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Why Conspiracy Theories Suck

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

  1. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    "Are they paying?" "Are they paying?" Can you imagine the pandemonium that ensues when it comes time to divvy up the check?
    Imagine 28 people, each looking like Mel Brooks trying to figure out who had what, and how much each one owes.
    Fortunately, having 26 accountants at the table makes for a less formidable undertaking.

    What would one wear? In todays enlightened climate of tolerance and understanding, we wear our "magic kippahs."

    Please Google Magic Kippahs for more info.
  2. Udarnik

    Udarnik Gold Meritorious Patron

    I wore one of those at the Western Wall! It magically kept hard boiled eggs from being thrown at me. Unlike the poor women who were trying to read from the Torah on the other side of the rope that week...
  3. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    Yes, I remember you from Langers off of Wilshire. You had the pastrami on white with mayo, IIRC.
  4. Smurf

    Smurf Gold Meritorious SP

    Ingenious. But, what if one's bald & can't afford a toupee??

  5. Churchill

    Churchill Gold Meritorious Patron

    In that case, I'd get the hell out of France, and move somewhere where there are many, many bald Jews. Maybe Tel-Aviv or Delray Beach.
    ; )
  6. looker

    looker Patron Meritorious

    In the discussion about cult beliefs conspiracy theories and critical thinking this Aussie guy fits right in.

    Many of you have heard or seen the absurd claims that there are secret energy sources called "over unity" meaning you get more energy out than what you use. This Aussie guy takes this claim and with much hilarious frustration analyzes the circuity and debunks the claims using standard physics and electrical engineering math.

    I'd love to see this guy analyze the claims of Scientology. :hysterical:
  7. Student of Trinity

    Student of Trinity Silver Meritorious Patron

    I can't quite articulate what I think of Occam's Razor. The excessive complication that it attacks is something that I kind of know it when I see it, but can't precisely define.

    It's probably an inherently fuzzy thing, actually. If somebody adds just one new assumption, then maybe that's not such a deal breaker. Not all real things are simple, by any means. And especially if somebody makes some radically different kinds of assumptions from somebody else, then assessing whose theory is simpler can be comparing apples and oranges. Is space flat, or curved? Axiom of choice, or only constructive proofs? God, or no God? I don't feel that Occam's Razor really has much to say about comparisons like that.

    But if two theories really are using pretty much the same kind of ingredients, and one uses a lot more of them to achieve pretty much the same degree of agreement with evidence, then I think Occam's Razor is a good idea. "Practical logical fallacy" might be an inherent misnomer, but I think the idea is real and important. I've sometimes tried to express similar ideas with a crude pun, by saying that certain principles are 'neither kind of club'. You can't beat someone over the head with them, but they're more than just the house rules of a group you can choose not to join. Given the fact that life's short, some guidelines are smart.
  8. Axiom142

    Axiom142 Gold Meritorious Patron

    I like Occam’s Razor – I find it a good place to start when trying to analyse some problem or situation.

    But, after having left a stupid brainwashing cult and having had some time to ponder on how I was taken in for so long and why others are still taken in by it, even when they know it is BS, I find myself turning more and more to Hanlon’s Razor, which could be summed up as:

    Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.

    Too often people look for explanations based on logic, or rational conduct or at the very least according to some sort of plan. If you look through history you will find many a catastrophe caused by inattention, recklessness, arrogance, laziness, failure to plan properly or just plain fuck-wittedness. And sometimes it is a combination of all of those compounded by bad luck. But the last shouldn’t be an excuse – you should expect bad luck once in a while and plan for it.

    If you listen to certain people, accidents never just happen, they are meticulously planned by secret cabals bent on world domination. Cars don’t just crash into concrete pillars because the driver was going too fast and his judgment was impaired because he had been drinking and taking anti-depressants – the crash was caused by elements of a national secret service in order to cover up something. Economic collapses are not caused by greedy megalomaniacs lining their own pockets and playing fast and loose with other people’s money – they are deliberately brought about by men in smoke-filled rooms using the financial systems. Ebola isn’t just one more example in a huge chain of nasty diseases that have afflicted mankind over the millennia – it is an engineered WMD invented to depopulate the world, so that the Illuminati can create a New World Order. Buildings don’t just collapse when a 150 ton aircraft flies into it at 450mph and the fuel and everything combustible near the point of impact burns for 100 minutes, reducing the tensile strength of the remaining pillars that weren’t destroyed in the initial impact by 50% until the weakened structure can’t support the weight of all the floors above it – they are brought down by demolition charges placed weeks or months prior without anyone noticing them doing it. Humans can’t invent any sort of technological breakthrough – they have to use Alien technology discovered at an ET crash site…

    And so it goes on and on and on. If you listen to the Tinfoilers, nothing of any significance ever just happens. It is always intentional and the result of a conspiracy.

