Author Topic: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates  (Read 2388 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8746
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« on: July 15, 2008, 11:27:23 AM »
Be it resolved we formalize "the elements of any conspiracy theory" as the Novella Postulates (named after Dr. N of course). Any ripping good conspiracy theory must fulfill three postulates. It must have three sides:

1) The evil side. These people have access to vast amounts of power, transcend governments, have access to superior science, command vast organizational structures, and yet also are in the habit of making primary mistakes so obvious any schlub can see the errors. For example, the moon is a dry lifeless world and yet Buzz Aldrin clearly has mud on his boots! So man never went to the moon.

2) The sheeple. The vast majority of the population have no idea about the conspiracy, keep their head down, and are being led like lambs to the slaughter.

3) The army of light. These are the people who have seen the truth. It is their sacred duty to expose the conspiracy and bring it down. Those who don't recognize the light of reason, when presented, are either part of the conspiracy or they're committed sheeple.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2008, 09:43:22 PM by mindme »
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Offline David E.

  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 15291
  • Contentedly Misanthropic.
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2008, 11:57:22 AM »
Works for me.
People are so used to criticizing religion in whispers, that a normal voice, sounds like a shout.

Offline Zookster

  • Lightly seared on the reality grill
  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2131
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2008, 12:06:23 PM »
Thirded
Massey: No, he needs to be left alone.  We can't fix any of this with violence.
Schlock: You're just afraid to use enough of it.
-----------------
Tagon: So what is it, gas?  Ice crystals?
Ennesby:  It's a melange.
Tagon: I didn't ask what colour it was!

Offline azinyk

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2008, 12:41:09 PM »
Sorry, I'm going to have to disagree with you there.  You can define a "ripping good conspiracy theory" any way you want, but I don't think a plain ordinary conspiracy requires any of those things.

The dictionary definition of conspiracy that I use is this: "a plot to carry out some harmful or illegal act (especially a political plot)"

Examples:
The Wedge Strategy - creationists planned a grand, society-changing conspiracy, but they're not very powerful, or vast.  Their science certainly isn't superior.

Class Warfare - Leaders claim to be trying to help workers (by lowering unemployment, say) but their interests are actually opposed to those of the little guy.  They are working to lower wages and benefits, move jobs to third-world countries, and maintain high unemployment to scare workers.  They're happy to admit this in Business Week or the Wall Street Journal, so secrecy is clearly not a requirement for a conspiracy.  Organization isn't a necessary feature either, because these business and political leaders are largely working independently.

Iraq War - Clearly a conspiracy, because engaging in a war of aggression for oil wealth and war profiteering qualifies as harmful and illegal.  But in this case, there weren't really many sheeple - most Americans disapproved of the war by 2007.  Admittedly, this situation started out with a lot of sheeple, because in 2003, there was no evidence for WMD or Iraqi links to 9/11, and the yellowcake scandal was a "primary mistake so obvious any schlub [could] see the error", and yet about 75% of the American population still supported the invasion, which makes for a very small Army of Light.

Fraud like Enron or BRE-X - I bring up these examples, because these conspirators were able to fool people quite successfully, without making big errors.  That means the "sheeple" weren't acting stupidly or ignoring obvious evidence.  There was also no Army of Light that could see through the conspiracy.

BTW, I understand that your post was intended to be funny.

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8746
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2008, 01:22:44 PM »
Right. There are real conspiracies. You'll notice I used "conspiracy theory" not "real conspiracy". Let me clarify. How do we distinguish between real ones and tinfoil hat wearing ones? Hence the Novella Postulates. Just as nature doesn't always get onside with the Koch Postulates or our definition of species or planet, I think the Novella Postulates are a good test.

Although reading your class warfare one is I think not a real conspiracy:

Quote
Class Warfare - Leaders claim to be trying to help workers (by lowering unemployment, say) but their interests are actually opposed to those of the little guy.  They are working to lower wages and benefits, move jobs to third-world countries, and maintain high unemployment to scare workers.  They're happy to admit this in Business Week or the Wall Street Journal, so secrecy is clearly not a requirement for a conspiracy.  Organization isn't a necessary feature either, because these business and political leaders are largely working independently.

First, which leaders? Politicians? Which ones? Business always wants to reduce expenses. That's not a bad thing. As a consumer you wouldn't be happy if GM was using $1000 of nickel in their cars simply because it keeps North American nickel miners employed. Also, businesses do want to pay the minimum. Workers want the maximum. They meet in the middle. I don't see a problem there. There's good economic evidence that moving jobs to third world countries is a good thing. A $50 coffee maker now costs you $10. That's $40 you now have in your pocket to spend at a restaurant and a movie. A chef gets a very good job and people in hollywood get good jobs.  And your last sentence is entirely true. The economy is a product of everyone working independently trying to maximize their return. That's how capitalism works and I don't see a lot wrong. To wit, none of this is a conspiracy unless you view capitalism as a conspiracy.

