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Murdoch

Conspiracy Theorists Make My Brain Hurt

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Some thoughts on "(don't) trust the media/experts/science":

 

A lot of conspiracy theorists, or people with views that aren't mainstream, will tell you to "question everything" and "don't trust the media" but then put their trust into another biased news source - OAN, Drudge, Infowars, etc. Not trusting the media, in my mind, means being skeptical of all news media, both "mainstream" and "independent" media, because everyone is biased, and every news source has its own agenda. You have to read a lot of different sources and notice the difference in how they report the news. At the very least, accept that any news source can be wrong about anything, and so can you. It's harder than finding a single "trustworthy" source, but it's worth it.

 

As for "experts/science," pretty much every scientific conclusion is well documented. Scientific studies are public and usually very detailed. Sure, there are problems within the scientific community, and the media tends to distort the actual contents of scientific studies. Skepticism is still needed, but "questioning everything" is what science is all about, and generally if something in science doesn't make sense to you, you can find several studies, articles, etc explaining it and how scientists came to that conclusion. Fact-check what you hear about science, and you might find that the scientific community, as a whole, tends to form accurate conclusions and admit when it's wrong. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be skeptical of scientists, but you should also be skeptical of the people telling you that the science is wrong.

 

tl;dr - conspiracy theorists are not skeptics

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Hey! Be nice all!

 

@frag enabler is also correct that it is also generally harder to get funding for studies that go against the grain or are on the fringes.

 

This is often because we believe we have enough evidence to support our models / theories but if Einstein didn’t go against the grain of Newtonian physics where would we be now?

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7 minutes ago, DooM Bear said:

@frag enabler is also correct that it is also generally harder to get funding for studies that go against the grain or are on the fringes. 

What. This is generic nonsense that doesn't mean anything. Expand your talking point.

 

8 minutes ago, DooM Bear said:

This is often because we believe we have enough evidence to support our models / theories but if Einstein didn’t go against the grain of Newtonian physics where would we be now?

What. Now you're being stupid and ahistorical. Educate yourself on physics of the early 20th century.

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1 hour ago, frag enabler said:

Anyway, this is precisely why I shouldn't have said anything. A mere thought of going against the consensus was enough to make the proverbial torches and pitchforks appear.

 

You think you're being a super conservative boomer man, but any boomer would tell you're a coward and a wuss, a big chicken. Let the adults here have a conversation, okay?

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15 minutes ago, dew said:

What. This is generic nonsense that doesn't mean anything. Expand your talking point.

 

What I am saying is you would probably struggle to get funding for some things that go against the grain :-P Say I want to study transmutation (turning one element into another) without a particle accelerator, I’d likely have a very hard time getting funding (which is probably a good thing as it’s a stupid idea and most likely impossible but maybe someone smarter than me can do it).

 

16 minutes ago, dew said:

What. Now you're being stupid and ahistorical. Educate yourself on physics of the early 20th century.

 

 

Did Einstein’s theory of general relativity not go against Newton’s established theory of time and gravity at the time?

 

You might be right and I probably should have gone with a chemistry example rather than physics one but I find people generally don’t know important chemists as well for some reason :-P 

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Einstein's work was revolutionary to physics at the time of its formulation, but the reason we remember him as a big brain and not a crank is because his theory made predictions that turned out to be spot-on.

Witness, by contrast, how when conspiracy theories like QAnon make predictions like "The Storm" and turn out to be utterly wrong. Or when a bunch of Flat Earthers spent tens of thousands of dollars on a ring laser gyroscope that ended up demonstrating what we already know about the Earth's rotation.

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6 minutes ago, NoXion said:

Witness, by contrast, how when conspiracy theories like QAnon make predictions like "The Storm" and turn out to be utterly wrong. Or when a bunch of Flat Earthers spent tens of thousands of dollars on a ring laser gyroscope that ended up demonstrating what we already know about the Earth's rotation.

