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Melcyan is a Water Dragon. He is also a retired Chemistry teacher and a lifelong learner. He met his Chinese partner for the first time in 2007 while ballroom dancing in Australia. Their relationship started in 2010 and they have been together ever since. His focus on CLM has been to learn more about the implications of his life-partner's culture and language for building a lifelong loving relationship.
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Our very own brains!    

By Melcyan
4082 Views | 52 Comments | 3/3/2021 11:42:49 AM

I am disappointed but not surprised to see Conspiracy Corner type blogs like "Facts", "We're Living in A Movie" and "Mare-age" now spilling over to the main blog section of CLM.  I am trying hard to understand why this has occurred. Hopefully, by the end of this blog and the discussions that follow, we will have a better understanding. For many decades, I have been interested in learning how the brain works, in particular, how the brain gets easily fooled.



My forum thread, "Seeking Your Help (part 1 - introduction)", was meant to be a one-stop-shop for all of my counter conspiracies talk on CLM. Currently, the forum thread ends with direction to view the documentary "Democracy of the Gullible". This outstanding documentary has been sometimes been viewable and sometimes not. Some CLM members have never had a chance to view it.  



In this blog, I  have attempted a summary (10-minute read) of the documentary "Democracy of the Gullible"(42-minute view). To do so I have cut and pasted many of the words used in the documentary without using quotation marks. Words that are my thoughts are written in italics. Where I have condensed some of the words used I hope my interpretation stays true to the original intent of the documentary. 



To check how faithfully I have done this you will have to view the documentary yourself. I consider the documentary essential viewing and much more valuable than this summary. I don't think you will be able to find the words written below anywhere else on the internet. (I expect John Abbot will be happy to know that what is written here is more complex than a simple cut and paste; - Paul, I hope you understand why that is important ).



I wanted to add the contents of this blog to that thread to maintain the goal of a one-stop-shop. John Abbot preferred this content to become a blog. I don't really have a problem with that because the subject of how we try (and often fail) to make sense of our surroundings is very relevant to the main purpose of CLM. This blog certainly has a much higher claim to occupy the main section of CLM blogs than any of the blogs listed in the opening paragraph.



In less than 20 years the Internet revolution has had a deeper impact on human behavior than all other media, so that today, it even affects the way we think. Imagined and invented stories and even outright lies have become prominent in our media landscape. How could this be? What underpins their popularity?



We all have cognitive biases. Magicians could not work their "magic" without them. Our brains are predisposed towards accepting compelling nonsense. The internet now supplies us with compelling nonsense like no other time in history.  



When the worldwide web was invented in the 1990s it was imagined as a democratic space that would provide everyone direct access to all human knowledge. Yet today it seems knowledge is being eclipsed by conviction and we are all at risk of being dragged down into a Democracy of the Gullible.



There's now a competition between information providers, from professional journalists to anyone with a Facebook or Twitter profile or a YouTube soapbox to capture our finite attention. The internet has profoundly changed how we communicate and disseminate information. The value of truth and facts has been diminished online.  Opinions are ranked according to engagement so that a much-liked Facebook post can be more prominent than an encyclopedia entry. 



The likelihood of capturing people's attention is increased if you shape your content to follow the direction of the brain's natural biases. The Internet today is full of manipulation, beliefs, and superstitions and the key culprit is not Google, Facebook, or even the Illuminati but our very own brains!



Our minds sometimes lead us away from objective reality. They allow a number of shortcuts. Deviations from rationality that serve as entry points to so-called cognitive biases. These biases act on the way we think a bit like how an optical illusion fools the eye but recognizing our little intellectual lapses is as difficult for us as it would be for a person who was born blind to understand an optical illusion. 



Magicians are masters of manipulating cognitive biases.  If we removed our biases it would be very difficult to make magic come to life. It probably wouldn't be perceived as magic but as special effects. Our natural inclination to believe helps to create illusions that seem to defy the laws of physics.



Over time the human brain has created certain shortcuts that enable us to be more efficient but which also lead to errors of perception.



Cognitive biases may make us more efficient in everyday life but they explode online where our natural weaknesses magnify and blind us to reality. In his book "Democracy of the Gullible" Gerald Bonner has dissected the various biases in our brains that influence our judgment on the Internet.



