User avatar
DocLightning
Topic Author
Posts: 20154
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 4:45 pm

This isn't a thread to share your favorites, it's a thread as to why.

Why are there so many people who, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, are convinced that Obama was not born in the U.S. (especially when we know that John McCain was not born in the U.S.)?

Why are there theories that Obama is going to use the H1N1 vaccine to tag people with irremovable RFID bracelets?

Why do people actually believe in chemtrails? Why do people state that the UA 767 that hit the WTC was a military plane and use the two silver patches on the underbelly as proof when it's plainly obvious that all UA aircraft in that C/S have those silver patches?

Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 5:53 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

This sums it up nicely:



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

My thinking is that some people just loooooooove drama, and some fail to accept reality.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

It's not more prevalent, it just seems like it. Of course in the US nobody really cares about any conspiracy theories elsewhere. But I will say the amount of conspiracy theories here south of the border is sickening too.
 
User avatar
Jetsgo
Posts: 2701
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 6:31 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:03 pm

Man made global warming? What about that one?
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
Force13
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:15 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:06 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why are there theories that Obama is going to use the H1N1 vaccine to tag people with irremovable RFID bracelets?

I knew I didn't get flu shots for a reason Big grin

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

Sure! I co-wrote a paper in college about the concept of conspiracy theories and why people believe them. (Sociology and pyschology were fun!) I'll give you the basic report since we did turn in an 18 page paper.

1. We found that most people who believe conspiracy theories have trust issues (shock, shock) relating to breach of trust at either a young age or a traumatic event.

2. Political affiliation plays a role.

3. Distrust in the media as well as government. (This was the touchy one to explain because, for example, I don't really believe the media but I never succumbed to any breach of trust or traumatic event.....unless I'm really good at repression lol)

4. Personal interpretation of facts and surroundings. For example..... I see a shady area on a grassy knoll in Dallas but see a tree making the shadow. Someone else see's the shady area...but not the sun hitting the tree which causes the shadow....and thinks it's another gunmen.

Another example.... The UAL 767 that hit the South Towere and people saying it was a grey military aircraft

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
use the two silver patches on the underbelly as proof when it's plainly obvious that all UA aircraft in that C/S have those silver patches?

We, the geeks of A.net, understand and know what those silver patches are. Someone who is not aviation savvy may see those same patches and interpret them as something else to satisfy their uncertainty.

Hope this helps!
Do not taunt. Do not shake. Do not pander. Add coffee. Subject should be slightly human within an hour.
 
User avatar
Dreadnought
Posts: 9947
Joined: Tue Feb 19, 2008 6:31 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:07 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why are there so many people who, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, are convinced that Obama was not born in the U.S. (especially when we know that John McCain was not born in the U.S.)?

Obama caused that one by not releasing his records for an awful long time (in fact I think he never did release his medical records), and then publishing a birth certificate that was clearly not an original. In spite of there being reasons why the original was not available, the resulting questions were inevitable.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why are there theories that Obama is going to use the H1N1 vaccine to tag people with irremovable RFID bracelets?

Never heard that one.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Why do people actually believe in chemtrails? Why do people state that the UA 767 that hit the WTC was a military plane and use the two silver patches on the underbelly as proof when it's plainly obvious that all UA aircraft in that C/S have those silver patches?

Never heard that one either.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):

Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

Simply that it is a mathematical certainty that half of the population is dumber than everyone else.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

LOL, good question...
You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - W. Churchill
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Topic Author
Posts: 20154
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:08 pm



Quoting Force13 (Reply 3):

We, the geeks of A.net, understand and know what those silver patches are. Someone who is not aviation savvy may see those same patches and interpret them as something else to satisfy their uncertainty.

What makes you not investigate? Or, when you investigate, lie about what you found?

Why wouldn't someone just want to know the truth?
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
User avatar
Jetsgo
Posts: 2701
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 6:31 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:13 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):

Why wouldn't someone just want to know the truth?

I think this is the fundamental problem behind most theories. People don't care about the truth and want to push their own idea/agenda in order to..... SELL SELL SELL!
Marine Corps Aviation, The Last To Let You Down!
 
Force13
Posts: 192
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 11:15 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:13 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
What makes you not investigate?

Sometime people will accept things at face value. 2+2+4

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Or, when you investigate, lie about what you found?

If it were found out that 2+2=3 that would cause a complete change in how and what we know as math. If that was a society for example, it could be complete revolution.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Why wouldn't someone just want to know the truth?

It could any emotional reactiom such as fear or anger. Some people simply don't care, believing it to have no impact on their lives

[Edited 2009-10-06 11:14:17]
Do not taunt. Do not shake. Do not pander. Add coffee. Subject should be slightly human within an hour.
 
