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Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:18 PM

 

New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile

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Recent studies by psychologists and social scientists in the US and UK suggest that contrary to mainstream media stereotypes, those labeled “conspiracy theorists” appear to be saner than those who accept the official versions of contested events.


Perhaps because their supposedly mainstream views no longer represent the majority, the anti-conspiracy commenters often displayed anger and hostility: “The research… showed that people who favoured the official account of 9/11 were generally more hostile when trying to persuade their rivals.”

Additionally, it turned out that the anti-conspiracy people were not only hostile, but fanatically attached to their own conspiracy theories as well. According to them, their own theory of 9/11 – a conspiracy theory holding that 19 Arabs, none of whom could fly planes with any proficiency, pulled off the crime of the century under the direction of a guy on dialysis in a cave in Afghanistan – was indisputably true. The so-called conspiracists, on the other hand, did not pretend to have a theory that completely explained the events of 9/11: “For people who think 9/11 was a government conspiracy, the focus is not on promoting a specific rival theory, but in trying to debunk the official account.”

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/07/14/whatabout7/

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Reply New studies: ‘Conspiracy theorists’ sane; government dupes crazy, hostile (Original post)
Pharaoh Oct 2014 OP
Manifestor_of_Light Oct 2014 #1
Pharaoh Oct 2014 #4
Manifestor_of_Light Oct 2014 #7
Prophet 451 Oct 2014 #9
OnyxCollie Oct 2014 #20
Archae Oct 2014 #2
herding cats Oct 2014 #16
OilemFirchen Oct 2014 #3
Pharaoh Oct 2014 #5
OilemFirchen Oct 2014 #6
bvf Oct 2014 #13
OilemFirchen Oct 2014 #14
bvf Oct 2014 #18
Manifestor_of_Light Oct 2014 #8
Prophet 451 Oct 2014 #11
Electric Monk Oct 2014 #10
johnnyreb Oct 2014 #12
ZombieHorde Oct 2014 #15
cprise Oct 2014 #16
Spitfire of ATJ Oct 2014 #19
newfie11 Oct 2014 #21
hlthe2b Oct 2014 #22

Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:25 PM

1. I have a problem with the definition of a conspiracy.

At what point is it a group of filthy rich people controlling the politicians, controlling the media, controlling thousands of peoples' lives, and making lots of money, all of them having the same common goal, and when is it a conspiracy?

I think it's the common goal of the rich controlling everything they can in society whether or not it is called a conspiracy. As in "government dupes (mouthpieces) hostile".

I don't know if the Masonic symbolism/Illuminati stuff is just extra stuff that is added to writings about the rich and powerful to make people more afraid of them. It just adds a layer of paranoia and weirdness to what they are actually doing.

I think people have to investigate facts and come up with scientific theories and then conclusions.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:47 PM

4. They label people conspiricy theorists

 

If they want to look scientifically into the structural collapse of 3 steel framed buildings on 911. Also the people who ask where is the plane wreckage at the pentagon and the plane wreckage in Shanks ville Pennsylvania? (any pictures) ?Did they just vaporized?

Where the hell was the air force? Who did Dick Cheney order to "Stand Down"?

We theorize things, that's what scientists do, they have a theory and set out to scientifically prove them.


What problem does anyone have with that?

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Response to Pharaoh (Reply #4)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:58 PM

7. When the scientific evidence doesn't agree with the official explanation

the person presenting the scientific evidence will be shunned or discredited or fired from their job.
I know a 9/11 investigator who says the destruction is long term low temp fires.

There's an official narrative to suspicious events that must be maintained at all costs, even when people talk about what happened on the inside of the event. I'm old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination. The American people don't believe the Warren Commission Report and never have. And Snarlin' Arlen came up with the magic bullet theory. Numerous groups of people wanted JFK killed. I'm not sure who's responsible but lone gunman doesn't fit with the evidence.

And the official story spreaders don't want any discussion of any other theories. Even discussion of not-the-official-story is threatening to them.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:02 AM

9. The Masons are harmless

and teh Illuminati died out about two hundred years ago.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #1)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 03:09 AM

20. I'm working on a Theory of Conspiracy.

 

The problem with conspiracy theories is that they lack real theory.

Sunstein and Vermeule (2008) describe a conspiracy theory as “an effort to explain some event or practice by reference to the machinations of powerful people, who have managed to conceal their role” (p. 4), a pejorative term which denotes a faulty epistemology, rumors, and speculation. Furthermore, it is asserted that such analysis overestimates the ability of government bureaucracies to carry out “sophisticated and secret” (p. 6) plans in an open society.

Alternately, Parenti (2010) quoting Karp (1973) suggested that:

When it can be established that when a number of political acts work in concert to produce a certain result, the presumption is strong that the actors were aiming at the result in question. When it can be shown that the actors have an interest in producing these results, the presumptions become a fair certainty- no conspiracy theory is needed.


