The Problem with Online Conspiracy Theories: The World Doesn't Work That Way
A background in general education enables you to approach what is on the Web and determine that some things are just impossible, pure nonsense.
You can only dig through the junk on the Web if you have a good general education. One of the problems with education now is I think it's too selective to start with. Getting a background in history, a background in human thought, a background in mathematics, a background in basic science, enables you then to approach what is on the Web and determine that some things are just impossible, pure nonsense.
People can, of course, use the Internet to acquire this knowledge. They can acquire it from encyclopedias and various other sources that are out there on the Internet that are free and are accredited and are good. You'll then be able to approach claims with a degree of skepticism.
For example, there are plenty of genuine conspiracies in history, some of them very good like the conspiracy to murder Hitler, which unfortunately didn’t come off. History is full of conspiracies, but one of the things you know about them if you look at them is that they very, very often, practically always go wrong and they never involve thousands and thousands and thousands of people. It’s just too big.
So the idea of some people that you find on the Internet - that the very idea of global warming is a sort of conspiracy of I don’t know who, of climate scientists or evil governments or others - is just completely implausible even independent of the scientific knowledge that backs it up. It never works like that.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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We take fewer mental pictures per second.
- Recent memories run in our brains like sped-up old movies.
- In childhood, we capture images in our memory much more quickly.
- The complexities of grownup neural pathways are no match for the direct routes of young brains.
In the face of seemingly unstoppable gun violence, Americans could stand to gain by looking to the Swiss.
- According to a recent study, the U.S. had the second highest number of gun-related deaths in 2016 after Brazil.
- Like the U.S., Switzerland has a high rate of gun ownership. However, it has a considerably lower rate of deaths from gun violence.
- Though pro-gun advocates point to Switzerland as an example of how gun ownership doesn't have to correlate with mass shootings, Switzerland has very different regulations, practices, and policies related to guns than America.
It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?
- Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
- Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
- Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.
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