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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2013 > Oct > Oct 4

Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
Date: Thu, 3 Oct 2013 08:16:46 -0500
Archived: Fri, 04 Oct 2013 06:04:05 -0400
Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>To: <post.nul>
>Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 16:49:47 +0100
>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>>From: Jerome Clark <jkclark.nul>
>>To: post.nul
>>Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2013 14:50:50 -0500
>>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing

>>>From: Ray Dickenson <r.dickenson.nul>
>>>To: <post.nul>
>>>Date: Tue, 1 Oct 2013 18:11:55 +0100
>>>Subject: Re: The Conspiracy Of Conspiracy Theorizing


>>>"It seems that, if we don't know what a thing is, we humans are
>>>inclined to make up explanations and believe the worst. So
>>>obsessive gov't secrecy has bad effects in the citizenry.
>>>However because politicos, judiciary, financiers, security/cops
>>>and media are notoriously ignorant of reality (the working
>>>world, how to think constructively, and even of real science),
>>>our rulers get more and more paranoid - and therefore even more
>>>obsessively secretive. That's a vicious circle."

>>>The backstory to that observation is at:
>>>and it includes a barstool ranter (although he was a bit
>>>quieter than that).

>>I guess I don't grasp the relevance of this to the point I made,
>>which is that (1) real official misconduct occurs and (2)
>>empirically baseless claims grounded only in the paranoid
>>imagination only cloud a real issue.


>Hello Jerry,

>You - and the rest of us - are going round in circles.

>From my last you know I acknowledge the existence of _some_
>baseless conspiracy theories, often owing their origin to lack
>of information (including the lack of an adequate education -
>which is true even of many scientists, as Lee Smolin showed).

>You also know - from Vincent's list and my quotes - that a great
>many actual major conspiracies exist, and you might also know
>that basic Bayesian analysis therefore strongly indicates that
>many more actual major conspiracies are presently unknown to us
>- i.e successfully covered-up.

>No-one has any idea of the ratio of real to unreal conspiracies
>- because the total number of real ones is unknown, while the
>unreal ones are loudly identified and repeatedly trumpeted-at by
>mainstream media (I suspect that some or many unreal conspiracy
>theories are invented by the MSM as "yuk-yuk"  stories - and /
>or to muddy the waters or 'poison the well' as Vincent said).

>You can see there's no solution to the problem - i.e. that many
>or most actual 'real' conspiracies will remain unknown to us.

>So calling an idea a 'conspiracy theory' doesn't detract in any
>way from its likelihood of being true.


Since there doesn't seem much of substance to respond to, allow
me to mention recent data that underscore my point. Here's a new
poll showing how widespread conspiratorial thinking has become
in society, in this case American society. (I would hope for
greater sanity in other Western democracies, by the way, though
I know that the conspiratorial imagination is not a solely
American ill.):


Conspiracy theories, which as I've repeatedly observed have
nothing to do with real-life misdeeds and conspiracies, are the
magical thinking of the paranoid and the poorly informed. They
amount to political pornography; they have as much to do with
real-life policy and governance as pornography has to do with
real-life sexual behavior. In that regard, It's not hard to
imagine that some conspiracy theorists believe pornography is
the product of documentary film-making.

A democratic state awash in paranoid fantasies faces a worrisome
future. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd suspect that the
promotion of wild-eyed conspiracy theories is a plot to draw
attention from real conspiracies. These days, sadly, the rabbit
hole that leads to Conspiracy Wonderland is packed.

Jerry Clark

Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast



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