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landmark
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Jon, I respect your recommendations, but Dr. Who is a bridge too far for me.
And if you're right about it, it would mean I'd have to pay attention to all kinds of SF that I've ignored for years Smile.
Jonathan Townsend
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Here's the notion of "the silence": you can see them and they are VERY convincing when they talk to you... BUT - as soon as you look away your conscious mind blocks any recall of them or them saying it.

The current "hard" science fiction authors are exploring lots of fun ideas. The recent relaunch of Dr Who has included some fun ideas including creatures that can't move while you are looking at them, rewriting time and just this week on what it would mean to truly duplicate a person.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
ASW
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Quote:
On 2011-05-29 17:22, Ross wrote:
There are some unbelievably ignorant posts in this thread.

Everything your government tells you is true. Believe everything you read in the papers. The mainstream media is your friend. There's nothing to see here folks, move along...


See?
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
magicfish
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Quote:
On 2011-05-23 04:30, Uli Weigel wrote:
What conspiracy theorists don't get - and they never get it - is, that they do exactly, what they accuse the government/media/authorities/unknown dark forces of doing allegedly: obfuscating the truth. It must be comfy to live in a self-immunizing and well-arranged belief system, in which the conspiracy theorist - thanks to his well trained selective perception - only sees what he wants to see. If there weren't enough conspiracy theorists already doing the job for free, governments, secret services and intelligence literally would have to to invent them. I mean, if you want to keep certain things about your military test programs secret, blame it on the aliens. See Roswell. But they didn't need to invent a weird story to misdirect the public. In the fifties and sixties, the air force probably couldn't be happier, that there was a constant supply of fools who kept the alien tale alive.

The good thing is, that most conspiracy therories are so dumb or too obviously wrong, that they only make for good entertainment or templates for lame Hollywood scripts (Roswell, Moon conspiracy, Lady Di's death in Paris).

Get yourself a sharp-edged Occam's razor, one of the best tools you can possibly have to bushwhack through the conflicting mass media mix of news, facts, rumours and gossip.


This is my vote for post of the decade. Thank you, sir, for actually posting something on NVMS... that makes a hint of sense.
Ross
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I feel I need to stand up for the "Conspiracy theorists". That phrase has become a dirty word in recent years. I find it hard to believe that people can think the world operates in such simplistic, black and white terms: All the normal people Vs the deranged conspiracy theorists. It is unhelpful and misrepresentative to lump people into one of these two categories.

The world is full of people with open and questioning minds, who don't accept everything they read in the papers or watch on Fox news, and for good, sound, logical reasons. The 'conspiracy theorist' parodied in Uli's post above is a straw man, and it fails to respect the plurality of viewpoints that exist, on a wide-ranging set of complicated issues. Of course there are people out there prone to fantastical and paranoid viewpoints - but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Knowing/believing that governments obfuscate the truth is not a comfy place to be. People who question what is parroted at them in the increasingly conglomerated media should not be labelled dumb. A questioning mind is not the same thing as a "self-immunizing and well-arranged belief system".

One of the charges often levied at 'Conspiracy theorists' is that such a secret would involve too many people to render it impossible to keep. This shows a lack of understanding of two issues, related to how power structures on a large scale could work: 1). Compartmentalisation. 2). The provable fact that the same organisations have their fingers in many pies across government, media, eduction, the military, business. It only take a a small number of people to control the masses, it has been done throughout history.

I'd love to believe that our governments are all beneficent, and that sinister forces and motives have never been at work in the course of history. But I don't. My education has given me reasons not to. I also believe I have enough evidence to debate this. What's more, I have enough manners not to label as dumb people who do swallow up the official version of events. I realise it's incredible uncomfortable to start questioning things.
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Please tell me you don't work in a position where you can influence impressionable minds.

It's one thing to question political agendas (a normal, rational thing to do) and an entirely different thing to believe the Apollo landings were faked by the US government. The former is an ordinary act of reason and skepticism, the latter is the act of a very stupid person.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
Ross
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ASW: I would agree with you, to a point. The question is who is deciding where the line is between a legitimate questioning of a political agenda and 'the act of a stupid person'.

I think we need to establish if we are exploring the question of 'Can a conspiracy exist?' in general (I would guess we would all be willing to entertain that idea in principle), or are we discussing specific conspiracy theories. I think we would get further if we take each theory on its own merits, rather than lumping them all together.

