WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

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    WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    Progressives are smug in their belief that "science" and reason are on their side, and many of their  opponents are  ignorant conspiracy theory kooks..... Not so much. Both sides equally have some with seemingly irrational beliefs..


    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/21/conspiracy-theories-arent-just-for-conservatives/" rel="nofollow">http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/monkey-cage/wp/2014/08/21/conspiracy-theories-arent-just-for-conservatives/


    Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory? Liberals, that’s who. Take Princeton economist Paul Krugman who ominously warns that:


    Unlike the crazy conspiracy theories of the left—which do exist, but are supported only by a tiny fringe—the crazy conspiracy theories of the right are supported by important people: powerful politicians, television personalities with large audiences.
    Krugman makes a fair point: in moderation conspiracy theories may show healthy skepticism, but in excess they can erode the trust needed for states to fulfill their basic functions and warp the respect for evidence necessary for sound decision making.


    Yet Krugman is mostly wrong that nuttiness is found mainly among conservatives, and his misperception actually reveals a great deal about U.S. politics. People of all political persuasions believe their views are objectively right and others hold positions that are arbitrary and asinine. Daniel Kahan finds that partisan commitments make people look for evidence to justify their conclusions. Even when, say, liberals come up with a correct answer, it may not have been because of their high esteem for evidence. They just got lucky. The implication is that people use data like drunks use lampposts: more for support than illumination.


    So are all Americans created equal when it comes to fearing collusion and conspiracies? Our recent research suggests that they are. As part of a 2012 national survey, we asked respondents about the likelihood of voter fraud as an explanation if their preferred presidential candidate did not win. Fifty percent of Republicans said it would be very or somewhat likely, compared to 44 percent of Democrats. This contradicts claims by Jonathan Chait that Republicans believe in electoral conspiracy theories far more than Democrats do.


    Another 2012 national poll asked about fraud in specific presidential elections. Thirty-seven percent of Democrats believed that “President Bush’s supporters committed significant voter fraud in order to win Ohio in 2004,” compared to 36 percent of Republicans who believe that “President Obama’s supporters committed significant voter fraud in the 2012 presidential election.” Again, not much difference. This dovetails with Brendan Nyhan’s findings about “birther” and “truther” conspiracy theories. He found that Republicans were just as likely to believe that President Obama was born abroad as Democrats were likely to believe that 9/11 was an inside job.


    And just as climate science is unpalatable for conservatives, there are many lines of scientific inquiry uncomfortable to liberals, such as genetic modification [for crops] or nuclear power. Research into risks and benefits of these technologies has been met with more suspicion by the left.


    Moreover, the idea that American conservatives are peculiarly anti-science needs to be treated with caution. One study from the General Social Survey from 1974-2010 found that conservatives and regular church-goers began the period with the highest trust in science relative to liberals and moderates, and ended it with the lowest. But, science does not mean the same thing to all people. It can be seen as an abstract method, a set of institutions, or a rival to religion. It may be that American conservatives distrust science in part because they identify it with the regulatory state. When science means nuclear weapons, innovation and winning the space race, conservatives love it. And when they associate it with the EPA, regulation, and global institutions, they hate it.


    We have to wonder what would happen to liberals’ belief in climate science if the solution to climate change were freer markets and smaller government.On balance, partisanship may influence which conspiracy theories we see, but not how often we are likely to see them. Neither liberals nor conservatives are more credulous or crazy. If both sides understood this, it might make it a little easier for them to work together.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    Wait. Did you actually get defensive about this?


     


     


    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:


    National Pay Information


    The BLS classifies climate change analysts as environmental scientists. As of 2012, environmental scientists working in the United States earned an average of $68,970 per year. The median-earning 50 percent reported salaries ranging from $47,840 to $84,690 per year, while the highest-paid 10 percent of environmental scientists reported incomes of $109,970 or more per year.
    Pay by Employment Sector


    The expected pay rate for environmental scientists varies considerably by employment situation. As of 2012, those employed by local government agencies averaged $63,050 per year, those working for state government agencies averaged $58,450 per year, and those employed by the federal government made an average of $97,190. Those employed by scientific and technical consulting services earned an average of $70,920 per year.
    Pay by Location


    Given the high salaries of environmental scientists employed by the federal government, it's hardly surprising that the District of Columbia reported the highest average salary for this occupation in 2012, $112,200 per year. The highest-paying state was Rhode Island, at $84,680 per year, followed by Washington at $81,000, Virginia at $80,200 and California at $78,820. West Virginia reported the lowest average salary by state, $45,010.
    Job Outlook


    As of 2010, an estimated 89,400 environmental scientists and specialists were employed in the United States. The BLS expected this number to increase to 106,100 by 2020, a job growth rate of 19 percent and a net gain of 16,700 jobs. While only a portion of these positions will deal specifically with climate change, more analysts will be needed as the affects of this phenomenon likely increase.