PacNWjet
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:15 pm

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

It's called "cognitive consistency" and is a pretty well established phenomenon in the study of human psychology. Basically, human evolution favored brain development that allowed humans to establish and recognize familiar patterns. This is an advantageous evolutionary adaptation because it saves humans the time of figuring out a phenomenon every time they come across some manifestation of it. For example, a human can see a rose, a daisy, and a tulip and then establish the pattern of "flower" in their brain. The next time he or she encounters a new species of flower, say, a carnation, his or her brain can search established patterns, identify "flower," and then recognize the heretofore unknown carnation as a flower. When it comes to recognizing things such as food and predators, cognitive consistency is an advantage, and therefore has survived the evolutionary process in humans.

The flip side of this is that, because of the innate predisposition to cognitive consistency, humans are known to avoid "cognitive dissonance." That is, the brain is developed in such a way that it rejects information that contradicts the patterns already established in the brain. Again, there is an evolutionary advantage in this since it is time-consuming to re-think a phenomenon every time someone comes across a slight variation of it.

However, this is where cognitive consistency has a downside. For example, a human will recognize, say, rocks, and be able to distinguish them from, say, fish. So let's say a human is wading in shallow water and sees what appears to be a rock that is moving. The brain says," rocks do not move, so it is O.K. to step on that rock." It turns out, however, that the rock is actually a poisonous fish that uses camouflage and when the human steps on the fish the fish's poisonous spines penetrate the human and cause serious harm.

In other words, it can be useful for human to accept a certain degree of cognitive dissonance in their thinking, as this is as evolutionarily advantageous as having an innate predisposition to cognitive consistency (since it allows humans to stop and think if perhaps what appears to be a rock actually is a poisonous fish).

People who subscribe to conspiracy theories are like those who fail to acknowledge that something that appears to be one thing (a rock) can actually be something else (a poisonous fish). Their brains are developed to over-emphasize information that is consistent with what they already think. Therefore, their brains cram all sorts of dissonant information into established patterns. If they think one thing, everything else must support that one thing. Hence, they take all sorts of information that others would recognize as disparate, and fit it into one set of thoughts about a given phenomenon.

This is the root of a conspiratorial mind. It sees every piece of information as confirming something that is already believed. If the person's mind thinks that the U.S. government orchestrated the attacks on September 11, 2001, then all information, even that information that other people would clearly recognize as discrepant, is fit into a single model so as to compulsively and obsessively maintain cognitive consistency. It is a peculiar manifestation of cognitive development that illustrates the endless variation of the human species.

There you have it.

[Edited 2009-10-06 11:23:15]
 
GDB
Posts: 12682
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:23 pm



Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2):
Man made global warming? What about that one?

Ironic that actually those who deny it are the conspiracy nuts.
Still, a lot of you out there still have trouble with basics like evolution so no big surprise there.

To the general point, there is usually a nasty idea behind conspiracy theories, since the biggest one of all was used by a bunch of people called the Nazis, that whole 'world Jewish conspiracy and it's still cited today by like minded types.

Really, common sense and the power of reasoning of a normal, fairly well informed adult, is the best cure.
Those who believe these ideas about huge plots seem to have trouble with the idea that a two bit piece of political espionage, like the Watergate affair, involving very few people, was exposed.
It felled a (paranoid) President yet we are supposed to believe that massive conspiracies involving multitudes of people can somehow be covered up?
Human nature suggests not.

The Obama ones are a mix of epic sore loser-dom, coupled with the reasoning and emotional responses of a not very bright, but very bratty, 13 year old.
Extremists always use conspiracies to justify themselves, since a US political party, many of whom it seems believe they have a divine right to rule, have been increasingly taken over by far right wing/religious extremists, perhaps these recent ones are no surprise.

To me, belief in great conspiracy theories are at best, like wearing a dunce cap, at worst, usually have behind them some very dark ideas.
History has shown this.

There is no real difference in '9/11 Truthers', 'Birthers' and 'Holocaust Deniers', all use the same methods, many believe in all three.
Birds and a feather, flock together, as they day.

Bur fear can also be an element, lower down the chain, some people just cannot accept that life, events, can be random.
This sort of disorderly world is fearful for many very religious people.
Add in many who cling to a mad theory since it may encourage their own idea of how they, or their race, or their nation, or their faith, are somehow 'special'.
They seem to, into adulthood, carry the same emotional response, but for life, that a child briefly has when they realize life is finite, that we all die.
 
Arrow
Posts: 2325
Joined: Wed Jun 19, 2002 7:44 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:49 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

Oh, I wouldn't say that. We have lots of conspiracy theorists here, and many of them direct their conspiratorial bent at the US! You just don't hear about those.

I have friends who are conspiracy theorists -- kinda hard to have a useful discussion with them about their pet theories.

