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Why Myths Persist

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the say-it-first-and-say-it-loud dept.

The Media 988

lottameez recommends an article in the Washington Post about recent research into the persistence of myths. In short: once a myth has been put out there (e.g., "Saddam Hussein plotted the 9/11 attacks"), denying it can paradoxically reinforce its staying power. Ignoring it doesn't work either — a claim that is unchallenged gains the ring of truth. Over time, "negation tags" fall out of memory: "Saddam didn't plan 9/11" becomes "Saddam planned 9/11." From the article: "The conventional response to myths and urban legends is to counter bad information with accurate information. But the new psychological studies show that denials and clarifications, for all their intuitive appeal, can paradoxically contribute to the resiliency of popular myths... The research is painting a broad new understanding of how the mind works. Contrary to the conventional notion that people absorb information in a deliberate manner, the studies show that the brain uses subconscious 'rules of thumb' that can bias it into thinking that false information is true. Clever manipulators can take advantage of this tendency."

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988 comments

And.... (4, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477317)

It took 5000 years to come to this conclusion?

Maybe this explains why religion persists in the face of logic, it was here before science.

Re:And.... (0, Redundant)

eebra82 (907996) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477421)

Maybe this explains why religion persists in the face of logic, it was here before science.
Parent should not be modded Funny. It is indeed a very Insightful comment.

Re:And.... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477533)

speaking of myths, I was at Linux Con 2000. True story: I had to drop into the bathroom to take a massive shit (all you can eat pizza from the night before). So I'm sitting on the can tryint ot drop off the cosby kids when I hear a foot tap from a stall next to me. I don't think anything of it, but then Cowboy Neal's head pokes under the stall, smiling at me. Very fucking weird.

Re:And.... (1)

Belacgod (1103921) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477709)

At least he didn't take a wide stance and reach under the stall door.

Re:And.... (4, Insightful)

Bucc5062 (856482) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477427)

Belief in a power greater then ourselves is not about logic. It is about faith. Religion is a man made construction around Faith in something greater and a poor one at that.

Science and Faith can co-exist. I believe in God and how that Faith helps shape and guide my life. I also believe in Science, in it's ability to help describe the world around me from the smallest quark to the farthest sun. Science only reaffirms my Faith in this way, each time "We" (mankind) say this is the barrier, this is the absolute; Science through discovery pushes past that barrier. In fact I propose that there are leaps of Faith in Scientific discovery that only later logic will describe. For me those leaps are our moments of touching the God that is inside us.

Faith is not about logic and why it will endure along with logic.

Re:And.... (-1, Flamebait)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477499)

So you open by saying religion is a man made thing and follow up by saying you believe in God.

You admit that you believe lies because they sound good?

No You Dim Witted Troll (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477589)

No you dim witted troll, he said that religion is a man made construction around faith. He also said that faith is a belief beyond proof that something more exists. He also claimed that science has had many leaps of faiths that have lead to logical foundation throughout its existence. He never said that God was a man-made construction, only that the rituals to worship and appease God might be man-made around the faith that a creator exists.

Some of you people are so intent on being snide that you don't even read the post you're responding to. (It makes you look like a real dumb ass.) I hope someone with some common sense mods you down, even if they agree with you're slashdot-populist message. Straw manning someone to ridicule them is unnecessary.

Re:And.... (5, Insightful)

Yaztromo (655250) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477575)

Belief in a power greater then ourselves is not about logic. It is about faith.

Well, you can call it that if it makes you feel better, but the rest of us just call that "wishful thinking".

I have little doubt your faith makes you feel good inside, but then again, so does a hit to a heroin addict.

Of course, assuming TFA is valid, my denying the entire notion of your "faith" will probably re-enforce it. So you're welcome. Enjoy it in good health.

Yaz.

Re:And.... (-1, Flamebait)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477609)

You may speak for a large group of self serving wannabe intellectuals on slashdot, but by no means do you speak for "the rest of us."

I find (1)

Bloodoflethe (1058166) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477657)

your lack of faith...disturbing. /obligquote

Faith in Carbon (0, Troll)

MutualDisdain (998780) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477671)

Perhaps conservatives denying bad science, such as Carbon-induced global warming theories, is what keeps reinforcing it among the believers. Perhaps if the religious claimed that God made cows fart to cause global warming, the scientific community would actually allow more viable alternative theories to be assessed.

Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (1, Insightful)

grub (11606) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477321)


Religion persists against all common sense.

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (0, Offtopic)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477349)

If only I had mod points...

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (1, Flamebait)

FatAlb3rt (533682) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477457)

Common sense, of course, dictating spontaneous explosions of matter that came from...nevermind that part...it doesn't matter. Hey, religion sucks!

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (1)

kernelpanicked (882802) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477587)

If only I had mod points. It amazes me how such "common logic" falls apart when you get to the point of what actually caused these explosions, yet religion is just thrown out off hand.

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (5, Insightful)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477675)

It amazes me how actually looking and trying to find out the answer is looked down upon by religious people, when just deciding that some superman in the sky sneezed everything into existence is defended so vociferously.

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477627)

No, that's incorrect. Common sense does not dictate spontaneous explosions of matter. What it DOES dictate is that, if you believe mathematics is a good and correct description of the numerical world, then you should not disregard the conclusions of mathematics when it describes something you can't immediately see with the naked eye.

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477519)

This could be biological as well. Some people simply have a rather shaky hold on reality, their perceptions may well seem religious to them.
 

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (5, Insightful)

tukkayoot (528280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477525)

Religion persists against all common sense.

Actually, religion persists because of "common sense," which this article seems to help demonstrate. The problem is that commonly passes as "sense" is not very logically sound. Common sense is not a great tool for discovering the truth.

This is why the scientific method is so invaluable ... it can keep us honest and allow us to push beyond what intuitively seems true, or what works according to common sense.

Too bad most people are scientifically illiterate.

Re:Biggest myths of all have been around for ages. (2, Insightful)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477567)

Religion persists against all common sense.

There are many decent arguments both for and against the veracity of religion.

Don't be a troll and act like the rejection of religion is a slam dunk for all thinking persons.

kdawson does not exist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477339)

He's tacos imaginary friend and alter-ego.

Re:kdawson does not exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477755)

I am NOT gay, and I never have been!

Astounding! (5, Funny)

vrmlguy (120854) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477343)

This is the most amazing thing I've seen since I founded Slashdot.

Re:Astounding! (2, Funny)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477453)

This is the most amazing thing I've seen since I founded Slashdot.
You did not found Slashdot.

Oh.

Damn.

Re:Astounding! (1)

INeededALogin (771371) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477585)

He did not found Slashdot.

Re:Astounding! (0, Redundant)

schiefaw (552727) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477823)

Sure, that is what you want us to think. That just proves that he DID found Slashdot!

Original Sin anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477355)

And now, finally we realize why Adam believed Eve all those millenia ago...

And NO, its not because she was naked at the time... :)

Repeat! (0, Offtopic)

Mononoke (88668) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477367)

I just KNOW I've seen this story posted before.

Re:Repeat! (2, Funny)

kimvette (919543) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477403)

Oh come off it. Slashdot dupes are an urban myth!

Well.... (0, Offtopic)

Gravatron (716477) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477373)

That certainly explains why monster's hdmi cables contenue to sell so well, despite ebing the same as a $5 one.

Myth as a function os intelligence (1)

HalifaxRage (640242) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477381)

I always love how we get a story like this, right after a story about how x% of Americans can't find their on (country, state, city) on a map. The masses are ignorant, why is this surprising? Intelligence is what makes us human, but brute strength and quick feet are what allowed us to survive. We evolved to see these traits as more desirable - it's not really surprising that the same ones who have trouble with philosophy and higher physics are almost invariably the same ones who remember the "big football game" as their best memory of childhood.

Re:Myth as a function of intelligence (1)

Apatharch (796324) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477505)

Well, there has to be some survival advantage afforded by intelligence or we wouldn't have evolved it...

As far as the ignorant masses go, though, it's a well-known fact that 68% of people will unquestioningly accept the authority of invented statistics.

On an almost completely unrelated note, here's a link to the first page of the article [washingtonpost.com] for anyone who missed it.

Application to "OOXML is an open standard" myth? (0, Offtopic)

jafoc (1151405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477389)

Sounds like this means that we'll really have an uphill battle in convincing decision-makers that despite the name, OOXML is not really an "open standard" but rather Microsoft's anticompetitive strategie aimes at killing ODF.

