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In case of occasion, i would like to know the opinion of fellow members. Should we allow this kind of content on the forum?

Yes
10 (27%)
No
27 (73%)

Total Members Voted: 32

Voting closed: September 03, 2020, 11:35:15 AM

Author Topic: Conspiracy Myths, Charlatans, Quacks! Do you want this content on the forum?  (Read 1187 times)

blumenkraft

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I am aware that the question of what qualifies as such content can be ambiguous.

I'm talking about very clear cases, where reliable sources (i.e. Wikipedia, ScienceMag, etc) confirm.

Avalonian

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I'd quite like to see a dedicated (and appropriately titled!) section where any such posts are placed, and the debunking arguments either listed or linked... purely as a reference, and most definitely not mixed up in the main threads!

Neven

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1) This content is already on the forum. Look at all the stuff that has been written about Russiagate, which was a prime example of a conspiracy/collusion myth. There's the Solar Roads thread, and lots of other stuff, like crazy solutions to Arctic sea ice loss.

2) Why would you want more of it on this Forum, when all of the Internet is already full of that s**t? It takes huge amounts of time and energy, and usually leads nowhere. Wikipedia, unfortunately, cannot be the arbiter, as it has become heavily compromised over the years.

3) Nevertheless, I voted 'yes'
Il faut comparer, comparer, comparer, et cultiver notre jardin

oren

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I voted no. We have a shared common interest, Arctic sea ice and AGW and other long-term trends.
To discover that a valued poster believes vaccines cause autism, the other falls for chemtrails, another for aliens, another falls for moon landing hoax claim, and all the other conspiracy theories, will only serve to drive wedges between us. No one is going to be convinced anyway, the level of anger will only rise, and it will spill over to the rest of the forum.
Even worse if we consider links to such conspiracy sites, this way we will be funding their financial gains and their search engine placement.
Obviously, I voted no.

kassy

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Or you just accept that people are different.

This was always the case. People are responsible for what they post. You can read it and then weigh it. Most of the things oren lists are limited to specific posters if mentioned at all.

A lot is more nuanced as Neven pointed out.

We are adults so we can read what other adults write and if so inclined we can then scorn them with well written replies.  :)

Alternatively there is the report button ofc.
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Pmt111500

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Hell no! Only MY Good Conspiracy Theories are valid! Get rid of all the others!
(Now that I read the question, why not use PM for that?)

Tom_Mazanec

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I voted no, but I almost voted yes, because I am concerned that this could be used to quash posts/links that a moderator considers conspiracy when it is not "very clear case". How do you detect conspiracy? One man's conspiracy is another man's common sense.
Still, I hope that we can succeed in clearing the forum of BS.
SHARKS (CROSSED OUT) MONGEESE (SIC) WITH FRICKIN LASER BEAMS ATTACHED TO THEIR HEADS

KiwiGriff

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You can not avoid some fringe nonsense leaking onto this site.
It is too prevalent in society.
When someone is pushing what I believe to be gibbering nonsense I am inclined to discount all their contributions.
 
I did not vote.

“We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
― Carl Sagan
Animals can be driven crazy by placing too many in too small a pen. Homo sapiens is the only animal that voluntarily does this to himself.
Notebooks of Lazarus Long.
Robert Heinlein.

Bruce Steele

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I would much prefer someone who on occasion politely pushes a conspiracy theory to an overconfident righteous PHD pushing a politically acceptable fact that in reality isn’t fact but merely politically acceptable nonsense.

be cause

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Neven won't be muzzled that easily .. :) .

        As a shaman I know that one person's 'mumbo jumbo' is another's functional belief system .
As a Christian I also ....
A.D. b.c.
2007 + 5 = 2012 + 4 = 2016 + 3 = 2019 + 2 = 2021 + 1 = 2022 ... ' if only we could have seen it coming ' ...

igs

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I think, not really, but perhaps the community should be able to judge what is quacks and what is not.

I'd trust most members on this forum to end a discussion very quickly by reason and by absence after a short time so that any real quacks would run into a dead end and it would show.

This again would earn the forum merits. Muting things have never been a working strategy long term but proof such things wrong and how stupd they mostly are makes totally sense.

Only if the decisions is taken away from many by one or a few it's called censorship.

Like so often the questi0n is: who decides what's right and what's wrong, who decides what's accaptable and what's not. Too many things are subective and so many things are so easy to be proven wrong, hence I'd let things flow to a certain point and then use the unmasking process to ban a few and to lock a few threads but then with proof and visible for anyone.

