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Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories

What We Should and Shouldn't Believe - and Why
Narrated by: Michael Shermer
Length: 6 hrs and 30 mins
Categories: Nonfiction, Philosophy
4 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

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Our favorite moments from Conspiracies & Conspiracy Theories

Chapter 2, Lecture 1: The Difference between Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
  • Chapter 2, Lecture 1: The Difference between Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
Mass-killer manifesto
Chapter 6, Lecture 7: The Conspiracy Detection Kit
  • Chapter 6, Lecture 7: The Conspiracy Detection Kit
Russia manipulates US social media.
Chapter 11, Lecture 12: The Real X-Files: Conspiracy Theories in Myth and Reality
  • Chapter 11, Lecture 12: The Real X-Files: Conspiracy Theories in Myth and Reality
"And you greet me with bombs!"

  • Chapter 2, Lecture 1: The Difference between Conspiracies and Conspiracy Theories
  • Mass-killer manifesto
  • Chapter 6, Lecture 7: The Conspiracy Detection Kit
  • Russia manipulates US social media.
  • Chapter 11, Lecture 12: The Real X-Files: Conspiracy Theories in Myth and Reality
  • "And you greet me with bombs!"

"A central principle of skepticism about conspiracy theories—never attribute to malice what can be explained by randomness or incompetence."

Professor Michael Shermer, The Great Courses
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About the Professor

Dr. Michael Shermer is the publisher of Skeptic magazine, the host of the Science Salon podcast, and a Presidential Fellow at Chapman University where he teaches Skepticism 101, a course in how to think like a scientist. For 18 years he was a monthly columnist for Scientific American. Dr. Shermer is the New York Times best-selling author of numerous books including Heavens on Earth, The Moral Arc, The Believing Brain, The Mind of the Market, Why Darwin Matters, The Science of Good and Evil, and Why People Believe Weird Things. Dr. Shermer received his BA in psychology from Pepperdine University, his MA in experimental psychology from California State University and his PhD in the history of science from Claremont Graduate University. He has been a college professor since 1979, has appeared on such shows as The Colbert Report, 20/20, and Dateline, and is a guest on such popular podcasts as The Joe Rogan Experience. Dr. Shermer was co-host and co-producer of the television series Exploring the Unknown.

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No chapter titles!!???

I find it unbelievable that Audible would make a special contract with Great Courses to provide exclusive content but get lazy about putting in chapter titles. Without chapter titles, we can’t go from chapter to chapter depending on the topic we want to read about, which is the whole point of the great courses. Please fix this failure.

21 of 25 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Wanted More Substance

Perhaps the nature of the subject makes it difficult for a scholar/author to judge accurately how far to get into the weeds of conspiracies that have influenced history. For instance, the generalist audience members would have to know a lot about history to put long-ago successful conspiracies and unsuccessful conspiracies into context. I found the lack of detail frustrating, However, I took away a better understanding of why people believe rumors, false narratives, and even preposterous ideas. Most of us have trouble understanding our increasingly complicated world from day to day. Groping around for SOME explanation of big events, it's oddly comforting to be certain of something, even if it's something patently untrue, than to accept the sad fact that most of what happens defies explanation and/or moral grounding.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Over sensationalization

Why does he find it necessary to use a rough voice when speaking as a conspiracy theorist and why does he need to picture them in dark rooms? Make your point without the artificial drama ~ I'm out.

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Great listen!

Great listen! Shermer does a great job as always! Entertaining, enlightening and thoroughly engrossing stuff!

8 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Not what I was expecting!

I got this thinking they’d be explaining all major conspiracy theories. Instead, you get education into the minds of conspiracies and those who believe them. It’s a very interesting listen to learn about why certain theories take off and the hardcore believers of that theory very seldom waiver. Great stuff here!!

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good book

a very good book concerning the critical assessment of conspiracies both real and imagined. good title.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful