viability of a conspiracy should be all important - if a conspiracy can be adequately hidden and achieve its aims, then it is very likely to be real, if the conspiracy would be rapidly exposed as fraudulent, then it is unlikely to happen.

Thus, for example, the idea that 9/11 was a full-blown conspiracy to drag the US into more Middle Eastern wars, is unlikely because back then the media were more focused on chasing down leads. Now they seem far less interested in that job - as I said, this may simply a commercial decision that not enough people care in the way that they care about celebrities. That feeds back - you will get more conspiracies if nobody is paying enough attention to notice them.

David
 
#23
How about confirmation bias in the opposite direction then? Always biased against the ruling class doing bad things. How many times does history have to teach humans that those in power, do not have our best interests at heart?
Agreed. Confirmation bias all around is a problem. I'm not sure of the relevance of your concern, though. Most people I know don't particularly trust the ruling class, even though they aren't CTers.

How would you identify a legitimate conspiracy?
That's a very good question. Most of the time, I'm not in a position to judge whether or not the "evidence" is legitimate. I tend to look at the source instead. It's easier to judge whether or not a source is legitimate.
 
#24
However, extending what I wrote above, I'd say that the viability of a conspiracy should be all important - if a conspiracy can be adequately hidden and achieve its aims, then it is very likely to be real, if the conspiracy would be rapidly exposed as fraudulent, then it is unlikely to happen.
"Very likely to be real"? This sounds like something you just made up. Any actual research or investigation to support this claim?
 
#25
Agreed. Confirmation bias all around is a problem. I'm not sure of the relevance of your concern, though. Most people I know don't particularly trust the ruling class, even though they aren't CTers.
Going by the subject matter of the essay posted, it would seem to be a problem.

Again, perhaps we are shooting at the same problem, but coming at it from different angles.

But it still doesn't explain for me the sort of reactions that when you ever bring up crap that the government is probably doing in the present time, people continuously, without exception, say that you are a conspiracy theorist! And later, when you are proven right, you can never get a peep out of the persons that were mocking you. That is what the essay is about really in my mind.

And I can totally get why people get peeved at conspiracy theories, though that wasn't what the essay was about per se. Especially when it involves something you are personally trained in, or an expert of sorts in. Whenever someone brings up Flat Earth stuff, or Moon Landing FAKED, I cringe and can see where they have went wrong in their thinking, and that nothing will really convince them because they have decided that the science is fake.


EllisR said:
That's a very good question. Most of the time, I'm not in a position to judge whether or not the "evidence" is legitimate. I tend to look at the source instead. It's easier to judge whether or not a source is legitimate.
Yes agreed. The source is important, though if the piece is well written and makes sense, I don't put as much stock in it.


It depends on each situation though. If I am basing my decision making on something that has actual real time consequences, e.g in my profession, then I am far more likely to totally scrutinise the source and go full on skeptic mode! I'm sure it's the same for many here too. I suppose that is just common sense though.
 
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#26
But it still doesn't explain for me the sort of reactions that when you ever bring up crap that the government is probably doing in the present time, people continuously, without exception, say that you are a conspiracy theorist! And later, when you are proven right, you can never get a peep out of the persons that were mocking you. That is what the essay is about really in my mind.
I think there's a world of difference between recognizing the kinds of malfeasance which can and have taken place, and making an increasingly bizarre set of specific claims of malfeasance. For example, I recognize that thieves exist. But it's a completely different matter to claim that my neighbor is a thief on that basis. It's the latter claim that Conspiracy Theorists get in trouble for.
 
#27
I think there's a world of difference between recognizing the kinds of malfeasance which can and have taken place, and making an increasingly bizarre set of specific claims of malfeasance. For example, I recognize that thieves exist. But it's a completely different matter to claim that my neighbor is a thief on that basis. It's the latter claim that Conspiracy Theorists get in trouble for.
Yes of course. The prick that grasses you into the police for having some friends round is the same thing then, is it not? He doesn't know what the bleedin' eck is going on with you, so all those people who were following GoVeRnMeNt AdViCE like the little bootlicking turds that they were, grassing in neighbours, are the conspirers, by your logic too.