Maybe the lesson is that we should not debate whether OOXML is "open" but rather focus on the fact that it is immature, and at the same time point out the massive irregularities at ISO and promote a more reasonable approach to standardization such as OpenISO.org [openiso.org] ?

Re:Application to "OOXML is an open standard" myth (1)

WH44 (1108629) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477813)

The thing to do here is not to negate the original myth, but to submit a juicy new story to the rumor mill (whether true or myth) that is incompatible with the original myth or at least with its aim:

"OOXML sucks big time! It's just a repackaged DOC format!"

"Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden hated each other and would have killed each other if they could."

And cue trolling against religion in... (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477391)

3... 2... wait, I'm too late. Oh well.

Wonder how many "but religions is a myths!!!!111~" posts will get modded insightful.

Re:And cue trolling against religion in... (1)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477559)

... "but religions are myths!!!!111" ...

There, fixed that for you. Now it makes perfect sense!

did you see Microsoft win that vote yesterday? (2, Insightful)

dominux (731134) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477395)

or such is the Myth they are trying to manipulate.

clever manipulators went home to texas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477401)

I thought "clever manipulators" had their last day at the White House on August 31st and then went home to Texas. From what I understand, we're all safe from clever manipulation now.

Saddam (5, Funny)

iogan (943605) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477405)

Wait, you mean Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 9/11? Then why did you guys invade Iraq?

Re:Saddam (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477451)

Because he had weapons of mass destruction. Oh, wait...

Re:Saddam (0, Troll)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477467)

we had to go in there and take him out because what he might have done. you can pretend he didn't have weapons of mass destruction but what if he did? Would you be willing to see the evidence in the form of a mushroom cloud over american skies ? I think not. Next stop Iran, we can't wait to find out that they really have nuclear weapons.. ahmadimajhad will pass those nukes off to al queda and that would be the end of america..

Re:Saddam (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477535)

Since he didn't have them we're not pretending he didn't have them.

And using your logic behind our invasion of Iraq, we should invade Japan, China, Cuba, India, Australia, Russia, Germany, Spain, Ireland, Italy... Because they MIGHT consider attacking the USA.

Re:Saddam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477633)

Well, pretty much everybody is considering killing the obnoxious Yanks these days. So it really doesn't matter who you bomb.

Re:Saddam (2, Interesting)

Stooshie (993666) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477605)

How would you like if Iraq invaded teh USA because they might have weapons of mass de...

Oh wait, you do.

Re:Saddam (0, Troll)

MrHyd3 (19709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477703)

This is what kills me about peace-activist liberals. Does anyone remember WWII? WWI? Do they actually teach that to you Euro's? or do they give you the PC or non-confrontational version? Which the topic of war is impossible, but I'm sure some of you PC Euro wienies have a way of watering it down. There were opportunities to stop events that lead to millions of deaths, no one acted. Im not condoning what the US did, but remember, the UN and SADDAM SIGNED a treaty which he (IRAQ) VIOLATED over a dozen times during the 90's...and no one acted. GW comes to office, says, logically, WTF, this guy has been breaking the treaty he (SIGNED) over the last 8 yrs and no one has made him accountable?

Should the US invaded IRAQ? Not without congress approval
Did Saddam violate the treaty signed with the UN?
Was the UN on the take? Food for Oil?
Did Saddam have weapons? (Check your facts)

Ummm....NEXT....

Re:Saddam (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477731)

...and here we see the myths in action.

1 - stop watching TV shows and movies. They can be really bad models of a reality-based world. Examples: those 'wave your arms to operate a computer' operating systems in sci-fi films would mess up your shoulders in a day; you can't accurately shoot a .44 Magnum at anything further than fifty feet away; and a stoic person that won't give the codes to the nuclear device isn't going to spill his guts just because Jack Bauer yells "TELL ME WHAT THE CODES ARE" in his face.

2 - If you're going to live in fear, and then define your fear as a reason to repeat a f#cked-up experiment in US foreign relations, you're not in the reality-based world in the first place.

