Thursday, October 22, 2015

Scam Psychology: the echo chamber effect (and how it turns you into a recluse)

That's sheeple. Does that look familiar to you?
(Photo credit: hermetic hermit)
MLM is all about your "team", team spirit and camaraderie, don't let the team down, we'll be there for you, blah blah blah.

But have you ever considered the NEGATIVE effects of a team environment?  (Or is that merely "negativity" to be avoided?)

When you are in a social group such as a team, clan, whatever, you automatically try to fit in. You will conform yourself to the team, just as the team will conform to you. You will all have to same position, same opinion, etc. You may have differences in minor details, but you will go along on the "big stuff".

You are suffering from the "echo chamber effect", because you only hang out with people that you think have similar ideology to yours. Your ideas are echoing back to you, and other people's ideas are passing through you, and being echoed back to them. Soon everybody think alike, and like seeks like. Such things does NOT happen when you have a mix of people holding opposite views and have a nice proper discussion of the issues.

The advent of internet only made it EASIER for like to seek like. You can find all sorts of bull**** on the Internet nowadays, and forums hosting such. If you can't find one, start one yourself. People will agree on absurd topics such as "ISIS has infiltrated every church in America" to "school shootings were staged with shill mourners".

After a while in the echo chamber, you will suppress your own thoughts because you reasoned that the your group would never accept your "anti-group" thoughts. That's known as the Semmelweis Reflex.

That's fine when the ideas are logical and proper, but when they are not, it can be very dangerous.

Scammers have understood this for a long time. They are out seeking sheeple who hadn't gotten wise to the schemes, esp. when the scheme caters to one of an universal wants: trying to make one's life better.  However, scammers will pervert such wants into feeding your fears and sell you a bogus solution.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Scam Tactics: The Galileo Gambit

Does everyone remember who Galileo Galilei is? He's the one who taught heliocentrism (the sun is the center, not Earth) and was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church because heliocentrism ran counter to the Biblical literalism of the time (that Earth is the center and everything revolves around Earth).

So what is Galileo Gambit? An argument tactic that combines three separate fallacies (appeal to minority, appeal to authority, conditional fallacy) in one concise package. 
They made fun of Galileo, and he was right
They make fun of me, therefore I am right.
Galileo Gambit is generally used to dismiss the "widely held truth". Creationists and Climate change deniers often use Galileo Gambit and claiming persecution. (Indeed, Rick Perry sparked controversy when he claimed that science on climate change was 'not settled yet' in 2011 and added "Galileo got outvoted for a spell")

There is a variation called Semmelweis Gambit that was often used by "alternative medicine", or otherwise known by its less complimentary acronym, SCAM (supplemental, complementary, and alternative medicine).  Ignaz Semmelweis was a doctor that provided the start of germ theory in 1800's Vienna, but his views were not accepted during his time and he died a broken man, with his views only came into acceptance after his death.

Another variation is known as "Three Stages of Truth" often misattributed to Arthur Schopenhauer (who never wrote such a thing). Let us look at an example:

Here is one form of it used in a recent... suspect scheme (that had since collapsed.)