All posts tagged conspiracy

Credit Craig Sunter – CC-BY

In the past week I’ve had a couple of visits from people who saw a link from another site to a post here. Being curious I backtracked them and found myself reading about the Great Cloud Conspiracy. Apparently when the International Cloud Atlas released a new edition with some added cloud types it meant that they were actually new clouds that didn’t use to exist. And of course that means that someone, probably the government, had done something that caused them to appear. Something about chemtrails? Note that my posts were linked to as a form of validation for their theories. In one case the author of the conspiracy post simply cut-and-pasted my post right off the screen. Any reasonable person who reads my posts will realize that I don’t subscribe to the conspiracy theories they’re supposed to support.

To be misunderstood is bad enough. To then be used as back-up for some wingnut’s conspiracy theory is going too far.



The Edmonton Journal has an article about an inverse correlation between how much a person knows and how much they think they know.

People often suffer from an ‘illusion of knowledge,’ write the authors of a new study that finds that people who hold the most extreme views about genetically modified foods know the least.

“The less people know,” the authors conclude, “the more opposed they are to the scientific consensus.”

The problem is similar to the Dunning-Kruger effect: The less competent a person is at something, the smarter they think they are.

“Extremists have this characteristic of being much worse than the other people at evaluating how much they know.”

The answer would seem to be education, but …
Sometimes it backfires, and people double down on their “counter-scientific consensus attitudes.”

You should see the comments.

Peter Lawless
A big whitewash not so much for science, but for the GMO’s! The thing here is that these “scientists ” and “experts” either get it totally wrong through genuine ignorance, or make it so by lying for corrupt reasons like being in the pay of big corporations.

Wayne Alan
Did you read the article?

Wendy Dann
This is a TERRIBLE INSULTING ARICLE. It began with a discussion about the GMO debate and then it went on insulted people about everything.

John Brookes
How is this insulting? It just says that people who don’t know anything think that they do.

The scientists are going to test their findings in other areas, such as vaccinations and homeopathy. I’ll go out on a limb and predict that the results will be very similar to this study of attitudes toward genetically modified foods. Do you think I’m cynical?

via People with extreme anti-science views know the least, but think they know the most: study | Edmonton Journal


Public Domain – tap for large image

I think that most of the people who say the Earth is flat are trolling. Unlike T-Rex, I don’t think that all flat-earthers are trolling, just most of them. I think they do it to get noticed. I think they do it to set themselves apart, and to imply that the rest of us are common and boring by comparison. And I think they do it to get a reaction, like other trolls. You’ll be able to tell the trolls from the true believers by how many questions they ask. While true believers will also ask questions in their efforts to make you see the light, the trolls will use almost nothing but questions in their efforts to manipulate you. It’s the earnestness of the true believers that will settle it. Trolls never leave themselves that vulnerable.

Flat-earthers have a lot in common with conspiracy lovers. In fact, part of the flat earth philosophy includes the belief in a round earth conspiracy. Since science and exploration are responsible for much of the evidence against flat and for round, there has to be a conspiracy to hide the flatness of the truth. So that’s another reason why people do it. They are psychologically pre-disposed to believe in an occult truth obscured by a mainstream conspiracy.

Of course, there is also that minority of people who say it because someone told them it was true. The credulous few who will believe whatever they’re told by someone they look up to, and who will fiercely cling to that belief no matter what. Generally, this group is composed of people who aren’t able to think for themselves, and who wouldn’t think of questioning the truth of something they don’t understand.

So, there you have three of the reasons why people say they believe the Earth is flat. They’re trolling. They’re conspiracy lovers. They’re credulous. If you can think of any more reasons, please let me know in the comments.

Here’s a Scientific American article on the subject, to give you the conspiratorial establishment’s spin on the flat earth. And here’s a Youtube video of Bugs Bunny proving that the Earth is globular.


