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Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011
Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011
Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011
Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011
Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011
Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011
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Talk - Skepticamp Melbourne 2011


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  • Intro
  • First: define antivaxer
  • Not smart enough to understand the actual situation – most of Dorey’s followers. They end up getting angry, spittle flecked and impotent, but remain unconvinced. They’ll ban you and bad mouth you until someone gives them their warm milk.Mike Adams, Meryl Dorey, ideological opposition. Have been exposed to counter-arguments so often that they should know them by heart. If they’re beaten they’ll ban you, then calmly call you a shill and tell the world they’re not talking to you because you’re anti-free-speech or anti-choiceSolipsists like Erwin Alber – they really do live in a different universe in which their opinion is more important than evidence. Possibly mentally ill. If they’re beaten they merely go silent and pretend you don’t exist. They probably wouldn’t ban you. Fran Sheffield may fall in this categoryVieraScheibner, who believes she is the best authority and will not admit to anyone else having knowledge she possesses.Previously honest people falling prey to a known cognitive effect – this is a big risk. There may be worried people just on the brink of the hook, and spending time on them may drive them onto the hook.
  • Don’t leave them unchallenged (yes, I know, this is paradoxical)Ensure they are actually antivax and not merely a fencesitterparrotting nonsense they’ve heard elsewhere. Parrots may be turnable, though the effort is expensiveIdentify the audience; Talk to the audience, not the antivaxerIf this person is another Dorey, take her to the cleaners, and when I say cleaners, I mean the regulatory authorities in your state. An individual skeptic has little individual power, but a complaint well written can set the bulldozers in motionDon’t waste time. Debating anyone online is a timesink, so unless you’re specifically trying to hone skills, demolish the argument hard, call in reinforcements and spend minimal time.Screenshot everything, and publish those screenshots elsewhere. You cannot convince an antivaxer, but you can turn them into an example, which I guess is the entire point.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Jason Brown
    • 2. The Scenario Antivaxer posts idiotic argument Skeptic posts rebuttal Antivaxer denies or avoids rebuttal Skeptic responds Rinse, repeat
    • 3. The misconception That somehow, if a rational enough rebuttal is offered, the original poster will change their mind and withdraw This will never happen NEVER
    • 4. Why? Ignorance or denial of basic concepts needed to grasp science Disconnection from reality and inability to process Solipsism and magical thinking Dunning Kruger Backfire effect Among other reasons
    • 5. What to do instead?DISCUSS Do not ignore Antivaxer or parrot? Soliloquise If possible, use regulatory channels Time is a non-renewable resource Take screenshots Blog and tweet, sidewiki*
    • 6. Come and join us #stopavnDISCUSS