Strange Researches

Why Do People Believe in Conspiracy Theories?

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Some possible explanations:

First of all, conspiracy theorists try to legitimize their views by saying everyone is entitled to an opinion. To that, I say "No, you're not entitled to your opinion".

Bad faith arguments

Links:
* Conspiracy Theorists Aren’t Really Skeptics

Uninformed people

Links:
* Some Trump supporters thought NPR tweeted ‘propaganda.’ It was the Declaration of Independence.

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Making Decisions

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Decision making is a multi-faceted subject. It goes beyond just deciding yes or no. As the resources below will show you, there are a number of ways to make decisions optimally.

Behavioral Economics

Why do people do what they do? Behavioral economics seeks to combine economic theory and human behavior to answer why.

Daniel Kahneman is a giant in the field. Start with his work:

Nudging

We often think that we know what's best and it would be nice if we could just get people to see it our way. You can use subtle cues called "nudges" to push people towards what you want them to do.

Optimal Stopping

A niche area of decision theory is optimal stopping. Optimal stopping is meant to calculate the best point at which to stop seeking new choices and make a decision amongst your existing options. This is one of the few areas of mathematics where laypeople can understand the immediate significance of the concept.

Cognitive Biases

No one is perfectly rational. By recognizing your cognitive biases, you can counteract the hidden impairments to making good decisions.

Tools For Decision Making

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The Big Anti-Racism List

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NCAA Picks

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This is an experiment to see which prediction source accumulates the most points using a standard scoring system.
* The highest possible score is 1,920 points. Each of the 6 rounds has a max possible score of 320 points.

There are three groups of test subjects:
Predictions generated by automated algorithms, predictions generated by experts, and predictions generated by guessing.

Source 2017 2018 2019 2021 2022
538 960 780 960
Poologic-LRMCP 1140 1120 930
Poologic-Original 1090 1080 960
Poologic-Sagarin 1120 1070 940
Poologic- Vegas 1410 1080 650
Power Rank 940 1110 1250
BetLab 940 780
Jay Bilas 1130 640 730
Neil Greenberg 1390 410 880
Jay Williams 760
Howard Megdal 660 -
KenPom 1080 1100 1260
Dick Vitale - 590
ESPN Auto Generated 650 810 1250
Bing Predicts 820 670 720
Public Consensus 770
Karnik Spreadsheet - 510 1190
Pure Guessing/Jessicca 600 1030 390
3 Point Percentage 1210
Seth Greenberg 900
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Ted Cruz's College Days

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Ted Cruz is a very odd duck. I don't think I've run across someone so universally disliked, yet so successful at getting into positions of power.

Here's What Happens When You Try and Track Down a Ted Cruz College Rumor: Ted decided to call a woman's mother a whore. The rest of this article is like watching a car wreck in the slowest of motions.

Craig Mazin: This gentleman had the misfortune of being Cruz's roommate in college. He is not a fan.
* Here's an intro to the highlights from Mazin's Twitter feed.
* Here's another post showing the highlights of Mazin's Twitter feed.
* Mazin's Twitter feed is a treasure trove of Cruz related facts. Mazin also engages the right wing trolls who lionize Cruz.

Laura Calaway was Ted Cruz's debate teammate in high school. she beat him once. Ted wasn't pleased.

A psychologist went into detail as to why Ted Cruz has such a punchable face.

Everyone who has come across Ted Cruz comes to hate him with a passion usually reserved for child murderers or serial rapists. Here's another page showing Ted hating quotes.

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