I'll make a point here, because I think it has to be said.

Neighbour sees some people come to your house and enter. Neighbour assumes you are breaking lockdown rules. Neighbour has no evidence or proof, but decides to call the police on you to make sure you aren't breaking the rules.

Is that different from your point? Not really. I'm not having a go at you btw, I'm just getting annoyed at people who never ever question authority and who would be the ones to exterminate others based on an authority telling them to do so. And then have the utter stupidity to go around mocking conspiracy theorists themselves. Idiots.
 
#28
I think there's a world of difference between recognizing the kinds of malfeasance which can and have taken place, and making an increasingly bizarre set of specific claims of malfeasance. For example, I recognize that thieves exist. But it's a completely different matter to claim that my neighbor is a thief on that basis. It's the latter claim that Conspiracy Theorists get in trouble for.
But back to the original thrust of the argument.

I agree that making assumptions on the basis of nothing, in situations like that, can lead to witch hunts. Which I'm assuming is the kind of danger you are talking about. Which I am also vehemently against in principle.
 
#29
This essay provides a good explanation for the bizarre phenomena of Conspiracy Deniers.



https://reportingforbeauty.substack.com/p/on-the-psychology-of-the-conspiracy-7ff


On The Psychology Of The Conspiracy Denier
A closer look at the class that mocks.

Tim Foyle
, March 5th, 2021

Why is it that otherwise perfectly intelligent, thoughtful and rationally minded people baulk at the suggestion that sociopaths are conspiring to manipulate and deceive them? And why will they defend this ill-founded position with such vehemence?

History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound. We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us. We know that revolving doors between the corporate and political spheres, the lobbying system, corrupt regulators, the media and judiciary mean that wrongdoing is practically never brought to any semblance of genuine justice. We know that the press makes noise about these matters occasionally but never pursues them with true vigour. We know that in the intelligence services and law enforcement wrongdoing on a breathtaking scale is commonplace and that, again, justice is never forthcoming. We know that governments repeatedly ignore or trample on the rights of the people, and actively abuse and mistreat the people.

None of this is controversial.

So exactly what is it that conspiracy deniers refuse to acknowledge with such fervour, righteousness and condescension? Why, against all the evidence, do they sneeringly and contemptuously defend the crumbling illusion that 'the great and good' are up there somewhere, have everything in hand, have only our best interests at heart, and are scrupulous, wise and sincere? That the press serves the people and truth rather than the crooks? That injustice after injustice result from mistakes and oversights, and never from that dread word: conspiracy? What reasonable person would continue to inhabit such a fantasy world? The point of disagreement here is only on the matter of scale. Someone who is genuinely curious about the plans of powerful sociopaths won't limit the scope of their curiosity to, for example, one corporation, or one nation. Why would they? Such a person assumes that the same patterns on display locally are likely to be found all the way up the power food chain. But the conspiracy denier insists this is preposterous. Why?

It is painfully obvious that the pyramidical societal and legal structures that humanity has allowed to develop are exactly the kind of dominance hierarchies that undoubtedly favour the sociopath. A humane being operating with a normal and healthy cooperative mindset has little inclination to take part in the combat necessary to climb a corporate or political ladder. So what do conspiracy deniers imagine the 70 million or more sociopaths in the world do all day, born into a 'game', in which all the wealth and power are at the top of the pyramid, while the most effective attributes for 'winning' are ruthlessness and amorality? Have they never played Monopoly?

Sociopaths do not choose their worldview consciously, and are simply unable to comprehend why normal people would put themselves at such an incredible disadvantage by limiting themselves with conscientiousness and empathy, which are as beyond the understanding of the sociopath as a world without them are to the humane being. All the sociopath need do to win in the game is lie publicly whilst conspiring privately. What could be simpler? In 2021, to continue to imagine that the world we inhabit is not largely driven by this dynamic amounts to reckless naivete bordering on insanity. Where does such an inadvertently destructive impulse originate?