Doubt is fundamental, especially in democracies. People have a fundamental right to doubt things from official communications to scientific proposals but as Othello painfully learned, the seeds of doubt can be easily planted, sometimes just for the sake of doing so. If the right to doubt is not accompanied by due diligence it's a real threat to democracy. 



On the Internet, doubt is amplified by countless untrustworthy sources. Although there are tools to check the truth of posts few people make that effort. (I have done this occasionally for some of Paul Fox's blogs but I probably ended up spending more time checking than Paul probably spent writing the blog.) For example, you don't a priori believe that a man never walked on the moon. If you watch the documentary you will see a systematic dismantling of this "man never walked on the moon" conspiracy theory. The sad thing is that this particular dismantling would strengthen Paul Fox's beliefs rather than weaken them.



If you were to doubt everything you couldn't live. For example, you'd say I know I'll burn my hand if I put it close to a fire because I've already done that but what about my foot? My head?  I haven't tried those yet.



Doubt allows us to reassess our beliefs but at the same time, you don't abandon everything just because of one example that contradicts what we believe.



We have a tendency to characterize and categorize things that are actually far more nuanced. We have an innate predisposition to attend to human faces. This is crucial for recognizing people but this same bias can lead us to question facts and believe in the presence of, for example, an ancient civilization on Mars. Our brain is a sense-making machine, so it isn't surprising that we have difficulty accepting coincidence as an explanation. We might see a unicorn-shaped cloud in the sky. Of course, there's no unicorn there, but our brains superimpose that impression.



We constantly encounter content that exploits our poor understanding of statistics and probabilities. We too easily dismiss coincidence as an explanation.  If you have one chance in a thousand of hitting the bull's eye with the dart it's only extraordinary if you hit it if you haven't tried a thousand times. We are open to manipulation if the sample size omits the 999 tries that failed and only supply the film of the one that succeeded. 



Biases inherited from our ancestors are not defects per se.  Not that long ago certain biases were arguably extremely useful. Let's say you lived in a hostile environment. If you heard a rustling in the bushes it would be better to overestimate the risk and run because if you don't you might not be around long enough to tell the tale and pass on your genetic code. However, in the jungle of the internet, overestimating risk can lead to troubling results. Conspiracists often think that when two events occur at the same time it's not a coincidence. This correlation is not the same as causation but if things are related people see causality.



Once something is online, destroying it is like killing a thousand-headed snake. There's a law that says if it takes this much energy to create crap it'll take 100 times more to destroy it. This law was formulated by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer, in 2013. Brandolini formulated this principle after observing Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi lie on television without anyone being able to set the record straight.



This principle is used and abused by scammers, conspiracists, and a growing number of politicians. 



We say everyone has a right to speak but how do we recognize what is true? Our minds will be tempted to accept that which resembles truth even if it contradicts the actual truth. In the early 2000s, there was still hope that the internet would create an informed democracy by spreading massive amounts of knowledge but that hasn't eventuated. The only "democracy" created is the Democracy of the Gullible. It's true that the Internet is democratizing because it gives everyone access to public space but while some vote a thousand times others never vote at all and often those who vote most carry the strongest and most radical convictions and beliefs. 



It's astonishing how conspiracy theories use highly technical arguments in a wide variety of fields. "Cutting and pasting" has a lot to answer for. You accumulate arguments that have nothing to do with each other and which are all quite weak but bundled together the unprepared mind thinks they can't all be false. That's why conspiracy theories or the anti-vaccine movement have such persuasive power. It's not that people believe each and every argument but there are just so many of them.



Short cuts help our brains save energy but they also lead to biases such as the least effort principle which make us easy targets. Morality rumors and conspiracy theories have existed for a long time in the human imagination. Rehashing is an internet specialty since old fake news is quickly forgotten it can be used again as fresh news a few months later. Unlike us, the internet never forgets.



In a sense, the Internet has transformed an oral tradition into a written one with the use of the copy/paste function.  It's easy to distribute silly nonsense.  I occasionally draw attention to Paul Fox's use of the copy/paste function on CLM. See my comment on his blog "Facts" for the latest example.



The least effort principle might be seen as the father of all biases, however, we don't have the power to completely disconnect from our prior knowledge, expectations, hopes, and emotions. Consequently, we are almost always biased when we process information and that isn't necessarily bad.  It serves a function. It reduces the difficulty of processing our environment.