Think about it -- how else to explain the phenomenal success of the da Vinci Code. We all love the thought of a conspiracy, but some people get carried away with it.
Never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
 
slider
Posts: 6820
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2004 11:42 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 6:59 pm

Well, the connotation herein is that conspiracy theorists or cover-up people are kooks. Certainly there are those in that group. But whatever happened to intellectual investigation, healthy skepticism and a level of critical analysis that doesn’t simply believe everything the government does or some people do? The flipside to jamming on the “conspiracy kooks” is that you might squelch legitimate criticism of those who use power to distort reality. What’s more dangerous?
 
User avatar
ManuCH
Crew
Posts: 2679
Joined: Mon Jun 20, 2005 12:33 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:20 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

Don't worry, we have our fair share of conspiracy theorists in Switzerland as well. I have several friends (OK, more "acquaintances") that believe in conspiracies. Just like Arrow said, it's very hard to have a useful discussion with those people when these arguments come up.

Quoting PacNWjet (Reply 8):

Thank you for this very interesting explanation. It definitely makes sense and gives me some peace of mind when dealing with skeptics.

Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

PacNWjet already gave a plausible explanation. I can only add my personal experiences to this. I have noticed that people who subscribe to conspiracy theories are the same people who also think that authorities are evil - even on a municipal level. They think that everything is done to somehow hurt them. They think their 1000 soul village's mayor has actually only been elected to change the laws in order to allow him to take away other people's properties away to build his own. They blindly believe in chain emails telling them that that Hotmail virus from 1997 will rip their PC apart. They believe that their broadband router is built in a way that it breaks when lightning strikes so that you have to buy a new one (I kid you not!). The same broadband router is also built in a way that it will break after the warranty expires, so you need to buy a new one. They believe their lawyer won't listen to them anyway because lawyers only listen to rich people. Their MD gives them prescriptions only to make the pharmaceutical industry richer. And the list could go on forever.

In my not-at-all-statistically-representative sample I have noticed that these people generally have a low education and have a hard time grasping complex concepts in general. Disclaimer: I don't want to say that all people believing in conspiracies are stupid. But those I know certainly are.

It can become really unnerving to spend time with conspiracy theorists. But sometimes I do because I love to analyze the stuff they say and try to find a logical explanation for it... yes, to each his own hobby  Smile
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself
 
User avatar
Tugger
Posts: 6148
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 8:38 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:35 pm



Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 4):
Simply that it is a mathematical certainty that half of the population is dumber than everyone else.

You forgot the corollary to this rule: And most everyone is always CERTAIN that THEY are not in the dumb half.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 5):
Why wouldn't someone just want to know the truth?

....must....resist..... no.... can't....can't resist.....

Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I think I'm entitled to them.
Jessep: You want answers?
Kaffee: I want the truth!
Jessep: You can't handle the truth! Son, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Lt. Weinberg? I have a greater responsibility than you can possibly fathom. You weep for Santiago and you curse the Marines. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not knowing what I know: that Santiago's death, while tragic, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives...You don't want the truth. Because deep down, in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me on that wall. You need me on that wall.
We use words like honor, code, loyalty...we use these words as the backbone to a life spent defending something. You use 'em as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom I provide, then questions the manner in which I provide it! I'd rather you just said thank you and went on your way. Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon and stand a post. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you're entitled to!

 Smile

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Add in many who cling to a mad theory since it may encourage their own idea of how they, or their race, or their nation, or their faith, are somehow 'special'.

Additionally the need to "belong" is important to many people and in order to belong, in many situations you are required to agree or support the common point of view for that group.

The best way to avoid becoming a "groupie", whether it be about conspiracy or a race or anything, is to maintain the ability to look at evidence separately and without influence of those around you. And then to be able to hold your view without needing to be supported by others in you group. But that seems to have become darn near impossible for anyone nowadays. If you disagree you are attacked by others and this is across the range of topics from government to science to religion to humanity.

Tugg
I don’t know that I am unafraid to be myself, but it is hard to be somebody else. -W. Shatner
 
EZEIZA
Posts: 4421
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:09 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:36 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

No offense to anyone intended, but his may be due to the fact that the US has been involved in several conspiracies in the past, so the outcome is to have people that will not believe in anything official. Most times conspiracy theories are complete BS, but other times they are not, so some people just won't buy official reports no matter what evidence.
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
us330
Posts: 3422
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:42 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

Maybe it has to do with the sheer size of the population. We're the fourth largest country in the world, with high literacy rates, freedom of speech, and easy access to computers.
Maybe the percentage of people who are aluminum foil-hatters is generally consistent among all developed countries, but because we have more people than other developed countries, we have more of these aluminum foil-hatters.

There also might be a rural-urban difference as well. Maybe people who live in rural areas are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories than urbanites because their exposure to a diverse group of people is likely more limited.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Topic Author
Posts: 20154
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:39 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
that whole 'world Jewish conspiracy and it's still cited today by like minded types.