Lorie Shaull (Flickr) / Creative Commons

The website has a look at the conspiracy theories that have arisen, and have been promulgated deliberately, after the mass murder and terrorization of school children in the United States on Valentine’s Day 2018. Initially the murderer was the focus of the rumors, but after the surviving children began calling for better gun controls, the conspiracy theories became about them. The gun proliferation advocates began to attack the credibility of the survivors who were speaking out.

The internet has been rife with rumors about the school shooting that left 17 dead in Florida on Feb. 14. We’ve debunked several of them.

Initially, the rumors focused on the alleged shooter himself, Nikolas Cruz. But, as students who survived the shooting started advocating stricter gun controls, new rumors focused on the most vocal among them. Those falsehoods grew into full-fledged conspiracy theories, one of which briefly topped the list of trending videos on YouTube.

Go to for the rest of the story, and go to WNPR to hear an interview with with people covering this story. Here is a direct link to the interview. Total time: 49:23. This story starts at about the nineteen minute mark.

via School Shooting Spawns Conspiracy Theories –

Crispian Jago is dying. I have featured his blog, The Reason Stick, here before. One, two, three. It is self-described as: A blunt, shit-stained instrument wielded indiscriminately to bludgeon pseudoscience, superstition, blind faith and common or garden irrational bollocks. Now he is applying the same unflinching rationality to his own death. He has written a journal about it, called Always Look on the Bright Side of Death. He says that sudden death is supposed to make your whole life flash before your eyes, but that slow death gives you time to write about it. Here is an excerpt from Chapter 4, wherein he satirizes so-called alternative medicine. He assures us that he is glad that the British national health service uses “the best medical interventions known to science” instead. Here you go. See if you can guess what each of the five is aimed at. Note – He was talking about how to deal with bunkum.

I think the same principles of satire and derision can be applied to all forms of nonsense to try and emphasise its inherent absurdity. We often become blind to much irrational nonsense due to the familiarity of the context in which it is presented. I therefore like to juxtapose that context to help re-stress the incongruity of certain notions. For example, “Karma Kanics”, my imagined alternative new age vehicle well running centre, offers many services beyond mainstream garages who seem to have very little time for their customers and focus solely on the specific mechanical faults in your vehicle. My new age vehicle well running centre takes a far more holistic approach to your car’s well running by using more traditional and natural repair techniques that will enhance your vehicle’s whole engine, body and petroleum spirit. Typical therapies offered include:

Drive Shaft Manipulation
Many Alt-Mach practitioners believe that most faults in the car are caused by cardan-subluxations, where one or more couplings in the drive shaft move out of position. Firm manipulation of the drive shaft can help to free these blockages and allow the free flow of innate torque throughout the whole car.

Torsion Healing
Fully trained Torsion Masters go through several levels of attunements and are able to channel a car’s torsion by mystically waving spanners over the bonnet and restoring the engine’s cosmic balance and harmony.

A variety of mechanical faults can be fixed by massaging the correct points of the car’s tyres. Various zones on each tyre mirror separate engine components. For example, massaging the inner tread of the driver’s rear-side tyre can clear blockages in the carburetor.

Exhaust Candling
Exhaust candling involves inserting a hollow candle into the car’s exhaust pipe with the external end lit. The process works by the flame creating negative pressure encouraging carbon monoxide and other toxins in the car to be expelled through the exhaust to naturally detoxify your engine.

Anti Service
Regular car servicing is promoted by the shills of “Big Garage” as a supposed method of reducing breakdowns. In reality, regular servicing of your car simply pumps it full of toxic oil and brake fluid and feeds the profits of conventional garages. Some studies have also shown a link between new car servicing and incorrect valve clearance.

Farcical as the above mechanical therapies may sound we tend not to notice so much when we apply them to ourselves and refer to them as: Chiropractic, Reiki, Reflexology, Ear Candling and Anti Vaccination – yet they are equally bogus.

I’m glad I found The Reason Stick. I’m sorry that Crispian Jago is dying, but I’m thankful that I got to experience his surgical wit beforehand. Maybe he’ll be looking over our shoulders after he’s gone, keeping us honest and rational. Nah. He’d call that bollocks.