You've brought up a specific theory: The idea that the Apollo landing were faked. You've labelled the idea of entertaining this theory as the act of a very stupid person. Now, what I'm interested to know is have you reached this conclusion by looking at the (alleged) evidence, or dismissed it out-of-hand because it's a "Conspiracy theory"?
Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2011-05-30 09:45, ASW wrote:
Please tell me you don't work in a position where you can influence impressionable minds.

It's one thing to question political agendas (a normal, rational thing to do) and an entirely different thing to believe the Apollo landings were faked by the US government. The former is an ordinary act of reason and skepticism, the latter is the act of a very stupid person.


Please, ASW, everyone knows the Apollo landings were faked by the Jews by way of Hollywood. The US government just sanctioned it as part of its long term policy of hiding the real aliens that are already here pulling the string. Word is that AIDS is a byproduct of their attempts at cross breeding a worker caste. We already know that science fiction is the real way declassified data gets leaked in to public knowledge.

*

On a serious note, the entire notion of a suitable fiction, a "them" seems to me a toxic combination of projection, displacement, giving up of personal responsibility and despair which appears (again IMHO) fueled by vanity. Pretty much a con game where it's just easier to feel good about oneself if all that one does not want to deal with can be claimed as the actions and responsibility of "them".
...to all the coins I've dropped here
landmark
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Quote:
On 2011-05-30 09:45, ASW wrote:
Please tell me you don't work in a position where you can influence impressionable minds.

It's one thing to question political agendas (a normal, rational thing to do) and an entirely different thing to believe the Apollo landings were faked by the US government. The former is an ordinary act of reason and skepticism, the latter is the act of a very stupid person.

How about whether the Gulf of Tonkin incident was faked by the US government?
Jonathan Townsend
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Vietnam? Isn't that where the civil war reinactors went to try out a "what if the south won" scenario and messed up?
...to all the coins I've dropped here
RS1963
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One way to look at C.T.'s is take the "Moon landings were faked" for an example. If that were the case. Countries such as China, Russia, and even our allies. As well as every other country that spies on the U.S.) would have shouted that from every mountain top there is. There would have been no way that the U.S. could have or would have been able to pay any nation off to keep quiet. Besides the claims of the landings being faked have so many holes and misconceptions or just flat out no understanding of science, physics or much of anything else. There are very few C.T.'s that hold much water.
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On 2011-05-30 11:59, RS1963 wrote:
One way to look at C.T.'s is take the "Moon landings were faked" for an example. If that were the case. Countries such as China, Russia, and even our allies. As well as every other country that spies on the U.S.) would have shouted that from every mountain top there is. There would have been no way that the U.S. could have or would have been able to pay any nation off to keep quiet.



That is one of the best arguments for it being real that I've heard, thanks RS1963! Smile

Of course, "the Conspiracy Theorists" will just say that ALL the countries conspire together because they're ACTUALLY led by the Illuminati or some such... Smile
"Dreams aren't a matter of Chance but a matter of Choice." -DC-
Jonathan Townsend
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They don't have to hold water (hold up to skeptical examination) when it is they nature and design to freeze that water - and so even a sieve or net of vague allusions will suffice.
...to all the coins I've dropped here
RS1963
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You're welcome Pakar. Thank you as well.

You're right also about them then claiming Things about the Illuminati. That is their favorite go to extra C.T. when the going gets tough for them.
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Quote:
On 2011-05-30 08:09, Ross wrote:
I feel I need to stand up for the "Conspiracy theorists". That phrase has become a dirty word in recent years. I find it hard to believe that people can think the world operates in such simplistic, black and white terms: All the normal people Vs the deranged conspiracy theorists. It is unhelpful and misrepresentative to lump people into one of these two categories.

The world is full of people with open and questioning minds, who don't accept everything they read in the papers or watch on Fox news, and for good, sound, logical reasons. The 'conspiracy theorist' parodied in Uli's post above is a straw man, and it fails to respect the plurality of viewpoints that exist, on a wide-ranging set of complicated issues. Of course there are people out there prone to fantastical and paranoid viewpoints - but don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Knowing/believing that governments obfuscate the truth is not a comfy place to be. People who question what is parroted at them in the increasingly conglomerated media should not be labelled dumb. A questioning mind is not the same thing as a "self-immunizing and well-arranged belief system".