Which, BTW, I am very upset about because I am Jewish and I have yet to receive my invitation to join!

Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 14):
No offense to anyone intended, but his may be due to the fact that the US has been involved in several conspiracies in the past,

Give me some examples. I'm straining to think about them. At least not in the recent past.

There was Watergate, which you could consider a conspiracy, even if it didn't really directly affect the ordinary American, but that got caught. Iran-Contra and Panama didn't really affect the ordinary citizen. I can't think of a time when a vast number of American civilians have been unwittingly harmed by the U.S. government. Concentration camps for Japanese in WWII, yes. But sneak stuff like the conspiracy theories usually boast... I can't think of any.

Quoting PacNWjet (Reply 8):

In other words, it can be useful for human to accept a certain degree of cognitive dissonance in their thinking, as this is as evolutionarily advantageous as having an innate predisposition to cognitive consistency (since it allows humans to stop and think if perhaps what appears to be a rock actually is a poisonous fish).



Quoting PacNWjet (Reply 8):
People who subscribe to conspiracy theories are like those who fail to acknowledge that something that appears to be one thing (a rock) can actually be something else (a poisonous fish). Their brains are developed to over-emphasize information that is consistent with what they already think. Therefore, their brains cram all sorts of dissonant information into established patterns. If they think one thing, everything else must support that one thing. Hence, they take all sorts of information that others would recognize as disparate, and fit it into one set of thoughts about a given phenomenon.

I like this. Now THIS is the kind of discussion that would lead to middle-of-the-night, 3AM conversations in college! Big grin

So, if this is the phenomenon, a deficiency in assimilating dissonant information, why is it so common? You would imagine that this would have gotten weeded out by evolutionary pressures as soon as humans (or more likely their predecessors) became a social species. And is there a way to prevent it from happening? I think we'd get a lot farther a lot faster if this deficiency could somehow be treated.

Quoting Tugger (Reply 13):

....must....resist..... no.... can't....can't resist.....

 praise  a performance worthy of an Oscar!  praise   rotfl 

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 12):

PacNWjet already gave a plausible explanation. I can only add my personal experiences to this. I have noticed that people who subscribe to conspiracy theories are the same people who also think that authorities are evil - even on a municipal level. They think that everything is done to somehow hurt them.

This is very true. A very valuable insight into paranoia.  thumbsup 
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
Zentraedi
Posts: 609
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2007 6:30 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:24 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):

Give me some examples. I'm straining to think about them. At least not in the recent past.

There was Watergate, which you could consider a conspiracy, even if it didn't really directly affect the ordinary American, but that got caught. Iran-Contra and Panama didn't really affect the ordinary citizen. I can't think of a time when a vast number of American civilians have been unwittingly harmed by the U.S. government. Concentration camps for Japanese in WWII, yes. But sneak stuff like the conspiracy theories usually boast... I can't think of any.

There's also USS Liberty incident. Personally, I do believe the crew's version of events over the "official" version. In some circles, this does place me in the "tin foil hat" category, but that doesn't really faze me. First off the official version sounds a bit ridiculous and second a large of number of those actually involved in the attack contradict official statements.
 
Maverick623
Posts: 4651
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:13 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 3:21 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
would have gotten weeded out by evolutionary pressures as soon as humans (or more likely their predecessors) became a social species

Ah, you should know evolution takes time. And we've only been the top-dog predator for a couple thousand years, and have only become mostly urban in the last 500. It is getting weeded out, which is why we have huge amounts people that can critically analyze data and come up with right and sane solutions.

Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
And is there a way to prevent it from happening? I think we'd get a lot farther a lot faster if this deficiency could somehow be treated.

Yes, let's all take pills so we don't have to think outside the box! Now there's a conspiracy theory!

(just to clarify, that was in jest)
"PHX is Phoenix, PDX is the other city" -777Way
 
GDB
Posts: 12682
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 5:53 pm

I see the USS Liberty as an example of 'cock up'.
Someone fell down on the job, what 'conspricy' there is is really about people trying to cover themselves.

This indeed is how, in the UK, most ministers end up sacked.
Often what they've done is pretty minor, they panic though, try to cover up and it's the attempt to do that which gets them.

DocLightning cited other examples of alleged US conspiracies, problem is, we know about them.
Which reinforces my point about how these 'massive' ones remain covered up?
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Topic Author
Posts: 20154
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 7:35 pm



Quoting Maverick623 (Reply 18):
Ah, you should know evolution takes time. And we've only been the top-dog predator for a couple thousand years, and have only become mostly urban in the last 500. It is getting weeded out, which is why we have huge amounts people that can critically analyze data and come up with right and sane solutions.