The infant child places an innate trust in those it finds itself with - a trust which is, for the most part, essentially justified. The infant could not survive otherwise. In a sane and healthy society, this deep instinct would evolve as the psyche developed. As self-awareness, the cognitive and reasoning abilities and scepticism evolved in the individual, this innate trust impulse would continue to be understood as a central need of the psyche. Shared belief systems would exist to consciously evolve and develop this childish impulse in order to place this faith somewhere consciously - in values and beliefs of lasting meaning and worth to the society, the individual, or, ideally, both. Reverence and respect for tradition, natural forces, ancestors, for reason, truth, beauty, liberty, the innate value of life, or the initiating spirit of all things, might all be considered valid resting places in which to consciously place our trust and faith - as well as those derived from more formalised belief systems.

Regardless of the path taken to evolve and develop a personal faith, it is the bringing of one's own consciousness and cognition to this innate impulse that is relevant here. I believe this is a profound responsibility - to develop and cultivate a mature faith - which many are, understandably, unaware of. What occurs when there is a childish need within us which has never evolved beyond its original survival function of trusting those in our environment who are, simply, the most powerful; the most present and active? When we have never truly explored our own psyches, and deeply interrogated what we truly believe and why? When our motivation for trusting anything or anyone goes unchallenged? When philosophy is left to the philosophers?

I suggest the answer is simple, and that the evidence of this phenomenon and the havoc it is wreaking is all around us: the innate impulse to trust the mother never evolves, never encounters and engages with its counterbalance of reason (or mature faith), and remains forever on its 'default' infant setting. While the immature psyche no longer depends on parents for its well-being, the powerful and motivating core tenet I have described remains intact: unchallenged, unconsidered and undeveloped. And, in a world in which stability and security are distant memories, these survival instincts, rather than being well-honed, considered, relevant, discerning and up to date, remain, quite literally, those of a baby. Trust is placed in the biggest, loudest, most present and undeniable force around, because instinct decrees that survival depends on it. And, in this great 'world nursery', the most omnipresent force is the network of institutions which consistently project an unearned image of power, calm, expertise, concern and stability.

In my view, this is how conspiracy deniers are able to cling to and aggressively defend the utterly illogical fantasy that somehow - above a certain undefined level of the societal hierarchy - corruption, deceit, malevolence and narcissism mysteriously evaporate. That, contrary to the maxim, the more power a person has, the more integrity they will inevitably exhibit. These poor deluded souls essentially believe that where personal experience and prior knowledge cannot fill in the gaps in their worldview - in short, where there is a barred door - mummy and daddy are behind it, working out how best to ensure that their little precious will be comfortable, happy and safe forever. This is the core, comforting illusion at the root of the conspiracy denier's mindset, the decrepit foundation upon which they build a towering castle of justification from which to pompously jeer at and mock those who see otherwise.

This explains why it is that the conspiracy denier will attack any suggestion that the caregiving archetype is no longer present - that sociopaths are behind the barred door, who hold us all in utter contempt or disregard us completely. The conspiracy denier will attack any such suggestion as viciously as if their survival depended on it - which, in a way, within the makeup of their unconscious and precarious psyche, it does. Their sense of well-being, of security, of comfort, even of a future at all, is completely (and completely unconsciously) invested in this fantasy. The infant has never matured, and, because they are not conscious of this, other than as a deep attachment to their personal security, they will fiercely attack any threat to this unconscious and central aspect of their worldview.

The tediously common refrain from the conspiracy denier is, 'there couldn't be a conspiracy that big'. The simple retort to such a self-professed expert on conspiracies is obvious: how big? The biggest 'medical' corporations in the world can go for decades treating the settling of court cases as mere business expenses, for crimes ranging from the suppressing of adverse test events to multiple murders resulting from undeclared testing to colossal environmental crimes. Governments perform the vilest and most unthinkable 'experiments' (crimes) on their own people without consequence. Politicians habitually lie to our faces, without consequence. And on and on. At what point, exactly, does a conspiracy become so big that 'they' just couldn't get away with it, and why?

