Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Editorial: Why Conspiracy Theories Don't Work IRL

Sorry I haven't been posting much. Work and family and working on other projects has kept me busy.

But today there is something I want to get off my chest, something that has been nagging me forever, namely how conspiracy theories are used in books, TV shows, and other media.

It's a very popular to believe in conspiracy theories. After all, throughout all of time, history has been written by the victors, and they are very insistent on remaining the victors for a long time to come. Conspiracy theories offer possible explanations for events that seemed to happen from left field when you look at history. The very popular President JFK being assassinated in 1963. The Twin Tower's collapsing into a ball of dust and flame in 2001. Possible aliens landing in Roswell in 1949.

All of these have various conspiracies around them that popped up the moment that they happened., Then there are the other ones that have been around for centuries: the Illuminati, the Rothschild's, the Knights Templar. In fiction, you often see these shadowy figures manipulating people, governments, businesses, the whole world for their personal gain. And every story of a business executive who gamed the system and made a fortune, or the politician who could do no wrong, attacking corruption suddenly being brought down. All of it feels like someone is really controlling things behind the scenes, especially in fiction. And in fiction, a well done secret conspiracy makes all the sense in the world.

But I can't buy it in real life. There are too many variables, too much that could go wrong, too much that can be uncovered. Sure, people claim things are happening, that Queen Elizabeth is a lizard (by the way, Happy 90th Birthday, your Majesty) or that the US government is mind controlling everyone. But the thing is, they don't have proof. The proof they claim to have is faulty, or missing, or destroyed or what have you. Frankly, unless it's revealed, it doesn't exist. Besides, most conspiracy theories contradict each other, ruling most of them implausible already.

But, think about it. One organization that controls everything in the world, every government, every big business to ensure it's own goals, such as to a New World Order? How could that be possible? If it was, wouldn't the 193 member states of the UN actually be working together on certain issues, like, say, making the UN more powerful and the member states weaker? Or that they try to screw things up to make a New World Order seem more feasible? The UN and everyone around the world may have their issues, but there are bright spots, like the recent agreement in Syria. I can't buy it. Of course, everyone would claim that secrecy is the reason why you wouldn't hear it. But how can a secret that big be kept for so long? Eventually someone would blab, reveal too much information, Anonymous would get a hold of secret cache of data, etc. etc. Besides, the Illuminati was founded in mid 18th century Bavaria to promote democracy in an absolutist monarchist regime. Not exactly the kind of people back then who would want to unify the world under a totalitarian system, right?

HOWEVER, there is a big caveat here that I want to make clear. Just because something hasn't been revealed doesn't mean it exists, we just don't know it yet. Sometimes it takes decades, centuries for forgotten information or classified documents to be revealed. It took 30 years after World War II for everyone to find out the work of Allan Turing and Bletchley Park to be revealed. It was 100 years before the Bank of England said if there was gold on the Titanic, (and there wasn't much on board, unfortunately, and not shipped by the Bank).

Also, conspiracies happen all the time, but they are much, much smaller, and are more likely to fail than succeed. A small group that believe something, and have the means and willpower to put them into practice. But usually it's for something like overthrowing a dictator (or an elected government with a dictator) or complicated business dealings.

In general, this opinion of mine goes back to when I was studying at university. My history professors made it clear that there are multiple viewpoints and ways to study history: economically, social, "great man" theory, Marxist, etc. etc. And we may not have all the facts, as they were lost or destroyed. But the facts that we do have are there, and can't be ignored. Taking some info that supports your cause, but ignoring the bigger amount of data that doesn't support doesn't make it true, it makes it even more false. And you can't fake all the information out there. People try to edit Wikipedia all the time to push their personal beliefs, and it gets quickly reverted.

So, the way I see it: until evidence comes to light that counteracts information already available, I personally cannot accept things like the Cuban Soviet Mafia Republican Military got together to brainwash Lee Harvey Oswald to kill President Kennedy. If we were to find that evidence, then yes, fine, I'll listen, and maybe change my viewpoint. But history is already so big, so broad, so interesting that I don't have the time, energy, or patience to listen to every bat-shit insane theory.

Of course, if you believe in conspiracy theories, everything I just said would prove to you that I'm part of the conspiracy theory, because that's what a member of the conspiracy theory would say: there is no conspiracy theory.

So, yeah, I wasted my time writing this and your time reading it. Another win for the Freemason Alien Scientology cult.

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