Stray Thoughts on Conspiracy Theories

Updated on January 30, 2021 in General Stuff
7 on January 28, 2021

Two similar thoughts:

  1. No matter how insane you think a particular conspiracy theory is, there is someone way smarter than you who believes it. Ask yourself why.
  2. I would love to read an analysis of conspiracy theories throughout history. I think they are ineradicable. They will always be with us. But what interests me is why some particular thing becomes the subject of a CS at a particular point in time. Is it just a random coalescing that signifies nothing? I don’t think so. I think that which becomes the interest of CS at any given moment is itself information. I think we can learn a lot from these.
 
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1 on January 29, 2021

I only know one conspiracy entbusiast. He is indeed way smarter than I, as measured by retention of information and economy of speech, rapidity of thought and movement. He’s also crazy and has totally alienated himself from all family as far as I can tell, and has what you might call an antisocial personality. The reason he believes in them, I guess, is that wbile he isn’t to blame for anything, his manifold problems are attributable to some outside and sinister force.

He is one of the two or three strangest people I have ever met. I’d like to meet this other really crazy (not quite psychotic) guy I know.

on January 29, 2021

I’d like him to meet the other guy, I meant. Hard to edit on here. I need to he careful what I type, lest my own weirdness manifest without me being able to correct it.

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0 on January 29, 2021

I tend to think of conspiracy theories arising from being pretty far removed from the actual laws, like physics, that govern the universe. For instance, someone looking at a quote from a roofer might think that the guy is trying to scam him. Until that someone is on a 2 story house in the middle of an August afternoon in Virginia trying to pry up and hammer down shingles and get it to look and function good in 96 degree heat. Once you’ve done that, you’ll gladly pay someone else to do it.

And then I think modern times probably generate more conspiracy theories than existed in the past because we’ve become so disconnected from hard reality.

Then I remember that they used to sacrifice women and children to the gods in volcanoes and I quickly change my mind.

Go figure.

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0 on January 29, 2021

It’s interesting to observe how the term “conspiracy theory” has itself become weaponized.

I remember the “100 MPG carburetor” that Big Oil was supposed to be keeping from the public back in the 60’s.

Textbook conspiracy theory. 

But really no different from “we can power an industrial economy with solar power and windmills”.

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1 on January 29, 2021

Meanwhile, your government is trying to put a private citizen in prison for ten years for posting memes.

on January 30, 2021

Yeah, I heard about that. I guess being paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t watching you.

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0 on January 29, 2021

Slightly off topic but my career with Volvo not only included getting chewed out at a trade show by a guy who ran a Tesla museum that claimed we didn’t need to burn fuel, but I dealt with another guy who’d paid for some theoretical dyno tests that proved running the windshield wiper fluid into the air intake reduced NOx. And he wanted to license his technology.

Unfortunately, the math in his report showed that goesinta’s didn’t match the goesouta’s.

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