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  Reply # 523416 20-Sep-2011 10:20
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Brendan:
oxnsox:
Brendan:
Assuming a competently run conspiracy    ...(edit).... 

I think this statement requires some clarification. 


No, I didn't think so. i thought it was clear enough.

But I'll explain it further. A well run conspiracy is a conspiracy that is both difficult to detect, it's members are motivated (by self interest or religion say) to keep it secret, and the conspiracy is acheiving it's ends.


For example, a few years ago we were all told here in New Zealand by the banking experts of the time that there was no room for another bank; that it was a foolish waste of money.
When one was established anyway, they then said it would not survive, and that the fee's the older banks were charging was rock bottom, cant go any lower, financial suicide to attempt it.
When THAT was also done by the new bank, it was again asserted by the old banks that it would fail, and again they also asserted it was a a foolish waste of taxpayer money. I may also recall them trying to claim that the NZ public didn't want it.
When the new bank went on to gain more and more customers, charging less and less, it became clear that not only could it work, but it WAS working. Now, the old banks are dropping charges to compete.

Now: does this constitute a conspiracy (before it 'failed')? Remember, we had various supposedly unconnected banks all saying the same thing. They were motivated (by money) to conceal the truth (the new bank could work, and they were ripping us off). And it was difficult to detect at the time (they were the 'experts" and beyond questions almost).


Now, if this is deemed a conspiracy (of market manipulation), why is it difficult to assume there are other, less obvious conspiracies we did NOT get evidence for? 
 


presume you are talking aboutKiwibank here.

You do know Kiwibank gets a pretty substantial subsidy from NZ Post right?  It's not actually profitable in it's own right - exactly as the other banks said it would be.


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  Reply # 523495 20-Sep-2011 13:10
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oxnsox: 
Businesses conspire all the time, it is the nature of business. It is perhaps part of the definition of business. They conspire for outcomes. (Call it a business plan if its a more comfortable term.)


I'm talking about lying for a financial gain.

It's called fraud. And when it is planned out and done by several people, it'd be called 'conspiracy to defraud'.

A business that does this should see the managers of said business imprisoned and stripped of all assets as a lesson to any others.

But that is another thread....

That does not make their actions fit any formal conspiracy theory model, unless you accept that traditional business models and practices are based on embedded conspiratorial practices that are not widely known within the management structures of the organisations.


I think you are giving way too much benefit of the doubt to them.

Businesses, above all, are driven by financial goals designed to improve the lot of their stakeholders. Sometimes altruistic aspirations may dictate that financial gain is secondary, but this is more typically applied either when the business is financially stable and such actions really have a minimal short term impact, or, more typically, when the long term plan sees benefit in the short term altruistic goal. 
Businesses look forward.


The music and movie industries are not looking forward.

Most businesses will attempt to maintain the status quo that profits them best, regardless of external damage or restrictions this requires. In medical terms, it is psychopathic.

Conspiracy theories (and theorists) are different beasts. If anything they are deconstructionists. They work backwards from an outcome. 

Soo... back to your original comment. 'A competently run conspiracy..'.  Sounds like a forward looking plan, to me. Not an after-the-fact theory thats conspired to explain unforeseen events and outcomes. 


I think your explanation of conspiracy theories is lacking and overly restrictive.

It neatly excludes any business or group of businesses working to a plan to defraud or interfere with wider society for profit or control. In any reasonable definition, that would constitute a conspiracy; in your definition, it is simply a business plan.

No, I am very sorry but I do not think your definition holds water. 
 

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  Reply # 523500 20-Sep-2011 13:18
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NonprayingMantis: 

presume you are talking aboutKiwibank here.

You do know Kiwibank gets a pretty substantial subsidy from NZ Post right?  It's not actually profitable in it's own right - exactly as the other banks said it would be.



No, I am unware of that. I would like some sources for that info though, and since you have them at your fingertips I'd appreciate a url or two. Thanks. Always keen to improve my knowledge.

Anyway, my example - if indeed as flawed as you say - is one of many world wide. I'm sure there are others right here in NZ of companies conspiring to exclude competition for extra profit. Maybe AirNZ qualifies.

Telecom...

Anyone got some other big examples of NZ business playing dirty tricks, conspiring?

