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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:49 pm    Post subject: What The Fuck? Reply with quote

QAnon; Antifa; Turning Point; Turning Point UK; Alt-Right; Hope Not Hate......

A story appears in the Guardian newspaper about some nut-job in my county who raises a flag above the hotel he runs in Tintagel Castle (yes - the King Arthur place) with a huge great 'Q' on it and all of a sudden I'm in the middle of a seriously fucked up story where all of the above names are pouring out at me...

Am I missing something here? Will someone tell me what the fuck is going on? Are people seriously buying into this stuff?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 12, 2020 9:36 pm    Post subject: Re: What The Fuck? Reply with quote

+JMJ+

peter wrote:
[...]

Am I missing something here? Will someone tell me what the fuck is going on? Are people seriously buying into this stuff?


Apparently so.

On Page 1 of The Conspiracy Thread, Wosbald wrote:

Even Conspiracy Theories Have Gotten Dumber, a New Book Shows [In-Depth]

Quote:

Photo: Rick Loomis/Getty Images


Maybe Americans are obsessed with conspiracy theories because our nation itself was forged in one. In the turbulent run-up to and aftermath of the Declaration of Independence, the word on the streets -- and in the pamphlets -- of the colonies was not that the Crown had instituted bad or unfair policies, but rather that everything was part of a master plan to enslave the States, full stop.

"Historians have uncovered nearly one hundred resolutions urging independence issued throughout 1776 by states and counties and towns, artisan and militia associations, and the provincial congresses of nine colonies," write Russell Muirhead and Nancy L. Rosenblum in A Lot of People Are Saying: The New Conspiracism and the Assault on Democracy, a new book from Princeton University Press. "The tone, language, and form are consistent. In each, a narrative of self-defense against enslavement is built from fragmentary evidence. Each lists 'abuses and usurpations' adding up to a tyrannical plot."

[...]

What these "traditional" conspiracy theories have in common, whether true or false, is that they portray what are actual internally consistent theories involving rational(ish) actors. These are not, however, the focus of Muirhead and Rosenbloom's book, which homes in on a more recent and more dangerous phenomenon. The "new conspiracism," as they call it, seeks not to lay out fully (or even half-) baked theories about who has engaged in what evil act, and why, but rather to spread a more knee-jerk and emotion-driven type of angry fear: Above all, it seeks to undermine both individuals and sources of authority by simply repeating endlessly, via the megaphone of social media, unhinged claims laminated in the thinnest patina of evidence. "Conspiracy theory is not new, of course," Muirhead and Rosenblum write early on, "but conspiracism today introduces something new -- conspiracy without the theory."

As they explain:

Quote:
There is no punctilious demand for proofs, no exhausting amassing of evidence, no dots revealed to form a pattern, no close examination of the operators plotting in the shadows. The new conspiracism dispenses with the burden of explanation. Instead, we have innuendo and verbal gesture: "A lot of people are saying ..." Or we have bare assertion: "Rigged!" -- a one-word exclamation that evokes fantastic schemes, sinister motives, and the awesome capacity to mobilize three million illegal voters to support Hillary Clinton for president. This is conspiracy theory without the theory.


The instances above point to one obvious catalyst, Donald Trump, along with the forces that made him president. If you look around, you won't find, or won't find much, actual theorizing about (for example) why one should believe a child-sex trafficking operation was being run with the help of Hillary Clinton's campaign manager out of a Northwest D.C. pizza shop, let alone for even more convoluted and nonsensical theories like the Storm (aka QAnon). "What validates the new conspiracism is not evidence but repetition," argue Muirhead and Rosenblum. "When Trump tweeted the accusation that President Barack Obama had ordered the FBI to tap his phones in October before the 2016 election, no evidence of the charge was forthcoming. What mattered was not evidence but the number of retweets the president's post would enjoy: the more retweets, the more credible the charge."

Why do people spread this stuff? "Part of the appeal is performative aggression," the authors write. "The new conspiracism delivers dark claims, though the fabrications are erratic, vague, and undeveloped -- more angry assertion than revelatory narrative. For angry minds it offers the immediate gratification of lashing out, of throwing verbal stones." Not a spotlight on a hidden truth, but rather a million algorithm-multiplied middle fingers. And at a time when America's problems -- inequality, polarization, political and wage stagnation -- feel intractable, it makes perfect sense that people would be drawn to this sort of outlet for their frustration.



Photo: Princeton University Press


[...]