I suggest it's at the point where the cognitive ability of the conspiracy denier falters, and their unconscious survival instinct kicks in. The point at which the intellect becomes overwhelmed with the scope of events and the instinct is to settle back into the familiar comforting faith known and cultivated since the first moment one’s lips found the nipple. The faith that someone else is dealing with it - that where the world becomes unknown to us, a powerful and benevolent human authority exists in which we have only to place our faith unconditionally in order to guarantee eternal emotional security. This dangerous delusion may be the central factor placing humanity's physical security and future in the hands of sociopaths.

To anyone in the habit of dismissing people who are questioning, investigative and sceptical as tin foil hat wearing, paranoid, science-denying Trump supporters, the question is: what do you believe in? Where have you placed your faith and why? How is it that while no one trusts governments, you appear to trust nascent global governance organisations without question? How is this rational? If you are placing faith in such organisations, consider that in the modern global age, these organisations, as extraordinarily well presented as they are, are simply grander manifestations of the local versions we know we can't trust. They are not our parents and demonstrate no loyalty to humane values. There is no reason to place any faith whatsoever in any of them. If you haven't consciously developed a faith or questioned why you believe as you do to some depth, such a position might seem misanthropic, but in truth, it is the opposite. These organisations have not earned your trust with anything other than PR money and glossy lies. True power remains, as ever, with the people.

There is a reason why Buddhists strongly advise the placing of one's faith in the Dharma, or the natural law of life, rather than in persons, and that similar refrains are common in other belief systems. Power corrupts. And, in the world today, misplaced and unfounded trust could well be one of the greatest sources of power there is.

Massive criminal conspiracies exist. The evidence is overwhelming. The scope of those currently underway is unknown, but there is no reason to imagine, in the new global age, that the sociopathic quest for power or the possession of the resources required to move towards it is diminishing. Certainly not while dissent is mocked and censored into silence by gatekeepers, ‘useful idiots’, and conspiracy deniers, who are, in fact, directly colluding with the sociopathic agenda through their unrelenting attack on those who would shine a light on wrongdoing. It is every humane being's urgent responsibility to expose sociopathic agendas wherever they exist - never to attack those who seek to do so. Now, more than ever, it is time to put away childish things, and childish impulses, and to stand up as adults to protect the future of the actual children who have no choice but to trust us with their lives.

This essay has focussed on what I consider to be the deepest psychological driver of conspiracy denial. There are certainly others, such as the desire to be accepted; the avoidance of knowledge of, and engagement with, the internal and external shadow; the preservation of a positive and righteous self-image: a generalised version of the 'flying monkey' phenomenon, in which a self-interested and vicious class protect themselves by coalescing around the bully; the subtle unconscious adoption of the sociopathic worldview (e.g. 'humanity is the virus'); outrage addiction/ superiority complex/ status games; a stunted or unambitious intellect that finds validation through maintaining the status quo; the dissociative protective mechanism of imagining that crimes and horrors committed repeatedly within our lifetime are somehow not happening now, not 'here'; and plain old fashioned laziness and cowardice. My suggestion is that, to some degree, all of these build on the foundation of the primary cause I've outlined here.
I am quoting the entire essay so nothing is taken out of context concerning this guys framework of "conspiracy deniers." I am not going to say that all conspiracies are false, but nor am I going to become a soothsaying "Richie From Boston," who predicts that the world is coming to an end every other week. The issue that I see with conspiracy theorists is that they seem to want everything to be a conspiracy. If your mind is hellbent on seeing everything as a conspiracy, then that is what the world will become, a constant conspiracy. Does this mean that I don't think their are some psychopaths running the government? No, I am sure there are plenty, just as their are psychopaths working anywhere else: at your grocery store, doctors office, local 7 - 11, dry cleaners, etc.

Let's get more into the meat and potatoes of the matter. Many, many years ago, I knew this guy in high school named Tim. He could definitely play the guitar and he was certainly not part of the status quo, but nor was I. He walked around with a book called "Future Shock" and was constantly bitching about what he called "the system." Regardless, I liked Tim and considered him a friend. Eventually, he became pretty well known in the local punk rock scene. He too was deeply enamored with conspiracy theories.