One of the charges often levied at 'Conspiracy theorists' is that such a secret would involve too many people to render it impossible to keep. This shows a lack of understanding of two issues, related to how power structures on a large scale could work: 1). Compartmentalisation. 2). The provable fact that the same organisations have their fingers in many pies across government, media, eduction, the military, business. It only take a a small number of people to control the masses, it has been done throughout history.

I'd love to believe that our governments are all beneficent, and that sinister forces and motives have never been at work in the course of history. But I don't. My education has given me reasons not to. I also believe I have enough evidence to debate this. What's more, I have enough manners not to label as dumb people who do swallow up the official version of events. I realise it's incredible uncomfortable to start questioning things.




As ASW points out, you're not defending conspiracy theorists, you're defending skeptics who aren't under attack. The problem isn't "people who don't believe everything they read in the papers," it's people who believe everything they don't read in the papers. It's people who hear hoofbeats in Central Park and think not that it COULD be a moose instead of a horse, but who default to the conclusion that it's PROBABLY (or certainly) a moose (sometimes even a unicorn).
"Torture doesn't work" lol
Guess they forgot to tell Bill Buckley.

"...as we reason and love, we are able to hope. And hope enables us to resist those things that would enslave us."
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Actually they come to the conclusion that it is a unicorn that was deliberately although surreptitiously inserted into the Park and then sacrificed to space aliens in a Satanic ritual by agents of the Illuminati in order to further the world government of . . . . .

It's just more satisfying to believe that everything in history occurred under *somebody's* control, than to realize that -in Larry Niven's phrase- TANJ.

Even Jackie Kennedy was disappointed when Oswald was arrested: "He didn't even have the satisfaction of being killed for civil rights . . . . It's — it had to be some silly little Communist."

Woland

PS As I've mentioned before JFK assassination theories have become like the Murder on the Orient Express. Here is a partially annotated list of 68 persons who have been said to have participated.
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On 2011-05-30 10:16, Ross wrote:
You've brought up a specific theory: The idea that the Apollo landing were faked. You've labelled the idea of entertaining this theory as the act of a very stupid person. Now, what I'm interested to know is have you reached this conclusion by looking at the (alleged) evidence, or dismissed it out-of-hand because it's a "Conspiracy theory"?


I've already given you one reason: Honeysuckle Creek. There is NO WAY that all of the scientists working at the Australian tracking station, plus the Australian government itself, could have been part of some plot to fake radio signals that telemetry showed were coming from the moon. If they had, as is observed by others, it would have leaked and been used as a stick to bang the US over the head by those states in competition with the US during the Cold War.

In other words, the whole idea of such a mega-conspiracy involving hundreds of thousands of people around the world keeping quiet, is simply not plausible. Its impossible. It's hard enough for two people to keep a secret, so apply common sense to the nature of what is being suggested here and you will realise it's a stupid Conspiracy Theory believed only by stupid people.
Whenever I find myself gripping anything too tightly I just ask myself "How would Guy Hollingworth hold this?"

A magician on the Genii Forum

"I would respect VIPs if they respect history."

Hideo Kato
landmark
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Woland,
What, only one Lee Harvey Oswald on the list? What about all the doubles? Very incomplete.
But seriously, a lot of the usual suspects (among the CT-ers, not the assassins) are missing. It's kind of surprising. Linking Posada to the murder is a new one on me, though he is the one person there who is truly a mass murderer (mid-air bombing of a Cuban jetliner killing all 73 aboard).
landmark
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ASW,
Let's agree that hundreds of thousands would not try to fake things. But, just to be difficult, let's suppose that American scientists were able to somehow fake whatever transmissions were received around the world. Certainly scientists have been fooled by clever tricksters before in history.
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Well, landmark, the conspiracy list that I'm aware of more or less at hand, without looking anything up, would include books written claiming that JFK was killed by the Chicago Mafia, by the Corsican/Marseillaise mob, by the FBI, by the CIA, by Castro, by the anti-Castro Cubans, by Russia, by a right-wing cabal of Texas millionaires (cf Burt Lancaster in "Exe-CU-tive Action"), Richard Nixon (who it seems was in Dallas on the very day, but later said he couldn't remember where he was when he got the news), and there was at one time a confession from Charles Harrelson, although he later retracted it. And it was the fact that Officer Tippitt was such a double for JFK that he even had the nickname "JFK" that provided one author with the motive for his killing - by the CIA.
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