    In addition, if there is a lack of evidence of the conspiracy – that just proves how large and deep-rooted the conspiracy is, they have been able to suppress all the evidence!

    Usually it is a complete waste of time arguing with these people. No matter how many times you ask them for proof of their own little fantasies or point out the fallacies in their arguments, they just keep on coming back with the same retorts. It is as though the more times they repeat something, the more real it becomes. I honestly think that some people are hard-wired to disagree with anything that is widely held to be true. It is as if they never grew out of the rebellious teenager phase and compulsively challenge any authority. They have to be different.


    PS Finagle’s Law is another good one – look it up.

    Oh, and Marcello Truzzi - “An extraordinary claim requires extraordinary proof.”
  9. Thrak

    Thrak Gold Meritorious Patron

    Conspiracy theories are like heroin for the ego. Like "only I have risen above [STRIKE]the bank[/STRIKE] the stupidity of all mankind to find the one true reason for everything. Only I am capable of understanding what's really happening and everyone else is too stupid to see it". Total expression of vanity.
  10. Chris Shelton

    Chris Shelton Patron with Honors

    I had to share this one. It's just way too damn good. It's a parody, but it's not far off from the whacked stuff I'm talking about in my video:

    Conspiracy Theorist Convinces Neal Armstrong the Moon Landing was a Hoax,2796/

    From the article: "Yes, at the time I thought those thousands of NASA employees were working round the clock for the same incredible goal, but if anyone would know what was really going on, it would be Ralph Coleman," Armstrong said of the 31-year-old part-time librarian's assistant. "He knows a lot more about faked moon landings than I ever could. He's been researching the subject on the Internet for years."
    "Literally years," he added.
  11. lotus

    lotus stubborn rebel sheep!

    It vaguely makes me remember a certain cult :biggrin:
  12. rich

    rich Silver Meritorious Patron

    Skeptisism will do you well in the short term. But for long term survival you need a good dose of curiosity. They are usually mutually exclusive, but maybe they can be simultaneous if you are really good.
  13. Chris Shelton

    Chris Shelton Patron with Honors

    I'm sorry Rich but I couldn't disagree with you more on this. Curiosity is what drives science forward. It is one of the most vital and necessary ingredients of anyone who reaches out to find new knowledge of life, the universe and everything. Without curiosity, Newton never would have questioned why apples fall, Einstein wouldn't have wondered about the space-time continuum and Crick/Watson would never have unlocked the secret of DNA.

    Skepticism is not cynicism nor a firm disbelief in anything just for the sake of being disagreeable. It is an attitude which says "I want to know" rather than "I want to believe".

    Just as a side note, it's no coincidence the the latest Mars Rover launched to explore that planet is named "Curiosity".
  14. Intentionally Blank

    Intentionally Blank Scientology Widow

    You think so? I, and all my siblings and children, are incredibly curious. Google and research articles are my friends. I'm also quite skeptical. Follow the money, ask who requisitioned and paid for a study, cross reference, be willing to admit to being wrong, be willing to admit not knowing, have an open mind.

    Except about the Knights Templar. I'm holding out for that sword.

  15. rich

    rich Silver Meritorious Patron

    Isn't there a process called "what can you not know?"
  16. Thrak

    Thrak Gold Meritorious Patron

    If there was who would care?
  17. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    Maybe, but that might be a bit of a dead end.

    This is how a scientist answers a difficult question.

    1) Make a guess.
    2) Test that guess.

    Step 1 involves curiosty, step 2 involves skepticism.

    Step 1 + Step 2 together makes science.

    Step 1 by itself is science fiction.
  18. lotus

    lotus stubborn rebel sheep!

    Unknowingness the knowingness of the unknown knowing ????
  19. oneonewasaracecar

    oneonewasaracecar Gold Meritorious Patron

    Donald Rumsfeld 2002
    On the Iraq War
  20. programmer_guy

    programmer_guy True Ex-Scientologist

    As confusing as it sounds, I understand what Rumsfeld said and I agree with him.
    But I thought his statement was logically obvious and, at the same time, not helpful for anything.

    Me: "Yes, Donald, I already knew that".

    As the saying goes, "The devil is in the details".