Wednesday, April 17, 2013

I'm tired of conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories are like assholes, everyone has one. Whether it's the JFK assassination, chemtrails, flouridation of water, lizard people or whatever, almost everyone believes at least one of these to be real, or at least plausible. You know what, it's OK to be skeptical. It's a GOOD thing to question everything that comes out of the media, look at the evidence and make an informed decision. If you just blindly believed everything you saw on TV or the internet, you'd be just as dumb as that girl on the Allstate commercial.

The problem is that too many people take being skeptical of mainstream media too far, yet blindly accept as fact almost everything fed to them by those like Alex Jones and Infowars who make money of playing to them. As my friend John Henry once said something like "people will pay double to see the sideshow to prove they weren't taken in by the circus".

There's a great temptation to say that you aren't taken in by mainstream media and that they're all propaganda. It feels good to think that you are above it all and that everyone else is a mindless drone. Trust me, I get that. However, if you want to be taken seriously, you need to back that up with evidence instead of links to conspiracy theory sites. You can't go off on a verbal rampage when someone uses real data and refutes your "facts" which are nothing more than poorly constructed hypotheses based off distorted information specifically tailored to appeal to your favorite conspiracy. When there's a perfectly logical and simple explanation in front of you but you have to build an elaborate alternative narrative for it because now, EVERYTHING has some evil plot behind it now--that's not the sign of a skeptical and independent thinker, it means someone needs serious psychiatric help.

You know, if you want to believe that there's a government conspiracy to dumb us all down, kill us and turn our GMO-riddled flouridated corpses over to aliens at Roswell to do research on, go right ahead. That's your right as an American. That's the beauty of America, you can believe whatever the fuck you want to believe, just don't expect the rest of us to take you seriously.

7 comments:

  1. William of Oakham would approve.

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  2. More often than not conspiracies are fact.. Just like Water Gate, Iran Contra, Monica and Bubba and WMD's.. I think it boils down to you just not wanting to think.. ;)

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    1. What you are describing are not conspiracies, they are called scandals. A person who holds a position of power lying about something does not make it a conspiracy, until the start expending extreme effort to cover it up.

      "Monica" was just the president copping a blowjob and not wanting to admit it afterwards. Yeah, that's totally the power of the government being used to insidiously oppress and mislead people...

      Water-Gate WAS a conspiracy, because Preident Nixon was actively sending out his goon squads to cover up the crimes he had already committed. Iran-Contra could be arguably called a conspiracy since it's pretty clear there was malicious intent behind it, but President Bush and the WMDs was a little more ambiguous. There may have been a conspiracy on the part of Rumsfeld and Cheney, but I believe that everyone else was either just fooled or incompetent to the point that they ignored necessary evidence.

      Also, your "more often than not" comment, is complete and utter horseshit. You named four events, three of which MIGHT have been conspiracies, as your evidence that the majority of conspiracy theories are accurate...

      Tell me, cmv1971, do you think President Obama used a weather weapon to send a tornado into Moore, OK? Do you think all the evidence that says we were attacked in 2001 by 19 angry Muslims is bullshit, and it was clearly the evil government? Do you think that President Obama doctored Benghazi emails to make his position look better in that tragedy?


      The truth of the matter is that MOST conspiracy theories are made up by paranoid-schizophrenics who feel like EVERYONE is out to get them, who are just high functioning enough to sound sane when they write about it on the internet. MOST conspiracy theories involve a highly tailored and edited set of facts, which are created specifically for the purpose of proving a pre-determined point, rather than being the result of a genuine search for evidence to answer an unknown question.

      I love how people who automatically eat up this shit without even having a second thought or doubt about it accuse the rest of us of being sheep, when we actually stop to think about things, and realize that ridiculously implausible explanations for things are generally not applicable.

      Occam's Razor, look that shit up bro. Your life will be better for it.

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  3. The latest conspiracy, that I stumbled across today, is "sinkholes". A friend had reposted a dire warning about how sinkholes were an indicator of the "end-times". So I went to the source page (which is called "Open Your Eyes People" which is a level of irony that I find so obvious, that it's almost not worth pointing out). On the source page they had at least a dozen reports of sinkholes from around the world. One this facebook page, their readers are encouraged to go out and find news stories and repost them for the group so they can all be vigilantly aware of all the "signs" of the coming apocalypse; and also perpetually living in FEAR.

    Now here's the problem - my education is in geologic and environmental engineering. In other words, I know for a blazing, unarguable FACT that sinkholes have been around for centuries and eons. It is so simple a process that you could literally demonstrate how it works to school kids in your back yard with a garden hose. It's not rocket science. So do I just let them wallow in their hand-wringing fear? Or do I at least have pity and reassure these folks - based on my years of training and education - that sinkholes won't herald the second-coming.

    Being the opinionated, independent mind that I am - I waded in. I told them my credentials - tried to make sure everyone felt safe(r), went over the very basic scientific principles in terms a 1st grader could get, but did it work? Of course not lol. I was told first that "scientists think something is happening in the earth's crust because they (sinks) are coming more frequently". Not true of course - we KNOW what's happening - droughts and over-pumping of ground water are causing increases plus a crumbling, sometimes decades-old, infrastructure underlying our cities are the primary factors along with others that can be explained. They weren't buying it.

    I then went on to remind them that if they were to choose - actively choose - to remain ignorant about these basic scientific ideas and continue to predict the end times based on this faulty information - they would be false prophets - the very thing the Bible says to watch out for. From what I gather, the "big guy" has very little patience for those that purposely mislead particularly when it comes to the end of the world.

    So rather than acknowledge me, or at least not answer me at all, I was given a conversion lecture and my posting privileges were revoked. All of my rational explanations were REMOVED as well. SO IN OTHER WORDS, they don't WANT to know the truth - or have ANYONE come along and disrupt the game with things like facts. What a waste of human potential. By the way, anyone who wants to give a shout out that sinkholes aren't magic omens - the address is: https://www.facebook.com/openyoureyespeople.emoaf

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  4. As a folklorist, I've often noticed that--whether it is conspiracy theories or alternative medicine or vaccines or whatever--most people are quite willing to be rational and skeptical, except on that one particular topic where they say, "Oh, but that's true!" The people who believe EVERYTHING as long as it's special arcane information that only the do-your-own-research people are privy to are in a class by themselves, but they tend to subscribe to conspiracy-oriented newsletters where they infect each other. There are also a lot of newsletters aimed at get-rich-quick enthusiasts, where conspiracies about giant corporations hiding cures for cancer and perpetual motion machines (thanks to which you can make a mint by peddling same) fade into the other kind.

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