 

It's especially fun when they still deny what they see with their own eyes.

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QAnon just loves to parrot the heck out of this metaphorical "Storm" and I've found out they've been doing this once every goddamn month. They're basically the amalgamation of several other conspiracy theories (9/11 inside job, vaccines don't work, the stupid shit basically) and combine it with sayings like "pain is coming", "arrests are coming", "where we go one we all", "Trump is still ur president", and my personal favorite "you are watching a movie!". These people are the most delusional and seriously believe every single one of their predictions is coming true but time and time again nothing happens.

 

So yeah, my infiltration of QAnon proved nothing was really new with them.

Edited by NuMetalManiak

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59 minutes ago, northivanastan said:

As for "experts/science," pretty much every scientific conclusion is well documented.

In the 'Manufacturing Consent' documentary, there's a clip from a lecture where an audience member asks Chomsky for a news source she can trust, and his response is essentially, "No, and don't trust me either. Check your sources." He's always ready with a mountain of citations. He makes concrete, verifiable assertions, and avoids general statements and rhetoric.

 

A conspiracy theorist, when directly questioned, will always have to quickly retreat to unfalsifiable assertions about how the conspiracy has eliminated all evidence of itself.

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2 hours ago, frag enabler said:

Yes, because the "science" that is being forcefed to everyone through news sites and social media outlets is created by constructing a model from a hypothesis based on preconceived ideas, then gathering only the data that agrees with the model while discarding everything else. On both sides. Scientific method seems to have gone the way of the dodo.

Anyway, this is precisely why I shouldn't have said anything. A mere thought of going against the consensus was enough to make the proverbial torches and pitchforks appear.

Love how you talked in your original post about how we say that "everything we disagree with is hate speech" and yet you then proceed to use the victim card and cry about how our positions and how we are attacking you for not agreeing with your crappy views.

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20 minutes ago, DooM Bear said:

What I am saying is you would probably struggle to get funding for some things that go against the grain :-P Say I want to study transmutation (turning one element into another) without a particle accelerator, I’d likely have a very hard time getting funding (which is probably a good thing as it’s a stupid idea and most likely impossible but maybe someone smarter than me can do it).

See, it takes just a minute to realize there might be some pretty valid reasons for not funding nonsense beside supressing freeze peach.

 

23 minutes ago, DooM Bear said:

Did Einstein’s theory of general relativity not go against Newton’s established theory of time and gravity at the time?

Einstein was a brilliant man at the flashpoint of scientific history - he provided the vital leaps in developing the general relativity theory, but he wasn't a lone rebel fighting against a cabal defending the Newtonian Dogma. Special relativity was being explored long before Einstein by e.g. Michelson or Lorentz, while many Einstein's contemporaries like Planck cooperated with him on developing and expanding general relativity. The fundamental physics science back then was positively thriving and it's better to view Einstein as the team's MVP rather than a sole warrior who defeated an entrenched belief by himself.

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28 minutes ago, NoXion said:

Einstein's work was revolutionary to physics at the time of its formulation, but the reason we remember him as a big brain and not a crank is because his theory made predictions that turned out to be spot-on.

Witness, by contrast, how when conspiracy theories like QAnon make predictions like "The Storm" and turn out to be utterly wrong. Or when a bunch of Flat Earthers spent tens of thousands of dollars on a ring laser gyroscope that ended up demonstrating what we already know about the Earth's rotation.

 

Nikola Tesla might be a better (counter)example: while he did make some solid and accepted contributions to mainstream science, later in life he went on a wild tangent on what you could call "fringe science" (or the very least, fruitless research), which made him a favourite of conspiracy theorists all over the world. Even though most of what they attribute to him seems to be pure fabrication, blown out of proportion or taken out of context.

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I think both the conspiracy theories and the cancel culture are expressions of the same disfunction and are mutually related. And I think some of @holaareola's comments and the article about Smith College mentioned by @insertwackynamehere are pointing in the right direction.

