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Conspiracies Thrive in Minds Open to Influence
12-09-2009, 02:26 PM,
#1
Conspiracies Thrive in Minds Open to Influence
Summary: Keep an open mind but not so open that your brain falls out. There is a fine line between being open minded and being a mark. This is a blanket article probably intended to discredit conspiracy theorists but always worth considering the acceptance of an fact, idea or ideology. This editorial applies just as well to the front page of your newspaper or the 10:00 news. Know thy enemy and their tactics. "Keep your bullshit filter on" is probably the #1 lesson I have taught my kids.

Quote:One man's rumor is another man's reality
Dispelling conspiracy theories and untruths can be difficult when people only hear what they already believe.
September 28, 2009
GREGORY RODRIGUEZ

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean that someone's not after you. Over the last few months, a lot of writers have dusted off Richard Hofstadter's classic 1964 essay on the paranoid style in American politics just so they can explain away the loony rumors and conspiracy theories coming from the far right. But no amount of intellectual condescension is going to make those powerful untruths go away.

The real truth is that, as weird as they are, rumors and conspiracy theories can only thrive in the minds of people who are predisposed to believe them. Successful propagators of fringe theories don't just send random balloons into the atmosphere. Rather, they tap into the preexisting beliefs and biases of their target audiences.

Plenty of studies have shown that people don't process information in a neutral way -- "biased assimilation" they call it. In other words, rather than our opinions being forged by whatever information we have available, they tend to be constructed by our wants and needs. With all their might, our minds try to reduce cognitive dissonance -- that queasy feeling you get when you are confronted by contradictory ideas simultaneously. Therefore, we tend to reject theories and rumors -- and facts and truths -- that challenge our worldview and embrace those that affirm it.

It's easy to assume that lack of education is the culprit when it comes to people believing rumors against logic and evidence -- for instance, that Barack Obama, whose mother was an American citizen and whose state of birth has repeatedly said his birth records are in good order, isn't a legitimate American citizen. But one 1994 survey on conspiracy theories found that educational level or occupational category were not factors in whether you believed in them or not.

What was significant? Insecurity about employment. That finding ties into psychologist Robert H. Knapp's 1944 thesis that rumors "express and gratify the emotional needs" of communities during periods of social duress. They arise, in his view, to "express in simple and rationalized terms the uncertainties and hostilities which so many feel."

If, on the one hand, you think you should blame rumor-mongers and rumor believers for not doing their homework, you can, on the other hand, give them credit for striving pretty hard to explain phenomena they find threatening. Rumors and conspiracy theories often supply simplified, easily digestible explanations (and enemies) to sum up complex situations. However crass, they're both fueled by a desire to make sense of the world.
http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/28/opinion/oe-rodriguez28
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
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12-09-2009, 04:01 PM, (This post was last modified: 12-09-2009, 04:41 PM by SiLVa.)
#2
RE: Conspiracies Thrive in Minds Open to Influence
Quote:The real truth is that, as weird as they are, rumors and conspiracy theories can only thrive in the minds of people who are predisposed to believe them.
Undecided Is that "the real truth"? Because I was never one to believe in "conspiracies" or "conspiracy theories" before I started to do my own research and decided to open my mind up to different perspectives, whether politically, socially or otherwise.
Now...is having a more open mind(according to this article) equal me predisposing myself to believe in conspiracies? That doesnt fly. Facts, data, history all come into play. Ive removed my emotions or my political positions in order to look at things objectively. This kind of weak generalization shows this bullshit for what it is.

Quote:Successful propagators of fringe theories don't just send random balloons into the atmosphere. Rather, they tap into the preexisting beliefs and biases of their target audiences.
This may be for independant radio hosts, jounalists, and such that speak or write about conspiracies, but so do the "propagators" of the mainstream media. All media talk show hosts like Limbaugh, Hannity and their counterparts on the left do this same exact thing. It's practically a staple of propaganda.
It then falls on the individual, whether they decide to just believe what they hear or see without looking further. But I must say, in looking further, Ive gained a lot more then what is ever propagated by the mainsteam. So I guess thats where the divide is born.
The general consensus is that the mainstream gives you enough information, and therefore, any information gathered outside of the purview of the mainstream is then labeled "fringe". Regardless of how accurate, factual, or logical it may be. How convenient.
"Listen to everyone, read everything, believe nothing unless you can prove it in your own research"
~William Cooper

DTTNWO!
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12-09-2009, 11:43 PM,
#3
RE: Conspiracies Thrive in Minds Open to Influence
Just like most articles that I have seen that attempt to "explain" conspiracies, they automatically make the assumption that all of them are false without doing any investigation at all.

Quote:that Barack Obama, whose mother was an American citizen and whose state of birth has repeatedly said his birth records are in good order, isn't a legitimate American citizen.
That being a prime example of their shoddy research.

I just find it laughable that these kinds of articles always attempt to make points describing how shoddy our research is and how susceptible to rumor we are and they fall right into the very same potholes they are describing while being completely blind to the evidence that we cite and discuss out for everyone to see. Pretty pathetic.
“Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through equation after
equation, and eventually build a structure which has no relation to reality. ” -Nikola Tesla

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace." -Jimi Hendrix
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12-10-2009, 09:51 PM,
#4
RE: Conspiracies Thrive in Minds Open to Influence
Good comments!
An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it.
Mohandas Gandhi


Each of us is put here in this time and this place to personally decide the future of humankind.
Did you think you were put here for something less?
Chief Arvol Looking Horse
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12-11-2009, 05:36 AM,
#5
RE: Conspiracies Thrive in Minds Open to Influence
Quote:Dispelling conspiracy theories and untruths can be difficult when people only hear what they already believe.

Tell me about it. I have experienced this so many times dealing with people who believe Muslims blew up WTC.
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