Why Do People Want to See Conspiracies Everywhere? Joe Rogan and Michael Shermer


5 years ago



Michael Shermer

7 appearances

Dr. Michael Shermer is the founding publisher of Skeptic magazine, host of the podcast "The Michael Shermer Show," and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University. He is the author of several books, the most recent of which is "Conspiracy: Why the Rational Believe the Irrational." https://michaelshermer.com/


Write a comment...


G Gordon liddy was on fear factor. He was yeah. Oh, I didn't know that it's an interesting guy He hold his hand above a flame No He didn't but we did hang him by his ankles and slam him into a pool like over and over and over again He was I forget what the stunt was but I was like Jesus this guy's old to be doing this But he did some physical challenges I remember thinking like this guy is more fit and more active than most young people and he was deep into his 60s at the Time. Yeah, when we had him on fear factor The only thing that screwed him up was in the end The final stunt was a driving stunt and it was at night and unfortunately his eyes are not that good And he just couldn't see well without glasses So as he was driving the car he slammed into something or something. Yeah, what it was what he got him there No, it's all right. But uh, yeah chance to talk to him for a few days. He did hang out with him very interesting guy. Yeah Strong mind. Yeah, that's right. He had a talk show back in the 90s I was on when my first book came out white people believe were things and I talked about conspiracies there and he So he asked me well, tell me about conspiracies. Well, you tell me about conspiracy. You know more than I do He knows about real ones real ones. Yeah, that that is my number one beef with conspiracy theories Is that when you you know, some of them that are so preposterous like whether it's flat earth or what? Were the really dumb ones there's a base on the opposite side of the moon and NASA knows about all the aliens are living in New Mexico the lizard people the problem with those is they undermine actual conspiracies right when you when you hear about preposterous things and They they get fault. They get categorized as conspiracy theories then when someone says well, there's a conspiracy about this Well, it's already a tainted idea because the word conspiracy is connected to nonsense, right? Because there's so many nonsense conspiracy theories, it's hard to recognize. Oh something like Enron that really did happen Yeah, like there is the Northwoods papers. There's a bunch of like legitimate conspiracies You're like, wow, you know, you found out about the Gulf of Tonkin like well, they really did that. Yeah, that's right Yeah, I'm writing a paper now and why people believe conspiracies And so I go through the whole list of all the psychological things But I and with the whole second half is because a lot of them are true And and there are reasons we should be suspicious. Yeah, just think of the the WikiLeaks or the Panama Papers You know like the Panama Papers. Here's all these billionaires opening these shell corporations keeping their mind They're not paying tech. That's a conspiracy, you know Yeah by definition two or more people meeting in secret to conspire to benefit themselves that harms the public good or other people This happens a lot in the US government in corporations. Yeah, there's a reason we should be suspicious There is but what is it about people that want to look for a conspiracy and everything even if it's you know They want to see They want to see contrails behind jets as evidence of the government spraying things in the sky to control our minds Right. So the sort of baloney detection tools are not too finely tuned The problem is is that we're the tendency is to look for some global simple explanation for complex systems So while we all kind of recognize yes, we know Corporations cheat and stock traders trade with inside information, but that's kind of small and mundane. It's not very interesting global Domination of the world, you know, this is who who's doing that, you know, so then it becomes like a Dan Brown novel It's more compelling as a narrative Story about how the world works. It's super simple There's these 12 guys in London called the Illuminati and they're calling the shots and they're you know, they're controlling the builder burgers The Rockefellers the Rothschilds the Illuminati CFR a new world order Yeah, George Soros is doing it. He's a part of it. Oh totally. It's right here He's number 13 in the Illuminati. There's so many different competing theories, too So it's a couple of criteria the more people that have to be involved the less likely it is to be true It was Gordon Liddy that told me this that you know Was it three people can keep a secret if two of them are dead? You know people can't keep their mouth shut and also he would know because he worked in government Most people are pretty incompetent So the idea that you could orchestrate a thousand people to and each of them is gonna go out and do this one thing At nine o'clock Tuesday and it's all gonna come together just perfect impossible Yeah, and he should know I mean they couldn't even break into the Watergate Hotel room to get these papers What's also who is getting into government the first place? Are they the geniuses of the world the heads of their field or are they people that just like decided to get into a job? You know and this is this is a good percentage of the people that are involved in government if those people know as well These unexceptional folks that are just like uninspired and they're also there like they do they it's they that's right That's the air quotes they they really have the kind of wherewithal to control the whole world Mind control that's my favorite right mind control psyops. I mean this idea that You know operatives went into the World Trade Center buildings both of them two of the most tightly controlled and secure buildings in the world and under the pretense of working on the elevators managed to get into Breakthrough the drywall to get into the main beams to wrap them up in explosive devices this Thermite stuff and this would do you know we know how long it takes to demolish a Stadium or a big building you know that they work there there for weeks or months Preparing all the explosive devices somehow they did this in the World Trade Center building without anyone noticing Not to mention all the people that worked on this They never told their spouses or friends or buddies or you know what they were doing or they didn't mention it to anybody They don't want to go on CNN or 60 minutes ago. I saw something and here's what happened nobody Well anytime you have a gigantic Catastrophe like that just a gigantic horrific event. There's so many emotions. There's so much chaos There's so much going on that you're gonna get a bunch of really wacky eyewitness accounts because people just aren't good at remembering things When when