The interesting thing about Tim is that his aesthetic "evolved" in a direct correlation to the band, Green Day. First, he was just an everyday looking blond kid, with jeans, t-shirt, and a nice flannel. Mind you, that flannel was not decrepit a la the dirty grunge scene, nor were his jeans tattered or torn. Eventually, things started to change. The flannel was replaced with a suit jacket on top of a Ramon's T-Shirt. A few holes and patches were added to the jeans. Next, random pins, somewhat akin to political campaign décor were added to the jacket, reading things such as, " SAVE THE EARTH! GLOBAL WARMING ISN'T COOL! QUESTION AUTHORITY! FUCK THE POLICE!" - and so forth.

Strangely enough, one day, the band Green Day changed a little bit....they had eyeliner on and became what was soon to evolve into Emo. Suddenly, Tim had eyeliner on as well, and his spiked blond hair was suddenly jet black.....but still spiked.

I never judged Tim for his aesthetic trendiness or commented on it as such, but one thing remained constant with him: EVERYTHING WAS A CONSPIRACY!
 
#30
This is where your problem - conspiracy mindedness - begins.

"It is painfully obvious that the pyramidical societal and legal structures that humanity has allowed to develop are exactly the kind of dominance hierarchies that undoubtedly favour the sociopath. A humane being operating with a normal and healthy cooperative mindset has little inclination to take part in the combat necessary to climb a corporate or political ladder. So what do conspiracy deniers imagine the 70 million or more sociopaths in the world do all day, born into a 'game', in which all the wealth and power are at the top of the pyramid, while the most effective attributes for 'winning' are ruthlessness and amorality? Have they never played Monopoly? "

As we discussed in the mask thread, sociopaths/psychopaths are not running any big shows because, by their nature, they can't. They can't maintain in a group, even a cabal, because they are antisocial to the marrow. They must break the rules. They must harm those around them. Their inflated ego demands they not "play the game" like the "suckers". Psychopaths are not leaders. They are destroyers. If everyone at the top of the pyramids was a psychopath, humanity would have died out Millennia ago.

Now I really get it. A bunch of losers think that the pyramid is based on dominance hierarchies arising from ever more refined levels of evil. I note more than a touch of Marxism in the quote as well. Marxism being one of the pseudointellectual's fall back ideologies when he feels that he deserves more recognition and material success in life than he has obtained.

The quote is not reality. The hierarchies are generally based on competence. Humans are not all born equal. The guys at the top are smart and driven, focused and highly organized. They work at what they do 24 hours a day, every day, and they work efficiently and intelligently. Also they think big. You're not there not because you are more righteous or a essentially a better person, but because you don't have the innate talent and psychological make-up to be there.

That is even true in physical activities, like professional athletics. Not everyone has the basic mental and physical talent to be a pro. Not everyone who has the basic talent puts in the time and dedication to realize his talents. A pro athlete super star is the apex of that sport's pyramid. Tiger Woods and Michel Jordan are psychopaths? Same with rock stars versus the millions of guitar players. Out of a couple million military members there just of handful of tier one operators (SEALs, Green Berets, MARSCOC). Same with anything. Do you call those people, as a class, psychopaths because they are at the top of a pyramid?

Well, it's no different in business, whether it be entrepreneurial ventures or corporate. Same with politics. Same with intellectual endeavors.

The second significant foundational error is this:
"History catalogues the machinations of liars, thieves, bullies and narcissists and their devastating effects. In modern times too, evidence of corruption and extraordinary deceptions abound. We know, without question, that politicians lie and hide their connections and that corporations routinely display utter contempt for moral norms - that corruption surrounds us."

Yeah? Guess what? Get to know life in a blue collar neighborhood. It's the same thing; people lying, cheating, screwing each other, having connections to criminals and on and on. Paying selective attention to these sins only when people at the top of hierarchies are involved shows that the conspiracy theorist has an axe to grind.

Politicians have connection to big business? No shit Captain Obvious. Who are they supposed to have connections to? The janitor at the 7-11? Let's see, big business employs people, might be involved in the security of the nation, is run by smart competent people that might have some useful ideas to share - and, yes, have money. The janitor?

So this conspiracy theory crap is just all sour grapes from people that think they are smarter than everyone else, but really aren't. So they call the people above them "psychopaths".

