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2008 Cass Sunstein and Adrien Vermeule Harvard Law School - "Conspiracy Theories: Causes and Cures''
04-20-2012, 12:05 AM #16
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,201 Threads:1,487 Joined:Feb 2011
chuckle.gif That's about right.


04-20-2012, 12:09 AM #17
yankees skier
Posts:5,032 Threads:215 Joined:Feb 2011

04-20-2012, 06:36 PM #18
misterbumps Member
Posts:948 Threads:37 Joined:Apr 2012
Yeah read it if you get a chance jay. Who knows. It may be an starting ideology for the beginning of a change of internet laws for various countries....

I can see by your coat my friend you're from the other side. Just one thing I got to know. Who won?
04-20-2012, 06:38 PM #19
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,201 Threads:1,487 Joined:Feb 2011
I downloaded the PDF last night and was going to read, then came the guy that needed a ride to the sun gaah.gif chuckle.gif
I'm going to check it out later this evening hi5.gif


04-24-2012, 08:10 PM #20
JayRodney ⓐⓛⓘⓔⓝ
Posts:30,201 Threads:1,487 Joined:Feb 2011
I've taken the time to read through the PDF, I'll have to respond to this in parts as there is a substantial amount of information to take in.

Quote:Part I
Our primary claim is that conspiracy theories
typically stem not from irrationality or ment al illness of any kind but from a “crippled
epistemology,” in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational
sources. Those who hold conspiracy theories do so because of what they read and hear. In
that sense, acceptance of such theories is not irrational from the standpoint of those who
adhere to them. There is a close connection, we suggest, between our claim on this count
and the empirical association between terrorist behavior and an absence of civil rights
and civil liberties.
When civil rights and civil libert ies are absent, people lack multiple
information sources, and they are more li kely to accept conspiracy theories.

For starters I don't throw the term "epistemology" often in casual conversation so I had to refresh my own understanding of it.

From Greek ἐπιστήμη (epistēmē), meaning "knowledge, science", and λόγος (logos), meaning "study of") is the branch of philosophy concerned with the nature and scope (limitations) of knowledge. I vaguely recall running across the term, but that that's been a few years.

Now they blame a “crippled epistemology,” in the form of a sharply limited number of (relevant) informational sources. Those who hold conspiracy theories do so because of what they read and hear.

In lieu of the fact most major governments now have the desire, evidenced by pending legislation, to censor the internet; this would seem to go against the findings of this University of Chicago Law School Law & Economics Research Paper.

By limiting information, are they not actually feeding the conspiracy "monster"?

I did notice they qualified the term with the statement "limited number of (relevant) informational sources." In other words, relevant to their own interests in order to mold public opinion in a fashion they are comfortable with.

Now certainly a lot of people get the ideas about conspiracy theories from second hand what they read and hear sources. For myself and a lot of people it in some cases is first hand.

For example, I've worked in civil engineering for a number of years. On 9 1 1 The second I got home that night and saw the footage, I knew instantly and without doubt we were fucked.

Those buildings were demolished, I know a demo operation when I see one, and I'm qualified to make the observation that indeed it was demolition.

End of story, I don't really discuss it because knowing what I know as fact, coupled with the aftermath reaction that consists of an all out war on civil liberties, it's still too emotional.

I have a few more things I could get into as far as conspiracy, UFO's etc, but they are best saved for other threads.

My point is, not all conspiracy theorists get their ideas from Jessie Ventura or Alex Jones. To some of us, it comes first hand. This paper turns a blind eye to this, and is just flawed logic to do so.

I have a suspicion this paper was obviously not taken too seriously by anyone in government policy making. It states:

"When civil rights and civil liberties are absent, people lack multiple information sources, and they are more li kely to accept conspiracy theories."

The current intrusive policy with regard to civil rights, coupled with the desire to narrow information sources could lead one to believe they are actually attempting to bolster conspiracy theories.

More to come...


04-24-2012, 08:31 PM #21
Octo Mother Superior
Posts:41,416 Threads:1,585 Joined:Feb 2011
It's also interesting to notice how they differentiate between 'conspiracy theory' and any other theory.

Definitions by google:


A secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
The action of plotting or conspiring.


A supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, esp. one based on general principles independent of the thing to be...: "Darwin's theory of evolution"
A set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based: "a theory of education"; "music theory".

Quote:con·spir·a·cy the·o·ry
A belief that some covert but influential organization is responsible for an unexplained event.

So while any other theory is a supposition, system of ideas or set of principles intended to explain something, a conspiracy theory is a belief. Also the definition of conspiracy doesn't include anything about 'some covert but influential organization'. Fascinating.

04-24-2012, 08:49 PM #22
Adde All in Moderation
Posts:837 Threads:55 Joined:Apr 2012
Nice catch misterbumps. I'm going to have to download and read this pdf. spock.gif Interesting points Jay and Octo. I need to educate myself.
04-24-2012, 09:55 PM #23
Kreeper Griobhtha
Posts:11,136 Threads:770 Joined:Feb 2011
That's just them trying to fabricate "evidence" that non-conformists are mentally ill so they can use it against us later.


What politics from both sides wants to teach us is that things are never complex. If you have your little package and something doesn't fit into that package, You don't know what to make of it so you want to dismiss it or then you will have to do the work of reconsidering your assumptions. - Michael Malice



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