Yer welcome. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Remember, Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh yes - I'd forgotten about The Storm; Pizzagate; #WWG1WGA.......

The list goes on.

What was it that guy said when people questioned Trump's statement that the Crowd that had attended his inaugural address outside in Washington (the one where he insulted any and everyone that had come before him) was the biggest that had ever attended the event (it wasn't, and everybody knew it)......... that these were just "alternative facts" (as opposed to outright lies I suppose). When this kind of rubbish starts at the top it's bound to percolate down, to corrupt the society beneath it.

We have the same phenomena now in the UK with our own mini-Trump (Boris Johnson being what you get as one wag put it, if Donald Trump had gone to Eton) and his side-of-bus claims and the like. Granted the process has not advanced as far as it has in the US - but fear not guys, we're catching up apace! As the Brexit process continues our PM will have all the need he can get, for the use these 'alternatie facts'. Hold your hand out to us then brothers and sisters across the water, so that we can stride off together into the perpetual sunset of our Alternative-Leader created Alternative Future.

Laughing

Edit; Let's just consider this a bit further. Trump, the Obfuscator-In Chief, has made a career out of screaming "fake-news!" at every story that paints him in a less than favourable light, while simultaneously spraying out a continuous stream of half-truths, misdirections, factual innacuracies and outright lies. In combination these two sides of the same coin act to create a fog of confusion, a surreal landscape where the real cannot be separated from the false and (more importantly) everything out there takes on equal value, thereby allowing the perpetrators to pursue courses of action that would otherwise be denied them.

A concrete example of this; yesterday or the day before, Trump said that the Iranian General Qasseem Suleimani he recently took out in Baghdad was planning attacks on four embassies in the region, hence he was eliminated. Nobody has the slightest idea if this is true or not; it has been thrown out into the fog of alternative facts that the administration operations are carried out within. In the UK we are about to embark upon a course of action that is palpably against our future long-term interests at the behest of the Party (and they should own it) that now holds the reins of power in an almost unbreakably iron grip. When the project begins to fall apart (and it will; in the face of the developing crisis in the middle-east PM Johnson has already had to go cap in hand to the EU in an acceptance of the fact that we are neither strong or influential enough to pursue a separate foreign policy of our own making) the PM will begin to use the same tactics of obfuscations and misdirections just so as not to have to own this situation entirely of their own making.

These are however the examples I use, rather than the meat itself; the central point is much more important and much more sinister. These tactics have been seen before. They have been used to devastating and horrible effect by the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century, where a surreal environment of the truth being whatever the state said it was, was used to enslave the masses in their millions and perpetrate on them whatever horrors it was deemed were necessary in order that the Great Projects of their leaders be realised. I make no accusations of this kind of intent by our respective leaders, simply that in the utilisation of such techniques, in the grey fog of the land from which the clear light of the truth has been banished, horrors may be born of which they little conceive of in their small parochial thinking.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

peter wrote:
[...]

These are however the examples I use, rather than the meat itself; the central point is much more important and much more sinister. These tactics have been seen before. They have been used to devastating and horrible effect by the totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century, where a surreal environment of the truth being whatever the state said it was, was used to enslave the masses in their millions and perpetrate on them whatever horrors it was deemed were necessary in order that the Great Projects of their leaders be realised. I make no accusations of this kind of intent by our respective leaders, simply that in the utilisation of such techniques, in the grey fog of the land from which the clear light of the truth has been banished, horrors may be born of which they little conceive of in their small parochial thinking.


I'm not sure that said "intent" -- at least not in the caricaturized sense of a fully-formed, supervillainish precognizance -- is ever really there, even amongst the most notorious 20th c. regimes.

Rather, things just domino until wan faces, bearing the weight of history, rotely mumble, "Don't blame us. We're good people."
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The intent is to keep "the base" motivated.

Trump is powerful because of his base. With his base, he can prevent any Republican from getting elected (or so they fear). So Republicans do whatever he says. Having the Senate in his pocket is incalculably valuable - it protects him from any check or balance on his power. Trumps executive reach will never get it's fingers slapped. Business interests will throw money at Trump because they can get any sort of deregulation they desire, no matter the consequences. And Trump can blatantly funnel tax dollars into his own pocket. And corrupt the election process however he sees fit.

Power begets power, which begets power.

As long as his base is large enough and willing enough, all Trump has to do is keep them well fed and happy. So lies, and suspicion of anyone telling the truth, is the modus operandi. No one else is fooled - in fact, they see the emperors naked backside quite clearly. But who cares? The more they rail about Trump's depredations, the more Trump plays the victim card, and it's free food for the base.