But we've been living in social groups of hunter-gatherers for at least 50,000 years, if not far longer. In fact, proto-humans probably lived in similar groups. If you have continuous paranoid ideation, that can't be evolutionarily advantageous. Over timescales of tens of thousands of years, human genes do change and I'm shocked this one is still around. Perhaps it is the product of genes that are adapted to small groups where you know everyone personally being thrust into a massive civilization in which you know comparatively very few people personally.

Quoting Zentraedi (Reply 17):


There's also USS Liberty incident

Sounds more like a poor attempt at a cover-up than a conspiracy.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
User avatar
casinterest
Posts: 5448
Joined: Sat Feb 12, 2005 5:30 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:45 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

Wasn't it said by P.T. Barnum or one of his Circus Competitors
" A sucker is born every minute"

The Circuses are famous for luring people in by false pretenses and making money off of the swindle.

There is money to be made by Conspiracy Theorists. Some of them may just thrive on the thrill of the swindle. Some may actually beleive it.
Older than I just was ,and younger than I will soo be.
 
seb146
Posts: 14363
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 8:50 pm

Looking at the conspiracy theories surrounding DEN and also around Freemasons, I would classify them in the same category as staring at static on the TV for three hours: Eventually, you see something....
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
 
7324ever
Posts: 383
Joined: Fri May 22, 2009 10:46 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:29 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
This isn't a thread to share your favorites, it's a thread as to why.

Why are there so many people who, in spite of mountains of evidence to the contrary, are convinced that Obama was not born in the U.S. (especially when we know that John McCain was not born in the U.S.)?

Why are there theories that Obama is going to use the H1N1 vaccine to tag people with irremovable RFID bracelets?

Why do people actually believe in chemtrails? Why do people state that the UA 767 that hit the WTC was a military plane and use the two silver patches on the underbelly as proof when it's plainly obvious that all UA aircraft in that C/S have those silver patches?

Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

I can answer all of these in 2 parts. Security can money.

People never can accept the simple answer we are programed to want to know the WHOLE story. Fir instance 9/11, some people cannot accept the fact a bunch of religious extremest hijacked planes and crashed them into things to make a statement, they want to know the whole story and cant accept the simple answer so they go off on their own and come up with the complicated answer they want to give them the safe sence of security they so desperately need. Now most of the public accept the general answer and will drop it there but some people feel it necessary to jump through hoops to make it make sence because the simple answer is not good enough. Like a math problem 2+2=4 some people accept that as knowledge and general probability, but some out there feel it needs to be dissected to prove others wrong and gain their own sence of security.

And money a great one, there is big bucks in conspiracy theories it has to be a multi million dollar industry im sure. The people who come up with these theories write books, make movies, preform lectures ect... all to make the quick buck from them, as is said "there is an ass for every seat" in the sence that if you write a book and hit the right notes the someone will buy it.

And all a conspiracy theory is, is the little "loose ends" of things all balled up into one thing saying its all concrete.

And for it taking place in the US, I would guess 50% of it is people think the government has too much power. For example 9/11 bush was in office at the time Bush=Conservative=Hated by liberals, who when ever I hear 9/11 conspiracies its usually the liberals saying it was bushes excuse for oil. For the H1N1 and birther load of crap is easy Obama=Liberal=Hated by Conservatives who need to do anything to tear him down to give them self's a sence of security. As for the other half is access to media, 24 hour news, blogs, and other media sites give people a way to communicate their loads of crap fast and fling from New york to Tokyo in a blink of the eye.
Anything the US and EU build the Russians do it better! i.e. TU-144 vs Concorde and TU-154 vs The 727...
 
ltbewr
Posts: 12504
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2004 1:24 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 9:39 pm

Another reason for many 'conspiracy' beliefs is that many cannot believe that 1, 2 or only a relatively small group of people (as with the 19 on the planes in the 9/11 attacks) and a small amount of resources or money can cause a huge event like the assassination of JFK, the Murrah (OKC) Federal Building terror attack or the 9/11 attacks. They assume that there had to be a lot more people involved, even involving major government figures, people of a certain ethinc/religious/political belief and so on or wonders how they got so lucky.

The Assassination of JFK probably cost less than $500 in today's money, the gun, a few bullets and a person who worked in a building along the publized route and a President who was riding in an open car. The OKC bombing, maybe $2,500 for truck rental, cheap to make detinators and using relatively cheap chemicals and diesel fuel and allowing a truck to park in front of government building, something learned long before not allowed in Europe and elsewhere. The 9/11 attacks - total of maybe $300,000 sourced from the small donations of many 100's of like-minded people or even a few rich ones (like Osama himself), taking a few flights to figure security weaknesses, weak travel Visa laws (and enforcement of those out of Visa time), poor airline/flight security and so on as well as an FBI that had horrible facilites and not enough into dealing with terrorists.
 