Anyway, save for your class warfare example, you roughly map out what are real conspiracies. And each I believe fails one of the Novella postulates. Hence it's real. Not a tin foil hat wearing one. If a conspiracy theory meets all three, then there's a very good chance it's a tin foil hat wearing one.

Dig?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 01:35:11 PM by mindme »
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8746
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2008, 01:48:32 PM »
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=276#comment-4301

Oh wow. Just posted today in Dr. N's blog. A great chance to apply the postulates :)

"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Offline Iconoclast

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2756
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2008, 02:12:18 PM »
http://www.theness.com/neurologicablog/?p=276#comment-4301

Oh wow. Just posted today in Dr. N's blog. A great chance to apply the postulates :)



Thats a good, juicy, tin-foil-hat-wearin', conspiracy theory!

Maybe all you need is something a little catchier than "ripping good conspiracy theory" and the Novella Postulates will stick.  Then add it to wikipedia.

Speaking of wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory
Quote
The term "conspiracy theory" may be a neutral descriptor for any conspiracy claim. To conspire means "to join in a secret agreement to do an unlawful or wrongful act or to use such means to accomplish a lawful end."[1] However, conspiracy theory is also used to indicate a narrative genre that includes a broad selection of (not necessarily related) arguments for the existence of grand conspiracies, any of which might have far-reaching social and political implications if true.[citation needed]

The first recorded use of the phrase "conspiracy theory" dates to the year 1909. Originally it was a neutral term; during the political upheaval of the 1960s the term acquired its current derogatory sense. [2] It entered the supplement to the Oxford English Dictionary as late as 1997.[3]

In an early essay by Daniel Pipes "adapted from a study prepared for the CIA", Pipes attempts to pin down what beliefs distinguish 'the conspiracy mentality' from 'more conventional patterns of thought': appearances deceive; conspiracies drive history; nothing is haphazard; the enemy always gains; power, fame, money, and sex account for all [4].

The term "conspiracy theory" is frequently used by mainstream scholars and in popular culture to identify a type of folklore similar to an urban legend, especially an explanatory narrative which is constructed with particular methodological flaws.[5] The term is also used pejoratively to dismiss claims that are alleged by critics to be misconceived, paranoid, unfounded, outlandish, irrational, or otherwise unworthy of serious consideration.

It appears azinyk is technically correct on the definition of conspiracy, but mindme is certainly correct in its popular definition and usage.  Perhaps you call it "grand conspiracy" to be clear?

Now, did azinyk have a different screen name or was it always azinyk?
« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 02:58:46 PM by Iconoclast »
"Everyone should try to end the day a little smarter than they began it" - Warren Buffet
www.thelongrunblog.com - Critical Thinking on Money, Finance and Economics
2012
"it is a mind over bladder thing" - Stonequarry

Offline craig

  • Frequent Poster
  • ******
  • Posts: 2804
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2008, 02:42:04 PM »
Be it resolved we formalize "the elements of any conspiracy theory" as the Novella Postulates (named after Dr. N of course). Any ripping good conspiracy theory must fulfill three postulates. It must have three sides:

1) The evil side. These people have access to vast amounts of power, transcend governments, have access to superior science, command vast organizational structures, and yet also are in the habit of making primary mistakes so obvious any schlub can see the errors. For example, the moon is a dry lifeless world and yet Buzz Aldrin clearly has mud on his boots! So man never went to the moon.

2) The sheeple. The vast majority of the population have no idea about the conspiracy, keep their head down, and are being led like lambs to the slaughter.

3) The army of light. These are the people who have seen the truth. It is there sacred duty to expose the conspiracy and bring it down. Those who don't recognize the light of reason, when presented, are either part of the conspiracy or they're committed sheeple.


I  like your definitions but I am not sure about the name.  I heard these elements described first (and best) in the speech by Perry that was posted in the tribute show after his death.  Perhaps "the DeAngelis Postulates" would be more fitting.
"Why ya gotta act like you know when you don't know....It's okay if you don't know everything." --- Ben Folds

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8746
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008, 02:46:18 PM »
Be it resolved we formalize "the elements of any conspiracy theory" as the Novella Postulates (named after Dr. N of course). Any ripping good conspiracy theory must fulfill three postulates. It must have three sides:

1) The evil side. These people have access to vast amounts of power, transcend governments, have access to superior science, command vast organizational structures, and yet also are in the habit of making primary mistakes so obvious any schlub can see the errors. For example, the moon is a dry lifeless world and yet Buzz Aldrin clearly has mud on his boots! So man never went to the moon.