There are two ways to accomplish a reasoning task. One is more intuitive, automatic, and faster and demands less cognitive juice. The other exercises reasoning and reflection and require more cognitive resources. There was a great article saying that 70% of Internet users only read headlines and to prove it the body was in placeholder text.



Many people shared it. This kind of reduction in effort is frightening. (Some research says the figure is more like 60% but even that is a frighteningly large percentage. I wonder how many people check like me. I often check amazing or suspect claims. Sometimes I will read a reference of a suspect article because the reference is a trusted source. Many times I have found that the trusted source reference cited does not support the article's arguments.)



Our brains are lazy in general we go through everyday life in belief mode and belief mode has advantages over knowledge because it doesn't require much effort. Twitter and Facebook are really just bar talk on a global scale. Unlike the internet, we do not have unlimited resources. The principle of least effort makes us accept easy explanations. We only see what we want to see and we adopt the majority view of the magician's audience. 



A magic trick creates those conditions.  Ultimately the trick fools the brain and makes it draw false conclusions. The fact that our default is to rely on more automatic cognitive processes allows the internet to make use of anything that is likely to deceive. The spread of computer viruses and online scams are good examples as these largely play on our instinctive biases. 



The simplest advice (to carry out regular updates) to avoid online scams sadly is seldom followed. We rarely change default settings and often use predictable passwords. How good is your password for CLM? No one is a hundred percent protective.  We all have subconscious prejudices.  We all have things we believe or want to believe. Any one of us can be fooled by a scammer or magician who pulls the right string and appears at the right moment.



There are many websites that talk about chemtrails, the Loch Ness monster, and such. Let's consider how many sites Internet users may visit to learn about a subject.  Most won't look at more than 30.  So if we take the top 30 sites listed on Google search and look at how many support a particular belief, how many argue it out from a rational point of view, and how many are neutral - we find that 70% of those sites will support a particular belief.  Cognitive biases help us tame our fear of the unknown. We have a tendency to adopt the first belief that fills a void.



To make sense of a disturbing event where people feel they have lost control, they will more readily resort to superstitions and conspiracies.



To be able to judge value we generally need to have something else to compare it to. So, if there is an object being sold for twenty dollars although it's normally worth 40 dollars, a normal brain will feel this is a good deal.  This we call an anchor bias. 



According to the anchor bias we rely heavily on the first piece of information we receive.  This goes beyond economics.  We tend to form our own theories about the world that are meant to explain everyday events around us. These theories first form when we are children but aren't necessarily accurate. These don't necessarily comply with the scientific view of the world but these intuitive ideas never go away. They're just suppressed. If a person is burdened under time pressure or has a lot on their mind this intuitive understanding emerges. 



It took us a lot longer to say that a plant was alive than to say an animal was alive because plants don't move. So our earliest understanding of "alive" just met something that can move on its own.  By being blessed with the anchor bias and the confirmation bias we have developed a series of automatic responses that make us more efficient as we go through daily life.  



When we are visiting a country that has a very different culture from our own we can feel that we experience cognitive fatigue because we are constantly having to learn.  As such our expectations and our knowledge are very useful in enabling us to function on a daily basis. Cognitive laziness does not necessarily translate to a lack of energy. On the contrary, believers often increase their efforts to solidify their beliefs.  True believers are more motivated than the average citizen and because they are more driven they occupy the spaces left empty in the deregulated information markets. 



Empty chairs in this information market aren't good. It produces a terrible effect. The tyranny of minorities can convince people who are undecided to side with them.  Another powerful effect online is conformity. Conformity is an active part of confirmation bias. Members of a homogeneous group will ruthlessly reject any element that does not conform to their collective belief. The Internet is extraordinary but we must be able to train people so that in the future they can read the Internet.



Believing in fantasies helps us to fill cognitive voids and may make us feel like we're privy to a secret. Like we're one of the initiated. A good example is the discussion surrounding the many theories about how ancient monuments were built.



When things go viral we rarely check their content against expert testimony before believing it.  Our cognitive biases discourage us from investing time and effort. In the past (before the internet) when we opened a book we knew that someone had taken the trouble to write it, edit it and get it published.  It was a fastidious process. Posting on social networks and YouTube is something you can do with one hand on your smartphone on a bus. 



