David Collum year in review

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ZAFCorrection
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by ZAFCorrection »

It's always possible. But I have some confidence that I could still differentiate between people who are on my team and points that make sense.

It's possible for The Enemy to be right every once in awhile, and it doesn't serve one's cause to try to change the definition of right just so another trivial point can be scored.

Note that I speak of this from being on the team (conservative), at least in terms of general principles.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

It could be said that Dr. Fisker was paranoid about getting deported. I was paranoid about my livelihood after being told “You will never work again.”

I think what happens in the wake of next recession/depression (when, not if) will determine a lot. In a state of chaos people are going to listen to a lot of bad ideas and right now giving up civil liberties for centralized control seems like one of Generation Y’s favorite ideas.

jacob
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by jacob »

This year's review had an oddly weird choice of subjects.

I noticed the strong ZH flavor and maybe that's partly to blame. In my opinion, ZH was more insightful back when there were only a few Tyler Durdens and they mainly stayed within their field of competence (investment banking) instead of now having multiple Durdens attempting to become a dominant player in the conspiracy theory orbit.

(It's increasingly apparent that agents/wonks are more defined by 1) what they don't read than what they do read; and 2) who is reading their writing than what they're writing. I'm surprised that Peak Prosperity is still hosting although I guess it's tradition at this point.)

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

Guys, we are sitting with inequalities approaching robber baron era levels, with the added caveat that surveillance technology controlled by the government is a thing. A dude on the forum just created a thread saying we should have a Fucking Social Credit System here like in that bastion of civil liberties, China. We fade conspiracy theory at our own risk.

I could see why you might have wanted more financial analysis, but as we are in Year 11 of the bull market he said “I have beaten the Overvaluation analysis to death. Everything from last year applies, but now it is even worse. Moving on.”

I do not even suggest that I agree with all he says. But everything must be questioned. Weren’t people on this forum suggesting that the only reason that we have Trump as president is because of “RUSSIAN MEDDLING”?!?!?!?

ZAFCorrection
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by ZAFCorrection »

The method of conspiracy theories is to take some circumstantial evidence and spin a story about how The Enemy is doing something nefarious in a coordinated manner. Now the truth is, they might be. A lot of conspiracy theories often contradict verifiable facts (e.g. no Sharia law in Dearborn; I've been there), but there are some which do not.

I think of when my parents called me to say goodbye because Obama was about to launch a nuclear attack on Russia. I couldn't immediately disprove that one. But somehow it didn't make any sense to abandon the city that night because the stories just keep coming.

People keep on about "they might be true!" but there is zero method for sorting the legit conspiracy theories from the bullshit. And a sizable chunk have you cowering in a basement or gearing up for armed insurrection if you actually took them seriously.

ZAFCorrection
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by ZAFCorrection »

@ffj

The Epstein thing is indeed questionable and worth a close investigation. Though, obviously if the conspiracy is true, the investigation won't bear much fruit for the same reason Epstein has officially committed suicide.

From a practical consideration, it's trivia. Something to kvetch about. Or maybe the idea is to go do the Pizzagate investigator thing. Whatever floats your boat. My personal strategy is ERE at some point. If the rich and powerful are getting you down, do your part by not being part of a system designed to enrich and empower them.

Second, you bring up a good point about skepticism. There is a nice little heap of questions surrounding Epstein's death. But for whatever reason people can't seem to help themselves. Today they are asking reasonable questions about a suspicious suicide; tomorrow they are reading Bible codes to figure out what the libs and cucks are gonna try next. It's a clear motte and bailey situation in terms of what people actually do.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

It is not easy to know the line where having personal agency ends, and Rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, begins. The line moves and we may or may not have a say in it. For some, personal agency includes defending and pushing that line.

I would much rather people concern themselves with civil liberties and sound money rather than debate the merits of a Flat Earth. The motte and bailey cuts two ways. When defending sound money/civil liberty/masculinity/myself I get the Flat Earth label tossed at me. Pretty easy for people to ape the media talking points when the rich and powerful want them to, and being dismissive of conspiracy theory just enables the neat categorization of anyone who wants to think independently as someone who wears a tin foil hat.

