November 18, 2011

"Conspiracies are the sinister doppelgängers of our attempts to understand the world around us in rational terms."

"And, of course, we love them. With its promise of initiation into occult mysteries, and its revelation of order where others only see chaos, the conspiratorial frame of mind brings distinct psychological pleasures."

Writes David A. Bell, reviewing Umberto Eco's "The Prague Cemetery."

27 comments:

Scott M said...

And...every once and a while...they turn out to be true.

jbarker4682 said...

Why do people act like conspiracies are "fringe"... Human civilization is one giant history of conspiracy, murder & intrigue, perpetrated by people in positions of power against their rivals, often using the ignorant masses as cannon fodder. In fact, I think it is safe to say that conspiring is intrinsically part of the human condition.

Tibore said...

I think people need to distinguish between conspiracy theories and what I call conspiracy "fantasies". The Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact could be thought of as a conspiracy in a way; so could Watergate. But Apollo Hoaxing, Chemtrais, JFK CT, Holocaust denial, and 9/11 Trutherism are far different. Those are conspiracy fantasies. The difference lies in the evidence: Actual conspiracies have evidence demonstrating they exist; conspiracy "fantasy" is based either on painfully stupid misinterpretations of existent evidence, or worse yet, outright distortions of reality.

Or in the case of some things, such as Chemtrails, 9/11 trutherism, etc., outright lies.

Conspiracys themselves are not "fringe". What's fringe is the excessive paranoia that 1. Treats everything as a conspiracy, and 2. Willingly subscribes to outlandish proposals in the face of evidence contradicting the belief. 9/11 CT, Apollo Hoaxing, and Holocaust denial have been disproven time and time again, but those topics are fringe simply because it's only a fringe few who continue to subscribe to them in the face of overwhelming evidence contradicting the beliefs.

Scott M said...

Those are conspiracy fantasies.

You apparently have not heard Rosie O'Donnell's learned reasons explaining why 9/11 was an inside job.

Surfed said...

Quincux. The novel and the theory.

madAsHell said...

It's very easy to confuse conspiracy with compound stupidity.

Carnifex said...

@ Scott M

If it was just Rosie I could live with that. She's a bitter hag with dementia. But that supposedly rational professional people can fall for this shiz is astounding.

As an experiment, I'd like to know how many of the OWS crowd believe the 9/11 conspiracies. We know how many believe in the Elders of Zion after all.

And for people that do not believe in conspiracy I give you example #1 the DoJ's "Fast and Furious" #2 the DoE's "Solyndra loan" #3 the Kennedy Assassination cabal of the Mafia, Castro, the DoD, the CIA, and the "grey's" from Area 51 (the short ones, not the tall ones)

Tibore said...

"Scott M said...
You apparently have not heard Rosie O'Donnell's learned reasons explaining why 9/11 was an inside job."


LOL! Yeah, I loved how Rosie posited that fire cannot melt steel. That's actually wrong on two levels, since she's not only ignorant of how steel is forged to begin with, but also couldn't state the conspiracy claim correctly (it's supposed to be specifically that jet fuel fires do not burn not enough to melt steel, not just that any fire alone can't do it). So she fails in that she managed to pull a dingbat for her own side of the argument.

Genius, she is.

Tibore said...

"Carnifex said...
@ Scott M

If it was just Rosie I could live with that. She's a bitter hag with dementia. But that supposedly rational professional people can fall for this shiz is astounding."


Well, falling for it to begin with is not the problem. Many conspiracy peddlers have developed very careful ways of presenting their material so as to come off as reasonable. The problem comes in if the person does not pick him/herself up and out of the conspiracy trap after study and reflection. Those are the people being credulous fools.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
edutcher said...

Lefties can't live without them.

gerry said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gerry said...

Hmmm. At Drudge are a headline about new, antibiotic-resistant e. coli and gonorrhea strains in Europe and, close by, other headlines about the economic problems in Europe.

The biggest economic problem in Europe is baby-boomer-aged retirees who just won't die soon enough. There isn't enough money to suppport them.

The solution is to infect the old people with "resistant" bacteria strains that carry them off on the cheap. I understand.

Meanwhile, the chemtrail vapors are falling upon us all...

timmaguire42 said...

Some conspiracies are true, but it's not hard to distinguish the ones that might be real from the ones that aren't.

First, Occam's razor controls--if there is a simpler explanation, the conspiracy is probably not true. If the conspiracy requires more than a handful of people keeping a secret for any length of time, it is not true. If the conspiracy requires any particular action or inaction by non-conspirators, then it is not true.

911 Trutherism distinguishes itself by failing on all three counts.

Geoff Matthews said...

I had read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" well before "The DaVinci Code" caem out. I really enjoyed it.
But I knew it was bunk while I was reading it (their line of reasoning went something like "Event 'A' may have happened. If event 'A' happened, event 'B' is possible. Because event 'A' happened, event 'C' is possible. Because event 'B' happened, event 'D' is possible, and event 'C' almost certainly happened. Repeat as necessary).
That and the forged documents.

timmaguire42 said...

Despite a long boring subplot 2/3rds of the way through, Foucault's Pendulum, also by Umberto Eco, is a fascinating look into conspiracy theories, how they suck people in and the impossibility of "saving" a conspiracist. There's no escape because once a person is in that frame of mind, anything and everything can be brought within the conspiracy.