That's why.

(This would never work with Democrats. They aren't self-interested enough. Republicans will hitch their sled to any winning dog, as long as it's winning, because self-interest matters more than the well being of others.)
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

+JMJ+

wayfriend wrote:
[...]

As long as his base is large enough and willing enough, all Trump has to do is keep them well fed and happy. So lies, and suspicion of anyone telling the truth, is the modus operandi. No one else is fooled - in fact, they see the emperors naked backside quite clearly. But who cares? The more they rail about Trump's depredations, the more Trump plays the victim card, and it's free food for the base.

That's why.


Seems like one might even say that it's the "intent" of "the base" to shut its ears and shout, "La-la-la! I'm not listening!"
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't even know what QAnon is. *shrug*

I just looked it up. Oh. Ah....okay, yeah, sure. That isn't even a good conspiracy theory. The Internet has ruined conspiracy theories. The thing which made conspiracy theories great in the past was their plausibility. These days, some noise gets made on 4chan, it jumps across Reddit to the clear web, and the meme catches on....but that isn't a conspiracy theory, just Internet traffic with intertia.

I would ignore it. Sadly, conspiracy theories aren't what they used to be.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 6:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wosbald wrote:
Seems like one might even say that it's the "intent" of "the base" to shut its ears and shout, "La-la-la! I'm not listening!"

No. But promoting tribalism and demagoguery induces a need to stay with the team no matter what. Hence the promotion of nationalism, Democrats are libtards, state run Fox news, etc. You can't have a good despot without a tribe behind him. And the tribe must only love the tribe.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Wosbald wrote:
Seems like one might even say that it's the "intent" of "the base" to shut its ears and shout, "La-la-la! I'm not listening!"

No. But promoting tribalism and demagoguery induces a need to stay with the team no matter what. Hence the promotion of nationalism, Democrats are libtards, state run Fox news, etc. You can't have a good despot without a tribe behind him. And the tribe must only love the tribe.
Quote:
you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call a basket of deplorables. Right"


Quote:
they get bitter and cling to guns or religion


lot of that tribalism going aroung nowadays Big Grin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rawedge Rim wrote:
lot of that tribalism going aroung nowadays Big Grin

and faulty generalization as well.
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Expressed in more precise philosophical language, a fallacy of defective induction is a conclusion that has been made on the basis of weak premises, or one which is not justified by sufficient or unbiased evidence.[4] Unlike fallacies of relevance, in fallacies of defective induction, the premises are related to the conclusions, yet only weakly buttress the conclusions, hence a faulty generalization is produced. The essence of this inductive fallacy lies on the overestimation of an argument based on insufficiently-large samples under an implied margin or error.[3]


Exhibits A and B: the Articles of Impeachment against Donald J. Trump.

Speaking of a good despot needing a tribe, remember the good old days when elementary school childern were led by their teachers to sing songs in praise of Barack Obama?

No, I definitely have to agree with Rawedge Rim on this one--there is a lot of tribalism occurring in this country right now on both sides. No Republican is going to dare to oppose Trump for the nomination even though it would be better for everyone--including Trump--if he were to be a one-termer. Meanwhile, a lot of Democrats are not supporting one candidate or another because they are not extreme enough in their views.

When did it become desirable to want to be fringe with extreme views?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

wayfriend wrote:
Wosbald wrote:
Seems like one might even say that it's the "intent" of "the base" to shut its ears and shout, "La-la-la! I'm not listening!"

No. But promoting tribalism and demagoguery induces a need to stay with the team no matter what. Hence the promotion of nationalism, Democrats are libtards, state run Fox news, etc. You can't have a good despot without a tribe behind him. And the tribe must only love the tribe.
The fact that you think this is peculiar to Republicans demonstrates the plank in your own eye. You apparently remember nothing from the prior administration nor the 2016 campaign.

