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Conspiracy theorists: A study.

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Conspiracy theorists: A study.

Post by vee8 on Mon Mar 22, 2010 3:46 am

This may have been posted before, elsewhere, but it's worth repeating!



http://www.urban75.org/info/conspiraloons.html



10 characteristics of conspiracy theorists
A useful guide by Donna Ferentes


1. Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers,
questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are
always "sheep", patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.


2. Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a
conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much
of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above,
even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time,
when you say "no thanks", you'll be called a "sheep" again.)
Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on
and on at enormous length.


3. Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly
advertise their determination to the principle of questioning
everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from
sceptics about the claims that they make.


4. Fondness for certain stock phrases. These include
Cicero's "cui bono?" (of which it can be said that Cicero understood the
importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle's "once we
have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely,
must be the truth". What these phrases have in common is that they are
attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce
positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply "eliminate the
impossible" (i.e. say the official account can't stand scrutiny) which
means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on "cui bono?"
(which is always the government) is therefore the truth.


5. Inability to employ or understand Occam's Razor.
Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice
that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are
dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence
in any alternative account.


6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy
theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for
the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by
anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that
the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a
matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course,
they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for
apparently lacking same.


7. Inability to withdraw. It's a rare day indeed when a
conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out
to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any
of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see
3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by
"swamping" - piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to
the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.


8. Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are
very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited
without having remotely enough cause so to do. Of course this enables
them to wheel on the Conan Doyle quote as in 4. above. Small
inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions,
small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous
events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the
"official" account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without
saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are
either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.


9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their
claims.
This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six,
the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to
try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded
some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to
reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far
more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which
they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially
happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than
extremely unlikely.


10. It's always a conspiracy. And it is, isn't
it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the
same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are
questions which need to be answered, at the same unbearable length.
Because the most important thing about these people is that they are
people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good
theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence
and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason,
they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same
question.


A person who always says the same thing, and says it over and over again
is, of course, commonly considered to be, if not a monomaniac, then at
very least, a bore.



+
----
-

http://www.urban75.org/info/conspiraloons.html



10 characteristics of conspiracy theorists
A useful guide by Donna Ferentes


1. Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers,
questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are
always "sheep", patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.


2. Relentlessness. They will always go on and on about a
conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much
of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above,
even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time,
when you say "no thanks", you'll be called a "sheep" again.)
Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on
and on at enormous length.


3. Inability to answer questions. For people who loudly
advertise their determination to the principle of questioning
everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from
sceptics about the claims that they make.


4. Fondness for certain stock phrases. These include
Cicero's "cui bono?" (of which it can be said that Cicero understood the
importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle's "once we
have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely,
must be the truth". What these phrases have in common is that they are
attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce
positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply "eliminate the
impossible" (i.e. say the official account can't stand scrutiny) which
means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on "cui bono?"
(which is always the government) is therefore the truth.


5. Inability to employ or understand Occam's Razor.
Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice
that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are
dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence
in any alternative account.


6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad. Conspiracy
theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for
the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by
anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that
the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a
matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course,
they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for
apparently lacking same.


7. Inability to withdraw. It's a rare day indeed when a
conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out
to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any
of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see
3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by
"swamping" - piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to
the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.


8. Leaping to conclusions. Conspiracy theorists are
very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited
without having remotely enough cause so to do. Of course this enables
them to wheel on the Conan Doyle quote as in 4. above. Small
inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions,
small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous
events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the
"official" account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without
saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are
either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.


9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their
claims.
This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six,
the Bologna station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to
try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded
some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to
reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far
more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which
they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially
happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than
extremely unlikely.


10. It's always a conspiracy. And it is, isn't
it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the
same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are
questions which need to be answered, at the same unbearable length.
Because the most important thing about these people is that they are
people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good
theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence
and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason,
they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same
question.


