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but whether he has a history of lying or not is a
matter of public record.
It's true that it is possible to start out from different assumptions and, using
perfectly valid logical syntax, reach widely diverging conclusions. But for that
to qualify as reasonable, the assumptions have to be not too divorced from
There is no divorce from reality as such in any case.
A (hypothetically rational) conspiracist accepts what is written in the public
record, thus accepting reality (so far, just like you or I), but does not infer (unlike you or I) that the facts referred in the public record are generally true events.
This is not out of lack of logic (again take a hypothetical rational conspiracist) but out of a working assumption that the record is unreliable or deliberately misinformation. Nothing in the public record contradicts the working assumption (how could it?), therefore this assumption is not revised.
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.
The importance of wanting to beling to a tightly knit group - ideally contra-defined to a hostile world will obviously appeal to a paranoid mindset, but it doesn't explian the content of those beliefs that the group hold dear.
notes from no w here
For the case of denying science, I think that people sometimes get carried away. Science gives absolute answers, but only on a highly restricted set of questions. There is a discipline in not answering questions whose answer is unknown, and by extension, not asking questions whose answer is expected to be unobtainable.
Many people cannot or won't accept this discipline, and prefer to complete
their knowledge on the "big" questions with beliefs rather than leave
some questions unanswered.
Which leaves a fascinating ancillary problem: where do the "big"
questions come from and why won't they go away? I suspect that kids
don't come up with these questions on their own, but rather absorb
them and their "importance" from contact with adults, which
leads to pressure to resolve them.
$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
Why is it in someones interests to believe (say) that science is all a conspiracy.
Firstly, they enjoy the drama. Worrying that the world is going to end makes life more exciting than the day job.
Secondly it 'proves' that they're not really as stupid and powerless as science makes them feel.
Also, it's very rare for hardcore CT followers to be even slightly literate in basic science. Facts and paranoia look indistinguishable to them, because they don't have the background to tell them apart.
See this thread for a depressing example.
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