Why Conspiracy Theories Suck

Discussion in 'Chris Shelton's Videos' started by Chris Shelton, Jan 22, 2015.

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  1. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    As a programmer, you'll appreciate this:

    I first read this in The Art of SQL in a section on nulls.
  2. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    I haven't done SQL.
    I am an embedded systems software engineer but that doesn't describe much.

    1. it's huge field of many things.
    2. an expert in one field doesn't necessarily know much about another field.

    it's probably easier to try to describe what it is NOT than decribe what it is.
    1. it is not general laptop/desktop apps nor server software. Not web app, not spreadsheet, not document creation software

    1. embedding software/microprocessors into specific appliances that were not previously computer controlled, like intersection traffic control
    2. printers
    3. smart missiles, that can see and hear, for locating targets.
    4. jet aircraft diagnostics
    5. special software for specific hardware for data encription and compression.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2015
  3. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron


    Well in databases, null values can cause lots of problems when you are creating SQL queries. Nulls are known unknowns. I laughed when I read it, but if your not a DBA then maybe it's not so funny.
  4. mockingbird

    mockingbird Silver Meritorious Patron

    Maybe a short story will help this . GP can decide and give his opinion . I was getting lots of info on mind control and hypnosis from many sources for education and comparison when I came across a video on methods and their utilization . Okay it had some statements about repetition and claims of science validating physiological changes that can be verified with tests under certain conditions that allegedly make people more suggestible . Okay these claims can be investigated for confirmation and analysis and accompanying academic literature which can be analyzed . Sounds like a valid starting point for study , great.

    Then some claims about exact actions in exact places by individuals are made with accompanying siting of independent sources reporting actions undertaken to persuade people . Okay , another road to go down . No proof yet but something to work with . No glaring red flags . THEN the narrator goes into the NWO , Rothschilds, Biderbergers , Illuminati , central bank , Freemasons over centuries . etc. etc . etc. and I go - wait how am I supposed to scientifically verify all this as a skeptic ? You know to a high degree of reliability instead of just taking mountains of accusations and just seeing if they even remotely confirm each other or a general idea like " I deserve better - evil rich people must be holding ME down or I would have a better life as I am a good and worthy person " .

    I hate to say it but for some folks ego boosting and enemy condemning are the only criteria of "proof" they require !:duh:
    They can project all negative emotions onto " the evil overlords " and see only " pure good " in themselves ! Sounds familiar !:duh:

    Look there almost certainly are some unscrupulous rich people and some corruption in governments but proving that to a high standard is not the same as feeling good and righteous and blindly marrying your self esteem to the degree you can be a "truther" and condemn the "sheeple " as beneath you ! That is more elitism and that is the road to ruin , certainly as a critical thinker . IMO .
  5. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    Perfect place to start.
    Personally, if a source is unreliable, the data is likely useless. This is not always the case, but it is a question of efficiency.

    You are more likely to find gold looking at mineralogical survey data than a story off the internet from who knows who. That website may point to gold, but it isn't likely.

    Anyway, the burden of proof is not on you, it is on the person making the claim. Academics take the burden of proof seriously. Cranks do not.
    The only thing you are likely to get from these people's websites are confirmation of what you have posted above.
    True that.
  6. Smurf

    Smurf Gold Meritorious SP

  7. mockingbird

    mockingbird Silver Meritorious Patron

    Smurf , where did you get that video of me doing my "research" ?
  8. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    Global Conspiracy Theories have played a prominent role in the perpetuation of anti-Semitism on a world-wide basis.
    The stereotype of the rich, yet miserly Jew, is classical anti-Semitism, which Hitler employed to great effect in a 1940 Nazi
    propaganda film titled "The Rothschilds" which depicted them as a mortal threat to Germany. The film ends with the image
    of a burning Star of David over a map of England; the suggestion being that it was the Jews who controlled and were thrusting England into war with Germany.