 

On the one hand, we have upper-class and upper-middle-class comprised of media figures and professionals who are fixated on gender, sexuality, and race, but are totally blind to or disinterested in class, and for the obvious reason that they'd rather not contemplate their own role in supporting a system that keeps poor people poor, including poor people of color. On the other hand, you have working-class and poor whites who are totally alienated by the demands of their wealthy, white superiors to declare their privilege. They wonder "what privilege?" They also become suspicious of a media that keeps telling them they're racist for doubting the general innocence of blacks and associating them with crime, when the same media provides them with an abundance of reports that would lead them to that very conclusion. And so convinced that this is insanity, they seek out conspiracy theories to make sense of it.

 

The NYT article on Smith is an illuminating example of all this. People working in the cafeteria and custodial service followed the rules given to them by the administration and when it created an incident where racial discrimination was suspected, the same administration didn't take more than a second to throw those workers under the bus to save their own skins. If those people weren't already Trump voters, some of them probably will be soon. And the source of it is that a extremely wealthy private institution refuses to recognize that as such an institution it necessarily needs security and staff to protect its wealth, and that this need for enforcement is the actual source of the discrimination, not their "racist," underpaid employees.

 

 

 

 

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Sounds just like the latest and greatest formula for some good old divide et impera to me, and what better way to do it than directing all that mob energy to frivolous matter, rather than to, dunno, actually changing the world? Even if someone decides to "get off the couch" and "do something" there are still plenty of such "energy sinks" in the forms of organized groups, NGOs, "activists" etc. where any energy from such initiatives can be misdirected and dissipated away from their intended targets in a controlled manner -not necessarily in an overall harmless way for society.

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21 minutes ago, dew said:

See, it takes just a minute to realize there might be some pretty valid reasons for not funding nonsense beside supressing freeze peach.

 

I think you are confused as to what I am saying here :-P

 

In short, the more genuine scientific (not crackpot) research done, the better.

 

We shouldn’t just not research things because they sound dumb or think we already have the answer (which often happens as no one wants to fund things that won’t make them money back on their investment - i.e. new IP, a new drug, etc.).

 

It might sound dumb or boring to look at things we thought we knew, and most of the time we find nothing new, but every now and then we find new and exciting areas to study :-)

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3 minutes ago, DooM Bear said:

We shouldn’t just not research things because they sound dumb or think we already have the answer (which often happens as no one wants to fund things that won’t make them money back on their investment - i.e. new IP, a new drug, etc.).

No one's stopping you to research whatsoever with your own money. But don't expect others to fund your research as you specialize in the field of proving the Earth flat. Actually scratch that, you probably will get that bullshit funded easily nowadays on kickstarter or patreon, heh.

 

Anyway, I'm busting your ass mostly because you're being vague - we shouldn't close doors to brave iconoclastic ideas blah blah blah, sounds reasonable on paper. Then when we agree on that, and all of the sudden we must also not close doors to public funding of intelligent design studies and testing racial IQ. When I can't assign any practical outcome to a supposedly noble and pure principle, I must maintain my skepticism of it and if it isn't a Trojan horse for the exact opposite.

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2 minutes ago, dew said:

No one's stopping you to research whatsoever with your own money. But don't expect others to fund your research as you specialize in the field of proving the Earth flat. Actually scratch that, you probably will get that bullshit funded easily nowadays on kickstarter or patreon, heh.

 

Anyway, I'm busting your ass mostly because you're being vague - we shouldn't close doors to brave iconoclastic ideas blah blah blah, sounds reasonable on paper. Then when we agree on that, and all of the sudden we must also not close doors to public funding of intelligent design studies and testing racial IQ. When I can't assign any practical outcome to a supposedly noble and pure principle, I must maintain my skepticism of it and if it isn't a Trojan horse for the exact opposite.