A deregulated information market also means tension radicalized discourse and the uncomfortable feeling of living in a society where everyone is shouting.  It's like a hobby.  If someone is passionate about collecting champagne corks, they can devote hours and hours to it.  I believe that here we are dealing with people who have gone crazy over their hobby. 



We don't have a truth problem, it's a trust problem. Leigh's law says it takes a thousand times more effort to re-establish trust than to shake it.  Instant access to all of human knowledge has paradoxically brought us to a place where we are devoting less and less time to being well informed and fewer people are paying heed to scientific fact.



We must be wary of what we call the authority or white coat effect. If you appear on TV in a white lab coat then all of a sudden you have more authority.  If it comes from a site no one has heard of asking yourself are other sites talking about this.  If it's unbelievable spectacular news in just one site is talking about then it's suspicious. If you state that there's a multi-colored teapot orbiting Mars or Pluto well then it's up to you to prove it. You can't simply get away with "Prove me wrong!" "I'll wait …."



As soon as there's a division of knowledge I have to trust my colleagues otherwise I'd have to always repeat every experiment. Clearly repeating every experiment is impossible. We need to recognize differences and constantly distinguish what we need to re-establish. Not all information is equally valuable.  There's a tendency to level all sources of information onto the same plane. The information market revolution has to be accompanied by an education revolution to develop truly critical minds. 



We all have cognitive biases.  They are present within us no matter how intelligent or educated we are. Perhaps the internet paradox is just a pendulum effect between knowledge and belief. There are young people who are creatively reinventing networks of qualitatively valuable knowledge that may help us in the future.  But for now, with our cognitive biases, only the vigor of our critical minds can protect us from the trap of the Democracy of the Gullible.



Good news! The following link to view the documentary "Democracy of the Gullible" still works.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aAHywDEwVo&feature=youtu.be


Copyright owned jointly by Author and CyberCupid Co., Ltd. Breach of copyright will be prosecuted.
Comments
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#2021-03-03 11:42:34 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@melcyan
@Anonymous1762
@Anonymous26523
@Anonymous26524
@JohnAbbot
@paulfox1
@roughdiamond
@JoeM65
@oldghost

I am sending this to all the members who were participating in comments on the Forum Thread that resulted into this detailed Blog Article by Melcyan. Please join us to participate in this new discussion.

I have watched the Democracy of the Gullible but have not yet read the full blog article in detail. There's a lot of food for thought packed into both video and article so I hope to finish the read and be in a position to make (hopefully) intelligent comments.

Meanwhile I urge you to all to do the same.

Melcyan, you went to a lot of work here. Whether I am in agreement with you on all this content or not, I appreciate your taking the time to bring this to us to consider.

Cheers, John

#2021-03-03 16:57:16 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

This is, indeed, a very long blog post, but I have read it all.

There are two particular phrases used time and time again here. I'll touch on each one seperately.

The first is the name of the video / article. 'Democracy of the Gullible'.

Personally, I see this as a complete oxymoron, for the simple fact that anyone who thinks democracy is in any way positive, has to be gullible.

Democracy works by enforcing the will of 51%, and forcing it on the other 49%

The second phrase is 'cognitive bias'. This should be replaced with 'cognitive dissonance', IMHO.

The overall topic is really about the Internet. Sure, there's boot-loads of actors, shills, trolls, disinformation & misinformation agents, but so what?

The problem is that most people have forgotten the meaning of 'discernment'. People don't know how to question anything.

All our lives we've been taught to believe what we're told on the 'news'. The people delivering the 'news' are simply 'readers' - the clue is in the name 'newsreader'. How do these guys have any idea as to what they are reading is, in fact, true or false information?

They simply get paid to read a script.

Such has been our indoctrination, we hear it and believe it, and use the adage, 'Oh, they wouldn't lie to us, would they?'

We were lied to about 9.11; we were lied to about a 'sandy' building with the name 'hook' in it; we were lied to about WWI, WWII, the 'Holohoax', the Titanic, Hindenberg, and a whole load of other examples that I could cite.

Without the Internet, we would never have been able to flush-out the REAL truth about these events, and now that truth is being lambasted as 'hate-speech', and is being heavily censored by the same 'people' that the author defends. Namely, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.