3 - one of your sentences shows just how messed up your 'thinking' is:

you can pretend he didn't have weapons of mass destruction but what if he did?

a - "you can pretend he didn't have weapons of mass destruction". Let's look at that. In relation to the 9/11 Commission Report that said... HE DIDN'T HAVE THEM. There's no "pretending" about it. No matter how much Rick Santorum and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter LIED TO YOU, REPEATEDLY LIED TO YOU, you are still gullible enough to repeat the lie as truth. And then...

b - you say "but what if he did?". You just said OTHER PEOPLE WERE PRETENDING HE DIDN'T HAVE THEM. And then you ACKNOWLEDGE that he doesn't have them because you try to Appeal to Emotion [nizkor.org] , wondering what would happen if he DID have them in an alternative universe.

We should invade somewhere "in case" someone could do something to us? Is this the [f]right wing modern version of Reds Under The Beds (Arabs In The Attic)? How messed up to you have to be, mentally, to think "the best form of defense is attack, and the best form of attack is surprise"...? That's what mental people do, you do realize that, right? Mad people attack random people in subway stations and on the streets because "God told them to do it" or "they're all out to get me". And you use that as... what? A viable political opinion?

When did nutso-frigging-bazoo count as a political opinion. I'm going to call a spade a spade. You're mental. Get help.

Re:Saddam (1)

MrHyd3 (19709) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477787)

a - "you can pretend he didn't have weapons of mass destruction". Let's look at that. In relation to the 9/11 Commission Report that said... HE DIDN'T HAVE THEM. There's no "pretending" about it. No matter how much Rick Santorum and Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter LIED TO YOU, REPEATEDLY LIED TO YOU, you are still gullible enough to repeat the lie as truth. And then...


And you list these people as a reference for what reason?

We should invade somewhere "in case" someone could do something to us? Is this the [f]right wing modern version of Reds Under The Beds (Arabs In The Attic)? How messed up to you have to be, mentally, to think "the best form of defense is attack, and the best form of attack is surprise"...? That's what mental people do, you do realize that, right? Mad people attack random people in subway stations and on the streets because "God told them to do it" or "they're all out to get me". And you use that as... what? A viable political opinion?


When did God enter the equation? I swear, you people fear "God" more than the believers do...lol

Re:Saddam (1)

dtml-try MyNick (453562) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477527)

To stay on topic of myths.

For worldpeace!

Re:Saddam (0, Troll)

rednip (186217) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477607)

Then why did you guys invade Iraq?

"After all, this is the guy who tried to kill my dad." [cnn.com] - President Bush about the reasons to invade Iraq on Sept 27, 2002.

Of course the tin-foil hat explanation is "People were getting dangerously close to exposing the faked moon landing"

Re:Saddam (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477713)

Which is actually a perfectly legitimate reason to invade Iraq. George W Bush's Dad is a former President of the US, attempting to have him assassinated was an Act of War. Despite the personal nature of it for George W. Bush, it is a perfectly valid rationale.

Overheard telephone conversation in Dec '00 (2, Funny)

Overzeetop (214511) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477637)

"...don't worry dad, I'll get him."

Re:Saddam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477647)

how about that myth that america invaded iraq over 9/11? maybe you'd care to back up your flippant mockery?

Re:Saddam (0)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477655)

Oil. Blaming Saddam was just a false pretense.

Re:Saddam (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477701)

You might wanna ask this guy [google.com] , although he's probably just an urban myth.

Simple, Actually (0)

el_munkie (145510) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477719)

In the terms of the ceasefire that ended the war with Iraq in the early nineties, Hussein agreed to allow weapons inspectors into his country, and to give them full access to his labs to prove that all WMD (mostly chemical) had been destroyed. He did not follow through on this. Clinton attacked Iraq in 1998 for (supposedly) the same reason. See here [cnn.com] :

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- From the Oval Office, President Clinton told the nation Wednesday evening why he ordered new military strikes against Iraq.

The president said Iraq's refusal to cooperate with U.N. weapons inspectors presented a threat to the entire world.

"Saddam (Hussein) must not be allowed to threaten his neighbors or the world with nuclear arms, poison gas or biological weapons," Clinton said.

Operation Desert Fox, a strong, sustained series of attacks, will be carried out over several days by U.S. and British forces, Clinton said.


Bush used the same justification. In his speeches leading up to the war, he never claimed that Iraq was behind 9/11; this is just a myth promoted by various factions that want to see the country fail.

I doubt that anyone would argue that we have fucked it up quite badly over there, but Iraq was never sold as retribution for 9/11.

Re:Saddam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477727)

PNAC?

