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January 17, 2008

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Bruce Boyden

Interesting paper. I'd also recommend David Brion Davis's introductory essay and some of the other pieces in Davis, ed., The Fear of Conspiracy: Images of Un-American Subversion From the Revolution to the Present (Ithaca NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 1971), which has some interesting historical analyses of conspiracy theories, mostly in the 19th century.

Morpheus Jr.

Check out, "The End of America" by Naomi Wolf. AND, "Into the Wilderness" by Michael Ruppert. AND, the film "America Freedom to Fascism" by Aaron Russo. When there is irrefutable evidence, such as in the above mentioned items, conspiracy "theory" becomes comspiracy TRUTH. And it is irresponsible NOT to inform the public. Not just irresponsible, but outright reprehensible.

Ian

I was wondering whether there has been any work intersecting the conspiracy formation and the mathematical model of rumor creation. The two concepts, rumors and conpiracies seem to be interlinked. It is my understanding that there has been significant work on modeling rumors so one could imagine that those models could be useful in understanding which conspiracies are more likely to spread and perhaps even withstand contrary information.

kochuthresiamma P) J

like Morpheus jr observed,conspiracy theories are fast becoming conspiracy truths to many-what with much viewed channels like History Channel airing programmes after programmes on declassified files.
the declassified files reveal such shocking appalling facts, and lend solid support the conspiracy theories.

Joan A. Conway

A behavioral psychologist that I knew many, many, many years ago said, "Wherever there is smoke there is fire."

Perhaps if one buys into the wisdom that "A grain of salt contains a grain of truth," one can uncover the DNA of our actions and inactions collectively.

Since I am one of those people who believes in conspiracy theories strongly, I suggest that the answer lies in a history of the subject matter way back to the Roman time or further. Such is the case of Julia's Law, 68 - 64 A.D. about the limits of females in the workforce.

Roach

It seems to me if universities encouraged the devleopment of traditional liberal education, data analysis, and critical thinking skills as opposed to indoctrination in comforting myths like "there is no such thing as race" or "men and women are equal" then there would be fewer otherwise intelligent people falling for conspiracy-thinking nonsense.

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