Conspiracy theories! (September 9-13)

We will start our week with the last half of the Behind the Curve documentary, finish our discussions of the framework for distinguishing science from pseudoscience, and then launch into conspiracy theories.

For a grim reminder of the social, civic and culture dangers of at least some conspiracy theories, please read this recent piece from the Washington Post. We may be in the Golden Age of conspiracy theories — check out this Wikipedia list. Both of these links may give you inspiration for your research paper topic. Time Magazine has a top ten list of enduring conspiracy theories. We will have so many topics to choose from, including late-breaking conspiracies involving Jeffrey Epstein. Even the recent tragic mass shootings have been quickly enveloped in conspiracy theories. Why people are so vulnerable to conspiracy theories, and who creates them, will be our primary focus.

Here is the Research Topic form due on September 11. Here is the Short Paper #2 assignment due on September 13.

Nonsense in the News —

Here’s a sweet combination of the cryptic Falun Gong movement, the Epoch Times, President Trump and end-times prophecies. Yes, QAnon is in there too! We live in very complicated times.

You’ve got to see this video explaining how QAnon spoiled a school fundraiser. We live in deeply odd times.

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