Like the famous "Gore won Florida"? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477407)

Why not extend the slant, which wasn't present in the article, to go both ways? I can't tell you how many people I know who believe Gore won Florida and base it on the idea that major media sources verified it. You can go show them the opposite and they don't care.

What it comes down to is this, people are more inclined to believe stories which correspond to what they already believe to be true, even if the evidence against such a belief is overwhelming. It is all about change and accepting mistakes. There are too many people resistant to change and resistant to admitting mistakes.

LBJ story (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477409)

LBJ once directed an aide to spread word that his Senate election opponent enjoyed having sex with farm animals. When the aide protested that nobody would believe it, Johnson replied, "I know... but let's see the sucker deny it!"

heard the one about j.edgar? (0)

airdrummer (547536) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477513)

he _never_ pranced around in a pink tutu;-)

the explanation i've heard is that before u process the negation, u form a mental image of him in the tutu, which is what sticks...

Duh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477411)

The Myth persists [wikipedia.org] because there still are a few people that just refuse to get rid of the DVD.

End of discussion.

Why Myths Persist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477413)

Um, people are morons?

What they are trying to say is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477417)

They are using a subliminal message to say that the 9-11 attacks where not a inside job, move along nothing to see here.

Bush lied about Saddam & 911 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477423)

There you go, if you want to replace a myth with the truth, the truth has to say something new in a simple clean straightforward way.

Not:
Saddam didn't plan 911

Not:
Saddam, (complicated reasoning) had bugger all to do with 911.

But:
Bush lied, LIED LIED LIED about Saddam planning 911.

Nothing extra, no need to go into the details of the lies again. Bush is just a liar.

Re:Bush lied about Saddam & 911 (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477553)

A better one would be "Bush was suckered by Al-Quaeda into attacking Iraq rather than them". It can be used by both sides in the debate. One to prove Bush is dumb, the other to make it look like it was accidental rather than deliberate geopolitics.
 

Re:Bush lied about Saddam & 911 (2, Insightful)

AvitarX (172628) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477557)

<i>Bush lied, LIED LIED LIED about Saddam planning 911.</i>

You are still re-enforcing the Saddam <-> connection.

You need to leave Saddam out entirely.

Saddam? Science? (0, Troll)

ej0c (320280) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477425)

You categorize this under "Science"? What passes for science in your world these days?

And BTW, no on ever believed that Saddam plotted 9/11. We do know that he publicly announced $25,000 rewards to suicide bombers and terrorists, that he hosted terrorist training camps in country, that he worked to create an environment throughout the middle eadt that set the conditions for terrorist organizations to thrive, and that he embraced both Islam and violent government.

Re:Saddam? Science? (1)

Fullerene (1151313) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477455)

SADDAM PLOTTED 911!!

???

Nah. he didn't, but we both just re-inforced it anyway dude.

Jeebus!

Re:Saddam? Science? (1)

evanbd (210358) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477475)

And BTW, no on ever believed that Saddam plotted 9/11

You say that, but polls have shown that over 50% of Americans think he was connected to Al Qaeda. I don't know what fraction think he was involved in 9/11, but I bet it's far higher than 0%.

Re:Saddam? Science? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477515)

I bet more believe Bush was involved

Re:Saddam? Science? (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477509)

With the exception of the $25k, the same might be said for the USA aswell. Oh, I guess the "no one ever believed that the USA plotted 9/11" needs an exception too.

Amazing... (1)

C10H14N2 (640033) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477723)

Next you'll tell me that Harald V of Norway embraces Lutheranism.

Avoiding negations (4, Insightful)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477429)

So when informing the public about false information, one should avoid using negations?

Instead of saying "Saddam Hussein was not involved in 9/11.", you should instead say something like "It was al-qaida, who didn't particularly like Saddam Hussein, that were responsible for 9/11."

Re:Avoiding negations (1)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477665)

No, you don't even want to mention the name of that particular dictator. Doing so just reinforces the connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11, even if you are negating the connection. ...

*doh!*

Re:Avoiding negations (4, Informative)

bigdavex (155746) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477673)

From the article:

Rather than say, as Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) recently did during a marathon congressional debate, that "Saddam Hussein did not attack the United States; Osama bin Laden did," Mayo said it would be better to say something like, "Osama bin Laden was the only person responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks" -- and not mention Hussein at all.

