If the power elites didn’t need the consent of the public to rule, they wouldn’t have to lie constantly about their reasons for war. What if its 1984 and you don't know it because you haven't recognized who big brother is yet.
Monday, January 28, 2019
found this in my inbox this am from a long time friend. its curious sometimes to see what the 'official' point of view is on the term the cia came up with in sixty seven to combat the rising tide of citizens that realized the oswald did it story was crap;
BY ROB BROTHERTON
Conspiracy theories have always been around, but lately, they’ve been getting more attention. As the prevalence of conspiracy thinking among the electorate and even within the highest offices of government has become clear, conspiracism has inspired popular thinkpieces and attracted scholars. Along the way, conspiracy theories have also inspired plenty of myths. Here are five.
MYTH NO. 1
Conspiracy theories are for the lunatic fringe.!
Presenting fringe theories as the essence of conspiracism gives the impression that conspiracy theorists are a handful of kooks who will believe even the most ludicrous ideas. But conspiracy thinking — the inclination to entertain conspiracy theories in general — is much more widespread than belief in any particular theory.
More than half of Americans said they believed at least one of the conspiracy theories they were asked about in surveys between 2006 and 2011, blaming the Iraq War on oil companies or the 9/11 attacks on U.S. government insiders, for example. A recent survey found the same proportion of conspiracy theorists among the British public.
MYTH NO. 2
C! onspiracy theories are more common than ever.
"Are we entering a golden age of the conspiracy theory?" asked a 2017 headline in the Guardian.
The Internet — and social media in particular — is often blamed for fueling the fashion for conspiracism.
But there’s no good evidence that conspiracy theories are more popular than they used to be.
In the most thorough study to date, researchers combed through more than 100,000 letters to the editor published in the New York Times and the Chicago Tribune between 1890 and 2010. They found a stable background hum of conspiracy theorizing, not an everincreasing cacophony.
This fits with the historical record: Conspiracy theories ! didn’t suddenly flourish in the 21st century, or even the 20th.
They’ve always been with us, and people have spread them through whatever technology was available.
MYTH NO. 3
Conspiracy theories are all in people’s minds.
In 2018, the Independent ran the headline "Scientists discover the reason people believe in conspiracy theories." The answer, the article reported, is that it’s all in people’s heads.
Psychological findings do help explain why people believe or dismiss conspiracy theories. But focusing exclusively on unconscious biases and cognitive mistakes overlooks the fact tha! t there is often a kernel of believability at the heart of these theori! es. Governments and organizations do things in secret. Intelligence agencies plan assassinations and coups, spy on people, try to manipulate public opinion.
Even if you’re pretty sure the government didn’t develop HIV as a bioweapon to be deployed against unsuspecting citizens, for example, to suggest that government researchers might conduct secretive, unethical experiments involving the health and autonomy of marginalized people isn’t crazy; it’s history.
Which is not to say that all conspiracy theories should be embraced. But neither should conspiracy thinking be written off as a mere psychological flaw.
MYTH NO. 4
Conspiracy theories are an existential threat to society.
In the first few days of August 2018, mainstream news headlines described an emerging conspiracy theory as "bizarre," "dangerous," "terrifying" and a "deranged conspiracy cult."
Those articles were about QAnon, a loose collection of cryptic nonsense that started online and manifested as a handful of people showing up at President Trump’s rallies with homemade signs and shirts.
Though the articles implied a substantial number of believers, none reported any data.
Subsequent polling showed that many people — 4 in 10 �€! ” hadn’t heard of QAnon or didn’t know enough to have an opinion.
Among those who knew about it, it was viewed overwhelmingly unfavorably. An analysis of the QAnon subreddit showed that a tiny but vocal contingent of boosters was making almost all the noise about it on the forum.
Most people who engage with ideas like this just sit back and watch, probably treating the theories as a curiosity or entertainment.
MYTH NO. 5
Facts don’t change people’s minds about conspiracy theories.
In a 2010 study, people first read misleading claims and were then given corrections to those claims. Reading the corrections appeared to be largely ineffective and actually in! creased mistaken beliefs among the people who had believed the incorrect claims most strongly to begin with, in a bias called the "backfire effect."
Recently, however, research has called the backfire effect into question. In 2017, researchers ran studies in which more than 10,000 participants encountered 52 different claims and corrections. That work found no backfire effect, concluding that by and large, "citizens heed factual information" — even when it goes against what they are inclined to believe. n
Brotherton is an academic psychologist at Barnard College and author of "Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories." This was written for The Washington Post.
An Apollo 11 astronaut left a footprint on the moon in 1969. Most people don’t believe the conspiracy theory that the moon landing was faked by the U.S. government — but polls show that more than half of Americans believe other dubious theories.