Doesn't matter much: I think my point is made and made. Conspiracies not only can exist, they are quite common. We have the garden variety action of small groups of businessmen conspiring to exclude new competition in order to hike up prices (actually illegal), and we have some of the big, unusual ones - like watergate, Chile, etc.

So: do we have any reason, scientifically speaking, to exclude the possibility of say, intelligent alien life?



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  Reply # 523508 20-Sep-2011 13:28
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Brendan:Conspiracies not only can exist, they are quite common. We have the garden variety action of small groups of businessmen conspiring to exclude new competition in order to hike up prices (actually illegal), and we have some of the big, unusual ones - like watergate, Chile, etc.


I think no one disagrees that conspiracy exists. But the believe that a conspiracy can be the explanation for  things such as aliens and UFOs cover ups, vaccines are actually a way for the government to ID you, vaccines are a way for the government to control you, a research program can be used by the government as a weapon capable of causing earthquakes and changing the weather... That's just crazy talk.

But I think the biggest conspiracy of all is... the Internet was created by a research funded by DARPA, as it was GPS! The government wants to track us all to create a New World Order!

So yes, conspiracy is one thing, and conspiracies do exist. Crazy theories to explain things that are not explained by crazy theories is another thing.







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  Reply # 523513 20-Sep-2011 13:38
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Brendan:
NonprayingMantis: 

presume you are talking aboutKiwibank here.

You do know Kiwibank gets a pretty substantial subsidy from NZ Post right?  It's not actually profitable in it's own right - exactly as the other banks said it would be.



No, I am unware of that. I would like some sources for that info though, and since you have them at your fingertips I'd appreciate a url or two. Thanks. Always keen to improve my knowledge.



since you are on the net to be posting this, you also have them at your fingertips

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=kiwibank+subsidy


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  Reply # 523521 20-Sep-2011 13:54
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Not sure if this counts as a "conspiracy" but if you aren't ready for 25 September you only have your self to blame.

Have to say I only got to just past 2.30 on this educational documentary on Elenin and I had my bags packed!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZAOQNopok&feature=related 

(note to self: must get email off to poor Nigerian person wanting my help with their locked up funds before hand) 

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  Reply # 523523 20-Sep-2011 13:54
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StarBlazer: My point being that Columbus was considered a crackpot at the time and struggled to get funding for his voyage. The church at the time considered the earth to be flat and therefore no point in trying to prove it. Conspiracy theories are only that until there is enough evidence.


Of course it could be that you are manufacturing your own evidence.

It has been widely accepted since around 300BC that the Earth is a sphere (i.e. since Aristotle) and in fact less than 100 years after that Eratosthenes  (spelling?) quite accurately measured its diameter. The Christian churches have also always generally accepted that the earth is a sphere; perhaps it is their middle ages belief that it was the centre of what we now call the solar system that you are trying to confabulate us with, or else is the fact that you are confusing yourself with.

Columbus never set out to prove the Earth was not flat, it was widely accepted that the earth was a sphere and that if one set out Westwards from Europe that one would eventually reach Asia (after all, everyone had already known for centuries that Asia could be reached by travelling Eastwards thousands of miles beyond the horizon). The disagreement he had with his opposers was that they believed the Earth was much larger in diameter than he did.

In the end it was they that were correct and Columbus on his return from his first voyage still wrongly believed in his claim as to size and claimed that he had therefore reached Asia. In his written report on the voyage to the Madrid royal court he wrongly claimed that he had done so.

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  Reply # 523527 20-Sep-2011 14:01
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I think your explanation of conspiracy theories is lacking and overly restrictive.

It neatly excludes any business or group of businesses working to a plan to defraud or interfere with wider society for profit or control. In any reasonable definition, that would constitute a conspiracy; in your definition, it is simply a business plan.

No, I am very sorry but I do not think your definition holds water. 
 



I think you are stretching the definition. A theory is by its nature is used to explain what is observed using logic and empirical data. You look at the results of experiments and work towards something that conforms to the observations and is testable. You don't start from a conclusion (9/11 was an inside job) and work backwards using non-empirical evidence (someone said they saw missiles on one of planes), heresay and assertion (therefore I beleive it was an inside job and therefore have some form of secret knowledge).




