Author Topic: Books about combating conspiracy theories  (Read 531 times)

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Offline genelaw

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Books about combating conspiracy theories
« on: November 18, 2016, 10:28:54 AM »
Conspiracy theories. In my ongoing discussions and arguments with family and friends, these come up nearly every single time. I feel like I need some more info. Any good books (or even in-depth articles) that someone could recommend? I recently finished Denialism by Michael Specter (which I liked), but I'm now looking for something that dives deeper into debate strategies or common fallacies/themes in most conspiracy theory arguments.

Offline Andrew Clunn

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #1 on: November 18, 2016, 12:16:48 PM »
I'm also interested in this topic.

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Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #2 on: November 18, 2016, 01:15:38 PM »
Conspiracy theories. In my ongoing discussions and arguments with family and friends, these come up nearly every single time. I feel like I need some more info. Any good books (or even in-depth articles) that someone could recommend? I recently finished Denialism by Michael Specter (which I liked), but I'm now looking for something that dives deeper into debate strategies or common fallacies/themes in most conspiracy theory arguments.
First off, you will never change the hard core conspiracy nut's mind. They don't care about the facts, their mission is to attack a party or group. This is the reason they can blithely ignore fatal flaws in their theories.

Given the above you can only speak to the fence sitters, the undecided. Present hard facts that make the conspiracy unlikely or impossible. Don't bother quibbling with them about "magic bullets" or the like, just present a diagram of the limo showing the governor was sitting lower than the president, not level with him.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline riptor

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2016, 03:01:43 PM »
I recommend "Among the Truthers" by Jonathon Kay and "Voodoo Histories" by David Aaronovitch.

Online Noisy Rhysling

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2016, 03:09:17 PM »
Anybody needs help with Pearl Harbor, that's my thing.
"Sunday's horoscope is note worthy because of its strange, sudden and wholly unpredictable and inexplicable occurrences, affecting all phases of life." Your Horoscope" L.A. Evening Herald Express, Sat, 12/06/41

Offline JuniorSpaceman

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2016, 06:37:39 PM »
I second 'Voodoo Histories', even though I don't agree with everything in it.

'Them' by Jon Ronson gives some background to some of the big American conspiracy theories that doesn't get talked about much, and is also extremely readable. I hadn't been aware of the Waco -> Ruby Ridge -> Oklahoma bombing -> Alex Jones connections, for example.

Although it's mostly coming from 'the other side', I found 'Apocalypse Culture' (I and II) a really good primer into the thinking behind the conspiracy mindset. I've come to genuinely despise 'transgressive culture', but those books should be read by all skeptics with strong stomachs.

Offline genelaw

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 11:45:18 PM »
All four books added to my Amazon wishlist. Thanks for the titles!

Offline Shibboleth

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 12:05:10 PM »
Any true books on conspiracy theories have been removed from circulation by the Illuminati and placed in the same warehouse where they put all of the engines that can get 100 miles to the gallon.
common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools.

Offline lonely moa

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Re: Books about combating conspiracy theories
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 01:25:02 PM »
This is a podcast form the good people at the Australian Broadcasting Company this week, concerning conspiracy theory.

The book the interviewee has just written is  "Suspicious Minds: Why we believe conspiracy theories", Rob Brotherton.

It provided a little insight to an anti-vax (recent) mother I met at a NYE party.  I wasn't aware of the split between the acts of omission and commission.  If your child has a rare bad reaction (or sees to) after some vaccination, it's your fault; if (s)he dies of pertussis, it isn't. 
"Our minds are not quite designed to understand how the world works, but, rather, to get out of trouble rapidly an have progeny."  Nassim Nicholas Taleb

 

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