21
Aug
09

Pop myths

I’ve done some thinking about pop myths and even not-so-popular “conspiracies” and I’m kind of assembling them into a few distinct categories:

1) Vitalistic (spiritualistic or feel-good myths; “organic food pollutes less” and homeopathy)

2) Mistaken interpretation  (“contrails are chemicals” and “reverse speech”)

3) Ignorance or denial of contrary data (global warming and evolution denial [the rare gravity denialist, too], anti-vaxers, etc.)

4) Oversimplification (DNA=code, biological=genetic parents, etc)

Got any more, let me know!

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3 Responses to “Pop myths”


  1. 1 Pliny-the-in-Between
    August 21, 2009 at 12:23 pm

    Don’t forget the category of deliberate disinformation for political control. Or as it’s shortened, Fox

  2. 2 jaredcormier
    August 21, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    Well, that is the source of the “ignorance or denial” falsehoods, but that, in itself is disinformation, not a falsehood as such.

  3. August 26, 2009 at 11:29 am

    It goes along with mistaken interpretations, but most conspiracy theories piece together loosely connected factoids and, from that small amount of data, make broad, sweeping, and inordinately confident conclusions about the world. So, “leaping to conclusions” might be important. In a similar vein, urban myths that propagate based on mere repetition of the idea and it being deemed plausible enough to believe in completely cut out the need for any kind of credible evidence at all. That could be due to relying on a sub-par type of evidence (anecdotes), using a “different way of knowing” (hunches, intuition), or simply making shit up, becoming emotionally invested in it and insisting that it is true until proven false, even if there is no actual reason for believing it in the first place. All possible new categories, or they could simply fit into your 3, 2, and 1 respectively.


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