Like a modern-day Gulliver, he has traveled widely and conducted numerous interviews to map what seems like every nook and cranny of the conspiracist universe. Yet Kay, an editor and columnist at the conservative Canadian newspaper The National Post, has not written a Swiftian satire on the foibles of humanity. Rather, he sounds alarms about what he depicts as a mounting paranoia inspired by an invisible and nefarious oligarchy. On the contrary, Kay reminds us, the belief that coastal political elites, bankers and Ivy League intellectuals are conniving to victimize ordinary people has long been a staple on the fringes of American politics. But as Kay sees it, conspiracy thinking is now experiencing a dangerous uptick in popularity. Cranks, he adds, are frequently math teachers, computer scientists or investigative journalists.
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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Among the Truthers by Jonathan Kay.
In Among the Truthers , journalist Jonathan Kay offers a thoughtful and sobering look at how social networking, and Web-based video sharing, have engendered a flourishing of new conspiracism.
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Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Mar 16, Petra-X rated it it was amazing Shelves: star-books , popculture-anthropology , reviewed , reviews. Update Arsonists targetted 51 5G towers in the UK. On my island, the online news media is full of ignorant comments on the New World Order going to order vaccines that have microchips in and 5G is to weaken us.
China and the US have each accused the other of creating the virus in their labs. Then of course there are the unoriginal anti-Semitic theories coming from influential politicians, journalists and Imams in Yemen, Argentina, Turkey, Switzerland, France, Iran etc.
Jews were blamed for the Black Plague too. There you go, some people love them some conspiracy theory, much better than facts and reality. Kennedy "The defining feature of a true conspiracy theory is that it has, embedded within its syllogistic circuitry, an explanation for why insiders refuse to go public with their information: Either they are coconspirators themselves, or they have been paid off, or threatened.
I don't like myths that rise to 'truths' like drinking 8 glasses of water a day being necessary to health. It was an advertising campaign by Nestle to sell their bottled water back in the 80s. Before that people drank tap water when they were thirsty. Something I despise is misinformation despite all evidence to the contrary that actually harms people, like believing vaccinations cause autism.
They don't. They never did. The doctor, since struck-off wanted to replace the all-in-one vaccination with his own from which he would make millions. He was also paid to 'prove' connections to autism that never existed. There are many groups of people who deliberately spread misinfomation, either because they are schizophrenics living in an alternative interior world, or acting like them, or they have something to gain not necessarily material. Yes, there is often a nugget of truth that becomes of greater importance than it deserves.
Like the disinformation that Bush would retire to Paraguay where he could hang out with his Nazi buddies. He didn't. He didn't have Nazi buddies anyway, but his grandfather had a business that did profit greatly from the Nazis.
Red herring indeed. The greatest sin in the Western world right now is giving offence. So we have to be PC and we have to state that we believe in things we do not actually believe in and deny what we know either to be true or are our true feelings. Because if we do not acknowledge the PC wisdom then we causing offence. But if we do, if we are fools to ourselves. What I am getting from this book is somewhat uncomfortable but not for reasons you might think.
They apparently run America, are the Saudi royal family and have almost all the world's money and media under their control. I'm uncomfortable because I am Jewish and I want to know what's wrong with me that I don't have My Share of these riches and power.
None of my family, none of my extended family, friends, aquaintances or even enemies Jewish. Or is it just a conspiracy theory and Jews are just ordinary people like everyone else which means some of them are taxi drivers and some have bookshops and some are rich and powerful? Everyone believes that they are logical and that when other people say that evolution is true and that creationism is a silly perhaps dangerous invention, or that no one ever turned water into wine, had burning bushes chat to them or were divinely inspired to insist that women walk around in shrouds, they get really upset.
Everyone thinks that their "truth" is universal despite all evidence to the contrary. In other words, truth is what people believe and if enough people believe it then it becomes politically-incorrect to speak out against it or possibly even life-threatening.
Free speech be damned. That is a myth too. There isn't any. View all 48 comments. Aug 05, Andrew rated it it was ok Shelves: one-book-per-week Let's start by making it clear that I'm not disputing what Kay writes regarding the wrongness of Truthers and other conspiracy nuts. Truthers, Birthers, Holocaust deniers, and anti-vaccine fanatics are wrong, and if you believe their garbage you are an idiot. It is unfortunate, then, that a high-profile and well researched book on the subject is such a failure.
