Are we living in a golden age of conspiracy theories?

Discussion in 'Conspiracy Theories' started by Coyote, Aug 17, 2019.

  1. Coyote
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    Coyote Varmint Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Interesting article, worth a read:


    Why conspiracy theories are getting more absurd and harder to refute

    Why conspiracy theories are getting more absurd and harder to refute
    “Democracy requires a minimum amount of mutual trust among citizens, and conspiracism destroys it.”

    Are we living in a golden age of conspiracy theories?

    That’s the argument Harvard politics professor Nancy L. Rosenblum makes in her new book, A Lot of People Are Saying. And it’s not merely that conspiracy theories are thriving — they’re also getting more absurd, less substantive, and harder to refute.

    In fact, what we’re seeing now, according to Rosenblum and her co-author Russell Muirhead, is more “conspiracism” and less theory. Which is to say, the purpose of conspiracy theories is no longer to explain reality or offer some account of the world; instead, the point is to erode trust in public figures or institutions.

    She points to the recent Pizzagate conspiracy as a perfect example. This was a fake news story alleging that Hillary Clinton and her former campaign chair, John Podesta, ran a child sex ring in the basement of a pizzeria in Washington, DC. It was totally fabricated, but it proliferated enough online that a man eventually showed up at the restaurant with an assault rifle and fired at least one shot.

    Rosenblum believes this new form of conspiracism amounts to a direct attack on the foundations of liberal democracy and what she calls “knowledge-producing institutions.” As conspiracism takes root in our politics, she says, we lose our capacity to deliberate about the direction of the country. And ultimately, democracy itself becomes impossible.
     
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  2. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Diamond Member

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    Well, in an age when people can put up a vlog, blog, YouTube video, or whatever else they use to spread their wacky theories, you're gonna get a lot of them.

    In the old days, the loons had to type something up, run off a whole bunch of copies and distribute them via mail or by hand. The crazies back then had to work a whole lot harder to spread their bullshit.

    Nowadays? Any loon with a computer or smart phone can post whatever bullshit they want, and they can reach a whole lot more people in an instant. And, there are other loons who are looking for validation for their bullshit, which is why they do an internet search for people who think like they do, and spread the crap down the line.

    You're right. This is a golden age for conspiracy theories.

    And, that's not the only place the nutjobs are spreading their lunacy, messageboards have their fair share of conspiracy loons as well. Just look at some of the posters on here.
     
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  3. Rambunctious
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    Rambunctious Gold Member

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    The public education system and the web are to blame....
     
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  4. hjmick
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    hjmick Gold Member

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    If you drop in on the Conspiracy Theories forum on thing is for sure... MindWarts is definitely living in an age of conspiracy theories...
     
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  5. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Diamond Member

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    See? This is a prime example of what I was talking about. Alex Jones starts it by coming up with whatever wild thing he thinks is happening. People like MindWarts (I like your nickname for her by the way), who are desperate to find validation for THEIR weird bullshit do a Google search, and Info Wars is a top search result. MindWarts reads the conspiracies being spewed by Jones, and then she uses Info Wars as a way to validate her bullshit. She did that long enough apparently, to think that Jones is a reliable journalist, which is why she starts many of her threads with a link to his site.
     
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  6. fncceo
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    fncceo Gold Member

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    Conspiracy theories are great. The give you the sense that you know more than everyone else, without ever bothering to learn anything.

    Being in on a conspiracy theory is the mental equivalent of losing weight without diet or exercise.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  7. ABikerSailor
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    ABikerSailor Diamond Member

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    Actually, I would think that being in on a conspiracy theory is more like thinking the 32 oz. diet soda you are having with your meal will counteract the Big Mac, large order of fries, and 2 hot apple pies that you ate for lunch.
     
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  8. petro
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    petro Gold Member

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    Yes.
    I agree with the OP.

    The whole Russian one was a whopper.
     
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  9. impuretrash
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    impuretrash Gold Member

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    Nancy Rosenblum had plenty to say about Pizzagate and Qanaon but when asked about left wing conspiracy theories she said she couldn't think of a single one that turned out to be untrue. And she wonders why people's trust in "intellectual elite establishment" figures such as herself is at an all time low.
     
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  10. Crepitus
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    Crepitus Gold Member

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    I don't believe it. It must be a conspiracy theory.

    Kidding!
     

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