How do you talk to people about conspiracy theories without ruining Christmas?

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by dumbest man on earth, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Ran across this Article :
    "How should you talk to friends and relatives who believe conspiracy theories?
    By Marianna Spring
    Specialist disinformation reporter

    1: Keep calm
    While it's important to confront falsehoods, it's never useful if things end up in a flaming row.
    "My number one rule would be to not spoil Christmas," says Mick West, author of Escaping the Rabbit Hole. "An angry, heated conversation will leave everyone feeling rubbish and further cement conspiracy beliefs."

    2: Don't be dismissive
    "Approach conversations with friends and family with empathy rather than ridicule," says Claire Wardle from First Draft, a not-for-profit which fights misinformation. "Listen to what they have to say with patience."
    Her golden rule is: never publicly shame someone for their views. That's likely to backfire.

    3: Encourage critical thinking
    People who believe conspiracy theories often say: "I do my own research."
    "Many people who believe in conspiracy theories see themselves as healthy sceptics and self-taught researchers into complex issues," he says. "Present this as something that, in principle, you value and share.
    "Your aim is not to make them less curious or sceptical, but to change what they are curious about, or sceptical of."

    4: Ask questions
    Fact-checking is important, but it's often not the right approach when someone passionately believes in conspiracies. Questions are much more effective than assertions, experts say.
    "By asking questions and getting people to realise the flaws, you ultimately get people to doubt their own confidence and open them up to hearing alternative views," says former conspiracy believer Phil.

    5: Don't expect immediate results
    You might be hoping that a constructive conversation will end with some kind of epiphany over Christmas pudding - but don't bet on it.
    For those who have fallen deep down the conspiracy rabbit hole, getting out again can be a very long process.
    "Conspiracy theories tend to be simple, powerful stories that explain the world. Reality is complex and messy, which is harder for our brains to process."
    But the experts agree that even if you don't see immediate results - don't give up. "
    ^^ above quoted ^^ from and more in article :

    The idea of talking to people about conspiracy theories at any time is ludicrous at me at least.

    So, coming accross an Article with a guide to doing just that and doing it without ruining the Holidays...and on the BBC website...I found a little bit...odd?
    but it was written by an authentic Specialist disinformation reporter, so...

    ...cannot remember ever talking to any people about any conspiracy theories ever ruining any christmas...
    But, I am not English...
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  3. wegs Matter and Pixie Dust Valued Senior Member

    Lol! Conspiracy theories and Yuletide cheer? Maybe start a trend

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    Being serious, I’m not aware of conspiracy theories being off topic around the holidays. Usually, conspiracy theorists are anti-establishment and there’s always at least one relative you run across during the holidays who has that mindset. With Covid this year, get togethers may be smaller so there might be less controversy.

    I enjoy talking about conspiracy theories though if they seem halfway believable.
    Dennis Tate likes this.
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  5. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member

    Speaking of Being serious... : Marianna Spring is a Specialist disinformation reporter...for the BBC...
    Speaking of Being serious... : The Article seems to push the Covid-19 Virus and Coronavirus Vaccine as a Conspiracy Theory Fodder.

    Being REAL serious...

    Happy All Your Days!
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  7. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    As always: Three things not to discuss over family dinner: Sex, religion and politics.

    I was at a family dinner last year, sitting right between the kids (twenty-somethings) and the "grups" who were waxing banal about something mundane.

    The kids were bored of the table conversation, so I said "Hold my beer..."

    I mimed picking up a hand grenade, pulling out the pin with my teeth, and lobbing it into the midst of the grown-ups, crying simply "TRUMP!"

    While we looked on with amusement, the resultant grown-up argument lasted an hour and a half.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    How not to talk about conspiracy theories and not ruin the rest of your winter:
    Don't be in the same room with idiots! People who insist on putting forth conspiracy theories have probably been to super-spreader events without any protection and won't balk at spraying both kinds of stupidity all over you.
    Stay home. Invite nobody.
    RainbowSingularity likes this.
  9. (Q) Encephaloid Martini Valued Senior Member

    If someone starts talking conspiracy theories during the holidays, just smile and hand them a strong drink, sit back and enjoy the show. I have yet to see anyone change their minds by offering reason or logic. This forum and many more like it are a testament to that.
    Dennis Tate, Traverse and sculptor like this.
  10. Dennis Tate Valued Senior Member


    I have my own conspiracy that I base on the ideas of economist Milton Friedman, economists John Hotson, Harold Chorney and Mario Seccarrecia related to paying off the national debt of the USA and Canada in less than a decade...... if you are interested?
  11. dumbest man on earth Real Eyes Realize Real Lies Valued Senior Member


    mic drops, leaves room
    Dennis Tate and sideshowbob like this.
  12. C C Consular Corps - "the backbone of diplomacy" Valued Senior Member

    If a person was so driven by fact-hood righteousness or crusader idealism that such was literally the motive for addressing or challenging a "conspiracy theory" at Christmas -- to change the beliefs of the Other with expectations of success -- then the whole situation was probably an interaction between a hazelnut and a chestnut, anyway. Or at the very least, a Sisyphean passion for futility with respect to the ardent missionary.

    Just as the everyday desires, motivations, schemes, and deceptions of people ensure that some statistical percentage of gossip corresponds to real behavior -- regardless of whether it is ever converted to confirmed knowledge -- the grander scale where conspiracy theories abide should be a spectrum of possibility. Ranging from the rank of insane (like, say, Flat Earth or Moon Landing Hoax) to becoming such accepted memes of the popular mindset that even institutions, businesses, and journalism outlets cater to them as interpretative filters, or adapt to them policy-wise, to mitigate negative consequences.

    Even the adjective in "all conspiracy theories involve believing that individuals are working together behind the scenes with sinister motives" should be slotted along a gradient. As without that it may suggest maximum nefariousness as a qualifier. Politicians and business-people who mask their underlying purposes for proposals, agendas and sponsorships -- who accept kickbacks, enter into exploitive collaboration, etc shouldn't be let off the hook simply because their acts might not register "sinister" at the magnitude of SPECTRE or Hydra.

    If reaching the point where it is felt that the level of "connivance" projected either rightly or wrongly upon _X_ administrators doesn't warrant "conspiracy theory" classification for their well-disguised or successfully evaded potential deeds, then at least let's settle for "collusion hypothesis". As something hopefully not requiring a "Ernst Stavro Blofeld" standard for the mentality and goals of its participants.

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    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  13. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    would you prefer the pudding or the epiphany ?
    im sure you have room for both

    i was chatting with a 21 year old male a few weeks ago
    he had the intellectual nous of a 14 year old
    & while he said having sexual conversations with children(as an unrelated random adult) was supposedly ok because free speech
    it crossed my mind as i read this picturing him talking with a modern educated 15 year old girl
    i think she would find him quite boring and a social drag
    but he is 5 or 6 years older than her
    but intellectually around 1 or 2 years younger

    how do you value power authority at that level ?

    give both a gun and run for cover ?

    i have met reporters who play the scientific & political middle ground, but at heart after me politely chatting with them uncover they are more closely aligned to a political extreme ideologically

    when scepticism is couched in ideological belief things tend to become unhinged from scientific logic
    its a common theme in large church group intellect
    they spread miss information faster than California wild fires & any concept of uncertainty is sold as lack of relative value while they hand back authority to the one standing at the front on a soap box.

    which reminds me of something i have been intrigued with
    what appears to be a form of belief or psychosis which exists almost independently to the self educating individuals ability to perceive their own self image and self esteem.

    its far too complicated to explain and not give insider info to abusers though.
    so i will leave it there
    but i suspect it imply's there must be some intrinsic solidifying belief concept that attaches to internal valuers as an external mechanism to allow independent functionality, in a delusional function
    is this connected to the god region of the brain ?
    is it a developmental glitch
    like random bad code miss typed into a program ?

    hhmmm ...

    when the individual is not educated enough to comprehend the variance in data
    they morph the data into little boxs then attach labels
    equally emotional lack of intelligence

    it would seem fake liberalism might pander to this gap between different peoples intellectual levels
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  14. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    you think reason and logic are the alternate equalizer to religion ?

    conspiracy theorists are hard core religious people
    just wearing a fake science hat to try and be trendy in their social group
    like a child wearing plastic gold jewelry in the school playground

    why do they want to pay off the national debt ?
    do they ?
    where did they say this ?
    where is it posted that they are saying
    "we want to pay off the national debt"

    how do workers who have not got $2000.00 cash to buy a mew usa brand tax , chinese made cell phone which is worth about $150.00 ?
    they must borrow the money off a company
    a company that the government prints money for and gives to them for almost no cost and no profit
    why ?
    why is the government not making front line profit ?
    the lending comapny is making around 50%
    why cant the govt make at least 15% ?

