Friday, August 30, 2019

how conspiracy theory minded are you?

You can now do an online test of your propensity for believing conspiracy theories. It doesn’t test belief in specific conspiracy theories but is intended to measure your overall tendency to see the world in conspiracy theory terms.

I’m told the average American college student scores 2.2. My score was 1.8 which apparently makes me less inclined towards conspiracy theories than the average set subject.

Mostly I have little time for these online psychological tests but this one is quite intriguing. We seem to live in a society in which people increasingly see the world as an interlocking network of conspiracy. It’s something I personally try to avoid.

Of course if the conspiracy theorists are right then this test itself is probably part of a vast CIA mind control experiment!

Here’s the link to the test. Enjoy.

3 comments:

  1. Why do you try to avoid conspiracy explanations? Surely you would want to know what was *true* about any specific situation?

    Why have a bias against acknowledging a conspiracy? - I mean, we all know conspiracies do happen sometimes.

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    1. Why have a bias against acknowledging a conspiracy? - I mean, we all know conspiracies do happen sometimes.

      Conspiracies do indeed happen sometimes. But not everything is a conspiracy. In any given case you have to ask yourself two questions. Firstly, is the conspiracy theory explanation plausible? Secondly, is there any actual evidence for it?

      Does the CIA interfere in the internal affairs of other sovereign nations? It's entirely plausible that they would want to do so, and there's ample evidence that they do. So it's reasonable to believe that the CIA routinely engages in real conspiracies.

      Were the moon landings faked? It's not very plausible since the chances of doing so successfully would have been very poor. And there appears to be no convincing evidence whatsoever. So it's reasonable to conclude that this is a mistaken conspiracy theory.

      The worrying thing is that a lot of people judge conspiracy theories not by their plausibility or by the evidence but on the basis of whether those theories fit in with their preconceived ideas. I don't think all conspiracy theories should be dismissed out of hand but I do think that most of them fail the plausibility and evidence tests and are almost certainly untrue.

      Of course believing that nothing is a conspiracy is just as foolish as thinking that everything is a conspiracy.

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  2. @DoD - Well it was the CIA that apparently invented and popularised the term...

    There isn't any coherent definition of a conspiracy theory - some very high proportion of mainstream high profile political discouse is ' conspiracy theory' (eg all the *mass' of escalating daily stuff about prevalent and dangerous White Nationalist parties and terrorists, KKK, 'far right' groups and so forth).

    If you get your knowledge of CTs from the mainstream, naturally it will be distorted. My impression is that the true position of CTs is simply that 'we do not believe the official narraitive' - and in this they are nearly always, evidentially, correct. And it is because of this that they are very actively, currently, increasingly, being persecuted, demonised, deplatformed, banned, attacked etc.

    Do you agree with such persecution? Why do you lend support to this?

    If compelled to construct alternative 'true' narratives, these can only be hypothetical - but they can usually be made to look silly - because such evidence is almost never avaiable in sufficient quantity or with sufficiently obvious authority.

    But so what? - to know that 'it didn't happen Like That' is enough. Such an attitude (call it sceptical, call it cynical, according to taste) has been normal among the masses in most societies throughout history; and it is the modern West that is anomalous - and gullible!

    What I find remarkable is that - knowing For Sure that the mass media, politicians, heads of major institutions have lied So Often in the past (about so many and such important things); and about how Huge crimes and wickedness is systematically hidden from the Little People like us - we continue to say that the onus of proof lies on those who doubt Them!

    At a certain point, gullibility gets what it deserves.

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