The Saddam/911 link is a bad example (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477441)

Isn't the 'Saddam planned 9/11' myth a bad example. It would seem to me that even among the populace that this is increasingly known to be false. It may not be a large %, but that % is growing.

Re:The Saddam/911 link is a bad example (2, Insightful)

mbrod (19122) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477651)

I think it was used as the example for reasons of the repercussions of that specific propaganda, not the percent of sheeple who believe it.

Also, as stated in the article, people are much more likely to believe a myth that they simply want to believe, regardless of truth. People want to believe their tax dollars (and blood) are funding a valiant effort that is good against an evil enemy. Hence, any myth brought up that makes the enemy sound more evil, is also more likely to be believed regardless of how true it is.

The Saddam/911 link is a good example... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477829)

To subtly promote a certain political outlook.

A rather appropriate XKCD... (4, Funny)

SEMW (967629) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477447)

Ill concieved (1)

jlebrech (810586) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477465)

Where does this ill-concieved idea come from that myhs persist, we all know that this is wrong and should stop streading this rumour.

Negation (4, Interesting)

zeromorph (1009305) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477471)

Negation (in natural language) is a tricky business, even if we forget about the psychological part for a minute. Just to give one example:

Presuppositions [wikipedia.org] - I have seen her again. and I haven't seen her again again. both presuppose that I saw her (before) so large parts of what I say persist under negation.

In addition, results from psycho-linguistic research suggest that negation involves some sort of double processing, that is we transform a negative statement in an equivalent positive one before we further process it. That in all this the negated statement stay activated and is thus reinforced is more than plausible.

Re:Negation (2, Funny)

mwvdlee (775178) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477783)

So basically, Bush didn't start a another pointless war, when he invaded Iraq?

Some unexpected examples.... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477477)

Funnily enough, we think we're very good at warfare and invention, whereas in fact we're pretty bad at both of them.

We haven't fought a victorious full-scale battle on our own since the Civil War. And I can't think of any occasion where we have won a battle against a half-way decent foe. We tend to run if they come at us hard. When was the last time you heard of a glorious last stand of US troops, outside a Hollywood film? We only fight when we think outnumber or out gun the enemy so much that the result is a certainty. And when we find we made a mistake, like Vietnam, we collapse.

But the most amazing story we tell ourselves is that we're good at inventing. In fact, we're good at developing other people's inventions - usually stolen ones. If you don't want us to steal your invention, you'd better come over here and develop it for the US market yourself - and then we can claim that the invention was American!

Probably the calssic story we tell ourselves is that the Wrights 'invented the airplane'. In fact, they wer the first (by a short head) to make a machine fly according to certain precisely defined criteria. Change those criteria, and others become the first. The Wright machine turned out to be a dead end in aviation technology - the wing-warping idea does not scale - but the legal fight over this meant that the US aircraft industry was held back so much we had to buy aircraft from the French for WW1!)

 

Re:Some unexpected examples.... (5, Funny)

0123456789 (467085) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477721)

We haven't fought a victorious full-scale battle on our own since the Civil War.


Kind of hard to lose that one, don't you think?

Re:Some unexpected examples.... (1)

Divebus (860563) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477789)

We haven't fought a victorious full-scale battle on our own since the Civil War. And I can't think of any occasion where we have won a battle against a half-way decent foe.

Opinion: The only way defeat an enemy is to completely flatten the opponent (children and all), then negotiate the terms of peace from that position. The Americans didn't do so bad against the WWII foes. We were taking body counts of 1,000 a day in the heat of it and delivered some pretty crazy munitions, both things we have no stomach for today. We saw American forces showing tremendous restraint in Korea, Viet Nam and most other major conflicts - Politicians feared getting other nuclear powers involved. The Americans did NOT go there to "win" those wars, otherwise Hanoi plus some of Korea and China would be a glass bottomed ash tray. All the Americans managed to do for the last 60 years is run around and piss off a lot of people. These became Politician's wars which leveraged the "think of the children" vote. Bad combination for any hope of decisive victory.

The Saddam/911 myth persists because powerful (3, Insightful)

Ellis D. Tripp (755736) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477479)

interests within our government and defense industry worked VERY HARD on inventing and perpetuating it. And our corporate media did their usual lapdog routine, and went along without questioning anything.

