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Memories of the 28th Century

Conspiracies Real and Imagined

Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.
These things came to mind again today. It appears that Americans, at least, and probably the rest of the world prefer to believe fiction rather than plain facts. Mark Twain noted that “A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” And that is being demonstrated every day. I guess that lies are more entertaining; they certainly aren’t more believable. I regularly hear people talking about conspiracy theories as if they were fact, and I suppose that they actually believe them. But I must admit that some of the conspiracy theories are rather amusing.

For some reason the rumors and conspiracies that have been concocted about Obama include some great items. I especially like that he spent two year at the U.S. base on Mars, and I understand that the White House denied the story, so it must be true; they wouldn’t have denied it, if there wasn’t something to it. There must be a base on Mars, at least. And I just learned that he killed his grandmother to hide the location of his birth, see link below. Maybe we’ll find out some more of truth after Obama starts his attempt for a third term.

The Obama stories are mostly silly insults that few people took or take seriously, except for the matter of his place of birth, which many people still doubt, even with his official birth documentation having come out. While many of these and other types of conspiracy theory are silly, many are serious attempts to make someone or something look bad to the public, and some succeed. But most of the conspiracy theories are shoddy lies that are obvious lies to anyone who looks at them with any noticeable amount of critical thinking. Unfortunately, most of the American people at least and probably most of the people in the world do not have enough critical sense and background to spot even the most obvious conspiracy theory. There are multiple reasons for that, but poor education is a major reason. People simply don’t have the background to understand events. As an example, I recently heard someone spouting that the Taliban and the Afghan Mujahedin were the same. I tried to explain the history behind the difference, but he wouldn’t have anything to do with it.

While the Obama theories were dreamed up to denigrate the man, other theories are dreamed up for other reasons, but it appears that the majority have been created for political reasons. Take a look at these: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...iracy_theories . I was going to try to categorize theories, but there are too many for that to be a useful act, and different people regard some theories differently. In addition to pushing specific political ideas, conspiracy theories in a few cases suggest that there are unanswered questions in regard to certain things. But most conspiracy theories show that many people are ignorant. But there may be a great desire in some people to have clear answers to all questions; maybe they little tolerance for ambiguity. There is something satisfying about certainty, but the more one learns the less certain everything becomes.

It isn’t surprising to find that religion is subject to even more conspiracy theories than are politics. I wasn’t really aware of this fact until just now, but I had regarded doctrinal differences to be religious, and like religious truth they were subject to different rules. In you consider how various realms of thought are thought about, there is very little difference between religion and conspiracy theories. Neither can be proven, and people either believe them or they are not part of that group.

Another relevant factor is how someone weighs facts. There are assertions that are plainly just gas, and there are assertions that may reflect actual fact, but in the absence of more data the validity of some such assertions is undefined. A good example of this is the assassination of JFK. There are too many theories, and there are enough facts to support each to put everything in doubt, or you can believe that there were seven or eight people around Dealey Plaza, half of whom fired, and who represented four or more different organizations. If we had all of the facts and nothing else, then it would be easy to conclude who fired the fatal bullet.

But the lack of critical judgment is probably the most important factor in people believing conspiracy theories. An example of this would be the matter of the 9/11 attack. The official facts are quite adequate to explain everything that happened, but some people lack the critical judgment to put together the fact that steel starts becoming soft at temperatures over three hundred degrees, so there was no need for extra drums of thermite or any of the other things imagined.

Look through the list in the Wikipedia article, and see whether there is something interesting in the mix, but remember to exercise your critical judgment while reading that article. In addition to critical judgment, a fair amount of knowledge is very useful. Without having followed the Afghan War against the Sovietskis in the 1980 and the events that followed, I wouldn’t know that the Mujahedin and the Taliban are quite different. Without having read the Federal Reserve Act and accounts of the Panic of 1907 I wouldn’t know who owns the Federal Reserve or why that agency exists, but I have read those things.


http://www.motherjones.com/politics/...iracy-theories

http://content.time.com/time/special...860871,00.html

A funny page by someone who believes many conspiracy theories
http://www.infowars.com/33-conspirac...n-should-know/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of...iracy_theories

Comments

  1. Dark Muse's Avatar
    I think in a way that conspiracies can act as a sort of vindication. If someone doesn't like a certain individual (particularly a politician/the government) it further supports their dislike if they convince themselves that said individual or government is guilty of committing this complex nefarious acts.

    Of course there are plenty of legitimate reasons to dislike them but these conspiracies help add fuel to that fire. And conspiracies about secret bases on Mars, or whatever, are just so more exciting than just plain bad policies.

    It is a way for people to make themselves feel more important (because they have this information that no one else knows) and it lets them feel like their life is like a movie or something if they believe they are surrounded by all these conspiracies.

    This reminds me one time I was doing a search on Sylphs which are mythological creatures that live in the clouds, and I kept coming across something called Chemtrails, so I opened up one of the links in curiosity and you know jet trails (as I call them) officially known as contrails, apparently there is a group of people who think that they are really deadly chemicals that the government is releasing upon the general public as part of some sort of experimentation or some sort of unclear nefarious purpose.
  2. PeterL's Avatar
    Well, yes, these are modern mythology. They are explanations for things that people don't have the real explanations for, and mostly the people who believe the conspiracies lack the background that is required to understand technological or scientific explanations. In some cases they take that lack of understanding to show that the official explanation is double-talk or gibberish, so they dream up explanations that they can understand.

    Aren't Sylphs air elementals? Does that mean that some people identify contrails as the tracks of Sylphs? I think that jet engines are a better explanation.
  3. Dark Muse's Avatar
    Yes, Sylps are air elementals, I have no idea why chemtrials/contrails kept popping up when I was google searching Sylphs, I could never really find a connection between the two other than they can both be found in the air.
  4. PeterL's Avatar
    Sylphs clean the chemtrails out, or that's what this site says.
    http://educate-yourself.org/lte/lasv...s19jan09.shtml
    It makes some sense. Sylphs have to be doing something, or are they supposed to just drift through the air?
    It looks like old-fashioned magic, belief in elementals, etc.
  5. Dark Muse's Avatar
    Well in the original mythology of the Sylph it is believed that they are responsible for why we see different shapes in the clouds. It is the Sylps who manipulate the clouds into different shapes and images.
  6. PeterL's Avatar
    Then they are ideal for cleaning up contrails. It's just a new application of ancient knowledge.