    Japan, a country devoid of Jews, had no tradition of anti-Semitism until the early 20th Century when Japanese troops returned from Russia, having been exposed to the
    Protocols of the Elders of Zion, a czarist forgery which speaks of a Jewish plot to rule the world. Even today, it is widely read throughout the Arab world.

    Sadly, these and other pernicious conspiracies have found oxygen on this board. I joined ESMB because of people like Gadfly and TAJ and after lurking for a long time...years.
    Those on this board who have promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories do a disservice to the purpose of ESMB, and are guilty of bad speech.
    The remedy for bad speech is more speech, by which I mean not censorship, but speech that counters the slander.

    "If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehoods and fallacies, to avert the evil by the process of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence."
    - Justice Louis D. Brandeis
  9. eldritch cuckoo

    eldritch cuckoo brainslugged reptilian

    Some time ago, years, Scientology gaining power was, in a way, a conspiracy theory I believed in, without knowing or understanding how that troubled me - but it really fits the psychological characteristics. I'd like to use it as an example since it's about none of the usual themes (e.g. Illuminati, 9/11, moon landing, fluoride, UFOs, reptilian shapeshifters, whatevs...) and so it might help some people to understand a bit what's going on in one's head while affected by such a state of mind. There are clearly mental barriers for people who are either into one or more of these themes, or on the other hand "can't hear that stuff anymore". Since I don't use to dwell in the usual conspiracy theories at all (or only as much as the off-topic threads here stay interesting, which they often are, but usually I still prefer to "read only" :biggrin: ), this is the only "personal story" I have. :) I do NOT think that it is all too interesting, but I guess I've wanted for a long time to tell it, because now that it has been written, I feel distinctly better. :p

    I only had to confront/remember/analyze this recently. At the news sites where people are commenting on articles about the HBO documentary, there are often angry atheists who write some snappy comment (or longer rant) to the effect of "so how's that more nuts than the contents of any other religion". Some of them may be OSA - but by now, having looked into their posting histories and having had some exchanges, I am very certain that most of them are not (though OSA clearly is present as well). Protesting (radical) Christianity and Islam is simply an agenda that is more relevant for more people, more present in their heads just now, than - spontaneously - opposing Co$. :) However, I usually resort to answering them (e.g., the lurkers, not really a particular moonbat or wingnut) what a world ruled by Co$ would look like, e.g. how Co$-Scientology, Hubbard's legacy as it is written down and continued by Miscavige, just instructs to conduct the same murderous "religiously motivated" atrocities as any other murderous religion/cult/ideology that ever has been or still is in power, and that they would not hesitate to do it if they only COULD. Some of these posts are rather flamey, so here only two things: 1) I thoroughly avoid to fuel any discussion about "cult or religion" (because neither really IS a badge of honor and I don't feel like ending up as apologist for the "real churches" :screwy: ), Christianity, Islam, or political parties, and write only about Scientology, 2) I regularly defend the Indies - for usually not having "disconnection", "ethics handling", the whole insane bureaucracy, RPFs, et al.
    Having to describe a world ruled by Scientology "restimulated" certain memories a lot, mostly not in a bad way, now that I know more, and know that Co$ is dwindling away inevitably.
    The thing is: some years ago, this would have been very different. :whistling: In other words, I would have pissed in my pantskis looking at such an exchange.

    Here's a copy of the otherwise unrelated posting on another thread that made me write the part below - about the lies of Co$ about the numbers of their members/customers:

