False Idols category archive
One of the warning signs of disinformation just around the corner on the Disinformation Syperhighway is statements that begin with
. . . and again we are reminded that that phrase is not scripture, but, rather, Republican policy.
Two professors from the University of South Florida explain that (no surprises here) it’s bubblelicious.
Follow the link for their reasoning.
Jason S. Sexton is skeptical that Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter will have beneficent effects. He remarks that
. . . to suggest that this move of Musk owning Twitter provides any kind of transcendent hope, or rational object of belief is — in a term of the majority of the world’s religious believers from the great faith traditions — idolatry.
Follow the link for his reasoning.
I don’t know the word “Soviet” is appropriate. Methinks Vladimir Putin is looking farther into Russia’s past for his inspiration. But that’s just me.
Thom talks with Kelly Weill about why persons fall for conspiracy theories.
Robert K. Vischer imagines that one can speak rationally to those who have abandoned rationality.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Nir Eyal explains why persons stay buried in their phones, even as they step off the curb in front of passing cars, or, indeed, drive one of said passing cars. He identities four factors designed into “social” media and messaging applications to keep you “engaged.”
Here’s the summary (emphasis added):
- People have become attached to their devices because devices facilitate social connection and because they’re engineered to capture attention.
- Products that lead to habit formation often involve four steps: a trigger, an action, variable rewards, and investment.
- Understanding how people interact with their devices can lead to better iterations of technological products in the future.
Follow the link for a detailed discussion of how “social” media sucks you in.
Nika Kabiri explores what persons fall for and hold on to conspiracy theories. She identifies three factors:
- First, conspiratorial thinking may have psychological roots that need to be addressed first. Recent research from Emory University suggests people prone to conspiratorial ideation have low social self-esteem and exhibit signs of narcissism, among other traits. . . .
- Second, underneath all conspiracy theories are coherent ideologies, a master world-view in which conspiracies are normative (rather than unusual). This worldview is so compelling that a believer can espouse two inconsistent conspiracy theories at the same time, as long as each aligns with this underlying ideology. . . .
- Third, all people resist new evidence that challenges their beliefs to varying degrees. Confirmation bias leads all of us to do online research using keyword searches that are bound to serve up what we want to see. . .
Follow the link for a more detailed discussion of each, as well as her thoughts on how to combat conspiratorial thinking.
In a fascinating post at Psychology Today Blogs, Ewan Morrison explores the attractiveness and possible psychological benefits of conspiracy theories to those who hold them by looking at his own father’s experience. (Note that the particular conspiracy theory that Morrison uses as a springboard for his article predates “social” media and has nothing to do with QAnon.)
Looking at my father, I can see that he had replaced his devoutly Christian mother’s explanation of the universe with his own surrogate conspiracy theory. He’d experienced a breakdown after losing his Christian faith and his new belief allowed him to set life goals accordingly.
I commend the entire piece to your attention.