Sunstein and Vermeule (2008) assume a well-intentioned government may decide to defuse conspiracy theories “if and only if social welfare is improved by doing so” (p. 15), yet they concede that governments themselves may be purveyors of conspiracy theories. Parenti (1993) suggested that the beneficiaries of said social welfare may be an entire class interest. Following this reasoning, conspiracy theories may be eliminated to prevent exposure of particular factions, or they may be furnished to enable a certain objective. According to Parenti (2010), the term conspiracy theory can be used to dismiss: “(1) the idea of a conscious design by policy makers; (2) a hidden, but knowing intent; (3) a secret plan; (4) a secret interest.”

Were the George W. Bush Administration rational actors who sought and obtained "power," i.e., an objective monetary incentive, resources, and security, by acting as surrogates on behalf of the petromilitary industrial complex, who have, in effect, "captured" government?

Was the Pentagon directed, upon advice from the Office of Legal Counsel, to begin an all-encompassing PSYOPS campaign, using "message force multipliers" bearing an undisclosed conflict of interest to influence the mass public to accept gross violations of law- domestic and international, statutory and natural?

It is these questions that pose a problem for analysis, as they rest on activity which infers collusion, deception, and fraud perpetrated by economic and political elites; in effect, a conspiracy. Parenti (1993) offers three options for analysis: The first option is the “conservative celebration,” whereby economic gains achieved by corporate entities would appear only as corollaries to the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Profits obtained were simply the result of deft management skills and wise investments when opportunities were presented. The second option is the “liberal complaint,” a failure of an otherwise good system due to mismanagement through some flaw in human character. The third option is a more radical analysis that studies the structural mechanisms that exist between corporate and government powers which allow for the accumulation of wealth and power for a privileged class. It is these structural mechanisms, embodied in culture-producing institutions, which determine the laws and norms of society, and in turn, the life chances of those whom they affect. The third option will be used for this essay.

The use of such an analysis is not without its consequences. By using a radical analysis, one crosses an imaginary line into an area of uncomfortable potentiality, where widely-held and readily-accepted beliefs may be rendered invalid. Subsequently, a radical analysis must face challenges on two fronts, the first being the beliefs of those who accept the “official” conspiracy theory, and the second being the information provided by those in power to squelch any theories contrary to the status quo.

Before this analysis can begin, it is necessary to evaluate our investigative process. Let us begin by defining what is meant by a “theory.”

The Origins of War in Neorealist Theory (Waltz)

Theory obviously cannot explain the accidental or account for unexpected events; it deals in regularities and repetitions and is possible only if these can be identified.

A theory is a depiction of the organization of a domain and of the connections among its parts. A theory indicates that some factors are more important than others and specifies relations among them. In reality, everything is related to everything else, and one domain cannot be separated from others. But theory isolates one realm from all others in order to deal with it intellectually.


The social sciences do the same as the natural sciences. They collect factual material and then attempt to discover regularities, that is, to order and analyze the material data. That data falls into several categories. The first is the sum of daily experiences and observations that more or less everyone has at his disposal. Should one study social science by diving into such materials? No. For the unanalyzed facts are dumb. They are the result of many causes and many countervailing forces. They can be explained in very diverse ways. They are unmasterable as given. We need to consider them, divide them into their elements, and form a judgment regarding the function of each of these elements. That is to say, we must analyze and isolate the various sides of social phenomena. Only then can we begin to discover what is essential and what is incidental, only then does true scientific work that promises to produce valid knowledge begin.

~snip~

We have to dissolve phenomena into their elements and consider each of these elements. Only then do we see the otherwise invisible regularities. So, too, in the social sciences. That is called engaging in “theory.”

~snip~

Lastly, let the beginner keep in mind that any particular theory is never valid in itself, but is always a part of a theoretical structure and can only be understood as such. One cannot grasp a particular proposition outside of its theoretical framework and discuss it as such. One has to understand it in its relationship to the other links of the chain to which it belongs.

Schumpeter, J. A. (2003, March)*. How does one study social science? Society, 57-63. *Date of translation


So soon as we have realized the possibility of ideological bias, it is not difficult to locate it. All we have to do for this purpose is to scrutinize scientific procedure. It starts from the perception of a set of related phenomena which we wish to analyze and ends up-for the time being-with a scientific model in which these phenomena are conceptualized and the relations between them explicitly formulated, either as assumptions or as propositions (theorems). This primitive way of putting it may not satisfy the logician but it is all we need for our hunt for ideological bias. Two things should be observed.