Last but not least it's totally fair that in a forum the owener decide on a policy and it's also totally ok if decisions are made by moderators.

Therefore I have no issues with either decissions and ways in which things can be done.

The above are only my two cents, a bit more work, a bit less easy but more transparent etc.

sidd

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"Conspiracy Myths, Charlatans, Quacks"

Who defines if a topic fits one of those terms ? The moderators ? Neven ? Votes from the commentariat ?

sidd

blumenkraft

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I am aware that the question of what qualifies as such content can be ambiguous.

I'm talking about very clear cases, where reliable sources (i.e. Wikipedia, ScienceMag, etc) confirm.

sidd

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Wikipedia is not a reliable source for many, many topics.

sidd



greylib

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I voted yes.

I want to know what people believe, no matter how wrong they are. If they're clearly, demonstrably, PROVABLY wrong, then the arguments against can be posted, and the statement and rebuttal are there as a matter of record for everyone to read, and for other people to point to, perhaps years later. I've pointed many people to such posts on this forum - I don't know how many I've convinced, but I see it as an important aspect of ASIF.

If they continue to argue that black is white, or up is down, then they can be seen as a crank or a troll and dealt with accordingly.

Step by step, moment by moment
We live through another day.

Sebastian Jones

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Obviously conspiracy theories, forms of denialism and pseudo-science do show up on the Forum from time to time.

If a thread gets too wacky, I ignore it for a while until it settles down, or the contributor gets banned.

I've not used the ignore button that I've heard suggested as a tool, but if our excellent moderators should prove unable to control a wild poster, I'm prepared to do so.

I voted NO, I don't want to see crazy stuff on here. The story of the ice is crazy enough for anyone.

Human Habitat Index

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Wikipedia, what are the systems of the human body ?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_systems_of_the_human_body

Thanks but you left out the most important one that all vertebrates possess, the endocannabinoid system. Fail

<No, they didn't! >> https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeostasis - BK>

"The ECS is the primary homeostatic regulatory system of the body. It can readily be viewed as the body’s internal adaptogenic system, constantly working to maintain a vast range of functions in equilibrium. Endocannabinoids broadly work as neuromodulators and, as such, they regulate a wide scope of physiological processes – from fertility to pain. Some of the better-known functions impacted by the ECS are as follows:

https://www.thorne.com/take-5-daily/article/the-endocannabinoid-system-the-most-important-system-you-ve-never-heard-of

Science is about discovery.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2020, 08:13:00 AM by blumenkraft »
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

wili

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I can't answer yes or no, because there are too many grey areas in the definitions of these things.

What I vote 'yes' on is in confidence in our moderators to judge when a poster or discussion has gotten so far out of touch with reality and become so distracting that it needs to be shut down or redirected. Any particular judgment is going to seem to harsh to other and too lax to some, and the whole thing will inevitably continue to be a bit of a messy learning process. But we have a smart and principled crew, it seems to me, that can figure it out, with occasional input from the rest of the rabble, as here.

I do think some here seem to underestimate how quickly a forum can become overrun by trolls and bots of various stripes if too laissez faire of a policy is instituted. There is no limit on how many stupid ideas there are out there or that can be invented (and re-invented, and re-invented...). And spending time shooting down each and every one of them would be tiresome, pointless, exhausting, and irritating, not to mention taking away from the much more important work to be done here.

But sometimes one doesn't know if something is completely stupid till you've kicked it around for a while, and in the process, many of us sometimes learn something.

So I would not be for any hard and fast rule, either letting it all through or utterly banning all of it (if that were even possible).

I do think that, as has happened recently, when a poster gets 'information' from clearly disreputable sources (Heartland Institute thugs, etc...), and continues to tout said bad info even when warned about it, they should at least be put on some kind of suspension and then let back on probationary status, perhaps.

In general, though, I trust our current crew to navigate the rapids and shoals in the wild river of deliberate and accidental mis-information we are all constantly adrift in.

That's why they get paid the Big Bucks, right???  ;D ;D ;D
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

interstitial

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no

kassy

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Even with very clear examples it starts with a poster.
So then you call out said poster.

Zilching links to say to a Hearland Institute inspired article is fine but then note it in some comment (as a public warning).

As for some other categories..how much do they actually come up? Anti-vax stuff not that much although now it has in relation to covid apparently.

Occasionally someone will post something odd and people will comment on that or if we are lucky someone else posts some interesting article below that and the whole following discussion is on topic.