Very enlightening. I think I can leave Skeptiko now that I finally see what this conspiracy theory nonsense is all about.

Too bad, Skeptiko was a good forum when it was about NDEs, psi, etc.
Woah woah brother, hold on man, if you aren't around when and if this guy is interviewed, the discussion is not going to be as exciting. Stick around, man. :)
 
#31
Yes of course. The prick that grasses you into the police for having some friends round is the same thing then, is it not?
Not in the least. We're not talking about people who are mistaken, when they see something going on. Or aren't mistaken and turn you in for it. Most people have suspicions, maybe even think they have evidence, and sometimes hang on to their suspicions for too, long. But usually they'll come around once things are explained to them. Conspiracy theorists are a whole 'nother breed of imperviousness to reason.

If you want it to be an analogy...it's like you're convinced your neighbor's stealing from you because they look Jewish and everyone knows Jews are shifty. You try to find out what they're stealing, and you become convinced it's your electricity. So you call in the electric company, but they tell you they can't find anything. Which makes you suspicious of the tech they sent out, who was a woman (probably got the job in the name of "diversity", not merit). Obviously the Jew paid her off. Or maybe they were in on it together from the beginning - secret lovers? You make a complaint to the regulatory board, and when they ignore it, now you know that this conspiracy is bigger than you thought. You start filing FOI requests for any electric bills under your neighbor's name, and the official response you receive is "the record concerned does not exist or cannot be found". There's the proof you were looking for, so now you take this to your local councilman. She says she'll look into it. Later she tells you the electricity bill for that address is paid by the landlord, which is obvious BS. Everyone knows tenants are responsible for the utility bills. So now you don't know who to trust, but you sure as hell aren't paying for your neighbor's electricity. So you get your electricity turned off and run your house off a generator instead. Except, damnit, your neighbor's lights are still on, so they must have some kind of wireless electricity stealing device (you remember reading about the possibility from something the genius Nicola Tesla said). You try building a Farraday cage around your house, but then the police show up claiming that it violates local zoning restrictions. You can see where this is heading, so you buy some guns, stock up on supplies and barricade yourself in your house. Your mom shows up to try to talk you down, and you start babbling about red pills and blue pills and infantile conspiracy deniers.
 
#32
"Very likely to be real"? This sounds like something you just made up. Any actual research or investigation to support this claim?
I don't understand. If journalists become less keen to investigate conspiracies, then that means a conspiracy is much more likely to succeed, which in turn means that they are more likely to be used.

Think of Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein put enormous effort into exposing that scandal that ultimately deposed President Nixon. Nobody now doubts there was a conspiracy to cover up the break-in, but if their editor had just shrugged and told them to do something else, the truth would not have been exposed.

David
 
#33
I don't understand. If journalists become less keen to investigate conspiracies, then that means a conspiracy is much more likely to succeed, which in turn means that they are more likely to be used.

Think of Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein put enormous effort into exposing that scandal that ultimately deposed President Nixon. Nobody now doubts there was a conspiracy to cover up the break-in, but if their editor had just shrugged and told them to do something else, the truth would not have been exposed.

David
His point is that its an easy thing to say; to blame it on a lost check and balance via a lesser press. You just provided an anecdote, but not evidence.

He's asked if there is actual evidence to support a quasi-claim you made: "However, extending what I wrote above, I'd say that the viability of a conspiracy should be all important - if a conspiracy can be adequately hidden and achieve its aims, then it is very likely to be real, if the conspiracy would be rapidly exposed as fraudulent, then it is unlikely to happen."

This is a feeling or a sense of things you have. Its really just something you'd say while having a beer at the local pub with your mate. He'd let it pass or even agree. We all do it. Ellis is asking for a more rigorous response. I can't imagine you have one as, again, I'm guessing the statement you made is just your sense of things.

You may be right, but I'd challenge the "very likely to be real" conclusion you came to as well. I don't think you can substantiate it.
 
