This isn’t going to be a long rant, because, this once, I’d like to strike right for the heart. This wasn’t originally my own talking point; it was made by the grandmaster of modern conspiracy studies, Mr. Robert Anton Wilson.
THE CORE MISINFORMATION WE ARE FED ON CONSPIRACY THEORIES IS THAT A ‘CONSPIRACY’ IS THE WEIRD, CRAZY STUFF WE HEAR FROM NON-CREDIBLE PEOPLE. This is wholly untrue.
–actually, let me rephrase that. Those ARE conspiracy theories. They’re just a tiny fraction of conspiracies. It’s as if someone said “Science fiction believes that in the future, humans will be cannibals”. I own 5,000 scifi books. That idea is in…three of them, I think.
[H.G. Wells’ “The Time Machine”, of course; Harry Harrison’s “Make Room! Make Room!”, which became the movie “Soylent Green”… …and “I, Weapon”, by Charles W. Runyon.]
A “conspiracy” really is “at least two people making secret plans which affect a third person in
a negative way, without that third person’s knowledge”. Really. Go ahead, check. I’ll wait.
Yep. That thing you do all the time.
Conspiracies are not weird and rare. That’s SOME conspiracies. Most of them are happening all the time. We don’t think about it. We don’t want to think of ourselves as conspirators. And we are, understandably, afraid to think of ourselves as the subjects of a conspiracy, whether it’s one designed to control our lives, or to keep us from storing our food in the company fridge.
You’ll see variations of whether the ‘conspiracy’ has to be about something ‘illegal’ or ‘evil’. (How broadly can we define ‘evil’ intent? Really, really broadly, of course.) Is that true?
Did the US fake the Moon landing? Doubtful. Did Big Tobacco lie about causing cancer? Yes. Do Lizard People run Twitter? Probably not. Did Watergate happen? Yes. Yes, it did. Did the CIA test LSD for weaponization? Absolutely yes; sounds crazy, absolutely isn’t. MK-Ultra, baby.
Am I physically looking at multiple websites using ‘7 Traits’ to debunk ‘conspiratorial thinking’? Yes. Yes, I am.
They’re talking about [unmentionable subject], and I’m not going NEAR that SPECIFIC subject in any way.
But….and this is a VERY BIG ‘But’ INDEED -They’re debunking it, NOT by showing that it’s inherently wrong
(and WHY not? *I* could offer several debunks of that particular subject, and I’m NOT an expert in that subject) –
but by trying to tell you that the villain here is something called ‘Conspiratorial Thinking’.That’s misinformation. Or, more specifically:
The “7 Traits Of Conspiratorial Thinking” are opinions, not facts; and those opinions are actually contradicted BY facts. To wit:
IF this test was real, it would ONLY debunk false conspiracy theories.
BUT this test will ACTUALLY debunk ANY conspiracy theory.
Including those which are 100% visibly, documentably, historically, provably true.
What that means is: this is NOT a tool for DEBUNKING lies.
This is a tool FOR CREATING LIES.
Go over my logic here.
I’m not asking you to believe an opinion.
I’m giving you a testable rubric, one that you can use, yourself, to see if what I am saying works.
I don’t think I’m right because it feels good. I think this is correct because it is testable.
NOTE: In the process of discussing this subject, someone pointed out to me that while my definition of “conspiracy” matched their online dictionaries, a “conspiracy theory” is not defined as “a theory about a conspiracy”, but rather – as per Wikipedia – “A conspiracy theory is an explanation for an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful groups, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable.“
“Conspiracy theories” have been around, under that name, for a long time; the tragic assassination of JFK was in 1962, for example, and was famously a nucleus for conspiracy theories. In my general distrust of online sources, which change all the damn time (this is not a conspiracy theory; go look up how often Merriam-Webster changed definitions of words in 2019 alone!) – I checked my hardcopy of “Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary”, from 1980.
“Conspiracy theories” isn’t in there at all.
Yes, I think so.