2) The sheeple. The vast majority of the population have no idea about the conspiracy, keep their head down, and are being led like lambs to the slaughter.

3) The army of light. These are the people who have seen the truth. It is there sacred duty to expose the conspiracy and bring it down. Those who don't recognize the light of reason, when presented, are either part of the conspiracy or they're committed sheeple.


I  like your definitions but I am not sure about the name.  I heard these elements described first (and best) in the speech by Perry that was posted in the tribute show after his death.  Perhaps "the DeAngelis Postulates" would be more fitting.

You're right. I do remember hearing that too. I would not want to cheat Perry out of some immortality.

The DeAngelis Novella Postulates until we get some clarification?

"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows

Offline musteion

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1010
  • Lord of The Pants
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008, 03:21:15 PM »

First, which leaders? Politicians? Which ones?

Just a minor quibble... but I could see a case for a low class warfare conspiracy depending on how it's defined.  You could identify a constellation of business and governmental interests that together seek to push through pro-business policies under the guise of helping "the little guy."  Take Frank Luntz, for example.  He framed the estate tax debate and re-branded it as the "Death Tax," with Republican leaders piling on and claiming how repealing the tax would help "family farms."  In reality, the estate tax had nothing to do with death or most family farms, and it had everything to do with taxing millionaires.  By framing it in that way, I've no doubt that many well-meaning middle and lower class folks were duped into thinking they were helping themselves. 

By any measure, the "death tax" ploy and the many other similar frames were intended to protect and expand business interests by a cynical and dishonest appeal to the non-rich.

So I don't know if that counts as a conspiracy to you, but it does to me.

Offline azinyk

  • Well Established
  • *****
  • Posts: 1224
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2008, 03:40:14 PM »
Now, did azinyk have a different screen name or was it always azinyk?

It's always been azinyk, although sometimes I sign a post "Ashley Zinyk".

Offline fishshtick

  • Darwin's Weiner Dog
  • Keeps Priorities Straight
  • ***
  • Posts: 344
  • The Hopeful Monster
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2008, 09:47:44 PM »
I'm pretty sure I have seen those three "postulates" stated on other websites about conspiracy theories so I am not sure the concept should really be credited to the rogues.
Huxley was Darwin's bulldog.  I consider myself Darwin's weiner dog - watch your ankles!

Offline Nasikabatrachus

  • Keeps Priorities Straight
  • ***
  • Posts: 452
  • I will show you kittens in a handful of dust.
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2008, 10:52:18 PM »
Is this list based on a specific episode of SGU?
The “default mode” of human behavior is to construct an elaborate rationalization for what we already believe, and want to believe. The more intelligent we are, the more sophisticated and elaborate our rationalizations – giving more confidence in our conclusions, but not necessarily deserved. - Dr N

Online stands2reason

  • Empiricist, Positivist, Militant Agnostic
  • Poster of Extraordinary Magnitude
  • **********
  • Posts: 10418
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2008, 01:44:38 PM »
Be it resolved we formalize "the elements of any conspiracy theory" as the Novella Postulates (named after Dr. N of course). Any ripping good conspiracy theory must fulfill three postulates. It must have three sides:

1) The evil side. These people have access to vast amounts of power, transcend governments, have access to superior science, command vast organizational structures, and yet also are in the habit of making primary mistakes so obvious any schlub can see the errors. For example, the moon is a dry lifeless world and yet Buzz Aldrin clearly has mud on his boots! So man never went to the moon.

2) The sheeple. The vast majority of the population have no idea about the conspiracy, keep their head down, and are being led like lambs to the slaughter.

3) The army of light. These are the people who have seen the truth. It is there sacred duty to expose the conspiracy and bring it down. Those who don't recognize the light of reason, when presented, are either part of the conspiracy or they're committed sheeple.


Is this a new and original idea? It seems like psychologist that study cults and conspiracy groups have already agreed on this model.

Offline mindme

  • Reef Tank Owner
  • *********
  • Posts: 8746
    • http://www.yrad.com/cs
Re: Be it resolved: The Novella Postulates
« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2008, 06:03:54 PM »
Is this a new and original idea? It seems like psychologist that study cults and conspiracy groups have already agreed on this model.

It could come down to who popularizes it.
"Because the world needs more Mark Crislip."

Conspiracy Skeptic Podcast
Korean Podcast
Michael Goudeau, Vegas Comedy Entertainer Available for Trade Shows