#34
Not in the least. We're not talking about people who are mistaken, when they see something going on. Or aren't mistaken and turn you in for it. Most people have suspicions, maybe even think they have evidence, and sometimes hang on to their suspicions for too, long. But usually they'll come around once things are explained to them. Conspiracy theorists are a whole 'nother breed of imperviousness to reason.

If you want it to be an analogy...it's like you're convinced your neighbor's stealing from you because they look Jewish and everyone knows Jews are shifty. You try to find out what they're stealing, and you become convinced it's your electricity. So you call in the electric company, but they tell you they can't find anything. Which makes you suspicious of the tech they sent out, who was a woman (probably got the job in the name of "diversity", not merit). Obviously the Jew paid her off. Or maybe they were in on it together from the beginning - secret lovers? You make a complaint to the regulatory board, and when they ignore it, now you know that this conspiracy is bigger than you thought. You start filing FOI requests for any electric bills under your neighbor's name, and the official response you receive is "the record concerned does not exist or cannot be found". There's the proof you were looking for, so now you take this to your local councilman. She says she'll look into it. Later she tells you the electricity bill for that address is paid by the landlord, which is obvious BS. Everyone knows tenants are responsible for the utility bills. So now you don't know who to trust, but you sure as hell aren't paying for your neighbor's electricity. So you get your electricity turned off and run your house off a generator instead. Except, damnit, your neighbor's lights are still on, so they must have some kind of wireless electricity stealing device (you remember reading about the possibility from something the genius Nicola Tesla said). You try building a Farraday cage around your house, but then the police show up claiming that it violates local zoning restrictions. You can see where this is heading, so you buy some guns, stock up on supplies and barricade yourself in your house. Your mom shows up to try to talk you down, and you start babbling about red pills and blue pills and infantile conspiracy deniers.
You described a paranoid person, probably schyzofrenic as well. Some "conspiracy theorists" are like that, some others, not. So, what is your point?

On the other hand, you seem strangely angry at individuals who try to think for themselves. If envy is the problem, maybe you can try to think for yourself aswell. It's not that difficult.
 
#35
Conspiracy theorists are a whole 'nother breed of imperviousness to reason.

If you want it to be an analogy...it's like you're convinced your neighbor's stealing from you because they look Jewish and everyone knows Jews are shifty. You try to find out what they're stealing, and you become convinced it's your electricity. So you call in the electric company, but they tell you they can't find anything. Which makes you suspicious of the tech they sent out, who was a woman (probably got the job in the name of "diversity", not merit). Obviously the Jew paid her off. Or maybe they were in on it together from the beginning - secret lovers? You make a complaint to the regulatory board, and when they ignore it, now you know that this conspiracy is bigger than you thought. You start filing FOI requests for any electric bills under your neighbor's name, and the official response you receive is "the record concerned does not exist or cannot be found". There's the proof you were looking for, so now you take this to your local councilman. She says she'll look into it. Later she tells you the electricity bill for that address is paid by the landlord, which is obvious BS. Everyone knows tenants are responsible for the utility bills. So now you don't know who to trust, but you sure as hell aren't paying for your neighbor's electricity. So you get your electricity turned off and run your house off a generator instead. Except, damnit, your neighbor's lights are still on, so they must have some kind of wireless electricity stealing device (you remember reading about the possibility from something the genius Nicola Tesla said). You try building a Farraday cage around your house, but then the police show up claiming that it violates local zoning restrictions. You can see where this is heading, so you buy some guns, stock up on supplies and barricade yourself in your house. Your mom shows up to try to talk you down, and you start babbling about red pills and blue pills and infantile conspiracy deniers.
LOL. Well, it gave me a chuckle anyhow!

But that is not how my mind operates. That is not me. And if that is how you see those of us who enjoyed that essay, then you are very mistaken and it is no wonder you feel the need to argue when you see what you want to see in 'conspiracy theorists'.

What you are describing is a crazy person. Someone who is probably schizophrenic too.

I get where you are coming from, there are those types of conspiracy theorists out there, but there always seems to be this crazy type of extrapolation going on for everyone and every subject, for every time the phrase is mentioned, as exemplified above.
 