PacNWjet
Posts: 809
Joined: Thu Sep 14, 2000 1:18 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 10:20 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 20):
But we've been living in social groups of hunter-gatherers for at least 50,000 years, if not far longer. In fact, proto-humans probably lived in similar groups. If you have continuous paranoid ideation, that can't be evolutionarily advantageous. Over timescales of tens of thousands of years, human genes do change and I'm shocked this one is still around. Perhaps it is the product of genes that are adapted to small groups where you know everyone personally being thrust into a massive civilization in which you know comparatively very few people personally.

There are all sorts of recessive genes that afflict people who nonetheless live to the age at which they can reproduce themselves at which time the gene is passed down to successive generations (e.g., sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, Huntington's chorea, as well as any number of psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic addiction, etc.). Evolution, that is, natural selection, operates on the basis of probability of survival or extinction of a genetic trait, not guaranteed survival of extinction. Advantageous adaptations have a greater statistical probability of being inherited by successive generations than disadvantageous adaptations, but all sorts of other environmental factors come into play than simply the probability that a genetic trait will provide a means by which a single member of species will live long enough to reproduce.
 
EZEIZA
Posts: 4421
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:09 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:06 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 16):
Give me some examples. I'm straining to think about them. At least not in the recent past

The biggest one, despite not recent (but still fresh in everyone's mind) is the JFK assasination. IMHO that's the biggest one and the one that has made generations doubt everything since then. Ok, it's officially NOT a conspiracy, but many, if not everyone, doubts the offical version.
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Topic Author
Posts: 20154
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Thu Oct 08, 2009 1:42 am



Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 26):

The biggest one, despite not recent (but still fresh in everyone's mind) is the JFK assasination. IMHO that's the biggest one and the one that has made generations doubt everything since then. Ok, it's officially NOT a conspiracy, but many, if not everyone, doubts the offical version.

I don't.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
EZEIZA
Posts: 4421
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:09 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Thu Oct 08, 2009 2:38 am



Quoting DocLightning (Reply 27):
I don't.

one shooter? really?
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
GDB
Posts: 12682
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Thu Oct 08, 2009 7:38 pm

EZEIZA, you must disregard the movie, effective cinema that it was, 'JFK'.
Beyond that film, what it did was bring together all the myths around this event.

The director, Oliver Stone, cited his film as fact when it came out.
Now? He calls it a 're-imaging' or that era.
So it seems even he accepts reality now. (Making a hero of a flake like Jim Garrison did not help either).

Yes one shooter, no 'magic bullet' (since the film showed how it was impossible, but the fact is the seating in the limo JFK was in, had seating that was staggered and on different levels, when this is taken into account, the magic bullet becomes much more possible.

Just one example of all the myths around JFK's killing.

The fact is, people just could not accept that such a powerful man like JFK could be murdered by one nut.
But US Presidents had been killed by lone gunman at least twice before.
Then their was the near killing of Reagan in 1981, by a lone nut.
No one disputes that, so why the problem with JFK?

The same way some cannot accept 19 hijackers could do Sept 11th.
The same way some cannot accept that an ex British Princess could die in a car crash-nevermind such a thing is probably the most common cause of death in those of her age group that is not health related.

These icons are human, are mortal.
This I think is often forgotten.
 
us330
Posts: 3422
Joined: Tue Aug 08, 2000 7:00 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Thu Oct 08, 2009 8:49 pm

Apparently, the History Channel is running a two parter on the Kennedy Assassination this sunday. What's different, though, is that there are no voice-over narrations. They are only using the news clips and broadcasts from those days--no modern day interviews with people who were there, just the interviews with the people shortly after Kennedy was shot.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4943
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:08 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
Can anyone explain the psychology behind the complete rejection of fact and reason?

My take on it is this. Belief in a conspiracy theory makes some people feel more important than they really are. It gives them the impression that they know something others don't and if they could only spread the word and expose the "conspiracy". Almost like when you were a little kid and someone would say "I know something you don't, naner, naner, naner!!!" Well some don't out grow that.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4943
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Thu Oct 08, 2009 9:13 pm



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

Since you live in the US it's only natural that you would get that impression. Also the two big conspiracy theories out there right now, 9-11 and Obama's birth certificate, have to do with the USA. Don't forget, the conpiracy theory that it was not an AA 757 that hit the Pentagon was started by a Frenchmen by the name of Thierry Meyssan.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
EZEIZA
Posts: 4421
Joined: Sat Aug 21, 2004 12:09 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Fri Oct 09, 2009 2:37 am



Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
Then their was the near killing of Reagan in 1981, by a lone nut.
No one disputes that, so why the problem with JFK?

Possibly because Oswald was killed too, before he could even say anything, and by a mobster. That to me is enough to understand why some people can believe (and I include myself) that the whole truth has not been told about JFK's assasination.

Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
The same way some cannot accept 19 hijackers could do Sept 11th.

I do accept that, never denied it. I do believe however that the authorities screwed up big time in not preventing the attacks, but that's just my opinion, not a fact. But even here, some stuff just fuels conspiracy theorisits, like the fact that the bin laden's were allowed to fly out of the country even if all planes were grounded. Or like the fact that as an aftermath of 9/11, Bush managed to magically link Bin Laden with Saddam in order to invade Irak. That's the kind of stuff that can make people believe that official versions are BS.
Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
 
GDB
Posts: 12682
Joined: Wed May 23, 2001 6:25 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Fri Oct 09, 2009 4:00 pm



Quoting EZEIZA (Reply 33):
Possibly because Oswald was killed too, before he could even say anything, and by a mobster. That to me is enough to understand why some people can believe (and I include myself) that the whole truth has not been told about JFK's assasination.

Ruby was no mobster.
He might have cultivated an image of someone on the fringes of the law, when in fact he was a chancer, a small time nightclub owner that offered concessions to police officers, (probably to keep in with them and enhance his own image of himself).

People who actually knew him remembered his explosive temper, how he had been a genuine fan of JFK.
The assassination of JFK made him fly into a rage that made those who knew him fear for his sanity.
So he was known to the police, cultivated friendships with them and was a devotee of JFK who had serious 'anger management issues'.
But as a 'mobster'. Nothing like that at all.

You are probably right that the whole truth has not been told, since, as usual, there were plenty who would have wanted to minimize the huge failure in security around the President.

At the time, in the immediate aftermath, there were at first real fears that this might have been the start of a 'decaptitation' exercise by an enemy state.
The US had considered and planned for such an event, since the President as Commander In Chief had the nuclear release authority.
The Berlin crisis and more importantly, the Cuban Missile Crises was very fresh in the memory after all.

And the US has not been shy of trying to 'decapitate' enemy leaders either, they were trying this (with a large element of farcical failure) with Castro at the time, they tried it with Saddam Hussein in the opening of the 2003 war.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4943
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Sun Oct 11, 2009 2:29 pm



Quoting GDB (Reply 29):
The director, Oliver Stone, cited his film as fact when it came out.
Now? He calls it a 're-imaging' or that era.
So it seems even he accepts reality now. (Making a hero of a flake like Jim Garrison did not help either).

Demonizing Clay Shaw, an innocent man, was not much help either.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
MadameConcorde
Posts: 9222
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 5:08 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Sun Oct 11, 2009 3:19 pm

Are UFO sightings a part of conspiracy theories?

I see all this stuff all the time about UFO sightings everywhere in the world while I have been an active skywatcher all these years and I have never seen a UFO ever.

the same goes with HAARP making earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and all that kind of nonsense... and the Large Hadron Collider creating a black hole that will swallow the Earth!
How can people be so stupid??
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
 
David L
Posts: 8552
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:26 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Sun Oct 11, 2009 6:17 pm



Quoting Arrow (Reply 10):
Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
And why does this seem to me to be so much more prevalent in the U.S. than in any other country?

Oh, I wouldn't say that. We have lots of conspiracy theorists here, and many of them direct their conspiratorial bent at the US! You just don't hear about those.

I'm going to agree with Arrow on that. We have our share of conspiracy nuts here, too. I've known a few of them personally. They were harmless and amusing.

Quoting GDB (Reply 9):
Quoting JetsGo (Reply 2):
Man made global warming? What about that one?

Ironic that actually those who deny it are the conspiracy nuts.
Still, a lot of you out there still have trouble with basics like evolution so no big surprise there.

Going to have to disagree on that, though.  Smile

I know what you mean but I haven't seen the same correlation between religious beliefs and views on "man-made" global warming in the UK. It's true that most of the people I've discussed it with are atheists and aren't representative of the UK population but most of them have scientific degrees (even if, like me, they've never used them professionally). We're pretty evenly divided between "deniers", "alarmists" and "don't give a toss" and, politically, about 50/50 left/right.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 36):
Are UFO sightings a part of conspiracy theories?.

It depends. Those who believe our governments have deliberately hdden concrete evidence or even colluded with aliens have to be put firmly into the conspiracy theorist camp while those who believe our governments only deny their existence because they don't know "the truth" aren't really claiming much of a conspiracy.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 36):
the same goes with HAARP making earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and all that kind of nonsense

Definitely.

Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 36):
and the Large Hadron Collider creating a black hole that will swallow the Earth!

No. I don't think anyone believes there's any intent to destroy the planet. The alarmists only seem to think they know better than the physicists.
 
seb146
Posts: 14363
Joined: Wed Dec 01, 1999 7:19 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Sun Oct 11, 2009 10:55 pm



Quoting MadameConcorde (Reply 36):
Are UFO sightings a part of conspiracy theories?

