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Response to TygrBright (Original post)

Thu Nov 19, 2020, 06:28 PM

2. Interesting post on a very serious topic. I have a few questions.

Yes, I'm talking about QAnon, and here's an excellent and very thorough expose of just how this particular cancer was created, disseminated, and how it metastasized in America's body politic: A Game Designer's Analysis of QAnon.

My fear is that a large part of the group of people that QAnon appeals to were more than ready to believe the things that they were being told. QAnon provided a basis for believing things that they already largely believed or wanted to believe.

I can speak more generally to the things that appeal to the alt-right rather specifically to beliefs propounded by QAnon because I don't know exactly which of their beliefs come from QAnon and which from other sources. I do believe that racism is a significant contributor to these beliefs. People have a tendency to favor their own "in-group" to the detriment of anyone who is in an "out-group." This leads to a tendency toward both xenophobia and racism. I believe the best way to get past that is for individuals to trust that we can live peacefully and prosperously with "other" people. But that largely depends on people's attitude; and I think the attitude of these conspiracy theorists is the problem.

I don't doubt that apophenia, Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, and confirmation bias play a role. But, I do think that xenophobia and racism also play a role. I'm not sure which plays the stronger role.

Imagine, if you will, that there were lots of good jobs within their ability to perform and paying enough to allow them to build an interesting life doing something other than hunching over a tablet?

Yes, I agree that if almost everyone had a good job and there was a general prosperity all across the land, conspiracy theories would be far less likely to take hold. And I agree that the New Deal had a tremendous effect in bringing the economy back from the Depression. But, there was a recession that began in 1937, and I have heard (some) economists argue that World War II was what actually brought our economy back.

I definitely agree that Biden/Harris should try to bring on economic prosperity. But, the reality is, that's easier said than done.

And, as to the first amendment, do you believe that Trump and his followers are just exercising their First Amendment rights when they claim that there was large-scale voter fraud in the election? If you do think that is what they are doing, do you think we should try to place some restrictions on speech to prevent this serious undermining of democracy?

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