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Monday, January 12, 2009

A Nation of Conspiracy Theorists & 2012 End of World Hype

A Nation of Conspiracy Theorists Can’t be Wrong…
by Louis Bayard, ‘Salon’, October 2, 2008.

"From miracle diets to creationism to rumors about the origins of 9/11, a new book traces our irrational love of misinformation."
[extracts]

“The U.S. government blew up the twin towers. The AIDS virus was engineered by scientists to kill African-Americans. Chinese explorers landed on American shores in 1421. Crystals will heal you. Aliens landed at Roswell. The Priory of Sion is protecting the secrets of the Messianic bloodline. Barack Obama is a Muslim.”

“If you believe any of those propositions, you are ... well, let's [lean] towards charity: You have been swept along in a tide that the British polemicist Damian Thompson likes to call "Counterknowledge." Moreover, you are legion. Millions of unwary souls from every quadrant of the Earth are swallowing a daily diet of quackery, conspiracy theory, bogus history and faux science. We haven't just turned off our bullshit detectors, we've permanently disabled them. And in so doing, Thompson argues, we've made for ourselves "a thrilling universe in which Atlantis is buried underneath the Antarctic, the Ark of the Covenant is hidden in Ethiopia, aliens have manipulated our DNA, and there was once a civilization on Mars."
_more_

Summary
All of the so-called conspiracy theories pretend to be knowledge - without actually being knowledge. They are “misinformation packaged as fact.”
The result he [Damian Thompson] says, is "a pandemic of credulous thinking ... a huge surge in the popularity of propositions that fail basic empirical tests."
The author then suggests that the Internet is responsible for transmitting the bad information around the world a lot more quickly than used to be the case.
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On that same theme, I recently searched for video titles on YouTube that include the year ‘2012’ and saw a message saying that there were 56,600 hits! ‘End of the World’ is even worse with 402,000 hits! ‘Apocalypse’ is not quite so popular with 24,900 hits.
Using the Google search engine produces :-
"2012 end of world" - 476,000 hits
"end of world 2012 evidence" - 165,000 hits
"Apocalypse" - 21,800,000 hits
“Two Witnesses” - 687,000 hits

The #1 referring search ‘word’ that hits this blog is “2012 end of world”. (Its current position in the Google results is 18.) The #2 referring search ‘word’ is "end of world 2012 evidence". (Its position is 5.)
So I guess I’m not doing too badly according to Mr and Ms Google.
There are many other similar search ‘words’ that hit the blog including :-
"why isn’t there mass panic about 2012" and
"the world end in 2012 is a myth to scare people!!!!!" and even :-
"ten dangers to earth in 2012 according to scientist".

A NASA senior scientist recently wrote that there are 100 book titles on Amazon.com about 2012. He also wrote that many people are genuinely frightened about 2012.
http://astrobiology.nasa.gov/ask-an-astrobiologist/question/?id=4858

The situation can only get worse in the next three years. According to the Space News Examiner there is a new film called ‘_2012_’ due out in [November] this year (in 72 countries). It will be directed by Roland Emmerich who was responsible for Independence Day, Stargate, The Patriot, and The Day after Tomorrow.

UPDATE:
Film 2012 will now be released in November

There is also a Disinformation documentary called ‘2012 - Science or Superstition’.
The promotional video is here :- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DylQeMx6hY
Go here for a review of the DVD.

Are there any influential people out there working in government health departments? If so, I predict that you might have to make plans for an influx of disturbed patients in the next few years. Also, there could easily be many young people putting their education plans on hold because they are convinced that they, and the colleges, and the universities, might not exist after December 21, 2012. (I’m not kidding!).
EXAMPLE: 22 year old stole explosives for 'end of the world,' officials say

See also :- history of 'End of the World' claims featured in the 'Area Wide News'. (Salem, Arkansas.)

Previous posts on this subject :-
Scientist Responds to 2012 End of World Hype
End of the World in the Year 2012 ??
Wikipedia article :-
2012 Doomsday Prediction

What the ancient Maya Tell Us About 2012 (very definitive) .

1 comment:

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