A person who always says the same thing, and says it over and over again
is, of course, commonly considered to be, if not a monomaniac, then at
very least, a bore.


http://www.urban75.org/info/conspiraloons.html



10 characteristics of conspiracy theorists
A useful guide by Donna Ferentes


1. Arrogance. They are always fact-seekers,
questioners, people who are trying to discover the truth: sceptics are
always "sheep", patsies for Messrs Bush and Blair etc.


2. Relentlessness.
They will always go on and on about a
conspiracy no matter how little evidence they have to go on or how much
of what they have is simply discredited. (Moreover, as per 1. above,
even if you listen to them ninety-eight times, the ninety-ninth time,
when you say "no thanks", you'll be called a "sheep" again.)
Additionally, they have no capacity for precis whatsoever. They go on
and on at enormous length.


3. Inability to answer questions.
For people who loudly
advertise their determination to the principle of questioning
everything, they're pretty poor at answering direct questions from
sceptics about the claims that they make.


4. Fondness for certain stock phrases.
These include
Cicero's "cui bono?" (of which it can be said that Cicero
understood the
importance of having evidence to back it up) and Conan Doyle's "once we
have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however unlikely,
must be the truth". What these phrases have in common is that they are
attempts to absolve themselves from any responsibility to produce
positive, hard evidence themselves: you simply "eliminate the
impossible" (i.e. say the official account can't stand scrutiny) which
means that the wild allegation of your choice, based on "cui bono?"
(which is always the government) is therefore the truth.


5. Inability to employ or understand Occam's Razor.

Aided by the principle in 4. above, conspiracy theorists never notice
that the small inconsistencies in the accounts which they reject are
dwarfed by the enormous, gaping holes in logic, likelihood and evidence
in any alternative account.


6. Inability to tell good evidence from bad.
Conspiracy
theorists have no place for peer-review, for scientific knowledge, for
the respectability of sources. The fact that a claim has been made by
anybody, anywhere, is enough for them to reproduce it and demand that
the questions it raises be answered, as if intellectual enquiry were a
matter of responding to every rumour. While they do this, of course,
they will claim to have "open minds" and abuse the sceptics for
apparently lacking same.


7. Inability to withdraw.
It's a rare day indeed when a
conspiracy theorist admits that a claim they have made has turned out
to be without foundation, whether it be the overall claim itself or any
of the evidence produced to support it. Moreover they have a liking (see
3. above) for the technique of avoiding discussion of their claims by
"swamping" - piling on a whole lot more material rather than respond to
the objections sceptics make to the previous lot.


8. Leaping to conclusions.
Conspiracy theorists are
very keen indeed to declare the "official" account totally discredited
without having remotely enough cause so to do. Of course this enables
them to wheel on the Conan Doyle quote as in 4. above. Small
inconsistencies in the account of an event, small unanswered questions,
small problems in timing of differences in procedure from previous
events of the same kind are all more than adequate to declare the
"official" account clearly and definitively discredited. It goes without
saying that it is not necessary to prove that these inconsistencies are
either relevant, or that they even definitely exist.


9. Using previous conspiracies as evidence to support their
claims.
This argument invokes scandals like the Birmingham Six,
the
Bologna
station bombings, the Zinoviev letter and so on in order to
try and demonstrate that their conspiracy theory should be accorded
some weight (because it's “happened before”.) They do not pause to
reflect that the conspiracies they are touting are almost always far
more unlikely and complicated than the real-life conspiracies with which
they make comparison, or that the fact that something might potentially
happen does not, in and of itself, make it anything other than
extremely unlikely.


10. It's always a conspiracy.
And it is, isn't
it? No sooner has the body been discovered, the bomb gone off, than the
same people are producing the same old stuff, demanding that there are
questions which need to be answered, at the same unbearable length.
Because the most important thing about these people is that they are
people entirely lacking in discrimination. They cannot tell a good
theory from a bad one, they cannot tell good evidence from bad evidence
and they cannot tell a good source from a bad one. And for that reason,
they always come up with the same answer when they ask the same
question.


A person who always says the same thing, and says it over and over again
is, of course, commonly considered to be, if not a monomaniac, then at
very least, a bore.
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vee8
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http://www.madeleine-adestinybegun.co.uk

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