Ep#193 - Michael Shermer on conspiracy theories
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This week on The Knight Tube, Stephen Knight (@Gspellchecker) welcomes the return of Michael Shermer. Michael Shermer is an author and founding publisher of Skeptic magazine. They will be talking about Michael’s new book titled ‘Conspiracy: Why The Rational Believe The Irrational’.
0:00 Intro 0:46 Is it possible for a ‘rational’ person to believe in conspiracy theories? 3:57 Why did you write this book? Was it inspired by the recent conspiracies surrounding ‘stolen elections’ and COVID? 8:37 Why do people believe conspiracies? The tribal, political and emotional reasons. 14:43 Are conspiracy theories becoming more sinister and dangerous? Has there been an escalation? 17:59 Is it worth pushing back against conspiracy theories? Is the best tactic to just ignore them? Why didn’t you push back against Brett Weinstein and Heather Heying? 30:25 If something worse than COVID comes along, will we be able to convince the public to lockdown again? 31:31 Are the COVID anti-vax arguments any different than the ones we have heard for previous vaccines? 35:42 Is it a waste of time to debunk conspiracy theories? 39:28 Peddlers of anti-vax nonsense achieving huge popularity and success 44:41 Should Alex Jones’s conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook have been protected under the First Amendment? 48:09 Is Trump legally culpable for the Capitol riots? 49:26 Does Michael know that Bill Murray’s character in Ghost Busters (2016) is based on him according to Dan Aykroyd? 51:21 Haunted locations and exposing ‘Paranormal Investigators’.
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