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Thread: Conspiracy Competition. I lay down the gauntlet.

  1. #16
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    Also, describing some of these guys as

    Quote Originally Posted by firefinga View Post
    Joe Average
    is being very generous indeed.
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  2. #17
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    I think it's a woeful part of popular culture now. In the 70s and 80s it was only cranks and subcultural types that namechecked this stuff. Arguably it had the potential to be amusingly subversive then (I think that's what Robert Anton Wilson was trying to get at with his "Illuminatus" trilogy certainly).

    But the reality of this in 2017 is just shit stoner culture, really. And some guy holding up a pizza restaurant with a gun, trying to find abused children.

    I think "Joe Average" is an entirely accurate description. It's not at all unusual to meet people who think 9/11 was an inside job or that David Icke has "some interesting ideas" or that things are controlled by a shadowy cabal.

  3. #18
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    I'm a member of a great FB group called I Don't Think That's Science. Well, I say great - I guess it's hilarious and worrying in equal measure. In particular, the hostility towards medicine of the great (mainly American) Facebook/Tumblr/Instagram-using public is frankly scary. The anti-vaxxer movement is only the most well-known aspect of anti-medicine conspiracy theory; many people also have an extreme prejudice against any kind of psychiatry, especially pharmaceutical psychiatry, and almost anything that's used either to help you not get cancer in the first place or to treat it once you've got it, from tanning lotion to radiotherapy, will be shockingly revealed as the cause of cancer. It's quite astonishing.
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  4. #19
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    Well, they usually see themselves as "Joe Average", don't they?

    Plus, it's so easy to get invovled in those circles these days over the net. In pre-net times, you'd have to buy obscure books, check out odd catalogs, read weirdo fanzines. Those ideas floating around aren't new usually, but they're spread just way more easily now. And another thing doesn't help, namley the rare occasion of factual conspiracies like Italy's "Propaganda Due" :

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaganda_Due
    Last edited by firefinga; 05-07-2017 at 12:18 PM.

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    I think it's a woeful part of popular culture now. In the 70s and 80s it was only cranks and subcultural types that namechecked this stuff. Arguably it had the potential to be amusingly subversive then (I think that's what Robert Anton Wilson was trying to get at with his "Illuminatus" trilogy certainly).
    Yeah, Wilson and Shea are/were obviously smart guys - I've not read Illuminatus! but I did read the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy a long time ago, and I gather it covers a lot of the same themes. It seemed to me that they were using these grand, shadowy, occult conspiracies as metaphors for kind of boring but very real conspiracies, like industry lobbies, think tanks, major religious bodies, the media and so on.

    (All of which is not to suggest that groups like the Skull & Bones don't exist and have influential members - of course they do - but, as was depicted rather brilliantly in the most recent series of House of Cards, they're mostly an excuse for a bunch of rich blokes to dress up, get drunk and generally prat about, and also to fraternize and make contacts in a way that's not really any different from attending trade shows or using LinkedIn.)

    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    But the reality of this in 2017 is just shit stoner culture, really. And some guy holding up a pizza restaurant with a gun, trying to find abused children.
    Yeah, it's fucking tragic. And it goes to show that there's no-one more credulous than the man convinced that he and he alone - or he and a few select others, anyway - has figured it all out while the rest of us mill around going 'baaa'.
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  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    The anti-vaxxer movement is only the most well-known aspect of anti-medicine conspiracy theory;
    Me thinks, they are one of the more prominent conspiracy groups of today, regarding numers and errr "influence". There used to be an article here and there in the past, but the last few years they seem to be popping up in the evening TV news repeatedly (at least in the German speaking world). Which is somewhat the evidence of reaching mainstream awareness.

  7. #22
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    A classic thread-bumpo from dissensus' anti-conspiranaut faction, who seem to feel the irresistible need to promote conspiracies and assign them to shadowy "groups" and "movements" from the fringes of cyberspace and social media "They are everywhere and getting more and more!"
    Luckily our antis are so insightful that only they can perceive the enormous false consciousness that these theoretical conspiranoids are labouring under.
    phew, thank goodness for the woke sheeple, where's my laughing crying smiley

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post
    Yeah, Wilson and Shea are/were obviously smart guys - I've not read Illuminatus! but I did read the Schroedinger's Cat trilogy a long time ago, and I gather it covers a lot of the same themes. It seemed to me that they were using these grand, shadowy, occult conspiracies as metaphors for kind of boring but very real conspiracies, like industry lobbies, think tanks, major religious bodies, the media and so on.
    Pynchon would be the Daddy here, I guess, though I didn't realise this when I read Wilson.

    Part of my depressive response when confronted with this stuff nowadays comes out of being engaged (to a very limited extent) with what comes out of Syria. Assad in conjunction with the Russian state are running a hugely successful "fog of war" campaign to distort/deny/sow confusion about what's happening out there. The Khan Sheikhoun attack is a good exemplar, or the commentary that surrounds The White Helmets. See the comments underneath this Monbiot tweet for examples: https://mobile.twitter.com/GeorgeMon...85821371695104

    The fucking Canary was pumping out the same bullshit the other day, which is a big reason I can't feel at all supportive towards the Corbynite Left as discussed at length with Droid in the Corbyn thread.

    It's such a close fit with people's unarticulated distrust of "the man" that it gets lapped up and disseminated thoughtlessly. Idrees Ahmed wrote "There are few things more commonplace than an Oedipal disdain for one’s own government" which is absolutely spot on in describing the emotional dynamics at work here.

    I can't find this shit entertaining anymore.

  9. #24
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    Good article on what is underlies a lot of "conspiracies" -states spreading disinformation: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/6...on-technology/

  10. #25
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    Another conspiracy template that seems to have crept into the mainstream is the accusation of "rigged elections", but only when the result doesn't suit the whiners'. Admittedly, usually coming from the right/populists' camps, but also seen from leftists.

  11. #26
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    boring innit sufi
    its like weve gone back 2 square 1
    the internet has scared people into reactionary positions. predictble but dispriting nonetheless
    run back to daddy

  12. #27
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  13. #28
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    the internet has thrown two related problems into stark releif
    1. the credulity of human people
    2. the pollution of the the information supply

    it is not a cause. it is a magnifying glass.

  14. #29
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    are people too stupid to be permitted to think (and research) for themselves?
    it's possible but you couldnt draw a more undemocratic conclusion.

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by luka View Post
    are people too stupid to be permitted to think (and research) for themselves?
    Lots of people are doing this, of course.

    The idea that if everyone did this they would all end up at conspiracy theories is hilarious.

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