     


    http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html" rel="nofollow">http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html


     


    So tens of thousands of scientists - in this one and only area of science - are conspiring to commit mass fraud for 47k-68k a year, CLC?



     


     


     


     


     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:
    [QUOTE]


    Wait. Did you actually get defensive about this?


     


     


     


     


     


    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:


     


     


    National Pay Information


     


    The BLS classifies climate change analysts as environmental scientists. As of 2012, environmental scientists working in the United States earned an average of $68,970 per year. The median-earning 50 percent reported salaries ranging from $47,840 to $84,690 per year, while the highest-paid 10 percent of environmental scientists reported incomes of $109,970 or more per year.
    Pay by Employment Sector


     


    The expected pay rate for environmental scientists varies considerably by employment situation. As of 2012, those employed by local government agencies averaged $63,050 per year, those working for state government agencies averaged $58,450 per year, and those employed by the federal government made an average of $97,190. Those employed by scientific and technical consulting services earned an average of $70,920 per year.
    Pay by Location


     


    Given the high salaries of environmental scientists employed by the federal government, it's hardly surprising that the District of Columbia reported the highest average salary for this occupation in 2012, $112,200 per year. The highest-paying state was Rhode Island, at $84,680 per year, followed by Washington at $81,000, Virginia at $80,200 and California at $78,820. West Virginia reported the lowest average salary by state, $45,010.
    Job Outlook


     


    As of 2010, an estimated 89,400 environmental scientists and specialists were employed in the United States. The BLS expected this number to increase to 106,100 by 2020, a job growth rate of 19 percent and a net gain of 16,700 jobs. While only a portion of these positions will deal specifically with climate change, more analysts will be needed as the affects of this phenomenon likely increase.


     


     


     


    http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html" rel="nofollow">http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html" rel="nofollow">http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html" rel="nofollow">http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html" rel="nofollow">http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/average-salary-climate-change-analyst-9036.html


     


     


     


    So tens of thousands of scientists - in this one and only area of science - are conspiring to commit mass fraud for 47k-68k a year, CLC?


     


    [QUOTE]

    Your premise is flawed...you hide behind the idea that if you have doubt about what the Government is doing, you think all scientists are malicious and evil  and hide secrets....no, they can be just wrong..


    There doesnt need to be a vast hidden secret conspiracy among tens of thousands of scientists, hiding obvious conclusions from the public. 


    Scientists have been wrong before, they are not infallible, 98% have been wrong before (and we know the 98% number is bogus, anyway).


    Humans are especially prone to be wrong when they are hired hands of the Government, who do not pay them to do "pure" scientific research questioning the premise...they are hired hands to polish up and reinforce and implement the man caused global warming theories... some rookie scientist paid 47K by the Government is not going to be allowed to do pure scientific research on the State's dime...their job is to reinforce the existing theory, not question it.


    The Government isnt spending billions to hire scientists to do "pure" scientific research specifically geared toward questioning the theories behind the claim of man caused global warming...no sirree.


    Why doesnt the Government hire the prominent scientists who do not believe the theory, and fund them with unlimited budgets to have a fair shot to try and debunk it?


    Then you can convince me that your "science" is pure as the driven snow and infallible...


     


     


     

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:


    Your premise is flawed...you hide behind the idea that if you have doubt about what the Government is doing, you think all scientists are malicious and evil  and hide secrets....no, they can be just wrong.. There doesnt need to be a vast hidden secret conspiracy among tens of thousands of scientists, hiding obvious conclusions from the public. 


    You seem confused.


    When you deny global warming theory, you aren't "doubting what the Government is doing". You are claiming that thousands and thousands of scientists in this one particular field are either all conspiring to lie about the theory, or are all dead wrong.


    The former is extreme paranoia; the former is just plain stupid for a layman to say.


     


    Scientists have been wrong before, they are not infallible,


    Humans are fallible. Thanks, didn't know that.


    /facepalm


     


     


    98% have been wrong before


    On what subject, after the development and acceptance of the modern concept of the "scientific method" has this been the case? Or at the very least, when have 98% been wrong on a subject that being "right" about wouldn't get the Church on their tail?


