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BAS Skeptalk: Mick West -“Beyond a Candle in the Dark”Date:
Thursday, October 11
La Pena Cultural Center
3105 Shattuck Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705 US
Center for Inquiry San Francisco
Beyond a Candle in the Dark – Respectfully Debunking Conspiracy Theories
How do you get through to conspiracy theorists, especially those who are close to you like friends and family? Often the first step someone takes on their journey out of the rabbit hole is the realization that they and their sources were wrong about something. To get this realization to sink in requires more than a candle illuminating their mistake, it requires a spotlight — a brightly focused blast of detailed debunking. Mick West discusses how shining a light on seemingly obscure minutia like “iron microspheres” or “ballast barrels” helps break the spell of conspiracy theory thinking.
Mick West is the author of Escaping the Rabbit Hole: How to Debunk Conspiracy Theories using Facts, Logic, and Respect. He has been debunking extraordinary claims, alternative beliefs, and conspiracy theories for over a decade on his Metabunk.org forum and draws upon this experience in his book. Before he was a debunker he was a video game programmer and thinks debunking claims has much in common with debugging code.