    I can't say how angry I am with these lazy *cough* "journalists" for repeating the cherch's PR blubber without any fact checking. It's a personal thing. I used to end up imagining all that millions of Scientologists, especially in the USA, with a very clear agenda to turn over democracy and to pervert all we know and forcing us to tolerate the insanity and abuse next door because it is "religious". Just the same way creationists and evangelists want to make the USA into a murderous, insane theocracy; to hear (from others, not themselves, I knew they would lie, although I wouldn't imagine how much...) how Scientology "is growing", "fastest growing religion" etc, added to my fears at a time when I was anyhow anxious. If Scientology was growing in the USA, on which it seemed to focus meanwhile (while avoiding "secular" Europe, simply because the legal situation was more difficult there), that meant it could grow everywhere almost as easily if it really tried to at some point, ain't it? Esoteric frauds can get into people's heads as long as they are too uneducated to understand how it's bullshit, and because they, ofcourse, have a craving for "something spiritual" these days, when the catholic church is dwindling away and the world gets more "complex", stressful, etc. I envisioned that, as it had already happened sporadically, Co$ could end up influencing the USA government, to bug the EU, our governments, about giving them more freedom, to destroy lives, to have RPFs next door, to steal away and lock away our children and friends, to preach the fraudian therapy and their version of "ethics" in schools or whatever they seek to do... As I saw it, Co$ could really end up having influence, telling us what to do, be present down the street, be everywhere... threatening, terrorizing and suing everybody who talks wrong about it or wants to rescue a friend from it, or, D'OH, makes art or parody about them... :melodramatic:

    That was the nature of my fear, that was what it looked like in the rare moments when it came up, that were the worst case scenarios that flashed before my eyes, that could have become reality...
    Although considered unlikely, although my guts feeling, e.g. my implicite knowledge, still told me, "it won't happen", I couldn't let go of the possibility that it could become reality...

    Insanity in itself makes me afraid, just like I hate to run into the occasional full-blown schizophrenic on the streets or in the subway, to run into moonbats and wingnuts and anarchists, and (Co$-)Scientology IS shere insanity...

    I still remember the first time I've read some article or watched a TV clip where they added "... but in fact their numbers are stagnating, and most new members are recruited from second generation scientologists". IIRC, it didn't even mention the exaggerated numbers, but these details alone were incredibly relieving. "So they have difficulties to recruit... They can only do that with their thoroughly indoctrinated children..." I think looking at how much the numbers were exaggerated was about the next thing I did. :)

    Undoubtly waiting so long to get clarity sounds and was stupid, with the internet at my disposal for at last most of that time. All I can say is I wasn't interested in the theme at all, I also knew it was complex, so I wouldn't delve into it, and also I knew that Scientology would fall eventually, just like creationism will - but on some level it still haunted me. It was just one more threat to democracy and the basic freedoms it guarantees us, and to scientific truth, - amongst creationists, jihadists, esoteric frauds and "alternative medicine", "traditional chinese medicine" (an incredible threat to many rare animal species), or simply how much of a failure the curriculum of all school systems world wide is, in that it doesn't focus one bit on knowing how nature and the universe works, the basic rules of critical thinking, etc. Just one more force of insanity threatening humanity. Also, there were some long periods of time when I hardly used the internet at all. It just wasn't my habit to instantly "google things" - or to delve into themes that were uncanny for me.

    Conclusion: if something boggles you, and you haven't yet looked at the web, and even if it's not your habit: always DO look at the web. The web knows. And even if it doesn't know, you'll at last end up knowing that the threat, which you considered urgent, is in fact unlikely, or that the people or groups carrying it are not so powerful/influential at all - or not so insidious at all.
    In other words, that the conspiracy theory that boggled you, is unlikely.

    I know that for many, the internet is the very reason that they delve deep into conspiracy theories, and even make new ones, having their fears multiplying. So for many to look at the web to get falsification or confirmation might not be a good tip at all, because that's what they're already doing, and it didn't solve their problems, on the contrary. If the internet is the reason that you're losing your grasp of reality and ever more feel like shit, then I guess you should simply spend lesser time on it, for a while, for some days ... and see how that turns out.
    I can just say that with me, it was the other way around. I hope that was at last funny/stupid/entertaining. :biggrin:

    End of rant...

    Last edited: Jan 31, 2015
  10. i've often heard of them thar proctacals but never seen them

    what do they look like?
  11. mockingbird

    mockingbird Silver Meritorious Patron

  12. I told you I was trouble

    I told you I was trouble Suspended animation

  13. Lone Star

    Lone Star Crusader

    While it would be ludicrous to say, "Everything is a conspiracy", it is also equally ludicrous to say that "conspiracies never exist".

