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Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford - Cautionary Conversation: The Conspiracy Theorist Who Changed His Mind

Cautionary Conversation: The Conspiracy Theorist Who Changed His Mind

Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford
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Charlie Veitch was certain that 9/11 was an inside job. The attack on the World Trade Center wasn't the work of Al-Qaeda, but an elaborate conspiracy. He became a darling of so-called "9/11 truthers" - until he actually visited Ground Zero to meet architects, engineers and the relatives of the dead. The trip changed his mind... there was no conspiracy.

His fellow "truthers" did not take Charlie's conversion well.

David McRaney (host of You Are Not So Smart and author of How Minds Change: The Surprising Science of Belief, Opinion and Persuasion) joins Tim Harford to discuss what happened to Charlie Veitch; what it tells us about those who hold strong beliefs even in the face of damning contrary evidence; and why persuasion isn't always the right answer.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

10/21/22 • 41 min

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Cautionary Tales with Tim Harford - Cautionary Conversation: The Conspiracy Theorist Who Changed His Mind

Transcript Summary

In this episode titled "Cautionary Conversation: The Conspiracy Theorist Who Changed His Mind," the host discusses the experience of Charlie Veach, a truther who believed in a 9/11 conspiracy theory but later changed his mind after participating in a TV show where he met experts and victims' families. Charlie's change of belief resulted in backlash from his fellow truthers who questioned his motives and even harassed him. The episode explores the emotional journey of Charlie and discusses the importance of building rapport and compassion when trying to change someone's mind. It also highlights the fear of social death and the extreme reactions people often have when their beliefs are challenged. Overall, this episode offers a cautionary tale about the consequences of changing one's beliefs within a tightly knit community.

Transcript

Speaker 1

Pushkin. I have been preparing a special Halloween episode of Cautionary Tales, but this week isn't Halloween, so that's not right. We don't want to annoy the spirits, so we'll release the Cautionary Tales Halloween episode next week. Well, what should we do this week? This week I will be dropping another of our occasional Cautionary Conversations, an interview with someone with a story to tell that I think you might enjoy.

Speaker 1

Cautionary Conversation: The Conspiracy Theorist Who Changed His Mind Top Questions Answered

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

What factors contribute to the difficulty of changing minds?

Changing minds can be difficult due to factors such as identity defense, reputation management, and the challenge of overcoming preconceived notions and biases.

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