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1 Michael McBacon  Jul 20, 2014 4:07:26pm

For all the actual conspiracies that occur there are many more theories anyone can come up with by stringing together random facts to create a narrative that suits their personal agenda.

2 EiMitch  Jul 20, 2014 6:23:48pm

IMO, the worst effect common to all* conspiracy theories is how the believers become smug, arrogant a-holes. “Look at all those idiots believing what they’ve been told. Not me. I know better than that. I know better than those people.” That kind of thinking poisons the believer, even on subjects not related to their CT. When someone believes pretty much everyone is stupid, they can justify themselves and “their side” doing pretty much anything for the “truth” or the “greater good.”

Oh, and logic and objectivity getting tossed under the bus also leads to things getting ugly. But its the unintentionally ironic elitism that gets me the most.

* - I use the qualifier “all” because some CTs lead to people dying for no good reason. Thats obviously worse.

3 b_sharp  Jul 20, 2014 7:14:49pm

Well done.

4 Sherlock Hound  Jul 20, 2014 7:25:24pm

I have a dear friend who is sadly in the clutches of the Birchers.

I wish I could ask him, let’s say he’s right and the UN is really pushing Agenda 21 on us all.

“Are you happy?”
Is any conspiracy theorist relieved to be right? Would they be happy? Are they happy? If this hound were to find a real conspiracy, he would feel a great sense of private pride and affirmation, just like his namesake.

But, that’s not what I see from my Bircher friend and others: Instead, there is bitterness, cynicism, anger, and self-righeousness, but most of all rage, unending rage.

If they’re right, I must wonder why that is?

5 Steve Dutch  Jul 26, 2014 4:42:47pm

re: #2 EiMitch

Something I omitted in the interest of brevity is the way conspiracy theories poison the climate of debate. If you don’t buy the theory, you’re either part of the conspiracy or a dupe.

The arrogance factor relates to the anti-authoritarianism common to most conspiracy theories. It looks like a lot of these folks are lashing out at every parent who made them eat their spinach, every teacher who ever gave them a bad grade, and every cop who ever gave them a ticket. Hey, I don’t like those things, either, but dealing with it is part of being a grown-up.

6 Steve Dutch  Jul 26, 2014 4:50:00pm

Thanks all for the positive comments. I am a tad disappointed that not a single conspiracy believer weighed in.

I asked what conspiracy believers see to convince them the world is full of malevolence. Here’s what I see. I get my mail. I drive on good roads. Evil corporations supply me with food, electricity, air travel, medicines and automobiles. The evil government furnishes me with clean water, police and fire protection, and petabytes of free data if I want it. Yeah, roads have potholes, economy class is the pits, crooks commit crimes and fires still break out. People are imperfect and nobody can stop bad things from happening completely. But the principal conspiracies I see are conspiracies to deliver what people need.

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