Right now the official story of the 'lie-rus' is that Wuhan managed to 'infect' 182 countries simultaneousy. That means 182 people all each took a flight, on the same day, to a different country, and infected the population.

Today, the WHO & CDC (both corporations).are officially stating that Covid has a 99.8% recovery-rate in people under 60. At the same time, many people are lining up in order to get jabbed.

Newspapers around the world are reporting that the common cold / flu is at it's lowest-level in 130 years, and some even state that the flu has 'left the Earth for good'. It is POSSIBLE that the good old common cold / flu has simply been re-named?

Oh, Paul, don't say such a thing. You are clearly a 'conspiracy theorist'.

Melcyan attacked my recent blogs in his opening paragraph.

How much research has he done into the stuff I am talking about?

I rest my case.

#2021-03-03 19:51:33 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Couple of things I forgot to mention.

Firstly, the 2012 British Olympics Opening Ceremony was all based on what we've been going through for a year. It's called 'predictive programming'.

Here's a link - choose which one you want to watch.

2012 olympics opening ceremony - YouTube

The second thing is something called 'Event 201'. It was an excercise in handling a worldwide pandemic, and it was held on October 18th 2019. Just 56 days before the first 'case' of the Lie-Rus.

Now, you might call these 'conspiratorial', because that's exactly what they are, but there's no 'theory' anymore.

https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/about

Time to wakey-wakey !

#2021-03-03 21:16:49 by paulfox1 @paulfox1

Biden was not elected, he was 'selected'. He is a brain-dead moron with dementia.

Right 'wing' and Left 'wing' politics are simply 2 wings on the same 'bird'.

ALL countries are corporations. The USA is still owned by the UK,

The Declaration of Independence is really the Declaration of IN-dependence.

The truest movie ever made was 'Network' (followed by 'They Live'

Fauci has stated (today) that 'Masks will continue until the Human Race evolves in such a way that masks are organically part of the human body at birth'

You can't make this shit up!

We are being MOCKED !

Quote;

“Now I will tell you the answer to my question. It is this. The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. We are not interested in the good of others; we are interested solely in power, pure power. What pure power means you will understand presently. We are different from the oligarchies of the past in that we know what we are doing. All the others, even those who resembled ourselves, were cowards and hypocrites. The German Nazis and the Russian Communists came very close to us in their methods, but they never had the courage to recognize their own motives. They pretended, perhaps they even believed, that they had seized power unwillingly and for a limited time, and that just around the corner there lay a paradise where human beings would be free and equal. We are not like that. We know that no one ever seizes power with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a dictatorship in order to safeguard a revolution; one makes the revolution in order to establish the dictatorship. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now you begin to understand me.” ― George Orwell, 1984

#2021-03-04 12:49:17 by melcyan @melcyan

It is 3pm in the afternoon. My partner's house is filled with golden rays of sunlight. Incense gently permeates the air in every room. The calming sound of recorded Buddhist chants can be heard. Her house has never been more peaceful and serene. Mama took her last breath this morning. She died with a smile on her face.

#2021-03-05 04:00:54 by anonymous21140 @anonymous21140

Be independent. 
Think critically. 
Stand up for liberty. 
Don't fall for "You will own nothing and be happy" As Bill Gates and Jeff Bezos start buying up all the farmlands. 
You know who else weren't allowed to own things? 
Slaves.

#2021-03-06 11:24:23 by melcyan @melcyan

Paul's 3 barreled blunderbuss response is not a surprise. It is actually predicted by "Democracy of the Gullible". I will just respond to one of his random pellets of misinformation.

 

Paul said 'cognitive bias'. This should be replaced with 'cognitive dissonance', IMHO.

 

Cognitive bias and cognitive dissonance are not the same things. It is quite challenging but very beneficial for us to know what these terms mean.

Understanding these terms will greatly help us understand our own thinking and its limitations.

Also, a full appreciation of the meaning of these terms is essential to understand Gerald Bonner's "Democracy of the Gullible".

Everyone experiences cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is psychological conflict resulting from incongruous beliefs and attitudes held simultaneously.

 

Everyone experiences cognitive biases. A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that impacts one's choices and judgments. Cognitive biases exist in many forms such as -bandwagon effect, ostrich effect, confirmation bias, anchoring bias, selective perception, overconfidence, stereotyping, strawmen, gambler's fallacy.

