Frank Arduini’s Ten Key Characteristics of Nut-Job Conspiracy Theorists

During the show last night (the debate that was not a debate) Frank Arduini mentioned his list of Ten Key Characteristics of Nut-Job Conspiracy Theorists. Frank was kind enough to provide a copy so I could post them here.

1. Religious zeal.

Nut-jobs generally believe that they are participants in a holy / patriotic / moral crusade, and hence their opponents are not merely political or ideological opponents, they are evil infidels.

2. Impermeability to incontrovertible fact.

It does not matter how conclusively or comprehensively an argument or assertion has been refuted, nut-jobs never abandon an argument once ventured. Nut-job lies never die.

3. Willingness to embrace the impossible.

Nut-job arguments regularly cross the line from excruciatingly improbable to physically impossible. Nut-jobs fearlessly violate the laws of physics and propose theories that rend the time-space continuum.

4. Abhorrence of simplicity (Rube Goldberg’s Razor) .

Nut-jobs never settle for a simple solution to a problem when a hopelessly complex and idiotic alternative can be proposed. “Occams Razor” is anathema to nut-jobs.

5. Emotional (and other) projection.

It is almost impossible to read someone else’s emotional state or actually know anything about them across the Internet. So nut-jobs regularly attribute their own emotional states, prejudices and motives to their opponents. This is often also called “Irony blindness.”

6. Anomaly Mining.

Nut-jobs are tireless in their search for minuscule anomalies and coincidences around which they assemble vast complexes of suspicion, most of which are actually irrelevant to their cause. The tiniest and most meaningless detail will often take on a life of its own, rendering their theories even more opaque and incomprehensible to rational observers.

7. Simultaneous contradictory beliefs.

Nut-jobs often imagine at the same time and even in the same sentence that (for example) they are fighting forces which are both super-humanly brilliant and powerful … and completely incompetent.

8. Irrational anticipation of imminent victory.

Nut-jobs are often convinced that they are just one day/argument/case away from completely vanquishing their rhetorical foes. They will believe this for years and years and years and…

9. Inability to comprehend disagreement.

Nut-jobs cannot conceive of anybody honestly disagreeing with them. Therefore anybody who disagrees must be either “part of the conspiracy,” paid to pretend they believe something they do not, or victims of violent extortion.

10. The Appeal to Galileo.

Nut-jobs know that they are considered nut-jobs. So they regularly appeal to “great nut-jobs of history” ; who were eventually proven to not be so nutty after all. Ignoring that Galileo was actually never considered a nut-job in the first place, for every nut-job rehabilitated by history ten thousand nut-jobs resolutely remained nut-jobs.

Keep these in mind next time you visit one of the “bad” places listed on the right side of this blog.

This entry was posted in Birthers, Conspiracy Theories and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Frank Arduini’s Ten Key Characteristics of Nut-Job Conspiracy Theorists

  1. MsDaisy says:

    You’ve got a bingo on every point RC. LOL

  2. Thomas Brown says:

    Is it OK to call this list something like the Arduini Index of Nut-Job Conspiracy Theorists, or the Arduini Index for short, so Frank gets credit for this brilliant formulation when the rest of us inevitably cite it?

  3. All the credit goes to Frank. I changed the title of the post to reflect that.

  4. Atticus Finch says:

    Eric Hoffer inhis book “True Believer” wrote:
    Passionate hatred can give meaning and purpose to an empty life. Thus people haunted by the purposelessness of their lives try to find a new content not only by dedicating themselves to a holy cause but also by nursing a fanatical grievance. A mass movement offers them unlimited opportunities for both.”

  5. MichaelN says:

    [RC: Content deleted. Links to FoxNews are not allowed on this blog. It is not a credible source.]

  6. Mike of Oz says:

    Too true! My first visit here (hat-tip to Embarrassed Cousins of Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children). The blog kinda takes aim at birthers. Are birthers still seriously around in the USA? I thought the full birth certificate had been released, or has that just made the “conspiracy” bigger and wider than anyone could possibly have ever imagined? BTW, people “down under” from both political sides have been giggling at the birthers ever since the big controversy broke! Even the hard-core conservative commentators here don’t want to touch it with a barge-pole because they know how totally nutty it is. And that’s really saying something. 😉

  7. Welcome Mike of Oz. You may comment without moderation now.

    I don’t know if the release of the LFBC made the controversy bigger would be the right way to characterize it. I think most casual doubters said OK that satisfies me. However, the hard core nuts and the people at WND who need the money from the Birthers just forged ahead with even more craziness.

  8. Pingback: "Conservative Fact Check" Throws the Birthers Under the Bus - Page 18 (politics)

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