    whos religion have we just walked into ? American liberal conservatives ?
    who give free money to church tax havens ?
    to do what with it ?
    build political activist organizations as churches ?
    to do what ?
    sell church and state should not be the same ?

    what was the story ?
    what is the conspiracy ?

    national debt ?
    or quantitative easing ?
    or private lending ?
    or government enterprises ?
    or tax dodgers ?

    you wont find that anywhere because they dont want to
    their entire system of lies and fakery relies on the national debt staying large
    the moment they pay off the national debt they will be told to not borrow any more money to line their own pockets with
    and then the game will be over
    and they never want the free money/game to stop
    thats why they are there to begin with

    the moment the national debt gets paid off and re-set to 0
    it smashes the illusion they use to hide them standing there with their hand in the till like a big fat bully child stealing cookies from the cookie jar

    monkey see monkey do
    monkey sad monkey need grunting sounds to feel safe
    monkey grunt

    monkey sad monkey want to hit smaller monkey to feel better
    monkey happy monkey want to hit smaller monkey to feel self assured of happiness
    monkey hungry monkey want banana
    monkey hungry so monkey tell everybody to be hungry, monkey want everyone to have banana after monkey has own banana, so everyone else doesn't stop monkey from having banana

    Last edited: May 12, 2021
  15. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member

    i.e "where is the evidence covid19 vaccines work to cure you of catching covid" ?

    self indoctrinating premise of the delusion of their religion ...

    their religion is in control
    even though it may wear different wigs

    my favorite monkey saying of the current trend is
    "we dont want"
    as corporate or business or leadership speak
    it is the down stream group bully mediated work place psychopath playing nice with the small children as the hard alcohol is being poured into coffee mugs out the back

    "we dont want"
    has now become a self identifier in younger common mental thought process of self actualization
    this is concerning
    but not overtly to any specific major degree above any other teenage developmental issue that whom may never graduate from.

    "we dont want"
    translated is
    "monkey demands free bananas"

    common usa language
    is socially acceptable way of saying
    sex with an underage person is ok

    they cant call them lies
    they need to reassign the definition of lying to make it acceptable by positions of power

    its very eeewwwww creepy !

    meanwhile ... insider incels dump liz cheney ?
    Last edited: May 13, 2021
  16. candy Registered Senior Member

    Not all "conspiracy theories" are false.
    The Tuskegee Experiments were all to real.
    Edward Teller did manipulate the numbers and Linus Pauling was persecuted. (It took the awarding of the Peace prize for the government to restore his passport.)
    The Pentagon Papers did exist.
    Never under estimate the ability of politicians to act in what they feel is best for them.
  17. sideshowbob Sorry, wrong number. Valued Senior Member

    The thing is, the ones we know are true didn't work. The conspiracies were exposed.
  18. RainbowSingularity Valued Senior Member


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    flapjacks & the truth of conspiracy

    • to conspire
    • to mislead
    • to lie to
    • to manipulate
    • to believe
    (adding a berry or piece of fruit to it does not make it a different item)
    what is being sold ?
    the food, or the idea that it is new different food ?

    there is a large chasmous difference between

    A conspiracy theorist urban colloquial
    B conspiracy theorist (actual)
    C media propaganda agent spinning political storys to make cash money power
    D common media comments using the word "conspiracy"
    E people who are labelled publicly as being ideologically opposed to any concept in a use to discredit them by labeling them insane as "conspiracy theorist"

    by highlighting 1 real item, does not validate others.
    water gate
    had it not been uncovered would be it labeled a conspiracy
    is it still labeled as a conspiracy knowing it was/is true
    is it still a conspiracy theory
    is there some type of cultural dogma operating to remove the word "conspiracy" from it to specifically own the meaning of and use of "conspiracy" for political agendas ?
    (too loaded? lol or have i just created a new conspiracy, if so what it is?)

    if you cant prove something
    does that allow for it to be named as a conspiracy ?
    like a religion ?
    are religions conspiracy's ?
    Last edited: May 13, 2021

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