    The article below is an example of a conspiracy that exists. And really, why to governments, intelligence agencies, and corporations conspire? Mostly for profits and power. It's not far fetched to see that such conspiracies to create more profit and to gain more control has always existed. Always.

    Obviously I added the words in red contained in brackets. :wink2:

    GMO Chickens Coming Home To Roost
    by F.William Engdahl

    The seven hundred years-old expression, “curses are like chickens; they always come home to roost,” rarely has been more appropriate than to describe what is happening to the world’s largest purveyor of gene-manipulated or GMO seeds and paired chemical toxins. It couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of genocidal eugenicists. Monsanto Corporation of St Louis is apparently in a deep decline. Ever since 1992 when that nasty US President George H. W. Bush conspired–yes, Virginia, [Chris, Trouble, ESMB, et al], conspiracies exist– with the leadership of Monsanto to unleash GMOs on an unwitting American population, Monsanto seemed unstoppable.

    With the help of Bush, who made a decree that no US Government agency be allowed to independently test GMO seeds or their chemicals for health and safety–the fraudulent and totally unscientific Doctrine of Substantial Equivalence–Monsanto could make its own fraudulent doctored tests and give them to US or EU agencies as valid. As a result, GMO seeds took over American agriculture, based on a pack of lies to farmers that they would raise yields and decrease chemical use. Monsanto spread its GMO far around the world, through bribery as in Indonesia, and through the unusual machinations of the Government of the United States. Monsanto paid scientists to lie about its products safety.

    It used the corrupt Brussels European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to back its position, even when alarming studies such as the famous September 2012 Food and Chemical Toxicology peer-reviewed study by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini created shock waves around the world. The Seralini study, the first ever long term, two year study of GMO diet with a group of 200 rats found shocking effects. Among them that,”female rats fed Monsanto GMO maize died 2–3 times more than controls, and more rapidly… Females developed large mammary tumors almost always more often than, and before, controls; the pituitary was the second most disabled organ; the sex hormonal balance was modified by GMO and Roundup treatments.”

    Monsanto then set about to kill the messenger by pressuring the Food & Chemical Toxicology journal to hire a former Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, who promptly declared Seralini’s study “unscientific” and deleted it, an act almost without precedent in science journals. A year later both Goodman and the journal’s editor-in-chief were forced to step down and Seralini’s article was republished in another scientific journal. But the scientific character assassination against Seralini had a chilling effect as Monsanto wanted.....

    Rest of short article here: http://journal-neo.org/2015/11/19/gmo-chickens-coming-home-to-roost/

    Oh, the author graduated from that "kooky university", you know the one that is the home of "Conspiracy Theorists and whackos", Princeton? Then went on to do graduate work at Stockholm University, where I'm sure the degrees are printed on tinfoil.

    From Wikipedia....

    Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, Engdahl is the son of F. William Engdahl, Sr., and Ruth Aalund (b. Rishoff). Engdahl grew up in Texas, and after earning a degree in engineering and jurisprudence from Princeton University in 1966 (BA), and graduate study in comparative economics at the University of Stockholm from 1969 to 1970, he worked as an economist and freelance journalist in New York and in Europe.
    Engdahl began writing about oil politics with the first oil shock in the early 1970s. He has also been a long-time associate of the LaRouche movement and has written many articles for their publications.

    His first book was called A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order, and discusses the alleged roles of Zbigniew Brzezinski and George Ball and of the USA in the 1979 overthrow of the Shah of Iran, which was meant to manipulate oil prices and to stop Soviet expansion. Engdahl claims that Brzezinski and Ball used the Islamic Balkanization model proposed by Bernard Lewis. In 2007, he completed Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation.

    Engdahl is also a contributor to the website of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Near Eastern Outlook,[2] and the Voltaire Network,[3] and a freelancer for varied newsmagazines such as the Asia Times, in which his modern history of Russia, Putin and Khodorkovsky has appeared.[4]

    William Engdahl has been married since 1987, and has been living for more than two decades near Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2015