Kay undermines his own argument, injects petty political bias into the text, and just comes across as a jerk. Understanding the psycholo Let's start by making it clear that I'm not disputing what Kay writes regarding the wrongness of Truthers and other conspiracy nuts.
Understanding the psychological and cognitive processes involved in becoming a conspiracy theorist is the stated project of the book, and a very worthwhile topic. In some cases, Kay does so effectively and thoroughly. Unfortunately, on other occasions his arguments are so poor that they seem to give a modicum of credibility to the cranks. Fair enough. He then goes on to link lack of faith in government with previous conspiracies Teapot Dome Scandal, Watergate, Gulf of Tonkin that actually happened.
Which makes perfect sense to me, and is most likely true. But when you break it down, he is arguing that conspiracists are wrong because part of their evidence comes from the existence of real-life conspiracies. Which is not exactly logically solid. Kay is also willing to leave out key facts to make his point, which more seriously undermines his arguments because it could be construed as evidence of media manipulation. For example, in one section on the Bilderburg group, Kay provides a quote from Conrad Black, one of the members of the group, describing what takes place at the meeting.
Kay casually mentions that Black "happens to be a colleague of mine". This conjures up the image of another hard-working, ethical reporter or editor at a newspaper. Nowhere is it mentioned that Black was the owner of the National Post and therefore Kay's boss, or that he is currently serving a prison sentence in an American jail for fraud and obstruction of justice. Does Kay honestly think that Black's credibility is not an issue at all? This crosses the line from disingenuous shading of the truth into an outright lie of omission.
More importantly, this is precisely the sort of thing that conspiracy theorists believe the media is willfully doing to manipulate information. Is Kay trying to give the wingnuts more ammunition? He readily attacks the credibility of others using their criminal histories, personal lives, or choice of profession Kay seems to hate poets , so it was evident that some thoughtfulness went into this decision.
At some point, one notices that Kay is seeing conspiracists where none exist. For example, his description of "The Shock Doctrine" by Naomi Klein "full-fledged conspiratorial fantasy" is so disconnected from its actual contents and from the construct of a conspiracy theory, that the reader wonders if he has even read Klein's book or his own, for that matter : "Klein had convinced herself that the world was controlled by a cabal of hypercapitalists who'd been personally recruited and indoctrinatted by US economist Milton Friedman".
Eventually you realize that Kay is not content to write about the topic of conspiracy theories. Instead, he broadens his reach to include include any belief that powerful, wealthy individuals or groups sometimes use their resources for their own good at the expense of others. Such a belief does not require a conspiracy theory, and more importantly is blatantly obvious; all people look out for their own self-interest, and the powerful are able to do so more effectively.
Of course, Kay only mentions or challenges such beliefs when the source is left of center or directed at the state of Israel which in Kay's mind is by definition anti-Semitic and conspiracist. Equal time does not mean equal treatment Kay seems to believe that by including both right- and left-wing cranks, he is being unbiased and objective. What he is actually doing in "Truthers" is advancing a center-right wing agenda by carefully, subtly, and selectively describing both sides so that mainstream conservatives come out in a much more favourable light.
For example, when describing the right-wing conspiracy fringe, he describes them with words like "extreme right" and "right wing fanatics". One gets the impression correctly that only the extreme fringe of conservatives is involved in such conspiracy theories.
Jonathan Kay: “Among the Truthers”
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Among the Truthers: A Journey Through America's Growing Conspiracist Underground
But there's a very vocal minority that doesn't believe this story: Truthers. These so called "Truth Activists" cite evidence that they say points to an alternative, and much more sinister version of events, evidence that has been proved wrong countless times. Jonathan Kay writes for the Canadian newspaper, National Post. Kay writes that, as a member of the media, he was used to conspiracy theorists flooding his inbox, but writes "the Truthers who contacted me were different. Most were outwardly 'normal,' articulate people who kept up with the news and held down office jobs--but who also happened to have become obsessively fixated on very particular, and very radical theories about the people running the U. Kay points to the Internet as a leading factor in the rise of conspiracy theories. He says that the web not only allows people to self publish dodging the obstacle of editors and fact checkers , but also allows people to bypass mainstream media and only read conspiracy theory "news sites.