This post has been retitled, updated, and cleaned up grammatically on 21/10/2018 from the original, though the actual content and meaning are in essence the same. Enjoy. ~Troythulu
Those who promote nonsense as fact, and there are many, often use marketing techniques, saying that that their claims are “hidden,” “secret,” or “suppressed” knowledge, that some sinister, nebulous “they” don’t want you to have.
It’s really nothing more than a cynical selling point, included and not limited to terms like “natural,” “organic,” or my favorite, “holistic,”that last used in promoting alleged alternative medical treatments.
Let’s face it, this makes whatever idea or claim being sold look much sexier than the same not dressed up with a conspiracy theory or vague obscurantist buzzwords, and this makes it more appealing for those vulnerable to the sales pitch.
Why do often smart people often fall for vague jargon that has no real meaning? Why do even smart people succumb to non-smart ideas and claims, even dangerous products or useless treatments?
I think there’s a number of reasons at play, and I doubt that it easily boils down to a simple answer, since people tend to be interestingly complex individuals with equally interesting and complex minds.
People often consider vague and meaningless words and phrases to have deep meaning, and since we are a species that loves narratives, being storytelling animals, we tend to see patterns and attribute agency where they sometimes do not really exist.
We subjectively impose meaning to the meaningless, often without even being aware that we do it, and so fool ourselves into thinking that the meaning we give it comes from without rather than from within ourselves
The brain has been described as a belief engine – we see patterns and give them meaning whether those patterns and that meaning are really there or not as a way to explain what seems to happen around us, unthinkingly.
But one does not have to be mentally ill, poorly educated, or stupid to do this – it happens to all of us, simply because of how our brains operate, using simple rules of thumb that sometimes serve us well, and sometimes not.
In seeing the brain as an incredibly complex machine rather than an otherwise useless shell or mere interface for a mystical soul, it becomes obvious that a world in which everything not currently understood is a deep supernatural mystery unfathomable by science, is a lot less satisfying and interesting.
Pseudoscience and most paranormal claims seem to me more a failure of the imagination, and they lead to a worldview in which our sense of the truly wonderful in the world is dulled by bombardment with the same increasingly mundane claims and worn-out talking points by those riding the coattails of science without being willing to play by its rules or do its work.
Tf. Tk. Tts.