#36
The issue that I see with conspiracy theorists is that they seem to want everything to be a conspiracy
Do they want everything to be a conspiracy, or is everything a conspiracy? I believe that, like in many other subjects, the actual problem is in the terminology. We call these things "conspiracies" because we're surprised that they happen, because they were (obviously) hidden. They're not conspiracies, they're actual history. Some people lose their minds investigating this type of thing, I don't deny it. But I too question if they actually lose their minds, or if they are portrayed by the media as losing their minds, because they got their hands onto something that endangers some particular interests, and calling them "conspiracy theorists" is an easy way to discredit them, ergo, getting rid of the hassle.

I've read many so-called "conspiracy theories", and I've investigated them by my own, and probably, out of ten I've read, two were kinda hilarious and paranoic. But the others made total sense, and were consistent with what I discovered through my own investigations. So I believe what they propose, until I'm showed contradictory evidence (which haven't happened yet).

(By the way, many "conspiracy theories" can be resumed into one big conspiracy. But that's another issue.)
 
#37
I don't understand. If journalists become less keen to investigate conspiracies, then that means a conspiracy is much more likely to succeed, which in turn means that they are more likely to be used.
I can agree with that, but it has nothing to do with the question I asked you, or the claim that you made. That's just a guess at a base rate.

Think of Watergate. Woodward and Bernstein put enormous effort into exposing that scandal that ultimately deposed President Nixon. Nobody now doubts there was a conspiracy to cover up the break-in, but if their editor had just shrugged and told them to do something else, the truth would not have been exposed.

David
We only heard about Watergate because it was an investigation which happened to uncover a legitimate conspiracy. What about all the investigations into potential conspiracies which turned out to be nothing?

You said "if a conspiracy can be adequately hidden and achieve its aims, then it is very likely to be real". "If A, then B". You can prove that using "not B, then not A". That is, you can make up examples of conspiracies that weren't and see if you can also make up ways in which they could be hidden. If you can, your claim is false, if you can't, then your claim might be true (or you may not be sufficiently devious (or motivated)). But what you definitely can't use is "If B, then A" (Watergate was real and it would have been hidden without journalistic interest) to prove anything. Logic 101.
 
#38
You described a paranoid person, probably schyzofrenic as well. Some "conspiracy theorists" are like that, some others, not. So, what is your point?
It's a literary device called "hyperbole". If I exaggerate the characteristics, it makes it easier to see the difference between being suspicious of something until it is explained, and "uncovering" an ever enlarging Conspiracy.

On the other hand, you seem strangely angry at individuals who try to think for themselves. If envy is the problem, maybe you can try to think for yourself aswell. It's not that difficult.
I have no problem for people who try to think for themselves. I would encourage them to use reason when doing so, though.

However, this thread is about calling everyone who doesn't buy into the various popular Conspiracies - "Plandemic", "Climate Denial", HIV Denial", "911 Truthers", "2020 Election Fraud", etc. - infantile. The anger comes from the essay in the thread starter, not me. I'm just pointing out that I (and most others) can be skeptical of your Conspiracies and also be skeptical of major corporations, politicians, etc.
 
#39
LOL. Well, it gave me a chuckle anyhow!

But that is not how my mind operates. That is not me. And if that is how you see those of us who enjoyed that essay, then you are very mistaken and it is no wonder you feel the need to argue when you see what you want to see in 'conspiracy theorists'.

What you are describing is a crazy person. Someone who is probably schizophrenic too.

I get where you are coming from, there are those types of conspiracy theorists out there, but there always seems to be this crazy type of extrapolation going on for everyone and every subject, for every time the phrase is mentioned, as exemplified above.
I get that nobody ever sees themselves on the side of crazy. But it is interesting to watch which set of Conspiracies each individual (on the forum and among Alex's guests) thinks is sound, and which they think are obviously wrong. Because there's little concurrence (other than those who'll believe/deny everything).
 
#40
I get that nobody ever sees themselves on the side of crazy. But it is interesting to watch which set of Conspiracies each individual (on the forum and among Alex's guests) thinks is sound, and which they think are obviously wrong. Because there's little concurrence (other than those who'll believe/deny everything).
Maybe that which you cannot see or understand, is simply discernment and judgement?
 
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