If someone posts something weird once no big deal (esp if everyone ignores it) but if it is actively pushed it usually disrupts threads and thus warrants attention for that. Then again that has not really been an issue.

And for another study on how murky it gets see the russia thread or russiagate thread in politics.

So i don´t think there is that much Conspiracy Myths, Charlatans, Quacks content anyway (how you score politics is ofc a question of taste or allegiance).
 


 
Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

wili

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Thanks, kassy, for proving  by your wise posting my point about the sagacity of our worthy mods.

Thanks to you and all the others for their work here.
"A force de chercher de bonnes raisons, on en trouve; on les dit; et après on y tient, non pas tant parce qu'elles sont bonnes que pour ne pas se démentir." Choderlos de Laclos "You struggle to come up with some valid reasons, then cling to them, not because they're good, but just to not back down."

blumenkraft

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OK, thank you everyone for your vote! I'm glad about the result and i agree.

But, of course, as a mod, i have to take any input seriously.

The best compromise IMHO is Avalonians comment here:

I'd quite like to see a dedicated (and appropriately titled!) section where any such posts are placed, and the debunking arguments either listed or linked... purely as a reference, and most definitely not mixed up in the main threads!

Can i please have suggestions on how to name this thread appropriately?

Avalonian

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To avoid the problem of people being apparently vilified for posting a bad argument in good faith, it can't be too provocative..!

Perhaps "Dubious or wrong: debunking false climate arguments"

Posts that accidentally fall into those categories can be moved there and discussed sympathetically!  :) And as others have said... it will take some judgement on the part of moderators, so should be used only in clear-cut cases. As well as being a 'sin bin', people could post links or discussion of false arguments encountered elsewhere, making it a useful resource in general.

kassy

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False climate arguments should be called out on the spot (and usually someone does).

I still don´t think you need a dedicated thread because there is not a tsunami of conspiracies. So we had one person posting a link to an anti vaxxer site.

So if i would i have seen the link what would happen? Would i be magically converted to that crowd? No, just like sane counter arguments will not convince people who believe that anyway.

I would just make a mental note of the position of said user, possible read a bit of the article and then maybe comment if it´s worth it.

We are all adults. So while it is a pity to see that somebody beliefs something crazy it is still them posting their beliefs. If it is a one of post and no one debates it then it is just a statement.

I still have the impression that this is an attempt to solve a problem that does not exist since we do not have a problem with Conspiracy Myths, Charlatans, Quacks!

Þetta minnismerki er til vitnis um að við vitum hvað er að gerast og hvað þarf að gera. Aðeins þú veist hvort við gerðum eitthvað.

Human Habitat Index

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I suggest a thread be titled "Alternative hypotheses to conventional wisdom"
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. That principle is contempt prior to investigation. - Herbert Spencer

blumenkraft

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The new thread is called "Pseudoscience and how to debunk it"
and can be found here >> https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,3245.msg279793.html#msg279793

blumenkraft

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Perhaps "Dubious or wrong: debunking false climate arguments"

Thanks for the suggestion, Avalonian. I made it a broughter scope since the climate change denial is addressed in the cryosphere threads already.

igs

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The new thread is called "Pseudoscience and how to debunk it"
and can be found here >> https://forum.arctic-sea-ice.net/index.php/topic,3245.msg279793.html#msg279793

A well chosen title  :)

blumenkraft

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Thank you, Igs. Inspired by Avalonian of course. :)

HapHazard

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I couldn't care less if everything outside of the Cryosphere and Forum sub-sections were permanently nuked.

I've yet to see anything in the other areas to perk my interest. It's all been posted elsewhere online ad nauseam already. Whatever.

nanning

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Those are not nice words imo, HapHazard.
"permanently nuked" because you personally don't find them interesting? You think that only the cryosphere is important?
If I understand you correctly, you wouldn't care if all the threads where I mostly post would disappear? Nuked even.
This sounds to me as someone who thinks only in black and white, and only thinks of him/herself as being important.
Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
Sorry for off-topic post.
"It is preoccupation with possessions, more than anything else, that prevents us from living freely and nobly" - Bertrand Russell
"It is preoccupation with what other people from your groups think of you, that prevents you from living freely and nobly" - Nanning
Why do you keep accumulating stuff?

HapHazard

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Very wrong. Mostly I'm just being overly blunt & curt, just to make a point.

I could say that your view is black & white & self-important, as well. Depends on the scale of your view. ~ The universe is wider than our views of it. But that's neither here nor there, in the context of this thread.