Saturday, May 23, 2020

Why do people believe conspiracy theories - and can they ever be convinced not to?

As a new video titled "Plandemic" spreads disinformation online, Sky News looks into the appeal of conspiracy theories.


  1. Garnel IronheartMay 22, 2020 at 4:00 PM

    As the old saying goes, just because you're paranoid doesn't mean someone isn't out to get out.
    Sometimes conspiracy theories are fed by the people who are trying to disprove them. In the case of the pandemic, here's what we know
    1) China knew about the virus way before they told anyone
    2) China locked down their own territory but allowed travellers to leave the country
    3) China lied to the WHO about its numbers and how the virus was spread
    4) China quietly loaded up on PPE at discount prices or by accepting donations before the extent of the crisis was known
    5) China then sold back lots of that PPE at significantly higher prices but somehow much of it was now defective. In addition, China sold testing equipment at high prices and much of it was defective.
    At some point, you have to wonder - how much of this was intentional?

  2. That link didn't work for me.

    In any case, my theory, which I may have stated here before, is the following.

    Some people work for years to gain knowledge and uncover the truth. Hopefully, they learn to speak in a tentative style of language: "our results indicate", "it seems logical to conclude," etc. And if another scientist or investigator is unable to understand or replicate their results, they are willing to admit they could be, or actually are in the, wrong.

    Some people, though, don't like to do all that work to arrive at the truth. They find it it wearisome. They certainlly don't like the feeling of being wrong.

    Real scientists love being proven wrong -- it's an opportunity to do more research. Conspiracy theorists hate feeling ignorant.

    So conspiracy theorists simply spin narratives that feel good and fit in with their longstanding mistaken beliefs. And they are totally smug. And secure in their smugness.

    Any attempt to un-smug them is pointless. All it does is smugify them further. Any attempt to take their candy away leads to them to feel that they are part of some elite group that are the true cognescentis, and the ones trying to dispel their myths are sadly confused.

    So that's my theory -- does that make me a conspiracy theory theorist?

  3. Kalonymus HaQatanMay 22, 2020 at 5:58 PM

    Some or most of them are dumb idiots. Then they find freakshow science dropouts like Mikovits, and they have a leader.

    In the case of Moshe Deleon, he was virtually unknown, as his wife admitted, his books weren't selling. Nobody pays attention to him in Halacha. He wasn't a Rambam or ramban. He's not really a rishon. Just a mystic so he picked a perfect opportunity to write his masterpiece.

  4. It would seem that certain communities whose individuals are not taught to think critically and are taught that certain fields are "the enemy" of their community are a ripe following for this type of freakshow

  5. Ok. So we say, "Maybe the virus escaped from a lab and the Chinese leadership at some point knew or suspected this, and acted less than sincerely in dealing with the outbreak."

    We DON'T make goofy videos and bombard our friends with them and act all insulted and frustrated when the friends fail to grasp the import of it all.


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