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Tag Archives: conspiracy theories
There was a great bit of reportage by Maggie Koerth-Baker on critical thinking (or rather, its failure) in The New York Times recently. The article explored the psychology behind conspiracy theories, honing in on eight key reasons so many people believe in them: … Continue reading
The below video is a perfect deconstruction of conspiracy theories and religious stories (in my view). Lay before the world an engaging and logically possible narrative, highlighting along the way anything that might lend it plausibility. Then wait for people … Continue reading
How much responsibility should postmodern academics assume for America’s pervasive anti-science and conspiracy culture? A helpful route into thinking about this question is Bruno Latour’s 2003 essay, “Why Has Critique Run out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters … Continue reading
As part of a conspiracy series for British television, the BBC took five young earth creationists on a road trip to meet some prominent American scientists, including biologist Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago and anthropologist Tim White of Berkeley. Were the … Continue reading
Back in March, Rachel Maddow was on the Daily Show and said something about conspiracy theories that I think is quite profound: CONSPIRACY IS EASIER TO UNDERSTAND THAN COMPLEXITY. Thought of this way, a conspiracy theory is simply another way … Continue reading
Jonathan Kay’s Among the Truthers was reviewed by Jacob Heilbrunn for the New York Times this past month, and, in discussing the cult-like epistemic closure characteristic of so many people in America, this part of the review jumped out at me: As Kay … Continue reading
At Talk To Action, a website devoted to reporting on, and deconstructing, the Christian fundamentalist right, Rachel Tabachnick flags the following overhead projection that appeared in an End Times talk by Col. Jim Ammerman. In ascending order, the projection portrays elite societies and global institutions as emanations of … Continue reading
As of right now, the Pentagon is denying responsibility for Monday’s apparent missile launch near Los Angeles, claiming not to have any idea what might have caused the appearance of so large a contrail (“condensation trail”). Might it be from a submarine? … Continue reading
You certainly couldn’t fake a moon landing in 1969, but I suppose that, with contemporary technology, you might almost get away with it today. In the future, will government and corporate officials—and those in our assorted propaganda industries—start using the greenscreen technology below to … Continue reading
The New York Times recently did a profile of the Tea Party movement, and after reading the article I came away with the sense that what we’re seeing is more akin to a religious cult than a political movement. Here, … Continue reading
In a Salon interview, David Aaronovich, the author of a new book that historically contextualizes and debunks conspiracy theories, praises the post-9-11 growing skeptics’ movement in the United States and Britain: Maybe I’m a false optimist, but I think we have a … Continue reading
The former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir, at an Islamic conference in 2003: And Richard Williamson, a Catholic bishop: And the Drudge Report, using an anti-Semitic trope—the large and overshadowing Jew—in reporting on the Pope’s visit to Israel (May 12, 2009): … Continue reading
This today at Reason: Both Venezuelan state-owned radio and television properties zeroed in on a secret U.S. “weapon of earthquakes” as the cause of the earthquake that struck Haiti last week causing a death toll [that] could exceed 200,000 according … Continue reading
In the New York Times today, philosopher Denis Dutton meditates on our cultural fondness for the apocalyptic: We wallow in the idea that one day everything might change in, as St. Paul put it, the “twinkling of an eye” — … Continue reading
It’s not a nice thought, but this is an easy prophecy to make. And it’s the singular prophecy surrounding December 21, 2012 that will almost surely come to pass. Perhaps you remember Heaven’s Gate. Heaven’s Gate was a San Diego based cult whose … Continue reading
At a Burbank UFO conference I attended on Saturday, I had lunch with Richard Dolan (I tell that story here). In the clip below, Dolan is being interviewed at a UFO conference in Nevada: And here’s Dolan’s website and the Amazon link to … Continue reading
Philosopher AC Grayling’s review of John Polkinghorne’s new book, Questions of Truth, is a tough one and can be read here. Money quote: [T]he painful experience of wading through this book gave me an epiphany: that religious faith is extremely … Continue reading