Also, when discussing conspiracy theory surrounding legitimate concerns, it is not necessary to mock the Bible code readers so as to disassociate yourself from them. Thou doth protest too much.

Jason

Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Jason »

We live in a world where the supra-narrative is global management (an impossibility BTW) and a sub-narrative of meta-personal identity i.e. taking a selfie and blocking anyone who doesn't like it. We have lost any semblance of a middle meeting room. It's French Revolution. Not populism. It's the untenable paradox of a desiring to live according to an abstract universal political/social/cultural ideal that protects unlimited and unchallenged individual identity/freedom. It explains the preponderance of conspiracy theories and a thread originating in the West espousing China's social policies as a moral template for the rest of civilization. People need a tangible home somewhere between the transcendent "We are The World" and immanent Facebook "likes" for their Thanksgiving dinner. Otherwise they fill up the infinite gulf with conjecture and fantasy. That being said, I do believe the world banking system is out to get me and probably you as well.

IlliniDave
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by IlliniDave »

ffj wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 11:15 am
... The current practice, or at least in its elevated form, of denigrating every inconvenient fact as a " conspiracy theory " is truly a tragedy. It's such a lazy way of refuting something. ...
This does seem to be common. Many things labeled conspiracy theories in the everyday discussion really aren't conspiracy theories. It's like the storytellers have a coin they flip when faced with pesky facts: one side is "debunked", the other is "conspiracy theory". It's probably all deliberate obfuscation: some conspiracy theories are debunked, some conspiracy theories rise above the theoretical, but with the feedback in the echo chambers set too high whatever truth there was gets washed out in the noise. What better way to hide your conspiracy than to make everything a conspiracy theory?

ZAFCorrection
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by ZAFCorrection »

Maybe it's because I only hang out in conservative, or at least conservative-accepting, places, but I rarely hear conspiracy theories getting shouted down in an overly aggressive way. What I do see a lot of is a lot of hair-brained bullshit thrown in among the good points. Apparently it is standard practice now to let those slide lest the team not get its point across.

@MI

By motte and bailey I mean that people defend the merits of conspiracy theorizing based on legitime concerns (e.g. Epstein), and then two minutes later it's the Islamic-Atheist-Progressive agenda being discussed. Sometimes there are legitimate concerns and sometimes it is just mudslinging and crackpottery. Hopefully, each case can be considered individually and then categorized according to its validity.

jacob
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by jacob »

This is a 2015 paper https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ful ... ajps.12234 that discusses motivated reasoning in terms of political knowledge, trust, and ideology.

To summarize; conservatives are more motivated conspiracy endorsers than liberals. I suppose this surprises just about no one. However, here's where it gets interesting: As knowledge increases both liberals and conservatives are less likely to consider/bring up conspiracy theories that doesn't confirm their ideology(*) thus indicating a self-awareness of the consequences of their beliefs for/to their cause. However, with more knowledge conservatives become more likely to endorse conspiracy theories that confirms their ideology, whereas this effect does not exist for liberals. When it comes to trust, that is believing that the world is not a nasty place out to get you personally, high-trusting high-knowledge conservatives will dial down their conspiracy endorsements to that of a low-knowledge conservative (why you don't see much CT in conservative "establishment outlets" like Wall Street Journal and National Review). A high-thrusting high-knowledge liberal (you know, the [coastal] elite) is even less likely than a low-knowledge liberal to endorse conspiracies.

(*) Hence my comment that it's usually more interesting to observe what people don't bring up.

Overall, this entire study makes sense and confirms what we're seeing here while also explaining ZH and Collum's choice of subjects---at least statistically. ZH ranks very high on knowledge and pretty low on trust---this also defines your average libertarian; or at least those who are knowledgeable enough to be vocal. Also why we even have a 100+ post thread on conspiracy theories.

This may also explain why high-knowledge high-trusting (establishment) conservatives will let the more bizarre conservative CTs slide (since it's all for a good cause) whereas high-knowledge high-trusting (establishment) liberals will try to curb the enthusiasm of the more bizarre liberal CTs (because facts matter). The CT about the DNC stealing the vote from Bernie in 2016 comes to mind.

On a side note, I'll advance the "conspiracy theory" that this kind of research has been weaponized as an active political strategy over the past few years. The statistical fact that there is a difference in kind between conservatives and liberals also explains why their respective politicians pursue different political strategies to manipulate their base. To wit, conservative politicians can promote CTs directly to their respective wonks and media network outlets who will happily amplify the message. This does not work on the liberal side because the wonks would seek to attenuate the crazy. Here it would make more sense to communicate CTs directly to the liberal low-information voters.

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Mister Imperceptible »

@Dr. Z

If I recall you’re from Utah or something so your bias makes sense. I’m from the Northeast where if you as a white guy look at a woman from the corner of your eye for 3 seconds you nearly get blackballed from Corporate America so I have had the complete opposite experience.
jacob wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:25 pm
A high-thrusting high-knowledge liberal
Can we stop talking about polyamory for one goddamn minute?

jacob
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by jacob »

:lol:

ZAFCorrection
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by ZAFCorrection »

@MI

That is correct but I was more referring to internet activity. The forums here, for instance, are fairly amenable to conservative viewpoints, and for bonus points they are also almost completely off the radar. Even if one is all about fighting for the team, nothing is going to be lost if people here call out the odd bullshit, conservative-supporting conspiracy theory.

IlliniDave
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by IlliniDave »

ffj wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:02 am
...
Haven't we just experienced the last three years of these high thrusters pushing everything from hookers peeing on Trump to Putin shutting down our electrical grid? Rachael Maddow (Rhodes Scholar) made a nightly show of it.
...
I've often wondered if people like her even believed what they said at the time. Seemed to me to be a blatant disinformation campaign (of course, that is a conspiracy theory on my part). The interesting thing was that we had dual "conspiracy theories" competing with each other. Trump the Putin Holster, er, Puppet vs "Spygate". As bits of meat are being unearthed and affixed to bones, the process of uncovering and attribution itself is being denounced as a conspiracy, which is another conspiracy theory. And pointing out that conspiracy theory is yet another conspiracy theory (at some point do we have meta conspiracy theories?).

Regarding what Jacob said above, it is interesting to observe what is not being said. I have exposure to some of the Red vs Blue discrepancies because those are the ones promoted to the masses via easily accessible media with "editorial decisions" too often intended to cultivate political power. Not what I'd call a good thing, but something that shouldn't be a surprise. But I think there are other machinations a layer or two deeper in the onion of which we don't know what is remaining unsaid.

Generation-X
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Generation-X »

Apparently, Dept. of Homeland Security and FBI knew of the attacks since at least March of 2016:
https://www.us-cert.gov/ncas/alerts/TA18-074A

And for US to counter attack in 2019:
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/15/us/p ... -grid.html

jacob
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by jacob »

@ffj - No we have not witnessed [liberal CTs] from high-trust/high-knowledge liberals aka the liberal establishment (think New York Times, Politico, Atlantic). We have seen that from MSNBC which is the left equivalent of FoxNews (compare Maddow to Hannity); the political equivalent of a sugar-high diet. It's not like liberals don't engage in CTs (they do, as the research shows) but the balance point on the bullshit scale is not in the middle. There's a lot more proverbial bullshit that gets promoted or is left unchecked in the conservative media universe when taken as a whole.

In particular, serious conservatives use CTs when CTs help their cause, whereas serious liberals avoid CTs believing (likely naively) that education and information is the answer. So far it appears that the conservative strategy is more effective. Also, you don't find very many conservatives lamenting the loss of the so-called "shared reality" whereas liberals consider this a de facto crisis of politics.

There are two other dimensions one can use as a framework: Bias and factual reporting.

Bias reveals itself directly through loaded wording intended to stir people's emotions and indirectly through story selection by leaving out reporting that is damaging to the cause. Factual reporting is more about proper sourcing and equally importantly retracting and correcting mistakes.

In terms of bias, the range span all the way from hard left bias to less bias around the center to hard right bias. It is fair to say that "both sides" are guilty of having biased reporting outlets. There are of course also outlets (and people) who have less bias.