 

The more conscious we become of our own biases the better we get at overcoming them. Scientists try their utmost to overcome their biases before they publish. Once their work is exposed in the scientific literature, biases are exposed to an even more thorough and intense examination. If conspiracy theories had to go through the same rigorous process very few of them would see the light of day.

#2021-03-06 12:34:52 by melcyan @melcyan

@anonymous21140

"Think critically."

That is a call that I strongly support. It is a call that Gerald Bonner, the author of "Democracy of the Gullible". strongly supports. Unfortunately, we live in a world where few people know what it really means to think critically.

#2021-03-09 17:47:40 by melcyan @melcyan

I now have time to respond to four more random pellets of misinformation from Paul Fox.

The Internet is being heavily censored by the same 'people' that the author defends. Namely, Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc. Very funny!  I have never defended Google, Facebook or Twitter. I am quite happy to see Google, Facebook and Twitter disappear from the face of the Earth. I am the last person in the world to defend them.

The problem is that most people have forgotten the meaning of 'discernment'. People don't know how to question anything. Max Igan and his disciple Paul Fox believe "everything is a lie". Consequently "discernment" is clearly beyond the capability of conspiracy theorists such as these two.

Melcyan attacked my recent blogs in his opening paragraph. Stating the "bleedin' obvious" is hardly an attack.

Biden was not elected, he was 'selected'. He is a brain-dead moron with dementia.

Let's compare Biden and Paul Fox. Who is less eloquent? Who repeats themselves the most?  Who has the greater difficulty writing two coherent sentences in a row?  (I am talking about original sentences, not "cut and pasted" sentences.) Paul's words seem more like projection rather than accurate observation.

#2021-03-10 11:00:27 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

I have now watched the "Democracy of the Gullible" documentary twice and read Melcyan's written version of it once. I think Melcyan did a very respectable job of repeating what was said in the film, but I did not find in his written version one important part of the film where it basically ridiculed anyone who does not accept the supposedly "official" version of what happened on 9/11.

Sorry Melcyan, if I missed it could you please point out which paragraph it is in your version. I have given up trying to find it for lack of time.

Unfortunately, for me, the "Democracy of the Gullible" simply keeps making statement after statement of what are presented as inarguable truths without ever backing them up with any proof whatsoever. It is a mass of "conspiracy theories, one after the other, purporting to either be truths or accepted facts without giving us any reason at all to accept them as truths.

I don't wish to dwell on this for long but what I found in this documentary was a conspiracy of people theorising on how people come up with or accept conspiracy theories without providing any scientific evidence whatsoever to support their own theory. They somehow rely on the manner in which magic tricks actually trick people as some kind of proof that anyone who believes in something they would lable as a conspiracy are gullible.

I would like to challenge people who watch this documentary to "Think Clearly" about each and every claim that it is making. Here is one of many examples of where it fails badly. It is stated that:

"Once something is online, destroying it is like killing a thousand-headed snake. There's a law that says if it takes this much energy to create crap it'll take 100 times more to destroy it. This law was formulated by Alberto Brandolini, an Italian programmer, in 2013. Brandolini formulated this principle after observing Italy's former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi lie on television without anyone being able to set the record straight."

This is a law? Who made it a LAW? An Italian Programmer watched an Italian ex Prime Minister tell what the programmer deemed to be a lie. Then he "formulated a law" that it would take 100 more times energy to "destroy" the lie (or counter it) than it took to create it. What the hell kind of scientific law is that?

Please, someone provide the proof that out of such a singularly impossible event to determine such a truth a scientific law has been developed that in every case where a false statement is made it will be 100 times more difficult to refute the statement than it was to make it.

This documentary is filled with similarly unsupported statements. Brash statements that "this is how things work" with no evidence, let alone proof, that it is so.

That is somewhat to be suspected when the author of the book it is based on, who is also the key spokeman in the documentary, is Gerald Bronner, a Sociologist. In other words a specialist in the weakest of all the so called social sciences. 

I rarely disagree with Melcyan on many things, but in this case I disagree that this documentary is anything more than a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories. I don't see how it proves or disproves anything. And I think it fails to "think critically" throughout the presentation.

Perhaps the book was better.

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