    Citation please.


     


    (and we know the 98% number is bogus, anyway).


    Not that boring lie again....


     


     


    Humans are especially prone to be wrong when they are hired hands of the Government, who do not pay them to do "pure" scientific research questioning the premise...they are hired hands to polish up and reinforce and implement the man caused global warming theories... some rookie scientist paid 47K by the Government is not going to be allowed to do pure scientific research on the State's dime...their job is to reinforce the existing theory, not question it.


    This is idiotic and untrue.


    And yes, it is more conspiratorial thinking:


    You simply don't even know how research on government grants is conducted or how grants are given out.


     


     


    The Government isnt spending billions to hire scientists to do "pure" scientific research specifically geared toward questioning the theories behind the claim of man caused global warming...no sirree. Why doesnt the Government hire the prominent scientists who do not believe the theory, and fund them with unlimited budgets to have a fair shot to try and debunk it?


    Holy.....


    #$*(&$#...


     


    Your complete ignorance about how scientific research is conducted is staggering.


    The vast majority of research is done in academic institutions with grant money. The scientists doing the research decide what they want to research, for themselves, and submit a grant application. They aren't sitting around waiting for the government to run an add in the paper asking for scientists to apply for a job disproving or proving a particular theory.


    If you want to do such a study, then by all means get a sensible proposal together and seek a grant, why don't you?


    Or if you think government is conspiring against you, then go to the oil companies with your research proposal. If you're paranoid-minded thinking is valid, then they should be expected to hire scientists to disprove global warming.


    Oh wait, even they are planning for the future on the assumption that man's effect on warming is real.


     





     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    You want a recent example where scientific consensus was horrifically wrong? Easy peasy...


     


    Until the mid-1990s, doctors believed that the cause of peptic ulcers were directly linked to stress.  Medical science  had been seriously studying ulcers for 50 years, billions of dollars were spent, and not 98% , but 100% of scientists agreed, it was caused by stress.


     


    Was it a vast conspiracy?


     


    One of the reasons Freedberg (who suggested bacteria as a cause of ulcers  in the 1940s) , and indeed just about every other scientist and microbiologist that wasn’t a crazed Australian, gave up on the line of reasoning (bacteia caused) was due to overwhelming opposition from the wider scientific community. As mentioned, up until Marshall shotgunned a glass of the bacteria, the commonly accepted cause of ulcers was stress and stomach acid, as it was believed no bacteria could thrive in the highly acidic environment of the stomach. You know, even though people had been finding said bacteria in stomachs since 1893. There was also the fact that there was a lot of documented evidence that antibiotics cleared ulcers right up.


     


    In the case of Freedberg, when he made his prediction about the link between bacteria and ulcers and tests were inconclusive, his superiors essentially told him to give up and stop wasting his time. On a similar vein, when Greek doctor John Lykoudis presented his findings that antibiotics kicked ulcer butt in 1964, his evidence was largely ignored because it went against the current consensus. In fact, in 1968, when Lykoudis refused to stop treating (and curing) his patients’ stomach ulcers with antibiotics, he was fined 4000 Drachma for his troubles and was largely regarded as a quack ...


     


    In other words, suggesting ulcers were caused by anything other than stress was career suicide. Regardless, both Marshall and Warren continued with their research in the 1980s, and Marshall used himself as an experiment... .....Ulcers were caused by bacteria!  He won the Nobel Prize...Science is cruel, folks.


    And those who mock religious belief in an Infallible Deity, have no problem substituting "Science in the Service of the State", as their infallible God....


     


     

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    Great! Now, keep working with me here.

    Let's look at how they convinced everyone else that they were right: In 1982, Robin Warren and Barry J. Marshall - scientists - published their original paper putting forth the theory that heliobacter pylori was a causative factor for ulcers.

    The paper was poorly received. So, Marshall conducted an experiment on himself and published the results in 1984. The experiment was to drink a culture of bacteria extracted from an ulcer patient. Within 5 days, Marshall had gastritis. Most symptoms resolved, and a course of antibiotics ultimately cleared him.

    The rest of the scientific community accepted the new theory after the old one was disproved, in published peer-reviewed research.

    The stress/spicy causation theory was not disproved by a "follow the money" argument that somehow it was all trumped up to make bland food companies rich or to sell valium.

    The stress/spicy causation theory was not disproved by laymen typing up theories that the government beefitted in some way and therefore any study done on the stress/spicy theory was fabricated.