First, that perception of a set of related phenomena is a prescientific act. It must be performed in order to give to our minds something to do scientific work on-to indicate an object of research -but it is not scientific in itself. But though prescientific, it is not preanalytic. It does not simply consist in perceiving facts by one or more of our senses. These facts must be recognized as having some meaning or relevance that justifies our interest in them and they must be recognized as related-so that we might separate them from others -which involves some analytic work by our fancy or common sense. This mixture of perceptions and prescientific analysis we shall call the research worker's Vision or Intuition. In practice, of course, we hardly ever start from scratch so that the prescientific act of vision is not entirely our own. We start from the work of our predecessors or contemporaries or else from the ideas that float around us in the public mind. In this case our vision will also contain at least some of the results of previous scientific analysis. However, this compound is still given to us and exists before we start scientific work ourselves.

~snip~

Now, so soon as we have performed the miracle of knowing what we cannot know, namely the existence of the ideological bias in ourselves and others, we can trace it to a simple source. This source is in the initial vision of the phenomena we propose to subject to scientific treatment. For this treatment itself is under objective control in the sense that it is always possible to establish whether a given statement, in reference to a given state of knowledge, is provable, refutable, or neither. Of course this does not exclude honest error or dishonest faking. It does not exclude delusions of a wide variety of types. But it does permit the exclusion of that particular kind of delusion which we call ideology because the test involved is indifferent to any ideology. The original vision, on the other hand, is under no such control. There, the elements that will meet the tests of analysis are, by definition, undistinguishable from those that will not or-as we may also put it since we admit that ideologies may contain provable truth up to 100 per cent-the original vision is ideology by nature and may contain any amount of delusions traceable to a man's social location, to the manner in which he wants to see himself or his class or group and the opponents of his own class or group. This should be extended even to peculiarities of his outlook that are related to his personal tastes and conditions and have no group connotation-there is even an ideology of the mathematical mind as well as an ideology of the mind that is allergic to mathematics.

Schumpeter, J. (1949). Science and ideology. The American Economic Review(39) 2, p. 346-359.


In an effort to be parsimonious a game analogy will be used whereby players compete according to a set of rules in order to achieve an objective. It is not synonymous with game theory and it is not intended to provide a probabilistic formula to determine action. Simply put, a player may secretly collude with another player to cheat and win, justifying their actions by providing false, but readily acceptable, explanations to other players (who may be operating under a limited understanding of the rules.) Actors escape punishment through evasion (failing to provide required information to an overseeing authority with full rule comprehension) or through avoidance (by affecting circumstances through bureaucratic procedures whereby the overseeing authority is effectively neutralized.)

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:32 PM

2. These "studies" are worthless.

Veterans Today is a vicious anti-Israel web site, they claim the Jews are behind 9-11.

Buyer Beware: Veterans Today and its Anti-Israel Agenda

By Evelyn Schlatter on January 6, 2011 - 4:46 pm, Posted in Anti-Semitic, Extremist Propaganda

Veterans Today (VT) is a website that bills itself as a “military veterans and foreign affairs journal.” And, indeed, many of its contributors are military veterans or veterans’ advocates from across the political spectrum. VT also offers some information about veterans’ benefits (lifted from the Veterans’ Administration) and links to home and other loans for vets.

But start reading the posts, and you’ll find something else entirely: myriad claims that there was a conspiracy behind 9/11 (Israel orchestrated it, in cahoots with the American government), that the American government is a puppet (of Israel), that the Holocaust never happened or was greatly exaggerated (Jews made it up to manipulate non-Jews), and, most recently, that Julian Assange, the man behind Wikileaks, is a pawn (of Israel).

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2011/01/06/buyer-beware-veterans-today-and-its-anti-israel-agenda/

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Response to Archae (Reply #2)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:42 AM

16. The Anti-Defamation League agrees.

http://blog.adl.org/tags/veterans-today

I usually stay out of "source" arguments on this site, but this one is actually bad enough I'm wading into the fray. If a better (read: less full of anti Semitic lies and hate) source were offered I would love to read the study in question to see the validity to it, but as it sits I'd rather gouge my eyes out with a tree branch than give the linked source a click.

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:43 PM

3. A derp sandwich, deep-fried in derp, with extra derp sauce.

Last edited Fri Oct 10, 2014, 01:40 AM - Edit history (1)

The most recent study was published on July 8th by psychologists Michael J. Wood and Karen M. Douglas of the University of Kent (UK). Entitled “What about Building 7? A social psychological study of online discussion of 9/11 conspiracy theories,” the study compared “conspiracist” (pro-conspiracy theory) and “conventionalist” (anti-conspiracy) comments at news websites.

The authors were surprised to discover that it is now more conventional to leave so-called conspiracist comments than conventionalist ones: “Of the 2174 comments collected, 1459 were coded as conspiracist and 715 as conventionalist.” In other words, among people who comment on news articles, those who disbelieve government accounts of such events as 9/11 and the JFK assassination outnumber believers by more than two to one. That means it is the pro-conspiracy commenters who are expressing what is now the conventional wisdom, while the anti-conspiracy commenters are becoming a small, beleaguered minority.

