Tag Archives | Conspiracy Theories

Tech Company ‘Proves’ Faked Moon Landing Conspiracy Theory As Hoax

Nvidia, the tech company that makes the graphics card for your gaming PC, says it has debunked the faked moon landing conspiracy theory. Here’s the video, about which Nvidia says “Explore the truth behind the iconic Buzz Aldrin moon landing photo. See how modern graphics innovations can shed new light on a 35-year-old conspiracy theory”:

What do you think, disinfonauts?

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Do Conspiracy Theorists Feed on Unsuspecting Internet Trolls?

Theodor Kittelsen, Askeladden.jpg

Have fun with this one, disinfonauts, found at Pacific Standard:

You know who you are. Somebody posts some daft claim about chemtrailsfaked moon landings, and a supposed connection between vaccines and autism. You step in, trying valiantly to show them the error of their ways.

Well, your plan won’t work. No, if anything, it’ll make it worse.

That’s the conclusion of a new study by a team of Italian computer scientists, physicists, and, yes, social scientists. They scoured data from Italian Facebook—acquired through the publicly available Graph system—that showed how users had interacted with Facebook pages devoted to science news, conspiracy theories, conspiracy debunkers, and satirists and trolls.

Generally speaking, fans of actual science news and fans of conspiracy theories were pretty similar.

Sorting through 1.2 million users in all, the team first identified individuals who had used 95 percent of their likes on either science or conspiracy pages.

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Malaysia Airlines MH370: The Persistence of Conspiracy Theories

A reflection on why conspiracy theories about Malaysia Airlines MH370 are enduring from Tom de Castella at BBC News Magazine:

Six months after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines flight 370 it is still the subject of a slew of explanations. Why has this tragedy prompted such a wave of conspiracy theories?

Sudden, dramatic events often provoke conspiracy theories – particularly where the official version is disbelieved. Think JFK, Princess Diana, 9/11.

But in the case of MH370 there is not even an official version. Nobody knows what happened to MH370. It’s a modern mystery.

268ap - Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6ER; 9M-MRO@ZRH;07.12.2003 (5398092340).jpg

Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777-2H6ER by Aero Icarus (CC)

“It is very rare to be able to proffer no convincing answer for an event,” says Times columnist David Aaronovitch, whose book Voodoo Histories tackles conspiracy theories.

Then there’s the context. After the revelations by Edward Snowden about the extent of global surveillance by the US National Security Agency, it seems somehow hard for laymen to believe that an airliner can just disappear.

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[Poll] The most damaging U.S. president of the last 50 years?

United States Capitol by Phil Roeder via Flickr.

United States Capitol by Phil Roeder via Flickr.

It’s time for a quick poll recap. This past week, we voted on everyone’s favorite “conspiracy” theory. New World Order/Illuminati was in the lead for awhile, but the 9/11 conspiracies ultimately won out. This week, with the help of some fellow commenters, we’ll be voting on which US president has been the most damaging of the last 50 years.

Favorite “Conspiracy” Theory

  • The theories around 9/11 (21%, 156 Votes)
  • New World Order/Illuminati (18%, 135 Votes)
  • Who really shot JFK? (14%, 100 Votes)
  • Reptilian Conspiracy (12%, 87 Votes)
  • The theories around MKUltra (7%, 54 Votes)
  • The theories around Area 51 (7%, 49 Votes)
  • Faked moon landing (6%, 46 Votes)
  • FEMA Concentration Camps (4%, 32 Votes)
  • HAARP (4%, 29 Votes)
  • Water Fluoridation (4%, 26 Votes)
  • Chemtrails (3%, 22 Votes)

Total Voters: 735

The most damaging U.S. president of the last 50 years?

  • Barack Obama
  • George W.
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MTV Says The Illuminati Controlled Last Night’s VMAs

When MTV starts posting tongue-in-cheek articles about the Illuminati controlling its Video Music Awards (VMAs), you know that the Illuminati pop music meme has just about run its course:

Last week, we gave you two sides of a much-heated national debate. First, we gave you 16 examples that prove the Illuminati control the VMAs. Then, we flipped the argument on its head, giving 16 more reasons why they totally don’t. Both sides were compelling and convincing enough, but only last night’s epic show could settle the matter once and for all. Take a look at the evidence and judge for yourself.

The Snake Debacle

(C) MTV (Fair Use)

(C) MTV (Fair Use)

PRO-ILLUMINATI: Nicki Minaj sang a song called “Anaconda.” Which is a snake. A satanic snake. Need we say more? Even though she’s, uh, probably not singing about a real snake (we’re thinking it may be a metaphor), the symbolism is so there.

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Catch of the Day: Who Believes in Crazy Conspiracy Theories?

climate changeJust to wind certain commenters up (you know who you are), here’s Jonathan Bernstein’s critique of that article I posted “Conspiracy Theories Aren’t Just For Conservatives,” at BloombergView:

A catch to Andrew Gelman for correcting an attempted but inaccurate catch by Alfred Moore, Joseph Parent and Joseph Uscinski, who thought they had caught Paul Krugman in an error on the always-fun topic of conspiracy theories. Not so!

Here’s Krugman’s original assertion:

Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left — which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe — the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.

Moore, Parent and Uscinski take that quote and attack it on the basis that both liberals and conservatives are equally likely to believe in crazy conspiracy theories. That part, as Gelman agrees, is correct. Plenty of examples in both items for those liberals who are skeptical of it, but I’ll add one more anecdotal one: the belief among liberals in 2003 and 2004 that George W.

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Conspiracy Theories Aren’t Just For Conservatives

911 Was an Inside JobConcluding that “Neither liberals nor conservatives are more credulous or crazy,” co-authors Alfred Moore (Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working on the Conspiracy and Democracy project), Joseph M. Parent and Joseph E. Uscinski (Associate Professors of Political Science at University of Miami and authors of American Conspiracy Theories), suggest that “Republicans and Democrats are equally prone to believing in conspiracy theories.” From the Washington Post:

Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? Liberals, that’s who. Take Princeton economist Paul Krugman who ominously warns that:

Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left—which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe—the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.

Krugman makes a fair point: in moderation conspiracy theories may show healthy skepticism, but in excess they can erode the trust needed for states to fulfill their basic functions and warp the respect for evidence necessary for sound decision making.

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The New Scientism

English: General Jack D. Ripper (Sterling Hayd...

It seems to be that science in general has donned a new mask not unlike the worn out mask of religious zealots. Call it dogma. Call it power trip. Call it vested interest in research money, or furthering a career. Call it stagnation. It seems to me, that some pop scientists and their sycophants would like to think they have a monopoly on truth. Either way, Robert Anton Wilson may have pegged it when he said:

The totally convinced and the totally stupid have too much in common for the resemblance to be accidental.
Disinfonauts and others, be prepared. For your favorite “conspiracy theory” may be trodden upon in this article. Remember… No scratching. No hair pulling. No eye gouging. No hitting boobs or below the belt.

via Jacobin (please follow the link to read the entire article):

We can value scientific inquiry without viewing the natural sciences as free of politics.

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Ron Paul Says U.S. ‘Likely Hiding Truth’ About MH17 Crash

Ron Paul, official 109th Congress photoEx-Congressman Ron Paul, libertarian hero and father of current presidential hopeful Rand Paul, has never been one to shirk a controversial statement, but really, an MH17 conspiracy theory? From his Voices of Liberty (click for audio of his reading the statement below):

The U.S. government has grown strangely quiet on the accusation that it was Russia or her allies that brought down the Malaysian airliner with a buck anti-aircraft missile.

The little that we have heard from U.S. intelligence is that it has no evidence that Russia was involved. Yet the war propaganda was successful in convincing the American public that it was all Russia’s fault. It’s hard to believe that the U.S., with all of its spy satellites available for monitoring everything in Ukraine that precise proof of who did what and when is not available.

When evidence contradicts our government’s accusations, the evidence is never revealed to the public—for national security reasons, of course.

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