     

     

     

    There are cases of singularly obstinate scientists who refuse to admit they were wrong or just plain lied (anti-vaccination "study" author). But the scientific community as a whole ultimately accepts when a prevailing theory is proven wrong using the scientific method.

    There is absolutely no reason to think that the portion of the scientific community working on climate science will behave differently from any other portion of the community if peer-reviewed research/experimentation knocks down the heat-trapping theory.

     

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    (Of course, while it is beside the above point, I also have to wonder whether many papers were published arguing for the stress/spicy causation theory at the time. Or whether it was one of the myriad old wives' tales of medical practice that lingered from the pre-modern age).

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    In response to NowWhatDoYouWant's comment:


    Great! Now, keep working with me here.


    Let's look at how they convinced everyone else that they were right: In 1982, Robin Warren and Barry J. Marshall - scientists - published their original paper putting forth the theory that heliobacter pylori was a causative factor for ulcers.


    The paper was poorly received. So, Marshall conducted an experiment on himself and published the results in 1984. The experiment was to drink a culture of bacteria extracted from an ulcer patient. Within 5 days, Marshall had gastritis. Most symptoms resolved, and a course of antibiotics ultimately cleared him.


    The rest of the scientific community accepted the new theory after the old one was disproved, in published peer-reviewed research.


    The stress/spicy causation theory was not disproved by a "follow the money" argument that somehow it was all trumped up to make bland food companies rich or to sell valium.


    The stress/spicy causation theory was not disproved by laymen typing up theories that the government beefitted in some way and therefore any study done on the stress/spicy theory was fabricated.


     


     


     


    There are cases of singularly obstinate scientists who refuse to admit they were wrong or just plain lied (anti-vaccination "study" author). But the scientific community as a whole ultimately accepts when a prevailing theory is proven wrong using the scientific method.


    There is absolutely no reason to think that the portion of the scientific community working on climate science will behave differently from any other portion of the community if peer-reviewed research/experimentation knocks down the heat-trapping theory.


     




    The horrendous obvious errors in science about ulcers resulted from the same groupthink that didnt allow for dissent... You take that as a wonderful story about the beauty of the modern scientific Establishment, because one dissenter had to experiment on himself to get anyone to listen?


    Your illogical idea is that man-caused global warming can only be disproved by "peer reviewed research experimentation".... 


    And the circular logic is, such review wont ever be funded by Government, because the science is "settled"...and if it is funded by private entities, it will be "biased" , and wont be peer reviewed by the necessary "experts", who are all on the Government payroll...


    How convenient.


     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:


    Your illogical idea is that man-caused global warming can only be disproved by "peer reviewed research experimentation"....


    Um.....   wow.


    Let me try to clear something up for you: that's kind of how the scientific method works.


    You come up with a theory based on observation, you come up with ways to test the validity of the theory, and then you publish your results so others can repeat your experiments and/or criticize your methodology.


    You don't disprove scientific theories by saying mean things about your political opponents or inspecting scientists' salaries.


     


     


    And the circular logic is, such review wont ever be funded by Government, because the science is "settled"...and if it is funded by private entities, it will be "biased" , and wont be peer reviewed by the necessary "experts", who are all on the Government payroll...


    How convenient.


    Wow.


    Remember going back and forth with grimfandango?


    Remember how he would always claim that the absence of proof of his remote-control/nano-thermite theories was positive evidence of the conspiracy?

    How the fact that the government got rid of the debris was actually proof of a conspiracy to clear away evidence of bomb detonations? Those lines of "thinking"?


    Don't look now, but. Actually, look now.


    That is precisely what you are doing. A government conspiracy, in your own words, means that you can ignore both the mass of peer-reviewed research supporting the theory, and converts the absence of peer-reviewed research into proof of the existence of conspiracy.





     


     

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from ComingLiberalCrackup. Show ComingLiberalCrackup's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    Ironic how the thread began with a WaPost piece discussing how "People of all persuasions believe their views are objectively right and others of a different persuasion are asinine".

    You are so rigid you cant encompass another viewpoint without pigeonholing it as a conspiracy theory. 

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from NowWhatDoYouWant. Show NowWhatDoYouWant's posts

    Re: WaPost: Conspiracy theories aren’t just for conservatives

    In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:

    Ironic how the thread began with a WaPost piece discussing how "People of all persuasions believe their views are objectively right and others of a different persuasion are asinine". You are so rigid you cant encompass another viewpoint without pigeonholing it as a conspiracy theory.



    The most cowardly dodge ever.


    As expected.

     

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