 

Dude... I’m not sure what was vague but I was talking about a legitimate, quite well know issue within the professional scientific community. How do you think PhD student and post doc’s projects get funded? Where do you think scientists go after they finish school? The scientists sure as hell don’t have shitloads of their own money to use to get a team together to do a side project or get to bum around doing whatever they want. Thus they have to do the projects that they can get funding for / what their boss wants which almost always is about making a financial return at the end of the day.

 

If you ever meet a scientist (or at least a chemist) that can work on anything they like all day, I am sure they will probably tell you they are the luckiest person alive!

 

Lastly, no I’m not talking “is the earth flat?” (You can knock that out in about an hour or two by yourself) or is Donald trump god “scientists”, I’m talking about the “I have $250,000 student debt and work in a multimillion dollar lab” professional scientist.

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1 hour ago, dew said:

Einstein was a brilliant man at the flashpoint of scientific history - he provided the vital leaps in developing the general relativity theory, but he wasn't a lone rebel fighting against a cabal defending the Newtonian Dogma. Special relativity was being explored long before Einstein

Just to amplify this, Maxwell's Equations were fundamentally relativistic in nature, so once they were established, it was basically just a matter of time before someone made the next logical leaps (might have been Maxwell himself if he had lived longer). And regarding Einstein vs Newton being portrayed as a fundamental clash, relativistic equations reduce to the Newtonian ones once the relativistic terms become negligible. So Newtonian mechanics can essentially be viewed as a special case of Einstein's theory, in much the same way as ... oh why am I posting this. Carry on.

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5 hours ago, frag enabler said:

Anyway, this is precisely why I shouldn't have said anything. A mere thought of going against the consensus was enough to make the proverbial torches and pitchforks appear.

lmao quit being such a whiny manbaby and go do something with your life

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Man this poor fellow is getting so roasted 🤣.

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9 hours ago, Murdoch said:

 

I have seen absolutely no one in this thread say trust the media. Media and conspiracy fear porn peddlers are two sides of the same shitty coin.

 

Trust experts and science? Sorry but if you think you know better than someone who has spent years studying and becoming well versed in a topic that is sheer unbridled and quite despicable arrogance. Im not particularly smart but i am reasonably well versed in one or two topics like tech. That doesn't make me qualified to say i know better than a doctor about medicine or a builder about what needs to happen to fix some dodgy boards on my house.

 

Can experts screw up? Of course they can. They are human. Thats why you look at the overall consensus on a given topic and then decide on what feels correct. I will take that over some random online ramblings from some paranoid nutter any day of the week. 

 

Absolutely right @Murdoch. And any real "expert" will tell you that there are always a variety of opinions among scientists, and people worth listening to will use evidence and facts to make their arguments. Just look at COVID: some of the guidance has changed, which is a GOOD thing. That's how science works. You learn more and add nuance to your viewpoints, or even change them. Science is not about "belief" or what "feels" right.

 

Anyway, this thread has now turned into exaaacctttlllyyyy what I first expected, so I'm out! But thanks to everyone for 4 pages of decent conversation before it turned into the typical nonsense I see on social media like FB and Twitter. Critical thinking is a real skill set. Observation, analysis, interpretation, reflection, explanation, evaluation and problem solving are all good things.

 

Just one final point: Hate speech is real. It does exist. And it does get people killed. Usually it's some form of blaming X group of people for Y problem. Often it's saying X group of people are responsible for all of your problems, they're the "enemy of the people", and you should DO something about it. Don't let them invade or take over your country! They are "violent rapists" and you must strike first before you don't have a country left anymore! "Send them back!" "Take it back!" Blah blah blah. Something along those lines. You blame some group of people for all of society's problems, you de-legitimize them as human beings, and eventually you push for violence.

 

This kinda thinking has led to massive wars and genocides since the beginning of human civilization. I'm serious, open a history book, you can go back thousands of years and see this same psychological warfare at play. The nazi genocides and Rwandan genocide are two modern examples of how this can play out.