Here's a challenge DUers:

I believe these two nutballs eat forty litres of mice brains a day. Each.

Let's have an informal poll, shall we? We'll count the results at some random date or time... probably in the future.

If the majority agree, then that'll be conventional wisdom. And, by extension, sanity.

On your marks...

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #3)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:51 PM

5. or not

 

perhaps that then would be your derp

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Response to Pharaoh (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 9, 2014, 11:57 PM

6. Okay, then.

By my count, thus far:

Two sane.
Two insane.

I love science.

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #3)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:09 AM

13. One problem:

 

"If the majority agree, then that'll be conventional wisdom. And, by extension, sanity."

The conventional wisdom does not necessarily equal sanity.

Maybe I'm missing your point. These days, I don't see a conventional wisdom about much of anything. Wisdom is in too short a supply.

Question authority.


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Response to bvf (Reply #13)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:24 AM

14. I'm not the one being serious here.

The headline promotes this study (and some subsequent deeper derp) as determinative of sanity. The gist of the study suggests that quantity of "comments" determines CW and also, BTW, factors in the commenters' level of hostility. (As perceived, one can only presume, by the authors.) Thus, apparently, CW and lowered "hostility" = sanity.

Read the article, then come back and vote: Mouse brains or no?

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Response to OilemFirchen (Reply #14)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:55 AM

18. I have to admit

 

I was hoping I misread you. My mistake in not reviewing the article first--my apologies.

Will come back to vote.

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:00 AM

8. They vilify Jesse Ventura for asking questions.

I watched Piers Morgan get the vapors when Jesse told him "Your government lies to you. All governments lie to us all the time."

Piers was like a kid who nearly passed out when he found out Santa wasn't real.

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Response to Manifestor_of_Light (Reply #8)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:04 AM

11. The problem with Jesse

is that he seems ready to believe virtually anything. And he's a shameless publicity hound.

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:02 AM

10. They just want you to think that

 

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:06 AM

12. 46 Democratic Senators have called on the Bush administration to declassify the 28 pages

46 Democratic Senators have called on the Bush administration to declassify the 28 pages of the Congressional 9/11 report that has been deleted from the public report.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said, "Keeping this material classified only strengthens the theory that some in the U.S. government are hellbent on covering up for the Saudis."
http://www.democracynow.org/2003/8/4/headlines

August 1, 2003
Office of Sen. Charles E. Schumer
SENATORS APPEAL DECISION TO KEEP THE 9/11 REPORT'S 28 PAGES CLASSIFIED
http://fas.org/irp/news/2003/08/cs080103.html

Support H.Res 428 and other efforts to declassify. Vigorously, and at every opportunity.

http://28pages.org/

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:31 AM

15. So sanity equals common opinion and nice?

Is that how psychiatrists define "sanity?" I doubt it, but I don't really know.

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 12:42 AM

16. Ironically, the government is a full time conspiracy theorist

And many, many people go to jail or get whacked by drones because the theories the authorities generate are either true or are contrived in some way to get the public to go along.

OTOH, there really are unbalanced 'CTers' who believe in lizard people, that HAARP is a weapon, or the birther thing, etc. and who see a threat hiding in every corner.

On the whole, everyone generates suspicions about collusion somewhere in the world. So I think labeling people CTers is a meaningless falsehood at best. The focus should be on whether or not persons/arguments are rational.

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 01:31 AM

19. Did they ever reveal who shorted stock prior to 9/11?

 

No?

......nuff said....

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 06:38 AM

21. Thank you!

There's lots of info out there on what happened, some crazy and some factual.

Read what architects and engineers have to say about jet fuel melting steel beams.

Read what commercial airline pilots have to say about the ability/structure of those planes to do the maneuvers required.

Read what the firemen that were there had to say about the explosions going off at intervals. The pools of melted steel.

No bodies at shanksville, no plane Wreckage visible at the Pentagon or Shanksville. No bodies at the Pentagon except workers from the Pentagon. Where are the passengers.

Why all the short selling on Both those airlines just before 911?

There is so much more. Missing gold from basement vault, why was building 7 pulled when it wasn't hit by a plane. It takes several weeks to get a building ready for demolition yet the owner appeared as though this was just decided.

The more you study the facts the more fascinating it becomes.

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Response to Pharaoh (Original post)

Fri Oct 10, 2014, 06:49 AM

22. Locking...

You may re-post in Creative Speculation if you so desire. Please note, however that Veteran's Today is a very problematic source:
http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/01/10/veterans-today-editor-blames-newtown-tragedy-on-israeli-death-squads/

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