Scott M said...

Do you suppose GM will catch on fire as he watches that?

traditionalguy said...

Like the Obama re-election theme that the 99%'s money was stolen by the 1% who owes it back or else?

Anger at being used and abused by smarter people is always going to be around.

Mao tried a Cultural Revolution to stop the conspiracy he saw.

The Obamas just love the Maoist victory. The dead, or tortured and pillaged Chinese not so much.

Mick said...

"Barack Obama is a Kenyan-born communist jihadist".



Yes that is a conspiracy theory. The belief that Obama is a Usurper, because he is not a natural born Citizen is not a "Conspiracy theory". It is a question of Constitutional law, which holds that no matter where Obama was born, his birth as a British subject of a British subject father voids his A2S1C5 eligibility.

Oh, the intelligista present in Academia will try and paint everyone with a broad brush, in order to obfuscate the real issue. They set up straw men (i.e Obama is a Kenyan born Communist), and then link those strawmen to other "conspiracies", hoping the linkage makes the true Constitutional question seem "crazy".

You want conspiracy? Please. A quick search finds that New Republic is a "neo- liberal" publication, and author David Bell Mastered at Harvard, and is the same age as Obama-- so they may know each other. He also contributes to such Usurper lapdogs as Time and Newsweek.

More Conspiracy you ask? How about the fact that New Republic was bought in a debt sale in the first year of Obama's Presidency (2009) by Lazard LTD. Lazard is a Multinational Investment Bank that served as an advisor during the Lehman Bros. bankruptcy. Quid Pro Quo?

Amazing how much conspiracy you can find w/ a little digging! But the Journalist class is largely absent, captured, and serving as the useful idiots of the Central Banking interests. I always consider the source.

Carnifex said...

@ Mick

I am still waiting for one of these lawyerly types to address Minor v. Happersett and why the precedents from this and following decisions don't make the angry sock monkey unqualified to be POTUS.

Or why its okay for him to use another persons Social Security number. Or why he hasn't been charged with offering forged documents as proof of citizenship.

Must be one of those subtle law things A simple man can't understand.

Like how you can have a DoJ that only enforces the laws that it likes. Or a Labor Department that can tell a private company which state it can build jets in.

I'll sit here and listen to the silence of the lib's.

Scott M said...

@Carnifex

You have to be patient. Since Mick wouldn't tell us what he was going to do about preventing Obama's second term, I asked him what his metric for success was going to be. Once he answered that he was going to keep him off all 50 state ballots. Months later he said that he wanted Obama on all the ballots.

So I'm still waiting too. Good luck getting your answer though.

The Crack Emcee said...

"Conspiracies are the sinister doppelgängers of our attempts to understand the world around us in rational terms."

So are religion, "spirituality," feminism, and racial bullshit, so what else you got?

timmaguire42,

"First, Occam's razor controls,..."

Keep bringing THAT up and even this blog will disintegrate,...

Mick said...

Scott M said...
@Carnifex

"You have to be patient. Since Mick wouldn't tell us what he was going to do about preventing Obama's second term, I asked him what his metric for success was going to be. Once he answered that he was going to keep him off all 50 state ballots. Months later he said that he wanted Obama on all the ballots.

So I'm still waiting too. Good luck getting your answer though."


Again, your nonsense question means nothing. Obama will be on more than one ballot. Carnifex is a sign of the growing awareness of Obama's ineligibility. He will be stopped and pulled over by we the people in the next election, when he is Barack Obama, Cabdidate. "Law Prof" blogs like this will be severely embarrassed by their lack of alarm and awareness by those that should know better.

Mick said...

Carnifex said,

"I'll sit here and listen to the silence of the lib's."


Silence is participation in the treason.

The Crack Emcee said...

timmaguire42,

Despite a long boring subplot 2/3rds of the way through, Foucault's Pendulum, also by Umberto Eco, is a fascinating look into conspiracy theories, how they suck people in and the impossibility of "saving" a conspiracist. There's no escape because once a person is in that frame of mind, anything and everything can be brought within the conspiracy.

Did I ever tell you about my wife's mind state at the end of our marriage? I swear, just thinking about some of those crazy conversations (if whatever you're having when a marriage dissolves can be called that) makes me shiver. Completely hopeless.

But, then, you can't get anyone to give up Jesus or U.F.O.s either,..same shit, different day.

Mick said...

Carnifex said...
"@ Mick

I am still waiting for one of these lawyerly types to address Minor v. Happersett and why the precedents from this and following decisions don't make the angry sock monkey unqualified to be POTUS."


They cannot dispute the precedents as to A2S1C5 and Original Citizenship contained in Minor v. Happersett. It is documented fact by cites to M v. H. in SCOTUS cases ever since, even though Justia.com has tried to hide that fact.

http://naturalborncitizen.wordpress.com/2011/10/20/justia-com-surgically-removed-minor-v-happersett-from-25-supreme-court-opinions-in-run-up-to-08-election/

The Crack Emcee said...

"Conspiracies are the sinister doppelgängers of our attempts to understand the world around us in rational terms."

"And, of course, we love them."


Speak for yourself. Oh yeah, nothing makes me happier than knowing my one life has to be spent listening to nutjobs.