Memory, Conspiracy, and Rationality

I'm very interested in the subject of memory. People place a lot of trust in their memory of events and that trust is usually unfounded. The fact is, we don't recall memories from whole cloth, instead we construct them by taking bits and pieces from who we are now and draping those images over a thin framework from the past. That said, I just read an informative article about Elizabeth Loftus, whose work with memory has often delighted me.

The New York Times also has a great piece about why rational people can believe irrational things. In particular, they're talking about conspiracy theories. So if you've ever wondered why your uncle believes that we never landed on the moon, the answer is that fluoride in the water is controlling his mindOr maybe not?

Trust Your Memory? Maybe You Shouldn't, by Jacque Wilson

Why Rational People Buy into Conspiracy Theories, by Maggie Koerth-Baker