We here at 538 Refugees are fascinated by conspiracy theories, and after the New Year we plan to kick around a few.
(Okay, it’s filistro who’s interested, but she’s so damn cool the rest of us like to humour her, most especially by spelling things like a Canadian does.)
I found Dr. Shermer’s argument especially convincing. He’s been confronted by a 9/11 denier from the University of Lethbridge. (I won’t name the guy here, because clearly he doesn’t need to add me to his list of “pseudo-skeptics” after he Googles himself.) I didn’t think Alberta had any tinfoil hat-wearers but clearly I was wrong.
Maybe we can run each of the theories we cover, early next year, through Dr. Shermer’s “detector” and assess their voracity. (I used to frequent alt.folklore.urban, where many of these conspiracy theories were discussed. Someone, long before I came, had mistyped “veracity” as “voracity” and it had a nice ring to it, so we all started using it. Now it’s become a habit. The alpha couple of alt.folklore.urban started snopes.com and the rest is history.)
I’ve had a long-standing fascination with urban legends ever since I was a wee sprout and my Mother told me about “The Lady of White Rock Lake” in Dallas, Texas—and I believed her. (She is my Mom, after all, and she believed it.) I know now the story is the “Vanishing Hitchhiker”, Brunvand’s ur-urban legend.
Filistro loves conspiracy theories and those who spout them.
The Venn diagram of “urban legends” and “conspiracy theories” has substantial overlap. I’m looking forward to our series. If you have any suggestions for (ahem) alternative explanations for events that you want to see “Shermer-ized”, please post them in the comments thread below.
- The Conspiracy Theory Detector (scientificamerican.com)
- Only Some Conspiracy Theories Welcome at Huffington Post [Conspiracies] (gawker.com)
- Conspiracy Theories (socyberty.com)
- Ronni Chasen: conspiracy theories (telegraph.co.uk)