they're under extreme duress and it's just a fact they hear things they remember explosions They see things that might aren't necessarily what was really in front of them. This is The human memory is one of the most Flawed ways of gathering information right? It's terrible. We have terrible memories Right and everything once something happens Then you back up and look for all the sort of pregnant moments leading up to it that otherwise would have been unnoticeable like With the JFK assassination there's a famous story about the umbrella man. Yes. Yeah, okay, so there he is It's a clear sunny day. Why does he have an umbrella and for decades there? you know go online you can see these like examples of how the umbrella could have been turned into a rifle and then he shot like that and And anyway, somebody finally tracked this guy down decades later and he said I was out there protesting Kennedy The umbrella was a protest and that stems back to Neville Chamberlain coming back after meeting with Hitler before Hitler annexed I think it was the sedating land and he came back and said, you know, holding his umbrella here I had you know, here Hitler signed this paper and promised he wouldn't do anything more bad and then so the umbrella became a symbol of you know sort of caving into Evil people or you know What's the word for it? You know appeasement how convoluted do you think people are gonna get that and I don't know He's out there. So this is what he said I had my umbrella because I didn't like what Kennedy was doing with Castro and the Cubans Okay. So in other words, the umbrella meant nothing in terms of the assassination, right? And this is true So like 9-11. Oh, there was this little puff of smoke or somebody found this passport over here this little thing All those little things really it's just randomness well the other thing is the the people that want to think that the windows blowing out or indicative of some sort of Controlled demolition or the buildings caving in it's a floor pancake. Yeah, it pushes the air out. Yeah Well, it's there's never been a controlled demolition that went from the top down either like the way they did it the planes Go from the bottom up right? Yeah, it's the one that looks crazy is building seven tower seven that one looks crazy it does but it burned for like eight hours or something and yeah that one's just slightly fuzzier but Explosive experts tell me that it's fully explicable by burning all day Well also when you see the images of it collapsing what you don't see is the interior structure Had collapsed previously and there's video of that where you watch the interior cave-in and that as this fire was burning because apparently there was Obviously, I don't know what really would happen But there was diesel tanks apparently in the basement and the diesel fuel had burned incredibly hot and the whole Inside of it all the structure had been completely weakened and and then as it collapsed it just all gave out It just happened to be a shit design If I was the guy who owned that building I would sue everybody I mean that's I mean he got his money back I guess because there's some insurance money, but that what a terrible design There was some issue with the legal insurance payout to the owner of the World Trade Center buildings Whether this was like one event or two events or one building or two, you know, what is it? It was it what and the difference was between like eight billion and sixteen billion dollar payout or something How do they get people to get into that new building I'd be like fuck you I'm not I'm not renting an office in this building this building. They blew it up in 93 They blew it up again in 2001. I get out of here with this shit. I'm not taking a chance of this new ass building What is it the Freedom Tower or something? Yeah, yeah, this is a big old bullseye. Yeah. Yeah, I haven't been in it yet I've been around it, but it's not even that big. Well, it's I think it's just I think it's taller than the it's not It's not it's not as big as the original towers, right? I think it is as tall. I think yeah, I think I think so Yeah, I thought it was shorter. It's definitely not as big as the one in Dubai the Dubai ones like a half a mile, right? Isn't something crazy like that? I don't know how tall is the tallest building it is I just went to their the one world trade center leasing page. It says at 1776 feet one world trade center is the tallest LEEED gold certified building in the Western Hemisphere. That's not good enough. Whatever that is America We need to be number one number one and we need to go straight to the moon in the solar system Yeah, we need to be take an elevator right to the fucking moon Right outside of space is that possible can they build a building that's so high that it goes into space Why no, I don't think so because structurally it wouldn't hold why not? Make it shape of a pyramid. Well, it's like why aren't trees You know a thousand feet tall because the material would just collapse and I don't think you could have it strong It'd have to be so fat. Oh, that's right. Japan was gonna build that space elevator Oh, look at you got Jack with the pop-ups. Japan takes tiny first steps towards space elevator. Yeah, you could fuck off I'm not getting that thing It would take a few years before I'm willing to climb into that sucker. But So the other problem with conspiracies just get back there for a moment is the problem of anomalies. What do you do with anomalies? This is true in all science. No theory explains every single thing that's out there that we want to study There's always going to be some like quirky thing that the main theory here that explains all these things here. It doesn't account for that Okay, what did we do with that? Well, my joke is you assign it to a grad student They let them figure it out But what what outsiders mistake is that well my theory explains this a little anomaly So therefore it should replace this theory and so people like Neil and Sean Carroll Lawrence Krauss Michio kaku has like two web pages one He has a link on his web page if you have a an alternative theory of physics go to this page So they go there and it has your theory has to explain all of these things over here that our theory currently explains and your Whatever your said anomaly is And of course they can't so it's not that scientists are dogmatically closed-minded to the anomalies It's that we can't explain everything and you don't have to do anything with that. Just just leave it there Maybe eventually they'll pile up and there'll be a new theory like with Einstein's relativity. Okay, there's enough anomalies here Like the orbit of Mercury and a few other things and so we have to modify Newtonian physics a little bit Okay, that happens But for the most part like and so conspiracies are filled with these things like the moment something big happens you go back And okay, but there's this weird thing here. How do you explain that? I don't know. We don't have to explain everything