I see all this stuff all the time about UFO sightings everywhere in the world while I have been an active skywatcher all these years and I have never seen a UFO ever.

I believe I have seen UFOs. I also believe that with all those stars out there that we can see and all those we can not but know are there, we are supposed to believe we are the only life around? I, too, look up at the night sky every chance I get. It is not every single night, all night long. How am I to know nothing happens every night I am not looking up at the sky?
Patriotic and Proud Liberal
 
rfields5421
Posts: 5712
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2007 12:45 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Sun Oct 11, 2009 11:41 pm



Quoting CasInterest (Reply 21):
There is money to be made by Conspiracy Theorists. Some of them may just thrive on the thrill of the swindle. Some may actually beleive it.

This is a major component of long running conspiracy theories. Another is 'celebrity' or recognition.

Folks like Jim Marrs have made millions of dollars publishing half-truths and dismissing solid evidence as 'tainted'.

Today the internet makes it even easier to promote a conspiracy, build an audience, and make money.

To me, it's mainly about the money - and it takes money to keep these things going.
 
LMP737
Posts: 4943
Joined: Wed May 08, 2002 4:06 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:06 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 39):
Today the internet makes it even easier to promote a conspiracy, build an audience, and make money.

To me, it's mainly about the money - and it takes money to keep these things going.

Go into any Borders or Barnes & Noble and you will find some of these conspiracy theory books. Granted, not some of the more extreme ones like "Jews control the world" books but still some really goffy ones.
Never take financial advice from co-workers.
 
ALexeu
Posts: 1446
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 9:01 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:00 pm

A.net is a conspiracy.
 
User avatar
DocLightning
Topic Author
Posts: 20154
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2005 8:51 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Mon Oct 12, 2009 9:18 pm



Quoting PacNWjet (Reply 25):

There are all sorts of recessive genes that afflict people who nonetheless live to the age at which they can reproduce themselves at which time the gene is passed down to successive generations (e.g., sickle cell anemia, hemophilia, Huntington's chorea, as well as any number of psychiatric disorders such as bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, chronic addiction, etc.). Evolution, that is, natural selection, operates on the basis of probability of survival or extinction of a genetic trait, not guaranteed survival of extinction. Advantageous adaptations have a greater statistical probability of being inherited by successive generations than disadvantageous adaptations, but all sorts of other environmental factors come into play than simply the probability that a genetic trait will provide a means by which a single member of species will live long enough to reproduce.

OK, but if you look at, say, Sickle trait, there is an advantageous aspect to that. I suppose that paranoia also has an advantageous aspect. But why is this so prevalent? Sometimes, I feel that 30% or more of our population buys into this crap.
-Doc Lightning-

"The sky calls to us. If we do not destroy ourselves, we will one day venture to the stars."
-Carl Sagan
 
L410Turbolet
Posts: 5455
Joined: Wed May 05, 2004 9:12 am

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:16 am



Quoting DocLightning (Thread starter):
complete rejection of fact and reason?

My favorite conspiracy theory is KAL 007 and to be honest I don't know which version requires greater degree of "rejection of fact and reason" whether the official or the "alternative" one. Especially if one considers it in context with KAL 902 incident 5 years earlier.
 
offloaded
Posts: 900
Joined: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:56 pm

RE: Conspiracy Theories

Tue Oct 13, 2009 3:56 pm

How about the one where the South Africans were responsible for PA103? Well, Pik Botha was originally booked on PA103 but flew out on PA101. UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, who was previously Secretary General of Socialist International was killed on PA103. Apparently the Saffas didn't like him much.

Looks to be somewhat of a stretch to me.....
To no one will we sell, or deny, or delay, right or justice - Magna Carta, 1215

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot], petertenthije, pvjin and 26 guests

Popular Searches On Airliners.net

Top Photos of Last:   24 Hours  •  48 Hours  •  7 Days  •  30 Days  •  180 Days  •  365 Days  •  All Time

Military Aircraft Every type from fighters to helicopters from air forces around the globe

Classic Airliners Props and jets from the good old days

Flight Decks Views from inside the cockpit

Aircraft Cabins Passenger cabin shots showing seat arrangements as well as cargo aircraft interior

Cargo Aircraft Pictures of great freighter aircraft

Government Aircraft Aircraft flying government officials

Helicopters Our large helicopter section. Both military and civil versions

Blimps / Airships Everything from the Goodyear blimp to the Zeppelin

Night Photos Beautiful shots taken while the sun is below the horizon

Accidents Accident, incident and crash related photos

Air to Air Photos taken by airborne photographers of airborne aircraft

Special Paint Schemes Aircraft painted in beautiful and original liveries

Airport Overviews Airport overviews from the air or ground

Tails and Winglets Tail and Winglet closeups with beautiful airline logos