When is some concept Real, a Conspiracy or Fantasy?

Mat

Member
I debunk things if I see a mistake in them that's not been clearly addressed. I really don't consider the issues on your list. I usually end up addressing topics that I've got some interest in, or are tangentially related. Often I build upon the debunking efforts of others, but try to make it more accessible.

The key consideration though is if there's some bunk there. i.e. if there's a mistake or a lie - like "contrails always quickly dissipate".


But you also get really bogged down in the petty Mick. It makes you blunter than you are sharp. So rather than debunk facts, you question the poster's motives, experience understanding etc. I hope you strive to improve on this fault:) I think you are better than that:)

Mat
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
But you also get really bogged down in the petty Mick. It makes you blunter than you are sharp. So rather than debunk facts, you question the poster's motives, experience understanding etc. I hope you strive to improve on this fault:) I think you are better than that:)

Mat

I try to avoid doing those things. I think I've been pretty focussed on the facts.

I'm also interested in figuring out how to effectively communicate the facts though, and sometimes one needs to actually discuss the discussion to see what's going on with communication (the "meta" in metabunk).

See here, where I bring you up.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/784-Debunkers-vs-Debaters-How-can-we-have-constructive-discussions
 
Last edited:

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I debunk things if I see a mistake in them that's not been clearly addressed. I really don't consider the issues on your list. I usually end up addressing topics that I've got some interest in, or are tangentially related. Often I build upon the debunking efforts of others, but try to make it more accessible.

The key consideration though is if there's some bunk there. i.e. if there's a mistake or a lie - like "contrails always quickly dissipate".

Do you think you would waste your time and effort if the concept with bunk has no importance (gravity) or popularity ??
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I like them in principle apart from d which seems utterly without rational requirement.

I included (d) because some of the participants on this Forum seem to point to it as evidence of malicious intent on the part of a promoter who doesn't believe in the concepts he/she is promoting but maintains deception for financial gain . . .
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Do you think you would waste your time and effort if the concept with bunk has no importance (gravity) or popularity ??

I'd be less likely to. But I debunk individuals theories too - if someone states something here that's wrong, then I explain it, even though it might not be at all important or popular.

But for me to hear of a particular theory it does generally have to have got to a certain level of popularity in the first place.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I included (d) because some of the participants on this Forum seem to point to it as evidence of malicious intent on the part of a promoter who doesn't believe in the concepts he/she is promoting but maintains deception for financial gain . . .

Then it's just evidence (and circumstantial at that). It's not a necessary criteria for debunking. Personally I tend to believe that the bunk promoters mostly believe in their bunk, but their profits do provide some disincentive to looking too deeply at contrary evidence.

Of course it can certainly motivate a debunker, as if someone is charging for something that does not work, then it's harming someone.
 

Mat

Member
I try to avoid doing those things. I think I've been pretty focussed on the facts.

Often not, I know its hard to draw the line sometimes, especially in text and especially about controversial stuff like on here. All we can do is strive, innit:)

I used to smile loads like :) on forums but people told me they felt it was incinseer and annoying, so I strive to do it less!

I strive not to react to the nonenemy combatants, though sometimes its hard!

I'm also interested in figuring out how to effectively communicate the facts though

Ya! Me too... or at least the fundamental absence of the facts:)

I think as a debunker (which I see as a more passionate kind of skeptic. I would say I am not really one, not a very good one at least) the moment you stop debunking and start proclaiming is the moment you can loose grip reason. Debunking that x is y is very different to proving that x is z. That might be a good strategy to encourage here.

Debunking more like a conversational chess rather than the ego storm of other forums! I have felt more deunked here than anywhere else!:p


As for forums in themselves, my feelings on this get more and more to be that, if you cant say it in your own words in the text box provided by the forum then don't say it in the forum. I think hyperlinking out and big pastes of text are unproductive and stiffling to the debate and the debunking.


So that's just some thoughts!


(the "meta" in metabunk).

OH NO! I thought it was from metta as in the buddhist term for "loving kindness"! Joke!

I just read the link to the other post, ill go there now:)

Mat
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Then it's just evidence (and circumstantial at that). It's not a necessary criteria for debunking. Personally I tend to believe that the bunk promoters mostly believe in their bunk, but their profits do provide some disincentive to looking too deeply at contrary evidence.

Of course it can certainly motivate a debunker, as if someone is charging for something that does not work, then it's harming someone.

That is easy . . . I will remove (d) and replace it with (e) which will be the new (d) . . .

I think the criteria for confronting a concept/conspiracy are the following once a threshold has been reached:

a. The concept/conspiracy has reached a significant level of popularity
b. People recognize the name of the concept/conspiracy and recognize a generalized definition
c. There is significant disagreement regarding the fact base or error in the logic of the concept's adherents/promoters
d. Some damage may result if the concept/conspiracy is not challenged
 
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