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  Reply # 523535 20-Sep-2011 14:24
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Brendan:
I think your explanation of conspiracy theories is lacking and overly restrictive.

It neatly excludes any business or group of businesses working to a plan to defraud or interfere with wider society for profit or control. In any reasonable definition, that would constitute a conspiracy; in your definition, it is simply a business plan.

No, I am very sorry but I do not think your definition holds water. 
 

You still appear to be confusing conspiracy theories, with the simple term conspiracy which can be widely applied to most all discussions and businesses.

We're talking conspiracy theories here, not how people conspire to make films without profits

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  Reply # 523541 20-Sep-2011 14:34
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minimoke: Not sure if this counts as a "conspiracy" but if you aren't ready for 25 September you only have your self to blame.
Have to say I only got to just past 2.30 on this educational documentary on Elenin and I had my bags packed!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scZAOQNopok&feature=related 
(note to self: must get email off to poor Nigerian person wanting my help with their locked up funds before hand) 

Ready for what?
Our country will be gone, there will be no water (but somehow it will be raining) and I don't know what to do to protect myself against a 'cosmic-sonic-shockwave'.

I was however prepared to stay indoors with the sunnies on and apply extra sunscreen to get past the 'massive-infrared-forces'.  Even thought it might be good to put the chickens on the porch... hmmm gotta love barbecued chicken.  

One things for sure though, theres no point in moving house till after next weekend!! 



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  Reply # 523544 20-Sep-2011 14:37
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oxnsox:
Brendan:
I think your explanation of conspiracy theories is lacking and overly restrictive.

It neatly excludes any business or group of businesses working to a plan to defraud or interfere with wider society for profit or control. In any reasonable definition, that would constitute a conspiracy; in your definition, it is simply a business plan.

No, I am very sorry but I do not think your definition holds water. 
 

You still appear to be confusing conspiracy theories, with the simple term conspiracy which can be widely applied to most all discussions and businesses.

We're talking conspiracy theories here, not how people conspire to make films without profits


Yep, it seems it's the case:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(civil)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_(crime)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_conspiracies_(political)

These are all very different from

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conspiracy_theory

 




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  Reply # 523545 20-Sep-2011 14:37
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oxnsox:

You still appear to be confusing conspiracy theories, with the simple term conspiracy which can be widely applied to most all discussions and businesses.

We're talking conspiracy theories here, not how people conspire to make films without profits


An example of usage - "Lunatics conspire to create conspiracy theories" Wink.

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  Reply # 523632 20-Sep-2011 16:50
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A combined conspiracy/skeptic forum could provide a few good laughs as well as some quite thought provoking moments as psuedo-philosophy bubbles its way to the surface. Equally, it could also be definingly divisive, although I think we're a wee way down that track anyway.

Have you considered consulting with an astrologist? :-D

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  Reply # 523757 20-Sep-2011 20:59
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freitasm: 
Freemasonry is an association of free men with a core set of morals that work together for the betterment of humankind in general. They are not out there to overthrow anything.

There's the assumption it's a "secret society" but the only secret is really how one freemason makes himself known to another and how the teachings are spread.

In some countries members prefer not to make it public their affiliation, in others they can and make it  publicly known. In some countries you have to be invited, in other countries you can just walk up and ask to join.

They can't even be a shadowy "New World Order" government because freemasonry in each country follow different rules.

Disclosure: I'm a Freemason, but since moving to New Zealand I have not been involved with them at all. Because of the different rules mentioned before I'd have to go through a few steps again, and I couldn't be bothered.

 


How far are you and Burningbeard from being inducted as a "Prince of Darkness"? I know someone who was about to be. They then decided to leave the masons. When he came to our community and spoke out against the masons they tried to run him out of town. The masons denied he was ever a member, and apparently all records of his membership were erased.

What kind of association blindfolds you and holds a knife to your throat (unknown to you) when you make your joining promises?

As for conspiracies involving the masons, who knows, I don't take much interest in that. I'm more concerned about their 'core values'. Sinister is how I would describe Freemasonry (and I don't mean left-handed). But since this isn't about conspiracies, perhaps the discussion is best continued in another thread.

 



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  Reply # 523759 20-Sep-2011 21:02
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Skolink: What kind of association blindfolds you and holds a knife to your throat (unknown to you) when you make your joining promises?


One word: Allegory




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