Let's say you think the earth is round, because you're normal.. but you're very interested in why some people think the earth is flat. Wouldn't you go around discussing things with people who think the world is flat?
Well, yes, of course. After many years of discussions with creationists I've found that many share one trait in common, and that is how hard they work at not understanding anything they disagree with. The flat Earthers share this trait, as do most conspiracy theorists, of which Phat is now one.
Every whatever-denier has their reasons, which all lack evidence and consensus. This becomes quickly apparent. There's no need for years of discussion. It's more of a psychological study of the behavior of people in possession of irrational and/or contradictory beliefs.
And so we often say that we know the person we're debating with will reject the explanations on empty grounds and that our hope is that our explanations benefit the lurkers.
Lurkers might have been a reasonable excuse 20 years ago - though I never bought it - but the only lurkers we have these days are robots.
I know. Sometimes I have my doubts, too. Sometimes it seems that they have abandoned us. But I believe in the lurkers, I have to, just as it is written in the holy book: "In the beginning were the lurkers, and they saw the knowledge and that it was good. And the evening and the morning were the first day."
Well of course you think it's a real conspiracy. That's one of the key qualities of conspiracy theorists, that they believe they're real, no matter how absurd and ridiculous. When caught up in their throes they are not influenced by evidence or rational argument.
Another quality of conspiracy theorists is that they see the world in terms of conspiracy theories.
It might have been Oliver Sacks who once began a book with a story about a man in a mental health institution who believed he was Napoleon Bonaparte. He was completely rational in all other ways, but no matter how much evidence was presented he could not be convinced he wasn't Napoleon. He believed it and lived it so deeply that he couldn't get by in the outside world and had to be institutionalized.
How are those cryptos doing? Or those gold investments?
Like the cultists who believed their leaders' predictions of the second coming or the end of the world or the arrival of aliens or whatever, it doesn't matter when the prediction doesn't come true. They go on believing anyway. If gold dropped to zero tomorrow (Headline: "Inexpensive transmutation of lead into gold discovered") Phat would still believe fiat currencies are a curse threatening the future of civilization.
If there is any suspicion it is him you should ban him immediately.
I didn't mean to imply he might be Markuze. He hasn't been heard from that I know of in seven or eight years.
I'm not sure what it is about Grossman that reminds me of Markuze. There's the disconnect from reality that they have in common, of course, but there's something else I can't put my finger on.
Oh wait. Maybe it's a combination of two things. Grossman's opening post and graphic were very weird, and also seems to lack any ability to respond meaningfully to any replies. Markuze shared these characteristics. He used to put together these incredibly weird messages that he posted over and over again to a number of discussion boards with minor modifications, but he couldn't respond articulately to any responses. He eventually ended up threatening people on the Internet, PZ Myers among them, and that's what got him in trouble.