Edited by Captain Keen : typos!

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5 hours ago, northivanastan said:

A lot of conspiracy theorists, or people with views that aren't mainstream, will tell you to "question everything" and "don't trust the media" but then put their trust into another biased news source - OAN, Drudge, Infowars, etc.

 

Yeah this is always the lulziest bit to me, like you automagickally turn into a critical thinker if you always believe X news source instead of Y, more mainstream news source

 

"But they're not mainstream! That MUST mean they're telling the truth!!"

 

It's a bit like the lefties who heap lavish praise on Assad and Mugabe and the Kim regime in North Korea and etc. because they are "anti-imperialist" and therefore good.  There's more than two sides to everything and it's possible for all of them to be wrong.  (Although, of course, also quite possible for some sides to be way more wrong than others)

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10 minutes ago, StupidBunny said:

Kim regime

 

10 minutes ago, StupidBunny said:

"anti-imperialist"

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EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!?!?!?!

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2 minutes ago, DSC said:

 

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EXCUSE ME!?!?!?!?!?!?!

As a leftist who has spent time in these circles: they seem to think that since the Kim regime is against America's empire, they are anti-imperialist. Same for China, and sometimes Russia.

 

Yeah, it is really stupid.

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Yeah there's this fascinating manifestation of horseshoe theory where Putin has become a hero to parts of both the far-left and far-right.  Either

 

"He is anti-Western, ergo anti-Imperialist, ergo GOOD MAN"

 

or

 

"He is defending Russia and Western Civilization against gay in the name of Christendom"

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I believe that most conspiracies were invented by CIA and other goverment agencies, as a front to mask their real illegal involment across the world.

Seriously, those guys were never up to no good, so what better way then to distract the public and put the blame on green men from Mars, don´t you think?

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A Facebook comment on queen liz getting the covid vaccine. 

 

Quote

Why does the vaccine have to be super cold...? Perhaps it has antifreeze in it?

 

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Everyone here overestimates the importance of their opinion...   Except me.  I have the best facts, opinions, and ideas.

 

Speaking of cancel culture...   How about instead of trying to get someone fired because what they said hurt your butt, how about canceling someone truly horrible like Monsanto?   Boycott them forever and also General Mills until they do something about the horrific levels of glyphosate in Cheerios.    Why isn't that front page news?   There's only the occasional commercials by lawyers who want to cash in on a class action lawsuit or settlement for lawnworkers.   But who knows how many cases of pediatric cancer are the fault of glyphosate loaded Cheerioes people think is a good healthy food staple for their little kids.   Or I don't know.   Maybe some people like cancer and taking their kid to chemo treatments and watching their hair fall out.  Different strokes for different folks.

 

Pro-Tip: Honey Nut Cheerios only have somewhat lower levels because they're over 50% sugar.

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17 minutes ago, Gokuma said:

Everyone here overestimates the importance of their opinion...   Except me.  I have the best facts, opinions, and ideas.

 

Speaking of cancel culture...   How about instead of trying to get someone fired because what they said hurt your butt, how about canceling someone truly horrible like Monsanto?   Boycott them forever and also General Mills until they do something about the horrific levels of glyphosate in Cheerios.    Why isn't that front page news?   There's only the occasional commercials by lawyers who want to cash in on a class action lawsuit or settlement for lawnworkers.   But who knows how many cases of pediatric cancer are the fault of glyphosate loaded Cheerioes people think is a good healthy food staple for their little kids.   Or I don't know.   Maybe some people like cancer and taking their kid to chemo treatments and watching their hair fall out.  Different strokes for different folks.

 

Pro-Tip: Honey Nut Cheerios only have somewhat lower levels because they're over 50% sugar.

Because most of us are consumed by popculture and other trivia, to worry about silly little things like cancer inducing baby powder

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