Re:The Saddam/911 myth persists because powerful (3, Interesting)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477805)

What I want to know is, who in the Administration EVER said that Saddam plotted 9/11? I never heard that said. I have heard people who oppose the Bush Administration say that the Bush Administration said it, but I have never heard a quote from the Bush Administration saying (or implying) it.

Another myth (1)

suv4x4 (956391) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477493)

That you can get good study write-up on some weblog. I liked the "why girls like pink" one better.

The first half (4, Informative)

Trevelyan (535381) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477503)

That link is to the second page, for those that like to read from the start here is the first page [washingtonpost.com]

It seems that unless you have an account you can't click the links on the page to go back to the first page, but you can click next (from the first) and you can get to either page externally. Don't ask me why.

Not an account of 'minds' (1)

wigle (676212) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477521)

Given that we all have different mental capacities, this psychologist seems to offer an account of how ignorant minds work, and it's not particularly revelatory.

Linus is right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477529)

I am with Linus on this one. For the life of me I can't understand what this sucking up to RMS is about. Linus himself does not think GPLv3 is a good thing. So why do people keep adopting it.
Without Linus FOSS is tossed. Not following Linus is dangerous for the survival of FOSS.

In other words (3, Insightful)

DaveV1.0 (203135) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477551)

There are many stupid people who will believe whatever they want to believe, regardless of proof. They will generally want to force you to believe what they believe even if you have proof that directly contradicts them. And, if you refuse to believe, they may try to silence.

Nineteen Eighty-Four (1)

ironring2006 (968941) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477569)

We were at war with Eastasia. We were always at war with Eastasia.

we were at war with Eurasia. We were always at war with Eurasia.

Mythbusters!! (1)

devilsandy (556014) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477597)

Why not send this myth to our friendly Mythbusters .

So instead of (3, Funny)

moshennik (826059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477601)

"I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with her." He should have just said "I went to lunch with my wife.. we had a cigar".

Global Warming Myth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477677)

I guess this explains why the Anthropogenic Global Warming Myth continues to be popular.
At least it keeps "Spotted Owl" Gore employed.

Also known as... (5, Interesting)

AWG (621868) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477685)

In his book, The Black Swan [wikipedia.org] , Nassim Taleb [wikipedia.org] calls this the "narrative fallacy". Interesting stuff. Especially when you consider it specifically in realms of (seeming) randomness like finance. Who knows why the market fell yesterday? No one. But you can bet the front page of the Wall Street Journal will have a nice little blurb explaining the cause behind the effect. This little 'narrative' is not easily disprovable and our brains love it! It requires conscious thought and force of will to unlink these types of things and approach them with the level of respect that such unpredictability deserves.

An article on myths becomes an exposé on bias (1)

sco08y (615665) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477739)

It's bad enough that the Post repeats the tired old canard that the administration "linked" 9/11 to Iraq... that they bring in the Arab conspiracy nuts for balance is just absurd.

Truth!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477769)

This also explains why we have so many of those retarded truthers.

Who's Saying This? (1)

MarkPNeyer (729607) | more than 6 years ago | (#20477785)

I keep hearing that somebody's out there claiming Saddam planned 9/11 - who is saying this? I've never heard it anywhere.

And why is the US myth leader? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20477799)

I can't help wonder why the US seems to be filled with these kinds of things. It would seem that the whole verb "complot theory" was practically invented by an American. The murder on Kennedy? Meet the conspiracy theories, right up untill now. The Roswell incident? Or what about Marilyn Monroe anyone? Or what about the landing on the moon, some of the things which are being said and relayed there as evidence can be quite convincing too in my opinion. Like a guy who got murdered, his organs were found all over the island, and the feds tell us it to be suicide.

And this whole ordeal basicly goes on. The Bush election (even though this has been proven), the 9/11 theories about the fabrication of the tower collapse (here too you have some very solid arguments being made IMO, like a stand alone tower collapsing out of the blue). And so on... Heck, the US even has their own Myth Busters, that tells us a lot ;-)

Seriously though; I don't claim that myths only happen in the States but I simply can't help wonder why the US has so damn much of them. And yes, it is a big country but that is hardly the point. One of the reasons which I can come up with is the hush hush culture which goes with it. Add up a few lies (or "mistakes") here and there and you're settled.
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