However, in terms of factual reporting, the average standard is somewhat lower on the conservative side. Objective reality is just not considered to be as important to the average conservative mind as it is to the average liberal mind. This is partly why some conservatives (at least some I know) remain perpetually annoyed why they get fact checked so much more than liberals are.---And often wrongly accuse fact checkers of being liberally biased when the problem is that conservatives simply prefer to live in a world that's more fantastical and less fact-oriented as long as it aligns with their ideological beliefs.

jacob
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by jacob »

ZAFCorrection wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:07 pm
By motte and bailey I mean that people defend the merits of conspiracy theorizing based on legitime concerns (e.g. Epstein), and then two minutes later it's the Islamic-Atheist-Progressive agenda being discussed. Sometimes there are legitimate concerns and sometimes it is just mudslinging and crackpottery. Hopefully, each case can be considered individually and then categorized according to its validity.
This! ... is why I'm not a fan of conspiracy theories in general. I'll acknowledge that conspiracy thinking can be fun and games to high-information voters who are capable of evaluating the merits of a hypothesis. Like a good mystery novel. Or a what-if scenario. Anyone posting on these forums tend to be a high-knowledge/information person and so we can see CTs for what they are.

However, for low-information voters there's no such evaluation going on and they do not see it. When someone's entire political understanding is based on A/B-tested facebook memes and talk show hosts and "who is saying it"/"it hurts the other team" is more important than both internal logical consistency and external consistency, conspiracy thinking does a lot of damage because there's literally nothing to check against disinformation. Low-information voters lack both an external framework for basic facts AND a framework for internal consistency (logic) and CT thinking actively/mentally undermines such frameworks.

In particular, the motte and bailey comes about because to most conservatives (except the high-trust ones) all conspiracy theories are equivalent and all good as long as they hurt the other team.

To use a football analogy, it used to be that the difference between low- and high-information fans would be a matter of degree of how many rules and formations, etc. they knew about the game. Yet now it's a difference of kind where game knowledge is becoming irrelevant because all that matters is pwning the sportsfans on the other team. The attention has moved from the game to whatever crazy signs the spectators are holding up to own the sportsfans on other side regardless of what's going on in the actual game. Basically, the actual game has moved from the field to the spectator seats. Rules be damned. If someone breaks a rule ("there's no 5th down"), they just make up some alternative rules ("sure there's a 5th down"). For many the spectator section is now considered more important than the actual game on the field. Actually, it's very similar to European soccer hooliganism where games just serve as an excuse/event for the hooligans to meet and go beat up on the hooligans on the other team.

Whether that's perceived as a good thing or a bad thing comes down to what "game" people are still playing. But it's clearly not "your father's game" anymore. Politics is different from football in that the actual winner of the game is determined by the spectators voting every once in a while and not the point score. A fractured media universe (social, blogs, youtube, and micro sources) has made it possible for low-information voters to watch completely different versions of the same game. This makes it really hard to preserve any semblance of the original game.

7Wannabe5
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Re: David Collum year in review

Post by 7Wannabe5 »

Eh, I think the extent to which conspiracy theories get more play in conservative circles can be almost entirely explained by current gender discrepancy in affiliation. IOW, the likelihood I am going to be listening to a Liberal man talking about a conspiracy theory is probably twice the likelihood I am going to hear any woman talking about anything like a conspiracy theory. I think maybe it has to do with how vasopressin causes men to irrationally err on the side of thinking other men are either known pal or assumed asshole.

Also, Conservative men are just as likely to practice polyamory and or kink as Liberal men, they just call it something different, hard boundary it more or talk about it less. Unfortunately, hypocrisy abounds in both camps.

Jason

Re: David Collum year in review

Post by Jason »

The issue we are now facing is not of conspiracy theories. It's that of members of our government are using them as legitimate explanations. At that point, they become propaganda. Conspiracy theories are based on unseen forces that people are not privy to i.e. the real truth behind the appearances. When leaders begin telling its citizens to not trust their empirical reality, their ability to interpret facts or question the very existence of facts or that anything can be factual, it opens the door up for some real bad shit.

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