(Conspiracy) Round-up – 13th of September

I was going to call this a “Conspiracy Round-up” but given that some of these links are only tangentially related to conspiracy theories and conspiracy theorists, it’s really just a list of “Things I have Read”.

This article, Will Misogyny Bring Down The Atheist Movement? is not an easy read if you in any way shape or form identify with the Skeptic movement (I don’t, although I am sometimes asked to present material to the local movement). We all know about the increasingly disturbing outbursts from Richard Dawkins but the material about Michael Shermer is chilling.

Which brings me to Libertarianism, given that, at least in the American skeptical movement, the “philosophies” of Ayn Rand and unreconstructed individualism is popular. Here’s a list of seven extreme ideas Libertarians in the States are committed to.

Can seabirds overfish a resource? Expect this article to be used against the environmentalist movement as proof positive that “These things are part of the natural cycle of things!” whilst ignoring the fact that it shows how fragile the environment is and how we’re not helping.

Is Net Neutrality a Marxist plot? Rich libertarian capitalists, the Koch Brothers, would like us to think so.

Apparently new evidence might kill the multiverse theory. Given that some people have tried to use said theory as a way of arguing for the existence of free will (any action you didn’t take occurs in a near relative universe), the death of the multiverse theory might kill those particularly bad arguments.

Illustrating falsificationism with reference to Bigfoot.

And on that topic, issues in Psychology about replicating key findings and how prominent academics don’t like their work being questioned.

More psychology: our reactions to the famous Trolley Problem — a test as to who you kill to save some other — might not tell us much of import.

Also psychological, the problems we have changing our minds. This is particularly relevant to a) my research on belief in conspiracy theories and b) my teaching practice.

Conspiracy theorist seeks to sue journalists for presenting his work accurately.


About Matthew Dentith

Author of "The Philosophy of Conspiracy Theories" (Palgrave Macmillan), Matthew Dentith wrote his PhD on epistemic issues surrounding belief in conspiracy theories. He is a frequent media commentator on the weird and the wonderful, both locally and internationally. On occasion he can be caught dreaming about wax lions but, mostly, it is rumoured he works for elements of the New World Order.