And you also don't understand what a despot is. Trump may be many things, but calling him a despot minimizes how truly horrible actual despots are/were. If you think for a moment that Trump's on the level of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, or Ceausescu, then you not only have no grasp of history, but you're insulting anyone who survived those despotic regimes.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 4:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.projectveritasaction.com/2020/01/14/expose2020-part-1-bernie-2020-field-organizer-states-fing-cities-will-burn-if-trump-wins-re-election-calls-for-violence-mass-murder-of-opposition-and-reign-of-terr/

Project Veritas exposes Bernie Sanders campaign and its violent, anti-American ideas.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you spam this in every recent thread?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tribalism and demagoguery are nothing new. Nor are conspiracy theories, which although they may be being "ruined" by the internet, are sadly not being ruined in the way I would prefer, but instead becoming ever more popular with, as Wos' article suggested, a far lower bar. Very Happy

But really...it doesn't matter. It's a hard thing to accept, but my own feeling is you gotta be a bit Zen about it. Very Happy People will continue doing, saying and believing stupid things, just like they always have. Nothing we do is going to change that.

Perhaps it feels particularly egregious because we are living through it, but by far the majority of its impact on our day to day lives is, I suspect, psychological.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But does it not feed into a bigger narrative about what is going on more generally; this kind of bullshit is grist to the mill of a certain political mindset that would rather see people waste their intellectual energies on such rubbish than turn the spotlight of their attention on what is really happening out there. Trump for example is silent on the matter; he must however see the 'Q' t-shirts and banners at his rallies. He doesn't squash the idea however, but rather (deliberately or otherwise) adds fuel to the beliefs by pointing to a baby wearing a Q t-shirt and saying "that's a beautiful baby"...... immediately taken by the believers as a subtle signal from the POTUS that the conspiracy is true. Thus are the waters muddied even further, confusion heaped upon confusion and the dividing line between the truth and fiction blurred even further. Alternative facts. Nobody's wrong because everyone is right. All truths are relative.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They always have been. Very Happy It's just that the consensus is a little (or a lot) more fractured now.

In the age where everybody has a voice...well, everybody includes the lunatics and the people you disagree with etc. Very Happy

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder to what degree the American lurch toward Trump, and the Brexit vote in the UK aren't both desperate attempts in both countries to win back a lost pride in the respective nation's 'greatness' (as perceived by the people).

Trump's election campaign slogan itself - Make America Great Again - was in itself a tacit admission that the country's hegmony was in decline. There seems to be a subconscious understanding that the country's heyday is over (as illustrated by say Z's recent comment that "we have the strongest military might in the world - it's time we went out there and showed it" or words to this effect), an almost desparate need to re-establish this 'top position', briefly held following the decline of Soviet communism. I wonder if this is not why such a palpably unfit man was not able to tap into the national Psych, to free-load on the slipping American belief in itself as the permanent alpha male (and rightly so as it slipped ever more into irrelevance against the rising forces of China, India and potentially even Africa, where to all intents and purposes it looks like the future is headed).

The situation in the UK is somewhat related albeit fast-forward to the point where the dominance is lost. I'm in my sixties: I grew up in the absolute understanding that England was the most advanced, the best, the most respected country in the world. Wherever I went, people would defer to me, treat me with respect because, well damn it, I was English! In my childish misunderstanding, I didn't get it in those just post war years, that the British Empire was gone! We were a country without an Empire who hadn't yet found a role (to coin a well hackneyed, but still true phrase). The loss of this national pride - a pride that had been felt as almost a natural right by I am sure, most of my generation and the ones preceeding it - began to work underneath the radar of the national Psych as the years and decades progressed and salt was rubbed into the wounds by our having (purple faced expletives taken out here) to accept rules made by the bloody french and germans (who we had whopped in the war) by virtue of our membership of the EU. Festering away (in mainly the older generation) this resentment was finally given voice in the Brexit referendum; we don't want the bloody french telling us what shape our bananas should be and we don't like our streets filling up with foreigners! For God sake - we're British, man! (for by this point at least we had moved from being English to British.....a a big enough step in itself, never mind being bloody European!).

So are there parallels in both cases, in ours a hankering back to the lost 'glory' of an empire that gave us our reason for believing in ourselves, in America's, a desperate attempt to stop the inevitable slide into geopolitical obscurity, or at least if not that an acceptance that the days of calling the shots on the world stage are over, and that it's time to simply take an equal place along with the rest of the clowns around a big circular table with no-one at the head.
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, sounds pretty likely that those were significant factors. But looks to me like China is going to be the way it goes...learned today that they graduate 4.3 million engineers every year.

The future of Africa at the moment is pretty much where the past has been. It's just that where before we were exploited by Europeans, now we're going to get exploited by the Chinese.

And sadly, it seems Africa's alignment with China is pretty much based on the fact that they didn't colonise anywhere in Africa...with people not seeing to realise that it is now that their colonisation will start. Certainly in an economic sense.

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